Monday, May 25, 2015

Better Mom Uniforms with Lily Jade

After becoming a mom I can totally understand how compelling it is to just throw on a comfortable v-neck tee and sweatpants or jeans and go about your day.  Because so much of my mental energy is now taken up by a kid it can feel like a huge hurdle to put energy into looking presentable.  (Especially now that I work from home more than ever before!)

So, today I'm excited about teaming up with Lily Jade to present mom uniforms that are incredibly easy to throw on but look a lot more presentable than sweats.  I need that help for myself, and who better to inspire chic mom looks than Lily Jade?

Lily Jade makes gorgeous diaper bags that you wouldn't even know are diaper bags.  Their bags are simple yet beautiful, they're durable and organized well with tons of pockets, and they can be toted around at a park or carried into a meeting.  They help polish off a better looking mom uniform while still being super functional as a diaper bag.

Below I've adapted three drab mom uniforms and tried to create better alternatives for each.  (Though, I definitely don't think these are limited to moms!)  I tried to use similar pieces so that the alternative outfits didn't feel like too far of a stretch and felt really doable.

I also created alternative versions for a) playtime and errands and b) meetings.  The "meetings" looks aren't necessarily suitable for business mode (definitely not for business dress, and probably not for business casual) because I figured moms who need to dress for getting down to business wouldn't have kids in tow and would also probably have a different wardrobe for that.  Rather, the "meetings" looks were for things like doctor appointments, meeting teachers or principals at school, and PTA meetings.

Here we go!

First up is a white tee, jeans, a grey hoodie, flip flops, and a plain old diaper bag.  The easy swaps for each piece are written in the graphic above, but I'll highlight why I love wearing a few of them:

Cargo jacket.  It's durable and has large pockets, both of which are good for mom duties like holding snacks, toys, and treasures found through out the day (like rocks...).  It also gives an outfit more shape and structure than a hoodie while serving the same function.

Shop for the Look:
Tee: JCPenney (similar)
Jacket: c/o Conversation Pieces (similar)
Jeans: Old Navy (similar)
Shoes: TOMS (exact)
Bag: c/o Lily Jade (exact)

Knit blazer.  This is a fantastic alternative to a hoodie because it feels just like a sweatshirt but looks a heck of a lot better.  It's pretty much the same outfit as the drab version, just with better pieces for an overall more put together look.

Shop for the Look:
Tee: Everlane (exact, v-neck version)
Blazer: Nordstrom (very very similar)
Jeans: c/o Lilac Clothing
Shoes: Target (exact, genuine leather version)
Bag: c/o Lily Jade (

Diaper bag.  This brown leather Lily Jade bag is my favorite.  It instantly makes you look like a chic mom and can be appropriately taken from the playground straight into a meeting.

Next is a cotton jersey dress.  They're really soft and stretchy and therefore comfortable, which is a huge plus.  However, they can often be drab or shapeless by themselves.  The "drab" version isn't terrible, but it still doesn't seem put together.  The good news is it's really easy to do that just by adding a few details, as described in the graphic above.

Playtime.  This actually works for meetings or for playtime and errands.  This outfit is almost the exact same as the drab version except with a belt to give the outfit a focus and adding "real" shoes.  These tan flats are very basic, but they are still a step up from flip flops!  And of course a leather diaper bag totally beats the blue one.

Shop for the Look:
Dress: H&M (similar, similar)
Jacket: Old Navy (exact)
Shoes: Target (exactgenuine leather version)
Bag: c/o Lily Jade (exact)

Meetings.  This is still a jersey dress (and is suuuuuper stinking comfortable), but adding a necklace, wedges, and a professional looking diaper bag dresses it up for a meeting.  Yes, that silver bag is a diaper bag!  Plus it has a really cute yellow lining.  Win!

source: Lily Jade

How pretty is that yellow?  Also, check out the organizational capabilities of these bags!  What's even better is that you can take out that yellow insert with all your kid stuff and use the bag for yourself. :) 

Shop for the Look:
Dress: Old Navy (similarsimilar)
Shoes: Target
Necklace: Nordstrom (exact)
Bag: c/o Lily Jade (exact)

Last is a good old workout outfit.  This was the outfit I'm compelled to wear.  It tajes quite a bit of energy to move away from it!

Playtime.  The top half is basically the same--a plain tee--but pairing it with colored pants and footwear other than running shoes makes it a really easy mom outfit that looks like at least a little thought was put into it.  These pants are kind of khaki or cargo and are looser, so they're pretty comfortable.  And regarding the diaper bag, I LOVE that it can be worn as a backpack too.  Being hands-free while wrangling a kid is incredibly convenient...and sometimes necessary!

Shop for the Look:
Tee: Everlane (exactv-neck version)
Pants: c/o Lilac Clothing (similar, similar)
Shoes: TOMS (exact)
Bag: c/o Lily Jade (exact)

Meetings.  The jeans and striped top are basics, but they can be brought to life with some colored shoes, a necklace, and a pretty bag.

Shop for the Look:
Top: c/o SheInside
Jeans: LOFT (similar)
Shoes: Gap (similar)
Bag: c/o Lily Jade (exact)

Seeing the side by side comparisons helps me to remember that looking decent can be just as easy as throwing on sweats and a tee.  Hopefully it helps you too!  Whether you're a mom or not, do you default to any of the drab outfits?  Like I said before, mine is numero 3!

This post was created in partnership with Lily Jade.  Check out their awesome diaper bags!  


  1. I'm not a mom, but these outfits are so cute and easy and they look so comfortable!

    Dori | dorigamii

  2. Wow I'm amazed at how many things can fit inside that bag and how organized it is! Very cool!

    Her Heartland Soul

  3. Elisabeth KlassenMonday, May 25, 2015

    I love all the outfits that you shared.

    Diary of Elegance

  4. See this is why I love your blog. You keep things casual and COMFORTABLE and yet look totally pulled together every time. You rock the flats--Hallelujah and wear jeans or knit fabrics. I'm sad your grey striped blazer isn't available because it's perfect!

  5. I love that silver diaper bag, it looks so compact !I'm glad you showed a photo of the interior too as I was thinking there is no way that could fit everything I cart around for baby - but it's super organised with a space for everything! :)

    I really liked this series of outfits - especially as a mum myself! I think the first 'playtime and errands' look is how I spend most of my days, although I do try dress up a little with a dress or maxi skirt now and then :) I'm doing style challenges now and then to try and stop myself getting into a rut. Which as you said is so easy to do with baby, not a lot of time and energy left for yourself!

    Away From The Blue

  6. These bags are seriously lifesavers. People who aren't moms use them for school and stuff too just because the pockets are so helpful.

  7. Awww, LAUREN. Not to seem like a weirdo, but you actually came to mind a couple of days ago! I was gonna drop in and see how things were going. Great to hear from you, and THANK YOU! So sweet!

  8. I'm glad to hear you liked these, Mica! It's great that you're doing style challenges. It makes getting dressed a lot more fun and helps you focus on yourself sometimes.

    And the diaper bag--yeah, the organization is awesome!

  9. Very classic styles, love the pop of red from the pumps to the monochrome outfit in the last image! Thanks for sharing all these looks!


  10. Hahaha that's not weird at all! Thanks so much for thinkin' of me! I meant what I said. Your blog stands out for many reasons, but for me, that's the biggest one! Keep being awesome.

  11. Thanks for this post! Been struggling with finding my own style, 3.5 years after my first was born. Gah! Some good tips here.

  12. Love all your outfits!

  13. Leticia Warwick JustusTuesday, May 26, 2015

    I would love to have you come share these great outfit ideas on June 3rd at Wearing with Wisdom on KingMakerBlog.com !!!!

  14. thefabulousmrswingTuesday, May 26, 2015

    Excellent examples! It seems like (and I have felt this way for many years myself) that having on real shoes and carrying a nice bag can go a long way towards de-frumping an outfit, and also have some part of your outfit have some structure to it be it from a belt, jacket, or more tailored pants or skirt. Ponte knit pencil skirt with a v-neck tee, chuck taylors and a moto jacket is my go-to outfit these days. (I've got five children, my youngest two are 3 and 4, so at home with me, but not so young that I need to carry a full diaper bag everywhere, so I carry a small crossbody bag.)

  15. OMG! I want one of these bags! I really like the Caroline in red. What strikes me is that they have cloth diapers in the bag. I know it isn't for everyone, but we do cloth and it can be really hard to find a bag that is big enough and still stylish. My 3 year old is out of diapers now, of course, but we're working on number 2. Maybe I can start petitioning for a new bag. Now, I'm carrying around her toliet seat in my bag. I had to upgrade from a diaper bag to a beach bag just to fit the darn thing! I'll have to measure the seat to see if it will fit.

    I live in AZ so completer pieces are a little bit harder for me. I tend to end up in khaki capris and wide strapped tank tops a lot. I've experimented with scarves but just can't seem to make it work in the heat. I don't really wear dresses because of a medical device that I wear on my waistband. I do wear some skirts though. Any suggestions?

  16. Hi Cynthia! Some of the Lily Jade bags are bigger than others, and I *think* the Caroline might actually be on the smaller side. But since it's open on the top I've found I can fit a lot more in it than some of the other "bigger" bags they carry.

    And for looking pulled together in the heat, check out this post! http://www.puttingmetogether.com/2013/05/style-tips-dressing-cute-in-heat.html

  17. I completely agree about the real shoes and bag. And I love what you said about something that has more structure! That's a fantastic analysis!

  18. I have good inspiration from great blogging ladies. ;)

    Actually on that note, I was coming up with casual outfits for my black Old Navy jersey dress. One of them was a striped or patterned scarf with a denim jacket and white sneakers. Every time I think of it, I'm like, "This is SO Anne!"

  19. I've been attempting to try harder and stay away from easy "mom" clothes, at least when we leave the house. Certainly no accessorizing or finishing pieces needed to just hang out with my two year old! Thanks for (more) great ideas. And I love your grey and white striped blazer. It's perfect!

  20. Haha, speaking of good inspiration - I was just putting together a post with MY black Old Navy jersey dress and totally included you as an example of another way to wear it :) And yep, pretty much wearing it just like you said, except with espadrilles. Need to swap out for the white tennies next time - cute!

  21. I really enjoy your blog! Wow, do I ever. I have 2 kids and just haven't cared about looking 'put together.' I mean, I've never dressed frumpy, but I also haven't really tried to make outfits and accessorize beyond small earrings or the occasional necklace. A nice top with blue jeans and whatever shoes or flip flops was as good as it got. You've got me wearing dresses, colorful shorts, belts, cardigans, even a bracelet. What is going on?! ;) I still can't give up my flip flops, but they're cute Aerosoles so I think that helps. Maybe? Also, I just went to my local thrift store while my kids were enjoying a day at the grandparents. Everything was 50% off and I had so much fun looking at clothes and imagining what kind of outfits YOU would put together. I bought a couple things that surprised me, but I'm excited to wear! They even had a few knit blazers that were so cute, but just didn't fit right. Do you ever try thrift store shopping or consignment store shopping?

  22. Thank you so much for commenting! I'm so glad you're enjoying the blog and WOW, I love hearing how much your style has changed!

    I've tried thrift store and consignment store shopping. I'm not good at it and I don't have the patience for it haha! Also, according to my pro-thrifter friends in the midwest, San Diego thrift store prices are pretty expensive comparatively. I admire everyone who can find great things second-hand. I wish I had that skill!


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