Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Style Tips from some BOYS

I loved reading Nicole's blog yesterday about her daughter's style tips for "her." I think there is so much that we can learn from our children about style and fashion. They don't have so-called filters, so the information is raw and (let's face it) usually spot-on. My sons each have their own styles. Maybe it's because I have all boys - 4 to be exact - I love to see them each with a distinct style. Something that's their own. It's funny, even when they were babies... I used to buy a particular color for each one. William was blue. Alexander was green. Benjamin was red. And Henry was orange. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that they have their own fashion opinions for me. As Nicole has experienced... I so know what it's like.

"Mommy, what's wrong with your hair?" Yes, this was said to me by my son Benjamin (he's 2 1/2) this past weekend. I haven't had time to get my blonde (ahem) hair highlighted, so Benjmamin has completely called me out on it. First thing I did Monday morning was make an appointment. I knew my hair needed to be done, but I just hadn't had the time/opportunity to call... until Benjamin.

"Mommy, why don't you wear this?" I hate to admit this, but I have so many clothes - that I have spilled over into my sons' bedrooms. I keep all of my dresses in Benjamin's room. When we were tucking him in last week, my oldest son William asked me why I don't wear any of the dresses. It's funny because 6 years ago, I practically lived in those dresses for work. Nowadays it's all about jeans, boots and a cozy sweater. I still like to look chic and fashionable... but gone are the days of dressing up for work every day. It's strange to me that my sons don't know that side of "Mommy." But it totally got me to take a dress out and wear one this past weekend. I figured it's time they see mom in something other than pants!

"Mommy, what is this? I like it." Ahh.... words you love to hear. A couple of weeks ago I did the closet changeover. It's cold here in Rhode Island, so I needed to get all my sweaters and scarves and gloves from storage. I have a bunch of cashmere scarves and sweaters. I really try to take care of these items because they are some of my faves! My second son, Alexander, asked me this past Saturday what the soft scarf was. CASHMERE. Delicious, soft, beautiful CASHMERE. When I put on one of my turtleneck sweaters, all he wanted to do was hug me because I was so "soft." Love it. There's something pretty cute (and cool) about a son noticing something soft, cozy and fashionably chic!

Ahh... these are my little "pint-sized fashion editors" giving me advice. As Nicole asks, "What do yours say?"

Monday, November 2, 2009

Style Tips from a Four-Year-Old

Less is not more when you are four.  And I'm learning to embrace this notion thanks to my young daughter.  We are a house of strong opinions, and my two girls make themselves heard.  Here are some words of wisdom from my oldest fashionista:

"Mommy you wear too much black." Guilty as charged.  I live in NYC a glorious cultural mecca, exciting to be sure, but without a doubt FILTHY.  I embrace black as my signature color out of practicality.  Thanks to my daughter, I experiment with color these days.  Two key pieces: a vibrant yellow Mackintosh and a pair of bright pink wool pants.  I've been wearing both pieces (not together) a lot this fall and I get a ton of compliments.

"Mommy why don't you ever wear this necklace?" Little girls love going through jewelry. My observant girl, picks out the items she never or rarely sees.  She's been a helpful reminder to not get stuck in a rut and to try something new.

"You should wear high heels every day." Clomp, clomp.  Uttered as she shuffles around the hall in my 4" Jimmy Choo stilettos,   Well, this isn't entirely practical considering I walk at least 2 miles everyday.  On the other hand, I do have a standing date night with my husband and I should slip into my pre-baby shoe collection more often.

What have you learned from the pint-sized fashion editors living in your house?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Win $1000 at Totsy!

We know you're going to like this MOMS!

How many time have you wished you had $1000 to spend on anything and everything for you and your kids!? Well, here's your chance to make that wish come true!

Totsy is running a fabulous contest right now!

Totsy is going to credit $1000 to the account of the Totsy member who has invited the most new people by Monday, November 30th.

Yes... $1000!

So start spreading the word... there are some amazing brands coming along to Totsy in December and into 2010, so get ready to enjoy some Totsy shopping.

And don't forget... Liz Lange's exclusive diaper bag collection is on sale right now! Fashionable, functional and oh-so-chic! Head on over! My personal favorite is the Natalie style bag. Gorgeous!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Expecting Mom Fashion

Mom: Tobi Spino
Blog/Business: T.Knits handknit hats
Kids: One plus, one on the way
Location: Big City Moms Biggest Baby Shower Ever! held at American Girl Place in NYC.

What she's wearing: Purple H &M Maternity Top (has a cool necklace motif), Theory blazer (non maternity worn open), H & M denim leggings and leather riding boots.

Why I loved it: Tobi successfully blends her pre-maternity clothes with a few key pregnancy pieces.  This keeps her looking chic without breaking the bank.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

My latest obsession: Grippies

There are a few products that come into my life that I truly wonder how I have lived without them for so long.

As a mom of 4 boys who slip and slide everywhere and anywhere in their socks, I immediately fell in love with GRIPPIES. I'm not kidding - I am in love with them.

So what are Grippies? What has changed my life so much?

Non-slip adhesive stickers that stick right to the bottom of your child's socks. Easy, right?

No slipping. No sliding. We have hardwood floors throughout our house, so for us... there's even more slipping and sliding.

I have never understood the logic in socks without treads for toddlers. If you're a mom of a toddler (boy or girl), you understand my thought process here. Grippies have been a saving grave in our house... for me and the boys. (And yes, they can go on adult socks, too! Shh....)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Closet Organization for Busy Moms

Getting dressed used to be so easy. Add two little girls to the equation and things get a tad more complicated. It seems like every week someone is outgrowing a pair of jeans (thankfully not me) or in need of new tights. To stay on top of the clothing situation, I rely on a few tricks.

Shop Sales
Whenever I see the sign “70% off” I spring into action. Basics--tees for layering, tights, jeans, underwear, turtlenecks, and socks--are prime candidates for this type of sale. I also try to get the insider scoop on sample sales, here in New York I get invites to designer showrooms. When I can, I’ll head to these events and pick up designer goodies (like this winter’s velvet dresses) at a fraction of the regular price. The trick here is getting the sizing right. My motto: If in doubt always buy bigger. This came in handy last fall at the Petite Bateau sample sale. The pjs run small and had I bought according to the labels, I would have been out of luck.

For mom’s that don’t live near design centers, it makes sense to sign up on e-mailing lists with your favorite brands. Many retailers will send an email blast to customers allowing them to shop online at steeply reduced prices. And of course, sign up for Totsy.com for the very best private sales.

Managing the Closet
Once I bring my treasures home, I get them put in the proper place. Clothes for the current season get hung up or placed in drawers. Clothing that won’t be worn for a season or two gets neatly stored in large, LABELED plastic storage bins. Labeling is essential—if you don’t know what is inside, you’re likely to forget about your purchases. I love the system OrganizedMommy.com uses in the picture below.

To keep closet clutter under control and make room for new outfits, moms need to decide what to save and what to give away at the end of a season. Since I’ve got two girls, I save a lot of the older girl’s clothing for daughter number two. What I save: Dresses, tights and coats. The “save” pile goes right into another plastics tub. What I discard: Shoes (doctors recommend new shoes for kids since every foot is different), anything with stains and styles that have ceased to be cool.

I stay on top of keeping current season clothes in the closet. I’ve found nothing makes a four year old angrier than picking her favorite summer sundress and being told it is too cold outside. And for this busy mom, I my efforts mean I won’t waste time reaching into a closet and selecting a pair of jeans that are too short. Who’s got time for wardrobe malfunctions!

No one said being a mom was easy, but with a bit of organization and my beloved plastic storage tubs, getting dressed is more of a creative exercise and less of a chore.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Holiday Fashions for BOYS

It's almost HOLIDAY time! There's nothing like shopping for your child's (or children's) oh-so-needed-and-essential Holiday outfit(s) for photos, parties and the endless and various family/friend/school events. As a mom of all boys, it's so different to walk through the Girls Department and see the array of dresses and skirts and leggings and hair-bands and bows and tights and sweater sets and cardigans and pocketbooks. Everything is gorgeous and cute and feminine and just preciously-beautiful. It's definitely true (and I can say this because I'm a mom of boys) that girls do have better selections. But I get it, and understand... I was a "girl" once, too. Girls love to dress up. It's innate.

So what's a mom of boys to do? Truthfully, it's EASY. There are so many different and fun pieces you can add into a Holiday outfit for a boy. Personally, I love my boys to look like handsome "little versions of Daddy" throughout the Holidays. Only drawback is that they refuse to wear suits, that's one thing nobody seems to want to wear. So I've adapted...

TRY THESE 6 EASY PIECES... mix and match away!

Suspenders. Hands down - the cutest little thing on boys. The best part is that you can wear suspenders with jeans, khakis and trouser pants, so you'll get tons of use out of them.

Clip-on Tie. Nothing screams a "little version of Daddy" more than a tie. Super adorable. Super easy. And absolutely perfect for any special occasion.

Vest. I absolutely love vests on boys. They add such a classic touch to an outfit. Don't just use vests with button-downs, I love to pair vests with crewneck tops - long and short sleeved.

Belt. There's such a sense of pride in my son's eyes when we wears a belt. He just "feels" older. Belts are fabulous for the holidays because they really do add that formal touch to a Holiday outfit. Not to mention there are a variety of different patterns and fabrics and styles.

Newsboy Cap. We bought these for our 3 oldest sons about 2 weeks ago. When I say that they have never looked cuter... they have NEVER LOOKED CUTER! With the weather getting a little colder and hats being a necessity... bring on (or put on!) this classic and oh-so-chic hat!

Clip-on Bow Tie. If you're looking for another add-on, you've found it. A Bow Tie for the Holidays is spectacular. My son Alexander loves to wear a Bow Tie with a button-down shirt, and it truly is such a handsome accessory for boys.