My dear readers, I received this email today and since I do like to keep my readers happy I will do my best to fulfill this request.
Dear Big Mama,
Can you please help some of us lesser fashionistas through this season’s
scary fashions on your blog? I know you write what comes to you, but I am
totally distressed by my August issue of InStyle. I believe you have already
covered the skinny jean. But no one else seems bothered by the resurgence of
the suspender, the jeans tucked into boots, the mini mini dresses, or the
pencil skirt. I am totally bothered by these fashions and have found myself
so overwrought I am needing direction. I am betting so do many other of your
PS – Consider this your first, “From our readers”
Let me first say how excited I was to get an email from a faithful reader, especially one that I had just gotten off the phone with not 10 minutes before I received this request.
Now before y’all get all excited about getting some fall fashion tips from me (apparently I’m a “greater” fashionista) let me tell you what qualifies me to give fashion advice…not necessarily anything. However, for most of my life I have been known to meticulously plan out my outfit for any given occasion. All of my college girlfriends will tell you that my first question upon learning of any event is “What am I going to wear?” I promise that if the White House called tomorrow to tell me that I had been elected President of the United States, my first thought would be “Oh my good gracious, what on earth will I wear to the inaugural ball?” I will not argue with you if you are now questioning my depth as a human being.
First and foremost, I will refer you to my friend Boomama who did a brilliant job of detailing her fear of this 80’s fashion resurgence. Boomama knows that anyone who lived through the 80’s will not be quick to jump back into that train wreck.
So without further ado, I hope to shed a little light, insight and wisdom into this perilous fashion landscape.
As Moms (which I’m assuming most of us are) the best thing you can do for yourself is to get yourself a good stylish pair of jeans. DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT purchase any pair of jeans with a waistband that is above your belly button. You don’t have to be Britney Spears and have it all hanging out, but give your figure a fighting chance and create a longer line with a lower waist.
Now y’all know I’m not going to recommend the skinny leg because I like all of you very much. What I will suggest is maybe a smaller bootcut or even a straight leg jean with a little bit of stretch. I bought a pair of 7 jeans last spring and while they were pricey they were worth every penny. I’ll give you a money saving tip if you want some pricier jeans, go try them on at the department stores or trendy boutiques, figure out your size and look for them on Ebay. Ebay will be your best friend if you’re trying to save some money.
If you want an up to the minute look to wear with your great jeans, you can’t go wrong with a feminine frilly blouse. That’s right, I just said blouse for lack of a better term. A silk type blouse with some ruffles or lace detail is perfect with jeans for a night out. And Clinton and Stacy know what they’re talking about when they suggest a structured jacket. It’s a great look with jeans and looks great on everyone.
For those of us in our 30’s, I think that it’s important to know when to say when. I personally wore miniskirts with leggings twenty years ago and won’t be going back. However, I do think a pair of leggings with a pretty knit tunic type top and some flats would be a nice, practical outfit. Do not think that when I say flats I’m talking about those hideous faux leather things that we all wore (y’all know you did). I’m thinking of a fun leopard print or something with some cute details.
If you’re looking for a new bag, think soft and unstructured (kind of like this post). A metallic one or a really pretty brown would be super trendy and I’ll tell you the great thing about this season’s bags, you can get one at Target that looks the same as one you can buy at Neimans (sorry Hite, but it’s true). They are unidentifiable, no logos or name brands to worry about.
For great pieces to update your wardrobe, Target is the place to go. Target is to the year 2006, what Contempo Casuals (how about it Birthday Club?) was to 1987. You can find fun, trendy things including cute jeans, tops, structured jackets and shoes at low, low prices.
As far as the suspenders that were mentioned in the email…unless pregnancy was kinder to y’all than it was to me, I’m thinking that suspenders just don’t really work anymore. Leave them at the store with the micro minis.
A few more tips (I know, it’s like manna from heaven) red accessories are totally in right now and charcoal gray is the new black. Black is also the new black, so see you have options.
Just remember, you can wear jeans tucked into your boots if it looks good on you. You can wear a miniskirt (just not too short and preferably with opaque tights which are also very in this season) if you feel comfortable, or you can say to heck with it and wear big sweatshirts and yoga pants everyday. That’s the beauty of living through these fashions for the second time, we can take what we want and leave the rest. It’s the wisdom that comes from no longer being in your teens and early twenties. We are free from the peer pressure to encase ourselves in anything that has acid in the name and we can sleep peacefully without the crunching of crispy, Aquanet bangs on our pillow.