Monthly Archives: March 2014

The Bradamant Bodysuit

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

Chicago style blogger, Bradamant bodysuit

bradamant_curator_3

Cardigan – Nordstrom Rack (similar) | Top – Bradamant (same) | Pants –  LOFT via clothing swap (similar) | Belt – Target (same) | Shoes – Bandolino (same) | Earrings – The Limited (similar)

Aaaaand we’re back to real life. It sounds like you all really enjoyed my Chicago Boutique Week last week, though! I hope I can find more local boutiques to partner with. If you know of one, let me know!

After a week of fun in the sun I’m happy that the Chicago weather is cooperating and allowing me to ease back into the chilly temperatures. I mean, look, it’s even warm enough for me to finally break out this sleeveless top I won from Engineering in Style!

I admit, I ordered this top because I thought it looked stunning on the model. And then I put it on and remembered I am not a model. It’s interesting; this top is actually a bodysuit. Anyone else remember those? Remember how we struggled with the crotch snaps? Or is that just me?

Anyway, Bradamant wants to make the bodysuit more luxurious. This one definitely has unique styling and all of their bodysuits have adjustable hook and eye closures (similar to a bra strap) instead of snaps. This top is very well constructed but I think I lack A. the long neck and B. the correctly sized torso to really pull it off. I may try it with higher waisted pants or a skirt next time, even though that may make me look like I have even less of a torso.

At least now I have a tan so that I’m not the same color as the fabric?

bradamant_curator_2

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

Chicago Boutique Week with Comfort Me Boutique: Making the Most of Your Closet Staples Part 3

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring · Shopping

Tuesday I introduced you to Comfort Me Boutique and showed you the original items from my own closet I was using as a base with which to incorporate the beautiful items Comfort Me carries.  Yesterday I gave you three more outfit options including some trendy silky jogger pants.

Today we’re going back to skirts and dresses starting with this super comfortable knit skirt.

Comfort Me Boutique knit skirt, black blazer

Comfort Me Boutique knit skirt, black blazer

Squasht by Les skirt – made in Chicago | Snug tank – made in USA |Jojo & Sofia necklace – made in Chicago |Ali’s Collection agate cuff – made in Chicago

This jersey knit skirt has a pull-on waist and pockets! I know you like pockets. This skirt could also easily transition from work to play just by ditching the blazer and adding sandals.

comfort_me_boutique_bracelets_thumb[1]

Finally! The dress that came home with me. I wasn’t even originally going to put it on but something about it just called out to me. Maybe it was the bows.

Comfort Me Boutique Bow Dress

Comfort Me Boutique Bow Dress

Comfort Me Boutique Bow Dress with black blazer

Eva Franco bow dress – made in LA | Elise M belt | Tania Rodamilans agate necklace – made in Chicago

I don’t own anything like this and admittedly it was more money that I normally spend (even with 30% off) but it’s SUPER well made and just so adorable. See, that’s what you get when you boutique shop. They hand pick the cute items and even though you may pay a bit more for them, if you find a good boutique you know they also pick for quality.

Plus, as you can see, Comfort Me does a great job sourcing their items from the United States or even Chicago locally when possible.

So, there you have it! My first Chicago Boutique Week (a term I made up, by the way) is over! I hope you got some new ideas on how to break up those closet staples and mix them with new pieces. Or, at the very least, you found out about a new place to shop when you’re looking for something unique for you, a friend, or your home.

Comfort Me Boutique Chicago Outfits

And don’t forget if you see something you just HAVE to know more about, you can always email Comfort Me Boutique directly at info@comfortmeboutique.com, Tweet at them at @ShopComfortMe or check out their online store.

Note: Comfort Me Boutique did not ask me to write these posts. I’m doing it because I thought the store was adorable, Alyssa was super nice, and their clothes are unique and excellent quality. The only compensation I got was 30% off my purchase.

Boutique Week with Comfort Me Boutique: Making the Most of Your Closet Staples Part 2

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring · Shopping

Yesterday I introduced you to Comfort Me Boutique and showed you the original items from my own closet I was using as a base with which to incorporate the beautiful items Comfort Me carries.

Today I have three more outfits for you, two of which include the incredibly on-trend silky jogger pants.

Now, I fully admit that I can’t decide how I feel about this trend. Can they be worn to work? Are they too casual? Do they look ridiculous? Am I channeling MC Hammer? So many questions.

Still, I went out of my comfort zone and tried on two pairs. And you know what? I really liked one of them.

Comfort Me Boutique, printed silky jogger pants, black blazer

Pants (available for purchase online) | Only Hearts top – made in LA | Snug Tank – made in USA | Stylish Girl by Laila necklace – made in Chicago

Comfort Me Boutique, olive green silky jogger pants, black shirt

comfort_me_boutique_black_shirt_necklace

Madeline pants | Only Hearts top – made in LA |Snug Tank – made in USA |Ali’s Collection necklace – made in Chicago

The colorful printed pants? I actually really, really like them! In fact, I could totally see myself wearing them to work with the blazer and the again on a weekend with a black tank top and sandals. Throw on a denim jacket if the evening is cool and you’d be good to go.

Also, I know it’s just a basic piece, but the tank top I have on underneath the sheer shirt was super soft and SUPER long. If you have a long torso and can’t find camisoles that don’t pull out of your pants every time you bend over, these are for you!

comfort_me_boutique_artArt by Michael Crissie

Now, if the silky jogger pants are too out there for you here’s a calmer outfit that I love.

Comfort Me Boutique Burgundy Shirt and silk scarf

comfort_me_boutique_scarf_2

Rho by Cortney Rhodes handpainted silk scarf – made in Chicago (I’ve actually met this artist!)

The burgundy top I have on is also from Comfort Me but it was the last one on the sale rack so it might be gone by now. Maybe I should have snatched up these two items as well because I LOVE the way they take my plain black suit from drab to fab.

One more day of Chicago Boutique Week left! Tomorrow I’ve got the world’s most comfortable skirt and the world’s cutest dress.  So I hope you’ll come back for more of Comfort Me Boutique. And if you see something you just HAVE to know more about, you can always email Comfort Me Boutique directly at info@comfortmeboutique.com or check out their online store.

Note: Comfort Me Boutique did not ask me to write these posts. I’m doing it because I thought the store was adorable, Alyssa was super nice, and their clothes are unique and excellent quality. The only compensation I got was 30% off my purchase.

Chicago Boutique Week with Comfort Me Boutique: Making the Most of Your Closet Staples Part 1

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring · Shopping

Welcome to my first ever Chicago Boutique Week! What is Chicago Boutique Week? It’s where I show you how to take closet staples and mix them up with adorable pieces from local Chicago boutiques. For the next three days I’m going to be featuring a wonderful Chicago boutique called Comfort Me.

Comfort Me Boutique’s main location is 701 W Armitage in the Lincoln Park neighborhood and they have an additional “pop-up shop” in Hyde Park at 5241 S. Harper Avenue. Comfort Me Boutique is owned by Alyssa and her mother and together they aim to have you experience the true meaning of retail therapy. Not only do they carry clothing, but they carry candles, housewares, jewelry, lotion, socks, and art. Many of it is made by local Chicago artists as well!

Comfort Me Boutique in Chicago

But I was there for the clothes and the jewelry!  I showed up in my most basic of closet staples: a black suit, white collared shirt, and black pumps. I also brought a pair of nude pumps, just in case.

Black suit with white collared shirt

I quickly got work finding items that I could mix and match with these  pieces.

First up, this adorable and comfortable navy knit dress.

Comfort Me Boutique Navy Dress with white collared shirt

Comfort Me Boutique Navy Dress with white collared shirt

Dress – Made in LA, eco-friendly line, made of organic cotton  | Necklace – Tania Rodamilans quartz and pearl necklace,  made in Chicago

This dress would be adorable on its own with sandals and simple jewelry as a fun summer outfit or you can do like I did and put a collared shirt underneath and pair it with heels and wear it to work!

Cards at Comfort Me Boutique Chicago

Next up, I found another dress that could also be worn to work using the layered collared shirt.

Comfort Me Boutique Black Dress with white collared shirt

Comfort Me Boutique Black Dress with white collared shirt and hot pink earrings

Yumi black dress | Veronica Riley Martens tagua nut earrings (made in Chicago)

And that’s just the first two outfits! I’ve got even more on the way including some on-trend printed jogger pants, a super comfortable skirt, a beautiful locally made scarf, and the dress that ended up coming home with me! I hope you’ll come back tomorrow for more of Comfort Me Boutique. And if you see something you just HAVE to know more about, you can always email Comfort Me Boutique directly at info@comfortmeboutique.com or check out their online store.

Note: Comfort Me Boutique did not ask me to write these posts. I’m doing it because I thought the store was adorable, Alyssa was super nice, and their clothes are unique and excellent quality. The only compensation I got was 30% off my purchase.

SIA: A Flamingo on the Windowpane

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring · Style Imitating Art

Chicago style blogger, windowpane pants, black sweater

windowpane_pants_black_sweater_3 windowpane_pants_black_sweater_4

Sweater – J. Crew Factory (similar) | Pants – LOFT via Poshmark (similar) | Shoes – Anne Klein via 6pm.com (similar) | Necklace – The Limited (similar)

Why, yes, I am in Puerto Rico. Thanks for asking. So what am I doing posting an office-ready outfit photo? Well, see, here’s what happened:

Jen chose Chicago’s famous Flamingo sculpture as her pick for this week’s Style Imitating Art. And considering this sculpture is literally at the top of the stairs when I get off the train for work I knew I couldn’t skip this week.

chicago_flamingo_sculpture

Plus, I’d just gotten these pants back from the tailor and they fit with the theme perfectly. And I know you’re thinking, how do windowpane pants go with the Flamingo sculpture?

Let me tell you: the sculpture is located in Federal Plaza. Everything in Federal Plaza is built on a grid. See those lines in the granite? They extend throughout all the buildings in the plaza. According to Wikipedia (and my friend who is a Chicago architecture docent):

The entire complex is based on a 28 ft (8.5 m) grid pattern so that seams of the granite pavers in the plaza extend into the building lobbies and up the sides to create unity among the three structures.

federal_plaza_grid

Pretty neat, huh?

So, of course grid patterned pants fit perfectly with this week’s SIA choice! And I kept the rest of the outfit simple as a nod to Mies Van der Rohe, the architect who designed the plaza. And the touches of red to echo the Flamingo, of course.

I wore this outfit to work on Thursday and immediately came to the conclusion that these heels are sitting heels, not walking heels. I will be wearing this outfit again, but this time I’ll go with my trusty black heels.

Chicago style blogger, windowpane pants, black sweater

Packing for Puerto Rico

About Me

Packing, puerto rico, vacation

As you read this I’m most likely already on my way to San Juan, Puerto Rico for 5 days in the sun! After that, I’m headed to Tampa, Florida to visit family for a few days. You can probably imagine how excited I am to get out of the Chicago winter that will never end and to somewhere warm and sunny. I promise I won’t even complain about the humidity!

I’ve gotten pretty good at packing over the past two years (this blog has helped a lot with that!) but for some reason this trip was really throwing me off. I made a conscious decision not to plan every second of our trip and instead have a few ideas of things we could do and decide when we got there. However, this made packing a bit difficult since I wasn’t sure exactly what activities I’d need to be ready for.

So, instead, I stuck to a simple blue, green and black color palate (note: that tank in the top left? I do not own it but I really, really want to. I just chose it because I couldn’t find a good representation of the tank top I am bringing) with five tank tops, one dress, three pairs of shorts, two pairs of jeans, and two cardigans.

Of course, we can’t forget the reason we’re going to San Juan in the first place: so I can run the Puerto Rico Half Marathon! I won the race entry (but not the trip; don’t get too jealous) from Swirlgear so I’m totally going to represent them while I’m enjoying paradise.

swirlgear_pink_camo.jpg

Also, while I’m visiting family I can do laundry so if I have the desire to rewear something I can wash it when I get to Tampa.

Finally, for those of you like lists, here’s the basics of what I’m bringing in list form!

what to pack, vacation, packing, puerto rico

5 Ways to Wear Plaid Pants

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

Chicago style blogger, plaid pants, camel blazer, black blouse, leopard heels

camel_blazer_plaid_pants_2

Blazer – old (similar) | Shirt – clothing swap (similar) | Pants – The Limited (similar) | Shoes – Karen Scott via Macy’s (similar) | Necklace – J. Crew via Poshmark (similar)

Welcome to Thursday aka my last day in the office before VACATION! Yes, I’m just a wee bit excited. I was not excited, however, about this inspiration outfit. I’ll be honest, it seemed awfully similar to Tuesday’s and just kind of blah. Still, it gave me an excuse to wear another one of my new-to-me pieces that I picked up at the clothing swap a few weekends ago.

image

I felt as though my closet was lacking in simple, black, work-appropriate tops so when I saw this one I grabbed it up. I’ve really been into more flow-y tops recently and this one was perfect. And as for the outfit? I suppose it has two more things going for it. One, it made me break out of my box and put these pants with black. They are a brown, black and cream plaid and yet I’ve never worn them with black. And two, it gives me an excuse to participate in Bri’s Third Thursday Threads topic of showing you how to wear something multiple ways. What is that something? These plaid pants!

what to wear with plaid pants, Chicago style blogger

Clockwise from top left: 1/2/3/4/5

Plus, a bonus sixth that didn’t make the collage!

Next week I actually have several fun posts coming up so even though I’ll be off getting a tan (after running 13.1 miles, mind you) I hope you’ll still come by to see what’s happening. There will still be outfit posts since you all clearly told me those were your favorites in the reader poll, so no worries there, either!

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

Springing Up Green

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

Chicago style blogger, pink pencil skirt, green sweater, denim jacket

denim jacket with pearls

Jacket – Langford Market (similar) | Sweater – Banana Republic Outlet (similar) | Skirt – Jones New York (similar) | Necklace – Langford Market (similar) | Shoes – Bandolino (similar)

When I saw today’s Pinterest Inspiration photo from H&K Style Journey and crew I immediately thought “Crap! I already wore that outfit!”

image

But, never one to shy away from mixing up the items in my closet, I broke out the green textured striped sweater and the pink pencil skirt again. Only this time I paired them with my nude heels (and nude fishnet tights), my fancy pearls, and my new denim jacket.

As I mentioned in my February Shopping Summary, I purchased this jacket during a blogger event at Langford Market Diversey for 40% off.  Will I wear it around the office all day? Maybe, maybe not. I do love how it looks with the pearls and the pencil skirt, but sometimes I actually get hot in my office (I know? An office that’s too warm??) so it will probably come off.

It’s okay if I go sans jacket, though. The outfit is cute enough on its own.

And in case you’re wondering, I did indeed wear two jackets today. This denim one and then a heavier one over the top. Chicago isn’t kind enough to let me get away with just a denim jacket. Not yet, anyway.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I received compensation from Langford Market in exchange for blogging about the brand.

Not Easy Being Green

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

Chicago style blogger, cardigan, green shirt, black pants

Chicago style blogger, tan and green, pearl necklace

Cardigan – Target (similar) | Shirt – Ann Taylor Outlet (similar) | Necklace – Express (similar) | Pants – Ann Taylor (similar) | Shoes – Bandolino (same)

So, in addition to still doing the Pinned It and Did It Challenge, there’s also a theme going on this week. Can you guess what it is? No?

Okay, I’ll tell you.

The theme is GREEN! Yep. Green. All of the Pinned It and Did It inspiration outfits this week have some green in them.

image

For today’s outfit I went pretty literal. Black pants, green blouse, and a tan cardigan. Simple enough, right? Also, standing in front of this giant pile of ugly leftover snow just makes me even happier that on Friday I leave for Puerto Rico! Yes, that’s right. I’m going on vacation!!

Which means that you should enjoy this last week of Pinned It and Did It outfits. Next week I have some other fun stuff lined up for you, including a fun collaboration I did with a local boutique.

Obviously I’m getting excited for my trip if I’m already talking about next week and it’s only Tuesday. I mean, really? Who am I kidding.

Whatever. I’m excited.

oatmeal_cardigan_green_shirt_2

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

Erin Go Scarf

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring · Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

Chicago style blogger, green scarf, black dress, faux leather

Dress – Neiman Marcus Last Call (similar) | Turtleneck – The Limited (similar) | Scarf – gift (similar) | Booties – Liz Claiborne via DSW (similar)

Although you wouldn’t know it since the city of Chicago turned into a giant frat party on Saturday, today is actually St. Patrick’s Day. Or at least that’s what I’m told. I’m also told that if you don’t wear green on St. Patrick’s Day you get eaten by snakes. Or pinched. Or something.

Anyway, this is the outfit that H&K Style Journey and her friends chose for us to interpret for the holiday.

image

It took me a long time to come up with something to wear today that was inspired by this. Our Chicago temperatures are not going to allow for bare legs or short sleeves today so this summery outfit will have to wait.

Instead I decided to layer this dress with a sweater, tights, and a scarf. I don’t think this particular dress has made it to the blog before beyond a quick snapshot from last October. And I don’t think I’ve ever worn it to work. But it layers well and the faux leather accents add some extra visual interest so I have a feeling that it might show up more often now that I can think of more ways to wear it!

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