This article is the third in a multi-part series based on "rules" I've applied again and again when doing style consultations / closet clean-outs with moms....if you are just joining us now, check out our New Style Rules For Moms, Part 1 and Part 2.
Lest we take ourselves and our "rules" too seriously here at Ain't No Mom Jeans...please direct your attention to the picture at left. This picture is of my little sister Scotti (aka the makeup maven who wrote 5 Easy Tips To Look Your Best in Photos)...who is showing how well interesting sweaters, skinny jeans (and now tall, flat boots) can make you look amazing whether you are going out for lunch, to the playground, or, in her case, catching the Hogwarts Express.
(Oh-oh...she's totally going to Wingardium Leviosa me once she sees this pic...)
Which brings us to our last two "rules" for moms:
6. Get Some Tall, Flat Boots Already!
To me, tall, flat boots are a momiform (mom + uniform) staple. They are the key to successfully wearing skinny jeans or leggings once the weather turns cold. While the fashionista-mom is undoubtable rolling her eyes (yes, this Fall is showing a ton of fun, short boot options), tall, flat boots are still my top pick for Fall & Winter footwear for moms.
And...for some reason, the tall, flat boot is still a glaring hole in many a mom's closet. Why? Because they really go hand-in-hand with the skinny jean / legging trend. If you haven't fully embraced the skinny, you probably haven't embraced the tall, flat boot. Also, many moms seem skeptical that tall, flat boots are really a good choice when running around with the kiddos. So when nervous about a new trend, many moms either skip it altogether, or shy away from high price points. And boots can be an investment. However, tall, flat boots have been around for long enough that there are some seriously affordable, yet seriously fabulous options out there.
A few words about keeping you tall, flat boots mom-friendly:
- First of all, keep 'em flat. Yes, a two inch heel will make you look taller, but you will not be reaching for heeled boots when on your way to the playground.
- Secondly, if the bottom of your boots are slippery, get them to a cobbler to add a better bottom. It's not very expensive, and again...when running around with the kiddo you will not be reaching for the boots that make you fall on your bum.
- Lastly, buy tall, flat boots large enough to wear with some serious wooly socks. I only buy boots that fit over top of my Smartwool hiking socks. Period.
So girls, it's time. Here are my top pics for tall, flat boots, all under $200 (for those of you still nervous!)
Tall, Flat Boots Under $100
$40 - target.com
Tall, Flat Boots Under $200
7. Let Go of Your Previous Style "Rules" and MIX THINGS UP
For some reason, many moms I've worked with are having trouble letting go of long-standing fashion tenets such as, "never wear white after labor day". Or "one can never mix black/brown/navy together", or they balk as mixing metals (gold, silver, rose), or....the worst one...that their one "good" sweater can ONLY be worn on special occasions with their "good" skirt. Or "good" tux pants. Or whatever.
Please stop. Not only are you seriously limiting your wardrobe, but you sound like a grandmother in the 1950's. Yes, a good sweater can look nice with a good skirt...but it's not that interesting. A good skirt pairs equally well with a cool t-shirt, and a good sweater can look amazing with destroyed jeans.
For the last few years, styles and fashion have been all over the map. Case in point? Here's an excerpt from an article I wrote last Fall on 2009 Fall Trends:
The 2000s have been an interesting decade from a fashion perspective. In recent years, the look of the moment was "anything goes". We paired military trends with 1920's dresses, boho 70's tunics with 80's riding boots, wore curve-hugging dresses reminiscent of a 1950's housewife, and re-invented the skinny jean. It's like this decade has featured the greatest hits from the 20th Century, remixed. Which is so liberating: find the most flattering shapes for your body (is your body type a skinny 60's mod or a curvy 50's housewife?), mix with anything else that strikes your fancy, and you have self-expression through fashion at it's best.
This season, mixing trends is still relevant....what is new(ish) for Fall 2010 is the fact that mixing has been taken to a whole new level. Think menswear and ruffles (like the J.Crew pic at left). Sequins and khaki. Denim and lace. Gorgeous jewelry with sweatshirts (see last week's article). While fancy materials like sequins or lace are not very mom-friendly, the key here is to keep an open mind.
So how to translate for moms? First, look at your closet with new eyes:
- Can you use that "work" blazer as a stylish fall coat over denim shorts and tights? (Or...let's start slowly: over your new skinny jeans and tall boots?)
- Do you have a cool scarf that would look fantastic with a simple t-shirt?
- Can you add some fun, ruffled shirts to your boyish cords? (We talked about mom-friendly ruffles last Fall).
- Can you make a girly dress mom-friendly by adding some cozy tights and a denim jacket?
- Cashmere sweaters are all virtually hand-washable...so who says they aren't mom-friendly? I love soft cashmere paired with tough, studded belts or motorcycle boots.
If you have a personal style you love, I'm not saying you must throw it out to look current. I'm merely encouraging moms to extend their current closet staples by mixing things up a bit.
Need more mom-friendly mix inspiration? Let me know in the comments...but I suspect "mixing" will be a theme throughout the year.