Erinn Trebaczkiewicz of children’s clothing e-tailer The Skinny, and a mother of three (including twins!), debunks the myth that “Mom Style” is a bad thing. (With photography by Paula Scherr and adorable kids clothing by The Skinny, of course!)
Mom. A word to this “child of the 80’s” that conjures up images of shoulder pads, mom jeans, velour tracksuits and dyeable satin pumps. A word that, if I was being entirely honest, made me nervous; what would it do to my own style choices when the realities of starting a family set in? Even after I had my first son, Jack, three years ago, I had those same thoughts with the birth of my twins, Theodore and Axel, last year.
Aside from the fact that children change your world 180 degrees in general, what on earth would it do to my wardrobe?! Immediately I began to think of the “mom wardrobe”. Quiver. The stigma with being a mother and the lack of time for yourself generally translates into not having any time for fashion. And any term for mom in relation to fashion has generally never been kind. Comfortable maybe, but never kind. It was in that moment when I made a mental note to not fall into that typical stereotype.
Being a mother has so many more layers to it than just style. That, I fully understand. But being put together, while still being able to get down on the ground with my kids, also makes me feel better as a woman. It IS possible to look great, be comfortable and still feel like you’re giving your children 100% of your love. Sure, when I know I’ll be playing around with my kids I tend to gravitate to topknots, lululemon leggings and converse sneakers, which is great and something I do wear often, but I have found that more often than not I feel my best when I’ve put a little more effort into my look.
On days like this, I start my outfit choices with my shoes. I need comfortable, that’s a given. I need a pair that’s easy to get on and off as I usually have one (or even two!) children in my arms at all times. Generally, it has to be a flat or a shoe with a small heel, which is best for long days out and also helps to reduce the risk of a slip or fall with a baby in my arms. And I also need something of great quality that will wear well when I’m running around with my toddler. I mean who likes a sole detaching from the base of your shoes from cheap materials when you’re out and about ? No one. Quality is very high up on my priority list.
When Poppy Barley delivered my first pair of leather flats, the Feminine Slipper, those beautiful shoes checked off all the boxes and are still a pair that I reach for time and time again. When Poppy Barley released the newest flat to their roll call, the Slip-On Oxford, I just about died. My flats obsession continues with the softest leather, easy slip-on practicality and unique fashion-forward style.
Being a mom also brings a new set of activities aside from playing with my children. Playing with my mom friends! Sure, the timeframes have changed–we’re now meeting at 11am for a coffee as opposed to 10pm cocktails–but I still find this is a time to be stylish. Like I mentioned, making the time to put a little more effort in what I’m wearing makes me feel better as a woman, which is something I find a lot of mothers struggle with. Making the time for themselves. And I get it… when you’re in a time crunch and find yourself with a couple spare hours, the last thing you want to do is spend your valuable minutes putting an outfit together. This is why I tend to love throwing on a dress for those day dates out. It is an easy way to make myself feel dressed with minimal planning, and when you add a tall riding boot to the mix you are instantly put together! Win Win!
Finding the right tall riding boot hasn’t always been easy. My struggle is with a sporty set of calves that just won’t fit the standard size riding boot. Till now. Poppy Barley solves that problem with its custom sizing options allowing for the perfect fit. I know it sounds crazy, but my life has been changed, and the Everyday City Boot is the shoe that did it. Pair it with a cute dress and I’m out the door in minutes.
Another “Mom” activity that I believe is equally important is time away from my kids. Whether it’s heading out to the mall for a quick solo shopping trip or even out to our local farmers market for some fresh veggies for dinner that night, having a minute to myself is crucial. It replenishes me and probably makes me a better mother, in all reality. While I’m usually safe from spit-up or spills wardrobe-wise, slipping into jeans and a comfortable knit is usually my go-to style choice. It’s comfortable and easy.
What has amped up my game here is my accessories: a great set of necklaces, followed by my footwear. And for this kind of style there is no beating a gorgeous ankle boot, like the Ruby Red Chelsea Boot. I adore the classic style, pop of colour, and how it simply moulds to your foot once it’s on. I’ve been known to wear these boots for hours forgetting that I’m even wearing shoes at all, they are that comfortable. Which again, is one of my critical needs in footwear.
Another item that doesn’t usually make it’s way into a conversation with “mom” and “style” are heels. The dreaded heels. Long gone are the days of wearing 4 inch heels while out, it’s just something I can’t afford these days with the hurt and repair it takes afterwards. As we all know, a mother never gets a day off to rest her blistered sore feet! And while at times a heel still wanders it’s sexy way into my wardrobe for date nights with my husband, I am finding that I’ve started to gravitate towards a happy-medium–a trendy ankle boot with a smaller, more manageable heel instead. Something like Poppy Barley’s soon-to-be-released 2-inch ankle boot (see below, and stay tuned!).
Generally when time is of the essence these days, slipping from a day out shopping with my mother-in-law and kids, right into a night with my husband is becoming much easier with this mindset. I can get away with wearing a pair of grey, faux leather leggings and a few pieces casually layered on top, then quickly swap out my shirt for something a little more nighttime-approved, all the while keeping the lower half looking the same. It’s a quick day-to-night trick that I’ve mastered and has shaved off so much time in my schedule. And lets be honest, after having a couple glasses of wine, a smaller heel makes things a lot more reliable too!
So while the term “Mom” does bring back memories of some questionable fashion choices with both a smile and a grimace, long gone are the days where style and calling yourself “Mom” has to lack. With the choices now available, bringing quality materials, comfort, unique styles and sizing options all together, I truly don’t want to hear someone say, “I’m just a mom”.
Because “I am just a mom too, with great style and a great pair of shoes”.