Mom-parison…Is Real

Mom-parison.  It’s a very real thing.  You understand when I say “mom-parison” I mean comparing ourselves as mothers to other mothers, NOT comparing our mothers to other moms right?  Just had to be clear on that…in case it wasn’t clear enough…

I still feel like a “new mom” in many ways.  Mainly because I have two children who are so close together that it’s like having twins…so basically everything I do with them, we do all at once.  Potty training was no fun.  But we did it all together, and it was my first time doing such a thing.  I’ve had kids now for four years, which in mom years (are those like dog years?  I’m suspicious of this possibility) is a long time, but in ACTUAL years, doesn’t feel like that long.  Whenever I embark on a new mom-venture, I am basically googling everything to find out how the H#** you are supposed to get kids to pee in the potty, use the pedals on a tricycle, or put their own pants on.  Because how am I supposed to know?  This is my first time doing all this too!  So starting preschool has been an adventure so far.  It’s my new mom-venture.  And I don’t know what I’m doing.

Mom-parison starts early.  From the day you give birth as a matter of fact.  Let’s just get one thing straight: when you push a HUMAN out of your crotch, you should be getting mad props and the size and length of said human really shouldn’t matter.  But somehow, it does.  This is your first clue that you will be judged freely for EVERY TINY ASPECT OF PARENTING from here on out.  Just watch what happens…a woman tells everyone that her baby was six pounds and everyone just says “awwww how sweet…” and the woman next to her tells the audience that her baby was ten and a half pounds and the crowd goes WILD!!  People will applaud her and tell her how boss she is and give her all the glory…because the human she pushed out was a few pounds larger than the other woman’s child.  What the…yes, it starts here.  Then there’s the “how long did you breastfeed?” competitions, the “how long does your baby sleep?” and so on, and so forth.  And now, after all this…comes school.  The time when you REALLY start comparing yourself.

Here’s how it goes down for me on school mornings.  I rip myself outta bed as late as I can, because, tired.  I hurriedly pack everything (inevitably forgetting something, like the kid’s art projects they were supposed to share with the class or their snack, which I have to then buy at school when we arrive) and then beg and plead with the kids to only bring ONE stuffed animal and not 17, like they have requested.  We race to school, cursing any light traffic we might hit, and then thankfully make it to the parking lot.  I park in the most remote parking space I can possibly find so that no one sees my car.  In a world of Range Rovers, I am…hiding from the general public trying to trick everyone into thinking my Rover is in the shop…and has been for a while now.  I nervously check around to make sure no one sees me, and thereby associates me with my car (once I parked next to a Maserati in the drop off zone and that was SUPER nerve wracking to say the least) and then we head to school.  I mentally pat myself on the back for the fact that while my car may be, uh, embarrassing, my outfit looks like I’m going to Coachella so that’s pretty tight if you ask me.  Then we get to the classroom.  I scan the room and realize that there are kids with really cute outfits on.  My daughter is usually covered in paint and food when I pick her up from school, not to mention she will SCREAM at me if I even attempt to put anything on her that’s not leggings and a t shirt…so cute outfit dressing is not an option.  Mom strike two.  The next thing I notice is that most of the kids have written their own names on their art work, while mine are all written by the teacher.  And sure, it all looks like hieroglyphics and is virtually unreadable, but still.  THEY KNOW HOW TO WRITE THEIR NAMES WHY DON’T MY KIDS KNOW HOW TO DO THAT??  Yikes.  Mom strike three.  Inevitably throughout the day there will be a meeting or moment with the other moms where I feel like they are speaking Chinese and I have NO idea what is going on…apparently I missed the email I was supposed to read or I missed on of the books I was supposed to buy or I don’t know if the words they are using are acronyms or ? and then I have to remind myself that I did graduate college with honors in an English speaking country and I’m not a complete idiot.  And yet, I feel like one somehow…because everyone is nodding and agreeing and I look like a deer in the headlights.  Then someone will ask if anyone has any questions and I resist the urge to put my hand up and stupidly say “uhhh what?” with my mouth hanging open.  Because, uh, I want them to like me at least a little.  Maybe I should just say “oh but look at my super cool boots!” instead of asking questions.  Divert their attention to the one thing I nailed that morning…not a bad idea…

I’m typically at mom strike seven by the end of the day because, well, there are two of them and one of me and sometimes I get tired and there’s just not enough coffee to help with my mom brain.  And because I don’t play sports, there’s no limit on strikes and that’s a darn good thing because some days I need a lot of them.  Still want that Range Rover though…


Yes, I realize we SHOULDN’T ever compare ourselves to other people.  But…yeah, that’s just a normal reaction to being around other humans!  The answer to this I’ve found is to try my best to focus on the things I’m good at and to celebrate the great and amazing things that happened throughout the day…that way I don’t get bogged down in car shame.  The other answer is to know other cool moms who are real and help you by being themselves.  This amazing top came from Amber Moon, which is run by a super cool mom who is also a super sweet and encouraging woman.  Women like her remind me that it’s okay to be human, to be normal, and that I am great at some things (Pinterest crafts is NOT one of them) and that I should celebrate those things!  The pants are Nightcap and the shoes are ix style which is a super cool company as well as super comfy sandals.

And now, to get my kids to finish their veggies.  Because I’m gonna win this one…
Katy

 

Real World Style: Goth Feels

I’ve never been much down for the whole “goth thing”.  However, I have friends and relatives who fully embraced the trend a long time ago…the whole dark and moody thing just never really worked for me.  I mean, I didn’t even start wearing black until about five years ago!  I am the least dark and twisty person you could find…and a lot of time my style reflects that.  That’s not to say that I don’t appreciate the style in certain ways though!

Goth seems like it was a total late 80s and early 90s style kind of sub sect, especially amongst angsty teens.  I remember one of my good friends talking endlessly about Marilyn Manson (although we were a bit on the young side to really be listening to him) and wearing almost black lipstick.  She definitely embraced the moodier side of fashion while I was still wearing pink and listening to uber pop music in all it’s happy glory.

Isn’t it funny how the style cycle is moving quicker these days it seems?  I think because of social media and iPhones and all that jazz, photos get disseminated much quicker and almost immediately after a trend begins, we are oversaturated with it.  Fast fashion pumps out a style quicker than you can blink, and before you know it, you have an email in your inbox from Forever 21 with a complete collection of clothing based on that trend.  The fast fashion fairy godmothers plus the magic of Instagram equals a trend reaching the masses and then being “so over” much MUCH quicker than in any other time in history.  So we are now seeing trends cycle through, like some of the 90s punk goth stuff we are starting to see, when it wasn’t all that long ago we just saw black velvet chokers and dark lips walk down the runway THE LAST TIME they did.

The great thing however about all this lightning speed communication of trends is that there is so much more creativity happening amongst them!  The “goth” we are seeing now is definitely a throw back to the early 90s, but this time, it’s gotten a little fancier.  And this time, I’m gonna test it out because I’m a little bolder in my style choices than I was when I was a kid.  Clearly.

I found this photo in Marie Claire that I liked because it’s kind of an edwardian romantic take on goth.

I love the idea of mixing white and black lace together.  It takes the sweetness and delicacy of the lace and adds an edge.  I love testing out a trend or a style that doesn’t necessarily feel like “me”, because it often gives me new ideas and new courage to think (and dress) outside my usual box!

This look is like the fancier older sister of the moody goth younger brother.  Know what I’m saying?  I have a vintage Gunne Sax lace dress over a vintage black slip dress and some ruffly combat boots…because the ruffle is just plain fun.  I feel both moody and fancy at the same time.  I weirdly used to wear dark lipstick ALL THE TIME, but now it feels fun and yet strange.  It’s not my usual go-to style, but I’m gonna try and sneak some pieces of it into my weekly wardrobe!  Still listening to pop music though.  That’s not gonna change 🙂
Happy Monday!
Katy

 

 

Real World Style: Fall Couture

I love nothing more than to be flipping through the glossy pages of a magazine and spot an outfit that makes me think: “hey!  I could do that!”  I love when I see a photo that encourages me to put things together in a brand new way.  This is the ultimate way to “shop your closet” or to help you come up with a list of a few pieces to add to your wardrobe for the new season.  When I saw this look in the most recent Vogue, I instantly knew I wanted to give it a shot in the real world.

Dang it.  Now I want a soft pretzel.  Back to the outfit.  I love blazers.  I think they are one of the most key pieces, like a great pair of jeans, that can just completely make an outfit.  They just add something structured to your look and can take anything, even a plain tank top and jeans and sandals and make it look like a legit outfit.  This look, though, made me think about the whole “blazer/skirt” combo.  This is not new, it’s not rocket science, but it just feels very now and fresh to me.  This is what I did with it:

I have a plaid blazer, but because mine is navy and dark green, when I tried to pair it with the red skirt it looked way too Christmas-y.  I liked how the stripes paired with the skirt…kind of had this thing where the lines on the blazer continued on down in the skirt.  It feels so “fall” and so  put together to me.  All I need is that stupid soft pretzel now…

If you don’t have a blazer, definitely add one to your wardrobe.  Here’s a great option for one under $50 at H&M.  I think this look works best with an unstructured skirt better than a pencil skirt for example, because the blazer/pencil skirt pairing is definitely an “I just came from the office” look whereas this is a more creative use of this typical workwear piece.  I would do it with a flowy maxi, a pleated midi, or even a destroyed denim piece to be creative with it!  I love the juxtaposition of the tweed-y blazer with a romantic or rock and roll skirt!

Hope you’re having a great day (and eating a soft pretzel)!
Katy

Real World Style: Michelle Obama in Gucci

The second I saw the photo, all I could see was the dress.  And I knew, in my heart, that it was Gucci.  Oh and then I realized that there were humans in the photo too.  Michelle Obama and Ellen DeGeneres to be exact.  But let’s get real, sometimes the dress steals the show from the humans!

Oh. Em. Gee.  That dress.  With its sequin faux belt and collar…and the map print…hey.  Wait a minute.  I have something like this!!  I feel like this is a point that I’m gonna be making a lot.  Couture is often designed after vintage.  Both in fabric patterns and in styles.  So you know what?  I have a map print vintage silk shirt that’s vintage, so thank you Michelle for inspiring me to bust it out!  I’m gonna clarify one thing.  In no way is my outfit meant to mimic or copy this gorgeous dress.  However, it is inspired by this dress.  And to be totally honest, often a piece like a top is more wearable than a full length maxi dress of this nature anyway!

And there you have it.  Often you can scan vintage racks and spot the inspiration behind what designers are doing.  Normally Michelle Obama and I don’t share the exact same taste in style…I respect hers greatly but It’s not usually stuff that I would feel natural in per say.  But I gotta say that on this dress, she and I are in COMPLETE agreement! 🙂

Ahhhh Gucci always does it!
Katy

Real World Style: Magazine Fall Style

I love pouring through those amazing haute couture spreads in the latest (or even old editions really) issues of Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire…basically you name a magazine, I love it.  One of the things that’s always a struggle though, is to make the looks they put together actually wearable in real life.  I mean, a lot of haute couture is more art that inspires fashion than pieces that are really supposed to be worn to the grocery store or to a holiday party.  Let’s get real.  Some of those girls on the runways or in the photo shoots…aren’t wearing any underwear.  Sorry guys, I love fashion a lot, but I’m not showing my nipples while buying diapers at Target.  At least intentionally.

Challenging as it can be, sometimes there are looks that are more easily reproducible in those glossy pages than the ones that consist primarily of mesh and body paint!  These are the most fun looks because they are great outfit inspiration when I’m feeling like I don’t know what I want to wear!  One tip I’ve learned…vintage is often a GREAT substitute for haute couture pieces.  Often times vintage is what inspired those pieces we all see and love, and it’s at a fraction of the price and more accessible to those of us who don’t live near a Versace or Gucci store!

I love this look.  The fall feelings…the mixture of the menswear blazer, the feminine pleats, and the gritty rainboots all creates a beautiful piece of art.  This is one of those looks that, may be fantastically pricey and couture, is easily replicated out of normal clothing that is either already in your closet, or is somewhere around you at a normal store!

Everything on me is vintage, except for those Hunter boots.  And you know what, everyone needs a pair of Hunters!  It barely rains here, but when it does, I bust out these amazing things happily!  Micro pleats are a huge trend for fall 2016, and micro pleats are SO VINTAGE!  Here’s a basic option from H&M for a micro pleated skirt dress.  My jacket is an amazing Goodwill find (I watched another girl try it on and waited for her to put it back before snatching it up!) but here’s an incredible velvet blazer that would be SO good with that H&M micro pleat dress!

And there you have it, proof you can dress haute couture without spending the big bucks (unless you wanna, and there is NO judgement from me on that!).
Katy

Real World Style: Farmer’s Market Style

If you shop often or look at Instagram style feeds on a regular basis, no doubt you’ve seen the phrase “farmer’s market style” used to describe an outfit.  I have to admit, I both love and hate that description.  Why, you ask?  Let me explain.  First of all, I love it.  I see this outfit that is minimalistic and yet romantic in it’s minimalism, and I immediately begin imagining myself wearing this outfit and farmer’s market-ing.  I see this beautiful image of myself wearing this lovely outfit, buying organic fruits and veggies, laughing and strolling through a busy, yet peaceful street overflowing with produce.  Then I sit down and drink an espresso at an outdoor cafe (I’m in Europe at this point, naturally) and read a beautiful old educational French book.  The sun is shining, the weather is perfect, and I look like a European model (because why not right?  If I’m gonna have a fantasy, I’m sure as heck gonna look like a model in it) and my red lipstick has magically not transferred at all to my teeth or to my perfectly white coffee cup.  And then, I realize what has happened.  I have gone insane.  Finally the inevitable has happened.  Because I don’t read educational books, I read teen novels.  When I wear red lipstick, it gets on EVERYTHING.  When I go to the farmer’s market, it consists of me pushing a giant motorhome sized stroller covered in old food and juice, saying “oh…sorry…excuse me…” as I run over people’s feet while we “stroll” through the street.  There are toddlers screaming “GET DOWN” repeatedly and I’m probably sweating because all things in life involve me sweating, the vegetables have poked holes in the flimsy bags they gave us (because I inevitably forgot my perfect “farmer’s market” bags I bought when this fantasy overtake me last time), and there’s no outdoor cafe with espresso.  There is only the outfit I was wearing earlier because I forgot to change into my romantic minimalist look and me, wondering why going to the farmer’s market is NOTHING like the movies.

Dang it.  Regardless of this juxtaposition of my fantasy life against reality, I still do love “farmer’s market style”!  So why not just wear it any old day of the week? I’d like to propose that when this glorious fantasy overtakes you, realize you do actually love the outfit, even though it doesn’t come with a free trip to the French Riviera.  Where I am quite sure, their red lipstick stays put.


This vintage top and raw silk skirt I bought from Bumbleebuck Vintage, who is the MASTER of romantic minimalism.  You will want to buy everything in her shop simply because it’s lovely.  I added the hat and the scarf and the vintage slip on Ariat booties because it just added a little bit of a western flair to the outfit.  And now, I’m off to the farmer’s market.  Just kidding.  I’ll be doing laundry in my jammies.  #reallife

Katy

Real World Style: Hanna Marin

I’m an unashamed Pretty Little Liars fan.  I have been completely sucked in and engrossed in the happenings of Rosewood since the beginning of the show, and I have loved every minute of the mystery, the surprises, and the FASHION.  You know when a show is about girls (Sex and the City, Gossip Girl) that the clothes are gonna be off the hook.  And this one does not disappoint.  If you don’t watch it, you really don’t need to know what it’s about to appreciate the good style of the four girls.  Each girl has her own signature look and I love watching and re-watching episodes when I need a little bit of new inspiration.  One of the great things about this show is that it’s in this fictional place where it’s basically perpetually fall.  What does this mean?  This means they always get to wear the PERFECT clothing.  Lots of layers, tights, boots…all the things we typically want to wear year round, but especially if you’re like me and in a warmer area, are limited to layering only during a few precious months out of the year.

Now I’m all about originality.  But don’t you ever look at an outfit and think to yourself: “I just want to wear that outfit.”  I think we all do.  There are times when the simplicity of seeing something on someone, and then replicating it is a nice little interjection into your daily style.  I think it also allows you to try out a different style and refresh your wardrobe a bit…”copying” can be a nice way to get new ideas and new pieces!  This happened to me the other evening while watching the show.  I saw her outfit, and thought…I’m gonna do that.  So I did.  Here’s what happened.

The outfit: rose gold/copper satin bomber, leopard button down, and skinny jeans.  So easy right?  I love the simplicity of it, the layers, and the combination of the leopard and the metallic.  Totally wearable and chic.  Her jacket is actually from Topshop so it’s under $100, but I knew I could do better than that.  I found this one for closer to $40 and it’s so great!  I thrifted a button down leopard top, those are typically a great easy thrift store find.  You could even switch up this look with a gingham, striped, or plaid button down to make it your own!  I needed some high waisted skinny jeans, so I found some at Urban Outfitters on sale for about $40.  Hers are from Frame Denim and those will set you back a bit more than these.  (*photo and information from the fantastic wornontv.net on which you can find out where all your favorite characters shop!)

And there you have it.  I can now look like my favorite “Liar” for a frAction of the cost!  (sorry, that was a little bit of PLL humor for you all 😉

hAppy WednesdAy 🙂
kAty

 

Real World Style: Military Shirts

Isn’t it funny how while some things in fashion come and go, certain things never seem to really ever go out of style?  I mean, I’m pretty sure that leopard print, while it is inordinately hot at the moment, never really goes “out” of style.  And how about florals and plaids?  There’s another example.  Those prints may have their big moments on the runway or in magazines, but they never really go away.  Military tops and jackets are some of those items that I find seem to always, ALWAYS, be around.  I think the way people wear them varies from season to season, but let’s be quite honest…I don’t think I’ve ever seen a fashion report that said they were a no-no.  Not that I ever really listen to those reports anyway…because if I love it, it’s “in style” in my closet and in my life!  End of story!

I always feel a little, how do I say this…poser-y wearing military stuff because, I am a wuss.  I complain when I get like, less than nine hours of sleep and when my coffee is not the exact brand I love, so being a part of something as intense as the military is just not the right fit for me.  Clearly.  So my rules for military inspired wear for myself is that it must look “fake” enough so that no one thanks me for my service or thinks I just went on a shopping spree at the army surplus store.  The other trick to pulling off this trend is also to mix it with other styles.  When you put an army jacket with, say, a floral maxi dress or boyfriend jeans and a graphic tee, no one will think you just got off active duty.  Although, once I did get asked if I was a den mother…but being asked if I’m part of the Girl Scouts, while still quite laughable given my feelings about nature, is a different story altogether!

The bottom line is this: military tops and jackets can add a lot of structure and interest to a normal outfit!  They give girly dresses an edge, and frame a tee shirt and jeans quite nicely.  Just remember, if someone salutes you as you walk by, you may need to rethink your combo.

This top is vintage, and when I found it on Poshmark, I knew I had to have it.  It looks to me like a military commander’s shirt (if you’re gonna wear military, may as well wear something that says you’re in charge right?) and I couldn’t pass it up.  And of course, I had to send it to my friend Arwyn (@township31) who at some point, will probably have fringed, embroidered, and painted on my entire closet.  Let’s just get real here.  She added the gold dipped (her genius idea) leather fringe on the front, thereby taking it from strict military into the blurry realm of…cowboy military?  Not sure there’s a category for that, but I’ll just go ahead and start one.  I will definitely wear this as a regular button down with my jeans, but for starters I wanted to play with it a little more.  I threw it over a green slip dress to kind of pay homage to the army green part of the military trend and then put the short combat boots with it to tie it all together.  It’s a little 90’s, a little 80’s, and a little crazy…just how I like it.

If you love military style, I salute you.  And if you’re part of the ACTUAL military, I really really salute you.  Because the store has been out of my favorite coffee for a month now and I am NOT a happy camper.

Happy Monday!
Katy