Look around at the places that mothers of young children congregate, and you are bound to see a range of sloppy outfits – baggy sweats, hoodies, workout clothes (even though the mum doesn’t have time to workout!). As my regular readers would know, I have nothing against wearing sweats when you are doing housework, messy play, or even lounging around the house, especially if they are well fitting and somewhat stylish. However, I don’t think that sweats are the chic option when you need to leave the house to run errands or to take your child to the park. And I guarantee that the time you go grocery shopping looking (and feeling) terrible in your sweats with the saggy bottom and the baby’s vomit stain that didn’t come out in the wash is the time you’ll run into that old work colleague or ex-boyfriend.
There are plenty of alternatives out there that will have you looking AND feeling great when you want to be comfortable and still chic.
Alternatives to the sweatshirt:
A cotton blazer – this can be thrown over jeans and a tank when the weather is cooler or its one of those days that is cool in the morning but warming up in the afternoon. This Boden jacket is machine washable, so can cope with anything your toddler can throw at you.
Cotton or wool sweaters – a few sweaters in some pretty colours can help you brighten your wardrobe and your day. They are just as easy (and as comfortable) to wear as a sweatshirt, but are so much more chic. This merino tunic from Boden is a super flattering shape that will suit all body types; in particular, the longer length will skim over your curves while the empire line and surplice neckline flatters your bust. It comes in a range of great colours just perfect for spring.
Lightweight cardigans – like the blazer, cardigans can be thrown over tanks or a tee, but are a more lightweight, more feminine option. I love this short sleeved one from Boden. The gathers at the shoulders are a lovely feminine touch.
Alternatives to the baggy sweatpant
Drawstring or yoga stretch pants – make sure these are wide or bootlegged for the most flattering line. A dark colour (black, charcoal or navy) is more chic than a heather grey colour. As soon as these start to fade or become baggy, they need to be retired to your housecleaning/lounging wardrobe. I love these ones from Isabella Oliver – while they are technically maternity pants, I find them super flattering for all women.
Wideleg linen pants – these are an easy option to slip on and look very polished. Wrinkles are part of the look, so don’t worry too much about ironing them; just wash them and hang them to dry straight away. These ones from J Crew look great and come in some great colours.
Jeans – a well fitting pair of trouser jeans in dark wash is a great way of adding some casual polish to your wardrobe. This pair from Gap fits the bill!