STYLE: MATERNITY VS. NON-MATERNITY

Back when I was pregnant with Lilly, I shared this blog post about my favorite maternity staples.  It was warm weather season during my second and third trimesters with Lilly so I mostly wore dresses.  The majority of this pregnancy is during the winter, so it’s been interesting to see how differently my style has been.  These days the only types of clothes I feel like wearing are leggings, oversized sweaters, and dresses.  It’s a little difficult to wear dresses in Ohio in January and February, especially when there is 16 inches of snow on the ground, but pants are just not comfortable for me right now!  

In my blog post I wrote back in 2018, I focused on my favorite maternity staples. This blog post focuses on what styles I buy maternity and what styles I buy non-maternity.

Pants/Denim

Once I start showing, I switch to maternity pants. However, I’ve never loved maternity jeans. But I also can’t stand wearing my regular pants once that bump makes its appearance. I’ve tried so many different brands and this time around I finally settled on two pairs of treggings (leggings with pockets that look like jeans) from H&M. They are more comfortable than denim jeans and still appropriate to wear in public. I did find a great pair of white denim jeans on Amazon and so far they are fairly comfortable. My favorite places to buy maternity pants are Gap Maternity, Pink Blush Boutique (they have the best leggings), and H&M.

Dresses 

When I’m shopping for dresses, I usually buy a mix of maternity and non-maternity styles. For maternity styles, I love to shop at Pink Blush. They just fit so perfectly. If I’m looking for a looser fit, I typically shop my normal stores (J.Crew Factory, Gap, Old Navy, Amazon, small businesses) and just go up one size. Once I’m done being pregnant, I plan on getting the non-maternity styles taken in to fit my post baby body.

Tees/Tops

For t-shirts, I tend to go for fitted, maternity styles.  I love to shop Target, Gap Maternity, and Old Navy.  For flowy blouses and tops, I do a mix of maternity and non-maternity.  Again, I just size up if I’m wearing non-maternity.

Lounge wear/Pajamas

It feels like I’ve been living in lounge wear and pajamas.  For these styles I do a mix of maternity and non-maternity.  Things like sweatshirts and sweatpants, I just size up one size in non-maternity styles.  But for items like nightgowns and pajama sets, I tend to purchase maternity.  Many maternity styles can transition to nursing and that is a huge plus.  I love to get my maternity nightgowns and pajama sets from Lake Pajamas or Pink Blush. 

I’ve broken styles down into a list to better help you in your decision making and shopping.

Maternity

Brands: Gap Maternity, H&M Maternity, Old Navy, Pink Blush, and Target 

Styles:

  • Leggings
  • Dress Pants
  • Denim Jeans
  • Shorts
  • Fitted Dresses
  • Fitted Tees
  • Loungewear/Nightgowns
  • Undergarments (bras and panties)

Non-Maternity

Brands: J.Crew Factory, Old Navy, Amazon, Target, Small Boutiques

Styles:

  • Dresses
  • Loungewear/Nightgowns 
  • Oversized tunics
  • Oversized blouses 

Some other maternity brands to check out:

I know this isn’t a crazy detailed list, but hopefully it provides some general direction if you are pregnant and not sure what and where to buy. 

Slainte,

Shannon

STYLE: CREWNECK SWEATER, 3 WAYS

STYLE:  CREWNECK SWEATER, 3 WAYS

It’s getting to be that time of year where I think we all start to get tired of our winter clothes and we are itching to bring out our spring wardrobe. But alas, living in Ohio means we have at least two or three more months of winter weather (I really need to move south!). It’s usually around this time of year that I start to think of creative ways to mix up my winter staples.

Today I’m teaming up with my good friend Stephanie from Linen and Littles to share three fresh ways to style a staple crewneck sweater. Stephanie and I share a love for classic and timeless fashion and we both own many of the same pieces (especially from J.Crew Factory!). We both just recently purchased this beautiful, crewneck sweater in extra soft yarn in the J.Crew Factory After Christmas Sale. It’s seriously one of the softest and comfiest sweaters I own so I’m excited to be styling it three different ways for you guys!

SIMPLE WITH JEANS

The easiest and most comfortable way to style this sweater is with your favorite pair of denim jeans. I paired this easy combination with a gingham headband (adding a hint of spring!) and some white canvas sneakers. You can easily swap out the headband for a baseball hat and throw on a puffer vest for an incredibly classic and chic look that is perfect for mom’s on the go.

WINTER WHITES WITH A BRIGHT BUTTON DOWN

The second way I styled this sweater is with my white denim jeans (yes you can wear white denim in the winter!!) and my favorite blue gingham button down. I love the monochromatic look with a pop of color. The light blue and the gingham print also give this look a hint of spring (something I’m desperately pining for!). Throw on a pair of leopard or nude flats, some bracelets, and statement earrings and you have a fresh new look that works for just about occasion.

OVER A HOUSE DRESS

The house dress has made a comeback this past year and is growing in popularity. I have always loved dresses so I’m more than happy to see it’s stylish to wear a beautiful dress around the house. I picked up this midi classic striped dress from the J.Crew Factory sale and I’ve been trying to find a way to wear it in the middle of winter! Throwing the crewneck sweater over the dress and adding tights or leggings instantly makes this an easy, put together, and cozy look for working from home. Add some fun bracelets and a skinny leopard print headband and you are ready for a day of Zoom calls.

Hopefully you found some extra inspiration for styling a basic crewneck sweater with these ideas!  And if you need more ideas, don’t forget to check out Stephanie’s blog to see the three ways she styled this sweater!

Slainte,

Shannon

BRAND SPOTLIGHT: RUDDER USA

I’m so excited to be kicking off my Brand Spotlight series this year with a Midwest based, female owned business. Rudder USA is a timeless, preppy brand with strong American values.

The owner, Nicole, has such a strong entrepreneurial spirit that she created Rudder USA in between her Freshman and Sophomore year of college! She is passionate about supporting the American economy and the American dream. One of the things I have loved most when getting to know Nicole and her brand is her passion for connecting with and getting to know the people she works with. She really invests in helping those she works with achieve their American dream, and to me that is beautiful.

At just 23 years old, Nicole officially launched Rudder USA in August 2020. Nicole created Rudder USA to be a common ground for people that love life around the water, boating, and the lifestyle that comes from those things. This brand is for the water lovers – from rivers to lakes to oceans – this brand values life on the water and the feeling associated with that lifestyle. The products reflect the classic, American style that you guys know I love.

From sweatshirts to t-shirts to baseball hats to seersucker and koozies, there is literally something for everyone. I love the simplicity and timelessness of the styles. The pieces are designed and made to be worn for years and years, all while making precious memories along the way.

I’ve been fortunate enough to style the brand new hoodie in ivory that launches today!! This hoodie is amazing. It’s beautifully made and so, so comfortable. I love the simple, classic logo on the front. I also love the relaxed fit because it pairs perfectly with jeans, leggings, and will be so cute styled over denim shorts this summer.

I also want to gush about the American Flag baseball hat. Is there anything more perfect for boating and beaching on the lake in the summer? It comes with a beautiful leather strap and brass clasp that makes it adjustable.

If you are a passionate boater, water lover, and love supporting small businesses, then you have to check out Rudder USA. You can shop all of their products here and you can say hi and give them some love by following them on Instagram (@rudderUSA). I promise you will fall in love with this female owned brand just as I have.

Receive FREE shipping on orders over $100 with the code SHIPSHANNON!

Slainte,

Shannon

STYLE: PREPPY STYLE ON A BUDGET

It’s no secret that my style is classic. I love the preppy look – New England and Southern prep. My style is very much a mix of the two and I’m totally okay with that. Think Lilly Pulitzer, J.Crew, Kate Spade, Vineyard Vines, Ralph Lauren, Longchamp, Jack Rogers, Sperry, Northface…you get the picture. Wearing the brands I love has the potential to be costly, but over the years (especially my years in retail) I’ve learned some tricks that make it easy to get that bright, classic, preppy look.

I think the number one piece of advice I can give anyone looking to curate a classic and preppy wardrobe is to skip the trends and invest in the classics. It might seem daunting to drop $300 on a nice wool coat, but I promise you the investment is worth spending $300 on one timeless piece versus 15 trendy outfits that you will wear for one season. Case in point: I have four pairs of Ann Taylor black skinny pants that I bought for probably about $100 each. I’ve had them for about 8 years. They literally do not go out of style. So my point: don’t be afraid to spend a little for quality.

I also understand that the preppy brands have the potential to cost an arm and a leg, so I’m teaming up with my friend Katie from Sunshine Style to share some ideas that help you get that preppy, classic look on a budget. I’m breaking my ideas down into tricks I use when shopping and examples of wardrobe pieces you shouldn’t hesitate to invest in.

TIPS AND TRICKS

Shop the Sales

Honestly, this is how I purchase ALL of my Lilly Pulitzer and J.Crew items.  Lilly Pulitzer only has two sales a year and everything except new arrivals are usually 40-65% off.   I budget about $150 each sale and I can usually find three outfits for that amount during these mega sales.  It’s the best way to shop LP.  And to be honest, I think I’ve only bought two or three pieces at full price! 

Buy in the Off Season or End of Season

The best time to buy a winter coat? At the end of winter and beginning of spring.  Retailers are trying to make room for their spring and summer collections beginning in February, so winter outwear usually gets marked down to up to 70% off! The same goes for swimwear.  Sometimes swimwear goes on major sale at the end of summer and beginning of fall.  It might seem foolish buying pieces as the season is winding down, but you’ll save more money by planning ahead and shopping these sales. 

Shop the Outlet Stores 

I’ve purchased some of my favorite J.Crew and Kate Spade pieces from the outlet stores! J.Crew Factory is actually my go-to for 75% of my shopping purchases. Everything is always timeless and classic and the prices are much more affordable than J.Crew. And another little trick I’ve learned – sometimes Amazon, eBay, and Poshmark carry older items from brands like Kate Spade, Ralph Lauren, Vineyard Vines, Jack Rogers, etc. If you are looking for an item from a few seasons ago, sometimes these sites will have those items at a fraction of the price.

WARDROBE STAPLES FOR FALL/WINTER

The following pieces are staples in my wardrobe and I’ve learned over the years not to skimp on these.  I always invest in these pieces because I will wear them season after season and year after year.  

Skinny black pants: My go-to places are Ann Taylor and J.Crew.

Wool Coat: J.Crew and J.Crew Factory are my favorite places to shop quality wool coats.

Winter boots:  Hunter Boots, L.L. Bean, and Sperry have the best boots.  You’ll pay over $100, but they will last you for years.  I’ve heard of some people owning their L.L. Bean Duck Boots for 10 years! 

White button up: Ralph Lauren, J.Crew, and J.Crew Factory have the best white button ups.

Holiday Dress: J.Crew, Banana Republic, and Lilly Pulitzer are my go-to’s for holiday dresses.  The most important features to look for when buying a holiday dress is fit and style. You want the style to timeless and the fit to be perfect (think Audrey Hepburn or Jackie Kennedy).

Booties: Nordstrom and J.Crew have the best (and most comfortable) suede booties. 

Fleece Pullover: Vineyard Vines, Lands End, and Columbia have the best options for cozy pullovers.  (I’ll be honest though, I’m very passionate about supporting local so my pullover is from Erie and Anchor!)

Cashmere Sweater: J.Crew and J.Crew Factory have the best and most classic cashmere sweaters. Opt for colors in navy, camel, or blush pink (but also don’t be afraid to add a little color to your wardrobe).

Hopefully this post gave you some ideas and some inspiration for how to get that timeless, preppy look on a budget! And if you need more ideas, head over to Katie’s blog to read her suggestions.  


Slainte,
Shannon

STYLE: THE 9-5 EDIT, NAVY BLAZER

This past weekend we watched On the Basis of Sex and not only was the story brilliant and inspirational, but the fashion was fantastic. The outfits that Felicity Jones wears while playing the character of notorious Ruth Bader Ginsburg are outstanding. One outfit in particular is the inspiration behind this month’s 9-5 Style Edit. In the very last scene of the movie, Felicity Jones is wearing a navy blue blazer with white trim and a white tee underneath (click here to see the outfit!). It’s pure perfection. I loved her look so much, I had to recreate it, changing it slightly to match the casual dress code of my job.

It’s always a good idea to invest in a blazer or two if you work in a professional or semi-professional field. Working in the PR world, I always have to look presentable, as I never know when I’ll be called upon by the media.

This navy blazer in particular is eight years old!! I bought it back in my retail working days at The Limited. It truly has stood the test of time and I think it will continue to do so. A classic navy blazer will literally never go out of style. And this one with the white trim detail adds just enough to make this classic blazer one notch preppier.

I love the look of a classic blazer over a casual tee. A white boyfriend tee with a front tuck makes this the perfect professional, yet casual look for the office. Polish it off with a belt (love the anchor detail), ballet flats, and skinny jeans (no holes please!) and you are office ready. I tend to grab my pink Longchamp or blue Kate Spade totes for a professional, put together look.

I’ve rounded up some navy blazer options below. You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on a quality navy blazer! J.Crew and Banana Republic have some great options, but you can also find a classic option at Old Navy too!

Navy Blazer Option 1

Navy Blazer Option 2

Navy Blazer Option 3 (great value!)

Navy Blazer Option 4 (amazing price!)

Navy Blazer Option 5 (found a Ralph Lauren on Poshmark with the white trim!)

Slainte,

Shannon

STYLE: THE 9-5 EDIT, SIDEWALK SKIRT

It’s been several months since I published a blog post from my 9-5 Edit series! With everyone working from home over the past year, this series was pushed to the wayside.  But many people (myself included) are slowly making our way back into the workforce so what better time to bring this series back to life.

Since tomorrow is officially fall, why not showcase a classic fall staple – the J.Crew Sidewalk Skirt. If you are a J.Crew shopper, you’ll recognize this skirt season after season. I have the best selling wool blend sidewalk skirt from J.Crew Factory in a gorgeous magenta. This skirt is the perfect skirt to transition from summer to fall. You can wear it in early fall with a button up shirt or sweater and flats, and as the temperatures get chillier, you can swap out the flats for tights and boots.

For this look, I styled my skirt with a sleeveless button down underneath a knit navy blue v-neck sweater and leopard flats. The perfect sixty degree day ensemble. I played around with a crisp white button up and a belt, as well as a striped crew neck sweater. You can also do a crisp button down or turtleneck with an open front cardigan. The options are endless!!

I do feel the fit of this skirt is a tad big. I’m wearing a size 2 and it’s a wee bit long for my short frame. And the elastic waistband gives you a lot of extra room, so my recommendation is to size down.

J.Crew and J.Crew Factory also offer this skirt in a summer linen version with a scalloped hem – so cute! This piece is perfect for teachers, collegiates, lawyers, my PR ladies – basically it’s the perfect skirt for everyone. It’s an easy dress up or dress down item and easily transitions from season to season. It’s a must have classic, preppy piece that should be in everyone’s closet in every color.

Slainte,

Shannon 

SHOP THE LOOK – You can always shop my looks by following me on the LiketoKnowIT App!

Sidewalk Skirt | V-neck Sweater | Leopard Flats | Pearl Earrings | Pearl Necklace | Pearl Bracelets

STYLE: FALL CLASSICS

The days are getting cooler, the evenings are getting dark earlier, and I find myself needing to grab a light sweater or cardigan in the early mornings – fall must be just on the horizon.  As sad as I am to say goodbye to summer in a few weeks, I do enjoy the cozy aspects of fall.  Think plaid, sweatshirts, red wine, OSU football, apple picking, pumpkins, yoga pants, striped sweaters, and cozy knits.  Ohio actually does fall pretty well (maybe not as good as New England), but we have a solid 3-4 weeks of gorgeous fall foliage and we try to make the most of this fleeting season every year. 

I’m excited today to be chatting about fall wardrobe classics with my favorite fellow mamas, Sarah from Cozy Little Joys and Stephanie from Linen and Littles.  The three S’s are teaming up again to share our favorite staples for fall.  

My fall look is pretty consistent with my summer look – easy and effortless. It might come across as slightly dressier though because I do wear a lot of button ups. I’m consistently inspired by the New England prep look for fall. I wish I could wear the warm/natural colors of autumn but my skin tone is just too pink so I stick with my signature blue and white aesthetic.

Below are some basic pieces that are must haves in my fall wardrobe. 

Puffer Vest: Honestly, everyone should own a puffer vest or two.  I have one in navy and I wear it all the time.  When the temperature hovers around 50 degrees, a chunky sweater with a puffer vest is the BEST.  These are so easy to layer and I even layer my vest under my puffer coat in the winter when it’s bitter cold. 

Hunter Boots: From October through April you can pretty much find me in my Hunter Boots.  These are the best fall/winter boots.  They keep your feet dry (although wear warm socks in the winter) in rain and snow.  And I just love how they look tucked into skinny jeans with an oversized knit sweater, puffer vest, and cozy knit hat.  I have these in their signature Hunter Green and black.  

Classic Striped Sweater: Everyone needs a striped sweater in classic navy and white for the fall. You can layer it with a button up underneath or a puffer vest on top – or both! It’s an easy, effortless, and always stylish addition to any fall wardrobe.

S.Lynch Knitwear Hat: If the temperature is under 55 degrees, you better believe I’m wearing a hat and the handmade knit hats from S.Lynch Knitwear are my FAVORITE.  I have three of them, that’s how great they are.  The quality is superb, the craftsmanship beautiful, and the styles are classic New England prep.  Do yourself a favor and get yourself one!! 

Classic Button Up:  I love a classic button up shirt. I wear these almost daily in the fall because they can be layered in so many different ways.  I tend to lean toward ones that are striped, gingham, or chambray – usually in shades of blue (shocker!). 

Sweater Blazer: The sweater blazer was a new addition to my closet last fall and I’m in love! I have a blush pink one and I wear it all.the.time. It’s perfect for work but it’s also equally perfect with a tee-shirt and skinny jeans. A must have for every fall wardrobe.

Plaid Scarf: This may be my Scottish heritage talking, but everyone should own a plaid scarf. Plaid is the ultimate print for autumn and you really cannot have too many plaid scarves. I’m fortunate enough to have three from Scotland, but L.L. Bean, J.Crew, and Gap always have great options. I mean, is there anything cozier that a plaid scarf and hot coffee on a crisp fall morning?!

For more classic styles, be sure to check out  Sarah (Cozy Little Joy) and Stephanie’s (Linen & Littles) fall staples!

Slainte,

Shannon 

STYLE: BEACH SWEATER

Last week on Instagram Stories I did a poll asking if you guys would rather see me style a beach sweater or striped terry top sweater.  It was incredibly close, 55% to 45% in favor of the beach sweater.  I personally was feeling the striped sweater this past weekend, so I decided to style both.  Full disclosure: there is little to no difference between how I styled these because I realized once we arrived at the beach it would be very hard for me to change! Nonetheless, I think the subtle differences create two different enough looks; and besides, “Simplicity is the key to perfection” (read that in a book and very much liked it!).

Beach Sweater 

Every classic lady needs at least one beach sweater. I enjoy this grayish-blueish sweater from Old Navy, but I also just bought this pretty sky blue one from J.Crew. I’ve actually been pairing this beach sweater over my t-shirt dresses lately, but for our beach day, I chose white cutoff denim shorts with a basic white tee underneath. This time of year the mornings are chilly so you definitely need a sweater, but I also suggest dressing in layers, hence the white tee underneath.

To finish this look, I grabbed my favorite sunhat, my classic Rayban’s, and my favorite slide sandals. Simple, classic, and timeless!

This sweater would also be cute paired with white denim jeans and a baseball cap as the days continue to get cooler.

Striped French Terry Top Sweater

A striped sweater and white denim shorts are always a perfect pairing for the beach. To switch this look up slightly, I swapped my Rayban’s for my oversized Tortoise shell sunglasses, and removed the white tee and sunhat. I also did a front tuck, which I almost always do because I think it makes wearing a sweater with shorts look less frumpy. Again, easy, simple, and classic.

I know these outfits were very similar, but hopefully one or both will provide you with some inspiration. And if ever in doubt, simplicity is the key to perfection.

Slainte,

Shannon

SHOP THIS LOOK:

Beach Sweater | Striped Terry Top | Denim Shorts | White Tee | | Rayban’s |Tortoise Shell Sunglasses| Sandals (similar)

STYLE: SUMMER BLUES

I must preface this blog post with a recap of this photoshoot and a little behind the scenes. Taking photos with a toddler in tow is always exciting and unpredictable, but this photoshoot in particular was exceptionally challenging. When we arrived down by The Docks, Rob and I both realized we forgot our wallets at home (for those not local, The Docks are a row of high end restaurants situated snugly along the Maumee River with gorgeous views of the Toledo skyline across the way). Eeeek. Not a huge deal as we were not planning to eat or shop, but a big deal if we happened to get pulled over!

Fast forward a bit and as I gave Rob the go ahead to start snapping away, three geese came out of nowhere, charging towards me! While I had geese chasing me for food, Rob realized that our camera battery was dead. Clearly we were not off to the best start! To add to the frustration, L fell and skinned her knee and we realized after 30 minutes of being out in the sun, we forgot to put sunscreen on L. Oy! Nonetheless, we continued on with the photo shoot and L had a great time running along the boardwalk. And looking back we can have a good chuckle about how imperfect this blogging world truly is.

Now onto the fun stuff! It’s that time of year where some people hold on to summer, some rush towards fall, and some try and blend the two seasons as best they can. I’m definitely feeling those summer blues and I’m more apt to hold on to summer as long as possible, but the cooler mornings and evenings means that fall is inevitably on its way. I’m finding myself reaching for my beach sweaters and button ups as an extra layer in the morning and then going back to full on summer come the afternoon. Sometimes the transition in between seasons is the most challenging to dress for, so below I’m sharing some ways that you can keep blend two seasons together.

For this outfit, I styled a three quarter length button up tunic in summer stripes (fall style with a summer print), navy chino shorts in navy (summer shorts in a fall-ish color), swapped out my sandals for tassel loafers, and kept my summer straw tote and rattan headband – it is summer after all.

For Those Team Summer

> Do keep styling your straw tote and tortoise shell sunglasses.

> Add a rattan headband or straw hat – rattan and straw are both must have styles of summer and are perfectly acceptable to style through Labor Day. 

> Keep wearing stripes! Stripes, especially blue and white ones, are the epitome of summer style.  Never stop wearing blue and white stripes.

> As long as it’s warm out, keep styling those shorts. I love to wear my shorts with a tee and layer with a beach sweater or cardigan.

For Those Team Fall

> Swap out sleeveless shirts for button up shirts.  You can roll the sleeves as the day continues to warm up. 

> My summer style is very casual and mom chic (I have to chase a toddler after all!).  To transition it slightly, I swap out my denim jean shorts for my chinos in dark navy.  

> Pair ballet flats or loafers with shorts and a three quarter length shirt.  

> Vice versa, you can style denim pants with sleeveless tops.

You can choose your color palette and accessories depending on your preference for summer or fall. Really though, the most important style tip to remember when you have two seasons colliding is to dress in layers.

Happy End of Summer and Happy Almost Fall!

Slainte,

Shannon 

SHOP THE LOOK:

Chino Shorts | Striped Button Up | Loafers | Rattan Headband | Straw Tote | Tortoise Shell Sunglasses

BRAND SPOTLIGHT: KYLIE AND BRYN

This month’s brand spotlight is all about an Ohio based brand (my favorite!).  Handmade right here in Columbus, Ohio, Kylie and Bryn is a jewelry/accessory company with the brightest and prettiest African vinyl and wooden bead bracelets.   The moment I laid eyes on these colorful, vibrant bracelets, I knew I needed a few to add to my accessory collection.  

Amber is the creative artist behind Columbus based Kylie and Bryn.  She is a lovely human being and has been so easy to work with.  All of her bracelets are handmade and the craftsmanship and quality is just beautiful.  She offers bracelets in the brightest of colors – from neon pink, to royal blue, turquoise, and kelly green to yellow, blush pink, and even rainbow!  And, she offers school spirit inspired bracelets and customizable word bracelets.  You can purchase the bracelets individually or as a medley stack.   There are so many options to choose from! 

I’ve been wearing a medley of these for a few weeks now and they are so comfortable.  I love to mix and match the different colors together.  They also pair very well with other bracelets in my accessory collection.  If you are looking for stylish and chic bracelets to brighten up your look, these ones from Kylie and Bryn are a no brainer.  

Below I’ve shared a few more ways I’ve styled them over the past few weeks. From days by the water, to pool days with L, and wearing Lilly Pulitzer, these bracelets are so easy to wear and they literally go with everything.

Be sure to follow Kylie and Bryn on Instagram and be sure to check out the Etsy shop!

Sláinte,

Shannon