It's possible for stylish moms to stylishly blend fashion and functionality. No, really.
Good moms are known for being kind, nurturing and patient. But fashionable? Not so much. Some days, just getting out of the house with matching socks can seem like an accomplishment.
But a little planning and attention to details can go a long way in preparing you for the stylish, adult world.
Here are some of fashion tips for looking good or, at least, presentable.
Limit gym clothes to the gym. Sure, sporting sweats and a T-shirt around Target is comfortable, but it's also frumpy and screams mom. If you must, trade the T-shirt for something form-fitting with a lower neckline and couple it with a zip-up jacket.
Save the XL "2004 Walk Against Alzheimer's" T-shirt for when you have a headache and aren't in the mood for you-know-what.
Ÿ Lose the baseball cap. While Faith Hill looks sexy strutting around with her three daughters in a ball cap, most of us don't. Your greasy hair isn't really that noticeable, especially from a distance. And if you're really concerned about your mangy mane, try a ponytail with a headband or big sunglasses.
Ÿ Accessorize. Spruce up outfits with scarves, belts and jewelry. (Wedding bands and diamond stud earrings you got for high-school graduation don't count.) Don't leave the house without cute earrings, even if it means no time for mascara. Accessories are cheap and interchangeable. And they always fit.
Ÿ Avoid high-maintenance clothes. That silk blouse looks great fresh from the dry cleaner, but goes downhill fast. And who has time to iron? Rather than banish wrinkly clothes to the Siberia of your closet, buy stuff that looks good after multiple wearings.
Ÿ Ditch the mom jeans. If your jeans cover your belly button, call a sitter and get to the store. Quick. Because, let's face it: If Jessica Simpson looks bad in mom jeans, so will the rest of us.
Ÿ Go for some heel. Nothing says frumpy like a dirty pair of sneakers or banged-up Aerosoles. A little heel dresses up any outfit and adds confidence to your step.
Ÿ Mimic good style. Grab a People magazine when the kids are asleep and take some fashion tips from the celebs. Even if you can't dress like the stars, at least you'll know not to wear the peasant skirt that's in your closet.
Ÿ Invest in a few good pieces. We all wish the sales clerks at Nordstrom knew us by name, but who has the budget? Instead, spend a little extra on clothes you wear a lot jeans, slacks and jackets and go cheap on the trendy stuff, which won't last many fashion cycles anyway.
Be cautious about buying too much at Target and Walmart and don't pooh-pooh places like JCPenney and even Sears, which have decent-quality clothes and great sales.
(Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service www.scrippsnews.com)