This weekend our family went to the Easter Apple Hunt at Lyman Orchards.  After our hunt we headed into Middletown for lunch at Five Guys.  Sitting waiting for our order, the woman at the table across from me looked me in the eye and said “Are you Cora?”  My first thought was “how does she know me?” and then before I could come to the conclusion she followed up with “I read the blog and I’m friends with Elise, I recognized you.”  My second thought was “OMG what am I wearing?”  I decided I looked OK, until she followed up by saying that my style posts were her favorite.  So glad I was unshowered in a baseball cap when she met me to throw all credibility out the window.  In any case, Mom who’s name I never got, I’m glad you read the blog, thanks for your kind words and for having the guts to introduce yourself to a stranger.  This one’s for you.

My encounter with the mommy-stranger got me thinking about mom-at-home style.  I think what we wear when we’re hanging out at home with the kids is probably our biggest style weakness.  (I’m speaking from personal experience.)  I like to look put together when I’m home with the girls, but not polished.  Does that make sense?  It’s so easy to get into the yoga pants and t-shirt rut at home but if I’m honest with myself, that look makes me lazy and ends up being an excuse to not get things done, like shower or do my hair.  This Monday I was home with the ladies and we had plans to meet a friend for a play date at her house.  I also had to run a few errands with Lovey and Kitten in toe.  It was warm but breezy so a jacket wasn’t needed, but I’d be cold in short sleeves all day.  So this is what I wore:

 photo 2

I should point out that this is what I looked like at the end of the day, still unshowered [are you sensing a theme?] and taken by my 5 year old.  I wear slippers or flip flops around the house but you can see the ballet flats I wore all day in the bottom right corner of the picture.

Let’s talk for a minute about cost per wear (CPW).  When you buy clothes you need to think about how often you will wear them, for what purpose, and whether or not the quality of the item is important.  If it is something you plan on wearing often, say work pants for instance, plan on spending  a bit more money.  If it’s something trendy, or something you’re not sure of, hit up the sales or Old Navy.

Now let’s break down the cost of my outfit.  In the picutre above I am wearing a CAbi open cardi, a white t-shirt from Marshall’s (it might be Max Studio), a CAbi cami, LOFT boyfriend jeans, and Payless ballet flats.

I paid full price for the cami, coming in at $34.  Ok, I know right now you are all screaming at your screens “$34 FOR A CAMI?  IS SHE CRAZY?”  Hear me out, I wear a cami almost every day, I’m a layer girl.  These camis are the best.  I’ve tried others and they always fail me, so if I’m going to wear something everyday I’d rather spend the money on something that fits and that I like.  I also have camis from Anthropoligie that are a bargain at $24 but they are also pretty great.  If I wear it once a week for a year my $34 cami comes out to be $0.65 per wear.

My open cardi was 50% off so it was probably around $65 last spring.  This current season cardi is very similar. I wear it pretty regularly and can dress it up for work or down for home.  It’s a  versatile piece so worth the money in my book.  In the spring/summer I wear it once a week or so: $65/6 = $10.80 per wear.

The white t-shirt I bought last summer at Marshall’s.  I tend to wear lots of white t-shirts in the summer and I loved the trapeze style of this one (you can’t tell in the picutre but it’s got a floaty bottom which hides the pooch).  I think I paid about $25 for this one (I rarely spend more than $20 on an item at Marshall’s, it’s just a little game I have with myself).  I knew I’d wear it all summer and if I got another season out of if then that was okay too.  $25/3= $8.33 per wear.

The boyfriend jeans cost me $16.  Bargain of the year right there.  I wasn’t sure how I felt about the boyfriend jean trend so I didn’t want to spend tons of money on them.  I stalked them online at LOFT back in the fall until they were on sale with an extra 40% off.  I figure if I didn’t like them I wouldn’t be out too much money and I could consign them to get some money back.  Well I like them, a lot.  Since it’s finally been nice to wear them I’ve had them on probably 5 times.  $16/5 = $3.20 per wear.

Last but not least, the ballet flats.  Payless just happened to have the ones I wanted for $14.99.  I don’t know how often I wear them, but at $14.99 even if I wore them once, it’s not a big deal.  My other accessories include: my mommy necklace, ball stud earrings from Macy’s, a cute headband that a stranger in line at LOFT talked me into buying (the link is to one that’s similar), and my FitBit.

I hope that helped give you some information about the importance of CPW and also how you can still look stylish on a mommy-at-home day.  Let me know if you have questions.  I still haven’t gotten to the style quiz, but I promise I haven’t forgotten!