As a woman who has chosen not to have children, I am in awe of moms. Just thinking about the responsibilities that come with parenthood totally overwhelms me. On most days I can barely figure out how to take care of myself, I couldn’t imagine having little people to think about too. It is with total respect for mothers today that I am writing this post.
As an observational bystander, I think parents today have it heaps harder than parents of past generations. The pressure to be perfect appears to be as suffocating as what is required to be considered a good mother. Between perfect-parent social media posts, Pinterest birthday party ideas that even Martha Stewart couldn’t pull off, the required drop-offs and school pick-ups didn’t exist when I was a kid, the litany of extracurriculars, and so on, it seems there is literally nowhere a mom can hide for a second to catch her breath. And let’s not forget the additional pressure that comes from what schools expect from parents, like fundraising, volunteering, and general involvement.
Not being a parent, I can’t really commiserate or even relate to the pressure that comes with parenthood, so this post today is my way of saying, here, maybe this will help. I put together some back-to-school looks for moms to give you some outfit ideas and dressing tips that will at least help you look stylish as you juggle eight chainsaws. Take a look below.
Back-to-School Mom Style
This first outfit I put together is for the moms out there who have come painfully close to dropping of their kids in their pajamas. Instead of pajamas, I created a pajamas inspired look that is just as comfortable but far less mortifying. Instead of pajama bottoms, I used these drawstring pants from Caslon and paired it with a graphic tee-shirt (I promise I won’t tell anyone if the t-shirt you wear with your drawstring pants is actually the one you slept in). I added an easy navy cardigan from Halogen, added sneakers that you can just slip on and a coral crossbody bag Sole Society that can effortlessly add a punch.
This next outfit was inspired by all the moms I see taking their kids to school in my quaint Brooklyn neighborhood which has had an explosive baby boom in recent years. First of all, back-to-school does not mean autumn weather suddenly appears. It’s still hot as Hades outside and this adorable jumpsuit from Billabong is so flowy and easy while still looking stylish. With the amount that moms walk in my neighborhood, comfort is important, so I popped the outfit with easy on comfortable red sandals from Vince Camuto. Finishing the outfit, I added a roomy backpack from Urban Originals and this black leather bracelet from Tory Burch and scalloped hoop earrings from Kate Spade.
What I know is that a parent’s involvement in their child’s school extends way past the drop off and pick up responsibilities. There will undoubtedly come a time where your participation will be required and finding that sweet spot of being appropriately casual but not too dressed up might be tricky to find. So I created this outfit with that in mind. This is the type of look that a mom could wear for volunteering, meeting with a teacher or being involved with a committee. I styled these paper bag pants from Bp. Nordstrom with a basic white t-shirt and polka dot cardigan from J. Crew. Finishing the outfit, I added a pair of bright flat loafers from Ann Taylor, an eternity necklace from Stella & Dot and navy Longchamp crossbody bag.
The trick up my sleeve that I always use with moms is accessorizing to change up looks so she can go from one responsibility to another without an outfit change. I used to do this with dresses all the time, like I am with this red dress from Halogen. It’s so basic and that perfect balance of casual and dressy that works in the school environment. A dress like this could be styled with casual sandals for a day out with the kids but can also be accessorized for volunteer activities, and so on. I did it by adding this scarf from Sole Society, a pair of Clarks Wedges, a denim jacket and soft blue handbag from Annabel Ingall.
Sometimes when I observe what can go on between moms I realize that we never do leave middle school, do we? Moms can be so competitive with each other. As a parent there will likely be times when you’re involvement as a parent won’t be with your kids but with other moms. And you know that every school seems to have that mother who is always perfectly coiffed, who makes the best baked goods, who is in charge of multiple committees and who seems to do all of it without even a glisten on her brow.
All this said, having some polished go-to looks on hand that you can break out when you will be among other moms for various reasons, like events, meetings, or whatever else moms do with each other, a good idea. Ideally, these pieces will be casually dressy and stylish with ease. For example, I styled this jumpsuit from MICHAEL Michael Kors with a pair of tan block heel mules from Halogen, a simple multi-strand necklace from Bauble Bar and colorful handbag from Anuschka Handbags. If you look at this outfit it’s not overly complicated and doesn’t have a lot of overly tricky components. It simply hits that perfect sweet spot of looking stylish, pulled together and easy.
Go forth and conquer this school year, moms. I hope these outfit ideas help you manage at least one part of your very busy lives.