So a comment poured in the other day asking – nay, DEMANDING – a picture of the sw’obe. If you are new to The Reedster Speaks, you’ll want to go back and read my post about my Old People Yoga class to learn more about this essential piece of outerwear. In short, it is a SWEATER and a BATHROBE combined into ONE ITEM OF APPAREL.
Well, I aim to please. So, today, I’m here to help you build an easy, comfortable, and stylish winter wardrobe on a budget.
THE REEDSTER’S GUIDE TO THE WAHM WINTER WARDROBE
For those of you new to the so-called “mommy wars”, I’m a WAHM. That stands for “Work-at-Home Mom.” As opposed to the major players in the mommy wars, the “SAHM”, or stay-at-home mom, and the oxymoronically monikered “working mom”, who really is a WOHM, or mom who works outside the home. Apparently, they HATE each other. Just ask Anderson Cooper.
In these wars, the WAHM is like Switzerland. We get all the oft-touted benefits of keeping our minds sharp and our self-esteem boosted (you know, by having conference calls and making PowerPoints) by having a “career”, while also getting to do the laundry in the middle of the day. While we don’t get to mix with actual other grown-ups, we do have “conversations” with our “colleagues.” On the internet. Instead of having watercooler discussions at break time, we eat Ben & Jerry’s over the sink at ten in the morning.
Like the stay-at-home mom, we are considered “flexible” and thus get to run children to the dentist when their teeth are knocked out in gym, sign for packages for the entire neighborhood, and wait for the dude from Verizon. The WAHM has the best of both worlds.
Unlike the SAHM or the “working mom”, however, the WAHM rarely has to arrange mid-day activities or play-dates or leave the house or, you know, see people, and thus has no real reason to get dressed. Ever. Nevertheless, when you look your best you feel your best, and lots of articles suggest that just because you are working from home, you shouldn’t let yourself slide. You’ll be more productive, random article-writers say, if you get dressed like you are going to work.
Fuck you, various article-writers. Maybe you work better when you are wearing actual pants, but all I can think of is “how soon can I remove these actual pants because they are cutting off my circulation and I am so uncomfortable I am going to die.” And that, article-writers, is NOT conducive to work.
My Winter Work-at-Home Mom Wardrobe consists of four “looks”, plus one quick switch I think you’ll love!
LOOK 1: DROP-OFF
I start my day around 6:00 AM pondering eternal questions like “Why is nobody pouring coffee into my mouth?”, and then at 6:30 I’m having a discussion with my third grader about what snacks she can/cannot eat in front of the television until I get up, and then at 7:00 I actually get out of bed. I make healthy breakfasts and pack healthy lunches and get my kids out the door like clockwork each morning. RARELY do I have to bribe them with small Ziplocs of chocolate chips to get in the car.
Because I might run into other parents, you’ll see in the photo above that I’ve donned my ACTUAL PANTS with a button and a zipper and snuggled into my GOOD SW’OBE. My feet are cozily tucked into Fake Uggs, or F’Uggs, but T’Uggs (fake Uggs from Target) or GW’Uggs (fake Uggs from The Good Will) will work just as well. If you scored fake Uggs from Target at the Good Will, bonus points to you! You’re now wearing “GW’T’Uggs”, which is really hard to pronounce for native speakers of English because it requires a glottal stop.
My coat is also robe-like in its length and girth. I was going to call it a p’obe, for a parka/robe, but that sounded too close to pube, which always reminds me of Clarence Thomas. So I’ve dubbed it the “C’OBE” for coat/robe.
Dangling from my arm is a free-trade basket made by women in African villages, which you can get from overpriced organic grocery stores for white people like Whole Foods or Earth Fare. I live in Asheville, North Carolina, home to hippies both actual and neo-, and we don’t worry about the latest Balenciaga “it” bag here. Seriously, we don’t even click through those “it bag” slideshows in the Huffington Post Style section. No, you want to look like all-of-the-sudden you might pop into a farmers market and stuff your basket with a shitload of organic vegetables and artisanal spelt bread. I never do, but I LOOK LIKE I COULD. And that’s what matters.
Finish off your look with a big fake “I’m awake and yeah, I’m going to wear a bra and actual pants all day, what of it?” smile, grab keys to your filthy minivan, and you are off!
Not visible: Bra, Scrunchie, Disney Princess Lunchbox, children.
LOOK 2: WORK
Whew! Thank God we only live three minutes from school so that in ten minutes I’m back in the house ripping off the goddamn bra and actual pants and the constricting good sw’obe. Leaving a trail of uncomfortable actual clothing behind me, I switch into my REGULAR SWEATS and the vaunted SW’OBE. This is the sw’obe of fame, people!! REVEL in its robe-ishness, comfy-ness, coziness, and general awesomeness. Also in this picture I’ve revealed my socks of choice, the Smartwool Men’s Large Trekking Socks, for my expeditions back and forth from my office to (a) the refrigerator, (b) the washing machine, or (c) the back door to let the dogs in or out 500 freaking times a day. A 40-ounce cup of coffee later, and I’m ready for work……
LOOK 3: Old People Yoga
On Fridays I go to Old People Yoga so actually leave the house mid-day. Since I am allowed to wear the sw’obe and socks, it’s a quick swap-out from the sweats into these GOOD SWEATS. Grab your gear and dash off!
LOOK 4: From Dusk ‘Til Dawn
When I get back from Old People Yoga at 11:30, I think, why change back into my “work clothes” now? It’s practically bedtime and my husband will be home with the kids in a short six hours and I’m just going to have to change into pajamas later anyway. I might as well change now and save valuable minutes I would otherwise spend struggling back in and out of my “Work” outfit.
This looks says, “I give up.” I wear my “From Dusk ‘til Dawn” ensemble probably 75% of the time in the winter. I wear this so much that my youngest said to me, once, “When I be a mommy I get to wear that!” Yes, honey, when you “be a mommy” they will issue this uniform to you upon delivering the placenta. Or landing back on American soil, as was the case with our international tribe.
You’ll see in this photo that I’ve swapped out my sw’obe for my actual bathrobe, which is blue and fuzzy and ROCKS so much there are no words. My Hello Kitty pajama pants are just right for those days you’re sure there is no God and you are just eating bag after bag of microwave popcorn at your desk. You know, every goddamn day in the winter. I don’t like my feet to be exposed between November and March, so I’ll be keeping my tootsies inside my trekking socks. Because trekking doesn’t stop at night, people.
You know how women’s magazines always have those fashion pieces about taking your work look from office to dinner with a quick change of accessories? Well, here at The Reedster Speaks it’s not like we’re such losers that we never do anything special. So as a bonus, my final look is for those occasions when the work look is just a bit too casual but you don’t have enough time to change into a completely new outfit.
I bought this kick-ass turquoise Christmas tree skirt off etsy and damned if it doesn’t make for a fabulous actual skirt. You can slip it easily over your “work” outfit for a quick office-to-evening-out transition! Just like in Glamour magazine. Accessorize with “dove of peace” ornament from your tree.
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You may have noticed that in all these looks, I NEVER NEEDED TO CHANGE MY SHIRT. Let’s just say I’m not the one causing the six loads of laundry every Monday. That I get to do during the day. Because I’m a WAHM.
That’s it! Four simple ensembles and a quick fancy look and you too can look like The Reedster all winter long! Here’s a handy shopping checklist that you can use to shop for the core items shown in this guide, and where you can buy them:
- C’obe (Costco)
- Sw’obe (Target)
- Good Sw’obe (Target)
- Robe (Kohl’s)
- Actual Pants (Target)
- Sweats (Target)
- Good Sweats (Target)
- T-Shirt (Target)
- Smartwool Large Men’s Trekking Socks (actual real store)
- F’Uggs (Target, Good Will)
- Basket/purse from Africa (fancy food store for white people)
- Christmas Ornament (again, Target)
- Tree Skirt (etsy, your Christmas storage tubs)
Did I miss anything? What essentials do you keep in your winter wardrobe?