Top 12 tips for looking good when you’ve got little kids

tips for mothers

We’re all grown up women of the world and know how to make ourselves look presentable, if not fabulous.

But the motherhood gig can throw up a few hurdles in our efforts to do so – including literally being thrown up on.

We surveyed 150 mothers and asked them to share their top tips for looking good while caring for their children. After sorting through the piles of great answers we compiled the top 12.

I’ve put these tips to the test myself, and estimate that I’m looking about 65% better already.

Some of the tips are obvious. Some not so. But all are gold.

1. Make sure your HAIR is looking good

“Hats hide a messy hair day.” Rose Bay, NSW

“Tie hair up so baby can’t grab it.” North Strathfield, NSW

“Find a hairdresser who will come to your home to save time.” Main Beach, QLD

“Shove it in a pony and run the GHD over it.” Adelaide, SA

“Add clips or headbands to change your look from time to time” Tanunda, SA

“Buy some dry shampoo for the days you can’t wash it” Edgecliff, NSW

2. Be COMFORTABLE

Don't think Posh got the memo on this one.

Wear flats. Ballet flats or havianas are great (but always paint your toes)” Sydney, NSW

“Layers.” Mont Albert North, VIC

“Wear practical clothes. Heels do not belong in parks” Mount Evelyn, VIC

“Wear clothes that you can easily move in without sweating” Singapore

“Try jersey. It moves with you” Calgary, Canada

“Buy sandals that strap around the ankle – more comfortable to run in.” Singapore

3. Remember the TRACKSUIT rule

“Unless you dig Britney’s pre breakdown look, leave tracksuit pants for exercise and lounging around the home. Never EVER wear them at any other time! Jeans are comfortable, practical, and can take a lot of crawling on the floor” Geelong, VIC

4. Add a touch of MAKEUP

“Lipgloss in nappy bag…looks like you have made an effort.” Manly Vale, NSW

“Very simple makeup – concealer for the bags & a tinted moisturiser.” Waverley, NSW

“Blush or bronzer will breathe life back into a tired face.” Melbourne, VIC

“I wear makeup everyday as it always makes me feel pretty even if Im not going anywhere.” Forster, NSW

“Mascara – makes you feel better.” Maroubra, NSW

5. Keep up your SKINCARE routine

“Cleanse & moisturise every day & night, no matter what. Buy those makeup remover wipes if you are toooo tired.” Hunters Hill, NSW

6. SIMPLICITY is best

“Keep it simple – don’t look as if you’re trying too hard.” Glenside, SA

“Stick to your basic wardrobe even if you have worn it a million times.” Woollongong, NSW

7. Keep it CLEAN.

“Don’t wear anything you can’t get grubby – you’ll never look relaxed.” Geelong, VIC

“Shower as soon as you wake up, before your partner goes to work. You may not get the chance later.” Drummoyne, NSW

“Wear things that don’t show Vegemite stains.” Sydney, NSW

“Have wet wipes handy.” North Strathfield, NSW

“Black hides dribble marks best and is slimming too!” Stirling, SA

“Wear clean clothes – change if your child vomits on you.” Sydney, NSW

“Don’t go near the children when there is food around.” Moonee Ponds, VIC

“Invest in good quality, machine washable items. Clothes get food, spit, etc on them very easily so they must be easy to wash and will keep their shape.” Geelong, VIC

8. ACCESSORISE

Nicole runs a Master Class for accessory use in LA every 2nd sunday.

“Put on jewelery when you get dressed or you won’t get around to it.” Perth, WA

Sunglasses! Instant style accessory and hides tired eyes.” Annandale, NSW

“Always wear one piece that is special amongst everyday kit.” Sydney, NSW

“Don’t wear things with too much detail (children will pull it off)”

“A different scarf and costume jewellery will jazz up shabby clothes and distract from a tired face.” Bondi, NSW

“Invest in a fab nappy bag.” Adelaide, SA

9. EAT well and EXERCISE

“Try and eat healthily and get outdoors – your children will love it, too.” Woollongong, NSW

“Having a positive attitude to health & exercise helps instill that foundation into my daughters for their future.” Perth, WA

“It’s the only way to lose the baby weight. You’ll have more energy to deal with the constant demands of your kids too. I finally got around to going to the gym and putting the kids in the creche and WISH I had done it sooner.” Glenelg, SA

10. Mother YOURSELF

“Don’t give up your sense of personal identity.” Cammeray, NSW

“Make time to meet girlfriends without kids around. Women make more effort to dress how they like when kids not involved!” Bronte, NSW

“Like what you are putting out there and try to accept where you are in your life.”  Wellington, NZ

“Laugh. Daily.” Rozelle, NSW

“Take time out occasionally to get hair done, manicures etc – whatever maks you feel good.” Dubai, UAE

“Dress nicely so your children can see you have respect for yourself.” Townsville, NSW

“Don’t worry what others think about your looks.” Woollongong, NSW

“I always have my toes painted (as well as theirs) – so very feminine and makes you feel good no matter what the season.” Forster, NSW

“I own at least 1 or 2 brand labels so I don’t feel too daggy.” Annandale, NSW

11. Buy clothes that FIT, COVER & CAMOUFLAGE

“Wear supportive underwear to help improve ‘mummy’ figure.” Geelong, VIC

"We love our Power Panties"

Fact. Your body shape changes after having a baby so you need new clothes.” Sydney, NSW

“Long line cardigans are great – no exposure of muffin tops!” Stirling, SA

“Wear pants / leggings with a higher waist, to prevent bottom showing when you are constantly bending over to wipe runny noses!” Singapore

“Fitted so you look nice but not tight or restrictive – no bulges!” Killarney Heights, NSW

“Wear clothes that fit properly, not baggy maternity clothes. They’re more flattering” Brisbane, QLD

12. PREPARE for the onslaught

“Get up before them in the morning so you can get ready in peace and get yourself sorted out.” Dubai, UAE

“Avoid clothes that require ironing.” East Maitland, NSW

“Prepare clothes and things for the next day the evening before.” Barossa Valley, SA

“Don’t stay in your PJs.” Belmont, VIC

“I get dressed in the morning in outfits I can wear out, even if I’m not planning to go anywhere”. Beaumont Hills, NSW

 

And if all else fails…

“Make the kids look good to detract attention from yourself.” Melbourne, VIC

 

For more information on the Fox in Flats Motherhood and Fashion Survey, click here

 

What is your best tip for looking good while caring for your kids?


Photo Credits: ‘We love our power panties’.

By Drew Freidman (As seen in the New York Observer)

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Comments

  • Ness

    Make sure your partner looks good.

    • http://twitter.com/FoxInFlats Andrea

      Good one! Sometimes harder than it sounds…;)

  • AJ

    Always wear a confident smile, it doesn’t matter what else you are wearing, a smile will always stand out the most… and you’ll no doubt look as if motherhood is a breeze!

    • http://twitter.com/FoxInFlats Andrea

      Ha ha ha, most of us know motherhood isn’t a breeze all the time, but I agree – fake it till you make it! x

  • http://www.muddledupmumma.com Muddled Up Mumma

    Love this post. Can totally relate to this one: “Wear pants / leggings with a higher waist, to prevent bottom showing when you are constantly bending over to wipe runny noses!” Singapore

    • http://twitter.com/FoxInFlats Andrea

      Builders crack should be re-named Mothers crack. Mmmmm has a bit of a festy ring to it. Oh dear…

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  • little star

    Dont worry what others think of you.

    • http://twitter.com/FoxInFlats Andrea

      Yes! :)

    • Flowa06

      agreed, you need to make you happy with you first and foremost

  • ANON

    I wear SPANX under everything. I dont tell anyone though.

    • http://twitter.com/FoxInFlats Andrea

      Secret Squirrel. Shhhhh!

  • Janie

    Finally some advice that is realistic!

    Im sick of reading articles full of so called “tips for moms”, written by people who are obviously NOT mothers themselves!!!

    • http://twitter.com/FoxInFlats Andrea

      Thanks Anon. Just mums here ;)

  • Jane

    I always wear perfume. It makes me feel pretty.

    • http://twitter.com/FoxInFlats Andrea

      Me too, and great to change around depending on your mood. x

  • Anon

    Hats!! I’ve got a few different kinds. They can make a plain outfit look cool, or just cover up a bad hair day. Thanks for a great artile.

    • http://twitter.com/FoxInFlats Andrea

      Bad hair go away,
      come again another day.
      If you don’t, I won’t give a rats,
      I’ll pull out my fancy hats. 

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  • http://purplescribbles.blogspot.com Bernice

    If possible, keep your hands free. Keep all your “stuff” in the car or in an easy-to-carry purse/bag. Nothing looks worse than trying to juggle all your stuff while your infant clings to you for dear life and your toddler runs wild!

    • http://twitter.com/FoxInFlats Andrea

      Ha ha ha. Wish I had this tip when my kids were really really little. :)

  • http://twitter.com/ThreeLil Kellie O’Brien

    I love the last tip (and religiously follow it!). :)
    I tend to wear the same thing every day, which means there’s very little thinking required. Bad hair days get covered with a stylish cap.
    Love the honesty of this post! Classic!

    • http://twitter.com/FoxInFlats Andrea

      Thanks Kellie, the women who took the time to respond to the survey were so open and honest. It’s what motivated me to start Fox in Flats. 

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  • Bbeingcool

    Oh thank goodness I found these tips! I too write a blog about finding out how to have some kind of style while dealing with vomit angels and cutting sandwiches…. You clearly have style though – I am more into cool – it is a subtle difference…. I will def add you to my favourites though, these tips are stellar!

    • http://twitter.com/FoxInFlats Andrea

      Thanks, sounds cool! 

  • http://childhood101.com/ Christie Childhood 101

    My tip would be to watch out for comfortable dresses when shopping as I think you always feel a little more special if you are wearing a dress. Add leggings and a cardigan in Winter :)

    • http://twitter.com/FoxInFlats Andrea

      Great tip Christie, And plus, less items of clothing to consider and coordinate! 

  • http://www.tamsinhowse.com Tamsin Howse

    Popped over here from MamaMia and I’m really glad to see there are mothers who care about their appearance. Currently I do not even own a tracksuit, leggings (aside from my gym gear) or hoodie. I wear the same clothes 7 days a week, which are obviously dressy enough to go to my corporate job in, and to wear with jeans on the weekend. I have watched in horror as people have given birth and given up on style. I have often thought “oh no! Will I give up too?!” despite the fact that these are normally people who don’t wear things like I do to start with. 

    It’s so comforting to know I don’t have to give up on style when I have kids. Thank you for that. 

    • http://twitter.com/FoxInFlats Andrea

      Hi Tamsin, Great to have you here. 
      I think that once you become a mum you do care as much about your appearance as you did before, it’s just that you face a whole new bunch of fashion issues, and don’t have the time, money or energy to do much about it – the top 5 fashion issues are here: http://www.foxinflats.com.au/2011/01/mother-fashion-issues/
      Also, if you didn’t really have loads of casual clothes before kids, there can be a big gap in your wardrobe. Sounds like you are like I was before kids – I only really had my corporate clothes, my going-out at night clothes, and, well, not much else. I think I slept in a lot on the weekends! Ha ha. 
      I created Fox in Flats to make it easier to adjust to this new stage in our lives by sharing tips, ideas and shortcuts – basically to be the resource I wish existed when I first had kids. 
      Enjoy! x

  • Bianca Wordley

    Love these tips. Fantastic!

    • http://twitter.com/FoxInFlats Andrea

      Thanks Bianca! I love how everyone was so forthcoming with their tips. 

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  • http://twitter.com/amandakendle amandakendle

    Accessorise is a big fail for me – my little boy loves to grab whatever I use and I’m now earringless, scarfless, braceletless etc. It won’t be forever I suppose …

    • http://twitter.com/FoxInFlats Andrea

      Is he a little one? May be some ideas here: Easy ways to accessorise while breastfeeding http://bit.ly/nOcDmO
      x

  • http://maxabellaloves.blogspot.com/ Maxabella

    Andrea, you’re such a gem. Why don’t I visit here more often?

    Thank goodness for the Rewind. x

    • http://twitter.com/FoxInFlats Andrea

      Hey Maxabella, come, come! We are open 24/7 ;) x

  • Quillandinkhandmade

    Love this – especially the last piece of golden advice :)
    x

    • http://twitter.com/FoxInFlats Andrea

      Ha ha it’s gold huh!

  • http://maxabellaloves.blogspot.com Multiplemum

    Such pearls of wisdom. I just stumbled you – I will need to refer to this list again :-) It is so easy to go all tracksuit pants after kids. But you are right. It isn’t that hard to upgrade to a pair of jeans. Love your blog. Love this post. Thanks for Rewinding x

    • http://twitter.com/FoxInFlats Andrea

      Thanks MM! I love sharing around great tips from mums. x

  • http://squigglemum.com SquiggleMum

    I love all of these pearls of wisdom from other mamas!

  • Anonymous

    I have leisurewear. I like it. I can still look hot cause I have my lipstick. My mum says so. #sofailbutimtired

    • http://twitter.com/FoxInFlats Andrea

      Ha ha ha, if your mum says so then she must be right ;) x

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  • Jan Littlehales

    My boys are a bit older now, so I can’t blame them if I look a mess!
    My best tip for looking good while caring for kids is… if you like to wear runners, treat yourself to new ones at least once a year. New runners can look pretty cool – you can wear them with a dress and get away with it – whereas, old, daggy ones don’t look good with anything – throw them away before they get to that state.  :)
    Jan

    • http://twitter.com/FoxInFlats Andrea

      Great tip Jan! You are so right. I recently bought new runners and it makes such a difference. ;) 

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  • http://posiepatchworkblog.blogspot.com/ Posie Patchwork

    Love this, i used to look fabulous when i worked – i’d get my baby girl ready & throw on my blouse last, after expressing milk, i was so organised & well, fabulous.  Then i had twins, became stay at home mummy, eventually of 4 & while still looking ace & classy (i was in my 20s), i focussed purely on the children dressing beautifully.  It was all fine until i started gaining wait in my 30s & fashion was not suiting me & i had the time – all children in preschool/ school, but i’m getting my groove back now.  I do love the odd scarf in my hair, makes me look quirky when really my hair is ‘gym ready’ if you know what i mean!!  Love Posie

  • Melinda Stella

    I often do that last one! I always dress the kids in nice clothes (especially the baby as he isn’t running around getting dirty like the toddler). People are too busy clucking over the kids cute things that they don’t bother judging how I look!

    • FoxInFlats

      Agreed! X

  • http://www.enhanceclinic.com.au/ sonya

     Thank you for all of your help. Its hard being a mother there is never time for YOU!

  • MarissaRoberts

    I add flat boots and costume jewellrey and feel so much more put together. If my hair looks great I don’t worry about make up. And blog my outfits once a week now so I’m accountable – I have to look nice at least once a week!

  • Hong Hue

     Thanks for sharing this tip!

  • TomJTaylor
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