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MOOTD + Zulily Invitation + Sale Announcement OH MY!

23 Jul

This post is going to be short, sweet and simple because there’s not much to tell about this outfit other than it was one of the only appropriate things I had to wear to dinner recently given the SWELTERING heat that has taken over Northern Indiana. Drip drip. The’s the sound of my under-boob sweat pouring off me. Cute, no?

So this dress was on sale during the winter through Zulily. What’s that? You’ve never heard of Zulily? (OK maybe you have, but this is for the people who haven’t so speed read through this section if you’re already a member). The brand is Scrapbook, and I’ve always liked Scrapbook clothing. It’s, well, kinda scrapbooky (der?). Different patterns and textures that you wouldn’t normally put together make this a fun, quirky line that I’ve always been fond of. Even though I knew the dress was out of season at the time I bought it, I also knew I’d be big and fat and pregnant when I COULD wear it, and it seemed like the empire waist would be very forgiving of that big ol’ bump come Summer. And I was right. I love when that happens. SO, for all of you who are new to the world of Zulily, which offers daily sales of items for children, home, maternity and women’s apparel & accessories, I have an invitation for you to join right here! Click that there link and you can sign up to receive major discounts on all kinds of cute stuff like this dress and you’ll live happily ever after.

scrapbook

To accessorize my dress, I belted it with an Ann Taylor Loft belt (purchased a few seasons ago) because I thought it could use a little more definition. I threw on some Steve Madden wedges (also a few seasons old) and called it a day. It was simply too hot and sticky out to put any more thought and effort into the outfit than that, which is why dresses are gifts from God, because they basically do all the work for you.

In OTHER exciting fashion-related news, I will be pre-shopping the Flourish Boutique Overstock Sale tomorrow night and posting all about my findings so you can participate in the event from July 26-28. Stay tuned for details regarding all of the adorable things I find and their fabulously low prices. Wheeeee!!!

overstock

MOOTD – Basic Black

4 Jul

Every pregnant woman needs a fitted, black maxi dress. For that matter, ever pregnant woman needs a million maxi dresses of all different colors, patterns and purposes. They are the best staple for your pregnancy, but in particular, a black dress is a key item because you can change the look so much with your accessories. This dress is a total chameleon and that’s what you need when you don’t want to break the bank on tons of maternity clothes. I was even lucky enough to score this dress at Old Navy with tons of reward points at the beginning of the summer, so along with a few other pregnancy items, I got this dress for next to nothing. Hashtag winning.

OK, onto how I styled it. I kept it super simple, and dare I say, it’s not really worth a full blog post. Meh. I’ve blogged about far more insignificant topics before, so I figure I can whip up at least 600 words about a black shift dress. I obviously kept it very simple, merely adding a cute bag and matching earrings (and leopard print sandals which aren’t shown), but I intend to show you this dress time and time again with different accessorizing to show how to change it up. Also not shown, I carried a leopard scarf with me during the evening and threw it on as needed. Emerald + leopard = almost everything you need to know about 2013 trends. Run with that.

black dress

 

Dress: Old Navy Maternity

Earrings: Francesca’s Boutique (similar here)

Purse: Courtney Bock Designs Monogram Envelope Clutch

Shoes: Carlos Santana Tabatha Flip Flop (purchased at TJ Maxx)

Necklace: Courtney Bock Designs (Navy’s name)

The ONLY thing wrong with this dress is that the size small (which fits everywhere else the way I want it to) is slightly shorter than I want my maxi dresses to be. I might go out and buy the medium just so this lasts me throughout the rest of the pregnancy because this dress could be worn up until the day I deliver based on its versatility. With a jean jacket, with a cardigan, with a knotted chambray shirt…. you name it. This dress is the gift that keeps on giving.

And now a random tidbit of advice about dress shopping while pregnant: don’t always flock toward tops and dresses with empire waists just because they fit a bump!!! True, the empire waist is “practical” for draping over your growing belly, but it also adds a LOT of unnecessary volume to wear things that are overly flowy. Everyone is quick to accentuate the top of the bump, but the bottom of the bump is always getting the shaft, rarely accentuated. The truth is, if you can find something that is fitted without being unattractively tight (this is a fine line, so watch it), you will find that fit to be far sexier. And even though we rarely feel sexy while pregnant, you certainly aren’t going to look sexy in a tent, so find something that shows off that bump from top to bottom and see if it doesn’t make you feel more tailored and sleek. Being pregnant isn’t a death sentence, or a Look-Ugly-for-9-Months sentence.

Go forth and rock the under-bump. You have my permission.

MOOTD – A Family A Fair

1 Jul

Once a year, our church hosts a community service at the county fair grounds. It’s ALWAYS been a fun event with great music, tons of people and the smell of nasty farm animals. What could be better, I say!?! Yeehaw and amen and all that.

So Sunday morning was the big fair day (A Family A Fair as the church’s creative people dubbed it in all their creative geniusery) and I knew I should wear something that was verrrrrry flexible. Last year, the weather was a million degrees and people were dropping like flies, and this year there was rain and gloom in the forecast. Bearing in mind how schizophrenic Indiana Summer weather can be, I wore this non-maternity sundress and threw on a jean jacket in case it actually wasn’t a steaming inferno of elephant ear and manure combustibility.

mootd2

Dress: Free People Sunshine Benji Linen Dress (Unfortunately sold out – I purchased this last summer while still working off some baby weight from my last pregnancy, so it’s larger than my normal dress size which works great for me now. Also, it was $13 – holla).

Jean jacket: J Crew Nolita Jacket

Shoes: Report “Cobb” Silver Slingback Sandal

Earrings: Francesca’s Whimsy Dangle Earrings in Red & Navy (similar here)

Purse: Tory Burch Dipped Canvas Tote (similar here in yellow)

The outfit worked great and my only complaint is that I was slightly limited in bending over to keep Navy entertained by fetching toys from the underside of his stroller without flashing the entire bandstand (something I highly discourage, especially when the occasion for the gathering is, y’know, church). Otherwise, the jean jacket with lightweight dress was a perfect combination. Speaking of jean jackets, I obsessed over the purchase of this particular jean jacket. OB-SESSED!!!! As long as I can remember, a good jean jacket has been an important staple in my wardrobe. I’ve always wanted a fancy schmancy designer jean jacket like this one from Hudson but could never really fork up the dough for the big names. I purchased a Gap jean jacket earlier this Spring in hopes that I would like it enough to make it my new staple, and I hated it. Loathed it. Shoved it away in my basement for the next yard sale and moved on to this J. Crew style. The thing with jean jackets is they have to be perfectly tailored so that they don’t look dated. They can be PERFECT for over dresses or skirts, but if they are too boxy or unstructured, they just look like you saved the one you had in the 90’s and busted it back out because, “Hey, it’s a jacket made from jeans… Check!”

FALSE!

Make sure if you’re going to try to wear this style that has been around for the long haul that you’re wearing the most current FIT of said style so that you look current. The J. Crew jacket was by no means cheap, but people who know me know my love of J. Crew and I had some gift card money laying around that was begging to be used for this item. Hence, the story of how my jean jacket came to be. Aren’t you glad I have a whole birth story for my jean jacket purchase? The next step in jean jacket insanity would be bedazzling it, but I have to draw the line somewhere.

So much is wrong here...

So much is wrong here…

For hair (which I mentioned in my last post as an equally important part of your wardrobe as the other elements) I went with a low braid. Something that, as a former short haired gal, I was never really able to bust out of my hair-do arsenal. If you’re going to wear a braid, keep it loose and voluminous. You want that height around the top of your scalp so you don’t look bald from the front and you want it loose so you don’t look too equestrian. Not that there’s anything wrong with rocking the horseback rider hair…. I mean… if that’s your thing. I’m a newby to the single braid, so I don’t have much input on it yet, but I think today it was a success, and certainly held up throughout the 15 minute rain shower that christened the congregation during the sermon.

And on an unrelated yet amazing note (literally) I will conclude with a video of my beautiful and talented sister singing the closing song at the fair. She rocked it. I got all teary eyed and gospelly while taking this video from the front row like a total stage mom. Enjoy!!

MOOTD – Wedding outfit

30 Jun

Since there’s absolutely no hiding this bump now that I’m 6+ months pregnant, I decided to start a new section on ye olde blog – a “Maternity Outfit of the Day” (or MOOTD as I will henceforth be calling it) section ((you’re going to fall into one of two camps about that – either bored out of your gourd or  remotely excited to get some photographic outfit ideas for dressing your bump, of which there should be way more on the internet because dressing a bump is HARD, Y’ALL!)). So without further adieu and introduction, here is my first official MOOTD:

I wore this outfit to a wedding last night in Indianapolis, and it was really the perfect dress for the occasion and for my stage in pregnancy. I bought it early in my pregnancy knowing it would be a home run for all the weddings and dressy events we had ahead of us, for a number of reasons. 1) The length is perfect for a growing bump, which always makes things ride up shorter and higher than intended, 2) it’s STRETCHYYYYYYYY (angels singing), and 3) it’s not maternity (which means it’s actually a little flattering and in-style, as opposed to typical maternity clothing which is frumpy and inevitably has a lame drawstring belt around the top of your belly). Another reason that made it particularly perfect for this event was that we had to ride 6 hours in the car round trip, and it was comfortable enough to wear the whole time without having to bother with a change of clothes. Winner! And even though I have worn it to a few events already this summer and am starting to get slightly sick of it, I was able to accessorize it a little differently this time which made it feel fresh and different.

MOOTD - wedding

 

Dress: Anthropologie’s Frenchstripe Column Dress

Shoes: Steve Madden Purple Pumps (Similar here) c/o my sister’s closet

Purse: Tory Burch Robinson Envelope Clutch

Jewelry: Target Multi Strand with Beads Necklace and Target Double Drop Purple Earrings (Note: I changed into the linked jewelry AFTER taking the photos… I realized moments before jumping in the car that I had the purple jewelry to perfectly match the purple pumps so they didn’t quite make it into the final photo).

Here’s a photo of Stockton and I at the wedding WITH the correct jewelry on and enjoying a gawgeous evening out on the canal by the Indiana State Museum (awesome venue, by the way).

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We have already attended 2 out of 3 weddings this summer that are on the schedule and I wore this dress to both so far. Since it was a different crowd at both weddings, it wasn’t an issue to repeat the dress. As you enter into your pregnancy, I HIGHLY recommend looking at your calendar for the next 9 months and really analyzing your need for clothing;  seasons you’ll be dressing for, occasions you’ll be dressing for… Even though the dress was slightly pricey at the time, I knew I’d get my money’s worth out of it, not only WHILE pregnant, but AFTER pregnancy too. That is, unless I wear it so much while I’m pregnant that I just have a total mental block against wearing it post-pregnancy (WHICH REALLY HAPPENS BY THE WAY!). Hopefully I can get over the mental block, though, because by buying clothing that really grows with you, you’re stretching your dollar so much more.

Here’s some other tricky advice you can take to the bank with you while pregnant: you can really make the most out of your pregnant look by playing up the parts you can control the most, which are your hair and accessories. Stockton bought me the gorgeous evening bag for Mother’s Day and I use it at every opportunity. It adds a level of non-maternity style and distinction to my outfits and plays up my love of beautiful, fashionable items even when I can’t necessarily wear all of the beautiful and fashionable CLOTHES that I want to wear. The shoes were also a fun pop to draw the eye away from the bump. If you are comfortable and able, I think all pregnant women should rock the high heel as long as possible. It improves your posture, makes your legs look great and you will carry yourself differently than if you clomp around in flip flops the whole time. Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and a place for flip flops, but remember to play up the parts you can still control: shoes, purses and jewelry!!!!! And like I mentioned before, don’t neglect your hair. Some women have their most beautiful locks while pregnant, and even though you’re tired and feeling ugly and not really in the mood to fuss with ANY part of your look (trust me, that was me during my first pregnancy) you will ALWAYS look 100% more polished and finished if you have done your hair in a deliberate style. Even if that’s a ponytail! Be deliberate about your hair and it will work like an accessory to complete your look. I used this updo tutorial by Kate from The Small Things Blog and again, it was a perfect hair style for our circumstances. I didn’t have to worry about it falling flat during the 3 hour car ride, humidity didn’t make anything get frizzy or unkempt, and it didn’t add more unnecessary volume to my body/face the way a curly or voluminous hair style could do.

So there you have it! MOOTD #1 for your enjoyment. Feel free to pin it, share it, use it and copy it if you are so inclined. Like I said, dressing a bump can be really hard if staying stylish and creative are your goals, so I hope this new series can help to encourage women who are in my shoes to try new styles and get outfit inspiration to dress your bump!