Nov 202006

Googling “SAHM Wardrobe Basics” brings people to this site on a regular basis. If you got here that way — welcome! Just know that what you are about to view is not a one-size-fits-all prescription, but a suggestion for a specific, real live person. Adapt to suit yourself.
Gap Lightweight fleece blazer
The basic template:

  • basic bottom (jeans, khakis, black slacks, or simple skirt)
  • + tee-shirt in a flattering color (sleeve-length dependant on season, sweater for extreme cold)
  • + layer as needed for warmth and dressing up/down.

How this works practically:

Running around the house, doing stuff with the kids, you are wearing your jeans and a tee-shirt topped with a sweatshirt if it’s cold. You have a Bible Study, parent/teacher conference, or some other such meeting to go to. Remove the sweatshirt, throw on your black wool blazer, and you arrive looking crisp and stylish. (I’ll let you in on a little secret, though. The blazer pictured is fleece, Gap Lightweight fleece blazer, and on sale for $49.95.  Update (Jan 10th, 2007): these are still around in some stores, on clearance for much less now!)

What could be simpler?

  20 Responses to “Uniform Template for SAHM”

  1. That template is how I live most of my life.

    I’m surprised that the blazer is fleece!

  2. That’s super encouraging, because I know my friend wants to look stylish and respectable. I’m pretty sure she hasn’t seen this post yet, and if she had I don’t know that she would know it was for her. I’m going to send it to her today, though.

    And I thought the fleece blazer was cool because some people like the look or idea of a blazer, but feel restricted by it. I probably should have made it more clear that the picture was a link to the product, though. Oh well.

  3. Hey, that’s my template too! And super-cute fleece jacket! Practical and comfortable, but stylish.

  4. Okay, I’m emailing my friend right now …

  5. I wonder if that blazer is on sale here North of the 49th? I may have to go check!

    Today I’m wearing the template: dark wash GAP jeans, pink cashmere turtleneck tee, pink/brown/cream/light peach tweed blazer. Mammoth ivory brooch, pearl earrings.

  6. he hee. Today I am wearing the template, too. Dark wash Gap jeans, heather gray cashmere turtleneck, black patterned blazer, brocade converse, oops I forgot earrings.

    My sweater is tucked in, in hopes that my new belt will arrive today.

  7. I love this jacket! It even comes in brown, in Tall sizes. Hmmm… might have to order up.

    I went to an image consultation (it was free — tell you all about that later) and she told me I needed to get more structured jackets/tops and be sure to have some width at the collar to balance out my sloped shoulders.


  8. Hmmm … I have always kind of been comfortable with wide, flying collars. Wonder if it’s for the same reason.

    Let me know how you like the jacket, if you get it. Seems like a super practical thing for a busy mom. 🙂

  9. I also love this look and am most comfortable in tees and layers. Cute blazer, but too much $ for me!

  10. How do you adapt this template for hot climates? This would be wearable here from, perhaps, November through March. A very lightweight blazer might stretch the look one or two months on either side. What’s the uniform, then, when the temps are 90 to 105 from April through October?

  11. That is a very good question, Karen. Thanks for asking.

    Last summer the consensus among the moms was the best option on the bottom is a skirt, although some people prefer capris or bermudas.

    For the layer in the summer I like to just toss a cotton cardigan in my purse, in case I go into extreme air-conditioning. And twin-sets are great!

  12. Thanks for your answer, Rebecca! Although, I’m not sure you understand how hot it is here (twin-sets?)….
    I have a follow-up question here that I’d love your input on. TIA!

  13. You’re welcome, Karen. But what about air-conditioning? It reaches the upper 90s and higher here, fortunately only for a week or so at a time, but if I go inside, ESPECIALLY grocery-shopping, I always need a sweater. So I was thinking a twin-set, especially one in a t-shirt knit, would basically be a tank-top, with a cardigan for extreme air and/or whatever. Does that make more sense?

    I love your post. I’ll answer over there. 🙂

  14. Oh, we have air-conditioning, but when you are talking about extended periods of this kind of heat, added with the expense, then you are talking about the AC bringing the temp down to passable–and sometimes, just barely that!
    Okay, I can see a t-shirt knit twin-set, but it would have to be short-sleeved. What I see a lot with older or heavier women is a short sleeved button down the front, collared shirt in a print over a coordinating solid color t-shirt. While this does look nicer than just the t-shirt, it also kinda screams “I’m an older and/or heavier woman!” I think your twin-set idea is growing on me….

  15. I hear you, Karen. We are blessed here in that it does usually still cool off at night. I grew up in the desert, and I remember days when it was too hot even to go swimming except in the early morning.

    I also hear your desire to not look frumpy. Allow me to go out on a limb here (stealth pun) and suggest that, if you look like or are the lady in the picture, sleeveless is quite acceptable. Do you like sleeveless, button-front, collared shirts? I do. The trick is to make sure you aren’t showing more than you want to, either at the armhole or through gaping buttons.

    As I’ve been casually looking around for a cute summer top that comes in larger sizes, it’s annoying to find that the way it seems expected to overcome the “I’m an older and/or heavier woman!” look is to sexy/revealing. Ugh! Somehow I don’t think that’s the look you’re after.

  16. No, I’m not the woman in the picture, but I am BBW.

    Love all your good bits of advice! You’ve given me lots to think about as I prepare for this summer!

  17. BTW, thanks for leaving a comment at MInTheGap.

    And I still say I wouldn’t limit myself to 3/4 length sleeves, like so many people advise.

  18. What if the SAHM was, in her former life, a high-powered bicoastal type with a seriously stylish wardrobe? And what if her kids are old enough now not to smear peanut butter on her clothes and what if she longs for a little more style than jeans and a Tshirt? But doesn’t want to look ridiculously overdressed for the park, the library, the kids’ dentist? Any thoughts, anybody?

  19. That’s an interesting question, Laura, and I think it makes the outfit pictured here look a little … blah. I suppose alot of the answer to the question depends on where you live. And how comfortable you are with intimidating people with your wardrobe. 😉

    One thought: for spring and summer, dresses are a casual option most people understand that can be as simple or as stylish as you like.

    This is such a great question, though, it’s going to have to come to the front page level so everyone can see it. 🙂

  20. This is a great post and I totally agree with it! I am going to post a link to this in my favorites for tomorrow on my blog. Thanks a bunch!

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