Monday, November 1, 2010

Mommy Style Monday #13--What Are You Putting Out There?

Hello, Monday! :)

It has been a few weeks since my last "Mommy Style Monday," and really, Mommy Style Monday #12 shouldn't count, but since I like the number 13, I am going to call today's installment #13 and be done with it.

I was inspired to write today's post because of the Mindy Cohn episode of What Not to Wear that aired on Friday night (yay, Stacey and Clinton are back!!!). In it, Stacey and Clinton REALLY laid into our dear sweet Natalie from the Facts of Life because what she was wearing sent out a message to others that Mindy didn't know that she was sending out! Mindy thought her casual, laid back look would be interpreted as such...people would see her on the street, she believed, and would immediately think, "ooh, that lady looks comfy, and cozy, and so easy-going." Instead her look read as frumpy, tired, and careless. The look that Mindy got when she realized just what Stacey and Clinton were getting at was was like a literal light-bulb went off in the darkness and she could see the illuminated Jimmy Choos! And bless her heart, Mindy was super-stoked to change how her appearance comes across. By the end, Mindy looked exactly like she had always wanted...her fitted frocks and elegant accessories went the distance and delivered the look of ease, polish, and fun much more than her over-sized tees and baggy-crotched sweatpants (really, she had them made for her!) had done before her appearance on What Not to Wear.

I sympathize with Mindy, and with all ladies who intend one look but instead give off an entirely different look. In the past I have been in her shoes. (Even in the past two years of writing this blog--check out this ditty from my early days!) My aunt, when I was in college, took me to the side and laid into me for wearing drab, shapeless, and boring clothing (it's true--at one point I was much more at home in a long black jumper dress, long ribbed cardigan, and a tee than I was in sequins, ruffles, and pencil skirts). She basically told me that I was coming off as someone in her early 40s (eek) than as someone in her late teens. She told me, point blank, to wear more color, to wear more fitted clothing, and to wear more makeup. Because I love my aunt, and value her opinion, I listened to her. It took me about 15 years, but I have settled into the style that I believe she always knew I had in me. Now I feel like I can put together looks that express my style, fun, polished, and colorful. I also want to appear youthful, and I think most of the time I do.

So what are you putting out there? Have you had your own style intervention (a la me and Mindy)? Does your look express what you want it to? Have you asked your loved ones for an honest opinion?

And now, two of my latest outfits and how they appeared to I fully intended the response to and one whose response actually shocked me.

Above is the outfit I wore on Saturday. I wanted a polished, fun, easy look that also could read "chic." In the end, I felt successful and I plan on wearing this again when the time is right (i.e. preschool run, going to lunch with the ladies, etc.).

This is the outfit with all the elements pieced together.  I was playing with proportion here, and when the proportion is accurate, the chic comes through.  One thing I have learned from other bloggers is to PLAY with proportion.  Some like Chloe of The Chloe Conspiracy, ABC of A Bigger Closet, and Slastena of About All and Nothing at All (to name three, there are dozens more) really get proportion and how elegant even jeans can be when paired with the right silhouette.

I am loving the short-sleeved jacket for the fall, and when paired with this three-quarter sleeved cardigan, hits the right note of sophisticated and casual (all at once).  Since I was doing errands that day and then getting dinner, I really did need to have both elements in my outfit.

I also love the look of chunky platform peep-toes (yummy Anticipation Heels from Anthropologie--AGAIN) with the matte jersey curator pants which have a cropped hemline.

I felt modern, yet classic, as well, with the Talbot's cream quilted bag and the beaded glass necklaces.

Pieces you see in this "proportion play" outfit:
Jacket: Maryn Jacket.
Cardigan: (In-Store Only) Beaded Placket Cardigan, Bronzed Ochre color. (I like the cardi in the polyvore as an alternate, though, would have very similar effect, I believe.)
Pants: Matte Jersey Curator Pants.
Shoes: Anticipation Heels by Miss Albright.
Necklaces: Scattered Glass Necklace and an (in-store only) glass beaded necklace.
Purse: Quilted Leather Bag.

Here I am with just the cardi on, no jacket. This changes the look up making it less sophisticated, yet still polished.

Close-up of the details of the necklaces, purse, cardigan, and tank.

I think this pic says it all. I felt good in this outfit, and with the addition of my son and my fave A.R. Trapp Troubadour sunglasses, I felt very stylish mommy. ;)

Above is the second polyvore of the outfit I wore to sub on Friday. I intended for my look to read colorful, easy, casual, and fun. Turns out some people (cough, cough, MR. DINA) thought it looked a different way entirely. Huh.

This is the outfit without the Fiona jacket, just the tee, jeans, and sneakers. Notice my hair is in pigtails.

So how did this very outfit appear to Mr. Dina? Well, after my WALK HOME, no makeup on, looking (in my mind) tired and worn out, he says to me, "THIS IS MY FAVORITE OUTFIT YOU HAVE EVER WORN. I love it. I especially love the pigtails."

Me: (Slack-jawed.) (Pause for thirty seconds.) (Compose myself.) "Are you joking?"

Him: "No! I really love it. You should wear this every. day. of. your. life. Especially the pigtails."

Me: "Umm. Okay. But what about that dress I wore the other day, with the heels, and the makeup, and the pretty hair?"

Him: "Well, it was fine, but not really my thing. You should wear this whenever we go out. I love it."

Me: (Sigh.) "I guess it's true what they say...'women really do dress for other women.'"

Him: "Well, if that's the case, we would have saved a lot of money if you only ever dressed for me exclusively. In fact, why don't you do that?"

Me: "But I LOVE my fashion blog!!!"


See! My intent: Look nice enough to sub but still casual, colorful, and decent. What I put out there: THE BEST LOOK EVER EVER EVER (well, for the men of the species, anyhow). Huh.

Pieces of this unintended BEST LOOK EVER EVER EVER:
Top: Crewcuts Graphic Tee, "Don't Be So Shellfish."
Jeans: 7FAM Dojo Flip-Flop Jeans.

Here it is, with the Fiona Jacket in Pumpkin (I think?). I wore the orange Fiona simply as a nod to the month of October. I really like how the teal and the orange look together (even if Tory Burch can't stand the combo--heh, my hubby likes it, too, TORY!). LOL.

I hope that my slightly lengthy discussion on intent versus reality has helped some of you. I also urge you to ask others about your style when you may expect to hear the answer or you may get an answer you weren't expecting at all. (And that's okay!)