Faux pregnancy: draping makes all the difference! (apple pity party)

Ok, I have been debating whether or not to post these pics because they are so embarrassing, but then I figured we could all learn something from this, so here we go. As an apple, I have a love-hate (mostly hate) relationship with my belly. That all changed during my second and third trimester of pregnancy, when I was able to finally flaunt my belly and celebrate its sheer bigness! But now that I'm not pregnant anymore, I feel like I have to hide it again. I'm still about 8-10 lb over my pre-pregnancy weight, but I can fit back into most of my old clothes again. People are always commenting on how I don't look like I just had a baby 4 months ago, but they don't realize it's because of the way I dress. I've been working extra hard to hide it (although I'm too lazy/busy to work extra hard to get back into shape, LOL!).

I ordered this seahorse maxi dress for my upcoming party, but it was awful on me. I looked 4 months pregnant instead of 4 months postpartum (see #1 for the full faux preggo effect!). I would have loved to have worn this dress while I was pregnant. I kind of wish I was still pregnant so I could celebrate my belly instead of trying to conceal it all the time. Waah, I miss having an huge tummy. When I first got pregnant, I was so afraid of having to dress my bump, but now I feel like it was so much easier when I had a big one. Isn't that bizarre? Do any apples really love their belly and apple-ness or is it always something to minimize and "work with"? I'm not fat or body dysmorphic, I just have a (relatively compared to the rest of me) big tummy and now I don't have any excuse for it anymore.

Anyways, onto the lesson. I had posted something similar about draping for apples a year ago, using this dress as an example. I wore it today (#4), and yes, it still works very well for my shape even though I'm a few pounds up. What is the difference between the empire dress in 1-3 and the one in 4? They're very similar but the red one has a lot more draping and a side knot. Let me know if you can analyze the difference further, but as far as I can tell, cut and draping make all the difference between looking elegant and enceinte!

Thanks for your comments and for indulging me in my apple pity party. OK, back to chin up and carry on!


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"Mom, why do you always like to be so fancy?"

So my daughter occasionally makes comments like this, asking me why I always wear nice clothes and like fashion or why I wear lipstick or why I always wear "loud cloppy high heels". Today she saw me in this dress and said, "Mom, why do you always like to be so fancy?" I told her it's fun, like how she likes to dress up in her princess dresses and tiaras. I said I'm too old to wear tiaras, so this is how I get to play dress up. She then took off her tiara and put it on my head and said, "You can wear mine, your Majesty." LOL! :D

But seriously, should I be concerned? I don't want my daughter to think I'm vain or give her some unhealthy complex. I remember thinking the same thing about my mom dressing up when I was growing up and she was always trying to get us to dress up more and wear makeup--"Mom, why do you always like to be so fancy?" I don't pick out DD's outfits (she picks everything out herself) or put makeup on her or say anything negative about her body or my body or anything (I remember my mom was always on a diet), but I don't know whether I should change what I'm doing or what to say to DD. Because her comments do make me feel a little guilty. She also tells me to stop eating so much candy. ;)


What color is your crash helmet?

Beth made me faint with her zebra stripe dress, and I see that Suz and Angie already went down before me in their fuchsia and citron crash helmets. So that made me wonder, what color is YOUR crash helmet?

Mine is black and white with polka dots, naturally.
Ruby motorcycle helmet (too bad I don't actually have a motorcycle and $1100 for this helmet!)

Looking forward to seeing what everyone else is wearing for head protection! (I think the idea for crash helmets came from Shannon in Angie's fainting thread).

YLF challenge idea: Scarf week (or any other underused accessory)

Hey, I had an idea for a YLF challenge...scarf week! Anyone want to join me? I have a whole collection of scarves that I rarely wear--I tend to reach for necklaces much more often. Scarves tend to be challenging for me to style because 1) I don't really know how to tie them 2) they seem kind of fussy to wear inside 3) I already have so many patterned clothes that it's difficult for me to incorporate them into my outfits. But I wanted to challenge myself to learn to incorporate the scarves that I already have into my style. So next week I'm going to push myself out of my comfort zone and wear a different scarf each day and try to use a different method of tying each day (here is an amazing video tutorial on scarf tying that I need to study carefully: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LYAEz777AU)

Feel free to contribute your own scarf outfits--just one or two or a whole week (I certainly could use the inspiration!), or if you want more of a challenge and scarves are a breeze for you, then pick another category of accessories that you have but rarely wear...hats? Statement necklaces?

Here are some of the scarves I'm considering using next week:
1. Emilio Pucci turquoise print from Loehmann's
2. Blue pleated scarf from White House Black Market
3. Cheetah print scarf from Target
4. Floral scarf from Kate Spade
5. Cat scarf from Jason Wu for Target

What do you think? Anyone care to join me? Or advice/suggestions for me for about wearing scarves if you are already a pro at them?


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Expensive salon cuts vs. cheapo Supercuts--does it make a difference?

I am so bad about getting haircuts that I only end up getting it done once or twice a year. I've only gotten it cut three times since joining YLF a year and a half ago! The first two times were at salons:

This last time I just went to Supercuts because I didn't have time to schedule a salon visit, plus I wanted to see if I could get away with a cheaper cut since I really never style or blowdry my long straight hair so it seems like a waste to spend all that money.

#1 is before the latest cut, and #2-4 is after the $20 Supercuts. It was much quicker (10 min vs 1 hour), and no real layers. #5-6 is after the first salon cut, #7-8 was after the second salon cut at a different salon (Though it looks different because he blow dried and straight ironed it and I never ever do that--no iron and no time!).

Do you think going to a salon makes a difference and is worth the extra time and money? I don't remember how much the salon cuts were but probably at least around $100 with tips. After this last cut when I came home DH said my cut was very "nondescript" and thought I should get it cut at a salon next time. What do you think--salon or Supercuts? Oh, and do you like me with bangs (#4-5) or no bangs?


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Bombshells, check in here!

Una suggested we start some more threads for style families. Who else here self-identifies as a bombshell? I know MaryK is a Business Bombshell, and Teri has said she is a bombshell too. I think Kari and TXSarah have also been described as Bombshell, but I don't know if they consider themselves bombshells.

I would never have thought of myself as a bombshell--neither my personality or my body type matches the typical bombshell persona. I'm not a diva, star of the show attention getter...I'm more of a quiet unassuming type. But when I was searching for a descriptor for my style persona, I read the Lucky Guide to Mastering Any Style and the one type that resonated with me the most was Bombshell, surprisingly enough. I love red and other bright colors. Pencil skirts and full skirts and dresses. Leopard print. Fitted waists. Very feminine clothes. Flirty details like ruffles and fur collars. But I don't dress in tight, sexy, revealing clothes or wear feather boas and mules at home, dahling. My aspirational style would be more 1940's secretary than 1950's pinup. So I came up with the oxymoron description Demure Bombshell for myself. Whether or not it's accurate is maybe beside the point. It has helped me shop because in my mind I can picture who that person is and what kind of clothes she likes to wear. I know Angie doesn't think I am very bombshell, and not UWP either even though both of those styles inspire me. Actually I think I have to agree with her, when I wear an "UWP outfit" in my head I feel very UWP, but when I go back to the pics later I can tell it's not very UWP at all. I suppose maybe I'm really more of a Modern Classic, but for some reason I really don't identify with that term. Maybe because I think of it as my old pre-YLF style--Ann Taylor and Banana Republic and classics and trousers and it's too generic for me to help me shop. But I know lots of YLFers who really embrace that style and have the killer style to match! Anyways, I'll still call myself DB even though I'm probably more of a pseudo-bombshell. My mom, on the other hand, is more of a classic bombshell, both in personality and the way she dresses (she even dressed up as the Playboy bunny for Halloween a couple of years ago, and her husband was Hugh Hefner. Gack!).

I couldn't find much on the forum that actually talks about bombshell style, mostly about how to avoid looking bombshell. So I think this is not a popular look here on YLF. But here are some of Angie's original threads where she talked about de-bombshelling pencil skirts.
Funnily enough, lately I've been wearing chunky sweaters with pencil skirts just like in Angie's first thread! Hmm!
I posted a couple of threads in response to Angie's threads, asking about the definition of bombshell style--not sure I ever got an official answer on that but the discussion on bombshell style was interesting!

Here is the original thread where I was trying to find my style persona.
And here are some of my demure bombshell looks:
1. http://goldenpig.lookfab.com/p.....e-personas
2. http://goldenpig.lookfab.com/p.....tfit-tweak
3. http://goldenpig.lookfab.com/p.....ure-outfit
4. http://youlookfab.com/welookfa.....-bombshell
5. http://goldenpig.lookfab.com/p.....this-style
6. http://goldenpig.lookfab.com/p.....-bow-pumps
7. A page from the Lucky Guide to Mastering Any Style, bombshell section.

Who else here is a bombshell? Post your looks please!


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What are your wardrobe MVP's--your own top 10 (or 15) essentials list?

I love all this talk about lists! Claire's s 10-item wardrobe thread (http://youlookfab.com/welookfa.....m-wardrobe) and Suz's wardrobe essentials thread (http://youlookfab.com/welookfa.....tials-list) and Krish's magnificent 5 thread (http://youlookfab.com/welookfa.....cent-fives), got me thinking about a follow-up question (hope you don't think it's too similar): What is your own personal essentials list? I'm wondering what your current wardrobe MVP's--most valuable (or versatile!) players--are and what items you would consider your must-haves for your own wardrobe? I tried to whittle it down to top ten, but I'm a maximal wardrobe gal, so I had to go with 15.

To make it more disciplined, I picked one item from each major clothing and accessory category (otherwise I'd probably end up with 5 boots, 5 coats and 5 dresses!). Even though I don't think much in terms of capsules, my top 15 do make somewhat of a capsule since each item seems to show up in multiple pics. I think being pregnant has made me wear items more often, and plus since I'm in love with burgundy this season, everything seems to go together. Or maybe my style is coming together in a more focused way!

So I'm really curious to see what you all consider your top 10-15 wardrobe items. You can either copy the categories I used, or make up your own list, if there are certain categories you don't wear or other categories that you wear more. And please post pics if you have them!

1. Coat
Kate Spade Melissa black ruffled trench
2. Jacket
Tahari black leather jacket
3. Shirt
Pea in the Pod mustard cowl neck short-sleeve shirt
4. Blouse
Japanese Weekend fuschia long-sleeve maternity blouse (I can layer over this blouse and just use the collar and sleeves, so it's pretty versatile)
5. Sweater
H&M burgundy cowl neck sweater
6. Jeans
Mavi burgundy maternity skinny cords
7. Pants
H&M black maternity skinny pants
8. Skirt
ASOS bumblebee chevron skirt (this isn't necessarily my favorite skirt--I think the one in 10 is my favorite right now, but this one is the most versatile and because of the stretch waist I will be able to wear it longer)
9. Dress
Banana Republic ribbon wrap dress
10. Handbag
Fossil floral satchel
11. Necklace
White House Black Market black pendant
12. Bracelet
Forever 21 bronze and orange stretch cuff
13. Boots
Frye Melissa black lace-up boots
14. Heels
Clark black Mary Jane pumps
15. Flats
Born bronze ballet flats


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Is leopard print aging? Man-repelling?

I kind of have a love-hate relationship with leopard print. On the one hand I have several items with leopard print (heels, ballet flats, pussy bow blouse, belt) and think it's a cool pattern and a great finishing accent, but on the other hand I kind of equate it with "old lady fashion", especially in big doses like a big coat or boxy tunic or sweater. And I'm wondering if others feel the same way...is leopard print (esp if more than just an accent piece) aging? For example, look at these two WIW's from Jessica Quirk. While I like the look of #1 (leopard and red definitely appeals to my retro bombshell side), I feel like she looks at least 10 years older in #1 than in #2. And while I could see myself wearing outfit #1, it also seems like it would be the type of outfit that a fashionable nursing home patient might like to wear! I think that even though they can be just as loud, stripes and dots seem like more youthful patterns than leopard to me.

And is leopard man-repelling? My DH really hates animal print and faux fur. I actually bought a pair of leopard print and faux fur jackets last winter (#22 and #25 here: http://youlookfab.com/welookfa.....-fur-vests), but ended up returning both because DH absolutely loathed them. Do any guys actually like leopard print, or does the pattern swing between Victoria's Secret and Coldwater Creek for most guys?

I don't know why I'm so ambivalent about leopard. I'm especially scratching my head, because I just placed an order from Target for several leopard print pieces...a scarf (just like Jessica's, because it looks so versatile), a leopard print ponte skirt (hoping it will be stretchy enough to use it for maternity), and a leopard print ruana (I thought it would be a great nursing cover). I feel like maybe grey leopard print is a bit more subtle and fashion forward than traditional tan leopard. Ha, so ironic that I'm putting down leopard print while simultaneously buying it!

So, what are your thoughts on leopard print? Love it or hate it? I'm on the fence!


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OK, I have wayyy too many clothes...

...because this is what my closet looks like AFTER I removed half of the clothes! It still looks pretty full, but now the clothes have room to breathe rather than being crammed together. Most of these are still my pre-maternity clothes. I pulled out all the clothes that I know are not going to fit me right now because they are too tight now, or shirts too short to cover my 2nd trimester belly, and all of the trousers and skinny jeans. A lot of what's left may still need to be put away but I haven't had a chance to try everything on, so I left the maybes (like some of the stretchier pencil skirts) in my closet for now in case I can still squeeze into them. And most of the jackets and button down shirts stayed because I think I can wear them open over a T shirt/tank even if they don't fit all the way around my tummy.

The huge pile in 5-6 is not even necessarily stuff I am purging for good, just putting away till after I have the baby and hopefully make it back to my pre-pregnancy weight. (I also purged a bunch of DD and DS's clothes of the sizes that are too small for them so that's also part of the pile). I don't know where I'm going to store all these extra clothes (saving DS's clothes for the baby and mine for later)!

It's making me seriously re-think my large wardrobe, because I really like how my closet looks now that it's not overstuffed anymore. But of that purged pile, I'd say at least 80% of it is still stuff I love and want to keep wearing (like my beloved sheath dresses!), and another 10% of it is older pre-YLF clothes that I still use to complete outfits sometimes (like an old rust mock turtleneck that I like to wear with my Tory Burch skirt).

I haven't even been shopping much lately anymore (only one skirt and a few maternity pieces in the last few months), but I sometimes wonder if you all get sick of me posting WIW's on clothes I've worn many times before. I feel like that may be contributing to my over-full wardrobe, my wanting to be creative and not repeat outfits so often.

I don't know where I'm going with this ramble, just that I've been so worried that I have nothing to wear now that I'm pregnant but in reality, I do still have plenty of clothes to wear...I'm not going to run out of clothes anytime soon! So that's a relief! And I think I need to think harder about purging some items, even the stuff I bought after YLF!


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Do you like dressing in holiday themes?

I just posted a pumpkin and black outfit today for Halloween:

And I've done others too:
Red, White and Blue for July 4:
Hearts and red for Valentine's Day:

Day Vies mentioned in my other thread that she tries to avoid orange and black together. So I was wondering if anyone else is as cheesy as I am and likes to get in the holiday mood by dressing in theme colors? I mean, I'm not dressing in tacky Christmas sweaters or anything, but the matchy matchy side of me likes giving a subtle nod to the holiday, it's kind of fun! I'm thinking this coming year I may even try Thanksgiving (orange and brown), Christmas (red and green) and St. Patrick's (green) too! What do you guys think--do you like to get in the holiday spirit or do you think it's silly?


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