Author Archives: Erin @ Loop Looks

About Erin @ Loop Looks

A Chicago Loop Girl Goes To Work

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This is what real life looks like

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

One of my favorite bloggers, Jen, recently wrote a post about the differences between style bloggers and fashion bloggers. I think this post exemplifies why I agree with her assessment on the difference and why I am firmly in the “style blogger” camp and not the “fashion blogger” camp.

This is me, in all my simple, wrinkled, slightly-damp-from-the-kiddie-pool-at-the-dog-park glory.

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Tee – Target | Skirt – J. Crew Factory (similar) | Shoes – J. Crew Factory (similar) | Purse – Le Tote (same

I wore this outfit to work paired with a denim jacket. Then I took off the denim jacket because it was 85 degrees outside and I was riding a Divvy bike home. Yes, I rode a bike in a pencil skirt. Yes, I have helmet hair.

Yes, I take pictures after work when I’m a little rumpled. Yes, sometimes I have my husband take them with my phone camera.

Yes, I’m a real person who wears real outfits that aren’t always full of pattern mixing or unique items or avant-garde item pairings.

And I hope that’s why you like me.

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SIA: Spring Fabrics

Style Imitating Art

Guess what? It’s my turn to pick the Style Imitating Art inspiration piece this week. Choosing something isn’t as easy as you might think, though! So here was my thought process.

  1. I wanted something related to Chicago somehow.
  2. I wanted something with a lot of colors and patterns.
  3. I wanted something relevant to the season.

Which is how I ended up picking “Spring” by Charles Demuth.

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Source

This painting is part of the permanent collection at the Art Institute of Chicago. Painted in 1921 it depicts the sample cards used to advertise new spring fabrics. The Art Institute website writes, “By titling his painting Spring, Demuth wryly highlighted the new reality of American life, in which the changing of seasons was heralded not by nature but by commerce.”

I’m not sure how much I agree with that, considering when I start seeing swimsuits in the store in February I know it’s not summer yet! But, hey, I guess there’s still some truth to the statement.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to seeing the outfits you create based on this artwork. Don’t forget to send them to looplooks@gmail.com by 8PM U.S. Central Time on Monday, May 30th so you can be featured in the round-up on the 31st. Mirror selfies and flat lays are more than welcome and you don’t need to be a blogger to participate.

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Sweater and Sandals

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

Welcome to Chicago in spring. When you can wear a sweater, jeans and sandals at the same time and be perfectly dressed. For like one day.

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Sweater – Le Tote (same) | Necklace – Le Tote (same) | Jeans – LOFT (same) | Sandals – Madden Girl (similar) | Watch – Nixon c/o Shopbop (similar

Bri at Work Clothes, I Suppose chose “warm weather white” as this month’s Third Thursday Threads theme and I kind of laughed. We’re still waiting for consistently warm weather in Chicago so you’re getting an outfit that I’ve also worn with my cheetah print wedge booties! So, you see, this outfit is super versatile and be worn all year round. Well, okay, maybe not when it’s actually warm outside but you get my point.

Also, I have to say, this necklace drove me nuts. It kept flipping around and ending up backwards. Does this drive anyone else nuts?

Also also, I fully admit I wore this outfit to meet Jason and Chewie at the dog park and my jeans stayed relatively clean, even though Chewie makes it his personal mission to jump on me like a crazed animal when I walk through the dog park gates. But, I promise I didn’t Photoshop out any paw prints!

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Going to the Dog Prom

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

As promised, I’m going to tell you about where I wore my pretty, fluffy skirt. I wore it to the New Leash on Life 2016 Dog Prom!

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See, it all started with a giveaway on Stile Foto Cibo. Dannie was highlighting Autumn, a pup up for adoption through New Leash on Life and doing a giveaway for an adorable shirt from IHeartDogs,com. Well, I entered the giveaway and told Dannie how much I loved her post the next time I saw her at an event.

And then it turned out I won the giveaway! Plus, a few days later Dannie contacted me to invite me to  the NLOL Dog Prom Fundraiser. So, here we are!

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Dannie’s skirt is from T&J Designs and mine is from Rent the Runway. Both our shirts are from IHeartDogs.com

I technically went to Dog Prom stag since Chewie doesn’t do well with people when he’s on his leash. But, I made sure to have a picture of him on hand, complete with prom appropriate bow tie.Screen Shot 2016-05-15 at 8.39.04 AM

Thankfully there were plenty of other pups on which to love.

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I had a great time meeting so many fun pups, seeing their fun outfits, voting for Prom Queen and King, and drinking a beer from Empirical Brewery.

On the way home I decided to stop and take an outfit photo along the lake. And where better to stop than at the dog beach?

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So, thank you, Dannie, for introducing me to New Leash on Life, some great pups, and for giving me a reason to rent this awesome skirt.

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My Little Fitness Secret [Giveaway]

Fitness

We’re moving Fitness Friday up a few days because I’ve got something fun to share!

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This past weekend was an event called Wanderlust 108 and one of the sponsors is Cottonelle®  The goal of Wanderlust is to provide a chance for you to connect with fitness without being overwhelmed or intimidated. To me, the idea is to take you back to when you were a kid and you just “worked out” for fun. Also known as playing.

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So, when I was out running and came across this outdoor workout station I knew I wanted to go back and play around. Climb the rope, goof off on the pull-up bar, make my husband take silly pictures. You know, have fun. 

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However, I fully admit I have a little secret. Fitness isn’t alway fun for me, even though I might make it seem that way. I was talking to my aunt recently and she wanted to know if I ever think to myself, when I’m standing at the start line (or, heck, in the middle) of a race, “WHY do I do this??” And I said I do. Almost every time. So, yeah, even though I love working out I don’t always love it when I’m doing it!

Another little fitness secret? 99% of the time I’m going commando. I mean, who wants a visible panty line to mar the glutes you’ve worked so hard for? Plus let’s face it, underwear is the last thing you need standing in the way of you and nailing that new one rep max or setting a new personal record.

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Of course, since there’s not a lot between my workout pants and the world I want to make sure I’ve got the cleanliness situation under control. So, thank you, Cottonelle® for hooking me up with some products that are perfect for that purpose. Cottonelle® CleanRipple Texture bathroom tissue is designed to clean better per sheet versus the leading national value brand.

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Cottonelle® wants to hook you up, too! They’ve got some great giveaways going on on their site, including a VIP Lollapalooza experience or a trip to Wanderlust in Miami!

Or, if you’re more interested in instant gratification, you can enter the giveaway here for a Cottonelle® Stylist Kit.

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Each kit includes a selection of fabulous fitness “must haves” — Cottonelle® Flushable Cleansing Cloths, Benefit mascara, Dose of Colors lip gloss, Klorane dry shampoo, Emi Jay hair ties, and a plain black baseball cap.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

So, what’s your fitness secret?

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The Cottonelle® “Come Clean” Reader Giveaway (“Sweepstakes”) starts at 12:01 a.m. EST on May 9, 2016 and ends at 11: 59 p.m. on May 22, 2016 (the “Entry Period”).

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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SIA: Girl Reading

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

Last Monday we unveiled this week’s Style Imitating Art challenge: Young Girl Reading. I fully admit that I procrastinated a bit on this outfit. Even though the painting has a special spot in my heart, it just wasn’t calling out to me to create an outfit.

But then the skirt I was renting for a different event arrived in the mail and I knew that I wanted to incorporate it into my outfit. Even if, in the interest of full disclosure, I didn’t wear this outfit anywhere other than for photos. I promise, though, the skirt got worn in public (which you’ll see later this week) and the top and cardigan will be worn this week with a pair of white jeans.

Tulle skirt with purple cardigan and heels

Cardigan – The Limited (similar) | Tee – Nordstrom Rack (similar) | Skirt – Rent the Runway (same for sale, same for rent) | Shoes – Sole Society (similar

And, in case you need a refresher, here’s the painting we were interpreting.

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What to wear with a tulle skirt

And, yes, I used a book as a prop. I chose one of my favorites, Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris.

Also, since I don’t own anything yellow, when I ran past this little spot on the UIC campus I knew I wanted to take my pictures here. That rock takes care of my yellow needs!

These photos were taken kind of last minute since my weekend was jam packed! The weather was cruddy on Saturday so I just did the basics…except for going to dinner with a blog reader who is moving to Chicago next month! She and her husband were in town to find a place to live and after their successful day of finding a great apartment and signing a lease we met up for dinner at MAD Social.

Sunday I spent most of my day at a fundraiser for New Leash on Life…which is where I wore this skirt originally (but with a different shirt and shoes). I took these photos on the way home after changing in the car. Ah, the life of a style blogger.

Semi-casual tulle skirt outfit

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Lousy Smarch Weather

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

Okay, yes, it’s technically May and not Smarch (although, I don’t think anyone is super sure when Smarch even is…) but I’m still going to quote The Simpsons to reference how I feel about May.

April showers do not bring May flowers. They bring…more showers.

So, it’s back to some indoor photos.

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Sweatshirt – Stitch Fix (similar) | Pants – The Limited (similar) | Shoes – Kate Spade c/o Shopbop (similar

Also, I got my hair cut and I’m still trying to figure out how to look less like a drowned rat after going to the gym at lunch. Even my hair dryer tricks aren’t working right now. It’s one of the reasons I actually prefer my hair long. It just works better for my lifestyle. But, hey, it’s hair. It grows back.

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SIA: Young Girl Reading

Style Imitating Art

When I opened Jen‘s email announcing this week’s Style Imitating Art challenge I gasped with delight. Why? Because this particular painting hung in my grandmother’s living room, above the couch, for years.

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It’s called “Young Girl Reading” or “The Reader” and it was painted by Jean-Honoré Fragonard as part of a series around 1770.

Why did my grandmother have it hanging on her wall? Because she said it reminded her of her daughters, aka my mother and my aunts. At least that’s the story I remember. So, I think it’s especially appropriate to post this the day after Mother’s Day. At least for me.

Speaking of Mother’s Day, we actually celebrated last weekend with dinner (at the restaurant that shall not be named) and I gave my mom the gift I’d bought for her at the Randolph Street Market. The Chicago Candle Factory makes soy candles in old wine, spirits and beer bottles. I got her one made from a bottle of gin from the distillery in our neighborhood, CH Distillery. She says it’s perfect, just like me. And that’s why she’s the best.

Anyway, back to the week’s SIA Challenge. This one’s going to be tough for me since I don’t really own anything yellow. So, we’ll see! If you can come up with an outfit inspired by this painting feel free to send it to Jen at librarianforlifestyle@gmail.com by 10PM Pacific on Monday, May 16th to be included in her round-up post next Tuesday. Mirror selfies encouraged!

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Five Goals for May

About Me

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Every year about this time I think “Yay, summer!” And then I remember I live in Chicago and we don’t get consistently get summer for another month. So while I’d like to make one of my May goals to go for drinks on a patio or rooftop, well, I think I’d better save that one. But before we get to my May goals, let’s see how I did on my April ones, shall we?

April Goals

  1. Actually study one chapter a week of my NSCA book – Ha! Well, this one certainly didn’t happen. I’ve gotten to chapter 6 of….24, I think? It’s just a LOT more science and physics than I was expecting. However, I did take one of the practice tests and did better than I did the first time I took it. So there’s that.
  2. Get my overhead press into the triple digits for my one rep max – This one didn’t happen, either. I did manage two reps at 65 pounds which, considering my previous one rep max was 70 pounds, means I’ve definitely increased my strength. Slowly but surely I’ll get there!
  3. Take clothes to the consignment shop – I took a bunch of items to the consignment shop and they took 5 of them. The rest are being saved for fall or got dropped at Goodwill on my way home. Score!
  4. Read another book – I finished A Beginner’s Guide to Paradise: 9 Steps to Giving Up Everything and really enjoyed it! It’s a nice mixture of light hearted reading and actually thinking about what you’re doing with your life. I’d recommend it.
  5. Try a new brunch restaurant – Yep! Sarah from Windy City Wanderlust helped me complete this one with our trip to The Publican.

So what do I want to make happen in May?

  1. Complete at least two more chapters in my NSCA book.
  2. Play one of the new board games I just bought (my coworker recommended Castle Panic and Red November so I bought them both).
  3. Go to dinner at a new-to-me restaurant in my neighborhood. If I get to sit outside all the better! I’m thinking MAD Social. Anyone want to join me?
  4. Run a mile in under 7 minutes. I’d like to see if I can do it at 9.0 MPH on the treadmill. That’s a 6:39 mile, I believe. 
  5. Read another book. I just got Pretty Girls for my Kindle and I’d like to actually start (and finish) it!

How about you? What do you want to accomplish in May? Maybe voting for your favorite outfit from April? Hint, hint.

april-looks

Favorite Outfit of April

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

Here we are at the end of another month! Time for a quick recap of the fun things I did before we get to picking our favorite outfit from the past 30 days or so.

Let’s see….what did I accomplish in April?

And I’m sure other stuff I’m forgetting. I am super swamped at my day job right now and, while I love to be busy, it does leave my brain pretty drained by the end of the day!

So, let’s move on. Favorite outfit of April? Well, to be honest, I struggle with spring weather. I also struggled getting outfit photos consistently. In a way, I feel like maybe the outfit I loved the most didn’t get photographed. So, instead of being the best outfit of April, this is just a tribute.

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Even though I said this jacket made me feel a little bit like a linebacker, I just keep gravitating towards this outfit when I look at the pictures. Whether it’s the red or the pattern mixing or just that I remember being comfy when I wore it, this outfit stands out as my favorite for the month.

So, now, what’s yours? Don’t forget to vote below!

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What was your favorite outfit of April?

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