Few people can handle the happy chaos of life with four boys as beautifully as our Effortlessly Cool Mom on the Street Courtney Manship. Even fewer could do it with such fabulous style! Read on for more about Courtney and her effortlessly cool style.
I'm a Navy wife holding down the fort and wrangling four boys 9 and under. My time is spent doing a creative balancing act during this “custodial” phase of life, navigating the ins-and-outs of homeschooling our oldest, and acting as a glorified chauffeur! I spent my youth in Louisiana and Texas but have called Virginia home since 2011. Style philosophy: keep it simple. I prefer clothing I can wear with a pair of Converse and can transition easily to “date night” mode with bright flats and some fun earrings.
Which three words best describe your style? Functional, Transitional, Effortless
Who’s your favorite style icon? I wish I were in the style loop enough to have an icon! In truth, my mom is the biggest influence on how I present myself. She had 6 kids in 10 years… and even with all of us in tow, she always took the time to dress well-- hair fixed, makeup on—and she was (and still is) super stylish to boot. The greatest style tip I’ve learned from my mother: don’t be hamstringed by “trends”—if you love something, wear it and own it whether it’s “in” or not.
What’s your best style advice? Dress for yourself. Know your shape and embrace it; wear what works well for your figure. I dress for me, as I am (plus the occasional assistance of Spanx.)
What article of clothing/accessory would you not want to live without? J Brand Maria high-waist denim and dry shampoo-- part of my daily uniform!
Which trend would you want to see make a comeback? I’m probably guilty of wearing expired trends without realizing it, so I want for nothing! As long as high-waist denim hangs around, I’m a happy lady! Have I mentioned how much I love high-waist denim?
What should NEVER make a comeback? Low-rise jeans. No thanks. Low cut + chasing four boys= wardrobe malfunction waiting to happen.
What fashion/style did you love at the time, but now cringe when you see old photos? True Confession: I chronically over-accessorized. Belt, earrings, necklace, bracelet, and on and on and on… I’m surprised I could walk under the weight of it all! About ten years ago, I learned to remove two accessories before leaving the house. Less is more. And I stay true to that now. Big earrings and/or a scarf are my favorite embellishments.
What’s your best style secret? My Beach Waver hair curler. I don’t feel “done” unless my hair is fixed.
Stilettos or flats? Flats, flats, flats—At any moment, one of my boys will go rogue, and I’ll have to kick off my shoes and make a break for it!
What’s your favorite way to spend time with your family? Camping! I love nothing more than watching my boys (including my biggest boy: my husband) unplug and find true joy in what God gave us. No stick, pinecone, or stone goes unexplored as these outdoorsmen embrace the wilderness around them. Their curiosity—seeing the simplest things in our world through their eyes— is so refreshing. And watching my husband teach them… makes me swoon.
What’s been your best family vacation? Our regular road trip to Northern Louisiana with 50 relatives! Our boys love a trip, and my husband does an amazing job of plotting spots along our route for exploring. Once we arrive, our reward for the trek is a huge crawfish boil, which warms this Louisiana girl’s heart!
Best parenting advice: Keep your word. If you promise an ice cream celebration, make it happen. Likewise, if you lovingly institute a 30-day technology cleanse for the whole family, follow through! There’s such comfort in knowing you can trust your parents’ word.
Parenting true confession: I’ve been dressing my children from the mountain range of (clean) laundry in my bedroom for months. MONTHS.
What’s your go-to family dinner? Taco Tuesday! Or Wednesday…or any day, really.
What’s your favorite family restaurant? Brother’s Pizza. There’s something for every person in our family, and that’s saying something since I have one boy who survives on a diet of air and pistachios.
What’s your favorite show to binge-watch? Seinfeld!
What’s your favorite beach read? Anything by David Sedaris. He can be so tacky, but I love him!
What’s the best song to dance to when nobody’s watching? OH, we dance, and we don’t care who’s watching! Right now, the music from Hamilton plays non-stop in the Manship house accompanied by performances!
If you could go shopping with anyone from history, living or deceased, who would it be? My grandmother. Before she passed away, she would spend every summer antiquing starting in Camden, Maine and traveling back home to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She always found the most wonderful treasures, but really, the experience of exploring together would have been the real prize.
What’s at the top of your travel bucket list? Two-month RV trip across the U.S. visiting National Parks! Call me crazy—I’m dying to go explore with all our boys!
What’s your favorite way to unwind at the end of a long day? Sleep! I’m rarely awake past 9 on a weeknight…. or any night, really.
Courtney's approach to fashion always looks well-coordinated and put-together, but it doesn't take itself too seriously. She chooses great colors and accessories without going overboard. Plus, she's always conscious of functionality and comfort, which is key for anyone as on-the-go as she is. But even though she has a down-to-earth approach to style, she always looks gorgeous.
Be sure to check out FamilyApp's Mom on the Street Channel for more great style!