Mamas, statement outerwear is huge for Fall. (Yes, I'm still harping on jackets.) And while I totally endorse running out and buying a brightly colored wool coat with balloon sleeves, or some swoon-worthy feathery confection...there are certain, uh, lifestyle limitations most of us face.
I've walked into thrift stores only a few times in my life. The whole setup isn't really my thing. I hate digging through huge piles of stuff, I have a bloodhound's sense of smell (mold especially kills me), and I find itchy clothing depressing. I don't care who made it in what decade, I'll take a new jersey knit over vintage polyester any day.
I do own some vintage pieces, though. I'm not totally immune to their charms. All of mine were passed down from my mom. I wore Mom's old Calvin Klein cut-offs all through high school and college, her sexy red maxi dress when I was pregnant (the only time my boobs were big enough to fill it out), and you may recall seeing her sparkly prom purse on the blog from time-to-time. But here's the deal: They were my mom's. I didn't have to go scrounging through bins, worry about smells, or wonder about a stain. They all came with stories - familiar stories, stories that are now part of my family lore.
But thrifting...it's intimidating and impersonal and smells bad. Yet it's cheap. SO cheap. And it's better for the environment.
As a tree-hugger who is not independently wealthy...yet (snort)....if I'm really serious about reducing my own personal environmental impact (and saving some cash along with those trees), I need to take another look at how, and what, I consume. I'm all about CPW (cost per wear) and buying fewer, better quality items...so how can you go wrong with quality at $3.99?
I'm assuming, of course, that quality can be found for $3.99. Because Yentine said so, more or less. And she's pretty much the thrifting expert in my little online world.
So keeping Yentine's first tip in mind (HAVE A GOOD ATTITUDE, which may have been the root cause of my past failures)....I went thrifting. At the Goodwill in my tiiiny hometown, population 25,000. If you ever wanted to set a thrifting bar low, go to a small, isolated town with an overabundance of non-ironic Carhartt. But unlike Philly, in my tiny hometown I can park without fear (the PPA is NO JOKE) and I have free babysitters (thanks, Mom!).
My thrifting trip was....hunh. Successful? Keeping an open mind, I did end up trying stuff on, and even walked out with an item or two. To prove I was thereillustrate, I took pics.
Mamas!! We're starting a new monthly series called How We Wear It, where *we* show all of the different ways we're rocking a wardrobe basic. And by "we" I mean...all y'all. If there was One. Thing. you readers communicated LOUD AND CLEAR via our 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 a 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.
Trying too hard almost always backfires for me. Like when I try to match. In any way. I end up looking too matchy-matchy or just...off. And feeling horribly uncomfortable. My best outfits are often the ones I just threw together. So when I came across the following Gap ad...well.
Unknown Gap Stylist, thank you for saving me from myself.
I love this idea. And really, with all of the mixed prints lately...why not? Especially when you can anchor the look with rockin' black denim.
Hello! I look forward to your posts everyday and have gotten some great ideas from you site. I am having an issue with a new piece in my wardrobe - can you tell me how to style a long sleeveless sweater vest/cardigan for work and play? Thanks!
FYI - like this one...
Mamas, this question had me stumped. I couldn't come up with anything inspired, or fresh, or even all that good. Even worse, I don't own a vest like this (though I do own a few cozy vests), so I couldn't even play around, waiting for inspiration to strike. Granted, my head has been elsewhere (Fall trends last month, leggings and Clark desert booties this month)...but regardless, on the vest front I was totally, completely lost.
But do you remember, a month or so back, when I was featured on Life in Mod? Well. The blogger behind it, Camille, is a gorgeous Mama, and one of those incredibly creative, DIY sorts. I emailed her, asking for her take on this reader question. Thankfully, she came up three fabulous options.
First off, I have to tell you that if it wasn't for you, I'm not sure I would have left the house after baby #2. It wasn't so much the baby weight as it was the overall body changes and new shape. Plus it's so hard to feel sexy after giving birth! Empowered and in love, yes. But sexy? Not until I found your blog. I would read you hourly if you chose to post that often. And my husband has been loving my style lately--major plus!
My dilemma now is that I randomly bought this shirt from j. crew and now that I'm home, I can't for the life of me figure out what I was thinking!
Is there any way to wear this without looking like a prudish Daisy Duke??? You are tops when it comes to wearable, stylish mom clothes and I'm hopeful you can help. Thank you so much--for everything!
With love and gratitude, Stephanie
Stephanie - Thanks so much for your kind words! And I'm loving your purchase. Gingham shirts are a pretty safe bet. They'll add a pop of color and pattern to just about any outfit. The trick (for me, at least) is to prevent a preppy-overload, and, for you, to keep the look far, far away from those crazy Duke brothers. Gotcha. Here's what I found:
Mamas, the denim jacket (which is, arguably, a classic and therefore always cool)...is having a moment so big, it feels like a new trend. I'm sure you've seen it paired with statement pants (red skinnies or printed denim, perhaps?), and we've covered to death the denim-jacket-over-casual-dress-and-boots combo (here and here and here - and it's still good, BTW)...but I'd like to highlight the three new ways I'm loving my denim jacket.
Hi, I am a mama of twin 5 year old boys. I have recently found your site and love it! I work from home so I easily fall into the trap of wearing the same old unfashionable clothes and have also been known to go a day or two (or three!) without showering. Your blog has really helped me take on a renewed focus on being more fashionable and just feeling better about myself.
One area that I continue to struggle with is shoes. I live in Michigan and find that there is a period of time between winter and spring where I don't know what shoes to wear. It is not cold enough to wear boots, but not warm enough for sandals or flats with no socks. I struggle to find fashionable shoes that I can wear with some type of sock, and have them be comfortable. I need to chase around my boys so comfort is a must. But I also don't want to look like an old lady in orthopedic shoes. Can you please help by giving me some suggestions?
Sarah, thanks for writing in! Growing up in MI myself, I know exactly what you are talking about. And this transitional weather often drives me crazy, too. But I've been thinking about your request...and now that the weather in Philly is chilly again I've found myself struggling with the same thing.
Here's what I've been happy wearing...
I don't typically wear these shoes to the park, but for general errands and outings with the kiddos, I find the heel comfortable enough for baby-wearing.
Note my Smartwool socks peeking out. Navy denim + navy-ish wool socks = close enough.
(wearing: Levis skinnies, J.Crew Factory sweater, Madewell plaid shirt, Clarks booties, Bella leopard-print baby carrier. Makr backpack, Salt sunnies)
I'm slowly figuring out the whole cute sneaks + skinny jeans thing. Personally, I like this look a whole lot better if the skinnies aren't legging-tight. But that might just be me. And since I'm not the tallest person around, I roll 'em.
My converse are high-tops, but this look would work even if a bit of white sock showed.
(Also? This is a different day....but Raines likes to wear the same thing over & over & over....)
Mamas, we have a first today. Reader Kate is being featured for the second time in Mom Street Style. You may remember her effortlessly chic and super-functional maternity outfit for touring Italy with a toddler back in January. No, she is not a freak of nature--she has not recovered this quickly. In fact, she's not even due until May. This is a picture from last spring, before she was even pregnant with her second babe, but which she sent to ANMJ after her Italy pics. Follow?
Actually, Kate emailed the above snapshot asking for help replacing this, her go-to for spring in Germany--skinnies, wedges and layers (it can be chilly there!)--outfit, but we say, what needs replacing? She wrote:
. . . but after seeing today's post with Kristen rocking wedges and flares, and all of your J Brand Lovestory brainwashing, I think it's time to put the skinnies away for a little while... especially because they may not be so forgiving post-partum.
We appropriated the pic for Mom Street Style because we think Kate walks the line of winter/spring dressing perfectly. We love the gray/cognac color combo popped with a muted red pullover with a lighter layer peeking out and funky sunnies. Again, she nails the effortless, functional vibe we adore, and though we'll miss the gray skinnies, it will definitely translate to the petite flares she contacted us about.
Congratulations on your soon-to-be-here babe, Kate!