Friday, May 14, 2010

Playgrounds & Lollipops - 1 Sassy Mom & 2 Cents on Fashion

Happy Friday Friends!  I hope your week was fun, or if not, you at least have some fun in store for you this weekend.
I'm going to start off P&L a little differently today.  I figured after my post on Wednesday that displayed my outfits for the last week, you might be tired of seeing me in front of the camera, so this week I put my friend Sarah in front if it.
*If you want to skip the novella that follows on my 2 cents on fashion, then scroll down to the cute pictures (and they are cute because not only do they feature a sassy mom, but a gorgeous little angel baby that insisted on sharing the spotlight with her mom).
*If you think fashion does not apply to you, or think it is trivial, then scroll down, or click off the screen.

If not, then read on my friends, because this is the only time I will ever get on a soapbox about fashion/clothes...
So while talking to Sarah on Wednesday about clothes, shoes, accessories, etc., she made a comment about "not being tall enough" to pull something off.  If I would have been a little quicker on my comebacks I would have said, "Yes, and you have a great rack and I am virtually flat-chested, so what's your point?"  (BTW, I did get permission up front to refer to her ample bosom as a "rack").  With Sarah I know this was just an off-hand comment because she wears just about anything and looks fabulous, but in all seriousness though, I hear statements like this all.the.time.  Especially since starting P&L.  Reasons/excuses/objections of why women (moms really) are holding back on dressing up, buying a pair of shoes or a cute top, or otherwise just giving a hoot about the clothes they put on.  And if it's not a statement about height, then it's about weight, or time or money, or "my kid ate my last pair of good shoes."  If you are happy with what you're wearing, then great, move on and no need to waste probably the next 10 minutes of your time.  If you're sticking around, then this is the way I see it.

Height: I can easily name 5 friends in real life that tell me they won't wear something because of their height, or lack thereof.  And they say, "well you're tall, so you can pull that off."  As if simply because I'm tall I can put on a potato sack and look good.  I could go on and on about height and how I was tortured as a kid for my height and how it left me damaged and bruised and that it wasn't until the last 5-6 years I truly learned to appreciate my height and own up to it.  But that would be a bit dramatic and boring, so all I will say is take a look at your latest Us Weekly or People, or even Vogue, and chances are the actress donning the cover is under 5'7" and displaying, quite well mind you, some pretty amazing ensemble and looks incredible.  The average actress such as Eva Longoria Parker and Salma Hayek is under 5'7" and can pull off just about any trend, or outfit they want.  Of course we are not actresses, we are moms, and if you happen to be a mom of average height, please don't let that number hold you back from wearing something you really want to wear!

Weight: If it's not height holding you back then chances are it's weight because you haven't reached your post-baby goal weight and you keep saying, "Well, I don't want to buy any new clothes until I get back to my pre-baby weight."  If your "newborn" is over 1 year old and you're still not where you want to be, then can I just say, stop torturing yourself!?!  Why hold yourself up to a goal that you may not reach and wear ill-fitting clothes in the mean time?  Embrace where you are RIGHT NOW and buy yourself that new pair of jeans or the top that you hope to some day be too small for.  If you reach your goal weight, great, you can donate that top down the road.  But if you don't reach that goal, then you at least look good right? 

Time: If you have time to read blogs, then you have the time to spend 30 minutes tonight after the kids go to bed and browse online.  Did you know that is not just for shoes anymore, and they offer free overnight shipping and free returns?  So even if you're scared to buy something because it may not fit, buy both sizes and return the one that doesn't fit for free!  Or if you are still scared to shop for clothes and shoes online, then can you do this?  The next time you're going to shop at Target for 2 hours after the kids go to bed, and wander the aisles up and down aimlessly because you're so happy to be by yourself, take a stop in the clothing department.  Or better yet, skip Target all together and go to your nearest mall or Old Navy and do something for yourself.  Just once.  Try it out, you  may like it.

Money: All these previous points may be mute if you don't have the cash to spare.  Money is a touchy subject and I will not assume that we all have disposable incomes to spend on buying willy-nilly clothing purchases.  But give me $50 and I guarantee you I could go to a store like Forever 21, H&M, Old Navy or even Target and get a dress or top and shorts, a pair of shoes and a cute necklace.  Guaranteed!  Anyone want to take me up on the challenge?  Yes, it would only be 1 dress, but 1 new dress that you could wear 1 day a week and feel great in.  It's about the little things, the simple changes that can really affect your attitude and outlook on things.

In my previous job in the "fashion industry", I did not work for a cutting-edge, trendy, European fashion designer.  I worked for an American company that produced good quality, albeit very expensive, clothes that fit a wide age range and size range of women.  The company was better known for suiting politicians rather than Hollywood actresses.  And that was okay because the average woman, the average mom, is not a Hollywood actress.  We're just busy women with lives and interests above and beyond our looks.

In my early career I worked as a Rep for the company and traveled store to store training sales associates and working with customers.  I once had the opportunity to work with a charming little lady in her 70's.  She had suffered from polio as a young girl and the disease left her body hunched over and twisted.  One arm hung a bit lower than the other.  We were in the dressing room together and she tried on a jacket and she instantaneously changed.  Would it be too much of a cliche to say she got a sparkle in her eye?  Well she did.  A smile spread across her face and she felt beautiful.  Truly beautiful.  That's when I knew that yes, clothes are just clothes that shelter us from the elements.  But they can be so much more.  They can be the thing that puts that spring in our step and gives us that boost of confidence we so desperately need that day.  Clothes can be powerful.  Clothes can help us feel beautiful.

And on that note I will shut up and bring you this week's Playgrounds & Lollipops!

Meet Sarah.  She is my friend, my old neighbor (old in that she is no longer my neighbor, not in that she is chronologically old), my Realtor, my interior design guru, and my fellow fashion friend.  I used to run down to her house and show her something I had just bought and say "okay, is it a keeper or do I return it?"  Her answer was always "keep it", so she is not always helpful in encouraging one to stay on budget.  But I digress.  She is sassy, she is fun and she is a great friend.  Thanks Sarah for agreeing to appear on P&L today!  Oh and that little girl with the stunning eyes and squeezable legs?  Her daughter Paige who just turned 2. 

Wednesday May 11th, 2010

Sarah is always doing something, but on this particular day I caught up with her at Chartreuse where she was picking out furniture for a design client, after she had just dropped off her 4 year old daughter at preschool, and as she was heading out to show property to a real estate client.  No joke.  Her energy astounds me. 

Black Skinny Jeans: Forever 21
Beaded Top: Nordstrom Brass Plum department
Shoes: Faryl Robin (I also have them and love them!)
Wooden Bangle: Local boutique Pieces of You
Ring: Fashion jewelry department at Nordstrom

Since Sarah juggles so much, she has to wear clothes that are comfortable and casual enough to deal with her kids, yet professional enough that she can meet up with a client at the drop of a hat and look presentable.  This is a perfect example of a functional yet fashionable little ensemble.


  1. great post! The problem I have most often is thinking that I can't pass up a sweet thrift-store deal, even if the item is a touch too loose. I end up buying/looking larger than I am! I'm slowly moving away from the mom-outfit (shapeless T & jeans) to more feminine stuff, but it's tough to break the habit! (ps- NOT getting sick of you on Wednesdays- keep it up!)

  2. can you take me shopping???? or rather can I be a fly on the wall on your $50 challenge? I amup for it if you are...I need to get some cute things that I can wear....I have a habit of wearing the smae things over and over even tho I have a closet full of clothes...

  3. What a great post Andrea! Seriously, I often wonder why so many moms have just given up! Its sad. Fashion is makes you feel makes other treat you well when you look good. I feel HORRIBLE in jeans and a sweatshirt (unless I'm sitting on the sofa having a glass of wine after the kiddo has gone to bed!)..and I know I don't look that fantastic. It's worth it to spend a tinsy bit of extra time a day to raise your self esteem!

  4. You are my fashion inspiration andrea..if i can only keep up with your great outfits. I just told aaron that i am determined to have some key fashion peices since i no longer have to ever wear maternity clothes ( i did have some cute mnaternity too though). I did end up buying the super long skinny ripped jeans....i love them! Thanks for having me on P & L. Love you friend!

  5. You are my fashion inspiration andrea..if i can only keep up with your great outfits. I just told aaron that i am determined to have some key fashion peices since i no longer have to ever wear maternity clothes ( i did have some cute mnaternity too though). I did end up buying the super long skinny ripped jeans....i love them! Thanks for having me on P & L. Love you friend!

  6. How fun!!!
    Love the great look and Sarah sounds like a super friend ;D

  7. Ps - I took your challenge after reading this. I ran into Target to return a few things and took a stroll through the clothing dept. I found a super CUTE little dress that I wouldn't have normally purchased for $25. I tried it on Saturday morning with some leggings and a cardigan and some cute sandals. I loved it so much that I just left it on.... and we went to the park and played outside and everything!! It felt a little weird to be sortof dressed up.... but it was FUN! Thanks for pushing me outside of my box :D

  8. Thanks for taking the time to read this long post ladies! Chris, yes, thrift-store finds are hard to pass up :) Valerie, I would love to do the $50 challenge here on the blog! Perhaps I will do it sometime this week. Brooke, I am so happy you took me up on my challenge! I would love to see the dress, can you take a picture of your cute self in it and post it? :) And yes, sometimes it does feel a bit odd dressing up a bit, but I just think about the old days and how women of past generations would laugh at our idea of "dressed up"! :)


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