I’m Not Wearing It Well

I’ve been dressing like a mom for too long.

No, I haven’t adopted the “track suit” look or started wearing my PJ’s out, but I am looking over my shoulder for Stacy and Clinton.

My uniform? Jeans, always jeans (but, NO MOMMY JEANS; those were burned long ago). Single-color crew-neck or v-neck cotton shirt (currently long-sleeved). Plain silver watch and maybe a necklace. No earrings, my holes are closed (insert your own crude joke here).

On my feet? Fun sneakers, from PF Flyers or Converse. In winter, I may opt for black boots and cords. In summer, I’ll turn to flip flops with capris.

Here’s what I’m thinking: “B-O-R-I-N-G!” Also, this:

“Here I am, a stay-at-home mom with three kids who I am also teaching, cleaning up after, and shuttling from one activity or another. How can I justify dressing nicely when whatever I wear is going to get wrinkled, wiped on, cried into? I shower everyday don’t I? And apply (some) makeup. And deodorant.”

But, I feel stuck and confused as to what I should do next. I wandered through Ann Taylor Loft a few weeks ago and felt like a fish out of water. A very tall fish, I must say, because none of their pants reached past my ankles.

So, I’ve decided to lay my dilemma on you all. Please help me since its been years since I’ve flipped through Lucky or watched the Style Network. I’m also feeling a bit confused since I’ve turned 40. Can I still shop at The Gap without looking ridiculous? Do I really have to move on to Chicos? Are ballet flats still in? How can I look more put together without spending my children’s college savings?

Where the heck are Stacy and Clinton?


  1. Blog Antagonist says

    I don’t know. I feel like a frump most of the time too, but really what *is* the point of getting dressed up to do housework? Every time I watch what not to wear, it completely chaps my ass that they make those women throw away everything, because WHAT THE HECK ARE THEY SUPPOSED TO CLEAN AND DO YARDWORK IN???

  2. Alpha DogMa says

    Ditto, what the blog antagonist said. Er…posted. And isn’t it mean to make those ladies go shopping in their pre-makeover outfit? Too cruel.

    I stay in pjs to the very last second to increase the odds I escape the house and enjoy a few moments of public cleanliness before someone (other than me) wipes their nose on my sleeve.

    I dress pretty much like you except sometimes I wear a scarf. And I often wonder: do the Emo kids laugh at me and my jauntily tied scarf?

  3. you where whatever you want to wear. i’m pushing 40, and come summer time, i’m rocking the cargo shorts, t shirts, and sandals or the ll bean crocs.

    age ain’t nothing but a number, and while some outfits look foolish on our bodies as we age (if you get my drift), if you’re comfortable, wear whatever you want to wear!

  4. Once a week Fussypants has a “Fighting the Frump” post where other bloggers join in to provide various tips. You should check it out. 🙂


  5. In general I am a pretty boring dresser. I think people probably think of me as having it somewhat together, in that there are times when I wear something remarkable. But for the most part, I think I wear exactly what you described.

    I kinda think the shoes make the outfit. So the fact that you are wearing cool shoes with your jeans and (I assume) fitted t-shirts means you probably look laid back but put together.

    I plan to get some new tennis shoes, flats and sandals this summer. I love Boden’s stuff. Heck, if I had my way (and unlimited cash) everything I wore would be from there this summer.

    Also, we went out with a couple last summer and she looked so awesome. All she was wearing was nice jeans, a white wrap jersey top and some really cool thongy-type sandals and nice silver hoop earing. But it was all so chic together. I swore I would copy her!

  6. Life As I Know It says

    I’m in the same boat. I’ve been wearing jeans and fleece all winter!

  7. Umm, yeah, at least you add a necklace here or there.
    I have been searching for cute clothes but none seem to “fit” my style. Of course even before I was pregnant, I was looking for some fun clothes but to no end. I feel like some clothes are too hip, and some are too old lady. Maybe we should be shopping together?

  8. Anonymous says

    Mom jeans, huh?

  9. Fairly Odd Mother says

    Oh, Anon, thank you for that link. My favorite is, “You’re not a woman anymore, you’re a MOM!” And that VEST! Still laughing over that.

  10. Traceytreasure says

    I’m going on 42 this year and I did a post about “what’s in your wardrobe”. I received the most comments ever…10! I hate watching shows that tell me I’m too old to wear capri pants. I don’t take advice from gay men, because, well, I think that they should be dressing MEN! They don’t find women attractive. What gives them the right to dress us? Will we look good to gay men if we take their advice? Wear what you WANT TO WEAR!! Wear what your hubby thinks looks cute on you!! Who else do you have to please? My dresses and high heel days are over. I’m going to make lunch in jeans and a tee shirt! Capris in the spring and summer!! IMO you can’t go wrong with Liz Claiborne, Levi’s or the Gap!! Go for it!! 🙂 When Clint and Stacy are done with me I can send them your way if you’d like!

  11. Chicky Chicky Baby says

    Wait, there’s something wrong with that uniform? Shoot.

    Stacy and Clinton should do a two-for-one deal on us.

  12. Christine Sierra says

    Here’s my tactic – get the Sunday paper, pull out the Kohl’s circular, find something you think is cute, take it with you to the store and hunt it down on the racks, try it on, figure out that you aren’t as curvy or skinny as the model, put it back, thank yourself for saving the money and then go treat yourself to your favorite little treat 🙂

  13. Oh no! I thought I was actually cool with the long sleeved tees, the jeans and the Chuck Taylors. Is that frumpy?

    In my town, the Stepford mommies wear pastel, velour track suit or the ever popular twin set.

    Hmmm, methinks I’ll stay uncool. Velour makes me queasy. 🙂

  14. Alex Elliot says

    I wear jeans and v-neck t-shirt pretty much every day. I was at a menopause meeting a couple years ago for my moms’ group and someone asked if a sign of menopause was wearing Chicos. The dog looked flabbergasted, but then said now that he thought about it most of his clients did dress in Chicos-like clothes!

  15. womaninawindow says

    Personally, I think wear what makes you feel good. Just don’t make it zebra. I laugh at zebra. It never works. Don’t let anyone fool you.

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