By Katie Moosbrugger

momiform (mom-a-form) n. the official or distinctive clothes or outfit worn by mothers, especially when on duty

Otherwise known as work-out clothes or the same pair of jeans and same style T-shirt day after day after day. Yep, that pretty much defines my wardrobe. Of course I have the occasional cute top for those special occasions, and I’m proud to be a part of the “fancy” jeans club after biting the bullet and buying a pair of good, designer jeans (a must-have for all women!).

Yes, ladies, I am stuck in a rut and am in desperate need of advice on how to add some more sass to my style. I’m seeking ideas on how to expand a wardrobe when it’s hard to find the funds or the time. I’m sure most moms can relate, so let’s swap some fashion sense!I have no business writing a blog on fashion – or one that offers fashion advice – but it’s a topic I’m continually looking for advice on, especially now as a mom. Let’s admit it: we may be moms but none of us want to be caught wearing something that could be classified as “mom jeans.” Plus, we’re kind of stuck in the middle of hip “twenty-something” fashion and “old ladies” attire. Yikes!

And remember the days when we had the time (and our own single-girl income) to pop into our favorite stores on a whim to buy something just because? Now shopping for clothes is just another thing to check off my “To Do” list. Much like grocery shopping – I go in with a list of must-haves and come out with pared down pile of items that are usually repeats of essential items I bought the year before.

Sure it would be easy to stay on top of fashion if 1.) I had the money to get what I want when I want it, or 2.) I had the time to search discount stores or sales for super cute items and trust that what I’m buying is actually still in style! It’s rare that either of these scenarios is in my favor. So, what’s a mom to do?

I do have these tips on expanding a wardrobe that have recently worked for me:

1. Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize! If you are like me, it’s rare I get dressed up which is why I stick to my “momiform” every day. However, it’s easy to spice up that “momiform” and any outfit inexpensively with a scarf (I hear they are “in” with T-shirts this summer too!), chunky necklaces or other jewelry, belts, or even new shoes.

2. Window shop online and then make the purchase in the store. This way you can find out about the sales, figure out what you want to buy, and then avoid shipping costs or buying items that don’t fit.

3. On the flip side – if you have the time and desire to seek out higher end, designer clothes – try on items in stores and determine what you like and what fits you best. Then shop and buy your items from this web site. My sister-in-law told me about this site, and it’s “the ultimate hook-up for the fashion obsessed,” with incredible deals on all things designer.

4. I just recently penny-pinched in a way that may make some of you gasp. I took a pair of old jeans (ones I still like and looked good, but were becoming “floods” from repeat washings) and I had a tailor turn them into capris. Unfortunately it took two consultations because the first version did not turn out exactly as I imagined. But the second time was a charm, and I essentially saved $30 or more on a new pair of pants. You could easily change a pair of jeans – or cropped jeans – into jean shorts or a jean skirt too!

I know there are other ways to expand your wardrobe without spending a lot, such as buying items on sale at the end of each season (something I always try to plan for but never do), and shop and sell at consignment sales (I’ve tried this for my children’s clothes but not my own).

Has anyone tried a clothing exchange with your girlfriends? Are there other great web sites we need to know about? Does anyone have tricks on how to stay in-the-know of sales at our favorite stores? Are there local Triad shops you can recommend for fun, fashionable clothes and accessories at great prices? Offer some advice below!