Hello there! I hope you had a great holiday if you were celebrating with 4th of July festivities. Hubby and I just took it easy and caught up with some friends over dinner that we only see once per year. Now, I'm back to work in full force. :)
Two months ago Michelle of The Curtis Chronicles wrote to me and asked for some tips on how to dress classy with limited time as she is a new mom. I love that she asked this question because I know so many new moms feel the same way and a classy woman strives to present her best self with the time and resources afforded to her. Even if you are not a mom or well past the point of having little ones, these tips can also be applied to your life if you're always on the go and have little time to get ready each morning. With Michelle's permission, I'm sharing her question here so that you can all read it also.
I found your blog recently and absolutely love it!
I have a question about putting yourself together in a time crunch. I am a new mom to a beautiful 11 month old girl. Before having a child, I always vowed to never "let myself go". Fitness has not fallen by the wayside; however, I have often found myself in an outfit involving sweats day after day. I never realized how much time for myself I lose by being a mother. I love my daughter more than anything so I don't want to neglect her so I can "primp" but I also would like to feel more like a lady even on days when I don't go anywhere without spending a lot of time on it (because I don't have it). This is very important to me because I am an example to her. Do you have any tips on how to do this in the absolute minimum amount of time? What are the most important aspects?
I look forward to hearing from you!
Here is my response to her letter.....
Thank you for writing in to me and I'm so glad to hear that you're enjoying my blog! :)
First off, congratulations on becoming a new mom and for taking care of yourself fitness-wise. :) You are definitely not alone, many women feel the same way and it is definitely possible to look like a lady without spending tons of time each morning away from your baby girl. Here's what I would recommend:
1. Makeup-Unless you're going out to a party, dinner or event, wearing a few products to highlight your best features is all you need. It's different for everyone but I'd suggest using a bit of concealer to hide any evidence of lack of sleep and blemishes that bother you. Usually a little blush, lipgloss/lipstick and a pop of some mascara is enough to make a woman look and feel more polished and won't take long to do. Even though I'm sure you're beautiful without makeup, it really has a way of somehow making us women feel more put together and polished.
2. Hair-Since time is of the essence, you'll want to work with a hairstyle that is easy but works with your face shape . Maybe a sleek ponytail, wash & wear curls (if you have curly hair) or letting hair mostly air dry then taking 5 minutes for styling near the end with a blow dryer/curling iron etc. Another options if it's a look that works for you, is a hairband which have made a comeback for all ages. If you like to wash your hair the night before and your hair co-operates in the morning, that might be easiest in terms of time.
3. Clothing & Accessories-This is probably the easiest and fastest part of getting ready if you have some go-to outfits already selected. This way you can be your own stylist putting together comfortable, stylish yet practical outfits for heading about town or staying in with your little girl, which I go into more detail below. One great accessory for every new mom is a fashionable diaper bag that looks anything but-these designer diaper bags are oh-so-stylish yet functional! (I happened to come across them today while putting this post together as it is where I found the first first image with the red handbag.)
Spend a little bit of time (maybe while baby is sleeping) assessing your wardrobe and accessories-essentially finding out what you have to work with, considering multiple ways things can be worn. My personal favorite go-to is casual dresses while working from home. They're easy to wear without needing to co-ordinate with another item of clothing and I have a few basic go-to's for accessories like belts, earrings and bracelets that I like to pair with the dresses. Somehow dresses always look so pretty on women and instantly gets you dressed and makes you look pulled together, even if the rest of your day feels like it is not. ;) Husbands always seem to like dresses the best on women too. Another more practical option depending on what you're doing is jeans, skirts or shorts and a cute top.
This may sound silly, but it works. I began taking pictures of outfits with the accompanying accessories like shoes for when I travel to make things easy. When I'm on vacation, I like to look stylish yet be comfortable and while I have the time, I want getting dressed to be quick so I can explore wherever we are. These photos are kept on my digital camera that I bring along or iPhone with me to refer to. It's especially great for pairing the same pair of pants or skirt with other tops for multiple looks, important when wanting to maximize your wardrobe. This method also lets me see what I'm lacking in my wardrobe so I know exactly what I need to avoid impulse shopping. You can use this same photo taking idea and either keep the items on your computer desktop in a folder, on your smart phone, camera etc. It will make getting dressed a breeze and you'll feel confident in what you're wearing because it wasn't just tossed together. I was watching an organizing show on HGTV with Sabrina Soto several weeks ago and was interested to see that she actually uses the same method in her walk-in closet, she has the photos pinned to a bulletin board. Also, when you have a few moments of downtime, I've learned it worth it to take 15 minutes while watching TV to iron a few outfits so you never have to do it the day you want to wear it.
While I know that you want to spend as much time with your daughter as possible, I think it will be a great example to her as she grows up not only to see you dress like a lady as you mentioned, but also to see that you value yourself enough to take some special time for YOU. If you have large enough bathroom or bedroom where her playpen could sit, she could still be close to you while you get ready. :)
I hope these tips are helpful to you! Having go-to outfits is the key, it will be one less thing you'll have to think about every day and it requires minimal prep-time.
Now, to all of you mamas out there, what are YOUR best tips and tricks for Michelle to get ready quickly while tending to her little one? After all, you are the experts! :)
*photo credits: (1), (2), (3)