Kid-Proof Styles Every Mom Should Own
We all have areas to which we don't want to draw extra focus -- thighs, stomach, upper arms, whatever. Patterned scarves immediately shift attention to the face, add color, and dress up the most basic jeans-and-tee combos. "Go with a gauzy scarf that you can wrap around once or twice and that has some drape to it," advises Gleason. "You don't want it to be all on your chin." Steer clear of silk scarves, which while lovely are seemingly a magnet for stains.
Arianna Zebra Print Scarf, $49.50, Banana Republic.
Shopping: Arianna Zebra Print Scarf
Simple to wear, soft to the touch, and available in an endless number of color combinations, these shirts have certainly earned their stripes. For those worried about horizontal lines adding bulk, Gleason advises choosing thinner, brighter stripes on dark color bases. (She likes blue on black and pink or white on navy blue). Stick with a crewneck to avoid embarrassing spillage every time you scoop something off the floor.
Supersoft Striped Crew, $22.95, Gap.
Shopping: Supersoft Striped Crew
Ditch the diaper bag, and replace it with an equally roomy carryall with a lot more style. A large tote has space for all your mom and personal essentials -- snacks, wet wipes, phone, wallet, an extra pair of shoes, hair ties, the list goes on. Gleason admits that handbags are something on which she doesn't feel guilty splurging, especially if the tote in question goes with everything in your closet. This classic Longchamp style is light, folds up to nothing, and magically expands to carry everything you need.
Le Pliage, $125, Longchamp.
Shopping: Le Pliage large tote
This one will make your girls sing. With an underwire and a little lift, t-shirt bras do the trick for women who've given birth and nursed. A plunging neckline and invisible seams promise no lines under clothing of all sorts -- not just t-shirts. Buy them in basic colors, and have a little fun with prints and brights.
One Fabulous Fit Tailored T-Shirt Bra, $25, Maidenform.
"I get in a rut with blue jeans, and before you know it, I've been wearing them for two weeks straight," confesses Gleason. Her secret for breaking out of this routine? Colored denim. Plentiful in the skinny cut that many women love, the bright tones are easy to pair with a white or striped t-shirt. While pastels were big for summer, red is seasonless and flattering on many skin tones, so if you're buying one pair, make it very cherry.
Colored Skinny Jeans, $89.50, MICHAEL Michael Kors.
Shopping: Michael Kors Colored Skinny Jeans
Simple and easy to throw on, these danglers make a big impact with very little effort. However, those with toddlers may want to put long necklaces on hold for a few years as we all know how some little ones tend to pull on jewelry. For those with older, less grabby kids, a bold, stone-decorated necklace flatters the chest, and sits perfectly atop a black or white sweater.
Collection Necklace, $48, Anthropologie.
"I know a lot of moms fall back on yoga pants, but I think that leggings are actually cuter and can be a little bit more slimming," says Gleason. With a high-quality pair -- meaning it isn't at all sheer -- you can try wearing them as pants. To conceal the belly or bottom area, choose a longer, flowier tunic that skims the hip. This style by the reigning king of shapewear promises a little extra compression, better known as flattery.
Look-at-Me Leggings, $62, Spanx.
Remember how many years of practice it took to be able to walk well in heels? Unlike riding a bike, trotting around several inches taller is something you forget. If it's been a while, bridge the learning curve with a wedge. Although dressier than flats and appropriate for the office or a night out, they won't inspire sideways glances at the grocery store or in the carpool line.
Women's Merona Melinda Wedge, $29.99, Target.
Don't hesitate to wear a long tee with leggings again -- so long as you refresh the look with a curve-skimming topper. Blazers instantly dress up whatever you're wearing, and can take a just-thrown-on outfit from the playground to a meeting at school to dinner with friends. For fall, there's no better shade than tangerine.
Ponte Boyfriend Blazer, $70, Topshop.
For jewelry immune to the tugging of your offspring, don a big, menswear-inspired watch. Easy to wear for day or night in gold or silver, it'll keep you on time -- the old-fashioned way. "If you want to add some personality to it, choose one with a brightly-colored or always classic mother-of-pearl face," says Gleason.
Rose Gold Menswear Watch, $34, Urban Outfitters.