Posts tagged with readerrequests:

I've been told by an orthopedist to wear "walking shoes" with these specific inserts to help with my sciatica. I'm currently wearing the inserts with a pair of Nike sneakers I have. But, I pretty much want to cry because I look ridiculous at work wearing them with work pants or even with jeans and work tops. Can you suggest any shoes that I can wear which might have removable insoles and look a bit normal at work? I'm pretty crushed because it's sandal weather for crying out loud. Help!!

- Asked by sleepyhead-ak

Ohhhh, this is tough. 

Let’s see what might work (all products below have removable insoles):

I hope this helps! Don’t be too down—even if you have to wear sneakers, there are so many great sneaker outfits floating around these days. Look at this cute outfit. Or this one! I am DYING over this outfit. Keep things classic like this or wear them with a dress. If I were you (and if you are allowed to wear sneakers to work, DOCTORS NOTE), I would amass the largest, prettiest collection of sneakers. Nikes, New Balances, Supergas. Get it all, girl. Wear the hell out of them. 

  • k 9 notes

I NEED JEEEANS. Where do you shop for for pants? I'm looking for about a 34'' inseam, so a bit long.

- Asked by studiousadventures

JEANS! 

  • I’ve been having great luck with Old Navy’s The Rockstar jean in the tall length. They’re a good length on me and they’re almost always discounted. There are lots of colors available here and a great ripped option here. I prefer the mid-rise ones, but they all fit similarly. Love these too.  
  • Gap’s jeans (skinny and boyfriend) in tall lengths work well for me too. I have a boyfriend pair similar to these. The legging jeans ($70) are nice too. 
  • I really love H&M’s jeggings and jeans, though I haven’t bought a pair of *REAL* jeans from them in several years. The ones I have are similar to these ($40). (I don’t mind if my jeans hit me at about my ankle.) 
  • I used to wear a couple pairs of J.Crew Toothpick and Matchstick jeans in Tall but I donated them recently because they were too big. (AT LEAST THEY WEREN’T TOO SMALL) I prefer the Toothpick fit because they hit a bit higher on the ankle and are more flattering with flats/sandals/sneakers. This pair in Tall ($125) is basically the perfect everyday jean. 
  • I’ve gotten a few AMAZING pairs of jeans in Stitchfix boxes. It’s the reason I keep my subscription. Nordstrom sells a similar Kensie pair to the one I received ($75). They do hit a bit higher on my ankle than some of my other jeans, but like I said—this doesn’t bother me so much. 
  • AE’s jeggings come in long and extra-long (!!) and I love how comfy they are. Check out this pair for $45. 
  • I’ve had good luck with Target jeans in the past (they’re just $23) but the fit tends to vary a lot from pair to pair so…word to the wise!
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How do you feel about jean jackets? I'm thinking of getting one this summer, but always thought it was a faux pas. Any recommendations?

- Asked by jeanbean

I haven’t worn a jean jacket in a long time, but I’ve actually been thinking about getting one. I think they look nice with maxi dresses and look really great paired with white (and I’ve been wearing a lot of white lately). I pinned this outfit so I can try and replicate it. 

I wouldn’t spend much on one (at least not at first) since you may not wear it often. I tend to like medium denim washes better than super dark or super light washes, but it all depends on what you might want to wear with it. 

This one from H&M ($40) looks nice. You can take an extra 50% off this cropped jacket from LOFT ($79.50) today. I love the sky blue color. Gap always has some good denim jacket options too. This 1969 jacket is $70, but you can take 30% off today with code SPRING

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Hello! I love your blog and I was wondering if you could give me some advice on rain boots. I'll be heading to college next year in Nashville, so there are some rainy winters in my future. I'm on a fairly tight budget and I'm having trouble finding boots that are that magic combination of decent quality and fairly inexpensive. Thanks for your help!

- Asked by bunkerbound

You asked this question at the right time because so many boots are on sale! (Hopefully they still have your size.) :) 

Chooka boots get good reviews and this pair (disguised as riding boots) is marked down to $60 (from $160). 

These Chinese Laundry rain boots are cute (camo!) and are $59.99. If you prefer basic black, get an extra 15% off this $59 pair with code SPRING. I kind of like these Chinese Laundry moto-style rain boots too ($45). 

On the off chance you have really small feet (size 5), this Sperry pair is $58 (from $78). 

One, Two, Three, Four

I got this question today:

Could you post this anon? I am writing because I’m curious (if you’re willing to talk about it) if you knew from the beginning that Iz would be your only child. If so, how did you come to that? Most days I feel like that will likely be the choice we make too, but I’m always curious how other people get to that place. I always thought we’d have two. Or more. But time. Money. Emotional fortitude. It’s a lot. I’d love your insight. xo

I have no insight.

I have nothing except questions and what-ifs and thoughts that creep up in the night as I’m lying in bed. I think about it at the grocery store when I see siblings fighting and I think about it at the park when I see siblings playing together. I think and I do more thinking. I think I know how I feel and I know that I’m unlikely to change my mind, but still. The thought is there

I actually almost wrote a post about this last week but I changed my mind about posting it at the last second because I was getting frustrated about my ability to verbalize my very complex, very uncertain feelings about a topic that I know a lot of people feel strongly about. I hardly ever shy away from posting things that I know people will feel strongly about, but this is so personal and real to me, to Brandon, to Isobel. And although having or not having another child is a family decision, I can’t ignore how strongly this falls at my feet and my feet alone. This complex, nuanced, larger-than-life decision falls to me and my uterus—and this isn’t even taking into account whether we might have difficulty conceiving. 

Yet, even though I’ve just said that I’m having a hard time finding clarity on this, I do know deep down what is right for right now. That’s hard to admit, since so much of child-rearing and parenting means sacrificing all for the sake of the child(ren). We are in a place culturally that requires parents to weigh so many potential decisions by the impact they could or will have on their children. We move to different cities so they can go to better schools. We change our budgets so they can go to summer camp. We alter our work hours so they can attend the best extracurricular activities. Even pregnancy (and childbirth) are overwhelmingly outcome-oriented with relatively little attention or honest discussion paid to the mental, physical and emotional health of the mother. (Well, except for when she is watched carefully to see that she passes her glucose test and is within the weight guidelines her doctor specifies.) In this prism, having one child is confusing. As someone with a sibling, even I am unsure how to navigate it. (I used to say, “I don’t really want kids, but if I do, I want at least two. Maybe four.” Maybe four! That came out of the mouth of someone that didn’t know anything.) Anyway, I get why having one child is still somewhat uncommon and why people have strong feelings about it. Having multiple children implies companionship, camaraderie, success, completion. I think that’s what I must have thought back when I believed having four children might be a good idea for me.

You mentioned time, money and emotional fortitude as concerns for having another child. These are very important factors. Money especially. I have been told many times that “you always find the money.” And yes, perhaps. Maybe you do. But the thought of spending over $3,000 a month on daycare makes me ill. Staying home and choosing not to work? That’s not even on the table. Work is, for me, a non-negotiable. I will work. I will always work. 

So—emotional fortitude. That’s a concern too. I view the first year (or so) of Isobel’s life through as realistic a lens as I can, seeing as there is such a veil of nostalgia and contentment that has grown over the more difficult and frustrating memories. The further I get away from them, the less clear they are. And it is vital that I do not forget. It is vital to my emotional and mental health, to my marriage, and to my ability to parent Isobel the best I can. I have struggled with mental health issues—depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder—on and off for years. I have been medicated, though I am not currently. I freely admit that I am unsure whether I have the strength to do it again. If you have ever taken medication for depression, you will know that (most of the time) it does help. But, for me, it also numbs. It numbs everything, including the way I feel about the people I love. On medication, I am not sleeping 18 hours a day, but when I am hugged, I feel nothing. So I am scared to wake the sleeping giant. I am frightened of the unknown about myself. How far can I go? How far would I go? I’m not sure. But the risk is there and it is real. I am not alone in a vacuum with this, either. I have a daughter that depends on me. I have a child. And we are so happy right now. So very happy. She hugs me and says she loves me and I feel a warmth, a deep, painful love that I have never before experienced. It is a beautiful thing that I have to cherish and keep safe. And so, you see why I must think about these things. 

But I still don’t know the answer. I don’t know the final answer, anyway. I think I probably know, but I am young and there are unknowns. 

For now, as we walk to the park as a family, the three of us, I feel that we may be complete. My daughter! She is so independent, so feisty, so funny. When I look at her, I do not see the hazy outline of another standing beside her. I can’t fathom it. It doesn’t make sense. It may not ever make sense. For now, I see only her. Friends who were pregnant around the same time as me are having second children. I think, “How nice,” but I know that I do not yearn or desire or need that yet. 

Isobel is so many wonderful, frustrating, indescribably beautiful things to me, but mostly she is enough. I think about all the things I want to do for her and do with her. I can give her those. We can give her those. That is enough for now. 

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Hello Jaclyn! Do you have any ideas for a diaper bag alternative? I'm thinking of a well organized carry all that doesn't scream Mommy!! Thank you! -Kathryn

- Asked by kdittynw

Sure! 

First I’ll list some actual diaper bags (that don’t look like the typical diaper bag) and then some other totes that could double as diaper bags. 

For what it’s worth, I used my Skip Hop Versa in black ($59) until VERY recently. It just worked so great for me. I loved wearing it crossbody and it fit perfectly across the back of our stroller. The insulated pockets were good for carrying bottles (or juice/water) and keeping it cold. It is just a fantastic diaper bag and I still use it when we have longer days out. It looks pretty sleek for a diaper bag. I’m a huge fan. (Skip Hop’s new gray stripe Duo ($64) looks really good too.)

If you want something a bit more casual, this gray tote from Pottery Barn Kids ($119) is so cute. I love that it’s monogrammable. It can be carried crossbody too. It’s available in a slightly different shape too (for $149). 

Matt & Nat diaper bags are gorgeous. This gray faux leather one ($199) is fantastic. The cognac version is available for pre-order. This bag is so sleek that it would make a great commuter bag or carry-all once you don’t need it for diaper bag duty anymore.

The Danzo Baby canvas tote in natural/black looks so chic. It can be worn crossbody too. It’s $195. 

Timi & Leslie’s Charlie diaper bag ($160) is really clean and minimal. It looks like it has tons of interior pockets too. LOVE. 

Okay—let’s move on to bags that aren’t diaper bags but COULD work as diaper bags. 

Fossil’s crossbody Sydney satchel came to mind ($178). It’s not too big, not too small and has a few pockets inside. This might be a stronger choice if you don’t have to haul around tons of bottles, blankets, toys, clothes, diapers—but if you are still carrying around a big haul of stuff, this is probably not large enough. 

This Urban Originals tote ($90) is backordered, but it looks perfect. It has lots of space for organizing inside and can be worn crossbody. 

ZARA’s Citybag ($89.90) is a good option too. It’s not super big, but it has lots of pockets for organizing your things. 

Also—do check out the bags from Lo & Sons. They’re not cheap (most are over $200) but they’re really spacious and designed specifically for organization. 

Last, Etsy has a lot of sellers offering unique and thoughtful diaper bags. Ikabags is a popular store. I love this one from Kinies. This one from SheetaDesign is great. 

  • k 14 notes

Hi Jaclyn - I'm 29 weeks pregnant and my family is hosting my baby shower in a few weeks. Between all the baby prep (crib buying! choosing a color palette! registering!) I'm feeling overwhelmed and not completely in the mood to shop for a baby shower dress. I'm looking for something stylish, probably solid (yet spring appropriate!) colored (although I'd love to wear spring florals, everything I see tends to look like a muumuu), looks good with nude heels, and less than $100. Know of anything?

- Asked by livemylove

Yay! Let’s start with actual maternity dresses and then look for stretchy jersey dress styles that aren’t maternity but might work for you. (I couldn’t find anything for my baby shower so I ended up wearing a very forgiving jersey dress and it worked great.) 

I like this H&M MAMA chiffon dress ($35), especially in coral. 

ASOS has lots of good options. This midi length dress is on sale for about $30-$40. This pink wrap dress is one of my favorite options for you (it’s $52). I kind of love the super sexy fit on this dress ($37). This swing dress is pretty ($52). I LOVE the monochromatic floral print on this midi dress too ($52). If you want a softer look, this gray/peach lace dress is sweet, but a little over your budget at $103. This cobalt midi dress is simple and the bright color is fun ($33). Last, this pink/red floral dress is stunning and is just $84. 

Now for non-maternity ideas:

This T-Bags Los Angeles jersey maxi dress on Gilt is $99 (from $202) and has a high empire waist. 

This empire waist jersey dress from Boden ($58 from $78) comes in several different prints and might have enough stretch to work perfectly, especially if you size up. 

Maxi dresses are always a really safe option. If they don’t have a zipper, you’re probably good to go. This Rhyme Los Angeles dress has a great print ($98). This Tart dress ($101) is really stretchy with 5% Spandex. This LA Made cami dress is just $54 in a great peach/coral color. 

Swell has some good maxi dresses too (at affordable prices!). This pink one is forgiving, though it may be more casual than you’d like ($59.50). This Minkpink dress ($97) is a fun, bright print and the empire waistline is great. 

Revolve Clothing has tons of jersey items too, like this Bobi tank maxi dress ($62). I also love this stretchy, multi-wear dress from Kamalikulture ($96)—it is black though! I had to include one black dress. I couldn’t help it. :) 

(Speaking of black dresses, if you want to do something kind of AVANT-GARDE BABY SHOWER, this Narciso Rodriguez dress on RTR for $85 is so good.) 

Anyway, I hope one of these catches your eye! If nothing looks good to you, let me know and I’ll keep searching. I hated shopping for my baby shower dress so I feel you on this one. 

  • k 7 notes

Hi Jaclyn, I'm a long time follower and always appreciate your responses to your reader's questions. I'm wondering if you could do a post about bras. I've been loving all of the summer dress and tank options you've been posting lately, particularly those with delicate straps and/or low backs, but for many of these, regular bras, strapless bras, or even racer back bras just aren't going to work. It's rare that I see someone looking cute with visible bra straps. What are people wearing??

- Asked by thisallofthis

I got a few questions similar to this yesterday (probably sparked from posting this dress). This is such a tricky topic to make recommendations for because bras are so dependent on personal preferences and bust size. I did this post last year about the style of bra that might work with various tops/dresses and it might be a good place for you to start. 

Here are a few additional tips:

I hope this helps! I know it’s annoying. I usually end up wearing sports or bandeau bras with open back or low back jersey tops or dresses. I’ve used adhesive bras before and they worked well for me, but I have a small bust and don’t need a lot of support. I have a few of the newer longline/corset style bras and wore them with a low back tank recently and liked the look. Try and a few different things and see what works for you and what doesn’t. Most stores have good return policies for bras so take advantage of it! :) 

  • k 17 notes

Hi Jaclyn! I loved your recent maxi dress post for tall women (I'm 5'10" and struggle with this and other hem issues a ton). I'm wondering if you have any recommendations for colorful maxi dresses or skirts. I'm going wine tasting in Napa for my birthday and am looking for something appropriate, fun, affordable (under $100) and most importantly long.

- Asked by jeanbean

Sure! 

Let’s start with maxi dresses:

Now for maxi skirts! Not as many great color/print options, but still some good stuff here:

Good luck and have fun in Napa! That sounds like a great birthday. :) 

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