November 21, 2016

Jess’ Go-to Holiday Outfit: Velvet + Leather


My favorite place to visit during the Holiday season here in Grand Rapids is the Downtown Market. If you live in West Michigan chances are you’ve already been (and love it) and if you’re just passing through, it’s definitely worth a visit. Home to an expansive 24 vendor market hall that’s packed with inspiring local vendors: artisan foods, wines, gift boutiques, bakeries, clothing and decorated to the tills during the Holiday Season, the Downtown Market never fails to get me into the Holiday spirit. It’s a great place to connect with friends over coffee or a glass of wine,  shop for Holiday gifts AND the perfect opportunity for me to break out my new favorite Holiday outfit.

In past years, my holiday outfits have centered around skirts or dresses (which I love), but since they were such dressy looks, and not very warm to boot, I usually only wore them once over the holiday season. This year’s outfit: a Blank NYC Vegan Pant, velvet cami and slouchy cardigan, is so much more versatile and functional, that I could almost wear them everyday!

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April 9, 2014

Reader Q | Styling Around a Post-Partum ‘Beer Belly’ While Wearing Baby On Your Back?

Reader Question:

Hi Shana,

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!

Chloe x



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

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

windbreaker: K-Way

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)

on Pax: windbreaker, leggings, shoes


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

shorts: Madewell

sandals: Saltwater

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.  



April 2, 2014

Local Love: Day-To-Night Boyfriend Jeans and Our Fav Spot in Chinatown



Our move from Denver to Philadelphia was pretty heart-breaking.  I mean YES, it was our (Mike's) decision, nobody was forcing us (Mike)* to move, but still. We left so many good friends behind.  But I'll never forget our first foray into Philly.  We took the train and somehow ended up in Chinatown.  It was agonizingly hot, so humid you could see the air, the streets were teeming with strange smells, people were everywhere, and the looks on my little guys' faces were priceless. 

*kidding, kidding.  Nobody forces this chick to do anything.

We may as well have moved to the moon.  

But it was at that moment, that exact moment in all of the heat and smells and chaos that I knew we'd be OK.  Life is such a grand adventure, you know?  Sometimes I need a little discomfort to help me remember that. 

So Philly's Chinatown has a special place in my heart.  The boys' too.  Not only does it contain their favorite restaruant in the city, but more often than not, when we wander on down these streets, we're greeted with sights like this:



I have no idea why or what was going on.  We were simply headed to lunch when BAM.  Dragons.  Which, you know, is pretty cool for a random afternoon in March.

Once the parade finished crossing, we headed over to Raines and Pax's favorite restaurant.



I am not kidding.  This, out of all of the (many, many) restaurants we've taken them to (we play it pretty fast-and-loose with "child-friendly dining")…this one is their fav. And, thanks to the hand drawn noodles and seriously flavorful, fresh-tasting broth, Mike and I love it, too.  





Raines, on cold days will often ask, "Mom, when can we go back to that best-ever place?  With the long, long, looooooooooooong noodles?"




And I, such a small-town, Midwestern girl at heart, get such a kick out of seeing my boys learn how to use chopsticks.  (I know you New Yorkers are probably all, 'whatevs.  My kids mastered chopsticks at 2.')




If you are in the area, Nan Zhou Hand Drawn Noodle House is totally worth a trip.  The promise of shrimp dumplings (always fried, thankyouverymuch) and sliced beef noodle soup garnished with fresh spinach and cilantro lures us out of the burbs even on a cold, rainy day. (We usually get chopped chicken noodle bowls for the kids – basically a big pile of noodles in a broth, with the chicken on the side.)


And BTW I wore two sweaters.  TWO.  Because it's been that kind of Spring so far. And OMG I'M STILL IN MITTENS!  MITTENS, I TELL YOU! [shakes fist at sky]

I also realized (too late) that this outfit is slightly reminiscent of a little Chinese grandfather.  Especially in the very first pic.  Seriously – go look at it, I'll wait.  I'm basically the same shape as the men around me.    I think it's the boyfriend jeans and hat?  And prob my lack of hair?  Sigh.  I give up.  Winter, you hear me?  I give!



oversized sweater: I couldn't find anything similar (#nobodycares), but I think modern candidates for sweater layering would be this cropped, striped sweater (20% off with code FANDF), this crochet one, or even J.Crew's reversible merino short-sleeve sweater (order a size bigger for solid pooch-hiding). 

hat: ASOS…similar

scarf: old…try Kenneth Cole's, 60% off ($50 once you add it to your cart)

jeans: JBrand Aiden Boyfriend jeans

boots: Steve Madden…similar (I wear these so much I'm thinking about getting the stone as well)

bag: ancient Marc Jacob's…similar


To go out that night, I ditched one of the sweaters and did an accessory swap.  Casual, but much better than my so-round-I'm-cute (#yes?) daytime look. 



sweater: ancient one from J.Crew factory – I bought it to nurse in, eons ago.  Sob!  I wish it were this one, though.

belt: Target!

jeansJBrand Aiden Boyfriend jeans

heels: Pixie Market (thanks to this article)

bag: ancient Marc Jacob's…similar


I feel the need to re-do the whole big sweater + boyfriend jeans thing.  We will see.





March 12, 2014

Make Your Legs Look Longer While Wearing Flats – Part 3



Here we go…the last part of the series on leg-lengthening while wearing flats.  You can find a list of key pieces, as well as other styling tips in Part 1 and Part 2.

Today?  Let's talk about my most unexpected find:  Over-the-knee flat boots.  

Over-the-knee boots help to create a long, lean line…making your legs look longer.  The key is getting the proportions right.  I wouldn't worry so much about how high they come up your leg….the trick is to pair your over-the-knee boots with tops (or skirts) that still show off at least 2-3 inches of leg.   Let's get into it, shall we?

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October 3, 2013

Seriously Gorgeous, Pooch-Hiding Sweaters You’ll Wear All. Winter. Long.

Mamas, the sweaters below are all stupidly expensive sweaters that are now on sale.  And you know how the Shopping Enabler luuuuuvs her stupidly expensive sweaters. 

Even better, between now until Sunday, Bloomingdale's is running an additional 20% off of the sale price with the code FRIENDS (including free shipping)  These sales are seriously how I score the vast majority of my wardrobe.  

Post-partum* Mamas and Pregnant Mamas…this one is especially for you.


*And by "post-partum" I mean anyone who has ever had a baby ever.



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March 14, 2013

Friday Fun

Photo (80)

Guess who is missing the beach right about now?  I mean…it's not like I don't like biting, 30 degree winds, it's just tha–  Right.  The drastic change from a freeing beach week to waaay too much "indoor family time" is driving the boys and I nuts.  NUTS!  And we're only half unpacked, so the house looks as if a bomb has dropped.  Luckily, our new nanny started this week.  I say "luckily" because I like to break 'em in early.  I just wish I had a picture of her face when she first stepped in the door.  There's a good chance she thought we were hoarders.  It's a fine line, though.  You want just enough crazy to keep expectations low, but not enough crazy to scare them off for good.  The just-got-home-from-a-trip level of disaster seems to toe that line pretty well.  We'll see.

Here are a few Fun Friday links that I've been storing up to share…

The Sartorialist wanted to know if anyone was thinking about turtlenecks.  Ahhhh Scott.  You sly dog you.  I'm always thinking about turtlenecks.  [bats eyelashes]

Hot mama Lena from Quality Rivets recently styled her plaid pajama bottoms and looked AWESOME.  For realz.  

Refinery 29 styled a windbreaker three surprisingly glamorous ways.  And OK:  I think they cheated by using an insanely gorgeous Stella McCartney for Adidas windbreaker (*cough $500 *cough)…but still.  I'm 95% sure you could use a regular windbreaker and it would still work, more or less.  I like this one.

We've been talking about ankle boots, and whether or not curvy, short Mamas can pull them off.  Have you seen this picture of Drew Barrymore in her ankle boots and skinnies?  The girl is all curves and gorgeousness, and she pulls them off OK.  However, the black bootie does shorten her leg a bit.  I'll bet that a slightly lighter ankle boot would look great (or a slightly darker jean).  Perhaps that's the key?

Reader Julie picked up this adorable wrap cardigan / cape at Nordstroms and swears by it for both pregnancy and nursing.  It's now on sale for $39!  Thanks, Julie!

According to The Budget Babe (who is now pregnant!  Congrats!!)…H&M is now accepting used clothing for recycling!  You can find out what happens to your donated clothing here

Lastly, how cute is Pax's little Superman tee?  It comes with an attached cape.  The cape just velcros on/off at the shoulders.  He has been wearing it EVERY DAY.  I now wish that I had stocked up (it's just a Target tee, folks).  Superman appears to be sold out online, but Target has a whole line of cape tees.  Bam Pow is my favorite.

Happy Friday!!!



January 14, 2013

Sooooo….Are Leggings Pants?

I hate to bring this up.  But I've noticed that the line between leggings and pants is becoming blurry.  I mean YES:  college-age girls have been strutting around in their leggings and Uggs and not much else for years.  But I'm starting to see…uh, others (*cough* me *cough*) blurring the line between leggings and pants.


(wearing:  faux-leather leggings, Mike's v-neck sweater, cozy sweater-poncho – similar on crazy sale, old plaid scarf – similar,  target mittens – similar, DV Java booties, Makr Farm Rucksack)  


My bum, you guys.  Is right there.  Is this OK?  IDK.

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December 20, 2012

TMRDNL: A High-End Designer For Moms? (And At Crazy-Affordable Prices)

Ok Mamas – it's my last shopping enabling post of the year.  But I must warn you:  This one will be especially hard to resist. 

Have you heard of TMRDNL?  It's the line designed by Tamar Daniel, an Israeli- British-American fashion designer who happens to live not far from me.  I had the opportunity to meet with her and see her line…and oh, my.  We're talking ah-mazing stuff.  Like…machine washable, scrunch down into a suitcase and still look amazing stuff. 



Tamar's design philosophy is one that us Mamas will relate to.  A mom herself, Tamar describes her collection as a "call to arms for dynamic real women, whose days are full of many facets, and whose outfits need to transition from boardroom to playgroup to date night and back again as seamlessly as they do. A versatile mix of easy, thoughtful pieces, the collection is truly a wardrobe for living."

Sing it, Sister.



But here's the bad news:  Tamar is moving on.  It turns out that designing an entire line is a ton of work (no kidding). And Tamar has something new and exciting in mind.  Personally, I'm heartbroken.  With gorgeousness like this…


…TMRDNL will be missed.   

But here's the silver lining, Mamas.  Tamar still has a few pieces in stock.  And they are taking up precious room in her storeroom.  You know where I'm going with this, right?  She'd like some help cleaning things away for the new year.  So pieces that typically retail for…oh…let's just say that they typically retail for prices that I cannot afford…are currently available in the $25 – $125 range.


Even better, Tamar is generously offering Ain't No Mom Jeans readers an additional 20% off with the code ANMJ.

Now…what to buy?

Well.  My most-worn piece to-date is the Intrigue Jacket, pictured above. It's machine-washable, nursing-friendly, and insanely comfortable.  The sleeves are made of a soft knit, so you have full range of motion for picking up the little ones – it feels like a comfy sweater.  Mine is a size larger than I typically go for, so it can be easily layered (even over another sweater, like above).  But when I wear it alone, the drapiness is such that it never looks too big!  This piece is seriously amazing.  It is currently retailing on Tamar's website for $99, and also comes in a longer (trench) version for $125.  The trench makes a gorgeous dress, especially for work.  (Easy to pump in, I'll bet.)  

Ready to see more? Ok…

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December 4, 2012

Holiday Style: Try A Monochrome Palette (Especially in White…)


There's something about white that just feels so…fancy.  And it's totally unexpected during the holiday season.  I've been feeling all chic snow-princess in my all-white ensembles against a a vast sea of little black dresses, sleek black coats, and dark denim.  It's fun.  

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October 2, 2012

Fall Trend: Ankle Booties (And How To Wear Them)


Mamas!  The easiest way to give your old standbys a modern spin?  Yup – the ankle bootie.  These guys aren't new…in fact, two years ago, a very pregnant me wrote an article called The Short Boot Dilemma…where I tried to figure out how the heck to wear the various short boots that were popping up.

Well.  Two years later, I'm happy to say that I've figured it out.  Feel free to applaud.  Two years in the making, baby.  TWO.

Ok.  Here's what's working for me:

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