The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

Ask BB: Help This Mom Out of a Fashion Rut!

I am a 26 year-old SAHM to two little girls (3 & 8 months). My wardrobe consists of yoga pants and ill-fitting t-shirts. I am in a fashion rut! I want to be stylish, but practical, and I'm certainly on a budget. I'm not really sure what my "style" is. I prefer flats versus heels and I'm loving the riding boot trend. Also, I'm not super skinny so I feel like a lot of the trends aren't geared towards my body type (i.e., the skinny jean) even though I love the look of skinny jeans! I would love to have a stylish yet age appropriate look while also being practical. Is this possible?? —Brittany W.

The short answer: Yes, it's possible! The long answer: Finding your personal style is a life-long, ever-evolving process, so go easy on yourself and take baby steps.

Here's how I'd start: What you need is a uniform - just ONE head to toe look that makes you feel stylish and confident. A look you can toss on in a hurry and wear anywhere (okay, almost anywhere). Once you nail that look, you can start mixing things up a bit.

Need inspiration? Rip out pages of looks you like from your favorite magazines, or use Pinterest to create a personal style board. This is probably one of the best ways to figure out what you really like.

Regarding budget: You don't need to spend a lot to look good. But it helps to have a good eye - if you're shopping at Forever 21, for example, look for your more classic, timeless pieces in neutrals or black. Black always looks good, modern and usually more expensive. I'm not saying don't wear color, but it's easier to mix and match when you have a solid foundation of classic neutrals.

Ok, now for some ideas!

Uniform #1: Cardigan, cotton top, dark denim, tall flat boots
This foolproof outfit is perfect for moms on the go. Every piece is comfy and stretchy yet totally stylish. Just don't forget a couple accessories to add personality. Maybe stud earrings that your baby daughter can't tug on, and a sparkly belt to keep your cardigan in place when you're doing dishes or lugging laundry baskets around. And by the way, curvy girls can totally wear skinny jeans.

Here are six variations on "Uniform #1." You swap riding boots for ballet flats, skinny jeans for cuffed boyfriend jeans, or plain denim for colored. The possibilities are endless once you nail the basic uniform!

Uniform #2: Day dress, tights and boots
At first glance this uniform may seem wildly ambitious, but hear me out. Dresses are super easy to toss on - one piece and you're done! No coordinating necessary. They can also be very comfortable and flattering on many figures. Add black tights and your riding boots for fall and you're all set.

So those are two good places to start. I'd head to a store like T.J. Maxx and try to put together a complete outfit in the dressing room - grab a couple tops, couple cardigans and a couple pairs of jeans and go to town! Good luck & keep us posted on your progress.

What advice would you give Brittany? Let her know in the comments!
Thank you so much for your advice! Those are some great suggestions and I can't wait to go shopping!

I love the skinny jean with cardigan look! I just need to get creative with accessories.

This is a great start and I'm looking forward to getting out of my rut!

Thank you again!! :-)
#1 Brittany W. on 2012-10-25 18:34 (Reply)
I would suggest a black blazer, budget friendly ones can be found at H&M or Zara or even Forever 21. T-shirt and jeans at home, then throw on a blazer before you head out the door and you are instantly chic!

#1.1 Lori (Homepage) on 2012-10-26 12:33 (Reply)
What a great post! These looks are fab and easy. This is actually my "uniform" since I'm a stay at home mom too, and I really hate to look frumpy! No need for it!
#2 Ana B (Homepage) on 2012-10-25 19:41 (Reply)
Love this post! As a stay-at-home mom it can be really easy to say in yoga pants and a t-shirt all the time. But it is so important to make an effort. It makes all the difference to know you put on real clothes for the day!
#3 Holly (Homepage) on 2012-10-25 20:10 (Reply)
Last winter I found Levi's at Wal-Mart (gasp) that weren't too skinny for curves. Not sure if they still have them, but I found their jeans just fit curves better. And they're cost effective enough to replace if needed.
#4 Sarah on 2012-10-25 23:15 (Reply)
That's a great idea! I always overlook them when it comes to clothes, but I've heard from other moms that they are starting to get better items in. :-)
#4.1 Brittany W. on 2012-10-26 09:29 (Reply)
Great post! And I totally agree that curvy girls can wear skinny jeans! I'm a 50-something Mom to HS & college age boys and just bought my first pair....size 17 on sale for just $20 at Target. And I just got ogled at Tim Horton's! How great is that?
#5 Lisa Kramp on 2012-10-26 08:13 (Reply)
Great suggestions! As a SAHM of 1 with another on the way, I'm still working on this too. My uniform is a cute top, flare jeans and Converse or ballet flats (you don't have to wear skinnies to look chic!). Knit dresses are nice in warmer weather. And accessories make even the simplest outfit! If you haven't, check out Ain't No Mom Jeans. Best mom style blog out there!
#6 K (Homepage) on 2012-10-26 08:59 (Reply)
Another place you can check out for looks are through The Pleated Poppy's blog. She posts every Wednesday about what she wore over the past week. Accountability for getting out of those yoga pants. All of the link ups are SO inspiring.
#7 R on 2012-10-26 10:50 (Reply)
Even for us older, plus-size gals, jeans can look very stylish when paired with the right top. I just found a new favorite -- Source of Wisdom jeans from Torrid -- on sale for $30. They look great, and are very comfortable; even more so than the elastic-waist "mom" jeans.
#8 Cindy on 2012-10-26 16:26 (Reply)
This post has a lot of great ideas. I think it's important to keep it simple and comfy when you are discovering your style. Don't think you have to do what everyone else is doing. Creating a uniform/template of sorts is always helpful because then you look like you know what you're doing even if you don't.
#9 Kim (Homepage) on 2012-10-28 08:24 (Reply)
Leave a comment
E-Mail addresses will not be displayed.
Enclosing asterisks marks text as bold (*word*), underscore are made via _word_.
Standard emoticons like :-) and ;-) are converted to images.
E-Mail addresses will not be displayed and will only be used for E-Mail notifications.