Black Denim Flares for Fall


All Black Flare Denim

Long time no talk. How are you? I’ve missed you? I mean, I’ve missed you. For sure. Ok, let’s just say I thought I didn’t and realized how I very much did.

Yeah, we’ve had a week  month quarter over here in the old Soderberg house. And I have found myself uninspired to talk fashion. Because my kids have been falling apart. Each in their own way. But mostly, my oldest had a rough go starting first grade. A teacher that broke his little spirit. And a hard lesson that not everyone is going to like you. Truthfully, it was a lesson I had hoped would come way later in life. But week after week my boy, that most describe as “his father’s son” and the life of the party, became quiet and cranky. Two words I rarely use to describe him. If ever. And after an impromptu meeting with his new teacher (with him standing right at my side), we walked out of the classroom. Silently. Her negative words still lingering in the air. And after a few frustrated steps, I remember this isn’t about me but about this heart and soul of mine walking beside me. So I reached out my hand to grab his. The second we touched. He stopped walking. Took a deep breath and let it out so slowly I could feel my heart shatter. I dropped to my knees to hug him. With massive tears streaming down his face,

“Mom. I didn’t want you to hear that. Mom, I don’t want you to think about me the way that she does.”

What?! — I thought to myself. I grabbed both his arms, stared directly into his glistening eyes and said slowly and as calmly as I could something along the lines of…

“I love you. No matter what she says.”

Kids fall fashion

Nothing prepares you for that moment in life. The time when you realize what is going on with your little one is so much bigger than they are. I spent the night filling out paperwork for a new school. A new school that I had been playing with the idea of sending him to for a while now. And I kept him home for a week. And we played. And ate pizza the size of his face. (it’s on instagram if you want to see a picture of that one.) And bought all new school supplies. Because nothing says “fresh start” like new school supplies. And no, I am not that mom. The one who thinks her child can do no wrong. I can assure you he was probably not easy in his class of 32 children to 1 teacher. But I can also assure you that any havoc he was wreaking was 100% innocent and um… creative? I mean the boy glued the tops of his markers to his desk so he would have to be bothered with taking the tops on and off. Just pull it out and stick it back in. My main argument to both the school and my boy is that that kind of “trouble” is genius. Just kidding. But in all seriousness, that kind of trouble does not make him “just a bad kid”. And it all just totally sucks. It is the cutest school. With the greatest parents and kiddos. And in all honesty, this teacher might be a great fit for a lot of these kids. It really came down to my boy. And his sensitive little heart. And my tendency to hold on to him too tight. And my desperate need to protect his innocence for as long as I can.

All Black mom fall fashion

I digress!

It’s been a couple weeks now. And his first day started with comments like

“My new teacher is going to hate me like Miss (her name shall not be metioned)”

but it ended with,

“Mom. Best Day Ever. And my teacher is sooooo nice. She didn’t even yell at me. And Mom. It was awesome. And I loved it. And I wasn’t scared at all. And I didn’t even miss you. Mom I used to go to the bathroom and cry because I missed you so much. But today. Mom. I didn’t even think about you. I was even kind of bummed to see you at the end of the day.”

Never in my life have I been so happy to not be wanted or missed. 

So I’ve spent the afternoons hearing stories of new friends and new adventures. And nights in bed playing with his wild hair. Thanking God for that spark in his eyes that makes my world go round. That spark that is everything.


And week after week, its the same. A happiness that is contagious. A lightness in his breath. And a personality that is – well- best described as “his father’s son” If you’ve met my hubby, then you know. It’s the best part of these boys. Something I fight fiercly to protect. Something I need in my life more than anything.

Mom and Kids Fashion for Fall

Phew! That was deep. And annoying? Oh well. If you want my fashion sometimes you have to sit through my therapy session to get there.

So what have I been wearing though this crisis you ask?

This outfit. ON REPEAT. Because I haven’t been blogging or documenting outfits. Which means I can wear the same thing over and over. and over. and over.

Basically. Black flares. Black Flowing top. And a bunch of accessories!

If you are anything like my body type. Black flares are the only way I do flares. Because I don’t have the skinny thighs to pull off the lighter washes. And I know, I know. Shana already did this same outfit. Like yesterday. But it wasn’t on the calendar so when I wrote this last weekend I was “You guys. Fresh idea. Black Flares are bomb!” But today, I’ll just send you over to her post and second her opinion that flares in Black are “The Holy Grail of Fall Jeans”! Go get yourself some. You won’t be sorry!


Top:  Gentle Fawn (similar)

Pants: Paige Transcend Skyline Bootcut Jean

Hat: Need Supply Filipa Hat (similar)

Jewelry: J.Crew Mixed Crystal Necklace, PuraVida Bracelets, and my newest obsession the Apple Watch 

On Miss Roman:

Sweater: Little Marc Jacobs  It is selling out everywhere!

Jeans: DL 1961 Harper in Cosmo Boyfriend Jean 

On Mr. Lucas:

Sweater: Old Crewcuts (This years version)

Jeans: J.Crew Crewcuts Slim Jean 


Thanks for sitting through the … uh… top 3/4 of this post! Also before I go! This is my #myeverydayedit week and I’m posting a ton of my outfits over on Instagram! Follow me!


peace ’n love — OE


  1. Amazing post. Dealing with a lot if the same stuff with my first grader. Sorry I am not a big fan of torturing my kid by leaving her somewhere she is terrified to be because “you” think she needs to grow up. I applaud your choice, school should and can be a joy. By the way love the flares and the hair.

    • Hi. My son’s Kindergarten teacher was horrible. I left my son with her for six terrible, terrible weeks, then shocked everyone by pulling him out of the school. There was nothing wrong with him. Nothing. We put him in another school and have never had another problem. He was back to his old self. You trusted your gut and your child. My only regret is I should have pulled him out sooner! Six weeks is a long time to be that miserable at 5, but at least I did it. Had to defy the whole school– teacher, school psychologist, principal. Good for you!!

  2. I work with families who have first graders who get told all SORTS of awful things about their kids. And it’s mainly little boys – they’re not paying attention, they’re not focused, they’re falling behind/misbehaving/showing poor social skills, failing at reading… I heard it all about my own son when he was in grade 1 too and now I’m a tiger both for my own kids and other kids who are in grade one. I felt like you sewed up a whole bunch of wounds somehow, with this post and I thank you for it.

    And I wish I could wear flares that look awesome too. 😀

  3. As a teacher and a parent, I can say this is in no way dramatic. If an experience changes a child’s personality that drastically, then it’s not a good experience. End of story. Good for you for listening to your son and your gut. It IS a tough call to determine if it’s truly a slight or if your child is just pulling your heartstrings, but as mamas, we have to be our children’s advocates because no one else is going to step up. It’s not that “they” don’t care, but there’s just so much red tape. In the end, it sounds like you did the right thing and I’m so, so glad your son is having a better experience in school. These first few years are SO instrumental in…well, the rest of their lives!

    Love the black flares. I actually have a pair in my Madewell cart that I’m trying to pull the trigger on today. Because I’m so short, the inseam has to be just right, and those seem to be the ticket! If only my teacher salary (and my husband) understood the NEED for black flares. Because, yes – the thighs are in full effect here and I need all of the slimming effects of black that I can get.

    • yes! Girl YES! Thank you for this comment! And I love Madewell for flares because the bottom seems to be a bit wider of a flare which makes hemming them not such a big deal! But thighs and black flares are best friends!! And of course a pointed toe boot helps a lot too! Good luck. Tag me in a pic if you buy them. I would love to see!

  4. First grade has been tough on my boy too. Luckily, his teacher took my concerns to heart before she broke his spirit and things have improved. Glad you were able to move your son to the right school for him.
    Love the outfit you put together for those flares!

  5. Saying this as a mom and a former teacher….I would raise some serious hell with the school’s administration. It may be that his teacher would be brilliant with older kids, but difficult or no, you just don’t break a little kid down like that. Learning should be FUN, not torture. Your son might not be HER ideal student, but at his age, there is no such thing as “a bad kid.”

  6. My chin dropped while reading this! I cannot believe you all had to go through that! I don’t know…but some people shout just not teach…so sad….well on that note welcome back! And you look awesome! Xoxox from New England

    • Oh also…I am glad you mentioned about light flares not good on bigger thighs(me) .. Because I tried the madewell flares Shana has and they did not look good on me at all…I was all hips and thigh

  7. Okay, I couldn’t even get to the fashion part of the post. I’m the mother of a fourteen-year-old boy who has always been the kid who didn’t pay attention, didn’t work hard enough, wasn’t interested, etc. etc. And the only thing I’ve ever regretted is not fighting hard enough for him, which is not to say that I did didn’t fight for him I just wish I had adopted a take-no-prisoners’ attitude. We’ve found a good school for him now and he’s thriving. The teachers realize that when he stares out the window he’s actually listening and just has a different style of learning.
    I would echo a comment above that many boys have a hard time at school–depending on the teacher–because they don’t sit quietly at their desks and work away. (I also have a daughter so I can say that I’ve seen this in action.) So, well done…and now I’ll go and look at the clothes.

  8. Welcome back OE! You were very much missed. Sorry you all had to go through that. I agree with anaika. I would have been all over the administration. Glad things worked out and his spark is back. Good job, mama!

    • Thank you Leigh. Now I feel like I should write a letter or something. I am just so not one to build up conflict but maybe its worth it now that I see how great hes doing. I realize it wasn’t him as much as the teacher issue.

      • You need to send a letter, the teacher’s job is to build up her students, not break them down. If no one speaks out, how many other children will be exposed to her negativity. Maybe she is better suited to another age group, little ones can be hard to handle. The school needs to know her teaching skills are lacking for that grade level, as evidenced by you son’s new happiness in a more positive enviroment. I understand your feelings, my son can be a challenge too. You did the right thing. Well done, Mom!!

  9. Oh, Mama, how amazing this is. I love the outfit, BTW. But more importantly, I love how you responded to your personal situation, and did what was needed. So much respect. And gluing the marker tops to the desk? Divergent thinking is a beautiful trait. Too many of us lose it as we age. I’m so happy to hear that he’s in a place that values him. He sounds amazing. Brava, Mama!

  10. I cried reading this while nursing my baby girl. Go OE! He will forever remember the feeling of being protected by his momma. I missed your posts- glad you’re back in action 🙂

  11. The part about this that I love most? Where you grab his hand. Because in that moment it’s just about you and him. You’re a team. You’re going to figure this out together. I hope I am always this mom.

    Also if the Paige jeans work for you then they’ll work for me. Strong thighs forever.

  12. I’m a blubbering mess. I too have a little girl in 1st grade and it’s been kind of rocky these past few weeks to say the least. Dealing with “girl drama.” I thought this would come in middle school… but, NO, it’s happening.

  13. There is no excuse for the teacher, but 32 students? Most states have laws about teacher to student ratios, and its usually 1:25 ( or less) for elementary. Worth looking into to help the other poor kids stuck in that classroom.

    • This. Studies show the one age where class size makes an appreciable difference is elementary age. 1:20 is ideal for older elementary. For younger, the smaller size, the better. Good on you for setting his needs as a learner above the potential embarrassment or the fear of being ‘that’ parent, which you mention.

    • I am a teacher and a 1:25 ratio is a rarity even in “good” districts. Teaching is quickly becoming the most difficult job in America.

      • Awe you guys… There were sooooooo many kids in the class. It was overwhelming to me I can’t imagine how hard that is to teach especially with it being mostly boys. My son is so not easy in those situations.

    • In Denver public schools, the max allowed by the central administration is 35/classroom in the elementary level. In wealthier neighborhoods, the PTA’s will raise funds for a para-professional in the classrooms; some schools that can raise $100,000 to $200,000/yr will fund a para for every class in every grade. However, that’s not going to happen in every school, as not every parent can pony up the donations requested or get their company to match funds or donate. CO ranks about 48th or 49th in state school funding, so…go figure. Supposedly the statewide open enrollment policies help parents select the “best fit school” for their kids, but as OE’s story relates, that is not exactly easy. So sorry you had to go thru this!!! But, sounds as though he is already thriving. whew.

      • Wow, 1:35!!!!!! I teach in Maine, I believe the max in elementary is 1:25. I teach middle school and my largest class is 25, and that’s considered big in my school. My daughter’s “large” kindergarten has 18. They usually try not to go over 16.

  14. Fist bump to you, OE, for being such an amazing mama and protecting your little one’s spirit. And thank you for sharing some of your life here on the blog in addition to all the fashion-y stuff. We’ve had a rough start to first grade this year as well, so it’s really great to know we’re not alone. The black flares are amazing on you & your hair!!! You’re making me want both 🙂

  15. In all the years of following this blog (which I follow for tons of reasons-feeds many parts of my soul), I’ve only been compelled to leave a comment one other time when shana shared her photo history of her breast cancer journey. I am SO grateful you shared. Something about that fierce love we have for our kids, our families, our quality of life…it strikes a cord in each of us when we hear it across the Internet waves. Thank you for words that bring us together, and make us stronger women, mothers, and friends.

    • In this case. A super super thank you for the comment. These comments have brought me so much peace and comfort. I love how everyone has come together. There is such a power in not feeling alone in the hard times. Thank you!

  16. Amazing, brilliant, crucial post. Mothering requires so much of us, so many moments when we have to be brave and make hard decisions on behalf of these little souls. Part of the reason I love this blog so much is because I believe in clothing and makeup as part of my armor – yes, I’m justifying my eyeliner and lipstick as part of my battle dress. We never know when we’ll need to pull up our big girl pants, and if those are a pair of black flares that will flatter and provide just an extra boost (wherever needed!), then boom – good to know. Well done, OE

  17. OE, way to support your son! You rock, girl! Please, if you haven’t already, take a moment to contact the Principal of ‘that’ school regarding the teacher’s comments. My youngest son was bullied by his 6th grade teacher a couple years ago. I contacted the Principal, my son spoke with the Principal, a few students and parents backed up my son–said teacher was fired. She repeatedly told my son his chronic illness requiring IV medication every four weeks was completely made-up. Whoa! Talk about one pissed off mom. This teacher was bullying multiple kids but no one was listening till we all came forward, one by one, and the Principal took necessary steps to remove this lady. Fantastic school in an amazing school district too! You win the award for amazing mom OE. 🙂

  18. Wow! We have all kissed you OE! I like ve how you took a week to make sure he felt loved and supported. Glad you found a great school!

  19. Way. To. Go. At parenting. My heart breaks for you and your little man that you had to go through this and that he had to experience that and say those sad sad words to you.
    So happy the joy is back!!

  20. didn’t read any of the fashion part (sorry) i was too busy being choked up teary…I have been here mama….big his…brought back lots of hard memories….(going through something similar with my 5th grader but more on a “friend” level. xo

  21. Poor baby. Who thinks there’s such a thing as a bad first grader? Ugh. Good for you for taking his side, and nice flares too 🙂

  22. Whoa, girl. You are SUCH a good mama. I read your son’s story through tears. He is so lucky to have you. Glad he is having a better experience at the new school. And uh, of course, loving your outfit too! 🙂

  23. Oh, I wanted to add to that story about pulling my Kindergartener out after 6 miserable weeks, where my son literally cried every day. It wasn’t an age issue– he has a MAY 3 birthday! He is now in 3rd grade and absolutely loves school and is super happy and has had no further adjustment problems in any classroom. He doesn’t have problems paying attention or sitting still. He never did. There was just something terribly wrong going on in that classroom. I knew I had to pull him out for his own emotional health. Someone told me that when a kid is scoring that high in the misery index, it is not a typical adjustment problem. So… I just wanted to tell you you will likely look back and feel so good about the fact that you walked him out of there and believed in him and communicated that to him. When I met with the school psychologist before pulling him out, she said, “I just want to normalize this for you.” Really? Bawling all day and drawing pictures of yourself with a big frown and worse is normal? I had to listen to my gut and my little guy– there was nothing “normal” about what my son was experiencing. His teacher was yelling, and not suited to teach Kindergarten. You will be so happy you did this. Glad you and your son are feeling better and the good news is there will be no lasting damage from such a brief experience– at least there weren’t for my son!! Take care!!

  24. No one knows a child like their mother. If only we would all just listen to our gut instincts more, right? I’ve been through that whole great school thing but I’ve learned what seems socially great for the gander is always the answer for our little geese. Love and hugs and all things face-sized pizza.

  25. I worry so much about my 3yo going into school and having this happen to him, I already field “are you sure he doesn’t have ADHD” comments. I cried reading your post. I’m so sorry that happened to him. It’s unacceptable to label kids (or people in general) as just “bad.” It’s frustrating the way innovation, creativity and experiential learning are discouraged in our school system.

    You’re one powerful Mama Bear, and he’s one fortunate cub to have a Mom that’s willing to take that leap for him. 🙂

    I agree you should definitely bring it to the attention of administration, maybe you can help prevent that teacher from breaking the heart of someone else’s little one!

  26. Good job momma! I had a similar experience with my son (who really is one of the most wonderful people I know, I have 4 kids and they all don’t come that way) anyway he came home and told me he just wished he could change himself and he didn’t like himself because he didn’t like being bad all the time. My HEART BROKE! I am not a crazy mom who thinks my kids walk on water, but I do not want him thinking he needs to change himself and that he is bad all the time! He needs to work on his weaknesses but that is what school and learning is all about. School is hard for these young boys, it is not utilizing their strengths and making them feel like they are not good enough because they don’t fix perfectly in the school box. So good job!

  27. A little late on this but I have to say I cried when I read this. My son is only 2.5 but he’s so active and excited and full of life and I fear OH HOW I FEAR that this will happen to him. I know kids will encounter obstacles and I know we can’t save them from everything, but oh my how it breaks my heart thinking about the situation. You did the right thing and if/when my time comes, I hope to act just like you did.

  28. Oh gosh. I teared up reading the first part of the story, and then happy tears for the second part. Glad he is in a better classroom now!! I think you did just what he needed.

  29. Oh man does this bring back memories.
    My daughter, who is a special needs student, went through something similar in kindergarten. I cannot explain how painful it was to see how much she suffered unnecessarily (verbal and physical bullying) and how angry I was with myself for not having taken her out of that school sooner. I think I was so stuck on the idea of keeping her in this charming school with its excellent reputation that I couldn’t see this place for what it truly was. We were made to feel so unwanted, and they did so little to help her – the sadness of it still follows me to this day.

    A new school with genuinely caring staff made a world of difference. Today my daughter is doing great; her teachers are all amazed by how intelligent and kind she is. I learned a very important lesson with that other school though: all that glitters is not gold.

  30. I don’t know how I missed this post, but you are a great mama. Just in the fact that you want what is best for your child and that you will find what is best takes you to the next level. I can’t imagine the pain you felt from hearing and not knowing what was said to your little during school but the happiness that you stepped in and made a situation better for your child in life means a ton of happiness. Bravo to you for not accepting a mediocre situation. Our kids as mamas deserve a great life and why not try and make it that for our kiddos? Loved this post!

  31. Good for you for not making him spend one more day there! It makes me livid that there are people who think it is acceptable for a school to crush a child’s spirit and make him feel not good enough. You showed him that the problem was NOT with him, and that you would listen to him, support him, and do whatever it takes to make things right. Hero mom!

  32. Good for you for pulling him. We pulled our son out of nursery school for half a hear and only returned this year because he would be in a new grade with a new teacher. You can’t let some hateful neurotic beeotch try to define your kid as “bad” or break his spirit. And now he’s loving school, loves his teachers and his friends, no “behavior” problems. I’m pregnant now and I won’t let this one enter the nursery school until she/he is 3 unless they replace the awful 2s teacher. If you can’t handle energetic kids, you shouldn’t teach kids, period.

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