Linky Linkerson

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

PLEASE read this hilarious article by a 17 year old girl who wants Moms to know what is okay and what isn't when it comes to getting dressed every morning. I might try and adopt her. Even though that would be entirely inappropriate. If I had a 17 year old kid, it would mean that I had a baby at age eight. People might say things.

Fashion 101: Putting Together an Outfit

Monday, September 28, 2009

There is a question that I get asked often. And it's asked in secret, shamefully. That question is "How do I know what looks good together?"

Even girls who were total foxes in their teen years forget how to put an outfit together when they become moms. The rules no longer apply. For one, no one uses AuquaNet anymore. But the issue is deeper. When you were a teen you dressed a certain way. If you dressed like that now, people would think you were mental.

For instance, in high school I wore shirts with fruit on them. Don't ask me why. There is a photo floating around on Facebook of me wearing a shirt with cherries on it, along with a thick bathtub chain necklace and a smug smile because I thought I looked pretty hot. I also carried an olive green canvas messenger bag. Yeah. In high school standards, I looked normal. Today's standards? Crazy person.

So you need to learn to adapt with the times. A girl who knows how to put an outfit together looks put together no matter what. Take a simple recipe for dressing success, and make substitutions as needed. We've talked enough about what to wear for certain occasions for to know what;s appropriate. Now, the true test is learning to put it all together. Here's the equation. Remember that this is BEGINNER stuff. If you feel like you're more advanced when it comes to fashion, feel free to move along. I am laying out the basics here. As you get more comfortable, strike it out alone and throw my rules out the window, please.

1) Take a NEUTRAL.

Choose a neutral. One neutral. Fashiony people will tell you it's okay to pair neutrals together, but I hate that. Why? Well, for one, it's boring. Just do the one neutral and fill the rest in with color. And for two, I don't care WHO you are, gray and brown don't look nice together. They look drab. Say it with me, COLOR! For the most part, in pants, neutrals belong on the bottom, or with a jacket. You are not advanced or young enough to wear neon jeans. SORRY. Skirts can be whatever color you want, just tone it down on top.

2) Choose an ACCENT. The accent will be the color that goes with the neutral. Luckily, any color goes with a neutral so it doesn't really matter. Focus in stead on fabric. What makes or breaks an outfit are the fabric pairings. Please don't do polyester and satin, k. Pair dressier fabrics with sturdier ones, ie: a satin shirt with menswear style tweed pants. Keep casual fabrics together so you don't look mismatched. Focus on fit and balance it out. Remeber if one piece is fitted, the other should be loose. Got that?

3) Add SHOES. Shoes are so great to make a plain Jane outfit look awesome. Consider first your level of activity. Are you walking or on your feet? Flats. Dancing or showing off? Heels. Then, consider the length of your bottoms. DO NOT wear heels with short pants. Please for the love of all that is holy, if you wear heels and jeans, the jeans should almost graze the ground. If they don't, get some flats and call it a day. Remeber not to be too matchy with your footwear. If you wear a pink shirt, don't wear pink shoes, it's too cutesy and it makes the outfit look clownish. Choose an accenting color instead. Brown and black are always acceptable until you get your feet wet.

4) Pick ACCESSORIES. Have you ever heard that old adage about "If you're wearing accessories, take one off before you leave the house"? Um, this is utter and complete hogwash. Accessories are your friend and you can wear as many as you want as long as you don't wear them too close together. Be my guest; wear a bajillion rings with huge earrings or an armful of bracelets and a long necklace. Pile it on. Accessories will ultimately make the outfit look like you. Stock up on them at cheapie places like F21, Wet Seal and Claires and you will be happy. Don't be afraid of quirky pieces like a huge ring or a peacock feather necklace. When it comes to accessories, you can pretty much do whatever you want.

5) HANDBAG time. Remember these: dressy=a clutch. Always. casual=handbag, whatever kind you want. Match a more structured style with a structured satchel, casual clothes with a slouchy hobo style.

And voila! Instant outfit. As you become more comfortable, you can branch out and try new things. The trick is to get out of your comfort zone/rut and try something else. Even if you are a total capris and Keds kind of girl, and think "Oh, well people will think I look ridiculous if I wear anything different", you have to at least do me a favor and TRY. Outfits are easy, but sometimes confidence is hard. Better yet, try it for a whole week. I personally guarantee it'll be enough to make a few people sit up and take notice. Plus, even if there are naysayers, they're probably just jealous. Remember folks, it doesn't matter what they're saying, as long as they're talking about you.

(Clothing is Banana Republic, accessories from F21 and DROOLWORTHY bag is Valentino... $2,000 but a girl can dream. Sigh.)

Fall Trend I Don't Understand: Booties

Friday, September 25, 2009

I have kept my silence long enough.

I. Hate. Booties.

I don't care who you are. Model or mom. These shoes look stupid. I know they are supposed be fashion-y and all of that, but oh my gosh, they are so not flattering. They cut your leg off and make you look stumpy. LOOK AWAYYYYYYYYY. They look so horrid on anyone. I don't know why people would be like hmmm, those regular pumps look nice, but you know what would make my calves look massive? These awesome booties. THEY ARE CALLED BOOTIES. Poor Keira Knightley up there looks like a weird school-marm. She's in her early twenties. Not cool.


K, sorry, I just had to get that out. I have been having booties being shoved down my throat here and I even had a moment of weakness where I was like "Maybeeee..." and them my common sense kicked in and I was like "GET IT TOGETHER JAE."

I feel much better now.

Fall Trend I Love: Metallics

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I've been doing a fair bit of shopping lately, (Moi? Shopping?) and have been noticing pretty sweet trends that I love that are on shelves right now. Let's get one thing out of the way like, now. Trendy can be dicey for someone like an older mom. You can come off looking slightly desperate to fit in if you really pile it on are are a trend whore. In general, a sophisticated signature look is the way to go. However, you can add little trendy items here and there to update your more basic pieces and make them look new. I've been told before that I look like I never wear the same thing twice. In actuality, I just change up outfits so that they look constantly new. Don't get in a rut! Try new things here and there. If they work, great. If they don't, shelve 'em and try something else. Fashion is not a life sentence, you guys.

One of my favorite things that I've been seeing is metallics. I used to be a strictly silver girl. I felt like it was younger. But with new golds coming out in better textures and patterns, try it out! I bought a pair of gold earrings and have been wearing them nonstop because they are so much more unexpected.

The problem that most women have with metallics is TOO MUCH. You could end up looking like the tin man... or a pimp. Either way, not good. So instead of looking for like, gold lame blazers and other horrifying things, stick to accessories when it comes to your metallics. It lets you in on the trend without looking like you raided Elton John's closet.

I found some awesome, non-spendy items to add to your old standbys so that you can join in on the fun without committing yourself.

If you're thinking "But Jae! I don't know what things to match with metallics!" Well, you're in luck. New school metallics pretty much go with anything. But, if you're wary of that, here's some color combos to keep in mind that look awesome. For gold, do it with browns, red (I LOVE red and gold together) green, blue, purple or any other jewel tones. For silver, do it with cool colors like gray, pink, black and white. I prefer white with silver over gold because gold and white look a little cougarish to me. I'm sorry, but you've heard my story about my friend's cougar mom, right? She tainted many things for me; leopard print, gold and white, and sauce with wine in it. So you can thank her for my weird cougar phobias.

I love the knot detail on these pumps. I also love that they have a hidden platform, sop it looks like you're wearing ridiculously high heels, but it's really on 3". Total side note, I had the brilliant idea to buy my first pair of 5" heels. I wore them for five minutes and felt like sawing off my ankles. But 1) they looked REALLY good, and 2) I'll definitely be wearing them again.

I feel like doing a pointy gold heel cuts back on the gaudy factor that you might get with a more elaborate heel. These would be so so so good with dark jeans. So good. (Both shoes from for super cheap)

This Melie Bianco clutch makes me die a little inside. Love the snakeskin pattern, and it's such an update on your general black clutch.

How freakin adorable are these headbands for $9 at Target? I love little flashy headbands. They are perfect for kicking up an otherwise blah outfit. Also, very good for making a messy hairdo seem on purpose. I do this alll the time. Slick it into a ponytail and then slide the combs in so that you get a slick front and the back of the pony is poofy. Love.

There are people who will be all like, "Don't ever mix metallics!" But here is proof you can. Love this serious bracelet from F21. How awesome would it be with just a plain brown v-neck tee or something? It's like you're all plain Jane and then you're like KACHOW! Deal with it, sucka!

Another F21 find. Love the antique feel. Buy immediately.

I love the idea of a little silver brooch that you can pin anywhere to look a little chicer. Hair? Check. Bag? Check. Blazer? Check. I'd even pin it to tall boot. (Spiegel)

If you ever find some other awesome metallic accessories I would luh-hove to hear about them. So would my bank account. It hates having money in it, and I'm happy to oblige.

Guilt Free Attractiveness

Sunday, September 20, 2009


I was just thinking about how sometimes, when you're a mom, you show up all disheveled and then say annoying things about how you never get to shower since you had a kid and you don't bother to wear PANTS because that would be taking time away from precious Swayzie (can I just say a kid in my daughter's preschool class is named this and it makes me want to simultaneously throw up and dance? Like, I love Dirty Dancing as much as the next gal and love me some Patrick, but naming your kid after him? Weird.) So mom's generally use their kids as the big excuse as to why they don't take care of themselves.

Couple things. 1) Um, I'm pretty sure showering is a basic human right and 2) who said that your kid wants to look at his dumpy mom all day?

You should NEVER feel guilty about taking care of yourself. Really. Those women who are complete martyrs for their kids wind up crazy OR having to deal with their husband's wandering eye, if you know what I mean.

That's why you should streamline your process of getting ready to a few different points of attractiveness, so that you can plan accordingly. My three points are 1) Errand running attractiveness, 2) Lunch out or business attractiveness and 3) Super hot Friday night attractiveness. I know down to the minute, how long each of these will take me. For instance, if I am having lunch or meeting with someone important, I know it takes me exactly 30 minutes from shower to shoes to get ready. So, I plan my day accordingly. Half hour before I need to leave, kids are entertained by something or plopped in the tub while I do my makeup in the bathroom. You NEED to be able to carve out 30 minutes for yourself without feeling guilty.

I have a three year old daughter, and I bought her a set of brushes that she uses while I'm getting ready. I hand her a cheap compact of clear face powder and voila! 30 minutes of sanity while I get ready.

If you are the enterprising sort and REALLY feel guilty about taking time for yourself, try doing it first thing in the morning before kids are up. Not only are you not taking time away from kidlings, but you start the day off on the right foot, lookin' fine and stuff.

Find products and styles that work effortlessly, and I really mean effortlessly. I am addicted to Bare Minerals because it cut my moisturizer/foundation/poweder to one step and I am dunzo. If I don't have time to shower, hair is in a cute pony a la Jennifer Aniston (I just run a straight iron through my bangs and call it good.)

The point is, justifying to yourself that you don't look good because you have kids just isn't good enough anymore. Not to mention, um, why the heck are you blaming your kids? Look at their sweet l'il faces. You're a jerk.

As for clothes, just pick an easy style that you can pull off without trying on a bajillion things in your closet. If you need to, lay it out the night before, or do what I do and plan things on events rather than days, ie: lunch with the girls, Friday night date, day just hacking around the house not doing anything special other than trying to convince myself to do a Turbo Jam DVD and eating peanut butter on crackers instead. That way, no matter what is thrown at you on any given day, you're like oh hey, I'll be ready in twenty mins. And then everyone will be like "OMG, she is so put together. She must spend like three hours getting ready. Like, when does she even spend time with her kids?"

And you can be smug. Yay! I love to be smug!

Linky Linkerson

Friday, September 11, 2009

Well, I'm partying it up in the Great White North. Meanwhile, I was checking on my absolute favorite fashion blog, Daddy Likey. She wrote an awesome post about fashion and the way it affects you, and I totally agree. You can sit around, saying how you don't care what people think, or you just don't have the time, or whatever your excuse is for not taking pride in the way you look, but in the end, you're only hurting yourself. And not in the way an emo kid hurts himself with a butter knife, but in the inside way. The way that makes you feel unattractive and frumpalicious and slightly dirty. Don't do that to yourself! Read the post here. I want her to be my friend. We would go shopping for $4 Forever 21 accessories and talk about unfortunate sweatpants and be happy forever.

A Tale of a Girl and her Boots

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

K, here's a little story about me and my latest obsession. My boots.

I own, now, 78 pairs of shoes. I was not in need of boots. I own seven pairs. Seven pairs of boots is completely unnecessary. But yet, on Friday, when my husband had strep throat and was laying around the house and generally making me crazy because I'd been stuck in the house with two kids all day, I decided we needed to get out for a while. And by "needed to get out for a while" I mean spend money.

You see, I have this small problem. Where others get angry or aggressive and yell or throw things, take a jog or head to the gym, I do some serious aggressive spending. Aggressive spending is different spending. I went to the mall with EXPRESS PURPOSE of doing damage to my bank account. Badly. Like, not even caring what I spent it on.

So, with kids in tow, I meandered through the mall. I WASN'T EVEN LOOKING FOR SALES. How reckless of me! And over the course of an hour, bout a hoodie, a vest, five shirts and the only purchase that matters anything at all, cowboy boots.

I know, right? COWBOY BOOTS? I went into the shoe store looking for a Frye Harness-esqu riding boot with buckle details, but I saw a pair of knee high cowboy boots and fell in love.

And since then, it's been all cowboy, all the time. Of the last five days, I've worn them four times. I HAVE 78 PAIRS OF SHOES FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE. But they are so versatile and easy and comfy, I don't see a reason to ever take them off. I wore them over jeans, I wore them under jeans, and in a sassy mood, I wore them with a khaki skirt. In fact, I am taking my kids up to my home and native land tomorrow, and planning on wearing my boots all the way up there. They are THAT comfy. Amazing eh?

So, thanks to my husband and cranky kids, I discovered something that I never even knew I was missing. Totally worth it.

Here's to you, sweet cowboy boots of mine.

I luhf you.

***ETA to say they are Wild Diva boots bought from Head Over Heels. WHich doesn't have a website. But google Wild Diva and you'll find em! Also, I've worn then three more times. Yeah. ***

Your Best Bets: At the Mall

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

So, I was at the mall the other day for *ahem* research purposes (SEE WHAT I DO FOR YOU?) and was thinking about people who don't like to shop. For those people, the mall is a scary place. There are a lot of different stores, with scary salespeople that make you feel like you shouldn't be there. Add in a couple kids to the mix, and you are way out of your element. However, I can attest to the fact that if you get i nand get out, your children will be exponentially happier when all is said and done. Of course, a promise for a trip to the play area doesn't hurt either.

If you want to run to the mall for somethings, hit tried and true stores where you know you can get you want for a decent price. Here are your Best Bets!

Express - Best For: Date Night and Dress Up Gear

I know I've expounded on my love for Express before. I just really do love it. If I am looking for something to dress up a pair of dark jeans or have something coming up that I want to look super hot for, that's my first stop. You can find awesome shirts for not much cash, and they know how to work a sequin. Their clothes also fit really well, meaning that you have more confidence when stepping out.

Aeropostale- Best For: Everyday Wear

K, I will admit. Aeropostale is mainly a store for high schoolers. HOWEVER, it is the perfect place to get everyday shirts. I'm not talking about the actual graphic tees with the brand name splashed over it, I'm talking about the cute little knit, empire waisted shirts that you can find up on the walls. I have said time and time again, you don't have to dress like you're going to a concert every day just to grab groceries. But take the time to get a nice shirt that isn't a Hanes. Hanes are for like, cleaning the house with no bra on, not for venturing out into the world. Anyways, I always find great everyday stuff over at the Aero.

Forever21 - Best For: Accessories

You all know my never ending love for Forever 21. I just think it's a versatile store and it's pretty much impossible to NOT find something there. Yeah, a lot of the clothes are made for teeny boppers. I absolutely do not want to see you in neon orange jeans. But A pinstripe skirt? Yes, please. However, even better than cheap F21 clothes? Cheap, massive amounts of F21 accessories. Their accesories department is my happy place. Rarely is anything over $7, so I always walk out of there with like, 19 rings, 8 pairs of earrings and 12 necklaces, I kid you not. It's awesome. I think that with accessories, you have a few key expensive pieces, and then you change up the look with cheapos. Love.

Nordstrom - Best For: Cosmetics

Now, I'm not saying buy all of your make up at Norstrom. That would be crazy expensive. However, some things are worth spending money on. Think of the one type of cosmetic that you value the most. For me, it's mascara. Like, I LOVE mascara. Love it. So I pony up and buy my Diorshow at Nordstrom. However, even if you aren't thinking of purchasing your entire bag of cosmetics from there, you can try on colors at the counter. You'll probably be talked into buying something, but it's amazing what a little status lipstick can do. It might be intimidating at first to walk up and be like hey, slap some make up on me. But the ladies do it AAALLLLL the time, and you're just another face to them. So go!

Gap - Best For: Basics and Jeans

Gap, hands down, has the best fitting plain tees and tanks in the biz. I mean, if you're going to wear a plain old tee anyway, choose one that fits perfectly and then you can look like its on purpose. Also, their new line of jeans is ah-mazing! The curvy ones are pretty much perfection. Again, remember all of the rules for jeans; grab some with a little stretch, go up a size if you need to, so on and so forth.

White House Black Market - Best For: Dresses

If you're on the hunt for the perfect dress (like I was all summer long, more on this to follow) then definitely put WHBM on your list. Their dresses are awesome, and made to fit an actual woman's (read: not girl's) body. Yes, they are slightly pricier than other places, but dresses are meant to fit flawlessly. And remember, since they are replacing both a shirt and pants, they'll probably cost about the same. Invest in a dress that makes your body look amazing, and you'll never regret the money spent. You can take that to the bank. K, I've just always wanted to say that. Moving on.

Torrid - Best For: Plus Sizes

Plus size girls. GO TO THIS STORE. Not only do they carry awesome clothes that are actually CURRENT, but amazing shoes that I covet. It is so much better than your scary frump alternatives like, CJ Banks *shudder*. Lane Bryant is a good enough compromise if you feel like Torrid's clothes are a little out there for you, but personally, I love how confident their clothes are. So unapologetic and it makes me happy.

Cinnabon - Best For: Gracelessly Pigging Out until I Feel Bad About Myself and Leave the Mall

Just make this your last stop, k? 'Nuff said.

So head to the mall and hit some tried and true places that you KNOW won't make you leave in a frustrated huff because you can't find ANYTHING. Your favorites won't fail you. They'll keep you safe and warm. Also, I want a Cinnabon now.


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