Fashion

6 fashion mistakes moms make

Author: Canadian Living

Fashion

6 fashion mistakes moms make

I think we'd all agree that once we become moms, our fashion standards slip a notch -- or three. One day you leave the house in a hoodie with baby drool on the sleeve, and the next thing, three years later, you're running into the office in stretched-out black floods that once upon a time were sleek black capris, and a blazer with shoulder pads the size of a linebacker's. Oh, mom!

Listen up: we may never be the office fashionista again, but we can avoid getting trapped in a pre-motherhood fashion time warp. Here are 6 common mom fashion faux pas and 5 easy -- and affordable -- ways to avoid them. And maybe even look (dare we say it?) yummy, mummy.

Faux Pas 1: Knapsack as statement bag
Yes, they're somewhat ergonomic. But no, you're not backpacking through Nepal.

Solution:
Sure, moms, especially new moms, need storage galore for all those diapers, wipes, bottles, changes of clothes, sunscreen, bottled water, snacks, hats, first-aid kits, agenda books, cellphones, sunglasses, BlackBerry-like devices, baby-care manuals, and other clutter bits of mommy paraphernalia we tend to cart around. However, a stylish diaper bag is a more elegant (and fun!) solution. Not only do Fleurville, Petunia Picklebottom and SkipHop bags feature cavernous storage, they come in stain-resistant fabrics, great patterns and many strap options, so you can lug your nursery-in-a-bag on your side, back or even hang it from your stroller. Best part? These bags look stylish enough to use as gym bags or weekend totes even three or four years down the road.

Shown: Fleurville's Mothership in Floral Sky, $190, babyguru.ca

Faux-pas 2: Wrecked work slacks
Stretched, faded, creased, possibly even stained, work pants that somehow just don't feel right -- they're either too short or too tight or...pleated.

Solution:
Moms need easy-to-maintain yet stylish options for work. One style of pants we love for almost any workplace is denim trousers. They have a self-confident trousery-ness that practically shouts Katharine Hepburn, yet unlike wool or linen trousers, they can be machine-washed. Pair them with anything from a tee to a billowy blouse, blazer or zip-up cashmere hoodie. On your feet, slip on some loafers or flats, or, come summer, leather thong sandals. The only place they may not fly is a highly corporate office, though they're appropriate there on casual Friday.

Shown: Wide leg trouser jeans, $89.50, Gap

Faux-pas 3: Yucky white aerobics shoes
You bought 'em in the 90s and they never fell apart, so...you kept wearing them?

Solution:
Aside from Mom Jeans, few things say "I just don't care how I look anymore" more than these. If you do care, but don't want to waste undue time ever stressing again over your playground/park/dog-walking/grocery-shopping footwear, just buy a pair of vintage-style runners that will never -- and we mean never -- go out of style, like canvas Keds or Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars -- they're cheap and true classics. (Avoid of-the-moment sneaks from Diesel, Adidas, Lacoste and so on unless you're ready to invest in seasonal upgrades.)

Shown: Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars Low in navy, approx. $50. (Money-saving tip: Try a large youth size; if it fits, you'll save about $20!)

Faux pas 4: Mom jeans
High-waisted, stone-washed, tapered-leg, possibly even cinched with a braided leather belt? Yep, those are Mom jeans. Much parodied, yet very common.

Solution:
Jeans with a straight or slightly flared boot-cut leg are always a classic and will look good paired with tees, sweaters, blouses and even blazers, as well as a variety of footwear. Look for a just-below-the-navel waistband for a contemporary look. If you have small kids, skip the super-low riders, because you're going to be doing a lot of bending and crouching. And nix trendy super-skinny denim unless you've a) lost the baby fat, and b) are willing to ditch the jeans and go jean shopping again once this slim-cut look dates in, oh, about a year.

Shown: Classic boot cut jeans, $100, Banana Republic

Faux Pas 5: Baggy sports jerseys or logo sweatshirts
Wearing your husband's cotton button-downs can be cute, but his oversize sweats? Not hot.

Solution:
Splurge on some sleek athleisure wear. Can't afford Stella McCartney's line for Adidas or nouveau-classic Lululemon? Old Navy and La Senza both have their own cheap-chic activewear collections, quirky new age-y logos and all. Save the over-the-top logos for the kids, and oversize tops for your couch potato hubby. You? You're a hot mama, so make that kindergarten drop-off in a flattering blousy long tank that can be layered with a hoodie, and paired with comfy-cute yoga pants or leggings. Just as casual, just as low-fuss, but light years ahead in style and comfort!

Shown: Coverall tank, $39.50, lasenza.com

Faux Pas 6: Stringy, bedraggled ponytail
Hurray for ponytails! They're fast and cute, and for that, a mom essential. But they should also show off glossy, healthy hair. If your pony's looking ratty, you need to see a vet -- er, stylist.

Solution:
First, see a stylist and have dry, damaged hair trimmed into a low-maintenance style you may just want to wear pony-less on some days. (Always tell them that you're looking for something low-maintenance, unless you really are willing to juggle getting your kids ready for school while blow-drying and flat-ironing your hair.) If your hair seems lifeless, consider adding some depth with highlights or lowlights, and have a deep-conditioning treatment afterward. Keep your hair in top shape by shampooing every other day instead of daily, if possible, and always use conditioner. Don't damage hair by brushing it while it's still damp.

Shown: L'Oréal's Vive Pro line has formulas for all hair types. Check out lorealparis.ca and take the interactive Pro-Scription quiz to find the right formula for you.

Visit our Fashion section for more great style tips.

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6 fashion mistakes moms make

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