Monthly Archives: December 2013

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Casual Friday Christmas

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

Red blazer with plaid shirt and jeans, casual Friday outfit, Chicago style blogger

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Blazer – The Limited (similar) | Shirt – J. Crew (similar) | Jeans – The Limited (similar) | Shoes – Karen Scott via Macy’s (similar) | Bracelet – gift (Armani Exchange) | Necklace – The Limited (similar)

Since this is my last day in the office until January I wanted to wear something Christmas-y!  And in this outfit not only are the colors very holiday-esque but the shirt was a Christmas gift from my dad last year and the bracelet was a Christmas gift from my boss that I got yesterday. Isn’t she the best? She’s definitely one of my style icons so I love it when she gives me jewelry. I think she actually has this same bracelet!

Anyway, because I’m not in the office next week and will instead be spending the days with my family I don’t expect to be posting. So, if I don’t chat with you before January, have a great holiday (or a great rest of December if you’re already done celebrating).

See you next month!!

Red blazer, plaid shirt and jeans for casual Friday at work for Chicago winter

Flashback to the first time I wore this plaid shirtso I can link up with AJ Wears Clothes and her Friday Favorites

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Tights Tip

Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

Purple dress with black tights and leopard heels for Chicago winter office style

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Dress – The Limited (similar) | Shoes – Karen Scott via Macy’s (similar) | Chandelier earrings – The Limited (similar) | Watch – Groopdealz (similar)

Let’s talk about tights. They are a necessity in the winter here in Chicago. At least, if you don’t want to spend the entire winter in pants. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with pants but, dang, sometimes you just want to wear a pretty dress and not freeze to death you know?

Finding tights that fit can be a challenge. I always buy mine a size larger than the size chart on the packaging dictates and even then I typically take scissors to the waistband and cut four vertical slits (front, back and sides) to cut down on the sausage-casing squeeze so many tights produce.

And then, I almost always match my shoes to my tights. Black tights? Black shoes. Gray tights? Gray shoes. Brown tights? You get the picture. Why? Because I think it elongates the leg and keeps the outfit more streamlined. But today I threw caution to the wind and wore my leopard prints shoes with my black tights. And actually kind of liked it.

I’ve done this once before and I didn’t like it that time. I think because the rest of the outfit was too busy for me visually. But this time with the solid purple dress and simple gold jewelry it’s much less jarring.

So, there’s my tip for the day. Match your shoes to your tights or, if you’re not going to, keep the rest of your outfit a solid color and let the shoes be the star.

 Purple dress, leopard print heels, black tights, gold jewelry, wear to work, Chicago style blogger

Linking up with Simply Just Lovely

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The Brilliant Earth Jewelry Style Challenge

Shopping

As you may or may not recall, I lost my wedding ring back in August and had to get it replaced. When I started visiting jewelers I realized that engagement and wedding ring styles have changed a lot in the 10 years since I got married!  I had already decided just to get my original wedding ring recreated. If I had done it over from scratch I would have been completely overwhelmed! What would I have chosen??

Enter Brilliant Earth. Not only does Brilliant Earth deal in ethically sourced diamonds and engagement rings, they also have some beautiful non-diamond jewelry. They’ve also put together a style personality guide to help you when determining your own jewelry style or, you know, if any significant others in your life need some assistance.

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Click to see larger

I loved this graphic and, based on it, I’m definitely the minimalist, no-nonsense elegant style.

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In fact, if I owned those pieces (and hint to people in my life: I do have a birthday next month), here’s how I’d wear them:

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You can find all of these jewelry items on the Brilliant Earth website and find out more about their passion for sourcing the most ethical and sustainable jewelry and their commitment to giving back 5% of their profit to those harmed by the diamond industry.

Which jewelry personality style are you?

 

Note: I have not been compensated for this post but I may get blog exposure if my post is chosen as one of the top style challenge posts.

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Blue, Black and Sequins

Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

Black blazer with silver sequin shirt and cobalt blue pants, Chicago style blogger, holiday office outfit

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Blazer – The Limited (similar) | Shirt – The Limited (similar) | Pants – LOFT (similar) | Shoes – Bandolino (same)

For anyone who thinks you shouldn’t wear sequins to work let me just tell you: When my boss walked into the office this morning and saw me wearing this she stopped in tracks and exclaimed, “CUTE shirt! Really cute! I love it! It looks amazing with the blue pants.”

Other interesting things that happened to me already today?

1. I had very first full-body mole and skin check appointment this morning. As he used the extra-long q-tip to check my scalp for moles and such all I could think was, “My hair! I haven’t taken my pictures yet today!” As if the dry air, my winter hat, and the commute hadn’t already caused it to go super flat.

2. I realized that I own black tights and black dress socks but no black knee-highs. Thank goodness there is a Walgreens on every corner (only slightly exaggerating there) so I could dash in and get some.

3. In the interest of full disclosure, this outfit is a recreation of this one that I pinned. But it follows all my rules for wearing sequins to the office and I haven’t worn this combination yet.  And since sequins totally remind me of the holidays, it works perfectly for today’s Trend Spin Link Up of Holiday Inspired outfits.

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Wearing Brown with Black

Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

Tan sweater with black and white striped shirt, black pencil skirt, tights, and brown riding boots. Chicago style blogger, what to wear to work in Chicago winter

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Sweater – LOFT via Goodwill (similar) | Shirt – The Limited via Poshmark (similar) | Skirt – The Limited (similar) | Boots – Bandolino via 6pm.com (similar) | Necklace – c/o fibi & clo (same)

A coworker recently told me there’s no way he would wear brown and black together. Which is too bad. Because it’s totally okay now. Although, to be honest, I probably would have paired black boots with this outfit instead of of my dark brown boots if it hadn’t been for today’s Inspiration Monday photo.

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Click to see full photo

Brown, tan and black all being worn together. Cats and dogs living together! Mass hysteria! Okay, not really. But I know pairing brown and black (just like pairing navy and black) and be a bit of a dividing line with some people. Obviously I don’t mind.

Where do you fall on the brown with black issue?

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The Moto Jacket That Almost Wasn’t

Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

Gray moto jacket, black dress pants, scarf

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Jacket – Ellen Tracy via Macy’s (similar) | Pants – The Limited (similar) | Necklace – The Limited (similar) | Scarf – DSW (similar) | Shoes – Nine West (similar)

When I was out shopping before Thanksgiving I saw this gray knit moto jacket on the clearance rack at Macy’s. “I don’t need it,” I told myself. “I don’t need to spend the money.” But then I found myself thinking about it for over a week and wishing I’d bought it. That’s how you know you should go back for something, right? So, I did. And it was even more on sale. Which means I got this $159 jacket for under $45.  Yep.

Of course I couldn’t wait to wear it. Which is why I was so excited that it works perfectly with this week’s Style Interpreting Art inspiration photo chosen by 14 Shades of Grey

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Click above to see the full painting and artist information

The gray color is perfect. The lines of the jacket echo the lines in the painting. And, of course, since it’s still below freezing outside (-1 when my alarm went off this morning, thank you very much) I grabbed a scarf that has the oranges and yellows of the painting as well.

Gray moto jacket, black dress pants, Chicago style blogger

This jacket is SO comfortable and I’m really glad I ended up buying it. I’m looking forward to pairing it with skirts once the weather stops being so brutal. Or, you know, wearing it with jeans. Or anything, really.

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Four Simple Rules for Wearing Sequins to the Office

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

How to wear sequins to work, office style

It’s the holiday season which for many people, me included, means it’s time for all things sparkly! But, I actually love sequins all year round and I don’t think they should be relegated to just those evening and weekend holiday parties. And after wearing my sequin skirt to work yesterday and getting so many compliments that I lost count (including from the baristas at Starbucks and the security staff of my building) I think everyone should try to wear something sequined to work and get their own compliments!

There are some rules to wearing sequins to the office appropriately. Fail to follow these and you’ll look like you belong in Las Vegas and not leading a meeting.

The Four Simple Rules for Wearing Sequins to the Office

1. Stay away from black sequins

Go with silver, blush, light gold or, if it’s Christmastime, red. Black is for night clubs, not offices.

2. Wear your sequins with tailored pieces

Notice I pair mine with plain blazers, pencil skirts, turtlenecks and cardigans along with simple shoes.

3. Keep the accessories minimal

Sequins don’t need a lot of accessorizing. They’re pretty awesome all on their own.

4. Nothing too tight, short or low-cut

Save those sequin mini skirts and skin-tight shirts for Vegas, please.

Need some shopping ideas? Here are 14 of my picks that are office appropriate! Note: the black Old Navy tank comes in lots of colors. I just couldn’t get anything other than black to show up in the slideshow below.

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Sequins in the Snow

Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

Black turtleneck and sequin skirt outfit

Turtleneck – The Limited (similar) | Skirt – The Limited (this year’s version) (similar in pink) | Shoes – Bandolino via Macy’s (same) | Belt – The Limited (similar) | Necklace- JF&A Show (similar)

Tonight I have a holiday dinner to attend as part of my role in a professional organization (the Association of Records Managers and Administrators, if you must know) and I was a little stuck on what to wear. I like to use the holidays as an excuse to wear all things sparkly but I thought I’d ask on Facebook and Instagram whether I should go with this sequined skirt or my black and green dress.

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The overwhelming consensus was the sequin skirt. What I failed to take into account is that apparently Chicago decided to turn into Antarctica and it’s single digit temperatures out there! So, um, I’m a bit cold. Although, a guy in the elevator this morning said, “Look at you! You’re just gonna wear a metallic dress and not care that it’s winter!” So, there’s that.

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Also, apologies for the florescent light office photos. It’s just too freaking cold to take photos outside right now!

Linking up with Trend Spin Tuesday

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Brown Bear

Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

Tan sweater, brown dress pants, animal print scarf

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Sweater – Gap (similar) | Pants – The Limited (similar) | Shoes – Anne Klein (similar) | Scarf – NYC street vendor (similar) | Watch – Groopdealz (similar)

I think I’m turning into a bear. My body basically shut down this weekend and I slept a ridiculous amount. Only fitting that I would wear all browns and animal print today, huh?

Inspired by the celebrity photo that Two Birds chose for Inspiration Monday I added the scarf to keep my outfit from looking too plain.

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Original Photo

Also, I tried a pole dancing class for the first time on Saturday (details later this week on my fitness blog) and I have some EPIC bruises on the backs of my knees and on the tops of my feet. Good thing the weather is basically telling me that skirts without thick tights are a bad choice right now. I mean, I’m used to bruises from trapeze classes but they’re still not a great accessory. At least, not as great as an animal print scarf.

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Finally Faux Leather

Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

Vince Camuto Faux Leather Leggings with black blazer and plaid tunic

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Blazer – The Limited (similar) | Tunic – Langford Market (similar) | Camisole – The Limited (similar) | Leggings – Vince Camuto via Macy’s (similar) | Shoes – MIA (similar) | Red bracelet – gift (similar) | Black bracelet – House of Gemmes (similar)

Do ever buy something and think “This would go great with X! If only I had X…” Yeah, that happened to me when I purchased this plaid tunic. I’d been wanting a pair of faux leather pants or leggings and when I bought this top I knew it would go perfectly with them. The only problem? I didn’t have any! I bought a pair via Poshmark but they were way too small so a few days before Thanksgiving, when I was off work, I went on the faux leather leggings hunt. I must have tried on 20 pairs.  I really wanted a legging/pant hybrid so I could wear them to work without feeling ridiculous. I finally found this pair by Vince Camuto at Macy’s for 50% off. They have belt loops, a real fly, and back pockets. And, since the back of the pants is stretchy ponte material, they are super comfy. Of course, I had to go to two different Macy’s to find them in my size but I’m lucky enough that I can do that easily in Chicago.

So, I wore them to usher at the first performance of the annual Christmas concert where I work. I also wore this same outfit on Thanksgiving but wore my red sequined shoulder cardigan instead of the blazer.

Red cardigan with plaid tunic and faux leather leggings

I’m super excited that I found these pants. I’ve always wanted leather or faux leather pants in my wardrobe for as long as I can remember (even when they weren’t “on-trend” like they are now) and I finally have some! I have lots of other ideas on how to wear them to work this winter so hopefully you guys don’t get sick of seeing them.