Monthly Archives: June 2013

Blackhawks Red and Black for the Office

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

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Top – The Limited (similar) | Jeans – AG Goldschmied (same) | Shoes – Sole Society (similar) | Necklace – Groopdealz (similar) | Earrings – Stitch Fix (similar)

For those of you reading this who don’t live in Chicago or don’t live with a hockey fan you probably don’t know that the Chicago Blackhawks hockey team won the Stanley Cup last week. This is a big deal and the whole city has been celebrating since then. Today is the Blackhawks celebratory parade and rally. Since I live about 1.5 miles from the Blackhawks hockey arena and work less than half a mile from the rally you can probably imagine that my commute this morning was filled with red and black Blackhawks gear. I’m not a hockey fan and probably only watched about 30 minutes total of the games but I didn’t want to be a party pooper. So I decided to figure out a way to wear a classy red and black outfit to the office. In fact, here’s another way you could wear a red and white polka dot shirt and still be Blackhawks appropriate!

I wish I could show you just how awe-inspiring (and, to be honest, a bit terrifying) it was to ride the train into work this morning and see Blackhawks red and black lining the streets. I took this picture from my office window but it pales in comparison to these from the Chicago Tribune since mine just looks like regular tourists and theirs show how packed the streets were.

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Are you a sports fan? Do you wear outfits to reflect holidays or events?

EDITED TO ADD:  My coworker braved the crowds. This is what it looks like at 20 minutes after noon.

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Linking up with AJ Wears Friday Favorites Remix

White Lace and Gold Satin

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

Gold tank top with white lace pants from The Limited

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Top – The Limited (similar) | Pants – The Limited (similar) | Belt – Target (same) | Shoes – 6pm.com (similar) | Necklace – The Limited (similar) | Earrings – House of Gemmes (similar)

You all know how much I love my navy lace pants, so when I saw these white lace pants on final sale at The Limited for $19 I couldn’t pass them up. I’d been wanting a more streamlined pair of white pants anyway and the lace was just the cutest touch. Today I kept it neutral and paired them with all gold (and a little bit of leopard because why not?) but I have a feeling these pants will go with just about everything in my closet.

In the elevator of my apartment building on my way to work this morning a woman got on with some ADORABLE puppies including one very exuberant Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (or some mix thereof) who desperately wanted me to pet him. “No, not on the white pants!” his owner cried as he leapt up, putting his front paws on my shin. Thankfully his paws were clean and I used it as an excuse to squat down for puppy cuddles.

You’d think white lace pants and dogs wouldn’t go well together but I’m here to tell you that when we had dogs I had to be just as careful when wearing black pants. White might be a dirt magnet but black is a fur magnet like no other!

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Linking up with Vodka Infused Lemonade and Mix & Match Fashion

Also part of Trend Spin – Metallics

Swirlgear: My New Fitness Apparel Find

Fitness

Exciting news for you today! As many of you know, I am also a runner and a fitness enthusiast so when I saw the opportunity to become an ambassador for Swirlgear running and fitness apparel, a new Chicago-based company, I couldn’t pass it up. Thankfully, they liked me as much as I liked them and I am now a Swirlgear Ambassador!

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And how awesome is this? Their office is located just blocks from my apartment so I was able to swing by there this morning and pick up two of their adorable running shirts.

 

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I haven’t worn them out running yet (you can bet I’ll be trying one out tomorrow, though!) but the fit is great. They are nice and long on me which means on someone with a normal or tall torso they would be perfect. The sleeves aren’t too long which means they’ll be easier to wear in the summer than many of my other short sleeved shirts. And, of course, the fun swirly tie-dyed print is so unique!

They also currently sell shorts, long-sleeved shirts, and jackets in the online store.  And, yes, I chose pink because that’s my default color, but this awesome yellow running  top is next on my list.  They have some awesome colors and styles in the works for fall, too. Think deep teal and fuchsia along with tank tops, capris, and tights.

I got to chat a bit with the owner and creator of Swirlgear this morning, as well. She’s a life-long Chicagoan who got the idea for starting the company while running Grandma’s Marathon in 2007. Which means that this is women’s running gear designed by a woman runner!

As an ambassador I get to offer you free shipping on any order when you use code 945. Of course, full disclaimer, I earn a small commission on anything you purchase with this code. And, if you live in Chicago and want to try on some items or get them directly from me, let me know! I can work something out. Or, you can check them out at one of the following race expos:

July 19th-20th: Rock & Roll Marathon Expo, Chicago IL
August 9th: Zooma Women’s Race Series Expo, Chicago IL
October 11th-12th: Bank of America Chicago Marathon Expo, Chicago IL
October 31st-November 2nd: The ING New York City Marathon, NYC

I’m excited about this opportunity because it fuses my two passions: fitness and fashion. Because, I mean, just because you’re sweating doesn’t mean you can’t wear something fun, right?

Linking up with Small Town, Big Wardrobe for Whatever Works Wednesday

Emerald Office

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

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Cardigan – The Limited (similar) | Tank top – The Limited (similar) | Skirt – Nordstrom Rack (similar) | Shoes – TJ Maxx (similar) | Necklace – NY & Co (similar)

I’m back! Did you miss my smiling face? What about if I bribe you with an awesome giveaway? Yes, I’m giving away a beautiful Gorjana bracelet over at Coming Unstitched. And, hey, you can earn entries for doing what you already do. You know, reading this here blog. Easy, right?

You know what’s not easy? Getting dressed in “real” clothes after spending a week in my swimsuit and not showering until 5 PM every day. Thankfully a gal I saw in Target along with a Pinterest find gave me the idea to pair my emerald green tank with my black and white skirt. Also not easy is getting a good photo when it’s raining outside. Hope you enjoy this slice of my day job office.

I feel like this outfit is a little bit “traditional” but, you know, there’s nothing wrong with that. Adding a colored top to a black and white skirt is sometimes a style revelation for people so even though it may seem simple it’s not always for everyone. And since my goal at Loop Looks is to help people think outside their uniform rut, maybe someone seeing this will have a light bulb moment and copy this look. And that’s perfectly fine by me.

The Great Swimsuit Hunt

Casual Clothes · Shopping

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On my second to last day of vacation the clasp on the top of my brown and pink bikini broke.

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RIP bikini that I’ve had since at least 2008

This was actually the second time the clasp had broken. The first time I had my mom replace the clasp with a new one. I didn’t pay that much for this swimsuit but it was worth it to me to repair it. Why? Because finding a swimsuit that has all the criteria I need is like my own personal white whale.

My criteria?

1. No tie in the back. It can tie at the neck but I don’t want one that ties at the back.

2. Not too much padding. Even if I don’t plan to swim in it there’s always a chance I’ll get wet and having sopping wet sponges attached to my chest is not a look I covet.

3. Some kind of tie or embellishment on the hips. I need something that distracts from the fact that I carry most of my weight around my hip bones and almost every bikini bottom gives me a little bit of muffin top (notice how I am cleverly hiding it behind my arm in the above photo).

4. A halter top. I think this shows off my shoulders the best and I happen to think my shoulders look goooood.

The hardest thing to find? A halter top with light padding that doesn’t tie in the back! They are super rare. And I look in every store I go into that has bikinis just in case. So when my mom and I wandered into a Glik’s in downtown Grand Haven, MI and I saw TWO halter bikinis that didn’t tie at the back I was ecstatic! The first one didn’t have my size in the top (sad) so I tried on this one called Beneath the Rainbow from Hobie.

FYI – the bottoms run super small. They didn’t have a medium so I tried on the small. Uh, that was a tad bit scandalous. But, the bottoms are adjustable so I tried on the large and voila! They worked. I could probably get away with a medium as well but the large was what they had so that’s what I bought.

Of course, it was the LAST day of vacation and the weather was cruddy so I haven’t actually gotten to wear the swimsuit out anywhere yet. I guess this means I need to take another vacation!

P.S. I couldn’t find my camera this AM and I was running late for work. Hopefully regular outfit posts will return tomorrow. Thank you to everyone who submitted a question for last week’s “You Pick” series.

P.P.S. I have a bracelet giveaway that starts tomorrow over at Coming Unstitched. If you aren’t reading her yet, now would be a good time to start.

Five Summer Hats That Aren’t Baseball Caps

Casual Clothes · You Pick Wednesday

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When I asked on Facebook for questions my fans wanted answered, one of my readers (and long-time friend) asked:

I’m tired of wearing baseball caps out (unless I’m running) but still want to keep the sun out of my face…. Just please don’t say “fedoras,” I’d feel like a poser.

So, in response, I picked 5 summer hats from Target (because, really, who doesn’t love Target).  One “cowboy” style hat, two floppy hats, one traditional sun hat, and one conductor style hat.

If you’re transitioning from a baseball cap I think the conductor hat is probably the closest match if you don’t feel comfortable jumping right to a floppy hat or a cowboy-style hat. Personally, my summer hat is a purple floppy one that I bought at a boutique in Michigan.

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And if you don’t like my hat picks, here are a few more summer hat posts that might inspire you more.

Summer Sun Hats (WARNING: Contains fedoras)

White on White (Super cute hat also from Target)

The Grass is Always Greener (The perfect floppy hat outfit)

And a few other bloggers who keeps hats on constant rotation as part of their accessories:

Jen at Librarian for Life and Style

Katie at Alaskan Weredork

Four Ways to Wear a Maxi Skirt to the Office

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall · Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring · Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer · You Pick Wednesday

Say hello to Anne from Anne Really Blogs! She does her own occasional style posts (along with posts about yummy recipes, travel, her dogs, fitness, and much more) but recently she asked me for help with ways to wear her new GAP maxi skirt to work.

 

GAP Striped Maxi Skirt

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I’ve worn my own maxi dresses to work (sometimes even turning them into skirts) but I admit that this time I turned to Pinterest for some inspiration. So here are my takes on four different ways you can make your maxi skirt work for the office.

 

Black and white striped maxi skirt with gold accessories

 

Shirt | Shoes |Belt | Similar Necklace |Similar Earrings

 

Neon cardigan with striped maxi skirt

Cardigan | Shirt | Necklace | Shoes

 

 

Striped Maxi Skirt with Coral Top and Black Blazer

 

Blazer | Shirt | Clutch | Shoes

Striped maxi skirt with white top, obi belt, and statement necklace

Shirt | Belt | Shoes | Anne’s own necklace!

 

Key takeaways?  Here are three.

1. Avoid flat sandals. They make it look like you’re going to the beach.

2. Pair the skirt with some “lux” accessories. Faux (or real) leather belts, shiny jewelry, and non-cotton tops are all good choices.

3. Wear something more structured, like a blazer or a waist belt to give you some shape and decrease the casual factor.

 

Do you have a maxi skirt or dress? How do you like to wear it?

For more maxi skirt inspiration, head over to Marionberry Style. Her trend of the month is maxi skirts!

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cat bow tie

Crazy Cat Prints: Dos and Don’ts

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall · Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring · Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer · Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter · You Pick Wednesday

A few months ago I saw a shirt on Fran and emailed the link to my friend Kim with the subject “Classy cat shirt”.  Kim is a HUGE cat person so I thought she needed some cat clothes.

cat bow tieNo, not like that. Like this:

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We have a ongoing joke about ugly cat shirts and how I believe they should not be allowed outside of your house. Ever.

Ugly cat print t-shirts

(Although, to be honest, the top right one isn’t half bad)

 

So, of course, Kim was excited that there was actually a Loop Looks approved cat print shirt. Which means when I asked for “You Pick” posts for this week while I’m on vacation, she immediately responded asking for more Crazy Cat Lady-friendly yet office-appropriate cat print clothing items.  Believe it or not, they were easier to find than you’d think. This first one I actually saw being worn by Sarah’s Real Life!

 

Anthropologie Printmaker Shirt

Carousel Animal Print Shirt

Other Items

It helps that fun prints such as cats, birds, household objects, and other animals are trending right now. The key, though, is to keep the print small or in just one or two colors.

Cat print dresses no one should wear

Cat print dresses from Dorothy Perkins

Dress One | Dress Two

Other Items

Three cat print blouses that can be worn to work

Shirt One | Shirt Two | Shirt Three

Other Items

 

Would you wear a cat print shirt? Are you a cat person or a dog person?

P.S. If you want to see actual photos of my outfit from last Monday, they’re up at Work Your Wardrobe along with my tips on how to incorporated printed pants in to your wardrobe if you’re scared of looking like a clown.

(Full disclosure: I am a dog person all the way)

Chicago Bike to Work Week: What to Wear

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

Polka dot cardigan, with gray ankle pants and bubble necklace for Bike to Work Week

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Cardigan – The Limited (similar) | Tank – The Limited (similar) |Pants – The Limited (similar) | Necklace – JF&A Show (similar) | Shoes – 6pm.com (similar)

This week is Bike to Work Week in Chicago and since I only live 1.5 miles from my office I do occasionally bike there. The most difficult part for me, though, is figuring out what to wear while on my bike. Do I wear my regular work clothes? Do I wear workout clothes and change once I get to work? I’ve done it both ways and it really depends on the weather.

For example, today was supposed to be cool in the morning. So I decided to wear running tights, a t-shirt and a jacket (and bike shoes, of course) on my bike and change into my work clothes when I got to work. Except it was actually quite warm on my bike! Which means even though I overdressed, I’m glad I didn’t wear my office outfit because I sweated in my Chicago Marathon shirt instead of my polka dot cardigan.

Riding my bike to work can be quite a challenge and requires a bit of planning the night before. Deciding what to wear, what to pack, and making sure I don’t forget anything. Still, it’s a nice way to start my morning and Bike to Work Week always reminds me to get out on my bike more often.

Do you bike? How do you get to work?

Also linking up with Mix & Match Fashion and Vodka Infused Lemonade

10 Denim Jackets Under $50

Shopping · You Pick Wednesday

Denim jackets, jean jackets under $30

Target | Old Navy

Denim jackets, jean jackets under $40

Old Navy | Forever 21 | Kohl’s

Denim jackets, jean jackets under $50

Kohl’s | American Eagle | Macy’s

Kelly recently asked me to help her find an affordable denim jacket. The great thing about a denim or jean jacket is that you can find one at literally every price point. I stuck to suggestions for under $50 but they can range from $20 to $200. And, to be honest, I can’t really tell the difference in quality! It all depends on what you want in a jacket. I bought mine over 10 years ago from the GAP outlet and it’s still in great shape. I’m looking to replace it myself, though, because the style is getting kind of dated.

So what should you look for? Here are some key things I would suggest:

1. Nothing too light and nothing too dark. An in-between shade is more likely to go with lots of different tops, pants, skirts and dresses. However, if the jacket is cheap enough maybe get two, one lighter and one darker!

2. Not cropped. A cropped jacket will go out of style faster than one that hits at or just above or below your hips.

3. Tapered in at the waist. Mine is way too boxy on me and makes me look wider than I am. I would like one that shows off my waist instead of hiding it.

Denim jackets are also a great thing to look for at thrift stores or on Poshmark since they’ve been around a long time. Just remember the three key features mentioned above so you pick out a modern looking one. Unless you’re going for a 1950s vibe. Then, by all means, grab that vintage jacket and rock that style!

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Don’t forget to ask your own questions! Hit me up on Twitter at @looplooks and get a You Pick Wednesday post just for you.