A Mom’s Wardrobe Basics (Part 2): Tops

by | Clothing Essentials: What to Wear | 0 comments

If you missed my intro to the series in Part 1, check that out first. Just in quick summary, I’m providing a guide for moms who want to work towards a well-rounded wardrobe that will offer ultimate versatility. Although I provide examples with links, you may have an entirely different style. If so, simply follow the tips I provide for finding tops that adapt to your lifestyle.

List of everyday wardrobe essentials for busy moms! (Talks all about tops in this post.) If you're transitioning between pregnancy or a mother on the go, this basic guide covers the casual but cute pieces you need to fight the mom frump! This website is so budget friendly! #mom #fashion #outfits #tips #ideas #easy #clothes #style

Any tops you add to your wardrobe need to check off on all of these points:

  1. Falls within your color palette

  2. Fits you correctly

  3. Can combine with at least 4 or 5 other items in your wardrobe (the more the better!)

  4. You love it (you don’t just kind of think it’s cute)

In addition, keep these pointers in mind when you’re deciding whether you want to purchase a top. (If it checks off on even a couple of these additional points, it’s a win!)

  • Versatility. Will this top tuck in neatly, go well belted at the waist, or fit under a cardigan/blazer/jacket? Bonus: can it be worn over a couple of your dresses or over/under one of your button-downs?

  • Comfort. Think of yourself going about your day in it. Can you move in it? Is it still modest when you bend over to pick your kid (or their toys) up? Unless you’re shopping for date night with hubby, you don’t want to bring something home that you’ll want to change out of by lunch time.

  • Pregnancy friendly. (Of course this only applies if you expect to be pregnant again in the near future!) Not everything you buy needs to be (or should be) pregnancy friendly. But if it meets this criteria without actually looking like maternity, you know it’s a smart buy!

There are SO many kinds of tops. As I recommended in this post, the foundation of your wardrobe should be mostly classics that have stayed and will continue to stay in style for many years. Don’t buy trendy tops (or what I like to call “the fluff”) until you have the foundation of classics. Having a foundation of classic pieces insures you will have ample mixing and matching options.

I divided my example tops in those two categories below. Please note however that the examples are by no means comprehensive! Shop for your style within the classics and trending categories. There are so, so many to choose from.

Essentials in Tops

Part 1: Classic tops in neutrals from your color palette:

1-2 tanks

2-3 short sleeve tees

2-3 long sleeve tees

1-2 dressy tops

1-2 button-downs

1-2 pull-over sweaters

Click any tops that interest you to see price. All are under $25!

Part 2: Trending tops in any colors from your color palette:

Once you have the classics in your closet (above) how many (and which) trending pieces you add is entirely up to you! That’s why I don’t put a number by the trends listed below. Also what trends you really like will be different from what the next momma likes. Here are just some examples of what’s currently trending (2016).


Floral prints

Striped Shirts (also a classic!)

Button-down plaid or chambray

Graphic tees

Hi-low tops


Lace/crochet detailing

Click any tops that interest you to see price. All are under $25!

Time to Work Your Closet

  1. Find all the tops in your drawers and on your hangers and lay them out on your bed.

  2. Decide what doesn’t deserve real estate in your wardrobe:

    • You haven’t worn it AND loved it in the last three months (or it’s a trendy item that’s not in style any longer).

    • It’s not within your color palette. (Still don’t know why I keep referring to that silly color palette? Check out this post.)

    • Put them in a bag to re-consign—or if not in great shape, to donate. If you’re not ready to get rid of them, put them in a bag, box, or another closet for their future second chance.

  3. Decide what gaps you could fill in using the above breakdown.

  4. Start a list (if you don’t already have one) of the items you still need. Use a pad of paper or Evernote on your phone. Make it specific.

    • Poor: “2 Shirts”

    • Better: “1) Striped shirt, short sleeve; 2) Button-down plaid top”

As your budget allows each month, purchase one or two of the items from your list. Either use the links above if something caught your eye or do some online browsing yourself:

Target: Tops under $25

Old Navy: Tops under $25

Amazon: Tops under $25

NOW THAT you can do, Mama!

What is your favorite trend in tops? What’s your least favorite? Comment below!