The "F" word.

I can feel it happening.  Creeping it's ugly way into my body... my closet... my soul.

This isn't supposed to happen to me!  I'm a "young" mom!  I've watched my fair share of What Not to Wear, and Ambush Makeover.  I only own one pair of sweats and I haven't even made the switch to a one-piece suit.  I take pride in my collection of push-up bras and low-rise jeans.

Still.  It's happening to me.
I could blame it on the kids, for zapping every morsel of energy that I have [or had].  But I don't think they're the entire reason.  I could blame it on Ryan, for "loving me just the way I am."  I could blame it on my mom, for... I don't know- just because she's my mom.  But really, there's a lot of reasons that my appearance has taken a seat on the back-burner.  And thanks to style blogs- and "that mom" who looks perfect- always- I'm reminded of it every single day.

In all seriousness, I'm glad to be reminded of it.  It motivates be to get out of my "workout" pants, take the pony-tail down, and HIDE the flip-flops.

As of late, I've been quick to look past posts that have the title "Fall Trends" or "Fall Fashion Guide."  Unfortunately, I just can't afford to spend $700.00 on a pair of boots (or a belt).  And I really don't mean to be cynical or negative, but the prices on some of these "trendy" and "must-have-for-fall" items can really demotivate a gal!  And when I do look further at a trend or a guide, my immediate response is - "That's HOW much??  Oh, never-mind..."  And, not to mention - if I did have an excessive amount of 'loose change,' I'd be headed to Italy... in my frumpy clothes.

But when I came across the Brochu Walker and Jigsaw London line, both seen here, I was captivated by the amazingly simple, versatile, classic- and classy looks.  Similar to what I wore in my working days, yet not entirely out of scope of what I can wear 'staying at home.'  Yet - one minor glitch.  The price tags.  Though, in my attempt to Fight the Frump, I am not going to discard them completely.  Instead, I'll use them as a much-needed-shopping-guide.  Thinking about which styles I like, what pieces I need, how I can use certain items to layer and dress up (or down) and outfit.  Planning.  Effort.  Intention.  Pleasure.

Do you approach shopping in this way?  Doesn't it feel SO good to find that amazing top at a looooooow price- or one that you've seen another version of elsewhere for quadruple the amount?   As fun as 'shopping around' can be at times, doesn't it feel good to know what you want- or like?

As I head out to hit the clearance racks and discount stores, to stock up for fall, to find that hot mom hiding inside of me, here are a few sources of inspiration.

 Images via

 Images via


  1. i love all of those outfits (on the models, at least!)
    i hear ya - i'm not even a mom and i find myself tending towards the frumpy.

    good for you for recognizing that you're drifting away from where you want to be. i'm sure your husband does love you just the way you are - but your inner happiness is what's definitely important.

    let us know if you score any great deals!

  2. wow, are we the same person? or just moms that have put ourselves on the back burner...? have fun bringing out the hot mom in yourself. i'm working on finding her in my mirror (and soul) too!

    check out this post-

    and this one (25 year olds can be quite motivating to a 37 year old mom of two. )

  3. Great post! I understand what you are saying but honestly most of the fashion posts, runway styles, celebrity outfits etc serve as great inspiration. I think what really makes more sense is taking these trends and ideas and then finding cheaper versions or sales etc... I don't thinK I have checked out these sites before so will do so. I feel like I saw Jigsaw London when I was there in May...but maybe not. In any case you have selected some nice pieces!

  4. The fact that you recognize a problem and a need to solve it is half the battle! Good for you for feeling inspired to take action.

    And I am so with you on how expensive things are. $700 for a pair of shoes? Really? But the scary thing is how easy it is to become so jaded about it all. After seeing shoes for $1200, $700 starts looking not so bad. Scary!!!

  5. so i don't have kids and i confess to sometimes being frumpy. this fall, i've committed myself to shopping my closet -- i did it this summer too. for summer, i bought one new dress and that was it. instead, i made myself wear the stuff in my closet. i started the clean out process over the weekend of the items i didn't wear. hopefully, i'll finish it next weekend. i'm going to challenge myself to do the same this fall. i needed a new pair of dark jeans so i just bought those at ann taylor loft ($30!!). other than that, i'm making myself wear my closet. i'm going to pair my white jcrew thshirt with a cute fall sweater, chunky necklace and shoes. by the end of fall, i'm forcing myself to pair down my closet.

    so i say all this because i get so overwhelmed by the must have posts for fashion. i'm a jeans and tshirt girl. i have 2 pairs of heels -- one i wear for work, one i wear with my lbd. i think jeans, a non-stained tshirt, cute scarf or sweater, necklace and shoes can do so much for us!

    hmmm ... maybe i'll get brave and actually post what i wear this fall. ugg, i still need to blog about it but that's embarrassing because my pile of "things i did not wear this summer" is so big.

  6. I know I've said thank you to each of you on your blogs, but just want to give a collective thank you for your honesty, encouragement and insight. It is very helpful much appreciated. :)

  7. Torrie, I love this post. It really speaks volumes for your intention of authenticity. I love your honesty and vulnerability you're showing here. I'm not even a mom yet and I completely know how you feel. Sometimes it's just so easy/comfortable to throw on leggings/sweats/huge t-shirts, flip flops, etc. But the times I do put on a proper outfit motivate me to continue to do so because I feel so much better. Then I think, "Why don't I do this EVERY DAY?" Ha.

    And the high prices of the "must have" items are completely discouraging to a girl on a budget, trying to be hip and stylish. I've been trying really hard recently to shop my closet, using scarves, jackets, layers, and tights to transition into cooler weather. It always makes me feel accomplished to make a new outfit out of items I already own. (It's the little things for me, haha).

    I love the all the pictures you posted. Those are great inspiration for attainable outfits with many of the items already in your/my closet! Keep me posted on what you find and good luck, Torrie! I have to say how much I love the part about Ryan loving you for exactly who you are. What an amazing feeling! It speaks volumes about your relationship and who you are as a person. So on the days when you just feel like giving in to the flip flops and sweats, remember that you're amazing regardless of what you're wearing!


  8. I am going to try this again and hopefully it posts! :)

    I felt really frumpy right after I had my son. I hated that I couldn't wear my old clothes right away and absolutely refused to wear maternity clothes. For a few weeks, I lived in gauchos and tanks, was lucky to get a shower everyday, and certainly didn't bother with make-up and blow-drying my hair. I felt like a ball of crap! :D

    I snapped out of it when my son was about three weeks old and decided that something had to change. I showered every morning before my husband left for work, did my hair and make-up and got dressed. Just doing those things instantly made me feel better and not like such a frump. Even if I had no plans of leaving the house, I still was put-together and felt good about myself.

    For outfits, I love looking at various style blogs or a shop's look books and then finding similar pieces elsewhere....or better yet, adding a great belt or cool piece of jewelry to something already in my closet.

    I love the looks you posted!

    I am sure you have already seen
    but just in case you haven't, check it out!

    Anyway, I feel like I am babbling, so I will stop...but have fun!!

  9. Oh, this post is hilarious, Torrie! I love your writing style, so fresh and engaging. What mother hasn't had this problem w/frumpiness? Maybe one with tons of money or a personal style consultant. The fact that you even think about these kind of style matters means you probably only have to make a few slight changes. I'm far from considering myself a style maven, but I do find that taking the time to put on some fashionable jewelry every morning does a lot to help me feel stylish and gives me loads of confidence.

  10. All of those outfits look divine, and I am sure you are not getting frumpy. I think half the battle with the all mighty frump is accepting it. Now go out and get a cute outfit :)

  11. Valerie- Thank you for your compliment (truly) and you are so right about how good (and resourceful!) it feels to create an outfit from your own closet! Now, I just need to DO it:).

    Suzie- Thank you for re-posting, and yes- just plain ole... getting ready each and everyday- make-up, hair, etc. - even if I don't 'go anywhere!!' And I haven't yet heard of that blog- TY!

    Minnie- Your compliment made my day... my week:).

    Emily- Welcome, and I will do.

  12. honestly, all of these style blogs kills me! i love the ideas - but really, how do people afford all of these things they are constantly making us drool over?! :) i like to pull inspiration from catalogs, magazines and blogs - but most of my clothing comes from the same 2 or 3 places. i prefer to focus more on my personal style rather than keeping up with all of the trends.

  13. I so appreciate your honesty here. Like Claire, I'm not a mom and I have *plenty* of frumpy moments. Sometimes it's really hard to spend the time (and let's be honest, the money) on yourself when there are so many other things/people/responsibilities vying for one's attention. That said, when I put mascara on to walk the dog, I feel that much better about myself.


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