Hi! My name is Deva. I’m a stay-at-home-mom, and I wear a uniform. A momiform, if you will. I’m sure you’re familiar with a typical play-at-home-mom outfit. It’s something comfortable and cute, easy to move around in, and completely machine washable. Mine fits these criteria, though it took me some time to figure out and curate my everyday dress code—my capsule wardrobe.
My momiform, uniform, dress code, capsule wardrobe – whatever you want to call it – was built out of necessity. I didn’t begin motherhood as a stay-at-home-mom, so the majority of my wardrobe was a capsule of business casual. Let me tell you: there is nothing fun about sitting on a playground in Texas in August in a polyester pant suit. NOTHING. I realized this within a month of our relocation from the Midwest.
Speaking of that heat…I only owned three pairs of khaki shorts, and maybe a dozen tees – a few gray and the rest souvenirs from the dozens of concerts attended before I became a parent. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I knew that being home with a toddler meant I needed more shorts, more tees, and some comfy shoes.
And I really, really wanted my clothes to be ones that helped me fit in a bit. Not stand out. (At least, not too much. When you have a pixie cut it seems like it’s hard not to stand out!)
Why a “momiform?”
After a whirlwind of a year that included becoming a mom, buying a house, and moving cross-country, I felt a little discombobulated. My wardrobe was one thing I could control, and after taking stock of what I had, I found myself telling my husband that I needed more clothes, and on a budget. I felt like my casual clothes were almost too casual. I had a lot of things I thought I needed, but not a lot that I actually liked and felt comfortable in. I wanted more outfits built for comfort, climbing play structures, and digging in the sand. Most importantly, I hoped my clothes would help me fit in and make new friends.
It was a touch naive: who makes friends based solely on their clothes? My first couple months as a stay-at-home mom, I wore a total uniform. Every day you could find me in a similar outfit: a tee, khaki shorts, and sandals. It worked in the summer heat, but after a while, I wanted more. I was bored with the same outfit every day. I needed to go shopping. But first, I had to figure out what I wanted to wear.
A closet under construction
Before stepping foot into the mall, I made a plan. I wanted my clothes to give off a cool, preppy, slightly hipster vibe. I wanted to look approachable. Most of all, I wanted to look put together and comfortable without spending a lot of time choosing an outfit every day. Since I’m a bit of a gym rat, I knew I didn’t want to wear lots of athleisure outside of the gym. I’m most comfortable chasing my toddler on the playground in mid-length khaki shorts or jeans, and I prefer tops that don’t ride up when I lift him above my head.
I had a start, and had even made some friends on the playground, despite my monochromatic uniform! I paid attention to what they wore and noticed that they often were in comfy shorts and tees, sleeveless blouses and even some athleisure. Pinterest gave me ideas for outfits as I pinned sleeveless blouses, half of the J. Crew catalog, and tons of skinny jeans. It was exciting when I started weeding pieces out of my closet to realize I owned a lot of my pinned favorites. This would make shopping easier.
Finally, I went shopping. I stocked up on J. Crew chino shorts from ThredUP in khaki, blue, and gray. I snatched up tees from Gap, and set out to find the perfect high-waist skinny jeans (the answer: the Madewell 10- inch high rise. Soft and stretchy). My rules while shopping were that I had to love a piece, not just like it. It had to fit well, and it had to be versatile. I didn’t want to fill my closet back up with clothes that made me uncomfortable.
Once finished, my wardrobe was perfect. It was comfortable and fit my preppy, hipster-casual personality to a T. It was well-rounded and pared down, and I loved every item I’d chosen. I had a closet full of clothes I could mix-and-match from spring through winter. All found and bought on a budget. It’s not exactly a capsule wardrobe, but everything I have in my closet right now is something I wear and feel my best in.
Finished Product: The Momiform
Rather than tell you what I wear most days, I thought I would show you! This “capsule wardrobe” includes everyday looks, date night, and even a favorite dress!
Since putting together my momiform a year ago, I’ve learned a lot about myself and even made some new friends. I’ve stopped getting lost in my new hometown (though I cannot thank the clothes for that). I learned that nobody really cares what you wear and that I even occasionally want to wear leggings for more than spin class.
I also learned that having a capsule wardrobe is freeing. I never find myself bemoaning my lack of outfits, and getting dressed takes less than five minutes each day. Paring down my wardrobe to key pieces I wear again and again helped me understand the fuss over a capsule wardrobe, and I know I will wear every piece and love how I look, every single day.