First, meet The Dress. These brightly-colored Spring shift dresses are my new favorite thing. Know why? Two words:
Besides, they look like Spring…which is where my brain has been stuck lately. Stuck on Spring. And I’m not the only one – as I worked on this exact article a few days ago, reader Jenna shot me an email.
I just can’t take the cold anymore and I am dying for an awesome floral print dress for spring holidays. But I want something I can wear now with tights and is transitional for warmer weather too. Any ideas? Ones that can be worn with booties now and heels/sandals later?
Yup. Jenna, you read my mind.
The dress I happen to be wearing is Vince Camuto’s ‘Artful Strokes’ Shift Dress in a 0P. The “petite” part is important – it’s the only reason my knees are showing. Even so, I wanted more of a mod vibe, so I went shorter.
You guys, these are old pics. They were taken right after my second chemo treatment last year and in all of the craziness that followed, were completely forgotten. But this outfit, despite the circumstances, is worth chatting about – it has remained one of my go-to outfits for just about anything kid or family related. And no matter how hard I try, I haven’t been able to one-up this combo: sneakers + faux leather jeans + graphic sweatshirt. This pairing remains my favorite way to wear serious sneaks.
It’s here!! We kicked off our Everyday Style Series on Instagram last week (@shanachristine). The idea is that we’ll post a daily outfit of what we actually wore – whether it’s sweatpants, Uggs, or lipstick (some days are better than others) to Insta, then follow up with a quick summary on The Mom Edit once a week.
While ALL outfits on The Mom Edit are things we have, actually, really and truly worn and loved, this series is intended to be a little more…haphazard. For example, I don’t always nail the school pick-up outfit when I’m running horribly late because THAT DAY was the day Pax decided to nap. But instead of editing through our hits and misses, we’ll, uh, own up to them. This is nothing fancy, you guys. Just our everyday stuff.
Hey there! This month has S-U-C-K-E-D. I mean OK it’s not cancer or anything (I always feel the need to quality lest the Gods of The Universe strike me down), but geez. We’ve spent the entire month dealing with one sick kiddo or another (and I include Mike and myself in there) and trying to battle the stir-crazies by rigorously decluttering a la The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
As you can see, it’s going well. #no
But all in all, everyone is more or less fine. Pax’s latest costume obsession is “work clothes” which is turning out to be much more expensive than his superhero phase (“Pax, Mum can’t afford that suit. I know you wike it, but it’s $300. Everyone wikes it”), Raines has moved on from WWII to Greek Mythology (thanks to the Percy Jackson book series), and I must be feeling more like myself (or bored) because I keep buying underwear. Which means life is good for Mike as well.
So that’s us in a nutshell.
But I have a bunch of fun things to share with you guys, so let’s DO THIS THING.
Culottes. Someone wanted to see these on a wider range of body types and Refinery29 actually did that last summer. Such great styling ideas – and don’t be put off by the crop top on the first page. There’s a ton of other ideas as well.
Need a laugh? Check out the videos popping up all over instagram with the hashtag #alisondanceoff. Alison (of The Alison Show) is hosting this little online dance party, and if you haven’t checked her out….she’s AWESOME. I’m a huge fan.
Check it. I’m kinda obsessed with LOFT’s take on matching checks. (With sneakers!!) LOFT currently has a whole line of checks to mix and match, and they’re currently buy-one-get-one-50% off. (But be conservative with washing instructions: I just had a reader give me a heads up that her wool LOFT sweater, after she followed the care instructions exactly, shrunk to doll size, yet LOFT wouldn’t allow her to return it. Such a bummer.)
A Genius Upgrade: Know those brightly colored magnet letters that are pretty much the universal sign for Kids Live Here? Gia over at The Dress Up Files shared this genius trick on her instagram feed: spray paint ‘em GOLD. Love. This.
Hunh? I get a lot of strange pitches in my inbox…the BeardSki might be the worst. I mean THE BEST.
She Did It! Loved the email I received from reader Sara. She put Scotti’s tricks to the test and recreated the J.Crew NYFW look without foundation. She was so happy with the result, she sent in pics. Sara has pale skin and freckles and this look was PERFECT on her. (I think the one thing she changed was that she added a bit of blush on her nose.) The whole thing is adorable. I’ve updated the post (How To Easily Recreate J.Crew’s NYFW Makeup) with Sara’s picture if you’d like to see.
My life is complete:Amazon Fresh now delivers to Philly. It’s like Fresh Direct, only same-day delivery (usually) and much cheaper prices….OR….INSTACART. OMG have you heard of this app? It does local deliveries within HOURS. So I can order from Whole Foods, Reading Terminal Market and the Liquor Shop. I mean seriously. (Thanks, Amy!!)
That’s it! I’d love to say that we have big plans this weekend, but I’m still fighting a cold and besides HOUSE OF CARDS is out. Soooooo….yeah. There’s that. But our #everydaystyle series is going really well over on Instagram (@shanachristine), so you’ll see something about that here, soon.
A trench coat is the fixer of all evils…or at least the evil of a boring, uninspired outfit.
I had put on my black turtleneck and jeans the other day thinking…”hey, cute outfit. Kind of artsy. Kind of Audrey Hepburn. I might just go with this”. Then my husband saw it and asked, “are you on your way to a miming class?”. Ha! #fail Okay, so the outfit was obviously a bit too bland and needed something (other than mime gestures) to bump it up.
So. I moseyed on into our closet, completely stumped. Nothing. to. wear. I mean, is anyone else with me on this? It starts to get painful dressing for winter weather around…oohhh…mid January. I get so bored. GO AWAY, WINTER.
…but anyways, I then saw it – my long, classic trench that I rarely wear. I almost passed it by, because…when I think trench I usually think rainy, cool…not winter. Whateverrrr. I grabbed it anyways and threw it on.
Well, well, well. That was it. It was all I needed.
Happy Tell a Fairy Tale Day!! No, I’m not kidding -it’s a thing. Here’s proof. If the internet says it, it must be true, right?
In any case, I’m a firm supporter of…well, any reason to curl up with a good book. And fairy tales are some of my favorites. I love the endless possibilities (talking animals? magic potions? spinning straw into gold?) and the safe structure provided for confronting fears. Who needs to be grounded in reality anyway?
“When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than any talent for abstract, positive thinking.”
Do you know the publisher Taschen? This publisher is perhaps best known for it’s coffee table art books, usually filled with gritty, sexual, and sometimes controversial images. And now Taschen has taken on fairy tales and -get ready- they’re FABULOUS. I couldn’t be more thrilled with the result. My hands-down favorite is The Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen (think: Princess and the Pea, Emporer’s New Clothes, Ugly Duckling). This book is one-part art book, one part children’s book, and the (highly esteemed) 1942 translation by Jean Hersholt is THE BEST I’ve ever read.
You guys have been asking for more workwear ideas, so I thought it was a perfect opportunity to test out a trend I’ve had my eye on for quite some time: Culottes. This look won’t be for everyone, but it has the kind of unexpected fashion-girl vibe I love bringing into the office (in small, professional doses anyway).
But these darn things are tricky!! Especially for petites. Happily, I found a culotte romper (just go with me here) that’s available in both petite and regular sizes to test out this trend. (And it’s now 40% off, so there’s that.)
And while I did figure out a way to warm it up (inside an office I’d lose the leather jacket but it was TWENTY DEGREES OUTSIDE PEOPLE), I also wanted to focus on styling culottes for Spring/Summer when I think they’ll really shine. So we headed into the studio, because, obviously. #freezing
First up: Flats and culottes? Is it possible? Let’s see….
Shana fell in love with the fresh-faced look on the J. Crew models at NYFW and asked me how to recreate it. I loved the dewy skin, flushed cheeks and especially the way the eyes and lips are defined without being too precise. The makeup artist who came up with the look said he wanted it to look as though the models had just come in from skiing. While I skipped the blush on the nose and the bushy brows (I don’t have enough of them to make them bushy!), I think the end result captures the general essence of what they were going for. A plus? It’s low-maintenance and easy to recreate on your own. Watch the video to see how I did it!
Don’t you love slush? Gosh, I love it. It’s so fun to walk through, it’s so pretty…not slippery at all! I especially love when we get a late winter snowstorm that turns to brown mucky slush within a 24 hour period. That’s right about the time I start thinking about how amazing and wonderful this world of ours is. #blessed #NO
Anyway. Let’s talk layers. Cause nothing says “late winter slush” like wearing four shirts amiright? Here to help is my trusty assistant, Pax:
And my layering game will start like all of my layering games start: black turtleneck, jeans, oddly colored woolly socks. WOOT
For the occasion, Pax has decided to wear his, “work jacket wike Dad’s”. So there you go. We’re fancy like that. Ok – so what happens next? What could I possibly do with this extremely boring outfit? Hint: the same thing I’ve been doing since college. (And since the 90’s are back, I’m going to pretend like it’s a new thing.)
Several years ago, when this blog was still called Ain’t No Mom Jeans, I decided to cover a little bit of celebrity fashion. I found a few pictures of celebrities walking their kids to school, hanging out at a park, etc. They were wearing cute, casual outfits, ones easy to recreate. So I rounded up a few links to similar pieces, wrote a bit of fluff and hit publish. Then I went to bed.
When I woke up in the morning, I was surprised to see how many comments the post had received. And even more surprised when I read them: “OMG she looks so fat!” said one commenter. “This is a terrible picture – she looks exhausted” said another. One particularly mean-spirited commenter remarked that Sarah Jessica Parker’s “hands looked old”.
Her hands looked old? Are you serious? First of all wtf who cares, and secondly….won’t ALL of our hands look old eventually? And please consider that right at this very second, someone else – another mom, perhaps, in the midst of spit-up or cranky toddlers or any other sort of taxing, everyday life – could be reading that comment, then look down and think, “my hands look old, too.” Not to mention that we’ve all looked fat at some point, we’ve all looked exhausted. What, exactly, is wrong with any of these very human things? When mean-spirited comments happen, especially online in public forums, the collateral damage is far-reaching.
So I deleted those comments – I deleted all of them. And guess how many times I’ve covered celebrity fashion since then? ZERO. It just seemed to bring out something….ugly. And that’s not what this blog is about. This blog is about finding ourselves as mothers, about finding our style as humans. It’s about sharing inspiration, and understanding that what works for one may not work for another. It’s about celebrating our unique journeys on this crazy path, and using our varied perspectives as a source of inspiration, not a point of shaming.
So I was thrilled when Dove and Twitter reached out about their #speakbeautiful campaign. This campaign aims to change the way women interact with one another on social media. And these companies aren’t messing around: On Oscar night, when hateful, negative messages are at an all-time high (over 5 MILLION negative body image tweets were posted in 2014), Dove will be unveiling a new ad to inspire social media change. And Twitter? Gotta love those data nerds – they’ll be rolling out new technology that uses Twitter data to identify negative social media conversations about beauty and body image. When a negative tweet is posted on Oscar night, the technology will be used by Dove to send non-automated responses to real women, which include constructive and accessible advice to encourage more positive online language and habits. Advice will come directly from social media and self-esteem experts who collaborate with Dove and Twitter to empower women to speak with more confidence, optimism, and kindness about beauty online.
Yup, that’s right: if you post mean-spirited tweets on Oscar night, Dove and Twitter will be calling.
As a direct recipient of negative criticism, I know that it can be hurtful – no matter how thick your skin, how open your perspective. But the thing about negativity that really bothers me, the thing that really gets me going, is how it breeds. How one mean-spirited comment creates a veritable pile-up of negativity. Negative comments are both a bummer to read and a bummer to give – on any platform. There’s nothing brave about mean-spirited comments. There’s no “truth” in actively trying to make another person feel bad for what they’re wearing, how they look or what they like. It’s just bullying, plain and simple. And bullying – in any form – creates a culture of narrow-mindedness and fear.
So please: a little more #speakbeautiful, a little less hate. There’s a world of difference between “that looks ridiculous!!” and “I prefer something preppier/more boho/more edgy than what’s pictured – does anyone have ideas for me?” And don’t even get me started on “her hands look old”. It’s high time we change this conversation.