Now is the winter of our discontent....

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I am sick of looking like a slug. I am sick of everything in my closet. I am sick of never looking "put together." I'm tired of not looking "girly" (oh, ok, in my case, make it "womanly"). Like Elinor, over at Mommentary, I want some pretty shoes!

I need a uniform. I need a personal shopper. I need SOMETHING. I need someone to tell me what a middle aged mother of a teenager who is keeping house and chasing a toddler should wear that is both becoming and practical. One thing I know is that sweats and yoga pants ain't it.

Look, I know that Donna Reed used to clean house in a shirtwaist dress and pearls--and high heels to boot. Let's just admit up front that I'm no Donna Reed.

So, where does that leave me? I want to look, hmmmm, for lack of a better word, "nice". But how do you do that at home? Is there anywhere that comfort, nice looks and practicality coincide? Or is that just a fantasy?


okay, first of all, what's not sexy about yoga pants?
second of all, "becoming" really is a relative word. what do you mean for MamaT?

I need a personal shopper too. I hate shopping. I hate clothes. I, too, wish I had a uniform.

Jumpers. I have a closet full of nice looking jumpers in different styles and colours, all with pockets. I have turtlenecks and other sweaters to wear underneath in winter, and blouses and nice t-shirts to wear underneath in summer. In winter, I wear a slip and tights for warmth, in summer socks and sandals. I accessorize with nice scarves worn as loose neckties that I can tuck in or take off as needed (for work, etc) and I bought some marked down rings to wear as scarf slides.
One of my favorite dresses is this Moroccan one which I have in 4 different colours and wear as a jumper. The picture doesn't do it credit, and you can't see the deep onseam pockets.
I wear my cowboy boots with them on occasion (but not usually in the snow).
I have a pattern for my other fave jumper and I have that one in 2 different fabrics.
Most pants are too unflattering to my mature figure, and I don't think they look professional anyhow.

this or this or even this

My mother was telling me something about the Donna Reed heels-and-pearls thing. Apparently the idea was that the mid-century housewife, aided by miracle fibers and labor-saving devices (and being enlightened enough to have only two children), got through all the dirty work in the morning. After lunch, she would change into dressier clothes, finish the lighter jobs like dusting, vacuuming, and arranging the magazines in a fan shape, and have the rest of the afternoon available to volunteer at the garden club.

ALICIA! why, you are the epitome of a smockmomma! i'm swooning and jealous! i can never wear smock dresses because i'm forever nursing! this is just too coolmoe.

smockmomma, has a pattern for a nursing jumper

Jumpers? Try some coolmoe Liz Claiborne and Gloria Vanderbilt on the clearance racks of the local dept. store or TJ Maxx. Functional separates in styles cool enough to border on hip while being practical enough to last a few years. Try the semi-cargo skirts by Gloria with the big pockets. Gloria's trousers are also cut high to the natural waist which is a very flattering cut for women with hips and butts. Liz has some funky button up casual shirts and T-s.

2 words, Terri: SARAN WRAP!

But seriously. There are always sweaters and jeans. Like a casual Donna.

Elinor, I miss your and Cacc's sites. I miss your Irish bite! Thanks for reminding me of that "household engineer" mindset of the 50s (the mindset that spawned James Likeks's Regrettable Foods).

Saran Wrap? I'll never forget one of my co-workers delivering too much information. Said she'd sometimes welcome her husband home wrapped only in saran wrap.

nonono. saran wrap chafes. i don't recommend it.

The moroccan dress can be easily modified for breastfeeding by putting slits in the underdress part, and is roomy enough in the tummy for up to term pregnancy.
Do you sew? Or do you have a seamstress in town that can make patterns? My oldest moroccan dress (1997) has some issues with the fabric ( a few pinholes) but is structurally sound. I am looking for a talented person who can deconstruct it and make me a pattern - I love that dress but at $130/each I limit myself......
Anyhow, if you have or know of such a person, I will send the dress off in return for a pattern back......
I am ALWAYS haunting the sale racks for useable jumpers!

i don't sew. heavyheavysigh.

TS--in the late 60s, there was an infamous book written by Christian housewife Marabel Morgan called The Total Woman. She is the one who pioneered the practice of greeting hubby at the front door in Saran Wrap.

Joan Rivers did a riff on it in her old stand-up act. "I met Edgar at the front door wearing nothing but Saran Wrap. He screamed, 'Quick! Somebody call the Board of Health!'"

If you're discouraged by having taken Home Ec, Smock, I urge you to try again. Patterns are simpler than they were even ten years ago, and there are beginners' patterns that make everything quite clear. You might be surprised at how much easier it is than you remember.

I think I need to learn how to sew. I've got a machine--a very basic one that I asked my parents to give me for Christmas several years ago. It's been out of the box exactly 2 times.

My theory was that I want to learn how to do simple quilt piecing. Like I need another hobby with STUFF attached to it.

But maybe I could learn to sew and make some things for ME. Lord knows that I'm not finding what I'm looking for in the stores......

Even though I'm not for certain what I'm looking for...

Sorry I found this thread so late; perhaps I may be of some assistance?
Try this:

This is the website for BBC's "What Not To Wear". I prefer the English show to the American show, but both are good. There is an interactive link on the site; answer certain questions and it will give you guidelines about what will look good on you...and what won't. The good thing about them is that they take both shlumpy dressers and cheesy teenybopper dressers and pull them toward sophisticated, elegant dressers.
Try it; it couldn't hurt and it may help.



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This page contains a single entry by MamaT published on January 28, 2004 2:05 PM.

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