Tuesday, December 9, 2008

an ode to the Moms in our life

For those who don't know, my Mother died on April 15, 2007. She was one of the most elegant, stylish women I think I'll ever meet. She wasn't pretentious. She wasn't flashy. But she was always classy. She was the one who you would see with her traditional wool skirts that actually covered her lower half without looking frumpy or shapeless. And cashmere shells and cardigans with her favorite denim. Or her black patent mary janes from Florence. And she loved her coats. Whether pale blue lambskin, beige suede, or goose down filled puffers, or bright red trenches, she always dressed for the weather. She always wore her diamond wedding ring, and usually diamond studs or pearl earrings. It really was the little style and design elements that set her wardrobe apart.

Here are some quick tips from her wardrobe that may help other Moms (and women without children) on the go.

  • don't be afraid of wearing heels, even with kids (or a busy schedule) - just make sure they're comfortable, and that the heel is thick enough or supportive enough to be on the go. You may have small children (whether your own, students you may be teaching, or random children out) that you have to chase after/run away from. But don't think that flats can't be sexy or stylish either - a ballerina flat, a driving loafer, and even sporty trainers can have just as good of an effective and statement as their higher heeled varieties.
  • keep makeup simple. Dedicate a few moments each day to practice good skincare. Use a great facewash everyday. Follow up with a balancing tonic, a great moisturizer (with sunscreen). When your skin is healthy and radiant, you won't need to cover it up with traditional cosmetics. A concealer, a lipstick, and a bronzer can take you to new heights during the day. And you won't be constantly touching up and reapplying the makeup either.
  • spice things up with accessories. A fun watch. A great bracelet. A beautiful necklace. Earrings. Keep things fuss-free with minimal moving accessories - watches and bracelets should be fitted, like cuffs. Earrings should be studs or small hoops. This way everything is free from getting caught, damaged, tangled, or torn.
  • if you have small children, or work around/with them, consider wearing pants. You know what your schedule is like - if you're going to be crawling on the floor, climbing trees, or chasing little ones on the soccer field - dress appropriately.
  • most importantly, schedule time for yourself. Each month, set a date for just you and your spouse. No kids allowed. Break out the sexy dresses, heels, and great jewels. Similarly, ditch the diaper bag and "Mom jeans" to dress up and go out on the town with just your girls. Trust that all will be well at home with the kids and your husband and have a blast!
  • When in doubt, heels, great jeans, and a button down shirt are always classy, stylish, and age appropriate. When you find heels that fit well and are comfortable - buy them in multiple colors. Every woman I know instantly feels more beautiful, more sophisticated, and more elegant the moment the put on heels. Try it.

Just because you have children doesn't mean you have to be in a fashion rut. You don't have to pretend to be someone else. You don't have to look like you stepped out of the latest Bravo "reality" show or off of a rap video. Take a few moments each day to do something for yourself. When you look good, you feel better. And when you feel better, you look your best.

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