Mama in the City

A blog about raising my family in downtown Vancouver

How To Fake Looking Put Together

This morning was a scramble to get both kids put together and out the door for our walk to Ben's Jr K morning class. I got the baby dressed and then got Ben fixed up and looking half decent (despite the gum in his hair), then it was time for me. Well, it was sort of time for me. There was no morning shower going on and I threw on whatever clothing was laying around from the day before. I put my hair into a top knot and dashed out the door with the kids. On really good days I swipe on some coloured lip balm and put on a pair of dangly earrings for good measure.

Today my jeans were covered with spots from Josie's sweet potato dinner. There were also some unidentified spots ground into my jeans. Maybe an Arrowroot cookie? My black top had Ben's yogurt smeared on the shoulder from a smooch he had given me earlier. I was really looking like a hot mess! All I can say is, thank goodness for outerwear! A longer coat and a flashy scarf totally concealed things and I might have even looked somewhat pulled together.

"There was no morning shower going on and I threw on whatever clothing that was laying around from the day before. I put my hair into a top knot and dashed out the door with the kids."

My current uniform for going out of the house is a jacket that comes to above my knees and cinches in at the waist. Since it's a bit chilly in the mornings I chose one of my colourful scarves to give the impression that I actually spent time on myself. If a peak of sunshine is shining I always put on some big black shades to hide my tired morning eyes. No one can see the baby food smeared on my pants and shirt when I wear a coat!

I love a longer coat as it tends to conceal more and also keeps the chill out. While I do admire a brightly coloured coat, I'm more likely to choose a neutral colour if I'm investing in a piece. It is so easy to change things up with a fun scarf and have the coat match more of your overall wardrobe. I like my coats to have clean lines and not a lot of extras like overwhelming zippers or buttons. Simple is great for outerwear and there is always room for subtle patterns too.

Starting on the thriftier side of things is this fleece peacoat from Old Navy. It is under $20 right now and has great structure. I think if you are going to do a splash of colour, you really can't go wrong at this price point.

I'm more of a mid range girl when investing in a coat and like to keep mine rotating for years to come. One of the best coats I've ever bought was at Andrew's department store in Toronto. Despite being on sale it was still a bit $$$ but at 5 years old it's holding up as well as the first day that I wore it. It's a classic houndstooth print with large black buttons. This black puffer coat from J Crew is described as a Wintress puffer. Love that name!

I imagine her yelling, 'Alright kids! It's time for school! Get your bags. Let's go...NOW!"

My last pick for outerwear is this belted wool wrap from Banana Republic. I really love the draped collar and think it looks ultra cozy too. Again, I gravitate towards the belted coat as I think it is really flattering on many body types.

The other day the baby got yogurt in my hair while I was feeding her. I'm not going to lie, I didn't wash it out. I just brushed it out and hoped for the best. What tips do you have to camouflage your 'mom at work' outfit flops?


Carla said...

I was walking my daughter in to preschool this morning & realized there was dried snot all over the bottom of my pants from where my baby had been crawling up to me & rubbing his nose all morning! Time to break out the winter boots!

November 8, 2012 at 7:03 PM  
Anonymous said...

With three kids to get ready for the day, I wait until they are off before I take time for myself. I really fake it for the walk to school in the mornings! Jeans, and nice shoes or boots, then I throw my coat on over my pajama shirt! My coat has a high enough collar that I don't always need a scarf. I wear glasses, so I feel like my tired eyes are somewhat hidden. I also use dry shampoo to perk up my 'do. The best tip is to use the dry shampoo at night before bed, so that you wake up with voluminous, sexy bed-head. (Thanks Cup of Jo for that tip!)

November 8, 2012 at 7:10 PM  
Kristin said...

I so wish that I had seen this second before I pressed "send" on my Old Navy shopping cart order for the girls. They had their outerwear on for 50% off and an additional 15% today so I filled up a cart with a simple fall jacket and hats, mitts and scarves for the girls. I totally would have checked out that little blue number you posted about. It might have been just the pick me up that my outerwear closet needs - and at a steal of a deal! Oh well. Great post. LOVE the second photo. That's more me and yes, I would be saying that stuff! ; )

November 8, 2012 at 8:41 PM  
Erin said...

Oh my - dry shampoo is my favourite thing in the whole world. I can go for days without washing and it looks fine. Especially as I have a fringe that can get pretty oily looking before the rest of my hair.

Love that tip of using dry shampoo before bed, will have to try that!

November 8, 2012 at 8:45 PM  
Anonymous said...

Dry shampoo saves my life, and lip gloss. I also tend to wear waterproof mascara so I don't smear it during the day. Plus if I forgot to take it off the night before, it's still on the next day (which is probably really bad but oh well). I totally get the jacket/scarf thing, it has covered a lot of messy outfits these days.

November 9, 2012 at 1:48 PM  

I love the last one from Banana Republic! and there's no buttons so super easy.

-Michelle {LiveLoudly}
Health & Wellness Blog

November 9, 2012 at 3:08 PM  
Lisa said...

I have the long black jacket from Lululemon that everyone seems to have. I like to pair it with a scarf, Delux hat and boots.

November 9, 2012 at 7:02 PM  

What makes me look "put together" is some quick brow shadow to fill in my brows, a nice thick "cat-eye" line of eyeliner (done with a twist pencil that never needs sharpening), and a double-coat of mascara. For some reason, I feel better as long as I do these steps, even if I don't have any other concealer/base on my face and my hair is a tangled rat's nest of greasy knots pulled up into the messiest ponytail/bun ever.

November 12, 2012 at 1:32 AM  

My uniform: nice coat, scarf, skinny jeans, tall boots, sunglasses, hair in bun, lip gloss (on a good day). Sometimes I find babys' food/milk in my hair too.... Never makeup or dry hair - that would be a luxury.

November 12, 2012 at 8:56 PM  

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