Casual Clothes

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Motivation Level Equals Low

Casual Clothes · Casual Friday

A few weeks ago I went to Femme du Coupe’s mixology fundraiser with a friend and ended up chatting all things blogging at a late night Shake Shack run with Kit from The Kittchen.

Side note: it was my first visit to Shake Shack and I have to say it’s the closet thing I’ve found to my hometown love of Steak n Shake.

Anyway, Kit is probably my role model. She not only hustles harder than anyone I know, she’s truly genuine and wants to see people succeed. If I could only figure out how to channel a third of her…skill? Drive? Hustle?

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Jacket – Le Tote (same) | Shirt – Target (same) | Jeans – American Eagle Outfitters (same) | Shoes – Tretorn c/o Shopbop (similar

By the way, if you want to try Le Tote for free, just leave me a comment with your email addresses and you can get one free Tote to try! 

Anyway, I’ve been feeling pretty blah about a lot of things lately. Not sure if it’s the weather, some stupid stuff going on at work, or what, but my motivation is super low right now. One of the things I talked to Kit about was that my blog feels stagnant. My readership hasn’t grown in awhile (not to mention my social media following) and, while I try not to base my self-worth on that, it’s just so hard to be such a small fish in a big pond and still keep up the motivation. Especially when I’m trying to balance a full-time job, a husband, a dog, working out, volunteering, and trying to come up with photos to take and things to say.

So, friends, if you’re reading, can you leave me a comment? A tweet? Say something nice on Facebook? I just need to know I’m not putting words out into the ether for no reason. Thanks!

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looplooks.net occasionally receives vendor/ brand sponsorships for mentioning their products and services…..like these shoes. 

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What to pack for Florida in February

Casual Clothes

As I’ve probably mentioned about a hundred times, I just spent a few days in Tampa visiting my dad and running a half marathon. I only travel a few times a year and every time I stress out about what to pack. So, in order to make it simple this time, I stuck to a super simple color palate: black, white and gray.

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similar scarf | same jeggings | same leggings | same jeans | similar sneakers | same jacket | similar tees | similar tank | similar dress | same jacket | similar cardigan | same graphic tee | same shoes 

I didn’t end up wearing everything that I brought, but I was happy to have all the options! So, what did I wear?

On the plane on Friday I wore my new olive green jacket! I finally found one that I love and it was perfect.

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I added these leggings which get me compliments every time I wear them. Seriously, if you have not bought these from Old Navy yet then you are majorly missing out. Paired with a white tee, gray scarf, and sneakers and it was the perfect outfit to go from the plane to picking up my race packet to eating lunch at the cutest little Irish pub. I had my first Guinness in the form of a Nitro IPA and then followed that up with a beer flight at Tampa’s own Cigar City Brewing.

On Saturday we went to check out an art fair and eat lunch in downtown St. Petersburg. The weather all weekend was amazing and I took advantage of as much sunshine as possible.

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Sunday was the race, of course. Which I ROCKED. A six minute personal best on a great course with beautiful weather and views. After the race my dad and I spent the afternoon at the horse race track winning enough money to buy a few beers.

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Monday we relaxed at home watching the first four episodes of the newest season of the X-Files before I flew home. Monday was all about comfort. Hence my favorite shirt.

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So, as you can see, I had some leftover items but all of them would have made even more outfits. In fact, I’ll probably pack the same items the next time I have to travel to Florida in February!

 

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Outfit Fail

Casual Clothes · Casual Friday

Ever put on an outfit and then realize, after the fact, that it is just NOT working for you? Yeah, that was this one.

I tried to emulate this casual outfit that seems to be made of simple pieces: button up, sweater, scarf, jeans and flats.

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Sweater – Old Navy (similar) | Shirt – The Limited (similar) | Scarf – Kohl’s (similar) | Jeans – Old Navy (same) | Shoes – J. Crew Factory (similar)

I think, though, that is one of those cases where it really comes down to the fit of the individual pieces. Especially, in this outfit, the length of the white shirt. Mine is just too short. Maybe if I had this one it would have balanced out the squareness of the sweater.

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Or maybe if I hadn’t worn my jeggings and instead stuck to regular jeans I wouldn’t feel like a toothpick with a marshmallow on top.

Either way, I think this is an outfit that I will be trying again but with other pieces. What do you think?

 

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I wish that I could be like the cool kids

Casual Clothes

Don’t forget to vote. It’s what all the cool kids are doing. 

My husband was out of town all day Saturday so I had this grand vision: I would take my laptop to the coolest coffee shop in what is arguably the coolest neighborhood in Chicago. I would get an Instagramable coffee and doughnut and set up my laptop and work.

Hahaha, yeah. I am not that cool.

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Hat – boutique in Sausalito, CA (similar) |  Jacket – Zara (similar) | Shirt – J. Crew Factory (similar) | Jeans – American Eagle Outfitters (same) | Boots – Sam Edelman c/o Shopbop (same

The coffee shop was crazy busy. They were out of doughnuts. So, I got my coffee to go and instead went and bought running shoes and came home and worked on my couch.

On Sunday I wanted a re-do. I convinced Jason to walk to the coffee shop with me to get a doughnut AND bring the camera so we could take pictures by the awesome street art outside the place where all the cool kids hang out.

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Of course, Jason went to take the picture only to find out we’d left the camera battery at home. iPhone to the rescue!

And, sadly, they were out of doughnuts. Again.

So we went across the street to Bombobar.

But, seriously, you guys. I feel like I’m the nerdiest, least cool fashion blogger in Chicago. And, in the interest of full disclosure, sometimes I’m okay with that and other times I’m not.

And sometimes I just want a doughnut and a cup of coffee and a cool picture so I can pretend I’m cooler than I really am.

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P.S. While we’re being honest, I suppose I should say I wore this outfit two days in a row and hadn’t washed my hair when we took these photos.  Yay for weekends!

 

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Boots with the Fur

Casual Clothes · Casual Friday

I’m not really sure how it happened, but I’d made it until my late 20s before I had to buy snow boots. I mean, sure, I had them as a kid and I  had an emergency pair for shoveling or playing in the snow, but an actual pair that didn’t look like they came out of a bad 1990s film about ski school? Nope.

So several years ago I asked for and got the now-ubiquitous Sorel Joan of Arctic boots. And not to go totally hipster on you, but I definitely had these before it was cool.

Anyway, when I worked in a more traditionally corporate environment I would wear these to trudge to and from the train in the snow and then change into heels or flats when I got to the office. Now, though, it’s totally fine to wear them all day. So, I do. And here’s how:

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Sweater – J. Crew Factory (similar) | Vest – Gap (similar) | Jeans – American Eagle Outfitters (same) | Scarf – H&M via Poshmark (similar

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Sweater – H&M (similar) | Necklace – JF&A Show (similar) | Jeans – Loft (similar

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Shirt – Gap (similar) | Sweater – The Limited (similar) | Necklace – clothing swap (similar) | Earrings – gift (similar) | Jeans – American Eagle Outfitters (same)

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Vest – Nordstrom (similar) | Sweater – Loft via Goodwill (similar) | Jeans – Loft (same) | Necklace – Randolph Street Market (similar

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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!

What to wear to pick up your triathlon packet

Casual Clothes

Astute readers (and those who know me well) are probably already aware of the fact that I’m a bit of a fitness enthusiast. I’ve run marathons, half marathons, 5Ks and everything in between. I currently lift weights at the gym 3-4 times a week and I’ve been swimming and biking as well.

And why am I doing all of that? Because this amazing store called Live Grit opened up a block from my house and because of their encouragement I signed up to do two triathlons this year. And my first one was yesterday.

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I had no idea what to expect, but I will say that I did NOT expect to have to stand in the pouring rain for two hours. Yes, it rained basically from the time we got there until the time we got in the water to start swimming. It was a crazy adventure but, as you can see from my face in the photos, I was thrilled to be out there, feeling good, and completing every part.

IMG_1162But, first, before I could don my wetsuit on Sunday, I had to pick up my race packet on Saturday. And, of course, get my race number marked on my arms and legs. So, what do you wear to make sure the people with the marker have easy access? Well, I wore a dress.

Favorites - 1 of 3 (2)Jacket – Langford Market (similar) | Dress – Old Navy (same) | Sandals – TJ Maxx (similar)

Except, I fully admit that on Saturday it was SO hot that the jacket came off almost immediately after I put it on.

Favorites - 3 of 3 (2)And, yes, this dress is strapless. And, yes, I spent most of the day hiking it up because I felt self conscious.

Of course, getting our numbers written on our arms and legs ended up being all for naught because having to stand outside in the rain for two hours basically washed the numbers right off. On Saturday, Jason asked if I was going to wear something sleeveless to work today to show off my numbers. I said they’d be gone by then anyway. Clearly I was doing some kind of foreshadowing.

I ended up wearing this dress to lunch after the race, too. It actually converts to a maxi skirt so I just tossed on a tank top and this dress-as-a-skirt and stuffed my face at a local restaurant near the finish line.

I’m writing this post on Sunday night and right now I feel good. We’ll see tomorrow if I’m sore or feel beat up but at this moment I can tell you that I’m looking forward to a summer of swimming, biking, and running to get me ready for my next triathlon in August. Hopefully at that one the only thing that gets me wet is the actual swim!

Favorites - 2 of 3 (2)P.S. This month’s Third Thursday Threads theme from Bri at Work Clothes, I Suppose is denim jackets. I’ll be linking up with her when that post is live later this week.

 

 

 

 

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Casual Bling

Casual Clothes · Casual Friday

Once again, it may seem silly to be wearing a sweater when it’s practically summer but I liked this outfit so I wanted to share it with you.

It’s an interesting combination of bling (thanks to Rocksbox) and casual (thanks to my sneakers from Shopbop).

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Necklace – via Rocksbox (you can still try it free for a month with code looplooksxoxo) | Sweater – J. Crew Factory (similar) | jeans – Henry & Belle via Stitch Fix (same) | Shoes – Tretorn c/o Shopbop (same)

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Most of the people in my office don’t wear a lot of jewelry so when I wear pieces like this I tend to get comments. Good comments, though. In fact, the day I wore this one I got a compliment on it. It’s fun when people compliment my Rocksbox pieces because I can tell them how much fun it is to try out new jewelry all the time.

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Take Your Mom to Paris

Casual Clothes · Casual Friday

I’ve never been to Paris. I was supposed to go once at my old job but it ended up falling through. So, the closest I’ve come was a cooking class I took with my mom this past Mother’s Day at The Chopping Block here in Chicago.

The class was called Take Your Mom to Paris and we made frisee salad with warm bacon vinaigrette, homemade croutons, poached eggs, green beans with tomatoes, croque monsieurs, and a strawberry custard.

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 8.42.44 PM So of course I went with the most stereotypical French outfit I could think of. Black and white stripes with black jeans and red shoes.

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Top – Le Tote (same) | Jeans – American Eagle Outfitters (same) | Shoes – Mia (similar)

I left off jewelry because I knew I’d be cooking and I didn’t want to worry about getting something in the food. It was chilly and rainy on Mother’s Day, though, so I added a black cardigan and my black and white polka dot scarf.

However, my “in action” photos didn’t capture the cardigan and the scarf. Cooking makes you warm!

10464065_10204099429427808_6148758928482108718_nIt was a great way to spend Mother’s Day and I highly recommend it if you’re looking for something to do with your mom next year. Or just something fun to do with your girlfriends. Or significant other. Or, heck, go by yourself! They let you drink while you cook so you’re bound to make some new friends if you order a bottle of wine and share.

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Then and Now [Vol. 7]

Casual Clothes · Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring · Then and Now

As mentioned yesterday, I wanted to show you a casual way to wear my new wood watch from JORD. Today’s casual outfit, however, might look really familiar since it’s almost the same as what I wore the last time I was in Arizona. Except this time I swapped the black jeans for dark denim, the plain chambray for polka dots, and wore it open over a white tee. So, uh, I guess it’s not quite the same. Except for the scarf and the shoes. And the watch of course.

05_May_2015 - 1 of 10Scarf – J. Crew Factory (similar) | Chambray – Old Navy (similar) | Tee – Target (similar) | Jeans – American Eagle Outfitters (same) | Shoes – Hudson c/o Shopbop (same) | Watch c/o JORD (same)

05_May_2015 - 3 of 10Once again, I wore this outfit when it was still chilly in Chicago. Lately we’ve had warmer weather so thankfully these layers aren’t really necessary. Although, to be honest, I was finally getting the hang of layering!

05_May_2015 - 2 of 10chambray-and-plaid