There are so many articles out there on wardrobe essentials for women in various stages of life, including for mama bears. So, I thought Iâ€™d add my experiences with mothering and fashion to the online sphere as well. Since becoming a mom these eight items have kept me looking fresh and trendy rather than bed-ragged and frumpy.
A White button-down shirt
Fashion gurus call it â€śa staple, a must-have, a wardrobe essentialâ€ť and I have to agree with them here. A white button-down shirt can be worn with almost anything. Pair it up with your favourite jeans, with a tailored suit, with a girly, flowy skirt, or even with a cuffed pair of shorts. Itâ€™s so versatile, and the styles and material choices are endless; choose from cotton, silk, satin, viscose the list goes on. But whatever it is choose a material that drapes well and also helps keep you cool and pulled together in all weathers.
Tip: White shirts tend to look old and grey (or yellow) quickly, so this piece needs to be replaced often.
A good pair of denim jeans (several pairs actually)
Forget the mom jeans; there are so many flattering styles, cuts and colours to suit every body shape and suitable for every occasion. Embrace your curves or your long lean limbs and show them off with the right pair of jeans.Â Denim has been around for yonks and as far as anyone can see, will most likely never go out of fashion. Itâ€™s probably the only piece of clothing in our wardrobes that will grow old with us. Comfortable, long-lasting, versatile, trendy. What more can you ask for?
Tip: Ensure you invest in a good quality pair and a style that flatters your body shape. Also, pick several pairs (at least 3-4) in varying hues that can be worn to play dates in the park (lighter washes) and nights out on the town (darker washes).Â Â
A well-fitted jacket
Time-poor mamas need only throw on a blazer/jacket over anything â€“ jeans and a t-shirt, dresses, a skirt and top, tailored pants and blouse, or even shorts and a tee; to make her look instantly chic and super trendy.Â Jackets can also cover a lot of sins. Jackets with a cinched in waist and are hip length are extremely flattering, especially for those of us with curves. Try a belt or even a colourful scarf as an impromptu belt with your jacket for a different look.
Tip: To add an edge to your look make it a faux leather or suede jacket.
A statement dress
Forget the boring LBD and look for a unique, statement dress; try out a vintage style or maybe something in a retro print. A piece that you can dress up with a jacket and heels, or dress down with a soft cardigan and pumps. Choose a style thatâ€™s flattering to your body shape, be it a shift, a wrap, or a bandage dress; as long as itâ€™s unusual and one of a kind, go for it. Even mom needs to stand out from the crowd.
Tip: When buying dresses something Iâ€™ve come across is first figure out which style is the most flattering on you and then stock up. Think Jackie O and her collection of shift dresses.
One piece of advice I came across over and over while researching for this article was the importance on investing in a good t-shirt bra. I happen to agree wholeheartedly on this one, as I truly believe that underwear can either make or break an outfit. My advice, therefore is donâ€™t just buy one, buy at least three t-shirt bras. Iâ€™d also say try and purchase them in white, black and nude, so as to seamlessly fit under any colour or pattern.
Tip: Hereâ€™s the think about t-shirt bras though, each time you lean forward, the girls tend to slip out â€“ especially if you are a little on the bigger side. So look for bras with a fuller cup.
A great bag (with a long strap)
Whether you choose to make an investment here or go for something more affordable, make sure you pick out a bag that is well made and therefore would go the distance, has plenty of space and has some structure and compartments â€“ for neatly storing everything you need on the go and which also give you easy access to all your stuff. I recommend picking out something in a colour that can be paired up with many outfits â€“ day or night. Go bold and pick a bag in a stunning jewel tone. If you can only have one really great bag, I say pick something bold and unique, something that displays your personality a little.
Tip: Choose a bag that also has a long strap so you can use it as a cross body bag for â€śmom momentsâ€ť when you need your hands free for other precious possessions.
Colourful and unique accessories
Statement accessories add instant glam to any outfit; vintage rings, necklaces, and colourful scarves are my go to pieces. Personally, Iâ€™m not one for changing earrings often, but Iâ€™d add vintage, one of a kind earrings to the list as well, for those that way inclined. Big, beautiful, chunky jewellery can be paired with anything, from shorts and a t-shirt, jeans and a jacket to tailored business suits. These pieces add lovely little pops of colour while again showing off your personality and taste.
Flats or wedge heels
Comfortable style! The epitome of mom fashion.Â Thankfully we now have so many options of beautiful flat or wedge heeled footwear. Pick a style that flatters the shape of your foot (for example, I always go for a rounded front as my feet are wide). I also recommend that you pick a colour or colours that can be worn with several outfits. Having a limited collection of well made shoes helps save storage space as well as decision making time.
Tip: If in doubt, always go with a nude pair.
So there you have it, my take on a mama bears wardrobe-essentials.