Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Homespun Mama Fashion

I am quite unqualified to write this post as I am certainly no fashionista, but I know what I like and I am willing to be *me* in what I wear. Sweet Leanne, who has read her for a long time mentioned recently that I should do a post on SAHM fashion - bless your heart, Leanne! Though feeling unqualified, I do think it is a fun topic to chat about - so here goes!

First of all, I set sort of an unwritten rule for myself this year to see if I could make it an entire year without buying any new clothes. I've already broken the rule. However, I've only added a couple of small things and have not spent more than $35 total this year on clothing.

The very first thing I purchased was a new top for Easter. I already had the cardigan and skirt to go with - so it was a simple decision and it was fun to all be minty green for Easter!

See that necklace? I got the grey flowers when out by myself one evening recently and wasn't completely sure what I was going to use them for. When I laid this outfit out, I realized I needed some kind of jewelery to go with and I didn't even take the twisties off the flowers but twisted them onto a piece of chain I already had! I did hot glue them for reinforcement, but how easy can you get. I used the fourth flower to make a bobby pin for my hair.

When pulling this together on Easter morning, I wished I had a little belt to wear with my sweater and just rummaged around for a piece of lace and tied that around my waist. David thought it was a little strange and I'm sure I got some looks at church - but you know what? I just went with it - I felt cute and liked my outfit so isn't that all that really matters?!

I've been pleasantly surprised at how much I've worn this necklace already! It goes with everything since grey is the foundation of my wardrobe and is fun to put on and feel a little more dressed up.

The only other items I've purchased so far this year are two $1 pair of socks and a striped tank top for layering on clearance for $6.

I like to dress up but also love to wear jeans. So, that translates into lots of outfits in line with the above. I bought this jacket to wear to my aunt's wedding just after Christmas and love it just as much with jeans. Similarly, the top I bought for Easter - great with jeans too!

I like to mix unexpected things together - two different stripes or stripes with another print. Rachel is the queen of mixing unexpected things and I think I'm beginning to understand why it is fun to dress like that! I may not choose such outlandish pairings as she but when we have separates we like, it just kind of works.

For example, Rachel loves bright colors and polka dots and stripes. A lot of times even though she puts crazy stuff together, it actually looks really cute on her. One reason is how well it fits her personality, she can totally pull it off. Another is she has things she likes, so when she pairs them, they work. Since I have lots of gray, black and jewel tones - it has been working for me too. Above, you can see I had on a striped gray tank under a smaller strip long sleeve top - I put on a 3/4 sleeve hoodie over that - it was unexpected but I ended up loving it.

So far, I think I've said absolutely nothing profound about fashion other than possibly to just be you and be comfortable with that. Some of my guidelines are:

* modest - setting a good example for my girls {and Samuel too in a different way obviously!}
* comfortable
* makes me feel good about myself
* layers are my favorite
* mixing the unexpected is actually really fun
* I like to buy one piece here and one there that I really like and see what I can make of it
* I love basics like jeans, a couple of cardigans and black/white/grey tshirts and/or tanks to layer underneath, then I can just put one thing with it and make a new outfit easily
* fits well: for me this can be tricky. I'm a very petite petite, translated: many petites are still not petite enough for my vertically challenged self, so I have a couple of places I like to go for a few good pieces to mix in that fit really well.
* I like to be as thrifty as I can on most of my wardrobe so I can splurge on a few pieces that will really pull it all together. When I say splurge, it is a far cry from most retail fashion - but I think you know what I mean.

Stay tuned because I am awaiting my first box from Stitch Fix {referral link} so I'll be all eager to share that too. I scheduled it to arrive on my birthday which should just be fun all the way around.

Well, I feel like I just successfully said nothing much about fashion in general and described my taste and style in detail. :) It was fun! If you're interested, here is my Pinterest fashion board!


Leanne said...

oh my word!! I've never been mentioned in a blog post before! needless to say, I am so honored!! we have similar "styles"...although, I lean more towards the "preppy" versus the "romantic"! you are adorable! and I think, I need to make a necklace, just like yours!! I like to "put together", but I don't feel "trendy".
My favorite "go to" accessories are colorful shoes and printed handbags (I may have a "slight" Vera Bradley obsession!) THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR DOING THAT POST! I LOVED IT!!

Sarah said...

I have a thing for vintage ribbon, lace, and grosgrain ribbon. I too have made skinny belts with them! I love your necklace you put together!

Anonymous said...

I'm 5 foot and I have problems finding clothes that fit. What stores work for you?

I was telling my husband that if the kids put together crazy outfits not to fear because I see lots of young kids out wearning all kinds of combinations these days and that they would be quite in style ; ) I guess the matchy matchy days are over. I see adults wearing things and I wouldn't think to put them together, but they work. Great post!

Monica Wilkinson said...

Anonymous: I am 5 feet as well! I have my best success with pants at Penney's in the petite department. Our local JCP has a teeny Petite department and I never find anything there but when I go to my mom's house where they have a big JCP - I always do really well on pants.

For tops/jackets/cardigans - I've had really good success at Ann Taylor and the LOFT outlets. Like I said, I only add a few of these pieces in because of price, but wow do they fit nice. They have petite small but also XSP and XXSP so since they go smaller than small it offers more options.

Those are my consistent go-to places, other than that - it is pieced here and there. I do not have good success at Target or Old Navy and the like because they don't offer petites.

Jen said...

You're adorable! I get the hard to fit thing! I am slender and tall. I usually have to "splurge" on pants so that they fit right in the waist but are long enough and won't shrink! I guess there are worse problems to have!

I'm intrigued by "Stitch Fix"! I went to the site but it's still not terribly clear to me how it works. Is it monthly? Whenever I want? I would love to hear more about it and be sure to let us know how your order turns out!

Wendi said...

I just added gray to my wardrobe (if you can call it that!) this winter... via a sweater cardigan. I love, love, love how many things I have been able to pair it with.

Being comfortable and feeling good about yourself are right on the money! When I step out feeling good about what I am wearing it changes my entire attitude!

Tasha said...

I thought it was a great post! We have similar taste in fashion where I also like to mix pieces. But I think I am more like Rachel :) I LOVE jeans. Of course being a stay at home/homeschooling Momma that is what works best for me. And I find it fun to dress them up. Because we attend a church that is not too dressy I usually purchase tops that can easily go with nice dress pants or jeans. I change things up with bold necklaces or funky shoes. Keep your fashion posts coming!

Lauren (in Savannah) said...

I love your lace ribbon for a belt and your flower necklace. I also love your pinterest pin of the doily pocket and the orange and denim combo. My sister and I love to go find outifts online and then go to "the boutique" aka:Goodwill (lol) and find something similar. I love the fact if I am craving a new top I can find one for under $4!

Rachel said...

You always look cute, Monica! I'm so glad to see gals like you who prove that frugal is not equal to boring. I've been rethinking my wardrobe lately and hoping to improve it without doing a time and cost intensive overhaul.

Mary Ann said...


You are so cute! I loved the post.

I'm no fashionista either; kind of boring actually but I have been having more fun lately putting things together just because I like them!

I love fun little details on clothing--puffy sleeves, tucks, ruffles, ribbon, (tasteful)lace, even embroidery if the right style. It makes me feel girly and fun! I love a more classic look but also have occasional artsy/hippie leanings in outfits which my husband thinks is a bit strange sometimes--Hahaha!

I've found that shopping thrift stores and yard sales is a good way to branch out with my wardrobe without spending a lot. I've been able to try some different styles this way; I've been surprised with some pieces that I've really loved and that have helped me to change my look a little. And some haven't worked well but I didn't spend much... Also, I have a much better chance of finding my colors at thrift stores rather than new--I just don't look good in a lot of the more popular colors, but as I type this, I'm realizing that it's been months since I've been in a department store, so I don't even know what colors are in!!!:-)

Anonymous said...

I noticed that your pinterest board also had a cardigan belted with lace. Such a cute statement. You obviously know your style preference, and I think that is what we are drawn to others. It doesn't have to be our own style, but someone who looks comfortable with their own! I used to have a ton of brown, but then realized that the colors cormtops that go with are not complimentary to me. I am now looking at more gray, black, and dark blue bottoms so I can pair them with jewel colored tops. I just got 8-10 pants/capris at a clothing sale and 3 bags of clothing for a friend who has recently moved down a couple of sizes. It was so much fun to fill a bag at this sale!Angie

Christy Stanton said...

I would love to hear how your stitch fix works out. It may be something I would want to try if you like it! Also, Is there like a set amount you spend on it? Great post!: )

Christy Stanton said...

Also, how often will you get a shipment from Stitch fix?

Mom said...

Cute mama and daughter! :)
Love, Mom