Spring Struggles

I love spring. But I struggle with spring fashion. Growing up in Australia, spring essentially meant a cooler summer. T-shirts, shorts and flip flops can be worn in spring with no worries mate. But in the northern hemisphere, every year spring rolls round, I get so excited. I swap my winter woollies over for my spring/summer cottons, my boots over for my flip flops, pop on my sunnies and head outside and… freeze.

Even so, I shudder when I see people still wearing winter coats, gloves and scarves and want to yell at them ‘It’s May for heaven’s sake, get your coat off!’ Also I can’t stand seeing black everywhere – when I see a girl wearing black tights, it looks so wrong to me, then I stare down at my pasty, unshaven legs and realise why she’s still wearing them. It’s still cold and our bodies are not quiet ready. When it’s 14-20 degrees outside, it’s definitely not shorts/t-shirt/flipflop weather.

How to escape the winter black and embrace the spring brights without freezing your bottom off or heating up too much?

I turned to Stockholm’s fashionistas for advice.

Boots away, Ballets In. 

Put the knee-highs in the closet for a few months and get out your colourful ballet flats. Your ankles may freeze a little but your top half will warm them up.

Picture 3

Cover up your arms with spring jackets. 

No need for woollen coats and winter parkas. Invest in some lighter weight, neutral coloured spring jackets that will give you an extra layer but won’t weigh you down.
Picture 4

Don’t say farewell to the long sleeves.

Coats and scarves may be packed up but your long sleeved shirts, sweaters, cardigans and tops will come in handy. Team them with a spring short or skirt and at least keep your top half warm and then fake tan your legs! And smile!

Picture 5

Welcome the boyfriend jean. 

Much hated by my husband but loved by me, the boyfriend jean is here to stay. Comfortable and perfect for spring – rolled up and with a girly shoe these trousers are an essential to the European spring/summer wardrobe. Picture 6

Show some skin

Ok cover up if you really have to. But feel free to wear open toed shoes. Get a pedicure, some bright coloured toe nails and don your favourite pair of sandals, with your long sleeves and long trousers.

Picture 7

Long Boots away, Short boots stay

While I think spring is a good time to put away the black tights and knee high boots, I have to say, the ankle booties need to stick around. Especially if you want to show some leg – they look great with shorts or skirts – of all lengths and they at least will give your feet some warmth!

Picture 8images c/o harpersbazaar – Spring Fashion Week 2013 – Stockholm

Summer outfit ideas

Summer has officially begun! There are so many different occasions for a simply stylish Mom over the summer so it’s good to have a few outfits up your sleeve so you’re not stuck wearing the same thing day after day (though that can be fun too, it just will get a bit smelly!)

Wherever your social calendar may take you this summer—be it a plane travel, time by the pool or at the beach, touristing, or shopping with your girl friends —you are bound to need some fresh outfit inspiration.

So, read on for all the need-to-know details and be sure to take notes!

Plane travel is something a lot of us will be doing (with kids ugh!) this summer. I never look further than Sienna Miller for great plane travel outfits! I find my favourite outfit for plane travel is jeggings or boyfriend jeans (for comfort and N.B no sweats!), a cotton blouse (for the hot and sweaty moments), a cardi (for the highly air conditioned plane), an oversized tote and flip flops. I love the Eliora top from Anthropologie , these French Connection coloured jeggings, the Billabong Nada Mas bag and these simple, affordable sandals.

Shopping sprees are always fun but it can get hot and tiring trudging along  cement pavements in the summertime so you always want to have a simple outfit on. While a pretty useless actress, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley does a great job dressing for shopping sprees. A cotton tee, a midi skirt, sandals and sunnies seem to do the trick. I love this Asos floaty midi skirt paired with this American Apparel tee with these wonderful Sam Edelman colour block sandals.

Australians are big travellers and this summer we are looking forward to some touristing. Like me (an Australian, a mom, and a big traveller – that’s where our similarities end!) Miranda Kerr enjoys simply stylish touristing outfits. Here she sports a black maxi dress, a denim jacket and a colourful cloth purse. I love this affordable Old Navy black maxi dress, Old navy denim jacket and this Boho purse.

Hanging at the beach or the pool during the summertime is a no-brainer activity for Moms. While we don’t neccessary want to prance around showing off our post-baby bumps in a swim-suit, we do have to strip down and i find a happy compromise are denim shorts. I love how Dutch model/actress – and Mom Doutzen Kroeswas pulls of these Isabel Marant shorts and a simple 3/4 sleeve cropped tee. I love this longer and more affordable pair from Target and this vintage-look cropped tee from F21.

What are your favourite outfits going to be this summer?

I like what I like…

Guest post by Corina

When the Simply Stylish Mom asked me to write a post for her blog, I had mixed feelings.  Let me just make one thing clear…I definitely do not consider myself to be a Simply Stylish Mom, so at first I was a little apprehensive, because how could I possibly have anything to say about fashion and style.  Don’t get me wrong, I like to look good, but I like what I like, and don’t necessarily follow any specific trends.  What I am passionate about, and do have an eye for, are all things artsy and handmade (I dabble in the artsy and handmade “industry” a little myself).  So you can imagine my relief when I realized I didn’t actually have to post specifically about fashion, style, or trends.

Now that I’ve cleared that up…I bring you Sandmaiden (aka Amanda Boyd).  I was introduced to Amanda through my church community at Mosaic here in Vancouver.  Sandmaiden is a one woman show, which makes her clothing and lingerie all the more fantastic.  She makes everything by hand in the basement of her home!  Her clothing and lingerie is absolutely gorgeous.  The fabrics she chooses are to die for, and create such amazing texture, flow and structure to her clothing…all things that I love about her designs.  It’s very organic, but sophisticated and simple all at the same time (that’s possible right Anna?).  Here are 3 items that particularly stand out for me…but really, I love it all.

Sandmaiden Tencel and Wool Blend Dolman Top with Tie Sleeves

Sandmaiden Fine Felted Merino Wool Knit Circle Wrap

Sandmaiden Felted Fine Merino Knit Dolman Sleeve Hoody

Hope you all take the time to check out the Sandmaiden’s shop and appreciate the time and love that has been put into all the beautiful pieces as much as I do.
P.S. Stay tuned for a possible future post on some of my own “love”!

things i’ve loved this week…

…shirts tucked into jeans

elin king…


white lace…


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


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

Thursday’s top 5 trends…

More rain in Vancouver today. But I’m feeling sunny and excited about my upcoming weekend: the Anthropologie opening party on Saturday night and Vancouver’s Gypsy Market on Sunday. Will update you all on that next week. So what to wear to these events… here’s my this week’s top five fashion trends

1. Boatshoes

I grew up wearing these with jeans and collared t-shirts. They’re so preppy, so proper and sooo conservative. And actually really comfy. But since the 90′s they’ve been a whole lot more funkified than when I owned my simple dark brown pair. They are a good alternative to the ballet flat and are a great simplystylish Mommy shoe. They also really match the nautical theme we are seeing everywhere: stripes, bright red and blue, cute shorts and straw hats. Nordstrom had a great selection of boatshoes, including below priced at $43CAD.

2. Body Con dresses

Now, I hear you asking two questions: 1) what on earth is this SSM on about? and 2) (if you know the answer to 1) – how on earth would any self respecting SSM wear one? Never fear readers, this SSM is here to address all your queries. 1) Body con stands for ‘body conscious’ – think super tight, bondage dresses… 2) DON”T BE SCARED!! These dresses are actually quite flattering! Yes, they are. It’s how you wear them! Most Mom’s don’t like the idea of tight, figure hugging clothing post baby (I STILL shudder when I think of my muffin tops!) But most body con dresses such you in and smooth out your shape and if still fearful, grab yourself a pair of SPANX – they are the best!! I have a couple of pairs that just suck my post-baby belly into invisibility! N.B I’m not suggesting you wear this to the park or to pick up your kids from school (though I’m sure some Moms do…eww, stick with the boatshoes for those occasions) – this is ONLY to be worn at night – out with your hubby or out with the girls. Also we all know that opting for a dark colour is going to be more flattering on our bodies don’t we?! Below are some of my favourites listed on australianflavour.com – dresses made by local Aussie designers.

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3. Motorcycle Jackets

Yes, it’s Spring. But it’s also still cold (in Vancouver at least). So I’ve still been seeing lots of Motorcycle jackets being worn. These are an absolute staple for your wardrobe – a classic item that can never be grown out of. You can pair the hard look of the jacket with a maxi skirt and t-shirt and sandals or you can slip it over a short summer dress with ballet flats or fling it over a white t-shirt and a pair of blue jeans…sooo many options. Here are some of my favourite motorcycle jacket looks.

4. Polka dots

How much fun are polka dots? I think they are so whimsical, cute and fun. It can certainly brighten up a fun outfit by adding a dotty scarf, shoes or cardigan. Give it ago, I think it would be very hard to feel down when wearing polka dots! I turn to my favourite store for proof:


5. Cocktail Rings

Roaring 20′s, flappers, feathers and cocktail rings. Definitely one of my favourite style periods. Cocktail rings come in tons of different styles and feature many different gemstones. You can find them at vintage stores, thrift shops, garage sales and online. Cocktail rings with oversized gemstones and eclectic patterns are so popular.  The key is to let yourself go over the top with them! Perfect for the SSM as we can often have a simple outfit but go OTT with our accessories!! I am so excited about this trend as I just purchased one from a local artist and etsy seller, Bueno Style. I can’t wait for it to arrive and will definitely photo graph it for you. Here are some other fantastic cocktail rings from local designers on Etsy.

 Flower Shape Clear and Sapphire Blue Bling Ring, Silvertone and Czech RhinestonesPeach Resin Rose Ring

Which is your favourite trend at the moment? Let me know!

xxo, SSM

images courtesy of polyvore.com, australianflavour.com, theyallhateus.com, etsy.com

Styling basics 101

Darling readers, Anthropologie has come out with some tips that I wanted to share with you. Every Mom has plenty of basic tee’s, tanks and tops and it helps to know how to jazz them up abit. Thanks for the help Anthro!

Floor-length skirts can feel a bit dressy by nature, so for everyday wear top them off with a timeless boy tee. The pairing tones down the fancy factor, while accessories add pops of color. 

1. http://bit.ly/SeaminglyMaxi 
2. http://bit.ly/BoyTee 
3. http://bit.ly/OrbitalBracelet 
4. http://bit.ly/HalteresGladiators

The opposite of casual cotton? Sumptuous silk. Put the two together and voilà—basic no more. Throw on a chambray blazer and a pair of neutral heels (they go with practically everything) for added polish.

1. http://bit.ly/ChambrayBlazer 
2. http://bit.ly/PerformanceArtTee 
3. http://bit.ly/GoldfieldSkirt 
4. http://bit.ly/PliantHeels

Mixing prints may seem tricky, but it’s an effortless way to give your basics a style boost. The trick is to pair big prints with little, busier prints (i.e., stripes with small florals), and instantly, an everyday jersey tank is spiffed up. The springy wedges and cincher are just the icing on the cake.

1. http://bit.ly/WeaveAndPlaitBelt
2. http://bit.ly/HighAndLowsTank
3. http://bit.ly/ConvergenceSkirt
4. http://bit.ly/MarineDepthsWedges

images&info courtesy of anthro.com

Saturday’s shmoozings with…

Email Michelle Addison
Personal stylist Michelle Addison from Jessie Carlson Wardrobe, featured in the Best of Vancouver 2011.  These ladies are style goddesses who come to your home, cleanse your wardrobe, provide you with a shopping list and help you purchase new, more appropriate items! They even have a Stylish Mama package which includes either personal shopping and an outfit list or a wardrobe cleanse and a shopping list. Want some
 words of wisdom from a style expert? Read on… 

SSM: Hi Michelle, How did you come to be interested in styling and start working with Jessie Carlson?
M: I have always been interested in fashion ever since I was a little girl and used to cut pictures out of magazines and stick them on my wall. After graduating from university where I studied fine arts, I got a part-time job at a clothing store and that’s where I really began to gain a professional interest in clothes. I started doing some clients wardrobes whom I met through the store and felt I had a real knack for it.
When Jessie asked me to help her while she was on maternity leave, it completely seemed to fit, as I was returning from a year off with my daughter, Stella and wanted to jump right back into styling. Jessie has impeccable style so I was thrilled at getting a chance to help grow her business.
SSM: How do you and Jessie find balancing Mommyhood and a business?
M: Jessie is doing amazing working from home and loving being a Mom. Our philosophy is exactly the same, we are not willing to put our business before our kids. The pressure to be everything for everyone is very real but we decided to keep our priorities in focus. So far so good. It is so great to be in business with someone who loves being a mom as much as I do.
SSM: Why is styling so important for our Vancouver Mom?Michelle: Good question. I think styling is important because so many mom’s don’t have the time to shop or figure out what the trends are vs. what would suit them. A stylist helps you put together a wardrobe that works for your lifestyle and body. Often after having kids some woman feel that they have no idea what they should wear. Their bodies have changed along with their priorities. An un-biased look at a closet can do wonders for letting go of the past and focusing on today. Finding out what looks good on you can make you feel fabulous no matter what your budget.  Hiring a stylist is smarter, greener, it makes you feel confident in your own skin…sort of all the things required for a simplystylish Vancouver mom…no?
SSM: My readers know my thoughts on this – but what are YOUR thoughts on items such as Uggs and sweats?
Michelle: I would have to say there is never a reason to wear uggs…especially in Vancouver when it rains so much!! As for sweats I again have to say that there are far better alternatives out there…as well as more attractive alternatives. If you were to say that you wear sweats to bed or around your house…I would let that slide.
SSM: What are the key wardrobe staples for our Simplystylishmom?
Michelle: A good pair of jeans(ones that fit YOUR body) a great spring and fall coat(that you love, not just tolerate), a great black heel, ballet flats and maybe some good quality tee-shirts.
SSM: What are your favourite items for Spring/Summer 2011?Michelle: I love all the color!! I am a big fan of all the color blocking they are doing this season and think that you can do wonders with some great shoes (eg.isabel marant poppy bow shoe in blue) and a different color belt. I like all the nudes: a nude cardigan is essential, and maybe a blazer…I love Helmut Lang blazers!! I also like the long skirts…with the t-shirts, not for everyone, but a great option for some.
SSM: Favourite place to find fashion bargains in Vancouver? What are your thoughts on online shopping?
Michelle: Fashions bargains…I like H&M and Zara in Vancouver. And on-line? I don’t do much bargain shopping on-line…too risky and I don’t like have too much in my wardrobe. I like quality over quantityI would have to advise the same for my clients.
SSM: Like me, you are a fan of The Satorialist, what are some of your other favourite style blogs?
I love the Satorialist!!! I like iamtheitgirl.com and searchingforstyle.com …and I love simplystylishmom.wordpress.com!!
SSM: Finally, How can a Mom be stylish without having to spend a lot?
Michelle: I think that a mom can be stylish without spending a lot if she invests in some basics. Stay away from trendier things and concentrate on the key elements. Once you have your basics complete you can voyage into trends. Also accessorizing can be quite thrifty as you can find some amazing belts, bags and scarves in consignment or second-hand stores.

Thanks Michelle for your time and pearls of wisdom!

Happy Thursday!

xxo, SimplystylishMom