As part of our focus on Mothers in Fashion this March, Monica Awe-Etuk of successful style blog, Awed By Monica shares her top tips for looking great while being a great parent – because, according to the amazingly chic dresser (see her style diary for SPICE, here), it need not be a choice…
I have to admit that before I had kids, I noticed that a lot of moms dressed down, or gave up on taking care of themselves, so I always thought it would be the hardest thing ever to maintain my personal style and keep up with my children. I thought that my only opportunity to dress up would be when the kids were at day care!
However, I soon found a balance that helped me stay true to who I am as a person in love with fashion, and was able to dress appropriately and stylishly for every and any occasion – whether it be a family day out or day at the park. See my tips below on how to achieve ‘stylish mom’ success;
Optimise Your Time to Pick a Powerful Outfit:
With the exception of hair and makeup, in my opinion it actually takes the same amount of time to pick out a dressy outfit as it does to pick out a casual one. The key to saving time when creating any look, is thinking about the outfit prior to getting ready – and for me, the shower is the perfect place to put an outfit together! Try it, and I’m sure you’ll be impressed by what you come up with.
If You Love Shoes, Show it:
When I am with the kids, I typically try to wear flats or platforms so I don’t fall over running around after my 18 month old. Most designers offer an array of dressy flats that can be dressed up or down, and if you are a pro at walking in heels, why not grab a comfortable pair for going on mommy-baby outings?
Think Kid-Friendly Fabrics:
I have also discovered that you don’t have to give up style for comfort. There are so many trendy looks that are ultra stylish, yet totally comfortable, hence I always opt for looks that embrace ‘casual-chic.’ Delicate fabrics like silk are a big no-no when you are with children, so go for more durable pieces like knits and jersey, which are more comfortable and easier to move around in. Fabrics that are more durable also put up a good fight against the playful hands of my kids, so make sure you stock up on dressy cotton t-shirts, midi skirts in scuba fabric, jersey skirts and sweatshirts, as well as cable knit sweaters – child-friendly fabrics to consider when putting your look together.
When it Comes to Beauty, Find What Works for You & Your Time:
My hair and make up is determined by how much time I have to get ready. Tinted moisturiser, blusher and mascara are all musts, while contouring and eye makeup is strictly added as a bonus and only applied when I have a ton of time. It would take forever for me to get my own natural hair ready every morning, so I have invested in an amazing weave brand instead. It is time effective and because I use it over and over again, it’s actually cost-effective too. Like my makeup, the amount of time I have to dress up will determine straight hair or bouncy curls.
Choose Whatever Makes You Happy
I think the most important thing is to stop telling yourself that you have to give up one thing for the other – looking amazing or being an amazing mom – because you don’t. Like with everything in life, we make decisions, and my decision was to be an awesome mom, wife, friend and style blogger – and looking super stylish while I’m at it!
Dressing up is truly a joy for me and I encourage more and more women through my blog to take the time to care for themselves. And trust me, a happy and stylish woman makes the perfect mother!
Image source: Monica Awe-Etuk, Stylepantry.com, Styleismything.blogspot.com, Atlanticpacfic.blogspot.com