Has this happened to you? You have an event. Not a fancy one, but a party or a date with hubs or a dinner with friends you haven’t seen forever, and you want to look your best. Maybe you haven’t been out past 6 PM in AGES. Maybe you’re not feeling so hot, maybe you just had a baby or you’re battling some holiday bulge or are having a freaky existential crisis, I don’t know. But it’s apparently written all over your face, because when you decide to stop into a boutique to check the price on a hot little top you’ve had your eye on, you click with the sales chick, who knows exactly where you’re at (Believe me, she intones , I have kids, too. You need to take care of YOU sometimes!), and the next thing you know, you’re drooling at your reflection in a pricey outfit you would never, could never, should never, even THINK about buying.
But you’re thinking about it. You’re negotiating in your mind: I could skip the shoes and the designer denim and just go for the top and the belt. $#!%. The belt is over $200. OK, skip the belt. But the top’s no good without the belt. This will probably still fit fine when I’ve lost the baby weight . . . I could wear it a lot. . . like, everywhere. Everywhere where Prussian blue silk and $200.00 baby-soft suede obi belts and nearly 4-inch heels is an appropriate mode of dress. Like playgroup. Like the zoo. Like work. Hmmm . . . No, my story isn’t jiving . . . OK, STOP. Take a deep breath. Think of your children! Imagine your husband’s face when he sees the receipt. Thank the nice lady for her time and hightail your sweet postpartum patootie out of there as quickly as possible.
Then, if you really do need something to step out in, go look for a piece that will change with your body and is adorable, transitional and versatile, just like your own bad self. The Splendid one-shoulder ruched tunic top ($49.00) doesn't look like much at first glance, but it's my new date night MVP for moms. Anyone can wear it and look hot and it can be styled up and down, sideways and every which way in between.
The ruching is your post-baby-belly’s best friend, it’s crazy-good for nursing/pump-n-dumping (on your right side, anyway) and the one-shoulder cut is current, edgy and sexy without trying too hard. Oh, and you’ll be comfortable, ohhh so comfortable, in this buttery soft, whisper thin cotton/modal tee.
Here’s how to wear it. A blank-slate top like this is a veritable chameleon, so it’s all about the other pieces you choose. If you’re going casual, throw it on with well-fitting straight or skinny jeans, killer heels, a long necklace and big/dangly earrings. If you need it, make sure that ruching is nice and bunched up around your muffin top. No one will know what’s fabric and what’s you.
To step it up, wear it with a huge statement necklace—pretty much anything from our holiday accessories post or something similar will do the trick. If you want to go dressier, think about tucking it into a high-waisted skirt like the Milady Skirt at Anthropologie (if your skirt doesn’t have detail at the waist, finish it off with a subtly-detailed belt—I love the Belgo Lux Bow Belt or the Tasha Multi Chain Belt, both at Nordstrom).
For a second dressy look, consider a pair of fancy pants or a slim cut trouser and try a more delicate necklace (or none at all) with another mom MVP (for its magical ability to define a non-existent waist), an obi belt, like the Stitched Obi Belt at The Limited (please tuck the ends in rather than tying them in a big honkin’ bow, however) or, my real fav, Cecilia De Bucourt’s obi belt at Barney’s.
Happy date night!