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This post was originally published on my former blog DogMomStyle.com and it has been transferred to KeepTheTailWagging.com as I consolidate blogs and transition from dog nutrition to a lifestyle blog.

I started Keep the Tail Wagging nearly 9 years ago as a blog to write about dogs and raising littermates. At the time, I thought I had cracked the code on how to avoid Littermate Syndrome and planned to tell the world. I was an arrogant idiot, but that's a story for another time. A few years later, I changed the focus of my blog to raw feeding and today, I'm making another shift.

Living with four big dogs forced me to quickly rethink fashion and find a style that worked for me in any situation because there is NO WAY I'll make it out of the house without dog hair on my clothes.

What's your dog mom style?  Is it similar to mine?

Keep the Tail Wagging is expanding to be a lifestyle blog that covers raw feeding, raising dogs naturally, and life as a dog mom. Originally, I planned to have a second blog called Dog Mom Style and when the hosting plan came up for renewal, I decided not to renew. I don't have time for two blogs and my heart is in Keep the Tail Wagging.

I started using #dogmomstyle when I joined StitchFix. I would take selfies to show off my haul on social media and came up with #dogmomstyle. I liked the hashtag and the StitchFix community so much that I bought the domain with the idea of starting a fashion blog.

I hate pictures of myself. I always think I look bloated, overweight (despite wearing a size 6, 8, and medium), and dumpy. Fashion bloggers, no matter the size, always look so stylish and I didn’t have the confidence to join the community. Eventually, I canceled my StitchFix (it’s expensive). But I kept using #dogmomstyle when it applied.

What’s Dog Mom Style?

To me, Dog Mom Style is more than what I wear. It's a lifestyle; my life with four dogs is vastly different than my single life with a couple of cats. But let's focus on fashion for this post. Dog Mom Style is what I wear to feel attractive, relaxed, confident, and, at times, professional while knowing that I have dog hair on my clothes and possibly a dusty paw print. My style is casual and I always want to feel comfortable in what I’m wearing. I don’t spend a lot of money when I go shopping because all of my clothes will eventually become Canine Tested. I avoid dry clean only items, silk, satin, lace, and anything else that can’t stand up to a rambunctious puppy that weighs 70 lbs.

As a result of raising a house full of dogs (we have four), I’ve made the following changes to my closet:

  • I swapped the heels out for flats. Wearing high heel shoes is impractical in a house full of dogs, living on 5 acres, in a semi-rural community.
  • I have loads of jeans, but that’s not all. It’s imperative to find comfortable jeans. For me, the best jeans are:
    • Levi’s
    • Jessica Simpson (that woman understands a curvy body)
    • Old Navy Sweetheart jeans
    • Kut from the Kloth
  • Multiple pairs of athletic shoes because dogs need to be walked and when you live with five big dogs, being in shape is important so I work out by myself too.
  • I embrace the Pacific Northwest Flava of flannel, rainboots, and hoodies. Only transplants bother with an umbrella.

Because I'm a curvy woman, finding comfortable clothes that flatter my figure is a challenge. It wasn't until I started doing Facebook Lives that I realized that some of my comfy sweaters weren't doing me any favors. But figuring out what looks good isn't easy when the fashion industry barely acknowledges that most women aren't a size 0 or 2.

Clothing is Armor

I have an hourglass figure. At the moment, I wear a 38D bra, I have a 32-inch waist, and 36-inch hips. I'm also 5'3″. My short stature means that if I don't get the cut of my clothes right, I feel shlumpy and uncomfortable in my skin. I need to be comfortable because my clothes are my armor.

Before Dog Mom Style, my fashion choices were hit or miss. And I hate shopping. Trying on clothes at the mall is never a fun experience. The mirrors are unforgiving, the lighting is all wrong, and no one should have to look at their flaws in public, even if it's behind a closed door. By the time I leave the mall, even if I've found some promising things, I'm exhausted, defeated, I swear off food, and promise to start training for that marathon. Which one? There's gotta be a marathon in six months or so.

It's not easy finding clothes that flatter an hourglass figure, but through some trial and error, I've found what works for me.

Finding Cloths for a Curvy Figure

Over the years, I've learned that the following items work best for my curvy figure:

Dark Wash Skinny Jeans or Boot Cut Jeans – both flatter my longer legs (for a short person) and they draw the eye down, making me look longer instead of rounder. Skinny Jeans work best with sandals, flats, and boots. Boot cut jeans work great with loafers, ankle boots, and athletic shoes.

V-Neck Tops and Sweaters – it's hard to believe that the cut of the neck makes a difference, but it does. A V-neck (I don't go too deep) also draws the eyes down, while a crew neck seems to make my big boobs look even bigger. Boat neck and round neck tops work great too. Some sites will tell you to work with wrap tops and I'll agree that they are very flattering as long as the wrap isn't too deep. Personally, I prefer to avoid anything that shows cleavage. #MyEyesAreUpHere

I love turtleneck sweaters and have found that camel neck sweaters are the most flattering.

Pencil Skirts – I prefer skirts to dresses because I like to break up the image. With a dress, I'm all one color and it's not flattering on me. Of course, I can always break it up with a belt or by wearing a color block dress. I love pencil skirts because (1) they're always flattering, (2) they can dress up and down, (3) and they draw the eye down instead of out.

Although the company seems to be receiving some bad press in some circles, LuLaRoe has color block dresses and pencil skirts in amazing colors and designs. I wonder if LuLaRoe is still around.

Fitted Tops and Jackets – but not too fitted. There's a fine line between fitted and too tight and I've crossed it many times. I've found that fitted tops and jackets flatter an hourglass figure. I prefer tops that stop past the waist or at the hip. Crop tops do not work for me (unless I'm just sticking around the house).

When it comes to jackets, it's not always easy to find a fitted one that's also functional, so I look for jackets with a belt or that can be cinched a little around the waist. Costco had raincoats that had this feature and I bought two.

I love clothes and shoes, but I don't have a lot of money to buy out the stores - so I've learned how to treat myself on a budget.

Dog Mom Style on a Budget

Although I play the Lottery Game all the time, I don't have a money tree in the back yard. What I do have are four dogs and one cat and they've taught me the value of being frugal. Not cheap, frugal. I have a closet full of clothes because I know how to get great deals.

I may have dog hair on my sweater and a paw print on my thigh, but I'm looking good.

Living with four big dogs forced me to quickly rethink fashion and find a style that worked for me in any situation because there is NO WAY I'll make it out of the house without dog hair on my clothes.

What's your dog mom style?  Is it similar to mine?

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