Unlikely Martha
Fashion Mama Style Wardrobe Wednesday

Escaping a Style Rut…Part I

Style Rut can be defined as that dark hole that we can easily fall in as a result of building a career, joining the ranks of motherhood, or not having the time to stay abreast of the latest trends and styles.

We go from wearing well tailored clothing to “mom jeans” and tattered sweatpants. Those things that we wouldn’t have been caught dead in during the peak of our style career and now we will side eye anyone who attempts to stare too long at our choice of grocery store attire. We know what they’re thinking because we used to be them. Now we just don’t care…Please note I said we…

No more. The fall is coming and what better time to resurrect our sense of style and pride in our looks than the start of a new season.


Trash it. Throw it away.

This is the hard part but the reality is if a wardrobe of ratty sweatpants and T-shirts weren’t readily available you probably wouldn’t wear them. I’m not saying you can’t be a sweat pants and T-shirt girl, let’s just not make it the pair of pants you clean in and the T-shirt you won dunking teachers at your child’s fall festival. Ya feel me?

Gone. Weep now. We’ll replace them later.

Physical & mental

Once the undesirables have been removed look at what you have left and assess what you need. Yes, a good jogging suit and nice pair of sneakers are on the must have list. Here is a tool to pull some inspiration from when deciding what you need to have in your closet to create a good base for looking stylish on a whim.


You have to start somewhere.

The majority of the time you see someone with impeccable style they have essentially learned the art of building on the basics. Nothing more, nothing less.  A top, a bottom and shoes. These are three things we must not leave home without unless we want a problem.

If you are looking for somewhere to start in getting your style mojo back, the basics is where its at.

Easier said than done you say? I agree, this presents a challenge for some while evoking a sense of anxiety for others. Lack of resources, style, sizing options and accessibility to stores can all be culprits to style deprivation but with fashion blogs, Pinterest and a host of other tools there really is not an excuse for one to not  look effortlessly chic with just  a little effort.

Part II of this series will be dedicated to helping you find the basics at three different price points. Then you’ll really have no excuse. You’ll love me…I promise.

Would you consider yourself style challenged? What is the biggest hurdle between you and achieving the style you desire?

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  • Reply
    August 29, 2012 at 5:46 am

    I think since I became a mother, I started wearing things that were more comfortable and allowed me to move around easier and chase my daughter (If I needed too). Right now the biggest challenge for me is to find pieces that are both complimentary of my style and comfortable but not matronly.
    BessieAkuba recently posted..Where am I Going and What Will I Be Doing When I Get There ?

  • Reply
    August 29, 2012 at 7:31 am

    Lately I’ve been in a style rut which is so not like me. I brought my first pair if flats last year and before that I wore heels everyday for years. I use to get dressed complete with heels and makeup just to drop my daughter off at school and I was coming right back home. I was always stylish but now I hate to get dressed or wear makeup. Partly because I haven’t been feeling well but mostly because I just haven’t been feeling the same. It’s the rut. I need to get out of it soon and yes fall is the best time to do it. I can’t wait to wear blazers and boots. Now I just have to leave the house to wear them lol. Great post.
    Kim recently posted..Launch of KoKoa Magazine

  • Reply
    August 29, 2012 at 8:13 am

    I think for me it’s finding things in my size and when I do find cute pieces the price is ridiculous so I give up and just buy sweats in all colors. I hate buttoning jeans and not finding jeans to fit my frame so I just settle on sweats plus being so short most of my clothes drag the floor. I do love the fashion for fall though so I may look into a couple of new pieces for me.

  • Reply
    August 29, 2012 at 8:35 am

    Thanks for this great post! My issue is purchasing too much of one thing. I need to be able to stick to the basics and build from there. Looking forward to part II!
    Aracely recently posted..Madison is 3 years old today!

  • Reply
    August 29, 2012 at 9:43 am

    Hey Mimi. Great post! This seems to be the story of my life! LOL
    When you post abt price points, will you please give recommendations on stores if you can…

  • Reply
    August 29, 2012 at 9:50 am

    I am soooo in the mode of trying to rebuild some sort of personal style right now. I’ve done the purge and gotten rid of things I just won’t EVER wear. I need to start rebuilding my basics and trying to get into the concept of seasonal clothing. Being born and raised in California, seasonal was not really important. but now I live in Georgia and I need to up my game after being here 6 years LOL. This post was avery helpful reminder to get my butt in gear 🙂
    Brandyne recently posted..Turn It Around Tuesday

  • Reply
    August 29, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Excellent post! I am the queen of getting rid of clothes in my closet. I don’t mind owning a few well fitting t-shirts, but for the most part, I would rather be comfortable and fashionable. These days, while I’m rebuilding my wardrobe, I tell myself that I don’t have buy things all at once. Rebuild slowly and only really get items that I would wear. If not, it would be a waste of money.
    KalleyC recently posted..Believing In Miracles

  • Reply
    Baby Shopaholic
    August 29, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Great post! I am about to clean out my closet and take inventory. I know I dont need anything but just in case
    Baby Shopaholic recently posted..Oogieloves Movie Review: Take the Little Ones!

  • Reply
    August 29, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    This is a great post, Mims! I’m a regular purger because we’re short on space, so I have to get rid of things I don’t wear. My fashion challenge is in shopping for little things regularly. I tend to shop in cycles, buying a bunch of stuff all at once, then wearing those items to death! I need to be okay with spending a little here and there to actually build a decent wardrobe.
    Amber recently posted..Confessions of a Mom on the Rise: I Don’t Have it All Figured Out, and That’s Okay

  • Reply
    August 29, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    I find myself wearing dresses pretty much all the time. They are all comfy and can be dressed up or down. Living in Cali, we don’t have any real defined seasons so I can go like this year round less by chance we get rain, then I have pants and boots! 🙂

  • Reply
    August 29, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    So appropriate as I am pulling myself out of this rut!
    Makiea recently posted..Exclusive!

  • Reply
    Joy and Sunshine
    August 29, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Love this advice! I fell into a serious style rut a few years ago, and like you mentioned above, I got rid of the riff-raff in my closet and focused on buying quality basics that fit the style I wanted. It’s easier to layer and add interesting pieces once the basics are covered.

  • Reply
    Mrs. Delightful
    August 29, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    Love this post! I think I use being a mom as an excuse. However, I am in the process of trying to get it together… I was never one to follow trends I just go with what I like… As moms we still can look fab and be comfy at the same time! This post is truly a reminder :).

  • Reply
    August 29, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    Great tips. I will be purging when I get back from NYC. I have a plethora of basics. I do need a new pair of leopard flats and actual closed toe black pump

    • Reply
      August 30, 2012 at 12:06 pm

      I think that’s the key! Making sure that we are removing what we aren’t wearing anymore and replacing it with new basics. Fashion has its own cycle of life!

  • Reply
    August 29, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    Great post… I am forever purging and somehow I continue to accumulate more! I have found lately that my go to item is a dress because it’s doesn’t requires to much work just throw it on with some cute shoes and accessories and I’m good to go!

    Lynn recently posted..Love & Hip Hop Atlanta… Viewing Party Recap!

  • Reply
    August 30, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    I am in the process of shopping for the basics. I started after I had my baby and slowly but surely I’m re-building my wardrobe. I needed to re-invent myself and my style. Those choices are great basics. LOVE the aviator glasses!
    Tia recently posted..Chic Spotlight: Kohl’s Simply Vera

  • Reply
    Kenye ~ Glow Kouture
    August 30, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    Love this! I think my biggest problem is purging, I have things in my closet that I wore 10 years ago…smh. Can’t wait for part II..:)
    Kenye ~ Glow Kouture recently posted..Call for Fashion/Personal Style Bloggers…

  • Reply
    Marie Young
    August 31, 2012 at 12:56 am

    Girl, having a baby will have you going THROUGH IT! I’ve done this process like three times since I delivered my first child and now I am preggo again. That “basics” chart was well needed! I posted on interest and tweeting NOW!
    Marie Young recently posted..Channel 38 With a Lesson on Patent Reform

  • Reply
    Cam | Bibs & Baubles
    August 31, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    Wonderful post Mimi! I have been on a style re-brand since having the baby. I fell into a leggings and t-shirt look with my son. I’m trying to avoid that this time. Right now I’m at the purging stage. I’m determined to keep some sense of style as a mom of two. Looking forward to the next post. 🙂
    Cam | Bibs & Baubles recently posted..Timeline TMI

  • Reply
    Escaping a Style Rut…Part II » Lipgloss and Binky
    September 5, 2012 at 3:17 pm

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  • Reply
    September 6, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    My biggest hurdle is myself. I’ll something in the buggy for myself and then think about all the stuff I could get for the kids and end up putting it back. However, I recently purged my closet and the kids. So, I’m ready to start restocking on the basics plus a few fun pieces.
    YUMMommy recently posted..Thankful Thursday

  • Reply
    September 11, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Thanks for this post. I’m went through my closet the other day and pulled some things to get rid of. I really want to vamp up my wardrobe. Thanks for helping me figure out where to start.
    Jenni recently posted..Breaking the Dinner Rut

  • Reply
    January 19, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    This is so inspirational to me as I am just going through my closet to get rid of all but 50 articles of clothing! Looking over this list, I think I’m headed in the right direction!!


  • Reply
    July 13, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    Great post I really need to purge soon, but my main issue is I stick with JUST THE BASICS. And NYC basics at that, black and grey, jeans, and flats, leather and basic tees. I need more print and pretty, I’ll keep thin is mind when I go shopping.
    Candace recently posted..Someone’s Son

  • Reply
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