As much as I love gray and black, at this point in the year I’m in desperate need for some color. The longer days and patches of grass peeking through are encouragement that there’s a light at the end of the winter tunnel and I’m feeling festive. Since you can find me wearing leggings and a hoodie most days (it’s the perfect outfit for working from home and toddler wrangling!), I guess I’m the designated ‘Sporty Spice’ around here. Good thing, because I had so much fun browsing all the new spring athleisure and putting together fun color combos. Easiest way to add color: start with a pair of wild pants and pick one of the colors for a hoodie, like I did with these bright blue Zella live in leggings (aka party pants) and dusty pink Superdry hoodie. Unexpected and definitely a mood booster! Check out the other yummy new spring colors I found…
In our annual tradition of non-romantic-movie themed Valentine’s date nights, I polled the Mom Edit team for their faves and whipped up some really fun ideas if you’re staying in this year. Because it’s February and no one wants to leave the house – hot popcorn & warm couch > fancy dinner & unsensible shoes.
Grab the remote and your bae: we’ll tell you what to watch, wear, drink and give for a low-key but awesome Tuesday night.
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!
Even the sale section is included in J.Crew’s 40% off Black Friday sale! (Sale section discount is 50% on some pieces). Yes, they’ve got the elevated basics (that I love to stock up on) covered but this year there are so. many. bold. surprises. I’m in love with their luxe bright wool coats, amazing shoes & statement jewelry.
Hi ladies! So I got a little excited about back to school shopping this year…for myself. Shopping for my kindergarten girl can be tricky since we have very different um, aesthetics? Her love of rainbow and animal print rivals mine for black and stripes. Living with her creative fashion choices must be rubbing off on me though, especially in the shoe department. While I’m not going to be pairing tutus and rain boots anytime soon these leopard high tops and silver booties are going to be on replay all fall. Want to see how I’m mixing interesting shoes with classic cooler weather pieces?
Early spring is both exciting and disappointing, right? Flowers are blooming and the sun may be shining a bit, but many mornings are still quite chilly and you remember summer is still not all that close. #thanksPhil
The good thing is that it’s the perfect time to try out new layer combinations in your outfits…to combat those chilly mornings but to be prepared for the warmer afternoons. I’ve always been a fan of layering…you know it was polo shirts and socks in the ’80’s, plaid flannel in the 90’s, tanks over fitted tees in the 2000’s, and now button downs under sweatshirts, of course. Layering is the best trick to make outfits more interesting. I’ve gathered up a few of my favorite layered looks from Pinterest and am breaking them down so we can figure out how to emulate them together.
Outfit 1: Trench + sweatshirt + white jeans
photo credit: Sincerely Jules
White jeans and trench coats are a classic combination. Love how she modernized this pairing with a sweatshirt and denim shirt. For spring, keep colors soft, as she did here. The shirt looks cool tied, but if you actually needed the extra layer, it would look just as good worn under the sweatshirt, tails peeking out.
Keep the look cohesive with neutral sandals, bag and sunglasses. Extra points for major earrings.
I’m loving the military trend right now. I normally reach for a faux leather jacket to throw on over everything, but the lighter weight military jackets (or vests) make for a nice change – especially with warmer weather coming. They’ll look equally great over feminine flowy dresses as they will over jeans. I can’t wait to bust out my distressed boyfriend jeans, dust off my sandals and finish with a lightweight army parka. Buuut . . . we have snow on the ground. Lots of it. So for now, I’ll wear them with my Sorels. Here are my top recommendations for rocking the military trend:
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.
I've been wearing a lot of boring outfits lately. I think it's the weather. One of my friends recently remarked that this winter has been "like a bad ex-boyfriend who won't stop calling after you break up. He drops by with flowers…..and pretends he's changed."
EXACTLY. (Well said, N.)
So yeah – boring outfits abound. Like turtlenecks-and-sweaters-like-its-1988 boring. I think I was into a solid Day 3 of this awful (yet practical!! so practical in this weather OMG what is happening to me) mom-i-form when I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror.
So I added a long-sleeve printed tee and rolled back the cuffs.
I think I over-sold this styling tip. "Solved" might be a slight exaggeration. "Helped make an outfit incrementally less boring when you are too tired to do anything else" is closer to the truth.
Luckily, we have Pax to entertain us.
sweatshirt: old Vince…love this eyelet one
tees: J.Crew turtleneck (similar)….splendid tee (keep reading for striped tee recommendations)
denim: Rag and Bone
boots: Clarks Desert Boots in gray suede
Pax: all FabKids
On the off chance that you are in awe of my styling super-powers #wishfulthinking, I am going to continue on in this vein:
Awwww….look at how hard I'm trying. I'm even wearing a necklace! #blessmyheart
sweatshirt: old J.Crew…this one is super-cute with a striped tee peeking out
tee: Target, now on clearance
denim: Levi 535s
necklace: old necklace…this one would be fun
But in all seriousness, I think a bit of pattern at the sleeve does help, Mamas. It helps to make a sweatshirt and jeans look a little more intentional. Not ground-breaking, but one for those days, Mamas. THOSE DAYS.
The trick is to find a long-sleeve layering tee that still looks cute when you take the sweatshirt off. Here are a few that fit the bill…
(clearly I have a stripes problem…to make up for it, here's a long-sleeve polka-dot tee that I overlooked in my never-ending quest for more stripes.)
1. Scoop-Back Ballet Tee, $22 at Nordstrom
Love the graceful neckline of this tee. I'll bet you can nurse in it!
2. Michael Stars Long-Sleeve Tee, $62 at Piperlime
Perfectly slouchy, love the graphic take on stripes.
3. Free People Leopard Printed Top, $58
This tee has sold out everywhere else and for good reason: it's sofreakingcool.
4. Gap V-Neck Striped Tee, on sale for $14
The v-neck saves this tee. I'd order a size up for a slouchier fit (and a lower neckline).
5. Vintage Havana Lace-Back Tee, $58 at Bloomingdales
The front is perfectly drapy, the back has this sexy peek-a-boo lace panel. Yet the panel is small enough to not have to worry about special bras.
6. Long Sleeve Breton Tee, $38 at Boden
This is the closest thing I've found to those amazing St. James tees, but at less than half the price. It comes in the standard white/navy as well….but I keep thinking about this yellow for Spring. Either way, you can't go wrong!
7. Gap Mixed-Print Tee, $26
It's like an Edith Miller for J.Crew knockoff.
8. Striped Peplum Tee, $58 at Anthro
For post-partum Mamas and layering under swingy, oversized sweaters.
9. Hive and Honey Lace Peek-a-Boo Top, $59 at Piperlime
Love the clean black-and-white stripes, and the bit of lace at the bottom.
Spring? We need you.
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.
But let's do the normal Friday linky thing. Here's what I've got:
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.