Wedding Wear Reworked

This post is dedicated to getting the most out of your wedding clothes.  It has been three years since my wedding, but I still wear items from that day.  I think the key to wearing your wedding items after your wedding, is first, figure out a way to tone the formal down.  My second tip is to pick the right occasion for the clothes. My third tip is be willing to take risks.

This picture was taken last Sunday, while I was leaving my apartment to attend my school’s graduation ceremony.  This outfit consists of three (yes THREE!) items that were worn on my wedding day.  Pretty good right?

Can you guess which three items? Let me give you some time to figure it out…

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The three items are the dress, the necklace, and that big white flower.  Following my tips above, let me explain what I was thinking when I put this outfit together.

Tip #1:  Figure out a way to tone the formal feel of the items down.

You may have already guessed that this dress is actually one of the bridesmaids dresses from my wedding, it is not my actual wedding gown.  (For those of you that have bridesmaids dresses just hanging in your closet, maybe this will inspire you to rework it.)  To tone this JCrew Chartreuse bridesmaids dress down, I relied on a casual short sleeve navy GAP cardigan and some white canvas Steve Madden wedges.  The casual texture of both the sweater and the shoes helped minimize the formalness (is that a word?) of my fancy dress.  I also added the white  Anthropologie flower to my sweater  and my JCrew gold and pearl necklace to act as a neutral medium to the contrasting blue and bright yellow in my outfit.  The result is an outfit centered around just three color blocks:  white, yellow, and blue.

Tip #2:  Pick the right occasion.

As I stated earlier, I was on my way to my high school’s graduation.  This was the perfect occasion for my dress because there is a range of attire during a high school graduation.  It can be as formal as a floral sheath dress with pearls to as casual as jeans and a sweater.  There is such a range in apparel at this event that it gives a lot of wiggle room for how one would dress.  I did not look or feel out of place when I arrived in this outfit.  Other occasions you can consider wearing your wedding items to are other weddings, formal dinner parties, holiday parties, charity events, evening shows such as symphonies, plays, musicals,  and dinner dates.

Tip #3:  Take a risk.

This tip doesn’t just apply to reworking your wedding items.  This tip applies to dressing yourself period.  It is important that you feel good in your clothes but to also keep yourself from being stuck in a rut.  That’s why it is good to  take risks and put yourself out there.  I admit, this dress is a loud color.  The color seemed even louder when I walked into the arena for graduation and saw mostly black and white.  But that  is ok.  I wanted to represent myself and how I was feeling.  I felt happy, cheery, and ready for summer.  When I wore this outfit I felt it was the perfect representation of those feelings.  I got a lot of compliments about the color, which further ‘brightened’ my mood. 😉

So what do you think?  Did I successfully transition my wedding wear to the ‘real world’?

Here’s a picture from my actual wedding day.  It was such a great day, I smile each time I think about it.  The wedding colors, yellow and grey, are actually the inspiration for my blog title. I hope your wedding brings lots of good memories back to you too.

Have you reworked any of your wedding items? If so, how? I would love to get your tips and tricks.

How to dress your pregnant body. Tips and tricks.

It has been over three months since I was pregnant and I am happy to report I have moved my maternity clothes out of my closet and am in the process of lending them out to some of my newly pregnant friends.  Upon reflection, I have a few tips and tricks about how to dress while pregnant I would like to share.

I knew I didn’t want to spend too much on maternity clothes, so I focused my maternity purchases by first identifying my dressing goals.

I had three goals when it came how to dress: 

1.  Rework as much as I can in my current closet

2.  Purchase versatile pieces that will last the duration of the pregnancy

3. Show off the bump

Below is a list of the items I wore the most during my pregnancy

Boyfriend sweater

I own boyfriend sweaters in black, grey, and striped that I wore throughout my pregnancy. Boyfriend sweaters are versatile because they looked great buttoned up or unbuttoned over a shirt or tank with a skinny belt.

Skinny belts

As stated above, I used skinny belts to cinch the boyfriend sweaters.  The skinny belts I used most were a black leather belt, brown braided belt, and a leopard printed belt.   Thin belts are great because they fit between my belly and my chest, providing more shape and definition in my outfits.

Empire waist dresses

I spent most of my pregnancy in dresses.  They were the most comfortable items to wear.  Easy to put on and take off.  It also helped that they made it easier to go to the bathroom, which, when pregnant, is a definite must.  I had a few empire waist dresses in my closet that I wore during the first and second trimester.  I also bought two shirt dresses two sizes bigger than my prepregnancy size and wore them with a skinny belt.

Maxi dresses

The maxi dress is really flattering on a pregnant woman.  During the winter months, I would pair the maxi dress with a boyfriend sweater, skinny belt, and a pair of boots.

Belly band and skinny jeans

The belly band was great because it allowed me to wear skinny jeans while pregnant.  I bought two pairs of $15.00 skinny jeans from Forever21.  To make sure they would fit during the nine months I was pregnant, I purchased them two sizes bigger than my normal size.  When I wore them, I held them in place with the belly band.  I wore the skinny jeans with boots and flats.

Empire waist tops

The silhoutte of these tops made it easy to wear while pregnant.  I had several already in my closet and wore them during my first and second trimesters.  By the end of my second trimester I purchased a button down blouse that I cinched using a skinny belt.

An added bonus to the items I listed above is that most of them are not maternity clothes.  I have been able to wear them during my first three postpartum months.  But, because I wore them so often, I am tired of the same look and am glad to have other clothing options now.

An extra piece of advice for all the pregnant women out there.  Cherish these months.  While pregnant, I didn’t realize how fondly I would look back at the nine months I carried my little guy.  It’s a really special time.

Below are a few of the outfits I wore while pregnant.

Second trimester at Pitchfork Music Festival.  Tops from H&M.  Hat from Target.

Second trimester attending a wedding.  Dress from H&M.

Second trimester at an apple orchard.  Top from H&M.  Jeans from Forever 21.  Skinny belt from Old Navy.

Third trimester in Lake Geneva, WI.  Max Studio sweater dress and Steve Madden boots.

Third trimester in Lake Geneva, WI. Dress from Old Navy.  Boyfriend sweater from Jcrew.

Third trimester in Madison, WI at a farmers market. Maxi dress from Gap Maternity.  Necklaces from Forever 21.

Do you have any tips out there for moms to be?

Taking baby outside during the winter

Today the little guy and I went for our usual stroll downtown.  I try to get us outside at least five times a week for some fresh air and sunlight.  Something I always struggle with is how to dress him appropriately during these cold Chicago days.

During my first visit to the pediatrician, I asked her how to dress the little guy for outside trips. Her advice was to dress him in one more layer than I have on.  I used that rule to guide our first few trips outside, but during those first walks, he just wasn’t comfortable.  It wasn’t until our fifth trip out that I seemed to find the right combination of layers for him.

The first thing I consider when taking the little guy out for a walk is the temperature.  As a general rule, I won’t take him out unless it is at least 27 degrees (factoring in windchill).  Since 27 degrees borders on uncomfortable for me, I figure it is best to keep him indoors for anything lower than that.  Today was 35 degrees, making it a great day to take our usual three mile walk.

To get him ready for our walk I dressed him in his usual going out layers.  The first layer is usually a fleece onesie.  The next layer is his bear suit coverall.  This bear bodysuit is made of thick fleece, has a hoodie that does a good job covering his head, and has sleeves with mittens at the ends to keep his hands warm.  Once he is dressed in those layers, I put him in the stroller.  The stroller has a JJ Cole Bundle Me bunting bag.  It’s a great stroller accessory. Essentially, it is a  warm blanket with zippers on the sides to zip the little guy up and keep him toasty.  My friend jokingly named the bunting bag, “A baby Ugg”, which I think is hilarious.  The last step is to cover him with the plastic rain cover.  The rain cover shields him from the cold winds we Chicagoians are familiar with.  Once I’ve got all these components set, him and I are ready for our stroll outside.  Below are pictures of him at the different stages of getting ready.  The first image is the little guy in his “Let It Snow” onesie, in the second image he is in his bear fleece bodysuit, and in the final image, he looks a bit like a toy, wrapped in plastic while snug in the bunting bag.

Once we are outside, I make sure he isn’t too cold or too hot by checking his cheeks and forehead.  I usually do that after I have given us 10 minutes to adjust to the outside temperatures.  I then continue to check him every 10-15 minutes.  If he is too warm, I will unzip the bunting bag a bit,  if he is too cold, I either turn around to go home or I grab the extra swaddle blanket I have in the diaper bag and place that in between him and the bunting bag.   When we go inside, to keep him from overheating I quickly unzip the bunting bag and remove any blankets.  If we are going to be inside for a while, I sometimes also unzip his bear bodysuit.

For additional information on how to keep your baby warm in the winter, check out this babycenter article.

How do you dress your little one when going out during the winter?

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