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Death to low-rise jeans and heels: Fall's hottest fashion trends for moms

Sep. 4, 2012 at 1:15 PM ET

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Low-cut tops are a fashion "don't" for new moms.

Fall is arguably the most fashionable time of the year. The September issue of Vogue is out; women everywhere are eagerly scouting the season’s must-have accessories and eyeing the hot new hemlines. Unless, of course, you’re a mom.

For many of us, style takes a back seat after having kids. Time once spent pondering whether to splurge on a cute top is now spent pondering whether you can scrape the spit-up off your blouse before you go to work.

So, if your issues of InStyle have been piling up while you’ve been busy reading Sandra Boynton books, here’s an update of this season’s hottest mom looks. 

Jeans. The early-aught love-affair with low-rise jeans is so over. The higher the waistband, the better. So-called “mom jeans” are all the rage this fall; don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Just think how hot you’ll look sitting on the floor at the library’s story time, secure in the knowledge that none of the toddlers sitting behind you can see your behind.

Heels. Flats are in and running shoes are sexier than ever. Fashion experts agree that the best look for chasing children is a nice, sensible slip-on. As an added bonus this year, Toms shoes, which look mighty comfy and practical, are all the rage – or so we hear (When did this happen, and why were we so late to notice this trend? Oh, we were busy potty-training toddlers? That explains it.) 

TOMS /
Thankfully, slip on shoes, like this sparkly pair by Toms, are all the fashion rage.

Dresses. Sorry, Diane von Furstenberg, your signature wrap dress is a classic, but we’re declaring it out. Wrap dresses and young children just don’t mix. While they’re easy to wear, they’re also easy for little hands to rip wide open. And since no one wants to do a peep show for the Thanksgiving dinner entertainment, we’re calling a wrap on the wrap.

Accessories. They’re over-rated. While grabbing onto a shiny, dangly earring is great for a baby’s fine-motor skills, a bloody earlobe is always a fashion don’t. And really, necklaces are less than chic after a teething baby’s gummed them and left a delicate trail of drool all over your chest.

Lipstick. A bare lip is in this year (just don’t pick up an issue of Cosmo, or you may get mixed messages). Gloss or color will only stay on your lips for mere minutes before you kiss it off, all over your kids. Then, you’ll have to find a tissue to wipe kiss marks off of them and…what a production. We’re sorry lipstick, but you’re out.

Low-cut tops. To the uninitiated, low-cut tops may seem like a great fashion statement for a new mom. Perfect way to highlight all of that new cleavage, right? Plus, easy access for breastfeeding. Alas, in a cruel twist of fate, it doesn’t work that way. It’s always easier to take the baby underneath the top. And, as babies turn into toddlers, those deft little hands can quickly take you from appropriate décolletage to peep show in a split second (see wrap dresses, above). It is with a twinge of regret that we declare low-cut tops to be a fashion don’t.

Skincare. Few things keep a gal looking young and fresh like a good skincare regimen. If you’re not yet on one, or have forgotten about it thanks to the mommy-fog clouding your brain, we highly recommend you make this a top priority. Because, if you don’t, and a lone chin hair finds its way to your face or wrinkles appear, your kids will point it out. And it will be embarrassing.

Disclaimer: If your kids are a bit older, throw out all of these recommendations. Anything we have advised will likely only humiliate your tween or teen, and they will let you know about it. After years of ignoring trends, moms of tweens often suddenly find themselves living with young style critics. Michael Kors has nothing on these harsh critics roaming amongst us. 

As moms, some of us never cared about fashion to begin with, some of us did but let much of our style go after having kids, and a few of us have managed to juggle both motherhood and three-inch heels. Have you retired some of your favorite fashionable looks after having kids or are you still runway ready?

Dana Macario is a Seattle-area mom who used to dress cutely. Now, she’s a prime candidate for a makeover.

Check out these stylin' links:

Real moms strut the runway for Fashion Week

Moms who mimic teen daughters' style

For back-to-school hair, celebs inspire but mom still rules

Video: Single mom gets splashy makeover

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