My new year’s resolution this year was to buy less, but buy better. To put more thought into getting dressed in the morning. And to clean out and simplify my wardrobe.
So here I am months later, and I still start (and finish) most days in gym clothes.
A fellow blogger asked me for a list of must-have items that would get a mom through her day this fall. Truth be told, I could use the reminder myself.
Whether it’s carpooling, bringing home the bacon, meeting your best girls for lunch or meeting your best guy for dinner, there are ways to easily look stylish and feel comfortable at the same time. There are also a lot of pieces, which you can style and restyle to meet your needs.
So here’s the list:
1. Sporty Cotton Tunic - You can choose a tunic in comfortable cotton stripes, a cableknit sweater variety or any other long-ish top or short-ish dress you want to do the trick. But layering a tunic over skinny jeans as a top or over bright tights and all-weather boots as a dress is one way to get two different outfits in a jiffy. This is an effortless and easy look to pull off for any age and virtually any body type.
2. All-weather boots. That brings me to rain boots, or Wellies, which are big again this year. Choose pricey riding styles from Hunter or find cute prints and colors in traditional styles at Target. Wherever you get them, you’ll see that rain boots work wonders with long and short dresses, over skinny jeans, with shorts, and pretty much any other combination. Oh yeah, and they’ll keep your feet dry too!
3. Infinity Scarf. This is a must-have staple for virtually any woman, anywhere. You don’t have to tie it because it’s just one piece attached at the ends. It won’t fall off and goes with t-shirts, blouses, sweaters and everything in between. Infinity scarves add color and texture to otherwise simple outfits. You’ll find them just about everywhere, and will probably end up with a few once you’ve figure out how much you love wearing them.
4. The perfect jeans. No, I don’t mean they have to cost $150 or more, but they do have to be perfect for you. Find a very dark pair for evening or a light pair for daytime wear. Make sure there is enough room on top, and that you are not letting your labor-induced muffin top spill over. Like trousers, most jeans will need to be altered since we aren’t all built like Barbie Dolls.
5. White Blouse. There have been many an Oprah show done on the perfect white blouse. If you ask me though, it’s different for everyone. My favorites are nipped in at the waist, which gives you a nice hourglass figure (even if you don’t really have one.) Women with bigger busts should buy them roomy enough in the chest that the top won’t pull when buttoned, leaving you to constantly tug at the gap that shows your skin and bra to the whole world. Again, that means it may have to be altered in the shoulders and the waist. Buy a wrinkle-free or easy clean version and you’ll be able to wear it for a long time. See above how I’ve styled a simple white button down and the perfect jeans for day and night.
6. Loafers. Slipper-style loafers are particularly popular this fall. They are flat and comfortable. You can walk the kids to school or run for the bus in these cute shoes. They are appropriate for both casual and professional settings, too.
7. Sequins or Embellishments. A cardigan with sequins or an embellished blazer are ideal for moms who need multi-tasking wardrobes. Wear them to your children’s holiday program at school or meet your significant other for a romantic dinner out. As I’ve shown above, add either to a white blouse and jeans for an entirely dressed-up look – you can even change in the car! Remember to keep your jewelry and other accessories simple.
8. Animal print anything. Adding animal prints anywhere instantly gives your outfit an edgy and modern twist. Wear it on your belt, your loafers, a sleek cardigan or if you are more daring, on a faux fur swing coat. Just don’t wear too much of it – a little goes a long way!
9. Bright Trench. Speaking of coats, a trench coat will get you through most of the seasons comfortably. Take it up a notch in bright red or yellow, and your jeans and white blouse will be anything but ordinary.
10. Black leggings. Last but not least, arm your wardrobe with black leggings. You can wear them for almost any occasion, if you pick the right fabric. My black leggings happen to double as my high-performance workout pants. See below for how you can actually wear black leggings to hit the gym and a matinée in the same outing.
Amy Grace is married with two children. You can read her every Friday on momaha.
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