Thursday, May 3, 2012

Prairie Chic

When we had a recent bout of pre-spring warm weather, clearly the short-sleeve shirts and capri pants needed to be pulled out of storage. And then came the realization that a few members of the family needed a handful of specific new things, including me.

But if you're anything like me, you often put yourself last. Last on the list to sit down at the dinner table, last on the list to go to bed at night, last on the list of a lot of things -- like treating yourself to something that is both a necessity and frivolity: Clothing!

Since I've had kids and stopped working outside of the home, my obsession with fashion has sort of gone by the wayside. I don't have time to suffer for fashion when I'm changing diapers, giving baths, digging in my garden, baking, etc. I just need something that is neat and clean and can be used in a variety of situations. Usually, this ends up following a few rules for a stay-at-home mom-style uniform: Denim/khaki/black on the bottom. Black/neutral on top. (I save the "cool" factor for shoes. Like leopoard print flats or plaid sneakers. Comfortable -- no heels for me anymore -- yet kind of funky. I have always liked funky shoes, even if the number of funky shoes I own has dwindled over the years. Maybe I need to work on that :)

This spring I was feeling a need to change up the "uniform" a bit. If you've been reading this blog, you know how much I love the blog Sugar Pie Farmhouse, where lovely Ruthie posts occassionally about her penchant for Western wear tops, often with little floral prints -- I look like you would see in a country music video or a Dixie-style chick. I was in search of a similar "Prairie Chic" style without breaking the bank. Something easy to throw on, easy to wash, lightweight, which would hide stains, etc., and give me a break from my plain urban black that I love so much.

I was able to find some really cute floral tops at Dress Barn, of all places. I had a shirt I liked from a few years ago, so I wandered on their Web site to see if they offered something similar. And they did, so I dragged all three kids to the closest store to search out some shirts. In the end, I bought three: The two in the photo above I bought in the store, and this one I ordered online, which I loved in the store but they didn't have in my size. The three shirts weren't super expensive in the grand scheme of things, but not cheap enough for my frugal-o-meter. That said, I needed a spring treat desperately. I like the cute tiny floral patterns, which remind me of vintage clothing. And if I wear them as much as the shirt that inspired this shopping trip from years ago, I will get my money's worth.

Next up: Some shoes. I need real sneakers, for exercising/walking, as well as some fashion-y sneakers (Converse @Target, maybe?), as well as a shoe to get me through several situations and a pair of sandals. I have a hard time finding shoes that I like which are not expensive, are comfortable and that fit. I would love to get a pair of Toms, and have my eye on a certain pair which would cost around $60. Maybe I'll start saving my pennies for that next.

I'm going to clean out my closet soon and purge, purge, purge. It's good to do that seasonally, isn't it? Especially when you share a small closet with your husband and there's really no room to keep anything extra. So I'll start weeding out the old. And then I'll make a list of what I could seriously use to get me through until fall.

And until then, I'll feel all country-Laura-Ingallsy-Southern-prairie-chic in my flowered shirts. Bye, y'all!

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