Saturday, May 11, 2013

An Ex-Fashionista On the Verge of Mom Jeans...

I know, you're looking at my new snazzy profile pic and thinking, "What's THIS post about? She seems stylish?!" That was a good fashion day- for sure. My best in a year quite possibly. I mean, it was a photo shoot people, if you can't be stylish for a planned picture session, you're even worse off than I am, which is not good. I got the dress off the Target clearance rack (my go-to now for fashion), and I had the genius idea to wear the hair wrap due to some uncontrollable curl issues. When I told Hannah my idea for the wrap even she looked at me like I was nuts. Of course she then helped me style it- but no one, not even one of my besties, is expecting anything trendy from me these days. How sad. Because I used to be so stylish.

"Used to," of course, always refers to pre-kids... doesn't it? When I speak in terms of travel, fashion, seeing movies, going to concerts, etc., it's always, "I used to love dressing up and going out to concerts!" but what I really mean is, "Before I had kids I always went to Melrose and shopped in my platforms!"

The truth is, I'm lucky if I get out of my robe most days. No, I'm serious. Hannah walks in to my house every other day and inevitably yells, "It's Robe Time!" And every time I want to tell her to stop dropping by during "robe time" hours, I realize, "Dang, it's 1 p.m. already?" If it wasn't for preschool drop off 2 days a week I don't know if I'd ever get into regular clothes. I always wonder what my son's teachers think of me; I'm dying to explain myself to them, "I'm sorry, I was up late blogging last night, I know this is unacceptable," pointing to my jeans and hoody and unmake-upped face.

To make matters worse, of course it never fails that I'm always taking Cormac into school as that one mom is ALWAYS exiting. You know, that mom in the pencil skirt, heels and the awfully fun blouse? Ya her, we're on the same drop off schedule. WHY? Can't I time this differently somehow? I do NOT need to see this woman 2 days a week! I mean how many hot pencil skirts can one woman own? All I want to say to her is, "I majored in Fashion Design you know, I COULD be fashionable if I wanted to be." But something tells me I'd start crying mid-sentence and she'd start hugging me and I'd never forgive myself for creating the most awkward moment in the history of preschool drop offs, so I just smile... at the ground of course...

And I don't know when this all happened. This lack of fashion sense. If it's been gradual over the last 4 years since Cormac was born, or if since Birdie was born I've just totally given up. I definitely  never saw this lack of concern over my wardrobe coming. You see, since graduating from the burgundy lips, aqua netted bangs, mini braids, Raiders sweatshirt and Dickie pants look in 9th grade (oh don't you worry, of course I have a pic) I transitioned into a high school trend-setter fueled by trips to NYC when I was 15 (my mom is a flight attendant). I mean, I was really bringing it in high school. Aren't I supposed to be getting more fashionable since then, not less?

Of course I have all of these excuses for not being as fashionable as I used to be. I'm working 2 jobs (3 if you throw in the fact I'm a F/T mom!), I have 2 small kids, I go to bed late and get up early. I have like, a LOT on my mind ok? And the big one, "We don't have a real expendable budget you know!"

But then I know other women with all of these excuses and some how they're still bringing it. I have this acquaintance and she runs a huge fashion blog. Like, she daily chronicles her fashion choices. The thought of me doing this makes me laugh out loud... Monday: pj pants and built-in bra tank until 2 p.m. when I change into jeans (same tank) until 6 p.m. when I goes back to pj bottoms... Ya, no.

This acquaintance of mine recently had a baby and I was secretly hoping she would get crazy kinds of unfashionable in the process leading up to motherhood. But to my shock and awe, she got cuter. Damn! She took "dressing the bump" seriously, like high fashion serious. Then the baby came and she's even looked fashionable losing the baby weight. Really? So here I am daily looking at her "what she wore" pictures and all I'm thinking is, "Does her baby not spit up? Does she mind if there's drool on a suede vest?" 

 And there it is, right there... what it all comes down to: Fashion vs. Function. For me, function won out... and quickly, like the minute I had kids. Great, so it's been 4 years- this is worse than I thought.

I remember it well, going on a mission to find "cute tees" to nurse Cormac in. I bought a bunch for easy access. Up until that point I had never been a jeans and tee girl. I had never really had curves either so I was kind of embracing my new jeans and tee look. I had always been a vintage dress and funky cowboy boots kind of girl. I mean, when you're family ain't rich, a vintage style is the way to go. I scored prom dresses for 90 cents- vintage was in my blood! I also had first choice of everything at the vintage clothing store I co-owned with my bestie, Kelsey.

Pre-kids I had built up a pretty stellar wardrobe: lots of gold, lace, funky belts and tons of fancy shoes. Of course I figured post nursing I'd go right back to that eclectic little style I loved so much. But I nursed for almost a year... and I must have forgotten about all of those cute clothes after all that time had passed... because 4 years later I'm still wearing a lot of those nursing tees... something I should definitely not be admitting publicly...

Then there was last Christmas, the Christmas my brother decided to buy me an outfit from Club Monaco: a high waisted mini skirt and a black sheer blouse to go with it. He was trying to tell me something. I guess I should have been flattered that he thought I could pull off something of that caliber... but when I opened it, I didn't exactly even know what to say. I mean, where was I supposed to wear this? Our church's New Year's Party? Noooo... Playdate? Noooooo. Birdie was like 6 months old so I wasn't quite feeling mini skirt ready....? I couldn't come up with a place to look that fashionable, so I took it back with his permission and traded it in for- you guessed it- a cardigan! (It was cashmere, ok?)

My brother has had a harder time than anyone coming to terms with the fact I've sold all of my most stylish clothing on ebay, (Betsey Johnson has a high resale value!) He doesn't care to understand why a little something like children would get in the way of high fashion- AS IF! I mean I'd like to think his amazing style is partially because of me- his once-stylish older sister. Can't he just be happy for me and my built in bra tank? At least I'm wearing a bra, sheesh.

As of starting Miss Party Mom, my fashion has plummeted to an all time low. Which is ironic you know, that I'm styling these adorable parties for people and yet most of my days are spent in a pair of 2006 PINK sweats, a short robe and UGG slippers. You know it's bad when, if I happen to put on lip gloss, a cardi and slip-on Vans... I'm blowing minds. Shawn's like, "Where'd you GO today??!" And my friend Amber, forget it, if I wear even the lightest coat of mascara she's telling me repeatedly, "You look so pretty today!" It's a hint for sure. I hear that loud and clear girlfriend. Because really someone should only be hearing a compliment like that if they put on a dress, or are wearing something radically new. NOT mascara.

And then there's this sweet waitress at work. Whenever I walk in to the restaurant to start a shift she says, "You're so stylish today!" and I want to grab her cute little face and say, "Stop saying that! I'm not! I used to be but now I just fake it on Saturdays so I can make good tips! Can't you see this is a cover?!" but again, that would be awkward and I'm really trying to stay away from awkward these days... particularly because I've had a few incredibly awkward moments lately... especially at the restaurant.

THE most awkward encounter at the restaurant I've ever had in over 3 years of being there happened about a month ago. I mean, seriously, you can't imagine- but I'm going to try and make sure you do. You'll need some background before we get to it. Last Easter, 2012 I decided to cut my hair insanely short and bleach it blond. After a month I got an even crazier idea and I shaved one side of it, well- close to shaved we'll say. A lot of "cool" people were doing it and I really wanted to try it, so I did. I've always had really curly hair and this was the only time I didn't because it was an inch long and too fried to curl. I wanted to take advantage of that fact. So in the same day, I shaved a side and dyed it hot pink. It instantly took me up a style level. A major plus for sure. Even if it did wash out in 3 weeks, those 3 weeks I was like a fashion goddess in my small town. Or so I thought....

Back at the restaurant... Here I am just filling up a regular customer's coffee (a man in his 40's), when he says, "I'm really happy to see your hair is growing in Kenna." I assume he's not a guy big on short hair so I say, "Oh, are you not a fan of short hair on women?" His next response is something I just am not braced for. "No, not at all- I thought it looked good on you! I'm just glad the treatments are working out- it really shows." Treatments? I mean, I had done a scalp treatment for  dandruff issues... but how would he know that? "What treatments?" I ask, in total sincerity.

He's uncomfortable. He now seems like he would rather just drink his coffee alone, as he's kind of pivoting his body away from me. I'm dying to know what treatments he thought I was taking so I insist. He sputters something like, "Oh, I'm so sorry Kenna, I thought you were losing hair due to chemo and radiation treatments." Hmmm... interesting... not exactly the look I was going for. "Nope, no cancer here!" I say, trying to keep things light- I can tell this poor man is mortified. "I'm just crazy and thought short hair might be fun!" I then explain to him that I am originally from LA and that the shaved side is a very popular haircut there. He isn't convinced. And then he proceeds to tell me that he assumed I had breast cancer because of the pink on the shaved side- he thought I was trying to "make a statement." Oh I was trying to make a statement alright! Just not about breast cancer.

So there it is. I'm not as fashionable as I once was. Even when I try to be. It was so much easier when it was my job to be put together and on top of the latest style trends. In my former job at Mattel, I was paid to care about how I looked! And how crazy is it that I only had myself to care about- how easy! Now I'm more concerned that my kids look cute, my house looks fun and hip and my husband isn't wearing that purple sweatshirt with the grease stains on it. If I manage to get on some colored jeans, or dare I say jeans with a print- I'm walking my hallway at home like it's a cat walk. It's safe to say I've grown all too comfortable with my with my leopard meets stripes meets floral meets polka dots look. You see mixed prints are effortless. Reach in the closet with eyes closed... pull some clothing out and you're done. That's just about what I have time for these days. Perfect.

I guess I just reserve all of my style for my parties... which works out really well for my clients.

                                                                   xo Party or Die xo
I TOLD you I'd show it... In case you don't know where I'm from (what hood I represent) you should google it: Hawthorne, Ca. That will give you an idea where all of THIS style came from... (if you're too lazy for Google- Hawthorne borders Inglewood, if you don't know where Inglewood is- you're living under a rock and I don't know how you have internet)
That's me in the wig and wings. I went to NYC as a Sophomore and came back in wings. Funny how that happens.
I found my group shortly after... and I was definitely in "that" crowd of kids in high school... you know the ones.

Case and point. Kings of Leon tickets, The Wiltern & vintage dress: check! Pre-kids: check!

Our little clothing store... chock full of vintage racks to borrow from or just plain take. What an easy way to be stylish.

Pregnant with Cormac. Clueless about the fact that my post mom wedding wardrobe would be much less stylish and involve one dress I wear to almost everything.
Easter 2012. The day after I went platinum in an effort to up my cool factor again... can you tell I'd just dyed it?! Noooo.... really??
Oh pink side, you were a fun thought. Your town didn't understand you, not your fault. {This was my first attempt at taking pics to brand Miss Party Mom. I had these sent off to be illustrated and that image is at the top of my blog... I had to try and have style if I was being immortalized in a drawing!}
Our home which I still care about keeping up... it's ever changing to meet the needs of the family, and I try and keep it {budget} cool. This is a year ago and we have a new rug the kids can actually sip a juice on, an ottoman and a vintage trunk for DVD storage... I guess I'd rather spend money on the house than myself!
This is my brother with Thom Browne at New York's Fashion Week in February ('13)... I can't imagine why he'd judge me...?

{Me and my bestie Kelsey}. Shortly after the pink hair faded I went the darkest I've ever been in an effort to be chic. I still manage to pull something stylish out for my parties. I have to pretend I've still got it once and a while!

Something like my daily attire... they may not be mom jeans... but they're pretty close to mom shorts.


  1. That story about the breast-cancer hair is pretty mortifying, but I personally loved your short blonde hair. And even your "mom-attire" looks cute to me; mixing prints always makes half-assed look better, imo.

  2. ps. I can not believe your brother was at fashion week! jealous. Of going to fashion week AND that jacket. pps. I wish I had known you in your vintage shop days! I would have blown a lot of cash there.

    1. Oh man you would have loved the store- you in high school- that was our exact demographic. I'm glad my mom-attire is cute to you... I wish it was cute to me!

  3. I still think you "bring it" when you want to....and I'm so glad I'm not the only one offended by "the robe". :) And I need to meet this mom in the fabulous pencil skirts....she sounds like my long lost soul mate in Orcutt!

    1. You think my robe is sexy... I know you do. And that mom was there yesterday at the Mother's Day function, in her weekend attire- not as impressive as a good pencil skirt.

  4. So love the transparency and the robe.. I have to say that I feel like living in Orcutt has something to do with draining the creativity out of life- and it takes much more effort to steer it up... Go home to LA more often that might ignite the passion once again.

    1. I'm going to LA this coming week, wish me the best! I need some inspiration!

  5. oh my gosh, i remember you once saying that you were from hawthorne, but i didnt realize you were actually, you know, *from hawthorne*.

  6. OMG this "Orcutt draining the creativity out of life" comment is too much. I'm appalled. Orcutt haters. Kenna you bring it with your cute cardigan, funky glasses, and print jeans. Who needs heels and a short skirt? Please. There are chickens in your backyard for goodness sake and a broke down motorhome in your driveway. Who needs a pencil skirt on the central coast? That's not creativity, that's uncomfortability, and kinda old if you ask me. Hoodies and sandals keep you young. I love your style, and I'm inspired by it, so you're not allowed to say you dress badly, because then that means I'm even worse!! aahh!!!

  7. Oh please you always look great and put together and like you went to bed at a normal time with no bags under your eyes!! Chickens and a broken down motor home... great, we're hippies. Even worse.

  8. I love this so hard and could not relate more! I pretty much wish on the daily that we still had BFF to tap from.

    1. Oh thank God, I was starting to wonder if you'd judge me next time you saw me. We can totally still be besties.

  9. I love your pictures!!
    You know what? I think once Birdie will be 4 or 5 , this situation might be better. I'm kinda regain my "stylish sense of life" now. Not every day, of course, but let's say I'm beginning with a couple of days a week and even sometimes when I manage to go out for dinner with my hubby. It's a matter of time! You'll see :-)
    thank you for sharing those pics!


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