Attention, Mamas! We know your babies are your very first priority (and we applaud you for that!), so some of the priorities of your former life– you know, like eating three square meals a day, keeping both legs shaved, and putting time and effort into your style–may have been bumped down a few notches. That’s okay, and we can completely relate. But what’s not okay is when sassy, sacrificing Mamas like you feel sloppy schleppy, and quite frankly, not like yourself.

I’ve put together a list of six versatile, must-have wardrobe staples for moms-on-the-go who enjoy style but live in the real world. Take these suggestions as inspiration to find your own adorable, affordable versions that fit best into your life!

1. Leggings

You read that right. I am a defender of the controversial legging because they can be a great outfit building block if you wear them correctly. No, leggings ain’t pants, but if you wear them the same way you’d wear tights, like under a long sweater, tunic, or dress, you’ll be golden. The beauty of leggings is that they can be dressed up so easily. Take the outfit above: A long, chunky-knit sweater, chic (but comfortable!) leather knee-high boots, and touches of gold accessories add richness to this look. Grab your favorite stylish diaper bag and you’re good to go! (Here are some more ways to style leggings.)

Simply Stylish Mama: Leggings

Simply Stylish Mama: Leggings by karen-harris featuring black stretch pants

Black poncho
victoriassecret.com

M&S Collection black stretch pants
$14 – marksandspencer.com

Komono watch
$79 – yoox.com

2. An Open Cardigan

This is one of the easiest layering pieces you can put in your wardrobe! Throw over a T-shirt and jeans or leggings before you head out the door. Shoe choice is easy, too–sneakers, sandals, or boots all go with this low-key sweater. Bonus: wrap it around yourself to cover the stain after your little munchkin accidentally drops chocolate ice cream down your shirt (because you still have errands to run while you’re out).

Long brown cardigan
lookbookstore.co

Relax t shirt
etsy.com

Skinny fit jeans
aboutyou.de

Converse low sneaker
nordstrom.com

 

3. Distressed Denim

You can’t keep a pair of jeans looking new to save your life, so you might as well buy them this way! For all the bending, chasing, and crawling around on the floor that you do, buy some denim that is supposed to look distressed, and keep on distressing. You can pair them with everything from a fancy, flirty top to a plain cotton tee-shirt, to a zip-up hoody. You heard it here: there’s a way to look chic in a sweatshirt. Just make sure your top of choice is slightly fitted and has a clean design to balance out the worn, relaxed look of the jeans. I love the navy striped zip-up featured here because it’s so easy to create a nautical style with a couple pops of red, like with shoes and a bag. Finish the look by accessorizing with a cute baby, and voilà! You just made a sweatshirt and ripped jeans look put-together.
Simply Stylish Mama: Distressed Jeans

Longchamp leather flap handbag
$72 – selfridges.com

Elvang faux throw blanket
$260 – houseology.com

 

4. A Cotton Dress

Whether you choose jersey cotton for the summer or a sweater dress for the fall and winter months, a cotton dress is the easiest, comfiest, outfit builder you could ask for. If it’s cooler out, wear over leggings to provide an extra layer of warmth and, ahem, gut-control (and is much more comfortable than tights). Tall leather boots add an extra dose of sophistication, and metallic touches, like a large-faced watch, stack of bracelets, and a purse with accent hardware, add to the class.

 

Simply Stylish Mama: Cotton Dress

Simply Stylish Mama: Cotton Dress by karen-harris featuring knee high riding boots

M S Collection cocktail top
$59 – marksandspencer.com

 

5. Graphic Scarves

This staple is probably the easiest, most impactful outfit-changer you can add to your closet! Seriously, grab a handful of cute patterns–you shouldn’t have to pay any more than $25 per scarf (at most!) if you shop around. Wear these with graphic or plain tees, sweaters, dresses, or underneath coats. Chunky knit or blanket scarves (which are square-shaped) are great for style and warmth in the winter, while lighter cotton scarves add a pop of fun to a plain outfit in the warmer weather. Pashimas are woven versions that can be wrapped around your neck or draped around your shoulders, like a shawl. And like the open cardigan (#2), you can use these pieces for camouflage: loop one around your neck to hide that spit-up spot that just appeared on your shoulder. (Here are some creative ways to tie a scarf.)

Suede sneaker
drjays.com

Ray-Ban green sunglasses
$195 – jcrew.com

 

6. Cute, Comfortable Shoes

You don’t have the time or patience to saunter around in heels anymore, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for an unattractive alternative. As mentioned above, leather boots or booties are an awesome choice for cool weather because they’re classic, comfortable, and versatile. Leather wears so nicely because whether it’s brand-new or worn-in, it still looks chic. Additionally, brands like Kork-Ease and Born are specifically designed to be stylish and comfortable. Also, there’s no need to shy away from the good-old fashioned tennis shoe. You don’t have to be a marathon runner to buy a pair of sneakers because big-shoe brands make cute, casual styles specifically for traipsing around town. Converse are old-school favorites that will never go out of style, and I am partial to pink and pastel-hued sneakers to add a feminine pop of color to the simplest of outfits.
Simply Stylish Mama: Comfortable Shoes

 

Simply Stylish Mama: Comfortable Shoes by karen-harris featuring black ankle boots

J Crew striped shirt
factory.jcrew.com

Black jeans
shein.com

Puma shoes
zappos.com

Kork-Ease black ankle boots
$220 – shoeme.ca

Converse canvas shoes
$45 – theoutnet.com

Kork-Ease black ankle boots
$200 – shoeme.ca

H M fringed shawl
$19 – hm.com
There you have it, Mamas: proof that having style doesn’t have to mean sacrificing the time and energy you’d rather spend with your kids. Use these easy outfit ideas and go through your day feeling  polished, but not pinned up. Mama style should be simple and effortless, because you deserve to feel your best!


Karen Harris

Karen Harris

Writer | Shopper | Dog-Lover