Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Looking clean and put together with kids

So how exactly does one get away with wearing a white sweater and light grey blazer with two toddlers?  Or, even more so, a Missoni scarf and a cream cashmere sweater?

I do a few things to keep my clothes looking reasonably clean, without weekly dry cleaning trips.

  • As much as possible, I avoid wearing my blazer until after I drop the kids off at daycare.  This may mean I'm cold in the morning - but I can manage.  I even have a "home jacket" which I wear instead if I need to be cozy.  This way my blazer stays crisp and clean, and even if I get something on my shirt I can hide it under the blazer at work.  Same goes for the scarf - I put it on only after dropping the kids off.  In the meantime it sits on the passenger seat.
  • I try to wear pants that I can rub dirt off of.  Good wool and synthetics work well for this.  Cotton usually does not.  Take a dry washcloth or even a rough dry paper towel, and you can usually rub off most dirt.  I almost always get dirt on my pants from carrying my toddler and her dirty shoes hitting my legs.  But I can dust that right off in the car or when I get to my office.
  • Spot cleaning!  Oh, the wonders of spot cleaning.  I keep a jar of delicate soap in my bathroom, so I can spot clean my clothes as soon as I take them off in the evening, or before bed.  That way they are clean and ready to go next time I want to wear them, and stains don't set in.  This is the soap I'm using these days, but I've used many over the years and they all seem fine: http://www.amazon.com/Forever-New-Fabric-Care-Wash/dp/B002USD5FC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1416934861&sr=8-1&keywords=forever+new+soap.  I've done it so much lately that I can now wash, rinse, and lay out to dry an item in under 3 minutes.  I got something on the white sweater yesterday, but now it's good as new.
  • I change into "home clothes" as soon as I get home, if possible.  If hubby is home, we take turns watching the kids while the other one goes and changes.  If not, then sometimes I can take the kids to my room to change, or I can settle them in with dinner first, and then go change.  
  • If I can't change into home clothes quickly, I take off my sweater, shirt, or blouse, and walk around in a camisole.  And possibly a camisole plus home jacket if it's cold.  Hey - it works.  (This happened with the cashmere last week - the sweater sat on a chair at the back of the house while we had a family dinner in the dining room.  I was hanging out in a cami.)
What about the other little things, like having nicely manicured nails?  I've mostly given up.  I either do touch-ups at the office, to fake nicely manicured nails, or I keep my nails clean and short and leave it at that.  A few things that have helped: Get acetone from a beauty supply store to use as a nail polish remover.  It's faster than any other polish remover (and what the nail salons use).  Being able to quickly take off polish helps a lot.  Buy polishes that look okay with just one coat and that touch up well so you can just paint the tips if they chip.  I really like metallic polishes for one-coat-coverage. I feel they are more forgiving. And I like Revlon, Opi, and the Saks Fifth Avenue store brand for good application, opacity, and drying time.  And have a good quick-dry base coat.  It can work as a nice clear polish in a pinch (such as when you have time to do your base coat and no time to put the color on), and it protects your nails from discoloring so they still look good when you take your polish off.  I use Sally Hansen Hard-as-nails. 

Any tips to share, my fellow working-moms-of-young-kids?  :)

No comments:

Post a Comment