I know that as mothers, we need to find balance with what’s important. Taking care of family is definitely on the top of my list, but it’s important to remember to take care of yourself, too. To me, looking good and feeling good are also on the same list. As a working mother of a rambunctious 2-year-old, I struggle all the time with functional style. How can I look and feel effortless? Here are some things that I do to make it easy for myself to stay stylish.
1. Easy, low maintenance fabrics – I would love for most of my weekend or casual wardrobe to be items that I can just grab and go with very little to no fuss. This is why I have started to select pieces in my wardrobe that require no ironing, or what my husband calls “ironing by dryer” (throwing an item in the dryer for 10 minutes on high, then smooth out the wrinkles). Some of these pieces are not always work clothes or clothes for an evening out, but are functional yet stylish pieces that I can literally throw on when I need to run to the store with Dominic in tow. An example is the dress pictured above from Lulus.com. It is 100% sheer polyester with a built-in lining. I can wear it with a little cardigan or denim jacket, boots or sandals, grab my purse and his baby bag, then I’m ready to go. I’m still completely comfortable, but I feel quite stylish.
2. Versatile mid-heel and flat-heel shoes – I am a very big shoe fanatic, so it’s hard to believe that I would wear anything but knock-out-show-stopping heels. Although I definitely do own those types of shoes, they aren’t practical for my everyday life. Many of my casual shoes are like the boots pictured above, or the shoes pictured below. The Jeffrey Campbell “Kelley” shoes look like any other Oxford in styling, but are like sandals due to the cut-outs on either side. I’ve worn them with skirts, shorts, jeans and work pants (see my “40 for 40 for Lent” category for the many ways I remixed them). The versatility makes them invaluable for my wardrobe. But if you really want to know what my ultimate “go to” extreme casual flat is, look no further than the classic canvas Toms shoe, which are pictured in the header of my blog.
3. When wearing higher heels, make sure they are strong & comfortable, preferably a wedged heel – I always worry about getting any kind of heel for casual day-to-day dressing because I don’t feel very secure in my footing when carrying Dominic, additional bags, or groceries. I also worry about comfort during any kind of long trip or outing. But I can attest to the fact that a wedge heel in a practical height will remedy any of those worries, as long as you “test drive” them first. I just bought the shoes pictured below from DSW by Envy. They are a medium wedged heel with a 1 inch platform. I was happy to know when I received these shoes in the mail how well they fit and just how comfortable they are (which means no returns). They can be worn with shorts and jeans, but I think the best partner for these cute, comfortable and practical shoes are my maxi-dresses and skirts. Flats never seem to work for me when wearing anything long, so these are the perfect solution.
4. A versatile grab & go purse – I want a purse that can carry all and should be easy to handle if I need to carry (or chase) my son. I have two recently purchased bags that I have been interchanging on a daily basis, depending on what I need. The first is the Moto Hobo bag by Foley + Corinna. When you join their email list, not only will you get great deals, but you also receive a $50 gift voucher for any purchase over $200 during the month of your birthday. I was able to snag this great purse on sale, then added my coupon so I only paid $175 for a purse that was originally $450! It’s roomy, slouchy and has a great strap drop. I know I can carry it on my shoulder, but I could carry it cross-body if I have to. It is in a wonderful supple leather and believe it or not, it’s still available (see the link at the bottom of the page to their website). My next purchase from them will definitely be either a City or Mid-City tote because of the size and the detachable strap.
My newest obsession is the Morning After Clutch by Rebecca Minkoff. Since my trip to their recent sample sale, I now own three! What I like about the MAC is that it is a sleek 11″W x 7.5″H x 3″D with a 14″ strap drop. This is actually larger than it appears in an online description, once the bag is up close and personal. The strap is convertible and can either be worn cross-body, shortened to be hand carried or worn on the shoulder, or the strap can be removed to be a clutch. Inside, there are several pockets and compartments for all of my “little things” that would otherwise get lost at the bottom of a larger purse. What really has me excited about this purse is the quality. The leather of two of the MACs I purchased are also soft and supple, like the Foley + Corinna bag. The hardware is thick and durable. But overall, it’s just a beautiful purse because everything about it is classic.
That was just a little sneak-peek into what I think about when putting together an outfit or shopping for wardrobe pieces, which is basically practical and functional style that should and be as effortless as it appears. How do you find your wardrobe/life balance?
Outfit – Audrey 3+1 dress; Aldo boots; Calvin Klein denim jacket; Vintage brooch; Rebecca Minkoff bag; Juicy Couture ring & necklace; H&M earrings; Michael Kors watch; Converse glasses
Jeffrey Campbell “Kelley” Oxford image courtesy of Polyvore (from Norstrom here); Envy Tween Ankle Wrap Wedge Sandal image courtesy of DSW here; Moto Hobo bag images courtesy of Foley + Corinna here