My White Whale

•• Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

Chicago style blogger, mint cardigan, red necklace, brown pants

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Cardigan – Van Heusen (similar) | Tank – Old Navy (same) | Pants – The Limited | Necklace – The Limited (similar) | Shoes – Anne Klein (similar)

Today I want to talk about tank tops. Specifically wearing a tank top to the office. Personally, I am not a fan of wearing a jersey knit tank top to work. But, clearly, people do it all the time. In fact, this outfit in today’s Pinterest challenge is what prompted me to try it out.

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I swapped the coral for red and used it in my necklace and put the mint in the cardigan. Mint and brown is a lovely combination so I wanted that to be the focal point.

However, I feel that a jersey knit tank like the one I’m wearing from Old Navy is just too casual for work. I have one plain white shell that I wear all the time instead. In fact, I wore it yesterday. But, as with all things white, it’s probably a good idea to have more than one since they can stain so easily.

Which lead me on the hunt for another white shell I felt was dressy enough for the office.

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First up, I went to Express. Actually, speaking of Express, I’ve got a little feature over at On The Daily Express showcasing my current wishlist of items from there. I actually put top number one on my list and even ended up buying it navy. The white, though, was too much of a cream color and since the keyhole hits me a little low it would need a camisole underneath. And trying to match that cream color was going to drive me nuts so I said PASS.

Tops number 2 and 4 I ordered during the 50% off and free shipping sale from Ann Taylor and they haven’t arrived yet. Fingers crossed one of them works out!

Top number 3 I originally saw on Marion of Marionberry Style but haven’t tried it on or gone in search of it. If it goes on sale, though, I’ll be there!

Finally, top number 5, also from Express, looked promising on the hanger but when I put it on the rolled sleeves were so bulky and uncomfortable! Bummer. Otherwise I loved that the fabric was a bit less sheer than white tops usually are.

Searching for the perfect white shell is tough! Even now when the stores are carrying summer clothes and whites and pastels seem to be all the rage. So here’s what I say to that:

Chicago style blogger, brown pants with mint cardigan

P.S. It occurs to me that I’m wearing my sunglasses in all my posts this week. I’m not trying to look like a spy or something. It’s just it was sunny when I was taking my photos and it was either the sunglasses or squinty eyes. Speaking of sunglasses, I discovered I had three of the exact same pair in the bottom of my purse. I guess when you finally find some that fit your tiny head you buy them in bulk!

 

The Classic and the Trendy

•• Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

Chicago style blogger, J. Crew Schoolboy blazer, printed pants

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Blazer – J. Crew (same) | Shirt – Gap (similar) | Pants – Gap via clothing swap (similar) | Shoes – DSW (similar) | Short necklace – The Limited (same) | Long necklace – J. Crew via Poshmark (similar)

You know, sometimes certain things are meant to be. Like, take these pants for instance. I had a very similar pair saved on my Pinterest wish list (the ones linked above, actually) but couldn’t bring myself to spend money on them. I loved the print but I wasn’t sure if I could justify another pair of black and white bottoms.

And then I attended Maggie’s clothing swap and saw these in the pile. Same cut, similar pattern, but different colors! Thankfully the fit was perfect and they came home with me.

I’ve actually worn this outfit once before but it only made the blog in a small snippet of the Blaze Pizza recap. So, since I loved it so much the first time I knew it needed to get a chance to be in the spotlight. I really enjoy pairing fun and trendy pieces with more classic traditional pieces. Like, in this case putting these printed pants with this classic navy blazer.

Chicago style blogger, J. Crew schoolboy blazer, printed pants

Subtle Pattern Mixing

•• Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

Chicago style blogger, polka dot dress, striped shirt, pattern mixing, black and white

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Dress – The Limited (similar) | Shirt – The Limited via Poshmark (similar) | Cardigan – The Limited (similar) | Shoes – Bandolino (same) | Necklace – The Limited (similar)

Welcome to Monday, everyone! How was your weekend? I have a lovely low-key three days (yes, remember, I had Friday off) that basically consisted of running, grilling, and watching the first season of The Glades. I lead an exciting life, don’t I? Oh, I also taught someone how to use Facebook.

I also put together this outfit as inspired by this Erté painting chose by Salazar for this week’s Style Imitating Art.

image Spring Rain

Originally I was thinking my green pants with my polka dot chambray shirt but then I remembered that today I have a meeting with some auditors at work and decided that green pants and chambray might be a bit too casual.

So, instead, I went with subtle pattern mixing with polka dots and stripes and brought in some purple and green in the cardigan and the necklace. I also tried to find some art deco architecture to stand in front of but, alas, I could only find Victorian.

First world problems, right?

Linking up with Fizz & Frosting | On the Daily Express | More Pieces of Me | Basic Training Corporate Style

It’s A Good Friday

•• Casual Clothes - Casual Friday

Chicago style blogger, navy and green

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Cardigan – The Limited (similar) | Tank top – The Limited (similar) | Jeans – Express (similar) | Necklace – clothing swap (similar) | Shoes – Nine West (similar)

Awhile ago I got some requests for more casual outfits. Well, to be honest, I am one of those people who tends to wear mostly workout clothes on weekends or, if I’m feeling spunky, I’ll put on jeans, a tank top, and a cardigan. Nothing too crazy.

But, today is a holiday for me and I took this casual outfit a few weeks ago before we left for vacation so I thought I’d share it with you. It’s too casual for my office but it’s perfect for a day I’m not at work.

So, here you go. A casual outfit!

Or, if you’re really just here for the work-appropriate stuff, head over to Basic Training – Corporate Style where I’m being interviewed about my job and my work-wear.

Chicago style blogger, green, navy cardigan, boat shoes

A New Look For Spring

•• Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

Chicago style blogger, floral skirt, blue cardigan

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Cardigan – J. Crew (same) | Camisole – The Limited (similar) | Skirt – LOFT via Poshmark (similar) | Shoes – Bandolino (similar) | Necklace – J. Crew via Poshmark (similar)

Good morning! Have you noticed the new look around these parts? Lindsay of White Oak Creative just redid my blog layout and I love it! She took a new logo that a friend made for me and designed my new blog layout around it and I think she did an amazing job.

I did not do such an amazing job taking these photos, though! I don’t think they do my new redesign justice. It was one of those situations where I decided on a location and then some random lady walking through our neighborhood decided to kind of stop and stare and wait for us to take the photos. I usually don’t care but she was literally the only other person on the sidewalk besides us and it was just so strange! Hence the awkward quickie photo shoot.

Also, yes, I’m wearing this floral skirt again. Today I’m interpreting this outfit from Poor Little It Girl that’s part of this month’s Pinterest challenge board. I don’t own any floral tops so I swapped the print from the top to the bottom. Although looking at that photo makes me want pink heels. Or is that too ridiculous?

Linking up with Work Clothes, I Suppose and Vodka Infused Lemonade

Hardcore Lace

•• Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

Chicago style blogger wears a pink blazer, lace shirt, and faux leather pants

Chicago style blogger, pink blazer, lace top, pearls

Blazer – H&M (similar) | Shirt – Banana Republic Outlet (similar) | Pants – Vince Camuto via Macy’s (similar) | Necklace – JF&A Show (similar) | Shoes – c/o fibi & clo (same)

Today I’m mixing up a girly top-half with a hardcore bottom half. Pink, pearls and lace combined with black faux leather? What was I thinking??

Well, I was thinking that today’s Pinterest inspiration photo is a pink blazer with a lace top. I was also thinking I had a similar outfit saved on my own Pinterest board from Ask Away Blog.

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So, since Wednesday is not a jeans day at my office I decided I’d go with the black faux leather pants. But putting heels with them just seemed too over-the-top for work. Hence the flats!

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Adding flats to these faux leather pants and toning them down with  more feminine pieces up top makes it seem less like I’m going out to a club and more like I’m going to the office. Which I am. So I think that works out.

On a separate note, I went to the BEST wine bar on Monday night! I’ve always wanted a nice wine bar that wasn’t too loud, served items other than wine, and was close to my apartment. Turns out that there is one. At least on Monday nights Paola’s Vinum on Jefferson and Van Buren is a great spot to buy a bottle of wine and just chill with your friends.

Chicago style blogger, how to wear faux leather pants to work

Tailoring A Pair of Pants

•• Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

Chicago style blogger, red blouse, black moto vest

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Blouse – Express (similar) | Vest – Target (similar) | Pants – The Limited | Shoes – Bandolino (same) | Necklace – NY & Co (similar)

Let me tell you a little story about these pants. I’m pretty sure you’ve never seen them on the blog before. The matching suit jacket? Yes. The pants? No. Why not?

Well, this is one of the suits I bought almost six years ago before I started my current job. And six years ago flared leg pants were still in style. I’m not talking bootcut, I’m talking FLARED. So, these were flared. And then they hung in my closet for the past few years with me debating whether or not to get rid of them.

But I HATE shopping for pants. Hate it. So I decided I’d try these on one last time before deciding if they were going in the donation pile. And they still fit. Which is when I decided I’d ask the tailoring lady at my dry cleaner if she could make them into straight legged pants. Which she said she could for the price of $26.

Chicago style blogger, flared leg to straight leg pants

Now they’re a tad too long but that’s an easy fix. Well, I mean, I’ll still be paying someone to do it since I can’t sew, but at least I don’t have to go pants shopping!

Gray Dress and Black Boots

•• Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

Chicago style blogger wears gray dress with black blouse and boots

Chicago style blogger wears a gray dress with a black blouse

Dress – Nordstrom Rack (similar) | Blouse – clothing swap (similar) | Boots – Cole Haan (similar)

After a beautiful weekend our winter weather seems to be back for another round. Hence the layers, tights, and boots. That’s okay, though, because in the past when I’ve worn this dress I’ve mentioned wanting to wear it with my knee high boots. And although I’ve worn it with my ankle boots this really is the first time I’ve worn it with my tall boots. And I really like it!

Anyway, speaking of the nice weather, how did I spend my weekend? Well, after running my last long run (!!) of this current half marathon training cycle I showed up at the PAWS Chicago warehouse to help sort donations. Almost four hours later I’d sorted so much dog food, cat food, toys, leashes, and beds I was amazed at how much people donate. The volunteer coordinator, though, said that as fast as the food comes in it goes back out through the pet food pantry.

At least I had some cute helpers?

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Also, when Jason was taking my pictures in this outfit he mentioned that I didn’t seem to be very excited to be having my picture taken. “Do something interesting,” he said.

Okay.

Chicago style blogger, gray dress, black boots

Linking up with Fizz & Frosting | On the Daily Express | More Pieces of Me | Basic Training Corporate Style

The Cat is Back

•• Casual Friday - Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

Chicago style blogger, camel blazer, striped shirt, leopard scarf

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Blazer – old (similar) | Shirt – LOFT (similar) | Scarf – NYC Street Vendor (similar) | Jeans – Express via Poshmark (similar) | Shoes – Jessica Simpson via DSW (same)

So clearly I put this outfit together before I realized the weather was going to skyrocket to almost 70 degrees! Still, it doesn’t mean all is lost. Nope, I’ll just ditch the blazer and roll up my sleeves when I’m outside. I’ve got a doctor’s appointment this morning anyway so the fewer things I have to take off the better.

Also, it’s been awhile since I’ve paired stripes and leopard. I used to wear this combination all the time but gave it a break because I was pretty sure you were sick of seeing it. But guess what? It’s baaaack!

In other news, Wednesday night I had the best time with the Windy City Blogger Collective and Blaze Pizza! Blaze was amazing and treated us like rockstars. We even got to go behind the counter and make our own pizzas. Complete with aprons and hats.

Blaze Pizza Chicago

Check me out in the foreground. Thanks to WCBC for the photo!

Blaze Pizza is an awesome concept. You can order straight off the menu or, just like Subway or Chipotle, you can tell them what ingredients you want. Gluten free or regular crust? White, pesto, spicy or regular red sauce? Your choice of five different cheese (or mix and match), tons of veggies and lots of meat.  The crust is super thin so each pizza takes minimal time to cook. Great for when you want to grab something on your way home or just need a quick meal.

Blaze even has a liquor license now so you can have your pizza with a beer or some wine.

Blaze Pizza Chicago

And don’t forget your s’mores pie for dessert!

Blaze Pizza Chicago S'mores Pie

5 Ways to Wear a Short Sleeved Sweater

•• Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

Chicago style blogger, polka dot sweater, pencil skirt

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Sweater – Old Navy (similar plain; similar printed) | Skirt – The Limited (similar) | Belt – The Limited (similar) | Shoes – 6pm.com (similar)

A few years ago I thought to myself, “Why would anyone want to own a short sleeved sweater? When would you even wear such a thing?” Turns out you can wear it quite a bit as evidenced here:

5 ways to wear a  short sleeved polka dot sweater

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Layered over another shirt, under a blazer or jacket, or just all on it’s own, the short sleeved sweater is great for those in-between months where it might be cooler in the morning but warmer in the afternoon. Basically, spring in Chicago.