Just say “no” to these 90s comeback spring trends

Seems like the fashion world is getting nostalgic for a bygone era of bad fashion, i.e, the 1990s. Known for Nirvana and Soundgarden, the 90s can also be identified with the grunge trend — cool on Chris Cornell or Kate Moss, but catastrophic for the rest of us mere mortals.

Yet, somehow designers think that we want to see remnants of the 90s again because across the fashion mags all I’m seeing are overalls.

 photo (1)

OVERALLS!!! Because somehow, somewhere some fancy designer actually thought these are attractive and that we’ll want to pay top dollar for them. All the celebrities are. But mere mortals cannot pull such things off such as overalls. Mere mortals have FUPAs and Jewish thighs and sorts of things that prevent overalls from LOOKING GOOD. So please, do not wear this spring trend.

Also, crop tops seem to have been making some sort of reappearance in the fashion world. Because all aging mothers want is to SHOW OFF THEIR TUMMIES. They all seem to only be sold at Forever 21 however, so shame on us for even thinking of wearing them. Leave the crop tops to the kiddos, ok?

hmprod

 

 

Here’s one trend you might be able to get behind — literally ONLY IF YOU WANT TO COVER YOUR BEHIND. It’s the I-never-want-to-see-again flannel shirt tied around the waist. Again, Chris Cornell. Need I say more? Yes, I do, because one of my go-to shopping sites, Shopbop is now featuring the never-to-be-worn-again trend of tied flannels. It just cannot be. Please people, just wear a longer shirt if ya wanna cover your backside.

shopbop

This is your spring fashion public service announcement. You’re welcome. What spring trend are you going to avoid like a bad Tiffany song?

On Track Pants and Waffle Shirts

‘Tis the time of the year to dress up, or, in my household’s case, dress comfy. One would think with all the holiday festivities, my days would be filled with bow ties and vests and cute cords and loafers and, and.

But, no. My holidays have been filled with track pants, waffle shirts, t-shirts, and more track pants. I think it’d be one thing if my kids were Bjorn Borg or at least aspiring to be so, but really, it’s just all about the comfy factor with a little “but I have P.E. today MOM” thrown in.

They love their track pants. And waffle shirts?

They unfortunately won’t go NEAR this cuteness.

 

And where do you think they learned of such behavior? From the ah-mazing Back to School shopping spree I went on earlier this year courtesy of The Children’s Place. They offered, I obliged, and now my boys have been sucked in by the world’s best athletic pants. (Seriously, good track pants are hard to come by.)

It got so bad that when they invited me to come back out for a little holiday shopping, I started counting down the days until I could get them MORE track pants. Four from my previous trip just weren’t enough for the big guy.

And, so, last week, I went back out to their store and begrudgingly passed by all the cute button downs, cords, khakis, cargos, hi-tops, sweater vests (I could go on) and immediately asked: WHERE ARE THE TRACK PANTS AND DO YOU HAVE THEM IN SIZE 6 PLEASE as only a mother of a son who only wears track pants could do.

They pulled their stock of the pants and I bought 3 more pairs.

That should last til spring shopping I think? Then what, off to mesh shorts, I suppose. *sigh*

What piece of your kids’ clothing is the bane of YOUR existence? Comment here and I’ll pick a winner for a $25 gift card from The Children’s Place. Because they rock!

A couple new things I wrote…

So, I may be crazy, but I took a little writing gig last month. I’ll be writing mom fashion for WhattoExpect.com. I’ve always liked to shop, you all know that, and I’ve always liked to write, so somehow this seems like a good fit. I think writing about fashion will be fun, and I’m not going to write if it isn’t fun.

That’s my spiel for the day. You can see my piece on three trends to rock with the little black dress for this holiday season here. I’d love to know if you have story ideas or thoughts.

Also my latest/ November column for Chicago Parent is live. I found a few fun toys local to Chicago suggested by some awesome experts you may want to check out. Sure beats the generic princess doll, IMHO.

What are you all up to?

Back to School Shopping Mania!

I still feel like it’s summer, it IS August after all, but between my ABC segment and all the email pitches, promotions and other emails I’ve been receiving, my mind is all on getting my boys ready for back-to-school.

I’ve gotten the supply list, but with the summer growth spurt, I found myself at a loss for some of the basics my eldest may need say if the temperature drops? (Hello, I’m freezing today?!). The little one gets mostly hand-me-downs, but the first-grader needed a few things.

That’s why I was so excited when I got invited to a private shopping event by The Children’s Place. This was actually a store that I’ve shopped at before. News flash! I have always liked TCP’s thermal shirts and track pants. And since my eldest said “I only want to wear track pants” I thought I was in business.

The store I visited was way out of my comfort zone at the Harlem-Irving Park Mall, but it was much bigger than the Lincoln Park outpost I usually visit. And, they had lots of track pants. Bonus!

Plenty to choose from as you can see. The store was laid out nice and I liked the accessories they had. I scooped up matching woven leather belts for the boys to wear for the Jewish holidays, a.k.a. the only time of year my kids will wear clothes other than said track pants.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And of course, they had the thermals that I adore. In many cute colors and graphics. They are thicker than the average one you’ll get at American Apparel for half the price. For sure a staple this fall in my house.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I can’t wait for the kids to try on the loot I got ’em. Thank you for a fun shopping morning, Children’s Place!

Disclosure: I was given a gift card to shop at The Children’s Place, however, my opinions of the clothes are my own. And please excuse the photos. Clearly, I’m not a photographer. 

Five trends moms can FALL for

As we all anxiously await the release of Missioni’s line for Target, we must remember that there is fashion life outside the big red dot. (Or, maybe I just have to keep reminding myself.)

Yes, Fall is my favorite fashion season, and while my son hasn’t even started Kindergarten yet, the stores and my brain are dreaming of pants and booties. And capes and leather.

And corduroys. I can’t wait until I can put these puppies on.

Red hot, right? Free People Super 70s Cord, $108

While I just got my toenails polished for these last warm days, I just can’t help but thinking about covering them up when the weather gets a teensy bit chillier. I love the tomboy look for Fall, especially with the modern take on the loafer.

This season’s newest flat is worth every penny. The Perfect Pennyloafer, Madewell, $168

Or, rev up your inner sexy secretary with some height. Mia Zolen, $59

As far as accessories go, I’m still all about finding the perfect cross-body bag. I need to be hands-free when I’m lugging around my 28 lb bundle of joy. Diaper bags are for the birds, or new moms, at this point.

I’m seriously coveting. this. bag. Tory Burch Shindo Burch Mini Flap Bag, $365

And let’s not forget how fabulous it is to cozy up in a good fall coat. This season I’ve invested in a basic, black zip-up leather jacket. I scored a great deal on one from Gilt Groupe, but since buying anything off of that site is like winning the lottery, I found some other good options for cheap on the randomest of all sites…

You have to be a member of Overstock.com to get this Members Only leather jacket for $150…

What are you buying for fall?

Five Trends to Watch for Spring. Yes, I said Spring.

Don’t whine to me about all the snow you’ve had. I haven’t seen the sun in months weeks either, but yet, I’m dreaming of spring and coveting all the colors and fun I’m going to have once the gray leaves the sky and I scrape the salt off my suede boots before storing them for next year.

Yes, spring is far away, but the trends are not. And I’m bored and lonely on a Saturday night while my husband is working. So, I turn to the internet for help and love. And yes, shopping.

Here’s what I’m thinking of getting now so I can wear it the day the mercury reaches 55 degrees. Because don’t you know? That’s spring in Chicago.

1. A skinny belt. Because it matches those wrap and beaded bracelets that we’re all wearing on our wrists. I want one with a little more color, but was coveting this guy from Krista K Boutique yesterday:

B-Low the Belt, $110

2. Trouser jeans. I’ve mentioned these before, but I got them on sale from the Gap and they are yummy. I’m over being “over” them:

The Gap Pin Tucked Jeans. Get them on sale.

3. Espadrille wedges. I’ve been in a lot of random conversations lately about being tall (I’m about 5′ 8″) and what to wear with the aforementioned trouser jeans. Since I’m tall, and the jeans are meant to be worn with a long inseam, I need to wear heels. I am finding that wedges, especially the casual espadrille one, are the mom-doing-errands answer to stilettos:

At the mom-doing-errands price on endless.com – $60.47.

4. A long charm beaded necklace. I have recently ditched my beloved Helen Ficalora baby charms that I’ve worn religiously for the last four-and-a-half years. They’re beautiful, but they’re everywhere now and, well, it’s time to move on. Onto a statement piece. Charming, right?:

This one from Anthropologie is stunning and affordable – $58

5. A cropped sweater. I cannot believe I gave away all my “short” sweaters after the birth of my eldest. I thought I had just gotten fat, but really it was that the pant waists got lower. And now that they’re higher again, we can all hide our muffin tops. But what top to wear with the cropped top? All my long jersey tops meant to cover my skinny-jean ass are too long. Enter this cropped sweater of my dreams:

Patterson Kincaid Melinda Striped Cropped Sweater, Shopbop.com, $158

What are you shopping or browsing for this spring?

On Blogger Relations and Lost Shoes

Last week, I was on high alert for an invite to a local blogger event being put on by Gilt Groupe this Friday featuring its founder Alexandra Wilkis Wilson. At the Peninsula Chicago where I got married.  It’s a match made in blogger heaven. And, no less than three of my blog friends asked if I was going. I panicked. Had I missed the invite? I mean, if you’re looking for a blogger in Chicago who likes to shop look no further, right? But, I tore through my inbox and had not received the coveted email. In a cold sweat I emailed Kim. Could she help? She said she would and emailed the PR team in charge.

Of course, being that nosy former PR agency type, I asked the necessary questions. What agency? What contact?

That’s when the heavenly match fell apart. I put two and two (hundred emails I sent that day) together and realized in haste, I’d asked to be taken off a certain pitchy-salesy list. From Gilt. I’d basically dissed over email the very people I was begging all my friends to get an answer from on my event invite status.

Foot in the freaking sent box.

I’ve ranted of late about how companies nowadays aren’t being thoughtful in their approach and ask of us bloggers. But my recent gaffe reminded me that we as bloggers owe it to PR folks not to send emails that are direct (“please take me off this list” is what I wrote) and then expect to be included in the fun part of the pitch down the road.

I sent over my apologies to the poor PR rep who had now heard my name 72 trillion times by my friends and explained to her how badly I felt. No harm done, she said, and extended a kind invitation for the brunch this Friday.  I’m excited to attend and grateful we worked it out amicably. Lesson learned, though. If I’m going to respond at all to pitches I don’t want, I’d (we should all) better be damned clear about what that means in the long run. Because brand relationships aren’t just about fun events. They’re about listening to the sales stuff too, once in awhile. Even if it’s not a good fit.

And while we’re talking about good fits, I own a shoe by Cole Haan that fits me perfect. It’s the Air Lainey Wedge (to the right). An amazing combination of cute and comfortable. I wore it to my friend’s rehearsal dinner Friday night and promptly left it at the hotel today at checkout. When I unpacked earlier this evening I realized what had happened, and in a cold sweat (I’ve had a lot of these lately, apparently), called the Taj hoping they’d recovered my BSF (Best Shoe Friend). The man in charge of lost and found said he had a pair of black shoes, size 9. I asked, are they wedges!? Like he knew what a wedge was. But, with some explanation and brand recognition, we agreed it was the correct pair. I figured this little forgetful incident was going to cost me a pretty penny. But, no, the Taj said they’d ship them UPS to me for free if I couldn’t come get them in person.

After a weekend of questionable customer service at the hotel and a laundry list of complaints I was about to air in public, this was just what I needed to sweat normal again. I repeated my address no less than three times to the gentleman on the other line (and called back to confirm the address because I’m that neurotic.) I should receive my shoes within 5 days.

Moral of this story?

I’m out my cute shoe choice for the fancy fashion brunch this Friday. Serves me right.

Back to School Shopping – For moms, of course

Seems like everyone is gearing up getting their kids ready for school with new clothing purchases and backpacks galore. But I’m protesting. Why? Because it’s not fair that only the kids should get the new stuff for Fall. I want back to school clothes for myself! The eldest is starting at a fancy new school and I’ve outfitted him plenty in comfy but cute Appaman tops, City Threads pants, Geox sneaks and Old Navy t-shirts. The baby gets his hand-me-downs.

As for me, because my eldest is starting at that aforementioned fancy new school, I figure I better look good, too, during school drop-off and pick-up. It also doesn’t help that I’m now completely under the hypo-fashion spell of Amy Tara Koch, to whom sweatpants are like kryptonite. She totally critiqued (in a good way) my mom outfit when I interviewed her last week for Chicago Parent and now I’m a woman obsessed with Bumping Up my mommy wardrobe. Last year, I reveled in my maternity lululemon challenge. It was fun and stretchy, but now that I’m back to my fighting weight I’ve got to up the ante. I’m screwed.

Thus, I’ve been obsessively scouring the internet for pieces that make me look something in between A Real Housewife, and well, a real housewife. Herewith, a list of my coveted items for Fall:

1) Dark grey or black jeggings (for your neophytes these are JEAN leggings): I didn’t quite understand the jegging craze last year, but now that I’ve seen them in action (and on me), I’m hooked. I’m debating between these two:

J Brand 901 Legging in Pitch (photo courtesy of J Brand)

And…

Gap Jean Legging but not in this hideous medium wash – it’s a dark grey, but it wouldn’t copy to my blog! (photo courtesy of Amazon)

2) Some sort of olive-colored cargo pant. I caved and got the J Brand ones in gray off eBay for this summer, but what I really want for Fall are these amazing looking stretchy cargo-cords from Current/ Elliott. It’s what Private Benjamin would wear after training camp. Or, me, after the gym.

Photo courtesy of Saks.com

And what else am I going to wear with all my new skinny pants other than ankle boots? Because nothing says the anti-sweat like some motorcycle boots:

Via Spiga Olga Boot (photo courtesy of Lori’s Shoes)

Or release my inner urban cowgirl with these:

Frye Carson Shortie (photo courtesy of Zappos, but FYI I found them cheaper on Endless!)

As for what’s on top, I’d rather splurge on pants and shoes that will last more than one season and buy some wear and tear tops from Zara, H&M, even Target (shhh). But I’m all about the long cardigan with the skinny pants and I’m loving the one I recently bought…

Open Front Cardigan by Splendid (photo courtesy of Nordstrom)

And if you really want to go all out, you’ll go out and buy yourself a military-inspired coat like I just saw in a Burberry ad in Vanity Fair. Amazingly, I had the foresight to buy a coat just like it a few years back by Marc by Marc Jacobs when I was more flush with cash. (Oh, weren’t we all!). Good knockoffs by Juicy, too.

My sad, old, but in style Marc by Marc Jacobs military coat. Needs a pressing. (photo courtesy of my crappy Blackberry)

So, what are y’all buying for Fall? Next up… accessories! And, watch for a fashion challenge come September. I vow to amp up my mommy wardrobe for 30 days straight! As soon as the heat drops and there’s no threat of my legs sticking together when I walk.

(BTW, this blog was NOT sponsored, but if anyone out there wants to throw in some free jeans, by all means.)

Lululemon Maternity Wear Challenge: An update

Are you dying to know how I’m doing ensconced in nylon day after day? Well, on Day 17 I’m finally wearing a pair of long pants as the temperature has dipped below 75 degrees. (My criteria for wearing long pants has drastically changed due to my limited wardrobe options.) And one of my three sweatshirts. So I feel that I now have some more clothing options. Because really, wearing the Bulerias or Power Y tank EVERY DAY was just getting a little nasty.

Luckily the ‘lemon washes quite nicely and hasn’t stretched out into weird proportions considering my stomach is looking more and more like I swallowed a watermelon every day.

But trying to work the ‘lemon into my repetoire every day can be a bit daunting. Especially as I try not to look like a gym rat/ haven’t showered/ only wears sweatpants kind of mama every day.

So today, I paired the wrap pant in charcoal grey with my uber-cute but potentially blister-inducing Tory Burch Bryce Clog.

clog

Because every pair of sweatpants needs a patent leather clog to stay above the sloppy fray.

It’s a wonder what a little T logo can do to the maternity fashion psyche.

Sponsored Link: Maternity Dresses

The lululemon Maternity Wear Challenge

You all know of my love of lululemon.

You all know I’m a faux frugal who really, really likes to shop.

You all know I’m pregnant.

Thus, I’ve put myself up to a challenge.  A fashion challenge. Having not bought any “formal” maternity wear my entire pregnancy, and having gone on a serious lululemon bender the past week after my joyous pregnancy news, I’ve decided to see if I can possibly wear a single item of lululemon clothing every day for the next 8 weeks of my pregnancy. Because, well, what the heck else am I supposed to do as I wait out the waning days of pregnancy? (And, I just saw Julie/ Julia and this could make a heck of a book. Ha!)

Behold, The lululemon Maternity Wear Challenge:

4 tanks, 3 sweatshirts, 4 sweatpants, 6 workout pants, 8 weeks, and who knows how many more pounds to gain.

I even made a widget on flickr (who knew I could figure that out!). (edited to add: and I figured out how to make it appear on my sidebar, yay! Check it out to the right.)

I’m now 31 weeks along, and for day 1 of the challenge I wore the Bulerias Tank in Black and Dance Studio II*No Pants in Coal. I felt stylish and swishy while walking down Michigan Avenue.

Here’s to being comfy and ensconced in nylon for many, many days.