Let’s pretend it’s almost spring


I don’t religiously follow the runway trends and I’ve never been to a Fashion Week event of any kind, but that doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally want to incorporate something new into my wardrobe! Except, as you know, I’m trying not to buy clothes right now. So, how can I incorporate at least one hot spring fashion trend, such as lingerie, vintage or off-the-shoulder looks using items I already have?

Well, I certainly don’t plan to show up to work in my bra and underwear, but how about a lace top with a blazer as a nod to the lingerie trend? Add in a silk scarf and you’ve got two lingerie-esque fabrics in one outfit!


Looking at lists of what the upcoming spring trends are going to be, they tend to call them by different names. At least one has said the 90s are coming back, especially slip dresses. So, does that count as vintage, lingerie or just the 90s? Either way, I might not have any more slip dresses but I do have some flannel and leather which were staples of the 90s grunge scene. Or maybe I’ll just pair my faux leather moto jacket with a dress and ankle boots.


Totally should have kept this slip dress from 1994!

As for the whole off-the-shoulder or cold-shoulder trend, I don’ think I own much of anything that fits this trend. Which is why I love Le Tote! Remember the top I wore for my girl’s night out look? Yep, that one fits the bill with its ability to unzip the shoulders. All the trendiness, none of the regret of buying something you’ll only wear once or twice.


So, what do you think? Do you see yourself trying to incorporate any of the upcoming spring trends in your wardrobe? Do you already have items that will work?

Do more than just make a wish list this year: raise money for charity with #WishesDelivered


This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of UPS for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Last night I went to pick up the white vest I ordered that I mentioned in my November Shopping Summary post and our doorman hilariously acted as though he was exhausted from sorting packages. I told him that he’d better get ready because from now until January he was going to be busy with people having things delivered (like me!) and he was going to get to be good friends with our UPS person.


And speaking of UPS, they’re doing a fun campaign this year called #WishesDelivered. Every time you tweet or Instagram a wish for someone else (until December 31st) and use the hashtag #WishesDelivered in the tweet or Instagram caption they will donate $1 to one of their charity partners such as Toys for Tots Literacy Program (up to $100K). Don’t have Twitter or Instagram? You can submit your wish manually on the #WishesDelivered site.


Of course, while UPS is delivering all those material goods that we’ve ordered as gifts, it’s probably a good idea to wish for experiences as well. Or, heck, even that everyone has enough to eat for dinner this year. My office building is currently doing a huge food drive for the Chicago Food Depository so my wish is that they collect enough food to feed families for the rest of the year. Having volunteered at the food depository in the past I know what a huge operation it is and how much they depend on our help and donations to meet their goals.

So what will I be tweeting? How about “I hope the @FoodDepository meets their goals and is able to help Chicago families this year! #wishesdelivered”

How about you? What wish will you tweet to raise $1 for charity?

Or maybe you prefer Instagram. If so, you can either take a photo that portrays your wish (full bags of canned goods!) or a photo of you holding a sign that says #wishesdelivered with the hashtag and your wish in the caption.

Want to see what other people have wished for? Visit the UPS #WishesDelivered site and be sure to tell me in the comments what your wish is this year!

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9 Ways to Avoid Wearing Black


Okay, so you know I’m doing this challenge where I don’t wear black for all of January, right? It’s actually easier to avoid wearing black than I thought! In fact, I actually wear a lot of outfits that don’t have any black in them. Which means I thought I’d round up 9 other winter and office-appropriate outfits that will hopefully give you some ideas on how to avoid falling into a black hole. (Ha! I crack myself up.)

9 Ways to Avoid Wearing Black

The key? Have some colors in your closet. Gray, brown and navy are great alternative neutrals. Add some red, purple, or blues in whatever colors you love and you can mix and match all month without resorting to those black pants!

What To Wear With Plaid

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall · Uncategorized

Stitch Fix Katherine Barclay sweater with plaid pants

Gree sweater, gold polka dot shirt, leopard print watch Stitch Fix Katherine Barclay sweater with plaid pants

Sweater – Katherine Barclay via Stitch Fix (similar) | Shirt – Forever 21 (similar) | Pants – The Limited (similar) | Boots – Bandolino (similar) | Watch – Groopdealz (similar)

I know, I know, I just wore a sweater over a collared shirt last week. But the look is classic for a reason. It even got chosen as this week’s Inspiration Monday photo:

image Click photo to see full image

And in a case of getting something new and not wanting to wait to wear it, I received this sweater as part of my latest Stitch Fix order (full post to come on Wednesday) and I immediately wanted to pair it with my brown plaid pants.

Would you believe that for years I thought the only colors I could wear with these pants were brown and cream? The first time I wore them with chambray I was so happy. Now that I’ve got this green sweater I’m thinking of even more colors I can pair with them! Navy? Burgundy? Black? So many ideas!

Also, you may have noticed that I did not take something from Friday’s outfit to pass on to today. Nope. I decided that Monday’s are a reset on the Take One, Pass It On challenge for me. Cheating? Maybe. Do I care? Nope!

Stitch Fix Katherine Barclay sweater with plaid pants

An Ode to Orange


Hi! This is Kim, Erin’s not so fashionable friend. But I do know a thing or two about Photoshop and have a love for a certain color…

We have seen a lot of awesome outfit ideas from Loop Looks since Erin launched the site in February. But have you noticed one tiny little missing thing? Don’t worry if you didn’t notice it right away, it took me awhile too…

Sigh. Erin is missing the BEST color in her wardrobe. ORANGE.

You may not have picked up on it. Erin was sneaky with her “Red is Just Orange Without the Yellow” post, but I did some investigation (left a comment) and found out (via her reply) that:

I don’t know if I even look good in orange!! And unless you count my Milwaukee Marathon shirt (and my March Madness Half Marathon shirt that I’ve never worn) then I don’t own anything orange.

Whaaaaa?! This must be fixed! Immediately! Orange is a FABULOUS color! It’s bright, it brings energy to your outfit, and it doesn’t have to make you look (or feel!) like a pumpkin!

I know Erin is not sure if orange will look good on her, so I took the liberty of doing a little Photoshop magic, to show her that it does:

What if she was an orange leopard instead of a blue one (wait! aren’t leopards already orange?!)?

Maybe it could have been “orange all the things” instead of pink?

You know what would have been most unexpected? Orange pants!!!

And the original inspiration for this post… I think you could’ve swung orange, Erin!

What do you think – does Erin need some orange in her wardrobe? I think Erin would look good in a variety of orange shades, and should give the color a try!

Which color appears the least in your wardrobe? And why is that?!

Instagram and Christmas: More Alike Than You Think


For those of you who celebrate Christmas I hope you are enjoying your holiday!  I’m currently in Flagstaff, Arizona enjoying my own white Christmas (yes, it snows in the mountains of Arizona).  Which is why I’ve asked Heather of Smart and Savvy Style to fill in for me.  Today’s post is about her love for Instagram and how it can bring bloggers and blog readers together.  I thought it was an appropriate post for today since so much of the holidays are about spending time and connecting with our friends and family.  So, pour yourself another glass of eggnog and enjoy Heather’s take on using Instagram to connect with readers.   -Erin


As a blogger, I enjoy engaging my readers. After all, that’s what blogging is all about. One thing that I’ve found is that it is much easier to engage readers on nontraditional blogging media, such as Instagram. I’ve blogged before about how much I love Instagram, but I couldn’t resist the opportunity to share my love with Erin’s readers as well.

Why I love Instagram:

Sometimes, I like to take you shopping with me. I share items I am falling in love with and huge bargains that I couldn’t resist!


Seriously? Who could resist these shoes?!


Sometimes, I like to invite you into my dressing room.



I give you 2 or 3 choices and ask you which one YOU would choose! I love to hear about your favorite combinations, accessories, and colors!

Sometimes, I like to give you a front row seat to my fashion show.


I snap a photo of my finished product and share it with you. Your likes help me understand you and your style, which ultimately helps me blog for you!

Do you see why I love Instagram so much?

It’s the perfect way to interact with YOU!

– Heather

Heather is the creative behind SmartSavvyStyle. She blogs about fashion, food, life in Chicago, and everything in between. Follow her on Instagram (username: SmartSavvyStyle) for behind-the-scenes looks or like her on Facebook for smart and savvy deals and fashion news.



Five Ways to Wear Stripes: Guest Post from Jen at Librarian for Life and Style


While I’m off visiting three sets of family in three different states in 10 days, I’ve recruited my bloggy friends to keep you entertained.  First, up we have Jen.  She and I bonded because we have the same Master’s degree (Go Library Science!) and a passion for looking good at work.  I hope you enjoy everyone who is helping me out this week!

Hi there! This is Jen from Librarian for Life and Style, and I’m excited to guest post again here at Loop Looks. Erin is one of the first style bloggers I started following and helped inspire me to start my own blog earlier this year. It’s been fun discovering more about my own style, and one classic I’ve found that I return to, again and again, are stripes.

5 ways to wear stripes

Some recent ways that I’ve styled stripes include:

Stripes are so versatile and are a great foundation for pattern-mixing, whether it be with other stripes or patterns. How do you like to wear stripes?

Note from Erin: Jen was also one of the first people to submit a question for You Pick Wednesday.  Her question?  How to wear a striped jacket! 

How Keywords and Link-Ups Make a Top 2012 Post


Independent Fashion Bloggers challenged its members to create a “2012 greatest hits” post for this week’s IFB Project.  I could have looked through my archives and chosen my favorite posts from 2012 but I thought I’d let the stats do the talking and show you why using keywords and participating in link-ups gives you top posts!


Top Post of All Time

Since Loop Looks started in February 2012 I’ve published 256 posts (to date).  The post that has generated the most visits?


The very first reader-submitted You Pick Wednesday: 5 Fun Ways to Wear a Striped Blazer!  How did keywords put this post at the top?  The title and the body of the post both very clearly say “striped blazer” several times.  “Striped Blazer” is one of the most popular search terms that leads people to Loop Looks.  So, while it may seem silly and uncreative to have very literal post titles or to repeat yourself in your post this is how you get people to find your content.  And why do you write if it isn’t to share your posts with others?


Why Yoast is the Most

Have you heard of the WordPress plug-in Yoast?  No?  If not you should definitely take a look at it.  I installed the plug-in after attending a search engine optimization class (SEO) and while I only use it occasionally the first time I really put it to the test I got great results with the post that is nipping at the heals of 5 Fun Ways to Wear a Striped Blazer.


Zanaflex medication is the second most viewed post on Loop Looks.  Why?  Because I made Yoast work for me.  I made sure I followed all the suggestions regarding keywords.  I made sure to title all my  photos with keyword search terms.  And now people looking for riding boot ideas?  They end up at Loop Looks.


Link-Ups are Lovely

Finally, the third most viewed post on Loop Looks is one I did back in April as part of my very first link-up.  What’s a link-up? Typically another blogger has a theme, you do a post on that theme, and then you add your URL to the list of URLs on the original blogger’s post.  In this case, it was a “1 Piece, Three Days, Three Ways” challenge via Bramblewood Fashion.


Day 1, my green pants with a black top and zebra print scarf is the third most viewed post of 2012.  Why?  Most likely because of that link-up.  That post has been shared across at least three blogs and that link is always there for people to find on any of those three posts.  In addition, I’ve learned that the more incoming links you have to a post the more likely you are to come up in search results.  So link-ups are not only fun, they are beneficial for getting your content to the people who want to find it!

So, there you go.  Why I think keywords and link-ups are the key to making a top post, whether in 2012 or beyond.

What were your favorite Loop Looks posts of 2012? 

The Best in Summer Accessorizing


Hi y’all! I’m Jen from Librarian for Life Style, where you can follow my personal style journey through a mixture of work and casual outfits. I’m so excited to be guest posting here at Loop Looks, as I’m a regular reader and fan of Erin’s cool, classic style. So while Erin is off enjoying her vacation, I’m here today to share some ideas on fun summer accessories.

Here is my Polyvore inspiration board with accessories to beat the heat, along with some personal examples. Happy summer!

Accessorizing to beat the heat
Accessorizing to beat the heat by jjwsb — click for info about individual items

So how do you accessorize to beat the heat? With high temps and heavy humidity, you don’t want to add heavy layers or accessories that stick to your skin. My go-to accessories for summer include earrings, straw hats, and scarves:

  • Bracelets and necklaces can feel heavy (and sticky) in the heat, but earrings are always good options in summertime. Focus on lightweight, colorful earrings for maximum impact — and when your hair’s back in a braid or updo, your earrings will stand out even more!
  • Hats keep you cooler with built-in shade, and straw adds texture (and ventilation).
  • And scarves aren’t just for winter — lightweight, cotton options are great for summer, providing coverage when you walk from the hot outdoors into air-conditioned spaces. Try twisting one around your straw hat to add color when you don’t need to wrap up, or using it to keep your hair off your face and neck.

3 in 1! Sporting lightweight chandelier earrings and a colorful scarf wrapped around a floppy straw hat.

Using a scarf for a colorful ponytail

My favorite straw hat is this classic Stetson fedora. Also, two men’s ties stitched together, like this one that I made, is a fun variation on a traditional scarf or belt tied around your waist.

I love these bamboo hoops! A classic shape that’s lightweight and eye-catching.

Pulling your hair back helps highlight colorful dangly earrings.

This time, I wrapped my scarf around my bag for an extra mix of patterns.

You can see more of my summer accessorizing ideas over at Librarian for Life Style. What are your favorite accessories during the summer?

Thanks again, Erin, for inviting me over for the day!