Office Appropriate Outfits – Winter

Blue, Black and Sequins

Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

Black blazer with silver sequin shirt and cobalt blue pants, Chicago style blogger, holiday office outfit

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Blazer – The Limited (similar) | Shirt – The Limited (similar) | Pants – LOFT (similar) | Shoes – Bandolino (same)

For anyone who thinks you shouldn’t wear sequins to work let me just tell you: When my boss walked into the office this morning and saw me wearing this she stopped in tracks and exclaimed, “CUTE shirt! Really cute! I love it! It looks amazing with the blue pants.”

Other interesting things that happened to me already today?

1. I had very first full-body mole and skin check appointment this morning. As he used the extra-long q-tip to check my scalp for moles and such all I could think was, “My hair! I haven’t taken my pictures yet today!” As if the dry air, my winter hat, and the commute hadn’t already caused it to go super flat.

2. I realized that I own black tights and black dress socks but no black knee-highs. Thank goodness there is a Walgreens on every corner (only slightly exaggerating there) so I could dash in and get some.

3. In the interest of full disclosure, this outfit is a recreation of this one that I pinned. But it follows all my rules for wearing sequins to the office and I haven’t worn this combination yet.  And since sequins totally remind me of the holidays, it works perfectly for today’s Trend Spin Link Up of Holiday Inspired outfits.

Wearing Brown with Black

Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

Tan sweater with black and white striped shirt, black pencil skirt, tights, and brown riding boots. Chicago style blogger, what to wear to work in Chicago winter

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Sweater – LOFT via Goodwill (similar) | Shirt – The Limited via Poshmark (similar) | Skirt – The Limited (similar) | Boots – Bandolino via 6pm.com (similar) | Necklace – c/o fibi & clo (same)

A coworker recently told me there’s no way he would wear brown and black together. Which is too bad. Because it’s totally okay now. Although, to be honest, I probably would have paired black boots with this outfit instead of of my dark brown boots if it hadn’t been for today’s Inspiration Monday photo.

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Click to see full photo

Brown, tan and black all being worn together. Cats and dogs living together! Mass hysteria! Okay, not really. But I know pairing brown and black (just like pairing navy and black) and be a bit of a dividing line with some people. Obviously I don’t mind.

Where do you fall on the brown with black issue?

The Moto Jacket That Almost Wasn’t

Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

Gray moto jacket, black dress pants, scarf

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Jacket – Ellen Tracy via Macy’s (similar) | Pants – The Limited (similar) | Necklace – The Limited (similar) | Scarf – DSW (similar) | Shoes – Nine West (similar)

When I was out shopping before Thanksgiving I saw this gray knit moto jacket on the clearance rack at Macy’s. “I don’t need it,” I told myself. “I don’t need to spend the money.” But then I found myself thinking about it for over a week and wishing I’d bought it. That’s how you know you should go back for something, right? So, I did. And it was even more on sale. Which means I got this $159 jacket for under $45.  Yep.

Of course I couldn’t wait to wear it. Which is why I was so excited that it works perfectly with this week’s Style Interpreting Art inspiration photo chosen by 14 Shades of Grey

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Click above to see the full painting and artist information

The gray color is perfect. The lines of the jacket echo the lines in the painting. And, of course, since it’s still below freezing outside (-1 when my alarm went off this morning, thank you very much) I grabbed a scarf that has the oranges and yellows of the painting as well.

Gray moto jacket, black dress pants, Chicago style blogger

This jacket is SO comfortable and I’m really glad I ended up buying it. I’m looking forward to pairing it with skirts once the weather stops being so brutal. Or, you know, wearing it with jeans. Or anything, really.

Four Simple Rules for Wearing Sequins to the Office

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall · Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring · Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter · Shopping · You Pick Wednesday

How to wear sequins to work, office style

It’s the holiday season which for many people, me included, means it’s time for all things sparkly! But, I actually love sequins all year round and I don’t think they should be relegated to just those evening and weekend holiday parties. And after wearing my sequin skirt to work yesterday and getting so many compliments that I lost count (including from the baristas at Starbucks and the security staff of my building) I think everyone should try to wear something sequined to work and get their own compliments!

There are some rules to wearing sequins to the office appropriately. Fail to follow these and you’ll look like you belong in Las Vegas and not leading a meeting.

The Four Simple Rules for Wearing Sequins to the Office

1. Stay away from black sequins

Go with silver, blush, light gold or, if it’s Christmastime, red. Black is for night clubs, not offices.

2. Wear your sequins with tailored pieces

Notice I pair mine with plain blazers, pencil skirts, turtlenecks and cardigans along with simple shoes.

3. Keep the accessories minimal

Sequins don’t need a lot of accessorizing. They’re pretty awesome all on their own.

4. Nothing too tight, short or low-cut

Save those sequin mini skirts and skin-tight shirts for Vegas, please.

Need some shopping ideas? Here are 14 of my picks that are office appropriate! Note: the black Old Navy tank comes in lots of colors. I just couldn’t get anything other than black to show up in the slideshow below.

Sequins in the Snow

Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

Black turtleneck and sequin skirt outfit

Turtleneck – The Limited (similar) | Skirt – The Limited (this year’s version) (similar in pink) | Shoes – Bandolino via Macy’s (same) | Belt – The Limited (similar) | Necklace- JF&A Show (similar)

Tonight I have a holiday dinner to attend as part of my role in a professional organization (the Association of Records Managers and Administrators, if you must know) and I was a little stuck on what to wear. I like to use the holidays as an excuse to wear all things sparkly but I thought I’d ask on Facebook and Instagram whether I should go with this sequined skirt or my black and green dress.

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The overwhelming consensus was the sequin skirt. What I failed to take into account is that apparently Chicago decided to turn into Antarctica and it’s single digit temperatures out there! So, um, I’m a bit cold. Although, a guy in the elevator this morning said, “Look at you! You’re just gonna wear a metallic dress and not care that it’s winter!” So, there’s that.

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Also, apologies for the florescent light office photos. It’s just too freaking cold to take photos outside right now!

Linking up with Trend Spin Tuesday

Brown Bear

Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

Tan sweater, brown dress pants, animal print scarf

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Sweater – Gap (similar) | Pants – The Limited (similar) | Shoes – Anne Klein (similar) | Scarf – NYC street vendor (similar) | Watch – Groopdealz (similar)

I think I’m turning into a bear. My body basically shut down this weekend and I slept a ridiculous amount. Only fitting that I would wear all browns and animal print today, huh?

Inspired by the celebrity photo that Two Birds chose for Inspiration Monday I added the scarf to keep my outfit from looking too plain.

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Original Photo

Also, I tried a pole dancing class for the first time on Saturday (details later this week on my fitness blog) and I have some EPIC bruises on the backs of my knees and on the tops of my feet. Good thing the weather is basically telling me that skirts without thick tights are a bad choice right now. I mean, I’m used to bruises from trapeze classes but they’re still not a great accessory. At least, not as great as an animal print scarf.

Finally Faux Leather

Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

Vince Camuto Faux Leather Leggings with black blazer and plaid tunic

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Blazer – The Limited (similar) | Tunic – Langford Market (similar) | Camisole – The Limited (similar) | Leggings – Vince Camuto via Macy’s (similar) | Shoes – MIA (similar) | Red bracelet – gift (similar) | Black bracelet – House of Gemmes (similar)

Do ever buy something and think “This would go great with X! If only I had X…” Yeah, that happened to me when I purchased this plaid tunic. I’d been wanting a pair of faux leather pants or leggings and when I bought this top I knew it would go perfectly with them. The only problem? I didn’t have any! I bought a pair via Poshmark but they were way too small so a few days before Thanksgiving, when I was off work, I went on the faux leather leggings hunt. I must have tried on 20 pairs.  I really wanted a legging/pant hybrid so I could wear them to work without feeling ridiculous. I finally found this pair by Vince Camuto at Macy’s for 50% off. They have belt loops, a real fly, and back pockets. And, since the back of the pants is stretchy ponte material, they are super comfy. Of course, I had to go to two different Macy’s to find them in my size but I’m lucky enough that I can do that easily in Chicago.

So, I wore them to usher at the first performance of the annual Christmas concert where I work. I also wore this same outfit on Thanksgiving but wore my red sequined shoulder cardigan instead of the blazer.

Red cardigan with plaid tunic and faux leather leggings

I’m super excited that I found these pants. I’ve always wanted leather or faux leather pants in my wardrobe for as long as I can remember (even when they weren’t “on-trend” like they are now) and I finally have some! I have lots of other ideas on how to wear them to work this winter so hopefully you guys don’t get sick of seeing them.

Another Day, Another Vest

Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

Faux fur vest, J. Crew Blackwatch Plaid shirt, black dress pants, red heels

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Vest – Express via Poshmark (similar) | Shirt – J. Crew Factory (similar) | Pants – The Limited (similar) | Shoes – Anne Klein via 6pm.com (same) | Belt – The Limited (similar) | Necklace – JF&A Show (similar) | Bag – Target (similar)

When I was getting dressed yesterday morning I grabbed this plaid shirt because I thought it would look festive with my new red heels (which are still only $25 with free shipping, by the way). Originally I planned to wear a different pair of black pants because these are actually a tad too short for these heels, but you know how it is. The dry cleaning pile just grows and grows and suddenly you’re out of pants.

Or is that just me?

Anyway, I also wasn’t originally planning to wear this vest but then I realized it would make a good comparison to the last time I wore this same vest and shirt.

Two Ways to Wear the J. Crew Blackwatch Plaid Shirt

This time I paired it solely with black and red (and a little bit of necklace bling) and left it open instead of putting the belt over it. I like that it shows off more of the shirt but still gives the outfit some texture. And, as I type this, I realize I’ve now worn a vest two days in a row.

Also, hopefully this two outfits show you that if you have the same color bottoms in both skirts and pants you can change up an outfit just by swapping pants for a skirt and changing your shoes. Easy, right?

Knit Moto Vest to the Rescue

Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

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Shirt – Macy’s (similar) | Vest – Target (same) | Skirt – The Limited (similar) | Tights – Banana Republic (similar) | Shoes – Bandolino (same) | Bracelet – House of Gemmes (similar) | Necklace – ONecklace (same)

A few weeks ago my friend Kelsey asked me what were the top 4 clothing items I felt I was missing in my closet. One of the items I listed was a knit moto jacket. I love the juxtaposition of the asymmetry and the “rock” style of the moto jacket with a pencil skirt and heels. However, it occurred to me that while a knit moto jacket could be more like a cardigan in the winter it might look kind of silly to wear one all day long. So when I found this knit moto vest at Target, well, I knew it was the solution to my dilemma.

I also had a $25 Target gift card and this vest is on clearance so, well, duh. It adds a little extra something to the otherwise simple blouse and  skirt combo that is a staple of offices pretty much everywhere. Sometimes it’s the simple extra item that makes an outfit more visually interesting and keeps you from falling into that outfit rut where getting dressed is painful.

Oh, and yes, I’m wearing my hair straight. At this shorter length I’ve decided it looks better if I straighten it. Not as hat-friendly as my curly hair but I feel better about it so here we are.

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Real Snow and Faux Leather

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall · Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

Cream tweed jacket, faux leather skater skirt from The Limited, winter in Chicago

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Jacket – Forever 21 (similar) | Skirt – The Limited (same) | Camisole – The Limited (similar) | Necklace – The Limited (similar) | Shoes – Anne Klein (similar) | Tights – Target (similar)

This faux leather skirt has been hanging in my closet waiting to be worn since I bought it in October and I was going to wear it today no matter what. Even though when I took these pictures it was in the middle of snowing. Didn’t matter. I figure if Katie can do it, so can I.

I wore the same jacket as yesterday and wanted to wear it all the way buttoned up but the hook and eye closures just weren’t staying closed! So instead you get a flash of brown from the camisole I have on under the jacket.

I ended up really liking this outfit and I think the all neutral palate of cream, brown and tan tones down the fact that this skirt is both faux leather and a tiny bit shorter than what I would normally wear to work. However, I’ve noticed my boss wearing shorter flared skirts recently so I’m pretty sure I’m still in the clear dress code-wise. Good thing, too, because I really want to wear this outfit again!

White tweed jacket, The Limited faux leather skirt, tights, heels, winter in Chicago