My recent endeavors have all been in pursuit of SIMPLE. A simpler life, a simpler beauty routine, simpler habits… Thanks to my obsession with French lifestyle, I just want more time to BE.
I think I’ve mastered the perfect way to get through summer without fussing over What to Wear.
I’m a real estate agent in New Orleans, so I am lucky to have control of my schedule, to a point, and I’m planning to keep my nine-year-old son out of camp this year; we’re going to focus on having fun and being productive at home.
Here’s the problem: I usually have to meet with customers at some point during the day. When I’m running errands, I’m encountering other professionals, my banker, co-workers and of course, clients. So… I have to be ready at all times, looking presentable and professional – New Orleans is a small town!
On the other hand, we have LOTS of kid activities going on. Several days a week, baseball practice and games. Most afternoons, dog walking, visits to the park, play dates, birthday parties, and the list goes on.
So for many years now, I’ve started my day in “work clothes,” and I try to finish up all the professional things I have to do before 3pm. Then I change into my “Mom clothes,” which can be shorts or jeans, yoga clothes, or whatever. But, if any of those activities end up overlapping (which they often do), there I am… overdressed, or underdressed… wishing I was wearing something else.
Now I’ve found a simple cure, and I wanted to share it, because it will make my summer SO much easier! The summer uniform, for ME.
I’ve long been addicted to the simple, easy-to-care-for dresses from GAP and OLD NAVY. Sometimes Banana Republic. GAP, in particular, runs sales so often things are rarely sold at full price; and because I shop there so often, I’m always getting “GAP cash” coupons, which also save me tons.
For about $30 or $40 apiece, I find the cutest summer dresses that fall perfectly between casual and dressy, and once I find a style I like – I just buy several different colors and/or prints, especially online since I already know the fit.
And thanks to the fact that Keds white sneakers are back in style – voila! I’ve found my summer uniform. Now I can get dressed ONCE for the day and be dressed just right, no matter what comes up.
See? In the morning, or during work appointments, a pair of nude-colored shoes – flats, casual heels, or sandals, can change the simple dresses to appropriate work-place attire. I can add a bit of jewelry, if I want, but this summer, I’m just keeping it simple, keeping a simple silver necklace and ring on at all times, adding earrings if I feel like it.
Time for baseball? Throw those shoes in the back of the car and reach for my Keds. Now I’m a baseball mom, just chilling at the ball park in a simple, cool summer dress that’s not too dressy at all. Bonus points for the fact that this is MUCH cooler than shorts and shirt (or jeans) during our brutal New Orleans summer.
Best of all, in either situation, I can switch to the other look by a simple change of shoes.
So that’s my summer uniform. I bought 6 dresses yesterday, to add to the 6 or so I already have. These also wash-and-wear, and they travel well, too.
A few other notes:
Hair: I wash and condition every other day. Let air dry when I can, twist up and secure in a bun for working or if it’s hot (and it’s always hot). When I want to embrace my hippie look, I can let my hair down with the beachy waves created by the bun, add a floppy hat (or not), and move onto evening, go out to dinner, to an outdoor concert, whatever.
Handbag: A big straw purse… for everything, anywhere, ready for what comes up.
Makeup: Minimal. Focus on great skin care in summer, use BB cream for moisture and “foundation,” a little mascara, bright lipstick at work, Burt’s Bees gloss for everything else.
** Also keeping a “bullet journal” to stay organized and keep notes on everything I need to do, and my endless collection of “lists.”
** Grocery delivery. Enough said. Life changing.
Bye for now! Enjoy summer, and consider adopting your own “Mom uniform” for a simpler life!