I did a little poll not too long ago to see what you, my lovely blog followers, would be interested in reading. One of my mom friends mentioned she wanted to hear how I maintain my makeup and keep up my style with a young child. My immediate reaction to myself was, "Me, really...for fashion advice?" I never really thought of myself as stylish and definitely not whom someone would think of to ask for fashion advice. (thank you, friend, you give me confidence!)
When I think of myself and fashion, all I can think of was how I was the girl in high school wearing vests and oversized sweatshirts. Although, as an adult looking back now, who actually was totally confident and cool as a teenager? And weren't we all wearing scrunchies?
Perhaps in college, I was slightly improved. Heck, I snagged my husband while there somehow. But, I don't think I really caught on to what fits and looks good on me until some years after college.
One of my best fashion experiences came when I moved to Seattle and got a new job in online marketing. I was in desperate need of clothes to fit the job. I decided to try the Nordstrom Personal Stylist. To say it was life-changing is maybe giving it too much credit, but it was a eye-opener. The stylist really helped me understand what would look good on me and to put some outfits together.
I'm still not going to say I'm uber stylish, but at least I look decent. I feel kind of awkward writing this post, like an imposer, as if I'm some sort of expert on the manner. I am DEFINITELY NOT an expert or really even that stylish. But, ask and you shall receive, my friends. So, I'll stop jabbering on about myself and share some things that I do to keep Stacy and Clinton away (please tell me you know them...hint: What Not to Wear).
Rules of Thumb: To Guide Your Purchases
I have a few rules for my mom style. Mostly these are practical and were developed from trial and error from having a baby/toddler.
Comfortable: I pick clothing that cannot easily be pulled on and then be revealing...if you know what I mean (haha). Also, they need to allow me to move and chase a toddler. Honestly, I tend to do jeans with a cute top these days. Less fashionable, more practical than my pre-baby days.
Fit: Does it fit your body type? Don't dress for who you wish you were - accept and love yourself and find things that fit you right now. For instance, I'm not really a curvy gal, so I need to find things that fit my straight body. Baggy, bohemian things don't really work for me; I just look lost in a jungle of fabric. Even though I can be insecure about it sometimes, closer fitting things work better. Find the styles that work best for you and focus on those items.
Love: You gotta love the clothing items you buy. Don't just be iffy on it, love it. Whenever I buy iffy, I end up not wearing it. Then it's not worth the money and you're disappointed. If you go home and still don't love it, return it.
Jewelry: I avoid necklaces when I'm with my child. He yanks and pulls on them. Unless it's a cool teething necklace. The same thing goes with long earrings. Just ouch. I do wear studs, or sometimes a very short dangly earring. Generally, my jewelry makes rare appearances on date nights or special occasions.
Ask the Professionals: Stylists & Salespeople
I'm all about asking people for help and getting recommendations. At restaurants, I often ask the waiter their favorite dish. Or, I check out a review of a place before going. Overall, seeking help or getting recommendations has really paid off. I promise. So it goes without saying, that I often try to get help from the salespeople at the store.
In many places I like to shop, the salespeople are usually very eager to help. My two favorite stores to ask for help are Nordstrom and Evereve. They always seem to make an effort to see what you like and go in search of things they think you'll enjoy. One advantage to having them help you is that they know where most everything is in the store, even those cute tops hidden on the rack on the wall in the corner. Most likely a place you'd never find. Or, they'll suggest something that you would never have taken off the rack, but then try on for the "heck of it" and end up loving. Also, some of my favorite shopping experiences have been with a Nordstrom Stylist. It's free, fun, and no obligations.
Fun Fact: Do you know how I landed with my wedding dress? The sales gal brought the dress out, I said "ehh" but tried it on anyway. And BOOM, love! Don't poo-poo something before trying it.
Read Reviews: Stars Help
Since I'm a mom now, buying online seems to be the most convenient way to shop. Clothes shopping with a toddler is a real struggle. I feel like I'm more just chasing Caleb than shopping...and he's a runner. So it's more of a workout than a shopping experience. So, I go online. I roam the different store's sites in search of cute things, but before I buy, I read the reviews and check the stars. I generally don't go with something if it's lower than 4 stars (out of five). If there are no stars or reviews, I might just skip it all together. A good idea is using the filter function on the website to filter by reviews, too. Maybe I listen to others too much, but in this area, I do think it's helpful.
Special Delivery: Subscription Boxes
Do you remember my earlier post on Stitch Fix? That's a subscription box. It's an online service where you fill out a profile, a stylist finds you some items, they ship it, you try it all on, then keep what you like and return what you didn't like.
If you're worried about commitment, don't be; not all of the subscription boxes require you to commit to an actual ongoing subscription. In fact, most allow for a one-time box or chose your box timing. They can be a great way to get clothing or accessories you might not have found or picked out yourself. Oh, and the best thing about these boxes is that you don't have to leave your house. You get a curated box just for you delivered to your doorstep. Being a mom getting to the stores is hard, and shopping with a toddler is even harder. So this delivery option can be just the ticket.
Generally, you fill out a style profile so the person putting together your box knows what you like and can best pick things for you. In my experience, the most specific and detailed you are the more successful the box. I've used Stitch Fix multiple times and have also tried Trendsend. However, these subscription boxes are becoming quite the trend. Here are some options:
Follow Fashionable People: On Social Media
I am a blog-aholic. Sure, I write a blog but enjoy following blogs even more. I follow mostly food blogs as that's where I get my dinner and sweet treat ideas, but I added a couple of fashion and style blogs to my list as well. Right now, I am following The Mother Chic and The Small Things blogs. The Mother Chic is more about clothes and is sure to tell you about all the sales and The Small Things blog is more about make-up, skin care, and hair.
If you're not a blog person, then you can like some of these trendy folks on FaceBook as well. I "liked" the One Little Momma page and see her posts in my Facebook feed.
This is similar to my "ask the professionals" tip. I'm all about getting help from others that are more adept in a particular area.
Your Places: Find Favorite Stores
Often stores carry a particular style or brand of clothes. Find the stores that cater to your style and body. Here are some of my favorite places to shop:
Leave the Kid(s) at Home
If you're a mom, leave your kids at home with dad (or someone you trust). Shopping and kids just doesn't mix. Been there done that, and yea... it's usually a flop.
And that's what I do. What are some of your tips and tricks?