with Susan Wagner
The Working Closet is your source for the best of what's hip and fresh in fashion and beauty. Susan Wagner keeps you up-to-date on trends and offers tips and tricks for making everything in your closet truly work for you.
You can also catch Susan over at Working Closet.
In the comments on the first post in this series, quite a few of you said that when you are working at home, you still try to look nice, because there is always a chance that you will see people during your work-at-home day. I was impressed by how many of you said, “Of course I get dressed — I have to take my child to school, after all!” Because frankly, carpool moms are frequently the WORST fashion offenders.
Before we get to what you SHOULD be wearing during your WAHM day, let’s run down the list of things you should NOT be wearing:
Sweatpants with elastic at the ankles. Get some yoga pants instead.
Spirit tees. You know the ones, with the school’s name and mascot on them. Buy one for your kid, but not for you. If your child is involved in some kind of extracurricular activity that REQUIRES you to wear the spirit tee, save it for those specific events. And even then, think twice about it.
Battered tennis shoes. Honestly, put some real shoes on. It won’t kill you.
So what is the alternative? Let’s start with pants, shall we?
Jeans are the simplest and most flexible WAHM wardrobe piece; they can be machine washed, which is HUGE when you are balancing career and home and kids. Opt for — say it with me now — a mid-rise, dark wash jean; the most universally flattering leg is the boot cut, but I am partial to my skinny jeans for days when I’m feeling a little bit more hipster and less momster. Be sure your jeans are the right length for the shoes you will pair them with; nothing says MOM like too-short jeans. Or tapered jeans. Or jeans with a waistband that hits you at the armpits. Or all three, which I see more frequently than I like to admit.
In lieu of jeans, think about a nice pair of chinos. Chinos, like jeans, are machine washable, which is good; they can also be a little crisper and more dressed up than jeans. Stick with a flat-front, mid-rise shape, with a nice straight leg that falls from the widest part of your hips. If possible, skip the pockets; slash pockets will make your hips look bigger, and rear flap pockets will make your rear look bigger. (Exception: if you have VERY small hips or a VERY flat tush, then pockets will help create curves.) A basic pair of khaki chinos is the most versatile, but feel free to think outside the box as well; red or green chinos can be a fun way to add color to your basic black and white wardrobe. Again, make sure that the hem hits at the right place. Don’t be afraid to take your chinos to the tailor; even if you are only going to wear them to work at home, they still need to be the proper length.
If you want to turn up the fashion quotient a little, think about white jeans or white (or cream colored) corduroys. I know what you are thinking: White pants will make me look fat! And they will get so dirty! No way! Pants make you look big when you don’t buy the proper size and shape; no matter what YOUR size and shape, you can find some great white jeans. Pair them with a black sweater for winter, or with a bright colored blouse for spring. Top with a long trench coat in a basic khaki or a bright red or green or whatever color floats your boat. And yes, white does pick up dirt, but you’re a grown up — wear them on days when you will NOT be painting with your kids. Pop a Tide To Go pen in your handbag and you’re all set. White jeans are classic and cool and can give the normal mom-at-home wardrobe a fun Jackie O look.
Coming Friday: What to wear on top.
Clothing pictured here is available at BodenUSA.
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