As a personal stylist, I'm frequently asked, "how do I look fashionable when I'm just taking my kids to the park or running to Target?" While it's perfectly acceptable to do these things in active-wear, if you're asking me the question, what you're really telling me is that you don't want to do that. You want to feel attractive, confident, and in-control. A pair of yoga pants just isn't doing it for you anymore. And, that is completely fine! Get ready to join the stylish mom tribe.
Even if you're not a mom, you may have a very casual job or work from home. These same tips can be applied to anyone with a very casual lifestyle.
Step 1: Lose the Yoga Pants
Trade your yoga pants (or leggings or pajama bottoms) for a pair of dark wash jeans or track pants. I prefer dark wash jeans because they tend to be more flattering and have the added bonus of hiding a multitude of stains. If you prefer to go the track pant route, look for some that have a bit of shape so you're not adding extra weight to your frame.
Step 2: Put on a Real Shirt
A free marathon T-Shirt is not meant to be worn outside your home. You can be just as comfortable, and a lot more presentable, in a cute graphic tee. I also love patterned wrap tops, peplum tees, and striped knit sweaters, as they wash easily and are flattering on most of us.
Step 3: Ditch the Flip Flops
In San Diego, we wear flip flops with anything--even sweatshirts. I know because I did it too. My freshman year at Sand Diego State, my uniform was a pair of jeans, my grey and pink SDSU hoodie, and a pair of black rainbows. If you're ready to step up your style, trade those flip flops for chic sneakers or a pair of stylish booties (my personal favorite).
Step 4: Add Accessories
Once you start employing accessories in your daily wardrobe, you will not stop. They are great conversation starters and communicate to the world that you put in some effort. I am so happy to add my pendant necklaces back in my rotation since my 18 month old son is old enough now not to tug at them. In the case that your kids are still very young, you can combat their wardrobe tyranny with stud earrings, scarves, or chic hats. Stay away from dangling earrings and pendant necklaces though, because your little ones will most likely attempt to rip them off.
Step 5: Finish with a Completer Piece
Weather and personal motivation permitting, a final way to ensure you look instantly stylish is to add a "completer" piece to your outfit. which could be a cardigan, kimono, knit blazer, vest, or moto jacket. If you're thinking who wears a blazer to Target? The answer is me. I have a serious blazer addiction. You don't have to go that far, a cute utility vest or kimono will do.
In the first graphic, you see four examples of the classic frazzled Mom look. In the second graphic, you'll see women who are casual, comfortable, and confident in their clothing.
Ready to add some casual flair to your wardrobe? Shop my picks below.
I'm Jaquelyn Wahidi. I'm a personal fashion stylist, writer, and entrepreneur in San Diego. I help women organize their closets, define their style, and shop with intention. My style blog features practical fashion advice for women everywhere. Addicted to blazers since 2004.