Being a “trendy” mommy is all about balancing fabulous with functional. In my life pre-children, I worked in many aspects of the world of clothing. I was required to stay on top of the trends (and totally didn’t mind) doing everything from dressing wealthy “stay-at-home” moms to building eye catching displays in store windows to figuring out what trends would hit it big next season. Eventually, I happily traded that world for one of diaper bags, tiny buttons and milk leaks. Eight years, 4 children and countless amounts of domestic godess experience later, I have grown and adjusted my train of thought but never lost from love of style and all things pretty.
Obviously, most of the budget now goes to feeding and clothing the ankle bitters. This simply means, however, I have to prioritize what I do get to spend on myself. This is FAR easier than it sounds. First, know that trends are cyclical. If you lived through it the first time, be wary the second and stay away the third. Mom, hear me, if you wore neon in the 80’s, it doesn’t make you look younger to wear it now! Keep it to the accessories, don’t layer your socks and leave the tutu skirts to runways and college girls.
Next, don’t be afraid of the word “boutique”. This is not code for crazy expensive- in fact, many of the locally owned boutiques are surprisingly affordable! The advantage to shopping in these smaller shops is that the owner has complete control over the styles and items are purchased in small quantities. You might only be able to afford 2 or 3 pieces at a time (rather than 5 from a chain) but you are guaranteed not to run into a twin at your next event (play-date or dinner party!) Plus, the quality and wear-ability tends to be off the charts because the owner’s name is at stake. She doesn’t want to sell you something she wouldn’t wear herself. Get to know the owner and staff of these local hot-spots as well. Not only could you make a new friend, you can get the insider scoop on upcoming sales and cute new stock.
Be realistic. Linen and silk are beautiful but dry clean only doesn’t mix well with baby leaks and playground dust. Your kids don’t care if it is cotton or cashmere as long as mommy can push the swing, help them climb the rock wall and race to the pond. I LOVE heels (and can run quiet gracefully in them) but, at the end of the day, a cute pair of gold sandals and brightly painted toes are way more play-date practical and far less painful. Watch your highs and lows… meaning always do the shoe tie test before you buy. If you can’t bend, squat or reach without showing off the goods, save it for grown-up date night.
Finally, keep it simple. If you have cute clothes in your closet, getting dressed shouldn’t take forever. A fun top can make your favorite old jeans new again. A fun, chunky necklace or beautiful scarf will make a plain t-shirt look expensive. A great hair style should allow for a quick due. However, a sparkly, well fitting hat disguises running late or lack of energy to wash your hair as a being completely on trend. If your plans consist of park play, library story time and naps, keep your make-up light. I adore a good BB cream, eye-shadow with just a hint of shimmer, quality mascara and a tinted lip balm or lightly colored gloss. Don’t forget a little bronzer or shimmer on your cheeks, DONE! It seriously doesn’t even take me 5 minutes. (In my opinion, good make-up is worth a little extra $$ but I don’t, by any means, go overboard in this area either).
Oh, and don’t forget to “OWN IT”! Look in the mirror and repeat after me “Dang, you are one hot mama!” If you feel good about yourself, if you “own it”, it doesn’t matter that your dates are sporting pigtails and the latest in Spiderman gear, you will walk taller, smile brighter and others will take notice.
Enjoy it, you deserve it!