Monthly Archives: December 2012

Packing for Two Climates in Seven Days

Casual Clothes

Packing for Two Different Climates

For the past seven days I’ve been in two different climates.  I started in Flagstaff, Arizona which is at 7,000 feet (9,000 at the ski lodge) above sea level.  This means that at the end of December the highs are in the mid-30s and the lows are in the teens.  After four days in Flag I flew to Tampa, Florida where the weather was in the low 70s and high 50s.

You can see how this makes packing interesting.

I stuck with jeans and (gasp!) only brought two pairs of shoes.  My Uggs for Arizona and my boat shoes for Florida.  I tried to bring items that could be layered in Flag and could be stripped down for Florida.  This two different climates thing is tricky.

So, how did I do?  Did I wish I’d brought something different?  Did I wear everything?

The only items I didn’t wear were the gray sweater, the oatmeal cardigan and the chambray top.  Otherwise I wore everything I brought and even wore the olive green button down twice.  Overall I think I did a pretty good job packing for two totally different climates in one week.  And I even had room in my suitcase for some Christmas gifts!

Have you ever traveled to two different climates in the same trip?  What did you pack?

An Ode to Orange


Hi! This is Kim, Erin’s not so fashionable friend. But I do know a thing or two about Photoshop and have a love for a certain color…

We have seen a lot of awesome outfit ideas from Loop Looks since Erin launched the site in February. But have you noticed one tiny little missing thing? Don’t worry if you didn’t notice it right away, it took me awhile too…

Sigh. Erin is missing the BEST color in her wardrobe. ORANGE.

You may not have picked up on it. Erin was sneaky with her “Red is Just Orange Without the Yellow” post, but I did some investigation (left a comment) and found out (via her reply) that:

I don’t know if I even look good in orange!! And unless you count my Milwaukee Marathon shirt (and my March Madness Half Marathon shirt that I’ve never worn) then I don’t own anything orange.

Whaaaaa?! This must be fixed! Immediately! Orange is a FABULOUS color! It’s bright, it brings energy to your outfit, and it doesn’t have to make you look (or feel!) like a pumpkin!

I know Erin is not sure if orange will look good on her, so I took the liberty of doing a little Photoshop magic, to show her that it does:

What if she was an orange leopard instead of a blue one (wait! aren’t leopards already orange?!)?

Maybe it could have been “orange all the things” instead of pink?

You know what would have been most unexpected? Orange pants!!!

And the original inspiration for this post… I think you could’ve swung orange, Erin!

What do you think – does Erin need some orange in her wardrobe? I think Erin would look good in a variety of orange shades, and should give the color a try!

Which color appears the least in your wardrobe? And why is that?!

Run Cute Even If You’re Cheap


Today’s guest blogger is Maggie!  Maggie and I met through Chicago Running Bloggers since as you may or may not know, I also have a fitness blog and consider myself to be an avid runner.  Maggie has great style when it comes to dressing fun for a run so I hope you get some inspiration from her!


Hi Loop Looks readers! I’m Maggie, and I blog about running at and sometimes post my outfit of the day over at Lazy Fashion. Today’s post is about having fun with your running clothes.

The easiest way to do that is pick out running clothes in fun colors, which is really easy right now since the trend is OMGBRIGHT colors. Even the affordable places (Target, Old Navy, Marshalls/TJMaxx) are on board with the brightness.

Bright Resolution Run

Dash into the New Year 5KRunning For Kicks 4 Mile Turkey Trot


You can keep things cute by adding in some fun touches. One thing that I’m trying to make “happen,” is knee-socks-as-arm-warmers. Even elite runner Tera Moody got the memo! I prefer to cut off the toes and turn my cheap ($2.50-$5 at Target) knee socks into “arm warmers.” They’re so cheap, you can toss them aside once you actually warm up. (Although I tuck them into my waistband.)

Fast women at #zooma #crbzooma with @looplooks 2012 Chicago Marathon

But I do wear some knee socks as socks. Compression socks, that is. Or compression sleeves (allows for more flexibility so I can wear my preferred running socks – Injinji toe socks). Luckily, compression socks and sleeves come in all sorts of fun colors.

Meeting Sara Hall at @zoomarun #zooma #crbzooma Applefest Half Marathon 2012 Chicago Marathon


Your clothes aren’t the only place to add some fun to your running wardrobe. There are quite a few options for headbands to keep your hair tamed, and also keep your ears warm.

One of the latest trends is no-slip headbands. You can buy these from countless suppliers – I love Active Bands, Bani Bands and Sparkly Soul. You can find tons of colors (in solids and sparkles) and fun prints and patterns to match every outfit and holiday.

picplz_upload Rockdale Ramblin Run 10K

In the colder months, I also like to keep my ears warm. Bondi Bands cover my ears, wick sweat, are thin so I don’t overheat and come in fun colors and prints.

Oak forest fleadh 5k ZOOMA

When it gets colder, long haired ladies have three options when it comes to wearing a winter hat: Tuck all of your hair under your hat and look like a boy, wear pigtails, or wear a ponytail hat.

You can save $20-30 and make your own ponytail hat out of a $5 fleece hat from Old Navy. I just use the tool from my manicure set that looks like a seam ripper to rip a hole in the seam of the hat, just big enough to fit my ponytail through.

ponytail hat


Finally, another trend in the running world is sparkle skirts.

My running club jumped on the sparkle bandwagon and purchased green skirts for last year’s Shamrock Shuffle (and other St. Patricks Day races), and resurrected them this winter for Christmas-themed races. We get a lot of attention, and it’s really easy to spot each other on the course! If you’d like to sparkle too, we got a group deal on the skirts through

Those are my “tricks” for looking cute while running without shelling out the big bucks at those certain specialty stores aimed at active ladies. Do you have any other ways you keep things cute?

Instagram and Christmas: More Alike Than You Think


For those of you who celebrate Christmas I hope you are enjoying your holiday!  I’m currently in Flagstaff, Arizona enjoying my own white Christmas (yes, it snows in the mountains of Arizona).  Which is why I’ve asked Heather of Smart and Savvy Style to fill in for me.  Today’s post is about her love for Instagram and how it can bring bloggers and blog readers together.  I thought it was an appropriate post for today since so much of the holidays are about spending time and connecting with our friends and family.  So, pour yourself another glass of eggnog and enjoy Heather’s take on using Instagram to connect with readers.   -Erin


As a blogger, I enjoy engaging my readers. After all, that’s what blogging is all about. One thing that I’ve found is that it is much easier to engage readers on nontraditional blogging media, such as Instagram. I’ve blogged before about how much I love Instagram, but I couldn’t resist the opportunity to share my love with Erin’s readers as well.

Why I love Instagram:

Sometimes, I like to take you shopping with me. I share items I am falling in love with and huge bargains that I couldn’t resist!


Seriously? Who could resist these shoes?!


Sometimes, I like to invite you into my dressing room.



I give you 2 or 3 choices and ask you which one YOU would choose! I love to hear about your favorite combinations, accessories, and colors!

Sometimes, I like to give you a front row seat to my fashion show.


I snap a photo of my finished product and share it with you. Your likes help me understand you and your style, which ultimately helps me blog for you!

Do you see why I love Instagram so much?

It’s the perfect way to interact with YOU!

– Heather

Heather is the creative behind SmartSavvyStyle. She blogs about fashion, food, life in Chicago, and everything in between. Follow her on Instagram (username: SmartSavvyStyle) for behind-the-scenes looks or like her on Facebook for smart and savvy deals and fashion news.

Five Ways to Wear Stripes: Guest Post from Jen at Librarian for Life and Style


While I’m off visiting three sets of family in three different states in 10 days, I’ve recruited my bloggy friends to keep you entertained.  First, up we have Jen.  She and I bonded because we have the same Master’s degree (Go Library Science!) and a passion for looking good at work.  I hope you enjoy everyone who is helping me out this week!

Hi there! This is Jen from Librarian for Life and Style, and I’m excited to guest post again here at Loop Looks. Erin is one of the first style bloggers I started following and helped inspire me to start my own blog earlier this year. It’s been fun discovering more about my own style, and one classic I’ve found that I return to, again and again, are stripes.

5 ways to wear stripes

Some recent ways that I’ve styled stripes include:

Stripes are so versatile and are a great foundation for pattern-mixing, whether it be with other stripes or patterns. How do you like to wear stripes?

Note from Erin: Jen was also one of the first people to submit a question for You Pick Wednesday.  Her question?  How to wear a striped jacket! 

Gingham and Sparkle

Casual Clothes · Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

pink-gingham-tan-sweater 016

pink-gingham-tan-sweater 021pink-gingham-tan-sweater 023

Shirt – H & M (similar on sale!) | Sweater – Gap (similar) | Jeans – Express | Shoes – Lucky Brand via Marshall’s (similar) | Necklace – JF&A Tradeshow (similar)

I bought this shirt because I wanted something in pink gingham.  I got this sweater as a gift and never knew what to wear it with.  I bought this necklace because I’d seen something similar online and loved the way it looked with various outfits.  But it wasn’t until I saw images on Pinterest that I got the idea to wear them all together.

Some people will tell you that you should only buy pieces if you know exactly what you’re going to wear them with.  Can you make three outfits with it off the top of your head?  Then you should get it.  I sort-of subscribe to this theory.  But, I also love finding new ways to wear the items in my closet that I didn’t think of when I purchased or received the items.  There is so much inspiration available that I don’t think you should leave something out of your closet just because you couldn’t think of a way to wear it. Just commit to looking for ideas and you’re bound to find that it works in your wardrobe perfectly.

Also, you may notice that I’m wearing jeans on a Thursday.  That’s because this is my  Friday.  I’m off work starting this afternoon until January 2nd.  I’ve got some fun guest posts scheduled for next week, though, don’t you worry!

P.S.  Thanks to my girlfriends who suggested I try Express for “skinny” jeans that aren’t as tight on my ankle or calves.  The Stella fit are perfect if you’re looking for something similar!

Three Office Appropriate Outfits Featuring Patterned Tights

You Pick Wednesday

A reader asked me to address the whole idea of patterned tights.  She recently purchased these tights from New York & Company and wanted ideas on how to wear them.



So, how do you wear patterned tights to the office without looking ridiculous?  In my mind the key is pairing them with simple staples: sheath dresses, skirts, and sweaters.  Don’t try to compete with the tights too much in terms of other patterns and make sure that whatever you’re wearing fits well and covers everything appropriately.


Dress | Cardigan | Necklace | Shoes

You could also swap out the original tights for just about any gray or black tights in any pattern.  Polka dotsLeopard print? Argyle would be especially fun.


Sweater | Blouse | Skirt | Shoes | Bracelet (similar)


Sweater | Necklace | Skirt | Boots

Again, when in doubt, keep your patterned tights office appropriate by pairing them with solid or neutral colors and wear shoes that match the tights.

Which patterned tights outfit is your favorite? 


Clear as Black and White

Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

Black Blazer with White Lace Shirt

Black Blazer with White Lace Shirt and Pearl Necklace

Blazer – The Limited (similar)| Shirt – Target (similar) | Pants – Ann Taylor (on sale!) | Shoes – Bandolino (similar)| Necklace – JF&A Tradeshow  (similar) | Belt – Target

You’d think that a black and white outfit would be one of the easiest ensembles to put together.  You’d think black and white can never go wrong.  But, I’ll be honest with you, this outfit looked way better in my head than it did when I put it on.

Is there anything inherently wrong with it?  Nope.  Black and white together is classic and the addition of the pearl necklace just makes it even more so.  The zebra print shoes?  That adds a little bit of edge without being too over the top.  But maybe it’s the cold and gray day (and I swear I see snowflakes flying past my 8th floor window) but I couldn’t bring myself to take an outdoor picture and I’m never thrilled with my indoor ones.

So, in reality, there’s nothing wrong with this outfit.   Wear your black and white with pride!  Just don’t mind me if I’m in the mood to prefer mine in the way of black yoga pants and a glass of white wine.