[This post is part of the series The 5 Levels of Working Mom Outfits, where you learn ways to assemble outfits for any situation, whether you’re on the job or on the go.]
Saturday morning, 10 a.m. You’re enjoying your travel mug of coffee while your kids (hopefully) wear themselves out at the playground. Next you’ll pack them up in the car with their snack boxes of Cheerios and run errands: Home Depot, the dry cleaners, the grocery store–Safeway if you’re in a hurry, Whole Foods if you’re feeling especially decadent and longing for some gourmet cheese.
All around you, other moms in motion are in various states of array–or disarray, as the case may be. It’s a veritable runway show for yoga pants and jogging suits.
But not you. Sure, you’ve got on a hoodie, but it fits you; the waistband hits just at the hips, not down around your bum. The knit shirt underneath is a scoop-neck T in a solid color or a cute pattern, not the one you got for free at the last 10K.
Your pants are definitely not from yoga class; they’re a dark wash denim in a boot cut or maybe even a trouser style pair of brown cords. Your shoes are casual, but they were not originally intended for the garden or the gym.
This is how you rock square one of getting dressed to go out in public, otherwise known as Weekend Casual, Level 1 of the 5 Levels of Working Mom Outfits.
How to create a Level 1 Working Mom Outfit: Weekend Casual
- Shirt: Think comfortable, not sloppy, slim fitting but not tight. Soft knit T-shirts in solid colors or fun patterns, maybe a turtleneck or a crew-neck sweater in cold weather, or even a button-down shirt in a chambray or colored denim. If it’s a particularly warm summer day, a lightweight tank top; but please, make sure it covers your bra straps.
- Pants: Ditto here. You want pants that look like pants, not pajama bottoms or gym clothes. You cannot go wrong with boot cut dark wash denim. It doesn’t have to be premium; good old Gap or Old Navy will do just fine and besides, they’re cheaper to replace if those crayon stains won’t come out. Other options: straight leg cords, maybe even a cargo pant–but watch the pocket placement. Too big and too many and your legs will look like they have growths. For warm weather, think capris, cropped pants and shorts.
- Top layer: If it’s cooler weather, top your T with a hoodie, a fleece pull-over (your size, not your husband’s) or even a denim shirt. In winter weather, you actually get a bit of a pass–who can tell what’s under that down coat anyway?
- Shoes: Please, no Crocs or running shoes. There are too many cute options for casual sneakers alone, much less other types of flat, comfortable shoes: desert boots, driving mocs, ballet flats, strappy little sandals.
(As with any formula or rule, there are exceptions. If you’re in the midst of painting a room in your house and you need to run up to Home Depot for some more brushes, no-one expects you to stop and change out of your grubby clothes first. The point of the 5 Levels is to gently encourage you to wear those grubby clothes only when painting …)
Chances are, you’ve got most of these pieces in your closet already. It’s just a matter of putting them together a little more thoughtfully.
And if you don’t? Surely, you don’t mind a little shopping. Ladies on a budget, now you have a targeted list for the next department store sale or thrift store run.
What to buy
Next week: Level 2: Weekend Chic
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