Office Appropriate Outfits – Spring

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A study in casual [SIA Post]

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring · Style Imitating Art

When I posted this week’s Style Imitating Art challenge art, my mom commented that she immediately thought of the red, black and tan plaid top that I wore to Thanksgiving one year and that I gave her for Christmas after she commented how much she liked it (no, I didn’t give her mine. I bought her one for herself!)

So, of course, because mother knows best, I went with that top for this week.

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similar cardigan | similar top | same jeans | similar booties | similar scarf

This outfit is basically the casual version of one I wore back in 2013 when I worked my more “business casual” job. I kept the top the same and kept the same color outer layer and bottoms but swapped out everything else.

I also added my coffee mug since it matched perfectly. Shout out to the local NPR affiliate! This was our thank you gift for donating over the past year.

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I’m really looking forward to warmer days when I can sit on our back deck on weekend mornings and drink coffee. I never thought I’d be someone who would say that but, hey, it’s amazing how you can change over time.

Chewie dog, however, has not changed. He still wants to be outside with us when we’re taking photos, even when it’s ridiculously cold. Although, we have had people over three times since we’ve moved (even if two of those were for brief stints) and he barely ate anyone. He really just wants everyone seated in the same room and then he can relax. Such a herding dog.

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Fashion Philanthropy

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring · Shopping

I have a friend. Her name is Annabelle. She’s one of the nicest, most interesting, hardworking people I know. I’m thrilled that I’ve gotten to know her a bit better recently since I’ve ended up behind the scenes of her latest endeavor to raise money for services and create jobs for adults with disabilities.

She recently became a LuLaRoe consultant, which, if you don’t know what that is, is a clothing line that is sold online via Facebook groups or at houses during pop-up shops. Yes, a lot of women sell it to make extra money but Annabelle is hoping to use her side business as a way to create jobs for adults with developmental disabilities. She’s even donating part of her proceeds to her “day job” employer, Garden Center Services.

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LuLaRoe dress | same jacket | similar scarf | similar shoes

Because I think this is so awesome, I’ve been helping her out when I can. And spending my own money on things like this dress. It’s called a Julia and it’s basically stretchy t-shirt material.

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The thing about LuLaRoe is that when you see a pattern and style you like, you’d better grab it. Consultants order sizes and styles but don’t get to pick patterns. Which means that what they have is always a surprise! I was helping Annabelle unbox her initial inventory shipment when I spotted this dress. Lucky me!

The best way to shop Annabelle’s inventory is either via her Facebook group or at her pop-up shop in Lincoln Park, Chicago. In fact, she’s got one coming up on March 10th from 6 to 10 PM that will coincide with another fundraiser for Garden Center Services – the growARTS art show! So, you can shop for art or you can shop for clothes and either way you’ll be helping fund Garden Center Services.

I did both at the February art show and not only came home with the dress, I also came home with some lovely art.

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Art for sale is either painted by adults in the growARTS program or is donated by their family or friends. The artists in the program also get paid a commission for each piece that sells. There is truly something for everyone, though, and I had a difficult time sticking to just this one piece.

Same thing with sticking to just one dress. I have a feeling that if I continue to help out Annabelle behind the scenes I’ll own a lot more “LuLa”.

Oh, and speaking of art, there is so much street art in our new neighborhood! All three of these photos were taken within a 5 minute walk of our house. So fun! And, yes, it’s been warm enough in Chicago to dress like this. I’m loving this weather, too!

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Favorite Outfit of May

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

I have a feeling I know what outfit you all are going to pick for May. Although, you might surprise me! But, before we get to my pick and your chance to vote, let’s do a little recap of some of what I was up to in May.

  • I worked at the Wisconsin Marathon on what might have been the windiest day ever.
  • I attended the New Leash on Life Dog Prom fundraiser.
  • I had dinner at MAD Social with a blog reader who is moving to Chicago!
  • I went to the summer kick-off party for the Randolph Street Market.
  • We had a low-key 13th wedding anniversary celebration with dinner at our local pub.
  • I watched my husband race his car and took pictures.
  • Rode my bike almost 60 miles in my hometown.
  • Helped my mom with some yard work and hilariously used almost every tool in their garage to do one job.
  • Said goodbye to my favorite personal trainer and started working with a new one.
  • Took Chewie to the dog beach for the first time this year.
  • Wrote 14 blog posts.
  • Helped finalize the Good Life Race’s gift to our charity partners.
  • And, as always, worked my day job.

I’ll get into it a little more in my goals post tomorrow, but May was a tough month for me. I’m honestly not sure why, but I’ve been feeling a little lost and aimless. Not sure what that means. Maybe it’s just the change in the seasons!

Anyway, on to happier things. Like awesome outfits! So, which one did I pick as my favorite for May?

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Yep, I went with this outfit because I actually wore it twice which is how I know it’s a winner.

Which one is the winner for you? Vote below for your favorite!

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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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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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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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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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SIA Outfit: Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring · Style Imitating Art

Last week’s Style Imitating Art choice by Salazar was a lovely 19th century painting featuring two young girls, loads of greenery, and spring flowers. I immediately knew I wanted to wear something pink. So what’s better than a pink dress?

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Dress – c/o eShakti (similar) | Cardigan – The Limited (same) | Shoes – Target (similar) | Neckace – JF&A Show (similar)

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I wore this last week on one of our random warm days. And then it got cold again. It’s that stupid time of year when summer is so close you can taste it but it’s not quite here. It makes me grumpy.

Actually, to be honest, I’m kind of grumpy right now anyway. I’m super busy at work and while I enjoy being busy, honestly, I’m not used to it!

Maybe that’s why at dinner on Saturday night I got feisty on social media with a local restaurant, Nellcote. We had 8PM reservations but when we still hadn’t been seated, our coats taken, or even offered a drink by 8:30 PM I started tweeting at them. Guess what? We ended up getting free Prosecco and a seat in the lounge while we waited. Still, while I’m impressed with their responsiveness (well, kind of. I had to tweet at them several times) I’m less than impressed that it took me being passive aggressive instead of them just having their act together. I think from now on I’ll stick to their $10 beer & pizza happy hour and avoid them on Saturday nights.

Anyway, if you want to see how other people interpreted this painting and maybe read someone less grumpy, head over to Salazar’s blog and see what we all came up with!

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