Lindsay sent me some BeautyCounter samples last week and I was hesitant to use them because my skin is finicky and two of the samples were oils. To put on your skin. Voluntarily. It seems so dumb to put oil on my skin—the skin that I am constantly trying to DE-OIL. But Lindsay’s letter was VERY persuasive. My two favorite products so far are the Every Day AM Hydrating Cream and the Lustro Face Oil 2 (Jasmine). You put a bit of the hydrating cream in your palm (you don’t need to use a lot to cover the whole face), then mix in a drop of the Lustro oil and apply. I hate the word “dewy” for skin (it seems like something Lucky magazine would say about skincare products) so I will instead say that I have a J.Crew-catalog-skin-glow going on and it’s very delightful. My skin is soft and more hydrated/even-toned. I’m running out of samples so I need to buy the full-size products ASAP.
bareMinerals Mineral Veil SPF 25, $21 - I’d been using the Original version of this but recently got the Tinted one and LOVE it. It blends into the skin so well that you hardly notice any color—it just evens out my skin tone and kind of airbrushes over all the things. I also like that it has SPF 25 because I am the worst when it comes to applying real sunscreen on a regular basis.
SheaMoisture Olive & Marula Baby Lotion, $9.99 - For a long time the Olive & Marula stuff was so hard to find but now it’s readily available on Target and ships free with my Red Card of Doom. This scent will never stop reminding me of Baby Iz and that’s why I’ll keep stockpiling it just in case. It is one of the best-smelling things ever. The shampoo is pretty great too. Trust me.
Aveeno Positively Radiant Makeup Removing Wipes, $6.50 - SO GOOD. I will probably buy the entire Yes to Carrots wipes line for the rest of my life, but they are pretty shitty at removing eye makeup so I cheated on them with Aveeno. These took off my waterproof mascara, smell great and are perfect for post-gym laziness.
Suave Moroccan Infusion Color Care Shampoo, $2.89 - I got my hair dyed and as I was driving home I realized I only had blond shampoos/conditioners and had to take a detour to Target. I was like, okay, let me grab the first color shampoo I can find and then I’ll go get an Stupid Expensy Fancy one later. So—I got the one that was less than $3 and it turned out to be pretty fantastic. My hair is SUPER soft and easy to style. Seriously—the softest it’s been in a long time. It smells good too!
Organix Sulfate-Free Repairing Conditioner, $5-$11 - I started using this repairing conditioner about a week before I dyed my hair and have been using it since. It has a subtle, pretty scent. Out of all the super-moisturizing conditioners I’ve tried over the years, this is one of the few that hasn’t weighed down my hair or made it limp/difficult to style.
Honest Shave Oil, $15.95 a la carte or available in a bundle - [That is a referral link. Thank you if you use it!] We don’t use Honest for diapers/wipes anymore, but I still buy the Essentials bundle about once every two months to stock up on cleaning supplies and such. This shave oil was an impulse addition to the bundle and it worked like a charm. I got a really close shave that lasted longer than shaving with my normal gel did. I loved the fresh scent and my legs were so soft after.
A couple days ago I talked to a mom friend at Iz’s daycare. Her kid is the same age as Isobel (they’re only 30 days apart) and she just had their second baby. I congratulated her, asked her mom questions. How’s the baby sleeping? How are you feeling? She said, “I think the transition from none to one was harder than one to two has been.” I smiled, nodded. She asked: “You guys thinking of having any more?”
I’ve been thinking about it. I’ve been thinking about how many of my friends are trying for a second or third. I was thinking about it when I wrote this four months ago. I’ve been thinking about it because I realized the other day we’d long passed the 2-year-interval window that I always said I wanted between the two kids I figured I’d have. (My sister and I are two years apart.) I thought about it when my hairdresser gave me an update on how her third baby is doing and asked if I was going to have another. I was thinking about it after a friendly cashier at the grocery store was “chatting” with Iz and then asked her, “Do you have any brothers or sisters at home?” A family member also said, “When you have another kid, you’ll want to [blah blah blah].”
And then last night, I had a weird dream. I remember it very clearly—that was one of the weird things about it. I usually forget dreams by the time I’ve blinked away the fog of sleep. Anyway, it was Isobel and me, in our jammies, reading. There was a big bowl of popcorn. A window was open. She was older, maybe pre-teen? I don’t know. Just older. The room was quiet except for the pages turning. I knew in the dream that it was just her. There was no baby in the other room or toddler playing nearby. Just an older Iz and me, being lazy. In the dream, she stopped reading, turned to me and said, “This is nice.” I woke up.
I’m sure it doesn’t mean anything. Life is hard to predict and assigning significance to dreams is a fool’s errand. (I mean, she might hate reading. She might hate me.) But I keep thinking about that dream today. “This is nice.” It was. It is.
Hi Jaclyn! I've got a friend's 30th birthday party coming up next month, and I want something with sparkle! I tend to wear fit and flare/50s silhouettes, but add sequins to those and it looks full-on prom! Could you help me find something, knee length or longer, that will flatter my pear shape and also be slightly OTT glam?
Yes! The first one I found is this French Connection dress, marked down to just $70 (from $328!!!). Lots of sizes are still available. It still nips in at the waist and has some volume through the skirt without being a true fit-and-flare. SO pretty.
Another option is this super-hot black sequined Vince Camuto on sale from Amazon for $40! I like the longer sleeves and it will still give you a defined waistline. I’m not sure what size you are and I know a sheath dress probably isn’t a style you’re interested in, but I had to include this David Meister sequined dress because it’s marked down to $142 (from $408) in sizes 4 and 6. This Mango dress might be a little shorter than you want, but because it has such a defined waist, you may like it! It’s on sale for $70 (from $120).
I’m not sure how you feel about the silhouette of this TFNC dress from ASOS ($87), but the faux top + skirt is fun and I love the bright silver sequins.
Hey Jaclyn, I bought the Maeve lattice dress in red from Anthropologie and as much as i love it, I have no idea what color shoes/bag to get with it. It's for a wedding so I'm shooting for flats (or flat sandals) and a small clutch, but what color? gold? silver? white? Do I match the flats to the bag? Am I asking too many questions?! Thanks for your help!
This is exactly why I hardly ever wear red dresses—even though I own a few that I very much like. The shoe/bag conundrum is always a fun sucker.
ANYWAY, I have two ideas:
Nude shoes + neutral clutch, maybe a light leather (like this) or one with metallic/hints of metallic (like thisor this) OR a b&w clutch (like thisor thisor this). I think nude D’Orsay flats would look really great. Examples here, here, here.
White shoes + beaded/textured clutch. Matchy-matchy is usually bad news, but you can toe the line a little bit by bringing in the dress color on the beads or stitching, like on this one from Anthro.You could also do something real wild, like this one from Aldo. Here’s another fun option that you could wear practically any shoe with. A textured bag like this would work well with white shoes. For shoes, something like these Report sandals ($60) would be great. An ankle strap helps sandals look a little more dressy (these are $70). If you have some wedges like this ($90)? PERFECT. (I know you said flats or sandals, but wedges are close.) You could also do a very, very small baby wedge like these ($70).
Hey, you could always do leopard shoes like these! :/
I’m sorry, I think I’m probably just confusing you more now.
Hi Jaclyn, you always have the best advice! I'm not sure if you've answered this question previously but do you have any recommendations for maxi dresses for those of us on the shorter side? I am 5'2 and going on vacation in Thailand in a few months. Have always loved the maxi look but scared that I don't have the height to pull it off. Do I just buy the standard ones and get them shortened or is it just plain wrong for us vertically-challenged people to wear these? Help! Many thanks, Bee
The first thing I’d tell you to do is calculate your height in inches (you’re about 62” tall) and then subtract about 12 inches from that (the typical shoulder to top of head measurement—for you, that gives us 50”). If you have a tape measure laying around, get a more precise measurement by measuring from your shoulder to the top of your foot/ankle. Now you’ve got a good idea of the length you need (50”) and since many retailers list their maxi dress measurements, you can start to weed out the ones that would be too long or would require tailoring (ugh).
(Also everyone can wear maxi dresses! It’s not plain wrong!)
If you want something fun for your vacation, this Felicity & Coco jersey dress ($78) is available in petite. I like the cutout in the back. Anthro has this great knotted jersey maxi on sale for $70 (from $118). It’s cut a bit shorter and the proportions are good for a petite frame. (This would be super comfy for traveling too!) LOFT carries several petite maxi styles. This floral maxi would be pretty for dinner and it’s marked down to $94 with 40% off at checkout. This one ($69.50) looks like a skirt/top combo and I always find that silhouette to be really flattering on petite women. Boden’s Maya maxi dress ($74 from $148) is available in petite sizes too. Old Navy carries petite styles too. I kind of love this dress ($30)—it’ll let you show off a little leg!
Target’s petite selection offers you some really affordable options. I own this dress ($30) and love it. This basic tank maxi is marked down to just $14.98!
Strapless maxis with ruffle bodices are really flattering for petite women too. They help elongate the entire lower half. For strapless maxis, you’re going to want to take another 7” or so off your ideal length measurement. So—you’ll want to be looking out for a dress about 43” long. This Felicity & Coco one is available in petite for $78.
Hi Jaclyn! I am going to a formal wedding in Santa Barbara in two weeks, and I can not find a dress anywhere! I am trying to avoid strapless, and go for a more form fitting build. I'm also broke, so I would love to find one for under $100. Your input would be greatly appreciated!
Help! I need a vacation-date dress for the beginning of September. Not super fancy (or super pricey), but something cute that will "go" with my husband wearing khakis and a button down or something. I have a 4 month old baby, and while I obviously won't need to nurse in this dress, I will need to accommodate nursing boobs. :( I just tried on an old favorite with a snug bodice and high neck line, and I looked ridiculous. Ideas? (Something with a little tummy concealment won't hurt either.)
I think I found some really fun dresses for you!
First is this pretty b&w dress from H&M ($59.95). It has a shorter v-neck, but you’ll be able to wear a regular bra with it. This would look adorable with a pair of cute sandals and a messy ponytail. It’s got some volume through the skirt to help with tummy concealment.
If you want something more vacation-y, this Tommy Bahama dress ($67 from $148) is somewhere between a caftan and an actual dress. I love the embroidery. This TWO by Vince Camuto dress feels similar ($59.99 from $99). It’s a little casual and a little dressy and that skirt is great! You could wear it with sandals or wedges. The drawstring waist is flattering.
For maxi dresses, I’m a big fan of this one from Target (I own it in a different color). It’s marked down to $21. It’s not too low cut and it’s very stretchy and comfortable. A more casual maxi dress option is this white C&C California slub jersey racerback maxi ($42 from $98). You could wear it with a sports bra! It would look awesome with gold or cognac sandals.
Hi Jacyln! Love your blog. I'm a scientist that works all day in the lab on my feet. Now that I'm finished with school, I want to dress the part at my new job. I'm looking for cute work shoes that are comfy and will go with cropped pants that I can wear into the fall. Thanks!
Let’s start with heels. I’m not sure if you need to wear them, but it’s never a bad idea to have a pair of go-to black heels that you can stand in for a really long time without your feet being torn to shreds. It’s can be hard to find affordable heels designed for comfort that aren’t clunky and terrible, but Miz Mooz has a decent selection. These basic black pointed-toe heels are marked down to $45 from $110. If you want a pair that’s a bit more fun, I’m loving these ones ($45 from $110). There are additional sizes available at DSW for $70. Tsubo shoes also get great reviews for being very comfortable and walkable. These D’Orsay black pumps are $130. Another good brand to check is Anne Klein. They’re often discounted and get high marks for comfort. This black heel is $69. If you like a shorter heel, try this pair instead ($79). This ankle strap pump ($79) is adorable and is also available in a pretty great taupe color. I think this white pair (marked down to about $35) is really chic. If you can find Donald J Pliner shoes on sale (this pair in a size 6 is $102 from $228), they would work great for you.
The other option for you is a wedge heel/sandal or wedge boot. It’s hard to find an uncomfortable wedge shoe. Wedges also look good with cropped pants. If you can go more casual, TOMS natural wedges ($69) will go with everything. If you want a pair that’s more fall-friendly, check these out instead ($69). I’m also a HUGE fan of Aerosoles wedges. I have a couple pairs I’ve owned for years. And I mean YEARS. (One pair since college!) They are the most comfortable heels I own. You have to do some searching to get past the clunkers, but once you have those little clouds of delight on your feet, you’ll be glad you took the time to hunt. Their basic wedge heel is $23-$99 (depending on which of the dozen colors you like). These ($69) feel more summery, but you could get at least 2 more months wear out of them. If you want more of an ankle boot style, check these out! They’re $89. Love the taupe color. You could also do a low wedge pump, like these from MICHAEL Michael Kors ($145). Rockport makes a great gray wedge for $140. Donald J Pliner has a black pair (in size 7 and 8) marked down to $132 from $198.
I’m a long time reader from the very early days of Tumblr. I remember your posts about nursing wear long before I was pregnant myself, so I thought you might be able to point me in the right direction. I have a two month old, and I’m self employed. I operate a children’s and maternity resale boutique with my sister and practice law as well. So although I don’t report to an office, I need to have a functional wardrobe as I leave the house every day - sometimes to the shop and other days to court. I went from a 36C to a 36DDD, so I’ve found it hard to get away with v neck tops and the like. I also loathe the whole west a long cami under another shirt thing. I live in Florida. It’s summer. All the layers! I have a few wrap dresses and cross front tops, but it’s a struggle. Every time I shop things just appear to make it harder to breast feed on the go. I’ve lost almost all of my baby weight, so I’m eager to dress like a person again (I’m over tent like maternity clothes). Any advice? Best brands for shopping? Side note: why don’t maternity brands make more clothing that transitions with you to nursing as your body adjusts??! Thanks for all you do to keep us stylish!
This is a tricky question! You’ve already discovered a few of my often-suggested styles (wrap dresses, cross-front tops).
If you have room to spend a little bit more, check out Au Lait nursing clothes. They’re very stylish and versatile. Isabella Oliver also makes some good nursing stuff. A lot of her clothing is designed to transition from maternity to nursing. Her Essential Nursing Dress ($87) can be dressed up or down.
Since you’re in Florida, I think you could get tons of wear out of shirt dresses. It may be annoying to find a good fit with your boobs, but if you can find some you like, you could wear them year-round. (Your boobs may go down in size in a few months once your supply regulates so keep that in mind too.)
I know you don’t want to wear another tank under a shirt, but it’s really the only option if you HAVE to lift your shirt to feed and you want more coverage for your midsection. A seamless, thin nursing cami is about as good as it gets. Get it thin enough to tuck into pants so it doesn’t peek out from underneath your top shirt. After my supply regulated, I was able to wear camis without a nursing bra underneath so long as they had some built-in support. Once I didn’t have to wear a bra AND a cami it was—obviously—more comfortable for hot weather. This one from Target is just $26. H&M has a two-pack for $25. (Speaking of H&M, check out this nursing tee ($25) and this one for $18.)
hi jaclyn! love your blog (particularly your devotion to slugwear), have been reading for awhile now. just fell in love with the reiss lupin laser cut court shoes and i can't get them out of my head, but the price tag is a wee bit steep. if you could find me a cheaper lookalike i would be eternally grateful. i've searched the internets and come up woefully short. xo - jenna
Hi Jaclyn! I'm 5 months pregnant and on the hunt for the perfect maternity leggings.... I would love to find a pair that fit/feel just like the Zella live-in leggings (recommended by you which I absolutely love). I'm still wearing my Zella leggings but starting to get the "double stomach" look so I need a maternity pair with a full panel to take care of that. I ordered a pair from loft but they weren't as tight fitting as Zella, loose around knees and ankles (which I hate). :) Thank you!!!!!
My favorite maternity leggings were actually from the now-defunct Forever 21 maternity line. They were like $9 or something. Amazing.
But, my second and third favorite pairs—from Liz Lange for Target and Old Navy—are still available! Target’s are $16.99. I preferred a demi-panel instead of a full panel. Old Navy’s low-rise leggings worked great for me too (only $7 right now!). If you prefer a full panel pair, they are just $9. I also had a pair I liked fit-wise from H&M (similar to these from H&M, $12.95) but didn’t wear them often because the full panel drove me nuts.