I am so happy to share a guest post today from my blogging friend, Mary Boctor. If you haven’t yet, you should check out her blog, Atelier, where she writes on style and wardrobe, movies, makeup, food (and drink), books, life and love. It is inspiring, elegant, and insightful, as is the author! Mary is both a mother of three and a personal stylist, so who better to ask for guidance in building a chic yet workable mom uniform?
I was flattered when Laura asked me to write a little bit about my spring / summer mom uniform. I’ve really enjoyed her series on finding her personal style and keepin’ it real as a busy mom. I too am a mom of little ones (three under four years), so I totally understand the need for easy clothes. I’m not talking streetwalker here; I mean clothes that look great with little time and effort. I also find it absolutely necessary to be comfortable; there are enough irritants in life without your pants being one of them! My basic pieces are:
dark wash straight cut jeans
linen blend pants
booties, ballet flats, and sandals (the temp really fluctuates in Buffalo this time of year)
watch, pearl earrings, sunglasses, and leather tote
This polyvore collage about sums it up (some of the items are the exact ones, others are close approximations). As you can see, my mom uniform is very neutral heavy and simple. When I step out with the husband or to special events, I go outside this box, but I’ve found these items to be my best formula for day to day wear.
If you are in the process of figuring out your mom uniform, I have a few suggestions for [lucky] you. Spend more on shoes and accessories than tops and bottoms. “Cheap” shoes aren’t really that cheap, they are usually not very comfortable, and they don’t age as well as real leather. My accessories were all gifts from my husband, and I have been roundly convinced that they were great investment pieces. Chic accessories will see you through any body fluctuations and their importance grows in direct correlation to the simplicity of your uniform.
Spend less on tops and bottoms. I view these as more disposable items. The reality is, I get dirty because of the kids. We play outside. They spill stuff on me. Even bodily fluids come my way once in a while. I don’t want to flip out because a $60 sweater from Banana Republic got ruined by grape juice. Therefore, I usually buy basic v-neck tee’s at Target and thrift other tops. As for bottoms, I have been wearing Old Navy Jeans and for warm days basic shorts and inexpensive linen blend pants (I hate being hot).
Find a great jacket. I was lucky to score a high quality wool blend blazer (from a Saks Fifth Avenue private label) at a thrift store for under $5. It looks amazing, yet, I wouldn’t cry if one of my kids got it with an ink pen. Okay, I would, but not for too long. My advice is to search the racks of the local thrift stores for a blazer. Look for something high quality that fits well through the shoulders. Sleeves can easily be shortened, and a little less easily, the jacket can be taken in.
I don’t want to presume on anyone’s desire for details (editor’s note: it’s a pretty safe presumption, Mary! ;-); if you would like more info on the specific pieces in my uniform (as opposed to approximations) or have any other questions, please shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org I would love, love, love to hear from you!