Maternity, Where?

Sooooooooooo, I’ve got news! I’m gonna be a mom. I’ll let that sink in for a few seconds…

Phew! Ok. I feel closer with everyone already. But seriously, come November 2019, this little lady [and her husband] are going to have a peanut of their own. And while I’m insanely excited and elated and honored that the universe allowed me [and my family] this gift, I’m also human and I’m having FEEEEEELLLLIIIIINNNGGGGGSSSS. Particularly involving my wardrobe and growing…uh, body.

I’m nineteen weeks as of yesterday, so while I can still see my feet, and find my belly pretty “cute”, I’m becoming increasingly disagreeable inside my own skin. To be honest, this feeling is not entirely foreign to me, but I like to believe I’ve got a pretty good working relationship with myself and my self-image. That is until today.

Today, I decided to try maternity wear…DUN DUN DUN. I know. All the new/millennial moms out there are shaking their heads and screaming “WHY?!” at their screens, because our generation has decided we’re gonna try to shove ourselves into regular womenswear until the day we pop. Right? Totes get it. This was is my plan, too, hence why today was well, in a word: brutal.

After consuming a caffeinated beverage [yes, coffee and I are still friends; I don’t want to hear ANYTHING from anyone about pregnancy and caffeine intake. Just click here and move on], and convincing myself I was ready to walk into Destination Maternity, which I have successfully avoided for again, nineteen weeks, I got in my car and off I went.

Now, before I really get into it, I want to preface this post with the following: I have always and will always make this page a space for honesty and truth telling. If you aren’t about that life, totally good by me, but kindly exit. While I don’t find any joy in hating on companies or brands, I do find it important that we look out for one another and keep it real when we believe in things. And my findings today exposed a truth about the maternity-wear industry and just how financially crooked and unevolved it is. Let alone what little information pregnant women have access to in terms of styling their growing bodies during this time. Thus, today is about me sharing my experience; it is truly not meant to harm feelings about brands you may love or enjoy. Moving along…

I walked in and found the store quite pleasant; I was greeted, it was organized, and the music was tasteful, but definitely mom-friendly. I cruised over to the wall ‘o’ denim and began my search. [Oh did I mention, I was strictly in the market for denim today? Yes. All denim, all day.] The selections in their “affordable” area were slim to say the least, but I grabbed a few pairs and tried my luck.Screen Shot 2019-06-27 at 7.10.11 PM

On went these Indigo Blue Secret Fit Belly Skinny Leg Maternity Ankle Jeans first, thinking the light wash would be fun for summer, and while I definitely didn’t love the color, I figured I’d try it. OOF. Mistake. I knew that the horrific belly band they put on maternity denim wouldn’t be for me, but jesus christ it is NOT FOR MEEEEE. Who wants to feel like they’re wearing an extra layer of nude/tan skin on top of the intensely tight/weird skin you’re already living in? Side panels it is. I quickly moved along.

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Next up, these Indigo Blue Side Panel Skinny Leg Destructed Hen Maternity Crop Jeans. Better with the side panels I’ll admit, but made me feel like I was in 6th grade again, trying on jeans from Mervyn’s that were a cross between paper mache and denim. Not to mention this wash? WHAT ARE YOU?! PASS.

Now, knowing what we know about denim, we know that pockets are EVERYTHING, even with a growing bump. Right?! Right. Ok class dismissed.

Judging by how this was going, it was time to bite the bullet and look at the designer brands. I mean, I deserve nice jeans right? I’m PREGNANT for gods sake, I deserve to feel great. I work hard! I’m growing a HUMAN inside of me! I deserve $200 jeans. **These were all the things I said to myself while rationalizing $200+ jeans that I only plan to wear for the next five months of my life.**

So Paige, here we come. I wear Paige jeans off and on; the pockets always fit great and they have some of the best washes in the denim game, but I wouldn’t say they’re a favorite of mine. Fit is usually off and the price never really makes sense to me for what you get.

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That being said, here they were, the Paige Side Panel Verdugo Ankle Maternity Jeans. Classic. Straight leg, light distressing, with a little cut to make them feel almost skinny. I still felt like a frump, but less of one, convincing myself that I’m just not going to feel good about myself for quite some time now, so just hunker down and get on board. Next step was to find my size, rationalize my purchase, and off we shall…..nope. None in my size. None even close to my size. None even in the same ballpark as a size that would prevent me from spiraling about said size. Meltdown begins.

Now while I slowly placed these egregiously priced pair of denim back on their rack, I felt relief. Relief that I hadn’t just made such a ridiculous purchase over jeans that were, in two words: very okay. Relief that I hadn’t let the vortex of Destination Maternity suck me in and throw my money at it. And then I really began to think about how I would’ve only worn these pants for five months, when I’ve preached on my blog for years to not spend money on shit you don’t plan to really get wear and tear out of. I’ve told every client I have that money is not the determinant of good style, brands mean nothing. Yet, here I was, at a freaking MATERNITY STORE, allowing myself to play the game. I was mad. I WAS PISSED. And I left.

In my moment of rage, I decided that Nordstrom would be a good idea. Again, millennial hopeful, trying to find some instant gratification to make up for this crap experience.

I stumble in the doors, basically waving my money around in hopes of bringing good shopping juju to the sitch, and walk straight up to the Good American section of the store. Because Khloe Kardashian will understand by pain today, right? Right. I was greeted with a, “Sorry ma’am [Yes, I got ma’am-ed], we don’t have a maternity line in our store. It’s all online.” ONLINE. Yes, please let me mentally try clothes on, because I’ve never felt more familiar with myself or my size than as of late, and the inter web is clearly the ideal place for me to find clothing right now. Are you kidding? Is this seriously the slim pickins’ pregnant women have? And really, should I be shocked? I mean it’s a ten month stint of a woman’s life. How can fashion markets survive on such short term buyers and purchases? Oh right! By charging $200 for a pair. Cleared that up earlier ^^

I nodded and walked away, feeling completely defeated at this point. And lets be real: not-pregnant Dena probably wouldn’t have been so moved by such an afternoon, but the experience was not only eye opening to a corner of the fashion world I hadn’t really focused on or even explored for that matter, but emotionally challenging because I feel like a weird blob as it is right now, the last thing I need is to be shlepping all over town to find jeans that I quite frankly, don’t even really want in the first place. But here I was.

So I convinced myself that jeans were off the table. Let’s find a top instead and regain whatever shred of confidence you had prior to your shopping choices today. To Topshop I went. My dearest, kindest friend, who always seems to get my fashion journey as I explore it year in and year out. They have pieces that are young and fun, but also the classics; pieces that never break the budget, but allow you to feel like you’d be proud telling someone where you got it when they inevitably compliment your choice ;] And no, I don’t get paid to say any of this. #notad #wishitwasthough #acceptingtopshopdonations

I walked through their section and within five minutes had 20 items in my hands, denim included. I found my way to the fitting room and took a deep breath. Here goes.

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First pair, the Mid Blue Ripped Jamie Jeans. I probably have 30 pairs of Topshop jeans, no joke, and the Jamie’s always work for my body type. Today was no different. SUCCESS. They fit! Just enough give in the waist [I sized up one size], hugged my hips and thighs to make me feel confident and feminine, and the wash was perfect. The pockets always endorse my assssssssets and help boost my confidence when walking away in a crowded room, if ya know what I mean? I was feelin myself now, people.

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Next were the Mid Blue Jamie Jeans [not ripped or distressed] and honey, I felt goooooood. I liked the option of having a casual pair that were distressed, but a “dressier” pair without. Again: pockets on point, a tiny bit lighter wash which I was into for summer, and they were the “ankle grazers” which accent heels, flats–pretty much any style of summer shoe. I was so elated by the two winners that I ditched all the other items in the room and headed to the register to pay up.

As this super sweet woman rang me up, she exclaimed, “This pair is only $35!” I was shooketh. Am I gonna get out of here spending HALF of what I would’ve spent on one pair that I wasn’t really into to begin with?!? AND I feel good about myself??

This was intentional shopping at it’s finest; this is the feeling I try to implore my clients to have when they shop. The ability to find a, yes, material item, but one that removes the pain and discomfort we have with our self image. A tangible piece that made an awkward mom-to-be, struggling through the racks of a weird, expensive place, feel confident again and BEAUTIFUL. An item and an experience that left me in tears in my car because A. hormones, but B. because while this is all a new chapter for me [and for my readers], I’m excited to keep pushing through it and see how it grows me, and grows my brand. And I truly hope you all continue to cruise along on this journey with me. While I can’t promise it won’t be bumpy and maybe a little too TMI at times, it will, as always, be real AF.

My experience today was personal, vulnerable, and one that maybe only I related to, but I felt it was important to share. And while Topshop may not be the brand for you, I do feel like it may be one of the best kept secrets in the maternity wear game thus far. Don’t worry, I’ll keep updating you all with any other gems I find out there, because the search is FREAKIN ONNNNNN NOW!

How has fashion changed you recently? Are you a mama, or mommy-to-be, what were some fashion struggles you had while pregnant? What was an experience that grew you, in a fitting room, in a store, getting ready for a night out? Share you stories with me in the comments below.

XX.

Reunited & It Feels So Good

WE’RE BACKKKKK. Can you believe it?! Three years, people. That’s longer than most of our clothes lives in our closets. But we’re here and we’re ready to crunch out some new content for our tried and true Lyric followers out there.

But this year, we want to shift the focus on to our readers. What struggles do you have when staring down the barrel of your wardrobe? What frustrates you when getting ready? Do you dress for yourself or others? Do you need help organizing your closet and why? Do retailers provide enough variety for you? Do you suffer from body image issues? If so, how do you deal with them while searching for new pieces? Are you ever overwhelmed by trends or social media fashion suggestions?

All of these topics and more are the life blood of Lyric and our message, but we want to hear directly from readers as to why they seek out resources such as ours. So go ahead babe, let it ALL out in our comment portion, because we’re ready to get 2019 going and get back to BIZNASSSSS.

 

Autumn Is Calling

I know I know, with the Summer heat still blasting your skin, it’s hard to imagine that shortly the temperatures will drop with the leaves & boom! Fall will be here. But it’s true & I can’t freaking WAIT. I’m already drooling over 2016 Fall items & color palettes & need to share them with you all…like NOW.

Thus, here are my favorite looks, items & colors from the coming season’s portfolio. Brace yourselves, it’s gonna get good. 

Don’t Choke: one of the best, & slightly nostalgic pieces I’m loving this Fall is the ever-familiar choker. No, not the weird, wannabe barbed-wire ones [although I see those everywhere & basically hate them], but rather the metal, chic pieces that actually exist & are actually really cute. Take your usual layered necklace situation & majorly upgrade it with one simple addition. Or, for a bolder look, wear just the one, but make it chunky & loud. Not too sure you’re ready to go back to the early 90s on this one? Try a simple leather piece & tie it up. The best part about this accessory is there are tons of options & tons of price points, so the possibilities are pretty endless.

gold choker

bold gold choker

wide gold choker

leather choker

mixed metal choker

Velvety Goodness: I know it seems like we’re basically just throwing back to your middle school days this Fall, but in all honesty, it’s like all the weird items we hated then, came back & said, “We want vengeance.” & I mean…they kinda got it. Velvet is back & PISSED; ready to show the world she can & she will. My favorite pieces are light pastels, light weight, & neutral. The louder hues remind me of a weird scene in Eye Wide Shut or something [not cute]. The trick: fit is everything; drowning yourself in a velvet ensemble is not the goal & is not a good look on anyone. Ever.

black velvet

blue velvet blazer

velvet 3:4 top

green blazer

Hood Rat: one of the best pieces this Fall is the hoodie–yes, I said it. The freaking hoodie is here. Hi comfort, nice to see you again. Styling this look is key; it takes layers & accessory additions to assure that you don’t just look lazy & hungover. Note: regardless of what you add, this look is still relatively casual. I don’t recommend hitting your next interview or business dinner in this fit, but for a quick bite or drink with girlfriends…#perfection. A few of my favorite styling tricks with this look [to up the ante]: a front tuck, layered, with heels, or under a blazer.

blzer hoodie

front tuck

kendall hoodie

layered

pink hoodie

tucked front hoodie

Moto Psycho: the moto look is here to stay, no matter how hard you try to remove it from the fashion repertoire. This season, however, it’s coming out everywhere; jackets, denim, handbags…everywhere you look, you will see slight nods to moto style & I can pretty much guarantee you’re gonna like it. My favorite pieces usually pertain to the lower half of the body, as well as layering pieces, but there are seriously cool looks I’ve found that will undoubtedly inspire my edgier babes.

moto denim

moto handbag

moto leather

moto lether

moto grey

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Pierced Purses: this Fall is bound to produce some of the best handbags I’ve seen in probably the last decade. No joke. The absolute love of my life being the Septum bag [as I’ve grown to call it]. Pierced purses are basically any handbag that looks like it spent a few minutes at a piercing parlor. There are so many different styles, colors, metals, materials…but one thing is universal among them–they’re cute as eff.

jw anderson pierce bag

chloe faye handbag

septum silver clutch

septum handbag

chloe bag

Fall Flavors [no pics just a breakdown]: aside from amazing Fall items, comes amazing Fall colors, & this year finally has a few new hues in the mix. Pink meets yellow meets “pumpkin spice” and even makes friends with nudes & florals. Yes, florals, in Fall…WHAT. Just be sure to keep them mild & breezy, kinda like the weather, ya dig?

So whether these styles suite your fancy or you choose to pick your own favorites this Fall, make them yours. As I always preach, customization & fit are everything to identifying your own personal style. My blog is simply here to inspire, not to force. Pick pieces you love physically & visually, because everything else would just be a waste of your time & money.

& remember, Happy Hunting.

xx.

Varient Valentine

Hi Babes. In case you haven’t looked at a calendar lately, it’s officially February. How this happened? I have not a clue. However, it’s here & you’re sure to find hearts & candies && rainbows wall to wall pretty much anywhere you go this time of year. But, never fear. I’m here to help with all things Valentine’s related, both coupled or apart.

Today, I’ve compiled my favorite Valentine’s Day looks for all my single ladies & my wifed-up babes, in hopes that we all don’t fall into the tacky trap that is February 14th. These purchases will see you through the other 364 days of the year, so you aren’t left feeling like the day after Disneyland, stuck with Mickey ears that you’ll never touch again.

The key to owning a themed holiday look: don’t be overly intentional. As humans we tend to choose the obvious choice[s], but holidays [whether Hallmark or not] like St. Patricks Day, Christmas, or even Halloween often lead us towards shades of green, red & orange. Pick other alternatives; they exist & long to be worn.

Here goes…

Really Red: should you still feel the urge to rock a red-ish ensemble February 14th, be unexpected with your look. Opt for burgundy, plum, or even blush tones versus a bright vibrant, traditional red hue. It adds a different feel to a worn out Valentine’s tradition.

blush on blush

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[Shop this look]

pink and grey

Bold Black: whether you’re feeling anti or simply want to rock a sexier V-Day look, black is the best option. Add slight pops of color & texture; tulle, beading, reds, pinks, etc. to take this look to the next level & still feel Valentine’s Day-esque without all the hearts & kisses.

black and white vday

lbd vdy

vday jumpsuit

Baby Blues: not feeling the stark black vibe this year? Blue is a great alternative. Not quite as harsh, works on nearly every skin tone & still makes you feel the tiniest bit antiestablishment on this themed, snuggly day. The key to this look: stay classic; pencil skirts, skater dresses, wrap dresses, traditional necklines…keep it simple, but add a little spice with your jewelry.

blue valentines

blue lace

blue pant suit

Poised & Purple: the obvious Valentine’s Day choice is always red, however, purple is an incredible alternative. It’s chic, romantic, gives almost every woman a modern wardrobe lift & translates easily with all hair types, skin tones, & eye color. Oh & did I mention, it makes you look tan? #upgrade

purple pants

purple assem

[Shop this look]

purple tunic

Wintery White: one of my absolute favorite colors [year round] is white. It’s versatile, flattering, & so romantic during the Winter months. Oh & obviously it’s perfect for V. Day…was I not making that clear? ;] The possibilities are pretty endless with white hues: skirts, denim, tops, blazers, dresses, pantsuits, rompers, heels, etc., but I’ve narrowed my findings down to these four February 14th looks. Note: white with soft blues, pinks & nudes fit best together.

white tunic and nude

white on white on white

long sleeve white

white on cream skirt

So whether you’ve got a sexy date planned with your special someone, or you just want to plop on the couch with some salty ass popcorn & pretend it’s another day, do Valentine’s Day justice with a small hint of style. Spruce up your winter robe, or go big & throw on a full pantsuit for your romantic dinner.

Whatever you decide to do, love on yourself this February. Because you’re wonderful, beautiful & your wardrobe thanks you for all the good decisions you’ll be making this 2016.

Happy V.Day babes.

Xx.

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StyledbyLyric has been up & running for just under a year now & I wanted to get on here & say a quick [but major] thank you. Thank you for your support. Thank you for your feedback. Thank you for your judgements. Thank you for reading all the verbiage I spew at you regularly. Thank you for letting me curse when I just can’t explain things any other way. Thank you for telling your friends, family, loved ones, co-workers, etc., about me & what I’m doing in this little blogosphere of the social media world. Thank you for believing in the positivity behind this brand. Thank you for being on the forefront of this vision I have for the fashion industry. Thank you.

As a fresh business owner, I find the future daunting, exhilarating, immeasurable, but mostly, ours for the taking. I hope you’ll continue to ride on throughout this journey with StyledbyLyric & get out of it exactly what I envision for all my clients: your own personal experience & style.

Peace&love.

Xx.