Posts Tagged ‘fashion emergency’

I Gotta Have It!

As you enter the world of the newly pregnant, you can be truly astounded by the amount of STUFF that is being marketed and sold to gestating ladies. I think about how simple it must have been 80 years ago (?) when salves and lotions were homemade and there was a community of women around a new mother. Now we get our information from blogs and the internet, and even our Mothers’ cure-all’s seem like old wives’ tales.

I am a designer by trade. Now I lead a team of designers. I work with marketing people every day so I see the “back room” of product creation. Sometimes it’s about responding to the needs of consumers and developing products based on those needs and desires. But occasionally you find products that are NOT USEFUL, and the ad-machine behind it convinces us that we’ve GOTTA HAVE IT.

I try to think of what motivates me to surround myself with the things I do. Sometimes it’s aesthetics – “this _____ is beautiful and it inspires me, so I must have it”. (Maybe you do this with shoes, or smelly things, or fancy silk pillows). Sometimes, it’s about NEED, whether real or  imagined – “this will help me _______ so I must get it”. (Maybe this is the dusty yoga mat in the corner of the living room, or the wii fit that lies dormant under the telly?) Sometimes it is altruistic – validated by a commitment to service, community or the environment – ” Will buying veggies from the local farm help me reduce greenhouse gas, and thus help to save a polar bear somewhere?”

Obviously I have been thinking about this – a lot!

I usually ponder this “consumer impulse” when I see something that appears – to me- ridiculous. Like that Snuggy they show on midnight TV. Or the “On the go” hands free double breast pump for the working (type A) mom.

You CAN have it all!


Check this out! Does she look happy and content? Generating nourishment for her little one at home? I know we are all busy, but sometimes you need to put down the blackberry and drop the email and just be in the moment. It’s hard enough to be a working mom, but why do we feel that we must do everything, ALL of the time?

Then there’s the idea of the decorative nursing bib. At first I have to ask myself, what’s the wearing occasion here? Am I going to prom or a high school reunion? Do I think that donning a  $40 printed tablecloth over my lactating bosom might somehow camouflage what I am doing under there? Instead, what if my nursing bib resembled something more subtile, like a fleshy colored blouse from the latest Armani collection? Something glam and simple (and able to hold a suckling babe without drawing too much attention.)

nursing cover

Urban camo for the discreet mom??


Maybe the quote should read “Noone knows what I am doing under here!!!”

Or, if your feeling really frisky, try the new nursing snuggy…



just joking!

So next time you are out and you pick up something seemingly senseless, just be sure you really NEED it, WANT it, or will derive some kind of PLEASURE from it. You WILL get stretch marks if that is your destiny and heredity. No bit of salve or belly butter can prevent it . But, if you like the scent and if it keeps you from scratching your bump like a leper, go for it lady! Just know what you are doing –  and WHY!

Fashion Emergency!!!!

It’s 8:40 am here and I am having a fashion emergency. After some not-so-subtile prodding, the Bear has set up a lovely romantic evening for us in Boston. I like to think of the next 6 months as a long last hurrah, as I can imagine our lives will be very different come August. I bought a pretty red dress and I thought it would look really nice  (albeit a little cheezy for Valentine’s day). There’s only one problem. The dress is a maternity dress, a nice flattering cut with a pretty crossover neckline. It has an empire waist which comes just below the bust. From there down, it is very sleek (not fitted) but I can imagine that every bump and lump will show if squeezed too tightly!

Here’s the issue- what to do with my naughty bits!?? The only maternity underpinnings I have are loose black opaque leggings (which remind me of elephant legs, still wrinkling at the knees) or black spanx. But black with red? I will look like a knocked up Minnie Mouse!

I fumbled through my old drawers , looking for “old drawers” (pardon the pun). I found a pair of fishnets-     eeek-   and two pairs of VS thigh high stockings you need to wear with a garter. (Never worn, mind you). I tried to wear them without a garter, but they kept sliding down my large legs. I imagine sitting there, enjoying a nice mocktail, while my stockings creep down to my knees.

So I tried them on with a garter. A white lacy garter (also never worn) and a pair of black sheer stockings. I looked like a sausage link and the garter practically cut off my belly circulation. Just imagine THAT showing through a bright red maternity dress!

My bump is now obvious. I believe it’s because I had a belly to begin with, and the baby belly is kind of icing on an already round cake. But if you squeeze me in the middle with a wide elastic I look neither maternal and sensual nor sexy and appropriate. It’s such a bold move to wear a red dress in the first place (at least for ME, at least NOW) that it has to go off without a hitch.

There’s a maternity store in Cambridge that opens at noon, they must have pretty, nude hose. Then it’s off to meet my dear girlfriends for a quick laugh.

I do feel blessed by all this. I think I went almost 39 years without having a REAL Valentine, and this little bump only makes it even more special this year. I just want to look pretty, not like something out of a Disney musical.

Happy Valentine’s Day , everyone. Sending hugs!!!! Shell

The Tempered Radical

There’s a lot going on at work this week. Every day, I arrive to a “fashion emergency.” (Working in the fashion industry- I can make this joke). While I am fully committed to my job, I am often in awe of what people regard as a crisis. An earthquake-CRISIS!!!!!! A building that crashes to the ground- CRISIS!!!!!! Missing your sisters 40th Birthday- CRISIS!!!!!! But a calendar blow up or someone’s opinion that a design might need some immediate revision?? Well that’s just the JOB!

I am deeply devoted to my career. More importantly, I am devoted to the team that I lead and am constantly trying to consider ways to develop and inspire them. I think it is important for each person (particularly young designers) to find their voice as artists and members of their community. It’s only after we KNOW OURSELVES that we truly have something unique and personal to offer. This may pose a quandary for those of us that work within a corporate enviornment, or a structure where we are not the final decision makers. That’s why it becomes even more important to find our voices, and to hone in on those vital INFLUENCING SKILLS.

Perhaps it is my new pregnancy, my need to look a little more within and to protect the thing which is growing inside me, but I am boycotting fashion emergencies. Sure, I’ll think fast on my feet and give you a solution that will bring you to your knees, but I will NOT be a DRAMA QUEEN about it. I just don’t have the energy.

There are many at my job who flail their arms about and pontificate the injustice of the corporate world. Sure, nothing is perfect. But can we PLEASE advocate for change in a way that others will hear us and respond??? Why the drama?

And what’s all this about sitting in a high powered meeting and simply agreeing with the man ahead of you? Were we not charged with a level of expertise and thoughfulness in our craft that has brought us into the boardroom? Are they really paying us these salaries so we just AGREE with everything? 

I am trying to find a way to keep my voice as a creative, as a woman, and as a leader in a complex organization. I am trying to be an advocate for POSITIVE change, while still getting followership and support for fresh ideas.

I am reading this book called “The Tempered Radical” published by Harvard Univ. Press. It’s wonderful. A nice respite from “The Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy” which is also by my bedside.

So this is the other half of my life, that I don’t often write about. It’s exciting, and frustrating and wonderful.