“Happy”. That’s the word that kept popping up in my head while browsing Carelia Morán’s (42) outfits on My Small Wardrobe. This Mum of two boys — born in Honduras and now living in North Carolina — looks radiant in all her photos, but there’s more to it than that. Her outfits and the way she wears them have a cheery ease about them that makes me smile. Carelia is on Team Maximal, she loves vibrant colours and her fab casual style mixes boho elements with playful touches. She started her blog last year as a personal challenge:

“I’ve always enjoyed anything that has to do with fashion, however for the longest time I had to focus more on things like my sons and their needs. Now that I’m in my early forties and my sons are more independent, I find myself with free time to think about fashion. I always thought my wardrobe was too small to be able to start a fashion blog, but then I realized THAT was actually a good reason to start blogging. Blogging about outfits that I could create with a limited wardrobe became a tempting idea and actually a personal challenge. So I started my blog last summer. Having family financial responsibilities forces me to stay within a realistic budget when purchasing my fashion needs and wants. Taking advantage of sales, thrifts deals and vintage finds is the way I keep my wardrobe alive. And, of course, everything I buy needs to be versatile, needs to work with the rest of my wardrobe.”

Oversized Denim Shirt

A rather minimalist look for Carelia who is on Team A Lot Going On, but just as striking in its own way. The tie-dyed oversized shirt, a vintage men’s denim shirt from an old French manufacturer, reminds me of a painter’s frock. I love how the lighter part of the shirt helps to break up the column of denim without visually chopping up the upper half of the body. Plus it also works beautifully with the darker colour of the rolled skinnies and the blue woven clutch. Definitely one of the best denim on denim looks I’ve seen in a while, and my personal favourite. The tomboy vibe is contrasted with a pair of ladylike high-heeled pumps in bright orange. A happy splash of colour against all the beautiful blues. The candy-coloured bracelet, pink nail polish and starfish earrings are the perfect quirky, girly touches that finish off this carefree Summer ensemble.

Tassels Printed Dress Anthropologie

Such a delightful, arty take on 1970s boho! The predominantly earthy colour palette gets a strong kick from the simple black turtleneck. Layering the lightweight long-sleeved top under a Summer dress is an easy way to transition a favourite piece into mild Autumn or even Winter. Notice how the black also bookends Carelia’s dark hair. There’s more smart bookending with the cognac boots that pick up the rusty orange tones in the empire waist frock. Carelia then decided to add one more matchy-matchy element: the cognac satchel, hand-tooled in Honduras. The design complements the shapes of the colourful print on the flowy dress. So does the square cocktail ring, while dramatic chandelier earrings pick up the hints of green. Together with the vintage Givenchy sunnies — Carelia can’t say no to a good pair of sunglasses — they add charming Hollywood glam.

Polka Dots Shirt & Gladiator Sandals

A creative look that is signature Carelia. Slouchy boyfriend jeans with distressed detailing, a relaxed fitting long cardigan and black Ray-Bans form the fashion-forward backbone of this outfit. Carelia rocks all shades of blue, and the aqua polka dot shirt emphasizes that even more. The playful dots amp up the happiness factor, while the round shapes are repeated in the studded sandals. The thin front strap on the sandals also made me notice how her toes and fingers are painted a different colour, both shades picking up different colours in the outfit. Clever! The tougher edge of the rocker vibe footwear is in fun contrast with the soft scarf. It’s the key accessory that makes this look for me: the gorgeous bright colours and artistically tied knot just scream Carelia.

Printed Hearts Shirt & Orange Pants

Although Carelia occasionally likes to play up the tomboy factor, she also has a very ladylike side to her style. Case in point, this orange pants look that is as contagiously cheerful as it is refined. The fluid fit of the elegant trapeze jacket, trousers and hearts printed blouse all provide modern streamlined structure. The happy blouse is a conversation starter for sure, and fits Carelia’s outgoing personality to a T. Her choice of accessories proves once again that our blogger has a keen eye for colour. Great bookending job with the nude sandals echoing the colour of the jacket. The psychedelic swirl bracelet and Mondrian-esque blocked scarf are subtle ways to bring a spot of pattern mixing into the picture, while the white in the two-toned clutch provides a wonderful fresh contrast. Also: be sure to check out the background in the first photo, one would almost believe that it was created especially as a support act to Carelia’s outfit!

Converse with Skirt

Mixed Patterns Outfit

Carelia bats for Team Legs and likes to wear heels to elongate her leg line. So she started off the day with a pair of white wedge cork heel sandals. Lovely and Summery for sure. Later on, she changed into denim blue Converse to run some errands, and that’s when this flirty skirt outfit really caught my attention. The sassy sneakers add a playful air to this fab Mum on the Go look that feels effortless and polished. The colour palette is attractively simple, with all the white increasing the crisp factor. The mesh sweater, practical woven crossbody bag and print earrings are a brilliant way to add textural interest without visually weighing down an outfit that needs to be breezy for warm temps. I also adore the graphic pattern mixing with the bold stripe and the print of the skirt, it almost reads like a microcheck. So fun! Bright red lipstick, big sunnies and an ethnic inspired cuff bracelet finish off the look. Extra suggestions from Carelia to stay cool in scorching weather:

“I believe we can still layer on summer days, however if we stick with thinner pieces made of cotton, we should be able to stay cool yet chic. This is a great season to sport a great hat, the wider the brim, the better.”

Brown Fur Jacket & Ray Ban Aviators

Leopard Pants & Fur Coat & Booties

I call this “Festival Flair Goes to Town”. Carelia wore this boho rocker look for a busy day of shopping, but it would fly just as well during any open-air music gig. Super relaxed, comfortable and texture-rich thanks to the vintage fur sweater coat with big collar. I like that the leopard print leggings read more like painted-on patterned skinny jeans. The blue sheen of the chambray shirt looks gorgeous against all the earthy browns. The slightly rugged ankle boots, tasseled satchel, iconic Aviators and Carelia’s wavy do with long fringe are further nods to hippie chic. And then there’s the jewellery, of course — a wooden necklade handmade in Belize and an YSL champaign bubble necklace — carefully selected to continue the effortless boho feel of it all. 

Be sure to visit My Small Wardrobe to browse the rest of Carelia’s colourful outfits, or check out her pinboards for more sartorial inspiration. But first let us know what you think about our blogger’s eye-catching Mum on the Go style.