A reader recently requested, in a comment, a post dedicated to what I actually wear in a given week. I thought I’d share a couple of snapshots from the past few days, wearing a few of my go-to easy outfit staples, as shown in the snapshots below.
What I’m Wearing on Repeat…
+These light-wash jeans are so comfortable and stretchy, and yet they still hold ya in. I love the raw hem and the light wash — I’ve never owned a wash so light and I feel like a new woman.
+A Gucci handbag I inherited from my grandmother that I’ve just resurfaced. Can you believe that for YEARS I shunned it to the depths of my closet because I thought the shape was too old-fashioned and that the Gucci logo was passe? Now Gucci is having such a major moment and it’s like having a brand-new handbag. A vote in favor of hanging onto things, which is an inconvenient discovery given our current petite living situation…This one has a similar vibe, though mine is a smaller, more ladylike shape.
This is a small sample set of how I dress right now: casual and movement-friendly when I’m running after mini or Tilly, but with a statement accessory or shoe to make myself feel relevant and chic.
P.S. — I am SO TIRED OF THIS WINTER and SO READY to wear dresses and skirts, which I wear nearly every day of the summer.
Q: Do you have a system for keeping track of things you like or are considering buying online? Is it just bookmarking? I budget by only allowing myself to shop every 3rd month but I have a hard time keeping track of the things that I’ve liked along the way.
A: Yes! I use Polyvore for blogging and personal shopping purposes, and the key ingredient there is installing the “clipper” widget into your browser bar so when you’re visiting a site like Ann Taylor or Bloomingdales or whatever, you can tap the clipper in your browser bar and it will snap the item so that it will show up in your Polyvore account. However, a simpler solution would probably be Pinterest, as I’m willing to bet you already have an account? — just create a private board and make sure you have the “Pin It” widget in your browser bar. Then, any time you see something you like, you can pin it to your private board. And you could have a bunch of private boards, too: “Summer Shopping,” “Kids’ Vacation Gear,” etc.
Q: I’m traveling to Europe for four weeks this summer with my three children, one of which will still be nursing. My goal is to pack VERY LITTLE–a capsule wardrobe if you will. Any ideas for this? Have you ever packed SUPER light for a trip?
A: So funny you mention this; Mr. Magpie and I were just saying that if we travel abroad to visit my sister in London, we’re going to aim to bring the absolute minimum for ourselves and mini. One thing you probably already know is to only pack enough diapers and wipes for the trip, and to stop by a grocery as soon as you arrive at your destination, but beyond that — I’ve never traveled light with mini in tow, so I’d call in the experts:
+The blogger Naomi of Love Taza travels with her brood of small children all the time and has a bunch of posts on this topic, like this one, which may be helpful.
+My mom is a very good packer, and her strategy is to identify a color palette and pack all interchangeable pieces, i.e., navy and pink, or red and denim, or black and white, and have layers and pieces that all play nicely together so you can create new looks with the same five or six articles of clothing.
+The one key travel piece I never leave home without is a lightweight anorak-type jacket — they’re perfect because they fold up, they’re lightweight, they double as a raincoat, and they layer well. (They also often have lots of pockets, which comes in handy.) I love this one.
+Finally, I can’t blab enough about how packing cubes changed my life when traveling with mini (I have these and these). It is SO helpful to have all her tiny little things in transparent pouches that I can easily reach for in a suitcase; I keep all her clothes are in one cube, all her shoes/accessories in another, all my undergarments in one, my exercise clothes in another, etc, etc. I think this could be really helpful for you; you might just have one cube per child? Also, be sure to pack a collapsible tote, if only to serve as a portable laundry basket for schlepping clothes to the laundromat! (I really like this one.)
Q: We’re in the early stages of planning a trip to Hawaii to celebrate our ten-year wedding anniversary. I found an amazing photographer and wanted to do an intimate vow renewal during our shoot. I am struggling to find a dress to wear. Looking for something not too beachy, not too bridal, not too boho. Something similar to this would be so amazing if it were in white.
A: Love your plan for vow renewals — how romantic. I just spent the better part of minimagpie’s morning nap daydreaming about what I would wear. My first thought, when you sent me that saucy red two-piece situation, was the brand Miguelina, which does a lot of gauze-y/lace-y gorgeous two-pieces. I’m dying because I’m pretty sure this or this would be perfect for you, but they seem to be sold out — but maybe you can troll eBay for something like this and a coordinating top? Alternately, this frothy dress is super pretty. At any rate, dig around the internet for that label — I think it’s right in the lane you’re looking for.
Next up: I’m guessing this may be too informal for you, but I am OBSESSED with the brand Saloni. This dress is so pretty, and her dresses generally fit slender frames really well. Also, I’m not sure why the dress looks knee-length in that picture because everywhere else it looks more midi.
I’ve had lovely luck with Zimmermann for many formal events, and this dress is on sale and SO stunning. Not sure how comf you are with the neckline, but I’m obsessed! The quality of these dresses are insane.
Is this too boho/un-fitted for you? So pretty! Love the neckline.
Pricier, but this Self-Portrait takes my breath away. And this is just SO fun, but maybe too much for what you’re going for? Finally, this one is elegant.
Two other finds that seem similar in ethos to the FP two-piece you sent: this and this. I can’t tell with the latter what’s going on with the waist-line — does it have a sort of belt/hem in the middle? Odd.
Q: I moved to the Midwest a few years ago from the city and now feel like a frumpy mom, completely out of the loop with regard to trends. I wear a large, lightweight scarf to work nearly every day (adds to my typically black or grey outfit and keeps me warm), and I really need at least one new one. Any recommendations? I have looked at Gucci (sans logos) and Louis Vuitton’s classic leopard one; I feel like allover logos are a bit too showy for work.
A: My initial thought was — have you looked at Hermes? They are La Creme de la Creme when it comes to scarf-wear. They offer all different colors and patterns, some more muted than others; a chic but dramatic black and white one would look amazing against a black/gray wardrobe! (You can also occasionally score wonderful gently-used styles at Real Real; I’ve purchased a number of items from them and felt very good about saving some money for something that looks good-as-new!)
Another option: Virginia Johnson’s gorgeous painterly styles. These are more shawl than scarf (possibly more appropriate for the Midwest?!), but I’ve long loved her styles. She’s sold out right now but will be restocked on April 1.
You might consider a solid-colored cashmere style from Loro Piana; my mom absolutely flips over the quality of this brand. That light gray color would look EPIC in a monochromatic shades-of-gray situation, layered on top of your gray suit!
If you wind up on the fence on all of these, you might also consider snagging one or two less-expensive styles from Zara. I find that their scarves are a great way to upgrade/update my look, especially towards the end of the long winter season, when I can hardly bear to look at my coats anymore. Suddenly, throwing on a happy new printed scarf from Zara makes me feel like a whole new woman. I like this leopard print with that ice blue trim, this stately glen plaid style (<<glen plaid is SO in right now and would look elegant and appropriate with a black/gray suit situation), and this elegant gray striped style, which I JUST saw in-person a day or two ago — it’s so soft and cozy!
Q: Any suggestions for a baptism outfit (for me) in mid-March? If I pick a dress, I’ll likely need tights; I dress in black 99% of the time but it seems inappropriate on that day; maybe a midi skirt and bodysuit sans tights and pray for warmth? I’m a new mom, I never get to dress up anymore! Help!
A: I’d totally do midi and bodysuit with some pumps — you won’t be outside for much, right? (If I can avoid tights, I will…) Alternately, avoid the separates altogether and wear a pleated midi dress like this in a spring-like color. If you go black, I love the sleeves on this shift (also a good shape for a mom who has recently given birth!) — though I’d probably wear it in white, with these. (March be-damned!) This is also elegant, especially with pointed-toe flats. Personally, though, I love color, and this peony pink dress is EVERYTHING. It feels to me like the perfect mother-of-the-baby dress: elegant, fashionable, and ladylike all at once.
But also — in a perfect world — I would have an entire closet-ful of Saloni dresses, and this one or this one would be just the ticket for a Baptism — so elegant, so old-world, and so chic.
Q: I would lovee to see a post/small feature on cute white jumpsuits/dresses. I love your style so much and having a hard time narrowing down what to wear to my engagement party.
A: Some of the pics from the answer above on a vow renewal would be amazing picks, but I saw this and stopped and stared for a good long while. So darling with those bows on the shoulders! I also am DYING over this statement-making MGSM number. That frill down the side add so much depth and interest to the dress; it looks like it cost about $2000!
This would also be darling for a bachelorette party (or, possibly, an engagement party, depending on the location and crowd!), this is sweet as pie, and I like the length and volume on this.
Q: What baby books would you recommend to a first-time mom?
A: I have said this to about two dozen people recently: you need to do what you need to do in order to feel prepared and empowered as a parent, and I have generally found that people fall into one of two categories: “give me all the information so that I can internalize it, digest it, and feel empowered to make decisions” or “don’t tell me anything so I can feel empowered to follow my own gut, rather than paralyzed by too much information.” I’m the latter. Too much information leaves me overburdened; I tend to overthink and overanalyze and fret over every little detail. As a result, I deliberately did not read any baby books. I instead relied on a couple of close friends and family members for guidance with mini. That said, my mom gave me this now-out-of-print book (which you can still order used!) and assured me that if I couldn’t figure something out on my own, and she was unreachable, the book would have a sound, practical perspective on the issue. I’ve referred to it a number of times, typically when mini isn’t feeling well and I want to know what to do.
While I think my approach has worked thus far, my one regret is that I didn’t take a class or read a book on breastfeeding. There is a lot to know and I am fairly sure that I messed up with mini by not attempting to feed her frequently enough, or long enough, those first two or three days in the hospital, which led to an undersupply, which led to months and months of time-consuming feeding, pumping, supplementing with bottles, and a whole lot of mom guilt.
Q: What recipe did you use for the mini soft pretzels you made for mini’s birthday party?
[I got this question a lot via Instastory!] I used this recipe, and I sprinkled them with Trader Joe’s Everything Bagel seasoning.
P.P.S. People are freaking out over Goop’s new bath soaks/salts. Read my friend Grace’s review of them here. I find that when she recommends something, you can totally trust her — she only features products that actually work and that she actually uses.