Author Archives: Erin @ Loop Looks

About Erin @ Loop Looks

A Chicago Loop Girl Goes To Work

business-trip-what-to-wear

What to Pack for a Business Casual Business Trip

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

Well hello there little piece of the Internet that I seem to have neglected! I wrote a post about how I miss the days of being able to write whatever I wanted and then left you hanging. I hope you don’t mind. Instead, I spent a week getting ready to go on a business trip and then, well, going on that business trip!

The company I work for bought another company last year. We’re both software companies in the Environmental Health & Safety field and recently my VP asked me if I wanted to go to Oakville, Ontario (about 55 kilometers outside of Toronto) to get trained on the new software. Yes, please!

I left last Sunday and stayed until Friday learning all about the company, their software, and meeting some really awesome people. We also got to attend the U.S. versus Canada men’s volleyball game at the Pan Am Games! And then stayed out way too late checking out the scene in downtown Toronto.

Because the company’s colors are blue I wanted to include that in what I packed. And because we were going to the game I also wanted to wear some red and white for our Canadian hosts.

So, this is what I wore:

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Maxi Dress |Jeans | Black Cardigan | Blue Cardigan | Striped Cardigan | Black Top | White Top | Multicolored Top | White Jeans | Black Dress | Skirt | Blazer | Flats | Sandals | Boat Shoes | Red Necklace | Blue Necklace

Packing was stressing me out a bit because I’d been told by another coworker that this office was a bit dressier than ours. I didn’t want to be underdressed but I also didn’t want to be overdressed. Turned out I was just right.

I also wanted some options so I chose pieces that could all coordinate with one another.

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Note these aren’t necessarily the exact pieces I own (although some of them are), but they’re pretty close. 

I stuck with the red, black and white palate and threw in some blue and my multicolored top as coordinating but stand-out items. In fact, based on these pieces I could have come up with many more outfits if necessary!

Perhaps the blue cardigan, black top and white jeans? How about the multicolored top with the red blazer and regular denim? Or the red blazer and the black dress? I could go on and on.

And, yes, everything fit in a carry-on, including my toiletries and unmentionables, pjs, a pair of workout clothes (which I washed in the sink so I could do multiple workouts last week) and my gym shoes. Crazy, right?

I think these pieces are going to become my new travel “capsule.” It would certainly make packing easier when I need to dress business casual or if I need to go back to Oakville. And I sincerely hope I get to go back!

  
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Blogging versus Writing

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

I recently started reading The Daily Tay after I bought my favorite shirt ever from her. She recently posted something that hit home with me about blogging. She wrote that she remembered when blogs were more about writing and sharing and less about who could make the most money or take the prettiest pictures.

I know, I know. I’m going to post a picture of myself with affiliate links to other items below it. And that’s going to seem totally hypocritical.

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Sweater – LOFT via Goodwill (similar) | Dress – Le Tote (same) | Shoes – Kate Spade c/o Shopbop (same) | Necklace – The Limited (similar

But, seriously. I make so little off this blog and I certainly don’t take the prettiest pictures. Sure, I do the occasional sponsored post and I do get some great freebies to blog about, but even though I’m not a “big” blogger, I sometimes miss the anonymity of having a Livejournal account. Something that was just me and my thoughts (and the people who read them, of course).

Now, though, my name is attached to this blog and I can’t write as freely as I wish about some things. I’ve always tried to be careful about what I write (in fact, my husband got fired from a job almost 15 years ago because of something he wrote online) because I know the consequences. But that doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally have the wish to write something more about what’s going on with my life other than the fact that I got almost 40 mosquito bites on my arms, legs and face this weekend.

And don’t worry, mom. It’s nothing drastic :-) Just the occasional wish that I had someone to invite me to or go with me to all those fun events I see on Instagram. Is it still FOMO if you know you’re missing something?

Except mosquito bites. I am certainly NOT missing those.

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From my shoes to my hair

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

Voting is still open for your favorite outfit from June! 

Today Instagram will be filled with Fri-yay images and quotes and various other comments about how it’s the end of the week. Normally I just smile and scroll past but today I might just shout FRI-YAY myself. At the time I write this I have almost 20 things on my to-do list at work, and huge product enhancement going live this weekend that I need to help support.

Although, honestly, I am much happier being busy than not. It just takes some getting used to sometimes.

I could have some kind of silly segue between that paragraph above and today’s outfit photo, but I don’t really. So, here, have some black and white and pink.

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Cardigan – Le Tote (same) | Shirt – Le Tote (same) | Jeans – LOFT (same | Shoes – Jessica Simpson via Poshmark (similar) | Earrings – Rocksbox | Watch c/o JORD (same

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I wore this outfit on Wednesday to get my hair cut. Originally I was going to wear black flats with this outfit but for some weird reason I like to dress a little fancier when I go to my hair stylist.  He did fawn all over my shoes, though, so I think it was worth it.

Sadly, I think I have to break up with my stylist. He cannot be on time and then he gets a little…indignant when I tell him I need to be done by a certain time. Plus, while he’s never given me a bad haircut, they’re just never really ones I love. Of course, I never really love my hair so there’s that.

Anyway, I think I’ll be trying someone new in the future. Probably after my triathlon in August.

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Good Moon Rising

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

Growing up, my bedroom (after a black and white phase) was entirely decorated in a sun, moon, and star motif.  My Christmas tree has a sun, moon, and star ornament theme. My ring that I wear on my right index finger is a crescent moon with a star. My very first tattoo is a crescent moon ringed with stars. For years I wore a pair of silver star earrings in the second holes in my ears.

So, clearly, I have a thing for suns, moons , and stars. Which is why I was super excited to find this necklace in my latest Le Tote.

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Blazer – Forever 21 (similar) | Top – The Limited (similar) | Jeans – American Eagle Outfitters (same) | Shoes – Sole Society (similar) | Necklace – Le Tote (same)

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Dainty, layered necklaces are all the rage right now and with this one having one of my favorite shapes it might just stay when I send back the rest of this Le Tote box. So far, actually, I think this is my favorite Le Tote shipment. I really like that now they let you swap out some items for others and yet you can still get a few surprises. (Another plug for code ERIN25 so you can try it for 50% off!)

I almost wore an oatmeal colored cardigan instead of this white blazer but, in the end, I’m glad I went with the blazer. Some days I just don’t want the structure a blazer has, but this one is actually pretty comfortable. And, if I’m being honest, it looks better than the cardigan would have. Blazers really take outfits up a notch,  especially when the rest of the outfit is jeans, flats, and a tank top. And a fun moon necklace, of course.

  
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Summer Dress Blues

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

For my most recent Le Tote order I swapped out a few items for some casual dresses. I chose this blue and white one because it reminded me of a polka dot blue and white dress I used to have and consigned because it got too tight on my hips (and now I’m sad I got rid of it because I bet it would fit again).

IMG_2125Dress – Le Tote (same) | Cardigan – The Limited (same) | Sandals – TJ Maxx (similar

Use code ERIN25 to get your first month of Le Tote for 50% off! 

Unfortunately, while this dress showed off my shoulders (and, unfortunately, I forgot to get a picture without the cardigan), it billowed out strangely in the waist making me look, well, pregnant. Even Jason mentioned that it needed a belt or something. I tried to compensate by wearing the cardigan completely buttoned up but, in the end, it just wasn’t working for me.

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I thought about putting this outfit together and posting it as my “Fourth of July” outfit but, as I mentioned yesterday, I didn’t actually wear anything other than workout capris all weekend. But I did wear this outfit to work on Monday.

And, I do have an interesting story to share about the year I wore the blue and white polka dot dress for Fourth of July. It was our first or second summer in Chicago and I’d convinced Jason to donate enough money to the local public radio station to get us tickets to watch the fireworks from their terrace on Navy Pier. That was when I learned you DO NOT go to Navy Pier to watch the fireworks. After walking miles in heels and getting there late and being underwhelmed, we almost got run over by fighting teenagers in one of the public transit tunnels on our way home. Let’s just say that ever since then I’ve been perfectly happy to stay home on the Fourth. At least now we can see fireworks from our balcony!

 

  
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Then and Now [Vol. 8]

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

Polls are still open to vote for your favorite outfit from June! Looks like we’re getting a clear winner…but will it be your choice?

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Cardigan – J. Crew (similar) | Tee- Old Navy (similar) | Pants – Gap (similar) | Shoes – Sole Society (similar) | Necklace – Le Tote (same)

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Anyway, I don’t have much to say about this outfit. I got this necklace from Le Tote and was inspired to wear it with blue and black and white. Of course, this isn’t the first time I’ve worn this combination.

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Now | Then | Then

I still have my blue blazer but for this outfit I swapped it out for the blue cardigan. Clearly I like accentuating black and white with cobalt and a little bling. However, out of all three of these looks, I think I like the middle one the best. Or maybe the cardigan and tee with different pants?

Also, you may have noticed that I didn’t post a Fourth of July outfit. Let’s just say I spent my weekend basically in workout clothes having a great time. If that’s not proof that I don’t get dressed up just for this blog, I don’t know what is.

I do, however, make my husband drive to locations with flowers, occasionally, just to take pictures :-)

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June Shopping Summary

Shopping

First things first – have you voted for your favorite outfit of June? There’s a major tie going on right now and so far no one has picked my favorite as theirs! I love it when that happens!

Now, on to what I added to my closet

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I mentioned last month that I was thinking about putting myself on a shopping ban except for if I wanted to keep anything from a Le Tote (which, by the way, you can try for 50% off using code ERIN25).

And, you know what, I gave in a bit during a sale at The Limited early in the month but otherwise everything you see pictured above is either from Le Tote or gifted.

Admittedly, I’m still on the fence about keeping the top from The Limited. I mean, it’s always nice to have a simple white top with a bit of interest and I got it on sale so it’s not like it’s some weird thing I might never wear. But, still, do I need it?

The dress I’ve already worn several times and every time I wear it Jason tells me how nice I look. In fact, the first time I wore it he asked me to keep it. Can’t let my husband down! And here’s the interesting thing about that dress: last year I would have felt super uncomfortable in it. But with all the strength training I’ve been doing it looks great.

And the blazer I kept because I decided it fit my lifestyle right now better than my dressier red blazer. I’ll be taking the older one to consignment most likely,

As for my gifted items, I love my new Bucketfeet and have worn them several times even though they’ve only made it to the blog once. The bag I haven’t had a chance to use because I normally carry a backpack and a small purse to work. However, I’m going on a trip for work later this month and I think it will be perfect for using as a carryon.

I plan to devote a whole post (soon!) to my new Mira fitness tracker. Ironically, I was just commenting to Kim that I never wear my Fitbit when I got the opportunity to receive the Mira. So, I plan to do a post comparing the two and why I’m wearing the Mira even if I don’t feel like I need it to remind me to be active.

Linking up with Fran’s Budgeting Bloggers

  
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Favorite Outfit of June

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

While everyone else is out there talking about the upcoming holiday weekend (Fourth of July, in case you’re not sure) I’m still in denial that July is upon us. But, it is so let’s do this thing where you vote for your favorite outfit of June!

June was a tough month outfit-wise. I’m really struggling with several things: only a few pairs of my pants and skirts fit, the weather has been so ridiculous, and I’m still not sure how to dress. I read posts about finding your style and choosing your favorite pieces and paring down your closet and I think, yeah, let’s do that! And then I look at a month of outfits and think, you know, I like the variety even if sometimes it’s a struggle and sometimes they don’t all work out as well as I thought.

So, you tell me, which of June’s outfits do you like the best? Use the poll below to vote. Or, if you want, leave a comment and tell me which one you think is most “me”!

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1| 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13

What was your favorite outfit of June?

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And of course, what was my favorite outfit? I think it was the one I wore to celebrate my wedding anniversary. Comfy, a bit trendy, but not too out there.

June 2, 2015 + June 3, 2015 - 1 of 7

One last thing: you might have noticed that I didn’t do a vote for May. Well, it’s because I only had 5 outfits to choose from! I did have a favorite, though. You can see it on my Pinterest board.  And, as always, the Outfit Gallery page has all the outfits in one spot.

 

  
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The Naps Have It

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

Another weekend spent doing things other than taking blog photos. I know you guys forgive me! Instead, I was planting flowers with my mom on my balcony, celebrating a friend’s birthday, completing a duathlon (run-bike-run), and doing some indoor climbing.

I know, right? When do I sleep? How about when I pass out on our couch in the middle of the afternoon.

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Shirt – J. Crew (same) | Pants – Express (similar) | Shoes – c/o Shopbop (similar) | Necklace – NY&Co (similar

I’m actually really bad at naps. No, wait. I take that back. I’m REALLY good at naps (seriously, our couch is like some sort of nap warp zone). I am not good at waking UP from naps.

Still, I love napping on our couch after a morning of getting stuff done. Whether that stuff is planting flowers or running and biking. I mean, I know I should probably be doing other stuff, like outfit planning or pre-making all my salads for my lunch throughout the week. But when I lay down on the couch it’s lights out.

And you know what? I’m totally okay with that.

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Casual clothes hoarding

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

Last night I was at an event and introducing myself to people and handing out my blog business card. One of the women asked me what my “go-to” store is for work clothes. I told her that it used to be The Limited but now that I don’t have to wear business or business casual I struggle with what to wear and where to shop.

Although, occasionally, I still find things at The Limited that fit my current work dress code. Or lack thereof.

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Jacket – Langford Market (similar) | Tee- Target (same) | Pants – The Limited (same) | Shoes – Bucketfeet (same)

Seriously, though. I’ve been at my current job for just over a year and I still have no idea how to dress! I have an entire closet full of clothes that either don’t fit, don’t fit with my current work environment, or just don’t seem to be “me” right now. Yet, I don’t necessarily want to get rid of all of them because I might need them in the future.

It’s funny because at work I try to convince people that it’s okay to delete old documents. But for myself I struggle with purging clothes. And emails. But that’s another story.

I told myself when I started this job that I wasn’t going to succumb to dressing like a slob. But, I admit, there are days when it’s just jeans and a t-shirt. Which, in reality, isn’t that much different from this outfit. But this outfit isn’t jeans.

In my latest Le Tote box that is on its way to me I’m getting two dresses. I hope they both fit. I also just ordered this dress in red as a causal dress – an item I don’t own very many of. Maybe that’s the answer for summer: casual dresses.

Or maybe not. Maybe I’m still a work in progress when it comes to how to dress casually.

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