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.
If I had to survive with only one shirt, I'd probably pick one of my thin, drapy v-necks. The low neckline flatters the bust, the drape hides a pooch and they look cool dressed up or down. Besides, I became addicted to the v-neck while nursing FOR ALMOST FIVE YEARS GOOD LORD and I just can't quit 'em.
But. In winter, they are freezing. Here's how I'm warming them up.
With Arm Warmers and a Faux-Fur Cowl
With heels and a sparkly belt if you are feeling especially glamorous, but this outfit works equally well with everyday boots. A faux-fur cowl is my go-to around the house (being bald is very, VERY cold) and the arm-warmers actually make a difference! (They're no turtleneck sweater, but they do alright.)
cowl: old Urban Outfitter...love this one, and it's washable
tee: old Soft Joie (easily my most favorite tee ever) - here's a current one
arm warmers: old, Etsy - but LOVE these or maybe these
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.
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.
Whether they're skinny or flare, denim or wool, I'm willing to bet that you have a pair of black pants in your closet. And while [yawn], they may not be [snore] the most exciting [zzzzzzz] sartorial choice...just you wait.
We are getting into the car. It's date night! "Nice tights" says Mike. What? Tights? "No honey," I correct him. "These are leggings."
Mike looks confused. "They are? Hunh. They look like tights."
"I'm not wearing a skirt" I point out. "So these are leggings. Which are pants."
"Ok" he says, agreeably. "But they're kinda like tights since they're so sheer, right?"
I freeze. Sheer? Does he know what that word means? I mean, this IS the man who repeatedly confuses dresses with skirts.
I narrow my eyes at him. "Can you...expand on that?"
He absentmindedly fumbles with the keys. "Uhhh...they look silky and thin? Like tights?"
"I forgot something inside" I tell him. "Be right back."
Mike groans. "Babe, what did you forget?"
Apparently, I forgot my pants.
THESE ARE "PANTS" bumcoveragerequired
I do own thicker leggings. The J.Crew pixie pant-type things that are thick enough to show some bum. And my faux-leather leggings...yeah, I'm not as careful with bum coverage in those, either. But for whatever reason (in the above case, I LOVE the pattern)...I do find myself reaching for my cheapie black leggings from time-to-time. They're easy, they're comfy, and sometimes, heck, they're the only thing clean.
Here are a few styling tricks I've been using when I really (really, REALLY) need to keep my bum covered.
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! One of the very biggest trends this Fall is to wear multiple patterns at once. This "mixed print" styling trick started a few years back, and is still gaining momentum. So. If there was one. thing. a Mama could do to easily update her whole look...this is it.
From time-to-time I've gotten reader questions about styling mixed prints, so I thought I'd start with the basics. There are four prints that mix so easily they should be considered neutrals. In fact, if you're a little mixed-print-crazy (yup)...you can wear all four at once.