What to Wear: To Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Can I just start off this post by saying how awesome Jenna is doing as our Maternity Monday writer? Love love love all of the stuff she posts and secretly wish I were pregnant.

KIDDING. I would never wish that. But even still, awesome job Jenna!

So another Thanksgiving is upon us, and you know what that means! Getting together with your family so you can quietly compare who has gained weight over the past year and who got secret plastic surgery done! Luckily, I celebrate Thanksgiving in October (weird Yankees) and already finished with that. But I will be partaking in the festivities with my American family, and will have to decide on something to wear.

I find that I always dress a little WASP-y when it comes to traditional holidays. It just seems like the right thing to do. Plus, I like that it gives me lots of layers, and therefore my pumpkin pie-filled belly isn't as noticeable as the night winds down.

I do think that Thanksgiving deserves a more sophisticated outfit than a t-shirt and jeans. Sometimes I am in awe of people who just refuse to put on nice clothes. Am I the only person who loves to play a little dress up sometimes? Geez.

I've put together a pretty typical Jae Thanksgiving outfit. I like to be comfortable but not to casual.

Start with a nice, crisp white collared shirt. This one is from American Eagle.

Roll the cuffs up, and voila. It's dressy but still casual.

Add a crazy adorable cardigan like this one, also from American Eagle. Actually, thanks to Jenna, I've found myself wearing cardigans more often. So cute in the fall and winter right. I also have an obsessive love affair with argyle-like patterns. It's sick how much I love them. I love how preppy they look. Totally allow the sleeves of your white shirt to peek out.

Consider belting the cardi to give it more shape. Love this one from F21.

Okay, that's your top half. Now:

Add a pair of slacks. I prefer slacks over jeans for holidays, but if you have a dark wash go ahead and wear them. No ripped up or light wash jeans please! These slacks from Gap are cut well and gray! Gray slacks are crazy awesome.

Pop on a pair of flats, like these beauts from Torrid. Here's my theory. K, so sometimes you get all dressed up in heels, and then you go to the hostsses house and she wants you to take her shoes off, and then your whole outfit is out of whack because it only worked with heels, not bare feet. But if you wear flats, which I find most hostesses could care less about, even if you do have to take them off, you're not wearing long pants that pool around your ankles like you would with heels. Make sense? Then you can walk around barefoot and you don't look all glammed up with nowhere to go. YES I ACTUALLY THINK ABOUT THIS STUFF.

Pop on yet another WASP-inspired accessory. I like neatness on Thanksgiving over trendiness. This one is also F21.

And, a bracelet that mimics the bow on the hairband. See how that all ties in?

And, not forgetting the most important accessory of all


So, stress less about sucking in your gut while passed out on the couch from your turkey coma, and more time eating a second and third helping of pie, pleeeeease? For me?

P.S. Don't expect me around on Friday. It is MY DAY. I will be taking the retail world by storm as I shoppeth till I droppeth. Wait till next week for stories of crzy Black Friday shenanigans.

Maternity Monday: The Power of a Good Haircut

Monday, November 23, 2009

Senior picture, circa 2004

Until I had my first baby in 2007, I always had long hair. In high school, I was known for my bodacious blonde locks which were normally styled to perfection (see above picture). I kept up my adored 'do after getting married, but then pregnancy came along and WHAM! I didn't want to fix my hair anymore. Nausea and fatigue tend to alter one's priorities, unfortunately.

So my hair looked like this almost every day:


That's right -- pulled back into an effortless, messy, unflattering bun-thing. Bye bye, beautiful Victoria's Secret model waviness.

No wonder I felt horrible about myself when I was pregnant! My hair, which was once beautiful, became a lifeless blob on my head and it did nothing for me. Well, except make me look as miserable as I felt.

A flattering hairstyle is crucial to good fashion. You can put on the cutest outfit in the entire world, but if you have an '80's mullet, it will mean nothing. Not to mention, cute hair does wonders for a girl's self-esteem, which is commonly a pretty rare commodity during pregnancy.

This time around, I decided I wasn't going to fall into the lazy hair trap. So, about six months ago, right before I got pregnant for the second time, I got myself a totally chic and manageable pixie cut and some highlights. And this is me now:

Frumpy mom, be gone!

I must say, I feel about a million times better than I did last time and it's mostly because of my haircut. It makes me feel good about myself, so I want to wear fun clothes, I want to do my make-up, and I want to look cute! And my husband loves my confidence.

Just think: it all started with a good haircut.

Here are some tips to getting a great style that will boost your self-esteem:

1) Figure out what your face shape is. Here is a good site that will help you determine the shape of your face, thus allowing you to pick the right haircut for you. This site tells you what cuts to avoid and what cuts will flatter you, so you can get a general idea of what to look for.

2) Start Googling. Find pictures of hairstyles that work with your face's shape and also appeal to you personally. I used Elisha Cuthbert's pixie cut as my inspiration. Once you get several pictures you like, print them out and bring them to your stylist.

3) Find a good stylist. This is a MUST. The person with the scissors needs to be able to execute the style you want, or you will likely end up looking worse than you did before! Be willing to pay for a good haircut. For most women, low-end chains just won't cut it (haha, punny). Do you have a friend with totally cute hair? Ask her where she goes to get it done. Feel free to stop the girl in front of you in line at the grocery store and ask her who does her hair if you love it. That's where you need to go for your life-changing 'do. A good stylist can replicate the style you want and even tailor it to better fit your needs. The chick at Dollar Cuts most likely can't.

4) Be prepared to maintain your new style. I can tell you right now if I wasn't willing to style my pixie cut the way the stylist intended, it wouldn't be so cute or hip. I have really thick, wavy hair and it needs to be styled daily or I look like Anthony Michael Hall during his Brat Pack days. Which is so. Not. Cool. Here's the thing -- when the stylist is giving you your rockin' hair cut, ask him or her to show you how to style it. Ask them what brushes and products you'll need. They are happy to explain it to you because they WANT you to look awesome. Then, go home and practice. Spend some time playing with it in the mirror, figuring out what you like.

So, do you feel frumpy? Maybe it's time for a new hair do! Just because you're a mom doesn't mean you have to have a lifeless mom 'do. You deserve to look hot!

Freaky Friday: Fall Fails (YAY Alliteration!)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Woo hoo! It's the weekend before Black Friday!! I am counting down the hours, I swear. I went shopping on Wednesday and was like do I even buy anything? Everything will be on sale in a week... (For inquiring minds, I caved and bought make up SO SUE ME!)

Anyway, with the end of fall creeping up on us, let's check out some of the worst fall trends and fashions that I've come across in my blogging...

Deep, purple color? Check. Flattering cut? Check! Giant, pregnant belly inducing rose for no apparent reason? Got it, boss!

K, correct me if I'm wrong, but was this EXACT shirt and vest combo worn on National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation? I really think it was.

Quick note: Oversized buttoned collars make you look like a giant milkmaid. Avoid.

(Just the sound of muffled sobbing)

"My arms are freezing but my belly is burning hot! Oh, perfect." By the way, the vest and sweater are attached for inexplicable reasons that I don't understand.

This is a blue velvet bodysuit. I shouldn't have to say anything more. BLUE. VELVET. BODYSUIT. What outfit are you wearing that requires a weird blue velvet shirt to be jammed down your pants?

I feel like this would be what Beetlejuice would wear to Thanksgiving. That's not me saying I approve of it. I did enjoy Beetlejuice. I abhor insanely giant ankle sweaters that look like him.

So everyone clean our their closets for the influx of good deals that are on their way!

Fashion Whining: I Have Nowhere to Go!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

On with my crusade to wipe out all of the fashion related whining and excuses possible for not looking like a presentable human being.

My next problem is with people who ignore or opt out of fashion because they have nowhere to go and no one to impress. They head off to a meeting in their sweats thinking, "Oh well, I'm not trying to impress anyone, am I?"

Uh-uh. That does not fly with. If the only time you think about the way you look is when you're trying to impress someone or have somewhere special to go, then I am going to break it down for you right now. As a mom, you probably RARELY have anywhere special to go, and unless you count your slobbering nine month old, will not have anyone to impress. Which means you'll never put any effort into the way that you look and end up sloppy.

I want to know when, as mothers, we lose our will to have some pride in the way that we look? I mean really, I know we're busy people and all, but why discount YOURSELF as being the reason that you give a little time to your appearance? I'm not talking about spending hours to get ready each day, either. I'm talking about choosing well fitting clothes carefully, and basically being in a state where you wouldn't be mildly horrified if you ran into an ex-boyfriend.

I would be SUPER offended if the general public thought that I put on PANTS just because I was hoping to catch someone's eye. Unless I am getting dressed up for a hot date, I get dressed, do my hair and makeup, etc, because I like the way that I feel when I look good. Simple as that. No alterior motives.

So, at the risk of sounding like Tony Robbins/a L'oreal commercial, why not put some effort into yourself because you deserve to be impressed with yourself. You deserve to not have to avoid the mirror at the mall because you feel haggy. You deserve to have someone tell you that you look good, but not even care because it's not about that. And most of all, you deserve to feel a little like your old self, the self that wasn't attached to a nursing baby and a scary diaper bag and cookie crumbs.

I don't care if your only errand for the day takes you to the post office, for heavens sakes. PUT. SOME. PANTS. ON.

SO! Challenge time. Try, just one day this week, to put an extra ten minutes of effort into your clothes, hair, whatever, on a day where you have no one to see. Just give it a shot. If it doesn't brighten your day considerably, if you don't LOOK for a reason to get out of the house, and if you don't act just a little differently, you have my blessing to wear elastic pants for the rest of your life. I swear. No judgments.

But if you do... you owe me $500, or whatever Tony Robbins is charging.

Maternity Monday: What to Wear Everyday

Monday, November 16, 2009

If you're anything like me ... you know what you'd loooove to wear every day when you're pregnant -- your softest, most broken-in pair of flannel pajama pants, one of your husband's T-shirts, and a pair of slippers. And no bra, probably.

Well, that's all fine and dandy if you're suffering from swine flu or another debilitating illness (like I am today -- yay for bronchitis!). Or if you're under house arrest. But, do yourself and the general public a favor if you're planning to go out: get dressed! It's good for your self-esteem.

I can't think of a store that isn't good enough for a decent outfit. Yes, even Wal-Mart deserves it. After all, do you want to end up on this site? Didn't think so.

It's not a bad idea to start off with a pair of everyday jeans. Remember, at this point, you already have a pair of dark-wash, more tailored jeans for date night. Those are fine to wear on your daily errands if you want. But hey, if I can make an excuse to buy a pair of jeans, I'll do it! So. Feel free to get some everyday jeans. They need not be too expensive. Look for a medium to dark wash. And please, make sure they support your bum and don't bag in the crotch.

Secret Fit Belly boot cut jeans, 7 For All Mankind

These jeans are HOT! I want. Santa ...?

**Edited to add: You need not spend $210 on jeans, folks. These are merely a good example of what you should look for in an everyday maternity jean. Why? Because they look amazing. And even though you're incubating a human, you deserve to feel good about yourself. So, use these fab jeans as a guide in your shopping.

Anyhoo. Once you've got your go-to jeans, you need a cute top. One that looks put-together without trying too hard. By all appearances, this is just what you wear every day, remember? (Even though you know as soon as you get home, you'll be back in the flannels.)

Here are some options:

P.S.~ I heart you, embellished cardigan. Let's be friends.

Now, for shoes. I'm thinking, not too casual, but not too dressy.

If you have small children, they'll likely be in tow on your everyday shopping trips, so you'll need a handbag big enough to hold the essentials (namely diapers, wipes and Cheerios. I will not leave the house without a bag of Cheerios. My daughter wouldn't last 10 minutes).

Try to avoid the "THIS IS MY DIAPER BAG!" look. You can find big purses that have pockets/compartments inside but don't have infantile graphics plastered all over them. And they won't cost a fortune like most diaper bags do, anyway. Affordable and cute.

Esther studded tote, F. 21

Everyday jewelry and accessories are versatile and easy. No need to go overboard. Pick one or two pieces to liven things up:

And there you have it. People of Walmart's got nothing on you. Unless you manage to add a hot pink mohawk with matching bandana and gloves.

Fat Day Fashion

Friday, November 13, 2009

So you know those days that you wake up in the morning and try and get dressed and intead you're just like "OMG I'M SO FAT AND DEPRESSED AND GOING TO CRY MYSELF TO SLEEP WHILE EATING BEN AND JERRY'S HALF BAKED ICE CREAM"? Not that I've ever been there, but I *hear* some women feel like that. *cough* Plus, I prefer Cherry Garcia.

ANYWAYS, I was recently reading one of my girly magazines (not THAT kind of girly magazine, get your mind out of the gutter) and there was an interesting experiment where they took this one girl, and her photograph herself in a bathing suit everyday, and write how she felt that day. Some days she was like "Hey, I feel HOT today, look at me and bad self", and then some days she would be like "Hideous cow lady! I'm going to go hang myself with a rope made of Twinkie wrappers!" But the pictures and weight recordings documented that she never changed. Ever. It was basically proving that "fat days", or days where you feel HUGE don't actually exist.

When I was in school, my friends and I would refer to these days as "F-U" days, which were Fat and Ugly days. HOW AWFUL IS THAT? As in "Omg, you guys. I am having a total F-U day. Can we go to the gym after class?" On F-U days you would show up to school with your hair in a pony, wearing your glasses and scrubs your mom brought home from her last hospital stay from a bout with appendicitis. It was gross, but we totally allowed our crappy day that we felt bad about ourselves show not only in our heads, but in our outward appearances. Then everyone KNEW that you were having a fat day.

It's kind of like those days that you don't like what you see in the mirror, so you throw on your husbands sweatshirt, his GROSS gym shorts and shuffle to the grocery store because you feel so bad about yourself that particular day, that you don't even feel like trying. But the worst part is, it's not like you're helping the situation. You go off looking like a slob, and then you do look gross and sloppy to everyone else, like my on my F-U days.

So, the best remedy for a day where you feel fat is to actually get dressed. But don't just get dressed in anything, but a patented formula that will a) make you feel better, and b) make you not look like a chubby housewife. It's my little concealing secret that I use (I really need to stop giving away my secrets here) to fool people into thinking I look put together, and still allowing me to hide in my clothes until I don't feel like Homer Simpson anymore.

First, get a non-tight top. I like ones that are tight in the bodice and then loosey goosey in the rest of the shirt. That way you can fall back on your redeeming BOOBS even if you feel like the rest of you is gross. Love this one from Charlotte Russe.

Then, pair it with your comfiest everyday jeans. This is NOT the time to try and wiggle into your skinny jeans or even your dark date night ones. Just to a comfy, medium wash that you can live with even when you feel fat.

(Sliver @ Nordstrom)

Okay, here's the most important part of the fat day outfit. A BLAZER. If you don't have a plain, black blazer, get one immediately. You can throw it over anything and look instantly put together, and most importantly, slimmed down. This one from Old Navy is adorable and cheap!

Pop that on over your shirt and all of a sudden you have an outfit. All that's left are some cutie flats like these ones by Michael Kors that aren't fussy and are comfier than most sneakers:

Throw on a big bag. Remember when we talked about your body being proportionate to the bag that you carry? Well, on fat days all bets are off. Just trust me on this one. Get a big bag so you're not feeling all exposed. (ShopSuey Boutique)

Finally, if you want (and yes, you DO want) pin something cute on your blazer as the only accessory. I love love love this pin from this awesome Vie Moderne Etsy Shop .

Bahh dying of cuteness right now. I want it for Christmas. Anyone? It's actually a hair pin, but alligator clips work easily on blazer lapels too and give the outfit just a little more interest. Also, putting a pop of color near your face will help you look a little more awake and alive, even if you just feel like being in bed and eating Fritos while watching America's Test Kitchen for the rest of your life.

And voila, you are fat no more. And as an added bonus, even if you still feel fat, you have so many layers of clothes that you're the only one who is going to notice.

Let's not advertise our F-U days to the world, okay? It's depressing.

From My Closet, Featuring.... my closet!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I haven't done a "From My Closet" in so long, and this weekend my hubby worked on a project for me AND MY SHOES that I want you to see.

Can we take a moment to talk about the importance of a well-organized closet? When building our house, my husband and I opted for seperate, smaller closets than one large walk-in. This is because I am insane about my closet organization. When we shared in our teeny apartment I was constantly nagging the poor guy to separate my blazers from my trench coats and he finally just gave up.

I organize my closet because I dress very methodically. I like to know where anything is at any given time. I organize my shirts according to sleeve length, so I can dress with the weather, and I rotate my clothes like some people rotate food storage, so I get maximum benefit of my entire wardrobe?

Sound crazy? That's because it totally is.

BUT! You know how everyone has been throwing around that awful word "recessionista" around, and telling everyone to "shop their closets"? That's how I don't get in a rut with my clothes, wearing the same thing all of the time. When it's washed from being worn, it goes to the back of the closet so other pieces can come out.

Unfortunately, my shoes did not get the same treatment as my clothes. My current tally is 79 pairs, and they were spread out through my closet, in the guest room closet, and down in the mudroom, where we have benches and lockers. I had been BEGGING my husband to build my a shoe organizer in my closet so that I could have a Carrie Bradshaw moment when I threw my closet open and saw all of my lovely friends waiting there for me... organized by color, of course.

Well, this weekend he finally relented, and I cleaned out my closet floor to make way for the new shelves. OMG, it was so embarrassing. Not only did I get to see shoe relics from my past? Remember these? But we were literally knee deep in shoes while trying to install the shelves.

It was worth it though. My shoes are now organized, and they just look so darn pretty when you open the doors.

Why, hello lovers!


These are my latest additions; turquoise patent tie dyed Steve Maddens. I die.

Sooo hot, want to touch the hiney.

Anyway, feel free to tell me how awesome the new closet looks, so I can pass it on to my husband so he can feel warm and fuzzy, as currently he feels annoyed that he had to build a shoe closet for me and my obsessions.

AND THEN! Go organize your closet. While we were in there I loaded up TWO garbage bags full of clothes I no longer wear, and even three pairs of shoes that I could bear to part with to bring to our local charity thrift store. It feels so good. Get rid of your crappy stuff, and make way for something even better!

Maternity Monday: DON'TS -- Celebrity Edition

Monday, November 9, 2009

Due to the fact that I am potty training my 2-year-old this week and my brain is literally fried from exhaustion, I thought I'd post something a little fun for all you expecting ladies out there.

Whatever you do when you're pregnant, DON'T dress like any of these pregnant celebrities!

Britney Spears

Poor Britney. I really do feel sorry for her. Clearly, she was nothing short of a train wreck during her K-Fed days. But these ensembles ... uncalled for! Especially the shrug tied over her already-ginormous-before-pregnancy d├ęcolletage. That, um, top (if you can call it one) goes perfectly with that grungy, tie-dyed skirt and those cowboy boots (which she obviously loved).

Heidi Klum

Heidi, I adore you. If I could siphon your cuteness into a glass bottle and sell it, I'd be a billionaire. But this dress is hideous! There's no denying it. For one, it's huge, and you're not. Second, it looks like it's been through a hurricane or some other detrimental natural disaster. And another thing: it's sheer in random places, which just looks, well ... random! You did so much better this time.


This outfit simply begs the question: WHAT was she thinking? Or was she? There is nothing redeeming about this ensemble. Nada. Epic fail. She would have been better off "missing in action" that night. Ah, I crack myself up sometimes.

Kourtney Kardashian

This dress isn't really THAT bad, but the sleeves are incredibly strange. It looks like she's smuggling some hideous late 90's drapes under her armpits. Or maybe like she is going to spread her wings and take flight at any moment. And the length of the dress leaves little to be desired ... literally. I don't care how nice your legs are ... if you can't sit without revealing your gender to the world, your dress too short.


I realize when this photograph was taken, Jennifer Lopez was trying to hide her pregnancy. Well, she failed, because this picture pretty much screams, "The Rumors Are True!"

Note to self: If you want your pregnancy to remain a mystery to the general public, don't wear too-tight, outrageously high-waisted electric blue disco pants.

And truthfully, too-tight, outrageously high-waisted electric blue disco apparel is probably never a good idea (unless it's Halloween).

Fall Trend I Love: Patterned Tights

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

So I was out and about shopping the other day (SO I SHOP A LOT, OKAY?), and on a total whim picked up a pair of ziggy zaggy tights to wear just because I've always liked the way patterned tights looked but never got around to trying them for myself.

Oh. My. Gosh.

I love them so much. And now that my life has been opened to the awesomeness that is patterned tights,. I am on a tight buying rampage. They are so awesome to dress up an otherwise basic outfit, and I honestly feel like they equal instant fashion forwardness.

I experimented with different shoes and came up with a few different ways I like to wear them. (PS there is no greater joy in my life than playing dress up with new accessories.) The first is with a plain, stacked patent pump, like so:


This is a really simple way to rock the look, and good if you're like umm... is this right? ou can prtty much never go wrong with a black patent pump.

Another shoe I like them with is a vintage-y t-strap that has some cool details. This is how I wore mine and I thought it looked super cool and very 40s inspired. And you know how I feel about 40s style fashion.


I even kind of love them with a peep toe pump. It's a great way to extend some of your summer shoes into the winter, and I think a little peep of lace or color at the toe is adorable.


Now, as for the actual tights, there are SO MANY styles to choose from and I love them all. The only kind I don't like? Fishnet. While I think they have their time and place, I don't love them as trendy tights, what with the stripper-connotations that they carry. If you just LOVE fishnets and want to try them, I suggest going for a nude fishnet. It's a little more subtle and a lot less HEY I'M WEARING FISHNETS AND I TAKE SINGLES.

I love ALL of these styles, all from F21 and all under $7. Of course you can get them just about anywhere, but F21 had them the cheapest, and since I feel that these tights are really a trendy item, spend less on them.

(I bought these WOO!)

Love the idea of these with a gray wool skirt. So preppy!

I even love patterned color tights, like these with the gradient pattern. I feel like they are interesting enough but not you-look-like-a-crazy-person bright. And I think just about anyone could pull them off.

If you love the look of patterned tights but are nervous to try them out, go get a pair of black tights (or whatever color the patterned tights are) and layer them. You'll get the cool texture without the crazy pattern.

Wear em with whatever! I like them with A-line and pencil skirts. I would probably refrain from wearing really crazy patterns with knee high boots, though. The effect might be too boardwalk-y. However, I LOVE the colored ones with boots. It's just enough to punch up a drab outfit.

HOWEVER! If you're going to patterned tights, let them be the star of the show. While you might see some editorial with a model wearing patterned tights and like, a clown suit, for real life, it's best to wear them with a more subdued outfit .You can still do color, just go easy on the patterns for a more polished look.

Tights! I know, right? Who knew they would be such a freakin' cool accessory?


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