"Dress up" for Moms

by Melissa Stanton

Like many stay-at-home moms and work-from-home people, I rarely have a reason to dress up. (And by "dress up" I mean wear something other than shorts and a T-shirt in the summer or a turtleneck and comfy slacks in the winter.)

But if I did have to dress up because my life involved, say, working in an office, or making TV appearances or, let's really dream, going on dinner dates with George Clooney or (as a younger me) Twilight's Robert Pattinson, I'd stock my wardrobe with some dresses from ShabbyApple.com. What's cool about ShabbyApple:

  • 95% of the dresses cost less than $100
  • All are machine washable (and should be line dried)
  • The dresses are sized for real women (and the website has a function that helps a woman figure out which designs are suitable for her body shape)
  • The dresses are one-piece, easy-to-wear and you needn't add anything (like tank tops, sweaters, belts, etc.)
    5% of the company's net profits are donated to other female entrepreneurs

Here's my dress select for the current me: Bon Voyage, $78 (left)
And my maternity select (if Shabby Apple had been around when I was pregnant): Odyssey, $76 (right)

I often think it would be nice if wearing a dress wasn't always about dressing up. While I surely wouldn't want to go back to the era of the archetype 1950s housewife or "career girl," in pictures from that time women seemed to dress much nicer than we do today, and they typically wore skirts or dresses.

One of the many benefits of being born female is that we can wear dresses or pants. It's odd that, as women, our default wardrobe has become pants. While pants are absolutely the better choice in cold weather and for strenuous activities, it does require pairing with a top, and perhaps a belt.

Being able to toss on a ready-to-go, one-piece dress like those from Shabby Apple is often easier and more forgiving to our frequently shape-sifting bodies. (Independent of changes from pregnancy, we all have pants that sometimes fits and sometimes are way too snug in the thighs, hips or waist.)

Some of my stay-at-home friends dress quite nicely, in trendy tops and jeans or sleek workout pants. Once in a while, in the heat of the summer, someone will appear in a cute sun-dress or skirt. I do have a stay-at-home mom/work-from-home mom friend who routinely wears office-worthy skirts and dresses. She says looking nice and dressing well helps her feel good and stay energized. I can see how that's possible. Fortunately for this particular pal, she has an essentially full-time nanny (i.e. less exposure to sticky little fingers and baby spit-up), and she has the money to buy nice clothes and pay the requisite dry cleaning bills.

Are you a well-dressed stay-at-home or work-from-home mom? Or a "Well, at least I was able to get out of my pajamas and get dressed today" mom! (Don't worry if you're the latter. We all have days like that.)

Melissa Stanton is the author of The Stay-at-Home Survival Guide: Field-tested strategies for staying smart, sane, and connected while caring for your kids (Seal Pess/Perseus Books). Prior to becoming a stay-at-home mother of three (including twins), she was a senior editor at LIFE and People magazines. Visit with Melissa, and learn more about her book, at Real Life: Support for Moms. Become her Facebook friend via The Stay-at-Home Survival Guide fan page.

Copyright © Melissa Stanton. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org, LLC.