Fashion blogging is a very strange job. From the curious glances (or outright stares) during photo shoots, to the arguments with your husband over f-stop settings (Amanda recently coined the term #spousetographer to the hilarity of the rest of the TME team), to bribing the kids to cooperate during photos (aka no eye or tongue gymnastics)….it’s a weird job. Add in the wide range of reactions you get during small talk at parties (disbelief, eye rolling, some genuine interest) and the fact that much of your day is spent staring at photos of yourself in all your *cough*aging*cough* glory….it can be humbling, for sure. Throw in a few mean-spirited comments now and then, some outfit fails, and the realization that your husband has started to cringe whenever you reach for your pineapple sweatpants (and you are always reaching for said Pineapple sweatpants because they are blogging sweatpants and the fact that you have ‘blogging sweatpants’ at all speaks volumes)….well.
It’s not always glamorous. (HA. It’s rarely glamorous.)
But there are some definite perks to the job. The biggest one being that I genuinely LOVE it. (You’d have to, really. See above.) I love figuring out what works, figuring out how to -easily- feel the most like myself, and then…figuring out how to break it down so others can feel the same. And when I do? When I get an email from a reader saying that I’ve helped them discover their own personal style, or helped them find themselves again after babies, or post-partum or nursing or miscarriages or – sometimes – cancer? I’m totally over-the-moon. The community aspect of blogging is the biggest perk of all.
But the other perk? The smaller, but slightly more glamorous one? CLOTHES. As a blogger, I’m lucky enough to be gifted with free items from time-to-time, and part of my job is, quite frankly, shopping. Since we’re so focused on pieces that go the distance, I’m most comfortable recommending pieces that I’ve actually tried. Tried on, in some cases, and worn and washed and worn again in others. I cut hems off jeans with wild abandon – making mistakes in the process – so we all can learn from it. And since one of the goals of this blog is to save you time shopping, we all do our best to stay current. It’s not very helpful if I keep gushing on and on about the fab DKNY parka I picked up at the Anniversary Sale two years ago. Try eBay, Suckers! MWAHHAHA!
It’s tempting, though. Because there are a few pieces that have emerged over the years as my go-tos. My closet workhorses. These are the pieces you’re most likely to find me in, make-up free and flustered, picking up my kids from school. The pieces I wear on Thursday night date night, when it’s just Mike and I curled up somewhere, the pieces I wear when hanging out with friends.
And since we’re focusing on three perfect outfits this year (the one above is one of them), I though I’d I’d highlight my favorites, my most-worn pieces. The pieces you’ve probably seen me wearing time and again, the pieces you’ll definitely be seeing more of in the future. The pieces that definitely factor into the creation of three perfect outfits.
1. A Black Turtleneck Sweater
I have a couple of black turtleneck sweaters, but the one I’d recommend now is Equipment’s Oscar cashmere turtleneck (I’m wearing an xs for reference). It’s thin and drapey, but thick enough to layer over a tshirt. I machine wash it in this garment bag on cold, and lay flat to dry. It only gets softer with each washing. Black turtleneck sweaters are one of the most versatile pieces ever. With jeans and boots they look effortlessly sophisticated, but they can also be dressed up with even the fanciest of skirts. This is probably my most-worn piece.
2. A Sexy, Drapy, V-Neck Sweater (in Cashmere)
I’m such a cashmere girl because the stuff is durable and always looks good, even after being slept in. (Anyone else fall asleep putting the kids down??) Personally, I like these pieces a little slouchy, with a nice low V. I wear them with ripped jeans and a pretty bra. I just bought Equipment’s Cashmere V-Neck Sweater in green (pictured), but I also have the pink. Perfect when you want to show a little more skin (but still stay warm).
3. Interesting Layering Tees
I’ve made it my mission to focus on these staples in 2017….but to start, I love these Stateside Knotted Tees. The knot means that hey look cool without being tucked in…but they also look good with a tuck, OR a half-tuck, which is kind of amazing. AND, the sleeves aren’t so bulky that they bunch under a sweater. I have them in both gray and white, and wear them year-round.
EXAMPLES: Most of the time I’m layering these pieces in the pics….but you can see the gray peeking out from under my jacket here.
4. A Classic Silk Button-down, in White (or Cream)
A classic silk button-down will never go out of style, especially in white or cream. Silk drapes in the sexiest possible way, so I find myself rocking this look on date night with killer heels, lipstick, and messy hair. But it’s also supremely versatile as an office staple, as well as a weekend warrior when layered under a basic sweater. There’s something so French-girl cool about a white collar peeking out of a black sweater (especially when paired with jeans). My favorite (as well as many readers’ favorite) is the TUXE White Silk Bodysuit. I’ve been wearing it – happily – for YEARS.
5. A Sweatshirt Blazer
This piece has the comfort level of a sweatshirt, with the chic, structured vibe of a blazer. It’s my go-to piece for travel, date night, school events, or anytime I want to be comfortable and polished.
My hands-down favorite is this James Perse Knit Blazer which is now completely sold out, but it tends to be re-issued every year. We managed to round up a few current options below (and this old article might help, too).
6. A Butter Soft Leather Jacket
This IRO Leather Jacket is so stinking expensive, but I wear it all. the. time. The leather is butter soft, the fit is perfect – big enough to fit over a sweater, but not so big that it looks silly without one. The kind of leather jacket I really will wear for the rest of my life.
EXAMPLES: Here, layered over a sweater and under a wool coat….or here, over a hooded sweatshirt…or here, with a pink v-neck cashmere sweater and black jeans…or here over a pretty dress at a friend’s wedding…here, as my travel uniform…or here, with a pair of skinny sweatpants….or here, with spring accessories…or here under a blanket wrap….I could keep going, but you get the idea. I wear it OFTEN.
7. An Army Green Parka
If there is one style of winter coat I keep coming back to….it’s the army green parka. It seems to go with everything, and is neither too sporty nor too dressy nor too casual. It’s perfect. Last year I wore my old DKNY parka to death, this year I’ve had the S13 Canyon Parka on repeat (as you can prob see my from Instagram, @shanachristine).
8. Rag and Bone’s Dre Boyfriend Jeans
I love the Rag & Bone/JEAN ‘Dre’ boyfriend jeans because they’ve modernized the cut of a traditional boyfriend jean to be sooo much more flattering. The Dres retain that slightly slouchy, boyfriend-y vibe (making them comfortable to wear), but they’ve slimmed them down so they’re not so overwhelming. (Technically, they’re often called ‘girlfriend’ jeans.) And I’m not alone – in the past year, this jean has been the top selling jean on The Mom Edit, garnering rave reviews from myself and readers alike.
9. AG ‘The Legging’ Skinnies
I’m obsessed with AG ‘The Legging’ Ankle Jean. AG nails the colors and washes, and the mid-rise is just that: not too high or too low. They are, without a doubt, the easiest jeans to style, and skinny enough to easily fit under OTK boots. (Also, if you are looking for fool-proof jeans to crop….these are hard to beat – I’ve even cropped mine in a dressing room with a pair of borrow scissors.)
EXAMPLES: see lead-in pic (for one of many)
10.A Bra With Sexy Straps
A pretty bra, with straps that can show, has been my long-time go-to bra. I wear these under v-neck sweaters, the wide V sliding off my shoulder, or under v-neck tshirts (when the neckline was stretched out from nursing), and with tank tops. Pretty straps = let it show. My current fav is Third Love’s Lace Bra but if I were nursing, I’d reach for Cosabella’s Nursing Bralette. So pretty.
11. The Most Comfortable Underwear (even during pregnancy)
I’ve always been confused when people asked me about pregnancy underwear. There is a need for such a thing? But then….I’ve always worn Hanky Panky – they’re seriously comfortable and completely no-show, no matter what stage of motherhood you are currently in.
12. Fleece-Lined Tights
Plush’s Fleece-lined Tights are all kinds of amazing. They are opaque – truly opaque, and lined in fleece. The warmest, coziest tights I’ve ever found. I buy a pair every 1-2 years. (I’m also obsessed with their coated moto leggings…also lined in fleece. SO WARM.)
13. A Fancy Hoodie
Lululemon really does make the best hoodies. The fit is flattering, the colors sophisticated, they always remember thumbholes….but the collar and hood are my favs: perfectly structured to frame your face, yet can layer beautifully under another jacket. I’ve been wearing the heck out of my Lululemon Scuba Hoodie.
EXAMPLE: You can see it in action (as well as the next two pieces) here.
I wear legwarmers with tiny shorts for a date-night-in with my husband, or during a workout (until I’m warmed up). But I’ve also started wearing them to add some additional interest (and warmth!) when I’m sick of my black turtleneck + OTK boot uniform. I have several pairs, but the Lululemon Mantra Leg Warmers are my favorite – they’re both soft and stay up nicely.
15. High-Rise Workout Leggings
Three days a week I drop the kids off and dash to either yoga or pilates. Which means I invariably spend the entire day in my workout uniform. These leggings are a total lifesaver – they’re the first leggings that suck me in comfortably, yet feel like I’m wearing nothing on my legs. Amazing. They’re the Lululemon Tight in some new, high-tec fabric. (Note the cell-phone pocket…it even fits an iPhone +.)
SHOES & BOOTS
16. Flat, Over-the-Knee Boots
I should write an ode to these boots. These are, without a doubt, the easiest way to infuse new life into an everyday uniform. Besides, they’re warm when it’s cold, and look just as good with leggings as they do with skinny jeans…or even skirts and dresses. These are my most-worn boots EVERY winter. Because I wear them so often, I splurged on the Stuart Weitzman Lowland OTK Boot, which I found stay up better than most (but am totally intrigued by the Free People boots below….)
17. A Fashion Sneaker
Confession: I don’t really wear these in the dead of winter (I HATE cold ankles), but they get so much wear the rest of the year that I had to include them. I especially love the Brooks Running Shoe – so many cool color combos.
18. Sock Boots (With a Walkable Heel)
These are my go-to boots for all things fancy. Because we walk everywhere (even on date nights, typically), I need a pair of ‘fancy’ heels that I can walk all night in. Or dance all night in. And these fit the bill. Add in the fact that this style of boot is going to be the answer for all upcoming cropped-pant trends…..YES. Invest in these Free People Cecile Block Heel Booties.
EXAMPLE: Fall Boot Trend: The Sock Boot
19. Comfy Nude Booties
Another pair that probably won’t see much action until March/April is the nude bootie. But like the Fashion Sneaker, is one of my go-tos the rest of the year (even in summer). Even better? I wore this boot all over Europe – it’s comfortable and chic and I could’t be happier with this purchase. The nude has a way of elongating your leg, and this particular boot, the Lucky Bashina Bootie looks just as good with dresses as it does with denim.
EXAMPLE: Two Ways to Style Taupe Booties
20. Lightweight Sunglasses
I have several pairs of oversized, fashiony sunglasses, but the pair I wear the most? These Ray-Ban Lightweight Sunglasses. It feels like you’re wearing nothing, and they’re just cool enough to pass. A bunch of my friends have bought them not because they’re oh-so-glam, but because they Actually Get Worn.
21. A Big-Girl Backpack
The danger here is that once you go backpack, you’ll never go back. I (and a zillion other readers) all swear by Rebecca Minkoff’s Medium Julian – it’s comfortable, chic, and fits a ton of stuff. I keep trying with other bags, but I keep coming back to this one.
22. Seriously Warm Mittens
These Ski Mittens aren’t messing around. Not only do I wear these on the slopes, but I wear them for snowball fights and frigid walks to school. (Update: I recently got this pair, and they might be even warmer…????)
23. A Feather Clutch
If there’s one item I use over and over and over again to make any ‘ol outfit feel fancy, it’s my feather clutch. People cross the street to ask me where I found it, and my friends threaten to steal it. It’s…fantastic. Ridiculous, too, but that’s part of the charm. So let’s make a deal: if ever you come across a feather clutch, LET THE REST OF US KNOW. Here’s one: Topshop Feather Clutch.
24. Needle Roller + Wrinkle Serum
If there’s one thing I’ve actually noticed a difference in wrinkle reduction….it’s the Rodan & Fields Roller Ball. The serum it comes with is really good, but I’m currently trying it with Colleen Rothschild’s retinol because I *think* the concentration is stronger. The needle roller hurts at first (don’t go too hard), but my skin got used to it.
I’ve blathered on and on about this before….but it’s really that amazing.
26. Silk Pillowcases
Amanda turned me onto these Slip Silk Pillowcases, and they’re amazing. Not only are they so comfy to sleep on, but I swear they’re preventing wrinkles. There’s absolutely zero scientific basis to what I’m saying, but my mom swears by them too so there you go. #momsalwaysright
27. Stupidly Expensive But Sadly Totally Worth It Beachy Wave Spray
Oribe Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray – I’m annoyed by how well this works. But basically, if I’m ever having a bad hair day of the flat and static-y kind, or the frizzy and dull variety….THIS.