Haute Inspiration

Feb 18, 2010 | Fashion | 13 comments

I tend to become very motivated about taking care of myself after having a baby; more than ready to shed the weight, try a new hairstyle and dive back into my closet.  
I will confess, it’s all about comfort when I am at home and pregnant.  Sweatpants and snug cotton tops.  I only wear maternity jeans when leaving the house for errands – those thick elastic bands are NOT recommended by midwives.  The looser the better for your baby’s positioning…
But now, with 24 of the buttload of pounds I want to lose gone I am ITCHIN to wear normal clothes again.  I am in that stage where I am wearing black yoga pants everyday…yuck.  Thankfully it’s winter and I can still hide in the house because I have a long “weigh” to go.  I gained my normal amount (a-lot) but want to lose more than that…just for the fun of it!
Recently my SIL and I had am enthusiastic conversation on a subject where I think we really connect – fashion.  She has great taste and is, I think absolutely beautiful.  We talked about the frustration of being Midwest girls.  We live in the land of corn bread thighs and a serious case of “business-super-casual.”  We both experience the frustration of friends asking, “Why are you so dressed up?” when all we have done is put on something other than a pair of jeans.  We sorted and sifted thru our feelings about fashion, what we like, what we don’t like, hilarious fashions for this year (high healed tennis shoes???? and hooded dresses and the shirt dress?).  I shared with her and she agreed that it is a frustration to want to be able to dress a certain way but to be inhibited by our social status…IE income.  Yes, there is an extent to which you can be creative and shop frugally but there is only so far you can go…
Sometimes it’s sad because I feel like I have waisted my “youth” making poor styling choices, not appreciating the figure I was born with and disrespecting that figure at times by carrying extra pounds…this year I will turn a certain number on my birthday (I still can’t believe it) and I hope that I have not wasted years of fashion as now I feel like I am getting a handle on the look I would like to express.  I suppose that is how it goes – things “coming together” in ones thirties ‘n all.  And that is what it’s all about; Expression.  What I wear is a direct form of self expression.  And it IS frustrating when you can’t express yourself the way you want to.
Victoria shared with me a couple of the fashion websites that she enjoys; websites where normal everyday women share their outfits and combinations for fun.  We talked about each doing something similar.  At first you may cringe but hear be out – why is fashion any different from design?  I have no qualms about sharing some new display in my home so why not share a new outfit that I have put together from my closet?
I shared with her my new addiction – thesatorialist.blogspot.com.  I am totally addicted to this site!!!!  A fashion photographer who CONSTANTLY posts photos of those in the industry and everyday people on the streets in Paris, Milan, New York, etc.  Now, there is a lot of stuff I would NEVER wear but if you peruse this sight (I’ve exhausted his archives!) you will find inspiration and if you, like me struggle with the LAMENESS of what is acceptable to wear in the Midwest, it will challenge you to think outside the box and be bold with this fascinating form of self expression!
Soon, I hope, as soon as I can fit into some of my clothes I think I’ll start posting some outfits just as a way to challenge myself and not get stuck in a mid-thirties-midwestern-rut!
Here are some of my recent favorites from The Sartorialist.  (Pay little attention to my “analysis” – I am not expert.)

I don’t even know what to say about this guy.  It doesn’t hurt that is is good looking but I have seem him a couple times on the Sartorialist.  His ensembles never disappoint.
Yum.  What is not to love here?  Fingerless gloves, tights, fur capelet or shrug…whatever you want to call it?  Lovely shaped eyebrows and a elegant, simple hair.  She could have been lost in the crowd with a cliché black purse…but cobalt blue!  AWESOME!

Touling and Christian Louboutin…need I say more.  I covet those shoes.

I used to be an Image Consultant for BeautiControl, back in the day when they focused on body types and seasons…I was always a “Classic/Dramatic” personality when I would take their tests and that still holds true (though thanks to ladies like Nada Farm and A-la-Parisienne I find myself very attracted to the new “romantic” look).  But this outfit sums it up for me.  You have the drama of the hat, oddly lengthed pant and oversized scarf but you have the classic with the shoe style and color, the navy pant color and the trench.  I love this.

Again- Classic/Dramatic.  This ensemble is so “me” and I think I actually could have come up with this one myself…I LOVE to wear jeans with a white blouse and jacket.  The shoes say, “I’M NOT FRUMPY” the hair says, “I didn’t over think this outfit” and the purse says, “HEY!  Don’t underestimate me!”  Don’t be surprised if you see me try to imitate this one.

Ok, I could never wear these shoes but I hope I have this much class when I am sixty.  What “mature” woman would not want to look this stylish?


  1. annie

    I’ve lost my edge, my funk, my quirkiness…..it has gone…I want it back!!!
    HELP ME!!!!!

  2. Debbie

    I’m a new follower from the Midwest also. I enjoyed your post. Of course, I fall into the ‘mature’ category, but it doesn’t mean I don’t want to look good and classy. I just wish other women did too. I agree with what you said about people accusing you of ‘dressing up’ when you just put on something above jeans. Women look terrible! Jeans are not the answer to everything, and they’ve simply taken the place of ‘polyester pants’ for mature women and everything else for the younger. I’d like to see some more class out there, but I think we’re dreamin if we think that’ll catch on! However, you go girl. I look forward to seeing your examples!

  3. Farmgirl Cyn

    OK…YOU look good any which way you look at it, even with baby weight to get off! I like the idea of posting some fashion goodies…I have seen you all dressed up as well as down and dirty with sweats and gardening gloves…so I have no doubt it would be fun!
    And my choice of all the photos would be the jeans and white shirt. Classic…great style even in the 50’s! (I mean 1950’s, but could have also meant IN my 50’s!!!)

  4. Molly @ Star Cottage

    Oh my goodness, I so hear you on this one! I lived in Boston during my early twenties worked @ the gap and lived in a house with a hippie rock band, so I had fun expressing myself with fashion, I also had a few fashion shows of my own in highscool where I made all the clothes. Now fast forward to 30, I am a mom and I live in the country in northwest NY surrounded by cornfields and silos, blue jeans and flannels. I definitely get frustrated @ times. But I’ll take the country over the city anyday. And my friends have gotten used to me being “all gussied up”. And I’ve gotten used to feeling a little out of place or over dressed @ times.

  5. BonjourRomance

    Oh you always do look good. How many new moms look as glamorous as you did in the photos you posted. I need to lose a few pounds and I haven’t had a baby…
    Will check out this blog now.
    Bonne soirée!

  6. Bonjour Madame

    I look forward to this so much! I can’t wait to see the dramatic combined with classic and what you come up with. Those are great inspiration pics. I vote for some of those killer Paris pieces too. They must be timeless. I also vote (love how I’m making this into a voting process without any authority)…..for you and Victoria to make a clothing item or two using your imaginations and not patterns. Maybe just a clothes form and putting your ideas out there into a dream piece of clothing. You can both sew so well.

    I had a friend of mine that wanted to do this and at first I was all, without a pattern???? She responded yes, I just want to fit something to my body and sew it.

    I’m rambling…will stop. I’m excited about this!


  7. Berlin Deluxxe

    I love the link you posted! Thanks! I love the fact that I have two younger sisters who keep me up to date with what’s in <3

  8. Old Centennial Farmhouse

    Ang, I say go for it! Be YOU! I think you’d look great in anything, because it’s your eyes and your personality that is so warm.

    While I enjoy the goodies about being a stay-at-home mom, I also sometimes miss HAVING to dress it up a bit.

    My style I think would be Laura Bush…I loved her in casual and I loved her in her business suits and I loved her in her dancing clothes. And my favorite of hers? Jeans, and a crisply tailored white shirt with sunshine kissed cheeks and her pretty hair. (I MISS HER!)

    I like jackets and enjoy finding cute ones, but miss them in summer….I’m LOST in the summer. I’ll look forward to seeing your fashion sense come forward!

  9. Anne Marie

    being that I have never seen you look “bad” not even when you DID have your pj bottoms on and your faced totally washed….what can I say?

    I love that outfit of the fur capelet – that’s the one I would wear – for sure.

  10. Joy

    What I like about all of these styles is the individualism. I admit I dress ‘comfy’ in the winter–Land’s End winter shoes and a bulky coat. Yep, around here, it’s mostly jeans and a pull over top. I become more adventuresome in the warmer months… colorful purses, scarves, jewelry. We just hibernate around here in the winter.

  11. Homemaker Ang

    what one will you be wearing to your next Nascar race :)?

  12. Victoria

    Oh my. You have found some of the best that site has to offer! LOVE the trench outfit with the big scarf. The cuffed jeans with t-strap (my favorite style of heel), blazer/oxford combo is, also, so me! Hmm… If I have to wear jeans to work that is a definite DO! I’m copying too..


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