Monday, October 26, 2009
You might have just read that title and said, "Date? What's that?" I know what you mean ... these days, dates might be few and far between for you and your man. Your body aches, you're dealing with heartburn and nausea, and you're tiiiiiiired. And if you've got other little ones running around, you have to line up a sitter. Pain in the butt, I know. But trust me -- if anything will improve your sad, pregnant mood, it's a cute outfit and a night on the town with your hunk-of-a-man.
So, let's get to it! Here are some basics for a put-together, casual date night outfit:
1) Dressy pair of jeans
This is a date night basic that applies to everyone, preggers or not. You'll probably want to go with something a little darker because dark-wash jeans tend to look a little more polished.
7 For All Mankind Secret Fit Belly jeans
... tight in the butt (YES!)
... the perfect wash color
... wider in the leg to prevent unsightly hip/thigh hugging, making you look long and lean
Here's a less-expensive alternative from Gap. They'll only cost you about a month and a half of diapers. ;)
Satin flower trim top
Shoes for date night can be tricky when you're pregnant, because while you know some heels would be totally bangin', your feet might feel like falling off at the end of the night if you wear them. If you can still wear heels and survive, then by all means, do it! Otherwise, you can always fall back on a metallic flat or a pointy kitten heel:
Koin Kitten Heel, American Eagle
The nice thing about wearing a "special" top is you don't have to go crazy with the jewelry to dress it up. Large, dangly earrings are always sexy:
Or, go for a snazzy bracelet:
Labels: maternity Posted by Jenna at 10:32 AM
Sunday, October 25, 2009
(I use vintage brooches for hair clips, shoe clips, as an accessory on a belt, or even attached to a thick ribbon tied around the wrist for a pretty and cheap bracelet. So much versatility it makes me giddy.)
So another excuse that comes to mind when I think of women who "opt out" of looking like a woman in favor of looking like a mom, is that they simply don't have the money to purchase a new wardrobe. So they just wear their old duddy duds, and make me cry. REALLY? DO YOU WANT TO MAKE ME CRY?
It is a total misconception that looking good has to cost a lot of money. We've gone over the point that when I was first married, I had a $25 per month clothing budget right? $25!!! Ridiculous. But, because I was so desperate for shopping and clothes, I sucked it up and made it work. I learned quite a few tricks that first year of marriage, and even though I usually can get away with spending more per month, I still use these tricks to expand my wardrobe.
1) Work with what you have. You may have the bones of a good wardrobe on your hands, but aren't using it to its full potential for whatever reason. And better styling may be the answer to some of your bad clothes problems. Instead of throwing on a tee and capris (shudder), try some layering instead. A tee, with a blazer, or a knit top with a collared shirt underneath. Re-think your wardrobe and figure out new ways to wear old clothes so that they look different.
2) Play with accessories. When I buy accessories, you will never see my buying a demure chain necklace or gem-stud earrings. All of the accessories that I buy are for big impact. They're glitzy, or huge, or interesting, because changing up some cheap-o accessories makes a totally every day outfit something to talk about. Skip the hearts-on-a-chain and go for a huge layered necklace, big earrings or a cocktail ring, and wear them even if you're not going out anywhere. They will seriously transform your wardrobe as you find new ways to wear them.
3) Pare down your wardrobe. This might sound counter intuitive if you're looking for more options. But I feel that some people don't have huge clothing budgets so they shop sales and come home with 2o one-dollar crappy items, instead of one $20 well-made item. And those crappy ones don't get worn because they are ill-fitting, so you probably end up constantly wearing the few items in your closet that you actually DO like. Pare down to some well made, amazing basics that you love to wear. Then layer and accessorize to make them look new every day.
4) Have fun with shoes. Shoes can be bought pretty inexpensively, and you can use them to add spice to an otherwise boring outfit. I have a large shoe collection because I firmly believe that a good shoe can make an outfit. I love to wear a monochromatic look and then pop out some contrasting shoes; my favorite right now are navy blues with red shoes. LOVE. Don't take footwear too seriously. The second someone starts going about bad arches and comfort level my eyes glaze over. Get some comfy shoes for everyday, and special shoes that you can wear for three hours at a time without whining for fun.
5) Re-purpose items. This tidbit comes from my experience as a teenager, and I still do it to this day. Growing up, we didn't have a lot of money, and what's more, I was the only girl in my family with four brothers... fashion was not high on the must-have lists of my parents. So I learned to take things I owned and re-purpose them into another item. I would cut up t-shirts and wear them as head wraps and use my mom's vintage brooches as hair clips. I was the queen of finding uses for other things to make my clothes look new and current. And just the other day, I tore a piece of lace from one of my camis, and I kept the lace because I'm just programmed to try and figure out another use for it. If you're handy with a sewing machine, go right ahead, but you don't need major crafting skills to figure out you can add brooches to pumps to make them look more glam or tie a scarf on your purse to give it personality.
Don't ever let money get you down to the point that you don't care what you look like because you don't have the money to shop Rodeo Drive. Be creative and resourceful, but most of all take the time for yourself to figure out a better way. You'll be amazed out how much better you feel.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
The number one excuse I hear from people who don't dress well is that they "just like to be comfortable." As if being comfy is an excuse for looking like a shlub constantly. Well, guess what?
While I don't mind the occasional pajama day (heck, I'm not feeling well and I've been in a tracksuit all day today) but I don't think justifying your bad dressing because you like to be comfortable is legit. Like ohhhhhh okay, you want to be comfortable. K, didn't know that's why you looked so horrible, but now I understand and accept. No. Because that is saying that people who dress well are perpetually uncomfortable. Aaaaand that would be untrue. Yes, five inch heels do hurt, and yes, tight dresses can be uncomfortable, but your every day stuff should be presentable and comfy.
(Jeans, Seven for All Mankind)
Take a good pair of jeans. You remember the every day jeans post right? Remember to find a pair of jeans that FITS WELL, in a medium wash that isn't too dark for every day and too light for you to not look like you came from the 80s. Hem them short enough to wear with flat shoes for excess comfort. See, the reason you want to immediately jump into your sweats when you get home after a day of wearing jeans is most likely that they don't fit you right. They should not leave red marks or cut into your skin, and you shouldn't be uncomfortable sitting down in them. If you are uncomfortable, try the next size up. I KNOW that's depressing, but you dressing crappy depresses me more.
(Graphic tee: Polyvore, Solid tee: Aeropostale ($12!!)
Shirts! For everyday, go for comfy cotton shirts with nice details. You shouldn't have to fuss with them all day. A nice scoop neck with a tie or button detail or a graphic tee is fine by me. You'll be comfy and not look like you rolled out of bed.
Can I take this time to point out that the other day I was dropping the kids off at preschool and there was a mom there in HAIR CURLERS? Like, is this 1943? WTH!
(Blazer: Gentle Fawn, Hoodie: Republic)
And if you must do some sort of sweatshirt or hoodie, do a fitted one, or a cute sweatshirt-material jacket. I really do think hoodies have their place, and they can look you nipped in and slim if they are cut properly. I wear hoodies allllll fall long because I missed them so, especially while running around. But zip up hoodies are your friend. Scary huge hoodies are not. Your hoodies should not do that awful poofing thing around the bottom. It makes you look ginormous. Buy one to actually fit you or don't buy one at all.
(Shoes: Orange flats: Polyvore, Yellow runners: Skechers
Shoes should be comfy too. If you like to wear sneaks running around, invest in a good pair of Skechers, so that you don't look like you're tromping around in gym shoes. Otherwise its flats for you! Now that it's fall, your flip flops should have retired until next year. Muah! Thanks again, flip flops. I am kind of loving citrus colors because they pop so much on your foot, and you can get a little dose of summer in the fall. Also, pointy flats are awesome. Do the same thing for your leg under jeans that pointy heels do, without the height. I live in mine.
Just don't let your love for comfort get in your way of looking like a respectable human being. Even if you're just loafing around and running errands, jeans and a tee are NOT going to kill you. I promise. If they do, you can totally sue me. All I have is shoes, but it could be worth it.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Those of you who have ever incubated a human being know that pregnancy is hard work. Just growing a baby is a job in itself! Especially during the exhausting, vomit-inducing first trimester, when all you can do some days is brush your teeth. That might sound ludicrous to the rest of the world, but you mommas know it's true.
So, to the moms who actually get out of their PJ's every day and make their way into the workforce, I salute you. I was a full-time college student during my first pregnancy, and let's just say I'm glad I didn't have to abide by any dress codes. Or be productive, for that matter. But, for those of you who have real jobs, you've still gotta look professional. No jean skirts and flip-flops for you.
And even if you're a stay-at-home mom, there will likely come an occasion during your pregnancy when you actually need to look presentable (think hubby's work functions, church ... that kind of thing). So, this post is for you, too.
This is the boring part, but good pants make all the difference in a wardrobe. Pants are the foundation. Without them, your wardrobe will fall apart.
The biggest problems with maternity pants are their potential to bag in the crotch area and to sag in the butt. EEEK! Girls, you need a pair of good trousers that are going to make you look awesome and allow you to focus at work, not pants you are going to be thinking about all day, wondering if you look like a grandma. So, don't be afraid to spend a little extra on them. This is a worthwhile investment.
Secret Fit Belly tweed trousers, A Pea in the Pod
Motherhood Maternity also carries Secret Fit Belly pants. If you're looking for a less-expensive alternative, check these out.
I caution you to avoid "flare" cut pants at all costs. Flares are generally not flattering on women (or men, for that matter ...). Why? They emphasize the thighs and hips! A wide leg or boot cut option is much better because they won't hug your thighs. You'll look long and lean instead of short and squatty.
I'm just going to echo Jae here and simply say two words: pencil skirt. But, you don't want to go too pencil-y; your silhouette is different now that you've got a belly. Find something that's a little A-line but still sheath, like this:
I need to warn you about something. The maternity Oxford shirt. You might see this and say, "Buttons plus collar equals dressy! Yaaay." But look at it. Blah. Boring. Unfeminine. If you're going to wear that, you might as well get into your husband's closet and put one of his on for free. You can do so much better.
You CAN wear a crisp, white button-down, but get one that has something special, like ruffles:
Ribbon-trim textured shirt, Gap
Or, you could put on a nice knit top, like one of these:
... and you're ready to bring home the bacon, sister!
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Yeah, I wrote this whole post and decided to save it and then I was looking at my stats and was like WHY is no one giving me love for my Friday post?? And, after crying for a little while. realized it was still sitting as a draft.
I'm smart. So, a couple of days late, I bring your your Freaky Friday/Sunday Don'ts.
With the fall comes a lot of clothing catalogs to my house. Have I ever expressed to you how much I LOVE catalogs? Even for places I would never buy anything at. I was watching the Today show once, and they were saying to save the planet, you should visit some website to cancel the catalogs that you get, because they kill trees and whatnot, and I was like "Why would I want to do that, Matt Lauer? I mean, I love you, I do. But you say some stupid things sometimes."
Without catalogs, I would have to make conversation with my family at breakfast time. That's lame.
So I love to peruse catalogs and pick out horrifically bad stuff. This time I actually looked up item numbers on retail sites to bring you actual things I found in my catalogs and my mental first impressions.
To buy this dress, you'd need a severe multiple personality disorder. Like hmm, if only I had a structured DENIM work dress to show that I'm powerful, but then have it bleed fabric to show my softer side. Ah! Perfect!
This is what happens when two trends are combined to go horribly wrong. It's a plaid peasant blouse. I'm sorry, what peasant would be wearing PLAID? I don understand it at all. Plus with the hat too? Why does that model look so smug? YOU'RE IN A CATALOG!
I saw this jacket and laughed. For a few reasons. One, is it 1998 and are you being ostracized by your classmates or something? And two, this makes anyone look like a creepy vampire. And not in the sexy, Twilight vampire way, but in the "I ACTUALLY think I'm a vampire" way. Not cool. ORRR you could be in the Matrix. Whatever. Either way you slice it, long, leather trench coats are weird.
Two words. Fleece. Leopard. Two more words. DON'T. EVER.
I actually don't mind the shape and style of this sweater IN THEORY, I just think it makes you look like your boobs are growing a rose garden. But hey, if that's the look you're going for, then right on, sistah! But don't get mad when someone tries to stuff plant food down your bra.
Can you believe this was in a catalog NOT for Harley mamas? They should have a clause underneath this: Must have rose tattoo on gross place like chest, neck or ankle to wear. Also must enjoy chaps.
And for a special treat, a serious designer don't. My man Alexander McQueen did a runway show with no heel under ten inches. SERIOUSLY. What is with the creepy lobster claw slash weird and oppressive bound food shoe?? I SWEAR ON ALL THAT IS HOLY THAT I WILL LOSE MY FAITH IN FASHION IF THIS COMES IN STYLE. Mark my words guys. The minute Payless starts carrying these I am closing up shop and you can get your fashion tips from someone else. Because I'll be going to THROW MYSELF OFF OF A CLIFF.
So. much. rage.
Labels: freaky friday Posted by Jae at 2:20 PM
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Ah, mummy tummies. Even if you work your biscuit on the treadmill daily, it seems like you're stuck with it. I was speaking with one of my nurses when I was in the hospital (after a few weeks in there I became delirious and believed that all nurses were my best friends and would monopolize their time by convincing them to come watch American Idol with me) and she was saying that one of the biggest mistakes mothers make is working out too soon after having a baby. The muscles in the abdomen separate while pregnant, and if you work out before they come back together again, you pretty much set yourself up for the mom pooch. She also said to ask your doc at your 6 week checkup if they;re back together to okay you for exercise. She really was a gem.
The more you knooooooooooooooooow. (Shooting star and NBC logo inserted here.) I try. It's an educational site.
Anyhow, I know I struggle with it daily. It's sad to look at pictures of me at 17 year old and think, "I really did not appreciate that body."
So lately I've been working on being very happy with my body. I read somewhere that the tummy you get after having babies is actually important to storing womanly things like estrogen and whatnot, and I don't know if it's true, but omg I almost burst into tears and and laminated it and put it in my wallet for future reference. Actually, I almost did, but currently I have a laminated quote in my wallet from a magazine by Pamela Anderson that reads "I think Canadian girls are more creative in bed." I'm actually not kidding. What can I say? Pam is my role model.
Anyhow, as part of loving your body, you need to learn to deal with the mummy tummy. I had a very real moment with myself today when I got dressed and then looked at it and thought "K, Jae, NO ONE is looking at you as harshly as you do yourself." And I went merrily on my way. Shopping.
So, dress so that you are showing off your better assets, and camouflaging the mum-tum. It does not have to be front and center, leaving you to think someone may ask you when you're due. How embarrassing.
Here are some clever tactics to make your mummy tummy disappear.
1) A blousy, heavily embellished top.
I think a lot of the time, women are like oh, to dress well I have to wear tight clothes! Um no, that's a dirty lie. I hate seeing squidgy people stick themselves into clothes that show every nook and cranny of your body. It's an overshare. And blousy tops are so IN. Wear with some dark jeans and a cute little blazer and you're good. Extra points for embellishment at the neckline, which will draw the eye up and away from the tummy area. (Shirt: Sears)
2) A serious necklace
This is another trick of mine. I like to use accessories for interest so that no one is looking at the tummy. I do this with necklaces, scarves, huge earrings, whatever. Then people are like "Hey, I wonder where she got that necklace? She must work out." Or at least that's what I tell myself that they say. Just wear something plain with something this serious, preferably, it should be laying against bare skin (read: a low top) (Necklace: Buy.com)
3) A cinch-y belt.
I will confess I lived in a cinched belt for the first few months after having baby number two. Why? Because it kept me locked and loaded, and made my waist look ridiculously small. I would wear it with a structured button up shirt that made everything look good and flat, and then pop a belt on the smallest part of my waist. Instant skinniness. And the studded bow adds a little interest. (Belt: buy.com)
4) A random graphic print
Here's another fave trick of mine. Do you know why stripes are so hard to wear? Because they are so uniform. Any little pucker or bilge, and you are making a nice little "YOU ARE HERE" sign pointed directly at your tummy for all to see. Try a random print that has no uniform shape. This wrap sweater from Nordstrom rocks my world. Everything is hidden and lovely. Remember to choose a print in proportion to your size. The larger you are, the larger the print .Stay away from things that have uniform distances in between the print like polka dots or stripes. I just bought a zebra print shirt and it is prime for this because the print is all over the place. Awesome.
5) A pencil skirt
Pencil skirts are so awesome and naughty secretary and a staple in my wardrobe. I literally have like 16 because I love the way they make ANYONE'S body look. Because they sit so much higher on the waist than traditional skirts or pants, you can lock and load your tummy and look totally toned up. Just choose one from a structured fabric like tweed or plaid, or whatever menswear fabric that tickles your fancy. Just don't be alarmed when you try them on. They are supposed to fasten just above the belly button.
If you have any fave mummy tummy tricks, share! Remember that it's not as bad as you think it is, and AS ALWAYS, dressing well takes the focus away from your body, and places more emphasis on your look. I always say, thank goodness for clothes. I look much better in them than I do naked.
That was a vivid mental picture I just painted for you.
Stop thinking about me naked.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Preggos of the world … this is the most important fashion advice I can give you. This post right here. Please, do yourselves a big ol’ favor and do not fall victim to the following maternity fashion tragedies.
I firmly believe Spandex was only invented for two purposes: form-fitting undergarments and exercise clothing (and maybe that icky headband you use to hold your bangs back when you’re washing your face). Any other usage of this material is a gross violation of fashion law. And seriously, it just looks bad. So don’t do it.Case in point:
If you are shopping and come across these bad boys, AVOID. Because in reality, your body is going to be getting a lot curvier very soon, if it hasn’t already. And the last thing you need is skin-tight fabric hugging – nay, suffocating all those curves and accentuating them for all to see.
If you want to run your errands in comfort, try these cute comfy drawstring pants from Old Navy.
Jersey-lined drawstring pants, Old Navy
They come in four different neutral colors and will look infinitely better than Spandex leggings. Pair them with a cute hoodie, like this:
Lightweight pull-over hoodie, Old Navy
and some sneaker flats. Put-together, yet comfortable. And not hideous.
Pregnant women have historically fallen prey to the alluring yet vicious muumuu. Muumuus are roomy, and they look sooooo comfortable. But that’s the problem – they contain SO MUCH ROOM, you’ll end up looking like a sumo wrestler wearing a floral tent instead of a beautiful, shapely pregnant woman.
Here’s the trick to looking cute while you’re incubating a human: hide your unsightly flabbiness while simultaneously showing off your belly. It’s tough, but doable. I can help you. A muumuu cannot. So AVOID.
So, you’re looking for a dress that’s comfortable and casual (like a muumuu) but not gargantuan? Here are some options:
Elbow sleeve tab cuff dress, Motherhood
This too-cute denim dress from Motherhood Maternity. Pair it with some red heels or cowboy boots and a chunky bracelet. Daaarling. I’d probably tie the knot on the side, though. It’s a little much up there in the front.
Not really digging the denim? Try this:
Stick a cardigan or a crop jacket over it and it’s ready for fall. It’s easy to wear and versatile.
Ok, so there may (probably will) come a time at the end of your pregnancy when you think a camping tent is the only thing that will fit over your growing belly. However, I advise you to stay away from “tent tops” (you know, the ones with copious amounts of fabric that usually tie in the back and flare out at the bottom) as long as humanly possible.
Here is an example of such a top. Again, when you see it … AVOID.
Whoa. Did you just go back to 1995 for a second? I did.
Maternity clothing vendors are starting to figure out that these tops only make pregnant women look huge and feel frumpy, so they’ve come out with lots of slimmer styles, like these:
Scoop-neck ruffle top, Gap
See? Otherwise normal-looking shirts, just with a little extra fabric in the front. The key here is to buy maternity shirts in your regular size. If in doubt, try it on.
And lucky for us, lots of current non-maternity clothing can keep you covered for most of your pregnancy. Look for tunic-type tops and empire waistlines with some give in the bust area (those puppies are going to get even bigger eventually). Or, if you want something more form-fitting, look for longer tops that stretch a lot. Buy a size bigger than you’d normally wear, and voila! You have a fashionable yet versatile top that will not only work during pregnancy, but afterward as well. And since it doesn’t say “maternity” on the label, you won’t feel bad about wearing it once baby makes his debut.
These, I originally didn’t feel a need to mention because they are usually summer faux-pas and it’s currently fall, but they’re worth noting for those of you who will be pregnant during warmer seasons.
Shorts. Whatever you do, don’t wear any shorts above knee-length. Teensie shorts are not really meant for adults, anyway, but especially not for pregnant adults. Unless you are Heidi Klum, don’t do it! Go for a knee-length, NON-tapered Bermuda short instead.
Speaking of tapered … don’t ever wear bottoms that are tapered ( meaning they start off big and get smaller as they go down your leg). They’ll just accentuate your hips, which happen to be the widest part of the female body. And that’s never a good thing. This category includes skinny jeans and capris (crop pants).
Also, stay away from tank tops. I don’t know about you, but when I get pregnant, my arms get kinda … jiggly. And big. And not in a good way. Instead, try a cap sleeve or flutter sleeve top. A little fabric can go a long way in making your arms look slender and long. A tank top will only make your arms look larger than life.
Remember – cover your flabbiness but show off your belly.
Labels: maternity Posted by Jenna at 8:29 AM