We caught up with Laurel Pantin, Fashion Director for ByGeorge. She gave us tips on how to dress to make that morning rush a little less stressful, the highs and lows of motherhood and making traditions with her two children.
Q. Your fashion sense is so unique, who inspires your personal style?
A. My biggest style north stars are Lauren Hutton and Harrison Ford in the 70s and 80s. I love simple, classic, American sportswear style from that era. I also like to keep the idea of an old Parisian woman in mind while I'm shopping or getting dressed.
Q. We love the aesthetic of ByGeorge, can you tell us more about its concept?
A. ByGeorge is a small specialty store - it's a very highly edited selection of brands that we carry. Our flagship, on Lamar Blvd. in Austin, carries most of our European designers and is a very good representation of our aesthetic. Our South Congress location is a bit younger and a little more relaxed. We like to carry things you won't find many other places, or in some cases to be the first place to carry new brands. There's a great sense of discovery when shopping there!
Q. Has becoming a mum changed the way you approach fashion and the way you dress?
A. Yes definitely, it's simplified everything. I don't have the brain space for complicated dressing or things that feel over-worked anymore. I like a simple button down, great trousers or jeans, and a blazer. Boring, but working with clothes so much I feel I personally need a bit of a uniform. The most definitive change has been to only wearing shoes I can slip on and off. When I'm heading out the door I usually have one kid in my arms and/or am schlepping a ton of other things and can't bend down to fuss with shoes. It helps that I live in LA and Birkenstocks are pretty universally embraced here.
Q. How do you stay organised with work and family life?
A. Ha, I don't - everything is kind of a mess and it feels like I'm constantly dropping the ball on something, so I just try and have a little grace with myself about that.
Q. How do you manage to unwind and spend time for yourself?
A. My work trips are basically the only time. It's nice to be able to go and feel productive and be with people I really love outside of my house. Then when it's time to go home I'm usually so happy to be back and be with everyone.
Q. What is the most rewarding part of Motherhood?
A. Seeing my kids turn into themselves! They're both so individual and when peeks of their personalities come through it's really amazing.
Q. What is the most important piece of advice you would give to future Mothers?
A. It's going to be both harder and better than you thought, and the only thing you can count on is that you can't count on anything. One week they might sleep well, the next they'll be up every few hours. Try and just roll with it and when things get hard remind yourself it's not going to be like this forever. I found potty training really grueling, and I had to keep telling myself, one day they will go to the bathroom on the toilet. They're not going to be 18 with me changing their diapers, this will end.
Q. What is the biggest misconception about Motherhood? Or something that surprised you?
A. I was surprised how much it impacts every aspect of your life. I felt like I'd go back to being the same me I was before kids after I had them, and....no.
Q. Do you have any traditions with your children?
A. They're kind of little for real traditions, but we have routines that we love. After bath every night I let them run around before I put their pajamas on and we play hide and seek or something like that. It's like getting the last little bit of sillies out.