Monday, August 14, 2006

Make Me Over

I'm no fashion plate. This may come as a surprise to you, but Paris Hilton doesn't call me to find out what's "in" for the coming season. That doesn't mean I don't know, it only means I won't be wearing it, whatever it is.

See, I can tell you what's fashionable on someone else, or on a twig-like mannequin, or hanging on a hanger in your local department store. I've got an eye for it...really. But when it comes down to wearing it on my person, the odds are more likely I'll be struck by the North Pole...riding a Mars.

This became glaringly apparent yesterday as I began the hunt for "non-mom clothes". I have a look. A "uniform", if you will. And it screams "mom". Actually, it screams "tired, run down, doesn't-have-time-to-comb-her-hair mom". It screams it and waves a bright, neon green banner. It yells it out in flashing neon lights on the jumbo-tron.

The problem is, in my mind, I should look something like this, but the reality is more like this. I love the new styles for the fall. The leggings, the skinny jeans, the Flashdance-esque shirts, stilletos and jeans. I would totally wear it all...if I were a twenty-year-old stick.

But I'm not.

I spent two hours at the mall yesterday looking for a miracle outfit that would instantly transform me from Supermom to Superbabe. Two hours. And what did I get?

A tank top.

To sleep in.

I think I must be out of practice.

I'm feeling desperate to lose the mom look. I want to leave the house with hair fixed and a killer outfit. I want to throw everything in my closet out and start over. I want to feel confident and beautiful instead of trying to blend into the shadows so as not to be noticed. I want to wear stilletos instead of sensible shoes.

So, all you fashionable ladies out there, give me some advice. Before I die of blunt style trauma to the head.


Anne Jones said...

I would love to have the whole makeover thing too! Something with my hair besides the infamous ponytail. Something sassy and exciting and trendy! One of these days when I have lost the extra weight, I will have that sweet trip to the mall, and actually leave with something that fits, looks good, and most importantly, makes me feel great! :)

novaks8 said...


They have great clothes that aren't too fussy.

I love the pages of their catalog that have the entire outfit put together including the preppy belts!

janjanmom said...

I recognize this dilemna!!! This is the frustrated Mom-I can't afford a new hairdo or new clothes because we only have one income. I want to look as trendy as all the people I see with new clothes and new looks.

Here is the plan: Beat those thoughts with a great big stick, snuggle with all of your kids (wearing a t-shirt and comfy shorts) and read a great book-I recommend- Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs- OR -More Spaghetti, Please-they are too funny. Think how uncomfortable you would be in "fussy" clothes and then go do something fun outside OR paint inside.

Discontentment is the devil's best tactic on us Mommies!!

Bttrfly1976 said...

Sorry, I'm not a mom, but with you just the same. Cute kid outfits I can find all day long, and love to do so. Shopping for me, HATE IT. I do love the gap, and do not look like anyone in their adds. What's a girl to do.

Michelle- This One's For The Girls said...

Alright--my advice is to spend a little bit more and go to Ann Taylor. Their stuff is cute and trendy--and yet it seems to look good on these hips that have seen five babies.

Right now they're giving $25 spending cards for every $50 you spend. The cards are redeemable after Sept. 11.

Also--black is my new best friend. I have a black skirt, a black pair of slacks, a black pair of capris and a black cardigan. I get my color from various blouses.

Just a few shopping thoughts. :)

Sally said...

This too shall pass- I remember these problems when my children were young and also remember being amazed at the transformation in a friend once her youngest hit High School- she became a whole new person- because she had time to herself again... I thought I'd never get there, but the miracle happened, and although I dno't have time every day there are times when I look like I want to look!

theresa said...

I go to Express, or Nordstroms, or Banana Republic and grab a salesclerk and say, "I have $___ to spend here and I'm really horrible at picking out clothes that would look good on me so I'll be in the dressing room, could you please pick out whatever you think would look good on me and bring them to me?" They make a commission and it all works out well because what I think looks horrible on a hanger, usually looks great on me.

Tammy M. said...

Before I got married I was so into fashion, motherhood has not worked well for my total overall look. Some moms stay very cute and fun, I think that their clothing allowance is several 1000 percents larger than mine. I told my husband that when Kathy Lee Gifford turned 40 she had more style than in all of her 30's together. Her look came together for her, that is what I am aiming for, I have 18 months to get it figured out, yes in 18 months I will be 40! Forty! 4 Decades! Have I mentioned I will be 40. I am reminded in that rant when Sally tells Harry that she will be 40 soon and he says, "WHEN?" and she says, "Someday, but it's out there just waiting for me." Its out there waiting for me, and getting closer by the minute. 40's and Fashionable that's my motto.

Heth said...

Oooh, you need the Express X2 jean.

Check them out they make you look fabulous!

I once found them for $19.99 but I think that was a fluke. Forever 21 is fun and kind of inexpensive. Inexpensive is relative though.

I'm sure you look sassy in whatever you wear, even in the Mom uniform. It's all in the attitude. I wish we could go shopping together, I LOVE to shop. But only if someone dropped a bunch of money in both of our laps. Window shopping is NO FUN. Just depressing.

Shayne said...

I think someone should start a business with this idea. Mommy Makeovers or something to that effect.

I've never had any fashion sense at all so I can't help. Personally I don't get the wearing the jeans under the mini dress thing. I thought mini dresses were to show off your legs? Am I missing something?

Wendy said...

My taste is usually more expensive than what I can afford. I like Banana Republic and JCrew, but don't end up wearing much of it. My hair is usually in a pony tail. I know exactly what you are saying. I have friends that get pedicures and manicures all the time, but I wouldn't trade staying at home w/my kids for any of it. Sometimes Ebay has good deals and then you just pray that whatever you buy fits!

Lucy said...

Back when I was in high school and college, I spent hours in thrift stores buying cheap, funky outfits. Now my primary haunt is Target. I know the feeling. I'm actually planning on going shopping with a friend who, while she's thinner than I am, is still shaped a little more like me than some other friends who are so thin they just wouldn't understand my problems. And she knows what's in style, but she's not faddish.

I will say that a great haircut and polish on your toenails makes even the "mom uniform" look put together.

I've also heard of a website called that helps you figure out your body type and what kind of clothes you should wear and what styles are *actually* going to look good on you. I haven't tried it, but it seems really cool.

org junkie said...

Well no advice here. I'm in the exact same boat although I call it the Frumpy Mommy look. Ahh to only look hip again but the big ol nursing bra isn't going to make that happen any time soon!

jessica said...

My new fave store is Cato... you should check it out... cute clothes in a variety of sizes and reasonably priced too. Old Navy is cute but not shapped for most people... same with Gap... Good luck!

jjofar said...

if your hair is long enough for a ponytail..try the cute scarf tied as a headband with the ponytail? seen it? i just think it is so cute, and little things like that can make you feel sassy. agree with the painted toes too! go to gordman's!! you may have to dig a bit, but i bought a lot of items for a little money! tjmax is also great...i saw ralph lauren prep trouser jeans for $22. that is a lot for me to spend. i am usually a $10 and under kind of gal, but when they are lauren and fit...who cares!!

Mommy the Maid said...

No advice here. I went shopping for jeans and tried on a billion pair. I came home with a pair (for once rather than buying socks or panties instead) that I find just okay...They are SO mom jeans.

Mama of 2 said...

Ah Supermom...go check out my archives for a similar post. I believe it was titled Cute on the rest of the world...on me not so much

I can totally get where you are coming from with this whole post. I want to be hip while still staying in my age bracket. I mean I am 36 so I don't really want to look like a teenybopper but also no so much into looking like a granny either.
What a delicate balance that is huh?

Cheerio's on my butt? said...

You're soo funny! I feel the same! Maybe we should start by throwing out ALL of our old outfits and really truly have "nothing to wear". Then we can go shopping without the kids there reminding us of how little time we have for ourselves, and really revert back to the good ol' days! Yay us!

lastpaige said...

Seems you're preaching to the choir! We all live in real bodies, clothed by modest budgets. Oh the dilema!

Sandals from Payless Shoes, and polished/lotioned feet are a must for me. Even if my hair is up in a twist for the umpteenth time, at least my feet are cute.

Next I'm going to try the Goodwill store in a snooty upscale town nearby. Those people change wardrobes like underwear, and I plan on benefitting from their habits!

LiteratureLover said...

Girl, you are one of those people who is so pretty that it doesn't matter what you wear, you're adorable. Not to mention you're hilarious, fun, tender-hearted and precious. Don't let the clothes get you down.

One thing I have found that helps me through fall and winter is the beloved jacket. I'm not talking about a suit jacket here, just a cute jean jacket or khaki one. I can wear a tank top under it for a casual look; a long sleeve t-shirt when it's cold; or a nice blouse with a skirt to dress it up. They make the mom uniform seem less frumpy and hide my pooching tummy. I found one of mine at Plato's closet. However, word of warning: there are lots of 2's and 4's sizes at that store. But if you are willing to look, there are larger sizes too.

Sandy said...

I know the answer; I've just never had the guts to do it. It's scrubs. Like what the doctors wear. The "official" ones come in flattering colors of blue or green, are already color-coordinated, and are perfect to wear while mopping kitchen floors, blotting baby spit-up or shopping at the grocery. And you have the added advantage of looking "important", as if you might possibly be making $250,000 a year but you just needed to take a break from that next surgery and run into Walmart to pick up a few juice boxes, Cheerios and a gallon of milk. Scrubs: the new fashion for Real (Desperate) Moms. If only I could.

dcrmom said...

This is how dedicated I am to my favorite blogs. I'm posting from my vacation in Maine. I've actually tried to post to this topic several times and my 'puter was not cooperating. But it looks like it might work this time so here goes.

I live to shop. My advice is to update your jeans. I think outdated jeans scream "tired mom!" faster than anything. Make sure you have a pair of hip jeans (not too high or low of a waist, straight or slightly bootcut leg - no tapers or pleats EVER!!, nice dark wash) and wear them to death. You can dress them up or down depending on the occasion. I wear mine with high heeled boots and a nice sweater to go out to dinner with Hubs and with a teeshirt and sneakers to run around with the kids.

If you can afford to get a few pieces, I love Ann Taylor LOFT (cheaper than Ann Taylor) for modern mom outfits that aren't too trendy and young looking. A cute little fitted jacket (denim or twill) that you can throw on with skirts and slacks is a nice thing to have that is versitile and looks modern and hip.

Also ditch any big chunky clunky shoes. They are going out of style and tend to be a very young look which ends up aging you.

I live for What Not To Wear, can you tell??? LOL!!

Let us know if you decide to make yourself over. :-)