Being a mom is one of the hardest jobs in the world. Even Oprah agrees, and when Oprah agrees, you know it’s true! Being a mom requires selflessness and sacrifice. Many moms can become so engrossed in making sure the kids have everything they need that they forget about themselves.
Some moms (probably yours!) even feel guilty about self-care. And it’s hard to cultivate personal style when self-care guilt is in play.
The good news is, you can help break your mom out of a style rut. Even better, a mom makeover — handled with care, of course — can be a bonding experience for the two of you.
Ready to get started making over mom? Here is your roadmap for a mom-style intervention.
The 4-step mom makeover
1. Proceed with care
Ideally, you can ask your mom how she feels about a style makeover. In a perfect world, she would love the idea.
But you know your mom and her sensitivities. So we’re clear, by sensitivities, I don’t mean skin allergies. I mean her trigger points. Think about these before you approach your mom about overhauling her style. You don’t want to insult her inadvertently or leave her feeling judged, after all. Some questions to ask:
- Does she avoid change? Many women can be so used to their current style that they are reluctant to change. To handle this, invite your mama out for a mother/daughter day. Tell her you have been dying for a new look for yourself and you want to share that experience with her. Suggest lightly that you two can go through a style upgrade together. See how she responds.
- Does she get defensive? You don’t want to point out directly that your mom has maybe, possibly neglected her style. Nor do you want to prompt a heated discussion about how much she’s given up to raise you right. Try starting with a freebie garment that you can build on. Like, “I have this green sweater that I think would look amazing on you.” Then segue into adding more pieces to her wardrobe to go with the green sweater…
- Is she sensitive about aging? I’m guilty of this one. I get easily bothered by any comment remotely related to my age. I could possibly lose it if one of my kids mentions “updating my look” or “dressing my age.” Steer clear of either phrase. Don’t make the makeover about age. Focus on helping your mom express her own sense of style.
2. Start with hair
A new cut or even an overdue trim can transform your mom’s look. The Number 1 rule here: The cut must be the same or easier to manage than her current style. She’s not going to transition from a loose ponytail every day to a style that requires a round brush and a flat iron.
For short hair
Pixies! Pixies can be short and spiky or longer and tousled with side-swept bangs.
Bobs. Stacked bobs are popular with moms but proceed with caution. I’ve seen stacked bobs that look amazing and others that look very dated. You might browse photos of this style with mom to ensure she gets a cut she likes.
For black hair
Go natural! A cut that allows mom to wear her hair with its natural texture is very stylish.
For medium-length hair
The lob. A lob can be a fantastic choice for moms, especially when the stylist can work with mom’s natural hair texture.
For long hair
Long layers. Moms with long hair can get a refresh with some soft layers, or even bangs. (You know what they say about bangs — cheaper than Botox!)
The long-layered style generally does require a daily blowout. If that doesn’t fit into Mom’s lifestyle, she can experiment with different updos and ponytails. That way, she’ll have a backup plan for days she doesn’t want to blow-dry.
Try a touch of color
A few low-maintenance highlights or lowlights can also brighten mom’s look, and without changing her styling routine.
Grey can be great
A grey hairdo does not have to look frumpy or dated. Try searching IG for #greyhair and you’ll see what I mean. You’ll find a whole feed of inspiring, super-hot ladies donning their natural grey.
3. Move on to makeup
If your mom is not afraid of makeup and loves to pile it on, then try getting her to tone things down. You can take her to the nearest department store makeup counter. Ask the makeup artist show her what the new trends in makeup are and how to incorporate them into her daily routine. For example, trying a bold lip with neutral makeup instead of bold lips and bold eyes.
If your mom doesn’t wear any makeup, then introduce her to the 5-minute face. All she needs is a little palette that has eye shadow, lip gloss, and blush. Revlon sells kits like these for $10 on Amazon. There are pricier and more elaborate options from Shany and Clinique, too. (I do have a Shany kit and it’s a great set for the price.)
The full-face makeup palette makes it easy for her to add some color to her face without spending an hour on it every morning. A few swipes here and there, finish with mascara, and she’s done.
4. Update her wardrobe
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First rule of updating mom’s wardrobe: You don’t want to give your mom a style that she’s not comfortable in. Rather than overhauling her closet, focus on enhancing or refining the style she already has. These pointers will help:
- Help her identify silhouettes that flatter her shape. If she knows that, say, flowing tunics and skinny pants look amazing on her, she’ll find shopping to be more efficient and more fun.
- Work with her on go-to colors. She might look great in cool blues and sickly in yellows. She needs to know that.
- Enhance her current wardrobe with accessories and outerwear. Scarves, jewelry, and layers can be a low-cost strategy to refresh her style without replacing every last piece in her closet.
- Get inspiration from stylish celebs. Queen Latifah, Kris Jenner, Julianne Moore, Helen Mirren, Anna Wintour, Reese Witherspoon, and Halle Berry (and so many others!) prove that women of any age can be confident, sexy, and stylish.
Try these proven strategies
- Colorblocking. Colorblocking has come a long way since with black and red sheath dress of the ’90s. Today’s version is more of a two-tone — more interesting than a solid color but not as bold as a pattern.
- Bright-colored bottoms. Add pop with, say, a bright red, a-line skirt.
- Dark denim. Straight-leg, dark wash denim is a no-fail choice. Work with her to try on multiple brands until she finds the one she loves.
After the makeover is complete, take your stylish mama out for a cocktail (or two or three), but don’t be alarmed if you notice a whole lotta attention going her way!