Here’s how to look stylish and make it out the door in 10 minutes or less (kid meltdowns included!)
Are you a mama who still wants to look stylish even in the face of, well, being a mom? Do you want to know more about fab local designers and brands? We’ve teamed up with fashion bloggers (and Singapore mamas) Ms Yin/Ms Yang to bring you a monthly dose of fun and practical fashion tips that are equally perfect for fashionista mamas or mamas who are just happy to be out of their gym clothes or flip-flops. You can read more here about our new column!
You know the drill, mama…you’re trying to look like you’ve got it all under control, but adding kids into the mix can really throw you a style curveball. Dealing with meltdowns (and that doesn’t even include the ones from the husband) and mini dictator and diva demands can play havoc with your style mojo. With a few simple steps and a smattering of fake-it-til-you-make-it moves, here’s the Ms Yin/Ms Yang guide on how to keep cool and stay stylish…
*Spoiler: Big sunglasses hide a lot!*
Forget the green stick, baking, and the 95 steps to the perfect contour. Who has time to watch YouTube tutorials when you’re too busy figuring out how to unstick your fingers from the superglue tube after gluing the playmobile people’s hair on so your youngest doesn’t choke on them? Anyway, I digress.
Focus on the big-ticket items:
- Hair: Learn how to do a quick bun with as little hair paraphernalia as possible. High or low, the choice is yours.
- Foundation with SPF: be lazy and do it all in one step!
- Brows: People notice your eyes first. Might as well frame them properly! Visit Benefit if you need some help.
- Mascara or lash extensions: I prefer the latter as they last for weeks and don’t run down my face in the pool. Don’t have time to get your extensions removed? Just trim the stragglers down to the same length as your natural ones.
- LIPSTICK: If nothing else, put on lipstick! I cannot stress this enough! My go- to neutral is So Vain by Tom Ford and my fave red is Chanel’s Pirate #99. I always have them in my purse. Which brings me to my next point…
You can skip applying lipstick in the house if you have it in your bag! This way you can kiss your husband and kids goodbye and swig one last hit of coffee on your way out without messing up the look. Then when you are in the elevator or on the street corner waiting for the green man to appear you can apply. Natasha Moor Cosmetics makes it easy by putting a mirror right on the tube! Genius! She also makes lipsticks that last 8 hours (tried and tested by me, of course) and they are kiss-proof too. No more red marks on your kiddos’ heads wondering if it was you or did they run into something… again. Other bag essentials: big fabulous sunglasses and a pair of earrings and a cocktail ring. By switching your nude lippy for a bold red and adding an earring and ring you can instantly up the wow factor. Great for that last minute drink invite!
Separates are for people with time… NOT YOU! Grab a dress and go. Or make it a romper if you really want to switch it up, but keep it to one easy piece. Invest in dresses that can move with you all day from event to event. Think through your typical day and find a brand that matches. Lots of fancy meetings or teas? Maybe something along the lines of Ribbon & Roses. Does your day include beach and watching soccer practice? Innika Choo is for you! We at Ms.Yin | Ms. Yang love What the Frock?! for a day of coffee meetings and kid toting. Affordably priced, well made, and good-looking, this is a brand that comes to the rescue time and time again. Plus, they don’t wrinkle and they come in a wide variety of prints to hide sticky finger marks and how your kid just blew their nose in your dress as you were walking out. Thanks, sweetie. Mommy loves you.
If you really want to get streamlined then pick a color palette and buy just that. My preference is black and white (no surprise there) as you always look chic in any situation and never actually have to think about looking chic. I can’t believe I’m giving away all my secrets!
Have a tray or bowl on your dresser and put a few faves in it. Don’t put them in pouches where you can’t see them or you will forget you have them or just not have time to open ten different little baggies looking for the right gold hoop. Have them in plain sight where you can simply grab and go. I have a few faves (mostly silver rings and earrings) that stay on my vanity next to my makeup. I put them on when I am doing my 5-minute face and know that they go with almost any dress I put on. Boom! One less thing to consider.
My preference is silver, black or gray (or a combo), as that is the majority of my wardrobe (I’m the dark Yin side after all) but tans and golds work just as well. Find a combo that suits most of your dresses and use that. Have it be nicer than a flip flop as you never know when your day may change and those tired old flip flops might not cut it. Ms.Yang typically sports a nude bag and shoe combo. My big tip here is save on the shoes and splurge on the bag! Shoes get crushed day in and day out while pounding the hot pavement (thankfully, no gum to step in here), but the bag gets lovingly placed on a chair when dining. Though I’m pretty sure I saw my son stuff a can of open playdoh in my Gucci this afternoon. And yes, I typically have a dinosaur and a diaper in there too. Once I pulled a fistful of ham out of a Chanel bag so maybe store your bag on a high shelf? Keep your go-to shoes and bag by the door so you never have to hunt for the missing shoe or where your keys went. Oh and Chipolo… a handy little charm you attach to all your important stuff that rings when you lose it. It can even ring your phone too even if it is on silent. And yes, I did put one on my kid once. He loved it.
And there you have it. It’s not rocket science but it has been tried and tested over the years and honed to perfection. Pre-kids, my personal best was less than eight minutes and I’m pretty sure that is why my husband put a ring on it. But now, it’s more like 10-12 minutes provided no-one uses my bra as a hat or the like. Sound familiar? Wishing you a fast and fabulous exit, mamas!
Sabrina Sikora, Ms.Yin
All images courtesy of Ms Yin/Ms Yang