I was never the cool kid and having two babies in short succession didn’t give me any more time to figure out how to be cooler.
I go back to school in a week and in the off chance I have time and money that I don’t spend at Carter’s, I reached out to Sheena Cutler of Daydreaming Damsel, a lifestyle and fashion blog, to help me make some sound back-to-school choices.
LCL: What fashion mistake do you most often see women my age (mid thirties) making and how can they correct it?
DD: Short, cut-off shorts!! I have a pair and I’m about to retire them. They just look funny on gals who are older than let’s say…21. I’m excited denim shorts are making a come back, so I’ll have to find a nice pair to replace my short cut offs. I also think crop tops are too young for mid thirties unless you wear a high waisted skirt or high-waisted jeans so you don’t show your entire belly off.
LCL: I think people like me that aren’t yet old but definitely aren’t young and have a mom bod thing going on may feel like they can’t participate in the season’s trends. What are the most accessible upcoming trends?
DD: Longer cardigans also known as “duster” coats/sweaters have been trending for quite some time, and I just love a nice, long, oversized cardigan to wear with leggings or jeans. Oversized sweaters, flannel, anything neutral, jeans and stripes are easy accessible fall trends that you probably already have in your closet.
LCL: I really appreciate that a lot of your beautiful dresses are also steals. What tips can you offer for finding beautiful items on a budget? Alternately, on what should people splurge?
DD: I am a budget kind of girl and I’m always searching for deals. I shop at outlets. Local gals who live in North County (San Diego) should check out the Carlsbad Outlet Mall. There is a Banana Republic and they are always having sales on top of their marked down prices. There is also a maternity store there and I recently bought about 5 dresses and my total was under $100. I also find sweaters and dresses on Amazon. I shop at Target, TJMaxx and most recently found a couple of cute dresses on Vicicollection website and ASOS. Great quality that won’t break the bank!
I splurge on shoes. My feet need comfort so I will splurge on heels and boots. I’ve also splurged on a good coat. I found this nice olive trench coat which works for spring and fall.
LCL: You’re halfway through your first pregnancy and still dazzling. What plans do you have for dressing a post-partum transitional body? What suggestions can you offer for ladies who might look like they just had a baby (even though it’s been six months…I, uh, have a friend…)?
DD: Well thank you! Since over-sized sweaters and dusters are still trending, I will definitely be taking advantage of wearing oversized sweaters along with leggings. My baby is due early December, so I am hoping we have a cooler winter. If not, I’ll stick to flow-y tops or dresses and top my look off with a denim jacket or longer cardigan.
LCL: Obviously, you’ve developed a distinctive personal style that works for you. Have you had any serious fashion regrets? In this light, are there any fall trends you would definitely steer people away from?
DD: I’m not sure if I’ve had any fashion regrets. I don’t take fashion very seriously. I love playing dress up and finding things that suit my style that may not be “trending,” so I just have fun with it. The only thing I recommend to steer away from is color blocking or wearing mixed prints. Like, what the heck is going on with people wearing a bunch of mixed prints at one time?! Just keep your look simple with a pop of color or statement necklace, purse or shoes.
LCL: I look border-line homeless 95% of the time. Do you have any tricks for moms who need to step it up a notch for date night?
DD: Haha! I recently saw someone post that they either have their hair and make up done or look homeless-there’s no in between! That’s so relatable to us on- the-go women!! There are easy ways to step it up. If you are crunched for time pull your hair up in a top knot, add some blush, eyeliner and mascara and voila all you need to do is ditch the sweats and slip a dress on or pull up some jeans add a top, fun necklace and heels for date night.
With Sheena’s tips, there’s a chance I won’t be mistaken for someone who lives in her car. I think she’s given all of us a doable path to looking on-trend without clinging desperately to our youth.
As for me, this fall I’d love a khaki or black trench coat that falls somewhere between Carmen San Diego and Dr. Elsa Schneider. I’d also love to rock a fawn or cranberry wide brimmed hat, but I’ll have to ask Sheena if that ship has sailed. Finally, I bought some booties last year that just looked too ridiculous on a pregnant woman–maybe they’ll get their chance now.
What are you hoping to add to your closet for fall? Any tips for not looking so mom all the time?