Secrets of Stylish Moms: Marja


Excited to feature another inspiring mother here today in our series, Secrets of Stylish Moms. Marja is from Holland, a metalsmith, and a mother of two. She’s the shop owner behind Marja Germans Gard Studio where she sells beautiful handmade jewelry like gorgeous cuffs and geometric studs that she makes herself out of her home studio.

Keep reading to see what clothing item she would only buy in Holland growing up, and a beauty product she can’t live without...

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

All black is probably my default dress code! My super soft sweater is an oldie but goodie from J Crew- I love the gold zipper accents- and my long linen tank is Banana Republic (but here’s a similar one). My jeans are Madewell– I love that they make jeans for tall people. When I was a teen I used to do all of my jean shopping when we made our annual family trip to Holland so that I could find jeans that were long enough. My boots are ancient- I don’t even know who makes them. They are my go-to footwear and I’ve had them resoled so many times I’ve lost count!

Being a mom is hugely important to me, and my kids are genuinely some of my favorite people to hang out with. That said, over the years I’ve come to realize that I am happiest when I can also have an identity that is distinct from that of “mom,” and what I wear helps me carve out that identity. I definitely have outfits that make me feel like ME, and when I feel good in my skin, there is no doubt I’m a better mom. Comfort and function are huge priorities for me when I’m choosing what I wear. When my kids were younger, I needed comfortable clothes to be able to run after them at the park or get down on the floor to build massive block towers. Now that they’re older, there isn’t as much rolling around on the floor (although epic tickle fights are still a part of the picture), but having junked my career path in academia and become a metalsmith, I need my clothes to be studio friendly.


What is one favorite piece in your wardrobe that is both practical for a mother and stylish?

I’d have to say my Levi’s denim jacket. I love it because it’s collarless, so it looks a bit different from the typical jean jacket. I snagged it at a clothing swap, so it was also free – that was a big time score.

What would you consider your go-to ‘momiform’ to be?

Always jeans, either boots or sneakers, and a scarf (in the Bay Area we can get away with this pretty much year round). A linen t-shirt (this is my favorite one from J.Crew) or a soft sweater. My favorite Levi’s jacket or my moto jacket. If I’m honest, most of these pieces are probably black.


What advice would you give a new mom who is struggling to feel sexy again with her post baby body?

Don’t wait until you’ve reached some fitness goal to wear clothes that you feel good in. Even if they are not in the size you want to be a year from now, find a few pieces that are flattering to your current body. You are devoting so much of your heart and soul to this new being you’ve brought into the world- make sure you give some love to yourself as well.

What is something you do for yourself everyday?

I spend some time alone. Every morning I take a walk through my neighborhood to pick up a coffee before I hit the studio. I’ve realized it’s essential for me to have this time alone with my thoughts before I address work or anything else, and if don’t get this time I really feel like something is missing from my day.


For moms on a mission to rebuild their wardrobe, what are 5 staple pieces you’d recommend?

1. Jeans (that fit you now)

2. A top in a color that flatters you

3. Shoes that are chic and comfortable. You will live in them, I promise you.

4. A stylish tote bag that does not look like a diaper bag. No disrespect to diaper bags, but sometimes you need something a bit more stylin’ that can still handle the snacks/extra onesie/babywipes

5. Jewelry, of course! Stud earrings are great because it’s hard for your kiddo to yank on them.Marja_edited4

What beauty product can you not live without, and why is it your favorite?

I love the Orchid facial oil from Herbivore Botanicals. I was skeptical about using oil on my face, fearing that it would make my skin look greasy or make me break out. My fears were unfounded- it has really done my tired skin a world of good. Added bonus- it smells amazing.


favorite sneakerPuma Match sneakers

favorite comfy boot: Knee high brown leather boots I got online a gazillion years ago and have had resoled over and over

favorite casual dress or skirt: J.Crew chambray long sleeved shirtdress (looks great with the boots) old reliable pair of jeans: Madewell skinny skinny jeans in tall. Hooray for jeans that are long enough!

favorite place to vacation: Northern California coast (especially around Bodega Bay or Gualala- I love that wild and rugged coastline)

band on permanent rotation in my spotify:  Nobody beats Missy Elliot for a good dance break

your go to accessory: Either the VELOS studs or the VELOS ear hugs in 14K gold from my Marja Germans Gard Studio line

color or black and white:  Black and white for sure. I’m not sure if I have color left in my wardrobe, actually


First and third images by Kristine Krishnan. Others by Liz Stanley. 


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