March 30, 2014

Three Perfect Spring Transition Outfits For Nursing & Post-Partum Mamas

Well shoot.  I'm not currently nursing (and "post-partum" is stretching it)…but I'd wear any of these in a heartbeat.  

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Look 1:

Flower Hair Clip, ASOS, $15 (I'm picturing this tucked nonchalantly into a messy bun)

Free People Story Teller Tee, $68 (it's waffle knit – so cozy!) 

Nixon Time-Teller Watch, $74 (I'm addicted to these bright, oversized watches)

Striped Backpack, BCBG at Nordstrom, $88

AG Stevie Cuffed Jeans, $188 at Anthro

TOMS in Orange Palm Trees, $54 (the only thing better than palm trees would be…nothing.  Nothing is better than palm trees.)

 

Look 2: 

Lanston Asymmetic Top, $95 at Shopbop (pooch-hiding, nursing-friendly drapiness at its best right here)

Autumn Cashmere Cardigan (almost sold out…try Target or Everlane)

Chewbeads Red Bracelet, $17 (A teething-friendly bracelet that I would actually wear…)

Marc Jacobs Medium Tate Tote, $198 (I swore by these when my little guys were young…and I'm still using them.  These nylon, washable bags rock my diaper-baggin' world.)

Gap Boyfriend Jeans (Soooo…I tried them recently and wasn't impressed.  Have been hearing much better things about Old Navy's version.  Go figure. 

Tieks Unmellow Yellow, $195 (aka my favorite flats ever)

 

Look 3:

Blackbird Colorblock Tee, $68 at Anthro

Slouchy Beanie, $12 at ASOS

Lily Jade Diaper Bag, $260 for another few days (then will shoot up to $335)

AG Stevie Cuffed Jeans, $188 at Anthro 

Steve Madden Trooper Lace-Up Boot, $100 at Urban (I wear mine almost every day.  Grace, I have you to thank.  I know I owe you an article about these…how 'bout I just wear them in virtually every pic instead?)

 

Happy Monday!  (already?!?!)

xo,

S

March 13, 2014

Weekend WOOT WOOT

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I'm getting the Spring shopping bug.  It's like the sun shows its face for one tiiiny second, and I immediately want to bust out a floral t-shirt (specifically this one – Lands' End – who knew?).  To appease the shopping beast, I'll be coming out with some fun Spring shopping posts next week.

In reality, I seem to be wearing mostly black.  Still?  I know.  I feel edgier with all-black and short hair I guess.  And I've been wearing the heck out of this little ponte blazer again.  I like the insta-polish with the super-stretchy fabric.  Mine was purchased in – ready for this? – 2003 I kid you not. Clearly, they have staying power.  I really like this one.  So sleek, with a cool brass button.  Totally perfect for grounding Spring prints.  (Or, uh, sweatshirts and too-big jeans.) 

Mike and I snuck out for a mid-week date night.  The nanny stayed a couple extra hours and we hit happy hour.  Cheapest. Date. Ever.  Drink specials and $5 apps and the whole thing was under $50 with tip.  

And before I forget?  These shoes are comfortable!!  Like, soft and supple and comfortable.  Shocking, I know.  They look like the kind of flat shoes that anger me with their stiff sole.  Nope.  

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But let's do the normal Friday linky thing.  Here's what I've got:

 

Am dying to recreate this outfit.  I'd do it with Bradamant's black bodysuit, and either this fabulous denim pencil skirt….or this one at half the cost.  (Or maybe even Old Navy?) 

I just found out that my favorite high-waisted MiH denim comes in a gorgeous light wash.  They call to me, Mamas.  THEY CALL TO ME.  But at – gack – $325?  Is this how it starts?  Remember when we were all choking on the $100 price tag of a pair of Sevens?  Is $300 the new "standard" price for high-end denim?  It seems to be the price tag of all the pairs I fall in love with (stupid R13 and their perfectly faded not-too-black-wash jeans which have not gone on sale in 8 months).  Know what $300 jeans are?  Besides drool-worthy  ANNOYING.

Have you heard about the 4 year old fashion designer?  She's freaking awesome. (And so is her mum.) 

I'm working on the next family photo article, and was blown away by the book, The Unforgettable Photograph: 228 Ideas, Tips, and Secrets for Taking the Best Pictures of Your Life.  More about this book later, but it was too good to sit on (and under $10, so WOW).  Whether you shoot with an iPhone or a fancy DSLR, this book will inspire.  It's totally changed my own photography game.

I'm in the most recent episode of Meagan Francis' Kitchen Hour podcast.  This time we chatted about Spring break and dressing for Spring (while there is still snow on the ground).  These are so fun – I LOVE that girl.  (And I think she's looking for reader questions, so feel free to let us know if there's anything you'd like to hear us blather on about…) 

Happy, happy weekend, Mamas.  

xo,
S

 

March 10, 2014

How To Make Your Legs Look Longer While Wearing Flats – Part 2

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In Part 1 of this series, we talked about the key wardrobe pieces for leg lengthening, and did a little fashion math involving sneakers.  Today I want to focus on the leg-lengthening miracle flat: the nude ballet.

Continue Reading…

February 27, 2014

How To Make Your Legs Look Longer While Wearing Flats – Part 1

 "Though she be but little, she is fierce." 

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My Hermia impression.

Anyway, a couple of months ago, I received not one, but four different emails from readers asking this exact question:  How can I make my legs look longer while wearing flat shoes?

So I googled it.  And the number one answer?  Wear heels.

Um.  Ok.  Thankyoufornothing?

Leaving Google behind me, I started playing around.  And I think…I THINK…I'm on to something here.  There are a few styling tricks and a few key pieces I keep coming back to.  Per usual, I've created something ponderous (on par with a dissertation, because YES I take all of this fashion stuff very. seriously.) so I'm breaking it up into multiple parts in the hope that one can actually read it over morning coffee.  At this point, it's looking like a three part series?  Hopefully not more, but no promises.  Sometimes I think I should've named this blog 'an engineer's approach to fashion' just so there were no surprises, and I could then feel free to use charts.   

But enough blathering.  First up, the key pieces….

Key Pieces

Longlegs

 

Clockwise, from top left: 

1.  High-Waisted Denim (or Shorts)

Nothing will visually elongate your legs faster than high-waisted denim.  Of course, you've gotta show off that waist, so tuck (or half-tuck) your top.  

Featured: MiH Nouvell High Rise Straight LegLove Culture Denim Shorts

2. Nude Ballet Flats

In general, the more of top of the foot you show, the longer the leg line.  So ballet flats are a better choice  than, say, loafers, simply because they show more foot.  Nude ballet flats kick the illusion up a notch further, and are like leg-lengthening magic shoes when wearing shorts or skirts.  The key is to find a pair of nude flats that are in the same color family as your skin.  I'm a sunburn-easily kind of girl, so I had more luck with a blush pink than with a true nude. 

Featured: Tieks in ballerina pink

3. Trapeze Dresses or Tops

The trapeze silhouette is perfect for leg lengthening because the swing starts above your bustline, completely obscuring where your waist actually starts.  Perfect for the short-waisted – especially with a pair of high-waist denim.

Featured: Topshop Chiffon Tank, Mango Chiffon Panel Dress 

4. Drapey Cardigan To Create a Long Line

A cardigan that creates a sharp vertical line has overall elongating powers.  Just be sure (if you are on shorter side) that it doesn't overwhelm your 'small but fierce' self.

Featured: Llove Short Sleeve Geometric Cardi (currently 40% off for a grand total of $28)

5. Two-Button Blazer

You are trying to fool the eye into thinking your waist is higher than it actually is, to give the impression of longer legs.  Buttoning the top button of two-button blazer does this perfectly.  

Featured: J.Crew Schoolboy Blazer

6.  Black Sneaks, Black Laces

In general, sneakers are not leg lengthening.  They cover up the entire foot and add bulk.  However, sneakers are sofreakingpractical for Mamas trying to chase their kids around a park that I had to figure something out.  Here it is:  Skip the contrasting laces.  Black sneaks with white laces?  No.  Red sneaks with white laces?  No.  But…if you can find cute sneaks with laces that are the same color – BAM.  It'll work for leg lengthening.  I like the black/black combo.

Featured: Onitsuka Tiger by Asics (lots of non-contrasting laces options – the lighter pairs would be perfect with light wash denim for spring) 

7. Over-The-Knee Flat Boots

Not only does this trick work, but it works really, really well.  And it almost doesn't matter where the boot hits – anywhere between above-the-knee and mid-thigh makes your legs look longer.  The trick is to  make sure the boot is sleek, and fits well (slouchy boots should be avoided for leg-lengthening purposes).

Featured: Chinese Laundry OTK Boot (if price is no object, the boots you really want are Stuart Weitzman's 5050 in any color.  I like black suede.)

8. Disco-Band Tops and Dresses

Those tops and dresses with the elastic waistbands sewn in?  Some – some – will hit slightly higher than your actual waist, making your legs look miles long.  However, some won't (maxi dresses often are too heavy and pull the elastic down).  But keep your eye out – it's worth a shot, right?   

Featured: Ruffle DressFloral Dress

9. Peplum Tops

Some peplum tops are fitted through the waist, flaring out at the bottom.  You don't want those.  Look for peplum tops that flare just above the waist.

Featured: Petunia Peplum Cami

10.  Accessories 

Use accessories to draw the eye up towards your face.  A little cleavage, a stunning statement necklace, a scarf or a cool hat will lift eyes up.  This whole feeling of up will help to elongate your body. 

 

Continue Reading…

February 18, 2014

Day-To-Night With High-Waisted Denim (Our Day Date And More Philly Love)

We had the most amazing Saturday.  It was our long-anticipated day date (aka my Christmas and Valentine's Day present).  And while I had visions of waltzing around the city in something wildly glamorous…Saturday was a mushpot of snow, sleet, and freezing rain.  So instead, I wore this:

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We started at the Art Museum, where we – get this – wandered leisurely.  I read some of plaques hanging on the wall.  I KNOW!!  

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And afterwards, we strolled around downtown.  Held hands.  Got coffee at our fav, La Colombe.  

(I'm all about the cuffs these days.) 

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Of course, I posed a little.  Wearing two jackets like all the other fashion bloggers.  

 

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But aren't these sexy jeans?  Even with the combat-ish boots. (Grace, you asked about these boots and so I hopped right to it you #shoppingenabler  More later.)

 

I swapped the combat boots out for heels before our dinner reservations at Vetri.  In hindsight, that was a mistake.  Mike had booked us a six course dinner at 6PM, with tickets to see Ballet X at 8PM.  By 7:45, we were only on course four.   By 7:56PM, Mike signed the check, and by 7:59PM we were running – no, SPRINTING – like the crazy people we are.  (Thankfully I can still run in heels.)  And at 8:00PM sharp?  We were busting through the doors of the Wilma Theater.

 

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It was a tough call (stay/go?) but wow.  We made the right decision.  Ballet X was mindblowing.  It was exciting and funny and sexy – Mike didn't even fall asleep!! (The man always falls asleep at ballets.)  We'll be going again….with, I think, the boys.  The Wilma theater is such an intimate setting that you can hear the sound of their shoes squeaking on the stage, hear the dancers breathing, and see the subtle expressions on their faces.  And I love how it was such a departure from traditional ballet, but with all of the rigor.  It was like Balanchine-meets-hiphop-meets-threestooges.  (OK, maybe not exactly that last part.  But close.)  And tix were only $35.  

After, we went back to Vetri (sheepishly) to collect our entrees and dessert.

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Philly, thanks for a beautiful day and an amazing night.  You are one seriously cool city.  I can't wait (hint, hint Mike) to do this again.

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wearing:

blouse: Emerson Fry jet print (old) – similar at LOFT

sweater: Ann Taylor cropped sweater (old) – this back-zip sweatshirt at Madewell has a similar cropped fit (and is otherwise fabulous)

denim jacket:  Joe's Jeans (vintage  - ha! that just means I bought it in 2003 or something) – but Modcloth has a really cute one with stretch.

wool jacket: Iro (old) – or try layering a cool trench over a denim jacket

jeans: MiH High-Rise Straight Jeans - or Madewell's – the wash isn't as cute, but they are stretchy and insanely comfortable (more on this later)

combat boots: Steve Madden Bickett Boot (at local DSW for $35!!) – similar

heels: Nine West (old) – similar

scarf: Banana Republic (old) – similar

 

Whoa.  The number of layers I'm wearing is ridiculous.  But the thought of putting on my puffer coat – yet again – is starting to affect my mental stability.  I had to get creative.  In the name of health, you guys.  HEALTH.

xo,

S

 

 

 

February 5, 2014

Local Love In My New Favorite Outfit, Reading A Book About Hugs (psst: high-waisted skinnies….)

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Mike and I had a day-date last weekend, in honor of my birthday.  We started with a long brunch at Kennet's, where I had, quite possibly, the best mimosas and pancakes ever (we're talking fluffy cornmeal pancakes with local, house-cured bacon cooked right in, sitting in a puddle of real maple syrup with a fried egg on top).  I mean seriously.  The restaurant was also dead right around 11AM (in a romantic way, not a creepy way) on a Saturday, which means that next time we'll bring the kids.  But they have a wood-fired pizza oven, and try to source ingredients locally, so if you haven't been….GO.  You won't be disappointed.

It was a magical day.  Day dates are our favorites because…well, because we're not tired.  Instead, we spend the day wandering around, holding hands, perusing boutiques, sitting in coffee shops and having loooong brunches where we walk out tipsy.  And than we wander around looking for Philly's best coffee. 

It's basically our life, before kids.  

We also found THE most amazing bookstore:  Joseph Fox.  My favorite bookstores have a cozy feel (check), knowledgeable staff (check) and – here's the most important part – a really well-edited selection.  I want someone to show me the books I didn't even know to search for on Amazon.  You know?

Their kid's selection was small but inspiring.  We're talking arty books for kids that I've never seen anywhere else, new twists on old classics, and ingenius picture books that get kids thinking about life's biggest questions.  

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And I felt oh-so-glamourous in my high-waisted skinnies.  My belt is too loose, and these jeans do look better with pumps, but I loved it all anyway.  I'm most comfortable in an outfit that's a little 'off'.  Perfect outfits always make me feel like I'm wearing someone else's clothes.

BTW – Mike spotted my necklace at a local boutique, Sugarcube.  It's macarame, so it's durable and comfortable and I've been wearing it with everything

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wearing: 

necklace:  local, Sugarcube boutique…but love this one or this one on Etsy

tshirt:  sold out J.Crew tee…similar from JCrew or oooo…Pardon My French for only $25.

denim: MiH Nouvelle High Rise Straight Leg Jean…have also heard good things about Madewell's

bag: Moop Paperback

belt: sold out JCrew, but I flipping LOVE this one

wig:  my usual, Henry Margu

 

I'm still messing around with how to style these jeans (you'll be seeing soooo much more of them), but there was so much interest, I thought I'd post a preview.  And I'm sharing a few of the gorgeous books found at Joseph Fox here

xo,

S

 

 

January 20, 2014

Shopping: My Fav Denim, On Sale Everywhere

Denim sales abound!  And many of the styles I've featured here on ANMJ are now on sale….

 

Moto Denim

Remember how we were all drooling over cozy sweaters and moto pants?  Yes. Exactly.  And how awesome are preppy white jeans as moto denim? (ps.  The Free People Moto previously featured are also on sale.)

Moto

1. DL1961 Hazel Moto Skinny Jeans, $130

2.  AG Coated Moto Skinny Jean, $122

3.  J Brand Mid-Rise Moto Skinny, $253 (25% off with code DENIM)

4.  Hudson Stark Moto Jeans, $220 (25% off with code DENIM)

 

Patched or Destroyed Denim

This whole category makes my heart beat fast.  I wantwantwant each pair below.  (But if I'm forced to play favorites the leather patches OMG.)

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1. True Religion Carrie Patchwork Flare Denim, $226

2. Textile Elizabeth and James Patched Jean, $135

3. Seven For All Mankind Josefina Destroyed, $225 (25% off with code DENIM)

4. Blank NYC Relaxed Straight Leg, $88

(This style was on sale at Piperlime, but sold out before I could publish.  However, Shopbop has them in stock – comparatively affordable, even at full price.)

 

The Perfect Gray Jean

I've been on a hunt for the perfect gray jean.  I want something interesting, something with variation and whiskering. These fit the bill exactly. 

 

 

Gray

1. Current / Elliott Ankle Skinny, $159

2. Rag and Bone Bomber Legging Jean, $184

3. Citizens of Humanity Racer Jeans, $119  (or a few sizes here for $160 – call and Nordies will price match)

4. Citizens Avedon Ultra Skinny, $218 (25% off with code DENIM)

 

Coated Denim

I'm a coated denim devotee.  Not only are they comfortable and insanely cool, but they actually repel water a bit better than regular denim, making them my go-tos on rainy days.  TRUE STORY.

(ps.  Am also DYING over Rag and Bone's Portobello pant.  Typically $440, but on sale for $130.  Like a coated denim/dress pant hybrid. #sofreakinggorgeous)

Coated

1. Blank Coated Denim, $60

2. 7 For All Mankind High Shine Skinnies, $198 (25% off with code DENIM)

3. AG The Legging, Coated, $164

4. J Brand Coated Skinny Jean, $144  (or here in a slightly darker wash)

I have this jean and it's crazy-soft.  One of my most-worn pairs (see it here).

 

 

My Tried and True

These are my current favorites – I've worn each of these over&over&over.

Triedandtrue

1.  JBrand Love Story in Cosmo, $185 (25% off with code DENIM) 

These are my favorite flares.  You can see them here or here.

2. AG The Legging Jean in Prado, $125 or 4 years seattle, 6 years dive or 18 year heartbreaker, each $220 (25% off with code)

One of my very favorite skinnies.  AG Denim is super soft and comfortable, but really knocks it out of the park with their washes.  That perfect blue, that pefectly faded look, truly the best I've seen.  

3. J Brand Mid-Rise Skinny Cord in black, $123

I have these in camel, and love the fit (thank you JBrand for the mid rise).  Love how the black cords almost look like velvet.  #rockstar

4. Rag and Bone Skinny or Cigarette, $145

Rag and Bones are my current favs.  They are really skinny through the leg, and I've found that they look better with ankle booties than most other jeans.

 

No promises on sizes, Mamas – these things are selling quick.  

Happy Shopping!

xo,
S

January 13, 2014

Reader Q | Lace Up Booties – How To Style For Tomboys?

Reader Q:

Hi Shana! I can't explain to you how much I love your blog – it's always a high point in my day when I see you've put up a new post! I was hoping you could help me with a style problem…  I just got these Clarks Rosepoint booties:

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I think they're super cute, but they're not really my usual style and I'm not sure how to wear them. Normally my style leans towards kind of casual boho tomboy (that's probably not a thing, I know) and these booties are pretty ladylike. Also I almost always wear more rugged, chunky shoes – moto boots, chucks… because I'm comfortable in them and I feel like they help balance out my, uh, ample…?… thighs and hips. I don't want to look like my curves are tapering down to tiny pointy toes. Right? I'm pretty sure you could make anything look cool, can you help me? thanks so much, and thanks for everything you do for all of us mamas!  

— Rachel

 

Thoughts:

Rachel, I love this question.  I have very similar booties and I struggle with the same thing.  I find them to be…too precious sometimes. You know?  Yes.  You do.

Ok – so here's a few (thigh-friendly) ways to TOMBOY UP a sweet little laced bootie. 

Booties

 

Continue Reading…

September 18, 2013

Fall Trends: Sport Chic

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Mamas, have I the trend for you.  We've talked about track pants ad naseum, but there is oh-so-much-more sporty joy in this world: stripey tees, comfy joggers, playground sneaks, and baseball hats eve-er-ee-where.  My comfort-loving heart just wants to explode with joy.

Here's a few thoughts on sportin' the sporty duds….

Continue Reading…

September 2, 2013

Fall Trend: Moto Jackets

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Mamas, it's time to talk Fall Trends!!  First up….the moto jacket.

I fully support running out and grabbing some badass leather moto jacket (this one is fabulous).  I mean…Miranda Kerr sports one, baby in tow, so there you go.  It's possible.  And many of you have previously confirmed that it is indeed easy to wipe spit-up off of a leather jacket.  There's no disputing that a leather moto jacket will seriously up your style game…forever.  They're classic.

My issue, however, with leather jackets in general is the same issue I have with most jackets in general:  I can't move my arms.  And nothing makes me crazier than when my arms are constricted – especially when cruising around with the kiddos.

Happily, there are a ton of amazingly chic, made-to-move, washable moto jackets on the market.  And if you treat your moto jacket like it's any old thing and throw it on over everything….BAM.  Lookin' good, Mama.

Here are a few ways I'm wearing my moto jacket (both playtime and date night):

Continue Reading…