- Sources of Inspiration
- The Fine Print
- And Whatnot
… we’ll be right back!
I admit it: my posting schedule has been a bit on the slower side this summer as I’ve juggled my summer job(s), ongoing academic and extracurricular responsibilities, and, oh, creating a small human. I’m afraid I have to ask your collective indulgence one more time, though, as I take a quick break from the blogosphere. July is roaring to a close, and the end of the month is bringing with it a number of fairly major academic and professional deadlines. But, I’ll be back in early August, with new content, some new ideas, and (hopefully) some good thoughts on a slight shift in direction to better accommodate my changing interests and life circumstances.
In the meantime, if you have questions, thoughts to share, or topics you’d like to see me address in the coming weeks, let me know! Feel free to leave a comment on this post, or shoot me an e-mail at narrowlytailored (at) gmail (dot) com. I’d love to hear from you, and look forward to continuing our conversation when I return.
- Blue-Grey Dress: Gap Maternity via gap.com
- Navy Pinstriped Blazer: Calvin Klein via Filene’s
- Blue Necklace: Forever 21
- Nude Cork Wedges: Jones New York via DSW
I’ve reached that point in the summer where I feel like I’m living dog years: the individual days are packed, but the weeks go by almost too quickly, and I feel like I’ve only just blinked and here I am, 1/3 of the way through the second of my two summer jobs! I’m back at the firm I was at last summer until the end of July. It’s been wonderful to reconnect with former (and potential future) colleagues. Sartorially speaking, though, it’s been a slightly more challenging environment, for at least two reasons. First, it tends to be a more formal office (in a lawyers-wear-suits kind of way), and second, well…I’ve run out of pants.
Early in my pregnancy, maternity pants (and my be.band) were my saving grace, and somewhat unexpectedly so, since I tend not to be much of a pants person where circumstances and activities don’t require it. As my bump has grown, though, I’ve once again found pants to be a struggle. The “real waist” styles I loved earlier on don’t fit my third-trimester belly quite as well, and my hips have finally started to change shape in ways that make pants fit awkwardly. Low-rise styles, which tend to have a thicker, but shallower panel, still seem to work well, but can be aesthetically challenging, because they leave a visible panel line and can, well, create some unwanted muffinage. I have a few pairs of maternity bermudas and other shorts that work well for the extremely casual weekends we’ve been having lately (dominated by house and garden projects), but pants have basically vanished from my working wardrobe.
In their place have been, well, a lot of outfits like this: dress and blazer combinations that glam up jersey till it’s office appropriate without destroying the comfort of soft, stretchable fabrics. Here I’m using shades of blue and grey to try to keep this visually interesting, shades I’m hoping are distinct enough that it doesn’t appear I’m not sure that these things don’t technically “match.” And of course, I’m still living in wedge heels, without which, well, I’d be shorter (and more noticeably swollen). This pair hasn’t held up perfectly to the extensive use they’ve been getting, but they’ve kept me feeling like me far longer into my pregnancy than I would have thought possible.
Moms and pregnant gals, have you noticed similar evolutions in your pregnancy wardrobe over time, things you loved at one point in your pregnancy that just didn’t work later on? Did the pendulum ever swing back around? How did you fight the tent-like feeling that can come with wearing dresses late into your third trimester?
- Yellow Tank: Banana Republic
- Navy Abstract-Floral Skirt: induetime via eBay
- Wedge Sandals: Earthies via Zappos.com
- Necklace: Filene’s discount bin
- Red Woven Belt: Forever 21
I have to admit, I was a little lukewarm on this month’s Everybody, Everywear selection (there is not a lot of yellow in my maternity wardrobe), until I remembered one critical thing: it’s July. And in July, yellow is so, so much more than just a color of the rainbow.
Husband D. and I are united by a number of idiosyncrasies, but one of the more entertaining ones to outside observers is our deep affection for professional cycling. It’s a tumultuous relationship, an “I wish I knew how to quit you!” kind of love that has survived numerous doping scandals, questionable victories, and countless hours watching admittedly boring footage of grown men in lycra riding across the European countryside (it’s gotten better after TiVo, really). And let me tell you: it takes meaningful devotion to make it through Floyd Landis, Tyler Hamilton, the “tainted beef” defense and the 5700th time you’ve heard that joke about how God wishes he was Eddy Merckx. And while the sodden, frozen spring classics of Belgium and Northern France in April tend to be more enjoyable to watch, July, which brings with it the drama of the Grand Tour of Grand Tours, the Tour de France, is pretty much the most wonderful time of the year. And with it comes the quest for the most coveted prize in cycling: the golden fleece, the mellow johnny, the maillot jaune, the jersey worn by the leader of the overall classification. (You also get a pretty adorable stuffed lion).
(The Mellow Johnny, you ask? The Texan who shall not be named, when he first donned the jersey, attempted to speak French to an interviewer from a European news outlet, which was a poor choice for a number of reasons. He attempted to pronounce le maillot jaune, and came out with “the mellow johnny.” The name stuck around.)
While I’m not winning any races these days, and I haven’t been on my bike in months, I appreciated the chance to trot out the last yellow item in my closet for this slightly playful weekend look. I loved the irreverent clash of symbolism between a color that signifies speed and a body that so loudly pronounces the ways it isn’t in a rush (particularly in this over-the-bump skirt). It’s a look that toes (and might step over) the line between comment and self-parody, between boldness of color choice and looking like a Crayola ad gone wrong. And it worked with what I had: swollen ankles (this is why I usually take photos in the morning…), limited wardrobe, changing body and all. And more than anything, isn’t that what this is all about?
- Modern Floral Print Dress: Gap Maternity via Gap.com
- Red Cardigan: Vintage Michael Kors, mommed
- Pearls: inherited from mom on my wedding day
- Brown Peep-Toe Wedges: Naturalizer via Amazon.com
With only ten-ish (or should I say, somewhere between seven and 11.3) weeks to go in my pregnancy, I’m pretty much done acquiring new maternity items, but I made an exception for this dress from Gap’s maternity line. Interestingly enough, it’s actually the first floral dress I’ve owned in my adult life, though I realize this is a pretty tame sort of floral. It’s really floral mated with Andy Warhol’s Marilyns . . . though that could be stretching things a bit.
Abstract comparisons aside, I love the mix of elements here: the demure, ladylike florals and pearls with the modern wedge heels and the bold red cardigan. The woven fabric is a little outside my typical wheelhouse of bump-hugging attire; even with the waist definition provided by the tie belt, it conceals a little more of what lies beneath than I’m used to. This isn’t an outfit that celebrates or emphasizes the “me” “beneath” my pregnant state, but I appreciated all the ways it wasn’t one of those. Instead, it represents the more creative and experimental side of my pregnancy style: the part of me that tries new things and pushes outside my comfort zone, and that makes the most of dressing a changing body with playful attempts at new proportions and a slightly irreverent approach. And at seven-plus months pregnant in 90-degree-plus heat, that may well be a side I’d do well to continue to cultivate!
I’m curious, though: what do you think about the explosion of florals this spring, particularly in office-oriented looks? How do you feel about the messages florals may or may not convey about gender, power and authority? Are those implications different for a pregnant gal?
- Green/Teal Dress: Liz Lange for Target
- Charcoal Doubleknit Blazer: Halogen via Nordstrom’s
- Necklace: Filene’s discount bin
- Brown Peep-toe Wedges: Naturalizer via amazon.com
Remember my obsession with coral this spring? I have to confess my love for yet another color this season: teals, turquoises, and other bejeweled shades of green. Even though I normally associate jewel tones with fall and winter, I’ve had a new appreciation for these kinds of shades this season. I love the way they pair nicely with a variety of neutrals, particularly grey and navy, and the way they allow me to get my brights fix while still feeling office-appropriate, even in a fairly subdued office environment.
This outfit is essentially a variation on one of my favorite maternity looks, with a different, but equally bold dress (although, wow — even though I obviously see pictures of myself most days of the week, the view from several months ago is relatively stunning!). Even though my clothing preferences have varied substantially throughout my pregnancy, the dress + blazer combination has proved a surprisingly effective one throughout, even as my body has changed. The blazer provides a structural anchor and keeps the look polished and sufficiently “formal.” As my bump grows, it also fills another increasingly prevalent need: masking the tent-like effect that flowy dresses can have in profile!
What’s been your favorite bold tone this spring and summer? How have you been wearing spring’s brights at work?
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