As a mom to an 21 month old, I will be the first to admit that I usually come last on the list of priorities behind baby, husband, housework, playdates, cooking, cleaning, etc. (You get the idea!) It was a bit shocking when my son was first born to realize just how difficult it would be for me to accomplish what used to be simple tasks like taking a shower or putting on makeup. I soon noticed that I had established a pretty solid mom wardrobe of yoga pants, long t-shirts, and hoodie sweatshirts. It was comfy and cozy, but I soon felt like my 7 day a week wardrobe needed a bit of an update. Now let’s be honest, with a toddler running around who has the time to pick out stylish outfits everyday? I know I don’t! So I started making small changes to my daily wardrobe. Things that were easy to do and helped me feel much more “put together” when I walked out the door. I noticed instantly how much better I felt about myself just by adding a few staples to my wardrobe. Hopefully you will find these as fun and easy to integrate into your daily routine as I did!
1. Statement Necklace: The best thing about a statement necklace is how easy it is to add to any outfit. I guarantee you will instantly feel more dressed up. My favorite statement necklaces are the ever popular Chew Beads (I love the pop of color my turquoise set adds) and this similar fabric covered beaded necklace a friend brought back for me from a trip. Necklaces like these are extra important if you have a young child because they can chew and tug on them all they want. Bonus!
2. Hats: I must be honest with you, I am a bit obsessed with hats. And I’m not talking about baseball caps! Add a hat to your outfit and watch the compliments pour in. Now as a woman with an extremely large head I can tell you that the best way to start your hat collection is to go to a department store and try on as many as you can find. Fedoras, straw hats, floppy styles, all of them! You will definitely find one style that fits your head and face shape. And don’t shy away from the men’s department either. Some of my favorite hats have come from the men’s section and they are also great if you have a large head like I do! Now for the best part….hats are perfect for covering up bad hair days. I often wear hats when I am on day 3 hair. Day 1 is styled and beautiful, day 2 is full of dry shampoo, and day 3 starts to lose its style so a hat is almost always the perfect solution. Who doesn’t love a quick way to cover up a bad hair day?
3. Knotted or Half-Tuck Shirt: After I had my son, I found that I was bit uncomfortable in my new postpartum body. I bought a few shirts that were a size up from my pre-pregnancy size and wore them almost daily. As my body started to slowly lose weight, I felt like my go-to shirts were a bit frumpy and baggy. My solution? The hip knot or half-tuck! It will instantly make you feel more put together as it gives your body more shape and doesn’t let your shirt just hang there. I love doing this with any shirt that lacks shape or that I feel needs a little extra dimension. (Sidenote: now that I am pregnant again….this works well above or below the bump!)
4. Pretty Layers: When in doubt, layer! I love this look because I am still super comfortable in casual clothes, but look more fancy by the print of my cardigans or kimonos. I am a huge fan of kimonos for transitional seasons (like when it’s Fall but randomly still hot every now and then) because they are breathable and lightweight so you won’t get overheated, but have an extra layer on in case the sun isn’t out as well. Printed scarves make great outer layers too and you most likely have one hanging in your closet right now!
5. Fun Bag: Last but not least, is the simple yet effective idea of just grabbing a fun bag. If it is a “wear your pajamas to the store” kind of day, then grab a printed bag on your way out the door. I get more compliments on my bags sometimes then anything I am wearing. It’s a bit of a “distraction from my outfit” tactic! I love bags with fun prints or leather details and the bigger the better. I am a chronic over-packer. Even if it just a trip to the store. I think motherhood does that to you. It makes you think that if you aren’t prepared for the 50 scenarios you might encounter and various moods your baby might break into, then you aren’t doing it right! Oh my! At least if you plan to overpack, do it in a cute bag!
Well, there you a have it! My 5 tips for feeling more “put together” as a busy, exhausted mama. I hope that one or all of these will work for you because it took me 21 months to realize that I didn’t have time to get fully dressed up every day to feel good about myself. I just needed to add simple things like printed layers, hats, bags, and necklaces to my everyday outfits.
Good luck, mamas!