Once upon a time, when I was gainfully employed and child-free, getting dressed was a simple task. There was an expectation for a professional appearance that was fairly straightforward.
Once I swapped the office for the stay-at-home mom world, I needed to invent a style that worked for my new way of life. I traded skirts and stockings for jeans, and blouses that required ironing for sweaters and fitted tees. It can be tempting to forsake appearance and style in the name of comfort and practicality, but that can be a slippery slope in which you one day find yourself looking like a parody of a soccer mom with a tapestry vest and high-waisted mom jeans.
Over the years, I developed some stay-at-home mom style rules that I live by:
Go for the practical
No mini-skirts or stilettos at the playground. As a stay-at-home mom, you need to be able to run after your toddler when he makes a break for it or to grab him when he is precariously perched on the climbing equipment. Also forget the white pants; grubby little hands and feet have a tendency to gravitate towards the colour white, and the grunge look is just too ‘90’s.
But not too practical
Sweatpants and sneakers are comfortable, yes, but they are best left in the gym.
Remember your audience
The other moms at school drop-off will not be impressed with your see-through shirt and visible bra, or, heaven forbid, your visible bralessness. No one wants to see your nipples first thing in the morning (well, almost no one). Being sexy doesn’t mean looking skanky.
Don’t forget you’re yummy
Those shudder-worthy mom jeans, baggy old concert t-shirts and giant fleece sweaters with appliquéd kittens are not in the Yummy Stay-At-Home Mummy’s repertoire.
Dress for success
You may be “just at home with the kids” but you don’t need to look like that. Being a stay-at-home mom is a job, so treat it as such. Shower, apply a little makeup, and put some thought into your daily outfit. You just never know when a simple trip to the mall with the kids is going to result in your accidentally meeting up with an old friend who ended your friendship only to date and eventually marry your ex-boyfriend.
Take it from me: when that happens, you really, really want to look your best.