Classic Style

What I Actually Wore + Reader Q+As.

By: Jen Shoop

A reader recently requested, in a comment, a post dedicated to what I actually wear in a given week.  I thought I’d share a couple of snapshots from the past few days, wearing a few of my go-to easy outfit staples, as shown in the snapshots below.

The Fashion Magpie What I Wore

What I’m Wearing on Repeat…

+These light-wash jeans are so comfortable and stretchy, and yet they still hold ya in.  I love the raw hem and the light wash — I’ve never owned a wash so light and I feel like a new woman.

+This headband.

+These Gucci flats, which totally make an outfit.  I wore them with my black J. Brand jeans and a black crewneck sweater and my trench coat (mine is from Banana a few years ago, but I think this is the same coat, just without the striped lining!, and this one is also very similar, and similarly priced!).

+A Gucci handbag I inherited from my grandmother that I’ve just resurfaced.  Can you believe that for YEARS I shunned it to the depths of my closet because I thought the shape was too old-fashioned and that the Gucci logo was passe?  Now Gucci is having such a major moment and it’s like having a brand-new handbag.  A vote in favor of hanging onto things, which is an inconvenient discovery given our current petite living situation…This one has a similar vibe, though mine is  a smaller, more ladylike shape.

+This Zara pearl-cuffed turtleneck and vintage oversized pearl earrings (also from my grandmother).

+My new favorite white loafers (under $150) — these look SO fresh and modern; I love the slightly masculine shape.

+My favorite sweater from the past season — this open-weave mockneck style in chic moss green.

This is a small sample set of how I dress right now: casual and movement-friendly when I’m running after mini or Tilly, but with a statement accessory or shoe to make myself feel relevant and chic.

P.S.  — I am SO TIRED OF THIS WINTER and SO READY to wear dresses and skirts, which I wear nearly every day of the summer.


Q: Do you have a system for keeping track of things you like or are considering buying online? Is it just bookmarking? I budget by only allowing myself to shop every 3rd month but I have a hard time keeping track of the things that I’ve liked along the way. 

A: Yes!  I use Polyvore for blogging and personal shopping purposes, and the key ingredient there is installing the “clipper” widget into your browser bar so when you’re visiting a site like Ann Taylor or Bloomingdales or whatever, you can tap the clipper in your browser bar and it will snap the item so that it will show up in your Polyvore account.  However, a simpler solution would probably be Pinterest, as I’m willing to bet you already have an account? — just create a private board and make sure you have the “Pin It” widget in your browser bar.  Then, any time you see something you like, you can pin it to your private board.  And you could have a bunch of private boards, too: “Summer Shopping,” “Kids’ Vacation Gear,” etc.

Q: I’m traveling to Europe for four weeks this summer with my three children, one of which will still be nursing. My goal is to pack VERY LITTLE–a capsule wardrobe if you will. Any ideas for this? Have you ever packed SUPER light for a trip? 
A: So funny you mention this; Mr. Magpie and I were just saying that if we travel abroad to visit my sister in London, we’re going to aim to bring the absolute minimum for ourselves and mini.  One thing you probably already know is to only pack enough diapers and wipes for the trip, and to stop by a grocery as soon as you arrive at your destination, but beyond that — I’ve never traveled light with mini in tow, so I’d call in the experts:
+The blogger Naomi of Love Taza travels with her brood of small children all the time and has a bunch of posts on this topic, like this one, which may be helpful.
+My mom is a very good packer, and her strategy is to identify a color palette and pack all interchangeable pieces, i.e., navy and pink, or red and denim, or black and white, and have layers and pieces that all play nicely together so you can create new looks with the same five or six articles of clothing.
+The one key travel piece I never leave home without is a lightweight anorak-type jacket — they’re perfect because they fold up, they’re lightweight, they double as a raincoat, and they layer well.  (They also often have lots of pockets, which comes in handy.)  I love this one.
+Finally, I can’t blab enough about how packing cubes changed my life when traveling with mini (I have these and these).  It is SO helpful to have all her tiny little things in transparent pouches that I can easily reach for in a suitcase; I keep all her clothes are in one cube, all her shoes/accessories in another, all my undergarments in one, my exercise clothes in another, etc, etc.  I think this could be really helpful for you; you might just have one cube per child?  Also, be sure to pack a collapsible tote, if only to serve as a portable laundry basket for schlepping clothes to the laundromat!  (I really like this one.)
Q:  We’re in the early stages of planning a trip to Hawaii to celebrate our ten-year wedding anniversary.  I found an amazing photographer and wanted to do an intimate vow renewal during our shoot.  I am struggling to find a dress to wear.  Looking for something not too beachy, not too bridal, not too boho.  Something similar to this would be so amazing if it were in white.

A: Love your plan for vow renewals — how romantic.  I just spent the better part of minimagpie’s morning nap daydreaming about what I would wear.  My first thought, when you sent me that saucy red two-piece situation, was the brand Miguelina, which does a lot of gauze-y/lace-y gorgeous two-pieces.  I’m dying because I’m pretty sure this or this would be perfect for you, but they seem to be sold out — but maybe you can troll eBay for something like this and a coordinating top?  Alternately, this frothy dress is super pretty.  At any rate, dig around the internet for that label — I think it’s right in the lane you’re looking for.

Next up: I’m guessing this may be too informal for you, but I am OBSESSED with the brand Saloni.  This dress is so pretty, and her dresses generally fit slender frames really well.  Also, I’m not sure why the dress looks knee-length in that picture because everywhere else it looks more midi.
I’ve had lovely luck with Zimmermann for many formal events, and this dress is on sale and SO stunning.  Not sure how comf you are with the neckline, but I’m obsessed!  The quality of these dresses are insane.
Is this too boho/un-fitted for you?  So pretty!  Love the neckline.
Pricier, but this Self-Portrait takes my breath away.  And this is just SO fun, but maybe too much for what you’re going for?  Finally, this one is elegant.
Two other finds that seem similar in ethos to the FP two-piece you sent: this and this.  I can’t tell with the latter what’s going on with the waist-line — does it have a sort of belt/hem in the middle?  Odd.
Outside the box: this eyelet jumpsuit (to die).  This Adeam, which looks lavender in some pictures but I’m pretty sure is white — at any rate, it makes me want to weep.  Gorgiiiiine.  And a huge splurge.  This less formal but oh-so-pretty Talulah.

Q: I moved to the Midwest a few years ago from the city and now feel like a frumpy mom, completely out of the loop with regard to trends. I wear a large, lightweight scarf to work nearly every day (adds to my typically black or grey outfit and keeps me warm), and I really need at least one new one.  Any recommendations?  I have looked at Gucci (sans logos) and Louis Vuitton’s classic leopard one; I feel like allover logos are a bit too showy for work.

A:  My initial thought was — have you looked at Hermes?  They are La Creme de la Creme when it comes to scarf-wear.  They offer all different colors and patterns, some more muted than others; a chic but dramatic black and white one would look amazing against a black/gray wardrobe!  (You can also occasionally score wonderful gently-used styles at Real Real; I’ve purchased a number of items from them and felt very good about saving some money for something that looks good-as-new!)  

Another option: Virginia Johnson’s gorgeous painterly styles.  These are more shawl than scarf (possibly more appropriate for the Midwest?!), but I’ve long loved her styles.  She’s sold out right now but will be restocked on April 1.
You might consider a solid-colored cashmere style from Loro Piana; my mom absolutely flips over the quality of this brand.  That light gray color would look EPIC in a monochromatic shades-of-gray situation, layered on top of your gray suit!
If you wind up on the fence on all of these, you might also consider snagging one or two less-expensive styles from Zara.  I find that their scarves are a great way to upgrade/update my look, especially towards the end of the long winter season, when I can hardly bear to look at my coats anymore.  Suddenly, throwing on a happy new printed scarf from Zara makes me feel like a whole new woman.  I like this leopard print with that ice blue trimthis stately glen plaid style (<<glen plaid is SO in right now and would look elegant and appropriate with a black/gray suit situation), and this elegant gray striped style, which I JUST saw in-person a day or two ago — it’s so soft and cozy!
Q: Any suggestions for a baptism outfit (for me) in mid-March? If I pick a dress, I’ll likely need tights; I dress in black 99% of the time but it seems inappropriate on that day; maybe a midi skirt and bodysuit sans tights and pray for warmth? I’m a new mom, I never get to dress up anymore! Help!  
A: I’d totally do midi and bodysuit with some pumps — you won’t be outside for much, right? (If I can avoid tights, I will…) Alternately, avoid the separates altogether and wear a pleated midi dress like this in a spring-like color.  If you go black, I love the sleeves on this shift (also a good shape for a mom who has recently given birth!) — though I’d probably wear it in white, with these.  (March be-damned!)  This is also elegant, especially with pointed-toe flats.  Personally, though, I love color, and this peony pink dress is EVERYTHING.  It feels to me like the perfect mother-of-the-baby dress: elegant, fashionable, and ladylike all at once. 
But also — in a perfect world — I would have an entire closet-ful of Saloni dresses, and this one or this one would be just the ticket for a Baptism — so elegant, so old-world, and so chic.
Q: I would lovee to see a post/small feature on cute white jumpsuits/dresses.  I love your style so much and having a hard time narrowing down what to wear to my engagement party.
A: Some of the pics from the answer above on a vow renewal would be amazing picks, but I saw this and stopped and stared for a good long while.  So darling with those bows on the shoulders!  I also am DYING over this statement-making MGSM number.  That frill down the side add so much depth and interest to the dress; it looks like it cost about $2000!
This would also be darling for a bachelorette party (or, possibly, an engagement party, depending on the location and crowd!), this is sweet as pie, and I like the length and volume on this.
Finally, check out this chic white kitten heel and consider these or these as statement earrings!
Q: What baby books would you recommend to a first-time mom?
A: I have said this to about two dozen people recently: you need to do what you need to do in order to feel prepared and empowered as a parent, and I have generally found that people fall into one of two categories: “give me all the information so that I can internalize it, digest it, and feel empowered to make decisions” or “don’t tell me anything so I can feel empowered to follow my own gut, rather than paralyzed by too much information.”  I’m the latter.  Too much information leaves me overburdened; I tend to overthink and overanalyze and fret over every little detail.  As a result, I deliberately did not read any baby books.  I instead relied on a couple of close friends and family members for guidance with mini.  That said, my mom gave me this now-out-of-print book (which you can still order used!) and assured me that if I couldn’t figure something out on my own, and she was unreachable, the book would have a sound, practical perspective on the issue.  I’ve referred to it a number of times, typically when mini isn’t feeling well and I want to know what to do.
While I think my approach has worked thus far, my one regret is that I didn’t take a class or read a book on breastfeeding.  There is a lot to know and I am fairly sure that I messed up with mini by not attempting to feed her frequently enough, or long enough, those first two or three days in the hospital, which led to an undersupply, which led to months and months of time-consuming feeding, pumping, supplementing with bottles, and a whole lot of mom guilt.
Q: What recipe did you use for the mini soft pretzels you made for mini’s birthday party?
[I got this question a lot via Instastory!]  I used this recipe, and I sprinkled them with Trader Joe’s Everything Bagel seasoning.
P.P.S.  People are freaking out over Goop’s new bath soaks/salts.  Read my friend Grace’s review of them here.  I find that when she recommends something, you can totally trust her — she only features products that actually work and that she actually uses.

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19 thoughts on “What I Actually Wore + Reader Q+As.

  1. *and an outfit that can withstand the inevitable smears of homemade raspberry frosting. I’m doomed aren’t I.

  2. Shoot I wish I had asked you a fashion question! If you do this roundup again soon… I am lost as what to wear to my baby’s first birthday party in three weeks. Family only, casual, but because I work in events it’s going to be pretty styled if that makes sense and there will also be a professional photographer to capture candid shots/decor/ a few family photos. So I want to look chic while still being able to move and carry around a baby and probably be installing a floral chandelier 10 minutes before people show up. Le sigh.

    1. Oooh, this is a good one. Well, I can tell you what NOT to do: do not wear a Saloni dress with a low vee in the front, as I did, because I then found it so awkward to bend down and scoop Emory up and probably flashed a thousand people. Blah. You are wise to be thinking about functionality…

      If I were up to a redo, I am swooning over this floaty number from Doen:

      I know you said “casual,” but a boho maxi feels backyard appropriate to me!

      I also like this chic mint green jumpsuit ( and this stylish yellow one (, both of which feels fashionable and appropriately eye-catching for a photo shoot, but also practical (and comfortable).

      This looks super comfortable and also fun: — it’s the spitting image of a far more expensive style by Dodo Bar Or and could make for some fun pictures.

      Let me know if I’m in the ballpark, or if there are any other parameters — I’m assuming you’re looking for a dress, but maybe you had jeans and a blouse in mind?!


    2. you are SO lovely to reply with these suggestions. looooving that doen number in salt and also the stylekeepers ($50!!) maxi. these are such wonderful options.

      …. and now that you say jeans and blouse i’m thinking about that too. i loved those h&m raffia slides you linked to a few posts ago (cute with skinnies?) and a flowy top?

  3. Love the snapshots! Our styles are quite similar … I’d loooove to have those Gucci grosgrain bow flats. I can’t wait to start wearing loafers again sans socks. Just have to wait for these nor’easters to ease up!

  4. Regarding the mom who was looking for sleep equipment solutions for her little one while traveling: there are innumerable baby equipment rental companies which I found online via Google. They will provide car seats, cribs, high chairs, portacribs etc. The company I have used in the past is called “Babierge”. For a reasonable daily rental fee, they deliver, set up and pick up after the completion of your rental period. I was able to do it all online, including the delivery date and time. I found the quality of the full size crib we rented for our granddaughter to be in immaculate condition. The crib came with a sealed, sanitized mattress, a new (in package) mattress pad, and two, new (in package) crib sheets. I believe they are an online franchise with reps in locations all over the US. Give it a try!

  5. I looove Polyvore. I actually use it for regular outfit planning. It’s taken some time but I pretty much have my whole wardrobe saved in my account and it’s so easy for me to play around with different looks. Like real paper dolls! It’s a lot easier than ripping my closet apart trying on different things, and it is a great way to keep track of wish list items (and see how they work with my existing pieces).

    I love that turtleneck from Zara, I just threw the pink and navy versions in my cart!

    1. Yes, totally! Exactly like paper dolls. So love sorting things into look.

      The Zara turtleneck is major — it looks so much more high-end and is super comfortable. Love!

  6. How brilliant about the diapers piece while traveling. I didn’t even think of that! We are going on a low-key vacation to Florida in May and I’m trying to wrap my head around what to pack for Jace! I’m going to use that tidbit for diapers and swim diapers to save space in our luggage!

    I found a useful booster seat contraption online that hooks on to a chair and sort of straps them in. (Folds neatly into a case for traveling). I’m struggling on what to do for sleeping arrangements…. We are staying in a condo and there isn’t a pack-n-play available. Do I buy one there? Fly with mine? Are there any contraptions out there I should know about? HELP! haha. 🙂

    1. YES! Buying diapers at the destination is such a space-saver since those things can be so, so bulky!

      Can you send a link to that booster seat contraption? Sounds GENIUS!

      For sleeping — ughhh. There’s no ideal solution now that they’re too big for a packable bassinet. We checked our pack and play when we traveled last time, but you have to think about the economics…it cost $25 to check it each way, so it was either $50 to check roundtrip or buy an inexpensive one when we arrived at our destination. The other option would be to sleep with him in your bed, which — to be honest — is what ended up happening when we were in FL because Emory would NOT sleep in her pack and play, but then again, it was SO nice to be able to put her in her pack and play for a few hours of respite until she’d wake up screaming…sorry to not be more helpful on this front!

    2. My sister in law orders diapers and wipes on Amazon and ships them to the house so they are there when they arrive!

  7. As you, I am in love with ruffles this season, I have similar blouse as you have in pictures above. While I was reading you Q&A, I came up with question myself. What do you think about pairing up jumpsuit and ruffle blouse? Could it work as a office look? (BTW the jumpsuit is dark red).

    Rock Renee Blog

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