window dressing


Q&A
August 20, 2009, 10:00 am
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Yay for questions! These come from Anna —

How do you manage designer/beautiful/likely expensive clothes with a toddler?

I love my nice clothes, but I’m afraid that if I ever became a mom they’d have to go bye-bye. Dirty hands and dry cleaning don’t mix well, do they?

Also on that note, how do you manage lower cut things? Do tank tops really fix that? (Some of my tanks are fairly low themselves…) Ever had an issue of an article of clothing being pulled where it shouldn’t be?

Ok, let’s start with the first one —

I don’t like to wear clothes that I have to dry clean often. I just don’t want to mess with it or pay for it. Some items that I have that state that they are dry clean only usually end up going into my washing machine on the handwash/delicates cycle and are then laid out to dry. I do wash my Diane von Furstenberg silk jersey wrap dresses – but always on cold and on the handwash/delicates cycle.  I take my cues from my mom who is a big stickler for laundry, and she washes a lot of things that I never would have thought would be ok. If in doubt, handwash.

In the beginning, when Jude was tiny and there was lots of spitting up, I was definitely in tee shirts and cotton cardigans a lot. And I still like to wear tees and jeans frequently — it’s kind of my fall/winter uniform. But now, we do a pretty good job of staying clean. He’s not a crazy messy eater when we’re out (I’ve learned my lesson and I don’t give him wildly messy foods if we’re out), and when we’re at home, we’re able to get him really cleaned up so he’s not wiping spaghetti sauce all over us.

I look for things that I can dress down. I like to wear dresses a lot, as well as skirts, but I really want my clothes to do double-duty. I want them to have the ability to dress up, but I also want to spend my money on something that I could wear every single day if I so chose. The difference is in accessories — shoes, jewelry, headbands, that kind of thing. Primarily shoes, though.

Ok, now onto the second question, about necklines. To be fair, I’m fairly small chested — a 36A — so I’m not hanging out of my tops typically. But I also don’t like leaning over and flashing the world w/ my goods when I’m chasing Jude around. I definitely believe in modesty. And there are just some tops/dresses/outfits that I don’t want to wear to church or out and about with my chest on display. Depending on the outfit, I do layer with tank tops.

Beware the fit of tanks — they can be deceiving. J.Crew cuts their ribbed tank tops really long in the neckline, so inevitably I have to layer another tank under theirs to keep my bra from making a surprise guest appearance. Old Navy makes a great 2×1 rib tank. They’re good in the length of the hem, and not too revealing in the top. C&C California makes my all-time favorite layering tank. It’s just plain ol’ cotton with spaghetti straps and I have a bunch in a variety of basic colors.

I have  this one from Old Navy –– the material is stretchier than the C&C ones, so they stretch out worse and I can’t get as many wears before I have to wash it, but I do like them b/c they’re cheap ($6!!!). And they come in every color of the rainbow.

What about dresses or shirts that are cut in such a way that  you don’t want to wear a tank, you can’t get away with a regular bra, or you need a specialty strapless bra? That’s when I reach for the NuBra. It’s basically a stick-on bra that you can wash and reuse and it maintains its stickiness. I bought it for a bridesmaids dress or something, and I was immediately a convert. I wear it all the time with certain dresses like this one below — it has a racerback and a sweetheart neckline, which makes it doubly difficult to keep your bra straps from waving to the crowd.

So I put on the NuBra. After you wear it, you wash it with some dishsoap or shampoo and hang it out to dry and it’s ready to wear again. They’re sized according to cup size, and go up to a D.

Finally, if you are really in a bind and you don’t want to wear a tank underneath something, get some of this doublestick tape — Hollywood Fashion Tape. I’ve used it to keep necklines in place, as well as to seal up a hem that’s come undone or keep a blouse from opening up at the buttons. You get a little tin of it and it lasts a pretty long time. It can really help in a pinch.

Ok, I hope that’s helpful, Anna!  Sorry that I wrote a book…

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