The path from stylish mom to fashion victim is a slippery slope. It seems there's never enough time in the day for moms to care about their own outfit selections, but you do have a choice. Aside from setting your alarm for the crack of dawn, you can implement some time-efficient strategies to ensure your style doesn't suffer for the sake of your kids.
A closet that is chock-full of quality pieces can be a great asset, but sometimes it helps to take a long, hard, unemotional look at your wardrobe and get rid of (which in this case means donate or repurpose) anything that isn't serving you well. It may seem counter-intuitive, but a smaller wardrobe will actually help you create flattering outfits quickly because you have fewer pieces to sort through. Gabrielle Parks, a mom of three from Tucson, Arizona, recently edited her closet and says, "It's much easier to find what I need now, especially since my clothes have room to breathe and I can actually see them." If you just can't let go, try rotating your clothing items from a basement or storage area to your bedroom. You may even get a shopping rush without having to spend the money.
Every woman has a part of their body that they love to celebrate. Before you choose an outfit, pick a feature to flaunt that day. This is a great exercise in self-affirmation as well. "Even though mornings are nuts around here, I do have time to glimpse in the mirror once or twice while I'm rushing around," says Parks. "It helps me get my day started on the right foot if I tell myself that my calves look particularly fetching or that the curve of my collarbone is beautiful." If your legs are speaking to you, opt for a skirt. If it's your clavicle that you love, maybe grab your one-shoulder top. Feel like showing off your waist? Cinch a sweater, T-shirt dress or long tank with a belt.
We all have a handful of shades that work perfectly with our specific skin tone and coloring. Take note when someone tells you that a particular color looks great on you or really makes your eyes pop. Throwing a colorful printed cardigan over a pair of jeans and a plain tank top can really wake up an outfit and make you stand a little taller. "I don't know why, but turquoise and coral really make me happy," says Parks, who has olive skin and brown eyes. "I tend to gravitate towards shades of those colors when I'm shopping, so if I'm in a hurry to choose an outfit, I stick to the basics, like a simple, black tank dress, and grab one colorful piece like a striped oxford with rolled sleeves." Voila! A flattering outfit is born.
Accessories can make or break an outfit and provide a powerful style boost with very little effort. If used correctly (and sparingly), the right pieces can bring an otherwise boring look to life. Be sure not to overindulge in this area, though. When in doubt, choose a single accessory to complement an ensemble, like a piece of statement jewelry, a vibrant scarf or a hat. "I've been wearing a lot of scarves lately," says Parks. "It doesn't matter what clothes I pick, when I throw on my favorite blue ikat-print scarf, I instantly feel stylish."
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