“What leggings/sweatshirt combo am I going to wow them with today?’
Today’s post is inspired by this meme I saw on Instagram. I felt both targeted, seen, and understood all once. I shared it on my story and received a reply from every friend I have. Apparently I’m not the only person avoiding jeans this year.
As a stay at home mom, my wardrobe is about as basic as you can imagine. The pandemic has made this even more true. But despite my straightforward leggings-and-tee getup day after day, it still feels so good to get out of what Tyler and I refer to as “Tier Two” sweats and into ‘Tier one” loungewear.
Quick sidebar to explain further: the “tiers” refer to levels of loungewear (not “normal” clothes). Tier One is what you’d wear to Target or for a Bachelor-viewing party (leggings, cute sweatshirts). Tier Two is what you get into AFTER everyone leaves your house: baggy sweats, no bra, etc. I am aware that this is confusing. I once told my sister to come over in her Tier Ones for a game night and she showed up in a blouse, jeans, and heeled booties. I said, “Wait what are you wearing?” and she said, “You said Tier One!” CLASSIC MIX-UP.
Surely I can’t be the only one who views clothing this way? Lol.
Anyway, this post is all about my Tier One game. This is what I wear day in and day out, so it’s all stuff that is cute but–more importantly–comfortable.
These are items I recommend to anyone but moms in particular; I need to be ready to nurse, play on the ground, or sprint after Char at the drop of a hat. I am a super hero and so are you.
First things first, I guess. Why are nursing bras so horrible?? As if I couldn’t feel more unsexy right now, let’s throw on a bra that feels bulkier than a life jacket and looks like something I could’ve fished out of a Revolutionary War time capsule.
I have tried on one hundred nursing bras and have only found a couple that I actually like and feel like a semi-functioning member of society in.
Target Sleep Nursing Bra: The first is a very inexpensive sleep bra from Target–I love these for late pregnancy and the newborn stage. They are soft and stretchy and easy to pull down in the middle of the night. I have noticed the quality has worn down over time but they are easily replaceable so that’s not a big deal to me.
Kindred Bravely Nursing Bras: I discovered Kindred Bravely a few months ago when my friend asked me to bring Emmie to a photoshoot to help model some of their nursing tops. I’m SO glad I did because I discovered a few of my new favorite items through that shoot! Both the Nursing Sports Bra and Simply Sublime Nursing Bra are comfortable and flattering. I find myself reaching for these over anything else in my otherwise dismal bra drawer. (Use my code RUTH20 for 20% off your first order!).
Leggings (what else)
Lululemon Align Leggings: These are the most celebrated leggings on the planet and for good reason. If you haven’t yet a pair, don’t walk, RUN. I own two pairs of black Align leggings and am on the verge of purchasing a third. They are unbelievably soft, have held up through multiple washes a week over the years, and have taken me up to 200 lbs and back TWICE. (Literally wore them to the hospital to give birth).
Kindred Bravely Maternity + Postpartum Legging: These are another new favorite of mine from Kindred Bravely! They are thicker than the Aligns and they hold everything in with a vengeance. These are designed to take women from maternity through postpartum. The waistband is meant to be worn unfolded and all the way up during pregnancy and then folded down afterwards which provides even more support in the midsection area (Lord knows we need it at that point). They are still quite high waisted even when folded down which is really nice. I love the pocket on the thigh and the seams going down the leg are so flattering.
Aerie Offline Leggings: I kept seeing people post about these and decided to finally pull the trigger on them last fall. I love them, and they are now my go-to for working out. The cut is flattering, and I especially love these ones with the mesh insert. I see a lot of people say that these are as good as the Aligns–they aren’t, but they are VERY good for that low price point.
I love a 100% cotton, not wrinkly, NOT CLINGY t-shirt. I’m very picky, but I guess we all know that by now.
Aerie Boyfriend Tees: These t-shirts were my security blanket throughout most of 2020. They are beautifully baggy and the material feels like they should cost 3x more than they do. I love both the crew and v-neck cuts. I have four of them in size large because the baggier the better. I can wear these out with leggings and my white Birkenstocks, and I also frequently sleep in them.
Free People Tees: This is the perfect cropped tee (it’s literally called that so IDK what you want from me). I love wearing these with high waisted leggings for a flattering cropped look without actually showing my stomach. They are soft, wash well, and come in so many cute colors.
I LIVE for a jacket moment. I don’t care how haggard I feel or what my outfit looks like–if I throw on a cute jacket, I feel like Serena Van Der Woodsen. The key to this inflated confidence is investing a couple of versatile, well-made jackets that you can wear over and over without getting sick of them. The following are my two MVP’s for most days.
Oversized Denim Jacket: I bought my oversized denim jacket in 2017. I snagged it at my local Anthro in a panic before I decided at the very last minute to fly to Europe with Tyler on a work trip. I remember thinking that $98 was way too much to spend on something like that but I didn’t have time to find anything else that would go with my summertime-in-Rome army green and gladiator sandals moment. It goes with literally every piece in my closet and I don’t know how I would’ve survived my mid-twenties without it. It is comfortable, roomy, and completes every outfit.
Free People Dolman Jacket: I’d love nothing more than to be buried in my Free People Dolman jacket. I dreamt about it for exactly one year before I decided to finally take the plunge. I have not once regretted this purchase despite the formidable price point. It’s the type of piece that I get excited to put on even for a walk around the neighborhood–which happens every single day so that should say something. The quality is unmatched here: the cotton is heavy and soft and all of the colors it comes in are so dreamy. I have the Champagne Diamond which is such a pretty neutral. These are almost always sold out, too. Last summer, I spotted one on a mannequin in the store and begged the girl working to get it down for me. She beamed and said how lucky I was because they didn’t have any more in stock or online at the time! Runs absolutely massive.