You know when you see something and it makes you want to throw your entire wardrobe out and start over? That’s how it was when I first spotted Matilda Jane, and my daughters’ wardrobes were the ones in question. Or jeopardy. The first time I stumbled across Matilda Jane online, I gasped. I know I’m dramatic, but stay with me. “This,” I thought, “is how I want my girls to look. Sweet and playful and young.” These are clothes for little girls and for moms who celebrate little-girl-hood. They are girly and twirly and refreshingly attitude-free, just the way I want my girls to be. My only complaint? They didn’t come in my size. Fortunately, with the introduction of a woman’s line, that has changed, and now I can indulge in the yummy fabrics and gorgeous prints, and even, occasionally, match my daughters. That’s why I was thrilled to get the scoop on mom style from Madeline Katzel, a mom who also happens to be the Design Director for Matilda Jane. Here, she offers her unique view on achievable everyday style.
What is your go-to look?
I love to look pulled together but at the same time feel comfy. My personal style tends to be more classic, but I love to add an unexpected twist. I think a lot of women opt for these types of unexpected twists to classic silhouettes, so I definitely try and incorporate pieces like this within my designs. Moms need pieces that are stylish, yet functional! We have opted to roll out select new styles each month to keep the collection fresh, and everyone’s wardrobe new and exciting. Within the 2015 collection, my go-to look would definitely have to be anchored in a comfy bottom – either slim cut jeans or lately I’m loving a jogger silhouette and layering a tee or blouse with a great sweater on top. Layering is key!
What advice do you have for moms who like to match their daughters, but don’t want to look goofy?
Great question. I think it’s adorable when you can coordinate your color palettes with your daughters’ wardrobe, but at the same time you have to be careful not to look so matchy-matchy. I think the secret is to coordinate but not necessarily have the same exact pieces. This is why I’ve specifically designed our women’s collection to reflect items in the tweens’ and children’s collections for spring and vice versa. We have a series of dresses and skirts for little girls, tweens, all the way up to womenswear in the same beautiful fabrics and textiles, but all styles are designed specifically for each age group.
Take the “Pretty Paisley Dress”, for example, from the Hello, Lovely collection. It’s designed for a woman, accentuating feminine features but also maintaining the same livelihood and functionality that comes with its corresponding pieces within the children’s collection.
I hope when people wear Matilda Jane, they feel confident and expressive, yet are able to share matching styles and interest and love for color and comfort. Having a women’s collection, tweens, and children’s line is a great way to keep a family well-dressed in age appropriate clothing.
What is your secret to getting dressed on a busy morning? How long does it take you to get ready?
Overall, the best advice to getting through a busy morning is to plan ahead. I wake up really early before my husband and kids are up, treat myself to a cup of coffee, and lay out my wardrobe for the day. It’s my ultimate “me-time.” There’s nothing better than being able to take your time in the morning. But don’t get me wrong, I’ve definitely learned this the hard way!
That’s why I try and design pieces that women can mix and match – easy go-to pieces that you can throw on 2 minutes before heading out the door and somehow still look amazing.
Have you infused your personal mom style into this collection, and which pieces are your favorites?
Absolutely. This collection was created to provide stylish, comfy, and easy-to-wear pieces that can be worn in versatile combinations throughout the week. My favorite pieces from this collection are the Marvelous Marled Vee, Dancing Free Ballet Tee, Bright White Tee, Warm Oatmeal Cardigan, Violets are Blue Dress and Sunny Day Drawstring Pants.
How has motherhood changed your style?
Before motherhood, I was more inclined to suffer for fashion! It was all about the look. It still is all about the look but now it is also about comfort and function. I’m a busy mom, just like your readers, and I have to be able to move quickly while looking pulled together.
Name 5 things you can’t live without.
Family. Friends. Mascara. Lipstick. iPhone
Do you wear makeup every day? What are your favorite beauty brands?
I do wear some make up everyday. For sure mascara and lip gloss. I love Bobbi Brown, Sephora, and Nars makeup but I still also use Maybelline mascara, L’Oreal, etc. I love makeup!
Where do you look for when you need fashion inspiration?
Inspiration is everywhere! Art, photography, architecture and interior design are super inspiring to me.
Whose style do you admire?
My grandmother was a beautiful woman and had amazing style. No matter if she was dressed casual or dressed to the nines, she always looked polished and put together. She taught me to care for my things (no matter how much it cost) and always iron!
What is one thing you do every day to pamper yourself?
I don’t get to every day but I love a nice long soak in the tub right before bed. It’s so relaxing and helps melt away any of the stresses of the day.
If you could only apply one makeup item, what would it be?
Favorite denim brand?
I’m a curvy mom so Gap’s 1969 jeans fit me best. I love the look of the premium denim brands but they are cut straight and skinny…not for me.
Color, neutrals, or both?
Both, of course! I can’t imagine one without the other. Although I definitely go through my phases…
Name the one signature accessory you are never seen without.
I’m a bag lady! I can always be found with at least two bags, a purse and a tote for carrying my bigger items. That’s why I wanted to design bags for MJC. It completes the look and is so functional.
So glad that Madeline shares my philosophy (and that of many other stylish moms) of planning ahead. Great everyday style just isn’t possible without it. Another takeaway? Choose stylish yet comfortable pieces that mix and match. Skinny joggers are a favorite of mine as well, and I could wear them daily. They are the new yoga pants – just as comfy but so much more stylish.
Matlida Jane clothing is usually only available through trunk shows, but since the yucky weather (yes, that’s a meteorological term) has severely hampered the ability to leave the house to shop, the company has created a pop-up shop so that you can browse and buy online, for the first time, but only through Friday February 27th! I would go look now, if I were you. Happy shopping! 😉