May 6, 2010

Reader Question: No More Jeans or Leggings! Any Other Mom Uniform Ideas?

Reader Question:

What are your suggestions for moms other than wearing jeans or legging daily? Thanks!

Cindy

Answer:

Oooo…Cindy.  You are pushing me out of my comfort zone.  As you may have guessed, I'm a big jeans/leggings girl.  But never fear, there are so many great options out there that I could drone on at length.  In fact, one could argue that this entire website is built around the concept of helping moms find their own daily uniform.  Let me highlight three easy options that are readily available now: the chino, the cargo, and the linen drawstring pant.

The Chino

 

Chinos can be fairly androgynous, and I often find them unflattering in the bum area.  However, there are so many cuts and styles on the market right now, I'm sure you will be able to find ones that work.  Personally, I prefer my chinos a bit slouchy, slim and rolled up (I had luck with the rolled Gap ones above).  But the traditional clean-cut ones can work as well. 

When looking for shirts to pair with chinos, I tend to avoid anything too reminiscent of a work uniform (button-down shirts, polos) and instead focus on finding something girly and soft.  Which means, for the most part, a basic t-shirt is out.  I much prefer drapey tops like the ones featured above.  You could also go nuts with fun floral prints.  Anything romantic and girly:  think ruffles, gathers, tops that swing.  Because the tops have so much going on, plus the fact that the chino bottom will invariable wrinkle (which is fine, it just adds more texture)…keep jewelry to a minimum.  Cocktail rings are a safe bet.

Platforms look amazing with rolled chinos, but they aren't very mom-friendly.  You can just as easily pair chinos (rolled or otherwise) with a cute, girly pair of flat sandals.  I like to use sandals for a pop of color, but any cute (and comfy!) pair will work.

If you get cold easily (and I do)…I love this combo with a simple denim jacket.  Don't spend a ton of money on this item.  Forever 21 and Old Navy make amazing versions. 

(NOTE on the T-shirt:  T-shirts can work also, but they must fit very well, and you'd have to pile on the jewelry)

The Cargo

 

Chinos may be andrygenous, but cargos are downright boyish.  And I love them. There's more going on with a cargo pant, and I think the cool factor is higher…so my favorite pairing is with a simple hubby-beater tank.  If you are wearing the tank alone, go nuts with girly accessories.  I love layers of delicate chains with cargo pants, as well as embellished sandals.  If you need a warmer layer, add feminine, drapy tops, like a wrap top or cowl-neck pullover.

This season, you can find cargos that are either big and slouchy, or more likely, slim-fit (almost skinny).  Either style works.  If you are wearing the big and slouchy kind, be sure to pick a warm layer that is a bit tighter.  Or at least defines your waist (like a wrap top).

Lastly, cargos will work just as well with the chino outfits pictured above.

The Linen Drawstring Pant

 

Linen drawstring pants get softer with each washing, dry in two seconds, and feel as though you are wearing pajamas.  What's not to love?  Furthermore, they tend to look silly with heels, so hem them for flats.

The easiest way to wear this type of pant (if you were to make a daily uniform out of it) is to pair them with a simple t-shirt or cami.  I love to "up" the sophisticated-beachy vibe by adding stacks of bangles, or a couple of enamel bracelets.  Metallic flat sandals finish the look. 

For a warmer layer, experiment with the new incarnations of the sweatshirt.  I'm loving sweatshirt moto jackets, like the one from Forever 21, above. 

Cindy, thanks for writing in!  Hope this helps!

xo,

S

3 Comments
  • cindy
    May 11, 2010

    just seeing this too! thanks. really like the linen pants. i actually have some and they are super comfy…sag in the bum, but i’ll take it. thanks!

  • S
    May 12, 2010

    I have a pair also…but never hemmed them (just wore them long, or cuffed)…and after years of this, the bottoms have rebelled and frayed to such a point that they are no longer hemmable. SOB
    But they are SO comfortable, I’ll be looking for another pair…

  • Allison
    February 4, 2012

    Why only trousers? What about tights and knee-length skirts or dresses?

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