When most of us new moms walk out the door, it's enough that we've got on clothes as opposed to pajamas and that there's no apricot mush in our hair. That's why it's so impressive to see pictures of women like Angelina Jolie carting a toddler and newborn and looking pulled together.
Even the biggest celebrities don't have stylists working on their wardrobe and makeup 24-7, so aside from their obvious good genes, how do famous moms pull off staying stylish while chasing kids? Turns out, there are some common-sense style rules that they follow. On days when we can think clearly, there's no reason we can't follow them as well!
1. Get a great haircut.
There's the short shag Meg Ryan sports and the bob Reese Witherspoon wears so well, but even moms who love long hair should consider a trim. The take-away advice: Hire a babysitter and go to a nice salon where the stylist will listen to what you want. She should spend a good amount of time -- perhaps an hour -- to give you a cut that will look great even as it grows out. Be totally honest, suggests Richard Marin, products creative director for Goody, and tell the stylist that you want something that looks good even when you don't do anything to it.
2. Afraid of a major cut? Dress up your ponytail.
Plenty of celebrities sport the perpetual-ponytail look -- remember how Christie Brinkley wore her hair pulled through a baseball cap throughout her kids' early childhood? By banishing grungy scrunchies and using chic barrettes, very plain bands, a cap, or the hot-again headband, you'll look as if you put more work into your hairstyle than you actually did. Another option, says Marin, is wearing bangs a la Elizabeth Hurley. Bangs equal an instant hairdo, he says, noting that they're especially good for new moms who often lose hair around their temples after giving birth.
3. Dress down, but not out.
Celebrities pick casual clothes as carefully as they pick formal clothes, notes Janice Min, executive editor of US Weekly magazine. Other women might just let it all go, but celebrities have to be conscious of their appearance, so they wear jeans that are pressed and T-shirts made of nice material. Though Calista Flockhart is usually in khakis and Madonna is often photographed in a sweat suit, they always look fresh and somehow tailored. In order for you to look casual but current, invest some money in a new-mom wardrobe. Never mind that you're still hoping to lose weight -- get a pair of jeans in the size that you are now and week's worth of new shirts, Min suggests. You don't have to try too hard, just remember to rotate so you're not stuck in a rut wearing the same shirt every day.
4. No time for makeup? Slip on sunglasses.
Hollywood types don't keep their eyes covered just to go unrecognized. Sunglasses are the best cover when you don't have time to get all made up. When you're wearing them, all you need is lipstick or gloss. The bonus: Keeping yourself from squinting outdoors saves wrinkles.
5. In a word -- simplify.
You get far from being tidy and neat says Melissa Rivers, mother of Cooper, and a famous face herself thanks to her work with mother Joan. Make sure your hair is clean, your skin looks good, and your makeup is simple, she suggests. Consulting a dermatologist is important for the clear-complexion part of the equation -- and it's worth the expense, says Rivers, if the doctor can tell you what products you should be using.
6. Dress like you're still you.
Having a baby changes your entire outlook, but it doesn't mean you have to lose the woman you were before. You don't have to suddenly look matronly, Min says. Just because you're a mother doesn't mean that you lose your sex appeal. Because celebrities are sex symbols by trade, they work hard to keep that part of their appearance alive. But you, too, can aim to present yourself the way you did before you were somebody's mommy. To Rivers, little things like carrying a purse that doesn't look like a diaper bag and keeping up beauty rituals like the occasional manicure make a big difference. Just because you might feel like a train wreck doesn't mean you have to give into it, says Rivers.
7. Attitude goes a long way.
Sarah Jessica Parker wore baggy overalls and a big sweater when she was pregnant but still looked great -- it was all in her confidence, says Min. For us normal folk, Min suggests losing the please-don't-notice-me slouch and carrying yourself with authority instead. Stand straight, like Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Connelly; smile often, like Brooke Shields, Celine Dion, and Brandy; and breathe a sigh of relief -- at least you don't have the paparazzi after you!
All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your won health or the health of others.