From the vault: Becoming a stylish mom

As much as I love watching Good Morning America, there are days when the things that come out of the hosts’ mouths make me want to laugh or scream.

This morning it was the tease for the piece about Michelle Obama’s appearance in Vogue when Robin Roberts said (and I’m paraphrasing here) “why Michelle enjoys being the country’s newest style icon, but still considers her role as mom-in-chief her number one priority.”

Where to start?

While having a young, hip, stylish young family in the White House is cool, I’m not sure how excited I am about how everything regarding Michelle is focused on her role as “mom.” This is a highly-educated, former career woman (let us not forget she was once Barack’s boss!) who, hopefully, is going to use her position as the first lady to advocate for families; better benefits for working parents; promoting work/life balance. She’s been in the trenches as a working mom, but all we can focus on now is how she’s dressing and decorating the White House!

But what really made me laugh is the thought of what she could have said when asked about her priorities.

“Actually Robin, I’ve ALWAYS wanted to be a style icon for millions of Americans. The whole motherhood-thing was something to do in my spare time. In fact, I’m wondering when I can ship these kids off to military school.”

Of course, her priority is parenting over fashion – to say otherwise would have been weird.

Maybe the whole focus on Michelle’s wardrobe is because moms are supposed to be frumpy – they don’t call them “mom jeans” for nothing! If we are stay at home moms, we are supposed to be running around in our jogging outfits or mom jeans and a sweatshirt, barely taking time to wash our face and do our hair. If we are working moms, we may dress nicely, but our outfits are more practical (boring) than your average career gal.

But the times, they are a changing. I only have to look into my own closet to see it. Gone are my button-down shirts, power suits and multiple pairs of loafers. In their place, a sea of colorful blouses, fun jackets, and many (many) pairs of shoes. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a mom on a budget, so most of my clothing comes from Target, Payless, Old Navy and Dress Barn (how terrible is that name? No one really wants to shop for clothing in a place called “Dress Barn”).

My Old Navy sweaterI knew my personal style transformation was “complete” when flipping through a recent copy of Real Simple. In an article titled “The Best Cardigans” was a picture of a pretty red and white flowered cardigan from Old Navy. A cardigan I had just worn up to the offices of Real Simple two weeks before!

(In the past the only magazine my clothing would have been ‘featured’ it would have been “Field and Stream”).

So, I hope Michelle keeps “representing” for moms everywhere who try to pull it together every day. But I also hope the world stops focusing so much on what Michelle is wearing, and listen to what she has to say.

I know I will be listening.

5 thoughts on “From the vault: Becoming a stylish mom

  1. Right on! Remember when all the country could discuss was Hillary’s hair? Headband vs. no headband. Long vs. short. Bangs vs. no bangs. Please!

    My fervent hope is that we’ll see some positive changes for families in the form of paid leave and workplace incentives for offices that are friendly for nursing moms. I could care less what Michelle is wearing when these things are discussed!

    – Kerry


  2. My daughter accused me of wearing “mom jeans” so I went with her to Forever 21 and bought a new hip pair of jeans. The best part is they were on sale for about $10! Now off to Old Navy to buy a cardigan…


  3. I think it is easy to forget who we were before being Mom, too. So, in defense of the media here (and I normally do not feel the need to defend them) maybe that has been her sort of “projected persona” and what Obama’s PR team is trying to play-up?!
    But, I agree, I could give a rat’s hiney on what she is wearing. Come dressed in a tutu paired with combat boots for all I care!


  4. Could not agree more about Michelle Obama! I do agree there is too much fuss about what she is wearing-drives me nuts even though I do like her style. Also love the sweater from Old Navy- need to check that out!


  5. Couldn’t agree more! Every female that steps into the spotlight, it’s ALWAYS about their mothering, their outfits, or their multiple romances. Please!

    I saw that cardigan in Real Simple and loved it! Way cute!


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