Friday, May 24, 2013

Stay-at-Home Mom Style: Easy Ways to Take Your Dress from Day to Evening

Hi, you all! It's been a quiet week on the blog, hasn't it? That's because it's been anything but quiet in real life. Of course.

But anyway, I'm not going to talk about any of that right now. I've got something fun for you today: a guest post from ASOS, the chic online fashion retailer that specializes in cute maternity wear and hip clothing for any mom (pregnant or non-) who wants to look stylish, not frumpy.

A few weeks ago, ASOS contacted me about writing a guest post here, specifically for moms. We decided to focus on how to transition a day dress--you know, the kind of thing a busy but stylish mom might wear for the school run, errands, parent-teacher meetings, and ferrying the kids to after-school activities--into an evening-worthy look that's just right for date night, drinks with the girls, or book club.

Because we're all busy moms here; when the rare opportunity presents itself to GET OUT OF THE HOUSE WITHOUT THE KIDLETS for any semblance of social time in the evening, who has time to primp and preen and change clothes a thousand times? You've gotta get out the door fast, before the kids catch you!

OK, in my case, I typically don't go out at night because I'm like a toddler: I need to be in my jammies by 7 and in bed soon thereafter. Ha. But I know not everyone is the homebody, early-to-bed-early-to-rise introvert that I am. Some of you probably socialize in the evenings regularly! Maybe even once a month!

So here you go: how to take a cute mommy day-look and quickly and easily transform it into something a little special for night. (How cute is that striped jersey dress, by the way??) Enjoy!   --Shannon

Open up just about any issue of just about any fashion magazine, and you’ll find some variation on this theme. It’s not hard to see the appeal. These days everyone is busier than ever, and we’re all looking for ways to streamline our schedule. Taking a dress from day to night is a vital skill for all women on the go, but almost all the articles you’ll find are geared towards office workers trying to save precious minutes flying from desk to date.

If you’re a stay-at-home mom, your daily uniform might look a little different from your average career girl, but your days are just as jam-packed. From the school-run to grabbing groceries for dinner, your days are spent tackling a to-do list as long as your arm. You know all about time-management, but if you’re looking forward to a long-overdue date-night or a well-earned bottle of wine with your girlfriends at the end of another hectic day, time to devote to preening and primping is at a premium.

So here it is: How to Transition A Dress from Day to Evening Mommy Edition. The pieces might be a little different, but the familiar formula holds true. Start with a versatile dress as your base, and switch up the accessories for an in-a-minute makeover. I’ve put together two examples to show you just how easy it can be.

First up is an adorable navy polka-dot midi dress. This length is super wearable, no matter what time of day. There’s a great retro charm to this one, and the slightly raised waistline and soft pleats are super-flattering and perfect for disguising any troublesome tummy action. 

Don’t freak out: it’s strapless, yes, but the fabric is a sturdy stretch-jersey and the bodice has been cleverly contoured to make sure it fits like a glove. Besides, the gorgeous textured cardigan I’ve picked out means no one needs to know about its strap-status but you. 

The bright pop of citrus is cheerful and on-trend, and the comfy matching ballet flats keep the whole look consistent. Add a casual beaded necklace for a little extra texture, and you’ve got a super-cute outfit that could take you just about anywhere in style. 

But we’re not stopping at cute. No way. Here’s the same dress kicked up a notch for that long-awaited date night:

First, shed the cardigan. Showing a little skin instantly takes the look to “evening”, and bare shoulders are pretty much the lowest-maintenance shortcut to sexy. Now ramp up that vintage appeal with a pair of cherry-red peep toes and a quilted clutch to match. I’ve picked out a pretty pendant for a subtle touch of bling. Throw on a slash of red lipstick and a few extra coats of mascara. Do a little spin in the mirror. Meow.

Now. Girls’ night. Here’s the day version.

Another look, another jersey material dress. It’s a great fabric for this kind of application, because it moves and breathes beautifully, and no matter how much kid-wrangling you do, it won’t wrinkle. This one falls just below the knee and is lightly belted for a bit of shape. A big tote, some big sunnies, and a smart pair of loafer flats, and you’re good to go for whatever errands own your afternoon. 

But ah, in the evening:

A buttery leather jacket in a cool camel shade adds a little grown-up glamor to the simple dress, and a pile of bright bangles brings up the colour of the print. You’re swapping the shoes again, of course. The heels are high, but a bit of a platform makes for easy walking, and the gorgeous cut out details are another delicate reference to the fabric’s pretty print. 

This whole transformation should take just a couple of minutes, so you’ll have time to throw your hair up in a quick twist, and then you’re out the door for some quality girl-time.

That’s really all it takes! Nothing gimmicky or dishearteningly fashiony here. These are styles that just about every mom can pull off, so try it out, and have fun!

This post was written on behalf of ASOS, an online fashion retailer that provides free shipping and a large selection of dresses that are perfect for day or night.   

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