Monday, March 1, 2010

Beat That Soccer Mom Rap

While I tend to stick to writing about antiques, vintage, and home décor, today I’m venturing into the world of fashion for a change. I wouldn’t say that I’m a fashionista, but I do have a degree in fashion (yes, those do exist. Cool, huh?), and I try to pay attention to what’s out there.

This blog goes out to moms or ladies over thirty who may be feeling a little frumpy today. No worries – we’ve all been there.

So this morning while perusing my new issue of InStyle magazine I recalled a conversation that I had with a friend a few years back. She had come to me in distress over her wardrobe and overall appearance. She was a mother of three (little ones) and was tired of just looking like a mom on the go. I knew exactly what she meant.

I’m a mother of two (ages 5 and 3) and I’m 42 years old myself. We moms get so focused on just trying to clean, feed, clothe, teach, and love-on our families that we tend to neglect ourselves in the process. I’ve had those moments of looking in the mirror and remembering that cute spunky college girl that used to stare back at me. Those days are long gone (seriously long gone) and I am a mom, but I still want to look relevant – I still want to look like the real ME. I married and had kids late in life and I always promised myself that I would try to avoid the “soccer mom” label.

Here’s wikipedia’s definition of a soccer mom: “The phrase soccer mom generally refers to a married middle-class woman who lives in the suburbs and has school age children. She is sometimes portrayed in the media as busy or overburdened and driving a minivan. She is also portrayed as putting the interests of her family, and most importantly her children, ahead of her own.” The latter portion of their definition is what I’m getting at – great ladies who have little time for themselves.

So, back to my original story, this is the advice that I gave to my wardrobe weary-friend.
My advice for her in five easy steps:

1) Get a copy of InStyle magazine. There is a plethora of fashion mags out there, but to me, InStyle is the most practical for everyday gals. I’m just a normal American mama who goes to the grocery store, shops now and then, goes out to lunch occasionally and takes the kids to museums and parks. There’s no need for couture in my closet!

I also don’t have the time to read InStyle every month, so I wait until they publish one of those big FAT issues and then I buy it (March 2010 is a good one!). Get your morning cup (cups!) of coffee and sit and flip through it. You will get about a third of the way through and you’ll know exactly what to look for on your next shopping venture – they do a nice job with repetition and I need repetition (my kids interrupt my magazine time about every 3 minutes, but I still get through it – you can too!).

2) Get a good pair of jeans that fit well. Shopping for jeans is no easy task – to me it ranks up there with bathing suit shopping- it takes a lot of time and patience. And when I say GOOD jeans, I don’t mean expensive jeans. I’m not all-about the $150 pair of jeans – that’s money I could be spending on shoes (a shoe intervention is another blog I’ll get to – I’m addicted). I’m a frugal mama – I can find a $25 pair of jeans and spend $20 having them altered and they look amazing.

Trouser jeans are perfect – they look great on anyone and you can dress them up or down – a nice investment. Darker jeans are also more slimming and can also be easily dressed up. Great jeans go a long way – keep reading…

3) Shoes! I am a shoe freak, but I’ve had to tone down my freakishness since getting married and having kids – the funds don’t flow as freely as they used to! So, I decide exactly what types of shoes I’ll need (see your InStyle) and just focus on those. After reading through it this morning’s issue, I’ve made my decision that I will need two pairs of new shoes for this spring and summer - a pair of chunky strappy sandals and a pair of cute updated flats.

Now, some of you are screaming, “TWO PAIRS, only TWO??!!”, but like I said, I’m on a budget and I do have other shoes from last season that will also work just fine. Don’t panic. And if it is in your budget to go shoe crazy, by all means do (I’ll be a bit jealous, but in a nice way).

I’m compelled here to put in a little note about those ever so popular, stark white chunky running shoes. If you’re trying to look cute and updated, try not to wear these with anything other than your running clothes. New Balance, Puma and several others make some adorable athletic shoes that are both comfortable and cute. TJMaxx and DSW have a slew of these. (rant over...)

4) Purses & Accessories. Big chunky bags are not only “in” but they serve an awesome purpose for us moms – you can pack an entire artillery of family items in these bags and look great toting it around. I never carried an actual diaper bag – all those supplies went right into my cute chunky shoulder bag.

Earrings & bracelets can be found anywhere and for CHEAP. Find a few favorites that you can switch around and they will last through this season and probably next – Target has some great stuff this Spring – take a look.

5) Hair & Makeup. - I dream of the day that I have my own hair stylist pop in my home from time-to-time, but until then, this is all I’ve got! Try and save your pennies to get a good cut and I’m ALL about highlights/coloring to really bring out the best of your God given skin tone. Yes, it can be pricey, but again, this is one of those things that goes a LONG way.

If I’m on the run, my hair goes up (I know,there are some fashionistas out there in total disagreement over this, but in my defense, French women have MASTERED this – that’s another blog). There are a ton of great hair bands and scarves that make putting your hair up easy & cute – thank goodness for that!

I’m also a 5 minute makeup mama. I rarely spend much time on makeup, but I do make sure to use concealer, a light base (mineral foundation is quick & amazing), blush, mascara, and lipstick or tinted lip gloss. If I’m actually going somewhere special, then I’ll add all the other steps in there, but for on-the-go, that’s all you need.

So that’s the five steps: You run out the door in a great pair of jeans, a cute top, purse & accessories that are adorable yet cheap, groovy shoes, and enough hair/makeup that you don’t scare anyone. No more wearing sweatpants or plain o’l pony tails with no makeup - that’s a no-no that will slap that soccer mom label right on your forehead. I would say that it even gets easier during Spring and Summer when you can throw on a cute sundress or skirt and be on your way – my favorite time of year!

Below I’ve noted some fun things that I found in this month’s issue that I’ll be on the lookout for. I hope this helps any of you wardrobe-weary ladies (or perhaps a wardrobe-weary friend!). If any of you do decide to venture into a mini self rebuild, take pictures and send them over – I would love to see what you’ve done & cheer you on!

Tcheuss! (see ya later in Deutsch)


Maggi said...

These are great tips! With Toot being one, I've found myself on the slippery slope of mommy dressing (or non-dressing as it were, lol).

Wanda Lee Of The Plumed Pen said...

Great post as usual and good advise for all! Thanks for sharing this with us, even if it is, as you say, a departure from what you may usually blog about!..,Love this post!

Chari at Happy To Design said...

Hi Diane...

What a great post, my friend! I loved reading your tips for staying "in fashion and looking good"! Well...I must admit that I often fall into the "Granny trap"! hehe! I seem to dress more for comfort these days...eekks...I hate to admit that but it's sooo true! Nevertheless, when necessary I "clean up pretty good"! Hehe! Loved your post, Diane...thank you for sharing it with us today for Sunday Favorites!

I also would just like to say "Welcome" to Sunday Favorites! I am just elated to have you join in with the fun and especially so today since I am celebrating my "One year" birthday! I do hope that you'll join us again! I really appreciate you adding Happy To Design to your list of blog follows! I'm looking foward to getting to know you, Darlin'! So very nice to meet you, Diane!!!

Have a super Sunday and best wishes with the gift card giveaway!

Chari @Happy To Design

Chari at Happy To Design said...

Hi Diane...

It's just lil' ol' me again! I just had to come back after reading your profile! I didn't realize that you are here in Colorado. Do you mind me asking where? I live out in the northeastern corner...near Sterling. I also noticed from your newest post that you moved to Colorado from New Branfels? I moved to Colorado from south Texas...near Corpus Christi! What a small world, huh?


Sarah said...

Great suggestions! I'm not quite thirty yet, and not a mom, but I STILL have my frumpy-feeling days :)

I'm visiting from The Girl Next Door!

The Girl Next Door Grows Up said...

See me over here waving my hand? I have 2 pairs of sandals and 2 pairs of black boots.

That is it.

I totally agree with all of that and I do all of that and it makes a difference to feel like you look good. For me, I move faster if I think I look good.

Fun post! Thank you!

The Girl Next Door Grows Up said...

I loved this the first time you entered it and I love it again :-) Thank you for entering!!

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