One of the comments we received on our Determining Your Personal Style article was from reader Amanda. She wrote:
"I started this today but got a little stuck. The pictures speak, but they say so many different things. Sometimes "that's beautiful," "she's beautiful," or "wow, that look would really work for next week's baby shower / wedding / playgroup / family function." I think I should be focusing on the whole look, pictures where I can truly say "that's ME," or "that could be me." Worried this might land me in the same rut I've been in for years though ... help!"
Once you've chosen your favorite pictures, translating them can be tricky. Amanda was kind enough to send over her quick-n-dirty styleboard, and it's gorgeous. It's also a good example of what complicated creatures we are. Unlike the old Sesame Street, "one of these things is not like the other..." we are not trying to eliminate the outliers. Our personal styles are often made up of seemingly disparate ideas. Putting it all together is what makes personal style, well...personal.
Sooo...using Amanda's style board as an example, I've created three possible mom-uniforms. Here's her styleboard:
(photo credits shopbop, the sartorialist)
So the first thing that jumps out is the boho/hippie vibe. It's obvious from the flares, the lace/crochet, and the flowy tops and prints. However...she also leans to sporty. Besides the obvious pic of the track jacket and cute sneaks (it's me, LOL)...even the one-shouldered dress and the ponytail (navy jacket girl) has an overall sporty feel. And when I asked Amanda about the navy jacket girl and girl-with-bike picture, the elements she liked best were the military-ish details, the serious shoes (sigh, don't we all?) and the overall effortlessness of the style.
So...if I were to sum up Amanda, based on this styleboard, I'd say her personal style is quite a bit boho/70's inspired, a bit sporty, and bit french sophisticate. (Not as weird as it sounds, folks....you'll see....)
So how does that translate into a mom-uniform? Here are some possibilities:
1. Boho/Hippie Chick
The girl needs some lace and crochet! While lace and crochet don't immediately sound mom-friendly, all of the tops below are machine washable. In addition, tops like these can often hide a post-partum pooch and are easy to layer over long-sleeves (winter) or a tank-top (summer).
I'm showing flares with these tops since they fit so well with Amanda's styleboard, but this look would be equally cute with skinnies.
(Do I need to mention that crop tops shouldn't be worn alone? No? Ok.)
$213,001 - piperlime.gap.com
$135 - nordstrom.com
$131 - piperlime.gap.com
$128 - shopbop.com
2. Boho / Hippie Chick Meets Sporty Spice
I am LOVING the Stella McCartney jacket for Adidas, below. It manages to be both boho and sporty. And since Amanda mentioned liking the orange color of my jacket, I threw in sneakers in a similar shade of orange. Personally, I love the bright, almost clashing pop of color, but if it's too much for you, a more subdued sneaker can be found here.
The whole 70's inspired, boho-chick vibe can be easily obtained with a dolman style tee and flare jeans. This outfit is simply a more stylish version of a t-shirt&jeans uniform.
$213,001 - piperlime.gap.com
$100 - shopadidas.com
$79 - zappos.com
3. It's like Boho Hippie Girl meets French Sophisticate and half-heartedly joins a soccer league...
Sounds like a bad movie, I know. But I'm loving this take on a mom-uniform. If you aren't quite feeling the shorts, a slim pair of cropped denim (like the ones I'm wearing here) would also work.
And while I love a seriously structured jacket, I find them a bit too constricting when running around with the kiddos. Instead, I found a softer version that allows for more movement...but retains the idea of Amanda's styleboard.
$66 - asos.com
Sheer tops »
$94 - shopbop.com
$84 - piperlime.gap.com
Those shoes. Sigh. They're enough to convert any die-hard-serious-heel fan into going flat.
Soooo...whadda think? Is the style translation making sense? Since we have so many other things to worry about (like chasing runaway toddlers)...our style translations are rarely literal. Instead, we're going for the spirit of the look in order to also achieve mom-friendliness. Do you think I was able to capture the spirit of Amanda's styleboard?