Author Archives: Erin @ Loop Looks

About Erin @ Loop Looks

A Chicago Loop Girl Goes To Work

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Le Tote Party: What I Wore

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

Thank you for weighing in on my outfit decision for the Le Tote party I hosted last week! I ended up going casual even though I don’t really have another place to wear that dress.

IMG_8424Top – Le Tote (same) | Necklace – Le Tote (same) | Jeans – LOFT (same) | Jacket – Langford Market (similar) | Shoes – Nine West (similar open toe

IMG_8431The party was a blast although hosting made it difficult to great people, mingle, eat, drink, and take photos. So, I mostly got still shots instead of photos of actual people doing actual things. But I promise people actually came!

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And shout-out to my neighbor, Margaret, for helping me carry everything to the restaurant and helping me get it set-up.

If you follow me on Twitter you might have seen me ask if I should walk a mile home after getting a bunch of balloons inflated or if I should get a cab. The consensus was cab but I ended up walking! Why? Because the people at the store where I got them inflated (Doolin’s on Halsted for you Chicago-peeps) put them into giant bags with handles so I could carry them easily! And I didn’t even have to ask. I will now be patronizing them for all my party needs.

Le Tote hopes to do more of these parties so hopefully I’ll do another one in the future. It was lovely to meet other Le Tote members and their friends!

Want to become a Le Tote member yourself? Use code ERIN25 for 50% off your first month!

 

  
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Le Tote Party: Choose My Outfit

You Pick Wednesday

As part of my Le Tote ambassadorship, tonight I am hosting a party for Le Tote members and those who are not yet members but who are interested in learning more about Le Tote.

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If you’re free this evening, feel free to stop by! We’ll have drink tickets and pizza. And special gifts for those who get there before I run out! Including something that I think is pretty awesome for those who aren’t current Le Tote members.

In the mean time, I need your help picking what I should wear! Of course I want to wear Le Tote pieces, so I pulled two outfits together based on items I have in my current Le Tote box as well as items I’ve purchased from prior boxes.

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The dress, earrings, top, and necklace are all Le Tote items, for those who are curious.

So, what do you think? Should I go dressy or casual tonight? You decide! Let me know in the comments.

  
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My Current Favorite Skirt

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

When I bought this skirt after seeing it on Sarah’s Real Life, I honestly didn’t know how much I would end up loving it. I’ve worn it at least once a month since I’ve gotten it. It helps, of course, that most of my other skirts are too big and this one isn’t. But even if that wasn’t the case, I’d probably still wear it more than the others.

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Top – The Limited (similar) | Skirt – LOFT (similar) | Shoes – c/o Shopbop (similar) | Necklace – Rocksbox (code looplooksxoxo still works for a free month)

IMG_8252Funny story – I honestly didn’t even notice that this necklace had pink in it until after I’d been wearing it for a few hours. Oops! Well, uh, let’s just say that it’s “light red” and I’m going for a monochrome theme. And the stripes on my shirt are navy. I promise.

Anyway, I tend to wear this skirt with neutral colors, specifically grays and blacks, so I wanted to take it up a notch and pair it with blues. Hence the bright blue shoes. I’m honestly not sure how I feel about it and I almost changed my mind 10 times, but in the end, I went with it.

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And I think it encouraged me to pair this skirt with my cobalt blue top next. Because, I mean, just looking at the photos tells me that a little color wouldn’t hurt anyone. What do you think?

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Linking up with Bri @ Work Clothes, I Suppose

 

  
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Midi Skirt Musings

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

This past weekend my friend and neighbor had a party on our building’s rooftop and I was debating on what to wear. Yes, I know, it’s a party. With beer. And barbecued meat. There was no need to dress up. So, although I was originally thinking of wearing a skirt, I went with shorts. And then wore the skirt to work.

IMG_8223Top – The Limited (similar) | Skirt –  Le Tote (same) | Cardigan – The Limited (same) | Shoes – Sole Society (similar)

And, to be honest, I wasn’t entirely sure how I felt about this skirt. Is it a strange length? Do midi skirts look okay on me? Should I have left the top untucked? Or does it look just fine and I’m a head case?

Actually, it’s probably the latter. I will say, though, that I was originally struggling with what color to wear with it on top. White felt too boring but none of my other tops seemed to work with the temperatures. Then I remembered I had this green camisole buried in my drawer and it was the perfect solution. Toss on the white cardigan for the office and I was good to go.

IMG_8216So, what do you think: is a midi skirt a yay or a nay? What color would you have worn with this?

 

 

  
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Then and Now [Vol. 9]

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

First, let me say that I’m LOVING the conversations we’re having over on my post about how working out can change your wardrobe options. I actually tried a new fitness class at Orangetheory Fitness on Friday and the instructor commented on my back muscle definition. And I felt really strong for most of the dumbbell and bodyweight exercise portion class. But then there was the running at a 12% incline on the treadmill at the end. Oof. Should have chosen to do the treadmill first!

Anyway, today I’ve got a “Then and Now” post for you with jeans, gray shoes, and my olive utility vest.

Here’s the “Now”.

IMG_8126Vest – Old Navy but swapped from Jen (similar) | Shirt – The Limited (same) | Jeans – American Eagle Outfitters (same) | Shoes – Sperry (same) | Necklace – JF&A Show (similar

IMG_8130IMG_8131I was originally planning on copying this outfit but, as I mentioned in my post on Friday, a lot of my clothes are too big. Including the white vest I bought last November and still haven’t worn!! I’m almost of a mind to get it altered even though I’m sure it would cost an arm and a leg. I mean, I lusted after that stupid thing and it still has the tags on it!

So, since the original plan didn’t work out, I tossed on this vest at the last minute and then realized this outfit was super close to one I wore last fall.

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Original outfit

Hysterically, I even took the photo in almost the same spot and in almost the exact same pose. Also, you can see how much my Chewie puppy has grown since last September!

Anyway, I love how a vest can add just a little extra something and that this vest still fits! It may not be my originally planned outfit but I still feel pretty good in it.

 

 

 

 

  
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How working out affects your wardrobe

About Me · Fitness

I don’t really know how to write this post without sounding like I’m bragging or like I’m vain or, I don’t know,  like there’s something wrong with me. Because I’m not writing it for any of those reasons. I’m writing it because I’m proud and I want to share something that’s been working for me.

And what is that something? Strength training.

Photo Jul 23, 4 02 21 PM

Tracking journal customized and provided c/o Journal Menu

I know, I know. You’re thinking, “Wait. This is a style blog. Why are you talking about working out?? Don’t you have a fitness blog for that?”

But here’s the thing: working out can change your body. And when your body changes it changes what you wear.

For example, take these three dresses.

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Which are all from Le Tote, by the way. Which I love because it lets me try things I wouldn’t think I could wear…until now. Try it yourself for 50% off with code ERIN25. Sales pitch over. 

Last year at this time I wouldn’t have felt comfortable wearing them. In fact, for the longest time I didn’t feel comfortable in a wrap dress at all. I felt like they clung, showed every bump I had (or imagined I had) and just weren’t flattering. Never mind a body-skimming knit dress that could possibly enhance a bulge or two.

Now, I know, you’re rolling your eyes and thinking that I’ve always looked just fine. But, when you’re in your own body and wearing your clothes every day you can tell when something is off. In fact, I noticed it with my red and green pants.

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When I replaced my original red pants I had to go up a size. Actually, I had to go up two sizes. And I almost replaced these green pants that I’ve had since 2012 because they had gotten too tight in the waist. I haven’t been a couch potato in years, but clearly whatever I was doing (running all the time) wasn’t doing enough.

But last fall I met a woman in my office who had an enviable physique. I asked her what her secret was and she told it was the book Thinner, Leaner, Stronger. So, I bought it. And it became my bible. How to eat, how to workout, what to lift at the gym. I even got a personal trainer that I meet with once a week.

And it paid off. I lost 10+ pounds, I’ve got almost visible abs for the first time in my life. I’ve got muscle definition in my arms that sometimes you guys even comment on. I can deadlift 1.5 times my bodyweight. And I’m even a faster runner! I don’t follow TLS as religiously anymore (I mean, I do have to train for triathlons and try amazing drinks) but I still workout 4-6 days a week, mostly doing strength training.

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Journal Menu lets you choose what type of workouts you want to track and customizes the pages in your journal to match

So, believe it or not, I’ve actually had to re-buy those red pants TWICE, getting them in smaller sizes each time (thank goodness The Limited still sold them!) and now the green pants are a tad bit loose. Actually, a lot of my clothes are too loose. Most of my pencil skirts are too big at this point. Thankfully I rarely have to wear them. But, I have expanded my dress options because now I feel much more comfortable in knit dresses!

I am proud of what I’ve accomplished and, I have to say, I’m thrilled that my wardrobe options have expanded! I never thought I could wear a wrap dress but, look, here I am rocking one.

I promise I’m not being compensated to tell you about Thinner, Leaner, Stronger and while I received the Journal Menu for free I’m not getting paid anything additional to include it in my life. I just really think it’s awesome that yes, you can make a significant change to your body if you really want it.

If you want to know more, just ask. I know that talking about weight and body shape and what you look like isn’t necessarily “polite” conversation, but it’s such a huge part of my life right now and has had such a big impact on even my wardrobe that I felt weird not sharing.

Now, excuse me, I’m off to find some more dresses that make me feel like a million bucks.

June 4, 2015 - 4 of 4

  
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One Box, Two Shoes: Part Two

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

As you saw on Monday, I received some Alterre shoes to try out. Why are these shoes special? Because you get two pairs of shoes in one. The bottom of the shoes stays the same and you can change up the look by swapping out the ankle straps.

IMG_8112This is the peg that holds on the straps.

IMG_8110You pop the straps off and on using the provided holes. They also have metal discs that tell you if that strap goes on the left or right shoe.

IMG_8103Ta da! You can see one strap attached and the other color strap just above for comparison.

As I mentioned on Monday, I was sent the Grey Sandal Starter Kit which comes with grey and navy ankle straps.

I wore the navy ankle straps with a navy and white wrap dress from Le Tote.

IMG_2302Dress – Le Tote (same) | Necklace – Le Tote (same) | Shoes – c/o Alterre (same)

IMG_2311Initially, I thought I was going to like the navy and grey combo the best but, as it turns out, I enjoy both sets of shoes equally! I like that one is very classic while the other has a bit of trendiness to it. Both ankle straps were quite comfy as well.

Overall, I enjoyed the versatility of these sandals. The only downside in my eyes is that you have to keep track of “shoe accessories”!

And, in the interest of full disclosure, they do cost $180 for the starter kit. But, if you think about it, you’re basically paying $90 per pair of shoes. That may still seem steep but they are made of quality leather and 5% of the profits go to Restore NYC whose goal is to end sex trafficking in New York.

IMG_2306Of course,  I did get my pair gratis but I wasn’t asked (or paid!) to blog about them. I just think it’s a neat concept that others might enjoy knowing about.

In fact, I might even spend some of my own money on the Black Suede Mule with the Marilyn strap in Stingray.

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One Box, Two Shoes

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

As a member of Brandbacker, I recently got the opportunity to try a pair of Alterre shoes as part of their pre-sale launch. I wasn’t asked to blog about them but think the concept is pretty neat so I wanted to share them with you.

See, you buy a “lift” and then you change the “look” with different ankle straps. They have both closed-toed and open-toed versions. I was sent the Mist Grey Sandal Starter Kit and the first time I wore them I kept it simple with the grey Jackie ankle straps.

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Cardigan – The Limited (similar) | Dress – The Limited (similar) | Sandals – c/o Alterre (same) | Necklace – Etsy (similar

IMG_2272At first I felt like they might be a little too dowdy or “old lady” but I got quite a few compliments on them from random women of all ages in my office building. So, I suppose they do appeal to everyone.

The strap across my toes was a bit tight when I first put them on but since they’re made of soft leather it did stretch out throughout the day. However, I did take a day off in between wearing them with the gray ankle strap and the navy ankle strap just to give my feet a rest. Otherwise they were quite comfy.

And speaking of the navy ankle strap, I’ll have those up for you in my next post. Stay tuned!

P.S. Last Sunday I fell while riding my bike and scraped the crap out of my left knee. These photos were taken before then, so if you suddenly notice a huge scab you’ll know why. Those would be post-falling photos :-)

 

  
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Should you wear shorts to work?

Casual Clothes · Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

We had a few days of 90+ degree temperatures in Chicago recently. You know, those days when taking the train and walking to work leaves you sweaty and gross by the time you get to your desk? Yeah. Normally on those days I try to wear dresses and sandals but lately I’ve been thinking: could I wear shorts to work?

Our dress code at work is literally “wear what’s comfortable but not too revealing.” Every summer we get an email about not wearing “Daisy Dukes” (aka super short shorts) to the office. But there’s no mention of longer shorts. And the guys wear shorts when it gets hot. So, why not me?

So, I did it.

IMG_2320Top – Le Tote (same) | Shorts – Express (similar) | Shoes – DSW (similar) | Purse – Stitch Fix (similar)

It helps that I saw my VP in shorts the day before. And while I truly believe that you should dress nicely no matter what your boss wears, I decided that wearing nice shorts with a nice top, jewelry and heeled sandals counted as dressing up my shorts.

I felt a bit self-concious at first but really, no one noticed or said anything. And, to be honest, I was still dressed more professionally than some people in our office.

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I also ended wearing this outfit to a party at the triathlon store in my neighborhood after they put on a DIY Triathlon on Saturday morning. They set up the bike racks and had someone watching our “transition” area so we could swim, bike, run whatever distances we wanted. I needed a confidence boosting swim and I got one! I swam the full half mile distance with no stops, no backstroke, and no treading water.  I was definitely ready to celebrate after that!

  
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July Shopping Summary

Shopping

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1. Mist Gray Sandal c/o Alterre (same)

2. Seychelles Sandals c/o Splender (same) (seen here)

3. LOFT Shorts – $12.50 each (same and same)

4. Matt Bernson Sandals c/o Shopbop (same)

5. Old Navy Mesh Sweatshirt – $20 (same)

My goal for this summer was to cut down on spending money on clothes so that I could spend money on other stuff (tri gear, yummy dinners, etc).  Valerie tempted me with this dress and I added a few jeans and denim shorts to my order (to get free shipping). Sadly, none of those items fit. But! When I went to return them LOFT had their Riviera shorts on sale for under $15 a pair and they only had my size. Perfect! I’m still on the hunt for more denim shorts but in the  mean time these olive and navy ones will work.

I was also very blessed this month to get three different opportunities to shop with someone else’s money. And, interestingly enough, I ended up with shoes all three times. The black sandals and the silver sandals are replacements for other pairs I’ve had for years and that were falling apart. The gray and navy pair, though, were something I got as part of a Brandbacker campaign. I’ll write more about those in another post, but basically it’s one pair of shoes with interchangeable ankle straps! Fun, right?

The white sweatshirt was a last-minute purchase at Old Navy. I’m actually on vacation this week and wanted something comfy to wear around the house where we’re staying. My family likes to keep the temperature super cold so when everyone is shorts and t-shirts I’m in pants and a sweatshirt. This one is turning out to be perfect.

I also have a current Le Tote box that includes this top. I think I’m going to keep it and, with my credit, it will only be $3! And, because I would be remiss in my ambassador duties if I didn’t tell you, you can try Le Tote yourself for half off your first month with code ERIN25.

Linking up with Franish and her Budgeting Bloggers