Today we continue our journey through the 10 casual Autumn formulas I blogged about a few weeks ago. Formula #3 is all about the casual dress, so I turned to super stylish, Chicago forum member Laura, who is a freelance writer and busy Mum on the go. She’s a frock gal who owns this look. Who better to convince you that frocks are fab than our very lovely Laura with the killer pixie do and two darling boys in tow.

Of all of Angie’s brilliant formulas for moms on the go, I probably wear Formula #2 the most (for practical weather purposes), but my absolute favorite is Formula #3:

Casual dress + tights or hose + tall boots

I wasn’t always this convinced! Until about a year ago, you would find me in jeans most days. My conversion took place in the dressing room of Macy’s in Herald Square, during the YLF Manhattan convention. Angie dragged us kicking and screaming to the gigantic Macy’s flagship dress department. Thirty minutes and three fabulous frocks later, I was reborn as a dress girl.

Dresses make me feel pulled together and feminine, but still practical and comfy. It’s one simple garment, and all you need to add is tights and boots for extra coverage. What could be easier? Also, wearing casual dresses is a great alternative to jeans and sweaters. I get so sick of wearing jeans!

For Fall I love non-restrictive and forgiving empire cut dresses, A-line dresses and sack dresses in thicker fabrics with stretch. Ponte de Roma knits are pure genius, and sweater dresses and jersey knit are great too. When I shop, I generally look for long or ¾-length sleeves. But sleeveless works as well: I simply put a thin layering turtleneck underneath, or pop a cropped cardigan, military jacket, denim jacket or moto vest over it, and I feel covered. For extra warmth (remember I live in Chicago), I’ll layer over a trench coat, wool coat and eventually a heavy duty down puffer along with headgear, scarf and gloves.


I’ve also gotten over a phobia about hose. Now I wear tights, textured hose and leggings. If you’re not sure about hose, start by wearing leggings under a dress. Leggings are basically a thicker form of tights, and can give you that extra comfort level if your day calls for sitting on the floor with your baby or chasing a toddler around a playground. I love how black tights matched with black boots give me a nice long line. And make sure your dress is the right length — at the knee or a few inches above the knee for most of us.

My handbag of choice is a large tote or cross-body bag when I need to be hands free. I like to wear a fun colour to contrast with my monochromatic outfits which keeps things cheerful on a gray windy day! I always wear my big white statement watch but I tend to keep earrings and necklaces dainty because that’s my style preference.

I have road tested formula #3 time and time again, and what makes it work when you’re running after your 3-year-old around (as I am) is making sure the dresses are casual and pairing them with footwear that’s practical with a capital P. I wear all sorts of casual boots: ankle boots, Doc Martens, knee- high riding boots, flat slouchy boots, Frye harness boots, and cowboy boots.

So, over to you. Are you a dress girl at heart? If not, are you willing to give this formula a try? Let’s hear your opinions on formula #3.