You know the type. You’ve seen her, dropping her kids off at school, sporting a chic topknot, sunglasses and lipgloss. Or run into her at the grocery store, her tinies hanging on to her cart as she careens through the narrow aisles in skinny jeans and a graphic tee. She is the stylish mom, the mom who seems to pull off effortlessly cute looks, day after day, while you are struggling to find a clean pair of yoga pants. But there’s no reason to feel stressed about getting dressed. Sure, some women are blessed with an innate sense of style, but the real secret to looking great, day in and day out, can be summed up in one, boring word: habit. Stylish moms have developed a daily set of habits, of style hacks, that are as habitual as brushing their teeth, and just as important to looking good. Here, the five daily style hacks, or shortcuts, to great everyday style.
1. Set Yourself Up for Style
Habitually stylish moms don’t wake up, stumble into their closets, and pray for that cute outfit to materialize. They plan for it. Decide what you want to wear tomorrow, today. Take a few minutes, whenever you can squeeze them in (it may not be in the evening), to plan out a complete outfit, right down to the accessories. Try it on, if you need to, but make sure that it’s cute, that it’s clean and that it fits, before you need to slip it on and run out the door. Then all that’s left to do in the morning is toss it on. The same goes for makeup. I keep a full makeup and grooming kit, complete with liquid lipsticks (they don’t melt), disposable single-use toothbrushes, a deodorant, and everything else I need to get ready, from scratch. Many mornings, my makeup doesn’t go on until my kids are dropped off, and having a complete kit in the car has saved me from an entire morning of hiding behind my hair.
2. Find Your Formula
Each of the chic mamas in my Stylish Moms series has one thing in common: They’ve developed a fashion formula that works for them, for their lifestyle and body type and budget, and they stick to it, day after day. Whether it’s Cozy Friedman‘s skinny jeans, boy blazer and boots or Lindsey Cheney‘s skinny crops, cute tees and flat sandals. There is no reason, and let’s face it, no time, to reinvent the wheel. Find what works, and stick with it, adding interest with updated silhouettes and cool accessories.
3. Select Standout Accessories
A wardrobe of simple, well-fitting, and comfortable separates comes to life with a cool necklace, a great pair of shoes, or a fabulous bag. Accessories really do make the difference between a boring-jeans-and-a-tee uniform or the super-cute-jeans-and-a-tee uniform of so many stylish moms. Update a closetful of humdrum basics with an oversized clutch or trendy trainers, and make your everyday style extraordinary.
4. Make It Your Own
For the quickest path to a signature style, pick a single item, and wear it constantly. You will become known for it. Whether it’s a stack of chunky bracelets, red lipstick or oversized hoop earrings, make it your style signature. (And no, your wedding band and engagement ring don’t count).
5. Cheat, A Little
There are easy, effortless ways to appear pulled together, even on days when you feel like you’re falling apart. A quick trick is to find a simple solution for bad hair days. Try a trendy topknot, chic ponytail, or a cozy beanie to quickly transform bad hair into a cool ‘do. Another time-saving trick? Sub sunglasses for eye makeup, dab on a little powder or a tinted moisturizer and slick on some boldly colored gloss for some quick polish.
So there you have it. Five stylish habits that will demystify fashion and simplify the process of getting dressed. Plan ahead, then pick a cute-and-comfortable mom-uniform, add splash with some fun accessories, make it personal, and cheat, when necessary. (Don’t worry. I won’t tell!). Follow these steps every day, and you’ll always look (and feel!) your cutest!