Are you a mom? Do you enjoy appearing stylish and pulled together? Yes?! Me too! Unfortunately, MOM-ing and creating defined style can be somewhat impossible most days. Because just getting the kids out the door in itself is a giant feat, adding YOURSELF to the roster of people getting pulled together always gets knocked off the list first! However, you can DEFINITELY do it- you just need the RIGHT ingredients in your wardrobe, and RID yourself of the items you don’t need.
First of all, I’m going talk credentials. I received my education in the fashion industry- my degree is in retail buying. The last job I had before I had my kids was managing Helene M, a boutique in downtown Portsmouth (which sadly no longer exists). I thoroughly enjoyed my role, I loved my boss, my clients, and most of all- going on buying trips to New York! Due to the fact that the Seacoast is flush with families, many of my clients were moms with young kids. I listened to their requests, paid attention to what they purchased, and took notes. These hip ladies gravitated towards stacks of denim, jersey dresses, and piles of tees and tanks. Since I got to to know many of these ladies pretty well, my knowledge of the style preferences of my Seacoast momma clients became crystal clear.
I now have two small kids under age 5, and looking stylish is COMPLICATED. Staying at home with small kids is a messy, sticky, active job! Therefore, I smirk at any article of clothing that requires dry cleaning, or coddling in ANY way. I also lament those days that I could wear them without the impending CERTAINTY that they will be smeared with spit up, hummus, bodily fluids, peanut butter, I mean you name it. Fellow mommas I know you get it! Consequently, I urge you to select clothing that is comfy, cute, washable, and dry-able in order to remotely consider buying it. You will wear dry clean only clothing again. I just don’t suggest doing it when your kids are younger than age 6.
I do my best NOT to walk around looking the way I FEEL (full of love, coffee, and exhaustion), but it CAN’T be my top priority anymore. My family rides the hot mess express pretty much daily, but I try to keep that on the down-low. In order to feel confident and somewhat styled, I maintain a close eye on the state of my closet. Consistently cycling your clothing will keep it fresh. It doesn’t really doesn’t require piles of clothes to look fabulous, I PROMISE! Take a look at this list of wardrobe must-haves, check what you already have, and what you may need to add. We don’t have TIME as mothers to mess around with a bunch of clothing options in the morning, so get YOUR mom uniform READY to roll.
My cardinal style rule? “LESS IS MORE”
You will GREATLY benefit by ridding your closet and drawers of the items that you don’t wear at all . I mean it – you can either donate them or alternatively, take them to your favorite consignment shop to get a pay out! As a result, you will pave the way for making your personal style much easier to pull together. Finally, since we are on the cusp of summer, I made this guide specifically to reflect the upcoming warm weather- YAY summer!
- Easy, lightweight jersey sundresses- I LOVE Bliss boutique, Ganesh, and Wear House for local support! Boden makes a lovely dress too- and most of them can be tossed into the washer AND dryer! BONUS! The sweet little dress above is such a great style – short sleeve pocket dress by Garnet Hill.
- Lightweight comfy jeans or pants (boyfriend crop current fav style) Again, Bliss Boutique on Market Street has a really well curated denim section- including these easy comfy boyfriend style jeans by Citizens of Humanity pictured above! Sometimes you will need to invest in a few pricier pieces- its worth it. I call it High-Low dressing. H&M also has a fantastic & affordable denim selection.
- Washable, well-cut T’s- Making Faces in Portsmouth has an amazing selection of the best stylish comfy jersey tops from State and Manor (a local designer!). I LOVE basic tees from H&M and Target too in a pinch, but they don’t last nearly as long as a high quality tee (but yes spendier) will have. I have this Davie tee in black and white and wear them so often- also, they wash and dry like a DREAM.
- Comfortable shoes or sandals that are also up to date! My go to for shoes for our entire family is Reds Shoe Barn in Dover! (Literally, they have everything). Since their humble beginning, Birkenstocks have made quite a style evolution- and woah comfy. Because most of us need to be able to break into a run to chase my kids, the shoes must accommodate that! This shiny version of the classic birks challenge that whole patchouli vibe they are known for! (although, I love patchouli so I’m biased anyway). Other options are cool stylish sneakers and simple flip flops. Just keep those toenails trimmed!
- Pretty embellished tops- I peruse Wear House’s Instagram feed constantly for these! H&M and Target also consistently stock great easy and affordable swing tanks. Again, I am obsessed with Garnet Hill for almost ALL the things, including this romantic feminine tank pictured above that can be worn year round.
- Fantastic, flattering pair of sunglasses for those days when your lack of sleep SHOWS! I probably have a trillion pair from Target. Im wearing my favorite pair in the pic below. No time for sleep- no worries!- slap these on and you’re good to go! Insta-chic for the tired mom.
- Well-fitting bathing suit- Lands End, Nordstrom, Target, Prana, Athleta. I adore the fresh take on a one piece from Athleta above.
- Reflect your personal style with a piece of statement jewelry- This is YOUR personal style choice, but decide what look you want to project and go with it! Are you preppy? Select a pair of pearls! Do you lean bohemian? Get yourself some funky mala beads! Are you sweet and feminine? Go pick up some delicate layered necklaces ). I found the Mala Necklace above is on Etsy!
- A perfect date night dress- You will always need a little dark dress in your wardrobe! The dress pictured above is by Susana Monaco from Bliss Boutique. I own it and it has paid for itself several times over already.
- Lightweight cardigan or pullover – Find these almost anywhere, but the motherland of Target is where I normally get mine. I spotted this linen modal open cardigan at Garnet Hill.
Did I miss anything that YOU have to have in your wardrobe? What are your favorite places to shop? I would love to hear it all. Let’s help each other out in this journey toward super stylish motherhood! As they say, it takes a village!