Parenting Guru: My cool mom outfit

I have to admit that, when I first had my daughter, I was pretty sure that my days of looking cute and fashionable were gone. Since I work from home and tend to stay pretty busy in and around the house, you'd think that my standard uniform would be the sweatpants-and-tee-shirt combo that so many moms have ended up resorting to. But I've figured out a really quick, easy outfit that looks fashionable and hip, but is just as easy to wear as faded jeans and baggy sweater.

My own personal "cool mom outfit" consists of a mini-skirt, a pair of leggings, and a cute babydoll tee. I'll switch out which leggings, skirt, or shirt I'm wearing depending on my mood, the season, and what's clean, but the general outfit remains the same. The babydoll tee-shirt usually features a cute artsy print (like the kinds you'll find from Threadless Tees). I choose tees are are form-fitting but not too tight, so I don't look too sloppy but still feel comfortable and not over-exposed. I always pick ones that aren't way too low-cut, since kids are notorious for exposing mom's boobs at the worst times (as I think any mom knows). Thankfully, tee-shirts don't have to be slobby-looking to be cozy and easy to wear. In the cooler months, I'll wear a long-sleeved tee or I'll pair it with a cute sweater or hoodie.

Next, I'll pick a pair of leggings that looks good with the top. Jeggings are a good go-to, but I've also got a pair of brown leggings that looks cute with earth-toned tees, and a pair of black leggings that I'll wear with tees that contain a lot of black print or fabric. I'm too much of a mom to get away with wearing mini-skirts without leggings these days-- I don't have the luxury of keeping my legs crossed when I'm trying to keep up with my kiddo! The leggings also give me free reign to avoid shaving my legs (how many moms of four-year-olds have time to do that every day?) Plus, when it's cold, a really nice thick pair of leggings can make it so I can still wear my cute clothes without freezing my butt off.

The mini-skirt is the part of the outfit that makes me feel like I'm still cute, fun, and even sexy, despite living in a society that forbids moms from being any of those things. I've got a handful of adorable mini-skirts in several styles, cuts, and colors, and I can mix and match them with my tees in lots of fun ways. I've got a frilly navy-blue skirt that seems to match almost everything I own; I love pairing it with punky babydoll tees and black leggings. My green mini-skirt looks great with brown leggings and earth-toned tees, too. The best part is getting away with wearing a mini-skirt even though my legs aren't perfectly toned, and I'm having to chase my kiddo around in less-than-dainty ways!

If it weren't for my cool mom outfit, which is comfortable and convenient without looking sloppy or matronly, I think I'd be stuck among the many moms sporting waist-high jeans and sweatpants (yuck!). I'm really glad I've found a quick trick to staying at least a little fashionable while dealing with life as a work-at-home mama.

Do you have a "cool mom outfit?" What's your fashion secret for looking cute and sexy as a parent?

Juniper Russo, a Shine Parenting Guru, is freelance writer living in Chattanooga, Tennessee. When she's not busy keeping up with her bright, eccentric four-year-old, she writes about a wide range of topics including health, parenting, pets, and green living.