From Frumpy to Fab – The Well Put Together Mom

I get  many emails requesting tips on how to look well put together when leaving your house that I thought it might be good to do a post.

Frumpy to Fab
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Let me say, I think at times when people are asking how to look well put together they have their eyes set on someone’s style be it another mom, a celebrity etc. Style is what is comfortable for you, and when looking at others thinking something is fashionable but knowing it would never work for your lifestyle, it just becomes a crutch and an excuse to continue looking a certain way. I’m going to attempt to stop the frumpy madness and tell you to embrace who you are and dress yourself from that space. MmmmmmmKay?!

  • Make up in your mind you don’t want to look frumpy: It’s that simple. Most of the time when I leave THIS house I know that I want to look presentable. That doesn’t mean I have on designer clothing that just means I put some thought into what I am going to put on. MY mood is better when I look good.
Oh look, it's Halle Berry in a simple blouse, ripped jeans and sunglasses. Easy!
Oh look, it’s Halle Berry in a simple blouse, ripped jeans and sunglasses. Easy!


  • Be Intentional About Your Clothing Purchases: As sad as it is, when I want to look a mess I have to dig for things. That’s how I designed it. When I just want to throw on a T-shirt or sweatpants I usually have to borrow them from my husband. I purged my closet and rebuilt it with well fitting basics that I am able to mix and match. For you, that may be a sweatsuit, or tennis shoes. Just be intentional about selecting a flattering sweatsuit or cute sneakers.
  • Shop Smart: I know what’s coming next…MONEY. Who has money to buy these things? You do. Looking fashionable isn’t about spending a ton of money. You can look just as put together with a well fitting pair of jeans, a shirt and a $5 scarf tossed around your neck that you got from Walmart on your weekly shopping trip. Try a pair of earrings or a necklace from Target these things will not break the bank but will do wonders for upping your fashion quotient.
  • Make Sure it Fits: Make sure it fits, make sure it fits and make sure it fits. Nine times out of ten people look a mess because their clothes don’t fit properly. That goes for your bra as well. I don’t care if you got the jeans from Nordstrom or Walmart if they don’t fit, they don’t look good.
  • Put Something on Your Lips and Comb Your Hair: I mean this. Put a dab of gloss or lipstick on and comb your hair. People normally start at the top and go down. If your outfit is on point but the top portion of you is a mess….I mean. Again nothing drastic here, a ponytail or topknot with some vaseline works. I promise.
Really, none of the above is important if you don’t bathe!!


The holidays are upon us, there is truly no reason to step to Black Friday looking like you rolled out of bed or find yourself at the Thanksgiving table looking like it’s an ordinary dinner. Your family and friends haven’t seen you for nearly a year or more, I urge you to put some effort into your look even if it’s only a pair of jeans from Walmart, a top from Target, some flats from Payless and a scarf from the Dollar Tree I have a Dollar Tree scarf make it work for you. Oh and don’t forget to comb your hair and put on some lipgloss.

Need some tips on the basics to buy? Here you go!

What is the biggest challenge you face in making sure you look put together?!

About the author
Mom, wife and friend. I moonlight as a cooker, baker, laundry folder and organizer. I like to think I do it in style. Unlikely Martha is my contribution to the internet in helping women "Keep House and Stay Fly!"


  1. I think my biggest challenge is that I am not use to my mommy body. I need to lose weight because in my minds eye, I am still 22 and 100 pounds and so those are the close I gravitate towards, things that just don’t work with my now mature body. Mind you, I do not leave the house in my yoga pants unless I am going to the gmy but some days a ponytail and no makeup is the best I can do. (I blame the child that is 2 1/2 and STILL don’t sleep through the night…)
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  2. The biggest challenge that I face is giving myself the time to get dressed. Most mornings I wake up before the kids and I get dressed and maybe do some makeup. You’re right, I do feel much better about life in general on those days. I recently did a gutting of my wardrobe so it’s easy for me to pick out things to wear. My biggest challenge these days is having time to tame this hair. Being natural with two kids this young has been tough.

  3. My biggest challenge is finding clothes that fit my body I have such an odd shape small on the bottom big on the top so I just give up and do sweats and a tshirt. If we go out I dress the kids first by the time I am done with hair and neating them up it’s time for me to get dressed and I just throw on whatever because I am just trying to get out of the house. I have said I will try to do better but it has not happened yet. I hope it will rub off on my by next year.
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  4. I’m in the process of purging and re-building. I really don’t want to be the frumpy mom and I felt I was on the verge. I like that I have a job where I don’t have to get super dressed up so, I’m buying pieces that will fit both work and weekend leisure. Purging has also helped me take stock of the pieces I’m missing.
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  5. I couldn’t agree with you more and finding pieces that fit!

    I always feel like I need to purchase something new instead of looking through my messy closet! That’s the issue my closet is too small to fit everything and I can rarely find things so I go out and purchase more! I’ve been good for the past 2 months though, no shoppping! Thanks for the tips!
    Aracely recently posted..$100 Mamanista Giveaway

  6. Great tips! I’m big on purging cause it forces me to upgrade. I’ve also done really well with K&G online (especially clearance). I never shopped until my husband started getting all his suits there since he’s 6’8″ and can’t shop off the rack. With the subsequent discounts he suggested one day I take a look and I cleaned up! I’ve been shopping there since. A nice pair of jeans, boots/flats (depending on season) and button down are my go-to outfit and sometimes I throw on a blazer if I want to be extra fancy!
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  7. Chasing after three kids 8 and under, my go to outfit is a graphic tee and fitted jeans. I can’t go wrong with that! I do feel better about myself when I’m put together, I smile a little more.

  8. My struggle is…I don’t care until I see someone looking really cute! like wow I probably should’ve done better today LOL I’m in scrubs all day so no desire to be cute and on the weekends it’s Chunks all day ::shrug:: effort is concealer and gloss. I run right to the Gap’s basic shirts but my jeans are always great! Ugh gotta do better
    Candace (NYStateofMoM) recently posted..Where I Want To Be

  9. My biggest challenge is probably time management…I’m pretty good about looking put together when I know I’m going somewhere. I wish I could make more of an effort going to Target or running errands.

  10. These are nice tips for moms looking for ways to put some time into their looks again after having kids. I always feel like I am not only a representation of myself and my son, but of my husband as well when I go out. I just want that to be a good one so I definitely get dressed every single day and do my hair. 🙂 My son and I usually go out midday for walks so even if I don’t leave our apartment complex, people will still see me.
    Brittnei recently posted..An Unexpected Gift

  11. Thanks for the tips! I’ve been in a bit of slump lately when it comes to getting dressed. I just told my mom the only time I really put on decent clothes everyday is when I seem to go out of town for a few days (like during Christmas) or to church on Sundays. Sad I know. I plan on doing better in the new year!
    Roni recently posted..Natural Hairstyles of 2013

    1. I have gained some weight and I have been having a difficult time dressing myself as well because nothing fits. I need to make the decision to either embrace the weight or lose it!! Thanks for sharing the post on Facebook. I appreciate it!

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