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Books + Boots + Baby = BiblioMOMia! I'm just your average graduate student, dividing my time between crawling on the floor with a toddler and crawling through the stacks of the library. Through piles of dog hair. In heels.

Amy is a winner of Top 25 Fashion & Beauty Moms - 2012

How did your style change (if at all) after becoming a mom?

Two major changes: washable fabrics and flats. My days of being able to make an outfit out of a cashmere sweater and a pair of fabulous pumps were over - I had to find some practical ways to bring style back into my life. When I was changing shirts 4-5 times a day because of a baby with reflux, the dry cleaning bill would have been absurd! So, I discovered a whole new range of awesome cotton jersey fabrics from companies like JCrew and Splendid that would hold up to the demands of a new mom while still looking put-together. Giving up my heels was much harder, but after a few months of stubbornness, I realized that I couldn't be the on-the-ground mom I wanted to be unless I switched to flats for daily wear. I invested in a full range of comfy flats - from gold ballet flats to TOMS to slouchy booties.

However, both of those swaps are superficial. The biggest change was in my mentality towards my closet. I think we all have the idea that motherhood somehow erases personal style - that there just isn't time, or that worrying about clothes after you have a child is somehow silly. I discovered that clothes helped me keep my sense of self intact, and that my more practical wardrobe post-baby signified a more practical overall outlook, too.

What's your favorite stylish and practical item?

A maxi skirt. They are a major staple of my wardrobe - the long skirt never fails to give an outfit a bit of glamour, even if you're just wearing a tee shirt. And it feels like you're wearing pajamas! I've worn mine in snowstorms, to playgroups, to the library, to date nights. I've worn mine to give a lecture with a classic blazer, or to run around the zoo with my son with a slouchy sweatshirt. A maxi skirt is warm in the winter with leggings and boots, but breezy in the summer with sandals and a tank. It's a simple, flattering, stylish, and on-trend item that's an easy addition to any wardrobe, not to mention a great substitute for jeans. I dare you to put one on and not feel just a bit more beautiful. And I've seen them look beautiful on every single body type, too!

What's a quick thing moms can do to take their style up a notch?

Add a scarf or a belt - you'll be amazed what some color next to your cheeks and some emphasis on your waist will do for your style confidence. And red lipstick!

What item should moms splurge on?

Amy L.

One beautiful dress. And not something you only wear to "nice" dates or dinners. Honestly, how many times have you worn that gorgeous one-shouldered cocktail dress you bought for your friend's wedding? Right--once. Don't splurge on event dresses--instead, find a stunning dress that you love (and that fits you impeccably) that you can wear once a week if you wanted to, for everything from playmates to drinks with a friend. I love Lesley Evers' retro-inspired shirt dresses, casual jersey dresses by TART and GypsyO5, and bohemian printed dresses by Tucker. Whatever your style, you deserve a dress that makes you feel amazing every time you put it on--and you should wear it a lot! The best thing about a dress is that you have an outfit in a single piece of clothing--and so you feel confidant and put-together without putting lots of time into getting dressed.
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What are your best tips for easy DIY nursery decor? (If there's an image or post on your blog, please link to it.)

Amy L.

Use art you love - and that you can imagine hanging somewhere else in your house when your family's nursery days are done! Look through your house to find things you might already have, and incorporate them into your nursery plans - no need to buy special "baby" paintings! I collect Southern folk art, and I used many of the pieces in The Pup's room. They're colorful, whimsical, and child-friendly, and I love that he is associating pieces that I already love as "his paintings." For example, one painting depicts a graphic cardinal in a spring forest - perfect for his "woods" themed nursery (see photo in link). When those pieces eventually move out of his room and back into our living spaces, I know he'll have fond memories of them hanging over his crib.
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