Fashion Advice for Moms Part 1

June 11, 2013 @ 9:00 am by janine

I recently posted a question on my Facebook page and asked moms to let me know if they had any fashion concerns and questions that I could answer for this blog. I got a lot of responses and have come up with a Q&A to answer these questions more directly. Thank you to all the moms and friends out there who responded with their questions. Please feel free to comment below, ask more questions, and share this blog with your friends! Also, the next blog will have some great tips, tricks, and tutorials that address these questions too so keep posted every Tuesday at 9:00am.

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(Photo by Itty Bitty Portraits)

Q: I need jeans that I can move in without having to worry every time I bend over! What styles of denim do you recommend for me?

Ahh , the frustrations of constantly pulling up your jeans or even worse, the dreaded occasional butt crack! Trust me, this is not just a mommy issue. Many women of all ages and sizes struggle with finding the right pair of denim. First, it is very important that you understand and define your body shape so that you can dress accordingly. I have a previous blog on this that you can check out here… Dressing For Your Body Type

Now, I can suggest a few things to consider when finding the right fit without looking like you are wearing  “mom jeans”. The rise of your denim is how high it will come up on your hips and around your back. Most low-rise denim tends to be no higher than 7 ½ inches from the crotch to your stomach. I would suggest more of a mid-rise denim for women on the go. You want to make sure it has at least an 8 inch front rise and sometimes I prefer if the rise is a little higher in the back than the front. This tends to work well for women with curves and hips. This will really shape your waist so you still have a nice silhouette. The great thing now about denim is that mid-rise is becoming more of the trend so the shapes have been updated to look less drab and flat on the butt. Mid-rise is no longer considered the dreaded “mom jean” like so many of us think.

Another factor in your denim to consider is the material. I suggest avoiding 100% cotton, as this tends to break up over time and lose its shape (hence saggy bottom jeans).  You want to find denim that has a blend of spandex or elastic. What this does is allow your jeans to mold more to your body. Every pair of denim will give a little but when you have a blend in the fabric, they stretch out when you put them on and pull back to hold their shape. This is very important to consider when purchasing denim. Denim with good blends tend to cost more but I do believe that purchasing quality denim, in the long run, saves you money. They will last longer and you only need a few pairs to get you by for quite some time. If you continue buying cheaper, low quality denim, you end up purchasing more in shorter amounts of time as they lose their quality and shape faster. Always read the care label for your denim. DO NOT dry your jeans! The heat and beating your jeans take in the dryer will break up the little fabrics, which in time, will cause your jeans to bag out. Drying them only gives you the instant gratification that they have “shrunk” but really you are making it hard for the fabric to maintain its integrity to hold together.

Buy the right size! More often than not I find that women think a certain size might be too tight so they size up in their denim. Memorize this phrase…. ALL DENIM WILL GIVE! No matter how much you pay, how well you take care of your denim, or how much you wear them, denim will naturally give. What I see most of the time is that women try on a pair that may seem snug in the legs and get the next size up. You want to buy your jeans more snug than loose. TRUST ME on this one! All denim ripples in the back on your thigh no matter what size you are. That is not always an indication that they are too tight. You want to check the waist and be able put two fingers in snugly. If you can’t do this they are too tight, if you can pull quite a bit of material away from your waist, they are too big. Always ask the sales person how they wear. If they are a good store they will know how their denim fits and wears.

Lastly, alter your denim. We all know there is no one true universal standard size for all of us. All the denim designers can do is pick a size and go from there. This means they will not be tailored for everyone. You will be surprised how many different things you can alter to make sure your denim fits you perfectly. If you get a gap in the back of your jeans no matter what style or cut, a tailor can take that in so they fit your waist and hips perfectly. If you are short and, as most jeans do run 32” or 34” in length, know that you do have the option to alter the length. Don’t get frustrated and think that everything is long, therefore nothing works for you. It is easier for a designer to have their jeans run long to fit a wider variety of women versus offering different lengths. The average alteration is only $15 so consider the fit instead of the length before it is a done deal for you. Alterations are also a great way to save a pair of jeans that no longer fit you if you have lost weight or might be between sizes. Ok that was a long one but hope this helps!

Q: I feel like I have to “dress like a mom” or other people will look at me weird. I need a polished look that says I tried, but not too hard. What do you suggest?

The first thing I have to address here is that we need to stop worrying about what other people think and start dressing in ways that express our personality and that make us feel confident and happy. I promise that another mom isn’t thinking, “Oh wow, she really put herself together today. How dare she!”  You wouldn’t think that about another mom who put a little effort into herself, would you? So what makes you think that is what they are thinking? I can tell you, if they are thinking that, they are probably jealous. Maybe you have seen a mom “dress up” a little and it has even inspired you? When you see more moms taking time for themselves to not only look great but, most importantly, FEEL great, wouldn’t you be inspired to do the same? Start a trend!

Being a mom is such a selfless thing. Often you never take the time for yourself because you are too busy pulling everyone else together. Moms are the glue that hold everything together and it is so important to take a little time for yourself too (easier said than done I know).  It may also be NECCESSARY for your happiness and sanity! I will have some great tips, tricks and video tutorials in my next blog to really give you some great suggestions for this one.

Q: I want to look fabulous and trendy but still want to be comfy. How do I turn a t-shirt into a fab look?

The easiest thing you can do to turn a t-shirt into an amazing look is to accessorize! When you throw on pants, flats and a tee, of course you aren’t going to feel like you look stylin! You have to COMPLETE your look. Accessories are a great, easy way to do that. I always feel frumpy without any jewelry on or the right pair of shoes. This takes a little creativity to put together the right accessories but don’t skip this step! Even if you have a great shoe and add a scarf, you will feel so much better than leaving the house without anything else. It’s like leaving the house without your makeup foundation…you just feel naked! Make sure you have a versatile shoe selection, and a variety of scarves and jewelry to complement your wardrobe.

Another thing is to look for basic tees with a little something extra to them. There are so many great casual clothing lines out there that have a variety of styles to choose from. Instead of grabbing a quick v-neck or crew tee, try looking for something with a little more shape to it. I like to look for something more asymmetrical, off the shoulder, wide neck, or maybe something that has different materials on it or patterns. This way, my basic tee looks a little more fashionable but still functions the same. Some clothing lines I would suggest are Mickey & Jenny, Michael Stars, Emma & Sam, Kensie, and Free People.

*My Tip: Sales are the best time to stock up on your basics!

Q: My weight has fluctuated so much over the years while going between the births of my kids. I live in dresses so I don’t have to worry about changing sizes and different jeans because I am at a loss! What do I do?

This can be a very frustrating thing. There are a couple of tips I have for overcoming these seemingly impossible challenges. As mentioned in the first question, the fit, fabrication and care of your denim are all things to consider. Hopefully I answered some things that are relative to this concern. A few tips for anyone going between sizes, whether having a baby or just dieting, don’t invest in expensive denim until you have reached your goals or are holding a consistent size. This may seem obvious but often customers come in and buy jeans during these times and I think this only adds to the frustration.

You need to have some transitional sizes/styles during these times so I don’t recommend making a big purchase until you are ready. This can also double as a motivation for you to reach certain weight goals.  Now, what I do think happens is that we will still try to wear jeans that just don’t work for whatever stage we are in so we feel frumpy and like nothing fits. It might be that you just need to be honest with yourself and be aware of the fit of your jeans. If they are too big, take the things I mentioned in the first question and find a new pair or alter an old pair to fit. If they are too small, put those aside until you decide you will be able to wear them again.

I think one of the biggest issues that affects women during this time are that we have sort of lost our image of our bodies. When we go through changes in weight loss or gain, we have a hard time recognizing or accepting these changes so we have to train our brains to work with something we aren’t used to and/or have a hard time identifying/accepting.  Just know that whatever the case may be for you, it is important to keep a positive outlook on yourself. If it’s because you have had a child, or a few, it’s a small price to pay for the wonderful lives you have created so don’t be so hard on yourself. If it is a weight loss or gain, continue to work hard to reach your goals. It is important to live a healthy lifestyle and take care of your body. Working out has numerous health benefits both physically and mentally and I encourage everyone to take care of yourself (this goes for unhealthy weight loss as well).

One thing that is hard for us is when our closets are full of clothing that fits or doesn’t fit so we just don’t know what to do. I recommend that you organize and separate items from your closet. For example, if you are keeping a steady weight, put the items that are too large in a storage box if you think you will need them another time. If there are items too small, do the same. Treat it like you would your seasonal items. In the summer you separate your boots, coats and sweaters to make room for sandals, tanks, and shorts.  You want to keep your wardrobe working for you and if you have a bunch of things that you can’t wear it will only add to the frustration. Plus, as you fluctuate you can add or remove items which will make some things seem fresher and also make room for the things you collect along the way.

Q: My clothes need to be wearable. I don’t have time to iron or don’t want high maintenance clothing. What fabrics do you suggest?

Always look at the care labels! If it is dry clean only, needs to be ironed, 100% silk, scratchy wool with no lining, DON’T GET IT! This is simply not functional for a mom on the go with sticky hands and outdoor activities. How many of you actually take the time to look? By checking, you are saving yourself a lot of time and money in the future. I recommend blends, again, as there are some amazing fabrics out there that breathe well and feel great. If you get something you are not comfortable in or fidget around in, you will never end up wearing it again. This isn’t just for fabric but fit as well. Make sure you get something you can squat, bend, and in some cases, run in ;-). Again, you want your wardrobe to work for you not walk all over you.

Q: I find myself going to the gym in the morning and by the time I have to run errands, pick up the kids and clean, I find it’s challenging not to stay in my sweats or gym clothes with everything else  going on in the day. Do you have any suggestions?

No one ever feels beautiful and amazing in sweats! I know it might seem impossible but, for you to feel beautiful and confident, you have to put a little time into yourself. Whatever you put into your life, you get back out of it, and if feeling great and confident is one of those priorities for you, you have to make it one. I recommend keeping an extra set of clothing in your car or locker if you have a tight schedule. This will allow you to change on the go. I have some great tips in my next blog that are more specific to this subject. In the meantime, start training yourself to take a few minutes for yourself to get pulled together. Women are so good at multitasking, scheduling, and running around so just make sure to include yourself in some of your agendas :-).

XO,

Janine

 


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