I recently read this editorial in the Chicago Tribune about the differences between urban snow and, well, non-urban snow. I think my favorite line is:
Urban snow is what we have here, now. It is snow where it does not belong, where it is dangerous, incongruous and despised, like an urban coyote or an urban cowboy. No one ever wrote “Stopping by ‘L’ Platform on a Snowy Evening.”
But I thumb my nose at the slushy, wet, gray snow currently blanketing much of the city. I wore my white pants. Well, they’re technically winter white or cream or off-white or whatever you want to call them. Many people fear white pants when the weather is perfect. And it’s definitely a risk to wear them when the chances of getting snow sludge on them is high. Still, I can let the snow beat me or I can beat the snow!
I choose the latter.
Especially since I came across this photo on Pinterest and thought it looked really classy.
I mean, I could wait until spring to wear this outfit, but technically meteorological spring starts tomorrow so I figure that’s close enough. Sure, it’s still cold in Chicago. Sure, there’s still a chance of snow. But I’m declaring these my snow pants and I’ll wear them whenever I want.
When I originally received the invitation to the Chicago Blogger Network 2013 Oscar Party at Chicago restaurant Nellcote I turned it down. I haven’t seen any of the movies and, in all honest, am not really a movie buff. Still, the ladies at CBN assured me it was just an excuse to get dressed up and take advantage of some fun cocktails at an open bar. I wasn’t swayed. And then I realized that Ashley, Sierra, Molly, Cait, and Erin were going. While I’d met some of these ladies, others I only followed on Twitter. An excuse to chat them up in person? Okay.
But what to wear? I originally thought about dyeing my wedding gown.
But then I started thinking I could wear it as-is and went on a hunt for other winter white red carpet styles.
But it turns out my wedding dress has a slight stain down the front and I didn’t have the time to work on getting it out. Sure, I have other cocktail dresses but I wanted to wear a floor length gown! I mean, how many times in your adult life do you get to do that??
So, off I went on the hunt after work on Friday. I went to Nordstrom Rack first but they didn’t have anything I liked in my price range. So, on a whim, I went across the street to Burlington and found a beautiful one-strap blue dress with an amazing sequin and mesh back for $50!
(Unfortunately I did not bug the professional photographer nearly enough and this is the only photo they posted of me.)
We were handed personalized champagne bottles with toppers that doubled as champagne flutes and then it was time to mingle!
The party ended with everyone receiving a goody bag full of items from the awesome sponsors.
I’m so happy that I decided to attend this party and I am looking forward to doing even more events with the Chicago Blogger Network! It was wonderful to meet so many bloggers face-to-face and enjoy a first-class party. Plus, an excuse to wear a ballgown? I’ve decided I’m never passing that up again.
Apparently there was some concern among my faithful readers when my post didn’t go up this morning that I might have gone to work naked. I promise you, that did not happen (although now I’m going to get even MORE weird searches, I bet).
Truthfully, my crazy weekend just meant that I didn’t get a chance to take pictures ahead of time and am now doing it on the fly. And today I had an early meeting in a Chicago suburb so I had to snap pictures and write this post afterward. On the plus side, I was able to get in the pictures before the snow started coming down.
Also, I know that so many people in the style blog world are tired of the bubble necklace but I’m here to say that people who don’t read style blogs LOVE this thing! Seriously, a woman at my meeting today gushed over how cute she thought it was. I love this grayish purple colored one because it almost seems to take on the color of whatever it’s next to. Plus, it’s just such a huge statement that it adds personality to whatever you’re wearing.
Blazer – The Limited (similar, use code HOTPERK for 40% off) | Top – The Limited (similar) | Skirt – The Limited (similar) | Booties – Liz Claiborne via DSW (similar) | Necklace – The Limited (similar)
Full disclosure: I am working from my couch today. I had an amazing weekend full of a tour at Half Acre brewery, running my fastest 5K race time ever, and an awesome Oscar’s party hosted by the Chicago Blogger Network (full post on Wednesday). I need a day to recover. But, I already had this outfit planned for Inspiration Monday. Plus, my hair is straightened so I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to take some pics.
Today’s Inspiration Monday involved a full skirt and a jacket as worn by one of the Olsen sisters.
You may notice that any time an inspiration photo features a full skirt I wear this purple pleated one. That’s because it’s the only full skirt I own. I definitely gravitate towards the pencil skirt silhouette but ever so often it’s nice to break out of the box.
So many things to talk about today! Like, mixing polka dots and stripes! It happens to be one of my favorite pattern mixing options. Or how about the fact that three of the items I have on today are technically thrifted? I’ll be honest, thrift stores overwhelm me but Poshmark and Threadflip are so much easier for me to deal with. Online thrift shopping? Much more my speed.
And we need to mention that not only is today the last day I’m doing the Take One and Pass It On Challenge it’s also Copycat Friday. Which means I had to find a look to copy that also incorporated one of my items from yesterday. Those of you who guessed the scarf were totally right!
Anyway, now that I have this jacket in my closet I realized I could finally recreate an outfit I’ve had pinned for almost 9 months.
Again, it’s the polka dots plus stripes that drew me to this outfit. My jacket is a little bit more like a blazer, though, so I figured that with my nude flats it made a decent casual Friday outfit. Don’t have a olive colored or military-esque jacket or blazer? Try it with a similarly-colored cardigan. Don’t like to wear stripes? Any patterned black and white top would do. Add riding boots and you have a great casual weekend outfit!
With that, I’ve reached the end of my participation in the Take One and Pass It On Challenge.
I loved showing you how you can remix the pieces in your closet and pair them with other items to make completely different outfits. I was worried that people would notice I was wearing the same things two days in a row but so far the only comment I’ve gotten was someone referred to my statement necklace yesterday when I was talking about putting together an outfit for an Oscar’s party on Sunday. “You should wear that necklace you wore this week!” she said. That was it.
Anyway, it was a good exercise in mixing up my closet. And gave me hope that if I do a 30×30 challenge I will do just fine!
As I sat at my desk eating my lunch yesterday I kept thinking to myself “don’t spill, don’t spill, don’t spill!” Because, you see, I’m wearing the same red sweater as yesterday and if I’d spilled something on it then I’d be without my take one, pass it on piece for today!
Yes, I chose the red sweater to pass on. Did you guess that’s what I’d wear?
Although, let’s be honest, I totally stole this outfit idea from Jen at Librarian for Life Style. She also paired her polka dot dress with a red sweater and a black and white polka dot scarf and I thought, hey, I have all those pieces!
So here they are. And huge thanks to Jen for the idea! I’m still wrapping my brain around wearing dresses as skirts but this one works perfectly.
Also, in response to your comments on my reader survey I made sure that every piece listed today as a similar item is under $30! In fact, if you wanted to recreate this outfit with all the items I linked it would cost you $120.49 (excluding tax and stuff). And every single piece here can be worn multiple ways so they would all be great additions to your wardrobe.
And speaking of wearing items multiple ways, which item do you think I’ll be passing on to tomorrow?
First, thanks to the 37 of you who filled out my reader survey! I was hoping for a few more but, hey, that’s about 20% of my daily page views and my psychology degree tells me that 20% is a good number to hit! So that’s pretty awesome!
And, of course, since it’s no fun to fill out a survey if you don’t get to see your responses in action, I want to share the results with you along with my thoughts (and if you’re here for the outfit photos just skip to the bottom of this post).
Since the biggest goal of Loop Looks is to provide you with outfit ideas, I’m thrilled that those are the reasons most of you are coming here. Some of my favorite “Other” responses reinforce this since they stated “The style you exhibit is practical (both aesthetically and financially) and I can actually apply the inspiration” and “To get ideas on how to dress in Chicago winters”.
And it appears that most of you love everything I’m doing! Hooray! I wasn’t surprised to see the Saturday Shots posts weren’t as popular since I admit many times I skip over those myself when reading other blogs. I was a bit surprised at the one response that said the daily outfit posts were their least favorite. Maybe they just come for my eloquent writing? (Where’s the sarcasm font?)
Again, I’m not totally surprised at the responses about wanting to see more casual outfits. I’m still figuring out how to reflect my weekend wear on the blog since that’s typically the only time you’ll find me in casual clothes since I spend most of my evenings in fitness attire. Speaking of which, I do have a fitness blog that I try to post in a few times a month if you’re interested in that. It didn’t rank too highly in the survey so I probably won’t be adding too many fitness-only posts here.
As for shopping suggestions, I do always include links to items that are similar to what I’m wearing but I can try linking to more sales information and discussing why I frequent certain stores more than others. What are your thoughts on that?
I’m happy to see most of you both look at the pictures and read the text! Lets me know that those words I put here aren’t in vain.
Most of you didn’t care one way or another about seeing Loop Looks posts on the weekends which is good since I like not having that pressure. Also, no one cared that I use affiliate links. Chances are good that I’m never going to make a living from this blog but being able to pay for itself (or pay for me to purchase more items for giveaways!) would be lovely. Right now my only source of income is the affiliate links so I’m glad they don’t bother you.
One of you mentioned that you wanted to see recaps of the closet consultations I do. Well, I do try to post links to the reviews and write-ups on other bloggers’ sites when I do one for another blogger. For example, this weekend I did one for Kelsey and posted a link on Facebook to her recap on her blog. So, that’s one bonus to following Loop Looks on Facebook! But I’m also glad to know that you don’t mind seeing the outfit photos in both places. Probably makes it easier for you!
It appears that most of you think that doing a 30×30 would be fun. I agree, it’s not the most original thing out there, but I think it can be a useful tool for those of you who are working with a limited wardrobe. Seeing how someone takes a small set of clothing and makes it work for them for a month could be helpful, right? Something for me to think on.
Of course, many of you took the chance to share your opinions in the open-ended questions, too, and I love that! All the compliments made me feel amazing! And just reminded me that the reason I do this is to help YOU and it sounds like it’s working. So yay! I wanted to take a moment to address some of the comments, too, so you know I read ALL of them.
My feed reader doesn’t always show your posts right away! Sometimes it shows three at a time and I know you didn’t post them all at the same time.
When I switched from looplooks.wordpress.com to looplooks.net I tried to change my RSS feed. The one you should be using is http://looplooks.net/feed/ If you are using that one that should take care of most of your issues. I hope. I’m still working out all that fiddly technology stuffs.
I think an overall blog redesign would freshen up the look of your style blog.
I will take anyone up on the offer to help me redesign the blog! Or, you know, if you have a WordPress theme you particularly love, show me the way!
There’s no “Like” button for WordPress.
I do have a plug-in that adds a “Like” button at the bottom of each post.
However, it is tied to Facebook. Which means I will be looking for a additional plug-in that allows you to “Like” something without having it tied to Facebook!
Photos taken in the same locations – I like the more varied ones 🙂
So, for the past three weeks my husband has been taking my outfit photos instead of me hauling my tripod all over the place. Since the weather has been iffy lately we haven’t been venturing far from home. But, as the weather warms up you can bet we will be checking out locations around the city.
It might be nice to see some collaborations with other academic/professional style bloggers, like “4 ways to style [insert item/trend]…”
Love this idea! Thank you! I will be reaching out and seeing what I can concoct. And if other bloggers read this and want to collaborate, let me know!
Would love to see more responses to reader questions and more posts on affordable fashion.
I do answer every reader question I get although sometimes it takes me a few weeks to write a post on it. That’s what You Pick Wednesdays are for! If you have a question, any question, leave it in a comment or send it to email@example.com and I WILL answer it in a You Pick Wednesday post. I’m currently working on one about when to wear nude shoes since a reader asked me that in a comment a few weeks ago.
As for affordable fashion, I try my hardest to pick similar items to link to that are under $100. Perhaps some of you have questions about how to put together an outfit on a budget? Tell me your budget and you’ll get an entire You Pick Wednesday post to yourself!
And with that, I want to thank you again for taking the time to fill out the survey! It means a lot to me to know what I’m doing is worthwhile and to get ideas on how to mix it up a bit.
And now what you’ve all come here to see: hardcore nudity!
No, not really. It’s just today’s outfit for the Take One and Pass It On challenge from Sarah’s Real Life.
For everyone who guessed the necklace in yesterday’s post as my Take One and Pass It On item, you win! Not sure what you win. Bragging rights, maybe? Anyway, yes, I chose to wear the necklace again. It’s such a statement piece so I wanted to show how it could be toned down a bit.
However, the rest of my outfit just isn’t working for me. I think I just prefer to wear black shoes when I wear black tights. The shoes are just jarring to my eyes. I think there’s just a big too much going on in this outfit for me. Thoughts?
Also, what do you think I’ll be wearing from today’s outfit tomorrow?
Of course, as comfy as this look is, I can’t very well wear it to work. So I broke out two of my trusty wardrobe staples: my gray turtleneck and my black pencil skirt. Dress those up with a statement necklace, some patterned tights, and heeled boots and you have a simple but sophisticated outfit for work. Oh, and add a (faux) leather jacket and you have even more of a fun vibe. Right?
The second challenge is the Take One and Pass It On remix from Sarah’s Real Life. The idea is you take one item from Day 1 and wear it again in a new way on Day 2. Then another item from Day 2 and wear it on Day 3. And so on. Lots of ladies have committed to doing this for the entire month of February but I decided on just one week.
So, which piece from today’s outfit do you think you’ll see tomorrow? Leave your guess in the comments!
P.S. If you don’t follow me on Twitter you missed out on my daring trapeze exploits from Friday night. So, I’ll post the video below. And when my husband tweets “6th try” he means it took him six tries to upload the video. This was only my third time on the trapeze.
Yes, yes, I know Valentine’s Day was yesterday but tonight is when my husband and I are actually going out on the town so I wanted to keep the vibe going. Plus, pink and red is the theme of this week’s Friday’s Fancies with Long Distance Loving. Who am I to argue?
But just in case pink and red together isn’t your thing, I also paired this outfit with a neutral shoe.
Black shoes would also work. As would heels in black, red or nude if that’s your preference. Or riding boots. Don’t want to wear skinny jeans? Boyfriend or straight leg jeans would work just as well. Remember, the idea here is to inspire you not tell you that this is the only look that works! It’s just another monochromatic top paired with a dark bottom.
But, tell me. Red shoes? Nude shoes? Should I have gone with black? Did you do anything for Valentine’s Day?
P.S. I’ve gotten some requests via my reader survey (which is still open for another few days!) to post more casual outfits. Does this count?