We've covered tops and bottoms in Parts 1 and 2, now I'm talking about the piece of clothing that is a top and bottom combined! Dresses are one of those categories within a mom’s wardrobe that will vary widely from person to person. Some women could live in dresses exclusively, while others really prefer the pants-and-a-top uniform.
For me it really depends on the weather. In the summer you’ll often find me in a dress with sandals—especially during pregnancy! But in the colder months, I wear dresses less often as I’m limited to those that go well with boots and leggings. Don’t want to freeze that booty off!
With the right accessories and the right dress you can really add some great versatility to your wardrobe. For example, a versatile dress can be worn with or without a belt, with a cardigan or blazer or vest, with or without statement jewelry, with flats, boots and leggings or with sandals, or even with a blouse on top (turning it into a skirt)!
So even if you’re on the fence about dresses, I recommend adding at least one well-selected day dress to your wardrobe just to see how much fun you can have with it!
When deciding whether to purchase a dress, you might consider:
Comfort. Think of yourself going about your day in it. Can you move in it? Is it still modest when you bend over to pick your kid (or their toys) up?
Pregnancy friendly. (Of course this only applies if you expect to be pregnant again in the near future!) Not everything you buy needs to be or should be pregnancy friendly, but many dresses have extra fabric around the waist that easily lend to wearing it through the second, maybe even the third trimester.
Machine or Hand Washable. No mom needs the extra cost or inconvenience of taking something to the dry cleaners—especially when spills and spit up are a part of life.
As stated in Parts 1 & 2, only purchase something if it checks off on these four points:
Falls within your color palette (if it’s patterned, just look for color or colors from your palette within the pattern; not all the pattern colors need to match your palette)
Fits you correctly
Can combine with at least 4 or 5 other items in your wardrobe (for a dress, consider your shoes, completer pieces like jackets and cardis and your accessories)
You love it (you don't just kind of think it's cute)
I had fun scouring the web for a representative sample of both classic and trendy dresses that were mom-friendly and affordable! ... and a I had a really hard time not putting several into my shopping cart!
Other places to shop for affordable dresses include: thrift shop and consignment, Ross, Marshalls, and TJ Maxx. At all these places, you could score very high quality dresses that will last but at incredibly discounted prices.
Day Dresses: Classics & Trending
Nursing-friendly: The button-down shirt dresses and cross-over jersey knit dresses are great for nursing moms.
Special Event or Evening Dresses
Every mom needs a fancy dress for those special occasions! I recommend waiting to purchase an evening gown until you have an event in mind. The event will largely define what kind of dress you buy.
As you can tell from my selections below, I LOVE lace =)
Do you like wearing dresses? If not, is this an item that might add some variety and femininity to your existing wardrobe?
In the remaining parts of Mom's Wardrobe Basics, I'll be talking about Completer Pieces, Shoes, and Accessories! Oh, there is some fun to be had there!!