All moms know even if you look and feel like doo-doo warmed over, your credibility remains intact as long as you’ve got a cool-looking bag hanging off your stroller. A big-ass, easy-to-wipe-clean graphic hipster purse (like those from Orla Kiely) can hold many juice boxes, Polly Pockets and even a spare pair of heels, in case you suddenly have to pull it together and look like a grown woman.
Comfortable slip-on shoes 2 of 10
Footwear you can slip on, like Birkenstocks, clogs, flats, etc., are parenting essentials. With all the hustling it takes to get our shorties out the door, we no longer have time for laces in our lives.
Cargo pants 3 of 10
Dubbed by my husband as “dad defense pants,” cargo pants allow father figures to discreetly stow bottles, diapers and errant Bok Choy Boys without compromising masculinity. For moms these pants are ideal for masking monthly bloat while giving your aching, oversized purse-slinging shoulders a well-deserved rest.
Jeans, jeans, jeans 4 of 10
Be they from Earnest Sewn or Old Navy, you can’t beat the durability of denim that can be cleansed of kid snot and smattered peas in seconds. Just throw on a costly pair, change your top and BAM! — you’re ready to sprint off to mom’s night out when reinforcements arrive.
Ironic t-shirt 5 of 10
Nothing beats the comfort of cool, crisp cotton all year long. And depending on the messaging, a t-shirt can also boost any vain attempt you make at convincing yourself you still partake in pop culture — when the truth is you haven’t stayed up past 10 in over a year.
Very long, open cardigan 6 of 10
Preferably one with a shawl collar that lends a hint of sophistication to any ensemble (even one based around your ironic t-shirt). Added bonus? They feel as cozy as a backward Snuggie.
Big, puffy coat (seasonal) 7 of 10
When the winter season blows in to your life, a long, puffy down coat becomes the equivalent of a grown-up woobie. Aside from the obvious benefit of comfort, you set the precedent in convincing your kid to dress warm and zip up. And who knows — you might just sweat off a few extra ounces while chasing them around.
Flowy summer shift (also seasonal) 8 of 10
Either patterned or plain, a flowy shift dress that lands just above the knee lends a bohemian coolness to your aura in nanoseconds. And if it should hang far enough from your body contours, no one is the wiser to granny-panty lines.
Jaunty hat 9 of 10
Do you even remember the last time you touched up your roots ... or even washed your hair? Plonk on a jaunty fedora or news cap and you won’t have to!
Flowing scarf 10 of 10
Those sizable scarves you see wrapped and wrapped around necks from coast to coast? They provide a simple way to flair up those ironic t-shirts any time of year, while doubling as a relatively clean surface to change diapers on.