Monthly Archives: September 2013

The 7×7 Remix Begins

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

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Top – Express (same) | Pants – The Limited (similar) | Shoes – Via Spiga via Lohmann’s (similar) | Necklace – Dreaming Leo Designs (similar) | Cardigan – The Limited (similar)

Good morning! I have so many things to write about this week including my thoughts on Social Media Week Chicago, my first Midwest Style Blogger brunch, and the fact that I’m participating in Ma Nouvelle Mode’s 7×7 Remix!

I’m not going to write about ALL of those things today, though. Today I’m going to give you a tease of the 7×7 remix. What is it? Well, the challenge is to take 7  pieces of clothing (shoes and accessories don’t count) and make 7 outfits. Seriously.


This was actually much more difficult for me than I had anticipated. Mainly because I had to incorporate a lot of different aspects.

First, I wanted to participate in this week’s Inspiration Monday challenge.

kate_beckinsale Click on the picture to see the full inspiration outfit

Black and white pants, some leather, a black top, black pointed shoes? This is right up my alley! Especially since I just got this faux leather shell from Express. It’s adorable but it runs really small and you’ll definitely need a racerback bra to wear it, FYI.

Also, tomorrow’s Trend Spin is dresses and skirts so I needed to included at least one of those. And then, of course, I wanted to include both work and weekend looks.


So, I hope you’ll stick around this week so you can get all the details on each of the seven outfits and hear my stories from Social Media Week and blogger brunch!

P.S. I know. I cheated. If you count the cardigan I’m wearing today and my (faux) leather moto jacket I have 9 pieces. But I’m counting them as accessories. So there.

Also linking up with Thirties Two Cents

Thank Goodness It’s Not Hump Day

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

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Blazer – The Limited (similar) | Blouse – Gap (similar long sleeved) (similar sleeveless) | Jeans – The Limited (similar) | Shoes – (similar) | Necklace – The Limited (similar)


This morning as I was leaving the train station to walk to work a guy ran past me yelling, “Mike! Mike! Hey, Mike!” I wanted to tell him that Hump Day was two days ago.

And THANK GOODNESS it’s Friday! This week has been crazy busy. I actually love being busy but I also love sleeping in and having my outfits planned out in advance. I didn’t get a chance to do that this week so thank goodness for Pinterest. Some mornings, like today, my brain is so on autopilot it can’t even think to put gray and navy together. So, thank you, Marionberry Style for helping me get dressed on this decidedly non-Hump Day.

Other ways I’ve worn this blazer: 1 / 2 / 3 /4

Other ways I’ve worn this top:  1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Linking up with AJ’s Friday Favorites Remix

Real Women Wear Leopard To Work

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

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Cardigan – The Limited (similar) | Camisole – The Limited (similar) | Skirt – Target (same) | Shoes – Bandolino (similar) | Necklace- The Limited (same)

One of my goals for this blog is to show that real women who work real jobs don’t have to dress in all black or get stuck in a rut of black pants and a button down shirt. I am a real woman, I work a real job, and, yes, I wore a leopard print pencil skirt to the office today. I’ve worn green and leopard together before and I still think it’s a great combination that makes the leopard print look a bit more toned down.

But looking at that photo from last year I noticed something: I’m wearing the same cardigan today yet when I tried to button it all the way up it didn’t quite work. In fact, I’ve been struggling with a few items in my closet recently.

And here’s where I talk about either my clothes shrinking or me, well, not shrinking. So, if you want, you can stop reading right now.

When you take pictures of yourself every day for over a year you start to notice things. Like, how a skirt fit you months ago versus how it fits you now. How a cardigan that once worked when you buttoned it all the way no longer feels comfortable even unbuttoned. And when you track your purchases every month you start to see trends in sizes as well.

Yes, I weigh myself. Yes, I’ve put on a few pounds. But it seems to be more than that. My body shape seems to be changing and I seem to be carrying weight in places I didn’t used to carry it. Is this what happens when you start to reach your mid-30s? Maybe it’s what happens when you start hanging out with people who drink beer more than wine (I love both equally, by the way). Maybe it’s just that when I started this blog I was strength training at least 3 times a week and occasionally doing two workouts a day and now I’m doing one workout a day and have gotten into a strength training rut.

This isn’t a plea for “you look great” compliments. I know I still look good. I just look different than I did last year. And I’m trying to figure out why that is.

Linking up with Simply Just Lovely and Mix & Match Fashion

Social Media Week Is Eating My Life

About Me



I had a great idea for a post for today that involved you weighing in on whether or not I should keep the Old Navy cargo vest I ordered but I just didn’t have time to put it together. Why? Social Media Week. I’m lucky enough to have a job with a boss that fully embraces professional development. As such, in between doing my day job, attending a board meeting for my running club, putting in appearances at social events, creating and scheduling the communications for my professional organization, and planning my booth for an upcoming employee training faire I’ve been attending as many Social Media Week events as possible. Some have been great and others not so great. Still, I’m incredibly thankful I have the flexibility to attend even if it means my life is not really my own this week.

And for those of you that aren’t able to attend? I believe there are some live-streaming events and some that may be available after the week is over at  I’ll also be putting up a post next Wednesday with my thoughts and the best things I learned.

So, stay tuned!

Faux Leather Dilemma

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall



Blazer – Express (similar) |  Shirt – Gap (similar) | Skirt – The Limited (similar) | Necklace – JF&A Show (similar) | Shoes – Bandolino (similar)

I’ve been dying to wear this striped blazer and faux leather skirt outfit ever since I pinned a similar inspiration photo almost a year ago. Today’s Trend Spin Link-Up theme of leather seemed like the perfect opportunity!

Unfortunately, either something happened to me or something happened to this skirt since I wore it last and I’m having a “bad texture” day. What does that mean? It means that when I put this skirt on I just couldn’t stand it. Also, the back kickpleat seems to be doing something weird. Which means that as much as I love the look of this outfit, I’m going to have to figure out what’s going on with the skirt ASAP! Because faux leather is DEFINITELY in for fall and the fact that this skirt isn’t black makes me feel like it’s easy to wear to the office. And I want to wear it!

Am I the only person who puts on a piece of clothing and then just can’t wear it because of how it feels on? Please tell me I’m not alone!

Black, White and Boots

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

Red cardigan, The Limited Houndstooth skirt, knee high black boots

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Cardigan – The Limited (similar) | Camisole – The Limited (similar) | Skirt – The Limited (same) | Necklace – The Limited (similar) | Boots – Cole Haan (similar)


It’s officially fall so I suppose that means it’s okay to break out the boots! I typically try to wait until the highs are in the 60s before I take my boots out of the closet for fall. Don’t want to rush the end of summer, right? Or maybe that’s just me. Because I don’t drink coffee I can’t get on the style blogger fall bandwagon and have a pumpkin spice latte in my hand (unless it’s a pumpkin spice chai latte from Argo Tea) and I don’t want to wear boots before it’s time.

Blogger fail?

Also, I could NOT come up with an outfit that involved pants for today’s Inspiration Monday photo.


Click the photo to see full sized

Olivia Wilde is beautiful and apparently has a really long torso. I do not have a really long torso. So while I contemplated black pants with my white studded leopard print shirt I knew it wouldn’t look nearly as good on me as it does on her. So, instead I went with the black, white and red color theme in her shirt. And boots. Because it’s fall. And I don’t want to fail at ALL the style blogger stereotypes.

Stripes and Leopard…Again

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

Black and white striped cardigan, jeans, leopard print heels, Casual Friday

Black mini bubble necklace with stripes

Cardigan – The Limited (similar) | Tank top – The Limited (similar) | Jeans – The Limited (similar) | Shoes – Macy’s (similar) | Necklace – Groopdealz (similar) | Bracelet – House of Gemmes (similar)

If you follow me on Instagram (which I am TRYING to remember to use more often) you might remember that I basically wore this same outfit last Friday. However, I was working from home so I figured that it needed an actual office outing. So, for work I added the bubble necklace, the bracelet and swapped out my leopard print flats for leopard print heels.  And when it gets cooler outside? I’ll add my leopard print scarf!

I really don’t know what it is about stripes that make me think to pair them with leopard print, but I still contend that it’s the easiest way to get into pattern mixing.

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P.S. The above picture is to show you why I don’t take pictures in my apartment if I can help it. The lighting is HORRIBLE.

The Office to a Tee

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall · Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

Tropical floral print t-shirt, navy pencil skirt, purple cardigan, wedge sandals


Cardigan – The Limited (similar) | Shirt – The Limited (similar) | Skirt – The Limited (similar) | Shoes – Vince Camuto Outlet (similar and SUPER CUTE!) | Necklace – The Limited (similar)


Bri from Work Clothes, I Suppose said to dress up a t-shirt. So I did. What? You don’t always do what Bri tells you? Bri, however, did NOT tell me to wear all items from The Limited. That was all me and my Limited closet. Har har. See what I did there?

ANYWAY! I admit, I never would have thought to wear this t-shirt with a pencil skirt unless Bri brought it up as an option. Even though I did an entire post that basically included t-shirts with pencil skirts. Funny how that works, huh? And speaking of wearing a t-shirt to work, I think the key is to pair it with other structured pieces if you work in a business or business casual office. Don’t wear them with denim, don’t wear sneakers, but definitely  add some bling!

Of course, if you work in a super casual office you can wear your t-shirts with whatever you want. Except short shorts. Those are never office appropriate. Unless your office involves a pole and you’re not a firefighter.

How to wear a t-shirt to the office

Also linking up with Simply Just Lovely

Introducing Vividly: Outfits Made From Art


A few times in the past (and hopefully more in the future) I’ve participated in the Style Imitating Art series created by Shades of Gray and Animated Cardigan. Using a piece of art to inspire an outfit is a unique way to get dressed, don’t you think?

But what about using art to create an actual piece of clothing? How awesome would that be? Well, that’s exactly what a company called Vividly is doing!


Direct from their “How it Works” page:

How Vividly works

Preorder Vividly

Vividly originally just sold tank tops made of silk and bamboo as well as silk scarves. You can browse the full collection and find the piece that speaks to you. Each one is printed on-demand from art that is submitted by individual artists. Which means, if you happen to be an artist you could actually submit your own artwork to be made into a tank top or a scarf.

And, as of Monday, the art can also become a jacket, skirt, dress or a cotton tank top!

New Vividly Printed Bomber JacketNew Vividly printed pencil skirt

New Vividly fit and flare dressNew Vividly cotton tank


The best part about the new line is that these new items can be made in just about any print you see on the website. Here’s how it works straight from Vividly themselves:

Most of the items in the Vividly store have not yet been made. You support their production by pre-ordering and telling us in which pieces to invest. For items in the pre-order phase, we do our best to create an image that reflects what the final item will look like. We do this by using Photoshop to display the art or textile design on an outline image of the clothing item. These previews are a very good approximation of what the final item will look like but they are not exact.

Many of the prints we use are actually parts of paintings that we print on fabric. When we cut that fabric to make your garment, we cut several garments from the same fabric, so each garment will represent a different part of the painting. We only use this technique for paintings that have similar colors and patterns throughout. If, for example, the painting has dark colors on one end and light colors on the other, we will sell each part of the painting as separate items on our site. If, however, the painting uses similar colors and patterns throughout, we sell it as the same item and your piece will look very similar to the one on the product page, but might not have exactly the same placement of lines and colors.

By pre-ordering a piece you get 20% off and you’re guaranteed to get an item in the print you chose. Even better? If you use code BBREADER2901 you get an additional 20% off!!

With the discounts most pieces will run you between $40 (cotton tank) and $128 (jacket). I know this might seem like a lot of money but when you think about it you’re getting a custom printed piece that will be one of a kind. Also, you are supporting the artists who submit their work to be printed. You are basically wearing a unique piece of art!

I couldn’t wait for the skirt (although this one is freaking adorable) so I ordered a scarf in what is called the “Father and Son” print.

Vividly scarf in Father and Child print

Pieces take approximately 6 weeks from order date to ship date because each one is custom cut and printed. I think that’s a small price to pay for a unique wearable piece of art.

So if you’re looking for something fun to add to your wardrobe then Vividly might be the place for you! Remember, you get an extra 20% off with code BBREADER2901.  What would you order?


Disclaimer: I received a 50% off code to order any Vividly item of my choice in exchange for writing this post. All opinions are my own, however.

Everything’s Coming Up Red

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

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Jacket – The Limited (similar) | Shirt – The Limited (similar) | Pants – Gap (similar) | Shoes – Bandolino (similar)

Welcome to today’s Trend Spin monochromatic look in all red! Yes, I wore just about every red thing I have in my closet to create this bright and cheery look. Unfortunately the weather was not cooperating when I took these pictures which is why it looks like I’m standing in a dungeon. Hey, at least I found a red friend to stand next to!

Speaking of picture taking, I’ve been asked (in person) a few times about when I take my pictures. Well, if I have time on the weekends I plan out all my outfits for the week and have my husband and his DSLR take all the pictures in one afternoon. That’s what I did this week. And of course it was raining ALL FREAKING DAY on Sunday when I had scheduled photo time. Which necessitated getting creative with photo shoot locations.

If I don’t have time during the weekend (or I’m feeling super lazy) then I take my photos with my point-and-shoot camera, the timer, and a tripod on my way to work or on my lunch break. That probably would have been the better bet this week since it hasn’t rained since Sunday. Win some, lose some, I guess.