What Do You Wear on Thanksgiving?

I love wearing dresses. I wear jewelry almost daily–nothing expensive, but I like a little flair. I grew up watching old movies, in which the characters always looked polished and even a simple dinner party called for a cocktail dress and jewels. There was a time, when I was little, when I decided to change my clothes for dinner each and every night. Then my mom got mad at me about the excess laundry.

Anyway–I’m not naive. I know that was then and this is now. I know (from experience) that being too far overdressed can be awkward and embarrassing. I also know that, since I spend most of the holiday in the kitchen, it’s completely impractical.

Continue reading → What Do You Wear on Thanksgiving?

Five Fabulous Fashions

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My style icon in a rain hat, soft sweater, and twirly dress (with a few playground scrapes and bruises to remind you she’s more than just a pretty face.)

I was a little skeptical when I saw that velvet was back in style, but I’m starting to warm to it, especially for winter.

Always the pragmatist, I’m not a huge fan of statement sleeves (they tend to be too drapey, making it easy to get them snagged or dragged through your food when you reach for a napkin), but this dress could change my mind.

I cannot express how thrilled I am that vintage inspired dresses are so easy to find nowadays. (Especially when they’re made with fun fabrics!)

And of course, you know I love brooches.

They look especially good on a fabulous blanket scarf–this cozy flannel one is possibly the softest thing I’ve ever worn.

Polka Dots, Checks, and Stripes

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You might remember (because it wasn’t that long ago) that I recently decided to start dressing for myself, meaning I’d wear what I wanted to wear and not was was expected/practical and a mommy. This decision sort of led me on a journey–a journey to my sewing machine, which led to the fabric store (quite a few times), and to the boxes of old clothes in my garage, and then to a realization:

I love clothing.

It seems like something I’d know about myself, right? But, never having had a model’s body, I’ve mostly considered beautiful clothes to be something for beautiful people, but not for me.

But my kids are beautiful. So I thought I’d make them a few things.

car shirtThe boy loved it. I mean LOVED it. He’s been so excited to see what Mommy can put together, and he’s wanted to wear it all (even the stuff meant for his sister). His sister, on the other hand, has been less than enthusiastic. I can’t even get her to wear a skirt I made out of Paw Patrol fabric, and Paw Patrol is her number one favorite thing in the world except maybe shoes or the color pink. I’m trying not to take it personally and chalking it up to her recent hatred of skirts.

Anyway, I learned that I love to sew, too. It’s like baking, but without the calories. And I took to it pretty quickly. So I went into production.

I started adding little pieces of clothing to my Etsy store, The Sensitive, Bookish Type, even though they seemed out of place with my books and drawings.

And then I went to the estate sale of a man who owned more clothing than a Men’s Wearhouse. Beautiful things. Well-kept things. Kitschy things. I was so tickled at the prospect of buying these clothes, either to sell them, wear them, or make something out o them, that I realized: I had to start a second Etsy shop. I wanted to start selling clothes.

So I’ve started an Etsy shop, and named it after my favorite song from the eighties/early nineties–my style icon since I was in elementary school. I’ve sewn a few things, purchased a few things, and painted a few things. I’m really enjoying it.

So here it is! I’d love to know what you think.

Seven Days of Outfits: Finding My Non-Mommy Style

About a month ago, I drove to Portland for some personal business and spent almost an entire day without my children. It wasn’t even twelve hours, but it was probably the longest I’ve been separated from them, and definitely the longest I’ve been separated from Violet. That day, I visited Powell’s City of Books and snapped a picture of myself with Violet’s stuffed puppy, whom I’d brought along as a travel companion:

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When I posted this photo on Facebook, a friend commented that I looked “so un-mom like!” This got me thinking about what is “mom-like” and what is “un-mom-like” and what I wear and why I wear it. It was quite an interesting internal conversation, filled with personal revelations. For example: I love jewelry. Not expensive things, not gems, but the cute plastic stuff you see me wearing in the picture. Costume jewelry, if you will. But most of my current friends had never seen me wear jewelry–friends I’ve had for up to four years! Nor had they seen me wear Converse All Stars, which I own in several colors and used to be my go-to shoes. The reasons: 1) People with kids expect you to take your shoes off in their houses, and so it’s easier to wear something you don’t have to lace and tie. 2) My feet grew and widened during pregnancy and so my sneakers are now uncomfortably tight.

I could go on and on, but I’ll spare you. The point is:

I used to enjoy getting dressed, putting on jewelry, and doing my makeup; after having kids, I mostly stopped doing these things.

So I decided, though I’m obviously still a mom and doing my mom things, to spend a week dressing for myself instead of my circumstances. I even pulled clothes out of the garage that I’d thought I might never wear again. Also, as you can see, I dyed my hair. Twice. Here’s how it looked: Continue reading → Seven Days of Outfits: Finding My Non-Mommy Style