I thought I’d follow up my ‘tucked underwear dress‘ from yesterday with another crowd pleaser:
HARNESS MWAH HA HA HA
(all photography by Vafa-Coffman Photography – a seriously talented husband-and-wife team who splits time between Michigan and San Diego )
Sole Society asked me to take a peek at their latest footwear line. If you haven’t heard of Sole Society, they’re an online retailer of on-trend shoes, bags, and accessories at affordable prices. I was pumped to find a few different iterations of my latest boot obsession: the short, flat, gray-ish/greenish/dishwater-blondish boot (aka taupe).
I love throwing on boots with my summer standards (Hello, cut-offs) as a way of easing visually into Fall. For this purpose, short boots work best. And besides, there’s just something so cool about short boots + bare legs, you know? It has a relaxed, end-of-summer vibe that I dig. (And the oh-so-soft-suede that won’t rub annoyingly on my legs is much appreciated, Sole Society. Keep it up.)
jacket: Everlane Swing Trench
shirt: Elizabeth and James (old)…Madewell has a short-sleeve button-down with a similar vibe
shorts: Abercrombie (ugh, sorry)…but I like the slightly longer length of Minkpink’s Tomboy shorts (on sale for $40)
boots: Sole Society Natasha boots in army
But the other seriously awesome thing about taupe boots?
They’re rockstars with white.
White jeans, cream cords, all of those pale pants that are so tricky to style come winter? Yup. Taupe boots.
scarf: my sister’s…but Nordstrom’s tissue weight cashmere wrap is on sale, and I can’t stop thinking about the blue posiedon color. I mean.
sweater: Marc Jacobs sweater
jeans: Levi 535 white jeans (order at least one size up)
bag: Makr Farm Rucksack
boots: Sole Society Natasha boots in army
Even better, taupe boots will pair just as nicely with black pants as they do with denim. Taupe. The neutral of all neutrals.
If you’re interested, Sole Society has a bunch of seriously cool, everyday boots in taupe. Now….my definition of taupe is pretty loose. Sometimes taupe is a bit green (like the pair I’m wearing), sometimes it’s gray. And sometimes taupe skews a bit warm….almost to camel. I don’t think it matters – the styling works regardless of the exact shade of taupe. Just find one you love. Here are my favorites:
And because I’m still messing around with which widgets work best, here’s a traditional Shop The Post (I threw in some bags, baubles and scarves just for funsies – Sole Society has some really great ones):
A huge thank you to Sole Society for sponsoring this post!! As always, all thoughts, opinions, product choices and taupe obsessions are my own.
I swear. Only in Michigan.
The sun does warm things up….eventually. Nothing like hot sand on skin to really feel like summer, right?
sweater: Marc Jacobs James Sweater (size XS/S)
shorts: Ugh. Abercrombie, simply because I’m still searching for a good low-rise pair. Some readers have recommended the Dolphin shorts by Free People, actually. (A bit longer than their shark bite hem shorts.) May still be too high-rise for the pair I’m looking for.
bikini: J.Crew Neon bikini in Neon Papaya (currently 40% off with code DEPTOFSALE.) If you’ve got a small bum I actually prefer the Neon Shrunken Lowrider bikini…and while my bikini top is gone, the Neon papaya ruched french top is pretty cute (or a classic halter).
shoes: Soludos Sand Lace Up in woven sand (on sale for $43 at Zappos) – I love the oxford vibe of this canvas shoe.
backpack: Makr Farm Rucksack.
Ok, first of all, J.Crew is having a sale that *I think* ends today. It’s 40% off all sale items, AND 40% off a selection of full price items with code DEPTOFSALE. Which brings me to my next point:
I created a sale shop. Whenever I find something fabulous that’s currently marked down, I’ll add it to the shop. Currently, there are some pieces in the shop from the J.Crew sale, and few from Nordstom, and – so exciting – Shopbop has a ton of expensive t-shirts marked down. You know how I love an expensive tee. See the shop for my picks.
I loved this NPR segment on the link between play and brain development. “Countries where they actually have more recess tend to have higher academic performance than countries where recess is less.”
Are you reading Mother Mag? You should be – they’re fabulous. I’m now contemplating Mommy-and-Me outfits (no seriously – check ’em out I’m tempted!!), loved their round-up of cool sneaks and their fresh take on a mom-uniform.
Courtney emailed to let me know that Elle Macpherson has a lower-priced line at JCPenny. Cute stuff!
Kim emailed about Rent the Runway’s new Pro subscription. For $30/year, you can add additional dresses to each order for free (and get free shipping). It looks like they’re also offering a new Unlimited subscription which basically works like Netflix DVDs, but with designer clothes. Oooooooo…..I think I should try it. In the name of “research” of course.
As you can probably guess from the pics, we are up in Michigan enjoying my sister’s new baby and having WAY too much fun with old friends and family. Lots of summer bliss happening, for sure. Hope your August has been relaxing!
ps. A thank you all SO much for your amazing ideas on yesterday’s play post. I’m now trying to figure out how to get a big pile of dirt, PVC pipes, and tree stumps into my yard. 🙂
There’s always a pretty marked difference between the blogging world, and, uh, reality. For example – have you ever seen someone wearing an ironic cat t-shirt in real life? For really reals? (Not gifting a cat t-shirt, but actually wearing said cat tee.) And I’m not totally convinced that cupcakes/macaroons/doughnuts are actually part of anyone’s daily diet. Despite the number of instagram pics to the contrary (including my own – cringe).
But once in a while us bloggers get it right. We focus on a trend (or perhaps even…dare I say it…create a trend?) that actually works in the everyday. And the latest one I’m all over? Levi 501 denim shorts.
These are old-school Levis, with a higher waist and that classic Levi bum. And? I think I like them. At $58 a pop, they’re a far cry from the $200 denim shorts I’ve been coveting/debating.
shorts: Levi 501 cut-offs, on sale for $39 at Zappos
sunnies: Madewell Hepcat Shades (on sale)
clutch: Stella & Dot leopard print wallet (on sale!)
But I think denim shorts are, in many ways, trickier than actual denim. My closet has denim shorts that range in sizes from 24 – 27. Some bloggers have specified that these particular shorts should be bought big, but I was skeptical (that high waist!!). So I ordered a bunch and did a bit of research. Here are the results:
I actually didn’t mind the hugely oversized look of size 27, but the 26s just looked strange. It’s like they were big, but not big enough to pull off the look. The 25s were close – I loved how they looked folded over at the waistband (an old trick from the 90’s thankyouverymuch), but I didn’t like how they looked without the fold. The 24s were the ones I ended up keeping – they looked cute fully buttoned, or buttoned and folded over. The bum is shockingly flattering – especially from the side.
Soooo…I like them. In hindsight, if I had to do it all over again, I’d probably pick a lighter, more destroyed wash, simply because that’s more my style. Something like one of these:
Has anyone else tried these old-school Levis? Thoughts?
ps. Thanks for the feedback about the image loading problems. We’re working on a server upgrade, so stay tuned (and don’t be too surprised if we have some up-and-downs for the next couple of days). Your patience and FEEDBACK is hugely appreciated. Seriously.
For the 4th of July last year I wore a pretty white dress. It was a small act of rebellion, wearing a white dress on a day that would involve dirty curbs and candy-stained fingers. We even went to the beach.
It was fun, though, being all dressed up. There were sparklers and too much booze and too much candy and fireworks. Or rain? Maybe there was rain; I honestly don't remember.
I do remember feeling rather pretty and sort of glamorous, which is always a nice (rare) feeling. The power of a white dress!
Do you stick to red-white-and-blue on the 4th? I don't typically endorse holiday attire in a literal sense…but the 4th highlights my three favorite colors: white, white and white.
Just kidding. I like navy, too.
I like taking the 4th of July in a festive, dressier direction. It's…fun.
Of course, once we were finished with our highly professional "photoshoot" at the playground….I was all, "Boys! Time to go home!" and Pax was all, "not on your life, Mom".
How are three-year-olds this strong? They're THREE.
And then we all went walking home where Raines pushed Pax off the curb and Pax retaliated with a punch and YES: GLAMOUR ABOUNDS.
top: Bradamant Bodysuit – the Insider (it's a thong style and really comfortable!)
shorts: old Gap….try Gap 1969 Maddie Denim Shorts (currently on sale)
pumps: old Aerosoles…but am dying over these sex-pot red sandals by Schutz, or these bright-red Gramercy pumps by Nine West look similar to mine, but good 'ol TOMS wedges (in red!) are the most comfortable option.
bag: old J.Crew….similar gold glitter clutch
lips: Tarte Lipsurgence Matte Lip Tint in Fiery
Guess what's happening shortly after the 4th? I'll give you a hint: It starts with an "N" and rhymes with "mew website". Yesssss….it's coming……
There are a handful of t-shirts that have been the backbone of my daily mom-uniform the last 6 months or so. I wear them to school drop-off, I wear them to the park. I find myself wearing them with high heels and pretty skirts on date night, or under suits when I want to look professional, but still like myself. Most of these tees have been slept in a night or two (or ten). Nights when I'm so exhausted that I fall asleep putting the kids down…and then (cringe) Iweartheteeallthenextday. #momconfessions These tees have been washed and dried a countless number of times, and they are all still hanging in there. And to make this whole thing rurrl easy, my daily everytees are either from J.Crew (and currently 30% off) or Sincerely Jules.
If you haven't heard of Sincerely Jules, you're in for a treat. A TREAT I SAY! Jules is a fashion blogger who started designing a line of seriously cool tees and sweatshirts. I love the quirky, interesting prints, the soft, drapey fabric, and the slightly boyish cut. These tees wash and dry really well (and I'm forever using stain stick on mine because, duh, white). But best of all? Jules is a total sweetheart.
(For size references, I'm wearing an XS in the top pic.)
One word of caution on the popsickle tee: my kids take one look and are all, "Whoa, cool popsicle! What a good idea, Mum! Can we have ones like THAT?" and then they DO NOT WANT the healthy homemade yogurt pops no mo'.
J.Crew's graphic tees are thin, perfectly drapey, and soft (even the linen). I wash and dry mine, but the linen tee will shorten in the dryer. I prefer my t-shirts slightly oversized, so I size up to a medium in J.Crew tees, then can wash and dry without fear. Fearless washing, just how I like it. J.Crew is also having a sale – most tees are currently 30% off with code HISUMMER.
Speaking of…Hi, Summer! We're so very glad to see you.
Fanny packs, Mamas. I'm totally in. I tested them out for reader Melissa, and the whole hands-free thing is life-changing. I forgot how good it was, Mamas. Hands-free is so, so good.
It all started with Melissa's email:
I’m a long time reader and huge fan of your blog. I value your opinion in all things fashion, and especially appreciate your high and low price point options. I’ve used the price-per-wear argument many times with my husband! I’m 37 with 3 kids (ages 9, 7 & 4).
Summertime and festival season is fast approaching. Thankfully, our family no longer requires a diaper bag or loads of emergency snacks when we hit the town. But, I always need my keys, phone and some money. I hate stuffing all that in my pockets, so what are my most unobtrusive options? Last weekend, I stuffed it all in my trusty butt pack and was ready to go. However, my ultra-hip 9 year-old strongly disapproved (photo attached—I love how the Despicable Me band-aid reminds us she is not a teenager J). Can you suggest anything for this situation? I’m imagining something like a leather belt with a small purse attached—but not something that looks like the holster the workers at beauty counters wear for their makeup brush collection.
Thanks so much for your input!
Ok so first of all, I need to copy your nine-year-old's exact outfit.
Secondly….thanks for including a pic. It helped me narrow down the whole what works/what doesn't pretty quickly. I think fanny packs can work, but it has to be in one of the two following combinations:
Super chic fanny pack + casual outfit
Casual fanny pack + super chic outfit
For the purposes of testing out the fanny, I picked up Herschel Supply Co's canvas fanny pack because A. it's $25 and B. dressing around a casual fanny pack is the harder of the two.
Tip 1: Wear Your Fanny Slung Low on the Hips
I think this goes without saying, but casual fanny packs should be slung low like a tool belt, rather than around your waist like an actual belt. (If you do opt for the seriously fancy fanny packs, they can be worn higher up, but should still stay an inch or so below the snap on your jeans.)
jeans: old AG…try Acquaverde's Patched Skinny Jean
sunnies: Ray-Ban folding wayfarers
Tip 2: Keep The Rest of Your Outfit Chic
The key to making your fanny look ironic rather than sad is to make sure that the rest of your outfit looks intentional. Wear a pretty shirt, bust out your big girl lipstick, wear glam sunnies.
Tip 3: Show Some Skin
Whether it's your arms, boobs, or a little bit of hip….adding some sex appeal really helps to style the fanny. (And it'll make a believer out of your husband.)
sweater: old Qi Cashmere – they make really cool, unusual cashmere sweaters like this one.
jeans: old AG…try Acquaverde's Patched Skinny Jean
Tip 4 – Use a Fanny Pack to Belt a Dress
You'll have to play around with this one – depending on the dress, you may need to violate the whole "wear fannys slung low" tip….but it can work.
shoes: old….but I'm seriously considering these Dolce Vita flat sandals with the cool beading
Tip 5: If Nothing Else, Wear Chic Shoes
This really should be my life mantra.
shirt: French Connection (sold out)…try this French Connection top
accessories: see above
On Raines: see above
On Pax: see above
(Notice that my kids wear the same stuff everyday? They'd go weeks if I let them.)
Melissa, I suspect that if you swing your fanny pack around, let it ride a little lower on your hips, then swap out your sneaks for chic flat sandals…even your nine year old will approve.
Ok you guys – let me have it: Are you still hating the fanny pack? Actually, the new term is "belt bag", which make us Team Belt Bag. Does that help?
Every once in a while I get an email from a reader asking me which pair of TOMS she should buy. Plain red? Something patterned? A neutral? I totally get it: with so many to choose from, it's overwhelming. But it's a tough question to answer….I mean it depends on your personal style, right? On what else you have in your closet?
Or perhaps I'm making this overly complicated. Because the truth is, in the last 4-5 years, there's one pair of TOMS I reach for the most.
With plain tees, graphic tops, patterns, stripes…..I reach for a pair of patterned TOMS, chosen simply because I liked the pattern.
Only good vibes, man.
Not because they fixed some perceived hole in my closet or because I thought they'd match something in particular, but simply because I liked them. And that fact (I like 'em) has given them more longevity than I expected.
TOMS may not be the height of style…in fact, I can think of footwear for each of these outfits that would probably look better….but how many pairs of shoes let you do this?
R rolls his eyes at me, but not before I see him bite back a smile. Little Pax, however, takes one look at my twirling and shrieks, "MOM! I WUV YOUS DANCE!!"
Game, set, match. Well played, TOMS.
sweatshirt: Hurley…love this seriously cool graphic sweatshirt at Urban Outfitters
denim: AG jeans (on sale!)
TOMS: old….but oooo tye-dyed TOMS
scarf: Yana Kapeli Infinity Nursing Scarf (more on this later)
tee: French Connection t-shirt (mine is sold out, this is similar)
shorts: A&F…but I have my eye on Rag & Bone's denim cut-offs
TOMS: old…but the gray chevron print TOMS are pretty awesome
I was wondering if you had any thoughts/ ideas on what to wear when carrying your baby or toddler on your back? I carry my son around a lot & find I have to think carefully about what I'm wearing as the belt of my ergo is obviously quite tight & so even though I'm pretty slim it makes me look like I have a bit of a beer belly ( I'm from the UK, I think you'd call this a "pooch"!).
At the moment I usually wear a long tshirt underneath the belt then pull my sweater or sweatshirt over the top so it kinda hangs over the belt, hiding (hopefully) the squidgy, bulgy bit. Im not sure how this looks from behind….i think its ok, as long as my jeans/ trousers aren't too skinny. Thoughts?
Thanks so much, I love your blog & congrats on finishing your treatment.,your hair looks great btw!
Thanks, Chloe! And YES. I totally get what you are saying. Both of my boys have spent a good deal of their lives in my well-worn Ergo, but Superchunk Pax has been, more often than not, on my back.
So. I have two words for you, my friend: Ponchos and CropTops.
Crop tops, now that they are becoming a thing again, are starting to actually show skin. I don't think I need to tell any new mom that we don't want those. Find a short, swingier top that hits right above the Ergo belt. Ergo…. (ha ha – get it?)
I've so helpfully switched this pic to black-and-white so you know it's from yesteryear. (Which is also why I have hair.)
But see how my shirt is short? Actually, "Short Shirts" may be a better moniker than "Crop Tops" now that I think about it….but my point is the same: something with a little bit of swing, something a tad short in the front will help hide a beer belly – even while babywearing. (I typically layer mine over a cami, just in case of wind, but if your stomach is in better shape than mine, you could skip the extra layer.)
Ponchos are basically large trapeze tops (which means that the swing starts at or above your bustline). So anything with a bit of a trapeze-top-like-swing will work, as long as it isn't too long.
Let's see if I have a side pic….
sweater: similar, 30% off at Juicy
cropped sweater (layered underneath): similar at Forever 21
denim: Rag and Bone
boots: wish they were these
Bag: Lily Jade
Carrier: Ergo organic carrier in "dark" chocolate (not so dark now, after 6 years of hard use….gosh, I love this thing still)
Honorable Mention: Dolman Sleeve Tops
Here's another old pic – this time I'm wearing my old J.Crew dolman-sleeve sweatshirt. If you can't find a poncho, dolman sleeve tops may offer enough volume to hide the belly. Either let the hem hang over the babycarrier belt, or do a half-tuck into the belt (pretend the babycarrier belt is the waistband of your jeans).
sweatshirt: similar on sale at 6pm
hat: similar, $20 at Nordstrom
Carrier: Kokopax carrier (Kokopax was bought by Sassy, new product won't be available until later this summer. To be notified, fill out the form located here. Just put "kokopax updates" into the comment section.)
Thanks for writing in, Chloe! Hope this helps!!
And Mamas – any other tips for dressing around a baby backpack? The beer belly thing is no joke.