I’ve got cozy on the brain because this weekend we’re going to visit the in-laws in Minneapolis for an early Christmas. The kids think we’re going to the North Pole, but joke’s on us because it’s actually warmer in the arctic circle than the midwest right now! When we get back and thaw out, I’ll be wearing this fun sweatshirt and festive sweater leggings on repeat. Especially on Christmas morning and, if we’re being honest, the rest of the day since I’m not leaving the house! We make the rounds on Christmas Eve, then get to stay warm and cozy all day on the 25th – the benefit of having the only grandkids is that my parents come here for present opening and lots of food that seems to merge into one day long meal. This is a great outfit combo for staying in, but if you’ll be staying over with family or friends during the holidays, it’s guest-appropriate, too!
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I. Love. The. Holidays. And you know the most perfect thing that happened on this day? It snowed!!!!! We get so many loads of rainfall each year, but snow is not a regular occurrence here in most of the Pacific Northwest, so we get pretty excited about the first snowfall. I will skip over the part where the next day it pelted us with freezing rain and focus on the magical wintery wonderland we had Thursday.
Sienna was insanely hilarious y’all, this being the first snow that she can remember. She was running around yelling “snow!” for 30 minutes straight when she went outside. She could not believe it! My heart definitely grew three sizes while watching the sheer joy on her little face.
Needless to say, I did not move out of these comfy clothes all day. My new favorite thing is a long cardigan. Pair with soft knit leggings, sherpa lined slippers and (possibly spiked) egg nog and you have a recipe for a perfect snow day right there.
If I had to survive with only one shirt, I'd probably pick one of my thin, drapy v-necks. The low neckline flatters the bust, the drape hides a pooch and they look cool dressed up or down. Besides, I became addicted to the v-neck while nursing FOR ALMOST FIVE YEARS GOOD LORD and I just can't quit 'em.
But. In winter, they are freezing. Here's how I'm warming them up.
With Arm Warmers and a Faux-Fur Cowl
With heels and a sparkly belt if you are feeling especially glamorous, but this outfit works equally well with everyday boots. A faux-fur cowl is my go-to around the house (being bald is very, VERY cold) and the arm-warmers actually make a difference! (They're no turtleneck sweater, but they do alright.)
cowl: old Urban Outfitter…love this one, and it's washable
tee: old Soft Joie (easily my most favorite tee ever) – here's a current one
jeans: old AG – call me crazy but are these JCPenny jeans similar?
heels: old Aerosoles – but this pointy-toe pump from Nine West is even cuter.
lipstick: Tarte Matte Liptint in Lively
Under a Flannel, With a Pile of Delicate Necklaces
There's something about the combo of a low neckline, soft flannel, and a tangle of delicate necklaces. A pretty bra, always.
And my Uggs? There's probably a better choice, but I'm always in Uggs these days. Especially with a flannel-shirt-as-cardigan.
tee: Gap (size M)
flannel: old J.Crew…but I love this one on sale at Bloomies
jeans: Ugh, I'm getting sick of trying (in vain) to find another pair of patched denim. Instead, may I present my fav Rag and Bone at 30% off?
boots: Classic Mini Uggs
Color-Blocking With A Long-Sleeve Tee
This is an old trick, circa 1997. Even the shoes! And the over-sized denim!!
The only difference between this and my college uniform is the hat and bright lipstick. And now we call wearing two t-shirts "color-blocking" like it's some fancy thing. #itsathing
hat: ASOS – one with ears are all sold out, but this huge pom one is adorable
tee: Everlane, woman's vee, size M
long-sleeve tee: old….this one is also great for layering (am currently looking for a long-sleeve, striped v-neck tee – anyone know?)
Any other ideas?
Few things confound me more than dressing for sporting events/parties. I like designer denim, tall boots, drapey tops, interesting sweaters. . . but these items somehow just don't seem to fit with queso dip and beer (much as I do love those Super Bowl standbys), so I welcomed ANMJ reader Tamar's question as a challenge and spent pretty much all week culling Super Bowl party-worthy ensembles. See What you think! Tamar writes:
Gwen looked adorable and perfectly dressed for the weather in her soft gray and stripes.
Here's what I'm loving:
1. When in doubt, go striped. I'm always amazed at how much stripes can lighten up a whole outfit — even under an Ergo!
2. Lighten up! Swap out your dark-wash denim for a lighter wash, or gray. The whole outfit will feel more Spring-like.
3. Monochrome bottom – keeping your footwear and legs in the same color family (or same tone) visually lengthens legs.
Now, about that giveaway…
Contributing author Madeleine Burka Hill is a writer, shoe-lover, and girly-girl raising two boys with her fabulous naval aviator husband. In her spare time, she indulges her online shopping habit and practices yoga. In Dec. 2010, her husband's Navy career took this self-proclaimed east coast girl and her family to live in central California.
I swore I’d never wear them.
Here's why: in the early 2000s, it seemed like all of young Hollywood was being photographed in Uggs with shorts and bare legs. I still see this a lot today – It might work for celebrities, but in my opinion, it’s not an attractive look for anyone, especially not for a mom.
But there I was. It was February 2010 – there were uncharacteristically frigidly cold temps in Virginia Beach, Va. My beloved clogs just weren’t going to cut it. So off to the department store I went – and out I walked with a pair of the formerly sworn off Uggs (black, of course – I can't help it). And I fell in love. They were so warm, so cozy and comfortable. They are definitely not for trudging through huge snow drifts, but they do serve a purpose.
An Uggs look that works for most is to slide them over leggings or very skinny jeans – this avoids bunched up pants. The slimness of the pants balances out the bulkiness of the boots.The trick is to avoid looking sloppy. On top, a chic, simple sweater or a long and drapy style works best. My friend Sharon (pictured) is a perfect example of how to wear Uggs and look polished – slim pants and a cozy sweater – kind of like an urban snow bunny.
If you're squeamish about wearing a waist-length sweater with slim pants (which Sharon pulls off beautifully), go with the long drapy look. I like one that I can wrap around myself.
Ladies with muscular calves should stick with a shorter Uggs style, of which there are many. Like the look but don't want to invest in a pair of Uggs? Try the Bearpaw brand – it's the same look but at a cheaper price.
Here are a few cozy and chic winter looks for Uggs & leggings/jeggings…
We're seeing mixed prints everywhere this Spring: Fashion mags, blogs, runways – you name it, it's there. But it's a tricky, tricky trend. While a haphazard approach to just throwing on mixed prints can work, this type of look is usually pulled together by a killer pair of heels and a statement bag. So the overall look screams "I'm purposely not matching in an ironic way!!" instead of "I got dressed in the dark!"
Moms, however, rarely are rocking killer heels or a statement bag, so the quirky mixed trend look can quickly veer off into crazy-lady land.
Additionally, while I find spreads in fashion magazines very inspiring, I often feel that that the clothes are either impractical for my daily life, or (especially in this case) the look can only be achieved with the exact carefully selected silk floral skirt and shirt shown in the spread. In short: beautiful, but not accessible.
So here's my attempt to take this trend in a very mom-friendly direction. It's an easy and fun way to perk up your everyday basics.
Yesterday we showed a mom-uniform outfit idea based on a blousey dress (courtesy of reader Amy), and today we have another mom-uniform outfit idea coming in from our reader Esther! (Esther, BTW, is the insanely talented children's clothing designer Chinny Chin Chin that we profiled last year.)
Esther, typically addicted to a large black parka at this time of year, was inspired to swap it out after reading one of our End of Winter Outfit Ideas. I'm so glad she did.
I'm head over heels in love with Esther's outfit. By now most of you know my long-standing love affair with destroyed boyfriend jeans (really, there is nothing more comfortable)…and Esther manages to up the comfort level even further by pairing hers with a comfy sweater and Ugg-like boots. A gorgeous scarf, a cool spring jacket and movie-star shades completes this drop-dead cool look.
NOTE for other Ugg boot wearers: Notice that Esther has rolled her jeans to hit at the top of the Ugg boots, instead of attempting to stuff all of that fabric into the boots. Perfect.
Esther is pregnant, and I love that this look can work for both pregnant and not-pregnant moms. Esther's "pregnancy denim" is actually Converse jeans from Target. (Esther – would you leave a comment telling us about the rest of your fabulous outift?)
So…inspired by Esther, I came up with another version of her mom-uniform idea. But since I'm optimistically thinking Spring, I put together a slighty warmer-weather version:
Items in this set:
Women's sweaters – merino – Merino boyfriend sweatshirt – J.Crew, $70
Gap Petite Military anorak, $70
Gap Petite Destructed easy straight jeans (light wash), $70
Women's shoes – ballets – Patterned classic ballet flats – J.Crew, $120
I'm loving the drape and ease of J. Crew's Merino Wool Sweatshirt, but any thin, drapey sweatshirt would work. (FYI: These kinds of sweatshirts are also amazing with tiny little skirts or shorts for date night – just add high heels). I just bought an army green jacket like the one above (which is actually on sale for $44, BTW) and I find that I'm wearing it everywhere. There's a lot of casual boyishness going on in these outfits, which makes them the perfect foil for girly accessories. Add a pretty scarf, like Esther, and once the weather is warmer, swap out your Uggs for pretty printed flats. I'm also into ribbon-tied bib necklaces for moms. Not only do they look very, very cool with a simple sweatshirt, but the kiddos can pull on these things all day with minimal risk. With Spring and it's widely ranging temperatures, having a pretty little something layered under the scarf ensures you're always lookin' good.