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.
Before kids, my husband and I would try to escape the winter cold by doing our own little mini Spring breaks. South Beach was our favorite. I'd pack my XS bikini top (snort), the tiniest bottoms I could find, a little scrap of a dress and off we'd go. We'd stay out all night, sleep in until noon, and then roll out to the beach around 1PM.
Well. THINGS HAVE CHANGED, PEOPLE. And these changes have resulted in a decidedly different Spring Break uniform:
BAM. Because vacation or no, my kiddos get up around 6:30AM. And can you guess how long I can stand to be in a CONDO with two boys under the age of 7 before I lose my mind?
9AM. If we're lucky.
(And if we're in a run-of-the-mill hotel room, I change my answer to 6:37AM.)
Which means I'm on the beach bright and early, and, typically, freezing.
So I've been feeling pretty good these days. There's a spring in my step, and my heart feels...light. It's like I'm emerging from a cocoon. Butterfly! I am the butterfly! #stopit
And I'm dressing differently, too. Not a huge shift, but I have this new found sense of...fearlessness when picking out my clothes. Or maybe carelessness is the better word. I find myself throwing something on because it's fun. Like I'm honoring the fact that somewhere...there's a party. (Even if it's just the Pigeon and his hot-dog parties.) Or I'm reaching for my favorite things, uh, period. Like, wearing the same thing three days in a row because it makes me feel good. High heels on a Saturday morning just because, or pretty underwear on a random Wednesday (insert 'hump day' joke).
Know what's happening here? I may be bald-ish, I've got some serious scars, but I'm craving - a little - glamour.
I mean...let's not get too excited. I'm a mom of two young boys - there are limits to this glam. (Glimits?) And someone who talks about glamour while wearing a puffer jacket and fuzzy mittens really shouldn't be trusted.
But I felt like the January issue of Vogue was speaking directly to me: "Here's to the year of you. Fashion 2014 is about the charisma of the individual, the charm of the rare and unique...." and even Ms Wintour, in her letter from the editor, talked about a "sense of promise" that was evident in all of the 2014 collections. Vogue heralded a "return to maximum embellishment" and dubbed 2014 the year of dressing dangerously.
"There was a strong current of let's-play-dress-up - even whimsy - on the spring runways, and this openhearted spirit only adds to the pleasures of the new season. Trends may come and trends may go, but fun, we hope, will never go out of style."
Sing it, Vogue.
So. Here are a few easy-peasy ways to add a small sartorial punch to your everyday, a little dose of pedestrianglamour that even this sleep-deprived mama can do on a daily basis. As Vogue says (and really, one should always do what Vogue says)....let's play.
I was wondering if you could help me with styling this new skirt which I recently bought at Zara. The skirt is lovely and vintage-y but I found the styling surprisingly difficult.
I thought it would work with black but I am wearing it with black t-shirt and black ballet flats today and it just looks … blah. Help please?
K - thanks for emailing! Printed skirts are hard. As you mentioned, you can easily end up looking a tad boring, or I sometimes end up with some weird color-blocking thing going on and regretting that I ever bought bright blue tights. (Why? WHY?)
The key, I think, is to either mix patterns (you can do it subtly, if nervous), or make sure your accessories are interesting.
For example, if the outfit K described above had been black stiletto ankle boots and a black faux-leather tee, there would've been nothing boring about that all-black look with the plaid skirt (although admittedly not work appropriate).
Mamas, have I the trend for you. We've talked about track pants ad naseum, but there is oh-so-much-more sporty joy in this world: stripey tees, comfy joggers, playground sneaks, and baseball hats eve-er-ee-where. My comfort-loving heart just wants to explode with joy.
Here's a few thoughts on sportin' the sporty duds....
Mamas, it's time to talk Fall Trends!! First up....the moto jacket.
I fully support running out and grabbing some badass leather moto jacket (this one is fabulous). I mean...Miranda Kerr sports one, baby in tow, so there you go. It's possible. And many of you have previously confirmed that it is indeed easy to wipe spit-up off of a leather jacket. There's no disputing that a leather moto jacket will seriously up your style game...forever. They're classic.
My issue, however, with leather jackets in general is the same issue I have with most jackets in general: I can't move my arms. And nothing makes me crazier than when my arms are constricted - especially when cruising around with the kiddos.
Happily, there are a ton of amazingly chic, made-to-move, washable moto jackets on the market. And if you treat your moto jacket like it's any old thing and throw it on over everything....BAM. Lookin' good, Mama.
Here are a few ways I'm wearing my moto jacket (both playtime and date night):
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).
Ok, Mamas. First things first. Wanna see my new boobs?
Their perkiness is beyond my wildest dreams. I may never need a bra again! I mean YES - the shirt is strategically covering a whole mess of bandages and scars and my one remaining nipple is sorta facing the wrong direction....but all of that is fixable in time. Pretty cleavage for the win!
And after this awful, horrible month...I really needed a win.
Now - onto the next announcement!
I am honored to introduce Bradamant, a new line of bodyshirts.
This is our 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 have communicated again and again, it's this: You want to see a wide 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 me), upload a pic to ANMJ's Facebook page, or use Instagram with the hashtag: #howwewearit or #anmj. As reader pics come in, I'll be keeping this page up-to-date.
With a Peplum Top
(wearing: shirt - c/o Lucky Brand, I'm wearing a size M....shorts - hacked off an old pair of these... shoes - similar)
I've been playing around with different lengths of shorts...but the jury is still out, Mamas. I'm not sure I love this mid-length. I'll probably go back to rolling them up.
Anyway, my summer momiform (heck, my year-round momiform) consists of some kind of tee (give or take sleeves, depending on the season) plus denim. Like I mentioned last year in our Summer Style Rules article, I primarily rely on a cool shoe + bag combo to keep things interesting in the summer months. (If you missed it, my 2013 sandal picks are here...and bags picks are coming soon!)
But I have two accessory additions to the summer momiform this year: patterned belts and statement sunglasses.