May 10, 2017

10 Modern Preppy Essentials for Summer

While I’ve never attended prep school, as a New Englander I’m no stranger to the occasional popped collar or monogrammed accessory. Preppy style just goes so naturally with this coastal area, like dropping “r”from the end of words and complaining about the weather. Windswept beaches and Hunter boots? Madras plaid and Cape Cod? Nude flats and…everything? All the yes.

But it’s too easy to go overboard and start looking like a Stepford wife in head-to-toe classics. So I started with ten essential preppy pieces and found updated versions with a twist or maybe a teeny bit of edge. Traditional can be a good thing, but shaking things up is refreshing – let’s give it the old college try, shall we?

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January 17, 2017

A Surprisingly Good Combo: Leopard Print & Wedge Boots

Hello from all the snow! Yes, we made national news and our governor declared a state of emergency last week here in Oregon. We do not know what to do with this much snow! In North Portland, we got 15″! It’s been nuts to say the least. And gorgeous. And so nuts. And lots of family time. 8 snow days since right before Christmas. Plus the Christmas/New Years holidays. Plus, MLK Jr. holiday. All the snow and all the family time. B-A-N-A-N-A-S. PLEASE let’s talk fashion instead. Mmmkay??

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October 27, 2016

Rainy Weather Gear Update

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You’ve asked for it…here it is! Another rain gear round-up from your resident fan of gloomy, gray, rainy weather. There are some super cute options this year, especially in the rainboot-that-doesn’t-look-like-a-rainboot category. But let’s start with the jackets, shall we?

Above: boots | jeans

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February 3, 2016

The Coolest Rain Boots: For Moms, Dads, and Kids

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It’s the rain boot post! Get excited. Or try to. It’s been raining non-stop here lately and yes, it usually does, but I feel like it’s been extra rainy and gray. We got the teeniest bit of sunshine yesterday…and here’s Sienna “making a mask because it’s too bright.” #nativeportlander

sweatshirt (very similar and cuter!) | tutu| boots (similar and these on the wishlist!)

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December 14, 2015

Four Ways To Wear Hiking Boots

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One boot that has been steadily gaining momentum over the last few years as a major trend is…the hiking boot.  At first it was just a faux hiking boot.  A hiking-inspired boot, rather, often with a wedge heel – something a fashion-girl would wear to be more #authentic (haha), not something constructed for actual hiking.  But then…a funny thing happened – some of the really high end brands (think Prada, Dsquared2) started churning out boots that looked an awful lot like this one:  an old school leather hiking boot with contrast laces.

Um.  Heck YES.

So, when Shoes.com asked me to style up something from their (insanely large) inventory…I knew exactly what to do.  It’s, like, the universe, you guys, wanted me to style up hiking boots.  #liveauthentic #exploremore #adventure

Sidenote:  Did you hear that Socality Barbie shut down her Instagram account?  Such a bummer – talk about helping to keep things REAL.

All joking aside, hiking boots on the daily ROCK.  Especially in the winter.  They’re warm, waterproof, comfy….and frankly, with the modern tweaks to the styling that many companies are making….they’re surprisingly chic.

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Here are a few ways I’m wearing hiking boots right now:

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November 4, 2013

Cheap Leggings? A Few Ideas to Keep Your Bum Covered

We are getting into the car.  It's date night!  "Nice tights" says Mike.  What?  Tights?  "No honey," I correct him.  "These are leggings."

Mike looks confused.  "They are?  Hunh.  They look like tights."

"I'm not wearing a skirt" I point out.  "So these are leggings.  Which are pants."

"Ok" he says, agreeably.  "But they're kinda like tights since they're so sheer, right?"

I freeze.  Sheer?  Does he know what that word means?  I mean, this IS the man who repeatedly confuses dresses with skirts.  

I narrow my eyes at him.  "Can you…expand on that?"

He absentmindedly fumbles with the keys.  "Uhhh…they look silky and thin?  Like tights?"

"I forgot something inside" I tell him.  "Be right back."

Mike groans.  "Babe, what did you forget?"

Apparently, I forgot my pants.

 

THESE ARE "PANTS"  bumcoveragerequired

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I do own thicker leggings.  The J.Crew pixie pant-type things that are thick enough to show some bum.  And my faux-leather leggings…yeah, I'm not as careful with bum coverage in those, either. But for whatever reason (in the above case, I LOVE the pattern)…I do find myself reaching for my cheapie black leggings from time-to-time.  They're easy, they're comfy, and sometimes, heck, they're the only thing clean.  

Here are a few styling tricks I've been using when I really (really, REALLY) need to keep my bum covered. 

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April 20, 2012

Reader Question | Homesteading Style

Reader Question:

Hi,

I've been really enjoying reading your posts and have found a lot of inspiration.  I recently had my first baby who is now 4 months old and I have a husband who doesn't seem to find anything wrong with the big belly and junky tees and baggy pants that I have been wearing.  He doesn't seem to think that I should need to spend money on clothes to feel like I look better.  It is a nice sentiment but I still would like to dress more attractively!

I am a stay at home mama and I have a small homestead to run.  I grow a lot of our own food and on any given day need to move from weeding and planting(so getting my knees very muddy), hosting drop by visitors, chasing hawks away from my chickens, nursing a demanding baby, harvesting from the garden to make dinner, etc, etc.  I would love to look better while doing all this and the way my day works it would be really impractical to frequently change clothes from task to task.

Please help with ideas for outfits that could help me pull all this off while still looking pulled together myself!

Thank you!!

Emily

 

Answer:

Emily, what an amazing life you're leading!  At heart I'm a pioneer woman/hippy, so when I saw your email, I pounced on it before S. could get to it!  I love that you're living off the land–and, you want to look (and feel) good doing it : ).  But as I thought about what would really work for your lifestyle, I got a little nervous.  It occurred to me this might be kinda super hard to pull off–I mean, your days (and I assume nights) are spent not only caring for a babe who knows exactly what s/he wants, but actually planting, tending and cooking you family's sustenance.  So. . . not just spit-up, nursing and playground sand, but mud, dirt and manual labor.  Hmmm. . . I thought. . . you might not be too far off the mark with tees and baggy pants, but I think I've come up with a nice update to freshen up your look and keep it functional.

Homstead Style

 

First, I'd start with accessories.  If I were a homesteading mama, I'd make a fabulous hat, sunnies and a large, airy cotton scarf my trademarks.  Not only will they pull your look together, they'll keep the sun off your face and shoulders and the wrinkles at bay.  Nobody needs that business after stretchmarks and postpartum pooch onset.  Nobody.  Throw the scarf on when you're out of the vegetable patch and company stops by, and in addition to wrapping it around your neck, you can use it as a nursing cover, shawl, baby shade, head wrap, etc. (so get one you really like).  If you can avoid losing them, accessories also get lot less wear and tear if you care for them well, so even the junkiest t-shirts and baggy pants will look instantly updated when you wear them. 

Footwear.  You're one of the lucky few who actually has an excuse to wear wellies on a regular basis, so I say go for it!  Besides Hunter boots, which are pretty spendy, Target, Old Navy and Lands End (everything is 30% off right now, too!), all make great versions.  I'd wear them with shorts, skirts, skinny jeans and under cuffed boyfriends (see S.'s update on how to wear rain boots).  I am also a long-time lover of 90's fav Georgia work boots.  I just know in my heart of hearts that these babies will be back with a vengeance, and they're arguably on-trend as lace-up boots–but they actually work (like, as work boots).  I seriously had a pair for 15 years until they mysteriously went missing and I'm coveting them again as I write this.  Wear them unlaced at the top with boyfriend and cuffed/cropped skinny jeans and with shorts, or if you're feelin' it, skirts, too.

As a nursing, stay-at-home, homesteading mama, my other mainstay would be loose, interesting, not-too-expensive t-shirts and tanks.  Look for styles that fall away from the tum with details like bias-cut fabric, over-sized pockets, epaulets and snaps, and pair them with durable separates like already-destroyed boyfriend jeans, cutoffs or a cute pair of printed shorts.  I like styles with wide scoop necks that pull down for easy nursing.  I've been know to do some light gardening in skirts, so if you're having a fairly light-duty day, don't overlook the possibilities of a pretty, printed skirt this spring and summer.  Grab a light chambray shirt, too–it'll keep the sun off during peak hours and will look amazing thrown over any outfit here, either worn open, belted or half-tucked.

Oh, and don't forget knee pads, a fab pair of work gloves and lots and lots of sunscreen–not only will they help you do your job, they'll keep your pants and legs fresh and sun damage–the mother of all age spots–in check.

Thank you for writing in and for your kind words, Emily.  Happy homesteading! 

– M.   

April 18, 2012

Wearing Rainboots: Inspiration Through the Seasons (And $100 Giveaway to Bogs!)

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This post is an update to our original How To Wear Rainboots – For Moms article, originally published in March of 2009.  It was in dire need of an update.  Especially since it remains as one of our top-hitting posts.  Crazy.  

When I wrote it, rainboots were being worn everywhere by celebrities and just starting to be embraced by the general population.  But rainboots still seemed a bit out-of-place unless it was actually raining.

Since then, rainboots have come into their own and are now considered a valid boot-about-town.  And while I still think they look silly on a sunny day walking down a dry sidewalk, I've amended my original "rules" (which were totally annoying anyway).

When Moms Should Wear Rain Boots

  1. When it is raining.
  2. When it is wet — meaning puddles are on the ground.
  3. When you might be wading in a stream, mud bed, or pond.

Let's just summarize things into the following statement:  Wear rainboots whenever you feel like it.  I'm going to guess that most moms will probably feel like it when it's raining, snowing, generally wet, muddy, or on a cold, gray, day.  Or during a cool summer downpour.  


What Kind of Rain Boots Moms Can Wear
[Again, from the original article]

  1. Tall plain ones – hunter green, dark gray, bright yellows, red, etc.
  2. Tall black patent leather ones — the sheen of these boots will look a little more sophisticated.
  3. Some patterns are OK for the brave — but proceed with caution on this one.  Skip the Hello Kitty boots, skip the ladybugs, skip anything with rainbows or anything that you think an 8 year old would want to borrow.  If reading this makes you nervous, stick with plain.

I'm actually OK with this advice.  But I'd also add that rainboot styles have exploded in recent years.  If you aren't a fan of the typical wellie, there are now rainboot wedges, booties, rubber motorcycle boots and, one of my personal favs, duck boots.  Here are some super-cool, non-wellie rainboots:

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February 12, 2012

Shop Your Closet: Bringing Sexy “Back”…Wiiith a Cardigan

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I can't remember where I originally saw this styling trick.  Some avant-garde fashion blogger spun her cardigan around and wore it backwards, thus prompting a rash of copycats…but like our mothers taught us (and we will most likely teach our kids) imitation is the highest form of flattery.

In any case, I tried it.  I thought the v-back was too low…until I realized that it was a perfect way to show off a pretty racerback. 

Kinda fun, no?  

But the front was another story.  To make it look cute and shirt-like, I had to use some belt trickery:

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September 18, 2011

5 Fall Basics That “Work” for Work and Play?

Readers, we've been receiving more and more emails from moms about to go back to work.  While we've been meaning to do a back-to-work article for quite some time, we've been putting it off.  However, we received this lovely email from reader Cathy a few weeks ago:

Hi ladies!
First of all, I absolutely love your blog!  A friend passed it along, and I’ve gotten so many other mom-friends hooked!  And as a mainline mom, I often wonder if I might bump into Shana at the playground or other fun spots around town.  I live in Wayne with my 2 year old little girl, husband, and westie dog.  Hopefully some day our paths will cross – would love to meet you!
 
Anyhow, I’m writing in with a wardrobe question as I’m thinking ahead to fall.  I have been working from home for the last five years, and a new job includes a little more office time (2-3 office meetings per month).  I’ve been really enjoying getting out of the house a little more, but I haven’t had to think about a work wardrobe in such a long time.  I have lots of summer skirts and dresses that I’ve been able to wear to work this summer, but I need to do some serious updating for fall.  I’d like to invest in some good cross-over pieces … things I can wear at the office, during the week when I’m working from home, or on date nights with my husband.  When in doubt, I tend to buy black work clothes (black suits, black wrap dresses, sheath dresses etc.) so I’m looking to add a little more color.  My office is business casual so it’s pretty flexible in terms of dress code.
 
Ooooo….what a challenge!!  What could one buy to spruce up their work wardrobe, add some spice to date night AND still run around with the kiddos?
Well.  After thinkin' and thinkin'…I have 5 ideas.

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