Do Your Kids Dress Themselves? {What We Wore Sunday}

Mine do.  I never thought I’d let them, but now I do.

It occurred to me that what they wear these days is much more interesting than anything I wear.

So this is what I wore yesterday to church–nothing worth blogging about really.  (Girl 1 pleaded, “Mommy, you have to wear a dress!  If you wear those pants–the priest is going to be mad at you!”  (He wasn’t.)).

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My Estiva ballet flats from Crocs are still holding strong (n.b. they run large).

Fact of the week you don’t need to know: I haven’t plucked my eyebrows, seriously, in months.  They’re not so tidy looking close-up but they’re not exactly out of control.  I may never go back.

This is what Girl 1 wore (Girl 2 already had changed by the time I took pictures):

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Girl 2 wore this Friday morning while we ran errands–look carefully and you can see a floral sundress she wore under her Frozen dress:

IMG_8643She insisted on changing into her “picnic clothes” and “picnic shoes” later that afternoon before we went to an end-of-the-year school picnic at the playground.

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I probably shouldn’t let her wear these shoes to the playground anymore.  But my sister went through a stage, at around the same age, of wearing dress-up high heel everyday, everywhere.  So there’s some nostalgia there for me.  My parents even let her wear them to church.  At our current parish, children aren’t the novelty they were at my parish growing up.  So letting your kid wear loud, clackety-clack shoes to church is like–ten demerits!  So we draw the line at wearing them church.

I hope you all are enjoying a lovely Memorial Day.  Click on over to Fine Linen and Purple for more What I Wore Sunday posts.

In more somber news, I’m participating this Wednesday in a blog-hop on maternal anxiety and depression, hosted by Katherine at Half-Kindled.  A bevy of talented bloggers are participating and writing on this important topic, including Bonnie at A Knotted Life, Jenna of Call Her Happy, Jenny of Mama Needs Coffee, and Rosie of Check Out That Sunset, so you should definitely check it out!

How To Look Less Bad: Part Two {Style & the SAHM}

Style and the stay at home mom

How’s your summer uniform/ wardrobe working out for you?

Me?  Not so great.  The style-and-the-SAHM action around here has been less style and more SAH lately.

But I did learn a valuable lesson the other day.

Here’s what I’ve been wearing from time to time:

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Oh yikes.  This just screams “MOM”!  My kids scream “MOM!” quite enough.  I don’t need my clothes to scream it too.

I couldn’t figure out what was wrong until I remembered Fran wore a similar-yet-cute outfit with the same shirt.

From Franish

Aha!  Yes.

Audrey said it so long ago, but I had to learn the hard way–

 

TUCK IN YOUR SHIRT . . . and put on a belt.

Style & the SAHM: Tuck in your shirt!

Isn’t that better?  It still says, “Mom,” but . . . softly.

Admittedly, tucking your shirt in is not right for all outfits.  And maybe not necessary for a shorter, more fitted shirt.  But when in doubt, I think tucking in is usually a good idea.  I think.

I make mistakes so you don’t have to (as in How To Look Less Bad, Part 1).

Go tuck in your shirt.  You can thank me later.

 

Mama’s Gone Shoppin’

A little Anthropologie action for you . . . and can Crocs be cool??  Read on.

I made my first Anthropologie purchase ever.  I’ve yet to set foot into one of their stores.  And I didn’t have the courage to venture beyond the Sale page on their website.

I’ve resolved to stop automatically shopping the clearance racks when looking for clothes.  Instead, I try to buy fewer but better quality items that are perfectly suited for me and my life.

But . . .

Anthro’s expensive, yo?  Baby steps, baby steps.

1.  So I love this shirt, the Tail Stripe Tee.  I’m up to maybe . . . five nautical stripe tees now.  But I don’t care.  Pat said, “I like your shirt.  It’s very . . . you.”  Yup.

Anthro tail stripe tee

Except that it has a tail.

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Has anyone watched that show Orphan Black?  There’s this character with a tail.  And it gets more disgusting from there.  *Shudder*  I would prefer a little less tail, but I still like that it’s interesting in the back.

Also, it runs very large.  This is a size down from what the size chart says I should be.

2.  New Birkenstocks (see first pic).  I just love the way Birkenstocks feel on my feet.  It’s like getting a massage with every step.  I kid you not.  I did not like how my former pair looked.  So I sold them on eBay (can you believe it? (not that I came even close to recouping my costs tho)) and bought the Gizehs.

3. Some other Anthro winners:

This tee (the seamed scoopneck):

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Zebra sweater (pardon me . . . the “Quagga pullover“).  How cute is this?  Can’t wait for Fall now.  Kind of.

Anthropologie Quagga Pullover

 

This blouse (the Estrie Henley).  Hard to see the detail in the photo.  But it’s a nice date night/ dressy blouse, which is something I was lacking.  Looks better with white jeans.

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Anthro Estrie Henley

 

4.  Moving on to shoes, can you believe these are Crocs??

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They’re Crocs’  “Ballerina Estiva” designed by some guy named Stefano Furiano.  Stefano don’t know bleep about punctuation.

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But he knows his sh . . . shoes.  He knows his shoes.

So expensive, but I think I’ll wear them a LOT.  They aren’t quite as comfy as my Birks, but they’re nice and cushy.

They run large though.  I ordered a full size smaller than I regularly wear.  Probably the first time I’ve worn a single-digit shoe size since Girl 2 was born.

Full disclosure, these are not as cushy as regular Crocs, which I tried on for the first time recently.  (Gotta love free both-way shipping from Zappos.)

My feet went “Ahhh.”  And I went,  “So that‘s why everyone wears Crocs.”  The leopard print Kaydees looked cute from a distance but the print is just horrible close-up.  See how the spots are stretched out in the back?  That’s exactly how they look in real life.  So they went back.

5.  And to round it all out, another nautical striped tee (same one I already have, but in a different color).  I just can’t help myself.  J. Crew Factory was having a sale (and today, they’re having an even better sale–50% off everything).  What could I do?

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You can go make dinner, Laura, that’s what you can do.  And put a diaper on your nekkid two-year old before she piddles on the floor.

Signing off.

But not before I link up with Hallie.

 

 

 

 

Old Navy Spring 2014 In Review

Plus a bit o’ Lands’ End and Athleta.

Girl 1 and I made a trip to Old Navy not long ago.  Here are some highlights.

The fit and flare jersey dress (first spotted on Ain’t No Mom Jeans):

Old Navy fit and flare dress

I think this will be my go-to summer day dress (the kind I was hoping to find at Boden).  Unfortunately, it is not very forgiving of the cortisol baby I’m carrying around in my midsection.  (The picture doesn’t show it, b/c I’m sucking in my gut with all my might. )  So I went up a size (XL), and found it more flattering in the midsection but too big in the top and armholes.

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So, I bought the XL and plan to have it taken in up top.  It’s counterintuitive to bother getting alterations on a cheap, Old Navy dress.  But I wouldn’t think twice about getting alterations for a pricey special occasion dress I’d only wear once, so why not drop $20 on something I probably will wear dozens of times?  That’s my thinking.

The black and white is cute, also, but washes me out, I think.

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This dress on the other hand:

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Hospital gown chic.  No thanks!

 These cotton sweaters are similar to the polka-dotted one I got from Old Navy over a year ago, which I’ve worn and worn and worn again.  So I have high hopes.  I went with the anchor print.

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I ordered a tall just for kicks, and wow, it’s tall.  Never mind.

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This sweater was blah and not flattering.  (Surprise!  It’s even blah and unflattering on the model.)

Old Navy v neck cable knit sweater, women's

A silky, drapey top paired with skinny jeans is a good look, generally, I think.  But I just wasn’t feeling it with this top:

Old Navy women's printed crepe top

This top is pretty.  I might have gotten it in white, but the back is very sheer (“slub knit” is always the tip-off, isn’t it?).

Old navy lace front slub knit top

I ordered this skirt online and I love it.  The stretchy panel on top is flattering.  The fabric is very lightweight, so I wouldn’t wear it without a slip or a shaper.  Still, it doesn’t cling the way I was expecting it to.  I might get wild and crazy and order it in a color other than dark blue.  That’s right; I just might!  (I also tried this similar skirt from Lands’ End, and the ON skirt won out.)

Old Navy fold over jersey knit skirt

Girl 1 found a dress she likes.  She’s worn it almost every day, usually along with this cardigan (unbuttoned and tied in front, ’cause that’s the way we roll).  I wouldn’t mind a bit more material up top on the dress.  She’d prefer wearing a strapless ball gown to preschool.  This is an acceptable compromise.

Old Navy girls' floral print maxi sun dress

Real quick, I love this cardigan from Lands’ End.  I had looked for something similar in cut to my old pink cardigan that I’m wearing to shreds.  I ordered the cardigan in a M.  It’s held up in the wash so far, ‘though I’ve laid it flat to dry.

Lands End womens cable knit v neck cardigan

I also am loving my puffer vest.  I’m tempted to buy more colors.  (You’re a minimalist, Laura, remember?  You’re a minimalist.  Come on.)  But, it’s back up to $35 after being on sale for under $20.  So maybe I’m not as tempted.

Lands End core down puffer vest

Aaaaand, I think this will be my skort for the summer (in a Tall).  The ones I wore last summer were just a bit too flowy for my tastes.  I’m hoping to recoup some $$ on eBay.

Okay, I hope you were edified . . .  or something . . . by all that.  Thanks for reading!

Boden Spring 2014 Review

And other retail therapy hits and misses . . . .

It’s a funny thing, online shopping.  You see the picture of the model, and it gets you all optimistic.

Casual Weekend Dress

Then you try it on and try to convince yourself that you look at least like a more-fit version of yourself:

Boden casual weekend dress

Boden casual weekend dress

But then you look reality squarely in the face:

Boden casual weekend dress

Bleh.

Again, fantasy:

Reality:

Boden jersey dress

Boden jersey dress

Fantasy:

Amelie dress

Reality:

Boden Amelie dress 2014

Cut it out Laura

size 10 UK

This is turning into one of those I-hate-my-body rants, and that’s really not what I mean to do.

I guess my points here are (a) online shopping is a tricky mind game and (b) it’s best done with free shipping and returns and (c) none of these dresses was really flattering to me.

By the way, the dresses were all US size 10 Long, which matched my measurements on Boden’s size chart, so they run pretty true to size.

Fortunately, there are lots of polka-dotted shirts in the world (currently $15 at Ann Taylor, only size M left; I got a L.):

 

And stripes (Boden’s short sleeve Breton; with my wide shoulders I found this top most comfortable in a US 12, tho according to the size chart I’m a [perfect?] 10):

 

Because I clearly needed more dots and stripes:

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And I think I’ll catch the tail end of the puffer vest trend, before it’s gone.  Lands’ End has down vests for $20 — $15 right now, with a promo code that ends 2/26/14.  

Lands End Core Down Vest

As the number of my long-sleeved shirts recently has expanded from 2 to 6, I think I feel my late winter/ early spring uniform taking shape.

But for now I need to get out of my pajamas.  😉

How about you?  Any retail therapy hits or misses?

What I Wore Sunday + Sunday Pet Peeves

This is what I wore today:

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Shirt from Conversation Pieces (gift from my husband); sadly not recommended; already pilling after one washing.  😦

And what I wore last week:

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Sweater from Kohls (now sold out).  I had some Christmas Kohls credit and couldn’t resist this sweater.  Not my color + hand wash only + sheds on everything < very soft + polka dots!

And here’s my pet peeve of the week: pew end squatters.*

People who get to church early and stake out a spot at the end of the pew.  Would it really kill you to scoot over to the middle?  Do you really enjoy having me and my young children stepping back and forth across your lap and over your toes, multiple times throughout the hour?  Seriously.

I get that some people are elderly and/or have limited mobility, and they have a right to the end of the pew.

It doesn’t help that, in our parish, we have many pious people who kneel and pray after Mass for a long time.  That’s fine and dandy, but please ~ look around you~ to see if you’re blocking in your neighbor as you close your eyes and have visions and levitate and whatever you want to do for the next fifteen minutes.  Otherwise you encourage the pew-end squatters.

Regardless, if a family with young children approaches the pew, just scoot over.  Offer it up.  Otherwise, the most charitable thought I can muster is to assume you have irritable bowel syndrome.

The end.

Linking up with FL&P today.

*I should add that today we sat next to a very gracious lady who was not a pew end squatter.  And I’m very grateful to her.

Related articles

More Style Mishaps + What I Wore Sunday

This is what I wore today:

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But actually I kept my coat on all through Mass, so the overall look was more like this:

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Which reminds me: I have a tough time figuring out outerwear.  Growing up in Florida, a coat was something I needed only a few weeks out of the year.  I never thought of it as part of my outfit, just something to throw on to keep warm, like a blanket.

Fast forward to first year of law school, and I’m wearing a red, bulky Lands’ End parka with my black skirt suits.  Not the cute, quilted, fitted parkas I see around nowadays.  Just big, bulky, functional.  Fortunately, I caught on and bought myself a dressy wool overcoat (still red!) before I entered the working world.

Okay, so fast forward some more to a few weeks ago.   I went to a Christmas concert with a friend, and the night was cold and rainy.  I got it stuck in my head that I had to wear the trench/ rain coat, and not my standard wool overcoat.  But, I was afraid I would be too cold in just the trench plus my standard church/ dressy uniform of pencil skirt + cardigan/ sweater.  (Plus most of my sweaters are showing their age, and they seemed a bit shabby to wear to the concert).

So, I wore this:

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but also put on this my new-to-me blazer, over the sweater and under the raincoat.

This blazer has an identity issue.  Worn with navy, it looks black (as in this outfit from a few weeks ago):

Ralph Lauren blazer infinity scarf pencil skirt brown boots

But worn with black, it is definitely, definitely navy.  I didn’t realize this until I already was at the concert, looking like a color blind Hogwarts dropout:

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I was going for something like this:

But I think my look was more:

Hermione

And I don’t like the logo thingy on the pocket, anyway.  So this thing is going up on Ebay.  (Maybe it will find a nice Catholic owner who will take its newly-converted self to Mass every week?  😉

The whole experience left me yearning after a dress, something that (a) is long sleeved and warm, (b) is dressy enough to wear to church, concerts, parties, etc., but (c) is casual enough to wear with flat boots, and (d) doesn’t cost anything.  Ha!  So, yeah, I’ve been doing a lot of browsing online:

Links available here.

Links available here.

Probably the most frugal/ versatile thing to do is buy a non-shabby sweater.  But part of me just wants a new dress.

But even a warm dress might not be warm enough with just a trench coat.  I can’t figure out how to do outwear.  I just don’t get it.

What about you?  What’s your go-to outfit when it’s wet and cold but you still need to dress up?  Do you prefer dresses or separates?

Linking up with FL&P today.

Related articles

Polka Dot and Stripes, Again: What I Wore Sunday

This is what I wore today:

striped J. Crew boatneck tee, polka dot skirt, pink cardigan, brown boots, Warby Parker Northcote

It’s basically a replica of what I wore several months ago, but with a newer striped shirt:

IMG_1464Girl 1 left the pattern mixing to me for once.  I found her a Sunday outfit we both agree on.  (I realized, once we were at Mass, that I had put it on her backwards, with the little flower pinned to the back instead of the front.  Gah!  But it’s not obvious.)

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Linking up with FL&P today.  Happy Sunday everyone!

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On Getting Dressed In the Dark {WIWS}

Today I had plenty of sunlight while getting dressed, and here’s what I wore:

Lands' End blazer

Lands' End blazer

Last week, though.  Heh heh . . .

So, Saturday I was talking with some friends and we all agreed on loving to wear navy blue.  Except, I noted, that it’s harder to find things that coordinate because so many articles of clothing come in black.  Then someone pointed out that it’s now okay to wear navy blue with black.  Then I noted that you have to make it look like you did it on purpose (Shana says it so it must be true), whereas I would just look like I got dressed in the dark.

Well.  Somehow this completely escaped my mind when, not twelve hours later when I found myself, literally, getting dressed for Mass in the dark.  I didn’t remember it until I got to church and noticed I had put on my black pencil skirt, instead of my navy one.  Paired with the navy blue blazer, it was just . . . smashing.

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Eh, probably no one else noticed.  But still.  Embarrassing and a little ironic.  And, even now, I still have this song stuck in my head:


You’re welcome.

Okay, happy Sunday everyone, especially all of you linking up at at FL&P today!

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Summer SAHM Uniform

So I’ve completed my online shopping saga (parts one and two) and have my summer uniform together:  

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Shorts, Necklace, Sandals, Shirt from Target (old)

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Skort, Sandals, Top and necklace sold out

 

 

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Skort, top and necklace sold out

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Skort, Top, Necklace from Peebles (old)

It’s even more uniform-y and boring than my Fall uniform, but:

Jackie O, Jackie Kennedy

Jackie O. image via Lacee Swan

. . . kinda sorta, right?

The pros:

1. Having a uniform really really works: 6 tops, 2 skorts, 1 pair of shorts, sandals, Top Siders, and necklaces.   I only have to think about 15 seconds in the morning about what I’m going to wear. Every top goes with every bottom, so as long as I have one of each that’s clean, I’m good to go.

2. Minimalism: I own fewer clothes than ever before in my adult life and I’m happier than ever with what I wear.  It feels so right.

3. I like wearing a skort.  It looks like a skirt, so I feel a little more dressy/pulled-together, but it’s super lightweight and comfy (elastic waist for the win!) and has built-in shorts so I don’t worry about flashing people as I wrestle kids in and out of the van.  I think my personal tastes tend toward something a little less flowy, but I couldn’t find anything more streamlined in the right length. Now that I look again, though, this might have worked in a Tall size:

Dipper skort from Athleta

For now, I’m happy with what I have.

The cons:  

1. The sandals, oh the sandals.  They really put the “Mom” in “Mom Uniform.”  I procrastinated finishing this post for multiple reasons, one of which being the absurdity of publishing something purportedly about “style” that contains pictures of these shoes.  

Style-wise, I would have been much better off with the Birkenstock Gizeh (or pretty much any other shoe on the planet):

The Gizeh even has the Ain’t No Mom Jean stamp of approval.  But it doesn’t come with Birkenstock’s soft footbed (only the original Birkenstock footbed).

I tried on the soft footbed and my feet, knees and back outvoted my eyes and sense of aesthetics 5 to 3.  There was no debate.  They do feel wonderful, but now I’m stuck with a very expensive pair of ugly sandals with no resale value and the lifespan of a tortoise.  

I suppose I could buy a better looking-though-less-comfortable pair of sandals to wear out and keep the ugly Birks for being on my feel around the house all day.  I’m aiming toward minimalism, though.  And I can’t stand the really flat, no-support type sandals for even a second.

 Just looking at shoes like these:

Women’s Merona® Erin Braided Upper Sandal

make my legs ache.  We’ll see.  

I started out my quest inspired by Crystal’s super-simple, plain-but-pretty, minimalist wardrobe.  I wanted to have a set of outfits that I could throw on in the morning without too much thought, wear at home with the kids and yet be able to wear in public without shame.  And I think I’m there.

So long as no one looks at my feet.

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Linking up with Andrea and Ellen for their Real Mom Style link-up.  Thanks ladies!