Back To School With Mommy Shorts

Back To School With Mommy Shorts

It’s almost time to wave farewell to the long, lazy days of summer and get set to welcome a brand new school term. But before you do, why not let New York-based mum Ilana Wiles, AKA Mommy Shorts, and her daughters inspire you with their picks of our new Mini Boden range. Getting dressed for school has never been so much fun.

“My name is Ilana Wiles. I’m an author and content creator. I live in New York City with my husband and two daughters, Mazzy, 7, and Harlow, 4. We also have a summer house in Eastern Long Island which is where all of these photos were taken. I love sharing photos, videos, and stories about my life bringing up two girls in Manhattan. I have a blog called Mommy Shorts and I wrote a book called The Mommy Shorts Guide to Remarkably Average Parenting but I’m probably best known for my Instagram accounts @mommyshorts and @averageparentproblems.”

“The thing I love about Boden is that my daughters and I are equally as excited about the clothes we picked. As my daughters get a little older and develop their own styles that may differ from my own, it’s great to have a whole catalogue of clothes we agree on. All of the bright colours and bold patterns of Mini Boden are classic but still really fun for kids. So much so that Mazzy was able to put together unexpected outfits that fit her personality and seem more sophisticated too. Also, the quality and construction are great. We’ve been wearing Boden for four years now and all the clothes still look like new. I get sad every time they grow out of something.”

What does back to school/the holidays being over mean to you?
“Summer being over means we move back into the city from our summer house. As a family, we like the city better than the ‘burbs but we will certainly miss the space and the yard. The other new and exciting thing is that Harlow is starting kindergarten this year, which means she will be attending the same school as Mazzy for the first time. It’s really hard to see my youngest go to kindergarten, but the girls are so excited to be going to school together! Plus, it means only one location to drop off the kids in the morning which streamlines our routine considerably.”
Tell us about the clothes
“Both girls loved everything. I think the best thing about the clothes is that they can take all the pieces and create very different outfits by matching different things together. They put together some outfits that I wasn’t picturing when we selected the items, but that’s what’s great about Mini Boden. Everything matches or delightfully mismatches. We love all the colour, the fun details like sequins, rainbows or sparkles.
The accessories were also a big hit. It’s great that the backpack is coated to make it easy to clean and to keep everything from getting wet. The umbrella went down a storm, too. Harlow’s favourite accessories from Mini Boden are always animal-related. Last year, it was her porcupine purse and this year it’s her fox backpack. It’s a great size for the simple kindergarten essentials and the fact that it converts to a rain jacket. Pretty mind-blowing for a four-year-old.”
Mazzy Mommy Shorts daughter mini boden back to school denim dungarees

“Mazzy used to be all about pink and dresses, but as she’s grown, her self-described style is more ‘cool’ and ‘sporty’. She also doesn’t want her clothes to hold her back from climbing a tree or hanging from a jungle gym. It’s been a challenge figuring out back-to-school clothes that both she and I can agree on, but Mazzy immediately fell in love with the navy striped sweatpants and car print rucksack. It’s both cute and comfortable. She loves everything rainbow and is obsessed with the high-top trainers with the fuzzy rainbow patch. She practically stalked our mail man until they arrived. She also loves jeans, overalls and shorts so she immediately gravitated to the overall jean shorts. The pretty white button down underneath with the brown suede boots makes it feel pretty and practical. I think it was a stylish and sophisticated outfit for my seven-year-old to put together.”

mommy shorts back to school with mini boden backpack back to school

“We are big fans of layering in our house and I love how the woollen turquoise sweater and the rainbow collar sweater completely transform the same white shirt and jeans. Harlow, on the other hand, loves throwing as many possible colours and accessories together so she really enjoyed layering her new floral dress with cable knit tights and a rainbow snail sweatshirt. She told me that her new brown shoes with the deer on the toe go with everything and she paired it with the rainbow sweater dress herself. It totally works.”

 Harlow Mommy Shorts daughter in mini boden stripe breton and fox pocket skirt

“Harlow loves colour and to sing and dance and perform. Her favourite book is Fancy Nancy and she sometimes refers to herself as ‘the fashion lady’.  She loves accessories and the more things she can wear at once, the better. She had great fun putting together the rainbow striped breton with the pink skirt with the fox on the pocket. Ever since she tried on those cable knit tights, she keeps asking me to wear them, even when it’s 85 degrees (29C)! I probably would have toned down that outfit with her gold or navy Mary Janes, but Harlow insisted on wearing her new yellow suede boots. My favourite outfit is the corduroy green skirt with the pink details on the pocket paired with the swan applique shirt. It’s a great nod to the two swans that live in the creek outside our house.”

How did the clothes work for you, Ilana?
“I tend to purchase more practical items so I love the easy fit of the jeans and the navy striped sweater. Boden shoes always add a nice touch of colour to make your outfit more of a fashion statement.
The black and white polka dot tunic is also an easy option to throw on for comfort or to dress up. My favourite piece has to be the navy bird dress with the yellow sash. It’s a little uncharacteristic for my style, but I decided to treat myself to something that looked just as showstopping as the kids’ clothes. It fits perfectly and the yellow sash is such a stand-out detail. For practical purposes, I love that the buttons have reverse closures in the chest area so it doesn’t pull or gap. It’s quality construction that I normally don’t see.”
Ilana Wiles Mommy Shorts wearing Boden striped jumper

What kind of student were you? What was your favourite/worst subject?
“I was a good, solid student. Although, sometimes I think I was just really good at memorising and then I’d forget everything I learned as soon as I ace’d the test. I was best at writing essays and book reports. I loved coming up with creative ways to approach things. I remember I had a really hard English class in college one year with a reading list that I hated. One time, the teacher returned my paper with a note that said, ‘I know you don’t read the books but I so enjoy the creativity you bring to your writing assignments that I always look forward to your papers anyway.’ I got an A.”

School fuel – What do the girls love to eat that powers them through the day?
“Mazzy loves fruits and vegetables (strawberries and carrots are her favourites) and Harlow is all about trail mix. It’s pretty common to find a leftover bag of trail mix in her lunchbox with only the raisins left.”
mommy shorts daughters in mini boden for back to school


Shop our latest Mini Boden styles here.
Photography by Christine Han