Happy November!! I’m interrupting Cropped Flares week to talk travel. Specifically, my very favorite Fall/Winter travel uniform. This outfit is super comfortable, can be warm or cool depending on airport conditions (or the weather wherever you land), and is cute enough to be worn well past travel days.
In fact, when my mom was packing for her recent visit to Philly, I basically told her to pack this exact travel uniform: jeans, fashion sneakers, cute tops, a leather jacket. (Add a scarf, hat and mittens if it’s cold.)
Add a gorg travel bag and you’re set for a weekend getaway, or a quick trip home to visit family for Thanksgiving.
I get that not everyone is into shorts. Before Shana gave me the (life-changing) tip of sizing denim shorts up (way up so they’re a bit baggy), I could never seem to find the right fit. They were too high or too tight or too long or too wide or too “mom-ish.” . . . Shorts are hard. And that’s if you can wear them! E recently wrote in with this question:
I’m in the third trimester of my second pregnancy, and I have developed crazy varicose veins. My doc sent me to a specialist, long story short, I’m now wearing full length maternity compression stockings. They’re horrible. Super opaque, weird beige color, full toe. How do I work with these? I’m thinking of wearing them under leggings, and then maybe going with high tops? Thankfully I only have to make it to mid-June, then presumably giving birth will remedy the situation and I can wear skirts and shorts again! Thanks for any insight!
E, you are not alone. We get questions all.the.time about warm-weather options for hiding varicose veins (even without the complications you’re dealing with). My favorite option?
They are super comfortable (like pajama-comfortable), lightweight, cool, flattering – but youthful, too, invoking a surfer-girl vibe. They can be worn out to the beach or dressed up for a night on the town.
(Personally, I also like to wear them on the couch while watching tv, but that’s just me.)
This post could just as easily been titled “Postpartum Loungewear”…and I know you all HATE when we post about anything in that genre, so…I’m sorry. ha. ha. riiiight.
I got legitimately excited as I was packing my bag this time around, because I feel as if I now know exactly what I want to be wearing in the hospital after the whole giving birth part: COMFORTABLE STUFF. That’s what.
I also packed a solid (and even cool) “going home outfit”, because baby isn’t the only one that needs to look their best on that ceremonial walk through the halls of the hospital, out to the car and into the house. Mama needs some sort of spotlight here, too. [snort] What this mama will really need is a long, undisturbed nap, but…let’s go with what is more likely to happen – going home in an outfit that isn’t pajamas, but still uber comfortable (and hey, if you feel like you look cool two days postpartum…SCORE. My job here is done).
Let’s get on with it then…because really, I feel like my water could break at any moment. Seriously. Even “waddling” is being generous – it’s more of a toddle, I would say. Yeh, a toddle.
I have these cotton tunic tops that I ordered in a few different colors and I love them. I wear them A LOT. It’s great having something at this point in my pregnancy that’s comfortable and easy to throw on with jeans. Especially if it’s black and slimming (as slimming as a piece of clothing can be at 9 months pregnant). Problem: it ends up being all that I throw on with jeans. Okaaaay, but boring…especially when I also wear black shoes. heh. All I need then is a baggy black sweatshirt and I’m back in high school theatre. Woo!
Needless to say, that just doesn’t work for New Year’s Eve. Not when I want to look a little extra festive and fun – even if we simply go out for dinner with the kiddos, stay in and stuff our faces on the couch…and then party my pregnant bum right to bed by 9 (we know how to party around here).
I had to find a way to keep my favorite basics on my bod, but bring a little somethingsomething to the mix. Just like for my last holiday style post, I went on a search to find one statement piece that would really bring it. Well, watch out. I found three – a necklace, some fur and a clutch.
I consider myself a well-seasoned mama now that I’ve had two babies (sort of. kind of. not really at all). HA. I can now say with confidence that I do now know what I would really like and need for myself during those first deliriousblurrycrazytown awesome weeks with a new baby…and since baby numero three is about to make his big debut (right after the holidays, nonetheless), I’ve been thinking about what other new moms might like as well. And basically, it all comes down to this:
What will make use FEEL MORE LIKE A HUMAN?? (or at least sort of like one)
Don’t bother with anything fancy-shmancy. Nope. Take it from me, semi-professional mom over here. New moms are going to be wrapped up taking care of le tiny bébé and won’t have time for any bells and whistles. Think simple, but useful and pretty…for when we’re holed up at home – so tired, loving our postpartum body [snort] and really just in need of a nice…long…bubble bath (and 5 bottles of wine).
So actually, we can just stop there. Yeh, just get new moms a pallet of wine and a really long straw.
Okayokay. I have more realistic and responsible ideas…
1. Lemon-Aid: this is a color correcting eyelid primer that can be applied easily and quickly. It helps to make eyes look refreshed, so basically…not like you got two hours of sleep the night before? Um. Yes, thank you. This would be nice to have for those times there may be baby visitors…or even just someone dropping off dinner.
2. Honest Hazel Eye gels: I have tried these and can vouch for their magical abilities. They are easy to apply, actually stay on and don’t slip down your face (I even walked around with them on) and my eye area felt cool and refreshed after. I also really dig their packaging, if that means anything at all.
3. Well-Rested CC Eye Primer: the name says it all. This is an eye primer with revitalizing aloe and caffeine that helps to make it look like you’ve had a full night’s sleep…apparently. Whaaaattt. Now, haaa…it can’t make up for the hours of lost sleep, but if it’s something that makes a new mama look less zombie-like…awesome. Hey, it even color corrects the skin around the eye. Not a bad thing for those dark under eye bags.
4. Hand + Foot Cream Duo: these L’Occitane products are legit. Worth the money. There is one thing I cannot stand and that’s having dry hands and feet…and unfortunately, those are the two appendages that get seriously neglected when a new babe comes along (at least, for me). I never ever have time to do my nails post-baby, but I’ve found that having a good lotion on-hand goes a long way. It’s just one of those things…so nice to have, but something we often forget to get for ourselves.
5. Dry Shampoo: mmm hmmm. Yup. Let me say that again…mmmmmmhmmm. This is a must. A must, I tell you! It freshens hair right up and even gives it some body. I literally flip my hair upside down, spray, flip back up and then spray a little more…done. It’s that easy. I see many days in my near future where I will be using this.
6. Anthro. Jar Candle: some of my favorite candle scents are from anthropologie…and they just look so good, too. Win win. I light candles at the end of a long day, to calm me down a bit. They help to mask the dirty house, dog and other smells…YA KNOW.
7. Chatbooks: these are the coolest photo books and are incredibly easy to create (from your phone!). I stood in my kitchen the other day and made two, so…yeh. I’m thinking that this is how I will actually manage (for once) to get a baby book made this time around. I can sit on the couch, nurse and make an album with my iPhone photos. I love it. Oh, and you can get your first book free! Sweet. Use code: NY93NQYE
8. Fire & Ice Water Bottle:…but not just any water bottle. A fellow mom friend of mine (who has three babes already, so she knows what’s good) swears by these. It stabilizes the temperature of whatever liquid you have inside…and you can drink it one-handed with it’s easy squeeze bottle. I guzzle water when I’m nursing around the clock, so this would be very useful.
9. West Elm Cozy Blanket: I don’t know why, but I still don’t have one. I always wish I did though…to cozy up with when I’m sitting on the couch. They say “nap when baby naps”…yada yada yoooo…but what about when baby has two older siblings that may not necessarily want to nap when mama or baby wants to? HA. I have to catch a snooze when I can, so I imagine I’ll be dozing off with new babe on the couch at random times…and a cozy blanket would definitely be appreciated.
10. Teavana Ultimate Tea Collection: yes, I know. Where’s the coffee filled with caffeine goodness that helps to keep us alive, Cams? Coffee is good. Very good. I plan on having a full stock. However, I’ve recently discovered Teavana tea and ummm…it’s so good (and of course, some of them are caffienated). I’m actually not a huge tea drinker, because I really just love my coffee, but…but…Teavana does it right. They have some fantastic, unique teas that taste really lovely. Also, it’s a nice calming thing to drink.
11. Plum Pretty Sugar Robe: they have some of the prettiest sleepwear and robes that I have ever seen (I’ve been following them on IG for years now). One of their gorgeous robes could be used in the hospital after delivery and then at home, to throw on with a nursing tank and leggings…or just pajamas. It’s an easy way for a mom to feel pretty while lounging (if you want to call it that…not sure how much lounging can actually be done if this is not a first baby, but you know what I mean)…and it’ll keep her feeling comfortable, too.
12. Lace Cami Bra: this is something a little sexy to help the mama feel good about herself, because…poop and spit-up…and poop and spit-up. Repeat. I, personally, don’t mind wearing a bralette-type deal that has to be pulled up or down, because there are no underwires making it difficult. However, if you really prefer one that’s made specifically for nursing, here’s the fantastic Cosabella Nursing Bralette. I’ve heard nothing but good things about the line.
13. Customizable Name ring: these are darling…and would be a simple way to make a mom smile (even if she is just wearing them at home with her pjs on). Love that the lettering is the band!
14. Vintage Pajama Set: comfortable, cute and nursing-friendly. I usually live in pjs for at least the first couple of weeks…aaaand then I move on to the yoga pants and leggings. 😉
15. Incredible Pair of Slippers: UGG brings it with their sheepskin slippers. I mean, goodness. I have a pair of these and may have just worn them to school drop-off. Yep, no shame in my early morning comfort game. Seriously though. These are the slippers sent from heaven for all of us mamas that want toasty and comfortable feet. My feet will be LIVING in these come new baby time.
16. Cozy Wrap Sweatshirt: having a feminine sweatshirt option to throw on over whatever is such a good idea. It beats having to wear a husband’s old sweatshirts (heh…which is what I happen to do on the regular). I like this wrap style, because it makes nursing in it possible. In fact, I’d wear this out with a nursing tank underneath…once I’ve gathered enough courage and energy to brave the world with three kids.
I’d say if you’re still eeehhhhh about any of those gift ideas, just go with a collection of chick flicks (Amazon has any that you can possibly think of), SNACKS (the junky kind…not the healthy. I recommend bags and bags of Boom Chicka Pop. SO good), a month’s worth of coffee and a pallet of wine.
Yehhh, not letting go of that wine idea. It’d be a solid choice.
Oooooh snap, ya’ll. We are giving away a Lily Jade diaper bag stuffed with a glorious $500 Nordstrom gift card. Hollaaaaaaa. Just in time for the holidays. We must love you…or something like that. 😉
I’m carrying the Madeline (in black)…but I also have the Meggan in brandy. Both are proving to be high-quality, functional and they allow for some small bit of organization in my life (now if someone could please come and organize the rest of my life…that’d be greeeeeaaaat).
But I haven’t felt like I’m carrying a monstrosity of a diaper bag with useless pockets and hidden crevices where old crackers and fruit snacks go to die (and are then found a year later in a petrified state). I haven’t even lost my keys in the dark abyss! Even when it is filled with everythinginourhouse and does weigh me down a bit…hey, it’s part of the deal. I’m a mom. When some periods of this crazy journey require me to carry a mom bag (hem. new baby coming around the bend here), at least it can be a stylin’ one that does the job right.
Remember that post I did on suede? I made this sort-of-promise to try out the trend and now I’ve found myself in a non-maternity suede shift dress…while pregnant.
Here’s what went down…heh. I tried on the dress about a month ago (which might as well be a year ago in terms of bump growth) and it fit perfectly in a size up – the length was spot on. Fast forward to a month later and I tried on the dress again (with some long-awaited over-the-knee boots that have been on backorder…for forever and a day)…hmmm. Something looks different here. Oooooh right – the baby bump has grown in the past month: they tend to do that. Now the dress is just a tad bit on the short side and by tad bit I mean maybe too short. I wasn’t giving up on it that easily though!
Obviously, I couldn’t do bare legs. I tried that. NO. Hoochy. Bad. Could I de-hoochify the look by adding tights and over-the-knee boots? I was game. I wanted it to work. Actually, I was insistant on it (pregnancy ego was being slayed at this point) so I decided I’d play around with it. I then got pics to prove I had at least tried…and am now sharing the result of my suede dress toils on here. Hey, maybe I like embarrassing myself a little in an almost-too-short dress to be be wearing while pregnant. heh.
A reader recently asked about maternity flares – whether they can actually be styled in a way that looks good, even with a bump…considering that the BIG thing right now is high waists and tucked in tops. Since tucking in a top is literally impossible for those of us that are pregnant (ya know, the whole no-waist no-hips thing), unless we make a bold/weird style statement and show off the oh-so-hot bump panel (ha), we are sh*t outta luck when it comes to styling anything with a high waist.
So yeh, maybe everyone is wearing the high waist flares right now. Let me just go ahead and ask though, for all of us expecting mamas, do they really have to be high-waisted to work? I mean, isn’t it entirely possible to look just as rockin’ in a pair of flares (bump and all) with a more flowey, untucked top or even a fitted top?
I made it my mission to find out.
(Truth: I‘ve been dying to finda temporary replacement for my Madewells that I miss…oh.so.much [sob], so this was actually my excuse to shop around and order a couple of pairs to try out. “It’s for wooorkkkk, babe”😉 )
For those times that you really want to wear an oh-so-comfy dress, but bare legs and chilly weather don’t mix. Or perhaps a heel (even a wedge) makes the dress just a bit tooshort for that weekend adventure with the kiddos. (I know, flashing is fun, but…)
Ummm. Did 30 days of pregnancy really just go by like that? It seems to speed by faster and faster with each child and that’s exciting/scary/awesome/crazy/…help me. I will have three kids in just over three months. iiiiiiiiy. [insert wide-eyed emoji] I clearly need emojis for my posts.
Anyways, let me get down to bidness. It has been thirty days (or so) since I started the Maternity Capsule Wardrobe Challenge (did you catch the kick-off post?)…and ooooooo what an adventure and totally enlightening experience it has been. I mean, wow. $500. 7 pieces total. SEVEN pieces, ya’ll. Did I finish with the same amount?…no, but haha…the point is I made it. I wasn’t driven off a ledge in my pregnant hormonal state…and I am now here to tell the story. ::snort::
I sound dramatic when it really wasn’t that dramatic of an experience (except for some days when I would go into my closet, roll my eyes and mutter about having to wear “the same f-ing black skirt again”…yeh, aside from those days). I was surprised with how easy it was to get dressed, even with such a limited selection of clothing. I had random days, like I mentioned, where I felt like I couldn’t style the “f-ing black skirt” any differently than I had the day before, but then…I just went with it. I would put that skirt back on and figure it out. After a couple of weeks of sort of stumbling and pushing through it, I really really started to feel the easy flow to it and appreciate the whole thing. I got more creative and it was fun!
Now, would I…could I stick with just the seven pieces I started with for the entire month? Hell no. HA! It was seven pieces. I had to break down and be real (clothes have to be washed, Cams). I do think it was a great plan to start out very limited and selective though, because what I found was this…I started to look at each week as an opportunity to feel out what I had – to wear the different pieces (on repeat, because…umm..I had to) and really look at it all over a seven day period. I could then see the holes that HAD to be filled in order to make this all do-able.
I guess you could say I put myself through an intensive wardrobe study/boot camp to curate a solid maternity capsule wardrobe that is realistic, wearable and seriously awesome for all of you mamas-to-be (or even you postpartum mamas. Can’t forget you rockstars!). I wanted it to be good. Period.
So, without further hesitation or blabbing, let me share my final results… *drum roll* …