Monthly Archives: May 2017

The saga of finding the perfect dress to wear to someone else’s wedding

Shopping

Two weeks ago my friend Annabelle got married and I decided it was the perfect excuse to go back to the Chicago Rent the Runway location and find a dress to wear!

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Just like last time, RTR sent me a questionnaire and asked what I was looking for. Annabelle’s favorite color is purple so I wanted something purple and sleeveless. Other than that, I didn’t have anything in mind.

Although, I fully admit, I had one dress I was really hoping to be able to try on.

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Sadly, that dress wasn’t available in the store. And they didn’t have a ton of items in purple, but they had still pulled quite a few things for me to try!

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I enjoy being able to try on the dresses in person and I took pictures for your enjoyment! See if you can guess why I did or didn’t like a certain dress before you read my comments.

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same dress

This one was almost a contender! I had to go up a size in it to get it to fit over my hips and booty and then that made it too loose in the bust. Also, you can kind of see it riding up on my hips in the photo. Sad, too, because it reminded me of a dress I wore to dances in high school that I loved!

side-slit

same dress

I actually really liked this one and if it had A. been in purple and B. I hadn’t felt like I wouldn’t be able to eat or drink anything while wearing it, I would have got home with this one. As it was, it wasn’t that spectacular and it was super-duper tight. But it made my legs and arms look amazing!

side-cutouts

same dress

This was a crowd favorite when I shared it on Instagram! And, again, if it had been purple I would have chosen it right away. As it was, I held out for something that made me fall in love.

mint-ruffle

same dress

I actually liked this one a lot more when I put it on! The color wasn’t something I had even considered. But, in the end, that weird ruffle on the side didn’t do it for me.

weird-ruffles

same dress

Oh my gosh, you guys. When I saw this one on the hanger I immediately thought, “No.” But, I figured I’d try it on just for you. The things I’ll do for a laugh.

To be honest, the stylist they paired me with was not my favorite. It turned out that the stylist I was supposed to work with was styling a young woman as part of a Make a Wish event and it was running much longer than anticipated. Yeah, I wasn’t going to complain since it was happening for a good cause! Plus, they comped my $25 styling fee since I didn’t get my original stylist and I had to share the one they did give me. I’m glad, too, because, like I said, I didn’t think he did a great job. Of course, I think he got handed me at the last minute so, who knows.

bandage-dress

same dress

I actually did end up getting this zipped, but decided it wasn’t anything special. Yes, it looked good on but it wasn’t making me swoon.

I’ve figured out that all my weight lifting has given me a much broader back than I’m used to. I have no idea what size dress I wear anymore!

one-shoulder-floral

same dress

This one was actually kind of fun but it didn’t fit as well as I wanted. Once again, it was a bit tight on the hips and too loose at the top. Also, I feel like since my legs look pretty good, if I’m going to wear a full-length gown I’d like a slit in it

shoulder-ruffles

same dress

So…my neck isn’t actually that long. Which meant that these ruffles were almost to my ears. Clearly this dress was designed for a super model.

low-cut

same dress

Oh boy. The reviews for this dress all say the same thing: wear fashion tape and you’d better hope you have good posture. I didn’t want to spend the entire wedding being self-concisous so I definitely passed on this one. Also, like so many of the other ones, it was too tight across my hips.

floral-ruffle

same dress

Too tight on the hips, too much of a boho look, too not me. Yeah.

high-neck-dress

same dress

This dress was another case of my back being too broad and my neck not being long enough. Also, it felt like something I would have worn to work at my previous job, not to a wedding. So, no.

In the end, I didn’t love any of the dresses I tried on in the store. So, they helped me order the dress I had wanted to try on in the first place. It fit perfectly and I loved wearing it.

final-dress

same dress

I still highly recommend using Rent the Runway if you have an event and want the chance to wear a dress you either couldn’t afford to buy or just don’t want to buy something you’ll only wear once. For around $100 I got to wear this almost $400 dress, feel beautiful, and ship it back when I was done.

If you want to try it, you can use this link to get $30 off your first order (and get me $30 in credit). Or if you’re in Chicago and want to visit the store, I’m happy to go with! It’s a ton of fun.

Check out my other Rent the Runway experiences here, here and here.

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A snapshot I took at the wedding. I highly recommend Chicago Distilling Company!

A Violin Playing Goat [SIA Post]

Style Imitating Art

I’m sure many of my U.S. readers have today off for Memorial Day are spending it doing something other than reading blogs. But, for those of you who are here, it’s time to reveal this week’s Style Imitating Art choice!

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This photo of “[ C ] Marc Chagall – Coq Rouge dans la Nuit (1944)” by cea + is licensed under CC BY 2.0

This week it was Jen’s turn to pick and she chose this because, as she said, she has a soft spot for Marc Chagall’s work. And then there was something about needing a violin-playing goat to find happiness. I’ve never seen Notting Hill so I didn’t get the reference. Please fill me in! Now I’m curious!

This painting has all the colors of the rainbow in it. So, even if you’re not feeling the blue, you can wear purple or yellow or red or even green. Or a little bit of everything. Or show us what you wore to your Memorial Day celebrations! I bet they’ll work just fine, too.

Submissions are due to librarianforlifestyle@gmail.com on Monday June 5th by 10 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. She’ll post the round-up on June 6th.

The woman from Venus [SIA Post]

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring · Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer · Style Imitating Art

Early last week we had the most amazing weather in Chicago. Sunny, warm, and perfect. That’s when I wore this outfit for this week’s Style Imitating Art challenge.

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I suppose that means I can finally put away that snow shovel, huh? Actually, funny story: I was using the snow shovel to scoop up the trash that the rats in our alley were dragging out of our trash cans. See, the rats chewed a hole in our trash can and, even though I contacted the city about getting a replacement, six weeks went by with no new can being delivered.

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Then when I was visiting my mom and complaining about the rat situation, she said I should call my alderman. Good idea! I found out who it was, sent her an email, and BAM! Literally the next day we had two brand new trash cans!

As the saying goes, I guess that’s just the Chicago way. I may have lived in the city proper for over four years but I’m still getting used to how things actually work around here, It’s like I’m from another planet or something.

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similar top | similar skirt | similar sandals | similar necklace 

Skirt c/o LuLaRoe Annabelle Winters | Sandals c/o Shopbop | Top c/o Le Tote

 

Deck Party Time

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

When we moved from an 8th floor apartment in the hottest neighborhood in the city to a two floor apartment in a house in a neighborhood no one has heard of, I admit I was a little heartbroken.

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But, of course, we moved in January and nothing is fun in the winter in Chicago. However, as spring and summer approach, I’ve been enjoying our back deck and making plans for making our yard and outdoor spaces into a true extension of the house.

I ordered two of these chairs from Target (in teal, not white, though) and plan to get a rug, some ottomans, and some cafe lights for our back deck. Combine that with the two tables we already have that I’m planning to spray paint and we’re going to have an awesome little outdoor room!

By the way, all the outdoor stuff at Target is on sale until Sunday!

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similar cardigan | similar top | similar jeans | same shoes | similar necklace 

I’ve also got plans to plant some more flowers in the flower beds and in the pots I brought over from our previous apartment balcony.

And if you want to enjoy my outdoor space with me, I’m having a get together on Saturday, June 24th! 

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Yes, I will have a Stella & Dot stylist there, but it’s really just an excuse to finally have people over to our house! Consider it a girls-only housewarming party with no pressure to shop. If you want to come, let me know and I send you the info via email!

I don’t usually have parties because I feel like a loser when no one comes. So, uh, help me feel like less of a loser? I promise to be a good hostess AND you’ll get to sit in my awesome new chairs.

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Visions of the Future: Venus [SIA Post]

Style Imitating Art

I just spent the weekend with my mom and we ended up booking a girls’ trip together! In one month we’re going to spend a few days in Sonoma. If that’s not a future to look forward to, I don’t know what is.

And speaking of the future, for this week’s Style Imitating Art challenge, Salazar chose a post from NASA’s Visions of the Future series.

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Source

I’m pretty sure I’ll be wearing some form of blush or pink! Maybe paired with gray or silver? I bet Salazar had a difficult time picking one of the posters since there are so many beautiful ones. I actually wore an outfit a few weeks ago that would work perfectly with this poster so I’m happy I’ll get a chance to recreate it and take some photos.

Don’t forget; if you want to participate, just snap a picture of an outfit you wore inspired by this artwork and send it to Salazar at 14shadesofgreyblog@gmail.com by next Monday, May 22nd.

The flowers are back [SIA Round Up Post]

Style Imitating Art

Seeing all the wonderful photos from those of you who interpreted this week’s SIA artwork was a much needed bright spark in my week. I was just worn out on Sunday and I think that contributed to my funk. The fact that Chicago has also had two weeks of below average temperatures isn’t helping either!

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But these photos sure are. Here’s Jodie and her models of all ages from Jodie’s Touch of Style. The first one is her step mom, Nancy, (the 60’s model). then Jodie (the 50’s model) and then her mom, Charlotte (the 70’s model).

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I personally love Nancy’s outfit the most because I’m pretty sure I’ve worn something very similar!

Next we have Mike and his very nice and classic outfit of neutrals. Mike asked if this painting had a name and, honestly, I don’t think it did. I’ll have to ask the GrowARTS program director the next time I see her.

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Of course co-host Jen went above and beyond and found some flowering trees of her own!

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And co-host Salazar had the perfect top to wear for this piece!

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Kezzie pulled out a beautiful purple print tunic for this week that has flowers and paisley and all the things. She also found some flowering trees!

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Finally, there’s me (and Chewie). We didn’t find any flowering trees but it’s okay because everyone who submitted photos this week is my flower. Thank you, everyone!

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Where did all my flowers go? [SIA Post]

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring · Style Imitating Art

Sometimes photo shoots come together with little effort. Sometimes we find awesome backgrounds and great lighting and the smiles are genuine and the dog behaves and I love my outfit and what I pick matches my own Style Imitating Art choice perfectly.

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Then there are days like yesterday. In the interest of keeping it real, I will tell you that I haven’t actually worn this outfit yet other than for these photos. I tried on a bunch of different things but didn’t like I how I felt in any of them. That while purple is one of my favorite colors, I actually own very few purple items.

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Sunday was a struggle for me. I had almost zero motivation to do anything. Everything was making me grumpy. I woke up dehydrated even after drinking a ton of water on Saturday. I did;t feel comfortable in any of my clothes. I’d ripped a hole in the crotch of my favorite go-to jeans the day before. I told Jason that the photos didn’t matter because “no one reads my blog.”

Yeah, I’m just a ray of sunshine, aren’t I?

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I know it will get better. I know I can turn my own attitude around. Perhaps I need to try that routine of writing down three things for which I’m grateful or that make me happy each day. Have you ever tried that? Does it work?

Or maybe I just need to drink more water and wear more purple. Or remind myself that people do indeed read my blog as evidenced by the SIA submissions I’m getting already! Don’t forget that if you want to participate just snap a photo of an outfit you put together as inspired by this week’s painting and send it to me before Wednesday, May 10th so I can include it in the round-up.

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Same Dress | Similar Cardigan | Similar Shoes

 

My unintentional fitness modeling gig [Fitness Friday]

Fitness

Last year Chewie and I ran the Super Sunny 5K and, before the race, one of the volunteers snapped a photo of the two of us.

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Little did I know that that photo would become a full page ad in a local magazine!

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Isn’t that just the cutest? And, yes, we’ll be there again this year. It’s a great local race benefiting a great cause, and it’s one of the few in the area where you can actually run with your dog.

If you’re in the Chicago area and are looking for a 5K to walk or run, come join us! Chewie promises to be on his best behavior.  Plus, maybe you’ll get a chance to unintentionally become a fitness model, too.

Those crazy dog ladies

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

Do you love puppies? Do you have a soft spot in your heart for rescue dogs? Then you do not want to miss today’s post!

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This is Flopsie. I’m sure she’s already found a home since puppies don’t stay in shelters very long. Especially since she was so cuddly! 

No, I didn’t get another dog. Chewie is still an only puppy. But I did cheat on him by meeting Christine at The Anti-Cruelty Society for a photo shoot with some of their adoptable pups.

Christine and her blog, The Rescue Runway, are a combination of two of my favorite things: wearing fun outfits and playing with puppies. So of course we had to do a photo shoot together.

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Christine’s blog tries to showcase the puppers that have been at the shelter for awhile. For example, this is Connor. He’d been at Anti-Cruelty since April 5th but I no longer see him on their website, so I think he found a home! Hooray!IMG_7388

They’d better have a couch he can sit on, though. He was all about being on the benches!

I wore my latest Julia dress from Annabelle’s LuLaRoe boutique since I knew it would be easy to move around in. I mean, it’s basically a big t-shirt. And, of course, a cute pair of sneakers so I could chase after puppies.

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Like Chi Chi. He wanted to explore so he pulled us all over the courtyard. But he also gave kisses.

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But, I have to say,  my favorite was Amit, whom Christine already profiled. He’s super sweet and his bio on the shelter website does not do him justice. Or maybe I’m just biased because Amit sounds very similar to Chewie.

Anyway, I don’t plan to bring home another dog any time soon, but I hope you will share Christine’s blog so more people can get their eyes on these puppers who need homes.

 

April showers bring May flowers [SIA Post]

Style Imitating Art

First, I want to say thank you for all the wonderful comments on my post last week on finding our dreams and our passions. It’s nice to know that many of us have felt this same way.

I think that’s one of the reasons the growARTS program resonates with me. Annabelle pointed out to me that many of the artists have never received a paycheck before. Sometimes their first paycheck ever is when a painting they created sells. I mean, watch this video and tell me that this program isn’t amazing.

Which is why I chose another growARTS painting for this week’s Style Imitating Art challenge. I wanted to buy this particular piece so badly but it was already sold by the time I made it to the last show.

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It’s all of my favorite colors: purple, gray, black, and white. It would go perfectly in my dressing room (aka a bedroom I’ve turned into my closet) so I’m thinking I’ll need to commission another one from the artist!

I also thought it was appropriate for the first day of May, since all the trees are budding and flowering here in Chicago.

Whether you choose to interpret this painting by wearing these colors, wearing florals or something else entirely, just snap a photo and send it to looplooks@gmail.com by Tuesday, May 9th and I’ll feature it in the round-up post on Wednesday, May 10th.

I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone does with this one!