Closet Makeover: Shannon (or, What Happens When You E-Mail Me Asking For Help)
And I am not the only one who feels that way.
More than anything else, sending that first child to preschool seems to guarantee that you will feel like you need a new wardrobe, if only because you can clearly see your way to a few hours a week where you might not be used as a walking Kleenex. This fall, the very lovely Shannon is looking to rehab her closet in celebration of the new school year.
Like legions of other women, after being either pregnant and/or postpartum and/or nursing for all but 2 months of the last almost-4 years, I have very few clothes left that actually fit. And, because I have not worked much since all that childbearing/nursing/etc., all my work clothes (meaning, anything even remotely "nice") no longer fits and so has been gotten rid of. All that's left are my kid-friendly clothes which may or may not be sloppy and non-flattering, depending on the day. (In my defense: I adore skirts instead of shorts, which automatically improves things a little.) My main issue is a very, very tight budget. I need a few things, I think, but I have to limit myself to seriously just a few. So they really need to work for my current lifestyle. Which includes numerous bodily fluids landing on me on a regular basis, and much up-and-downing from the floor and on playground equipment.
Does that sound familiar? Of course it does. So Shannon has very graciously agreed to let us SEE her current wardrobe! I know! Remember that when you e-mail me for help.
This is Shannon. Shannon is so cute it makes my teeth hurt.
Shannon is doing quite a few things right here. Her skirts are a good length and shape, and her chinos (both from the Gap) are really working for her. She is choosing basic pieces that she really can mix and match, which is important on a budget.
Because Shannon is shopping on a budget, she needs to think about pieces that can multi-task--in other words, she wants to look for tops and bottoms that can be either very casual or a little dressed up. Shannon should look for a new denim skirt, preferably in an A line with a plain front (the pockets on this one make her midsection the focus of the outfit). Shannon should also look for more tops like the black V-neck, which is incredibly flattering on her AND more versatile than either the tank or the black tee.
Let's talk for a second about tanks and tees. When you're a mom on a budget, the urge to gravitate toward very basic tanks and tees is huge; they are typically inexpensive and machine washable, and with very young children, we often wind up feeling like our wardrobes are disposable any way. But I very strongly believe that you should resist this urge; I think your money is better spent on a more structured top like the V neck Shannon is wearing here. Ann Taylor Loft has some great "fancy" t-shirts just now (I like this one and this one, both of which have some great visual interest at the bustline). Shannon should also look at some color--the pink top pictured here is beautiful on her--as well as basic black, which also looks chic with her fair coloring.
(SO! VERY! CUTE! Don't you just want to eat her up?)
Shannon is wearing very heavy shoes with her skirts; instead, she needs a really terrific pair of flats or skimmers, something more like the blue shoes she's wearing in the last photo. Old Navy has some great little shoes just now, in a range of colors and prints, for about $20.00. Shannon can do a printed shoe because she's not wearing a lot of prints elsewhere. I would suggest she get one pair of ballet flats and a second pair of sneaker-inspired skimmers.
You can see more of Shannon's wardrobe here, and you can also join The Working Closet Flickr pool and start posting your own pictures. And if you want your own closet makeover, shoot me an e-mail (fridaystyle DOT susan AT gmail DOT com) and we'll talk.
Continue reading . . .