Clothes for moms who do all the things

Nearly every mother I know has a hustle. Or three. Or more. There’s something about motherhood these days that practically none of us is “just” a stay-at-home-mom or career mom or a mom period. We’re also entrepreneurs, bloggers, creatives, homeschoolers and so much more—not to mention being a partner, friend, sister, daughter and a whole list of other awesome roles. Enter: clothes for moms that do all the things.

It may sound silly, but my daily style impacts my ability to be so many things at once. (Anyone else think of Hermione and Ron’s interaction in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix? Ron said, “One person can’t feel all that at once, they’d explode.” Hermione replies, “Just because you have the emotional range of a teaspoon doesn’t mean we all have.” AMEN HERMIONE!) When I need to be ready to get the girls ready, jump on a conference call, bust out a blog post, plan the week’s meals and have the mental energy left to have a conversation with my husband that goes beyond Daredevil plot points, I need an outfit that works for me.

So when I partnered with Athleta to write a blog post about their new fall collections, I couldn’t stop thinking about how Athleta’s lines are just that: clothes for moms who do all the things.

The best clothes for moms are comfortable—and beautiful—because working moms and SAHMs need to feel gorgeous. Ten Thousand Hour MamaThe best clothes for moms are comfortable, practical, beautiful - and washable! Ten Thousand Hour MamaClothes for moms should be simultaneously gorgeous and practical, professional and comfortable. This Athleta dress is my new favorite outfit to do all the things. Ten Thousand Hour Mama

I received an Athleta gift certificate in exchange for writing this post. As always, all opinions and content on this blog are entirely my own. 

Clothes for moms: not just mom jeans

Yes, I know that mom jeans are seeing a comeback, but if you’ve met me—or read my post defending leggings—you know my daily style rarely includes jeans. I’m all about clothes for moms that are stretchy, comfortable and easily washed.

(Kiwi still eats most of her meals on my lap and loves to show her appreciation for a meal by wiping her face all over me. I get a lot of food on me, ok?)

So when I saw—and felt—all the clothes at Athleta’s Portland store in the Pearl, I wanted them all. I ended up choosing this beautiful plum criss cross dress. It was love at first touch—the sweatshirt material is softer than anything I own, and I adore the subtle petal hem detail. It’s now my favorite outfit.

The best clothes for moms are comfortable and professional, practical and gorgeous—because no matter if you're a SAHM or a career gal, you deserve to feel beautiful. Ten Thousand Hour MamaThe best clothes for working moms are professional, practical—and gorgeous! Here's my favorite outfit (and why). Ten Thousand Hour Mama

I put the outfit to the test on a recent Friday. My childcare fell through, so the day was even more packed than usual. Still, I had work to complete before the weekend, so I loaded my kids into the car and brought them with me to work.

Clothes that work for moms

When we arrived at The Perlene, the feminist co-working space in Southeast Portland where I have a membership, the girls were curious and shy. They’d never come into work with Mom before, so they explored—while keeping a firm grip on the hem of my dress. They warmed up quite a bit when some of the ladies there offered them popsicles. (Thanks, gals!!!)The best professional clothes for moms are comfortable - and washable! - 'cause kids are messy! Ten Thousand Hour MamaMy new favorite outfit is softer than anything I own but looks totally professional (and sexy - hey-o!). Ten Thousand Hour MamaThe best working mom clothes are professional and comfortable—and beautiful. My new favorite outfit from Athleta is all of those things. Ten Thousand Hour Mama

While the girls were busy eating their treat, I squeezed in writing a few emails as well as some other work. (There’s nothing better at helping you prioritize than the timer of a kid eating a popsicle! The limited window for work really helps you focus!)

The girls did a fantastic job of giving me a little time to bust out a few tasks. As a reward—for all of us—we went upstairs to the movement studio. Kiwi and I danced, and Peeper taught us a routine she learned at ballet camp this summer.

All through it, I wore my criss cross dress. Talk about epitomizing the best clothes for moms: The dress moved with me from my professional life to my motherhood life. I was wearing an outfit that—gasp!—seemed to get that these separate lives are simply one part of a beautiful, if sometimes harried, existence.

The best family photos show real moments and true emotion. Outfit ideas inside. Ten Thousand Hour Mama
I’m so grateful to my friend Rachelle of Lil Zesty Creative for taking these amazing family photos for me.

Clothes for moms who do all the things—SAHMs and working moms alike. Ten Thousand Hour MamaMom style means comfort, practicality and above all beauty for the best of motherhood, inside and out. Ten Thousand Hour Mama

Dressing for juggling all the things composing a life

Recently I heard a radio interview with anthropologist and linguist Mary Catherine Bateson, and it hit me so profoundly that I pulled over the car and recorded my reflections in my notes app. Bateson pointed out that the phrase “juggling”—as in, “I’m juggling motherhood, a full-time career, running the household and making sure my kids’ dinner doesn’t consist of Cheerios dug out of the car seats”—is terribly anxiety-producing. Instead, she prefers to think about “composing” a life as a sort of improvisation. So motherhood doesn’t have to be this feat where you’re always trying to keep the many many balls of life in the air, terrified of letting one drop; motherhood can be a composition, where you use your creativity, skill and ingenuity to craft something beautiful and meaningful.

Inhale. Exhale.

Now isn’t that more approachable than “juggling”?

When life is hectic, sometimes you just gotta stop and have a dance party with your kids. Ten Thousand Hour MamaClothes for moms allow you to be professional—and just a mom—without a million costume changes. My favorite outfit from Athleta lets me do just that. Ten Thousand Hour Mama

I’ve been reminding myself of this distinction when life feels hectic. Days when I have to both be mom and a professional—even at the same time—can get real stressful real fast. But having even one thing be easy—like my clothes and my style—makes a profound difference.

So you won’t see me in tailored slacks and a dry clean only blouse when I head into work. To be honest, I don’t have the time for all the costume changes (not to mention dry cleaning runs and stain-removing marathons). I need one outfit that works for everything. Luckily for all us mamas, clothes for moms who do all the things can be beautiful. We can dress practically and comfortably and still feel gorgeous. That’s what this Athleta dress does for me. It makes me feel beautiful—while I compose a beautiful life.

The best mom style shows your beauty inside and out. Family photography outfit idea by Athleta. Ten Thousand Hour Mama

PS – Aren’t these photos amazing? Rachelle of Lil Zesty Creative took them for me—she is legit, people. (Also you can follow her on Instagram here.)

8 thoughts on “Clothes for moms who do all the things

  • August 16, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    I love the Athleta workout line so dang much but I have yet to try their regular apparel line! ps. that dress top looks beautiful on you!

    • August 17, 2017 at 9:43 am

      Thanks Maxene! I’ve always thought of Athleta as a workout brand, but their crossover clothes are amazing, too.

  • August 16, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    I’m not a mom (well, of humans anyway) and I loved reading your post, Catherine! I really enjoy living and working in comfy clothes (I am resistant to clothes that are too… buttoned up – I could never transition into the power clothing style of NYC even when I lived there!) and your outfit looks quite versatile – and yes, the shirt is lovely. I’d wear that, myself. Also, thanks for mentioning Perlene – I was unaware of them but will check out their website.

    Your photographer did a wonderful job with the images in this post. Nice job all around!
    Meg recently posted…Portland Area Food Events, August 17-24My Profile

    • August 17, 2017 at 9:42 am

      Thank you Meg! Sounds like we’re clothes soul sisters. I lived in NYC, too, and always felt semi underdressed! Let me know if you want to learn more about the Perlene. I LOOOOOOOVE it!

  • August 16, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    I basically live in leggings and comfy tees- so I love Athleta! 🙂 Your family photos are precious!

    • August 17, 2017 at 9:43 am

      Thanks Hillary! Athleta’s clothes are such high quality. I walk around the store touching everything like a weirdo because it’s all so soft!

  • August 21, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    Gorgeous shots, great outfit–but also, let’s get real, you wear the outfit really well. I agree with you, how precious an outfit that will just work through the day with all the things mama needs to do 🙂 Although I do love my jeans… 😛

    • August 21, 2017 at 7:32 pm

      Thank you Sahar!! As long as we’re real, the #1 reason I love this dress is because it’s like wearing really classy PJs. 😉


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