In Part 1 of this series, we talked about the key wardrobe pieces for leg lengthening, and did a little fashion math involving sneakers. Today I want to focus on the leg-lengthening miracle flat: the nude ballet.
Mike and I had a day-date last weekend, in honor of my birthday. We started with a long brunch at Kennet's, where I had, quite possibly, the best mimosas and pancakes ever (we're talking fluffy cornmeal pancakes with local, house-cured bacon cooked right in, sitting in a puddle of real maple syrup with a fried egg on top). I mean seriously. The restaurant was also dead right around 11AM (in a romantic way, not a creepy way) on a Saturday, which means that next time we'll bring the kids. But they have a wood-fired pizza oven, and try to source ingredients locally, so if you haven't been....GO. You won't be disappointed.
It was a magical day. Day dates are our favorites because...well, because we're not tired. Instead, we spend the day wandering around, holding hands, perusing boutiques, sitting in coffee shops and having loooong brunches where we walk out tipsy. And than we wander around looking for Philly's best coffee.
It's basically our life, before kids.
We also found THE most amazing bookstore: Joseph Fox. My favorite bookstores have a cozy feel (check), knowledgeable staff (check) and - here's the most important part - a really well-edited selection. I want someone to show me the books I didn't even know to search for on Amazon. You know?
Their kid's selection was small but inspiring. We're talking arty books for kids that I've never seen anywhere else, new twists on old classics, and ingenius picture books that get kids thinking about life's biggest questions.
And I felt oh-so-glamourous in my high-waisted skinnies. My belt is too loose, and these jeans do look better with pumps, but I loved it all anyway. I'm most comfortable in an outfit that's a little 'off'. Perfect outfits always make me feel like I'm wearing someone else's clothes.
BTW - Mike spotted my necklace at a local boutique, Sugarcube. It's macarame, so it's durable and comfortable and I've been wearing it with everything.
I'm still messing around with how to style these jeans (you'll be seeing soooo much more of them), but there was so much interest, I thought I'd post a preview. And I'm sharing a few of the gorgeous books found at Joseph Fox here.
Feels rather ominous, written out like that, doesn't it? But in any case, you know the drill: for the next few days, let's chat about the best ways to shine ourselves up all purty-like....with MINIMAL EFFORT EXPENDED.
This year I'm focusing on....black pants and the white, button-down shirt!
I know. Two of the most boring pieces ever to grace a closet. Can I do it? Can I manage to make those two snooze-worthy closet staples interesting? Well. TIME WILL TELL.
I also have a few other tricks up my sleeve. So we'llsee.
shirt: old from Theory (pricy, but they have the best collars and perfect amount of stretch)...this one is 50% off
sweatshirt: Emerson Fry now sold out, but also comes in black silk
Do you know what I wore to my very first tailgate? My sorority had partnered with...Sigma something or Alpha whatever and ANYWAY...I wore overalls. Over a voluminous plaid flannel shirt and those yellow workboots that were all grunge-cool in 1995. Mine had a chunky heel, natch. Five years later, know what my sister wore to her first tailgate? A belly shirt and a skirt so short it came with attached underpants. Times change.
This short little haircut has served me well. But it's thinned to the point that I have major bald spots on the top of my head, and can't leave the house without a hat. If you follow me on Instagram, you may remember seeing the ginormous clump of hair that fell out this morning. UGH. There is hair on our floors, hair on the couch, hair on our clothes, hair in our food. (Someone needs to write a Dr. Seuss mom-has-cancer book. "It's all over the floor! It's all over the chair! But guess where it's not? There's no hair up on there!")
I'm amazed, really, that I have any hair left on my head. This morning Raines pulls (yet another) hair out of his cereal and says, "Mom, I hate to tell you this...but it seems like your hair is trying to take over the world."
Yeah...OK. Back to Salon Ziza I go. This time, because I was so patchy, Shannon cut my hair in their privacy room. I think it's amazingly awesome that they even have a privacy room. I mean, seriously, wow.
Rachel sent in this adorable pic of herself last week. She wrote:
Inspired by your recent post I decided to try out my sweats again. I got them at JC Penny for $20. They are definitely sweat pants, so I've always had a hard time figuring out what shirt to wear with them: too dressy looked weird, a cotton T looked like I just rolled out of bed. My solution? A 1/2 linen 1/2 cotton T from H&M ($10). The front panel is linen and it's a light cotton in the back.
This is perfect for hanging out at the library (which is usually freezing with AC) and then watching the kids play outside after (muggy!) And yes, I realize the white shirt is risky but the dark grey pants hide any snot/food/child that might get on me.
Rachel, I love the bright ballet flats (I've been wearing mine everywhere), and HEY! Reader Megan - didn't you say that I needed a few long necklaces? Well. Great minds think alike. It looks perfect, Rachel.
In terms of the bright flats, I'm a Tieks girl (the only ones that are comfy enough for me) but this $58 coral flat has some really glowing reviews.
For necklaces, I really like pendants (my current fav is a plain dogtag that says Fearless), and simple minimalist shapes...or basically anything from the Etsy shop Bohemian Fringe (everything is roughly $20).
Mamas, do you remember Raines' very first nanny, Em? The one he'd refer to as "my Em" and who will forever be part of our family? She's been featured on ANMJ here for belting a cardigan in a really cool way and here because I was totally amazed by her ability to nanny all day in a skirt.
And? She wears necklaces. Multiple necklaces. Around the kids. So when a reader emailed asking about how to layer necklaces, I knew Em was the one for the job. (And it doesn't hurt that she recently started selling Stella & Dot...although, if I know Em, I'm guessing it's more to fuel her own fashion passion.)
Anyway, here are Em's thoughts on necklace layering (and a crazy-fab giveaway just because she's awesome).
I have always had an aversion to spending money on accessories. For the longest time, I thought my hard earned dollars should go toward pieces that would give me the most bang for my buck. For me, that meant dresses (a whole outfit in one!) and tops (who looks below the waist?).
Since then, I've found that a few new accessories will help any tired wardrobe. Necklaces are especially versatile, can be thrown on while running out the door, and hardly ever go out of style. [Note from S: This is a good point, Em - how long have statement necklaces been considered trendy? Uhhh...YEARS, now?]
To take out some of the guess work of layering pieces together, here are a few looks I’m loving, most of which have been tested for wearability (that’s a word, right?) around a toddler or two. Apologies in advance for the overload of mirror shots…my 22 month old assistant will only turn the camera on herself.
Two necklaces of Similar Length
This is my go-to look. I feel pulled together, yet still on trend. When wearing two similar necklaces (in this case they are both thin chains) it helps to vary the shape a little. The pendant on the shorter necklace, along with the slightly different length, helps to keep the two from tangling.
Mamas!! This is our new monthly series called How We Wear It, where *we* show all of the different ways to rock a wardrobe basic. And by "we" I mean...all y'all. If there was One. Thing. our readers communicated LOUD AND CLEAR via the survey, it's this: You want to see a wider range of body types represented here on ANMJ.
So. I'll show you how I've been styling my old standbys, and so will Cam. And then, dear readers, we want to hear from YOU. You can play along via our Linky party at the bottom (you can sign up at the bottom of this article or on Cam's page), you can send us an email (send it to either Cam or I), upload a pic to ANMJ's Facebook page, or use Instagram with the hashtag: #howwewearit. As reader pics come in, I'll be keeping this page up-to-date.
Mamas! These quick little peeks into reader's closets are quickly becoming one of my favs. Here's Kristen's....
Hi Shana, thank you for ANMJ! It makes me smile.
I think I may have emailed before, but I could be completely making that up. I'm tired! [NOTE FROM S: Sing it, Sister.]
I'm a mom of 16-month-old twin girls. I work full-time but in a blessedly casual office. I gained 80 pounds through IVF hormones and then bed rest. Only have 10 to go, but still have the dreaded pooch.
Hi Shana - Just wanted to say thank you for the Glam Up Your Momiform post. I am due to move from Sydney Australia to Hong Kong in about 4 days with my husband and two children… and so almost all of my clothes are on a big boat in the middle of the ocean. But a last minute surprise farewell at a moderately hip japanese restaurant necessitated that I find something to wear (that wasn't a t-shirt and shorts). I had read your blog that morning and managed to find jeans, shirt, necklace and pumps. It wasn't colourful and festive like your outfit - but it did the trick!
Thanks so much - your blog is really incredibly helpful for those of us who have ZERO interest in clothes shopping but like looking somewhat up-to-date. I have told countless friends and they have all gleaned something from reading your articles: better jeans, how to wear ankle boots and nursing friendly fashion.
Whoa, girl. You look seriously amazing. And the nuetral pallette really, really works. I'm starting a round of the slow clap right now. Mamas, feel free to join in: clap.....clap....CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP
Susannah, thank you so much for taking the time to snap a pic and sending it on. I love seeing how our styling tips get translated...and serve as a fresh dose of inspiration for all of us.