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.
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.
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.
Mamas, it feels like I have spent the last 4+ years wearing nothing but jeans and cut-offs. Which, you know, is kinda my thing. But in the days leading up to my sister's wedding, as I (repeatedly) got all gussied up, I realized something: I like pretty.
But in the case of a chiffon maxi skirt, 'pretty' doesn't translate very well to messy art projects or playground time, or even walking if steps are involved. Sorry honey - Mum can't hold your hand, she has too much skirt. Good luck with those stairs, though!
But you know what, Mamas? Some days...I just don't care. Some days I don't want to lug around diapers, I don't want to wear flat shoes, and some days I just want to put on a pretty skirt.
Obviously these days will require either a nanny, a husband, or children who calmly watch movies while their crazy mother swans around in chiffon.
Luckily for me, my I NEED PRETTY DAY fell on a Saturday. And Mike humors loves me. So out we went - the four of us (Mike carried the diapers). We just walked around, got some ice cream, had a beer. And you know what? It really wasn't bad. I was still able to be involved and have fun.
Mamas, meet Michelle. She was just walking by my house as I pulled up in front with three sleepy/cranky babes in tow. I almost let her get away, then mustered up some courage and accosted her with something like, "Hey! Are you pregnant!? You're so cute! Can I take a picture of you?"
Remarkably, Michelle didn't high-tail it down the street. Maybe she figured I could out-run her given she's getting into her third trimester (I know, you can barely even tell, right!?) . . . Or maybe having a car full of kids makes you seem trustworthy in spite of the crazy stuff that actually comes out of your mouth. Not sure. I explained the why-for and, even though she was on her way back to work from lunch, she stopped for a quick snap and chat. Thank goodness. Because really. This mama-to-be is AH-dorable.
This black/cognac combo is one of my absolute favs, and set off with a denim jacket or vest and fab shoes, it's even better. I love that Michelle re-purposed a non-maternity Club Monaco strapless dress, creating a waist with the contrasting skinny belt, and spent her money smartly on these lovely Paso Fino sandals from Anthro.
The truism that you can never go wrong with a great pair of shoes or a yummy handbag is even truer when you're prego.
Cookie swaps, champagne brunches, dinner parties, gift exchanges, kid's pageants and a myriad of other festive occasions. Sound familiar? The kind of occasions where you want to look festive and fun...but a cocktail dress would be overkill. And your definition of "festive" doesn't include this:
Although, to be honest, I would totally rock this one with teeny, tiny tuxedo shorts and lace tights:
In an ironic way? Funny, right? HA HA...ha?
My point: There are a few styling tricks that I turn to all Holiday season long when I want to look "festive". Really, I should've named this post, "Captain Obvious' Tips For Festivus Style"...cause there is nothing earth-shattering here. But if you are busy (yes), tired (oh, yes) and prone to faking illness *cough* instead of venturing outside when the temperature dips (hi have we met?), then here are a few ideas for getting your holiday groove on.
Readers, we've been receiving more and more emails from moms about to go back to work. While we've been meaning to do a back-to-work article for quite some time, we've been putting it off. However, we received this lovely email from reader Cathy a few weeks ago:
First of all, I absolutely love your blog! A friend passed it along, and I’ve gotten so many other mom-friends hooked! And as a mainline mom, I often wonder if I might bump into Shana at the playground or other fun spots around town. I live in Wayne with my 2 year old little girl, husband, and westie dog. Hopefully some day our paths will cross – would love to meet you!
Anyhow, I’m writing in with a wardrobe question as I’m thinking ahead to fall. I have been working from home for the last five years, and a new job includes a little more office time (2-3 office meetings per month). I’ve been really enjoying getting out of the house a little more, but I haven’t had to think about a work wardrobe in such a long time. I have lots of summer skirts and dresses that I’ve been able to wear to work this summer, but I need to do some serious updating for fall. I’d like to invest in some good cross-over pieces ... things I can wear at the office, during the week when I’m working from home, or on date nights with my husband. When in doubt, I tend to buy black work clothes (black suits, black wrap dresses, sheath dresses etc.) so I’m looking to add a little more color. My office is business casual so it’s pretty flexible in terms of dress code.
Ooooo....what a challenge!! What could one buy to spruce up their work wardrobe, add some spice to date night AND still run around with the kiddos?
Well. After thinkin' and thinkin'...I have 5 ideas.
As if it weren't obvious enough from my article yesterday on nude shoes, I'm in full-on Spring mode. However, the weather is not necessarily cooperating. Despite the constant Denver sunshine, temps continue to hover around "too cold for bare legs". Which is pretty much my barometer of real Spring.
One of my favorite styling tricks for gray days is to bust out my patterned shorts. Patterned shorts are almost dressy in a Palm Beach chic kind of way...so they help to elevate comfy mom clothes.
Throw them on over tights or leggings, add rain boots (or really, any boot would do), and something warm and comfy on top. It's an outfit that requires little thought, but looks a bit more interesting than the usual.
(wearing: Flexees shaper cami, Splendid v-neck tee, Juicy Couture tie-front cardigan to distract from the pooch, J. Crew shorts, textured tights from Nordstroms, Hunter rainboots and a Lands' End jacket)
Or do like J.Crew and throw these shorts on with a sweatshirt (I'd add a scarf and boots)....