Fall Play-Clothes for Moms: Cords

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I've been wearing cords for years. Decades, actually.  How long exactly?  Without completely revealing my age, I'm pretty sure my first pair of cords were, in fact, bell-bottomed, and looked surprisingly similar to these:

Screen Shot 2011-10-05 at 10.34.23 PM

Ahhhh….nothing screams Fall in the 1970s!!! like a woodland-creature / mushroom motif on a sweet pair of chocolate brown flare cords.  Ya know?

Actually, these are still pretty sweet.  If you'd like to rock these cords, be my guest.  Some things just never go out of style.  Besides, if you paired these bad boys with some nerd glasses and a wide-brimmed hat, the street photographers would be all over you.  

I'm not that brave.  

But cords do deserve some mom-love.  Like our first, nostalgic pair of cords, cords today still make rockin' good play clothes….for moms and kiddos alike.  What else feels like a sweatpant but wears like teflon?  Not. Much. 

Let's hear it for corduroy!


(wearing:  On S – Salt sunnies, JBrand Mid-Rise Stretch Cords in Toffee, J.Crew sweater, Frye Buckle Carmen boots…on R – Joe's 5 Pocket Jeans, Distinction v-neck tee, Ugg Halfhitch sneaks c/o Ugg Australia)

Ok, so there's no moose or mushrooms involved here, but this has been my go-to outfit as of late. Cords are great because they turn any boring outfit into something….cozy and cute.  Seriously – I'm wearing a plain sweater and skinny cords, which is saved from being a total snooze-fest by the combination of texture.  And wearing all neutrals (think monochrome) is an easy trick to elevate your look into something classy.

Cause this, people, is classy:


Incidentally, Smith Playground in Fairmont Park rocks.  And have you tried these spinny things?  The ones that seem to be replacing the good, old-fashioned merry-go-rounds?  No?  Well here's a tip:  HANG ON


The little stinker almost threw me off.  And I would've chased him down but I was too dizzy.  Like staggeringly dizzy.

I ended up with a pair of J.Brand cords.  J.Crew has some cords in amazing colors, but not enough stretch to be comfortable.  I find the fit is just a bit off.  Gap's are very cute also, but J Brand….well, it all came down to the bum.  And since mine is starting to sag, I need all of the help I can get.  Besides, the J.Brands have this magic amount of stretch – they fit tight, but not so tight that you look like a stuffed sausage.  Unlike jeans, I prefer cords to evoke a snugness, a coziness….not a super-hot, skin-tight look.  And J.Brand's cords have a higher-waist…..LOVE.  Not a hint of muffins anywhere.

A note on Flare cords:  I love 'em.  I luuuurrrrve 'em.  But when it's snowy and cold, the last thing I want to do is worry about my flare leg dragging in the wet snow, and then having to change my pants when I come in.  I only had room in the ol' budget for one pair of cords….so skinny it is. 

And I'm so happy with these.  So soft, so comfy, so cute…so Fall.  I've been wearing them for several days straight.  They are perfect play-clothes.

In celebration of Fall, we went out to a farm last weekend for a night-time hay ride for the kiddos, complete with witches, cookies, and cider.  The boys were enthralled – it was very serious business.  Mike snapped this cool pic of little P and I (yup – still wearing my cords):


(wearing:  On S – ancient Gap turtleneck sweater, J.Brand cords, Makr bag, brown Ergo….on P – Old Navy baha hoodie)

Bring on the (spiked) cider!

Happy October, Mamas.  



ps.  Did you hear Steve Jobs passed away?  Heartbreaking.  He was such a visionary.  I find his words below exceptionally wise and…comforting, somehow.  

"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. … Stay hungry. Stay foolish."
 Steve Jobs– Stanford University commencement address, June 2005.


About Author

Shana founded The Mom Edit in 2008. She lives with the love of her life (his name's Mike) and their two crazy boys in downtown Philadelphia. She loves a good styling challenge (her engineering side shows eventually), appreciates kindness, and usually picks scotch over wine, sneakers over stilettos, and denim-underwear, always.

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  1. I love cords, but they are not so great when you have thighs that rub together. That “zip! Zip! Zip!” sound of corduroy on corduroy as you walk by is so unattractive!

  2. I can never, ever make cords work. They always look terrible on me and it makes me sad, especially when I see people like you looking awesome in them! 🙂

  3. Emily – I couldn't resist.  These have been on my want list for years, but I was always too busy being pregnant/nursing/post-partum/thinking of getting pregnant.  LOL

  4. I love cords. They are also perfect for a business casual office. The feel (better) than a jean, but are still dressy enough. Hmm..for some reason I don’t have any right now. My last pair wore out and I haven’t replaced them. Must remedy that soon, er, well, after this next baby is born.

  5. I’m wearing a pair of flare cords right now! I LOVE cords. Might have to buy some skinny ones. 🙂
    Slightly OT, but I have a few of those J.Crew v-neck sweaters, and I’m wondering what you wear under them? I can’t seem to find any t-shirts with a deep enough V.
    Oh, and P.S., you guys are ON.A.ROLL. I’m loving all the posts lately!

  6. LOL – Thanks, Kay.  We're having fun.  But in terms of what I wear under the J.Crew v-neck sweater…nothing.  (Ummm…except for a bra, of course).  The top of my bra does peek out from time-to-time…but I just make sure to wear a pretty bra.  The sweaters are so thin that they usually become my base layer when it gets colder.  Or I'll layer a cami underneath (often a shaper one).

  7. I grabbed a pair of those Gap cord leggings on sale a few weeks ago and would love another color, but they are sold out of most sizes. They are really comfy! Love this look 🙂 I have some old boot cut cords that I’m thinking I might be able to roll, as well.

  8. I just bought the J.Crew matchstick cords in a similar color…I like yours better. All hail the superior bum lifting qualities of J Brand.

  9. Love cords. I used to have a pair from Old Navy but they never fit quite right so I finally edited them out of my closet. Time to find another pair that are more flattering …

  10. Reading one of my favorite authors Alexander McCall Smith and had to post this quote when I read this post: “There was something safe about corduroy, something reassuring, and while corduroy might be an ideological near neighbor of tweed, it was not quite as . . . well, tweedy. There was something slightly bohemian about corduroy; it was a sign, perhaps, of liberality of outlook, of openness to alternatives–of a slightly artistic temperament.” – taken from Corduroy Matters by Alexander McCall Smith

  11. I love cords this season. J Brand makes a beautiful red wine colored cord. Can’t wait to order mine:)
    for more mom style check out:

  12. A personal question but I’m trying to order online and have never tried JBrand. In your playground picture, what are your stats…height, weight and size you wear in JBrand. Sorry if that is too personal but just trying to guess-timate what I should order (of course I’m ordering free shipping!!)

  13. Courtney – no worries! Let’s see…I’m wearing a size 26. If I don’t lie, I’m actually just shy of 5′ 3″ and about…hunh. Not sure. I’m guessing that I’m right around 110 – 115? (Sorry – our scale is still somewhere in boxes in the basement, and I haven’t been weighed since my last pp weigh-in.)

  14. @Jamie – LOVE that quote!! Thank you for sharing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    @Hannah – They do, they really do. Such a gorg color. Send us a pic!!

  15. LOVE Smith Park! I’m just realizing how much I need to get my act together… when I went there recently I wore maternity jeans (not preggo anymore), a hoodie and sneakers. Ugh.
    I need serious help. Your blog is inspiring me to move beyond sweatpants and nursing tanks. (In my head anyway) Until I go shopping, there’s not much that will fit beyond that…
    Thank you!

  16. VermiciousKnid on

    I just got a pair of these and they are the best! I have never had a pair of cords that were so comfy, flattered me, and didn’t make that zip zip sound when I walk. Thanks for writing about these!

  17. Woohoo! Gap has restocked these and with today’s coupon they are under $40 🙂 I just grabbed a pair in the almond color. Can’t wait to wear these all winter!

  18. Crystal – Thank you for such a nice comment!! And I still wear my maternity jeans (as cut-off shorts). Whatever works. 🙂
    VermiciousKnid – So glad!!!
    Megan – Nice! Thanks for letting us know!

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