Freckles in April: Fashion Blogger (for a day): Janssen

Monday, March 7, 2011

Fashion Blogger (for a day): Janssen

Freckles in April Fashion Blogger for a day

I did a little happy dance when Janssen of Everyday Reading agreed to be my first Fashion Blogger (for a day). I really could write pages about her. About how we missed our chance to be friends during our shared time at BYU and how that is one of the great tragedies of our lives. But also about how we were lucky enough to find each other as bloggers a couple years later. About how she is my thinner, blonder, more educated twin. About how we have a shared love of food and clothes and how that led to me finding the right direction for this blog. I love her to little bitty pieces and I love this guest post!


Wearing:  Old Navy shirt (altered), ModBod tank (won in a giveaway), H&M sweater, Old Navy skirt, Hand-me-down shoes from Mom

For the first time in my life, I'm trying to think of my wardrobe as a whole, rather than just buying random things I like and hoping they all work together. I know. It's a revelation to me too - how come no one told me this was the secret to clothing nirvana?

I try to be realistic about what my life is really like as a new stay-at-home mom. I love heels and pencil skirts, but those aren't really practical for my daily life. I'm going to be spending most of my days cooking, cleaning, sitting at the computer, and crawling around on the floor. I want things that are comfortable and easy to care for, but still look like I'm making an effort; if someone stops by or if my husband comes home and says he's having a work dinner that I'm invited to, I want to not be hastily changing out of my pajamas.

This year, my wardrobe is made up of a few skirts and shorts, a couple of light-weight jeans, and a slew of shirts, mainly ones that are a little more fun than your run-of-the-mill t-shirt. I also have a number of sweaters of varying weights that I can toss on if it's cold outside. Also, because I live in Texas where, like Arizona, summer lasts about 9 months, I'm honest with myself that layers just aren't the best idea for me for most of the year. I need pieces that work by themselves, rather than requiring a bunch of things over or under to make them wearable. Otherwise I will collapse long before I get to the mailbox. Hint: many short sleeve shirts.

This is what I wore to church yesterday. I knew it was going to be chilly (well, by Texas standards), but I also wanted something that looked a little springy because it was incredibly sunny.

I wore this same shirt/sweater combination last week with jeans and sandals. I scrubbed both bathrooms, nursed the baby multiple times, and cooked a couple of meals, and still felt decent when I went to book club in the evening. Ta-da! I'm especially in love with this shirt because I put the ruffle on the neck myself (with fabric from another shirt I cut the sleeves off) and it turned it from a mega-boring white t-shirt to something a little more fun and dressy looking.

Close-up of Janssen's awesome ruffle job

I try not to buy things that cost a lot because I don't want to die of sorrow if my daughter slimes me with her avocado-y hands or if I foolishly neglected to put on an apron before cooking something messy.

A couple of things that make me feel more put together:
 - A pair of sunglasses that I love, which helps me feel fabulous even if I'm only driving to the grocery store.
 - A fun purse. I didn't want a diaper bag that screamed MOM and I didn't want the same Target purse every other woman at the park was carrying around. I have gotten more compliments on my bag than probably any other item I've ever owned. Oh, sweet success. [ed. note: this is Janssen's, but you can get a very similar one here]
 - Real shoes. For me, this means no $2.50 Old Navy flip-flops. I have three or four pairs of sandals that buckle so they stay on, I can walk easily in them, and they look like they are on purpose. Also, some nice flats.
 - Earrings. I wear earrings every day. Most of them are from the dollar or fifty cent rack at Claire's or Kohls. Because, hello, I am cheap.
 - Makeup. Always.

Also, this whole experiment proved to me that I could never hack it as a fashion blogger because it took me a full three days to get any pictures that didn't a) cut my head off b) focus on the wall rather than me or b) make me wish to rip my hair out with horror.


  1. Could Janssen BE any cuter? The answer is no. She is always at maximum adorableness, regardless of the situation.

  2. love this! I love her blog.

    great great great.

  3. Wow, she is one put together girl! Love how she remade the old navy t. I'm with her, I could never be a fashion blogger. My hat's off to you, Kayla!

  4. This is such a great idea, Kayla! I love her practical view on staying put together. It's easy, comfortable, and stylish. In other words, perfect.

    North Meets South

  5. I clicked the link to show her bag ( I am in DESPERATE need of a new bag) but it didn't take me anywhere. I saw the "more affordable" one though, cute.

  6. Janssen is wonderful, and I love that I have found your blog because of her! When we were both pregnant my friend told me that she was so excited to just be a mom and get to wear pajamas all day and never get ready. I was appalled and vowed that I would never do such thing! Thanks for showing how to be a mom and actually get dressed!

  7. Love the outfit and outlook. We must dress practical for our lives...whatever that means. I work in an office but let me tell ya, I want ideas for evenings and weekends where I can still look put together and comfortable! :)

  8. this is too funny I love the concept it's way fun.

    Write it in lipstick

  9. I'm with you--I have to get dressed every day. And I want to look put together... not like I only barely managed to take of my PJs. And the earlier the better. I absolutely refuse to go outside in my PJs (even if they are yoga pants)... even to get the mail! Too bad my wardrobe needs a serious overhaul, however.

  10. Janssen, you are darling.


  11. Looking at your wardrobe as a cohesive whole, rather than a collection of random pieces, is SERIOUSLY the key to everything! It took me a while to figure that out, too. Love the DIY-job on that t-shirt.

  12. Janssen, you are so pretty! Love the outfit and the ruffle. Well done.

  13. Totally pulled it off, Janssen. To quote my dear Tim Gunn, the ruffles make it work.

  14. i love your new series. i hope you still stay up on your outfit posts though!

    i just started a new series too. if you've ever had a crazy idea for an outfit but weren't sure if you wanted to wear it, now is the time to share!

  15. i love this new series! she is super beautiful.

  16. Janssen, I'm still struggling with the getting dressed every day, but you've inspired me to try a bit harder. The make-up every day though...that I can do. Looks like I found a goal for March. :)


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