Who has time to waste standing in front of our wardrobe, thinking about what to wear for the day ahead? The average women spend 17 minutes a day wondering what to wear.  Wasted time contributes to feeling anxious, lack of confidence and…. let's be honest … a morning with yelling at the kids due to running late.

Investing in the right wardrobe is not superficial, it's practical. As working mums, we all know that what we wear speaks volumes about how we feel and act. We all know that a day or a night out can be tainted due to not feeling confident in our choice of outfit. Who doesn't want to achieve effortless style, save time and do all of it on a reasonable budget?

Here are a few simple tips to help remove that 17 minutes of stress from your morning routine and align your wardrobe with the busy life you lead.

1. The first step to saving time in the mornings is to rid your wardrobe of all the items that are not suited to your body shape and lifestyle.

As mums, we tend to forget who we are or have become. Our wardrobes need to move with us and reflect our current lifestyle. Say goodbye to items that looked and felt fab pre-children but no longer fit. If you have left the corporate world and now have a more relaxed workplace, then make sure you say goodbye to anything that isn't relevant or revamp pieces to be worn in a new way. Make sure you have clothing that enhances your body and makes you feel good. Losing weight isn't the answer, it's having clothes that fit the body you have right now.

Your wardrobe needs only to have pieces that you love wearing that are comfortable and reflect how you want to be seen in the world.

By getting rid of the things that you don't love, you will be able to see the things that you do. You will also be able to identify what is missing and what is stopping you from having a fully functioning wardrobe.

2. Invest in staple pieces that can be versatile and create ready to wear looks. The gaps in a clients wardrobe,  hold them back from being able to create endless mix n match options. Your essential staples need to reflect the casual mum life but easily elevate to allow you to wear to work or at night. Some of the main pieces I see missing are quality tees, basic straight leg pant, flowing skirt, knitwear, layering pieces like a blazer, jackets and coats for winter. Jeans are vital to mum life. Go for a high waisted pair to avoid them continually falling down and to minimise bulk around the midsection. The gap in your wardrobe is generally an area that you subconsciously avoid as it's too hard to find or causes you to feel self-conscious. My role as a stylist is to identify and solve this problem. 

3.  Shoes can be comfortable and stylish- you don't need to compromise. For work and nights out sure you have an essential black heel and then a nude/camel tone to compliment prints and bold colours. Black boots can be too heavy if you love wearing colours – so choose a grey or camel tone depending on the colours you wear the most. All mums need a plain white trainer to complement your casual everyday looks. Wear them with your winter skirts, dresses and jeans by day and change to a boot or heel for night. Rather than a ballet flat with zero support, explore a loafer or leather slide in metallic gold or silver. Once, you have the essential shoes to compliment your existing wardrobe than you can invest in shoes that are fun, colourful, and make people remember you. Clean, polish and store your shoes in a way that will help with longevity.

4. Inject some colour into your day. You will be amazed at how transformed you can feel. As a mum, it is so easy to stick to black and grey. But colour has the power to lift your mood and also make you look more youthful and rested than you probably are. Black can really drain the colour from your face. The only colour that matters is what is right next to your face. If you love a certain colour, but you don't think it suits you, then invest in a bag, jewellery or shoes in a colour that stands out or simply makes you happy.

5.  A library of flattering flowy tops helps create endless looks that team back with your everyday comfortable bottoms. Go for non-iron soft flowing fabrics (that skim, not cling) which can be worn tucked in or out. Think about open V necks to highlight your neck and face. Add a mix of prints and plains.  Patterns can be your best friend – hiding stains and also flattering areas of your body that have changed since having kids. Don't be afraid to repeat the same outfit. Style isn't about endless new looks, it's about being comfortable in a consistent look that's right for you.

6. Introduce hero pieces that showcase your personality, add interest and create a talking point. Statement earrings, a fun necklace or a vibrant scarf, not only complete a look but create a focal point that makes an outfit interesting and unique. Wear a lip colour that stands out and compliments your skin tone. Accessories are a smart, affordable way to complement a minimal wardrobe. It transforms an outfit from 'mum by day' to 'fun night out' within a record-breaking time when done right.

7. Recognise your rules and then break them. When I run workshops, this is a topic that comes up all the time. All the rules we place on ourselves that limit us  As a personal stylist, breaking down rules that women have set on themselves is where the real transformation comes. This is all about trying new silhouettes, colours and styles that allow you to see yourself in a whole new way. Challenge yourself to try on something in a store that you wouldn't usually…. what's the worst thing that could happen?  Try wearing new combinations within your own wardrobe, have fun with clashing colours and prints or try tonal dressing. Belt in your waist, roll your sleeves, play with layers. Relax the rules and step into wearing clothes in your own way with a twist.

Don't let your wardrobe keep you in the past – embrace and celebrate the stronger and more capable woman you are becoming. Life sure can be challenging as a mum – having the right clothes can create the confidence and strength you need to get through anything the day throws at you. Your wardrobe needs to support the woman and life you are right now and reflect your own unique style. Imagine what you could do with that extra 17 minutes a day or 119  minutes a week...?

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Written By Bernadette Payne

Bernadette Payne is an accomplished, award-winning stylist who brings a unique perspective to her work with each and every client.

She believes that style is more than just clothing. Style comes from within. It's not about what you wear, but how you wear it. Bernadette’s passion lies in helping women identify their own personal style and giving them the tools to choose pieces that make them feel empowered and beautiful.

www.thatsmystyle.com.au

@thatsmystyle_bybernadette