April 28, 2016

Spring Color Combo: Black, White and….Olive

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And sometimes…you get to eat ice cream on the job!

This hot hot day in Portland we decided to go to what would become my new favorite ice cream shop. At the suggestion of my friend and insanely talented photographer, Posy Quarterman, we headed over to Fifty Licks for a fun afternoon of delicious treats.

The Outfit Formula

Ok, so in the interest of fashion and not wanting to make you jealous by describing all of the ridiculously delicious ice cream flavors, on to talking about a new favorite outfit combo of mine: black & white and olive.

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February 18, 2016

LOFT Dressing Room Selfies – Work Wear Edition

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A new contributor? Nope, it’s me, Amanda! (yay…?) Some of you have been asking for work wear ideas, so I braved the camera and tried on a bunch of new arrivals at Loft. Postpartum mamas headed back to work, this one’s for you, too! Most of the tops and jackets I’m wearing conceal mum tums with a flowy plus structured formula. Overall there were some really great pieces and a few misses – I’ll give you details on fit, cut, quality and my absolute favorite piece that makes you look taller and slimmer and instantly put together. Bonus – most of these are on sale for 40% off right now!

Note: It might not look like it, but I swear I was having fun! It was really ridiculously hard for me to figure out where to position the phone to capture the neckline area so I was concentrating on the shot, not mah face – if you can’t tell, I’m a virgin dressing room selfie snapper. Also, wee case of resting b face (b for business?)

Also – this post isn’t sponsored, it’s just me and my opinions of Loft’s work wear.

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September 26, 2013

The Mixed Print Basics: Four Foolproof Patterns To Mix


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Mamas!  One of the very biggest trends this Fall is to wear multiple patterns at once.  This "mixed print" styling trick started a few years back, and is still gaining momentum.  So.  If there was one. thing. a Mama could do to easily update her whole look…this is it

From time-to-time I've gotten reader questions about styling mixed prints, so I thought I'd start with the basics.  There are four prints that mix so easily they should be considered neutrals.   In fact, if you're a little mixed-print-crazy (yup)…you can wear all four at once.  

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May 29, 2013

How We Wear It: Capris & Cropped Pants

This is our monthly series called How We Wear It, where *we* show all of the different ways to rock a wardrobe basic.  And by "we" I mean…all y'all.   If there was One. Thing. our readers have communicated again and again, it's this:  You want to see a wide range of body types represented here on ANMJ.  

So.  I'll show you how I've been styling my old standbys, and so will Cam.  And then, dear readers, we want to hear from YOU.  You can play along via our Linky party at the bottom (you can sign up at the bottom of this article or on Cam's page), you can send us an email (send it to either Cam or me), upload a pic to ANMJ's Facebook page, or use Instagram with the hashtag: #howwewearit.  As reader pics come in, I'll be keeping this page up-to-date.

Ready?  

 

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April 10, 2013

Confession: I Hate Thrifting. (But I’m Trying To Change My Ways)


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I've walked into thrift stores only a few times in my life.  The whole setup isn't really my thing.  I hate digging through huge piles of stuff, I have a bloodhound's sense of smell (mold especially kills me), and I find itchy clothing depressing.  I don't care who made it in what decade, I'll take a new jersey knit over vintage polyester any day.   

I do own some vintage pieces, though.  I'm not totally immune to their charms.  All of mine were passed down from my mom.  I wore Mom's old Calvin Klein cut-offs all through high school and college, her sexy red maxi dress when I was pregnant (the only time my boobs were big enough to fill it out), and you may recall seeing her sparkly prom purse on the blog from time-to-time.  But here's the deal:  They were my mom's.  I didn't have to go scrounging through bins, worry about smells, or wonder about a stain.  They all came with stories – familiar stories, stories that are now part of my family lore.

But thrifting…it's intimidating and impersonal and smells bad.  Yet it's cheap.  SO cheap.  And it's better for the environment.   

As a tree-hugger who is not independently wealthy…yet (snort)….if I'm really serious about reducing my own personal environmental impact (and saving some cash along with those trees), I need to take another look at how, and what, I consume.  I'm all about CPW (cost per wear) and buying fewer, better quality items…so how can you go wrong with quality at $3.99? 

I'm assuming, of course, that quality can be found for $3.99.  Because Yentine said so, more or less.  And she's pretty much the thrifting expert in my little online world.  

So keeping Yentine's first tip in mind (HAVE A GOOD ATTITUDE, which may have been the root cause of my past failures)….I went thrifting.  At the Goodwill in my tiiiny hometown, population 25,000.  If you ever wanted to set a thrifting bar low, go to a small, isolated town with an overabundance of non-ironic Carhartt.  But unlike Philly, in my tiny hometown I can park without fear (the PPA is NO JOKE) and I have free babysitters (thanks, Mom!).  

My thrifting trip was….hunh.  Successful?  Keeping an open mind, I did end up trying stuff on, and even walked out with an item or two.  To prove I was there illustrate, I took pics.  

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April 4, 2013

Friday Fun (And Reader Finds!!)

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WOOT WOOT Weekend, Mamas!  The last two weeks have been very, very long.  I have been inexplicably sick (with a cold!  It's just a cold!) for over two solid weeks.  This nasty virus has robbed me of motivation, sucked me of enthusiasm, and taken my patience out for a looong vacation.  Grrrrrrr.

Even my kids have been attempting to cheer me up.  "Mom, it's OK!" Raines said to me yesterday.  "You're the best mom EVER EVER…even if you're always grumpy!"

Awesome.  Let's put that on a mug for Mother's Day, shall we?  "World's Greatest Always-Grumpy Mom!"

(NOTE:  Mike, you had better freaking NOT.  Just so we're clear.)

So.  For this issue of Friday Fun, I have exactly ONE find.  Happily you, lovely Mamas, have been doing a little shopping while I've been sniffling, and have been emailing me all sorts of fun finds.  

Stephanie is pregnant and is wondering if this pair of silky, printed, elastic-waist pants from Anthropologie would be rad, or bad?  Call me crazy….but I kinda love them.  Add a white tee and flat, metallic sandals, and WOW.  Summer perfection.  Either color is gorgeous, but I'm leaning to…pink?   

Helen writes:

After moving to New Jersey from LA in January I was looking for a long sleeved dress that is relatively warm, nursing friendly and pretty enough for a date night.   I stumbled upon your post about affordable dresses on Zappos, and that's how I discovered the Patagonia brand dresses. I ended up buying two of them!

Helen ended up with Patagonia's Bay Laural Wrap Dress in black (currently on sale for $36!!), and the sleeveless Margot dress (also on sale for $36).  They are both nursing friendly, and Helen reports that they can also help disguise a small pooch, as well.

Belinda's been on the hunt for the perfect boyfriend jean, and thinks she found them.  I agree!

Heidi makes a pretty convincing CPW (cost-per-wear) argument for this gorgeous maxi dress:

I really, really loved your style resolutions for 2013 article a few months back, and thanks to you I have the beginnings of a decent wardrobe that's not full of things that sort-of-but-not-quite-fit for the first time in five years!

I love, love, loved the gray maxidress you featured two years ago, but couldn't find it anywhere when I started looking for something to wear this summer. I live in Jordan right now, and it's already 80 here most days so summer starts a bit earlier for me. A few years ago I would have bought a couple of dresses that I sort of liked from Old Navy and never have felt good about them…but I remembered your point about cost-per-wear and held out until I found something I loved. And I did! This maxi dress from Shopbop is exactly what I was looking for: beautiful drape, pooch-hiding blouson top, modest enough that I can get away with wearing it here in the Middle East, but still sexy thanks to the V-neck and the drape of the skirt.

Instead of a half dozen crappy dresses, I have one that I truly love and that makes me feel beautiful.  Thank you, thank you, thank you for encouraging women like me to find what makes us feel good about ourselves and giving us pointers as to how to get there!

Yay, Heidi!  Love this!

Jenny found a fleece moto jacket in taupe.  Yessssssss!  Only smalls are left, but they're on sale for $40!

Patricia has me dying for this scarf….so Lem-Lem-ish, yet roughly half the cost…

And lastly…my one lone contribution:

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I love this shirt.  Pooch-hiding, nursing-friendly perfection.  Sadly, I did not buy it.  Yup – too grumpy.

 

Here's to a weekend without tissues, red noses or phelgm!  

Wow.  And here's to never having to hear the word 'phelgm' on this blog ever, ever again.

Now I'm off to find my Kindle.  My sister got me hooked on Game of Thrones during my long two-week lie-in….and I'm totally hooked.  (Although, I may never sleep peacefully again.)

What are you doing this weekend?  Something fun, I hope?

xoxo,

S

 

 

March 18, 2013

The New Spring Basics 101

A few weeks ago I was driving Raines to pre-school (he's 5).  He was sitting in his carseat, a grumpy look on his face.  "What's wrong, buddy?" I asked.  He sighed.  It was one of those dramatic, drawn-out sighs of the long-suffering.  "I jus' don't understand what is happening in this world, Mom" he said.  

Whoa.  I'm not…how to even…begin with that?   I waited, concerned, for him to continue.

"I mean…what the heck is going on with the Sun?  Where is it?  Will I always have to wear this jacket?"  [pause]   I'M NOT COMFORTABLE IN THIS JACKET MOM!!"

Exactly, kid. Sing it.

 

Ready to talk Spring, Mamas?  Us too.  Most of these picks (if not all) can be worn while chasing kiddos around a park, and some can be dressed up for date-night (or the office).  All can be paired with pieces you already own for a fresh, easy update.  These are the new Spring Basics…101.

 

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February 28, 2013

How We Wear It: The Basic V-Neck Sweater

Mamas!!  We're starting a new monthly series called How We Wear It, where *we* show all of the different ways we're rocking a wardrobe basic.  And by "we" I mean…all y'all.   If there was One. Thing. you readers communicated LOUD AND CLEAR via our survey, it's this:  You want to see a wider range of body types represented here on ANMJ.  

So.  I'll show you how I've been styling my old standbys, and so will Cam.  And then, dear readers, we want to hear from YOU.  You can play along via our Linky party at the bottom (you can sign up at the bottom of this article or on Cam's page), you can send us a email (send it to either Cam or I), upload a pic to ANMJ's Facebook page, or use Instagram with the hashtag: #howwewearit.  As reader pics come in, I'll be keeping this page up-to-date.

Ready?  

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February 4, 2013

Pair These Seven Pieces With Boring Basics To Nail That Pesky “Dressy-Casual” Look

Mamas, this article was inspired by a question I received from Martha.  She wrote:

I recently discovered your blog and I am loving the inspiration to step up my mom style a bit, and ideas for putting more personality into my basics. I'm realizing, though, that I have a weird gap in my wardrobe. I have plenty of casual mom clothes (jeans, basic tees and sweaters, comfy shoes). My work wardrobe for a casual but conservative engineering office is jeans, cords, or cotton pants, "boring sweaters", and flats or conservative boots. And I love the rare opportunity to rock a cute dress and strappy heels. But for some strange reason, even before I had kids, I've struggled with what to wear for a dressy-casual night out, like to a restaurant or parties with other "grown ups". 

It's true!  Dressing way up is easy: dress, shoes, clutch, done.  Wearing yoga pants is easy.  But nailing the dressy-casual vibe in an effortless way is tough.  It's easy to go overboard and end up with something that feels too fussy, too "done".  Or, on the other side (like at a business casual office) you end up wearing all solid-color basics.  Snore.  

In the past, I've done both.  Neither is fun, neither feel like "me".  But there are a few pieces that I find myself reaching for time-and-time again, whenever I'm in the dressy-casual zone, be it work or Play* related.  Keep reading to see both the list, and how I'm mixing up my own pieces.

(Play = Big Girl playtime and involves cocktails, play = kiddo play and involves dirt)

 

Sevenpieces

Stylemint Nicholls Blazer | Mango Lace Tee | Ann Taylor Floral Blouse | M Missoni Skirt | Topshop Check Trousers | Steve Madden Instantt Ankle Booties | Calvin Klein Pumps

 

 

Keep reading for a full explanation of the list, as well as some example pics of how I've been mixing pieces like these…

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November 13, 2012

Mom Street Style: Krista Went to Her Reunion…and Here’s Her Weekend of Pooch-Hiding, Hot-Mama Outfits!

Mamas, you guys are amazing.  I'm always overwhelmed by the amount of support, insight, generosity, and great ideas that come out of our readers.  And one of my favorite examples happened recently, in the comments that reader Krista received when she wrote in wondering what to wear to her 5-year collage reunion.  (See This Poochy Mama Needs to Party!)  If you recall, Krista, who has diastasis recti, wrote: 

I feel like I'm twenty-something going on sixty-something, and it makes me sad. Usually I just ignore it and snuggle my toddler closer, but for this one weekend I'm going to be attempting to recapture my youth…and I just don't want to be the one who gets forgiven for her lack of fashion sense because "she had a baby".

Well. Krista's words certainly struck home.  Many readers commented that they have felt the same way.  Reader Courtney said, "I could've written this post, except my little guy is almost 3!"  Totally.  Others weighed-in with their own pooch-hiding tips, or linked to their fav pooch-hiding party clothes.

You guys rock.

And Krista was very appreciative of all of the advice.  So appreciative, in fact, that she's reported back!  With pics!! So keep reading to find out what Krista wore (and it's a far, far cry from sixty-anything).

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Hello again ANMJ,

 Can I just say—YOU ARE A LIFESAVER. Or maybe the correct word is sanity-saver. Regardless, I did some inspired shopping and skipped off to my reunion feeling emboldened by your post and the lovely comments from all the readers. I just…there aren’t words. Thank you. 

I may not have enough adjectives to adequately explain how wonderful this blog is, BUT I do have some pictures from my weekend, and some reflections on what I wore. I apologize in advance for the terrible quality of most of these, but my camera has been without a flash for the better part of a year now, oops.  

My first revelation in reading your post was the end-of-day stomach muscle surrender…clearly I am still suffering from baby brain because I never even thought about that before! I only knew that I felt defeated when I looked in the mirror after a meal or in the evenings, which is when I shower (so, lots of defeat going around). Just the knowledge that the evening slump was not on account of eating that extra dinner roll was a HUGE confidence booster, as weird as that seems. And with the nighttime pooch in mind, I Spanx’d it to within an inch of its life!!!

 Actually, it was a double-Spanx situation. The first day, we weren’t pulling into our old college town until evening—did I mention I was taking my engineering licensing exam THAT DAY and driving to reunion right after? I think I might be insane—so I knew I’d need some tummy control. I pulled on my pair of mid-thigh belly control Spanx, then a lace-trimmed shaping cami—another ANMJ brilliant suggestion. High-waisted pooch-containing jeans on bottom and something I’ve decided to call a trapeze top finished the look. I looked good. And you know what? I felt good. 

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I’ve come to consider this shirt a magical shirt, and I wish I had run back out and bought more in every color while they were still in stock. It’s an Apt. 9 shirt from Kohl’s. The embellished neckline draws nice attention to the girls without showcasing the jiggliness of postpartum breasts, and then it flows down from that point, so it’s a pretty good pooch-hider, too. I feel extra confident in this shirt so that helps! I think it’s the same concept as the trapeze dresses you mentioned, just in shirt form. 

 

So that was the first night. The next day was our only full day in town, and there was a lot to be crammed in. For daytime, I had a pair of jeans that made my derriere look fabulous, and an older diagonal colorblocked top from Forever21. The top is a little bit loosey-goosey like the drapey tee you mentioned, and the black section being on the bottom (aka over the stomach) helps too, I think. Shaper cami in place, warm shoes for sitting in the freezing cold stands at the football game, and I was good to go! I even managed to squeeze some leopard print in with my trusty gloves and earmuffs. 

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After the evening game, we made plans to go out downtown. This was where I pulled out all the stops and decided to be a little bit less-than-subtle. I liked your idea of fun, printed skinnies, AND I seemed to remember a post you did that briefly discussed gold pants. (Mentioned briefly here.) My alma mater’s colors are black and gold, so…I bought shiny gold leggings. 

And I rocked them. 

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I saw the leggings at Forever21 and knew they were going to be my “I’M AWESOME” piece. I surfed some websites before settling on Forever21’s charcoal sweater tunic—I definitely wanted a shirt that would cover my butt, and with it being late October, I also wanted something a little warm. Plus the purposefully-shapeless drape of the sweater let me look trendy AND hid my pooch, so I’m chalking that up as a win. I decided to forego a skinny belt, even though it looked cute on the model—my torso is essentially all the same size now, so there’s no “smallest point” to place the belt for emphasis. And did I mention statement earrings? I love them. Honestly, all the earrings I own are statement earrings. They’re such an easy way to amp up an outfit! 

Again, I double-Spanx’d under the leggings (a must for leggings-as-pants, anyway), broke out my favorite pair of killer black heels, and spritzed on my happy-place perfume. We went out on the town for several hours and every single person I talked to thought the look was fabulous. I can’t tell you how much of a goofy grin I had on my face all weekend as former classmates would say, “Wow, you look amazing! And I’ve seen pictures, your daughter is precious!*” I couldn’t get a very good pic of the leggings while I was actually at reunion, so I redid the look when I got home, and included my toddler to up the cuteness factor. These are SO much shinier in real life.

 

*Just to be clear, I do enjoy when people ooh and aah over my girl, obvi. But this particular weekend it was nice to have some of that positive attention comin’ my way, as well! 

 

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Krista, you gorgeous girl, you did so well.  What fun inspiration for the rest of us – and just in time for the holidays!!  Thank you thank you thank you for sending in pics!!

xo,

S