I have been deep into my research. What does one wear out-and-about in daily life WITH CHILDREN? I have an almost 12 year old son. That is to say that I have been a mom a while. My dilemma isn't that I have left the corporate world to have a baby and now can't dress myself. I am confident that I know what to wear and when to wear it. I haven't ever felt the need to wear my husband's sweatpants anywhere! I never feel like I lack clothes to wear on vacation with kids, on errands with kids, at the beach or on a train (isn't this a Dr. Seuss plot?). What is do lack is clothing suitable for OUTINGS! You know what I mean. The longer-than-usual activities that require a special sort of ensemble. The field trip! We are back to that.
So, about my research. I have been trying on t-shirts and scoping out shoes online. I have been speaking to other fab moms who find themselves in the same conundrum. A good friend told me she just went to the U.S.S. Midway Museum and tried to go a bit "nautical" with a striped shirt, but still came up short. I thought that outfit actually sounded decent. However, if moms are trying to dress in THEMES does that mean everyone else has been going dressed as lesbian-camp-counselors? That is thought that pops into my head every time I see that heavy chino pant with treaded-shoe look. I guess that is really the dilemma that I face. I always feel that when I have to dress to go to Disneyland or to the Cabrillo Monument that I am in a costume. My outfit never feels natural to me. It feels forced and dumbed-down. I also feel that if I wear a top with even 1 sequin to an outing like this then I am practically in a drill-team uniform.
So, the research continues. I wade through magazines, consult blogs, and keep hoping, hoping, hoping, that Net-a-Porter will add "Field Trip" to its boutique options alongside Wedding and Workwear. I came across a particular feature on anthropologie.com called On-The-Go-Clothes. Yes, there it is I thought. The answer! I had high hopes that Anthropologie has high-resolution pictures of really great on-the-go clothes.
Layered Looks for Your Daily Stops
There are so many cute outfits for a chic girl on the go; bakery, bookstore, cafe, bike-ride, and flower shop. Oh Eureka! There is all my daily stops. Did Anthropologie call my husband and secretly interview him about my errands with four sons. HARDLY! The list should say: class room volunteer and copy room, Pop Warner football practice, client consultation and mall trip (a la Pink Frock), Sea World, and analyst interview with the DEA. I have had all of this happen in a day. This list of activities is realistically more likely to occur again all in the same day before I would have "cafe" and "bike ride".
This is the outfit that Anthropologie has for the "bike-ride". It is so elegant and tastefully chosen. I am so smitten with it. It is however not at all appropriate for the kinds of outings that I am talking about. You know the FIELD TRIPS. The yellow textured pumps make the outfit. I could wear them 7 days and 7 ways. I just find them inappropriate for riding a bike and definitely not San Diego Zoo material. No, this outfit is more appropriate for a stylish Danish girl in Copenhagen. There they ride bikes in pumps and short skirts and look amazing doing it.
I am putting the capelet and the shoes (and trousers and belt and top) on my other list; WANTS. Meanwhile I guess that I will continue wearing what I wear, great clothes that are appropriate in most situations but not all. I may find myself running from an interview or consultation only to then be in a sandbox with a toddler and then home to roast a chicken ... hopefully all in those yellow pumps.
In the meanwhile I still have my nose on the trail.....