The Opinionated Husband

Guest post by Brianna

Simplystylishmom and I are at opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to body type, clothing size, and style preferences (which means we shop well together because we’re not fighting over clothes!). While checking out Vancouver’s new Anthropologie store last week, though, we found ourselves talking about something fashion-related we do have in common–opinionated husbands (who both happen to be named Mike).  I had tried on a funky top with wild navy and cream stripes and a flowing, loose cut that both SSM and I liked.  “I don’t know if it’ll pass the husband test, though,” I said.  “He’ll either love it or hate it.”  It had several elements he doesn’t usually love on me: horizontal stripes and a boxy fit.  Sure enough, when I tried the top on at home for Mike, he didn’t like it–and I fell out of love (with the top, not the guy) too.

Fail

I’m a passionate and fairly radical feminist, so it might sound a little strange that I’d let my husband’s preferences impact my style choices.  It’s definitely true that if I absolutely loved a garment and he hated it, I’d keep and wear the item anyway.  It’s rare for that to actually happen, though.  By some miracle, despite growing up in the furthest thing from a fashion-savvy environment, Mike’s developed an excellent grasp on what does and doesn’t look good on me (along with a few random pet peeves that he has no good explanation for).  His dislikes includes shirts with collars; empire waists, sack dresses, and anything that could be construed as maternity clothing; leggings worn as pants (can’t argue with him there); anything a hipster would wear; anything  my mom might wear; ruffly, fluffy, frilly, vintage-y or girly styles; horizontal stripes; and the pair of cropped slim cargo pants I tried on the other day at Superstore (apparently they looked like police pants to him…?).  He likes me best in jeans, tanks, simple dresses or skirts, artsy details, saturated, muted, or earthy colors, punk or boho-inspired styles, clean lines, and traditionally figure-flattering looks  (think wrap dresses, v necklines, and defined waists for my hourglass shape).   SSM’s husband, on the other hand, doesn’t like her in green, dislikes pretty much everything on offer at Anthropologie, and made a point of asking her to be sure not to “let herself go” in 24/7 sweatpants and frumpy hair once she became a wife and mom.  No worries there, obviously!

Fail

Although it might sound annoying to have such an opinionated partner, it’s mostly helpful and fun.  On the rare occasion when I can drag him into a store, my husband is by far my best shopping buddy. He’s intimately familiar with my budget, the contents of my closet, my shape, my lifestyle, and my coloring.  For the most part, the things he dislikes on me are things that objectively don’t suit me.  When I start to fall for a totally unpractical or unflattering piece, he snaps me out of it.  Sometimes he even finds perfect clothes that I’d overlooked, like the simple, swingy, dirt-cheap tank tops and shorter-than-I’d-normally-wear-but-magically-somehow-wearable rolled shorts I ended up buying last week at Superstore.   He may not look forward to the actual act of shopping with me, but he gets to enjoy the fruits of that very occasional labor on a daily basis.  Did I mention he cuts my hair for me, too?

As for the Breton-style tops and crisp white shirtdresses I bypass because of their husband-repelling stripes and collars–I mostly don’t mind.  When I dress, I dress for myself first, and my husband next–he, along with my toddler, is one who has to look at me all day,  and since the toddler would dress me in tutus and rainbow tights, she gets no vote.  Besides, he does the same for me.  Over the years, I’ve “helped” him revamp everything from his haircut to his glasses to his pants.  No more pleated fronts or Grandpa plaid in his closet.  We both think it’s nice to do what we reasonably can to look as attractive  each other on an everyday basis–not just when we get dressed up to go out, which is such a rare event these days it may qualify for endangered status.  I do steadfastly refuse to wear stilettos (or any heels, for that matter), get at tattoo, or go out in public in a miniskirt, but I’d say he gets a pretty good deal overall. In fact, thanks to each other’s influence, I think we both look much better now than we did when we met almost ten years ago.

Win!
I do know lots of women who say they dress for their friends more than they do for their significant others.  If you have a romantic partner, do you take his or her opinions into consideration when choosing your clothes?  Who would you say you dress for?

Images from Joe Fresh, Shoebuy, JCrew, Anthropologie, and Clothing Tutor

Saturday’s schmoozings with…

Bridget Yorston, co-founder and designer of bec & bridge, one of my favourite labels from my hometown: Sydney, Australia. I was so excited to interview Bridge as I have watched how Bec & Bridge grew from two girls who met at design school to now a international brand worn by celebs everywhere! Bridge is also Mom to the gorgeous Tommy so we chatted about the struggles of running a business and being a committed Mom.

SSM: How was bec & bridge created?

BY: Becky and I met while studying fashion design at university. We became best friends and were soon creating things for both friends and acquaintances alike. It was when stores started contacting us that we thought we had better give ourselves a name.

SSM: What type of women do you design for?

BY: The bec & bridge woman is modern and refined. She loves fashion, however most of the time, doesn’t intend on breaking the budget!

SSM: Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

BY: We are always influenced to a certain degree by the 1970′s whether it’s a photograph, architecture, the people, the parties or the fashion. For our most recent Summer Collection, showcased at Australian Fashion week earlier this month, we looked to Lauren Hutton in her heyday as one who we would like to wear the clothes. She wore relaxed, fluid tailoring just as well as she would wear a mini dress. Frequently finished with an incredible fedora which we love.

The Bianca Adventurer Fedora- Pre Sale

SSM: What are your favourite trends we are seeing on the catwalk these days?

BY: We’re liking minimalism that seems to be filtering through collections at the moment. It’s very refined and chic. We’re particularly loving full suits and crisp shirts something we showed in our collection too.

SSM: Describe your average day as a Mom and designer

BY: If I knew what the average day looked like, I’d tell you. Unfortunately, every day is different and every day is a juggling act! I leave for work at around 10am, once Tommy is fed and changed and the respective sitter has arrived. As soon as I get in the car, my brain switches over from mom to business owner

or mom to designer, depending on what I have on that day. Once in the office, it’s go go go until I check out at 4pm. As I travel home again, the brain switches back to mom mode…’what will I give him for dinner tonight???’

SSM: What are the everyday challenges you face being a Mom and co-running a label?

BY: One of the biggest challenges is remembering my limits. If only I had endless energy levels so I could give the best of myself to both worlds all the time.

SSM: What have been the biggest life changes for you since being a Mom?

BY: Firstly, my husband and I moved out to the suburbs! I never dreamed I’d be ‘one of those families’ (laughs). We love it!
Secondly, it’s extremely hard to go shopping alone or read a magazine, two of my favorite past times!

SSM: As a simply stylish Mom, what is your go-to outfit?

Dream catcher pants

Bastille jacket

BY: A pair of bec & bridge cargo pants that I roll up – so comfy and easy to wash! As I leave the house I throw on my bec & bridge ‘ Bastille Jacket’ which adds instant chic to the outfit. A pair of tan leather loafers or Rag & Bone Harrow boots see me through the day in comfort and style.

SSM: What is one accessory you can’t do without and why?

BY: My large canvas baby bag! It holds absolutely everything from nappies and wipes to lipstick and laptops.

SSM: Finally, do you have any words of encouragement to words to other creative Moms looking to start their own business?

BY: Don’t be too hard on yourself! These things take lots of time of which you have little, so do what you can and try not to lose your cool.

Thanks so much Bridge for your time – which as you said – you have little – and good luck with Bec&Bridge and raising the gorgeous Tommy!

Friday’s Freebies–Twig Tub Giveaway!

Today’s Simplystylish guest post is brought to you by Megan.

Having a neighbor like Simply Stylish Mom definitely inspires me to make some extra effort to look cute and stylish as I go about my day with kids. But let’s face it. As moms, we’re not as often gallivanting about shopping and grabbing Starbucks with our skinny jeans and perfect-looking kids like all the celebrity shots; most of our time is spent in our home: planning and cooking meals, keeping up with bills and paperwork, cleaning dishes and floors, and trying to keep kids sane during the Vancouver rainy season (a.k.a. all year.) With all this time in our homes, we need to make sure they express our style and personality, as well as make us happy to be in them. Just like with our outfits, I love the way different color schemes and styles can evoke various moods in different rooms. With energetic oranges and greens and yellows, I want my kitchen to evoke friendliness, hospitality, creativity, and cheerfulness. I’ve worked to give my living room a relaxing and peaceful feel with soothing sage and natural browns. The bedroom is rich and sexy with boho style and deep reds, dark wood and mood lighting (courtesy of draped fabric hiding Christmas lights!) One of the easiest ways to enliven your décor is through good use of color and texture, both of which are offered through today’s giveaway from Twig Prints!

A creative local in Whistler makes these fantastic linen “Twig Tubs,” which not only provide lovely natural décor, but are also incredibly practical. SSM gave me one of these to review, and I’ve had the hardest time trying to decide where to use it: by the phone with pens and pad of paper, in the living room with a potted plant, on the bedside for earplugs and book, in the bathroom for cosmetics, on the desk for clutter. I decided on the kitchen cupboard, filled with organic teas, ready and waiting for a friend and a kettle. These are so unique and handy! Abbie at Twig Prints also makes cute tablecloths and pillows with natural fabrics and her signature twig motif. So don’t spend your money on the same old bins and boxes from Ikea; buy something unique and handmade, and support our locals! And for the chance to win a free Twig Tub, make sure you visit Twig Prints and then leave a comment on today’s post. And for a double-entry, tweet this giveaway, mentioning @twigprints, and then post a second comment for us! Good luck!

Top image courtesy of Twig Prints.

Bermuda, Bahama come on Pretty Mama…

Heading on a beach vacation tomorrow with my husband and two sons. I cannot contain my excitement – we haven’t had a family vacation for SOOO long!! While I’m away my darling friends are helping me out with my blog writing guest posts and keeping you well fed. Beach holidays before kids simply meant wearing a bikini, sipping a cocktail and lying on a deck chair… not so much of that anymore! So I had to devise a new ‘beach vacation’ wardrobe that included more than just a slinky bikini and a pair of Havaianas.

Beach Vacation Style for Mom

Items I need:
  •  A cotton maxi dress – easy to slip on at the beach during the day and the ability to be dressed up for nighttime
  • A slouchy hoodie for cooler, windy days
  • Stripey tee to wear either with skirt or denim shirts, perfect for hanging out with the boys, building sand-castles
  • Denim shorts, perfect for frisbee and soccer games and chasing after the 3 1/2 year old!
  • Push-up tank-in bikini – my post-baby, skimpy bikini days are sadly over but thankfully there’s sexy, yet practical options out there!
  • Beach skirt – ditto maxi dress, the elastic waist makes it easy for a quick slip on/ slip off.
  • Leather flip flops – gone are the rubber flip flop days, and it’s a great way to add some more colour to your outfit.
  • A large tote bag to carry snacks, toys, diapers, sunscreen, the kitchen sink…
  • Straw fedora – one of the only hats that doesn’t make me look ridiculous
  • nail polish – coral (of course!) – nothing worse than toes that have chipped paint…ew..
  • Water bottle – hydration is sooo important – especially for busy Moms!
  • Beach toys – to keep the troops entertained
  • Thomas… no explanation needed, he comes with us everywhere we go, the most well travelled train ever!
And lastly, my hubs and my fave beach song (we’re such dorks!)
See you in a week!
xxo, SSM

Vancouver’s first Anthropologie opening party!

As you know darling readers, I was fortunate to go to one of the opening parties at Anthro last weekend and here are some of my pics from the night. Unlike other bloggers, I am NOT a good photographer…sorry!!

My girlfriend and I were SO excited about this night – this is our attempt at a group shot. As usual we are wearing – without planning – almost matching outfits – skinny jeans, flats, cute tops – thankfully we differ with our trademarks – hers a trench, mine a blazer.

The hustling, bustling store…

Calm down J, they’re only knobs… J very excited about the beautifully designed door knobs/cupboard handles.

Meanwhile i was pretty excited with this corner: a wall made with a stack of magzines, my favourite coffee mugs, a darling skirt and books galore.


Ok, I was really excited about the wall. Deep breath, it’s just a wall.

And then a massive clock?! So much detail, thought and effort goes into all their decor.


Ugh, terrible shot of self checking out the jewellery.

We wondered why it was so quiet downstairs until we wandered upstairs: the booze and appie’s… no wonder. Champagne will make anyone shop!

I had to include at least one typical style blogger photo – the change room shot. Here I am trying on the stunning Kingston Road dress marked at $99 CAD (online at $118), loved it but couldn’t quite justify it considering we have three days of sun in this city.

Dodgy shot, but don’t you just love the homewares at Anthro – as I friend said to me, “one day I want to have a Anthro home” : and i respond with a resounding: ‘ME TOO!”

Finally, a-maz-ing performances from the stunning Nat Jay and T.Nile. Unfortunately i was locked in the change room when Nat Jay performed – here’s one of my favourite songs from her. Isn’t her voice incredible?

Thank you Anthro for a wonderful night!

xxo, SSM

SimplystylishMom’s 5 ways to wear white jeans

So – as i mentioned yesterday, i’m pretty excited about my new white jeans! In helping myself – and in helping any other crazy Moms out there who wear white jeans, here’s a white jean lookbook that may come in handy!

1. Weekday, kids at school, running around doing errands: thin cotton shirt, sunnies, comfy Toms wedges and a cute piece of tribal jewellery to keep this relatively simple look stylish…

2. Weekday, hanging out with the kids at home or at the park: a cotton tee with a fun print, colourful bangles, sunnies, a oversized bag to hold snacks, diapers and the rest and the perfect Mom shoe: Toms paired with your rolled up white jeans!

3. Work outfit: practical flats, tailored blazer and crisp cotton button down shirt, a (ideally Chanel!) – if not, understated, yet elegant purse.

4. Weekend (allocated Mommy time off!) brunch and shopping trip with girlfriends – colourful, elegant top with a shoulder strap purse, comfortable ballet flats and simple stud earrings.

5. Dinner date with hubby: simply stylish, elegant and sexy… need I say more?

Bring on the Moms-in-white-jeans revolution!

love, SimplystylishMom

Getting my fix at…

Anthro this week, the store has only been open 7 days and already i’ve frequented it twice making four incredible purchases. You saw last weekend’s purchases here. This weekend, I hit up the sale room and snagged these two great items:

Full Flourish Cardigan

The full flourish cardi at $29.95 looks way better on than in the picture. The colour is amazing for me and this boyfriend style cardi looks great either open over a pencil skirt or wide-leg jeans or closed over skinny jeans or leggings. Score!

Citizens Of Humanity Cropped Thompson

These Citizens of Humanity skinny white jeans are adorable on – yet a bit of a gamble for a Mom of two boys. I shall have to reserve these for my kid-free afternoons or date nights alternatively I will have a no-touch-Mommy policy when wearing them ( I would find that very difficult!) I actually got a discount on these though they are still more in Canada than they are online (but no shipping!) But these pants are classic items and look so hot on and will match practically everything in my wardrobe!

Additionally, Anthro - oh how I love them- send out random 15% off cards to Anthro card holders for their birthday month! So I got 15% off my whole purchase – how good is that?!!

I highly recommend making regular visits to the Anthro sale room – in one week i noticed different items had been put there and it’s perfect for the gals who are either size 0/2 or 8/10 as they are the sizes that are mainly there! Yay!

Tune in tomorrow for 5 different looks with my new white jeans!!

xxo, SSM

things i’ve loved this week…

…shirts tucked into jeans

elin king…

Photobucket

white lace…

Photobucket

other people’s purses… i know that’s nosy of me!

cameos…

Rhubarb crumble..

and “Goopy” styling by Gwenny (you gotta love/hate her don’t you?!)

Happy Sunday!

xxo, SSM

images courtesy of http://pinterest.com/pin/19793348/, goop.com, http://pinterest.com/pin/12419312/, sincerelyjules.com, hunter and harley