WIW 8/27: Embracing the bump in an orange maxi skirt

I have always wanted to wear a maxi skirt or dress, even though I know they aren't popular here on YLF. And now I have an excuse to wear stretchy maxi skirts (I feel like maxis are way cuter with a bump!). I found one from Nordstrom that looked like it would be fun to wear, in one of my favorite colors (bright orange). I bought it a couple months ago but haven't worn it till now...perfect way to enter Embrace the Bump stage!

I took the kids to a school picnic at DD's new school...it was pretty casual, so I wanted to dress the part and not look too out of place with the other parents. But I couldn't resist the matchy matchy cheesiness of pairing the orange skirt with my Kate Spade orange slice straw bag (hey, at least I left off the orange stripe sunhat and orange flower flip flops I was considering!). I wore the skirt with a white H&M T shirt and AE faded denim jacket, Coach sunglasses, Naturalizer Jailene flat nude sandals and a turquoise necklace (because I grew up in AZ and orange, white, denim and turquoise just feel right together). I was casual and comfy and showing off the bump and still felt stylish all at the same time!

And bonus, the kiddos loved the maxi skirt too (pic 5)!

Thanks for looking and commenting!


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WIW 8/26: Before and after--Olive green magic bump eraser

OK the first pic is awful (although DS is cute), but I'm posting it anyways because I learned a lot from it. In the morning I took the kids to the children's museum. It was a little chilly so I wore a sweater--an super old Gap olive green turtleneck sweater, because I decided I was in "embrace the bump" mode now. I wore it with an old pair of Japanese Weekend maternity jeans, and my Kate Spade Tretorn sneakers. Very comfy. But after looking at the pics, I realized I don't look good in this outfit. It makes me look and feel fat and schlumpy. The color is wrong for me too. So the sweater is going to go into the donate pile. It's really old so I don't feel bad about purging it...I mean, I just got rid of the mint green daisy skirt that was one of my absolute faves from the 90's, so I guess my tastes CAN evolve! This pic really reminds me of my pre-YLF days--perfectly acceptable then, but I'm not satisfied with it now.

I tried again that afternoon, and decided to go with something in the same color but that felt more "me". I was taking them to a kid's birthday party so I wanted to dress up a little and also hide the bump a little better. Take 2 was my olive green H&M safari shirtdress that I bought last fall. I paired it with a Linea Pelle braided leather belt and cognac Frye Melissa lace-up boots and leopard necklace and the Fossil velvet floral satchel I was carrying that morning. I could *almost* pretend I wasn't pregnant...the bump nearly disappeared under the belted shirtdress. And the dress was the same drab color as the sweater, but I felt much more fab in it!

Lesson 1--too clingy is not good. Lesson 2--Flattering cut can compensate for less than flattering color. Lesson 3--stick with what you love--dresses! Lesson 4--all hail the power of the waist defining belt, even if you have no waist!


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WIW 8/9-8/24: Time to stop hiding the bump!

I am sorry for having been rather vague about my "health issues" that have been causing me to gain weight. Actually, I've only gained about 3-4 lb, but it's all concentrated in one place--my apple tummy! AKA Baby Bump! Finally nearing the end of my first trimester so it's time to stop hiding the bump! Actually I was outed by one of the nurses today when I wore a fitted buttondown shirt--I guess the skirt wasn't structured enough to rein in the bump. She said, "How come I'm the last one to find out that you're pregnant?" I laughed and said, "Actually, I haven't told anyone yet and no one else has been rude enough to say anything!" (I thought you weren't supposed to ask a woman if she is pregnant, unless she is in labor!) She felt so bad about it, but I made an announcement to everyone, so she wouldn't have to keep a secret. I was actually planning to make an announcement next week when I hit 2nd trimester, so I almost made it!

I'm sure some of you must have suspected something was up, with all the closet angst posts I've been posting over the last couple months since I found out I was pregnant! Like these ones when I was panicking about losing my wardrobe after I thought I was finally "done":

Or the many threads a couple months ago where I started trying to buy stretchy peasant blouses and loose tunics and posting K/R's on (secretly) maternity jeans and boyfriend jeans even though I normally wear very fitted clothes (although I ended up returning the peasant blouses because they just made me feel like more of a whale).

Or maybe you were wondering why I had lowered my standards on my K/R's and kept this dress even though my tummy looked a little too large in it? LOL!

Actually, I thought I had been doing a pretty good job of hiding the bump, considering none of you have said anything about my tummy in my recent WIW's! (Or maybe you're just more polite than my coworker!) ;) Surprisingly, I've still been able to wear most of my clothes despite the growing belly. I've put away all my jeans now--I decided to jump straight to comfy maternity jeans instead of messing with Bella bands and unzipped jeans that could fall down. But so far I can still fit into my sheath dresses and pencil skirts, and they actually worked the best to minimize the bump. My stretchy jersey dresses are certainly comfy, but they don't hide a thing. They'll be perfect for 2nd and 3rd tri though, now that the secret's out! And I can still wear my jackets and cardigans open over maternity tanks and jeans. I will still be able to wear a couple of my stretchy skirts and maybe 1/3 of my dresses. So I think I'll be OK, just living on a much smaller subset of my wardrobe (I guess I'll finally have to explore this capsule concept that Angie has been touting!)

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that what works best for apples also works for hiding a first trimester bump. That was my biggest revelation so far. But I'm amazed at the difference cut and structure makes in figure flattery. Take for example pics 1 & 2, both taken on the same day two weeks ago (week 11). The first one is a maternity top with diagonal stripes and maternity shorts, I was just trying it on at home but saving it for later when I get bigger. I look like I'm going to go into labor any minute! But for work I wore a pencil skirt (amazingly, they all still fit, probably because they're so high waisted) and buttoned a jacket over it, the bump nearly disappeared. And pics 3-7 in my sheath and wrap dresses were all taken in the last week (week 12) and I think it's still hard to tell. But in pics 8-10 today (week 13), I guess I let it all hang out a little too much and got caught. Oops!

I read somewhere that maternity fashion goes like this:
First trimester--Hide the Bump
Second trimester--Embrace the Bump
Third trimester--Flaunt the Bump

So now I'm moving on to embracing the bump! Still scared about growing out of my clothes, because I don't want to invest a lot in maternity clothes (especially since this is going to be our last one). My plan is to keep wearing what I can out of my current wardrobe until I can't stretch it out any more, then I'll have to break out my 6 year old maternity clothes. That is going to be a sad day--I know they aren't going to feel as fab now as they did pre-YLF (when I loved them so much I used to wear them even when I wasn't pregnant, LOL). But it'll hopefully only be for a few months and then maybe I can squeeze back into my old clothes ASAP! Or else you'll just have to put up with me wearing my Bailey 44 dress seven days a week!

Thanks for putting up with my previous vagueness! I didn't mean to worry you--we're both perfectly healthy and doing fine (I haven't even gotten morning sickness once)! I promise I'll post a WIW recap of my first trimester style soon!
(PS, anyone know of any good maternity fashion blogs?)


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K/R: Maggy London wrap dress

What do you guys think of this dress on me? I keep trying to find a wrap dress (other than my old BR one, which is great) and previously tried a couple of DVF wrap dresses and a Tahari wrap dress, but so far have struck out and returned them all. This one is the one that Rita and Shannon have. It's a size 4 (size 6 was too loose in the bust). It has a snap at the side to help keep the wrap closed. I would probably wear a black cami underneath for work. Have I finally found one that will work for me or should I keep looking?


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WIW 8/16 & 8/17: Neutrals (Swap jacket and old wrap dress)

Gotta run to work but here's a quick pair of WIWs:

1-2. Classiques Entier black and white patterned belted jacket from OC swap
Gap black tank
Classiques Entier black pencil skirt with leather trim
Clarks red T strap pumps
Fossil red satchel
WHBM necklace

3-7. Banana Republic wrap dress
Fossil chevron stripe satchel
Christian Dior necklace
Clarks brown twist strap pumps (I haven't worn these shoes with this dress before, but really like how it echoes the pattern on the dress)

The red bag and shoes, wrap dress, CD necklace, and brown shoes are all super old--predating YLF by at least a decade! And the swap jacket looks like something I would have picked out for myself! Yay for old closet faves and new to me swap clothes! Thanks for looking and commenting!


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WIW 8/15: Twin Day with Rae (including twin kitties!)

I was so excited when Rae asked me to be her twin for a day! We PM'ed back and forth over several days planning this--it was so much fun. We agreed to do our matching agate dresses, and she sent me several options for jacket, bag and shoes. I copied the pics and sent them back to her. We ended up picking orange blazers (I love the orange/turquoise color combo) and taupe heels. And we decided we HAD to do our fraternal twin Dotty and Stripey bags! We even have matching long straight black hair!

Rae already posted the original pics in her thread this morning (http://youlookfab.com/welookfa.....-goldenpig). I was honored to be her twin, especially on her last day of work before she begins her new career! I'm so excited for her!

But, when I saw that she wore her blazer closed and that her kitty was in the pic, I just had to redo my pic to do an exact copy of her pose (I'm a stickler for details). So here's the retake, including our twin kitties! Super fun! And as a bonus, here are the other outtakes (grey jacket, white leather/denim jacket, cobalt jacket, and orange blazer with booties).

Forever 21 orange blazer (from OC swap)--funny that both our orange blazers are from F21!
Michael Michael Kors agate dress
Marc by Marc Jacobs Dotty Snake bag
Chie Mihara Written in Stars taupe heels
Max the cat

Thanks again Rae for a super fun twin day--hope you had a fabulous last day at work! High five twinnie!


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Another challenge: YLF Trivia night!

Another fun challenge, suggested by Helen! If you want to participate, please PM me and send me two trivia questions. I will compile the questions and post the game next week!

1. A distinctive piece of trivia about yourself--something about yourself that you have revealed to us in the past, your style persona/rubric, or something you like to wear, or a pet's name etc. that would allow people to guess your name based on the trivia. For example, "This YLF member likes matchy matchy and wears polka dot bag and shoes together." Or, "This YLF member is a Demure Bombshell."

2. A general YLF trivia question about anything/anyone. For example, "What are the names of Angie's dogs and what breed are they?" (Make sure you tell me the answer too!)

Are you game? The more the merrier! Please send me your trivia!


Challenge game: Name those YLF'ers!

Here are the pics I received in response to my request for the YLF guessing game. There are only seven so I've decided not to provide a list of names to pick from, since that would make it too easy! Have at it--who are these mysterious YLF'ers? First one to get all correct wins!


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Is it possible to have a small wardrobe if you love pattern and color?

All these posts about small streamlined mix-and-match wardrobes, minimalism, and purchasing items that work in capsules or investment pieces etc. are so inspiring, and yet I can't help feeling a little guilty that I can't seem to achieve this with my own wardrobe. It feels like a lofty goal that would never work for me no matter how hard I try. Everything I own does fit in my closet and one dresser, but I feel like my wardrobe is too big compared to others and I don't feel like it's a cohesive wardrobe. I mean, it's definitely cohesive in the sense that everything in it fits within my personal style and I have lots of outfits that make me feel fab, but I can't seem to think in terms of capsule dressing or a true mix and match wardrobe.

The problem is I really love patterns (I don't feel like myself unless I have at least one pattern on) and bright colors (including many different colors from autumn shades to sorbet brights to ink blue, black/white and red). I do wear a lot of neutrals like cream, black, grey, navy, and cognac too, but more as supporting pieces. I think if I had to wear solid neutrals that all mixed and matched (like those Vivienne files) I would feel kinda sad and bored. I also love statement pieces and they don't always play well with each other (kind of like divas!). With patterns, I do like to do some pattern mixing, but there's a limit to what you can do with that before it turns tacky. And my style tends to run a little ALGO as well which seems to be at odds with minimalism. And then I really like to wear dresses, which are kind of like stand alone outfits and don't remix well (I wear dresses with jackets on top rather than layer shirts under my dresses). I like variety, but because my clothes are so distinctive and disparate, I tend to get my variety by wearing many different complete outfits in my favorite combinations, rather than remixing a small number of clothes in endless permutations. I'd rather come up with the perfect iteration of an outfit and wear it that way every time, rather than trying to come up with new combinations just for the heck of it (even though I tend to change things up anyways, so you guys don't get bored with my WIW's if you've seen it before).

I know lots and lots of people here definitely rock the streamlined neutral mix and match capsule wardrobe and I really admire their style, so I know it's definitely acheivable, but I don't seem to have the talent to think in those higher planes. When I started YLF I was definitely learning about fit and evaluating individual items, and now I've been getting the hang of creating finished outfits with accessories and pattern mixing and layering, but I still can't wrap my head around capsules yet. I did dabble in travel capsules the last couple of trips, but the thought of trying to make my whole bloated wardrobe fit into a set of capsules overwhelms me.

I think I may be forced by external health factors into trying to be more minimalist though, because if I continue to gain weight I am going to not fit into a lot of my clothes anymore, and I won't have the ability to spend as much money and time as I did creating my original wardrobe (not to mention lack of space in my closet!).

So maybe that will be my next challenge for this coming year, to learn more about wardrobe remixing and capsule dressing! I'm kind of scared and don't know if I can really do it though! Can an ALGO, pattern/color/statement piece loving girl really have a minimalist wardrobe and still be happy with it? I need help and advice from all you fab capsule dressers! Thanks for putting up with my closet angst!


How to remove fragrance/scents from clothing?

Quick question here--does anybody know how to remove scents from clothing? I got some fabulous items from the swap party but a few of them smell like perfume. It's not a "bad" smell, just a light fragrance. Unfortunately I've always been very sensitive to smells and right now any type of strong odor (good or bad) makes me queasy. I never wear perfume and always use unscented laundry detergent and deodorant and soaps, no fabric softener, etc. I've already tried machine washing and drying these items twice now with my usual unscented detergent and Oxi Clean but it hasn't helped at all. I think even Febreze or Dryel would be too strong for me (since they are scented products). I haven't tried dry cleaning them yet because I'm not sure that would actually remove the scent (the items are clean). Am I out of luck or is there some other remedy I should try? I really want to wear them! I am worried my sensitivity is going to limit my ability to swap/thrift/eBay (unless it's new with tags, but even then sometimes it still smells like someone's else's house) in the future! I've even returned new online items before to Anthro that smell like someone tried it on previously while wearing perfume. Thanks for any suggestions!