All My Single Mommies: Dressing For The Dating Scene
I'm not sure about you, but when I became a mom for the first time, this weird thing happened.
Motherhood successfully turned a previously self-absorbed, fashion-forward, makeup-obsessed woman (that's me, by the way) into a sleep-deprived, organic baby-food-making mother of all mommy over-achievers. I continued to buy super cute clothes - the only thing is they were for my daughter and usually involved cats or Disney Princesses displayed prominently on the front. Long gone were the days of designer duds in the latest cuts and colors.
Then I got divorced. Apparently people who get divorced often embark on this crazy thing called dating. I wanted to attempt it as well. So, I took a long hard look at my "Suburban Tuxedo" (yoga pants and a ponytail) and my applesauce stained shirt and suddenly felt extremely overwhelmed. One word came to mind.
This just would not do.
You see - dating was hard enough in college BEFORE children were involved, before I fully understood how hard marriage would be. Dating was hard even before I came with so much freakin' baggage (and I mean that lovingly). But now? I had a 2 year old daughter, a relatively young career that demanded all of the leftover time that I didn't devote to said daughter, and some serious history. Are you telling me that in the midst of all of that, I'm expected to look hot and attract a man?
Good Lord help me.
Of course, I eventually figured it out and it is partially what led me to fall back in love with fashion, makeup, and clothing (see: self-absorbed, above). It's why I shifted my professional focus to fashion. I wanted to help women to feel sexy in their own skin, no matter their age, size or their situation.
So I've been there. I've felt the panic of finding the perfect outfit for your first date. Or worse, your second date because well, you've probably already used the best outfit that you had hanging in your closet. That being said, here are a few pointers for single moms on the dating scene.
1. Go for sexy, not slutty. Girl, you are somebody's MAMA. No fishnet tights, leather mini-skirts, or v-necks cut so low that wearing it means you have to write NC-17 on your shoulder with a Sharpie. Now, I'm not saying to cover it all up - but choose one thing to show off, and do it demurely. You want to leave something to the imagination - because intrigue and allowing his imagination to take over is what will get you asked on a second date.
2. Buy something that fits you properly. I'm not saying to wear something tight, but wear something that simply fits you. It should highlight all of your best "assets" (if you know what I mean). All too often I see women wearing clothes which are several sizes too big for them - and it is a completely unflattering look. Obviously you should date a man who is interested in your smarts, and your wit - those things are an incredible gift. But let's be honest. Men are still men - they are interested in the box that the smarts and wit come in, too. Wrap it accordingly.
3. Add a pop of color. On my first date with my fiance I wore a pair of bright red heels. They are some of the sexiest shoes on record, and he commented on them several times throughout the course of the evening. Two years later he still talks about those shoes, and practically salivates over them every time he walks in our closet.
4. Be feminine. If it suits you, wear a dress or a skirt. I know there was a feminist movement many moons ago that now makes it acceptable to wear pants (blah blah blah), but I've yet to meet a man who prefers pants to skirts or dresses on a woman. However, if you must wear skip the skirt, try pairing fitted pants with a heel, which will elongate your legs and force you to stand up straighter and keep your posture in check.
5. Stay classy. Above all, stay true to you. Keep your clothes fun, modern, sexy but classy. And yes, sexy and classy can peacefully co-exist. Some of the world's most desired starlets have stayed covered up - Audrey Hepburn comes to mind. Duchess Kate is a great current example. Remember that you are someone to be valued and appreciated, so allow that to be reflected in your clothing and makeup on your date.
You can do this. The adult dating scene can be scary, but it is also fun. Take a deep breath, go shopping, and then dive in feet first. Go get 'em, tigress!