Tuesday, 25 September 2012

My daily "momiform"

Oh sweet Jesus with a capital J, how I hate the "mom-ification" of words, "momtrepreneur" and the like, and I've just done it here. But it encapsulates what I'm talking about today, the basic mom-uniform I reach for in the bleary mornings to get me through the day ahead, with all it could bring.
I'm not talking about trackie bottoms and a baggy jumper, for the days I don't leave the house. I'm not talking about the days I just pop to the shops with the kids for the essentials, on those days I wear the trackie bottoms and jumper, add runners/crocs, or if I'm feeling really fancy and we might stop at the cafe, I swap the bottoms for skinny jeggings.
I'm talking about the days when you're out, visiting friends, going to the park, maybe a spontaneous hour in the shops perusing Miu Miu bags while the baby naps in the sling. I'm talking clothes you won't get turned away from a nice boutique for wearing, or if you suddenly get a surprise offer of babysitting and you can, shock, go for a drink in the early evening. To avoid saying "no" to all these lovely spontaneous outings, you need clothes that work all day for you.
You need clothes that you can be comfortable in all day, on the off-chance that you don't get to leave the house at all. You need an outfit that lets you get down on the floor, kneeling, crawling after the baby or changing a nappy, without worrying about a tight skirt hem, or asphyxiating (sp?) you with a tight waistband. You need clothes your children can paw with hummus-covered hands (still smelling it here), and you're not going to flip and start calculating dry-cleaners costs. You need clothes that don't need ironing, because who has the time.

If you routinely iron clothes and you don't have a job to wear them to, stop now and develop a wine habit. Honestly, life's too short.

You need clothes that are breastfeeding-friendly, that feel comfortable to your children when they cuddle you, that you can fling in the wash and not worry about the temperature they're being washed at.

Well maybe you don't need all this, but I do, so this is what works for me.

Enter cotton lycra.

No, not this:

Jessica Simpson, former girl crush of mine. FORMER.
I'm talking this:
Fearne Cotton
I'm not talking workout gear. I'm talking a simple pair of black leggings. They can be printed, or shiny leather look, or just black cotton lycra. Look at the silhouette on Fearne above. She's wearing leggings, flat boots, an oversized t-shirt, miniskirt, a cardigan, scarf and killer bag. A few more accessories, the necklaces and glasses I can do without, and never remember to put on.
This shape outfit suits everyone, all shapes and sizes, pregnant or not, baby weight or not, and can look really chic.
Don't wear all black if it's not for you, mix and match with any colour tops, but keep the leggings black to keep a more dressy feel. For breastfeeding add a long vest under the t-shirt that you can pull aside the neckline to get your boobs out. If wearing without the miniskirt, with maybe a tunic top, as long as the t-shirt and cardigan are past your bum you'll look good, and keep your modesty intact (I had a camel toe reference there but I took it out, way too crude.)
Recently I've been re-discovering my favourite denim shirts, one palest blue, one a classic mid-blue, and my man's checked shirt. They work instead of the cardigan, and can be layered with a knit if it's colder.
The boots I've been wearing with this kind of look are my newish oxblood Doc Martens, I needed to recapture that 90s grunge vibe, so I succumbed! Also my cowboy boots look good, any flat boots really, even a knee-high riding boot if you must. Ankle boots, hidden wedge boots, it all works, and the bigger the boot, the slimmer your leg looks. If you have wide calves for example, go with a biker boot style, rather than a delicate ankle boot. To glam this up for an unexpected date, show a bit of flesh up on top, strip down to the vest, add a necklace, or an off the shoulder jumper, even a mini skirt, change into heels if you want, and you're good to go! (I think I'd just add some red lipstick)
To dress it down, for a day running around the park, what about a pair of converse, a band t-shirt, a stretchy black miniskirt to cover your ass (H&M do them for less than a tenner, just a black tube really) and a hoody? It's still casual, but a change from the jeans and hoody trap so many of us fall into.
I read an article with Elle McPherson a while back, and she extolled the versatility of the black leggings, for the way you can dress them up or down and you're set for the whole day. So if it works for her we should all give it a go!

What's your failsafe "momiform"?

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