It’s Time To Leave the House

I have worn the same pair of joggers for the past 13 months, roughly 5 days out of the week. I figure the other 2 days of the week have averaged “jammies” with a loose pant thrown into the mix very once in a while. I have enjoyed the loose pant year quite a bit! The down side to this has been not really noticing the Covid pounds slowly jumping into the joggers with me. I have mostly only myself to blame, but there have been actual bumps in the road that have put a hitch in my giddy up. I hit a sidewalk crack while running in October, and (after checking to see if anyone saw) realized I cut my hand open and tore a calf muscle. 6 weeks later, the day after I got out of the calf boot, I tore my shoulder labrum in an excited effort to lift weights again. I am out of the shoulder sling and in a fashion pickle now that it is time to leave the house and meet the world again.

With everything that has happened in the world over the last year, this is a no big deal. I realize this, but it is exciting to have the opportunity to open my closet door again. It is not exciting, however, for everything to be really tight. I refuse to buy bigger sizes and want to look well put together, but how? I have grown quite fond of the feel of stretchy pants and a tight jean waist seems unreasonable. I am choosing to skip the 2021 trends and stick with streamlined classics. My leaving-the-house wardrobe consists of a fitted denim jacket, trench coat, dark jeans with a lot of stretch, stretchy pants in a dressier silhouette, easy dresses and shoes with a pop. I top it off with liquid confidence in the form of a perfume that makes me feel a little saucy.

Denim jacket: I can wear a denim jacket year around with Southern California weather. This is a category where you can spend a little more money because they never go out of style. I think of them as an instant upgrade, and have for the last dozen or so years. Jackets are always a wonderful investment piece. I know that the trend is oversized, but that just doesn’t appeal to me for the purpose of looking pulled together. Go fitted and a little cropped if you’re petite. It makes them easier to wear over a dress.

Madewell Denim jacket in pinter wash, $118

Trench coat: This name makes me laugh. What the name conjures in my imagination is probably what yours does too, but the style is so good. Again, an oversized one is very on trend right now, but a classic fit trench coat will slim your figure to your advantage. I go back and forth on belted vs. unbelted, but that’s up to you. I love London Fog. It has just the right weight for California weather. A classic style will last you forever. Get a basic, then add fun prints or bold colors. I may or may not be a coat collector….

London Fog, double breasted trench

London Fog in watermelon, $94.50 at Macy’s. Many colors are offered, but this is by far my fav.

Jeans with stretch: Go for a slight boot cut paired under the trench to maximize the silhouette. Boot cut or straight is a more flattering silhouette than a skinny jean if you’re trying to fudge weight loss. Go with whatever makes you feel best, but here are a few options if you want inspiration. Side note, you know the thing you swore you’d never do, but then embrace? For me, that is NYDJ. I always thought they were matronly, but the high, super stretchy fabric really does look good in their black jean. ALWAYS be picky about the wash. Obvious whiskering is icky, dirty washes are worse. Good American is a brand that has great stretch. If you just can’t embrace stretchy jeans, here is where you can go oversized. The higher the rise, the better. Featured below, AG Alexxis, NYDJ Marilyn and Good American.

Stretchy pants: My favorite, absolute favorite place for stretchy, polished pants is Athleta. The cosmic crop or pant (which is way cuter than the picture on their site) is on clearance. They are so easily dressed up or down and I wear navy in winter with a sable, suede tall boot. The Brooklyn pant comes in a few different styles and is a pant I wear over and over throughout the week. All In Motion from Target offers fantastic Athleta knock offs.

All In Motion from It’s a dupe of an Athleta pant for 1/3 of the cost.

Easy dresses: I have found that Amazon has fantastic options if you’re brave enough to try without trying on first. I follow the reviews religiously and sort them based on height and weight. I like a looser dress and add my denim jacket over to give it a more defined shape., Sherosa Womens Summer Long Sleeve Tunic Dress Ruffle V Neck Swing Shift Dresses, MIHOLL Women’s Casual Summer Ruffle Babydoll Loose Mini Dress

Shoes with a pop: I am a total sucker for shoes. They can make a boring outfit fun. These clogs from Charlotte Stone have made me want to leave the house for any reason I can conjure, just so I can wear them. If you sign up for their emails, you receive an offer for $40 off. They are surprisingly comfortable and run just a tad big….maybe to make up for a lack of half sizes.

Charlotte Stone, Marlo clog,

Liquid confidence: Perfume makes you feel better. It can’t take away the weight gain, but it can let you embrace those womanly curves. My grandmother had a silver tray covered with beautiful perfume bottles. I always looked forward to visiting her and sitting at her vanity and smelling them one by one. Scent is instant glamour to me. I have found 2 that I love over the last year. My husband says one of them smells like church. I say that makes me holy….

Le Labo, AnOther 13. I really like the size options to manage price points. If floral is more your style, Le Labo Fleur d’Oranger 27 is stunning.

If you are still homebound or without many options for sniffing, is a site where you can get lost in fragrance heaven. You are able to purchase samples to try before committing to a full bottle.

I had fun while gaining weight over the last year. I don’t regret eating cookie dough and watching Harry Potter with my little boys. I don’t regret running, even with a fall. Being outside was an indulgence. I don’t regret drinking wine and laughing way too late at night with my husband. This last year emphasized the need to cherish the little moments. Now, it’s time to shed the fear, hopefully the pounds and embrace leaving the house to resume life in a world that is still a little bit different.

Personal Comfort Counts

I moved to Los Angeles to attend the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. I was determined to make the most of my education and my first order of business was to get an internship for fashion week. I chose my favorite brands and went to the showrooms representing the brands to inquire about employment. I was very fortunate to land an internship with my favorite denim brand. As an added bonus, a hot new pant designer was also showing there for fashion week. My job was to bring coffee, water, snacks, etc to the buyers while modeling the jeans. I worked with another intern who was a very tiny, hip skater girl from Long Beach. The day that the Nordstrom buyers were coming through was the day it all went to sh*t for me. The new pant designer felt too much attention was being given to the denim line and instructed me to put on his pants. He threw his trendiest pair in a sample size at me. I was a FULL size bigger. I really did not have a choice. I squeezed myself into pinstripe, flesh colored cargo pants with back pockets that are best described as pig nose pockets. It was a travesty. I had to walk around pretending to be peppy and hip while saying things like, “Aren’t these just amazing?” “Yes, I am so comfortable. I HAVE to have these.” All the while, skater girl looks unbelievably cute in my favorite jeans. I was certain my career was over. Nordstrom and every other buyer coming through would remember me as the girl who clearly has ZERO fashion sense. Why would anyone hire me? I might as well quit school before it starts and move home.

I did not quit school and I learned something from the experience. I swore I would never make anyone feel as ugly as I felt that day, and to my knowledge I have not. I have legitimately fit hundreds of regular women for fashion shows and I altered whatever made them feel ugly so that they would shine in front of other people. It was possibly the best lesson I learned while in school. This lesson applies to my personal life too. My tiny one hates clothes. Hates ‘em. I have drawers of darling, expensive outfits and all he’s interested in is how soft are his underpants. Oh, and shoes. He really likes shoes. We have a deal that I let him run naked whenever he wants at home and he does not fight me getting dressed when we leave home. It works for us. He has the rest of his life to wear clothes. We live in Southern California. You really do not need clothes. His current shoe obsession is with glow in the dark Native shoes. Being a stellar parent, I forgot to pack shoes for him and my mom bought him his beloved shoes in lime green. (no boring colors for this beautiful boy) We discovered by accident that they also glow! Native shoes come in a million colors, are very water friendly and slip on and off. No laces or Velcro to slow a wild child down. My favorite style is the Jefferson. At $32-42, they aren’t the cheapest shoes, but they are rugged and stylish. They are hands down the perfect summer shoe for boys or girls. My naked boy now chases fireflies at night with his glowing shoes. I should probably just get him a loincloth to go with it—if he was comfortable with it.


My preferred brick and mortar or online Native resources: Nordstrom,,,


Workin’ On My Fitness (quote by Fergie)

I recently decided to take my fitness to the next level.  And by that I really mean that I would like to reduce the circumference of my thighs before my husband’s high school reunion pool party.  I think of myself as a relatively fit person.  I run, hike, and participate in Pilates classes, AND I was once a competitive gymnast.  Yes, it was over 20 years ago, but I strongly believe in muscle memory, and I am quite certain I could still do a back handspring if pressed.  I’m not interested if you have a differing opinion, by the way….  Anyhow, the tiny one isn’t always interested in a long walk, so I ordered 2 videos off of Amazon.  This was new for me.  I figured I could do them while he napped.  I ordered Jillian Michael’s “6 Week 6 Pack” and Insanity “Fast and Furious”, the 24 minute workout.  My reasoning was that I want to be friends with Jillian because I like her energy and this was a way to bond with her, and for Insanity, my friend wet her pants shortly into the video—it was that difficult.  Normally I would not try something that induces someone to wet their pants, but I took it as a positive in this situation, and I want smaller thighs desperately.

I convinced my husband to do the Insanity video with me.  He agreed on the condition that we close all the shades so no one could see us doing it.  5 minutes into the video, I could barely breathe and I kind of hated Shawn (the instructor).  10 minutes into the video and I would have quit if Pat wasn’t there to see me quit.  15 minutes into it I no longer cared if I was doing the moves correctly and was randomly shooting limbs in different directions, hoping that I was somewhat close.  Shawn was cheering me on and I was certain he was secretly mocking me.  Shortly after that, Shawn instructed us to “Jack those Jacks”, I felt something pop in my ankle.  Shawn had no mercy for me.  I finished up the video without jumping and felt extremely proud of myself, and wished I had a video of my performance.  While it nearly killed me, it is an excellent workout in a short 24 minutes that I WILL conquer….after my ankle heals.

Fetal Pretzel

I am afraid of chest wrinkles.  (Cue an eye roll from my mother and a fervent desire for the ability to quit reading her progeny’s inane ramblings.  She can’t, as a side note.)  I tried to think of another word instead of afraid, but none hit the mark.  I am afraid of them because there is nothing you can do about it.  As far as I know, fillers don’t go there and there is not a chest lift available.  All you can do is wear high necklines and sweat during the summer.   The only thing worse for your chest than worshipping the sun sans sunscreen is side sleeping.  I sleep on my side in what is best described as a fetal pretzel position and this is where the fear begins.  I am not alone in my fear.  I have a friend whose brain works similarly to mine and we decided to brainstorm solutions.  She thought of having her husband duct tape her to her back at night.  I had come up with finding a way to duct tape my skin so it didn’t move while I slept on my side.  I was very impressed that we both thought of duct tape independently.  Clearly, these weren’t sane options so we decided to train ourselves to sleep on our backs.  It was simply terrible.  I would lay there in the middle of the night while Patrick was happily asleep on his side, reminding myself why I was doing this and how I would be thankful for it in 10 years.  An hour later, I would be in full panic mode about how tired I was going to be the next day.  An hour after that, I would give in and turn into fetal pretzel position.  This went on for about 2 weeks until both my friend and I were delirious and had to quit the effort.

While I quit my back training, I did not quit my fear and accept the inevitable.  Google is an amazing tool.  I googled “prevent chest wrinkles” and found this, the Décolleté Pad, correct and prevent chest wrinkles.  Aside from my disappointment in another invention opportunity gone to waste, I was intrigued and ordered one for about $28.  It is an ageing miracle!  I may still wake up looking like the Bride of Frankenstein with my crazy hair, but this keeps my chest wrinkle free through the night!  It sticks on and does not move.  It stays sticky for one month.  I was slightly embarrassed the first night with this, but my husband is used to my quirkiness, and is more preoccupied with finding a way to get me to agree to sleep with the windows open, so it went over pretty well.  I highly recommend this.  I buy mine on Amazon and proudly wear it, despite my mother’s horror at raising a child who spends time worrying about chest wrinkles.  I am not the only one either.  My friend is embracing a wrinkle free chest with this wonder pad as well.

chest pad