14 July 2011 – Almost there

July 14th, 2011 § 39 comments §

Summer time

Sources:

Tee – maternity shirt from Target
Skirt – thrifted
Sandals – AE years ago
Necklaces – two thrifted ones worn intertwined

Endnotes:

Well, dear readers, it’s getting close. I’m almost 39 weeks now and expecting the arrival of my little one any day now. These days I’ve outgrown even most of my maternity clothes and am living in a few select tops and my super comfortable hippie skirts. Although I’m wary of spending money on anything new, I did stop by the local thrift store and was excited to come across this green and fuchsia paisley skirt. It’s not a maternity item (most of my clothing weren’t actually maternity, but just things bought a size or two up) but it’s the right size and it has a nice wide elastic waist panel, which makes it perfect for wearing under my belly.

I know that everyone is different when it comes to the waistband question during pregnancy. Some women really like the snug feel of the ‘full panel‘, which comes up and over your belly. I discovered that I hate the feel of anything clinging to my belly and have worn all my maternity items rolled under to fit underneath the ‘bump’. This has made it easy enough to convert non-maternity items into matenity items: I just shopped for things with an elastic waist or drawstring waist that fit snuggly enough over my hips and could sit rolled under my belly.

Which camp do you/did you fall into? The full panel or the low rise?

Cycling with Baby

These days, I’m trying to get all those last minute things ready before baby comes. Last edits on my dissertation chapter, final touches on a birth plan, last must-do’s around the house… so you may be seeing less of me as I use my coming days (hopefully, not weeks) to take care of odds and ends and prepare for the little one’s arrival.

And yes, I’m still riding my bike in moderation. It’s been really nice to continue with a routine of prenatal yoga, cycling, and swimming until the end. If you want to read more about cycling (and excercising) while pregnant, you can find my entries on that topic here.

And in case we don’t ‘see’ each other before the birth, wish me luck!

Category: Beltless, Maternity Style, Our Best Flatware, Proportionally, Skirting the Issue, Vélocouture
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6 July 2011 – Stop and smell the flowers

July 6th, 2011 § 5 comments §

Stop and smell the flowers

Sources:

White tank – BE Maternity
Aqua tank – thrifted
Skirt – Motherhood maternity, inherited from E. from her 1st pregnancy
Sandals – Target
Necklace – gift from Costa Rica
Bangle – thrifted
Sunnies – hand me downs from mom

Endnotes:

At this point in my pregnancy, it’s all about the little things: stopping and smelling the flowers, taking everything in at a slightly slower pace, and appreciating the small moments that make each day special before my family’s life takes on a drastic change.

When it comes to getting dressed, the same approach applies: it’s all about the small things. While I’ve outgrown many of my clothes at this point (I’m 37 weeks along, now considered ‘full term’), I can still fit into the ‘small’ things that make up my jewelry box and accessories drawer. So on days when I do shed the yoga sweats and make a bit of an effort, I spruce up the simple outfits I can still create with pops of color from my jewelry and accessories stash.

Accessories

This approach not only works well when you’re pregnant but also when traveling. It’s the same principle I apply to packing for a trip; grab a few simple garments and let the accessories do the talking. They take up very little room in a suitcase but can wholly alter the feel and register of an outfit.

And speaking of travel, make sure to check back on Friday for our awesome Tom Bihn Tri-Sta bag giveaway! ~ S.

Summer Cycle Chic

Category: Beltless, Maternity Style, Our Best Flatware, Research Casual, Skirting the Issue, Vélocouture
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29 June 2011 – I Like the Way They Move

June 29th, 2011 § 10 comments §

Bike Date

Sources:

  • Top: Forever 21
  • Shorts: maternity consignment store
  • Tank: Old Navy (tall size)
  • Necklace: Tilly Bloom
  • Sandals: Jeffrey Campbell (I’m not tired of them yet…)
  • Bikes: “Oliver,” a 2010 Raleigh One Way (for N.) and “Sammy,” a 1986 Schwinn Le Tour Mixte (for E.)

End Notes:

Over the weekend N. and I had the delightful gift of free babysitting (thanks, sister-in-law P.!) and the chance to go on a bike date picnic in a nearby park to watch the fireflies. (I’ll be sharing more about the date itself on S.’s bike blog in the near future.) It was a beautiful night and also a great reminder to me of why I should celebrate my legs during this year’s Dress Your Best.

My legs have always been “there” and I’ve rarely been that impressed with either their aesthetics or their extraordinary functionality. Unlike A., S., and L., I’m not a marathoner or a serious runner. I can’t say that my legs have carried me tremendous distances or that they’ve overcome great adversity. They’re kind of pale and kind of…normal.

Legs that Go

But, since beginning biking last year, my legs have acquired greater value in my mind. It’s not because of their athletic prowess — because honestly I don’t really ride that far or that fast — but simply because they have allowed me to participate in an activity that my husband loves and that I, in turn, have come to really enjoy. My legs have taken me on many a bike date exploration of our city with N., with little e., and with visiting friends and relatives. It’s become our “thing” that we do…together. We bike to our respective jobs, to church, to the grocery store, to friends’ homes. And when I pulled out little e.’s trailer and hitched him up to my bike for a library run, all on my own accord, I think husband N. almost burst with pride.

So thanks, legs, for giving me the ability to spend a special kind of quality time with my family. You may not be hardcore or super long or super toned or super anything, but you’ve given me a great gift. And I’m celebrating you by wearing short shorts.

Bike Date

Footsie

Category: Dress Your Best, Maternity Style, Night Without Grading, Our Best Flatware, Proportionally, The Short of It, Vélocouture
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6 June 2011 – Trying a Triad

June 6th, 2011 § 19 comments §

6 June 2011 - Trying a Triad

Sources:

  • Purple dress – thrifted
  • Tote – thrifted
  • Teal cami – BR Outlet
  • Belt – Gap Outlet
  • Sandals – Target
  • Necklace – Earring turned pendant
  • Bike – 1969 Raleigh Sports
  • Helmet – Giro

Endnotes:

Remember our color modules? When I pulled this purple jersey dress off its hanger and added the orange skinny belt to it, I realized that I was one color away from creating a triad. So I reached for a teal (blue-green) camisole to complete the look. For any color theory purists out there, I realize that this isn’t a ‘true triad’ of purple, orange, and green, but it comes pretty close. And in fact, I’d say that near triads often end up looking just as bold and punchy but in a better, more subtle way. Take a look…

27 July 2009 19 November 2009
16 February 2009 16 May 2009

While straight-up oranges, purples, and greens can end up looking a bit Crayola, blue-greens, red-oranges, plums, and aubergines can make for a much richer or more sophisticated color palette. I kept the rest of the outfit simple in terms of color with a navy tote and silver sandals completing the look. (Silver, like navy, is a neutral in my book).

If you could pick any three colors, but only three colors, to wear for an entire month, what would they be? – S.

6 June 2011 - Trying a Triad

Category: Color Combinations, Dresses for Day, Maternity Style, Our Best Flatware, Teaching Outfits, Vélocouture
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1 June 2011 – Anything Goes

June 1st, 2011 § 10 comments §

Blammo

Sources:

  • Tank: Target
  • Skirt: thrifted as a dress, chopped into a skirt
  • Belt: swapped with A.
  • Necklace: consignment shop
  • Shoes: Banana Republic

End Notes:

Very Well-Known Bloggers like Kendi, Jessica, and Christine have all been wearing coral frequently this year, and I apparently have drunk the pinky-yet-orange Kool-aid, too.

DSC_0431 DSC_0072

In fact, I have yet to find a color combination involving coral — whether pale or saturated — that I don’t like.

Colors Up Close

8 April 2011 - Look Alive 27 April 2011 - Diaphanous

Necklace and Belt Detail

And given this dusty purple + coral pairing it doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon. Are you on the coral bandwagon? What combinations are you loving right now?

Blammo

P.S. In case you’re counting, this is outfit number 7 from my capsule wardrobe of 15 pieces.

Category: Color Combinations, Our Best Flatware, Research Casual, Skirting the Issue, Vélocouture
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30 May 2011- On Sharing (Maternity) Clothes

May 30th, 2011 § 10 comments §

Teal and Orange

Sources:

Orange necklace- consignment store
Gray tank – BE Maternity
Teal top – inherited from E.
Skinnies – ON Maternity
Flats- Target
Bag – Kenneth Cole Reaction
Bike – 1969 Raleigh Sports

Endnotes:

This is what I wore last Friday to meet a friend at a coffee shop for cappuccinos and some German conversation. I inherited this teal pregnancy top from E., who wore it during her first pregnancy. When she went through her pregnancy clothes for this time around, she purged some items that she knew she wouldn’t be wearing again, and I was lucky enough to inherit them. I have two thoughts on sharing and inheriting maternity items:

  • It’s great!
  • It can be a ‘false triumph’

1) The advantages:

It’s great if you have friends who can share their maternity items with you because it saves you from having to spend too much money on items that you’ll wear for a limited amount of time. I compiled the majority of my maternity wardrobe from thrift stores, consignment shops, hand me downs, and only a few actually new items (my maternity jeans and a few ‘workhorse’ layering tanks). It’s also a great thing if you have friends who share your sense of style and aesthetic and who will give you pieces that you would have likely bought for yourself.

2) The disadvantages:

It can trap you into wearing something that doesn’t work for you because it’s free, you feel guilty spending money on clothes that won’t get worn for too long, and you feel bad turning down a thoughtful friend. Don’t fall into this trap! If you’re not as lucky as I am to be inheriting clothing from someone as stylish as E., (or maybe the gift giver is stylish, but it’s just not your style), politely decline. Someone else may really appreciate the offerings, and it doesn’t have to be you. I often hear women say that they don’t care what they wear or how something fits when it comes to maternity clothes because it’s temporary and they already have misgivings about their changing and growing body that less than ideal outfits ranks low on their list. I think that particularly at this time, when you want to feel good about your body, you should ruthlessly cull things that don’t serve that purpose. It’s ok to rotate between the same five dresses or maternity tops if you feel truly great in them when you wear them. When it comes to maternity wardrobes, my take is that less (but great) really is more.

So if version #2 above best describes how you feel about maternity hand me downs, do yourself a favor and just say no.

Have you encountered this dilema with shared clothing or hand me downs in general? What have you done in those situations?

Teal and Orange Plaid flats

And on a non-related side note, I’ve received several questions about cycling while pregnant. I’m always happy to answers those questions directly within the comments on this site, but I also wanted to point out that I write more at length about this topic on my bike (and life) blog, Simply Bike. You can read my latest post on cycling into the third trimester here. ~S.

IMG_6266

Category: Beltless, Color Combinations, Lab Friendly, Maternity Style, Our Best Flatware, Pants Please, Research Casual, Vélocouture
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24 May 2011 – Flower Child

May 24th, 2011 § 13 comments §

24 May 2011 - Flower Child

Sources:

Dress – thrifted
Yellow bag – vintage Sears, $1 garage sale find
Yellow flats – Target last summer
Heart pendant – gift from husband
Bike (below) – 1969 Raleigh Sports

Endnotes:

After a weekend spent mostly in shorts and a tank, it was glorious to see the sun come out, to don a summer dress, and to bike to the library yesterday. Over the weekend, my in-laws were in town to help celebrate my husband’s birthday and to help us paint and get the baby room ready. It was so much fun and I’m getting increasingly excited for the arrival of our daughter (I’m now 31 weeks), and am just trying to squeeze as much out for my dissertation as possible before July.

Blue and Yellow

As I noted the last time I wrote, for me being productive and getting a lot of writing and nesting done means not having to get dressed if I don’t feel like it. It means being able to spend half the day in sweats or days in a row wearing iterations of the same tank + shorts combo. But on the occasion that I do want to look a little more presentable, my favorite way to do so quickly is by throwing on a sundress and some flats and leaving it at that. Not only are sundresses super comfortable while still looking nice, they’re also very welcoming of a bourgeoning baby belly. I already had a good collection of empire waist sundresses before I got pregnant and I’ve added a couple more as I’ve come across them at the thrift store these past few months, this blue floral number being one of them.

24 May 2011 - Flower Child
Bike Commute

I’ve always had hippie-ish tendencies when getting dressed but not having to teach and being pregnant has really brought those out in me: just give me a loose floral dress, some Birkenstocks, and let me braid my hair, and I’m a happy camper.

Meanwhile, I so admire how put together and polished E. continues to look throughout her pregnancy. It just goes to show how different all of our styles are here on the site. The same can be said about our approach to getting dressed; while E. thrives under the structure of wardrobe challenges, such as her current 15-for-15, I thrive most when I’m given free reign and can make decisions on the go. Having a wardrobe challenge in addition to being busy sounds really stressful to me, but to E, it represents a fruitful downsizing of options that allows her to thrive under pressure.

What’s your personal stress/style preference? Do you like self-imposed wardrobe challenges or do they feel overwhelming to you? When tackling a multitude of projects, do you prefer to let your fashion choices fall by the wayside or is that when it seems althemore important to look polished in order to feel organized and on top of things? Do share your take on this!

S.

Category: Beltless, Dresses for Day, Maternity Style, Our Best Flatware, Pregnancy in Academia, Research Casual, Vélocouture
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17 May 2011 – Presentable for a Day

May 17th, 2011 § 12 comments §

17 May 2011

Sources:

Top – Olian, via consignment store
Skirt – Liz Lange Maternity, via consignment store
Tank – BE Maternity
Red wedges – vintage Etienne Aigner, thrifted
Bangle – H&M years ago
Earrings – made by me
Sunglasses – my husband’s
Bag – Dots, back in high school when I worked there :)
Bike – 1970s Peugeot Mixte
Helmet – Giro

Endnotes:

Well, you may have noticed that I’ve been somewhat sparse around here lately. A variety of reasons are to blame for this: First, I’m done teaching and so I no longer have to dress up for work every day. Add to that the fact that as my belly’s growing, my wardrobe continues to shrink, and the fact that most days my activities consist of writing at my kitchen table, taking my dog on walks on the nearby trail, meeting friends for walks, or going to prenatal yoga. For all of these aformentioned activities, I’ve been happily donning comfortable workout shorts and my husband’s t-shirts (I’ve outgrown most of mine). So as you can see, not really blog-worthy material.

But the truth is that I wouldn’t want it any other way. It’s been a busy academic year and I’ve still got a heavy writing load to tackle before the baby is due (along with finally getting her room ready, something we’re just now getting started on), so it’s a relief to be able to slow down and take it easy on other fronts. I love being able to just get up and stay in comfortable sweats all day if I’m only going to be walking my dog, writing from home, or lounging on the patio reading. Life is all about ebbs and flows and this is definitely my time to enjoy the ‘ebb’ of being a stay-at-home pregnant woman.

17 May 2011 - 30 week belly 17 May 2011 - 30 week belly

As you can see, I did get dressed yesterday as I biked to my 30 week doctor’s appointment. And it was fun to pull our this funky print shirt that I found on my consignment shop trip with E. a while back, which feels way to fun to waste on a day of dog walking and backyard lounging. I also wiggled my feet into shoes other than Birkenstocks (but let me tell you! It was hard getting that buckle fastened. I almost gave up. It wasn’t that they didn’t fit, it was that in order to put them on, I had to bend down and clear this huge belly that made it nearly impossible to reach the clasp and fasten it). And so I did enjoy a day of looking polished and presentable. But today I’m happily back to cut off (maternity) jean shorts, a tank top, those easy to slip on Birkies, and my backpack as I bike to the library for an afternoon of writing. Right after I go walk my dog in decidedly non-red wedge shoes. ~ S.

17 May 2011

Category: Maternity Style, Reaching New Heights, Skirting the Issue, Teaching Outfits, Vélocouture
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5 May 2011 – Taking It Easy

May 5th, 2011 § 12 comments §

5 May 2011 - Taking it Easy

Sources:

Cardigan – Banana Republic
Dress worn as tunic – Target ages ago
Leggings – JC Penny
Plaid flats – Target
Necklace – lone earring turned pendant (see here for more jewelry repurposing ideas)
Bike Tote – J.Crew, gift from A.
Bike – Peugeot Mixte

Endnotes:

This week has been my first week at home after the semester ended and it’s been wonderful. Although I’m still working out final grades and finishing up loose ends from home, it’s been so great to sleep in a little later, take breaks to walk my dog, meet friends for coffee, or ride my bike to the nearby park and simply sit and read for pleasure.

I gave myself a free pass to take it easy this week and not worry about dissertation stuff or deadlines and just enjoy a break from work. Starting next week, I plan on implementing a daily writing schedule that I aim to keep until the baby’s born (when things will change again) that will hopefully force me to make significant and regular progress.

And since this week has been all about taking it easy and not having to go to campus, my outfits have reflected that and I’ve been living in my favorite preggers uniform: dress turned tunic over leggings with flats. I picked up a couple of inexpensive leggings at JCPenny and I’m really happy with the quality and feel of them. They’re not maternity, just a size up from my usual, and worn rolled down beneath my belly. I’ve come to realize that I hate the feeling of a waist band on top of my belly so even my pregnancy items with a full panel I roll down and wear ‘below the bump’. Having the belly free of constraint and able to ‘breathe’ has been the most comfortable to me.

5 May 2011 - Taking it Easy 2 May 2011 - Layered Dresses

And you may have noticed that I am wearing the same gray jersey dress that I wore in my last post, but this time as a tunic under a cardigan. This simple gray dress is a perfect layering piece. It doesn’t look that great on its own but works wonders as a layering item (see here for more examples), all the more since it’s in such a versatile neutral color. What items in your wardrobe play that role of ‘jack of all trades’?

5 May 2011 - Taking it Easy

Oh, and I have to say a word about the accessories here… since I haven’t been carrying my laptop, lunch, books, etc around with me this week, I’ve left my sturdier bag behind and have taken to carrying my awesome new tote that A. sent me recently. She found this at J.Crew and thought of me as it contains all of my favorite things on it… a book, a bike, and running shoes. I love this bag and treasure it even more so since it comes from A., my long time running partner, with whom I often trade book tips, and who has recently purchased her own yellow mixte to start commuting to campus. Thus, these things not only represent hobbies of mine but also the many ways that A. and I have connected as friends over the years. Thanks, A! I love my new tote and the fact that you thought of me!

As for the necklace, it’s an earring who’s partner I lost and that has been repurposed as a pendant. I simply pushed the little ear loop ‘closed’ and ran the silver chain through it, and voila… (see more ways to creatively repurpose your jewelry here!).

Earring turned pendant

Bike Tote

Category: Beltless, Dresses for Day, It's in the Bag, Lab Friendly, Layers Upon Layers, Maternity Style, Office Hours, Our Best Flatware, Pregnancy in Academia, Research Casual, Vélocouture
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20 April 2011 – Bullying and Believing

April 20th, 2011 § 13 comments §

Orange you glad

Sources:

Dress – thrifted ($3)
Cardigan – NY & co.
Belt – Gap outlet
Wedges – Report, via Solestruck.com
Necklace – earring turned pendant
Bangles – thrifted and gift from dad
Bike – 1969 Raleigh Sports
Helmet – Nutcase

Endnotes:

First, a few words on the outfit: I thrifted this dress during the winter, while it was too cold to wear it, but I bought it in anticipation of it working as a maternity dress. Besides loving the wild paisley print and beautiful warm colors, I also loved that it was jersey (read: stretchy) and with a high waist. And here I am at 25 weeks (when this picture was taken) and fitting perfectly into it. I foresee this one fitting me for a while still. I cannot wait for summer, when I’ll be able to live in stretchy comfortable dresses – my favorite maternity outfit for sure.

Orange you glad Orange you glad

Second, I’d like to thank you all for chiming in with such great comments and points of discussion on my post from Monday. I raised the issue of the media outcry regarding the pink-toenailed J.Crew boy and so many of you had such great things to add. I was particularly fascinated by the thread of discussion regarding the use of children in media and for advertising purposes. While I had focused on the gender talk surrounding this event, many of you noted another interesting issue at play here: using children to promote and advertise companies or products. I haven’t given this enough thought to formulate a concise opinion on this yet, but I’m glad for the incentive to ponder this.

I also appreciated the viewpoint brought by those who noted the paradox between all the anti-bullying talk we’ve had in the media lately and the bullying tone and comments made by those same personalities regarding this boy and his mother now. How quickly we seem to forget that just a few months ago, everyone was talking about the need to educate our youths and to ensure bully-free zones in our schools and communities. Dan Savage, one of my favorite writers and podcast personalities, started the It Gets Better Project with his husband Terry. President Obama contributed a video along with many straight allies and well known public figures. Yet here we are, still listening to certain members of the media openly and unabashedly engaging in the kind of bullying that we were trying to eradicate.

I don’t really have an answer or a message for all of this, I just wanted to highlight the great point raised by so many about the role of bullying in this discussion. I’m hopeful though, that despite the inevitable setbacks, our society can keep moving forward towards acceptance and respect for all its members. I have to be hopeful. I’m bringing a new little member into this world and I have to believe that we’re progressing and not regressing in our worldviews and ways of interracting with each other.

Baby belly at 25 weeks

Category: Color Combinations, Dresses for Day, Layers Upon Layers, Maternity Style, Reaching New Heights, Teaching Outfits, Theoretical, Vélocouture
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