Monthly Archives: September 2012

Tuesday Tempest

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

brown_dress_brown_blazer 005_Edit

brown_dress_brown_blazer 015brown_dress_brown_blazer 013

Blazer – The Limited | Dress – Classiques Entier via Nordstrom Rack | Belt – The Limited | Shoes – Bandolino via Macy’s | Earrings – JF&A Show

The roof of my building (where I take my pictures) was cold and windy this morning!  Just a taste of what I have to look forward to this fall and winter, I suspect.

I originally thought about wearing my heeled , knee-high boots today but a part of me isn’t quite ready to admit it’s time for boots.  Boots, though, would give this sheath dress and blazer a slightly different look than with heels.

Speaking of which, this is the third way I’ve worn this dress this year.  Here are the other two:

gray_dress 002_marchgrey_dress 001_Edit

So I think I’ll be trying it with boots later this fall.  Because there’s a thrill in being able to wear one piece lots of different ways.

Inspiration Monday–Brown & White

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

plaid_pants_white_blouse 006

plaid_pants_white_blouse 010plaid_pants_white_blouse 017

plaid_pants_white_blouse 011

Blouse – Gap | Pants – The Limited | Belt – The Limited | Necklace – Jeans and a Cute Top Boutique | Shoes – Bandolino via Macy’s

It’s Inspiration Monday from Two Birds!    Today’s inspiration?

Original Inspiration: Source

White blouse?  Check.

Belt?  Check.

Printed bottom in a brown pallet?  Check.

Beige shoes?  Check.

Puppy?  Sadly, no check.

I recently purchased a brownish-red pencil skirt but I wasn’t in a skirt mood today.  So, I pulled out these plaid pants instead.  I’ve actually never worn them with anything other than brown or, once upon a time, an off-white turtleneck.  They were strictly winter pants.  Even though they are lightweight.

Which just goes to show how an inspiration photo can make you rethink the things you already have in your closet.

How would you interpret this photo?

P.S.  I need some suggestions for You Pick Wednesday.  What do you want to see?

Friday Formal

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall


black_maxi_black_blazer 001

black_maxi_black_blazer 009

Blazer – The Limited | Dress – NY & Co | Necklace – JC Penney | Shoes – Nine West

Inspired by Laura and the fact that I will be attending a strategic plan launch event this Friday afternoon, I went dressy casual with a maxi dress and a blazer.

I couldn’t get a good picture this morning, though.  This is what happens when you try to squeeze in pictures before work and your tripod is a highboy patio table.

black_maxi_black_blazer 007

Oh, and the sun’s in your eyes.

Regardless, I think this is a fun way to dress up a maxi dress for work.  Don’t have a maxi dress?  What about a long skirt with a top and a blazer?   Don’t forget the statement necklace!

Summer’s Last Meow

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

off_white_and_leopard 001

off_white_and_leopard 005off_white_and_leopard 007

Top – Old Navy | Pants – The Limited | Necklace – J. Crew via Poshmark | Shoes – Unisa via

Yesterday seemed like one last hurrah for summer (although, you never know in Chicago) so I wore sleeveless and sandals.  And white.  Although these pants are a bit more of a “winter white” than stark white so I think they transcend the calendar.

In fact, I wore a very similar outfit in June but I recently purchased this pink and gold J. Crew necklace and I think the different accessory paired with a slightly different colored pant changes the outfit up just enough.

Also, yes, I got my hair cut.  I’m trying to embrace my wave which excited my hairdresser to no end (speaking of which, if you’re in Chicago and want a hairdresser recommendation my guy is pretty fantastic and only charges $35).  Basically it’s shorter with more layers, especially around my face.  Now I just have to figure out the best shampoo and conditioner to use!

You Pick Wednesday–Three Ways to Wear a Scarf

You Pick Wednesday


For this week’s You Pick Wednesday Kim mentioned that it’s almost scarf season!  As a fellow scarf lover, she wanted to know some of my favorite ways to wear fall and winter scarves as accessories.

So, follow along as I take some of my favorite inspiration photos and show you how I’d interpret them with scarves!

Inspiration #1

grey pencil skirt, navy cardigan, white tie blouseSource

A pencil skirt, a cardigan, and a white blouse with an attached tie.  But, wait!  What does this have to do with scarves?  How about instead of trying to find an identical top, you use the tie as an inspiration to wear a scarf instead!

Scarf as a Tie
Inspiration #2

Camel blazer with gray for fall.

Don’t have a  cowl neck sweater or sweater dress?  Why not use a scarf as your cowl?

Scarf as a Cowl Neck
Inspiration #3
Okay, so this outfit does indeed have a scarf in it.  But I wanted to give you another idea on how you could take these patterns and change them up.
Striped Scarf

Scarves are a great way to add interest to an outfit.  If you have on a solid colored top or dress you can quickly add pattern or color to it by putting a scarf on top.

Not sure how to tie your scarf?  Check out for instructions on how to tie just about any scarf you could want!

Do you have a fashion question?  Not sure how else you could wear the clothes you have in your closet?   Submit your You Pick Wednesday requests to!

Purple Majesty

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

pleated_skirt_black_top 004

pleated_skirt_black_top 010pleated_skirt_black_top 013

Cardigan, Top & Skirt – The Limited | Belt – Target | Necklace – Macy’s | Shoes – Anne Klein via Bergner’s

You know what’s funny about this skirt?  When I bought it I honestly didn’t really think about what I would wear with it.  But already I’ve found that lots of things in my closet match it perfectly!  Like this cardigan.  I did not buy them at the same time but I realized this morning that they go together as if they were purchased as a set.

I tossed on the leopard print belt to break up the sea of purple and immediately got compliments on it when I was in the elevator on my way to my office.  An unexpected pattern or color in an accessory can really catch people’s eye!  In a good way, of course.

pleated_skirt_black_top 007

Also, I’m getting my hair cut tonight for the first time in…um…a long time.  I have no idea what to do with it.  Suggestions are welcome!


Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

red_pants_gray_blazer 019

red_pants_gray_blazer 022red_pants_gray_blazer 023

Blazer – The Limited | Blouse – The Limited | Pants – Gap | Necklace – Macy’s (gift) | Shoes – Nine West

I used to wear this blouse all the time.  In fact, I even wore it on my first day at my current job!  However, I only ever wore it with black pants.  It wasn’t until I saw this post by Emily that I had an “ah ha!” moment.

This is why I love the Internet.  I love getting ideas from other people and trying them out myself.  Sure, I may not have the exact same items, but chances are good I have something similar.  Maybe you don’t have red pants and a gray blazer, but do you have gray pants? How about a red cardigan?  Or a red sweater?  Something with stripes?  Something black and white?  There are so many possibilities!

red_pants_gray_blazer 014

Rainy Day Fashion Rules

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

white_jeans_chambray 001

white_jeans_chambray 005white_jeans_chambray 007

Top – Target | Jeans – AG Adriano Goldschmied via Bloomingdale’s | Scarf – The Limited | Necklace – NY & Co | Rain boots – Kamik via Zappos | Flats – Lucky Brand via Marshall’s

Look.  If it’s going to rain during the work week I’d much prefer it rain on Friday.  That way I can wear jeans!  Rainy days make me want to dress comfy.  So my rules for rainy days are:

1.  Wear jeans you can tuck into your rain boots or a skirt or dress. Soaking wet cuffs are never fun.

2.  Have some fun with your rain boots.  They should be comfy but why not get them in a fun pattern?  Chances are you won’t be wearing them all day so show a little spunk on your commute.

3. Feel good in your outfit.  Rain can make you want to curl up on the couch in your pajamas, not go to work.  So put on some of your favorite pieces that will make you want to get out the door and show off.

Also, you may have noticed I’m wearing white after Labor Day.  I love these jeans.  They can be tucked into my rain boots.  This outfit can be accessorized a million ways from Sunday.  So it fits all my criteria.  Bah I say to the no white rule!

P.S.  Thanks for all the suggestions on yesterday’s post! I’m planning to rework this outfit in the near future.

P.P.S.  Last night’s Fashion’s Night Out fashion show at Macy’s State Street was a blast!  Thanks to Corals and Cognacs for letting us know about it.   I got some fun outfit ideas (printed pants, anyone?) and had fun hanging out with Molly and Heather.  Plus I finally got an opportunity to wear shorts and heels which is something I’ve been dying to do for awhile.


Feeling Green

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

green_pants_polkadots 004_cropped

green_pants_polkadots 008

Top – Gap | Pants – Express | Shoes – Bandolino via DSW

Tonight I’m attending the Fashion’s Night Out event at the State Street Macy’s.   Which means I was slightly more concerned about what to wear to that and not as concerned about what to wear to work.  So I pulled on an outfit I’ve had in mind for a while.  I’m not in love with it but it’s better than going to work naked.  I think.

Why am I not in love with it?  I’m not entirely sure.  Maybe the top isn’t tailored enough for the pants?  Maybe I’m too short-torsoed?  Maybe the black shoes are throwing off the look?  Maybe it feels too casual?  I do love the colors and the pattern together, though, so I’ll keep playing with it until it feels just right.

You Pick Wednesday–Running Gear Essentials

Fitness · You Pick Wednesday


A few weeks ago I ran the Run Against Traffick 5K with Angie, Molly & Heather.  After the race I got the following Tweets:



So, what was it about my outfit that gave them running gear envy?

I think it was the pockets!!  My pink Nike top has two pockets in the back which make it perfect for both running and cycling.

Or maybe it was the skirt.

Either way, Angie asked me to do a post on running gear.

I have a lot of it.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to take a photo of everything.  But imagine a dresser drawer so full that I can barely close it. Plus a tub of stuff under my bed.  I’ve been running since 2007 so I’ve been amassing my collection since then.

I do have some favorites, however.  And they include the skirt I’m wearing in the above photo.  And a top from the same company.


That company?  Skirt Sports!  Why do I love them so?  Because their clothes are designed by women for women.  One of the best features?  Cleavage alley!


That’s a pocket on the inside front of the top!  Because where do some women store stuff when they run?  In their bra.  So why not put a pocket there?

The Wonder Girl tank is my favorite from them and is the style I’m wearing above.  My skirt is several years old and I don’t think they sell that style anymore.  However, they sell quite a few other styles so it’s difficult to chose one that’s better than the other.

There is so much running gear out there.  You can spend from $10 to $100 or more on just about any piece.  I highly recommend trying lots of different brands, styles, and fits to find what you like the best.  Plus, the more you have the less often you need to do laundry, right?

However, my suggestions for basic running gear essentials are the following:

Running Essentials

Tank top | Hat | Arm warmers | Capris | Jacket | Visor | T-shirt | Socks | Tights | Gloves | Shorts

A combination of these items should get you through almost all weather conditions.  Plus shoes and a sports bra, of course.  Look for items that have pockets, are made out of polyester or other “sweat-wicking” material or have vented or mesh areas on them to let the heat escape.

Great brick & mortar places to buy running gear at good prices include Target, Kohl’s, JC Penney, TJ Maxx/Marshall’s and Nordstrom Rack.

Online options are plentiful but I prefer Running Warehouse, Holabird Sports, Amazon and The Clymb, to name a few.

Do you have any favorite workout gear?  Where do you like to shop for cute but functional stuff to sweat in?