Sooo...Raines started kindergarten today. It was...umm...OK. I suppose. The school has done a good job in breaking us in: yesterday the kids went to class for only an hour while the principal talked to the parents, and last week we did a quick orientation (meet the teacher, see the classroom, etc.).
While we were at this orientation, Mike spotted Francine. Like a total creepy-creepster he got this shot from his hip:
I actually love that he does this. Such a supportive guy.
My favorite part about this pic is the look on Francine's face. The eyes speak volumes. This picture perfectly sums up my first-born-goes-to-kindergarten experience.
I did end up introducing myself to Francine (how could I not??) and she is so impossibly chic. Francine is from France, her daughters are both bilingual (Elia and Ondine...OMG I die over those names) and each time I've run into her she looks amazing. Effortlessly chic, rather than just trendy. Fashion as self-expression at it's best. I could probably start a Tumblr called, "What Francine Wears to School Drop-Off" but that's creepier than Mike's hip shot, so I'll refrain.
Of course everything she's wearing is from France (of course it is), so I don't have any helpful links for you...but as we continue to talk about trends over the next few weeks, I'll be keeping Francine's example in mind:
Trends are great...personal style is better.
Francine, thank you for being so gracious. See you Friday. :)
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):
I am so glad I came across your blog via the Rookie Moms site. I need this fashion kick in the butt to get out of my yoga pants. I feel I often find great pieces and then get them home and don't know what to do with them. Case in point, I just ordered this skirtand am super excited about it, but am I limited to a white tank? If you could give me another recommendation, I'd really appreciate it.
I took one look at this skirt, Jenn, and immediately contacted the designer (via Etsy, love that!).
It's on-trend, gorgeous, yet as comfy as sweatpants. You should be super-excited about it! Nice. Pick. Ms. Krista over at Satin Stitch Designs was kind enough to send a skirt over to me so I could style it up here. (And psst! Each is custom made, so no hemming required. That is much appreciated by this short Mama.)
Jenn, since you are writing in looking for ideas, I'll skip over the obvious stuff like the white tank you already mentioned, or a black tee, or chambray shirt, or even a denim jacket...right? I mean...any of those would be fabulous with this skirt, but since you took the trouble to write in, let me see if I can do something a bit more interesting. Here we go.
Mamas, Abby sent in this adorable picture of herself on her way to a baby shower. She writes:
I have been a huge fan of yours since discovering your blog after the birth of my Daughter. She is my second child and was born C-Section due to her being breach. I was so discouraged and frustrated with my body changes and in tears over the lack of selection in my wardrobe. Until I found your blog. You helped me feel "normal". I could relate to you because you do not tout perfection. You help us all breath easier and enjoy a sense of comfort in candidness. Your transparency freed me from the pressure to look a certain way within a certain time frame. (Nano-seconds after child birth? No thanks, Hollywood!)
I remember being in tears from laughing so hard at your recounting of trying on shaper-camis only to get stuck! I was laughing harder than I had laughed in a long time and thought "Finally, someone has the courage to write what we are all feeling, thinking, struggling with!"
You had me at "Jelly Belly"!
You have inspired me to try looks I never would have been brave enough to dare..to think differently about my wardrobe.
WOW. Thank you, Abby. Your words made my day. And I'm sharing your words here not to throw a parade in my honor (yay me! yay me! yay-SHUT UP)...but because I know so many other mamas out there are probably reading and nodding (and me too). We feel ya, Abby. YES. DOWN WITH PERFECTION!!
But Mamas...Abby also had a question:
So here is my take on the Cobalt Skinny jeans..I'm still not sure I got it "right" and am still wanting ways to work this bold color (hello, shoes..what shoes does one wear with these for a more casual look?) without looking like a Crayon explosion. I happened to be going to a Baby Shower, hence the heels. You do not find me in these normally!
Mamas, you know Target's designer collaborations, right? Have you ever scored an item before it's sold out? Perhaps a printed tunic from the Tucker collab, or my little red and navy dress from Jason Wu? Well here's the thing: everyone's got one. So when reader Samira asked if she could guest post on ways to keep your Target score fresh, I was all. over. it. Yes, please.
Kirna Zabete for Target is here! It’s been a lower-key launch than say, the Missoni collection (!!!), but that is a very good thing for us humble shoppers. This collaboration may not have as high a profile, but it does have the combined eye of two excellent clothing curators, Beth Buccini and Sarah Easley. Designer taste on a Target budget: always a win.
Unfortunately the upside of Target collabs (so available!) is also the downside: so available. Many of us interested in fashion on a budget will be adding these pieces to our wardrobes in the coming weeks. Take this pretty floral dress for example:
It’s gorgeous, it’s washable (hey, polyester) and it’s the kind of dress you might think you have to rock-paper-scissors your girlfriend for. Nope, even if you both get one (S's Note: Hear that, Mol??) you could mix it up in some very different ways—all of them low-key.
Here are three ways to keep your Target dress fresh:
I am 9 month postpartum with twins and your site has really helped me get styling ideas for my new lifestyle and new body (read - huge boobs and poochy belly). I recently picked up this knit blazer at Land's End to help me look polished but be able to move freely to keep up with my now mobile twins...
...but everything I try it on with looks boring and predictable (like the model's outfit). Do you have any ideas for mixing interesting colors or patterns or silhouettes with this blazer?
Thanks for all your help!
Yeah...these blazers are surprisingly tough. When they first popped onto the scene I was excited: stripes AND a soft, sweat-shirty knit in a blazer? Yessss! But then...these blazers often look so darn preppy and, as you mentioned, predictable.
The key, I think, is to pair these with slightly subversive pieces. Which sounds scarier than it looks. Here's three ways I'd style these babies up:
*Note: In the collages, I'm using this Juicy Coture Blazer instead, simply because the pic was cleaner. But the LE knit blazer will work nicely here too.
Mamas! Fall is around the corner, and we're juuust about ready to start talking Fall trends. In September. So stay tuned.
However, each time we start discussing trends here on Ain't No Mom Jeans, our inboxes flood with requests from Mamas asking us about the basics.
Reader Lauren wrote in:
"...my clothes are woefully worn, outdated, and too big. I've been saving money for a "reward" shopping spree when I hit my goal weight, and that day is coming quickly. I feel overwhelmed with where to start with my buying, though; I literally need a whole new wardrobe."
Reader Kammy agrees:
"I'm a long-time reader, but am ashamed to admit that my wardrobe has consisted of the same sweatpants and tank tops since my first son was born over 3 years ago. I'm ready to dress like a grown up, but am feeling so completely overwhelmed! I've glanced back through your mom-drobe series, but I am still feeling so lost and just don't know where to start!"
And by the sheer number of requests we've recieved over the last two years, these Mamas aren't alone.
So. Before we start yapping about trends, let's talk basics. Below I have gathered up 14 key pieces that can be considered a cornerstone of any Mama's wardrobe. These items represent only the business of being moms (including a simple date night look). Black-tie event? No. Workin' Out? Nope. Going to the office?? Not unless your workplace is very casual. But for trips to the park, days at the museum, afternoons running errands...this is your starting point.
DISCLAIMER: The starter mom-drobe shown below is based on my style sensibility. Which may not be yours. That's OK. This list is intended to be inspiration for the types of pieces to look for, not necessarily the exact pieces.
If there's ever a time to dress thematically, it's the Fourth of July, Mamas. Christmas sweaters--and I know this from experience--can be a slippery slope: it starts out when you pick one up for an ironic ugly Christmas sweater party.
As the season progresses, even when you don't have an ugly Christmas sweater party to attend, and overwhelmed with the spirit of the season, you may find yourself reaching for said ugly Christmas sweater. Ironically. Of course. But when you venture out of your holiday bubble into the real world, you will notice people snickering at you--not quite behind your back.
Not so for this Fourth of July wear. With the Americana trend still pretty well in full swing, you'll be able to proudly, and patriotically, wear any of these pieces separately.
Mamas, meet Sara, a tres-fab L.A.-to-Denver re-lo, who was rocking a perfect iffy-spring-weather tot soccer/babywearing outfit at (gasp!) seven weeks postpartum. Yes, that seriously is a seven-week-old sweet baby girl nestled in that Ergo, and Sara is not only coherent at 10 AM, but she and her whole adorable family--her 2-1/2-year-old son and partner Israel, a music blogger (www.thecargoculte.com), were also in tow (check out their recent family portrait, taken at indie craft fair UNIQUE LA)--were the picture of family unit bliss at Denver's Wash Park this week.
It was a bit difficult to get all the deets and have an actual conversation as I was trying to pry my suddenly-velcro 2-1/2-year-old off of me, but we managed (to be fair, there was an incident of a rope--agility training for two-year-olds--being mistaken for a snake. L. is very literal). Sara pointed out that we were wearing the same J Brand skinnies (both cuffed with sneaker alternatives). She's wearing olive classic TOMS; a drapey, breastfeeding-friendly top from Old Navy; a camel ErgoBaby, and super-yummy Chloe sunnies (she confided she got a great deal on them on Gilt.com, or in my parlance Guilt.com--I recently unsubscribed. . . :).
Looking this put together on a weekday morning (seven weeks post baby to boot) is seriously impressive, but it also brings home that a mom uniform stocked with solid basics like great glasses, a fresh pair of TOMS and fab-fitting denim, (and a crazy-hot short hair style like Sara's) will always go the distance.