Five-minute fashion: the left coast layers

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I’m going to make an effort to get more fashion on Offbeat Mama, cuz you know what? Just because I had a kid doesn’t mean that I want to give up my style. Yes, we feature plenty of kid clothes. That’s cool: kid clothes are cute. We also feature maternity fashion. Also cool… but you’re only pregnant for a few months a few times. You gotta dress your mom-ass the rest of the time, and why should kids and preggos get all the fun?

That in mind, I’m presenting what I hope will be the first of a series on five-minute fashion for offbeat mamas.

The challenge: I work from home most days and spend a lot of time with a 15-month-old who could not care less what I’m wearing. It’s hard to motivate myself to get all fancy, but yoga pants seven days a week leave me feeling bored and even worse: frumpy. (ESCANDALO!) Even if it’s just me and the kid, I need to feel good about mah shit. Hence: I need something a hair more fancy pants. Or just intentional pants.

The demands: Yes, I want some fancy, but I demand comfort. I demand easy fabric care. This sweet little muffintop demands elastic waists that aren’t sweat pants. I don’t demand indie labels, but I do demand something I like — which I’ll be damned if I can find at chain stores these days. (Evidently, I have become That Lady who hates contemporary fashion. I tried to go to H&M the other day and walked out baffled.)

The solution: LEFT COAST LAYERS. A little hippie, a little bellydance/urban tribal, a tiny bit of steam, and a LOT of layers.

How to get the look: thin and soft jersey fabrics, ruffled pants, frilled skirts, dresses with serged edges — ALL AT ONCE. As in, the pants, the skirt, and a dress simultaneously. Add a shrug or a wrap for a little warmth. All stretchy. All machine washable. Toss a hip belt (aka “hippie fanny pack”) on that shit for the ultiltarian factor, and BAM. Interesting, but comfortable.

Sweet Skins EcoFleece Original
$95 –

Tips for this look:

  • Try searching Etsy for stuff like bloomers, bellydance skirts, eco fashion, and elf hoodies.
  • Treehouse28 specializes in this style
  • If you need to add a little structure to your stretchy, jersey-filled outfit, try adding a steamy vest or cincher skirt.

So. That’s MY contribution to easy, offbeat mama fashion. Who else has an easy but offbeat look to share?

Comments on Five-minute fashion: the left coast layers

  1. Hooray for fashion! I love this idea, helping to keep us fresh..

    Here’s my bit: What about us “plus sized” mommas… I’m 6’0 ft tall and usually wear a 16/18 which means I can’t shop at most of these awesome sites and stores where 14 is the XL. Help out the Amazon Queens too!

    Otherwise LOVE IT!

    • That’s where Etsy comes in — lots of these kinds of clothes are made by indie seamstress types who can custom-make whatever size you need. The bellydance community (which makes a lot of this kind of stuff) is super plus-size friendly. Try searching Etsy for “plus size bellydance pants.” You’ll find a bazillion folks who make cute ruffled pants in any size you need!

  2. This is so great!! I dress like this. Once I went home to Texas and my parents said I look weird, which even though I am over 30 some how resurfaced my adolescent insecurity. I feel totally vindicated. I’m going to go put a cutie skirt over my ruffled trousers right now!!

    I’d like to recommend one more item for the nursing mom’s out there. Glamourmom makes an amazing breastfeeding tank top that is the perfect base layer for on top. And it comes in sizes for those who are well-well endowed.

  3. I actually have a set of those hip packs from mishu, I bought them at Faerieworlds last year and I tell you what, best alternative to a purse EVAR. Also insanely handy for evens like cons and Festivals. 😀

  4. Love this post – I never thought I would have to work so hard to redefine my style after having a baby. For me it’s about getting less structured and more feminine. I used to live for very form-fitting, edgy and blocky silhouettes and suddenly I’m liking things flowy and somehow comfier despite being more high maintenance in theory. Thumbs-ed this up for Stumble Upon so I don’t lose the link! 😉

  5. I love this! I was wearing black wide leg jersey pants and a black lace trim tank last night when my husband suggested going to get Thai food. The idea of changing out of my comfy clothes sounded awful, but then I remembered this post. I layered a cute v neck gathered T and a purple American Apparel skirt and suddenly my lounging clothes felt like an actual outfit. I started searching etsy for more stretchy jersey laying pieces and the shops I bought stuff from were all in Seattle, Kirkland and Eugene. Left coast layers indeed.

  6. I HATE spending money on maternity clothes. So am feeling so inspired by your post as, with this being my third pregnancy, I had just about moved into my husband’s clothes.
    Recently my sister sent me to and I bought some stuff from their website. It’s cheaper than other stuff I’ve bought before and I’m happy with the quality. I justified it because the tops are good for breastfeeding too. Note of caution, the sizes are small! So if you’re normally a medium buy large!

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