Fall is for Fashionistas

In the old days… yes, I’m referring to the days before I had children… I spent most of July scouring fashion magazines and prepping for what my fall wardrobe would look like.  Not that I ever once realistically thought that I could pull off the outfit that the twig-like waif modeled there on page 72.  Nor would I dare to show up anywhere with that feather sticking so far up and so high over my head.  They were just examples… photographers and stylists taking creative license.   That was the fun of fall, right?  After months of blazing heat, no make-up, and barely-there clothing, autumnal temperatures gave us a great excuse to pile on the clothes, the accessories, and the make-up.

I worked retail for ten years in my former life, and I loved when the new season’s treasures started shipping in to the store.  There was intense excitement that came in those boxes… the promise of a new season with new adventures.  I was giddy!  The new season first showed up in magazines and on newsstands.  Trickling in a page at a time, and I took it all in, examined every detail.  What could I replicate on a meager retail budget?  What could I use that I already had in my closet and still be on-trend? Now that I have kids, and my life-focus has shifted to them.

So I won’t lie.  When I see a good deal on clothes for my daughter, I can’t pass it up.  A dollar for a skirt, two bucks for a sweater, three bucks for a dress??  I am so there.

Fall 2011 Fashion Inspiration:

  • Stripes/Polka Dots/Argyles/Plaid (and combinations of patterns and colors mixed together)
  • Ruffles/Ribbons/Fabric Flowers/Tulle/Fur
  • Rich Jewel Tones with Neutrals: Eggplant, Teal, Hot Pink, Emerald, Lime, Sapphire, with Grays, Black, Oatmeal, Cream

Sweater dresses in solid colors like cream, brown, lime and eggplant pair perfectly with the Folklife Babylegs collection.  Plaid skirts with a tulle underlay, and ruffle- and ribbon-embellished tees under cardigan sweaters look fabulous with a knee high sock and boot or tights with ballets flats.

Rosette and fabric flower embellishments are making a huge statement this autumn.  Look on almost any craft blog and search for “fabric flower” if you’d like to try to make some yourself.  They are made with scraps of leftover fabric or felt and attached to alligator clips or pins.  Some are made with a few simple stitches, and others are made with a hot glue gun.  They are relatively easy, are fun to make, and look super sweet when made as hair clips and pins or attached to headbands.

In the realm of dresses, the types that you will be seeing a lot of in the coming months are sweater dresses (with and without belts), ballet dresses, denim shirtdresses, and drop-waist knit dresses.  All of these would look great with a pair of BabyLegs!  My daughter will wear her dresses and short skirts throughout the cold weather months with solid-colored tights or leggings and BabyLegs legwarmers layered on top.  You can use the legwarmers stretched completely out (it covers my daughter’s whole leg), or scrunch them up over her calf.  Stretched, they look great with boots, and scrunched, they look great with ballet flats for a dressy look or low canvas sneakers for a sportier look.

Other great top options include faux fur vests, longer-length toggle sweater coats, and cardigans.  Cardigans are fabulous layering options, and come in sweater heft or in a lighter knit.  The longer-length, lighter knit (think tee shirt material) compliments outfit combinations made with skirts and long pants.  My favorite way to combine the knit cardigan is with a ruffle-collar tee shirt underneath with a tutu-skirt over plain leggings.  Keeping the colors solid and prints to a minimum helps the BabyLegs legwarmers to stand out when layered over the leggings!

Another great trend for girls is denim leggings.  They can be paired up with longer length tunic tops, long sweaters or plaid button-front shirts.  They tuck easily into a pair of tall boots, and are light enough to wear under her favorite pair of BabyLegs legwarmers.  Speaking of trends in bottoms, if you’d like her to be really fashion forward, try cuffed twill shorts with a pair of tights!

Some of the top trends in footwear this fall include items like ballet flats (look for plain, shiny, metallic and flower-embellished), Mary Janes, motorcycle boots, Ugg®-style leather boots, and sweater boots.  Try out a pair of BabyLegs socks with Mary Janes, or combine knee-high BabyLegs socks with any boot for a totally adorable and on-trend look!

The other, often overlooked, trend for girls is in accessories.  Add a charm necklace or bracelet as jewelry.  Don’t forget a newsboy hat or crochet hat to top off her look.  Winter hats that will be seen all around this season and into winter are animal-inspired fleece hats.  Dress her up in a owl or cat hat, and get the mittens that match!

One thing that you might want to consider for your budding fashionista is a “signature accessory”.  My daughter LOVES jewelry, and will stop complete strangers to look at their bracelets, necklaces or watch.  Every day, and with every outfit, she wears a strand of pearls.  Not real pearls… these were a one dollar strand that I found around Easter in the Dollar Section.  But to her, they are the real thing.  She can rock those penny pearls like nobody’s business, and is forever getting compliments on how pretty they look on her or how they complete her outfit.  Maybe your daughter’s signature accessory could be a charm necklace or bracelet, a sparkly cap, or maybe her extensive wardrobe of BabyLegs!

 

Listen up, frugal fashionistas!  You will love this tip!

We spent the summer in dresses and skirts.  Most of May was pretty dreary here where we live, so we relied on BabyLegs leg warmers to keep her legs warm.  Once the weather warmed up, we had strappy dresses that were perfect for the blazing heat of summer, and we’d like to keep wearing them and transition them into fall.  One of my best-kept fashion secrets for my daughter is plain tee shirts.  Short sleeve AND long sleeve ones.  One of retail’s best kept secrets is that almost all tee shirts for girls will have a print on the front, or an embellished sleeve or neckline.  When you find a PLAIN tee shirt–no print, no embellishment, no special sleeve– you need to grab it!  And in multiple colors!  We layer the plain tees under dresses, under cardigans, and layer them together!  Put a short sleeve tee over a long sleeve tee, and pair that combination up with a short skirt, some BabyLegs and ballet flats.  Dress up a plain tee by layering under a cardigan, and choose the sleeve length you want based on the weather.  Think it might get hot? Grab the short sleeve.  Looks like rain? Opt for the long sleeve.

BabyLegs Folklife Collection

The best part about dressing your little girl this coming season is that almost anything goes!  You can feel free to mix up stripes with polka dots, or combine lots of bright, bold colors.  Dressing this fall should be about what makes her feel good, what gives her confidence, and what makes her feel cute.  Want her to look even prettier than the models in magazines?  Need a signature accessory that doesn’t cost a thing?  It’s that beautiful smile from your gorgeous little girl!  A smile will mix and match with any combination of tops and bottoms, and will complete every outfit perfectly- no black eyeshadow required!

Grab a sweater and be on the lookout for plain tees!   And smile!  Fall is here and it’s for your little fashionista!

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About the blogger:

Hi everyone!  My name is Jen, and I have a passion for fashion!  I live in super-sunny/super-cloudy Ohio, and have a son AND a daughter, which creates the perfect storm for Babylegs addiction.  I hope that you find the perfect pair of Babylegs to complement your little one’s fashions this season, and that you FALL in love with Babylegs like we have.  :)

From the Teacher’s Desk

It’s Back-to-School time! Who’s excited??

Here in our house, where both parents are also school system employees, Back-to-School is exciting….and stressful, too! Teachers in our county must return two weeks before the start of term, to attend professional development activities and meetings as well as prepare their classrooms for the school year. There’s a lot of prep work that goes into readying for a new year- and usually, we end up taking home more than we’d like to over the long weekend, in order to finish before the first day.

Then when the kids come, we remember why. We remember the feelings. The joy of new clothes. Breaking in those bright white shoes. The smell of new crayons and pencils. Finding your desk and cubby (or locker!). Getting used to the haircut you got just days earlier. Getting lost on your way to class. Seeing friends again. So exhilarating! In fact, the first day of school is one of the myriad reasons why some of us teachers chose our profession. It is a great reminder of childhood wonder.

There are also lots of stressors for families at Back-to-School time. However, here are a few things you can do to help ease the transition.

  • Take your child to Open House. It is so helpful for kids and their teachers to meet each other before the first day. By attending, you help your child become familiar with this new path he or she must walk every morning to get to class, while also letting him or her become acquainted with the surroundings in their new environment. Also, by attending Open House, you facilitate a cordial relationship with the people at your child’s school. Your child sees that you are friendly to one another, which puts him or her at ease and sets a good example. In addition, if you ever need to write a note or make a phone call, the teacher has met you and knows you are a parent who cares about their child’s performance in school.
  • Prepare your child by talking about school. It goes without saying that children transition easier from one activity to the next when they are prepared for it ahead of time. The same is true for life changes. One of the best things you can do with your child is to talk about school before it begins. Ask them if they can remember the name of their teachers, which school supply they like best, which friends they’re most excited to see, etc. Pick out a first-day outfit together. The more your child feels ready and eager for school to start, the easier it will be to transition back into that routine.
  • Plan, plan, plan. I am a teacher, which also makes me a full-time working mom. I have to plan my lessons and my schedule- it’s part of my job. Up until recently, it has been a different story at home! A few weeks ago I decided to start planning breakfasts and dinners for the entire week, every Sunday. I have also started planning my outfits, and my daughter’s, for the week. I just put them all in a hanging canvas closet divider and mornings are a snap. At least one night a week I use my Crock Pot to cook something while I’m not home. I adore Crock Pot night. Coming home to food that’s already cooked is magical! It does make for a little more work on the weekends: you have to get all the laundry done that you will need for the week, plus the planning takes some time, but I find I can get most of it done during my daughter’s nap on Sunday afternoon.

 

So there you have it! Get those book bags all packed, get those outfits picked out, and get those BabyLegs ready! A new school year is about to begin!

 


About the blogger:

Hi, I’m Carlee! I teach public school in Middle-of-Nowhere, Virginia. My hubby and I have been married for four years and have a daughter who is almost two (already!). I also give private music lessons and enjoy the arts, animals, and children- but spending time with my beautiful family is my favorite pastime!