10 Fashion Musts If You Want to Avoid Being a Frumpy Mom

10 Fashion Musts If You Want to Avoid Being a Frumpy Mom

Hello. My name is Wendy and I am a frump.

Well, actually, my name is Wendy but I am trying to become a former frump. I confess that I have let myself go since I had my kids, but now that I'm done making babies, I'd like to go back to looking like a babe.

Click on to see the top 10 frump-fighting ideas that are actually attainable for a real mom with a limited budget and not a lot of extra time. There are no fancy designer duds or pricey personal training sessions here, just real world suggestions to upgrade your look. 

Do you feel like a frumpy mom?

  • No More Maternity Clothes


    Are you currently pregnant?

    Did you have a baby in the last, oh, two months or so?

    Is it Thanksgiving and you need extra room for that second helping of stuffing?

    If the answer to all of these questions is "no" then it is past time to ditch the maternity clothes in your wardrobe.

    Maternity clothes can be comfortable for sure. Jeans with a elastic waistbands are my spirit animal. But, let's be honest, maternity clothes on a non-pregnant person can get really sloppy looking really quickly. Nobody looks better with excess fabric around their middle and maternity pants can be really droopy in the butt region with out a belly holding them up. Nobody wants droopy butt.

    So, step one: ditch the maternity duds.


  • The Power of a Good Bra


    No matter what you are wearing, you'll look better in it with a well-fitting bra underneath. A good bra will not only lift the girls (I know I'd rather be a 38D than a 38 Long) but will improve your posture and make you look slimmer.

    Many moms find that their breast size might have changed after pregnancy and/or nursing, so a trip to a department store for a bra fitting is a good second step in the journey from Frumpville.

    If the thought of a stranger fitting you for a bra makes you feel bashful, there are some helpful videos online that you can use to check your own fit while you work up the nerves for a professional fitting.

  • The Uniform


    Whether it is faded yoga pants and an oversized T-shirt or my beloved maternity jeans and a hoodie, many of us fall into a fashion rut after having kids. While we might be past the phase where we are literally wearing the same clothes every day, we end up wearing the same kind of clothes every day.

    The good news is that, with some tweaks, you can turn a fashion rut into a daily uniform. A uniform lets you use the same basic elements on a regular basis but allows for it to be kept fresh through the addition of accessories and other pieces.

    The really good news is that a uniform can also be just as comfortable as the yoga pants/t-shirt combo favored by frumps everywhere. For example, instead of yoga pants, try some thick leggings or slim cut jeans. Instead of a T-shirt, add a sweater dress, tunic or a long and fitted tank top.

    The uniform should really be about some basic pieces that feel good to you, so if you are a dress girl, build your uniform around simple A-line dresses. Need more formal clothes for work? Find one pair of classic trousers that work for you and buy them in multiple colors.

    Once you've found your basic pieces (click here for some more uniform suggestions), we'll talk about building on your look in the next few slides.

  • Good Jeans


    Jeans are a wardrobe staple and maybe a piece of your uniform, so they need to be good. We don't want to be in Mom Jeans and we don't want to be so low-rise that we get the dreaded muffin top or can't bend down to pick up a toddler without looking like a plumber.

    So, what to do? You need to spend some serious time in front of a changing room mirror with a friend who'll give you some tough love if you need it.

    Start by grabbing multiple cuts and styles of jeans in several sizes. Look for darker washes and maybe a few pairs with a bit of spandex in them. Try on a lot of pairs and do the fitting room squats and lunges to check for sagging. Bring a pair of boots so you can see how the look tucked in or over the boots. Make sure that they are long enough that you never see sock while you are standing. They should feel slightly too long if you plan to wear them with heels.

    If you start feeling overwhelmed, snap pictures with your phone and see which look best in photos. Be brave and take the booty photo too.

    Not sure where to start? Check out some great jean options here and here (for plus-sized mamas).


  • The Third Piece Rule


    Okay, so this idea was seriously a game changer for me. If you want to look more pulled together, always add a third piece.

    For example, say your uniform is two basic pieces like leggings and a tunic. What takes that from basic to stylish is adding a third piece, like a scarf, blazer, cardigan. If you're a dress girl, get to three pieces with a great pair of colored tights and cardigan or chunky statement necklace.

    The third piece also keeps the uniform fresh. A scarf one day, a flowy cardigan the next and a structured jacket the next? All great looks and nobody will notice that you're wearing black pants again. Check out this great Pinterest page for ideas!

  • The Shoe Rules


    Repeat after me: Flip-flops are for the beach and tennis shoes are for the gym.

    You don't have to be a shoe fiend to end your frumpy phase. With just a few basic shoes, you'll be able to pull together a variety of great looks:

    -- a pair of boots that look good with leggings or slim jeans. You can spend a ton on boots but you don't have too. This is a great time of year to pick some up on clearance

    -- a pair of simple flats or fashion tennis shoes for running errands

    -- a decent pair of heels in black or nude that don't kill your feet. Seriously. Life is too short for sore feet.

    When summer finally comes, you'll need some sandals too. Avoid any that are white, have velcro or are made of plastic and you should be good to go.

  • Good Lines


    Real talk: for a lot of moms, even if they get back to their pre-pregnancy weight might find that their body shape has shifted or that they have a little more of a belly than they used to. Rather than beating yourself up about it or forsaking form fitting clothing, consider adding some shapewear to your wardrobe. Whether it is the celebrity favorite Spanx or a more affordable option from Target, there are some simple options that will have you looking better in your clothes.

    For 90% of the things I wear, I'll skip it but I know my nicest dress looks even better when I add a muffin top tamer underneath. I also have a shaper that looks like bike shorts that help my pencil skirt look smooth and sleek.

    And if I can get out of the house without some little person smearing peanut butter on that skirt before I leave? Even better!

  • The Two Minute Face


    We've talked a lot about fashion elements to the return of you, Mom the Babe, but we need to talk about finishing the look.

    Now, I am not a big make-up person but I am a fan of not having everyone ask me "are you feeling okay?" when they see the bags under my eyes, so I've come up with a fast morning routine that makes me look more well rested than my children actually allow me to be.

    Step one: Tame my brows. I actually only have one eyebrow. It just, unfortunately, goes from side of my face to the other without really stopping in the middle. For me, pulled together starts with keeping my brows in shape with a monthly waxing.

    Step two: BB cream. I am not great with foundation but I can but on a tinted BB cream and get an evened out skin tone in about 30 seconds. I like Clinique brand, but there are great drug store options out there as well. Look for something with SPF for the skin saving benefits of daily sunscreen.

    Step three: a quick swipe of a neutral eye shadow.

    Step four: mascara. Instant eye opener and takes less than 20 seconds.

    Step five: tinted lip balm in a neutral shade.

    Done! For days when I am running late, I keep an extra make-up bag at my desk at work and can get all the non-eyebrow steps done in less than two minutes.

    If you are a visual learner, consider watching some video tutorials on YouTube to learn some quick make-up tips. This one is a good place to start!

  • Better Than a Ponytail


    Every time I get my haircut, I am always brutally honest with the stylist about my limitations in terms of time and skill. I'm not going to blow it dry everyday and I'm probably only going to use products found at the grocery store.

    Still, that doesn't mean I can't do a little better than my usual messy ponytail.

    If you have long hair, learn to do a sock bun. Just as easy as ponytail, but way more polished looking. An easy sock bun tutorial is can be found here, but you can also go even simpler with the purchase of an inexpensive hair donut, found on Amazon and many other stores.

    For the short haired ladies, invest in a few pretty bobby pins or some headbands, especially if you are overdue for a cut.

    If you are a fellow curly girl, consider adding some curl enhancer or frizz reducer as a 10 second step to your routine to keep your curls looking great.

    And, if you are willing to take more than a minute or two with your hair, consider going old school and putting some rollers in after the shower. You can do the rest of your morning routine, get the kids going, make lunches and you'll be close to dry by the time you are ready to unroll them and head out. A quick hit of heat from the blow dryer before you unroll and spray of hairspray after and you are set.


  • Bag Lady


    The final step to a more polished you: ditch the diaper bag for a great bag (assuming your kid is past the potential for diaper blowout stage). I have one still in diapers, so I chose a roomy should bag with an internal pocket. I can still pack in some diapers and wipes, but my bright red and gray purse makes me feel more trendy and stylish than a diaper bag ever could. I love Kipling brand purses as a good transition brand from diaper bag to purse. They are cute and utterly indestructible.

    Look for a bag that has both handles and a shoulder strap (I like ones that I can wear cross-body for maximum child wrangling ability) in a bright neutral color and you'll be looking pulled together in no time -- even if you are carrying the usual mom stash of juice boxes and spare underwear in your bag.


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