Monthly Archives: May 2014

Sandals for Summer Offices

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

Today is Sandals Day over at Work Clothes, I Suppose as part of her Third Thursday Threads series. Unfortunately, it is decidedly not sandals weather in Chicago and I completely forgot to take pictures of the sandals I wore this weekend when it was still warm enough to bare my toes.

So, instead, you get a collage of ways I’ve worn sandals to work over the past two summers.

Office appropriate sandals

I’m currently fortunate enough to work in an office that allows open-toed shoes. It hasn’t always been that way and it took me a few years to embrace letting my toes go free while at work. Since then I’ve been embracing it by remembering to paint my toenails and never wearing flip flops! Ankle strap sandals have become my favorite, too, since I feel they are slightly more sophisticated than slip-ons. I also prefer sandals that cover my heel so no one has to see how beat-up they are from all the running.

What about you? Do you wear sandals to work? Do you have any rules (either dress code or self-imposed) about wearing open-toed shoes to the office?

You Pick Wednesday: Spring Party Dresses Under $100

Shopping · You Pick Wednesday

It’s getting to be that time of year when invitations to spring weddings, graduation parties and baby showers appear in our inboxes. Plus, we’re all so tired of cold and nasty weather that any excuse to break out a fun spring dress is a welcome one.

A reader recently asked me for suggestions of what to wear to her daughter’s graduation party at a nice restaurant. I told her that she’s in luck because the latest trend of fit-and-flare dresses are perfect for the occasion AND perfect for just about every body shape.

Spring party dress, spring dress sandals

Dress 1 | Dress 2 | Dress 3 | Dress 4 | Dress 5 | Dress 6 | Dress 7 | Dress 8

Shoes 1 | Shoes 2 | Shoes 3

Not a fan of showing off your arms? Throw on a shawl or a colorful cardigan and you’re good to go! Let the dress stand out by pairing it with some fun heels and keeping the jewelry simple.

Feel like you need to define your waist? Try a belt! Some of these dresses come with a belt but feel free to add one to others if your waist is the narrowest part of you and you want to show it off.

But no matter what you wear, don’t forget to have fun at those spring parties!

Cardigans and Librarians

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

Chicago style blogger, Chicago botanic garden, little black dres with a cardigan

purple_cardigan_black_dress_3

Dress – The Limited (similar) | Cardigan – The Limited (similar) | Necklace – Groopdealz (similar) | Shoes – Bandolino (same)

Today I’m doing a presentation on what types of jobs you can get with a Masters in Library Science so I figure it’s only appropriate that I wear a cardigan. I mean, what else do you associate with librarians other than cardigans?? Just kidding. I hope you associate things like books and education. Not just cardigans!

Although, in the interest of full disclosure, I do not consider myself a librarian (I’m a records manager) and I actually took these pictures yesterday at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Actually, I love the Chicago Botanic Garden so much I think I need to do an entire photo shoot there. It’s so beautiful no matter what time of year you visit. In fact, I have taken photos there once before, when I showed you this casual outfit my mother-in-law brought me from Italy!

The only downside is that this time I was there sans photographer; so welcome back to the land of the point-and-shoot camera. And the land of me wearing another comfy dress outfit. Apologies for both.

Black dress with a purple cardigan at the Chicago Botanic Garden

Red and Comfortable

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

Red blazer with black and white dress, Chicago Style Blogger

red_blazer_houndstooth_dress_3

Blazer – The Limited (similar) | Dress – Target via Goodwill (similar) | Belt – Target (same) | Shoes – Bandolino (same) | Necklace – The Limited (same)

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you had a great weekend. Mine was packed full including:

  • Leading my first group run with the Chicago Area Runners Association
  • Going to my nephew’s little league game and my niece’s kiddie soccer game
  • Drinking way too many beers while hanging out with my family
  • Going to brunch with my Ragnar Chicago team (that’s a 200 mile running relay, by the way)
  • Visiting the Maxwell Street Market in Chicago for tacos and tamarind Italian ice (and to marvel at what is basically a flea market)
  • Passing out for a nap.

And because I’m going to be super busy today attending a conference I had to take these pictures last night. But since I fell asleep and then it started raining we had to sneak them in using the flood lights on the roof.

I think, though, that the lighting makes the red really pop. Of course, pairing red with black and white always makes red pop. I needed something comfortable to wear today and this dress is probably the most forgiving item I own. The last time I wore it I also paired it with a belt but wore a cardigan instead of a blazer. Not sure why I haven’t featured this dress on the blog since then! I’m thinking it needs to become a summer staple.

Chicago style blogger, how to wear a red blazer

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

Friday Stripes

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

striped-shirt-burgundy-cardigan-1

striped-shirt-burgundy-cardigan-3

Blouse – The Limited via Poshmark (similar) | Jeans – The Limited (similar) | Cardigan – The Limited (similar) | Shoes – Jessica Simpson via DSW (same) | Necklace – clothing swap (similar)

Hello there, Friday! Hello there, schizophrenic weather! Hello there, post-run ponytail!

I actually took these photos on my way to my Thursday evening class and had every intent of showing you how the outfit looked with the cardigan on, but it was way too hot outside. And considering I went for a run at lunch and it took me forever to stop sweating (even after taking a cool shower!) I was not about to make myself hot again.

Thankfully, the cardigan came in handy once I was in class since it’s A. in a computer lab and B. I sit directly underneath a vent. AKA it’s FREEZING in there.

By the way, I’m not getting a third college degree. I’m just taking classes for fun. Unfortunately, this class isn’t going over exactly what I wanted to learn (CSS, by the way) but I have learned a few WordPress tweaks and am in the middle of building a site for the Wurst Running Club Ever for my final project.

I lead an exciting life, don’t I?

striped-shirt-burgundy-cardigan-2

Credit where credit is due

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

Striped shirt with navy lace pants, Chicago style blogger

Striped shirt with lace pants

Top – The Limited (similar) | Blouse – Collide Boutique (similar) | Pants – Ann Taylor (similar) | Shoes – J. Crew Factory (same) | Necklace – JF&A Show (similar)

First off, I have to give credit where credit is due. I did not come up with this outfit idea all on my own. Nope. I saw a very similar outfit on AJ Wears Clothes and knew I had all the pieces to recreate it. I just had to wait for the weather to warm up! Now that ankle pant weather is finally here I’m excited to wear these lace pants!

Also, in full disclosure, I recently ordered an almost identical sleeveless collared blouse from The Limited because this particular one gapes at the chest (seriously, my chest is not that big!) and while it looks fine underneath things, there’s no way I can wear it by itself.  I’ll have to see how the one from The Limited works out once it gets here.

Finally, there’s one other thing I want to give some credit to for my wardrobe: Pressbox.  What is Pressbox? It’s a 24 hour dry cleaning pick-up and drop off service!

We used to have a dry cleaner in our apartment building but the quality was so-so, the woman who manned it was kind of surly, and she only took cash. When that closed I started going to the one I walk past on my way to the train but trying to remember to grab my stuff as I rushed out the door eluded me.

Enter Pressbox. They installed a block of Pressbox lockers in our building and I LOVE it! Seriously. I can drop my clothes off in the locker in my pajamas whenever I remember and it’s back to me in two days or so.

pressbox

You sign up for an account, you put your stuff in the locker, lock it and you text the locker number to the Pressbox phone number. They pick it up, send you an email with the price, and then text you the access code and locker number when it’s back. You can even reuse the bag they return it in!

And last night I dropped some stuff off and then realized after they emailed me the price that I forgot to put the “Replace Button” on the cardigan I put in the locker. I emailed them and they responded within 5 minutes and said they’d take care of it.

I am not a paid spokesperson for Pressbox. I just think it’s an amazing concept created by local Chicagoans. And since I don’t iron or sew, I am all about cleaners who will take care of those things for me. Plus the prices are really, really reasonable! It’s a win-win.

What to wear with navy lace pants

Spring in my step

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

Chicago style blogger, navy J. Crew schoolboy blazer with pink pencil skirt

Blazer – J. Crew (same) | Blouse – Stitch Fix (similar) | Skirt – Jones New York (similar) | Shoes – Sole Society (similar)

Don’t forget! Voting for your favorite outfit of April is still open!

The last time I wore this navy blazer and pink skirt together it was one of my most popular outfits. That time I paired it with polka dots but for those of who you aren’t huge fans of prints, today I’m going with a monochrome blush and pink palate instead.

Also, these shoes from Sole Society (which are sadly sold out now) sort of remind me of the current Oxfords trends with their ties at the front. I’m not personally a fan of the flat Oxford trend so these are perfect for me. I get a little bit of the trend without sacrificing my own personal style.

On a random note, quite a few of you mentioned yesterday that you liked my hair half pulled back so I figured I’d try it again. I so rarely wear my hair up when I go to work but this style seems pretty doable. Of course, I’m sure after a week my hair will stop cooperating since that’s what it always does. Until then, though, I’ll keep trying!

How a Chicago style blogger wears the navy J. Crew schoolboy blazer

Black and White Windowpane

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

Windowpane blouse, tweed pants, black cardigan, Chicago style blogger

How to wear a windowpane blouse

Cardigan – Nordstrom Rack (similar) | Top – The Limited (similar) | Pants – The Limited | Shoes – Bandolino (same) | Necklace – Gordman’s (similar) | Bracelet – House of Gemmes (similar)

Some days you just want to go with a simple black and white outfit, am I right? Days when you need something simple. Days when you want to wear some of your comfiest items. The key is to make sure those items are a nice mixture of textures and patterns so you don’t look like a rumbled newspaper. You know, black and white and tread all over?

I crack myself up.

Anyway! Today we’re having a lunchtime staff meeting in our conference room which is always cold. Hence the cardigan. We’re also trying a new-to-us restaurant: Naansense. Hilariously, I ordered the lamb naanwich…which is also basically what I’m making for dinner tonight. It will be the battle of the lamb sandwiches! I’m pretty sure who is going to win, though.

Wear windowpane to work, Chicago style blogger

Blues, Tans and Purples

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring · Style Imitating Art

White tweed jacket with blue dress and bubble necklace, Chicago style blogger white, blue and bubble necklace

Jacket – Forever 21 (similar) | Dress – BCBG Outlet (similar) | Necklace – JF&A show (similar) | Tights – Express (same) | Shoes – Bandolino (similar)

Have you voted for your favorite outfit of April yet? I’m surprised by the results so far! Will your vote change that?

Welcome to Monday! Did everyone have a good weekend? Remember last weekend when I ran that half marathon? Well this weekend I didn’t run one but I did work at one. Yes, I worked on Friday and Saturday at the Wisconsin Marathon and Half Marathon handing out race packets, answering questions, doing some crowd control at the finish line, and cleaning up after the race.

Which basically means that Sunday was spent recovering! And outfit planning, of course. Today’s outfit is my interpretation of the Style Imitating Art painting for this week chosen by Jen of Librarian for Life & Style:

Lawren Harris, Tamarack Swamp, Algoma, c. 1920, oil on canvas

Lawren Harris, Tamarack Swamp, Algoma, c. 1920, oil on canvas

I decided to pull out the blues and the tans in the painting and then accent it with my purple-ish bubble necklace. Now, some people out there might be saying “Bubble necklaces are SO 2012.” And I say, so what? Seriously, I’ve only ever seen one being worn “in the wild” (aka not on a blog) and whenever I wear it I get compliments. Which to me says that the general public is not over them yet and still find them unique. Which means I’m still going to wear mine.

The joys of not being a total slave to trends is that you don’t have to revamp your entire wardrobe every year, right? And you can keep remixing your items! Like I did with this blue dress.

Also, if you want to see how others used this painting to create an outfit, be sure to visit Librarian for Life and Style!

White jacket with blue dress

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

Favorite Outfit of April

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

Today, while I’m out of the office working at packet pick-up for the Wisconsin Marathon and Half Marathon we’re going to do the monthly voting for your favorite outfit of April! As always, this is just a fun way for you to share your opinion.

Maybe I should have you vote for your least favorite outfit, too?

But, first as always, here’s my favorite outfit from April:

navy_blazer_printed_pants_2_thumb.jpgOriginal

I actually wore this outfit twice in April (but it was only photographed once) and I absolutely love it. I love that it pairs the classic blazer with the trendy printed pants. I love my navy ankle strap heels. I love that I did some necklace layering. Overall, I feel like this outfit really represents me. A little bit trendy and a little bit classic.

So, now, tell me: is your favorite outfit the same as mine? Do you love the bow print dress the most? What about the fuchsia and green look? Share your opinion using the poll below. Remember, you can click on any of the thumbnails to go to the original outfit post.

Image Map

What was your favorite outfit of April 2014?

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