November 2006


My blog has changed. Visit me at: http://selfmademom.net!

Chicago is supposed to get it’s first big snowstorm of ’06 tonight, which means I’m going to have to bust out the boots and down parka tomorrow on my day off with my son.  But as a fashionable mom, how am I going to avoid looking like the State Puff Marshmallow Man when the cold weather hits the streets?

My theory on foul-weather gear is buy from the big brands and avoid the boutiques.  I find that the brand name goes a long way for reliability when the weather gets rough and the big brands usually come with a lifetime guarantee.

So without further ado, here are my favorite cold weather items for fashionable moms:
Boots:
Every mom who lives north of Kansas needs a good pair of warm boots.  That’s why I bought Uggs. I know, I know, they are so “out.”  But moms, they really work, and are super warm and comfy while pushing Junior down Michigan Avenue.  I have the Ultimate II, but I wish I got the Uptown II (to the left, love the black). 

landsend.jpgAnother good, lower-cost option is a boot I saw from Land’s End.  I usually think Lands End = Land of Dowdy, but, these quilted boots are adorable. And they are lined with Polartec. What more could a mom want?  Working moms: Check out Tamara’s advice for “commuter shoes.”


Jacket:
Of course, all fashionable moms need a durable jacket that looks flattering, not fattening.  My pick is the North Face Metropolis Parka.  Filled with down, it wears well in mom-land AND at the office. Buy this coat, and you will never need to wear anything else.  North Face updated the Metropolis this year with new fun colors.

Gloves: North Face wins out again for me on gloves. You cannot beat their windproof version when pushing baby in the stroller.  Your hands will love you.  

Hats: This is a sore subject for me, since I have a rather large head (don’t laugh).  So it’s hard for me to find hats that I like and that fit.  I really liked this one from Banana Republic (to the left), but it didn’t fit (shocker). So I’m reusing the one I got last year from Marmot.

With these four key pieces you can build a great cold-weather mom wardrobe.  Now, off to the snow!

I’m a firm believer that what a mom learns at home helps her at work.  Check out this article about Dr. Carol Young whose skills as a household manager put her at the top of her job.  You go, Dr. Young!

If you’re a working mom, you’ve no doubt seen countless descriptions for jobs.  My colleague sent me this one – a job description for a mom.  I thought it was hilarious.  It’s the best job you could get, if you ask me!

For moms on the go who are sick of all the kiddie games, finally something for us! Fellow blogger Busymom.net points out the new Sephora Monopoly Game for the beauty lover in all of us. Please, I don’t want to go to jail for a bad hair day!

Apparently I’m a part of a new demographic called “Yoga Moms” (or Mamas, if you prefer that).  According to an Entreprenuer.com article, we are highly fashionable (ok, I buy that), health conscious (sometimes) and affluent (not according to my husband).  Apparently Yoga Moms do yoga during pregnancy (I did until I couldn’t possibly twist my enlarged belly any longer), eat mostly organic products, and squire (love that word) our babes around in a Bugaboo stroller (full disclosure, I have one).

On the surface, it would appear that I fit a lot of the “Yoga Mom” criteria.  But upon further reading of the article, and of other “Yoga Mom” posts, I’m beginning to think this is just another case of a marketing researcher trying to pigeonhole his customer base into an unfortunate moniker. 

I definitely don’t fit in with the Yoga Mamas of the BloggingStocks group.  According to the author Sarah Gilbert, she and her Yoga Mama friends, “buy organic cereal under a generic brand… clean with vinegar and water… may not use disposable diapers…” 

Furthermore, Gilbert is trying to “reduce the use of our car”  has a pact with her friends, “no gifts at birthday parties” and doesn’t “need a hugely plastic $99.99 Fisher Price Interactive Play Pyramid to have stimulating play time with our babies.”

Hmm… if that’s what being a Yoga Mom is like, then I want out.  No gifts for babies?  No toys?  What’s the fun of that? No disposable diapers? How much laundry do these moms do in a day? And I can’t get my arms around how these moms get their errands done without using a car (does the Burley trailer really work?).  Sounds like these Yoga Mamas don’t get to Target much.  They’re missing out.   

But the other extreme that I’ve seen, that of buying Burt’s Bees lotion at $8.99 a pop for my baby and buying organic shirts doesn’t quite fit me either.  I’m fine with slapping on the Aquaphor when my son has dry skin.  It works just fine.  And I do buy organic food from Whole Foods, but I’m not opposed to getting his onesies from Old Navy.  Their cotton seems plenty soft.

So as a mom who works in the world of marketing, a word of caution to these researchers- I can do a downward dog as good as the next Yoga Mom.  But let’s try to keep the similarities there, on the mat.

My blog has changed. Visit me at: http://selfmademom.net!  

My days of being a fashionable working mom may be over soon.  Why, you ask? I can only answer it with one word: mobility.  Yes, my son’s days of being immobile are coming to a screeching halt.  To some, this may be a welcome sign that your baby is moving up in the world.  To me, it raises the dreaded question: NOW, how am I going to get dressed for work in the morning?

Back when I started working, my morning routine was a breeze.  I’d stick my son in the bouncy seat (can’t describe my love for that invention), shower, dry my hair, put on my makeup, get dressed, and he’d still be sitting there, smiling, in his chair, watching the starfish turn and turn.  This morning though, I realized that my steady routine was slowly slipping through my newly-moisturized hands.  

It went something like this: Son sits in bouncy seat for 5 minutes while I shower (I confess, I didn’t wash my hair, but wore a cute headband), and towel dry.  Son needs to get out of seat, now! Take son out of seat and scurry to my closet for anything that matches.  Run back to bathroom where son has managed to hit head on cold tile floor when rolling over (ouch!).  I sit him up and prop his back with a Boppy pillow (another one of my favorite inventions).  I’m good for another 10 minutes. Brush my teeth, put on my mom makeup (love the foundation stick!) but I’m not finished.  I have not accessorized yet.  But son cannot wait for me to pick out the perfect matching earrings.  He needs to be picked up, now!  Pick up son and walk to closet where I find something to doll up my droll outfit.  Now son wants to get down, now!  But I don’t have shoes on.  Prop son up in closet while trying on various shoes that will not kill my feet all day.  Son wants to play, now! How do I have time to play when I need to pack up my purse and wolf down a banana before I get in the car? 

But just then my answer to how I will get dressed in the morning is at the door.  Nanny arrives, and I can assume my fashionable working mom position once again.  If only I can get to work on time.

My coworker, Tamara, just launched a great new blog on workplace fashion bargains called $50 Suit. Check it out and welcome to the blogosphere, Tamara!

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