Secrets of Stylish Moms: Karen


GLASSES | COAT (APC) | SWEATSHIRT (A shop in Harajuku, Tokyo) | SKIRT (similar) | SHOES

We’re back with a Secrets of Stylish Moms today! Karen is a friend of mine from Henry’s school with really inspiring personal style. Born in Seoul, she grew up in New Jersey but has lived in SF for almost 20 years. She’s mother to an 8 yr old daughter who she says “can simultaneously inspire and exhaust me”. Karen has worn many professional hats, some for no more than a day. Currently she’s a picture book author/illustrator and co-owner of Reset (which I’m a huge fan of!). She loves chocolate, french bulldogs, filling online shopping carts that never go to purchase, dreaming of her perfect pre-fab house and using her daughters art supplies to make terrible art.

Keep reading to find out her advice for postpartum dressing and the skin product she uses every day…

Tell us about your outfit and about dressing as a mom in general…

This is one of my favorite outfits because I feel like I’m in Tokyo when I wear it. There’s a great juxtaposition between the pleated skirt, the silly sweatshirt, the Vans, the toggle coat and the sheer buttoned up shirt underneath it all. It’s very much me, a funny yet simple combination of styles.

Since becoming a mom my style has evolved, but not necessarily in the typical ‘mom’ way. I think my wardrobe is a reflection of my parental style. It’s easy, goofy, and a little edgy.
One thing as a mom or not I refuse to wear running pants, yoga pants and fleece jackets in public. This seems to be the SF uniform and I despise it.  I think it lacks personality and feels like giving up.

What is one favorite piece in your wardrobe that is both practical for a mother and stylish?
I have an amazing sailor coat that I bought in Korea. Unlike myself, it manages to be both young and timeless (PS I see her wearing it all the time and AGREE!)

What would you consider your go-to ‘momiform’ to be?
Black skinny jeans. Stripe t-shirt or buttoned-to-the-top top. Black cardigan or oversized sweatshirt. Vans.

What advice would you give a new mom who is struggling to feel sexy again with her post baby body?
I would tell them that confidence is the most sexy thing anyone can wear.

What is something you do for yourself everyday?
I try to eat something healthy everyday and I try to create something everyday, whether it’s with paint, pencil, words or fabric.

What kind of fashion advice do you have for postpartum, in-between sized new moms?
I’ve been in the in-between size for about 8 years, so buy what you like now. Don’t buy or wait for a tomorrow that may never come.

What beauty product can you not live without, and why is it your favorite?
I would not, could not, and will not go out without some sort of SPF on my face. Right now I use a Shiseido tinted sunscreen. It’s light and sheer and most importantly protects me from the sun. I’m not delusional. I know I’ll never look 20 again, but I’d like to keep what youth I have.

favorite sneaker: Slip-on Vans
favorite comfy boot: Dr. Marten Chelsea
favorite casual dress or skirt: Zara pleated skirt
old reliable pair of jeans: Won Hundred high waisted grey jeans
favorite place to vacation: Tokyo, Paris…anywhere but New Jersey and Napa Valley
band on permanent rotation in my spotify: Tame Impala, Grimes, Cloud Nothings, Queens of the Stoneage, Radiohead
your go to accessory: big winter scarves
color or black and white:  always black


Thanks so much, Karen! See more inspiring inspiring moms in our Secrets of Stylish Moms series right here.


I love her look! All of it. I’m due any day now and looking forward to dressing in my “normal” clothes again. This is inspiring.
Karen, do you have a website for your illustration/writing work? I’m an illustrator/writer too…

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