BonLook has launched a stylish kids collection of sunglasses in collaboration with Bleu Bird and Love Taza. These stylish sunnies come in classic and fun styles like they popped off the runway and shrank down into little mini me versions. Each pair of sunnies are only $39.
Polka dots get fresh this spring with vibrant colors and mixed patterns. I love the look on little girls and these dresses at the Gap are perfect for Easter celebrations to a day out with the family. I love the purple and bright green/yellow combo in the Tulle Dot Dress ($39.95 at the Gap) and the mix of color and dot prints in the Dot Tank Dress ($39.95 at the Gap).
There's a sense of inner peace I get while I'm knitting. It's like using all my senses together from design, crafts, to even math. This sweater, Cloverfield Toddler Girls Cardigan (Sizes 18 months, 2T, 3T - featured on Petite Purls) by Vickie Howell is particularly dear to me. Vickie is an amazing crafter I met while working at MAKE/CRAFT and as a fellow mom, she's inspirational. I still remember one afternoon when I had to do a conference call with her. I didn't know Vickie that well yet and I definitely wanted to be professional. I had timed our conference call for one of Chloe's nap time. Of course, this was the one time she didn't take that second afternoon nap and I was frantic at trying to juggle between getting her napping right and moving her into a bouncy chair. I just remember Vickie telling me that she didn't mind. It was all going to be ok. It made me so relieved I just took a deep breath and relaxed. She made this new mom feel so much better and I'll never forget it.
To me, knitting for kids is perfect because the projects are small and your little one is old enough to appreciate your handiwork. For the Cloverfield Cardigan, I let Chloe pick the main colors she wanted so that she felt like she was a part of the making process. Ideally I could have knit this project within a month but life as a mom is hectic as you all know. I finally finished it about a year and a half later, only having to add around an inch of length to the sweater in the middle to ensure the right fit. Knitting the little bobble flowers while you knit the cardigan was a really fun process too! This sweater made me realize how much I loved the idea of short sleeved sweaters for girls. Even as we live in San Francisco which is year-round sweater weather I never have to worry about these sweater sleeves getting all grimy as all of her messes end up on the t-shirt sleeve. hehe.
Chloe loved the fittings when I would try the sweater on her in different stages. Today she wore the sweater to school for the first time. She couldn't wait to tell her friends that "My Mama knit this sweater for me."
Vickie Howell Sheep(ish) Yarn from Caron
Vickie sent me some of her new Sheep(ish) Yarn produced by Caron to knit this project. The yarn is so soft and is a blend of acrylic and wool making it very affordable at $3.99/ball. You can machine wash the yarn in cold water and dry flat. You can find this yarn at your local Michaels, Jo-Ann's and more. Use the store locator to find out where to buy Sheep(ish).
I used Teal(ish) and Turquoise(ish) for the main colors of the sweater with the flower bobbles in White(ish) and the stems in Olive(ish).
And let's just say, kids will be kids. In order to get the few wonderful smiling photos of Chloe for this post, I had to endure five minutes of her silly faces and infectious giggling. I wouldn't change that for the world!
Note: Vickie Howell Sheep(ish) Yarn was provided by Vickie Howell/Caron for this project.
Boys sometimes don't get as much of a fashionable clothing selection when it comes time to shop. I always seem to see the same old sports themed casual wear or dressed up preppie boy. That's why I felt so refreshed to see John Varvatos' new boys collection that features dressed up little hipster wear that is party perfect for the holiday season. I love the look of a black blazer mixed up with a t-shirt and even a vest.
The prices aren't cheap for kids clothing but if you could only get one thing, I would recommended this John Varvatos Boys' Velvet Two Soft Jacket ($175) that could be paired with simple black pants and t-shirt. If anything, the collection is inspiring to give us a fresher model of style for little boys.
I never knew why workout and active wear always made me look and feel like a big slob. That's why I love Kristi Yamaguchi's new activewear line called Tsu.ya. The Olympic gold medalist who's a mom of two girls created the line merging modern designs with comfortable fabrics. A portion of Tsu.ya sales supports children's education and inspiration through Kristi's Always Dream Foundation. Tsu.ya is also available at select Lord & Talor stores.
"My lifestyle is demanding. As a mother, as an author and as an athlete, the clothing that I wear needs to be functional as well as fashionable. Up until now there wasn’t an activewear line available to me that met those needs so I created Tsu.ya to fill the void. Moms like me know that our attire needs to live up to our standards and to our activities and Tsu.ya does just that - and with style," says Kristi.
My favorite piece from the collection is the SLIK Jacket ($149) that features satin details and cinched waistline that's flattering to a woman's silhouette. It's perfect at the gym, yoga class, or school drop off. It's definitely a way cuter version of a typical sporty jacket. Her collection not only features outerwear but also tops, bottoms, and dresses.
With the warm weather approaching, it's time to refresh kid's summer shoes. Pretty strappy sandals are so beautiful on little girls' feet but with school and active kids in playgrounds, I find it's more important to protect their feet more than anything. Chloe has had these KEEN Whisper Sandals ($44.95 on Amazon) for about a month now. They keep her feet cool and are so lightweight. It puts my mind at ease that she has the traction to run around and climb things on the playground or park. They are also perfect for the beach. I can't rave enough of how these shoes have kept up in terms of quality as Chloe has been wearing them a lot. They come in a variety of fun colors too. Just in time for summer break!
If you're out of ideas on what to wear when you're growing pregnant belly isn't cooperating with anything in your closet, check out the Isabella Oliver Style Panel with lots of tips and fashion advice from myself and other fashionable moms. I was honored to be a part of this special panel!
Here's an excerpt from my interview:
My top maternity style tip is…
Invest in a pair of good jeans and at least a couple of nice maternity dresses. Being pregnant, you will still have to go to birthday parties, brunches, showers, and even a wedding or two. It’s important to have a stylish dress that you can also be comfortable in. The same goes for a pair of stylish maternity jeans. They’ll work for your everyday outfits and can be dressed up when needed.
Moms are all different and Gilt Groupe knows this. I love their wide selection of Indulgent Mother's Day Gifts that range from fashion items to gourmet luxuries. Check out the sales and believe me if you are the mama yourself, it's not hard to give your hubby a little nudge or point in the right direction as to what you want.
Visit Gilt and find Indulgent Mother's Day Gifts in the Women's section.
There's also a contest going on now for your chance to win a one of a kind Judith Leiber Bag featuring your child's drawing! Visit Gilt Baby & Kids' Facebook page to submit your drawing to enter.
Fashion industry veteran Sasha Charnin Morrison gives you a glimpse inside the world of fashion and stylists with her amazing book, Secrets of Stylists (published by Chronicle Books). As the current fashion director at US Weekly, Morrison has over 20 years experience working in the biz for such publications as Harper's Bazaar, Elle, Allure, Vanity Fair, and more. She has her finger on the pulse of trends and celebrity fashion, all with an amazing sense of humor. She loves a very high heel and if you follow her on twitter or tumblr, you'll see the many nuggets of fashion eye candy she'll share each day.
She's a fashion lover and she's also a hip mom. In addition to my Q&A with her on Coquette, I got to ask her some mom-specific fashion questions which had me cracking up. Because yes I can relate. Where else these days would I wear my Chanel flats to?
Natalie: How many kids do you have and what ages are they?
Sasha: I have twin boys who are almost 10.
Natalie: Describe your style when you are around your kids? Has your style changed much since before you had kids?
Sasha: I have this running joke with my best friend. Our kids are BFF's and we are always at "drop off" together. And when we look at really super cute or really beautiful clothing-evening dresses to jackets to shorts to beaded skirts we always say "that would be GREAT for Drop Off." We don't really care for date nights, etc. We’d rather be with the kids so we don’t have social occasions or go out to clubs or dinner parties. No, we would wear the new Celine bag in neon pink and the Valentino pointed toe ballet flats with the extra-large patent bows to DROP OFF.
But my style is this: I have a shoe usually a flat boot-motorcycle boots from Chanel or Valentino in lace-that goes to "drop off" this winter. Or a flat Lanvin ballerina. Black leggings or tights. Some layering up top-tank dresses from Wilt or a jersey dress from Rachel Pally and a cardigan in cashmere or wool from Nannette Lepore or Gap. My Norma Kamali fleece sweatshirt coat in black and my Michael Kors fox fur trapper hat. This has become a uniform. Because after I run up the stairs for drop off at school, I am sweating like a pig and need to strip off a few layers. And this looks is the easiest, most urban look that I put together. I dress it up with a Vera Wang statement necklace when I need that. And then when I get to work, the heels go on. Azzedine Alaia platform hiking boots or YSL sandals. Depends.
Natalie: What the easiest thing a mom can do to get out of a fashion rut (aka sweat pants/gym clothes)?
Sasha: It’s hard for an entire overhaul for a lot of women. Most don’t have time or know where to start. Accessories are the best solutions for a rut: a bright and colorful bag-does not have to be expensive. Forever21 has great bags. Gap. H&M. Zara is online now.
Scarves, a pointy toe kitten heel pump. Bright or patterned tights or pantyhose. Get some great cardigans with jewels or ribbon trim from Vera Wang’s collection at Kohl’s. Layer that over a basic dress.
Wear a dressier version of the sweat look. I mean, there is so much crossover of active sports clothing into street clothing: leggings, tanks, tunics, etc. Some moms want to get dressed and not fall into this trap. Buy what you think you can leave the house in without getting sweat stains all over. DVF is a great resource for lovely clothing: wrap dresses, drop waist colorful dresses, tunics, maxi dresses, coats, very chic. Rachel Roy also designs for women who love to look polished with a little style. Buy a great coat, a bag with maybe some color. Invest in nice tights and patterned hose for a change of pace. Buy a nice pump that’s walkable from Cole Haan or Nine West.
Natalie: What are some of the best handbags you have found that work with a mom's busy lifestyle?
Sasha: The ones that have plenty of pockets and that you can open and find your stuff. I love Prada, Celine, YSL on the high end. The bags are so well made for an active lifestyle. I can find everything. Gap, Zara, Ann Taylor on the lower end answer the same prayers. You have to audition several and see which one works for all of your many demands.
Thanks for the great mom fashion advice Sasha! To read more about Sasha Charnin Morrison's new book, Secrets of Stylists and to enter the giveaway, visit Coquette.