The Stay-At-Home Mom Look Book

by Glynis Ratcliffe
Originally Published: 
SAHM wardrobe
Glynis Ratcliffe

I’m going to be up front here: I live in a pretty upscale neighborhood in Toronto. The kind of neighborhood that has 3,000-square-foot homes worth…well, a lot. The kind of neighborhood that has several gourmet grocery stores to choose from. The kind of neighborhood that has a high fashion kids store where you can find a onesie for a mere $50. The kind of neighborhood where nannies from far away countries are the ones picking kids up from school and taking them to the park.

We don’t really belong.

We lucked into renting a tiny, century-old bungalow in a part of town where houses like ours get torn down for modern mansions to be built up—several on every street, at any given time. It’s the perfect area for our kids, but I don’t feel like I can relate to any of the parents.

I’ve decided to try and keep up with the Joneses, though. All the fancy-pants moms around here may have their own fashion uniform that they adhere to, but I’m here to tell you that we regular moms can have a Look Book too. I mean, I have a uniform, of sorts.

So if you’re feeling intimidated by the other women in your neighborhood, or even if you’re just feeling like you’re in a fashion rut, keep reading for the top SAHM basics that you can start building your wardrobe up with. You may not have your designer printed leggings handy, but these are pieces that will stand the test of time.

Glynis Ratcliffe

Note the unshaven legs

These are meant to be worn over multiple days, because who’s got time to start a load of your own clothes?! Not this mom. Bonus points if you’re able to squeeze these into a pair of shoes, so you don’t need to change out of them when you take your kid to school.

Glynis Ratcliffe

Nobody needs to see me in this. Trust me.

I want to make sure I’m inclusive with this one, since not every mom breastfeeds, but lord these puppies are convenient! I have three nursing tanks I bought for when my baby was born, and I’ve been wearing them almost every single night for the past 15 months. The bonus? With the shelf bra they have, you can easily pop a sweatshirt over one of these and not even have to change out of your pajamas to take your child to school or daycare. If you don’t nurse, invest in one anyway. Seriously, they’re just so comfortable. Invest in three. I will be wearing these long after my son stops breastfeeding.

Glynis Ratcliffe

I’m not showing off the logo, but these guys ARE a nice weight for fall/winter.

Black yoga pants are pretty much the best invention ever. Completely comfortable, not too sporty, not overly clingy, and the black hides a multitude of sins. I mean, unless you’re spilling yogurt or milk on these babies, they will last numerous wearings. Numerous wearings. But you get bonus points if you wear them without giving a shit about any stains that may have accumulated over the week.

Glynis Ratcliffe

Shut up. SHUT UP. I am a badass mama.

Yet another SAHM wardrobe staple that will hide very important things, like unwashed hair. This hat can look semi-cool and sporty, cover up the fact that you haven’t taken a shower in three days, and even better, it was free. You got it at a job you worked at in a past life. The life you lived before children 10 years ago. That’s why it’s only semi-cool.

Glynis Ratcliffe

This is my favorite hoodie, because I didn’t have to pay for it myself.

Another great piece to add to your arsenal is the neutral-colored hoodie which, again, is going to cover all kinds of things you don’t want the world knowing about, like the fact that you’re still wearing your pajama top and it’s lunchtime, or that you forgot to put on deodorant, or that you haven’t washed your hoodie in more than a month, despite wearing it every single day.


Don’t forget these optional extras, ladies!

Glynis Ratcliffe

Only necessary if you’re planning to mix it up and NOT wear your hat.

This shit is the savior to moms everywhere. Seriously, if you don’t have this in your arsenal, you are missing out.

Glynis Ratcliffe

A big shout-out to my children, who caused all these white hairs to sprout up.

OK, maybe you’re a young whippersnapper, or maybe you’re just lucky and you don’t have many (or any, you jerk) grey hairs yet. If that’s the case, screw you, you don’t need to worry about this accessory. For the rest of you, if you’re anything like me, you just don’t have time to dye your hair every two to three months. Maintenance is key with hair dye, and maintenance involves a level of self-care that just doesn’t happen these days. I’m proud to say that I got carded at the liquor store despite all these grey hairs.

Glynis Ratcliffe

Thanks, Lululemon, for your expensive clothes that look good for approximately two washes.

I wish I had the time and the inclination to adhere to the washing guidelines for all my clothes, but let’s get real. Shit goes in the washer, then shit goes in the dryer, because you ran out of clothes and need something to wear, stat.

Okay, that’s it for now, ladies. I know I’m missing plenty of other staples here, but I am running out of time to make more coffee before picking the Fournado up from school.

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