Monthly Archives: January 2014

Red Blazer Day

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

Red blazer with red striped tee and jeans for Casual Friday

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Blazer – The Limited (similar) | Shirt – gift (similar) | Jeans – Express (similar) | Boots – DSW (similar) |Necklace – The Limited (similar)

Can you believe it? It’s the last day of the January Black Out Challenge! And you know what? I didn’t wear any black pants, skirts, blazers, or shirts all month!! This was actually a really fun challenge because it kept me from falling into my usual rut and got me wearing some items in new ways.

I know that many of you think there’s no way you could go an entire month without wearing black, but maybe try a few days? There’s nothing inherently wrong with black but it can cause us to just wear the same things over and over again. And you know what happens when you fall into that trap? You tend to feel like you have nothing to wear!

Which is totally not true. In fact, here are two ways I’ve reworn both this top and this blazer for two completely different outfits.

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If I thought that the blazer could only be worn with that plaid shirt or that the striped tee could only be worn with that skirt then I never would have put the two together. So, start thinking about how you could wear items in your closet without resorting to pairing them only with black and I bet you’ll have an entirely new perspective!

The Shoes Make The Woman

Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

Miliarty Jacket, Utility Jacket, Olive Jacket, Navy stripes, navy polka dot skirt

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Jacket – Old Navy via Poshmark (similar) | Shirt – The Limited (similar) | Skirt – J. Crew Factory (similar) | Tights – Target (same) | Shoes – DSW (same)

It’s been awhile since I’ve done some serious in-your-face pattern mixing such as stripes with polka dots but today is the day I finally recreate an outfit I’ve had saved for almost a year! This gorgeous stripes, polka dots, and military jacket outfit from Bows & Sequins.  I’ve most of the pieces in my closet for awhile but it was the shoes I needed to finish off the outfit. I’m really surprised at how much having a pair of navy pumps had really opened up my outfit options!

Olive military jacket, navy and white stripe shirt, navy and white polka dot skirt

Linking up with H&K Style Journey | Vodka Infused Lemonade | Simply Just Lovely

January Shopping Summary

Shopping

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1. The Limited Freehand Layering Shell (same) – Original price: $49.95; My price: $21.05

2. Express Nude Fishnet Tights (same) – Original price: $16.90; My price: $7.54

3. The Limited Sequin Overlay Tank (same) – Original price: $19.99; My price: $7.32

4. DSW Audrey Brooke Mariah Suede Pump (same) – Original price: $59.95; My price – $33.45 (seen here)

5. The Limited Cardigan – Original price: $24.99; My price – $7.32

6. Express Pearl and Metal Bauble Necklace (same) – Original price: $34.90; My price – $10.81 (seen here and here)

Total =  $87.49

(Not included: nude seamless camisole and a new pair of running shoes)

Thanks to a combination of sales, coupons, reward programs and birthday discounts I have to say that even though I didn’t plan to buy much of anything this month I’m really happy with what I ended up with. The hilarious thing? I bought all of these items on the same day. I very rarely spend an entire day shopping but that’s what happened!

I’ve also done really well with just deleting sales emails from stores this month. If I don’t browse then I don’t buy. It’s as simple as that.

Although, if these shoes ever show up in my inbox I will be pouncing on them. I’m still waiting for one of you to find them in a size 8 and buy them for me. I’ll pay you back!!

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Linking up with Fran’s Budgeting Bloggers

Warmest Work Sweater

Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

Chicago style blogger, wear to work, purple shawl sweater, gray pants

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Sweater – LOFT (similar) | Shirt – The Limited (similar and super cute!) | Pants – The Limited (similar) | Necklace – The Limited (similar) | Shoes – Nine West (similar)

I shared this outfit last week on Instagram but since it features my warmest sweater and my warmest pair of pants I had to re-wear it again today, the coldest day so far this week.

Also, I need to ask you all a question. See, I don’t wear lipstick on a regular basis, but this week’s Trend Spin was to feature a bold lip. I put on some Red Apple Lipstick before I left the house but then spent my entire commute with my scarf up over my nose and mouth worrying that I was smearing lipstick all over my scarf. So, do you just put on lipstick after you get wherever you’re going?  Please school me in the way of lip color!

Oh, and I know I’m wearing black shoes even though it’s still the January Black Out Challenge. I hope you will all forgive me.

That Monday Morning Cat

Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter · Style Imitating Art

Green sweater with leopard print pencil skirt

Sweater – Stitch Fix (similar) | Collared Shirt – Collide Boutique (similar) | Skirt – Target (same) | Tights – Target (same) | Boots – Bandolino via 6pm.com (similar) | Necklace – Express (same)

Wow. Okay. So, it’s Monday. And, just like Garfield, Mondays and mornings are very difficult for me. I had an amazingly fun weekend but it basically left me with no time to prep anything for this week. Including taking any blog photos. So these were snapped on my way out the door by my husband who wasn’t fully awake either and had the settings on our camera all wrong. Oh well.

Anyway, this outfit was inspired by the latest Style Imitating Art choice by Salazar, “Louison and Raminou” by Suzanne Valadon:

I couldn’t pose with a cat since I’m terribly allergic to them. Also, as we know, I don’t own anything orange. So, here’s my ode to the painting. A green sweater and my leopard print skirt. That’s close enough to an orange kitty, right?

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, yes, I did commute to work via train in the sub-zero temps this morning. I wore a pair of yoga pants over my tights along with my snow boots. And, of course, my down coat, scarf, gloves and hat. Sigh. Some day I’ll be able to leave the house without taking 15 minutes to add extra layers, right?

In fact, here are two outfits featuring today’s sweater and skirt that did not require the addition of 6 other pieces of clothing.

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Linking up with Fizz & Frosting | On the Daily Express | More Pieces of Me| Thirties Two Cents

That Old Thing

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

Leopard print cardigan with purple scarf, white button up shirt, jeans, nude shoes. Casual Friday, Chicago style blogger

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Cardigan – Lucky Brand (similar) | Scarf – Target (similar) | Shirt – TJ Maxx (similar) | Jeans – The Limited (similar) | Shoes – Bandolino (same)

 

Okay, so, if I can’t find my dream leopard print shoes I mentioned yesterday I suppose I shall console myself by wearing my leopard print cardigan today. It’s not the same thing at all. But, it’s what I’ve got.

Also, this white collared shirt is what I’ve got. I bought it YEARS ago. I don’t even remember when. In fact, I think I might have bought it because I needed it for a work uniform or a costume. I just hung onto it because, hey, a white collared shirt doesn’t really go out of style. But every time I put it on I think, “I wish I had a different white collared shirt.” So maybe I’ll make that one of my goals this year. Figure out what in my closet I don’t really love and replace it with something better.

I’ve read that the non-iron dress shirts from Brooks Brothers are amazing but, dang, they are pricey. However, I suppose that  just like this not-so-pricey one that I have it will last for longer than I can remember and, if I really love it, that’s worth the price, right? Decisions, decisions.

As a testament to how much I don’t love this shirt, I could only find two other times I’ve worn it. I have another white collared shirt that has metallic silver pinstripes that I wear a lot more often, but this plain white one just doesn’t get that kind of love.

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Also, apparently I really like to wear it with this leopard cardigan and these shoes. Who knew?

Linking up with AJ Wears Clothes

On The Hunt

Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

Navy J. Crew Schoolboy Blazer, LOFT burgundy pants, gray scarf, white blouse, Chicago style blogger, wear to work

Blazer – J. Crew (same) | Shirt – Gap (similar) | Scarf – gift (similar) | Pants – LOFT (similar) | Shoes – Karen Scott via Macy’s (similar)

Sometimes when you’re getting dressed you have a vision. A vision of exactly what an outfit should look like. When I put this outfit on I wanted to look as effortless as Fran in her similar outfit. However, I also had a vision of what shoes I wanted to wear. And I wanted these. I wanted them so badly.

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THEY ARE SO CUTE! And they don’t have my size anywhere. I even called Macy’s all over the country trying to locate them. No luck. So, I turn to you hive mind of the internet. If you can locate the Lucky Brand Swayze Wedge Bootie in leopard in a size 8 I will give you….something amazing. Of course, I will reimburse you for shipping and purchase price if you find them in person.

Needless to say, I’m on the hunt for [faux] leopard.

J. Crew Schoolboy blazer in navy, Chicago style blogger

Also linking up with H&K Style Journey, Vodka Infused Lemonade, Work Clothes I Suppose and Simply Just Lovely

9 Ways to Avoid Wearing Black

Uncategorized

Okay, so you know I’m doing this challenge where I don’t wear black for all of January, right? It’s actually easier to avoid wearing black than I thought! In fact, I actually wear a lot of outfits that don’t have any black in them. Which means I thought I’d round up 9 other winter and office-appropriate outfits that will hopefully give you some ideas on how to avoid falling into a black hole. (Ha! I crack myself up.)

9 Ways to Avoid Wearing Black

The key? Have some colors in your closet. Gray, brown and navy are great alternative neutrals. Add some red, purple, or blues in whatever colors you love and you can mix and match all month without resorting to those black pants!

Navy Blue Suede Shoes

Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

Chicago style blogger, wear to work, emerald green sweater with navy gingham shirt, pink pencil skirt, navy tights, navy ankle strap heels, pearl bauble necklace

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Sweater – Banana Republic Outlet (similar) | Shirt – Gap (similar) | Skirt – Jones New York (similar) | Tights – Target (same) | Shoes – Audrey Brooke via DSW (same) | Necklace – Express (same)

So, if you follow me on Facebook you know that this weekend I was on the hunt for a pair of navy blue pumps. Why? Because I only owned navy blue heeled sandals (seen here) and that just wasn’t going to work now that I’m wearing navy tights. I suppose I could have worn black shoes but, hey, I’m down for an excuse to fill a hole in my closet.

Which meant off to the stores I went. My new Fitbit (birthday present from my mom) tells me I walked over 5 miles on the hunt for navy heels. I finally located these, which I loved because of the ankle strap, but the DSW I was at didn’t have my size. Thankfully the salesperson was nice enough to locate them for me at another DSW and off I went.

Also while I was out, I picked up this necklace at Express. With a $10 customer reward plus a $15 off my purchase coupon this $35 necklace came to $10 plus tax. SCORE!

All of that because I fell in love with this outfit and wanted to recreate the emerald green and pink combo for today’s Trend Spin Link-Up. But, lest you think I just went shopping so I could recreate the outfit, that’s not entirely true. Both the necklace and the shoes were items I’d had on my wish list for awhile. The outfit was just the impetus to actually purchase them. Well, that and coupons.  The shoes were actually 40% off in the store and I had a $5 birthday coupon there as well.

And the snow? That’s just par for the course around here.

Emerald green sweater with pink pencil skirt and navy blue gingham shirt, Chicago style blogger, wear to work

Red, Gray and Blue

Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

Chicago style blogger, wear to work, gray sweater, red collared shirt, cobalt blue pants

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Sweater – Gap (similar) | Shirt – Casual Corner (similar) | Pants – LOFT (similar) | Shoes – 6pm.com (similar) | Necklace – JF&A Show (similar)

I have to say, I’m very grateful that I love these cobalt blue pants so much. Not only do they keep me from resorting to my black pants during the January Black Out Challenge but they also fill in nicely when there is an inspiration photo with jeans. Like the one today from Two Birds with jeans and a rather comfy-looking gray sweater.

Originally I was going to wear my white collared shirt under the sweater but at the last minute decided on this red one. I thought it added a nice sense of depth to the outfit. Mixing up colors is a great way to break out of a rut or keep from looking like you’re wearing a uniform.

In fact, here’s 10 ways you can mix up your colors. Cobalt and green? How about cobalt and leopard?

How to wear cobalt pants, cobalt blue pants outfits

Also linking up with Fizz and Frosting, More Pieces of Me and On the Daily Express