Is your mum wardrobe stuck in a rut? Do you find yourself reaching for the same tired old outfits day after day? Do you see other mums looking effortlessly stylish and wonder how the hell they do it?
I know what you mean and understand the struggles of trying to balance fashion and function while also juggling a million other things.
For years I’ve followed fashionistas everywhere to work out how to combine their styles with my limited budget and even more limited time. I am now in possession of some super-cool tricks to transform myself from flustered-mum to fashionable-mum in a matter of seconds.
In this article, I share my ideas to help refresh your wardrobe and inject some much-needed fun and flair into your everyday style.
1. Update your basics
OK, so you’ve had your Kmart jeans for five years now and they are just so comfy and easy to slip on in the morning.
Comfy or not, it’s time to say goodbye to some of your old favourites, or least confine them to wear-around-the-house items.
If you’re a jeans kinda gal, get a nice pair that flatter your figure and work with the style you are after.
It’s the same with standards tops and other clothing that constitute your basic wardrobe.
Been wearing the same old black t-shirt for yonks? Hunt down something new and stylish to replace it. Even if it’s just another black top in a designer brand (try the local op shop) or something with more shape and sophistication.
Once you’ve updated your basic wardrobe, you’ll feel more confident and ready to add more change to the new-look you.
2. Try statement accessories
Have fun and invest in accessories that are brimming with character or colour.
Whether you choose a thick signet gold ring, or a turquoise pendant necklace, you should consider adding accessories that can make you feel empowered. It can even be a fabulous pair of sunglasses that work perfectly with the shape of your face.
Statement accessories don’t have to be expensive. They just need to be well-made and speak your style and personality. A great statement accessory is something that can elevate a simple outfit.
For example, you may be drawn to wearing your comfy uniform of grey t-shirt and blue jeans. That’s fine. But, if putting on a beautiful pair of white gold hoop earrings or a thick multi-coloured bracelet boosts your confidence and gives your outfit an extra oomph, you’re doing something right.
3. See a look you like? Copy it!
It happens to us all the time. We are mindlessly scrolling through social media and we see a celebrity or a friend-of-a-friend wear an outfit that makes our thumbs stop. Quick, take a screenshot or pin it to your board (Pinterest lovers, anyone?).
Personally, I like looking at my favourite stylish celebs who have a similar body type and hair colour to mine. This gives me a sense of how certain styles could look on me.
With the convenience of online retail platforms and their search function, it has also become so much easier now to look and shop for similar items so we can come up with our own take on inspired outfits.
5. Give athleisure a go
Even I would admit, during the first few months (or years) of raising a child, it’s so comfortable to live in old t-shirts, sweatpants, and trainers. Aside from these items feeling soft and familiar, it also helps us mums hide our perceived imperfections, even long after childbirth.
This is where you should give athleisure a chance. A beautiful and well-designed matching set of halter top and leggings can help you look like you put more thought into your outfit without even trying. Athleisure also helps you look more put-together even if it is very casual, and THAT is something you want in your mum wardrobe.
The material used in athleisure wear can also feel incredibly supportive and looks appropriate for the gym and basic errands like grocery shopping.
6. Try monochromatic dressing
As we have discovered in recent years, monochromatic dressing can be incredibly flattering.
Since Michelle Obama’s iconic burgundy attire at Joe Biden’s inauguration and Gigi Hadid’s mastery on head-to-toe neutrals for her streetwear, we have seen several international and local celebrities pull off monochromatic dressing extremely well. And so can you!
If you’re too lazy to mix-and-match or figure out the right colour + texture combinations of your next outfit, monochromatic dressing can be your friend. This approach, when done right, is slimming, elegant, and effortlessly chic.
Monochromatic dressing doesn’t mean you have to wear all black (I know, it’s tempting). A navy blue tank top, paired with a midnight blue skirt, with nude sandals and a denim bag, can make you look extra stylish, slim, and long.
Monochromatic dressing only requires you to follow a single colour story and to focus on creating the right silhouette for you.
7. Incorporate vintage pieces
If there is anything we learned from our younger years, it is to not be pressured from conforming to the current trends … which will shift every 5 seconds, anyway.
Feel free to explore opportunity shops, vintage stores, or online reselling sites! Being stylish doesn’t have to be pricey. A sense of style is everyone’s right, and you only need the right pieces to express yours.
Aside from vintage shopping making you a participant in sustainable fashion, there is so much treasure you can find among vintage items.
One of the best things about dressing vintage is that your item is likely to be totally unique. You won’t bump into mums at school pick-up in the same top. Instead, they’ll be looking longingly at your special piece and wondering where you bought it from.
8. Step outside your comfort zone
As mums, we feel bad spending too much time on ourselves.
But you NEED it and you deserve it. We cannot direct our creative and nurturing energy towards our loved ones if we do not nurture and create it within ourselves.
So push yourself beyond the lines. I am sure there are a few styles and outfits you have always wondered about trying. Now is the time to do it for real.
Start wearing colours and patterns you don’t usually pick but which look good with your skin tone. Then, when you are comfortable, try new shapes that flatter your figure. A fitted long sleeve? An off-shoulder dress? Or a nicely tailored wide-leg pant instead of your usual skinny jeans?
Keep encouraging yourself to try new things and dress YOUR body. Before you know it, you’ll have a fantastic updated mum wardrobe!
9. Look online for new styles
I have already mentioned Pinterest. You can explore this app alongside others like Instagram and TikTok to learn more about new styles. The more you feed yourself information (which is massively available through the Internet) the more you learn about fashion and self-styling.
Fashion has become amazingly inclusive and you can even find style mood boards especially for us mums.
As basic as it sounds, I personally like using Google and Pinterest, and just literally type “everyday style for pear shape body type”, “cool fashion trends for mums”. No matter what you search, there will ALWAYS be results that spark your interest.
And, try exploring hashtags such as #mumstyle, #casualoutfits, #athleisure. This is how I learned about styles that I now incorporate in my own mum wardrobe.
10. Have fun with fashion
Don’t be afraid of fashion.
At the end of the day, they are JUST clothes.
If your outfit didn’t work out, it was no harm to anyone. If it was something that flattered your body and suited your personality, then hooray! We’ve got a new one in the vault.
Remember when you were a little girl? Dressing up was fun and creative. It was fantastic, dreamy, and optimistic. There is no reason for your reinvention and mum wardrobe update to be any different.
Have fun and rediscover your love for clothes and your own stylish expression. Whatever your budget is, there are fabulous items everywhere that are perfect and waiting for you!