Fashion or Function – Do You Have to Choose?

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Make your wardrobe fabulous and functional

A Fashion Disaster

“No!” I heard a woman scream, and my mommy senses went on red alert. As I was approaching the curb to walk into Target with my own gaggle of five tiny tots, I saw a toddler was bolting for the parking lot and coming right at me. I grabbed him and returned him to his panicked mother who was several steps behind him.

She was handicapped…by her shoes. Her enormously tall heels kept her from catching her little one, who was well equipped in running shoes. Her shoes were GORGEOUS and completed her outfit, which was on point.

As I continued into the store with my mess of kids, I looked down at my own shoes. Sneakers. Not the fashion kind, the frumpy kind. And my outfit was…covering all of my necessary parts, but otherwise unremarkable…

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From Fabulous to Functional

Before I had kids my top priority when I shopped for clothes and shoes was fabulousness. I only had to be able to walk from car to desk and back again in my shoes, so comfort wasn’t a priority. There wasn’t much at my desk to do damage to my clothes, so snags and spills weren’t a concern.

After I became a mom, I realized very quickly that carrying three infant car seats, juggling a diaper bag that could double as a large carry-on, changing diapers and dodging projectile reflux in heels, silk blouses and pencil skirts was highly impractical at best, and a potential disaster at worst.

Instead of fabulousness, the new priority in my wardrobe was function. Can I carry the car seats without stumbling and dropping my precious cargo? Can I get in and out of the diaper bag without worrying about snagging my sleeve on the Velcro? Is it washable?

My casual wardrobe consisted of a few t-shirts, some chinos, a zip up hoodie sweater, and some sneakers, and that was all I had that was appropriate to my new job as a mom. For many years my wardrobe had a distinct division between fashion and function. I thought my only options were to look good or be a good mom, but I couldn’t do both. My beautiful clothes collected dust, and so did my self-esteem.

FashionorFunction DoYouHavetoChoose?

In the blink of an eye, I went from loving my wardrobe to loathing it. I hated how I dressed and that I had transitioned so quickly to a frumpy mom but didn’t know what else to do. I had always loved style and looking nice, but that part of me had died as I birthed those babies.

Between the chaos of having six kids in six years and being pregnant or nursing all that time, I didn’t have the time or resources to figure it out, so I stuck with my frump. As polished as that Target mom was, those shoes could have cost her a kid, and that was too high a price to pay.

And Ne’er the Twain Shall Meet?

After my youngest was born and I knew we were done having kids, I decided to figure it out. How could I marry my love of fashion with my need for function? Looking at all the style blogs was frustrating and useless. Even the ones who had young kids were wearing four-inch suede heels, carrying Chanel backpacks for diaper bags, and dressing for daytime television to go to playdates at the park, apparently.

I had a distinctly messy lifestyle with six kids ages six and under. My criteria hadn’t changed. Can I outrun my kids in these shoes? Will that cheese I sat in wash off my pants? Can I approach every diaper blowout fearless that any runoff might ruin my clothes? Can I make dinner, wash dishes, walk across the soccer field, juggle toddlers, and unclog toilets in what I’m wearing? And can I like how I look at the same time? The answer turned out to be yes!

FashionorFunction DoYouHavetoChoose?

Ne’er the Two Shall Part

This winter as many of us spend more time at home, we will be tempted to get cozy, maybe a little TOO COZY if we believe that we can’t juggle all of our home responsibilities and be comfortable while wearing something we look and feel great in.

As we talked about yesterday, getting dressed every day can be a critical part of feeling great about ourselves, and I don’t want any of us to take a self-esteem nosedive this winter because we feel like we can’t have fashion and function at home. There are a lot of options between pajama party cozy and runway chic if you marry the two.

I finally learned that fashion and function aren’t opposing forces, you don’t have to pick a side! Both needs can come together to make fun, stylish, comfortable outfits, and it’s in this middle ground where my wardrobe lives.

As I created the Stunning Style Winter Classic Wardrobe Guide, every item I chose had to meet the criteria of cozy and chic so getting dressed will feel like a treat we look forward to each day. We can look and feel fantastic while getting the benefits of spending more time at home.

As you look at your winter wardrobe, ask yourself the same questions I asked as I chose each item so you’ll look forward to wearing it. We all have different lifestyles, so instead of being specific to life with littles, I kept it broad enough to meet the needs we are all looking for this winter.

Is it comfortable enough to wear all day? Can I get down in the floor with out splitting my britches? Can I curl up on the couch? Is it cozy? Can I live my normal life in these clothes? Wash dishes and make dinner? Hug my kids? Can I walk my dog in it? Look great for an impromptu Zoom meeting? Light up when I see it on myself?

What’s Cozy and Chic?

Because the Guides are all about building a wardrobe you’ll love to wear for years to come, I wasn’t willing to create a Guide full of one-season wonders. Will I want to wear these things next winter or the winter after? This is some of what I included in the Winter Guide and some things you can look for in your own winter wardrobe.

Pants that are comfortable enough to wear all day, look put together, but you can curl up on the couch in.

T-shirts you can wear alone or layer with.

Cozy sweaters that feel great on your skin and flatter your shape.

Shoes that are easy on and off (because let’s be honest, we kick them off when we curl up on the couch), wearable, walkable, and short-distance sprintable if that’s part of your life.

A gorgeous cardigan in a color or pattern you love. I’m not talking about your old faded, stretched out, hole-in-the-sleeve, shan’t be seen in public cast off. I mean one you that completes your look and you love to wear.

A gorgeous coat that completes your look. It can be a neutral and still be fabulous. We will actually leave the house at times, if for no other reason than to drive through at the pharmacy or grocery pick up, but hopefully when you go on those winter-essential walks to get some fresh air.

FashionorFunction DoYouHavetoChoose?

A few accessories that make you feel dressed. A great pair of earrings, a necklace you love, a scarf you glow in.

On Monday I’m going to share a few of my favorite things from the Wardrobe Guide.

You can get all of this in the Stunning Style Society because I’ve already done the work for you. After shopping the internet, I’ve chosen 40 pieces to create a complete capsule wardrobe you can wear exclusively or as inspiration for your own wardrobe. I created 100 outfit templates to inspire you as you shop your own closet, put them on an outfit calendar so you don’t have to pick your outfit each day, and a members-only shopping portal with my curated selections.

Each week we take a Style Step as we pull together your seasonal wardrobe, customizing it to you, and at the end, you’ll have an album of favorite outfits, and the easiest closet clean out you’ve ever done.

Join the Society today and get instant access to everything!

Join me on Monday because I’m going to share some cozy and chic winter wardrobe essentials.

It’s not you, it’s the pants Four tips to buy the perfect pants so you never have a muffin top again.

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