Swim Suits for Moms

Swim Wear for real moms

What are the bathing fashions this summer that will make you look your best and be the most functional as a women with kids?

Bathing suits can show us off at our best if we choose wisely but they can also show us off at our worst.

Not everyone should, or even want to wear the string bikinis you see all over the magazines, especially when you are picking up little ones and running after the older ones!

How do you choose a bathing suit that is right for you?

Bathing suits can vary so much, you really have to start with your body type and comfort level.  What are your best assets, how can swim wear show them off? What are your least flattering assets, and how can one properly conceal them in a bathing suit?

  • First: are you a one piece or two piece girl? There are some really great, sexy one piece suits out now, so don’t feel that swim wear is boring just because you may not want to wear a bikini.  There are also some great two piece suits that are quite figure flattering and don’t completely reveal everything!
  • Secondly: What type of neck line will best flatter you? A large chest does better with a halter top or bras style top that separates the bosom.  If you are less endowed, or more athletic, a bandeau top shows off good shoulders and arms.  The coverege of the bathing suit top can vary as well.  A sports bra type top will be more suportive but will make the chest look flat, on the other end of the spectrum is the string bikini top which has no support but show it all off!
  • Thirdly: what will work best for your legs? If you have thick or short legs a higher leg opening will be more flattering.   Skinny or long legs can wear the lower rise or boy brief type leg.
  • Finally: What kind of converge do you want for your bottom? For maximum coverage find a “swim skirt” or a “swim short” which does not cling as tightly to the body.  A Full Coverage brief will give you more coverage then a Bikini brief, and of course the least coverage is the thong.

Now what about the Design elements for that perfect swim suit for you?  Use the design elements in the suit to show off the curves you want to be seen and hide the curves you’d like to keep unnoticed.  The right design elements will also keep you covered up when you find yourself in a compromising position as you wrangle your children waterside this summer.

The top design elements to look for in a suit that can often be very flattering and functional:

  • Rouching: a great design element that adds texture to the fabric and cleverly hides many extra curves we may not want to show off in our swim wear.
  • Ruffles: another design element that adds volume to the swim piece while hiding or distracting from volume on the body
  • Color block: uses bold shapes with contrast that create lines in the design. These contrasting shapes can hide curves you don’t want to show off and create the illusion of curves were there may not be any
  • Seaming: also creates lines in the design by placing enhanced seams in the right places to help draw the eye in direction you want it to go.

Shop for your suit at stores that have “mix and match” collections so you have more choices for the exact needs of your body.  I recommend J.Crew, Lands End, and Athleta to start, but there are many options and choices out there.

Twelve Fashion Tips for her and him

  1. For women: a flesh toned Shoe will elongate your leg and work with just about every outfit in your wardrobe.
  2. For men: Have a good pair of versatile black shoes with a matching belt, and have a good pair of versatile brown shoes with a matching belt.  Versatile means shoes that are comfortable can be worn with casual jeans, or a good pair of dress slacks.
  3. For women: when purchasing jewelry try to match the scale of the design with the scale of your facial features
  4. For Men: When picking ties, coordinate the scale of the pattern with the scale of your facial features.
  5. You can mix patterns, but there is an art to it, so be careful! Make sure that if you mix patterns, like a striped tie with a check shirt, that the scale of patterns are not the same.  If you are going to mix patterns, you want them to be very distinct from each other, with a common thread like one color.
  6. Collars for both men and women should be chosen to compliment the scale of neck, shoulders and face.
  7. For men: Think carefully about pleats versus flat front pants. Pleats can add a lot of excess and unwanted volume.  Flat front pants are a cleaner look but in the wrong material can be too revealing.
  8. For Women: When purchasing trousers, consider the pockets; if you are rounder in the hip and rear you may not want pockets, or find horizontal pockets. If you are smaller in the rear, vertical pockets and back pockets can be great.
  9. Go through your clothes at the beginning of each season and try everything on, make sure you still love it all and it is all in good condition, get rid of anything that no longer works or looks dated and make a list of everything that needs to be replaced
  10. Accessories are the key to finishing an outfit; this includes those items you carry around with you every day; your wallet, phone, watch, purse, briefcase, even your umbrella. Don’t be ambivalent when picking these items, think about their style, and if that style represents you well!
  11. Show off the parts of yourself that you feel really good about: if it’s your eyes, where a great accessories that accentuates their color, if it’s your white teeth, wear white, if it’s your hands wear a flashy ring.
  12. Five Good Quality Classic pieces that everyone should have: A trench coat, a suit jacket, a white shirt, great jeans, “go –to” shoes

Being a mom and staying stylish

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Mothers dressing up http://www.pinterest.com

As a mother now, I’m always checking out other women who are pushing strollers, caring baby carriers or have little one’s in tow.

I can’t help it, I suddenly feel some kind of weird kindred bond to them.

As an Image Consultant, I also find myself studying there clothing choices, not to judge, but more from curiosity to see what may be working for them.  It is field research with an entirely new point of view.  Staying put together and taking care of yourself while taking care of children is a difficult challenge and by far not an easy thing to accomplish.

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http://s7.landsend.com/is/image/LandsEnd/441047_AJ14_FF_MXR?$prp_4up_v2$ Women’s Fit and Flare Maxi Dress, landsend.com

Putting your own needs last happens quickly.  It is an easy slope to start sliding down; the first time you are overwhelmed with mom stuff and give into the “it’s easy and it’s comfortable, and who cares anyway” choice.  Every time you walk out the door and wear that ugly sweatshirt in public it makes it that much easier the next time, until you’ve stopped noticing what you look like at all.  So I’m always doing a bit of mental research on how to avoid that first wrong step.  I’m constantly surprised and pleased with many of the ensembles I see put together from my fellow mothers who did manage to maintain their own personal style while stilling being able to get around their daily duties as a mom.

There are some creative, fashion forward ladies out there who seem to manage getting out of the house looking great with the diaper bag, stroller, carrier and even the baby!

I’ve seen a lot of skinny jeans with boots and a long cardigan wrap.  And why not?  It is a great look, it works, it is comfortable/manageable and allows for some personal style. I’ve seen this look dressed up with silky tops and fun jewelry… (all child tested of course, and until your children are older than three maybe skip the dangly earnings!)  I’ve seen it made more casual chic with a great scarf and blingy belt.  The other recent trend that works great is the maxi skirt or dress with a low maintenance jacket or cardigan.  Again it’s easy, cute and can have so much individual personality.

DIANE von FURSTENBERG Wrap Dress - Julian Contrast Trim

DIANE von FURSTENBERG Wrap Dress – Julian Contrast Trim

One of the most stunning scenes was a gorgeous woman placing a baby carrier in a big SUV cooing over the child inside, she wore 3” nude pumps, a fabulous DVF style dress and a chic ponytail.  She was probably non-human she looked so perfectly polished…but the wrap dress was a stunning statement on anyone and what a perfect mom-uniform!

I just love seeing mom’s looking stylish and chic, it’s so thrilling for me, and I really do feel so great for them.  I hope that all Moms can always feel as great as these women look!

Dressing your baby bump

Dressing one’s baby bump best, requires a few considerations to factor in:
• Are you trying to enhance the miracle that is growing inside you and make sure everyone knows that yes, you are pregnant?
• Or are you still a little uncomfortable talking about it and would rather keep it a private experience so while dressing the bump minimizing it is your main objective.
• Or, has your entire body changed so much you just have no idea how to dress with out just wrapping a sheet around yourself and calling it a day?
Anyone of these objectives can pose some stumbling blocks and you may find yourself having all these desires at different times, throughout your pregnancy.
Continue reading

Well Dressed Maternity Month 7

It’s month 7 and it may be time to start thinking about a wardrobe update!
Maybe you are simply getting bored with your maternity wardrobe, or a few pieces are not fitting as well anymore. You may also have found that those few Go-To pieces you end up wearing all the time are starting to show that wear and lose their luster.
I found that I had a particular skirt and a pair of leggings I lived in, finally they began to look faded, loos a bit of their shape, and I even found some holes! Purchasing a second and third pair of leggings and replacing the skirt was the best decision I made.
You will also know by now if you have any holes in your wardrobe. I had one woman tell me how she had so carefully planned this perfect maternity wardrobe, only to find that the one thing she desperately needed was a basic casual layer she could close up. A simple knit jacket that zipped up made all the difference for her during her third trimester.
If you feel like you are simply missing a few of those special pieces to make you excited about getting dressed, here are some brands and recourses I like:
Isabella Oliver, Japanese Weekend, Monzelle, and Hadley Stilwell.
Also consider accessorizing as you think about freshening up your wardrobe. The bonus to accessories is that they tend to be much more versatile then any single item of clothing, and they will not be limited to a maternity wardrobe. So purchasing new accessories now will not be limited to use just for the next few months.
As you head into your final trimester of your pregnancy, it is important that you feel great about yourself and how you look. Having the right wardrobe is key to maintaining a healthy self-image. Make sure there are pieces that you love to wear and feel great in. From Month five, you hopefully have a terrific start. Now you can make those little changes and tweaks to get you through this final push.

Well Dressed Maternity Month 6

It’s month six and it is time to talk about Undergarments!
I need to admit that this is something I have struggled with through my own pregnancy. I LOVE, and highly value good, supportive underwear, especially bras.
As an Image consultant I am a big fan of proper support, and being a D+ cup size most of my life I have always loved a great underwire bra!
You can only imagine my despair as my precious underwire bras, over the course of my pregnancy became more and more unbearable. Some days I would get home and the first thing I would do is tear the bra off as soon as I could.
This is a story many women have experienced with me.
Your body is more sensitive, things normally comfortable itch, and it’s hard to stand pressure and tightness where it never bothered you before.
Yet, you still need some support.
Nursing bras are a good investment to make now. They are fairly supportive, are a bit more comfortable than a standard bra, and you will need them after your pregnancy if you plan on nursing. I also found that a good sports bra, one with molded, SEPERATED cups, are supportive and though not as sophisticated or quite as flattering as the underwire bra, they are much more bearable during this sensitive time. If your are an A or a B cup, there are some great soft cup bras with a wide spandex back that are very comfortable and give decent support.
For your Growing belly, you will also want to think about underwear.
It is the waist band and where it hits you that can drive you crazy!
Please purchase some maternity underwear. They are not as sexy but I guarantee that there will be many more moments during your pregnancy that the comfort factor of your underwear will be much more important than the sexy factor.
If you want sexy as well, another great alternative is a low rise panty made of a soft pliable material.
Tights and stockings, as well as Shape war should also be considered. If you need to dress up during your pregnancy, these special maternity pieces may be needed. Many woman preferred the maternity shapewear because it gave them added support they appreciated and ended up wearing this as a day to day undergarment. I found myself in tights all of the time and I was thankful for the few pair of maternity tights I purchased.
The other highly valued purchase was the belly band. It gives a bit of support and prevents the belly from accidently being exposed when you may not want it to.
You will find that your undergarments while pregnant are a completely different experience then what you are used to. Do a bit of experimentation, try different styles on and keep an open mind!

Well Dressed Maternity: Month 4

It’s probably time to think about doing a little bit of shopping now….
But please, don’t panic and run out and buy a bunch of clothes you may not really need, or ever wear.
This is time to get a few new pieces that are not necessarily Maternity clothes.
They do still need to be comfortable and forgiving, especially at the waist line, so that you can wear them for the next month or two. Think about how you can add to the wardrobe you already started at month three. Again, your tops should still be working for you, especially the longer ones. It’s the waist line that starts to be the problem. What you need to think about getting are great pants, skirts, and possibly the right dress.
One woman I spook with said she lived in a knit sweater dress for most of her second trimester.
Knits and spandex blends are truly your best friends right now.
Be careful of thick elastic waist bands though…the elastic will not mold to your changing body as nicely as knit blends will.
Try on the pieces that you are thinking about and push your belly out as far as it will go, if the garment allows you to do this comfortably, then it is the type of piece that you want.
Again you only need about three bottoms that can mix and match with the tops you heave. These few new pieces should get you through the next month before you really need to start thinking about maternity pieces.
This is a great time to have fun with creative new outfits. Use these new wearable bottoms and mix them with top layering pieces that should not be effected by fit just yet, and don’t forget to add accessories which you should not have grown out of.

Well Dressed Maternity: Month 3

Starting with Month Three of your pregnancy. How do you dress and get organized for a body that is beginning to change.

You are now in the third month of your pregnancy.
Congratulations!
You have probably just started to tell people the good news.
Hopefully you are not feeling so queasy all the time, and though people may not be able to see your pregnancy yet, you may be noticing a change when you dress.
You can still wear the clothes in your closet, but you may be noticing that a few pieces are just not so comfortable anymore. Your favorite jeans are hard to withstand for too long without unbuttoning that top button, and you cannot wait to get home to take off that dress that always used to fit just right.
Now is the time to take a good look at the clothes you have in your closet and identify the pieces that are a little more forgiving.
Create a few comfortable outfits from the clothes you already own and love.
Please try not to spend money on anything new just yet, unless it’s a piece you know you will wear after your pregnancy (so keep thinking in terms of low maintenance and forgiving)
Try to find at least three bottoms and five tops that are comfortable and a bit forgiving. This is a Great start!
From these eight pieces you should be able to create 14 outfits that can get you through the next four to six weeks.
This is the 3/5 formula that will get you started at the beginning of your second trimester.
You’ll be surprised at how much you have in your closet that could work.
Tops will be much easier then bottoms, at this stage most of your tops shouldn’t be a problem at all. Bottoms are what you want to concentrate on. Look for pants and skirts with a bit of stretch and give to them.
Many women I talked with said they loves knit tops, cardigans and stretchy jeans or knit skirts at this stage of their pregnancy. Women going through this stage in the summer months were all about the jersey maxi dress.
Have fun creating a comfortable month three wardrobe capsule with the pieces you already own. Trust me, it’s going to make your life so much simpler as less and less pieces in your closet fit comfortably!