Dear Parenting Magazine Fashion Consultants, WTF ARE YOU THINKING!???

I am somehow the recipient of an accidental lifetime subscription to your magazine. THANKS A LOT. I have never paid for the thing and still it comes, every month, bombarding me with boredom and upsetting fashion statements. This month however, you magazine went too far. WAY TOO far. Please find below "after" photo of one of your "real mom models."

Call me shallow, but this "after shot" almost made me throw up. No joke. I literally became epileptic when I opened up to your "makeover" and saw the horror that is your idea of "styling."

Please study the following photo yourself and remember you paid a "stylist" to "style" a mother who needed "help" and this was what you came up with? A school marm on crack?

Behold for Fall, I present: Frump-a-leupagus... The look of the season for Mom's with no taste!

I have blogged about my disdain for the whole "I'm a Mom so I should dress like one!" phenomenon. There is nothing wrong with a woman with style AND kids and yet, somehow in the past few decades there has become a definite mom-wardrobe. Khaki pants, white OR black tee. Sometimes tube socks and sweatpants. Lee jeans and button downs. No offense if you dig Lee jeans and tube socks, I'm just saying, NOT EVERYONE DOES.

This is why I do not read parenting magazines and refuse to subscribe to what I like to call, "Mini-Van-Couture." Just because I am a parent does not mean I need to dress like one, walk like one, talk like one, hang with them and feel self conscious if I wear lipstick, heels and a bag that isn't some tweed disaster from Talbots.

Because seriously? Sometimes I wake up in the morning and I put on a sundress with leggings and kitten heels and a pageboy cap and a thousand necklaces and I do the fucking dishes. Yeah, you heard me. Sometimes I wear my Dolce and Gabanna pinstripe pants to Trader Joes. Sometimes I read Vogue on the treadmill and listen to The Misfits on my IPOD. Sometimes I don't want to look like a mom. And always I don't want to be represented by a magazine whose idea of a makeover is positively embarrassing.

This is the All American Mom, you say?

Ah, yes, The All American Mom. She's so busy cooking meatloaf she forgets to have any style at all! BUT THANK YOU PARENTING MAGAZINE! You have been a lifesaver with your tips! Now thanks to you I can dress like a "hip" mama and STILL have dinner ready by 7:00!

HELLLLLOOOO? Am I the only person pissed off? Like I have said in the past, "A hip mother doesn't use words like "hip.""

And just because knit sweaters and skinny belts are big for Fall, doesn't mean you have to dress us up in the D versions of said items. Just because we are Moms does not mean we lost our ability to sense fashion disaster. Just because we're mothers, doesn't mean we want to look like every other "mother" in our ticky-tacky towns.

Guess what? The higher the pant, the better the parent!

I'm extremely fed up with so-called "mom-fashion" which is one of the reasons I am proud to contribute to Cool Mom Picks and DEVASTATED by magazines like Parenting who assume all mothers have no fashion taste, sense and would HONESTLY wear a sea-green sweater from JCPenny with a pair of moccasin boots from FOUR seasons ago.

I don't care about your focus groups and your marketing statistics and your readership. You're stale and a bore and your stereotype of mothers and motherhood is dated and a little disgusting.

If you ask me? YOU'RE the one who needs a makeover. BAD.

Yes, my panties are in a bunch and no, they are not Hanes her Way, full coverage briefs with the little pink-hearted elastic. In fact, sometimes I don't even wear underwear. Put that in your Parenting pipe and smoke it.



Woman on the Verge | 5:47 PM

Fucking hilarious! and also sad that we're to be seen as frumpy. I'm a bitch with attitude and style...and by the way I have TWO kids and still manage to look hot when I feel like it. Amazing!
(shaking my head in dismay)

Anonymous | 6:17 PM

God yes that 'makeover' is HIDEOUS. We need a bitchin' parenting mag for the mama's with STYLE. And sense. (Who can HONESTLY look at themselves in that outfit and think they look good?!)

beth | 6:19 PM

Dear God! She looks better in the "before". The Mom Jeans video is dead on, particularly those sweet elasticized numbers.

Unknown | 6:35 PM

Put this post in the top drawer of you dresser and take it out when you're 55 years old and see how silly this rant is. So you don't dress like the moms in Parents, neither do I. It doesn't make me cooler or better or hipper, it makes me an individual with my own likes and dislikes. Accept that not everyone wants to look like you, either. Frankly, I find it pathetic that some 40-something moms wear things right out the junior department at Urban Outfitters.

Why do I have the feeling you're going to be in league with them?

How about trying to be less judgemental and more accepting that people dress differently, talk differently, walk differently, and your way isn't any better than theirs. It's just different.

Jill | 6:38 PM

The other bad thing about those magazines is that they'll have you convinced that your child is going to asphyxiate on his cheerios if you don't slice them in thirds.

The fashion stuff never bothered me, but hey, I'm from the midwest.

Jill | 6:43 PM

And don't worry about Margalit. She, like me, is probably saying "aw shit, does this mean I have to return my calf high moccasins. Dammit!"

Anonymous | 6:51 PM

Love the video! I can't believe you can still buy those jeans! My fashion sense has definitely deteriorated after having 2 kids in the past 3 years. But hey, what chance do I have anyway? I live in Alabama....we just got the moccasin boots last season!

Jessica | 7:15 PM

"The higher the pant, the better the parent" - *snort*!

Andrea | 7:28 PM

Margalit's just pissed you figured out what kind of panties she wears.

I'm not really much of a fashionista, but I do know a trainwreck when I see it. Boots with capris? WTF? I tend not to buy the low rider jeans because I have muffin top bad, but I do try to stay away from jeans with the waistband to my boobs.

Anonymous | 7:44 PM

Shit. I think I own that same sweater.

Karen Bodkin | 7:46 PM

Bwaaahahaha! Great post - Amen sistah!


The sweater isn't bad. It's just not quite meant to be belted. And with everything else it's just, OH GOD! My eyes! MIS OJOS!

As far as Margalit is concerned, I'm sorry you were offended by the fact that I was offended. Ahhh.... yes, I suppose no one will ever be quite happy in the oh-so wild world of FASHION dos and don'ts.

The thing is? And the point of my whole rant is that, mid-twenties mothers do exist. Hello!? Somehow Parenting magazines forgot that procreation is something that happens to women in AND out of the suburbs.

And for real? I soooo don't want everyone to dress like me, I just want Parenting magazine to hire better stylists.

P.S. I'm sooooo going to rock a mini-skirt and knee-highs as a grandmother with tats a blazing and I'm going to judge everyone (including myself) for being so clueless.

k.thedoula | 8:06 PM

I want photos of you as a granny! For the love of all things... let there still be a GGC! Of course being that I am at least a full ten years ahead of you in age... I'll be too loopy or dead.
I have no fashion.
I dress my kids uber cute though... hopefully no one notices me.
*and note that even in Canada we don't do the boots with capris... geeze!

Anonymous | 8:19 PM

omg becca you are the best.

Unknown | 8:21 PM

Ok, I too somehow still get that magazine, although I don't ever remember signing up for anything.

And I also saw that photo. And thought "that's the best they could do?? Really???"

Once again, I am glad I'm not alone, crazy, and talking to myself. Your post just made me feel slightly more sane.

...and less worried about my daughter bopping to the Circle jerks tonight

Anonymous | 8:26 PM

Nothin' wrong with a lil' Hanes My Way some days !! :)
Love your blog by the way!

Anonymous | 9:03 PM

I'm on board with Margalit. It seems very unlikely that your parenting magazine was trying to make some broad sweeping statement about what mothers should wear. So their fashion editor has questionable taste? Who cares. Looks to me like they were making an effort to follow this falls fashions, even if they didn't carry it off very well.

I do not understand your "moms in their twenties" rant. I've seen twenty year olds dress pretty shitty, and forty year olds with a fashion sense that beats out mine by a long shot.

Futher, it may be that mom pants are pretty hideous, but do you think it really matters? They're comfortable with how they look, let them make their own choices. Fashion is not a priority to the whole world.

the stefanie formerly known as stefanierj | 9:24 PM

Okay, everybody gets that this is a BLOG, right? Not a quest for world domination, even limited to the fashion sphere? But leave it to Margalit not to say anything if she can't rag on someone. Cripes.

Utah is like the breeding ground for momjeans and prep-school fashions. I was so psyched to see a mom with a tattoo and a wild t-shirt at D's preschool orientation that I practically knocked her over and demanded we be friends. She actually reminded me a lot of you, Rebecca. Maybe I'll ask HER to do my mom-makeover.

This post rocked.

Cristina | 10:20 PM

Wow, so much seriousness evoked in the commentary over a post on fashion. Who woulda thought?

By the way, I was laughing my moccs off at "Frump-a-leupagus". That, alone, made this post a gem for me.

Anonymous | 10:23 PM

My first visit to you. Not the last.

I can't even describe to you how hard I just laughed at this post.

And kudos for throwing in the Mom Jeans sketch.

I, too, have a subscription to Parenting magazine with unknown origins. I'm a little worried about where they get their information. I finally got them off my back when I moved and didn't send them a change of address. Sucks to be the new homeowner of my old digs. Unless, of course, they need help Finding the Right Balance. What exactly was this so-called stylist looking to balance?

Kristina | 10:32 PM

Thank you for making me feel just a little bit better about me wearing very short-short jean cut-offs today. I realize that was probably not what you were going for, but still.

BabyonBored | 10:36 PM

Umm...hey, I think you're really screwed up with your post. Women can wear more than khakis, and a white or black tee. What about a navy tee? See you didn't even think about that option. Clearly you are so 2005 in your assessment of suburban mom style choices. Also, I think the mom in that Parenting fashion ad bought crack from me once. Kidding. It was more than once.

*Tanyetta* | 11:13 PM


Anonymous | 5:33 AM

Word to the mother fucking third! I think Parenting was playing a cruel joke on it's readers; that writer is sitting back somewhere laughing her ass off knowing that there will be naive, idiot readers who will run right out and buy those mom-outfits. Eek!

Mama of 2 | 6:25 AM

Oh what a great post!

I too thought WFT when I saw that picture. And while I am no style maevan....I do know what looks horrible. And that was most certainly it.

I have always wanted to go on that show "What not to wear"...not because I think I dress as horribly as most of their picks but I would love to have Stacy and Clinton tell me what works for my body.

Thanks for the great post on my first day back to work after a long weekend.

The Domesticator | 7:07 AM

Wow....I think that magazine needs to hire a new fashion consultant. And that photo of the woman in "Mom Jeans"....ACK!

Anonymous | 7:40 AM

Try Cookie mag GGC. It is much more "artsy", the fashion layouts are halfway decent, and you will drool over all the expensive and pretty baby and mom things. Plus I really like their articles.

I have to say that I don't have a single mom friend that dresses like that, so yeah they are missing a huge part of their potential readership. I do live in the burbs (sort of) but you won't hold that against me will you?

Anonymous | 7:44 AM

I was doing some school shoe shopping yesterday at Payless and guess what was there - in my size no less - knee high mocassins!!!!! Brown, with fringe - the whole deal. I had to pick them up and poke fun at them!!

Whirlwind | 7:46 AM

This whole post was just freakin' hilarious! Definately not a style for me.

merseydotes | 8:27 AM

This is what the girls at Go Fug Yourself would refer to as a 'scroll-down fug,' in that it's not really so bad when you just see the ribcage up. But then you see the belt. And then you see the horrific tweed short/capris. And then you see the god-awful boots. Once the whole picture is on your monitor, you recoil in horror.

Jaelithe | 8:36 AM

Oh, hideous, hideous. I saw some similar outfits on the Today show last week-- apparently capris with boots (and in some cases, capris with LEGGINGS AND boots *shudder*), are the new fall "look" for "hip mama" set.

Don't get me wrong-- I love me some capris (wearing army green capris with japanese floral lavender detailing on the cuffs right now, and they rock), and I love me some leather boots (which reminds me I need to get new ones, but for the love of humanity I am Native American and I would not be caught dead in those faux-mocassin monstrosities). But boots and capris together? Umm, no. I do not understand why someone would pervert the use of an obviously spring/summer clothing item in this manner.

As for the dis brigade, I think they've missed your point.

Listen up, people: what GGC is arguing against is the EXPECTATION by society that mothers ought to dress a certain way, regardless of age or personality, simply because they are mothers, reinforced by certain segments of the media which PRESSURE mothers to dress a certain way with publications such as this. Her point is that every woman ought to be able to dress herself according to her own taste and personality and fashion sense, regardless of how many people she may or may not have birthed.

This woman in the magazine didn't choose clothes that scream "I have sacrificed my youth, my sexuality and my sense of fun!" for herself. They were chosen for her by someone who seems to think that's what motherhood is all about.

Of course, I myself am often equally annoyed by the people who seem to expect all women, including harried mothers of small children, to look like models and dress like movie stars every day of the week. I don't have a staff of handlers to help raise my child, clean my house, and do my business paperwork. So some days I rock the track pants, t-shirt, ponytail with no makeup look, and thank my lucky stars that I had time to take a shower.



Can I hire you to be my spokesperson? You just said it waaaaaaay better than I did, sister. YES! YES! YES!

The mother "image" is very specific and it BUGS me. Why the hell don't they branch out?


Aha! Cookie! Yes, I do love Cookie and I actually subscribe to Cookie BY CHOICE! Ha. There was a magazine called "Violet" that was even better but it never lasted past the first few issues which made me sad.

Namito | 9:54 AM

I'm not sure whether I'm going to laugh or cry at your post. I'm doing a bit of both at the moment. This is a good thing. YouTube, man. Devastating.

When I realize that I'm having more fun shopping and dressing the wee one than myself, something has got to change. Usually, the thing that changes is my shoes.

And I'll break out the blood red lipstick.

And leather jacket season is upon us...wheee!

kittenpie | 3:58 PM

Hell to the yeah! God, that was awful.
I mean, I'm not averse to khakis if they're flat front and mid-rise, but keep your LL Bean and Lands End catalogues away from me!

Anonymous | 4:24 PM

It's nice that we all have our own styles but I do have to agree, that is a BAD makeover.
Oh and I've been looking for a good parenting magazine so I'm off to see Cookie now. I hope it's something I'm looking for.

Anonymous | 6:13 PM

You should be thrilled if anyone follows that "fashion" advice....

Less competition for you in the MILF category.....Hot Underwearless Mama!


Baby in the City | 7:18 AM

This exact thing would drive me crazy during pregnancy too. Everything looked like it was made for women who were in their 40s or 50s (and very white). Hello? Doesn't biology dictate that MOST mothers are in fact in their twenties or early thirties?
The fashion thing is tough. It is seemingly unimportant in the grand scheme of things but really, it matters to how you feel about yourself. It tells OTHER people how you feel about yourself. And personally, I'd rather have people see me as a messy over-the-hill mother who can't let go of her punky grunge days that I really am. Tragic? Maybe, but at least I'm still me.

crazymumma | 10:00 AM

What have they done to that woman?! She is just so depressing, it just looks like giving up...
There was a time after both my babies were born that I wanted to LIVE in sweatpants and pajamas. And believe me when I get home I take full advantage of my comfort clothes. But I love to dress the way I always did....mix and match...different eras and with a bit of attitude. And lets not forget a good hat. And a great faux fur coat from Value Village. Just a pity I cannot fit into the clothes I could get into 10 years THAT was a wardrobe...

Shelli | 10:02 AM

You rock! Could not have said it better myself.

Anonymous | 1:28 PM

Wow. Even with my lack of fashion sense I can tell how ugly that is!!

You said it much better than I could have!

Her Bad Mother | 3:47 PM

A to the fucking MEN.

And again - AMEN.

Anonymous | 9:42 AM

Sabra, get a clue. So you were cool back then but you're not anymore. Sorry to hear that.

Anonymous | 10:01 AM

Rock on, sister! Those boots are hideous. I'm using Parenting Magazine to hold down my couch cover (squished down into the cracks of the couch).

And even though the ladies in my playgroup give me shit (what's up with that?) I still like to dress in clothes a little more fahionable than the "mom uniform".

Creative-Type Dad | 3:51 PM

LOL!! You crack me up--
You know the people at the magazine are just laughing there asses off at that mom.

My 4 year old neice could do a much better job.

Anonymous | 8:45 PM

Oh you've already got some great commments on this one, and I'm too exhausted to be witty, but I wanted to add my sigh to the collective WTF.

PunditMom | 10:04 AM

Perhaps this mag should consult with Laura, this seasons Project Runway "mom" of five, who says she never dresses down, "because it's a slippery slope to the sweatpants and a minivan."

Having said that, I'm sitting here writing this in my black Banana Republic T-shirt and denim capri pants! :O

Mom101 | 1:23 PM

I just crept out of my temporary blog reading retirement simply to smack the fist to the chest, then raise it in the air in solidarity all while laughing through the tears. The only thing even remotely as funny as this post are the dissenting comments.

Anonymous | 1:52 AM

I just stumbled into your site and had to comment on this- you are so funny!

I'm with you- let's leave the little old lady clothes to the little old ladies.

macboudica | 6:22 AM

I don't even think my granny would wear that outfit--blech!