Thursday, March 30, 2017

How to Dress While Pregnant - A Style Diary (See Jane Bump)

Look 1 / Look 2 / Look 3
I've received a lot of requests for pregnancy style and as luck would have it, I've been pregnant twice since I've launched this blog (proof that I've probably been blogging far too long).  The interesting thing about my pregnancies is that they were during completely different seasons.  Both had their advantages and disadvantages.
Look 1 / Look 2 / Look 3

Harry (outfits above) was was a spring baby so I lived in the same maternity jeans and oversized sweaters all winter.  Also, being on maternity leave during the start of summer was amazing, although it was still cold in Chicago when he was born (April!).

all instagram photos
Teddy was born in mid-September (first and third photos) so I was largely pregnant during warm weather.  Dare I say, it was easier to dress the bump during the summer?  It doesn't get too hot in Chicago so I didn't have to deal with being overheated or swelling, plus I wore a lot of dresses.  This fall I was on maternity leave and the weather was just amazing, which may have been a fluke.

If I can offer any advice on dressing your bump it'd be this:
  • Invest in maternity jeans.  Whether they're designer denim or from Target, you need them for comfort alone.  Your body will change (yes, you'll widen) and you and your baby deserve to be in something comfortable that fits.  My favorites were from H&M (I personally loved the high panel), DL1961 (I never liked the low band until l tried these and they were incredible) and Paige.
  • You're allowed to buy things while pregnant.  Don't get caught in the trap that because it's a size up, you won't wear it again.  Not only are you pregnant for nine months, but it takes your body awhile to get back to normal. 
  • Stretchy dresses rule.  I think pregnancy is the one time I wear form-fitting dresses.  Hey, if you've got it, flaunt it. (I love this dress, too.)
  • Keep buying + wearing third pieces.  Light jackets are your friend (as evidenced from both pregnancies).  You can wear them before, during and after pregnancy and can completely transform an outfit.
  • Oversized oxford shirts help you look effortless and 'cute pregnant' in a pinch.  I'd buy them big or even wear Eric's (seriously) and wear with skinny maternity jeans and fabulous shoes.
And just an additional piece of advice about pregnancy: people will comment on the size of your bump NO MATTER WHAT.  To some, you'll look huge and to others you'll be small.  It always made me feel self-conscious and like I was doing something wrong but let me assure you, everyone grows a baby differently.  People just comment to comment and don't realize that it can hurt your feelings, so try to take it with a grain of salt.  Bumps come in all shapes and sizes (and newborn babies do, too!).

Monday, March 27, 2017

Cold Shoulder Dress (See Jane Wear)

Chelsea28 dress (longer version here), mules (similar look for less here), ChloĆ© bag
I like this dress because it's a little undone (hey, it's Monday, right?).  Relaxed, yet slightly sexy--kind of like wearing your boyfriend's shirt.  Items like this make me so excited for spring clothing.  We build up so much excited for all the layers and complexities of fall but right around February/March, I'm ready to shed those layers--literally and figuratively.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Spring Leather (See Jane Wear)

IRO jacket (shop IRO jackets here), American Eagle jeans (shop distressed jeans here), Vince sweater, YSL bag (shop gray bags here ), Manolo heels
Thank goodness for leather jackets in this weather.  You buy a jacket during fall, thinking that you'll wear it through winter, but if you live in a place like Chicago, you end up wearing it nine months out of the year.  I really only take a hiatus on the leather jacket from June - August then it's game on.  The leather jacket is my favorite third piece; I remember buying my first leather jacket was a black, blazer style with a zipper that I when I was a freshman in high school.  I pined after that jacket--the boxy leather blazer that was so very late 90s.  Now I pine after Moto jackets.  Some things never change.

IRO and Veda are my favorite leather jackets but here are some more budget friendly options:

Monday, March 20, 2017

Jumpsuit at Work (See Jane Wear)

jumpsuit (on sale! also here), heels, tote

I just feel so gosh darn profesh in this jumpsuit (and there's nothing professional about the word profesh.)  It's such a great departure from a shirt dress--and it incorporates the cool elements of the jumpsuit (see: challenging in the bathroom).  I really do love this, though; it's perfect for work and not as stuffy as other business casual clothes.  

Thoughts?  Would you rock the shirtdress jumpsuit?

More awesome (and some work appropriate) jumpsuits:

Friday, March 17, 2017

Let's Talk Post-Baby Body (See Jane Baby)

the day before I had Teddy

Ah, the postpartum body.  It's kind of taboo to talk about, right?  People only mention if it they're genuine surprised how good you look postpartum.  "Wow! You just had a baby?"  Yep, that lasted a couple weeks for me.  Then I just looked different; not bad, but not quite myself--uncomfortable in my own skin, for sure.

Having a baby is an emotional rollercoaster; yes, it's a very happy time but I'm also here to tell you that it's ok to mourn a little.  Mourn?! What?  Yes, mourn.  Your life just turned upside down.  You spent decades looking out for number one and now, you have a baby whose complete existence depends on you--it's ok to miss some of that freedom you once had.  It's also ok to miss your pre-baby body.  Yes, you brought life into the world and you should feel extremely proud of that, but you can also feel sad that your whole wardrobe doesn't agree with your new figure and that your butt is suddenly flatter than a pancake (please tell me that isn't just me).

The social media reality tells me that I should be chilling on the beach with a newborn and a bangin' bod.  In reality, I'm in a robe on my couch, leaking through all my shirts and even my pre-baby sweatpants don't fit.  I'm here to tell you that my pre-baby pants just started buttoning without a rubber band (and Teddy just turned six months this week)!  One of my favorite saying (that I actually need to remind myself of often) is that it takes you nine months to gain the weight--give yourself some grace when trying to lose it.    Everyone seems to enjoy sharing war stories when it comes to parenting, pregnancy and giving birth so maybe it's time we started being real and embracing our postpartum bodies, too.  As wonderful as social media can be, the veneer of perfection often times overshadows the raw realities;  I for one think we all deserve a little real talk that the postpartum body struggle is the actual reality, not the perfection we all see and strive for.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Cheers! (See Jane Wear)

old Zara top (shop tie tops here), Vince culottes (shop more Vince pants here), Aquazzura heels (look for lessshop more Aquazzura here), Chanel bag (shop more Chanel here)
This tie top is back at it again--with my favorite bottoms: the culottes.  I didn't get to fully embrace the culottes last year because of pregnancy but I assure you, I am on board with them this year.  But this isn't about culottes; it's about the perfect, white, poplin shirt that ties in front.  Every single time I wear this shirt, people ask where I bought it.  Sadly, it's from last year but I rounded up some similar (and mostly inexpensive!) versions here:

this easy tie-front top
this tailored tie-front tunic
this printed version
this perfect white version
this sleeveless version

I'm sorry about the lack of oomph in this post.  I had much more planned but was taken aback by how inconclusive the This is Us finally was for me.  Excellent, sure, but it definitely didn't give me the answers I was looking you watch it, too?

*photos shot at South Loop Loft by Iron + Honey

Monday, March 13, 2017

Pretty in Pleats (See Jane Wear)

Vince sweater (similar on sale + shop more Vince sweaters here), Zara skirt (similar here and here), Valentino heels, Le Specs sunglasses (shop more cat-eye sunglasses here)
Spring is close, even if it's snowing outside.  I can't bear the sight of boots but I'll ooh and ahh over spring-like details, opened-toed shoes and bare legs.  I only want to look at skirts and dresses (love this yellow pleated beauty)  and will only buy something if it can be worn near a warm beach.  I have spring fever and only warm weather can cure it!  Unfortunately for me, winter is finally here and will be rearing its ugly head for

Monday, March 6, 2017

Think Yellow This Spring (See Jane Wear)

Adelyn Rae dress (also love this yellow dress + this one, too), Valentino shoes (love this look for less version), sunglasses, Chanel bag (look for less here)
I see yellow in your future--and why not?  Spring is almost here and it's a hue that will liven up just about any mood (it's proven science).  The citrus tones always seem to pop up once spring rolls around and this year is no exception, especially at Nordstrom, where I'm noticing a lot more yellow as of late.  When I spotted this little number at Nordstrom, I immediately thought, "perfect Easter dress."  Then I though, "perfect Charleston dress."  Then I realized, "I'll be in Charleston for Easter!" So, it was a perfect fit.

In case the dresses above don't wet your whistle, try these great options from Nordstrom like this great yellow option under $100, the mod Milly mini with neon yellow, and this gorgeous, yellow trapeze midi.`

*Thanks to Nordstrom for partnering with this post!

Friday, March 3, 2017

Party Like It's 1999 (See Jane Wear)

postpartum fashion
American Eagle jeans , Madewell shirt (on sale), Sioa + Kyo trench (also here + cool short-sleeve look for less version here), Steve Madden heels, J Crew scarf (also love this one), Chanel bag, Illsteva sunglasses
Happy Friday, everyone!  I need to talk about these jeans for a minute (and this post is not sponsored in any way).  I was browsing aimlessly on Facebook, as many of you can relate and in the sidebar were these jeans.  I don't know how I was targeted but the perfect shredding piqued my interest enough to make me click and before I knew it, I was buying my first pair of American Eagle jeans since the year 1999.

I'll save you all a diatribe on my post-baby body for now (that'll come later), but I can't tell you how disheartening it can be to get dressed right now; these jeans make me feel just a little better because of the rise and perfect amount of stretch.  Maybe it's because they're my pre-baby size AND they button, but whatever it is, I'll take it.  Having a baby takes a toll on both your body and mental state and if I can say that a pair of American Eagle jeans made me feel just a little better when getting dressed in the morning, then so be it.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Shopbop Sale - Vacation Picks (See Jane Buy)

If you saw my Instagram, you caught a glimpse into what I actually purchased from the shopbop sale and it's pretty resort focused.  I have a family trip to Charleston next month (and we're celebrating Harry's 3rd birthday there with all his cousins--he's pumped, to say the least) and spring will have sprung, so all I can think about is warm weather.