Classic style. It conjures up images of Jackie O's shift dresses, Katherine Hepburn's wide-leg trousers, Audrey's iconic black turtleneck, Ralph Lauren's blazers. If your personal style is classic, you're in good company.
However, keeping a classic style both comfortable to meet the everyday demands of motherhood, and youthful can sometimes be a challenge. Reader Jacci left this comment on our Personal Style Definition article:
"I do think it's awfully challenging to keep classic looking young when you're getting less young (we don't need to say 'old', right?) by the minute...Add classic and cozy together and it can all start looking a little too 50yo English teacher real fast."
Ummm...no offense to any of my old high-school English teachers...but Jacci makes a great point. So here are three easy ways busy moms can keep a classic style youthful:
1. Show Some Skin
I'm not saying one should swap their classic white tee for a belly shirt, but one of the easiest ways to keep a classic style youthful is to show a bit of skin. A little cleavage is always nice, but wrists and ankles count, too. So roll your sleeves, crop your pants, or try a lower-cut top, as illustrated below.
2. Mix Casual and Tailored Pieces
Outfits in general look more interesting and effortless if there is one unexpected element, one thing that doesn't quite "go." Try one of the following ideas:
- Pair traditionally classic pieces with light wash (or destroyed) denim. It gives the whole look a casual-cool vibe. (My favorite is the classic black turtleneck, ballet flats and destroyed denim. I profiled it here.)
- Instead of the traditional blazer, find one in a knit or sweatshirt material (a couple options pictured below). Roll the sleeves. To find such items, google "knit blazer," "sweatshirt blazer" or "fleece blazer". As a bonus, these are infinitely more comfortable.
- Pair wide-legged trousers with a t-shirt and cute sneaks.
- Wear your shirt-dress with unexpected, casual footwear - sneakers, rugged short boots, mocs, flip-flops instead of the traditional ballet flats or tall boots. I found a good example from J.Crew (below).
3. Look to the Men
Menswear is inherently classic, so take a page from the men. Don an over-sized men's watch, use his tie as a belt, slip his Hanes v-neck undershirts under a blazer. These little tweaks will keep a classic look effortlessly cool, in an I-just-threw-this-on kind of way.
Here's a few classic mom-uniform possibilities, keeping the above in mind:
Look 1 - Cropped Denim, Knit Blazer (with rolled sleeves), Low V-Neck, Men's Watch
Look 2 - Lightwash Denim, Knit Blazer, Men's Tee
Look 3 - Shirt-dress, Short Boots
(photo credit: J.Crew)
BTW - This whole mom-i-form of low v-neck tees, soft blazers and big watches? PERFECT for tired, nursing moms.