I confess that I view my personal style to be a work-in-progress, which is one of the many reasons that I love StyleBlueprint as a resource. Don’t get me wrong, now, I enjoy fashion, and I like getting spiffed up, it’s just that life gets in my way and I often falter … particularly when I want to be comfortable. This is the time of year when I openly crown myself “Most Likely To Appear On A Glamour Don’t List.” Crisp and clear or damp and miserable, winter weather drives me in search of a cozy cocoon with little regard to aesthetic appeal. You’ll often find me in over-washed, fleece yoga pants, my husband’s biggest sweatshirt, thick socks, etc.
I am cold. I want to be warm and comfy. Perhaps a PowerBall win and a new Aspen chalet would have me re-evaluating my après-ski attire. Until that happens, I need a little help determining the best way to feel good and look cute while I am merely après-work or après-carpool. When I voiced my truth at an editorial meeting, my fellow staffers asserted their solidarity and we vowed to find some options for a more stylish schlepp.
SB Note: Online sources are noted and hyperlinked in the captions below. You’ll find many local resources hyperlinked throughout the post, as well.
Heidi Potter, Louisville City Manager
My personal style is … well, I’m not sure I want to admit it. About half of the week, I’m in exercise clothes (and I really mean exercise clothes) all day. My New Year’s resolution is to get dressed in something besides workout clothes for at least 75% of the week. I’ve bought a few quality pieces and some workhorses and those are my uniform. Cashmere sweaters are always worth it. So is a nice handbag–something all leather, maybe a little off the grid that everyone else does not have. I like corduroy pants and J. Crew’s Matchstick are my favorite—they are as comfy as my yoga pants and so soft and warm. My Cole-Haan boots have Nike Air in them, so they are as comfortable as tennis shoes and make it easier to trudge through the nasty snow. Makeup and jewelry are always something I avoid during the week, but I have my staples that I love: a good concealer, mascara, lipstick and eyeliner are enough. Lastly, simple gold and pave diamond earrings go with everything.
I’m calling my look My European Mentality Resolution. Europeans may not be showering every day, but my goodness, they would never wear exercise clothes to do anything but exercise. They put on real clothes and get ready for their day. Showered or not.
Katherine Snell, Atlanta Contributing Editor
Like Heidi, my everyday uniform often consists of workout clothes. Sometimes it is just easier to grab a pair of Lululemon pants and go. But, I always feel better when I get properly dressed. My outfit also has to be a workhorse. It has to take me from the grocery store, to meetings about town and to the playground. It has to be able to survive food thrown from my baby’s highchair and frequent washings. A Patagonia fleece has always been one of my favorite go-to pieces because they keep you warm, comfortable and are easily washed. I received the Women’s Better Sweater Jacket, by Patagonia, for Christmas and I love the slimming shape and the sweater-fleece like material. Underneath I layer a comfortable tee. I pair with this a long sleeve crew neck from Michael Stars. And after years of searching, I have found my favorite pair of jeans, DL 1961 Angel ankle length (available locally at Poppy’s and Luna). For everyday accessories I keep it simple: a pretty scarf, a pair of stud earrings, a bangle to layer with my watch, and since Atlanta usually isn’t too cold, I’m often running around in a pair of comfortable flats. And, lastly, I always make myself put on a proper bra. I just had a fitting at Intimacy, a shop here in Atlanta, and picked up an everyday bra by Prima Donna. While it is tempting to stay in a yoga bra for comfort, a well-fitted bra really does make a difference in your appearance. Admittedly, I don’t wear much makeup, but two of my favorite products are Laura Mercier Second Skin Cheek Color in Rose Petal and Fresh Honey Tinted Lip Treatment. (Both are available locally at Woo.)
Catherine Romero, Birmingham City Manager
Christian Owen, Memphis City Manager
My carpool-driving, grocery-shopping, sport-watching, everyday items include a collection of colorful quilted vests, any long-sleeved layering top, a neutral scarf and jeans. I love the colors of the Excursion Quilted Vest from J. Crew, below. After years of adding to the collection, I currently own quilted vests of various brands in orange, light blue, olive and pink. Although it’s pushing it to wear running shoes with street clothes, I do move much faster through an errand list with the extra bounce in my step. (My Salomon mountain running shoe is $140 at Outdoors, Inc. locally.) I also embrace a bare minimum of makeup: Lipsmart gloss ($30 at Esthetiques locally), a dusting of Laura Mercier mineral powder and a spray of Tom Ford’s Neroli fragrance—a casual, clean scent. If I wear any jewelry, it’s an understated stud earring. And for accelerated schlepping speed, gloss, money and keys go in the pocket of my quilted vest.
Amy Norton, SB Managing Editor
I confessed in the My Favorite Sweater post a couple of weeks ago that in this cold weather, I like to sneak to work after barre class wearing a comfy long sweater covering my tights. Even on days when I’m not bellying up to the barre, I still find that I gravitate toward this same idea. As I write this, I see that I’m in my uniform—J. Crew black Pixie pants (Thanks, Katherine Snell for introducing me!), a long, zip-up hoodie sweater from Athleta, tall black riding boots paired with Free People charcoal gray socks—a gift from my stylish daughter—peeking out over the top. For a quick beauty routine, my favorite product is By Terry’s Rose Balm, which I put on over lip liner, add a little mascara and blush, grab my brown leather Elaine Turner handbag and out the door I go.
Katherine Michalak: Atlanta Contributing Editor (who started this whole post today!)
Well, thanks, ladies. Now I’ve got lots of great ideas to amp up my schlepping style. With your tips and suggestions, here’s what I put together. Much cuter than the hub’s ratty sweatshirt!