the stay at home mom uniform

Everyday I struggle with getting ready.

Do I keep on the same pair of leggings I wore to bed but change my shirt? Dirty a perfectly clean pair of leggings? Or go all out and put on jeans?

There are posts constantly on my feeds of capsule wardrobes, promising me that they will make my life ten times easier but I just can’t get on board with it.

A fellow blogger friend of mine Natalie over at Nursing Shoe Heaven has solved my problem! As a new stay at home mom to a four month old baby girl, what better way to use her writing skills and mom’ing skills than to share with us one of the things she has learned so far. She has put together a stay at home mom uniform capsule. Showing you what she wears daily, guiding you on where her items are from, and helping you put together the perfect wardrobe. Remaining comfortable because #momlife but still stylish.

Check out her guest post on my blog below then go give her blog a follow!

Forget the Capsule Wardrobe: Why You Need A SAHM Uniform (Winter Edition)

Capsule Wardrobes. They’ve been a craze on Pinterest for a few years now: You know, pare down your whole closet to just 15 high-end neutral-colored pieces and never wonder “What should I wear today?” again because everything matches everything.

I know this sounds great on paper, but I always loved clothes (particularly dresses) too much to ever commit to one. Pre-pregnancy I loved dressing up. Skirts, heels, pearls: All of it. Capsule wardrobes typically call for just one dress and possibly a single skirt: That was not going to fit my lifestyle.

And even now that I’m spending hours on the floor encouraging my daughter to do tummy time, creating a capsule wardrobe still isn’t practical for a number of reasons:

  1. My Body. While a capsule is great for a woman who expects to fit in the same clothes for a number of years in order to get her money’s worth out of high-quality items, my body will likely be in a state of flux for the next decade as I go from pregnant to breastfeeding to chasing toddlers (and repeat a few more times).
  2. My Budget. Even though I work from home part time and use my income to pay down our debt, we live off my husband’s pay. That means we don’t have oodles of money to spend on a brand new wardrobe every time my body changes. Not to mention my little nugget is growing out of clothes every day, and my mama-bear instincts say she needs clothes before I do.
  3. My Personal Style. While athleisure looks awesome on many moms, it’s just not me. Anyone who knows me knows I’m the furthest thing from athletic, so donning leggings and a moisture-wicking t-shirt makes me feel like an imposter.

But the clothes I really want to purchase (think anything the Duchess of Cambridge would wear to a charity event) no longer work for a mother spending 90% of her week nursing and caring for a newborn from home. Not to mention that pricey, “made to last” clothes are not what you want to be wearing in the middle of diaper blowout.
That’s why I decided on a “uniform” instead of entire capsule wardrobe. I can keep items that I might fit into in a few months, dresses that aren’t breastfeeding-compatible and shirts I’d rather not get spit-up-upon, while still having practical (and cute) clothes for my day job.

The SAHM Uniform (Winter Edition)

Think about it: Anyone who wears a uniform to work still has “fun” and “nice” clothes for dates and weekends, but during the week they simply hop into whatever their employer picked out.

That’s why we may cringe at the term “uniform”: It conjures up images of plaid skirts or neon t-shirts forced upon us by a school board or HR. But when you’re the boss, you get to pick the uniform!

What you’re looking for is something that’s…

  1. Practical for the job at hand.
  2. Conducive to your personal style.
  3. Not going to blow your budget (if you have one!)

Here are the key ingredients you need for your SAHM Capsule Wardrobe (winter):

— Black pants. I purchased a pair from the Loft that have a button and pockets so they look like “real” pants, but they are stretchy and super comfortable, so it doesn’t feel like a sacrifice to put them on.

— Jeans. Besides swimsuit shopping, jean shopping is my least favorite fashion-related activity. That being said, everyone needs at least one pair that makes them feel good. They will be the most versatile item in your closet, and a good pair can stand up to a lot of dirt and grime.

— A few comfortable (Read that: baggy) sweaters. I have a charcoal grey from Old Navy and it made my life. It is so soft and it magically hides stains of all kinds. I think I went three or four days wearing this same shirt. Gross? Yes. Amazing? Also yes. My other go-to sweater is also grey, and I bought it for $2 at a thrift shop. Win!

— A few button-downs/flannels. These are my go-tos for days where I may leave the house, but I’m still 100% on mom duty. I feel cute, but they were Old Navy clearance buys that can be washed and dried.

— Long-sleeved t-shirts. I don’t even remember where I bought the black t-shirt featured below. I’ve owned it for so long and wore it through my entire pregnancy. Never underestimate the power of a simple T.

Comfortable footwear. I wear 4 pairs of shoes: Brown booties, black winter snowboots, black ballet flats and nude ballet flats.

Below are a few pictures of my personal uniform to inspire you. Again, this isn’t everything I own, but it’s what I wear Monday through Friday while I’m home with the baby. Ask my husband: I rarely wear anything else.

We happened to be at my mother’s beautiful home that always looks “Better Homes and Garden”-ready when I took these. I promise, my apartment’s kitchen is overflowing with dirty dishes. My sister is holding my sleeping baby in the background, which is the only reason I had the chance to stand — alone — to take a few shots for you!

OUTFIT #1: All I Want For Christmas Is You

Mom Uniform 7

Minus the left-over-from-church string of pearls, I wear this outfit almost every day. It features the Loft black pants and the Old Navy grime-resistant sweater. Feels like PJs!

OUTFIT #2: LumberJill

Mom Uniform 6Mom Uniform 5

Buffalo Check is everywhere this winter, including my mom uniform. Just be wary that button downs require you to pay attention when buttoning: Take one features my first failed attempt!

OUTFIT #3: Fireside

Mom Uniform 4

Here’s my thrift store sweater and my lifeblood: Coffee. I’m currently wearing this outfit as I write this. I wear it when I don’t care what I look like, didn’t get any sleep last night and can’t get little one to take her morning nap.

Outfit #4: Baby It’s Cold Outside

Mom Uniform 2

Here’s the infamous black t-shirt that I’ve owned for God-only-knows how many years. It’s chilly now in New England and about time to break out the parka! This is the perfect “I’m leaving the house today” outfit — the only time I’m willing to wear jeans that still dig into my new mom “pooch.”

I hope this might inspire you to create your own mom uniform!

Yes, motherhood is a 24/7 job, but it doesn’t require tossing out everything you ever loved to wear. It just means ADDING a simple day-to-day wardrobe that doesn’t require a ton of thought or effort.

Happy Mom-ing!

– Natalie

See more of her work at Nursing Shoe Heaven.

xoxo K

4 thoughts on “the stay at home mom uniform

  1. The link provided directs me to an online store for nursing shoes. I’d really like to find Natalie’s blog. Please advise! Thanks!


  2. I struggle with this every day of my life! It’s hard to put so much effort into getting dressed up when you know you are never leaving the house….or when you do its to toddler story time at the library and back. I love the simplistic idea behind this.


    1. Yes! I so agree. Sometimes I think “well I’m only going to the library, do I really need to get dressed?” And I don’t. But having a simple option is so much better than giving in.


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