Monthly Archives: February 2014

Sweaters Upon Sweaters

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

Chicago style blogger Loop Looks wears a black and white cardigan with a red turtleneck and black jeans

Chicago style blogger Loop Looks wears a black and white cardigan with a red turtleneck and black jean

Cardigan – H&M via clothing swap (similar) | Turtleneck – Express (similar) | Jeans – The Limited (similar) | Shoes –  Nine West (similar) | Watch – Groopdealz (similar) | Bracelet – Joe Fresh (similar)

It may almost be March but the weather in Chicago is still throwing sub-freezing temperatures our way. Which means that today I’m wearing double sweaters. Yes, that’s right, I have on a cardigan sweater over a turtleneck sweater. And I’m nice and toasty.

Seriously, I honestly never thought about putting a cardigan sweater over another sweater. Other than those sweater twin-sets that were all the rage when I was in high school, I mean. Anyway, this particular cardigan works well because it’s almost like a jacket. Which means it’s not too clingy with the sweater underneath.

I actually really ended up liking this outfit. I can even recreate it for a non-Friday and just wear it with black dress pants, too! Or I could wear a different colored turtleneck underneath. Maybe blue? See? Sweaters upon sweaters can be super versatile!

A Wrinkled Perspective

Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

Chicago style blogger Loop Looks wears a burgundy faux leather shirt and leopard print cardigan

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Cardigan – Gap (similar) | Blouse – Collide Boutique (similar) | Shirt – Amazon.com (same) | Pants – Ann Taylor (similar) | Booties – Liz Claiborne via DSW (similar) | Necklace – JF&A Show (similar)

Admittedly, one of the downsides of reading personal style blogs is that I tend to fall in love with outfits or specific pieces of outfits and then I end up hunting them down. This burgundy faux leather shirt falls into that category. I basically saw this exact same outfit on Penny Pincher Fashion (aside: I’ve been loving her style the past few weeks) and when she linked to this similar shirt I had to find it.

Thankfully it’s available for under $30 on Amazon.com and I had Amazon gift certificates I could use. The downside? It’s a little boxy and has some weird creases from the packaging. But, I’m hoping that once I remember to take an iron and a damp cloth to it (remember, I hate the iron) and figure out a few other ways to wear it I’ll have found a fun shirt that didn’t break the bank.

P.S. In case you missed it, I shared the results of the Reader Survey yesterday.

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

Two Year Anniversary Reader Survey Results

About Me

First, thank you to the 41 people who took my Two Year Anniversary Reader Survey!! It was a lot of fun to see the responses and you just keep reminding me why I write this blog. I love all of you!

But for the 33 of you who said that the daily outfit posts were your favorite, sorry, there’s no outfit today. I wanted to share the survey responses and give my thoughts.  I mean, isn’t it annoying when you fill out a survey and have no idea if your comments even get read? Well, I promise you, they got read. And here they are.

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I was genuinely surprised that the You Pick Wednesday posts were the least favorite! Someone mentioned that the survey forced them to pick one (I don’t remember making it a required question but maybe I did) so I’m guessing that it wasn’t that you guys hate these posts, you just prefer the others more. I suppose many times the You Pick Wednesday posts are targeted at one specific reader or just aren’t particularly relevant to you. Or maybe you just prefer seeing my smiling face.

I’m interested to see that most of you want to see more style challenges and interpreting other outfit photos. That’s a change from last year so either that means my readership has changed a bit or I’m just more awesome now. Not sure which. Either way, I have a few month long challenges saved that I’m thinking about doing soon. And if you know of one that you think sounds interesting, let me know!

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Hahaha, like you can read those comments! Basically, though, if you can’t, you all seem to enjoy that I post links to similar items and that I dress like a real person. And that you get inspired by me. Which I LOVE hearing! Seriously. See, I work in a job which basically exists to help people deal with red tape and following a policy that they don’t always want to follow. So doing something that people actually WANT keeps me from throwing myself out of my eighth story office window some days. So, yeah, I’m thrilled you are overall happy to be here!

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I also loved that some of your least favorite things are that I don’t post on weekends! That means you want to see more!! And, yes, I do take weekends off. That’s when I spend time with my husband or friends or just watch Netflix on the couch. If I blogged for a living you bet you’d see me on weekends. But, as it is, if you want to see what I’m doing when I’m not here I guess you’ll have to head over to Instagram or Twitter.

One comment I specifically wanted to address, though, is the one about not having the same body shape as me. I really hope that doesn’t deter you from trying similar color combinations, patterns or accessories! I admit that I don’t spend much time talking about how to dress for different body types because I don’t think I’m an expert on it. I know what works for me and makes me feel good but it took me several years of trial and error and I still sometimes put something on, look in the mirror and think “NO WAY.”

Oh, and there was one comment that the photography quality was someone’s least favorite thing. Sadly, I am not married to a professional photographer and many times we’re taking pictures as I dash out the door for work or at the end of the day so we don’t always have time to get it perfect. We’re still learning what works best with our camera and lenses so hopefully you’ll bear with me!

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There were some great comments in the open-ended field, too! Two I specifically wanted to answer:

1. What does the “Spot” tattoo on my foot mean?

This is Spot.

 

Spot was the first dog my husband and I adopted when we moved in together back in 2002. He passed away in 2005 and the tattoo is my memorial to him. I also have tattoos on my back for Ashley and Trinka Deu, the other two dogs we’ve had in our lives. We tend to adopt “senior” dogs so, sadly, they aren’t with us for very long. Although, our current landlord just gave us the okay to get a dog (under 40 pounds) so hopefully we’ll go from a currently zero-dog household to a one-dog household within the year!

 

2. Do a closet tour!

I did one back in July 2012 and it’s basically still the same set-up since we’re still in the same apartment.

 

And that concludes the summary of this year’s reader survey! Again, I really appreciate every single one of you who comes here on a regular basis, whether you comment or not. I am here for you so if you ever need anything, please don’t hesitate to reach out!

Monochrome Winter White

Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

Loop Looks, Chicago style blogger, winter white pants, tan sweater, and leopard heels

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Sweater – LOFT via Goodwill (similar) | Shirt – Forever 21 (similar) | Pants – The Limited (similar) | Shoes – Karen Scott via Macy’s (similar) | Necklace – Express (similar)

I don’t know what it is about monochrome looks but I really like them. Yesterday was burgundy and today is winter white and neutrals.  I’m in the car again today but I have a 3:00 PM meeting back at my office so, once again, I need to go from a three hour car trip to work with minimal fuss. This outfit combines all the things I need for that. Comfortable, warmth, classy, but with a bit of sass.

Plus, you know how you might believe that wearing all black makes you feel taller and thinner? I actually think it’s even more true for white and neutrals. I feel super tall and super powerful in this outfit. Maybe winter white is my power color!

Loop Looks, Chicago style blogger, winter white pants, tan sweater, and leopard heels

Linking up with Walking in Memphis in High Heels | The Fashion Canvas

Monochrome Burgundy

Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

Chicago Style Blogger Loop Looks wears monochrome burgundy

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Cardigan – The Limited (similar) | Shirt – The Limited (similar) | Pants – LOFT (similar) | Necklace – The Limited (similar) | Shoes – Bandolino (similar)

Happy Monday! I hope you had an enjoyable weekend. Mine was full of running (2nd place in my age group in a 5K!), napping, and working on a project for my graduate class I’m taking for fun at work. I’m slowly learning how to use our DSLR which is both fun and frustrating.

Today, though, I’m going into the office for a bit and then driving to my hometown and graduate school alma mater to present at an Archives Administration class and then have dinner and spend the night at my parents’ house. Nothing like a little bit of home cooking to start the week, right?

So, since I’ll be in the car for almost three hours I wanted to wear something comfortable that wouldn’t wrinkle and would also look put together when I stand in front of a class of grad students. I hope this fits the bill and doesn’t look too much like an old lady wearing a velour track suit.

Actually, if it looks like a velour track suit, don’t tell me, okay? Or maybe tell me. I can take it. I think.

Or maybe I should have worn this cardigan or these pants one of these ways.

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P.S. Last chance to take the Two Year Anniversary Reader Survey! Results go up on Wednesday.

Linking up with Fizz & Frosting | On the Daily Express | More Pieces of Me | Basic Training Corporate Style

Another Day, Another Blazer

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter · Style Imitating Art

Chicago style blogger Loop Looks wears a tan blazer with a cobalt shirt, jeans, and cheetah desert booties

Chicago style blogger Loop Looks wears a tan blazer with a cobalt shirt Chicago style blogger Loop Looks wears Toms cheetah print desert booties

Blazer – old (similar) | Top –Express (similar) | Jeans – Express (similar) | Booties – TOMS via Nordstrom (same)

Hello, and welcome once again to chemistry lab land. Look, sometimes I gotta go where the photographer is, right? And when the photographer is my husband that usually means the chemistry lab.

I actually wore this outfit to my Thursday night graduate school class that I’m taking for fun. I needed to wear blue because it was spirit week at the university where I work and our school’s colors are royal blue and red and the university president asked us to wear blue. So, here I am.

But! I wanted to wear my new animal print wedges ASAP! You may recall my hunt for a pair of Lucky Brand leopard print wedge booties. Alas, I never found those in my size (it’s an 8, by the way) and I was tired of waiting for them to show up on ebay. Then I found these TOMS by chance and they were on sale with free shipping from Nordstrom. Um, okay. I’ll try them. Admittedly, they don’t have quite the same pop as the print on the Lucky Brand ones but they sure are comfy! So, I think they’ll do.

Oh, the other reason I paired this blouse with the tan accents is because of this:

The Milkmaid, by Johannes Vermeer

That is the current Style Imitating Art choice. I thought the camel color of my blazer with the blue of the shirt did a decent job of calling out the top two colors of the milkmaid’s dress.

Chicago style blogger Loop Looks wears a camel blazer, cobalt blue blouse, jeans, and TOMS cheetah desert wedge booties

Making It Up As I Go Along

Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

Loop Looks, Chicago Style Blogger, wears a cobalt blue blazer with cobalt blue pants paired with a black and white shell and a black faux fur vest

Loop Looks, a Chicago Style Blogger, wears a cobalt blue blazer with a black and white top and black faux fur vest

Blazer – Forever 21 (similar) | Pants – LOFT (similar) | Shirt – The Limited (same) | Vest – Comfort Me Boutique (similar) | Necklace – NYC jewelry store (similar) | Shoes – Bandolino (same)

First, in case you missed it, please take the Loop Looks Two Year Anniversary Reader Survey! I want to share the results with you next week so if you could fill it out before then I would really appreciate it.

Second, this cobalt and black faux fur outfit is almost an exact duplicate of an outfit I saw on Penny Pincher Fashion over a year ago. I already had the blazer and the pants, the top I added to my closet last month, and the faux fur vest jumped out at me when I was Comfort Me boutique last week for an event. In fact, that store is so adorable that I’m planning a fun collaboration with them next month!

I’ll be honest, though, I loved the way this looked on PPF but on me I felt it made me top heavy. I think my vest is a tad bit more robust than hers. I rather wished I’d had a cobalt cardigan instead of a blazer to cut down on some of the bulk.  However, I still like the idea of wearing a vest over a blazer so I think I’ll play around with it. Never fear, though, I have other ideas on how to style this vest since it appears winter will be back in full force next week.

You know what I don’t have any ideas on, though? Make up. When Bri from Work Clothes, I Suppose announced this months’ Third Thursday Threads Theme as “beauty” I knew I was in trouble.

See, here’s my current make up routine.

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And you want to know something interesting? I don’t think I’ve EVER bought lipstick! Nope. I just keep getting it for free.

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I hardly ever remember to wear it, though, so I suppose it’s a good thing I don’t spend money on it!

Do you have a make up routine? Sometimes I feel like I failed “girl” because I can barely do my own hair and eyeliner scares me.

Linking up with H&K Style Journey | Work Clothes, I Suppose | Vodka Infused Lemonade

What to Wear to Business Casual Interview

Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter · You Pick Wednesday

What to wear to a business casual interview

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A reader recently contacted me to ask about what she should wear to a business casual interview. She’s been out of the interviewing game for a few years so she wasn’t sure what was appropriate.

I’m pretty sure this is a question we all ask ourselves. Do I wear a suit? Is a dress okay? What about a skirt? Here are my thoughts.

1. It’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed so wear a suit if you feel comfortable in it. But don’t wear a suit just to wear a suit. Black dress pants and a fun jacket or a nice cardigan can be just as professional.

2. See if you can do some research on the company beforehand and see if you can find any images of employees online. That might give you an idea of how they dress. But if they’re wearing jeans in the photos that doesn’t mean you can wear jeans! But maybe you can go with something more fun like some beautiful cobalt blue dress pants instead of black.

3. Dresses and skirts are fine but since tights and nylons are coming back into style it’s a good idea to wear a pair. Sheer black is always a good move with a closed-toe heel.

4. V-necks are totally fine, but just be sure to wear a nice camisole underneath so you’re not flashing all the goods.

5. Keep the jewelry minimal. No jangly bracelets or huge statement necklaces. Those are fun but save them until after you get the job.

I chose the pieces above because many of them you could mix and match to suit your own personal style. Black suits are fine and dandy but, hey, don’t forget to let a little bit of your personality shine through!

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Neutral Day

Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

Chicago Style Blogger Loop Looks wears a gray turtleneck sweater with camel faux leather skirt
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Sweater – H&M (similar) | Skirt – The Limited (similar) | Necklace – The Limited (similar) | Tights – Walmart (similar) | Shoes – 6pm.com (similar)

When I first saw this faux leather skirt at The Limited back in the fall I fell in love with it. However, I admit I wasn’t entirely sure how I would wear it. Of course, one of the sales associates was wearing it with a gray turtleneck sweater and that gave me the idea for this outfit.

I mean, it’s basically a tan skirt, right? So, what do you wear with a tan skirt? Just about anything! It’s a neutral so it will match so many items I already have in my closet. Also, my boss, who is one of my style icons, immediately exclaimed upon seeing me in it, “CUTE skirt!! So cute!” Which means it’s basically a keeper for sure.

That’s the nice thing about neutral pieces. Black, brown, navy, and gray can all be mixed together. And then, of course, you can pair them with more colorful items as well. See, they do double duty!

Gray turtleneck with tan faux leather skirt, tights, and heels. Chicago style blogger.

Linking up with Walking in Memphis in High Heels | The Fashion Canvas

Navy and Black is Back

Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

J. Crew Navy Tweed Jacket with black turtleneck and black pants, Chicago style blogger

J. Crew Navy Tweed Jacket with black turtleneck and black pants, Chicago style blogger

Jacket – J. Crew via ebay (similar) | Turtleneck  – The Limited (similar) | Pants – Ann Taylor (similar) | Shoes – Bandolino (same)

First, before I get to the outfit, I want to ask you to take the Two Year Anniversary Reader Survey if you haven’t already. It would mean a lot to me! I have 25 responses so far and would love to hear more feedback.

Now, on to the outfit. I know I’ve discussed wearing navy and black together in the past. And even if you’re still not sure about it, I have to say this jacket would make you change your mind. Why? Not only did I get two compliments on it in less than 4 hours but it also has both black AND navy already in the fabric.

If that doesn’t tell you that navy and black are okay together than I don’t know what will. And if you want your own navy and blue jacket, you can still find this one on eBay.

Anyway, I tend to pair this jacket with navy or black when I wear it. I’m thinking I need to branch out soon!

Three ways to wear the J. Crew navy tweed jacket via Chicago Style Blogger Loop Looks

Linking up with Fizz & Frosting | On the Daily Express | More Pieces of Me | Basic Training Corporate Style | Two Birds