Author Archives: Erin @ Loop Looks

About Erin @ Loop Looks

A Chicago Loop Girl Goes To Work

GerdaWegenerSelfPortrait

A Danish Girl

Style Imitating Art

Greetings from rural Missouri! We’re on a mini vacation and staying at the cutest cabin on a wooded lot, complete with a pond for Chewie to explore. He’s loving being a country dog!

Of course, we still have wifi which how I can still bring you this week’s Style Imitating Art challenge as chosen by Jen.

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Jen selected a self-portrait of Gerda Wegener, a self-portrait in the Art Deco style. You can also read more about Wegener here and see more of her artwork here.

Jen selected this because she recently watched The Danish Girl on DVD, and it’s based on the 2000 book of the same name and the real-life relationship between Danish artists Gerda Wegener and Einar Wegener, who became Lili Elbe, one of the first-ever documented recipients of sex reassignment surgery.

In addition to the muted colors in the painting, there are different bits to take inspiration from, including (but not limited to):  the ruffles in her top, a peek of floral covering the chair she’s sitting in, and the big pearl necklace she’s wearing.

What are you inspired by?

Everyone — bloggers, non-bloggers, all genders, all ages, even pets! — is welcome to participate. Just send a pic of an outfit — selfies and flat lays are also just fine — inspired by this week’s SIA artwork to Jen at librarianforlifestyle@gmail.com by next Monday, August 28, by 10 p.m. Pacific Standard Time (PST). She will then post the SIA round-up on her blog the next day.

In the meantime, I’m going to go put on my swimsuit and read a book outside while Chewie explores our little piece of wilderness.

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My experience at Barry’s Bootcamp [Fitness Friday]

Fitness

For many years my fitness routine consisted of running and the occasional group exercise class.  Even now that I focus on weight lifting and the occasional cardio, I still enjoy a good group exercise class. I particularly enjoy classes that are full of HIIT (high intensity internal training) workouts or ones that combine cardio with weights, such as Orangetheory. I’d heard of Barry’s Bootcamp but, honestly, didn’t know much about it when I was invited to attend a workout at their location in Lincoln Park.

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Event sponsored by Kona Deep water

The studio waiting area is quite “Instagram-able” and also has it’s own smoothie bar. I fully admit that when I go to a workout class, even if it’s a free perk, I’m really bad about taking pictures. I  mean, I’m there to get in a workout!

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And maybe a smoothie…

So, uh, here’s what the empty studio looks like.

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Barry’s helpfully sent an email beforehand explaining their workout so that I would have a basic idea what to expect.

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I was there on a Sunday so I got the “full body” workout. I was assigned treadmill 6 and told to start there. We did mainly 30 second jog/run/sprint/ intervals followed by one minute recovery walks for the first 10 minutes. Then it was down to the floor to do some stuff with dumbbells and body weight for 10 minutes, mostly in sets of 30 seconds.

The workout itself was fine, although the treadmill portions felt rather repetitive. The instructor was super high energy, even with a broken arm! Yes, he had his arm in a sling so he had to demonstrate everything one-handed. For the strength portion we did typical dumbbell moves (chest press, tricep press, curls, rows), squats, step-ups, planks, and some various types of crunches. So, again, nothing groundbreaking.

Overall, I wouldn’t say that my experience at Barry’s was worth the hype that it’s gotten in some fitness circles. I’m still a bigger fan of Orangetheory or Fit36 if you’re looking for a class of this type. Although, I did only take one class at Barry’s Bootcamp so maybe my experience was atypical.

Have you taken a class at Barry’s Bootcamp? What did you think?

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Same Dress, Different Art

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer · Style Imitating Art

Real talk for a second here, everyone. I re-wear items in my closet. A lot. Sometimes I change the accessories. Sometimes I don’t. I feel like the older I get the less time and energy I want to spend on coming up with an outfit.

Which is why this week’s Style Imitating Art outfit features the same dress I wore for the last challenge!

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Dress & Kimono c/o Belle on the Roe

I wore this to attend/work the Chicagogrammers first birthday bash at Gino’s East which, I found out, has an amazing rooftop patio! Said patio also had the perfect backdrop on which to take a photo for this week’s challenge.

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Annabelle and I were there to show off her  Belle on the Roe wares so of course I had to wear my dress and one of her kimonos from her shop. We had fun playing photographer for each other, talking to people about Belle on the Roe, and eating pizza. Seriously, guys, if you come to Chicago and want deep dish, I will recommend either Gino’s East or Pequod’s. And Gino’s East has more locations and is easier to get in to.

Plus, their location on Superior Street in Chicago has this view!

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I mean, Annabelle and I aren’t always included, but we could be!

P.S. Don’t forget to head over to Salazar’s blog to see all the other outfits inspired by this painting.

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Skin Care Graphic

Mix and Match Skin Care for Blemish Free Skin

About Me · Shopping

Last fall I started getting really, really bad acne on my chin and on my jawbone. I think it was partly from resting my chin in my hand at my desk at work, partly because I don’t always wash my face after I workout on lunch, and partly because my skin has just changed as I’ve gotten older.

In the past, I’ve also gotten one or two really bad pimples when it’s “that time of the month.” However, I’d basically been using the same face products that I started using when I was in my 20s.

Well, now that I’m closer to 40 than I am to 20 I figured it was time to try something new.

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Last November a woman I work with at the F^3 Half Marathon offered to let me try Rodan + Fields at a slight discount. I wanted to blog about it then but I was in the thick of marathon training, ended up taking a month or more off blogging, and honestly, I wanted to see if it really worked for me.

Turns out, that, yes, their Unblemish line works great! I’ve been using it since November and I even re-ordered when my initial batch ran out. Over time, though, I’ve learned that my skin really responds to a mix and match of products.

I initially received the St. Ives oil scrub for free from Influenster and wasn’t sure how I felt about it. However, I started using it earlier this year when my skin felt really dry and it turns out I love it. When I ran out of the bottle I got for free I bought it with my own money. I use it in the mornings in the shower since it’s easy to rinse off.

After I shower, I use the Rodan + Fields clarifying toner followed by the acne treatment. Then, after letting that soak in, I apply the L’Oreal Revitalift moisturizer, which I also got from Influenster and that I will most likely be buying with my own money when it runs out!

At night, I wash my face with the Rodan + Fields sulfur wash and apply the Revitalift cream, although I don’t apply the cream every night. More like every other night.

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Since starting this regime, I rarely get pimples, I no longer have acne on my chin or jawbone, and my the lines around my mouth and on my forehead aren’t nearly as pronounced. I still get dry skin around my eyes from time to time but the Revitalift seems to help with that as well.

I’m really happy that I’ve found products that work for me. The last time I went to get my eyebrows waxed the aesthetician asked me what products I use. She got a weird judge-y look on her face when I told her and she said, “You don’t need all that stuff. You have great skin.”

Uh, yeah, that’s because I use all that stuff!

Anyway, if you’re on the fence about buying any of these items, I definitely recommend them. And, no, this post is not sponsored. Unless you count it being sponsored by my bank account.

 

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Kimono Regret

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

There are a few things in my life that I regret not doing. One is buying an amazing blue and black pony print cowboy hat. Another is not taking a job in an archive in southern Illinois. And one is not keeping this kimono from Le Tote.

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same kimono | same tank top | same jeans | same shoes

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I mean, I COULD have them re-send this to me in my next Tote, but I put Le Tote on hold every few months to try and save some money. Right now I’m “on hold” and it seems silly to pay the $49 to have them send me a tote just to pay more money to buy this. Right?

Also, I fully admit that I could buy a kimono from Belle on the Roe (I mean, I actually already have).

Regardless, there have been several times in the past few weeks where I’ve wanted to reach for this kimono only to remember I already sent it back to Le Tote. What to do??

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Boy with a Coin [SIA Post]

Style Imitating Art

Have you heard of synesthesia? I know that several people in my life have it in one mild form or another so I’ve learned a bit about it in the past. Basically, it comes down to people with synesthesia make sensory connections in unique ways. In the case of this week’s Style Imitating Art choice by Salazar, the artist, Melissa McCracken, sees colors when she hears music. She uses that to her advantage and creates beautiful art based on songs.

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This one is based on Iron and Wine’s “Boy with a Coin“.

So, in our version of synesthesia, what does this painting make you feel? What clothes or outfits does it bring up in your mind?

Create your outfit and snap a photo and send it to Salazar at 14shadesofgreyblog@gmail.com by Monday, August 14th so you can be included in the round-up! 

Many of my outfits recently have been neutral colors so I’m looking forward to breaking out some pinks and blues! How about you?

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A Blink of a Lens Round-Up [SIA Post]

Style Imitating Art

I’m so excited about this week’s Style Imitating Art round-up because all the participants knocked it out of the park! So, let’s get to it. As a reminder, we’re using a photo taken by a friend of mine.

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First we have Kezzie who read my mind! I ALMOST wrote in the post that if you had something cloud printed you should wear it. And then she did!

SIA Spring in Chicago

Next we have Jen who took her pictures almost immediately after I shared this week’s choice, too. As always, she paid attention not only to the details in her outfit but also in how she took the photos, having Sam take one from a low angle to mimic the photo’s angle.

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Salazar told me she didn’t have anything purple to wear, but I think her floral tee is right on point!

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Then we have Leslie who not only wore a flowered dress but also found some flowers with which to pose.

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Xat chose a skirt with a grid pattern that reminded her of the buildings in the photo. But, she didn’t forget the pink! She included it in her flowers, too. As an aside, this is totally an outfit I would have worn to my previous job.

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Finally we have my outfit. Don’t forget my Chicago area friends, you’re invited to a party where you can see this dress in person!

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Thank you everyone for participating and, as always, stay tuned for next week’s Style Imitating Art choice!

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In the Blink of a Lens [SIA Post]

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer · Style Imitating Art

I haven’t been doing a lot of shopping online a lot lately but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been adding new things to my closet. Nope. I actually recently added this super comfortable dress to my wardrobe rotation. It’s called a “Carly” style from LuLaRoe. As I’ve mentioned before, my friend Annabelle has her own LuLaRoe business in Chicago and I help her out with a lot of things.

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This also means I’m around the clothes A LOT. At first I wasn’t a fan of this style of dress because I felt it was too big on me. But, it’s SO comfortable. So, when she got this one in and it happened to be in one of my favorite colors and a fun pattern, well, I wore it around the shop for an evening and decided it had to be mine.

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similar necklace | dress c/o Belle on the Roe | same sandals

It also works perfectly for this week’s Style Imitating Art choice (by me!) what with the colors matching the flowers and the pattern mimicking the lines of the buildings in the background.

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I know she currently has this same dress in stock in a “creamsicle” color and if you’re in Chicago you can try it on at her official in-person business launch party on Saturday, August 5th from 5-10pm at 1555 W Diversey Ave.

We took these outfit photos while we were hosting a pop-up shop in the south suburbs this past Saturday. I actually got to see one of the places Annabelle works as part of her day job! She does behavioral services for an organization that provides services to adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities and we were hosting a fundraiser for the organization. Annabelle donates part of her proceeds to the organization where she works. I’m actually posing on the grounds of one of their group homes.

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When  I first wore this dress Jason commented that it wasn’t my usual style. That’s true. It’s not quite as fitted or tailored as much of my other clothing. But, hey, when it’s hot or you just want to be comfortable, sometimes it’s nice to break out of your usual rut. Especially when you can still be cute.

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A Blink of a Lens [SIA Post]

Style Imitating Art

Last week’s Style Imitating Art challenge gave me an idea for this week’s. I have a friend who is an amateur photographer who takes great photos of Chicago and when he travels. He’s even helped lead photo walks in Chicago and has been on photography trips to the southwest.

Since we used a photograph last week I was inspired to pick one of his photographs for this week.

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Photo by blinkofalens

I know tulips are out of season right now, but I didn’t want to wait to share this photo until next spring!

This photo has such vibrant colors and you could wear pink, green, blue or even gray or white. The buildings almost have stripes on them or you could wear florals.

Whatever you decide, snap a photo of your outfit and send it to looplooks@gmail.com by next Tuesday, August 1st so I can include it in the round-up!

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Fire in the Night [SIA Post]

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer · Style Imitating Art

In a case of serendipity, just before Jen sent this week’s Style Imitating Art challenge, Jason and I went to the July edition of the Full Moon Fire Jam. The week of the full moon, a group in Chicago puts on a show full of drummers and fire dancers and it’s completely free! And since this week’s Style Imitating Art choice is light in the dark, I realized the pictures Jason took at this event were perfect.

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And we can’t forget my outfit. I realized after the fact that the black dress works as a black background and my tan kimono is the light spot in my dark outfit.

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similar dress | kimono from Belle on the Roe | similar shoes 

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This is the second time I’ve been to the Full Moon Jam. There is something both relaxing and exhilarating about it. If you’re in Chicago when one of these is going on I highly recommend it. Bring some food for a picnic, bring a lawn chair or blanket, and get there early so you get a good seat.

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