The Stylish Mom’s ABC’s
The majority of our clients are mothers, and 100% of them tell us they want to stop feeling frumpy. For many moms, comfort, ease, what’s clean, (and can I breastfeed in this?) become the main considerations when putting an outfit together. It’s easy to get stuck in a style rut when your wardrobe consists primarily of yoga pants and knitwear. This leads to wardrobe boredom, body loathing and feelings of frumpiness. Being a stylish mom doesn’t have anything to do with losing your baby weight or “getting your body back” (whatever that means). Nor does being a stylish mom have to be expensive or fussy. In fact, it’s as easy as learning your ABC’s.
A – Accentuate and Accessorize
As women, many of us are guilty of focusing on the areas of our body that we are less than pleased with. This is made worse after pregnancy when often we barely recognize our bodies. Instead of focusing on the parts you are dissatisfied with, highlight the parts of your body that you love. Not only will this shift the focus of your attention, it will create a mental shift. For example, if you have enviable arms, show them off with sleeveless tops. Is your butt your best asset? Wear pants and skirts that show your shape. If you have a narrow waist, don’t waste it. Make the most of it with an eye-catching belt or a wrap style top.
Don’t underestimate the power of accessories! Accessories will elevate your overall look and make your outfit look more intentional (vs I wore this because everything else is in the laundry). A stylish mom knows a chunky necklace or colourful scarf will draw the eye up towards your face and make you appear more put-together.
In North America at least, the hourglass is considered the ideal female silhouette (hips and shoulders equal width with a narrower, defined waist). That’s harsh considering very few of us actually have an hourglass figure! I’m not suggesting every woman should strive for this so-called “ideal”, but if an hourglass is what you’re going for, you can visually create it using colour, pattern and texture.
If you have an ample bosom or shoulders that are broader-than-your-hips, you may appear top heavy. You can create balance between your hips and shoulders by creating visual width on your bottom half. By wearing brighter colours or patterns (especially horizontal stripes) or pleated pants/skirts or jeans with whiskering, you will visually create width. This trick balances out your upper and lower body.
When you have hips that are wider than your shoulders or a prominent booty, you can create balance between your shoulders and hips by visually creating volume on your top half. Think about layering, ruffles, bright colours, patterns, and necklines that create width. Blazers and jackets with small shoulder pads are your friends.
C – Camouflage
You can minimize the areas of your body you are self conscious about by using colour and fit to your advantage. Dark colours recede while white/bright colours advance. If you want an area to be less noticeable, wear darker colours in that area. Any embellishments or distressing on a piece of clothing will shine a spotlight on that place. Carefully choose where you want that spotlight to shine.
Oversized clothing oftentimes has the opposite effect of what you want. It’s important to select clothes that skim your body without drowning it. For example, if minimizing your tummy is one of your figure flattering priorities, wear tops that are loose, but not loose all over. Look for pieces that are fitted at the shoulder and float over your tummy. Be sure to pair flowy tops with bottoms that are more fitted.
Dress for the body you have now. You deserve to feel attractive and confident just as you are and your family deserves a mother with a joyful outlook who role models self-esteem and self-care.
Dee Clarke is Co-Founder of The Joy of Style personal styling and personal shopping services in Vancouver BC. She is wife to a handsome middle-aged guy, and mother to a hilarious teenaged boy. She is a firm believer that style belongs to EVERYbody regardless of age or size.