# 10 Item Wardrobe # fashion

Looking Presentable As A Busy Mom

I recently came across some pictures of my great-grandparents that dated all the way from 1908 to 1944. I am completely mesmerized by them and marvel at how my ancestors lived in such a different way than we do now. One thing I took note of: both my grandmother and great-grandmother looked so presentable and put together, from their hair to their shoes. Some pictures were special occasion shots but others were candid shots of them taken on a normal day. They looked presentable everyday. Boy how times have changed!

Decades from now when my daughters think of me I don't want them to remember a mom who was frazzled and frumpy all the time— constantly in sweats or yoga pants— only getting it together on special occasions. This week's video shares four of my tips for looking presentable everyday as a busy mom, particularly with small children. If you are unable to see my embedded video, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or visit my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur


♥ The hilarious Bill Leff of WGN radio interviewed me last week on my Eliza Dolittle moments in Paris. You can listen to our interview here.

♥ Erin Gates of Elements of Style blog picks her own version of a ten-item wardrobe and reviews Lessons from Madame Chic in her Fashion Friday post.

♥ Sewing Artistry writes: Madame Chic Has A New Fan!!! Moi!!

♥ Write in Seattle writes an article called, From blog to book: The delicious "Lessons from Madame Chic".

♥ Laura Gail Claassen of The Chic Planner writes about her own experience with the ten-item wardrobe.

♥ Claire from the Land of Lorp explores her own spring uniform inspired by Lessons from Madame Chic.

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Gabriel said...

I love your blog! I was an exchange student in Japan years ago and it still influences so many things in my life.
I have a question for you. I work full time but mostly I telecommute. I'm surrounded by other Stay at Home Moms. I find that if I wore a dress and it wasn't for church, I feel like everyone is staring at me with this "why is she so dressed up look".
Most of the moms are totally frumpy. There is one that isn't, and I find that her style is still casual but it seems pulled together.

Any ideas on how to look cute without looking like I'm trying to hard (these items may include heels, silk clothing, and anything that seems work worthy).

Final question: do you suggest I have a 10 item wardrobe for work and one for my mom life?

Greenjane72 said...

A very timely post as I dash about getting everything done on a school morning! I also loved your last post on doing everything mindfully. One of the things I find helps as I deal with another nappy, another spilt drink, another fall... is to remember what a fleeting and precious stage this is in my children's lives. It might be exhausting and messy and repetitive but before too long they'll be off living independent lives and I suspect I'd love to return to where I am right now in a way.

Anyway my question to you is how do you time things in the morning. This is something I struggle with. I mean what order do you do things? Do you get up before everyone else and shower and dress first? At the moment my baby tends to wake me, I feed her and by then the 2 older children are up wanting breakfast etc and an hour or so of busy breakfast and school preparation flashes by and I'm still in my nightie (although a very nice silk one!) and not at all ready for the day. I then have a tiny window to get myself dressed which is ok but is there a better way? What do others do? I know getting up earlier would help but that's hard when I'm tired from still feeding my baby in the night. Any thoughts? Btw the concept if the 10 item wardrobe has really clicked for me finally!! It does make getting dressed much easier especially when time is tight. Another area I do find tricky though is having the time to plan my wardrobe. How do you do this? Any tips? Thanks!! Jane

Robin said...

I've found that I'm one of the only SAHMs around me that make an effort on a daily basis. It wasn't always this way though, it's definitely been a change for me. Inspired in part by your book, I've been working on culling every article of clothing that is frumpy or unattractive. No matter how comfy they are. I feel so much better for making the effort to look good. Dresses and skirts won't work where I live though so I stick to nice jeans/crops and a pretty top.

AussieSaver said...

Another great video. I especially loved the music at the very end!

Bree said...

Love this video, especially the tip about wearing prints! I will definitely have to try that.

Unknown said...

Hi Jennifer,
Loved this- as usual. Do you have any posts (I looked but couldn't find any) or tips about 'curating' your daughters' wardrobes? I think about this a lot- but I still think mine have wayyyy too much (yet- they lack raincoats).

Claire said...

Hello Jennifer,
Just wanted to write a belated thank you to include my blog post here on your website. Merci!

For Jane: I'm having the same problem, yet I only have one toddler! I cannot imagine how other mothers with multiple children do it in the morning. Sometimes for me, morning is a choice of either shower or breakfast, and I need both to get myself ready. So, I usually take care of toddler while managing breakfast, then I try to get ready when he is taking his morning nap. Sometimes he won't go down for his morning nap, so I just have to wash my face and do a quick makeup. Having a capsule wardrobe really saves time as I don't need to think about what to wear. I also have my makeup bag in the diaper bag, so whenever I arrive at the destination/before, I would swipe on some mascara, blush and lipstick. I do my base at home. Hair is the hardest thing, especially since it takes me a long time to blow dry my hair. I normally blow dry it the night before, and hope that it'll stay smooth the morning after.

Perhaps Jennifer will have more good suggestions on time management for us mothers to look presentable.