Before and After
In the image above, the outfit on the left represents the typical “mommy uniform” worn by Emily Ragsdale, mother of two boys and winner of our Online Styling Session Giveaway. The outfit on the right is my take on how to liven up this cheerful, comfortable dress.
Focus on the Positive
First, let’s talk about all of the good things going on in Emily’s ensemble. Emily’s frame is apple-shaped. An avid reader of The Mommy Stylist, Emily has identified her shape and takes advantage of some of the suggestions we made in the Stylist’s Secret: Know Your Body Shape (We’ll Show You How) article. She chose a loose, boxy top to skim over her middle – the main problem area for apples. A longer top creates the illusion of a lengthened torso. Accessorizing with a scarf pulls the eye up towards a shapely neck.
When I first saw this outfit, a lightbulb went off. I started working right away. And, Kristin can vouch for this, I got so carried away that I completed the entire look weeks ahead of schedule, throwing off our entire editorial calendar for the spring season. Oops. Anyway, let’s start with my thought process.
Wow. She’s really pretty. I wish I had time to do my make-up like that on an average day.
She deserves a cool bag and a fresh, young outfit that fits her all but nonexistent wardrobe budget.
Someone should tell her she’s not as big as she feels. She could have purchased the dress at least a size smaller and still looked fabulous.
I had several goals for styling this outfit.
Give her a structured jacket in a dark shade to: break up the solid-colored dress; give her a little definition at the waist; and keep her warm at a hockey rink/football field.
Draw more attention to her legs, one of an apple’s best assets! Visually lengthen the legs with wedges and/or pointy toes (one of the hottest trends right now).
Switch out the scarf for a necklace to still draw the eye upward elongating the torso, but without adding more volume on top.
A bag for the things she can’t leave the house without – and the million things her sons can’t leave the house without.
We want to hear what you think about this look. Tell us in the comments below. (And watch for another outfit for Emily created by our Editor-in-Chief, Kristin Hull, in the coming weeks.)
Moto Jacket (clearance $39.99/Macy’s)
A structured jacket with a v-neck helps create the illusion of an hour glass and balance out the body. This moto style has mesh details, allowing for airflow to keep Emily cool in the office while still adding an extra layer of warmth at the rink or on the field. If a moto isn’t your cup of tea, try a more conservative leather (or faux) jacket or even a blazer.
Vertical Detail Leggings ($14.80/Forever 21)
A lighter shade of black and a vertical line detail on the sides of these leggings draw attention to Emily’s gorgeous gams. Leading the eye up and down the length of the leg makes them appear longer.
Pointed Wedge (clearance $25.00/ Payless Shoesource)
Heels and pointed toes are both good ways to lengthen the appearance of the leg and elongate a figure. In place of a pump, I chose wedges to keep Emily comfortable and stable during her school- and sport-filled days.
Pointed Flat ($22.80/Forever 21)
An alternative to the wedge, the pointed toes on these flats will also extend the line of the leg bringing the eye down and away from her mid-section.
Necklace ($9.80/Forever 21)
The shades of turquoise in this beaded necklace unite the dress and leggings. The warm gold-tone compliments the brown bag and camel flat.
Bag- tan ($34.80/Forever 21)
As promised, this handbag is roomy enough to keep everything she needs close by. Unhook the cross body strap and you’ve got a satchel.
Available from one of Emily’s favorite stores, this sporty watch will work with most outfits and keep the boys on schedule.
Outfit Total: $157.38
Wear it Again: to the office, sporting event, running errands, lunch, coffee, matinee, field trip, lunch duty.
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