May 23, 2011

This is what a mom looks like

 Do you ever find yourself saying something that, once you think about it (10 seconds later), realize goes against all sorts of things you believe in? I felt that way the other day when I asked my husband: "Does this shirt make me look like a mom?"

To his credit, he said something along the lines of, "You are a mom, so yes. But isn't that offensive to moms to imply they are unattractive or frumpy, or whatever it is you are suggesting?"

That is exactly what I was suggesting, which is stupid because most of the moms I know look and dress exactly as they did pre-baby. Also: do you ever hear "You look like a dad in that" with the level of negativity associated with looking like a mom? Maybe if he's wearing socks with sandals, or has tucked his T-shirt into his shorts. Or has a cellphone clipped to his belt. OK, it works. No double-standard here.

I think what we're saying when we ask whether we look like a mom is: "Do I look like my mom?"

And the answer to that question, for me, will always be: hell, no. (It's OK: my mom doesn't know about the Internet yet, so she won't ever have to be offended by that).

It is possible though my mom would wear this shirt (pictured above and below, in close-up). It was my final project for "Misses' Sportswear" patternmaking class at FIT. I don't get to choose the style. I had to recreate it from a sketch. And I fucking nailed it.  I got an A. (Despite the fact that I didn't do a great job matching up my plaid on the pockets:)

 But it's a patternmaking class, not a sewing class. My pattern for this shirt, which looks like any other menswear-style button-up from the Gap or Old Navy, has 17 pieces. Seventeen! A lot of sewing goes into making a shirt like this.  So don't your mom shirts for granted, ladies. Those kids in Vietnam worked hard sewing them.

Finally: I blame this classic SNL commercial for my self-loathing:


  1. You look like a mom because you are checking over your shoulder to see if your kid is drinking water out of a puddle. Also, Tina Fey, wrote the mom jeans sketch, and she is pretty cool mom.

  2. Yeah! How come moms get the fashion flak? On Project Runway last night the editor of Marie Claire took a dig at moms during the judging - something to the effect of "a MOM might wear that, but not an employee at a fashion magazine." What a bitchy thing to say. Moms are fabulous in their own right. And if fashion means you couldn't possibly stoop to cook a meal for your kids, then I wanna be frumpy.

  3. But the editor of Marie Claire IS a mom! In fact, my friend spotted her dropping her kid off at camp this summer...wearing birkenstocks and beige shorts! So maybe it was her own self-loathing speaking. Poor thing.



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