Monthly Archives: March 2013

Comfy, Casual Friday

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring



Cardigan – Nordstrom Rack (similar under $25) | Shirt – Gap (similar under $15) | Pants – Gap (similar under $25) | Boots – Ciao Bella via DSW (similar for $55) | Scarf – JF&A Trade Show (similar under $15)

It’s Friday!!!  Who’s excited???  This girl right here. After a really long week at work I needed to celebrate Friday by wearing something comfy yet put-together for work. I know you can’t really tell from the photo, but these are NOT leggings. They’re actually skinny dress pants. But they’re comfy like jeans so they’re really a win-win situation.

Flat boots, a boyfriend cardigan that covers my butt, and a soft scarf round out my casual Friday outfit. For many people there’s no way this would fly in the office, but I recently read somewhere that you should take your cues from your boss. If your boss wears it then consider it fair game (caveat: your boss wears embroidered sweatshirts. Please don’t wear those to the office). And my boss has worn outfits almost exactly like this so I’m in the clear!

Speaking of being in the clear, I’m still attempting to stick to my goal of giving you all budget-friendly options for items you might need to round out your closet. And in this week’s edition I give you this entire outfit for $128.62 including the boots!

So, if your Friday needs a pick-me-up, throw on a comfy but cute outfit. And if you don’t have one, then use the links above to partake in some retail therapy. I won’t judge.

P.S. I mentioned that I was going to trapeze class last night. Well, I learned a new trick (called a set whip). Here are some photos:


Linking up with Two Thirty Five Designs

Similar Is as Similar Does

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring



Scarf – Target (similar for $10) | Cardigan – Nordstrom Rack (similar) | Top – Target (similar and only $15!) | Pants – The Limited (similar) | Shoes – Nine West (similar)

One of the first style blogs I started reading was Jill’s Good Life for Less.  At the time she was putting together outfit ideas for people who contacted her and asked for her help. She was nice enough to share many of those outfits with her readers. One outfit with a black blazer, gray slacks, and a purple scarf caught my eye. And, I admit, I spent the next year looking for slate gray dress pants.

Until it hit me – practice what you preach! Okay, so I don’t have dark gray pants. But I do have light gray pants so why not go with that? Duh, Erin.  And, yes, I have a black blazer but sticking with the inspiration not recreation vibe, I decided I wanted to be a bit more casual today and tossed on the cardigan instead. Sometimes you just can’t deal with a blazer, you know? Especially when the only thing on my calendar for today is a coworker’s birthday and more trapeze classes!

Remember, when you see an outfit you like, try first to see if you already have items similar to it in your closet. They may not be exact but I bet in many cases you were drawn to that outfit because you like those colors or styles. And if you already like them, you probably already own something like it!

Linking up with Texas Lovebirds

When Is It Okay To Go Nude: how to wear nude shoes

You Pick Wednesday

One of the reader questions I received recently was about how and when to wear nude shoes.  Now, when I say “nude” I mean shoes that are one to two shades lighter than your skin tone no matter where it falls on the color spectrum. I only added nude shoes to my closet this past year when I realized that with some of my outfits black shoes just weren’t going to cut it.

Case in Point


Notice that the black shoes draw your eye down and almost make the shoes the focal point of the outfit. Whereas the nude shoes just blend in and draw your eye up so you notice the actual outfit itself.



Here’s another example.  Nude shoes are the best when your legs are bare.  When I’m wearing blackish gray hose and a black cardigan my black shoes balance out my outfit.  But when I’m bare-legged and wearing a brown jacket nude shows off my outfit (and my legs, if I say so myself) better.  I could have worn brown but, again, it might draw the eye downward.



These pants are interesting because these outfits could have gone either way with the shoes.  My burgundy shoes match my pants so they do tend to blend in more.  But since the top half of the outfit on the left looks heavier to my eye I think the heavier color shoe goes better with it.



Again, same pants, different shoes.  In this case both shoes would go well with either outfit. Sometimes you get the option!

So, when should you wear a nude shoe?

1. When you want the attention to be on your outfit

From ByBy Style Studio:  When you’re wearing colorful or busy print ensembles that you want to emphasize. The nude shoe will keep they eye focused above your feet.

2. When you want to look taller or more streamlined

From DivaVillage:  When you wear a pair of nude pumps with a dress or a pair of pants that are a similar color, your legs will actually look longer.

3. When another color just won’t work

From Girl Next Door: Your shoes should complement your [outfit], not compete with it.

And for more nude shoe inspiration, you can see all my posts where I’ve worn them here.

Need some nude shoes in your life? Here are some that caught my eye.


I hope that helps clarify when nude shoes are the best option. Or maybe it made it more murky!  Tell me in the comments. And, as always, if you have your own style questions let me know! I’m happy to help!


Glasses Over The Years

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring



Did you know that I actually wear contacts? Ever wonder why I never wear my eyeglasses? Well, I’ve worn them once before on the blog back before I actually had any readers! So, for all intents and purposes, you guys have never seen them before. In fact, the reason I very rarely wear them outside of the house is because for years I had trouble finding any that fit my small face and head and I think have some form of Post-High School Stress Disorder about looking ridiculous in photos while wearing my ridiculously huge glasses.



As I mentioned, I have a very small head and face.  So small, in fact, that past hairdressers have even commented on how tiny my head is! Which makes it difficult to order glasses without trying them on.  Thankfully I also wear contacts so I can at least see myself when I’m trying on glasses.  But for years the style in the glasses’ world seemed to be that they were huge. In fact, my last pair of glasses before my current ones were Nintendo brand! Yes, they were kid’s glasses.


Thankfully glasses have gotten smaller over the years and now I can finally buy my glasses in the adult section of the store.  Still, it also means I’ve never tried to order glasses online since I’m terrified they’ll still be huge on my face.

Which is why I think the Virtual Mirror from is a great idea!  It lets you upload a picture of yourself and then “try on” different pairs of glasses.





What to try it out yourself? You can even save your favorites and then send the pictures to your friends for their opinion right from the website!


So, the next time you need prescription eyeglasses or just want to see what you think you’d look like in certain frames (or just need to kill some time at work) why not check out this website.  You can also get  15% off + get free shipping on any order over $50 using code FS15 or 10% off any order of prescription glasses using code Blog10.  The prices are actually reasonable and I love that you can share the photos with friends to get their opinions!

Do you wear glasses?




This post was sponsored by but any and all opinions are my own.

Trying to be Inspired

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

lace_dress_military_jacket 1

lace_dress_military_jacket 2 military_jacket_necklace


Jacket – Old Navy via Threadflip (similar) | Dress – Marshall’s (similar) | Tights- Banana Republic (similar) | Booties – Liz Claiborne via DSW (similar) | Necklace – Jeans & A Cute Top Shop (similar) | Earrings – The Limited

Today’s Inspiration Monday photo just screams spring.  A lace dress, a colorful blazer and adorable strappy shoes? Spring. Sadly, it’s still too chilly here for bare legs and strappy shoes so I did my best to winterize my lace dress with some additional inspiration from Katie.


Original Inspiration Photo

Still, there’s something about this outfit I’m not loving.  Maybe I should have worn the jacket open and belted the dress underneath? Maybe I just like the look of a lace dress with black tights better on other people?  Thoughts?

Would you wear either of these outfits?

How I Get Dressed

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring



Blazer – J. Crew (similar under $35) | Shirt – The Limited (similar) | Scarf – JF&A Trade Show (similar) | Earrings – The Limited | Jeans – Gap Factory Outlet (similar) | Shoes – Lucky Brand via Marshall’s (similar)

Hooray for Friday! Seriously, this week has felt 1,000 years long, am I right? At least I had one piece of this outfit planned out when I heard that today’s Friday Fancies theme was lace. Throw on my lace top with jeans and a blazer and I’m good to go. At least, I thought I was.  I originally planned to wear this outfit with either my nude heels or my nude, gold studded flats, but I feel like I’ve been wearing those nude flats all the time! I  wanted to give some love to something else in my closet. Hence the leopard print flats.

And then I was struggling with what necklace to wear. Finally it struck me: wear a scarf. Wear this floral scarf, actually. It hasn’t gotten love on the blog and I thought it contrasted nicely with the lace and the leopard.

So, there you go. My thought process when getting dressed.  Seriously, throw a scarf and a blazer on with just about anything and your outfit will go from “eh” to “yeah”!

navy_blazer_lace_top 1

Also linking up with Two Thirty-Five Designs

A Leopard in Neutral

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring



Blouse – Old Navy (similar) | Cardigan – The Limited (similar) | Pants – The Limited (similar) | Shoes – Anne Klein (similar) | Bracelet – Joe Fresh (similar) | Necklace – Groopdealz (similar)

I admit that I purchased this leopard print top from Old Navy last year with very little idea of what I was going to wear it with.  Turns out that leopard is so versatile that I’ve worn it with white, brown, black, pink, green, and purple just to name a few. And just sitting here writing this post I came up with a few more items in my closet that I want to pair it with.  Crazy, huh?

I’ve had people ask me if it’s okay to wear leopard print to the office. Yes, it is. If your office is more conservative I would stick to using leopard as a layering piece and pair it with neutrals like I did here with the burgundy and brown. However, if your office is a little more laid back then you could put it with brighter colors like red or bright pink or make it the focal point of your outfit.

Leopard is definitely one of my favorite patterns so it’s no wonder it’s a go-to pattern in my closet when I feel as though an outfit needs a bit of a pick-me-up.


Linking up with Mix & Match Fashion

Also, because I wanted to link up with Trusty Chucks and Texas Lovebirds here’s an inspiration photo for you.

February Shopping Summary




1. Old Navy Military Jacket – $14.05 ($35, plus 15% off, plus $25 gift card)

2. Stella & Dot Earrings via Poshmark* (seen here)

3. Express Stella Skinny Jeans via Poshmark* (seen here)

4. Forever 21 Sweater ($10 on sale, used store credit from a return)

5. ASA Sanchez ball gown via Burlington Coat Factory – $54.60 (seen here)

*$35.50 total minus $16.40 in Poshmark credit (get your own using code HBAMM) = $19.10 for both items

Total = $87.75

Back in January I said my goal was to wear the items I purchased or received that month and not spend money on myself.  Well, I definitely wore those items but I did end up spending some money on myself in February.

The Old Navy Military jacket was a total impulse purchase.  Not sure I’m going to keep it yet, to be honest.

I love my original pair of Express Stella jeans so I’d been stalking Poshmark looking for a pair below retail.  When I found this pair and was able to bundle them with a pair of pearl earrings (another hole in my jewelry collection) I was sold.  Plus, I had all that credit from sales and from people signing up with my code that they were a steal!  Retail, those two items together would be over $100!

The sweater was also an impulse purchase.  But $10 AND I had store credit?  Sure.  Who couldn’t use a navy sweater? Now, if only I could find a black crewneck sweater.

Finally, my ball gown.  I didn’t HAVE to buy this.  But, really, would you have passed this up?  Plus the fact that I hadn’t bought much else in February means I was able to afford it easily.

So, for March I’m going to continue my goal of shopping my closet, selling items I no longer need, and saving my moolah.

Linking up with Franish | Ma Nouvelle Mode

Chicago Lumberjack

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring



Blouse – J. Crew (similar) | Skirt – The Limited| Necklace – JF&A Show (similar) | Earrings – Macy’s | Shoes – Gabriella Rocha via (similar)

Originally I had on a gray crewneck sweater over the top of my plaid shirt.  You know, to tone down the lumberjack look a bit.  But then a part of me liked the juxtaposition of the more casual plaid shirt with the professional pencil skirt and necklace bling. Although, for those of you who don’t like in-your-face plaid then perhaps you would have preferred it with the sweater!

Either way, it’s supposed to snow up a storm here (yay for March? Definitely in like a lion) so this outfit will be worn with snow boots during my commute for sure.  Plaid and snow boots.  Totally  lumberjack inspired.

Thoughts on plaid? Love it or hate it?

Polka Dot Sweater? I Hardly Know Her!

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring



polka_dot_sweater_blazer 2

Blazer – The Limited (similar under $20) | Sweater – Old Navy (similar under $30) | Collared Shirt – TJ Maxx (similar under $30) | Pants – Ann Taylor (similar under $30) | Booties – Liz Claiborne via DSW (similar) | Necklace – Macy’s (similar under $30)

Today’s Inspiration Monday photo should have been easy.  Skinny pants and a polka dot sweater?  Polka dot sweaters have been everywhere this past season so of course I have one in my closet.

Inspiration Photo Source

 Of course, Hilary Duff’s is ADORABLE while mine required a bit of finagling.  See, mine is actually short sleeved. So in order to give it some more interest under the blazer I added the collared button-up white shirt. I like that the sweater gives is a slightly casual vibe while the button-up and the blazer make it definitely office appropriate. And I incorporated the black and gray color scheme which promptly drove my photograph-taking husband nuts. “Can’t you wear something with color? Now we need to find a colorful background!” Mission? Accomplished.

Do you own a polka dot sweater? Don’t you love the one in the inspiration photo?

polka_dot_sweater_blazer 1

P.S. If you bought all the items linked to above (minus the shoes), your total outfit cost would be $122.41 (excluding tax and shipping). And the blazer, black pants, and collared shirt would become closet staples so you’d definitely get your money’s worth!