Whether she's working on FamilyApp content or attending events for her kids, Colorful Corporate Mom on the Street Laura Kraus isn't going to get lost in a crowd.
When I'm not driving carpool for one of my three children or keeping track of my wild dog, I'm developing content for FamilyApp. Before having kids, I was a news producer and media consultant, then was a stay-at-home mom for about 9 years. The work I'm doing now is a fusion of media and motherhood. And much to my great surprise, I'm actually using my graduate degree in Communications, Culture, and Technology!
Which three words or phrases best describe your style? Statement jewelry, bright colors, and untamed hair. I wear a lot of shift dresses and blazers, but I almost always pair them wear bold and colorful accessories, which makes things more casual.
I avoid wearing black as much as possible since it overwhelms my pale coloring. But I'm drawn to bright color combinations like coral and blue or aqua and red. Of course, since I've been working on FamilyApp, I've infused my wardrobe with lots of green.
What are your favorite places to shop? These days I do the majority of my shopping online. I love a good sale and finding treasures on eBay or ThredUp, but I also have a lot of basics from J. McLaughlin, J.Crew, and Boden.
Who’s your favorite style icon? My style is probably a mash-up of my two grandmothers. Babby has her classic blue-and-white style, cute blazers, and signature pink lipstick. Grandmama is always perfectly accessorized and always has the right handbag to coordinate with every outfit. They're both in their nineties and still look gorgeous!
What’s your best style advice? Wear what makes you feel pretty! It takes just as much effort to put on something cute as it does to wear something ugly.
Also, play up your natural assets and embrace them! I was almost six feet tall by the sixth grade and my pale skin and red hair aren't ideal when you live in a beach community. Sunscreen is my best friend! Since I usually can't blend into a crowd, I don't even try. Even though I'm already tall, I feel the most confident when I'm wearing high heels, bold jewelry, and red lipstick.
What article of clothing/accessory would you not want to live without? I love statement jewelry! When I was studying and working in China, I would spend hours on the top floor of Hongqiao Pearl market picking out and designing fun necklaces. More recently I've been wearing a lot of Addison Weeks pieces. They're best-known for their studs, but I like wearing the statement earrings and necklaces. They just make me happy!
Which trend would you want to see make a comeback? Big, wild '80s hair!
What should NEVER make a comeback? I applaud people who have really amazing rock-hard abs, but I will never be one of them. So if crop tops and low-waisted pants never make a comeback, I won't shed any tears.
What fashion/style did you love at the time, but now cringe when you see old photos? I had some denim overall shorts with embroidered designs on them I wore in junior high. I felt so cool wearing them, but they were NOT flattering. NOT EVEN A LITTLE BIT. But I still felt SO cool.
What’s your best style secret? My Babyliss curl machine is the best! It makes my hair go from insanity to controlled-ish in minutes. My eyebrow pencil is a close #2. My eyebrows are platinum, so if I don't color them in, it looks like I have no eyebrows.
Stilettos or flats? I love the way stilettos define your calf muscles and let you tower over everybody, but I wear flats about 95% of the time.
What’s your favorite way to spend time with your family? My kids act out shows that they make up right before bed, and I love sitting in my living room and watching them dance.
What’s been your best family vacation? We love going to the Virginia mountains and the Bahamas, so two extremes. I have to wear an insane amount of sunscreen, so the beach isn't always my favorite. But my kids can all tan, so I watch them frolic at the beach while I sit under my umbrella and big sunhat.
Best parenting advice: Pray for your children every day.
Parenting true confession: I bought Lucky Charms at Costco last week. It was supposed to be a dessert treat for the kids, but they've had them for breakfast a couple of times, and I've been eating some of the marshmallows right out of the box. They're still magically delicious!
What’s your go-to family dinner? Costco rotisserie chicken with rice or a baguette, salad, and the vegan cashew pesto from Trader Joe's. My kids eat the chicken plain, but I love dipping it in the pesto- it's so delicious!
What’s your favorite family restaurant? We have many favorites! Zoe's Kitchen and Your Pie at Hilltop are at the top of the list right now.
What's your favorite FamilyApp feature? I love the calendar right now! I've synced everything with my google calendar, and I love how easy it is to add my family members to different activities.
What’s your favorite show to binge watch? If I'm watching with my husband, we'll watch some type of Masterpiece period drama like Poldark or Victoria. If I'm alone, I'll watch a quirky detective show (right now it's Monk) or comedy like Frasier.
What’s your favorite beach read? I love the entire Crazy Rich Asians trilogy by Kevin Kwan. I adore the way these books just suck you in. But I can only read on vacation since I become so engrossed in whatever I'm reading I can't do anything else until I finish.
What’s the best song to dance to when nobody’s watching? I love to crank up the greatest hits of the "Gipsy Kings" and dance while cleaning the kitchen. And I love to sing and dance to '80s and '90s classics while driving, even though it completely embarrasses my kids. I also inadvertently dance and sometimes sing to elevator music in the grocery store.
What’s at the top of your travel bucket list? I've always wanted to go to Australia and go snorkeling off the Great Barrier Reef or see the wildlife.
What’s your favorite way to unwind at the end of a long day? When the weather's nice and the mosquitos aren't attacking, my husband and I go out on the porch and just sit and talk. It's usually not about much in particular, but there's something so powerful about being together.
My colorful corporate style is a little on the formal side, but it doesn't take itself too seriously. It's about accentuating the colors and styles that work best for your body type and lifestyle. I love taking style inspiration from my grandmothers and reimagining it for my life now. Hopefully one day in the future, our granddaughters will do the same!
For more Mom on the Street, be sure to check out FamilyApp's Mom on the Street Channel!