My mom does this thing. She makes lists. Lots and lots of lists. Very famously, she used to make lists when in college, and her college roommate would always add to the bottom of my small-busted mother’s lists “new boobs.” When I got older and my mom shared this story with me, I began adding the same note to the bottom of the lists she’d leave lying around–and my handwriting is so similar to my mom’s that even she got confused. Point being: her list-making is legendary. After all the kids were out of the house, my mother began making a new kind of list, one I hadn’t seen before: she’d sketch items from her wardrobe and make detailed lists of her outfits. Like, weeks ahead. With accessories and shoes and little drawings of each piece and ideas about how they’d work together. Like a fashion designer, but stuff from her closet. It’s awesomely intense.
So, I’m hanging out with my mom recently, and I say, “You know what would be fun? If we did a series where we get to see what you’re wearing each day. We could call it What’s Mom Wearing Today? You know, like in the sidebar of the blog. You could scan in your sketches and your lists and everyone could see how you make little drawings of your outfits before you wear them. How fun would that be??” Mom wasn’t sure, but turns out the more she thought about it, the more she agreed with me (naturally). So beginning today, you’ll see a new button in the sidebar, linking over to my mother’s new blog. You’ll be able to click over and see images of her outfits each day and read about how she puts them together (and where she gets the insane deals she gets). And on occasion, she’s even willing to do a guest post! The way this woman shops and puts things together–really, it doesn’t matter how old you are, you could do worse than to learn from her. As my oldest child says, “Grammie really can SHOP!” I’ll let her introduce the series–we both hope you love it!
What’s the next best thing to being a big old smarty pants? Having your CHILDREN be big old smarty pants-ers. I’m always really impressed with Deborah’s creative vision and amazing energy, her technology smarts and marketing savvy. So when she suggested to me that we start a periodic guest blog called “What’s Mom Wearing Today?”, I quickly warmed to the idea. It seemed like a fun way to share my love of fashion and to address the question of what DOES someone my age wear? That’s especially important for those of us who need a flexible professional wardrobe but hate the idea of sensible shoes and elastic waist pants!
I love clothes. I have ever since my maternal grandmother created astonishingly detailed wardrobes for my Madame Alexander dolls. I made many of my own things in high school and college, as a newly-married young woman, and for my girls as they grew up. When I was a mom again at 40, I created a children’s clothing line named for my third daughter, Heidi Kidwear, which lasted for 13 years:
All that sewing made me super picky when it comes to finding quality garments on a budget.
Because I love to bargain shop, too. So I tend to put together outfits from major retailers and discount stores that are wonderful quality but reasonable/inexpensive/downright cheap. I found a Calvin Klein maillot at TJ Maxx a couple of weeks ago for $10. Looks amazing, feels wonderful.
Since today was the first day to actually wear a Fall outfit, instead of just dreaming about them, this was the one I chose.
The microfiber faux fur is from TJ Maxx, layered over a nude cami and vanilla stretch lace long-sleeved T, both from Charlotte Russe. I adore the olive green riding pants from Ann Taylor Loft. Their narrow cut is flattering and stretch in the fabric makes them super comfy. The cut velvet scarf is for an extra dash of texture (think Betsy Johnson), and the Steve Madden platform slings finish everything off with a little tough girl zing.
The entire outfit cost less than $110. Pretty amazing, no? Now, the tricky part is that some of these items were bought fairly recently, others a year or more ago. I rarely buy *outfits*, relying instead on my ability to find bits and pieces which work together. I talk more about all this, including The Five Steps to making fewer buying mistakes, on my blog, Stylish and Sixty-ish. I’ll be adding bits of advice and some links there along with photos of What’s Mom Wearing Today?–because everyone wants to look like a babe, even if there are little people who call you Grammie.