9 chic Canadian women who are redefining mom style, one outfit at a time

Being a mom is hard. With all the meal prep, laundry, homework, cuddles, and after-school activities (here’s to the future Karen Kains and Michael Jordans out there), any mom knows there are days when ‘dressing to impress’ simply becomes ‘dressing.’ Period.

As a working mom, I have become obsessed with uniform dressing—blazers, khakis or distressed jeans, an Hermès scarf, a preppy ribbon belt, and stacks of bracelets. In between cleaning sticky fingers after breakfast, playing hide and seek, and numerous trips to the potty, it doesn’t leave a lot of time to play stylist with my clothes. Even though things move at the speed of lightning, personal style shouldn’t be abandoned. In celebration of Mother’s Day, we’ve rounded up nine stylish Canadian women who are changing the look of motherhood, one chic outfit at a time.

Melissa Grelo, Toronto
Co-host of The Social, Co-founder marQ, and mom to Marquesa, 2

What’s your go-to work look since becoming a mom?
“Since I’m lucky enough to have wardrobe provided at work for my job on television, my go-to-work and weekend look is the same: athleisure all the way! My fave items are my Stella McCartney Adidas leggings and tops combined with a light bomber jacket and my trusty wedge Converse kicks. At work, I pull out all the stops with fun, fashionable high-low pairings like Parker jumpsuits and Brian Atwood heels one day, and H&M dresses the next.”

What are your beauty must-haves?
“I’m obsessed with natural and organic beauty products and have been for many years. For skincare, I love anything made by Canadian company Consonant—cleansers, masks, moisturizers. For makeup, I love the highlighting kit by Charlotte Tilbury and my go-to lip gloss is L’Oreal’s Nude Ballet.”

How do you change it up for a night out?
“I plan my nights out on weeknights, say Thursday or Friday, where I can take advantage of my hair and make-up from work. (I feel very spoiled saying that!) I can go home, play with my daughter, put her to bed, and save so much time by not having to do much to get ready to go out. Another trick? Jumpsuits! I have many in my wardrobe because they’re easy, comfortable and can still be sexy enough for special nights out.”

Who is your celeb mom style icon?
“Jennifer Lopez, yesterday, today and tomorrow! She’s my power animal—she wears the clothes, the clothes never wear her. She’s sexy, feminine, urban chic, street and high-fashion all at the same time. She oozes confidence in the way she dresses, and is just as comfortable in Louboutins as she is in high-top sneakers.”

How do you find Me Time?
“It’s rare to get Me Time. But when I do I’m either working out to my favourite Drake tracks (played at the highest volume) or I’m at the Miraj Caudalie Spa at the Shangri-La Hotel in downtown Toronto—it’s the ultimate in pampering.”

Best thing about being a mom?
“Perspective; I think I’m a more understanding, empathetic person since becoming a mother. I’m also much more aware of my choices, decisions and the way I conduct my life because I’m cognizant that my daughter is watching and learning from my every move. I want to be a good role model for her. Also, being inspired creatively to start marQ, my own kids’ clothing line of fashionable, gender-neutral, stereotype-free clothes. I am exercising a muscle I never knew I had and loving every step of this new journey.”


Misty Fox, Toronto
Make Up Artist, On Air Beauty Expert at ET Canada, and mom to Violet, age 9

What’s your go-to work look since becoming a mom?
“This makes me laugh because I have an ongoing joke that I call my work outfits ‘My inoffensive work wear.’ If I had to describe it, I would say it’s a lot like Ellen DeGeneres on her show, but inspired by Chloe Sevigny (with very little budget because I really don’t spend much money on myself).”

What are your beauty must-haves?
“I try hundreds of different products that come my way because of the industry I am in. I recently discovered a brand called Beauty Counter, and I’m into it because it’s free of any nasties and harsh chemicals. I am obsessed with their Hydrating Face Oil, my skin is so soft and happy in the morning.”

How do you change it up for a night out?
“I am not going to kid you, this takes a lot of forward planning. Sometimes I do my hair at 6am before Violet wakes up. I do my make up in the car while she is at dance class, it’s a gradual process spread over a whole day in small free moments. After nine years of being a mum, there will never be that time before going out. I also make sure my haircuts are ‘wash and wear.’ It also helps that I am a make up artist, so I can just throw on some lashes and red lippy in 5 minutes.”

How has your style evolved since having a child?
“Spending time and money on yourself after becoming a mum can be overwhelming and low on your list of priorities. I get that you have to make the effort to find yourself again, to redeem who you were, and still are, before becoming a parent—it’s good for the soul. My whole life has changed since having a child; I also did not have a career before Violet. I also wasn’t a single mum when she was born. I definitely pick things I don’t need to iron or dry clean, who has time for that? I shop vintage, always have.”

Who is your celeb mom style icon?
“Kate Moss, Nicole Richie, Sarah Jessica Parker—they all have a bit of a put-together Boho vibe.”

Best thing about being a mom?
“It’s like constantly falling in love. Also, being able to watch her experience things for the first time, and seeing the world through her eyes. Yesterday she was dancing in the rain, had I been on my own running errands I would have been inconvenienced by the rain, instead I was smiling as I watched her skip in circles.”

Photography by Jacklyn Locke

Afiya Francisco, Toronto
Style Expert, and mom to Felix 6, and Desmond, 4

What’s your go-to work look since becoming a mom?
“As a freelancer, my work and weekend looks are often the same: distressed jeans, a T-shirt with some sort of topper (usually a cardigan duster or a wrap jacket) and Nike or menswear-inspired shoes.”

What are your beauty must-haves?
“Charcoal soap, Sahajan Nourish face cream, Parkdale Butter Cocoa cream, Poetic Blend Lip Poetry lip balm.”

How has your style evolved since having a child?
“It’s simplified. I know what works and what can hold up to rough and tumble activities.”

Heels or flats?
“Flats; I loves menswear-inspired loafers and oxfords.”

Who is your celeb mom style icon?
“Tilda Swinton, Gwyneth Paltrow, Cate Blanchett and Lisa Bonet.”

Best thing about being a mom?
“It’s amazing to watch these boys grow into little people. They are so funny and fun and it’s lovely to feel as though I have a little part in that. Spontaneous hugs and ‘I love yous’ are pretty much the best thing ever.”


Michelle Addison, Vancouver
Personal Stylist, and mom to Stella, age 6

What’s your go-to work look since becoming a mom?
“My work look consists of comfortable stylish shoes. I am always running around, so having stylish comfortable footwear is important. I pair my common project white sneakers with Proenza Schouler.”

How do you change it up for a night out?
“I get blow outs from Dry Bar if I have a big event. I leave my jeans at home and bring out my Balmain silk pants and Alaia heels. I am so much taller than my partner Mark in my heels lol!”

How has your style evolved since having a child?
“My style has gotten much less complicated. I invest in items that can easily go from work to evening to weekend. I have better quality clothes, but (maybe) less of them. (Not sure I’m a good judge of less in the realm of non-fashion people!)”

What’s your secret weapon that makes you feel like a million bucks every time you put it on?
“My cashmere Celine coat—can’t help but feel fabulous.”

How do you find Me Time?
“I learned how to kiteboard in recent years. I love kiteboarding in Squamish in the summer. This year I am going to a kite camp in Fiji—I already have my bikinis ready.”

Best thing about being a mom?
“That I was lucky enough to get to be a mom to Stella. Having my favourite six-year-old as my muse really keeps me in touch with the younger generation.”

Photography by Tee Tran Photography

Tuti Do, Montreal
President, Rev Communications, Founder, TheWowMom.com, and mom to Vinh, 12, and Calla (shown with Do), 4

What’s your go-to work look since becoming a mom?
“For work I wear skinny pants or jeans, a stylish top that hides my I-just-had-a-baby belly (I use this excuse even though my youngest is 4 yrs. old) and a fitted blazer (my fave is a BCBG leather one).”

What are your beauty must-haves?
“I won’t leave the house without my Lise Watier Smokey Kohl Velours eyeliner. I also use Estée Lauder Lucidity Translucent Pressed Powder, MAC Sheertone Blush, and Dior Diorshow Unlimited Mascara. For skincare, I’m pretty simple: Moisturel skin cream and Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser.”

How do you change it up for a night out?
“It’s all about the hair, I learned this amazing 5-minute curl trick, so now I can channel my inner Beyoncé in record time.”

How has your style evolved since having a child?
“I now base my outfit on which kid is with me. My daughter has also influenced my style. I used to wear black all the time, then I had Calla, who is obsessed with pink, and I felt like Gotham City walking next to her. She’s added colour to my life in so many ways.”

Heels or flats?
“Being vertically challenged, I never owned a pair of flats until I had my son. I quickly learned you cannot wrangle a rambunctious little boy while teetering in heels. My shoe choice is now based on, ‘Can I survive in these with my kids?’”

How do you find Me Time?
“Still working on this one. It’s a rare treat to just sit on my couch with a stack of magazines. Otherwise, I try my best to see my friends and just eat! Sharing good food with good friends is what nourishes my soul.”

What do you want to teach your child(ren) about personal style?
“If it makes you feel good, go with it. (Except for that shirt…change that one, it doesn’t match. LOL)”


Jenny Bird, Toronto
Creative Director & CEO, Jenny Bird, and mom to August, 20 months

What’s your go-to work look since becoming a mom?
“Minimal makeup and natural hair, a super soft t-shirt with a chunky knit or longer cardi, jeans (I’m obsessed with Mother denim and just bought the new cropped flares) and either sneakers, loafers or flat boots.”

What are your beauty must-haves?
“Rose Hip Oil for my face (I use the organic one by Kosmea); Suntegrity’s tinted moisturizer sunscreen—it gives me a just-in-from-a-beach-walk glow and I love that it’s SPF 30. Also, RMS Beauty’s Lip2Cheek is a little pot of lip and cheek cream that tints my face to life with natural mineral colour.”

How do you change it up for a night out?
“I just had to do this recently for a Max Mara event. If I have an event that evening, I’ll let my hair air dry pinned up in twists while looking after August, so I can just shake it out for that undone ’70s look. I do my smoky eye in under 2 minutes, and then a quick coat of fresh mascara and nude lipstick. Changing my mama carryall for a cross-body or small clutch is critical to look chic as well. I often still wear flats at night but definitely change the mom shirt with that day’s lunch and drool all over it.”

What’s your secret weapon that makes you feel like a million bucks every time you put it on?
“My new YaYa choker, it’s the perfect thin neck wire that instantly makes me feel modern and cool.”

How do you find Me Time?
“I grab a nice hotel room once a month in the city and stay overnight by myself. I do yoga, have a luxurious amount of time to meditate and be with my own thoughts, then I rent a chick flick with room service and sleep-in; it’s the ultimate recharge.”

Best thing about being a mom?
“Before I was much more focused on looking ahead of time. August keeps me both grounded in love and in the present, and inspired and looking forward towards the future.It’s a beautiful balance now.”


Brianna Hughes, Edmonton
Photographer, Interior Designer, and mom to Fitzgerald, age 2

What’s your go-to work look since becoming a mom?
“There’s no strict dress code for my jobs, so I typically wear high-waisted skinny denim, a basic t-shirt, boots and a leather jacket.”

What are your beauty must-haves?
“ILIA Lipstick; It’s the best for staying hydrated and healthy, as it’s all natural. I’ll also never leave my bathroom without spraying a Byredo Perfume, they’re my absolute favourite.”

How do you change it up for a night out?
“Currently I’m in love with my black Equipment snake skin print silk dress. I’ll put on some heels and red lipstick to finish the look.”

Heels or flats?
“Both, I love my custom ostrich Stan Smiths, Acne Pistol and Marant Dicker boots.”

How do you find Me Time?
“I love getting massages, so I have two standing appointments per month with the most amazing therapist. Living in Edmonton can be a bit chilly, so I’ll always steal a moment during the day to have a hot bath.”

What do you want to teach your child(ren) about personal style?
“Wear what inspires you, and try not to let anyone tell you who you are or should be.”

Best thing about being a mom?
“Connecting with my son, whether it’s laughing together or holding him tight when he’s upset.”

Grace Lee, Toronto
Lead Artist for Maybelline NY Canada, and mom to Noah, age 5, and Isabelle, age 9

What’s your go-to work look since becoming a mom?
“Usually all black everything! It’s a work hazard wearing white to work. My go-to weekend look is usually the same, but more casual. I really love a good sweatshirt.”

What are your beauty must-haves?
“Maybelline Brow Drama, Master Concealer and Lash Sensational mascara. I never leave the house without my eyebrows and a little blush on.”

How do you change it up for a night out?
“My hair usually comes down from my typical top knot, and I give my hair a curl with the curling iron. A red lipstick and some false lashes are my go-to makeup secrets for a night out. And you know I’m out when I have a pair of heels on—I have an obsession with beautiful high heels.”

Heels or flats?
“Flats; Right now I live in my Adidas Superstars sneakers.”

What’s your secret weapon that makes you feel like a million bucks every time you put it on?
“I have a pair of Brian Atwood high heels that are so beautiful. They instantly make me look a woman. My go-to Red lip product is Maybelline Vivid Matte lipstick in Rebel Red.”

Best thing about being a mom?
“It’s such a pure, unconditional love relationship that no matter how hard of a day you’ve had, coming home to their innocent little smiles instantly erases everything.”

Tara Wickwire, Halifax
Director at NATIONAL Public Relations, and mom to Gavin, age 6

What are your beauty must-haves?
“The list is long but I can’t live without Nars Mata Hari blush, Diorshow Mascara, Caudalie serum, Bobbi Brown eye cream, Deborah Lippmann nail polish and Hourglass ambient lighting powder in Dim. (Wow, I sound high maintenance.)”

How do you change it up for a night out?
“I typically transition with my Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadow Stick in Violet Plum, which I love to pair with Estée Lauder Bronzer Goddess bronzer, and Bite Beauty lip gloss in Honey. I have also recently discovered Oribe dry texturizing spray, which is perfect for that matte, textured look. I also love a statement piece, so I might pull out my Rag & Bone animal print clutch or Fallon Rosegold bib necklace.”

How has your style evolved since having a child?
“I previously worked for a retail company and with that came an expansive wardrobe. Given the need for efficiencies and knowing what looks good and what really doesn’t, I’ve simplified in many ways. I stick to grey, black, denim, navy, cream and white. I’m a disciple of the uniform, and it works so well. Accessories can speak volumes. Function is a huge part of how I dress, but I’ve made a point of preserving my own personal style—which everyone should do, of course.”

Who is your celeb mom style icon?
“Emmanuelle Alt (editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris). Minor obsession.”

How do you find Me Time?
“Typically I’ll watch some Louis C.K. or stalk Brooklyn homeowners on Instagram.”

What do you want to teach your child(ren) about personal style?
“Beyond imposing my own normcore tendencies, I hope he will come to understand the value of investing in a few good pieces, and timelessness when it comes to style. This is something my own mom taught me. In the meantime, there are a lot of fun graphic tees out there!”