M is for Mothers with Style – 12 Wardrobe Essentials



12 essential items for every stylish mother's wardrobe


Many women, after they become mothers, end up losing their style as they spend all their time and energy looking after their families, as they put themselves at the bottom of their lists.

With body shape changes also common side effects of childbearing, and often a change of lifestyle, many women feel lost when it comes to dressing appropriately and stylishly for this new phase of their lives.

Then there is the problem of trying to shop when you have young children.  Kids lack patience and so shopping with them frequently results in a quick dash to the shops, grabbing “It’ll do” clothes without even trying them on.

As time goes by and women have less time to go shopping, discovering the stores that work for them, they also get lost knowing where to shop.

So if you’re a time-poor mum who needs a practical wardrobe then there are some clothes that will help you go the distance, but also a few accessories that you may consider to make your look stylish.

Here is my list of 12 top style essentials for mothers

What to wear to be a stylish mother - get the best tips on dressing to flatter and look stylish in clothes that are practical and comfortable

1. Jeans – a great pair, that fit well, a darker denim is always more dressy than a light denim.  If you love the fashion trend you can also try a coloured pair.

2. Short and Long-Sleeved knit tops – a dense pattern will disguise stains if you’re kids are still very young and tend to have those dreaded ‘banana hands’. There is no need to spend a lot on knit tops, you want the sort you can wash and wear, and not worry about turfing when they get stained and old.  Keep them fresh and you’ll look stylish.

3. Flat but stylish shoes – you’re going to be walking and running around with your kids.  As much as I love the look of heels they’re just not practical.  Whether it’s a ballet flat, an ankle or knee-high boot or a slipper style loafer, a sneaker to wear with your jeans, a non-chunky shoe that is comfortable will be one of your best style friends.  Here are ways to wear flat shoes and look stylish.

How to Style Sneakers

4.  Trench coat – you can throw this over any outfit, from the playground to dinner, a trench is stylish and a practical option for mums.

5. Fabulous hands-free handbag – something big enough that you can carry all those bit and pieces you need.  I remember when my daughter was toilet training I’d always have a couple of spare pairs of her knickers in my handbag, and previous to that a couple of nappies – enough to keep me going while I was out for the day.  Look for one that works for your lifestyle.  I always found a hands-free bag the best – a hobo style or one that you can sling across your body so you have your hands free for the kids.

6.  Scarves and Bangles – they are a great way to accessorize and won’t get broken like jewellery can when your kids are babies and toddlers and still going through that grabby stage.  Scarves will also keep you warm, add colour and interest to your outfit and just add a little extra flair!

7.  Jackets – the sort that is not from the classic suit, ones that you can dress up or down. It may be of leather, or denim or even jersey.  A jacket you can throw over your top will hide that muffin top and give you that style edge that a sweater just won’t do.  Stay away from the polar fleece except when you’re doing those ‘outdoor leisure’ activities.  A jacket is an ideal item to throw on when you’re running errands, off to the supermarket or doing school pickup.

8. Leggings – you can wear them with dresses and skirts or tunic tops when it’s a little cold.  They’re not fussy like tights can be.  Pair them with your ballet flats, sandals or knee-high boots – depending on the weather.

Style tips for mothers - wearing skirts

9. Skirts – the practical sort that you can move in. Can be made of denim or jersey, or just some sort of comfy longer flowing fabric (like mine above) for those days when you don’t feel like jeans, your skirt will look great with your boots or ballet flats and sandals.    Discover how to choose your best skirt lengths here and how to choose the right length tops to go with your skirts.

10. Dresses – comfortable, practical, knit dresses are fantastic.  From the maxi dress to the wrap dress, when you’re pushed for time in the morning and don’t want to have to think about combining garments to create outfits, your dresses are a one-stop garment that will make you feel feminine and gorgeous.

11. Dressing Gown – when your kids are babies and toddlers and you find it hard to get out of the house clean, then get up and dressed and put your dressing gown over your clothes and discard it just as you leave the house.

12.  Mascara and Lip Gloss – sure it’s hard to find the time to do a full face of makeup when you have small people screaming for your attention, but just a coat of mascara and a swipe of lip gloss will keep you looking pulled-together as you go about your day.  I keep my lip gloss in the console of my car so I can apply it on the go!

What are your essentials that you just can’t do without?

More Style Tips for Mothers

How to Accessorize – The Busy Mum

Wardrobe Capsules for aLife – Busy Mum (Mom)

How to Dress the Comfortable, Practical, Stylish Mum

5 Outfit Ideas to Steal for the Stay at Home Mum

What to Wear on the School Run

How to Create a Post Pregnancy Clothing Capsule



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  • Fantastic post. I wish Id found this one ages ago. This is perfect, and what I need. I had 6 children and home educated them all and made all meals from scratch and used to have a combustion stove (we liked the vintage ambience and we did the self sufficient thing) and I can atest to the truth of this post – mum is always last and everyone expects her to have everything done, organised, ironed, cooked, washed, cleaned and be ready to answer all questions and make them all happy, including dad most of the time and then let them all have their social outlets and be there waiting – and then complain if she wants a thing for herself. I recall saying once to my husband when he was rushing me to forget makeup and just get in the car “there is no room in this house for a woman”
    God knows I loved this post. Now I KNOW what direction I need to head. Excellent, cannot applaud it enough.

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