Style & the SAHM: The Quest Continues

two years later . . . .

It’s been almost two years since I wrote Style & the SAHM: A Quest, the beginning of an on-again, off-again series.  I’ve been less enthusiastic about my quest lately (gaining 20 pounds will do that to you).  Still, the quest continues.  Here are some lessons learned from the past fall and winter . . . which, in April, is helpful to no one in my hemisphere . . . you can bookmark this to read come October.  😉

1. If you try on a sweater at TJ Maxx


and don’t buy it and then find yourself, thinking about it a lot, you should go back and buy it.  You’ll wear it a lot.  Especially, since you’ve been on the lookout for a flattering,  white, non-scratch, cableknit sweater for a long time.

IMG_8242 IMG_8085

2. When in doubt, ditch the bootcut jeans and sneakers and go for skinny jeans (or LOFT curvy straight leg jeans) with boots, especially if you have a drapey top.  Also, those red bowling clown shoes were a mistake.

See example A


vs. Examples B and C



3. But bootcut jeans aren’t always a bad choice, if your top is more on the fitted side.  And even those red sneakers, well . . .

IMG_7660 IMG_76614. If you have a round face and broad shoulders to begin with, and then gain weight, you’ll wish you had bought more v-neck, drapey tops like this one from T.J. Maxx . . .

IMG_8211 IMG_8227and this one from Express (didn’t buy it but should have):

IMG_7639and fewer fitted crewnecks like these.  The pictures were taken when I bought them a year ago–they’re more snug now 😦

IMG_7579 IMG_76385. If you find yourself at a coffee shop wearing the same sweater as someone else, then later notice that she has taken off the sweater and is now wearing just the shirt underneath, take a good look at yourself, and ask

“Would I want be dressed like me?”


Lesson learned: beware the siren song of the elastic waist.  When in doubt, wear jeans.  😉

Also, after two years, it was time for another closet purge.  It’s amazing how much piles up, even when I try to be pretty minimalist.

Most of these things I gave away, or am in the process of giving away.  A few I saved for a different season.  A very very few I couldn’t bear to part with and saved in hopes of losing weight.


Now the extent of my wardrobe is this:


and this:


with one box in the closet of out-of-season or too-small things I’m hanging on to.

The battle against frumpiness and clutter takes constant vigilance.

Keep fighting the good fight

{And click over to Jenna’s blog for more five favorites posts.}

19 thoughts on “Style & the SAHM: The Quest Continues

  1. Constant vigilance! I do like the red sneaks, they’re super fun. That’s why you have to keep the bootcuts around. I haven’t figured out how to wear sneakers and skinnies. Methinks my feet are too big and my legs are not slim enough. Also, that navy blue and striped top from TJ Maxx is amazing. Good find!

  2. Right there with you trying my darndest to only buy things I need and really, really like, and holding on to some things should weight-loss occur…the ongoing closet shuffle. Bleh. Also, I love the zebra & anchor sweaters- so glad you didn’t give them the boot! And you look great in the skinnies and drapey tops. I look at my closet and wonder why I have so many fitted things when looser tops are so much more flattering!

  3. Love this series. Don’t feel bad about gaining weight, only you see it. You look great in these pictures. And think of your 40-50 year-old self looking back at you today (20 lbs and all) and wishing you still looked the way you do TODAY. You seriously look great so keep doing these posts 😉 and don’t worry about weight.

    • Lauren and Kati, one thing I learned from this weight gain experience was how off my body image was before. I really had body dysmorphia for most of my life, although probably no more than the average American woman. I’ve never had anorexia or bulimia but *definitely* had an unhealthy body image.

      It’s been really eye-opening. So yeah, I’d still like to get down to my old weight but I’ve learned to (a) get over myself and not worry so much about what size I’m at and (b) realize that the size I’m at now is really just not so big!

  4. I like the fitted crewnecks on you! In fact, I tend to be a fan of fitted sweaters in general–I think they’re more flattering. I’m not sure if body image is related. My mom would often wear longer, slightly looser tops to cover up “fat,” but I’ve never been fond of this look. I’ve noticed that many stylish women, at any weight, wear neatly-tailored clothes that flatter their figures rather than trying to obscure them. Paradoxically, loose, baggy clothes looks the best on girls who are stick thin or straight-figured (not me) so I tend to avoid those looks.

    • It’s true–too baggy is as unflattering as too tight. I just have trouble sytling the crewnecks. I don’t like the way any of my scarves or necklaces look with them, and on their own they look ~blah~ to me. Quite possibly it’s all in my head.

  5. I love that Express top! ( I actually like all your other clothes too!)
    And that last line is right on! It does take vigilance–argh!

  6. You are always stylin’, Laura! And how jealous am I that you can stack things in your closet all the way up to the ceiling? Being a dwarf, I can’t use that space and really wish I could.

  7. I love these posts so much. You’re so funny! I love the look you’ve got going with the skinny jeans and boots. Every time I see your brown boots, I think to myself that I must get myself a pair!!

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