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Lorraine is a style obsessed mama to two young kids, a wife to a supportive husband and a family photographer. Lorraine graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology in 2006, with a degree in advertising photography. She enjoys quiet moments, silly kids, clothes, shoes, coffee and a little wine too. Can't get enough of her here on FredParent? Check out her personal blog: Rain in Style.

 

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Rain in Style

Rompin' Around Town in Rompers

Ok, so I want to discuss rompers today. Now, I know what you're probably thinking... that I'm going to talk about those cute one piece things that we put on babies. But nope, that's not it. Let's talk about adult rompers, shall we? And when I say adult..I mean women. Because I've seen the men's version and it's not cute. Google men's rompers, but don't say I didn't warn you. I have a few very funny friends (you know who you are) that have very strong feelings about men's rompers and I agree.  Men's rompers aren't for the faint of heart, so let's talk only about the women's version.  Women's rompers look like this..

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Now, set aside any preconceived notions that you might have about rompers. I'm here to tell you that I'm pro romper. A proud supporter. Love them. As warm weather approaches, I think I will be wearing mine a lot more. My outfit of the day group recently had a style challenge involving “summer staples” and my contribution was, yep you guessed it, a romper!

 

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There are a few things to keep in mind when looking for a romper. Bathroom breaks. Yes, you need to consider the logistics of getting the romper off and on when using the bathroom. Since they are one piece, with shorts as the bottom (unlike a dress) you can't simply pull a romper up to use the bathroom. When trying them on, I always ask myself “can I get this off and on in a hurry?” Usually what I look for is a romper with a snap in the front at the chest. Anything that requires me to snap something in the back or button behind my neck, is immediately rejected. If it's difficult to get my arms out of its complicated straps, rejected. Adjustable straps are a plus! This one has a snap closure, and adjustable straps; it's very easy to get off and on.

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Rompers require you to sometimes be an escape artist in regards to using the bathroom and even have patience. If you think about it, it's funny because you know when our kids were little and they had those cute rompers, they at least had snaps at the bottom so you can easily do diaper changes. At some point, though, those easy access snaps go away, and now I won't buy rompers for my daughter, because in my head I'm like “she's not going to be able to use the bathroom in this”. She's four, and I think the notion that she has to pull off the whole kit and kaboodle would be lost on her. Why can't they bring back the snaps at the bottom?!?!? LOL. Adults like easy bathroom trips too. I mean, I wear my rompers a lot, so I am kind of used to it; when they are this cute to wear, it's worth a bit of a bathroom struggle.  

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Anyway, I digress. Rompers also require you to throw caution to the wind and briefly be in your birthday suit when using the bathroom. It makes using a public restroom with young kids very interesting. So, be prepared for no coverage.  Also, we need to discuss fit. Since a romper is a one piece outfit,  top and shorts attached, you must pay attention to how the bottom half fits. Ladies you know what I mean... no wedgies, front or back. Rompers tend to ride up a bit when you walk (at least on me they do) so walk a bit in them, make sure your booty is covered and make sure it isn't riding up in the front.

Styling rompers is fun and super easy, since you are only dealing with one item of clothing. Try a solid one with a kimono, or cardigan. I wear mine with a denim jacket a lot.  Sometimes I struggle with shoe options with rompers. Some people say that you shouldn't wear heels with them, or don't ever wear booties with them, but I disagree.  I don't think you should feel the need to limit yourself to only flats when wearing rompers. Go with what you like and what looks good with the romper you are wearing.  Is it a more casual looking romper? Then go with a sandal, wedge or a flat. Dressier? Go with a heel.  I don't like flats shoes on me - we all know this.  So I almost always choose a wedge, heel or yes, even a bootie. 

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What i'm most excited to try, is wearing them in the fall by adding tights.  I have this black one that I debated a long time about.  It might be a tad short.  But I loved the cut of it, so I kept it.  I'm so glad that I did, becuse when I paired it with tights and booties, I fell in love.  I might not even wait for fall to wear this.  It would be cute for a date with my husband. 

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I also just got this one from one of my favorite store in the mall, Francescas... black again, but this one has a bit more length and I feel a bit more comfortable wearing it without the tights. 

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So what do you think? Ready to give rompers a go?  My next item that I am hunting for is an awesome jumpsuit (the long pants version of a romper).  I have yet to find one that fits me, but once I do I will report back.  

 

As always, romp your way over to www.raininstyle.com to read more about my love affair with rompers.  

 

-xo

 

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One Piece, Multiple Ways

Hi again! It's me, Lorraine, on a rainy day, writting for my blog Rain In Style... That's a lot of rain, and boy have we been getting a lot of actual rain (not me, Rain) recently.  But it got me thinking, about how on a rainy day, you need to find new ways to keep busy - for your sanity and so the kids don't destroy the house and eat all the food. So, why not take the idea of finding new ways to do something and apply it to style? This week I want to talk about using one piece of clothing and styling it in multiple ways.  However, trying to create several different outfits using one basic piece can seem a little bit like trying to make leftovers into a new gourmet dish. Or like finding new ways to entertain restless kids on a rainy day.  Is it even possible?!?!! Well, friends, let's give it a go.

I tried to think of one basic piece that everyone should have in their wardrobe and style it a few different ways. The little black dress (henceforth I shall use the acronym LBD) came to mind. It's a staple, and yes, you need one.  So let's take a very basic LBD and let's take it from casual to dressy. To start, an easy way to make something look more casual, is to add a denim jacket or vest and wear wedge style sandals. Here I did black wedge sandals and a leopard print espadrille sandal (espadrille is a fancy term for a canvas shoe with a woven or fiber sole). 

 

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Want your LBD to look a little more edgy? Add a faux leather jacket or even a motto style jacket. This one is a acid washed denim jacket that has faux leather accents on the sleeves. It's like the epitome of edge. Add booties for comfort and edge.

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Here it is with a faux leather vest, for when you are feeling extra feisty, which for me is often.  In fact, I think I might wear this exact outfit tomorrow.  

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Another way to make the same dress look different is to add a cardigan... here I did a long white one, a long floral one and a grey leopard print one.

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You can also take the same dress and add either a graphic tee over it, or a chambray shirt over top. Make sure to knot them at your waist.

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Want to go more casual? Why not pair it with flat sandals, or even chucks! I don't love flat shoes for me, personally, but it can be done! Just keep other accessories casual and maybe add a jean jacket with the chucks

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Of course every LBD can be dressed up. Simply add heels, and a statement necklace. If you are great at hair and makeup, then go for it!  I'm not, so my hair and makeup usually stay the same. You can also easily wear the same dress all day, styling it casual for daytime then changing a few pieces to make it more dressy for evening. Perfect for when you don't have for a full outfit change. For this picture, I chose my Zigi Soho gold glittery heels, but you can also go with pretty much any color.  Try a red heel for a fun pop of color! 

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So, there you have it.  I took the same dress and by changing accessories or adding to it, I created multiple different outfits.  Kind of makes me wonder why I have a closet full of clothes, when I could just wear the same dress and style it differently every day.  No one would know... except that doesn't leave any time for washing it.  LOL.  Laundry is overrated anyway...

 

What do you think, are you ready to give this a try?  I challenge you to create multiple different outfits using the same piece of clothing in all of them.  It doesn't have to be a little black dress, just give it a try, and let me know how you do.  

 

As always head on over to www.raininstyle.com for more style fun

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Tulle Skirts: Not Just For Ballerinas

This week I would love to talk about a new obsession of mine, tulle skirts...aka tutus! Yes, I love them; yes you can wear one too. No pointe shoes required. Unless, you can walk all day en pointe...then do that, because that would be amazing!

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I just got this black one and have been dying to wear it. And so I did, a few weekends ago. I took advantage of it being Mother's Day and had my husband do a little photo shoot. It was so fun to wear and, honestly, I now want one in every color.

 

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This black one came from ThredUP. It's by Aqua. Bloomingdales carries that brand, but I haven't found the exact skirt. Amazon has a really cute one, that I might just order in more colors, here.  I've also seen them at places like Charlotte Russe.

A few things to look for in a tulle skirt. For me, the length is important. I'm short, and at 5’2” a midi length skirt (hits mid calf) is just too long. In general, I like my skirts to hit slightly above or at my knee. It makes my legs look longer. Another consideration is the waist band. The one that I have by Aqua, has a finished looking waistband, meaning it's not just elastic. It has a ribbon or fabric waist. I feel like this type of waist band makes it look more polished when you tuck your shirt in, and helps the tulle skirt look less like my daughter's tutu.  Also, something to keep in mind. This one that I am wearing is kind of sheer, so be prepared to need a slip underneath.  With this one, I am wearing a short black slip, because no one needs to see my underwear...let's keep it classy. 

 

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Styling is also important. There are actually a lot of ways to style a tulle skirt. The way I did it here is my favorite so far...

 

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However, my next idea is to try it with a crop top.  I like the sliver of skin showing. But ptobably with different shoes.

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Or a graphic tee, although this can be tricky.  The graphic on the shirt needs be high enough so it won't get cut off when you tie the shirt or tuck it in.  Here, I tied this shirt up on the side, so it would hit at my waist, but I could've tucked it in too.  The tighter fitting the sirt, the better, so it doesnt throw off your body proportions. 

 

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Try it with a tank top...here I tried a floral and a camo one, showing you a softer look and one that's more edgy,

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Perhaps what I am looking forward to the most, is replacing the chambray shirt with a plaid one, for fall. I'm thinking that a red plaid shirt would also look great. Add booties and mix patterns by carrying a leopard clutch like this, which, oh, by the way...is my favorite clutch right now and I got it from Express.  They don't have that one anymore, but keep an eye out for leopard accessories.  They go with more than you think.

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So, what do you think, are you ready to try a tulle skirt and pretend you are a ballerina for the day?  You can go ahead and do a few ballet moves. It's fine, I won't judge.

 

Head on over to www.raininstyle.com  for more ballet inspired style fun.

-xo

 

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Get Moving with Active Wear

Ladies, today I'd like to share with you some info about active wear! This is not my best area. In fact I'd venture to say that I know very little about active wear. So, I asked my trainer (and friend) Shannon to help me out with this. She's had to help me navigate not only the workouts and equipment, but she's had to guide me with what the heck I should be wearing while working out. Shannon is arguably the best trainer ever. Check her out on her facebook page, here. I trust her knowledge on the subject.

We've been training together for about a year and half now, and I've come a long way! Top left photo is from maybe three years ago, at my heaviest, and the rest are progressive shots over the last year. The last two are most recent. It's hard work, but it's worth it.

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Workout gear is all relatively new to me and as an example of my complete naivety on this subject, I had to ask Shannon what one does about underwear and the dreaded panty lines. Workout pants are tight! Am I right? And whenever I wear something that's tight I immediately worry about everyone seeing my panty lines... I know, first world problems... but the struggle is real! So, I asked Shannon (thanking God that she was a woman and I could ask it without being embarrassed). Our conversation went something like this:

Me: “So I got new workout pants, like you suggested, but what on earth does one do about underwear?”

Shannon: “What do you mean?”

Me: "Well, I mean about seeing panty lines! Do people wear a thong? Or do people just not care and wear whatever?”

Shannon: “No underwear! Underwear is so uncomfortable when working out!”

Me: “Excuse me what?”

I was shocked! No underwear!!?!?!?!? Say what? Apparently, there's a liner in workout pants so you don't need underwear? This had me completely confused. And, while I trust what she said, I haven't made the commitment of going sans underwear just yet. For now, I'm sticking with a longer shirt and thin underwear. Panty lines > no underwear.

 

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Shannon did offer me some advice on what brands that she likes for athletic wear. And I will share what she said with you, but I will leave the underwear choice up to you.

She recommends, and favors Athleta, because their pants (she calls them tights, but tights to me are what you wear under dresses when it's cold, so I'm going with pants) are durable and breathable. Their tank tops come in a lot of varieties. Look for sales, as they can be pricey. Lululemon is also good. She likes the variety of pants and shorts. Really comfortable and flattering, too. However, their tanks seem to fall apart and fade easily. She also recommends Old Navy’s workout line, which is what I currently have. I like their pants and tops, and the price point is good. They often have sales, so that's a plus. Shannon mentioned Target’s line of Champion workout gear, and I have a few of their things. I like their tanks and zippered hoodies.

Since we are headed into warmer months, I am really loving workout shorts, but I'm particular about what I want in a short. Because, you know, squats and stuff.. I don't want to be flashing anyone, but I also don't like the really tight tight shorts! I like shorts that have two layers. The underneath one is tight, and then on top is a looser fitting layer. It combines a tight fit (to prevent flashing) and a looser fit top for those of us that are self conscious about that area, and you know, I can still wear underwear without seeeing major panty lines.  I have found a few great ones at T.J. Maxx and Marshalls. The brand is RBX or Reebok. Amazon has them too, here. Those are a different brand, but same concept.  

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I also have gotten all of my sports bras from T.J. Maxx or Marshalls. I like ones with a fun back. Because if I'm going to have to wear a sports bra, I want it to be pretty and interesting. But that's the stylish person in me coming out and I'm not always practical.  

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And let's be honest, when I workout at home, I only wear a sports bra and shorts. I just get too sweaty and shirts annoy me when I am that sweaty. I end up looking like this anyway, so why not? #sweatyhairdontcare

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But don't you all worry. I work out like a mad woman sometimes, but I still get to have my mandatory glass of wine (sometimes two) and I even occasionally, take my wine outside to the basketball court/playground so that my kids can get excerise too.  I know what you are thinking, but the play area is right behind our house, so no worries.  Next time, I will bring you a glass too, but you'd have to give me 50 push ups first. Spiderman style earns you two glasses.  But seriously, there is a chin up station right there too. Just watch my amazing chin up skills after having a glass of wine... LOL.

 

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 What do you like to wear while working out?  What are your favorite brands?  Do you drink wine at the basketball court too?  

 

As usual, bring your beautiful selves over to my blog at www.raininstyle.com for more style fun. No deadlifts or burpees required.

-xo

 

 

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Have a Happy (and Stylish) Mother's Day

Hey fellow moms, our “holiday” is coming up this week. Usually when I talk to other moms about Mother's Day, there are two groups...those that love Mother's Day, and those that don't. Growing up, my mom never really liked Mother's Day, and she still doesn't. Back then I didn't really understand why she didn't like “her” holiday, but now, after having kids of my own, I do. It's not so much that I dislike having a day to honor moms, it's that as a mom, it's not really a day off. It feels just like any other day. I still need to do all the things that I do every single day. Although, receiving the kids’ handmade cards and extra hugs and kisses is a bonus that I don't necessarily get all the time. So there's that. But someone should make a rule that there is to be no fighting or whining on Mother's Day, and that all moms get an endless supply of chocolate and wine. That would be a true holiday. Just hold the chocolate and give me extra wine.

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When I was trying to think of what I wanted to write about for this post, I couldn't come up with something style related and Mother's Day related that I was happy with. In my first post here, I talked about how I pulled myself out of my mommy style rut, so I didn't want to write about that again. Then I thought, maybe I should write about my kids ( I laughed at this, because isn't that a typical mom thing to think? Always about the kids). I mean, why not write about my kids on my “holiday”... they are what made this a holiday for me anyway. Without them, I'm not a mama. There are some things that I want to teach my kids, my daughter especially, not just about clothing, but about confidence. And, undoubtedly, there are some things that both of my kids have taught me. I will save my lessons for my kids for another post, and list some of the funnier things that they have “taught” me.

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Style tips from my kids:

• Accessories are only worthy of an outfit if you wear ALL OF THEM. The more glitter and sparkle you have on, the better. Shine on, girl...blind them with your beauty.

• If you add a superhero cape to any outfit you immediately turn into a superhero with super strength. It's the power of the cape. Don't question it.

• While wearing a crown, people will of course assume you are a princess; therefore it's perfectly fine to insist they call you Princess Beautiful.

• If you are out shopping somewhere that you hate and find it to be dreadfully boring, be sure to hide in the clothing racks and be very quiet. Only come out when the person you are with starts panicking and threatening to call 911 because you are lost.

• When in doubt, go monochrome, head to toe all one color (preferably blue). Unless camo is an option, then go camo all the way.

• If a tutu is available, wear it, and wear it everyday, everywhere, always.

• When you need to get ready but can't decide what to wear, just put on all the clothes. All of them. Indecisiveness has nothing on you.

• Pattern mixing has no rules when you’re a kid... all patterns go together, in fact, it's a good idea to wear as many patterns as possible just to make it interesting.

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I will say, that while my kids can be rather hilarious with their style choices, there is one thing that I hope I'm teaching them.  I want them to have a positive body image, to love themselves, and have confidence in who they are. They want to walk in our shoes, so we need to be mindful of our own body image... keep it positive. My kids don't see a negative version of me. To them, I'm always beautiful. That’s the nature of kids. They see beauty even when us older folk don't, and, when it comes to body image, I don't want them learning negativity. I've had to be careful many times, to not use the word “fat” or “ugly” when referring to myself, or how I feel. My daughter wants to be just like me; I see this more and more everyday . She has even started crossing her legs when I take her picture, just like I do.

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I often find her in my closet trying on my shoes. Sometimes I even hear her clunking around upstairs, wearing my shoes and trying to walk in them. I hope, for both of my kids, that while they want to fill our shoes...that they know they need to stand tall in their own shoes first.  That's a good Mother's Day gift, somehow getting validation that what we want most for our kids, will come to be. That they will grow in confidence and be able to stand tall and walk on in grace, beauty and love.  

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What do you have planned for Mother's Day? We usually go strawberry picking, and of course it will be done stylishly. Head on over to www.raininstyle.com for more stylish mama talk.

-xo

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