Since this week the blog is like one big ‘introduction to the opposites’ sketch, this athleisure queen was tasked with finding my inner glam. Immediately I started trolling Scotti’s posts for inspiration since she’s the resident glamazon around here. (And it’s not just in blog posts. Fun story: the first time I met Scotti in person was at the hotel we were staying at for Shana’s surprise birthday last year. It seriously felt like a celebrity sighting, she is that put together even on weekend morning – gorgeous makeup, hair did, heels. Me, on the other hand? Pretty sure my outfit involved stretchy pants and sneakers, and maybe tinted lip balm if I was feeling extra fancy.) I alternated between panic and avoidance for a week or so, until Shana asked how it was going on our weekly call. I said, quite seriously, “How about glam sweatshirts?” Shana replied, even more seriously, “I think it’s time to make an appointment with a Nordstrom stylist”. Gulp. Here’s the good, the bad and the ugly of what happened when I did.
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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!
I love summer (like, a lot), and even more so since I moved to Michigan and experienced the pure bliss that is a Michigan summer. But..dressing for summer?
Yeah, not so much.
There’s nothing like trying to get dressed on a hot summer day to to stir up all those body insecurities I spent the last nine months convincing myself I didn’t have. It serves as a good reminder of why Fall is my favorite season- jeans and oversized sweaters aren’t just favorite outfit options- they are precious protective layers! I’ve joked before about my “cottage cheese” thighs, but it’s a lot harder to find the humor (ha, ha….ha?) when I’m trying on shorts and bikinis for the first time of the summer. And, (TMI?) I’m a big time “sweat”er and sweat + shorts = an uncomfortable, irritable Jess.
So over the years I’ve figured out a few ways to adapt my summer wardrobe to soothe my summer style stresses: skirts and dresses (ha! that rhymed). Midi skirts are the length I feel most confident in. My favorites are midi skirts with side splits, because they cover enough skin while allowing me to stay cool (or at least less sweaty). In July and August I usually throw on a basic tank or lace cami, a midi skirt and my Birkenstocks and I’m good to go for the whole day. Here’s how I styled a few of my favorite midis….
We had a blast at the World War Two Weekend in Reading, PA this past weekend. (For more deets on the event, see my full coverage here. It’s pretty amazing.) But dressing for the weekend is always a challenge: it’s hot, it’s sunny, I’m on my feet all day, and then at night…..there’s a swing band and dance party. To make matters worse, most of the other attendees arrive in full 1940’s costume. Every year they look GORGEOUS and glamorous, and that level of dedication truly makes the weekend feel like stepping back in time.
So. I wanted to wear something comfortable, but something that could hang with all of the pin-up girl glamour (although a few women came dressed as Rosie the Riveter which was awesome). Inspired by Cam “grunging” her pencil skirt (bless her preppy little heart), I used Cam’s grunge to make mine…glam?
But here’s the thing: Cams is tall. I am not.
Let’s call these what they are: glorified pajama pants.
But the folks over at Hurley call these “Beach Pants” which makes them sound more like real pants. And for those of you who have asked about options for covering pregnancy-induced (or not) varicose veins…..YES, THESE.
(note: links below have been updated for Summer 2015)
Earlier this summer I actually threw these pants on with a pair of heels to entertain at home. I think it worked OK.
top: Everlane’s Ryan Tank
shoes: Dolce Vita Hexen
Hope you are all enjoying the last little bit of summer!!
I swear. Only in Michigan.
The sun does warm things up….eventually. Nothing like hot sand on skin to really feel like summer, right?
sweater: Marc Jacobs James Sweater (size XS/S)
shorts: Ugh. Abercrombie, simply because I’m still searching for a good low-rise pair. Some readers have recommended the Dolphin shorts by Free People, actually. (A bit longer than their shark bite hem shorts.) May still be too high-rise for the pair I’m looking for.
bikini: J.Crew Neon bikini in Neon Papaya (currently 40% off with code DEPTOFSALE.) If you’ve got a small bum I actually prefer the Neon Shrunken Lowrider bikini…and while my bikini top is gone, the Neon papaya ruched french top is pretty cute (or a classic halter).
shoes: Soludos Sand Lace Up in woven sand (on sale for $43 at Zappos) – I love the oxford vibe of this canvas shoe.
backpack: Makr Farm Rucksack.
Ok, first of all, J.Crew is having a sale that *I think* ends today. It’s 40% off all sale items, AND 40% off a selection of full price items with code DEPTOFSALE. Which brings me to my next point:
I created a sale shop. Whenever I find something fabulous that’s currently marked down, I’ll add it to the shop. Currently, there are some pieces in the shop from the J.Crew sale, and few from Nordstom, and – so exciting – Shopbop has a ton of expensive t-shirts marked down. You know how I love an expensive tee. See the shop for my picks.
I loved this NPR segment on the link between play and brain development. “Countries where they actually have more recess tend to have higher academic performance than countries where recess is less.”
Are you reading Mother Mag? You should be – they’re fabulous. I’m now contemplating Mommy-and-Me outfits (no seriously – check ’em out I’m tempted!!), loved their round-up of cool sneaks and their fresh take on a mom-uniform.
Courtney emailed to let me know that Elle Macpherson has a lower-priced line at JCPenny. Cute stuff!
Kim emailed about Rent the Runway’s new Pro subscription. For $30/year, you can add additional dresses to each order for free (and get free shipping). It looks like they’re also offering a new Unlimited subscription which basically works like Netflix DVDs, but with designer clothes. Oooooooo…..I think I should try it. In the name of “research” of course.
As you can probably guess from the pics, we are up in Michigan enjoying my sister’s new baby and having WAY too much fun with old friends and family. Lots of summer bliss happening, for sure. Hope your August has been relaxing!
ps. A thank you all SO much for your amazing ideas on yesterday’s play post. I’m now trying to figure out how to get a big pile of dirt, PVC pipes, and tree stumps into my yard. 🙂
Silky tops, boyfriend jeans, killer heels: my fav combination. But with lows in the 50’s….hello sweater.
sweater: Marc Jacobs James Sweater, $198 (part of the Nordstrom Anni Sale – ends Sunday!!)
silk top: J.Crew Striped Carrie cami, 40% off already reduced merchandise, so….$35ish)
jeans: Blank Denim Relaxed Straight Leg Jeans, $88
heels: Sam Edelman Palma Sandal, $99 (part of Nordstrom Anni Sale)
bag: Antik Batik Buffalo Clutch, $149 (on sale at Shopbop)
It’s the last weekend of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! Some of you have asked what I actually ended up buying. Other than the pieces I’m wearing, I’m still deciding on boots (those Rag and Bones are wonderfully flat and comfortable – especially with super thick socks, but I do wear the heck out of rainboots on the east coast) and how many expensive sweaters I can actually afford. That turtleneck cashmere sweater fits SO nicely under coats, which is a rarity for swingy sweaters. And so does the Marc Jacobs, actually. I keep staring at variations of faux-leather pants, and I may pick up a pair of the sweatpants despite my current, erhm, sweatpant collection because so many of you have asked about styling them, there’s typically one final random purchase Sunday night and oh! The Steve Madden snake skin sneakers – I have those, and yeah. I’m rambling. But we’re in the final days of the most exciting sale of the year so…… [incoherent mumbling]
So I brought the $35 overalls home. Mike took one look and was all, “Baby, those are HOT! Keep those!”
(Notice he didn’t have the same reaction to the $300 turtleneck. Go figure.)
In any case, I think overalls look best with something a little polished or a little…fashion-y, for lack of a better word. The kimono was surprisingly perfect. (And heels, of course.)
Pax has been such a crack-up lately. The other day I heard his little running footsteps coming down the hall. He busts into my office, completely naked.
“MOM! You wike me wike dis? All Nay-Nakes?”
I sure do, Baby.
And off he goes. I love how their self-worth seems boundless at 3. How he is so proud of his round belly and chubby little arms and legs which pump furiously as he runs ‘nay-nakes’ through the house. I mean.
tank: J.Crew silk cami (I wash mine and hang to dry), $59
kimono: O’Neill Candice Top (on sale for $39)
overalls: Destroyed Slim Overalls (sold out – from Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, ends 8/4)….or try these button-front overalls by the same brand. It looks like the same fit, just with wash and detail variations. Only $39.
shoes: old Betsy Johnson….love Aldo’s hot pink-and-wood wedges (on sale for $60)
So tell me: Overalls + kimonos….you wike me wike dis?