True confession time…I hate wearing a “mom uniform”. Yep, I don’t enjoy walking around all day in yoga pants with unwashed hair on top of my head. It goes against my raising y’all…seriously, I can hear my grandmother now, “Jessica Marie, you better put some rouge on those cheeks before you head out – you look like death warmed over.” Now, don’t get me wrong there have been many seasons in my life were this mom uniform was an essential part of my survival (hello college finals and newborn baby stage!).
But I don’t feel good about myself when I’m wearing stuff I would sleep in out in public.
I don’t want to be in pictures with my kids and I send up silent prayers that I don’t run into anyone I know at the store while walking around in lounge wear. But, let’s get real folks. I’m a mom to three kids ages, 5, 3, and 18 months. It’s heartbreaking to get some nasty whatever-the-heck that is from one of my kids on my really nice and expensive clothes so wearing those super expensive (even if I didn’t pay full price) clothes every single day is not an option for me in this season of my life.
But that doesn’t mean I can’t ever wear them and that doesn’t mean that I can’t still look and feel like I’m cute and trendy while wearing a not-quite “mom uniform”. So, here are my go-to’s for making life as a stay-at-home to three kiddos and still looking and feeling good a reality.
1. Not Boring Basic Tee
Okay, I LIVE in these tops in the summer. And in case you’re new here, I live in Georgia were summers can easily feel like they’re over 100 degrees because of the humidity and we love being outdoors. Which of course means that I’m outside a lot during the heat and I need to have comfortable and breathable shirts so I don’t sweat to death.
It’s very lose fitting at the top so if you’re on the smaller side it may slouch down so you may want to wear an undershirt. Other than that, I absolutely love these tops – I have on in every color. They wash well and have held up surprisingly well. To see these shirts on Amazon, head here – the price is currently $13.99.
2. Flattering Cami
Once again, I’m a mom of three which means that certain parts of my body don’t quite look the same as they did before I had my children. And it’s been a struggle for me to find camisoles that I can wear with my cardigans that aren’t skin-tight and show every single flaw. However, I found these at Target for just $5 and FELL IN LOVE! *** Note, they are now back at regular price, which is $9. You can check them out here on Target.com.
Sorry for the unflattering hotel lighting – I tried in vain to get a decent shot because I love this cami so much.
They’re super comfortable and look great with a cardigan and they can be dressed up or down. In fact, I wore them last week while I was attending my financial coach training – perfect travel wear!
3. Holy Grail of Bras
Okay so this is a little awkward to talk about publicly but after my third time nursing, well…my upper region wasn’t quite fitting in my old bras the same. I tried bra after and bra and was still uncomfortable. I heard about ThirdLove on Instagram and wasn’t sure if I would actually fall into the hype but their 30 day trial period convinced me to try them and HOLY COW!
After I received my bra, it wasn’t even a full 24 hours later when I ordered my second bra. Now, I will warn you that they are the most expensive bras I’ve ever worn but are way more comfortable than any of the other’s that I’ve tried including my VS bras. If you’d like to try them out via their 30-day trial period, head here. Their basic bra – the 24/7 bra is the one I recommend you start with – it’s amazing! You will have to answer some awkward questions about your chest so be prepared and ask your hubby for help – I’m sure he won’t mind. 😉
4. Don’t be afraid of consignment
It’s no secret that the majority of my really, really nice clothes (including my favorite Stuart Weitzman heels in the IG photo below) come from consignment. My favorite online consignment shop is ThredUp but you can always shop at a local consignment sale and still score amazing deals.
After church got me like, “y’all go run around outside while mama sits here with a cup of coffee and pretends her house isn’t a wreck and I finish enjoying getting to wear heels and dress before I have to change into my mom uniform and start adulting.” 😂😂😂 . . . #morecoffeeplease #momlife #catholic #momuniform
In fact, one of my friends and I every year will head down to a high-end area of town for their consignment sale and we end up scoring some amazing designer stuff for a fraction of the price. I paid only $20 for my Coach bag at one of these sales so definitely don’t think you have to only shop in your area. You can always go and shop in a more higher-end of society’s consignment sale. 🙂
5. Don’t be afraid of new
Okay so this is something that I un-expectingly learned from StitchFix. I had forgotten to unschedule my StitchFix box one month and I remember when it arrived that I immediately said “no” to this green coat. I tried everything else in the box and was like “oh why not just try this coat on for laughs”. Well, I tried it on and to my surprise I liked it!
For real, I can’t take a decent mirror selfie to save my life…anyways, the lesson here is that sometimes new actually turns into something that works and looks great on you. Don’t be afraid to try on a new color in the store or a new style. Sure it may not work and that’s okay, but it also might be your new go-to style or in my case, go-to coat. 🙂
6. Don’t be afraid of the price
Okay so I know this sounds strange, but sometimes it does pay to have quality – case in point, the bra I mentioned above. But some other things that I’ve paid a LOT of money for are some of the most durable things I’ve ever owned. My Ray Bans have been a blessing to me. For years, I kept buying the cheap $5 and sometimes $20 sunglasses but they would last me only a few months before either 1) they fell apart or 2) one my kids broke them.
So honestly, I was scarred to pay the hefty price tag for a pair of sunglasses… It was hard, and took me weeks to actually make the purchase because the price freaked me out so bad. But finally, my husband walked into the store and bought them for me.
And they have been worth every.single.penny. My kids have ripped them off my face, tried them on, smacked me in the face while wearing them, and shoved them in the dirt and they are still holding up. Now, I’m not telling you to go crazy with your spending or to spend outside your budget. I’m just telling you that it does sometimes pay off to pay more for a better quality product than to keep paying and replacing cheaper items.
Of course you should consult your budget and set aside the money to make these kinds of purchases before doing them.
How I afford this stuff
Okay so now on to how I stretch our budget so I can actually afford these things. If you hang out here often, you’ve already heard me talk about some of these but in case you’re new, here are my go-to places to stretching our budget:
I use Ebates all the time – it’s a cashback website. Basically before I go and purchase anything online, I head first to Ebates to see what the cashback offer is. I even do this with Target and Walmart. I will go to Ebates, click on Target which will then bring me to Target’s website and then I’ll shop like normal. I can then either pick up my items in store or have them shipped. Advantage is that I just now earned a certain percent of cashback on my purchase without using a credit card (we don’t have any credit cards and are debt-free so any online purchases we make are made with our debit card).
I love Swagbucks – in fact it’s helped us have a debt-free Christmas for the past four years, but I do know it can be frustrating to have to wait and wait to earn up enough SBs to cash out. So if you want to know exactly how it is that I earn as much as I do with Swagbucks, head here to read this post in detail. But for the purposes of this post, I will sometimes cash out my SBs in the form of Amazon, Target, PayPal, or Walmart gift cards in order to make purchases before Christmas.
I take advantage of every stores’ referral program – which is where you refer your friends and family and in return when they purchase something you get a certain amount credited to your account. I do this with ThredUp (they do have a $500/year limit on their referral offers and they do expire so keep that in mind), ThirdLove, Stitchfix and even my favorite makeup brand Bareminerals!
Usually with a referral program, you’ll see the details under something like “share on social” or “tell-a-friend” but sometimes you’ll even see the prompt after you’ve completed the purchase. Don’t be afraid to share with your friends but remember that when you share you need to share YOUR story and why it is that you love it.
I hope this helps any fellows moms out there looking to escape the “mom uniform” without going broke. And if you have a favorite shop or way to stretch your budget for these fun things, please share below!
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