Mom Uniform Inspiration: Styling Bright Denim

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Winter, I'm done with you.  I want Spring.  I want bright flowers peeking from the ground, I want sunny skies and 70+ temps.  I want bare arms.  I want color.

Chances are, I'm stuck with several more weeks of cold (while Denver is having a warm spell now, March always breaks my heart)…so in lieu of warm winds and swapping my snowboots for sandals, I'm really feeling brights. Specifically brightly colored denim.  (Specifically the pair of coral red Gap skinnies M found on the clearance rack for under $20.  But I won't.  I promised.  Avoiding "twinsies!!" is becoming harder and harder for us.)

So if you'd like to add a little pop of color, keep reading.  I found a few gorgeous pics for inspiration, and as always, we play around with making them oh-so-mom-friendly.

Bright Denim + Dark Neutrals

Screen shot 2011-02-15 at 5.55.59 PM I love Vanessa Jackman's pic from London's Fashion Week.  While black and yellow can be fraught with peril (what goes 'buzz buzz'?), Shu Pei (pictured) pulls it off perfectly.

Of Note:

Notice how well the scarf pulls the outfit together.  Sooo…when pairing our brightly colored denim with black (or other dark neutrals – gray, navy, etc.), try a muted scarf that pulls in a small amount of our brightly colored denim.

I also love this type of outfit for post-partum moms.  Pop a large sweater over a shaper cami and skinnies…pooch hiding at its best.

Make it Mom-Friendly:

This outfit is pretty mom-friendly as-is.  Personally, I can't walk in loafers with no socks, but these shoes could easily be swapped for a pair of ballet flats or TOMS…or black boots (lace-up booties would be my top choice).

  Screen shot 2011-02-15 at 6.03.24 PM
Next up is the very fabulous Betty of Le Blog de Betty.  She rocks her dark red denim with studded stiletto boots and a sparkly, sequined sweater that I've been having recurring dreams about.

Of Note: 

Besides the sweater?  And the boots?  Well.  Let's just say that a little embellishment goes a long way.  A plain black sweater and black boots would obviously work, but this outfit is so. much. cooler. because of the detail.

If studs aren't your thing, you could try different textures – a shiny rainboot, a top with silky trim, etc.

Make It Mom-Friendly:

I'm sure Amber is all over these boots, but as much as I love them, they'd be date-night only.  However, swap 'em out for buckled flat boots or studded flats?  Now I'm in.

Here's my mom-friendly take, based on what we've gleaned from these two stylish chicks:

Bright Denim + Brights

Anyone remember these old J.Crew pics?  I loved them!  

IMG_0790 IMG_0788

Of Note:

Intensity is key here.  Both of these looks work amazingly well because the intensity of the colors are the same.  Picture the model on the left in a pair of pastel yellow pants, instead of the vibrant yellow.  The look would be…off.  If you keep the intensities consistent, you can mix virtually any color together successfully.  (And yes – I'm even talking orange+pink, red+blue, etc.  The only combo I'd stay away is red+green…for obvious reasons.)

While I think either of these looks could be successfully paired with a colorful, bright shoe (of similar intensity), the stylist chose to anchor these looks with a paired-back black shoe.  Nude or brown would also work, but a tall, black boot might overwhelm.

Make it Mom-Friendly:

Snowy weather will call for more serious footwear, but other than that, I'm thinking that both these looks are perfect for moms!

Here's my take – I'm showing both bright and neutral footwear, suitable for both snow or sun.




Enzo Angiolini Quertze Boots
$169 -
Flat heel boots »


Hunter Original
$125 -
Rubber boots »


DV by Dolce Vita Pascal
$89 -
Wedge high heels »


Calvin Klein Lexa Flats
$40 -
Ballet shoes »





With Stripes

Screen shot 2011-02-11 at 3.33.20 PMThe Cut snapped this street-style pic on the first day of NYFW. 

Of Note: 

Let's ignore, for now, the fabulous bag, and the fact that her pants *might* be leather…and focus instead on her pairing of stripes with bright red pants, as well as lots and lots of layers.  And her serious wrist gear.  Love it.

Make It Mom-Friendly:

Lower heels.  Lose the hat (R would pull it off). Swap out the bag for one that goes over my shoulder.  And if the pants are leather?  Yeeaaah….so fabulous, but not mom-friendly. 

Here's my take (and this one is nursing-friendly):


Am so ready for Spring. Sigh.



And now, some bad poetry:

Roses are Red

Our denim is bright

This fashion blog

Needs your vote tonight.  

Just a reminder that voting for the 2011 Bloggies closes soon…





About Author

Shana founded The Mom Edit in 2008. She lives with the love of her life (his name's Mike) and their two crazy boys in downtown Philadelphia. She loves a good styling challenge (her engineering side shows eventually), appreciates kindness, and usually picks scotch over wine, sneakers over stilettos, and denim-underwear, always.

Shop Shana's Closet


  1. I just saw a photo of Cameron Diaz wearing muted pink jeans and thought….I want those. Wow, it’s like you’re in my brain. Thanks!! I think this might be a purchase for me. I am in desperate need of color and since they are both playground and date night friendly, it seems like a good choice!

  2. Um I might have to get that bright yellow Old Navy top! It’d be fabulous this summer once I’m done nursing in July!
    Honestly bright pants would never have occurred to me but maybe I’ll keep my eye out for them.

  3. This reminds me of Katy Perry’s outfit on the cover of the March issue of Elle. Her look wasn’t denim though. This is more mom-friendly. I love it! I don’t think I’d pull it off though.

  4. Yes, yes, yes! Those coral skinny jeans are as good as mine. Fabulous choices, S. I also loved your advice about matching intensity- it is very true. I was folding laundry and I folded a bright (bright!) orange top on top of a bright (bright!) pink sweater and they looked great together.

  5. I just got that Old Navy yellow ruffle top this weekend on sale for $7.50! I already wore it because I too am ready for spring and bright colors, Because of the weather I styled it with black cigarette ankle pants, black ballet flats and a black elbow length cardigan, and I wore the cardigan unbutton but work a black skinny belt over both shirts. Can’t wait to style it with other colors besides black now! Thanks for the ideas!

  6. Nell – I totally love the muted pink pants. Nice.
    M – Sing it, sister.
    Lisa & Krystal – the bright pant thing is scary. Best way to try out trends like this is to find something cheap. Try Forever21…they have a few pairs for under $20.
    Terri – I so heart orange and pink. 🙂
    AmyS – Nice outfit!! Love it!

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