Decluttering your closet: 6 tips from Marin’s Maternity Fashionista

Here is Part 2 of our interview with local Marin resident and author of Fashion Dues & Duen’ts: a Stylist’s Guide to Fashionably Embracing Your Baby Bump, Katie Rice Jones. We asked style questions related to dressing your changing body from growing a bump to dressing your post-baby body.

Rachel Schohn of Petite Marin: I’m a big fan of the Lean Closet Movement as you talk about on your blog. It’s so much easier getting dressed with a few key, well-made pieces. As I’ve been scaling down my own wardrobe, I’m finding myself with cool basics, and old accessories. What should I be wearing to keep my basics current?

Cuyana
Cuyana Founders Source: http://www.californiahomedesigns.com

KRJ: For those who don’t know the Lean Closet Movement, coined by San Francisco’s lifestyle brand Cuyana, is about paring down the closet so that one is left with only effortlessly stylish pieces that are loved. It’s a pragmatic dressing approach and it’s picking up momentum. While there may be a myriad reasons for its acceptance, I believe the foremost is a planetary one. These days thoughtful people aim to reduce their carbon footprint and buying less, of everything, helps ensure this.

KRJ image for post 2
Maternity Wear Basics Source: http://www.fashiondues.com

However my intimate introduction to the movement was not as noble in cause. It came to me by way of my first pregnancy. Maternity wear can be expensive and I didn’t have the funds to wardrobe my burgeoning bump as a fashion stylist would like.

The bigger I grew, the smaller my closet’s options got. Gradually my closet was pared down to only a handful of stylish maternity pieces.

lean closet
A lean closet.      Source: http://www.cuyana.com

After the birth of my daughter Evelyn, I highly anticipated a triumphant return to my closet plumb full of regular clothes. But once I finally got down to my pre-bump size and could wear the stuff, the return lacked luster. In fact living for 9-plus months with little to wear left me changed.

For one, I got really good at making less, look like more and two; I now longed for a clutter-free closet. By the time Evelyn was 6 months old, I scaled down my closet substantially by donating those items that were:
1. Too small
2. Collecting dust
3. Unflattering
4. Impractical
5. Dated
6. From a former life or career (ball gowns and suits)
7. Poor quality and cheap construction
8. Not my personal style

As for which basic pieces should live (and be loved) in a lean closet, read my answer to Rachel’s final question…in 2 weeks!

KateinGardenCropKatie Rice Jones (KRJ) is the author of the pregnancy fashion guide, Fashion Dues & Duen’ts: a Stylist’s Guide to Fashionably Embracing Your Baby Bump (available at Amazon.com). Learn more about pregnancy fashion at FashionDues.com.
Katie is also an on-air style expert who has appeared on over 400 television segments. Some of her channel appearances include: E! Entertainment, Style Network, Travel Channel, USA Network, HGTV, and FOX Reality TV. She has written for Pregnancy magazine, MomLogic.com, MarinMommies.com, and littlelane.com and has been a frequent style/celebrity commentator for In Touch Weekly magazine, StrollerTraffic.com, CNN.com, RadarOline.com, and SheKnows.com. She is also an elected commissioner on the San Anselmo Arts Commission and on the town’s Capital Program Monitoring Committee.

Citizen Smalls: A vibrant, made-in-USA clothing line that is anything but small

Today we’re introducing an amazingly talented kids clothing designer, Sarah Davis. I met Sarah through our accelerator program, Factory45 and her vision and determination inspire me. Her collection of vibrant, USA-made, soft tees and pants launches today on Kickstarter– she’s one to watch!

citizen smalls logoQ. We’re excited for the launch of your children’s line, Citizen Smalls. Such a cute name, how did you come up with it?

A. Funny actually, I’ve done several blog posts/interviews and I’ve never been asked this question! The name actually means a lot to me, Small is my husband and kids last name. I think of our kids as little citizens, so that’s where Citizen Smalls comes from.

Q. The drawings of your logo and of the paper dolls are adorable- do you draw too?

A. In the start of this journey, I searched for an illustrator. I knew exactly what I wanted but needed someone who could take my vision and translate into drawings. I reached out to Austin School of Fashion Design and was introduced to Stephanie. Not only does she have insane talent with illustrating, but she helps me with my blog, landing page and social media. She’s been a huge piece of my branding.
citizen smalls detail photoQ. It says on your website that the clothes are going to be sustainable, can you tell me a little more about that?

A. When I started to create this line I wasn’t exactly sure where I wanted the clothes made. I had a lot of research to do and found some pretty interesting facts about clothing made in other parts of the world. I was shocked and saddened to see what is going on in this industry. From that moment on, I decided to be all US made. This is the sustainable piece for us.

Q. I understand you launched and run a nanny agency, have three kiddos of your own and are miraculously finding spare time to get Citizen Smalls going. Please share a few tips for keeping it together!

A. My life is chaos, I’m not going to lie! I run in many different directions and multi tasking for me is a must. I’ll be scheduling a nanny interview, click over to talk to a fabric manufacturer and then get a call to pick up a sick kiddo at school.  My house isn’t perfect, I dig to find soccer uniforms and my suburban smells like a mix of popcorn and ham. But that’s how I roll! But I’m passionate about both of my businesses and love what I do.  And I make time for my family. They are always my top priority.

citizens small kids photoQ. What is your favorite board game to play with your kids?

A. I love board games for kids!! Depending if we want to be educational game or a silly game. I love Brain Quest, it’s like Trivial Pursuit for kids. I prefer this game because it make me feel smart. It goes to grade 6 and I can usually get 70% correct. (Whoop!) My older son kicks my butt every time. Mustache Smash is another fav. Fun, funny and my 5 year old loves it!!

Editor’s note: Since conducting this interview, Sarah has brought on a good friend, Nichole Locke, of Bump Club and Beyond, as a partner. Welcome Nichole! And, we wish you both much success on your launch. Their campaign is now live- check it out here!

Honoring a Veteran by repurposing her uniform

IMG_20151201_175547For Veteran’s Day we are expressing our gratitude to the US service men and women by showing a sweet way to honor a military veteran in your family. We transform service members’ old uniforms into cherished garments for the little ones in their lives.  What a great sentiment to be able to reuse these fabrics with something that means a great deal to their family!

Harper is a sweet one year old who is wearing an upcycled romper made from her aunt Kate’s military uniform. Kate, served in the US Navy and was stationed in Djibouti. Kate’s husband, Paul, was stationed on a naval ship in South American with Harper’s mother, Ellen. As fate would have it, Paul became friends with Ellen and introduced her to his brother, Peter. And the rest as they say, is history. Now the brothers and their wives live near each other in Southern California. As Ellen had discarded her naval uniforms, she asked her sister-in-law, Kate, to use one of hers to make this special garment. And, it’s nearly ready to be passed on again, once Kate and Paul have a baby of their own.

1830We are honored to work with service members and their uniforms because they give so much for others. We look forward to making more cherished garments for other military families during our upcoming Kickstarter campaign running November 18- December 16, 2015. Thank you to all active and retired military for your service!

 

 

 

 

Style Tips from Marin’s Maternity Fashionista

KSJ book imageWe were lucky enough to snag an interview with local Marin resident and author of Fashion Dues & Duen’ts: a Stylist’s Guide to Fashionably Embracing Your Baby Bump. We asked style questions related to dressing your changing body from growing a bump to dressing your post-baby body. With her abundance of amazing advice, we’ve broken down the interview into a 3-part miniseries. Part 1:

Rachel Schohn of Petite Marin: (Q) I love how you encourage woman to shop their closets first when navigating their maternity wardrobe. Can you highlight one or two pieces women can embrace when their bump first starts to show?

Katie Rice Jones: (A) Between 0-5 months you’re in a body limbo of sorts – gradually getting too big for your tailored regular-fit pieces, but yet not big enough for traditional maternity. Hence your look is in limbo too. The trick to finding something to wear is to identify regular-fit clothing that is adaptable or blind to your changing body. These kinds of wardrobe pieces are called maternity wear posers, or more simply, posers.

KRJ blog post 1 quoteGiven current fashion trends, it’s likely that much of your closet’s existing clothes can make do as transitional clothing during your early and midterm pregnancy. To discover which of your regular-fit clothing can pose as posers examine them for the following styling, construction, and detail…

  1. Knit and stretchy material (versus woven fabrics)
  2. Roomy fit (versus tailored fit)
  3. Draped and wrapped styling
  4. Durable fabric that will not misshapen
  5. Long-bodied and pull-over tops
  6. Low-rise bottoms
  7. Expandable clothing elements including: side vents, side ruching or drawstring and elastic waistbands
  8. Adaptable mechanics that can be worn unbuttoned, un-cinched, zipped down, open or layered under
  9. Easy-on silhouettes like skirts and dresses (versus pants)

Katie provides us with two examples of flattering clothing with differing pattern types:

KRJ image for post 1

KRJ image 2 for post 1

And look for these posers in your closet…
1. Shift dress – This dress lacks waist definition making it super-wearable.
2. Tie back vest – Add panache to a basic tee when you don a vest. As you progress, loosen its back tie or wear it unbuttoned for a little breathing room.
3. A-line top or dress – The flare from this dress’ midsection provides ample room for a little bump.
4. Button fly jeans – Make room for your bump one button at a time while keeping your pants securely in place.
5. Boyfriend cardigan – An oversized cardigan looks great with relaxed jeans, fitted knit pencil skirts or leggings.
6. Maxi dress – This aptly named dress maximizes your look by diminishing your bump and accentuating your décolletage, shoulders, and arms.
7. Fitted knit skirt – The best knit skirt acts as a kind of Spanx, flattering and smoothing the lower half of your expecting bod.
8. Cocoon top – This easy piece adds interest to your look and showcases your bump.
9. Tunic – A tunic elongates your body and narrows your hips.
10. Wrap dress, top or vest – Wrap styling adjusts to your growing belly with its tie design. Be advised, as you adjust the ties to accommodate your bump, the neckline begins to plunge. Layer a pretty cami underneath to control cleavage-exposure.
11. Empire and baby doll top or dress – This high waisted styling will provide ample room for your bump.
12. Banded hem top – The top’s wide band slims hips while its shirring detail accommodates growth.
13. Ruched top or dress – Regular-fit clothes with ruching details will expand with you for a short time.
14. Long scarf – Visually slim your torso by draping a long scarf around your neck and letting it hang loosely down your body. Also don a scarf to add texture, color or pattern to your mate
15. Smock top – The top’s neckline smocking detail creates a voluminous lower bodice.
16. Open front cardigan – Worn open or tied about the waist, this kind of cardigan is of a less fussy fit than its buttoned counterpart.
17. Long-bodied tee or tank – The best pieces hit at mid-hip.
18. Elastic and drawstring waistband skirt or pants – Bottoms with accommodating waistbands make for excellent posers
19. Kimono jacket or dress – Its full sleeves conceal heavy arms, and its wrapped bodice hides your tummy size.
20. Dropped-waist top or dress – The waistline of this dress falls below your tummy, making it easy to slip on over your bump.
21. Shrug – An easy-on shrug makes a terrific heavy arm concealer and can be worn throughout pregnancy.
22. Low-rise pant – The rise of these pants falls below the belly making it possible to wear them longer than their mid or high-rise counterparts.
23. Cape – A short cape will hide the belly but can make you look as big as a house in later term.
24. Half coat – Hitting above your natural waistline makes this kind of coat wearable throughout your nine months.
25. Long-bodied drape – A versatile wrap helps elongate and slim your bumped body and is an easy alternative to your getting-tighter- by-the-minute blazer. During your pregnancy, you will find hundreds of ways to wrap it and to wear it. Plus, it makes an elegant breastfeeding drape in post.
26. Yoga pant or leggings – A multi-purpose pull-on pant with an adjustable waistline wears well when you’re out for a coffee, at the gym or just lounging around at home.
27. Peplum and skater top
or dress – The flounce or overskirt of this piece can provide a short-term disguise for the belly.
28. Poet top – A shapeless shirt with an easy-going vibe and, in this case, also a distracting print

In Part 2 with Katie Rice Jones, she’ll be offering tips on how to keep up with current trends while wearing well-made, basic pieces.

KRJ PaleDenim

Katie Rice Jones (KRJ) is the author of the pregnancy fashion guide, Fashion Dues & Duen’ts: a Stylist’s Guide to Fashionably Embracing Your Baby Bump (available at Amazon.com). Learn more about pregnancy fashion at FashionDues.com.
Katie is also an on-air style expert who has appeared on over 400 television segments. Some of her channel appearances include: E! Entertainment, Style Network, Travel Channel, USA Network, HGTV, and FOX Reality TV. She has written for Pregnancy magazine, MomLogic.com, MarinMommies.com, and littlelane.com and has been a frequent style/celebrity commentator for In Touch Weekly magazine, StrollerTraffic.com, CNN.com, RadarOline.com, and SheKnows.com. She is also an elected commissioner on the San Anselmo Arts Commission and on the town’s Capital Program Monitoring Committee.