Monday, May 10, 2010

Mommy Style Monday #4--So You Only Have Ten Minutes...

First up...Happy Mother's Day. Whether you are a mom with many children, a mom with one kid, a mom who is expecting, or even a dad who is acting as a mom, I commend you. No one realizes what kind of work goes into raising little ones until one actually has to do the job, so it ranks high on the "under-appreciated" chart. Good thing at least one day a year is set aside for celebration. That said, Mr. Dina wants the world to know that mothers should be celebrated daily in small ways. Good to know...can you get me a glass of wine, then? ;)

Second, to honor the time crunch that all moms face, be they the kind of mom who commutes to a job or the kind of mom whose job is right in the house, today's Mommy Style Monday is all about dressing with limited time. And because I don't believe in ever stating something without truly believing it, I actually experimented on myself starting with Friday morning and ending with this morning. I gave myself a time limit of ten minutes to get ready for each outfit I had to put together (there were five total). This did not include bathing or facial stuff (moisturizing, contacts, brushing teeth), but did include make-up.

The results are very mixed. Some pretty good, and some very most definitely "meh." But that is okay. At the end of the photographic journey of my ten minute outfits, you will see eight rules to live by if you want to attempt a streamlined approach to your dressing time. Over time, I bet I could "bring it" a lot more in ten minutes. I may try this experiment periodically, almost like my own mini-version of the Olympic games, sort of like, I have been practicing for so long, now let's show the world just what I have. Haha. LOL. We'll see.

I start with the very good, my fave, and one I will be wearing again. This was the only one I made a polyvore for. A lot of times I will make a polyvore but not publish it. Instead I will keep it in the "Draft" folder to remind me not to go there again. I have about twenty outfits in there that are just "do not attempt again." Anyone else do a version of that? All the pieces in the polyvore are accurate, so click on the individual items if you want to know more about them.

In real life I wore this to Sunday "Mother's Day" Dinner at one of our favorite Ethiopian restaurants, Meaza. (Did you know that outside of Ethiopia itself, Northern Virginia has the HIGHEST population of Ethiopians? Yep...and that makes for really awesome things like great students, friendly neighbors, and ridiculously yummy food.)

Size 8. This is a collection item and is a bit snug through the hips, even now. I think it is meant to be body-hugging, but my Spanx helped me feel just that much better about it!
Jacket: Size 4. This is a Super-120s jacket in black that I purchased at Rugged Wearhouse for...$29.99. Yes. It is still $230 on-line. It had a BUTTON missing...that was it. Yes, I can get the tailor to help me out. I still saved nearly $200 after all was said and done (the tailor sewed it on for free).
Shoes: Size 9.5. Love you Cole-Haan.
Belt: Size xs-sm. My hubby did not like the belt, but he never does. I think he looks at belts as a practical thing, to hold up pants. It bugs him that I wear them for purely pretty reasons. Men. ;)

Baby also did a ten-minute outfit. Had a rough time locating her pants but that is because she does not have #1 on the list (see below) done yet. This is my fault, so I only have myself to blame. :)

This is my second favorite outfit from my experiment. I adore all the elements (like the ombre pearl necklace and the shimmerveil charmed mini-bag--you can see its chain), but am bugged that my sandals are a bit off in color from the aqua blue. It was fine...out in the sunlight no one even noticed. I wore this outfit to go gallivanting in Old Town. It was an insanely beautiful day on Saturday afternoon and I wanted my outfit to match the spring-like air.

Size 6 or UK 10. I reviewed it here for more info.
Shoes: Size 10. These are a Gap Outlet pair that I bought in 2008.

For more info on the purse, see here. For more on the necklace, see the second to last picture.

This is my outfit from this morning. I am on the fence about it. I like it, it is certainly non-offensive, but it is very, very simple barring the necklace and the sandals.

But since today was for errands and chilling at home with the kids, it really was the perfect outfit.

Sweater: Size Small. Bet you think this is a J. Crew sweater? Nope. It is a Chadwick's cashmere sweater from 2006. It is insane how beautiful this is in real life. And soft! And was pretty darn cheap at $45.
Pants: Size 10. Saturday Pants from J. Crew last spring (2009).
Sandals: Size 9-10. Direct rip-off of J. Crew's capri sandals. Bought at Kohl's many years ago.

For more info on the necklace, see last photo.

I like that baby is wearing lime green, too. :)

I like this outfit, especially the individual pieces, but am bothered by them together. The top would definitely pair with white linen trousers better. But hindsight is 20/20.

I wore this on Mother's Day morning. My only request? That I be taken to McDonald's for breakfast (yum, sausage mcmuffin with cheese) and Starbucks for coffee (yum, Grande Breve latte).

Shirt: Size 6 or UK 10. This is the Boden Hepburn Shirt. It is so beautiful and extremely well-made. I love the colorways it is offered in, and once on sale I hope to pick it up in the ivory color.
Pants: Size 30. These are my beloved Amore Wash Toothpick Jeans from J. Crew.
Shoes: Size 10. These are the City Printed Ballet Flats. If you look closely, they are the same print as my long lost desire, the Liberty Printed Laura Shirt. (No, I have not found her. Sadness!)

I love baby's outfit SO much. :)

Finally my dud. No one threw tomatoes at me, but I was disappointed. I went subbing in this, and admittedly, I was walking home, but still. I think I should have worn a different cardigan, or a different top. Next time I will know better.

Top: Size medium. From Delia's. I love the floral print, so pretty. The colors are pretty sweet, too.
Cardigan: Size small. The soft tee cardigan from J. Crew last summer is truly super-soft. I spent a good portion of the day caressing my arms.
Pants: Size Tall 8. These are the tall Scout Chinos. I love the extra length in both the inseam and the rise. Talls fit me much better on the bottom half. The only time I can't wear talls at J. Crew is in their suiting and denim. The inseams on those are 36" and I would have to wear "hooker" heels to have them not be a tripping hazard. And since I don't own "hooker" heels, looks like I am out of luck.
Shoes: Size 10. These are the Miss Trish of Capri sandals from last summer, with the starfish.

Ah, the lovely necklace known as the Ombre Pearl Cluster Necklace. Currently sold out on-line, watch for popbacks here.

This is the perfect statement necklace if you want to be understated in your statement (seems like an oxymoron, but it isn't). The length is adjustable, I am wearing it a bit higher so it clears the collar of the dress, but it can be worn lower.

I know why it sold out. At $98 and not some piece of tackle-box jewelry, J. Crew Aficionadas were super-excited and swept in and bought them all up!

Last cool necklace is the seahorse pendant necklace mentioned over at Gigi's Gone Shopping yesterday. My favorite part? It is only $19.99 and looks way more expensive than that. It also was just the thing this argyle sweater needed.

Go, Target!

So, that's it. Below I have written down some tips to make your transition to a ten-minute dresser easier. Now I know you will take more time sometimes, and hon, I totally get that. This is your list for the days when you just don't have enough of it...

Tips for a successful ten minutes:

1. Always have a well-organized closet. The less clutter, the more likely you are to see just the perfect "missing" piece for the outfit you have chosen. (Example from above--the jacket in my "Mother's Day Dinner" outfit. I tried on four jackets, was getting worried it would take longer than ten minutes, and then I spied this jacket--and it was perfect!)

2. Try to stay within a specific color palette year after year of buying clothing. Since college I have pretty much stayed true to my love of citrus colors, yellow, green, and orange. I do branch out, of course, but tend to veer towards my faves over and over again. They may darken up for winter wear (grass green becomes olive green, and sunshine yellow goes mustard), but they are from the same family! (You can see my love for these colors throughout the five outfits.)

3. Always search for an anchor piece to each outfit. I will often choose a blouse, or a pair of shoes, or even a necklace weeks in advance of actually wearing and say, "When I do wear this, everything will work for this piece." (From the examples above you can see this most with the watercolor dress and with the ombre necklace.)

4. I love dresses for ten minute dressing. Umm, no pants, shirt, and extra piece to match? Yes, please. Plus dresses are often in gorgeous prints, making the color coordination really easy. (See both dresses above for examples of this...)

5. I love revisiting really old pieces of clothing in my wardrobe. (Having a well-organized closet makes finding them really easy, btw. I never was very organized and I would buy things thinking I needed them and in reality, had I been more organized, I would have found the solution without having to spend extra money. Now I just buy for the buying pleasure, lol.) Over this weekend of dressing in ten minutes, I found many items I hadn't worn in a while, the watercolor dress, the argyle sweater, the printed flats, and the floral tee. It was fun wearing things that were the "something old."

6. Great accessories can make an outfit go so far! The two necklaces I highlighted were like shining beacons of light to my hubby complimented the seahorse pendant for instance, which for him is pretty unusual. My dresses and tees? Sure., no. The shimmerveil charmed mini-bag is also a great accessory and is functional, too, so yahoo for double duty.

7. Finally, give yourself a break if you discover after the fact that your ten minute outfit kind of sucks. (See my subbing outfit.) It is okay. Chances are no one is even really noticing. I tend to only notice really REALLY fab outfits or really REALLY bad outfits. Those kind of "sucky" outfits fly under the radar for the most part and that's cool. You are the only one who really is stressing over it...

8. Also, if you are feeling unsure, a great smile can be the best addition to any ten minute outfit. Trust me on this. :)

Have a great night. Don't giveaway for some yummy, delicious Arbonne products ends this Wednesday!