Category Archives: fashion

Preppy Feet


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I picked up these Sperry Topsiders as a new fall shoe. It happened somewhat randomly — I’d been thinking I wanted a black loafer but more specifically, something that felt like a sneaker but looked a little more polished. Since my feet always hurt comfort is key and every time I looked around, the options just seemed to stiff and formal. Then last week I was hanging out with family and when I needed to make a quick dash outside, I put on my sister-in-law’s topsiders as they were closest to the door. They were so comfortable I didn’t want to take them off.  I’d never tried Topsiders on before because believe it or not, they seemed pretty preppy. A quick internet search later and I’d settled on these. The combo of black and brown feels fall like but not too formal or too preppy (sometimes the non-traditional color scheme really helps to offset the stereotype) and the touch of gold on the laces and grommets make them feel special. I love that they do look more polished than sneakers but not overly so. I’m not afraid to hop into the sandbox or anything!

P.S. Do you know about Zappos VIP?

P.P.S. One of the reasons I love living in San Francisco… Not a bad view from the playground huh?

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First Day Of Preschool

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First Day! Officially today was visit day so we got to go with Houlton to meet his teachers, classmates, and their parents. I’m so excited that he’s starting school and a bit nostalgic too. My little boy!

Houlton picked his outfit (so much for a cute preppy button down). I wasn’t sure what to wear. I mean, I’m a grown up now right? I tried to look a little polished while still being preschool appropriate.

Shirt: J.Crew, Jeans: old J.Crew (similar), Scarf: LemLem (similar), Shoes: Loeffler Randall* (here, here, here)

*The shoes are a big coup. These are the pair I lusted after this spring/summer. I love snakeskin – it’s such a fun neutral and this white version was a bit 80s (love) and would look good with all the denim and chambray I’ve been wearing. I just found them on Amazon at 70%. How random is that? Just one pair, just my size. My shopping tip: when you love a specific style, look for it by name on shopstyle.com or just google the name – in this case Loeffler Randall Milla.

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Late Summer

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The funny thing about September in San Francisco is that it’s actually the start of summer. Or summer weather at least! So I felt slightly less stupid buying this summery vintage blouse last week knowing I’d get to wear it a lot in the next few weeks. It’s also a classic in my mind — I’ve always wanted one of these (and as the friendly/amusing sales woman said “you only need one”) so I was excited to find this one that fits, wasn’t overpriced, and has such a great color palette.

Look for Oaxacan or Mexican embroidered blouses on Etsy or Ebay or at your local vintage shop (this is a great vintage list for SF). And if it’s really fall where you live, wouldn’t a black one be pretty with jeans and a chunky cardigan?

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Blouse: Vintage from Reliquary, Jeans: Emerson Fry, Sandals: very old Paul Smith, Bag: Reed Krakoff

Hatch Collection Fall 2014

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I adore Hatch Collection. I mean look at those women! How cute are they? Their Fall 2014 collection just launched and I’m in love with the new plaids, the soft pink and “mocha” colors, and as always, the styling is killer. If you aren’t shopping Hatch, you should still take a look at how they put the outfits together — the accessories they choose, the way they layer, it’s all fantastic. I love the semi-sheer tights, the aviators, and the classic loafers.

My first pregnancy, I bought some good maternity basics — great jeans, solid tees in lasting colors, a black maxi dress that worked for different occasions. I also ended up getting some styles that are pretty standard in the maternity world — tops with empire waists and ties in the back, wrap dresses, body-conscious ruching everywhere — that I would never, ever wear in real life. I wore them but by the time I gave birth I was ready to burn some of those things!

With my second pregnancy, I already had my staple wardrobe so I was able to justify having a little more fun with shopping and splurging on a few new things that I loved. I was done wearing things that weren’t my style. I’m just not one to wear clingy stuff without a bump so tight, stretchy clothes had no appeal to me. Enter Hatch. The fabrics are lovely, the shapes are darling and flattering (not the “sack” look you think they’d be), and they’re actually practical — lots of machine washable fabrics (including that silk looking stuff) and styles that travel from the playground to the office to cocktail parties.

They are also actually, truly, no kidding, maternity clothes you can wear when you’re not pregnant. Some of that comes from the fact that soft drapey layers are fashionable right now but it’s also the genius of the cuts. I wore my Slouch Dress to a wedding this spring with gold wedges and gold jewelry and I’m waiting for cooler weather when I can pair my Pull Over top with skinny jeans and boots. I may even add to my collection with something to wear now knowing that it’s an investment for my maternity wardrobe too. Their pieces are perfect for stylish moms given that you can really run around in the clothes, dress them up or down, and wash them at home.

What should you get? My recommendation is something “special” but also highly wearable. A simple dress (like the Mercer or the Darling) that can be worn casual or fancy around the holidays for instance. If you’re office bound during your pregnancy, you’ll be so happy to have utterly comfortable and professional pants or a top you can wear any day of the week.

Feeling super chic? Jumpsuit.

The ultimate wish list? Cashmere Joggers. That would be cashmere sweat pants. Heaven.

 

P.S. I happened to be in New York last winter when Hatch had a pop up shop and got to try on everything. But even shopping online, their customer service is great. Not sure about a fit or sizing? Give them a call. They’re super helpful!

P.P.S. If it isn’t obvious from my fledgling blogger status, this is not a sponsored post. I really just love them this much.

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Morning Hike

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Oh Saturday morning… “let’s get out for a hike early!” so we’re parking the car at the “trail head” at 11 and I’m still thinking about all the things at home that need to be done — laundry, piles of stuff that never get addressed, vacuuming before our friend comes this evening. Five minutes of warm sunshine and walking through a peaceful eucalyptus grove and it’s all forgotten. Even though it takes so much energy and stress to get out of the house these days and our outings are often cut short by our slowness getting started, it’s always worth it to get outside.

 

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My husband and I both wore our New Balance Sneakers. Dorky matching couple shoes! Now we just need to get them for the boys and we’ll be all set. They are super comfortable.

I’m also sporting my dad’s vintage Reyn Spooner swim trunks (yes they’re corduroy) from the 70s and a cheesy Bernese Mountain Dog baseball tee. Love me my baseball tees — the raglan sleeves are so flattering and I love a 3/4 sleeve.  This outfit classifies as outdoorky no?

 

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#stylethebump

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Are you up on this? Maternity fashion has a lot of inspiration these days — search for “style my bump,” “dressing the bump” or “style the bump” on instagram, pinterest, etc. and you’ll find everything from darling selfies to seriously stylish professionals. Personally, I never felt great about how I looked when I was preggers. Taking pictures was only something I forced myself to do in my second pregnancy after I remembered that you always feel better about the pictures several months later (isn’t it funny how that works? I swear every time I hate a photo I see it 6 months later and think I look great). Negative thoughts aside, I realized it’s worth having some pregnancy photos just to see that big crazy belly. So I’m thoroughly impressed with these women just for stepping out in front of the camera.

Here are a few of my favorites — let me know who else you find out there and where you get your favorite maternity inspiration!

 

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I discovered Marie Hindkær here and I had to check her Instagram for more after seeing that first photo (top of page) in that cute striped dress. So darling right? I love the flats for evening. See more here too.

 

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She’s great too right? I love how she’s holding little shoes in the image above.

 

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Sara Strand is my new obsession. I love her blog (her photos are amazing — the still lifes are great) and her style is so adorable. The trainers with the dress? The moto jacket? Perfect. Comfortable and cute. She was featured with some other bump style pics on Isabella Oliver’s website (they make her blue floral dress).

We could all learn a few things from her about how to pose for a maternity photo. She looks relaxed and real — not too pose-y. The overhead bump shot is priceless. What a fun way to chronicle a growing belly — put on cute shoes and snap away!

And finally… I spotted Gaelyn from My Corner View on Pinterest. I love how she puts together adorable outfits without a lot of maternity clothes. She looks cute every time and she’s often mixing up the same basics we all have — like those converse sneakers — into great outfits.

 

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Backpacks

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Houlton with Pooh and his SkipHop backpack.

I’m really excited to share these backpacks with you… No, they’re not for your little one (though that’s fun too).  I’ve had backpacks on my mind for a while now — honestly it’s taken me longer than usual to pull this post together because there are just too many cute backpacks to choose from. It seems I’m not the only one who’s been thinking about backpacks — Refinery 29 has done several pack posts in recent weeks including this and then this one for sleek office styles. Needless to say, they’re all a lot cooler than they were the last time I went shopping for a book bag in high school.

It’s somewhat surprising that there aren’t more diaper bags that are backpacks as they’re so nice for parents. For the early months, I love having all those little pockets to keep track of the absurd amount of essentials a little baby needs (multiple outfits, diapers and wipes, etc etc) but lugging a heavy bag around, even if it’s messenger style, gets old. Once babies are on the move, hands free makes such a difference giving you more freedom on adventures knowing you can comfortably wrangle your little rascal(s).

So here’s my short list. And before you get in too deep, you should know that most (all?) of these styles come in a rainbow of colors.

 

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  1. Oh my god Hershel! Who are these people? They have such a big selection (over a dozen backpacks in tons of colors and prints plus kids, other luggage…) and they’re all so cool. This one is definitely my top pick for it’s retro urban vibe. Oh wait, it’s got a red striped lining which makes it so much easier to find things in your bag.
  2. Filson is an authentic American “sportsman” company. Their products are built to last for years and years. This pack of of course nails the heritage look and according to the company website, you can use it for hunting and shooting too in addition to cruising around town with your red tricycle.
  3. Sleek enough for a commute, chill enough for the park, this Everlane pack is a refined version of the classic rucksack.
  4. One of several awesome throw back styles Madewell is selling from JanSport (red available here). On rough days you can pretend you and a young Robert Redford are off for a hike in the Utah Wilderness. Somewhere really quiet… where children couldn’t climb…
  5. It can’t just be the fox logo that makes this adorable right? The Fjallraven Kanken pack was originally designed for Swedish school children but it’s since been co-opted by hipsters and cute moms. I dream about getting a mini one “for my son” that I can wear around for him, you know, until he’s big enough for it. Or big enough to say he doesn’t want a pink backpack at which time I’ll just have to keep it.
  6. Another more sporty pick from Herschel. While those elastics straps may simply look cute and outdoorsy, they’re great for stashing your little one’s jacket when the sun comes out.
  7. This is my current pack — I’ve had it for eight years (wow, why is adding up years always so outrageous these days?) and it’s still in great shape. I love that it is super lightweight — great for packing on a trip — and durable so I never worry about throwing in groceries, dirty clothes, or whatever else I need to carry. Bonus feature: it can be used as a tote or a pack.
  8. This new style from Patagonia caught my eye — I love that it has a great retro look without sacrificing any sporty function.
  9. Timbuk2 makes such great quality bags and I love the hit of camo on this one. When you go with a more outdoorsy choice, you get great features like extra pockets, ventilated backs, more comfortable straps, and a bottle opener (“for hydration emergencies”). That’s not a typo.
  10. A classic leather rucksack that you’ll have for years and years. This Madewell version is definitely a step up for the playground without looking too posh.
  11. You’ve seen these Marc bags around and now there’s a pack version to try.
  12. I’m not a big fan of cheap/fast fashion but since you’re probably not in the market for this Alexander Wang, perhaps you want to try the purse pack thing with this knockoff version.

 

If you’re into the idea of a leather backpack that’s as nice as any other handbag in your closet there are so many choices right now. A quick search at your favorite luxury department store will reveal dozens upon dozens in the 4 figure range. Maybe we should have a contest on who can find the most expensive one? I do think the best investments are the convertible ones like this Loeffler Randall style. You can use it either way now and in the future, if you move on from backpacking, you still have a lovely shoulder bag.

 

P.S. The photos below from Loeffler Randall are exactly why I love accessories so much. Her outfit couldn’t be simpler but she looks so cool. It’s obviously the shoes!

 

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Loeffler Randall Lock Backpack worn two ways.

Caitlin

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Dress and Blazer by Zara — bought a bigger size than usual in the dress.

 

I wanted to share a few pictures and a mini interview with my sister-in-law Caitlin. She lives in Boston and is expecting a baby boy in November — her first. Caitlin is one of those women who always looks amazing — stylish and relaxed whether she’s dressed for a wedding in a 70s-inspired gown or hanging out on a sleepy Sunday in cutoffs and a plain tank. She’s great at spotting the best pieces from Zara, H&M, and Asos – stores I often find overwhelming since there’s so much to choose from.

Needless to say, her maternity style hasn’t missed a beat. She’s made some smart shopping decisions too — seeking out non-maternity shift dresses that have enough room for her growing bump (especially when she sizes up) or having dresses tailored a touch to flatter her new figure like she did with the sweet polka dot dress below.

See what she has to say below.

 

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I like this dress (from Holiday in Boston) bc I can wear it to work and for play.                                                                             It also reminds me of Kate Middleton when she left the hospital 🙂

 

 

What’s been your best maternity buy?

J.Crew Maternity Toothpick Jeans

 

What types of clothes have you been most comfortable in?
Loose fitting dresses… I’m scared for the fall when it’s too cold to wear them and I’m huge!
What things can you not stand to wear right now?
Shoes that aren’t comfortable and don’t have any support.
How do you keep cool in the heat?
I love the heat! But I keep cool by eating as much ice cream as possible and dragging my husband to the beach on the weekends.
Any cravings?
Early on all I wanted was grilled cheese and pizza but now I have fewer cravings.
I guess mostly I just want to eat ice cream all the time.
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Dress from Nordstrom (Juniors!)

What are your favorite shops in Boston – maternity or otherwise?
  • Pea in the Pod on Newbury Street
  • Zara – not maternity specific but I’ve bought a lot of dresses & shirts that can work as maternity & after the baby is born
  • Holiday – also not maternity but a boutique on Charles Street in Beacon Hill – love the vintage style and their jewelry
  • Asos maternity – love that it’s affordable and they’ve got a lot of cute stuff
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What’s the most surprising thing about being pregnant?
How strange but wonderful it is when you start to feel the baby moving around.
What’s on your maternity wish list?
Anything from Hatch!
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Thanks Caitlin!
P.S. This Dressing the Bump series by Oh Joy is great for maternity ideas too. I love how she mixes fun colors and prints.
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Cute expectant family!

A few more vacation pictures…

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It’s a foggy San Francisco morning and I for one can use a little sunshine today. Perhaps you can too. Here are a few more pictures from our recent trip to Hawaii. It’s such an amazing place — so much gorgeous color! The air smells incredible, the warm breeze… ahh… take me back! Traveling with kids is never easy, even in paradise. We had the grandparents with us and we were all pretty busy taking care of the two boys. But when childcare means swimming in the ocean and the kiddie meal happens outside at sunset, you really can’t complain.

I’ve skimped a little on outfit credits as it’s mostly older things but leave a comment if you have any questions!

In beach related style — check out this slideshow on Refinery 29. It’s real women on the beach and they got some great shots. The women are a) wearing cool, inspirational outfits, b) from places you and i shop and c) look like healthy gorgeous normal women. No super models in sight. I love the mix and match suits.

Click on the images below for a pop up tropical slideshow.

Ra-Ra-Rashguard

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If you haven’t discovered the rash guard, surf shirt or “fashguard”, it’s time to check one out. I was first introduced to them many years ago when the cool (ok, let’s be real here and refer to them as smoking hot) Hawaiian paddler dudes teaching stand up paddle were wearing them. Fast forward several years and rash guards are now everywhere.

I love them because they’re ultimate lazy beach mom attire. Who has time to put sunscreen on? It’s hard enough to get it on the kids, get into your own suit, and get out the door. With SPF 50+ you don’t have to worry about overexposure or reapplying. Have you ever had your toddler pull your suit off accidentally?  No worrying about another type of overexposure when you step out of the water.

Now that covering up is fashionable are so many cute rash guards to choose from it’s a little overwhelming.

Here are a few tips:

  • Choose your sleeve length — I’m all for the long sleeves but if torso modesty or an inability to put sunscreen on your own back is all you care about then look for shortsleeve or sleeveless.
  • Consider the weight — unless you need this for cool climates (hello NorCal) you want something really lightweight so you’re not overheated when you’re out of the water.
  • How often will you wear this thing? If you’ve only got one trip to the beach on the horizon, look for a style that can double as a workout top or long underwear. Athleta and Patagonia are great choices if you want a cross-functional design.

 

And here are a few of my favorites:

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Seea: I love their whole collection — so many sophisticated colors and interesting print combinations. Matching swim suits too!

Athleta: Short sleeve version of what I’m wearing above. The half zip is such a nice feature.

Athleta: Love the gray t-shirt look – would work over just about anything.

 

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Billabong: Fun all over print – the black and white makes it easy to layer over any solid

Lands End: Preppy stripe mix – they have cute polka dots too.

Billabong: Surfer girl graphics.

 

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Cynthia Rowley: My fantasy pick. Her surf collection is so gorgeous.

Billabong: Indian inspired print sleeves and earthy colors.

J.Crew: The high neck on their styles are surprisingly flattering in a Bond Girl kind of way. A rear zipper helps you get them on.

 

The selection at Athleta, Swim Outlet, J.Crew, and Nordstrom were all great. And given that it’s almost fall (at least in the fashion world) many are currently on sale.

 

Still need inspiration? Check out this post on Honestly WTF.

 

On me: Athleta top. On Houlton: J.Crew top, Vilebrequin shorts (absurdly cute, absurdly priced – they were a super generous gift. look for them on Gilt!)

 

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