The fashion gurus over at ModCloth recently asked me to style a weekend layered look for them. This initially made me laugh, mainly because I hardly think of myself as stylish these days, unless, of course, you count “style” as “it’s clean, stretchy, and no one has wiped their face or sticky hands on it in the last 2 hours.” But as I perused ModCloth and looked at their endless choices of relaxed yet fun looks, I figured I could probably take a crack at how I could be cleaned up on weekends, especially during the winter (instead of just slumming around town in my fleece jacket and Ugg boots).
Our weekends these days are pretty harried. We wake up at the crack of dawn, because the kids never sleep in. The hubby brews me a HiLine cappuccino, which I inhale while we’re busy doling out breakfast at lightning speed (Ge Ge, my four-year-old son, usually wakes up on Saturdays demanding what he calls “SUPER BREAKFAST,” which is basically round after round of eggs, yogurt, toast/pancakes, and juice). In between unloading the dishwasher and getting some basic cleaning done, we usually plot out a grocery store run (using our OurGroceries app – do you have it? You need it) and a lunchtime visit to a restaurant that I want to try. Sometimes we visit a second place for dinner that night or lunch the next day. Only about a third of the places we visit actually make it onto this blog. One of the reasons is because I might not have gotten good photographs and need to make a repeat visit before posting about it. The other reason is editorial. When I started blogging in 2009, I made a conscious decision that I wasn’t going to write about places that didn’t impress me. I’m not a critic, per se – this blog is just about the food that I truly love to eat, whether I make it myself or some noteworthy restaurant does it. When a restaurant disappoints, I quietly note to add it to my list for the Airing of Grievances during Festivus and move on, and it gets no mention on the blog.
Anyway, I picked three tops that I loved on ModCloth’s site that I think would be great for one of our weekend days: the Airport Greeting Sweater in Oatmeal, the Safari As I Can See Top in Elephant and the Endless Possibilities Tunic in Mint. I added the Boho Signed, Sealed and Quivered Necklace in Gold and the For You I Quilt Bootie to complete the look, which, let’s face it, I’d wear with stretchy yoga pants or jeggings. Basically, I looked for fashionable pieces that had enough “give” to graciously cover my expanding food baby while I’m on my eating adventures and cover up some spills and messes in between. The navy print top would be a forgiving dark color perfect for hiding stains, plus there are elephants on it. Adorable elephants, people.
A layered look is also ideal (at least for me) because I am an incredibly messy eater. My kids aren’t exactly neatniks, either. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone out wearing three layers and come home wearing exactly zero of those original layers. For example, during the Great Diaper Blowout Incident of 2013, I hugged my baby daughter close to me while I dropped my son off at preschool, having no idea she’d left a disaster of nuclear proportions in her pants that soaked through all of my clothing while I cluelessly waved at other parents and chatted merrily with the teacher. I was all the way back at the car before realized what had happened, and in the end I had to change furtively in the backseat into a crumpled, ill-fitting rain poncho I found in the back of my trunk. A poncho. With nothing underneath. Then I remembered that we had a doctor’s appointment, and there wasn’t time to go straight home to relieve me from my misery. Walking through that pediatrician’s office was, and still is, a moment of great self-reflection, humility and reckoning for me.
In any event, putting together a snazzy new look for ModCloth has been a great way for me to make a new plan to leave the house with the right layered look. This way, I’ll always have safeguards against the many messes my family and I make. Thanks for the opportunity to take a good, hard look at myself, ModCloth! Just so you know, I’m still wearing stretchy pants, though. There’s nothing that can come between me and those on a good day.
Update: for a full selection of ModCloth’s winter-worthy cardigans, click here: http://www.modcloth.com/shop/