It’s that time again.

by norealplot

This week, the bikini catalogs launched their annual mailbox assault. Time to revisit first principles:

Claire Danes gave birth one month before this photo was taken.

gty_claire_danes_tk_130113_vblog

She’s stunning, of course. But for merely mortal mothers, this is not helpful. Instead, I draw inspiration from the great moms of literature. Like these:

Sal's Mom in Kitchen

Sal’s mother has a real J.Crew-meets-Etsy-Vintage vibe that works for most of us. Note the chic choppy bob and her sheer cheek color, from her afternoon out rescuing Sal from blueberry-drunk bears.

Olivia's Mom in Talbott's

Here, Olivia’s mother wears a day-to-evening sheath, which adds authority to her bedtime negotiations. By day, she’ll out-shine the other moms (“Is she working again?”) on her urban school run and, perhaps, be photographed for a street-style blog. She also knows how to get on with the business of wearing a bathing suit, even when she might rather not. Similar sunglasses by The Row available at Barneys New York and Net-A-Porter.

Olivia's Mom in tank

For dressing up, it’s hard to beat the mother of Iggy Peck, Architect. She’s like Edie Sedgwick married to a banker instead of mooning after Warhol. Love how the haircut complements her look of constant consternation. Now, that’s real mom style.

Iggy Peck's Mom in 60's print

She also wins the prize for fully committing to date night.

Iggy Peck's Mom in Evening

Finally, a word about accessories. One great statement piece can really make an outfit, define your personal style, and lift your spirits. None better than this knockout necklace on Ferdinand’s mom:

Ferdinand's Mom

Most covetable of all, that smile from knowing she’s “an understanding mother, even though she was a cow.” I vote we all aspire to that.