With no time to dress, there's still a way to dress to "kill." Knowledge, organization, and a keen eye takes fashion to a new level for a mom in need of a wardrobe and no extra time to fret about it.
The clothes have to be easy to wash; ready to wear; and fit into the finances. I am not an expert on clothes - far from it. My power comes from others. There's an amazing group of women out there that have the information to help us all pull together a wardrobe we can turn eyes with, wash and wear, and bend over backwards in comfort.
1. Thrift Stores. It's got to be #1 on the list. From here, many of the other tips follow. Energetic enthusiasts put me to shame. SammyD takes on "thrifting" with a passion. She lists organizational tips and insights to pull together a great shopping experience. The other week, I walked out with a huge bag of t-shirts for my daughter, and a few gems for myself, for $25.00. It was Family Day and everything was 1/2 price. SammyD has videos for beginners, along with other tips. Shopping at thrift stores requires patience, practice, and a good eye.
2. Fabricate the Fashion. Flipping through fashion magazines offers ideas on what's in style out there. What's in style may or not matter, but it dictates what's available in the stores. I love to flip through the pages and find ideas. Maybe I have a pair of pants like the gorgeous model is wearing - that's the starting point. Like decorating a room, a key piece can drive your browsing at the thrift store or Target.
3. Daily Routine Should Drive Fashion. Running to bring kids to sports or music class? Got to take the little one to therapy? Going to have to stoop on the floor and do that therapy with your child? Jeans serve the purpose. A plain white or black shirt always dresses them up. There are items I buy a lot of at thrift stores. Long and short sleeves are on the list. A colored scarf makes dresses up the casual look. When they get stained or tired, throw them out. There's always more of this staple.
4. Sensible, but Slightly Sexy, Slip-on Shoes. My son runs fast. He can dart from me in a flash. I like a little heel or a cute clog, but might not be able to keep up with a loose shoe or too much height. I compromise and find rubber, small heels, and snug, cute shoes that act like tennis shoes, but aren't. This is the one place where thrift stores may fall short. Doesn't mean we have to pay full price. On-line is a great place to shop and get bargains off-season. (My friend swears she can bring any shoe back if it doesn't fit - and I've watched her do it.) More than fashion, one reason the tennis shoe isn't tops on my fashion chart: I can't slip them on. Not only is my son speedy, but he's curious. In the seconds I take to tie laces, he wanders away and usually gets into a bit of mischief. Ninety percent of my shoes are slip-ons.
5. Headgear. Anything that goes on my head must keep my hair out of my face and not give me a headache. I've got a funny-shaped head and everything invented - until now - seems to pop off. It's a mystery why the industry has taken so long to catch up on this. New, great designers finally offer cool designs and practicality for the days when you want to milk the shower one more day or keep your ears warm when a hat is a bit too much. These bold headbands are not the only ones out there, but use it as a guide or reference for ideas. Even an old bandana can work well.
6. The Bomb - Saving the best secret for last - the Men's Suit Jacket. Well, it's not really a secret, but it is my secret weapon. The suit jacket ranks as the coolest, savviest, and hippest way to dress up anything. Follow the guidelines in fashion tip #2 - Fabricate the Fashion by looking on-line or in magazines for some current trends. Hip women have known this tip for years. The thrift store is the place to snag a couple for almost nothing. Look for several different styles - I always find mine in the men's section - long, short, fitted, brown, grey, blue. In the summer, they rock with shorts and serve as a hip jacket (the pockets come in very handy!). Top the look with a big ol' sun hat and a pink scarf for color. In the fall, enough said, they just look cool and no need for a jacket. In the winter, many times you can get by without a heavy jacket and rock out with hip boots. We never know if we'll get bell-bottoms or skinny ankles for the new fashion, but this jacket will make them all look good.
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