The Mommy Style File: Forever 21...err...31

Q: I love shopping at Forever 21 because of the prices! I finally feel like I can step foot in there during the week without the high school girls sniggering at me behind my back. What are some looks from there that I can wear without looking like a wanna be?

A: Great question! I have ventured in there with my kid in a stroller and have almost been trampled by the high school identikits that dwell in the Ikea of the clothing world. The biggest thing: avoid anything too tight, too short or too thin. Mid-thigh is cool if you have the legs to pull it off or are wearing leggings/tights. You need to choose your material carefully- some will pill, some will snag, and some will shrink like a cashmere sweater in hot water. Check out what I found on the racks; baby tested, mother approved.

Foiled!

Take a cue from Blake Lively; although we can't afford her pleated metallic Gucci skirt, we can copy the look:

Short Accordion Pleated Skirt- $15.80
This skirt looks adorable on. Although it is a TAD on the short side, the waistband is elasticized so you can adjust where it hits you on the waist (and accommodate that Sonic burger that you scarfed the day before your diet began).

Party Cardi

A knit cardigan is essential for fall; open, closed, over the shoulders...it even doubles as a baby blanket if you forgot to dress your child appropriately (ok, no...but in a pinch, yes). This one is a bit more expensive than what you would expect but the material holds up (it is acrylic, which washes better than a cheap cotton). Pair it with a steal of a skinny belt cinched at the waist and you can't go wrong.

Chunky Mixed Knit Cardigan- $24.80

Patent Waist Belt- $2.50 (available in black, green, turquoise, camel, red, fuchsia, burgundy, coral, and peach)
Wrapped Up

A scarf can elevate an outfit from thrown-together to put-together. Snag one of these cable knit, bright colored pieces to add a pop of color to your neutral fall wardrobe!

Solid Purl Knit Scarf- $14.80; available in blue, orange, lime and oatmeal


Body Con

Ok, before you look at me like I am insane, hear me out on this next one. Body con is short for body conscious, which we all are...but it means be completely self-conscious of yourself in this item because you can see every ripple, bulge and dimple. I don't recommend them unless you are a sample size; HOWEVER, you can use it as a jumping off point. For example, wear this body con dress with a skirt over it and a blazer. You get the benefit of a virtually "untuckable" shirt that camouflages your muffin top and creates a smooth canvas to pair with a tummy-tucking, high-waisted skirt. WARNING- this dress is cheap in both construction and price...thin and not going to last a decade. Think of it as one of the white Old Navy layering tanks that you purchase every year. It comes in black, teal, coral and mustard.

3/4 Sleeve Body Con Dress- $8.80





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