Admit it. You moms out there are doing one of two things: living in yoga pants/workout gear (whether you work out or not) or living in pajama pants. I know this because I was one of you. If I’m being honest, there were days we would go to bed wearing what we woke up in — for real. Don’t judge me.
Why get dressed in the morning? The baby is just going to spit up on whatever clean shirt you put on or the toddler is going to wipe greasy hands on it, so really…what’s the point? And if you homeschool like I do, you soon discover that even the kids stop getting dressed. On the rare occasions when getting dressed is a necessity — because someone other than your brood is going to see you — you stand in front of an overpacked closet wondering how there can be nothing to wear!
I feel your pain and that’s why I decided it was time to make a change.
I am not a fashionista by any stretch of the imagination; in fact, I am so far behind the “what’s cool” curve that I barely trust myself to pick out clogs. (Are clogs in? I don’t know. I have laundry to do.) My first step was to spend some time
on Pinterest researching “clothing capsules,” and then I phoned my most fashionable friend and asked her, “How do you look like you do — and more importantly, can you help me look like you do? Teach me, I’m your grasshopper or whatever.” To be fair, she had been telling me for years that I needed to throw out everything in my closet that wasn’t “classic,” but I like bright colors and patterns and enjoy looking like the crazy bird lady. Why be boring, right?
But it was time for an update. I was desperate for a uniform I could throw on and feel good about without all this standing and staring at unappealing mounds of clothing. It was clear that I could no longer trust my own fashion sense — you know, the one that caused me to wear plaid flannel pants and a mismatched Mr. Mom flannel shirt every day for the last 9 months. I can’t fall back on the newborn excuse anymore because he’s talking now. His first words were, “Mama needs a makeover.” I’m pretty sure he’s a genius. I emptied my drawers and closet of everything that wasn’t a basic. I only kept one pair of jeans, one jean skirt, one pair of black capris, a button-down white blouse, and a few dresses I like for church. Everything else went. According to my bathroom scale, a whopping sixty pounds of clothes went to Goodwill the next day.
Shopping was hard because I had to drag myself away from the crazy patterns and trendy colors I was drawn to. My friend had given me a palette of white, black, grey, and blue and I was to buy very specific things for spring: cut-off jeans, long tailored shorts, plain white and black tees, several cardigans in white, black, and grey, a tailored jacket, a little black dress, and a blouse or two that I found flattering. Also something called palazzo pants (which are the best invention of 2015 because they feel like pajamas but look like you’re wearing real clothes. Seriously. Give me palazzo pants or give me death. I will never go back. You need some right now.). Keeping the color palette in mind, I was to find accessories that I loved in contrasting shades. This is where personality and creativity were encouraged. Bright, patterned scarves, statement necklaces, bracelets, and a bright new bag would put the “me” back in my wardrobe. Instead of allowing my love of color to bleed all over my clothes, the accessories would add the pizazz I craved. (Words like “pizzaz” just emphasize how uncool and in need of guidance I really am.)
The genius of this plan is how simple it is. Let’s start with the basic white tee shirt. I don’t think I’ve worn one of these since I was a kid. I put them in the category of men’s underwear and it never seemed like a thing I should wear. It seemed sloppy, untidy, beer nuts. In reality, the v-neck white tee shirt is one of the most versatile items I own. I could wear one every day (actually, I do). A white tee goes with everything you can think of. Further, you can dress it up in no time with a bright scarf or a necklace or a cardigan. Throw on some jeans and add a cute bag and you look like a woman again instead of Franny the House Frau. (Hint: spit-up is really easy to get out of a cotton tee!) Accessorizing always seemed like a waste of time to me, but if you take the two seconds it takes to throw on a cuff bracelet, it looks like you care, even when you don’t! Seriously, could this get any easier?
Since the major closet makeover I have not spent any time agonizing over what to wear. I get up and put on my mom uniform: tee shirt, classic bottom, and cardigan. I then spend 5 minutes at my jewelry box picking out something bright and fun like a chunky necklace in turquoise (which the baby loves to play with when nursing), I grab my bright yellow leather sandals and my orange bag and head out the door. If the opportunity for a night out comes up, all I have to do is replace my cardigan with the fitted jacket and go! I might not be runway ready, but at least I no longer look like an escaped mental patient!
–Images courtesy of Shutterstock
Click to the next page to see a few photos of my closet contents!