It's hard to think that it's been almost a year since I hung up my heels and retired from the working world. I spent seven years in the luxury hotel industry a.k.a. formal work attire. That translates to seven years of suits, heels and, gasp, shriek, cringe, pantyhose! On my last day, Jared asked if we could take my pantyhose out back and burn them. See, Jared likes being in charge of laundry, but have you ever had to pull 6 pairs of pantyhose out of the delicate cycle so they can air dry? It takes about 30 minutes just to get them untangled. Don't even get me started on wearing pantyhose while on sales calls...in August...in the South. But enough about my utter disgust of nylon.
I still have a closet full of a few thousand dollar's worth of suits and work attire. Unfortunately, I don't see myself decked out in a suit while changing numerous diapers throughout the day. Since my casual attire, pre-pregnancy was limited to Saturdays and Sundays and since I was pregnant and post-pregnant for a large portion of the last twelve months, I'm trying to figure out my new "work" attire. I didn't mind that my pre-baby jeans sat a little low but now that I find myself bending down to someone below knee level every 5 minutes, the a** crack moments aren't so attractive. And now that I will, most likely, have some type of drool, food or spit-up smeared on my clothes by the end of the day, my oh-so-cute dry clean only tops have now moved to the back of my closet. Since my new job and title requires a little adjusting from my pre-baby attire, I'm now in search of my "mom uniform". Whether you're a full time mom or a working mom, at some point you have to step into functional clothing fit for taking care of those munchkins.
I've started taking notice of all of the different mom uniforms there are out there and here's a few of my observations:
The Capri: Something about a capri pant just has "MOM" written all over it. What is it about having a baby that makes you feel like pants must be cut for a possible flood at any time? Don't get me wrong, I've been known to throw on these weather-versatile pantaloons myself but a closet should consist of a few pairs of pants that skim the ground.
The Faux Work-out Look: This one is tricky. There are women in this attire who are actually going to the gym. If this is the case, the outfit probably doesn't match and they most likely don't have make-up on. When the outfit matches, from visor to tank top to pull over light-weight jacket to running skirt to socks, and they smell like Cabotine then it is purely an illusion. I have been known to try to pull this one off and it is quite enticing. Very comfy, practical and you don't even have to shower in the morning. However, I've found that you end up feeling a bit....hmmmm, incomplete by the end of the day.
The "Why Of Course I Go To The Salon Everyday" Look: So I'm sure you have a friend that looks amazing every time you see them...and they just gave birth, like, a week ago. Her hair is always styled, her make-up is flawless, she has on the latest fashion trend because she makes time to catch up on her monthly subscription to InStyle. Nails, oh they, too, are freshly manicured and pedicured. She wouldn't be caught dead in a t-shirt and can pull off a jumpsuit like nobody's business. She sports things like the latest Tory tunic, DVF wrap dresses, metallic during the daytime and clothes that would be horribly wrinkled without some serious pressing. And she manages to hold a baby throughout the day without adding said wrinkles to that oh-so-trendy outfit. Personally, I'd like to throw a mudpie at that darling girl when she walks in the room. How can you manage to look so perfect ALL THE TIME?!?!? Clearly, not my category.
The Lilly: As in Lilly Pulitzer. Yes, she is DECKED OUT in Lilly Pulitzer from head to toe and looking like the Easter Bunny threw up on her. I find that women who go for the Lilly look are often still sporting the Clinique lipstick color that they were told looks great on them when their mom took them for their 7th grade make-over. Now a very particular type of woman can pull this look off. I CAN NOT.
The Budget-Conscious Attire: Her entire wardrobe consists of labels that read Merona, Mossimo and Old Navy. In other words, she does all of her shopping at Target and ON. Yes, I definitely have some experience living in this category. The problem? Not only do the clothes only last one season but everywhere you go, there's another BC (budget conscious) girl there so you end up always having a twin.
"Don't Mess With Me, I Know I Look Like Hell" Look: Most often a wrinkled t-shirt with some kind of throw up, snot or diaper excrement. This is often paired with pajama pants or whatever was on the floor when one rolled out of bed, cussing at the alarm, having had 2 hours of sleep due to one of the following: A) a sick child, B) a teething child, C) a newborn or D) being in the midst of Ferberizing. Yes, I can claim that I've sported this look.
So just when you have your uniform all figured out - you've stacked your closet with enough separates so that, even though you might wear the same clothes every other day, you pair them differently in hopes that it looks like a new outfit - you decide that you and the hubs need a night out on the town. You look to your carefully crafted closet and realize bermuda shorts, a J Crew boyfriend shirt and flip flops probably won't cut it at the city's hottest new restaurant. Back to the drawing board....and don't even get me started on bathing suits!