Cute onesies. Fashion-forward diaper covers. Size 3 skinny jeans (3T that is). If your fashion focus has been primarily on your kids, who can blame you? They are so stinking cute and dressing them can be really fun. Plus, it’s something lots of us started practicing for as little girls when we played dress-up with our baby dolls. But it’s important not to forget that you deserve to look and feel great too!
Even if growth spurts and changing seasons mean that there’s little room in the budget for Mom’s wardrobe after outfitting the little ones it is possible to update your look without breaking the bank. Here are a few super low cost ideas to try:
- Update with accessories. Add a few in-the-moment accessories to a classic outfit that’s already in your closet, whether it’s for the park, a play date, work or a night out. Don’t spend a lot on these trendy items which aren’t likely to last season after season – check stores such as Target, Claire’s Boutique, H&M, Walmart or low cost local boutiques. Current trends to consider include aviator sunglasses, large sparkly cocktail rings, statement necklaces, scarves and lots of bracelets – they can be bangles, beaded, cuffs, woven or wooden but wear several at a time on one wrist.
- Buy one great item you’ll wear all the time. Do you live in jeans? Wear a black blazer to work at least a couple of times a week? Incorporate a classic white tee into almost every outfit? Whether it’s a bag, pair of shoes, article of clothing or accessory, if there is something you reach for again and again you might want to update your look by replacing that item with one that fits, looks, and feels amazing. And “great” doesn’t have to mean pricey – just try to carve out a little time to find the one that is right for you. Jeans in particular can be notoriously tough to buy but if you grab a bunch of styles, washes and fits and attack that three-way mirror with a vengeance, you’ll be rewarded every time you pull on that pair you love.
- Shop your friends’ closets with a clothes swap. Chances are there is more than one item in your closet that is fashionable and in good shape but that you never, ever wear. Get your friends together for a fun “Mom’s Night Out” and have them all bring a bag of clothes they’re ready to part with. Lay everything out or toss it all in a pile and let everyone dig in and you should each end the night with a few new items to update your wardrobe. It’s so true that one woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure! Donate any items left over to a local charity.
Unless you’re either one of those super women who don’t need to sleep or have a staff of 12 around to help out, perfect hair and makeup is probably saved for special occasions. These days “blowout” is more likely to refer to an unfortunate diaper incident than shiny hair! Still , you can feel a little more polished and pulled together with these quick beauty tips:
- Add some style to that low maintenance pony tail by doing a quick braid from a side part to a little past your ear on one side. You can also just twist the hair before tucking it into the pony tail for an even faster look – you don’t even need a mirror.
- If you know that nail polish will get chipped before you can redo it, just skip it! Instead, after trimming your nails short, file the edges to a slightly rounded square and then buff the surface, which will make your nails shiny. The result is a classic and natural look.
- If you skip everything else, remember the sunscreen and moisturizer. Moisturizing lotion will help your skin look and feel fresh and youthful and sunscreen will help keep it looking that way for years to come. Mix them together to just apply once and save time or find a lotion you like with an SPF of 30 or higher, especially for your face.
Do you have any budget-friendly fashion tips of your own? I’d love to hear them!
Anna Platz writes for the popular personal finance blog, Good Cents Savings, which focuses on helping you to save money, stick to a budget, and live well on less. She is also the mother of a four year old daughter who is worth every penny!