Office Appropriate Outfits – Summer

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SIA: Le Chien Noir

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer · Style Imitating Art

Remember last week when I said that this week’s Style Imitating Art challenge was going to feature Chewie? Well, I thought it would be fun to do a little comparison from 8 month old Chewie to almost 3 year old Chewie.

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Clearly he’s all ears and legs. I couldn’t quite get him to make the same face as the cat in this week’s art, though.

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I went with black and tan with a little pop of red in my accessories. And in Chewie’s collar, of course.

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I wore this outfit to lunch at a nearby restaurant that was donating proceeds to One Tail at a Time. Chewie came with us, too, and behaved himself quite well! A couple sitting across from us even commented on how well behaved he was. Hahah, don’t we have them all fooled?

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Dress – Eva Franco (similar skirt) | Shoes – Sam Edelman c/o Shopbop (same) | Hat – vendor at a neighborhood festival (similar) | similar black bracelet | similar red bracelet

Don’t forget to visit Jen’s blog to see how the other SIA participants interpreted this week’s art choice!

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Sports bra to the rescue

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

A few summers ago I bought this maxi dress at Old Navy but it’s so low cut that I always had to wear a camisole underneath it. But then I read about Jen’s idea to wear a sport bra under tops and dresses instead and I thought, “hey, I need to do that.”

However, all my sports bras were too, well, sporty. Until now.

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Dress- Old Navy (similar) | Sports bra – c/o lululemon (same) | Sandals – Sole Society (similar)

When I attended the grand opening of CycleBar back in July I got a gift certificate for a free lululemon sports bra. Now, I fully admit I’d never tried on, let alone purchased, anything from lululemon. But, I wasn’t about to turn down a free bra!

So, off to the lululemon in Oak Brook I went. I originally had my eye on this one but it was too…short? I dunno. I felt like I was going to have some under spillage. And I’m not even that well endowed! Anyway, I ended trying on this one. Turns out, it works perfectly with my maxi dress!

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I’ve even surprised people by pointing out it’s a sports bra and not part of my dress! I’m now probably only going to wear this dress with this sports bra instead of the camisole I used to wear. Hooray for sports bras with fun backs! I’m really loving this trend.

august-outfits

Favorite Outfit of August

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

Let’s take a minute and talk about summer. And August. And how I barely posted any outfits in August! Which should make choosing your favorite pretty easy, right? Anyway, I wasn’t really posting outfits because I was keeping pretty busy and when I’m busy it actually means less time for photos.

I had a lot of fun in August, though! Here’s a sampling of what I was up to.

So, of course, now we move on to the voting portion of today’s post. Only four options to pick from and, to be honest, I loved all of them. Although, I think I felt the sassiest in the black peplum top and striped skirt.

But I’m really more interested in your opinion. Which is your favorite? Vote below!

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What was your favorite outfit of August?

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P.S. I’m wearing something from Le Tote in every single one of these outfits AND I have three FREE totes to give away! If you’re interested, leave me a comment with the email address where you want me to send the invite.

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SIA: Great Wave of an Outfit

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer · Style Imitating Art

Well, look at that everyone. It’s Tuesday and it’s September! But you know what, I’m still wearing my summer clothes. Take that, fall! Okay, to be honest, I do have some scarves from Moonfish Mama that I’m dying to wear, but they’ll just have to wait a few more weeks.

In the meantime, let’s take a look at what I wore for this week’s Style Imitating ArtThe Great Wave.

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Dress – Le Tote (same) | Earrings – Le Tote (same) | Sandals – Sam Edelman c/o Shopbop (same)

I know the painting doesn’t have any bright pink in it, but something about this dress just seemed appropriate. Whether it was the pattern that echoes the wave spray, the blue that I tried to bring out more with the earrings, the ivory background, or the pleats on the front of the dress, it just worked for me.

Actually, I really liked this dress in general. It reminds me of my little black dress that I wear all the time in the summer. I’m debating keeping this one from Le Tote because it’s just so easy to wear! However, summer IS coming to an end so I don’t know how much longer I’ll be able to wear it this year.

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I have, however, already worn it twice since I’ve had it. Once to work and once to get boozy sno-cones. I’m slowly trying to get Chewie accustomed to outdoor patios so that we can take him more places in the summer. So far we’ve been to two and he’s done remarkably well! My little boy is growing up! He’ll be three next month, by the way.

Anyway, don’t forget to head over to 14 Shades of Grey to see how other people interpreted this painting!

 

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Save your favorite shoes with Shoe Drop

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was meeting to chat with one of the men who started Shoe Drop and I asked you all if you had any questions for me. I was surprised that several of you mentioned that you hadn’t even realized you could get shoes repaired! To be honest, being able to get shoes repaired is one of my favorite parts of living in a big city. I’m hard on my shoes. Because I walk at least half a mile every day as part of my commute they get scuffed, the heels get caught in sidewalk cracks and tear or gouge, and the heel tips of my high heels get worn down.

Since I’ve lived in Chicago I’ve gotten several pairs of shoes repaired but it was always a chore. Finding a place that got good reviews that was also convenient, trying to communicate with the guy behind the counter, not having any idea how much I was going to get charged, getting my shoes back with masking tape stuck inside that I couldn’t remove without leaving a sticky residue.

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The outfit I wore to visit Shoe Drop

Top – The Limited (similar) | Skirt – Le Tote (same) | Shoes – Vince Camuto (similar

Overall, while it certainly extended the life of my shoes, it wasn’t always the most pleasant experience.

Enter Shoe Drop. Started by Duncan and Brandon, two self-described shoe lovers, Shoe Drop aims to bring shoe repair into the 21st century. Shoe Drop started with 40 Shoe Drop-specific drop off locations and 110 Pressbox partner locations around Chicago. One of which is in my apartment building! I’d used Shoe Drop before and didn’t even realize it! Anyway, create an account in their app, drop off your shoes at a designated drop off location, fill out the form in the app, and you’re done! They come pick up your shoes, repair them, charge your credit card, and then return your shoes in about 5 days to where you dropped them off. And they text you when they’re ready!

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In June of this year they opened their first physical location at 353 N Clark Street where you can not only talk to a cobbler and drop off shoes for repair, you can also get them shined. I wanted to know what happens if I show up with my blush pink leather flats and Duncan told me that was no problem. They have hundreds of colors of polish or they can even shine them with a clear polish that helps hide scuff marks.

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Photo courtesy of Shoe Drop

If you do drop your shoes off with them they go to a 4000 square foot facility near the United Center where their team of cobblers work on them. Duncan said that the people in the shoe repair business in Chicago love being able to just fix shoes and not have to worry about running a business. It’s a win-win!

My other personal favorite is that they have a price list and only take credit card (and no need to tip!)

I left my favorite black heeled sandals with them when I visited. They needed new heel tips, a shine, and the heel coverings repaired. When I got them back I swear they looked better than the day I bought them! Plus, they were returned to me in a bag that I can use to drop off more shoes!

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Shoe repair might be a little pricey for some people but if you have a pair of shoes you love I say go for it. It sure beats trying to find a replacement pair!

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Photo courtesy of Shoe Drop

Shoe Drop’s goal is to open more physical locations where you can stop in for a shine or just drop off all your shoes for repair at once. In the meantime, if you’re in Chicago, check out their locations map and then head on out to bring your sad shoes back to life!

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P.S. I’m working with them to put together an event that would offer FREE (or discounted) shoe shines and repairs. Stay tuned!

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SIA: Colorful and Abstract

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer · Style Imitating Art

I fully admit that when I saw this painting in the dumpster I was drawn to it because of the bright colors and the abstract nature of it.

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Turns out, I’m drawn to that combination in some of my clothes, too! When I picked “The Door Within” for this week’s Style Imitating Art, though, I honestly didn’t even think about my watercolor print top! But when Jen mentioned it in a comment I knew it was the piece I was going to wear.

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Top – French Connection (same print in a dress) | Skirt – LOFT (similar) | Shoes – Vince Camuto (similar)

I also admit that I have not yet worn this outfit anywhere but for these photos. However, I do plan to wear it to work this week. I just had a really busy week last week and wasn’t able to get my act together to wear it and take pictures. Last Tuesday night I went on a lake cruise with the Windy City Blogger Collective and then on Thursday I participated in a Nike event where we did their version of a decathlon. I plan to post about that on Friday, if you’re interested.

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On Friday we drove down to Urbana, Illinois to visit my parents which is where these photos were taken.

Oh, and the biggest thing we did last week? On Wednesday we bought a new car! We bought a 2016 Mazda CX3 and, believe it or not, I haven’t even driven it since we’ve owned it.

So, yes, a busy week last week! This week’s a little quieter, thankfully. As much as I love doing so many awesome things I also need a few nights of sitting on my couch, you know?

Anyway, I’ll be posting the round-up of all the awesome outfits that were inspired by this week’s art choice on Wednesday. If you’re still wavering, I encourage you to put on something colorful, take a selfie, and send it to me!

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So nice I wore it twice

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

I actually wore this outfit a few weeks ago, but instead of wearing it with my gold sandals I wore it with my blush flats (seen here). Those silly flats. I keep thinking I should replace them since I bought them YEARS ago from Target and the toes are all scuffed up and I don’t know how to polish colored shoes. And then I don’t because otherwise they’re in good shape. In fact, they’re in better shape than some of my more expensive shoes.

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Top – Le Tote (same) | Jeans – AG (similar) | Shoes – Sam Edelman c/o Shopbop (same)

Actually, I think I’ll be asking that question of the Shoe Drop people on Friday. How the heck do you polish shoes that aren’t black or brown?

I also wore this top and sandals with white shorts last Thursday to get dinner and drinks during Nellcote’s pizza and a beer happy hour. Sadly, their happy hour special no longer includes just any beer on the menu. It’s now just pizza and a Modelo Especial for $10. It’s still a good deal, though. And Modelo Especial is a nice summer beer. Although, apparently not all the bartenders got the message since the guy next to us ordered the happy hour special and the bartender let him pick any beer he wanted. As someone who trains people as part of my day job I find situations like that to be an interesting case study in how different places cascade (or not) information.

Nellcote also has a doggy happy hour from 3-5pm on Saturday and Sunday that I really want to try and take Chewie to at some point. Although, as you can see from the picture below, Chewie’s idea of happy hour is being left alone to eat the flora in the planters at the park.

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Erin and the Chewie

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer · Style Imitating Art

This week’s Style Imitating Art challenge featured “Una and the Lion“, a painting full of neutral colors, a woman in a dress, and some animals. Therefore, I bring you my own version, also full of neutrals, a dress, and an animal: “Erin and the Chewie”.

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Dress – New York & Co (similar) | Vest – Old Navy (similar) | Sandals – Sam Edelman c/o Shopbop (same) |Necklace – Le Tote (same)

This outfit was also inspired by one that Jen wore and it features the vest that I swapped with Jen. And since Jen chose the art for this week, basically this entire post is just all Jen all the time.

In other news, I’m meeting with a start-up this week called Shoe Drop to learn more about their business model and services. Basically, it’s a shoe repair service where you drop off your shoes at kiosks around the city, they pick them up, fix them, and deliver them back to the kiosk for you to pick-up. Perfect if you’re busy and don’t want to hunt down a shoe repair store. If there’s anything specifically you’d like me to ask, let me know! I never used a shoe repair service until I moved to Chicago but now I’m all about it since I walk so much and my shoes take a beating.

Speaking of which, I’ve been wearing these gold sandals so much that I bought another, similar pair. The reviews for my first pair said they run a half size big but I don’t agree with that. I ordered a 7.5 in the gold ones and they feel slightly too big. I ordered a 7 in the new pair and they fit perfectly. Just something to keep in mind!

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july-outfits

Favorite Outfit of July

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

When  I put together these collages it’s always fun to see if there were any patterns to my outfits. Turns out for July the theme appears to be “dresses”. Seriously. I think I wore every dress I could get my hands on!

But what was I doing during the rest of the month whether or not I was wearing a dress?

Well, here’s a summary:

  • Trying to hit my July goals
  • Swimming a full mile in Lake Michigan
  • Going to Mahalo and Jeni’s ice cream with Emily
  • Enjoying happy hour at Formento’s with Margaret
  • Having dinner at Green Street Local
  • Working at packet pickup and as a course marshall for the Waterfall Glen Xtreme 10 Mile race
  • Volunteering at the Hemingway 8K in Oak Park
  • Riding my bike 40 miles with Live Grit
  • Buying a new dishwasher
  • Watching Jason race his car and visiting his grandmother in Indiana
  • Attending book club at Emily’s
  • Not writing as many blog posts as I would like
  • Playing Diablo II with Jason
  • Working the day job
  • Watching Slasher on Netflix (SO GOOD!)

But back to those dresses. I didn’t do nearly as many outfit posts this month so there are only five outfits to choose from when voting for your favorite. That might make it easier or harder, I’m not sure!

My favorite, though, was the outfit I put together for my Style Imitating Art challenge.

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Do you guys agree with me? Vote below!

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What was your favorite outfit of July?

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Three times as nice

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

After basically a week straight of dresses I finally got a chance to re-wear (and take photos of) this top and necklace I’ve been loving from Le Tote. Also, these jeans that I showed in my June Shopping Summary.

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Necklace – Le Tote (same) | Top- Le Tote (same) | Jeans – 3×1 c/o Shopbop (same) | Shoes – DSW (similar)

I really enjoy when I get two items from Le Tote that go together perfectly. It makes getting dressed really easy when I’m not feeling creative.

I’m also debating whether or not to keep this top. It’s super comfortable and it reminds me of a top I bought years ago and wore to death. I used to have a lot of items in my closet this color but now I barely have any. Weird, right?

Anyway, I think I’ve worn this outfit three different times and each time I wore it with different shoes. Once I wore it with my Bucketfeet sneakers. One day I wore it with a different pair of sandals. And yesterday, when I got home, I paired it with my new flat sandals to go to a meeting.  I’ve also been wearing those over and over again. I’m even thinking I might get another pair. I don’t know why I held out for so long!

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