I’ve often joked that I have looked like a mom since I was 12; and it is, for the most part, true. I tried to find some photographic evidence circa 1996, but my parents are in the process of moving and all our old pics are packed away, so you’ll just have to take my word for it…
I’ve always been more modest and drawn towards classic styles when it comes to clothes, haircuts, bags, etc., and I’ve always struggled more with finding an outfit appropriate to wear for “going out” than one appropriate for wearing to church. (I’ve been “mom-like” in other ways my whole life too – as discussed in this post).
Sure, I went through the Limited Too and Abercrombie & Fitch stage with the best of them, but those styles never really felt like “me.” In fact, I remember very vividly picking out an outfit for my first day of sixth grade at a new school (I’d previously been at a Catholic school where we wore a uniform) from Gap Kids (which required a special trip to Tyson’s Corner in DC). It was a pale yellow t-shirt and a matching cardigan with stripes in light yellow, pink, and blue. I loved it so much, and I would proudly wear the exact same outfit today. My style just hasn’t changed much over the years; and, ya’ll, if wearing cardigans is wrong, then I don’t want to be right. 🙂
As you might imagine, it was pretty easy for me to fall into the role of looking like a mom once I actually became one at 27. Truth be told, it made it a lot more socially acceptable. (Looking back at some photos from my freshmen year of college, one might even say I look less “like a mom” now? Eeek.)
Button up blouse – check
High(er) waisted jeans – check
Cardigan – check
Ballet flats – check
Pearl earrings – check
Giant tote back – check
Shoulder-length bob haircut – check
My mom-uniform game is STRONG; and, frankly, I’m pretty proud of it.
People (fashion bloggers, magazine writers, some of my friends even) talk about not wanting to “look like a mom,” but I’ve honestly never felt that way. I don’t want to look like the grandma, but I also don’t want to look like the teenage babysitter either…
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not into acid wash “mom-jeans” or denim jumpers either, but I don’t think that’s what modern moms look like at all. In my experience, moms today seek comfort and style. We like to try out new trends, but we also know ourselves well enough to skip the ones that definitely won’t work for us. We can rock a pair of yoga pants and a graphic tee OR a blouse and a statement necklace. We dress in ways that make us feel GOOD about ourselves – accentuating the areas we are proud of (hello baby-carrier arms) and keeping the other parts a little more discreet. Our clothes can take us from a professional meeting to the Chickfila Play Place (am I the only one that’s ever had to climb up there to make a rescue) with nary so much as a shoe change. We know our size at five favorite stores, and we no longer stress about the number on the tag. We know where to spend money (shoes), and where to skimp (sunglasses). Our clothes let us breastfeed with ease, use the bathroom with only one hand, and get dressed in ten minutes flat. We don’t waste time with “dry clean only.” We need less clothes overall, but we actually like the ones we have. We never find ourselves without socks for the indoor trampoline park or a sweater for the super cold doctor’s office. We wear spit-up like a badge and confidence with every outfit.
I want my kids to be proud of the way I look (when they are old enough to even pay attention), but I – obviously – want it to be because I’m proud of way I look and secure in my appearance, NOT because I’m the trendiest or the most fashionable mom around.
What about you? What’s your mom style? Do you think you “look like a mom”? How do you feel about that?
P.S. My own mom absolutely epitomizes style and class at every age. (Seriously, have you seen her?) She’s had a huge influence on my own taste, and I hope to look just like her one day. 🙂
AND ONE MORE THING… I realize moms come in all different shapes, sizes, and styles. I’m not saying that every mom looks like/ dresses like I do OR that looking a certain way makes a better mom than anyone else … Just making a playful generalization.
“If wearing cardigans is wrong, I don’t want to be right.” Amen, sister! 😉
Audrey Hepburn is my style icon, so every day my mom style is to emulate her. For me I think classic and modest is the key, along with comfortable. There was a while were I refused to wear a dress because it just wasn’t functional with having to breastfeed or getting down to pick George up. I think you really have to figure out what is going to work for you but still feel confident. Cardigans are key for any wardrobe!