Tag Archives: black blazer

Chicago Boutique Week with Comfort Me Boutique: Making the Most of Your Closet Staples Part 3

•• Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring - Shopping

Tuesday I introduced you to Comfort Me Boutique and showed you the original items from my own closet I was using as a base with which to incorporate the beautiful items Comfort Me carries.  Yesterday I gave you three more outfit options including some trendy silky jogger pants.

Today we’re going back to skirts and dresses starting with this super comfortable knit skirt.

Comfort Me Boutique knit skirt, black blazer

Comfort Me Boutique knit skirt, black blazer

Squasht by Les skirt – made in Chicago | Snug tank – made in USA |Jojo & Sofia necklace – made in Chicago |Ali’s Collection agate cuff – made in Chicago

This jersey knit skirt has a pull-on waist and pockets! I know you like pockets. This skirt could also easily transition from work to play just by ditching the blazer and adding sandals.

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Finally! The dress that came home with me. I wasn’t even originally going to put it on but something about it just called out to me. Maybe it was the bows.

Comfort Me Boutique Bow Dress

Comfort Me Boutique Bow Dress

Comfort Me Boutique Bow Dress with black blazer

Eva Franco bow dress – made in LA | Elise M belt | Tania Rodamilans agate necklace – made in Chicago

I don’t own anything like this and admittedly it was more money that I normally spend (even with 30% off) but it’s SUPER well made and just so adorable. See, that’s what you get when you boutique shop. They hand pick the cute items and even though you may pay a bit more for them, if you find a good boutique you know they also pick for quality.

Plus, as you can see, Comfort Me does a great job sourcing their items from the United States or even Chicago locally when possible.

So, there you have it! My first Chicago Boutique Week (a term I made up, by the way) is over! I hope you got some new ideas on how to break up those closet staples and mix them with new pieces. Or, at the very least, you found out about a new place to shop when you’re looking for something unique for you, a friend, or your home.

Comfort Me Boutique Chicago Outfits

And don’t forget if you see something you just HAVE to know more about, you can always email Comfort Me Boutique directly at info@comfortmeboutique.com, Tweet at them at @ShopComfortMe or check out their online store.

Note: Comfort Me Boutique did not ask me to write these posts. I’m doing it because I thought the store was adorable, Alyssa was super nice, and their clothes are unique and excellent quality. The only compensation I got was 30% off my purchase.

  

Boutique Week with Comfort Me Boutique: Making the Most of Your Closet Staples Part 2

•• Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring - Shopping

Yesterday I introduced you to Comfort Me Boutique and showed you the original items from my own closet I was using as a base with which to incorporate the beautiful items Comfort Me carries.

Today I have three more outfits for you, two of which include the incredibly on-trend silky jogger pants.

Now, I fully admit that I can’t decide how I feel about this trend. Can they be worn to work? Are they too casual? Do they look ridiculous? Am I channeling MC Hammer? So many questions.

Still, I went out of my comfort zone and tried on two pairs. And you know what? I really liked one of them.

Comfort Me Boutique, printed silky jogger pants, black blazer

Pants (available for purchase online) | Only Hearts top – made in LA | Snug Tank – made in USA | Stylish Girl by Laila necklace – made in Chicago

Comfort Me Boutique, olive green silky jogger pants, black shirt

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Madeline pants | Only Hearts top – made in LA |Snug Tank – made in USA |Ali’s Collection necklace – made in Chicago

The colorful printed pants? I actually really, really like them! In fact, I could totally see myself wearing them to work with the blazer and the again on a weekend with a black tank top and sandals. Throw on a denim jacket if the evening is cool and you’d be good to go.

Also, I know it’s just a basic piece, but the tank top I have on underneath the sheer shirt was super soft and SUPER long. If you have a long torso and can’t find camisoles that don’t pull out of your pants every time you bend over, these are for you!

comfort_me_boutique_artArt by Michael Crissie

Now, if the silky jogger pants are too out there for you here’s a calmer outfit that I love.

Comfort Me Boutique Burgundy Shirt and silk scarf

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Rho by Cortney Rhodes handpainted silk scarf – made in Chicago (I’ve actually met this artist!)

The burgundy top I have on is also from Comfort Me but it was the last one on the sale rack so it might be gone by now. Maybe I should have snatched up these two items as well because I LOVE the way they take my plain black suit from drab to fab.

One more day of Chicago Boutique Week left! Tomorrow I’ve got the world’s most comfortable skirt and the world’s cutest dress.  So I hope you’ll come back for more of Comfort Me Boutique. And if you see something you just HAVE to know more about, you can always email Comfort Me Boutique directly at info@comfortmeboutique.com or check out their online store.

Note: Comfort Me Boutique did not ask me to write these posts. I’m doing it because I thought the store was adorable, Alyssa was super nice, and their clothes are unique and excellent quality. The only compensation I got was 30% off my purchase.

  

Chicago Boutique Week with Comfort Me Boutique: Making the Most of Your Closet Staples Part 1

•• Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring - Shopping

Welcome to my first ever Chicago Boutique Week! What is Chicago Boutique Week? It’s where I show you how to take closet staples and mix them up with adorable pieces from local Chicago boutiques. For the next three days I’m going to be featuring a wonderful Chicago boutique called Comfort Me.

Comfort Me Boutique’s main location is 701 W Armitage in the Lincoln Park neighborhood and they have an additional “pop-up shop” in Hyde Park at 5241 S. Harper Avenue. Comfort Me Boutique is owned by Alyssa and her mother and together they aim to have you experience the true meaning of retail therapy. Not only do they carry clothing, but they carry candles, housewares, jewelry, lotion, socks, and art. Many of it is made by local Chicago artists as well!

Comfort Me Boutique in Chicago

But I was there for the clothes and the jewelry!  I showed up in my most basic of closet staples: a black suit, white collared shirt, and black pumps. I also brought a pair of nude pumps, just in case.

Black suit with white collared shirt

I quickly got work finding items that I could mix and match with these  pieces.

First up, this adorable and comfortable navy knit dress.

Comfort Me Boutique Navy Dress with white collared shirt

Comfort Me Boutique Navy Dress with white collared shirt

Dress – Made in LA, eco-friendly line, made of organic cotton  | Necklace – Tania Rodamilans quartz and pearl necklace,  made in Chicago

This dress would be adorable on its own with sandals and simple jewelry as a fun summer outfit or you can do like I did and put a collared shirt underneath and pair it with heels and wear it to work!

Cards at Comfort Me Boutique Chicago

Next up, I found another dress that could also be worn to work using the layered collared shirt.

Comfort Me Boutique Black Dress with white collared shirt

Comfort Me Boutique Black Dress with white collared shirt and hot pink earrings

Yumi black dress | Veronica Riley Martens tagua nut earrings (made in Chicago)

And that’s just the first two outfits! I’ve got even more on the way including some on-trend printed jogger pants, a super comfortable skirt, a beautiful locally made scarf, and the dress that ended up coming home with me! I hope you’ll come back tomorrow for more of Comfort Me Boutique. And if you see something you just HAVE to know more about, you can always email Comfort Me Boutique directly at info@comfortmeboutique.com or check out their online store.

Note: Comfort Me Boutique did not ask me to write these posts. I’m doing it because I thought the store was adorable, Alyssa was super nice, and their clothes are unique and excellent quality. The only compensation I got was 30% off my purchase.

  

A Black Blazer Makes Everything Better

•• Casual Friday - Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

Black blazer, gray sweater, jeans on Casual Friday

Blazer – The Limited (same) | Sweater – Gap (similar) | Scarf – DSW (similar) | Jeans – Express (similar) | Boots – Macy’s (similar)

I know, I know, it’s so cliché. Wear a blazer with jeans on casual Friday so that you still look professional. But it’s cliché for a reason. A black blazer really does make any outfit better! See?

One outfit, two ways for Casual Friday and for the weekend

There’s nothing wrong with the outfit on the right, it’s just more something I would wear on the weekend. But toss on the blazer and the outfit is perfect for work! You know where else a black blazer works well? On your Valentine’s Day date night!

Black blazer and black tank top for a Valentine's Day outfit

I have on a black tank top under my sweater, so just strip off the sweater, add a fun necklace instead of a scarf and you’re ready to meet your Valentine for drinks and dinner.

By the way, if you missed yesterday’s office-to-date-night outfit swap I posted it on the Loop Looks Facebook page.

And with that, I’m off to spend my Friday counting down the hours until my Valentine and I can sit on the couch, eat Thai food, and watch the last two episodes of season two of Fringe. Romantic, huh?

  

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.

  

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.

  

Black Denim Leopard

•• Casual Friday - Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

Casual Friday Outfit, Chicago fall, chambray, leopard print, jeans, black blazer

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Blazer – The Limited (similar) | Shirt – Target (similar) | Jeans – The Limited (similar) | Scarf – NYC street vendor (similar) | Shoes – Lucky Brand (similar) | Watch – Groopdealz (similar)

Oh, I know. Let’s not go too crazy and wear a black blazer in a different outfit! But, hey, admittedly, yesterday’s outfit didn’t leave me a lot to work with for the Take One, Pass It On Challenge. I mean, there’s only so many things you can do with black pants, a black blazer, and black heels, right? However, I love the idea of wearing a blazer for a casual outfit. In fact, I do it WAY too often. But, really, a blazer can take a weekend outfit and turn it into a Casual Friday outfit with minimal effort. I know, it’s not ground breaking. But not every outfit or tip can be.

Besides, I decided that in honor of Just Another Smith’s leopard challenge this week I was going to try and wear ALL my leopard print accessories. Scarf? Check. Watch? Check. Shoes? Check. Admittedly I couldn’t figure out how to wear both my leopard flats AND my leopard heels so I went with flats. I mean, it is Friday after all.

And speaking of Friday, here’s the round-up of the outfits for the second week of the Take One, Pass It On Challenge!

Take One, Pass It On Challenge Week 2

P.S. This door I’m standing in front of? It used to be red. I miss my red door.

Casual Friday Outfit, Chicago fall, chambray, leopard print, jeans, black blazerAlso linking up with AJ Wears Clothes

  

An Unexpected Suit Find

•• Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

 

Black suit with snakeskin print chiffon shirt, fall, Chicago style

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Blazer –The Limited (similar) | Pants – Ann Taylor (similar) | Shirt – Kohl’s (similar) | Necklace – Overstock.com (similar) | Shoes – Bandolino via Macy’s (same)

As I mentioned on Tuesday, I actually wore this snakeskin print shirt and a black suit to work instead of this same shirt and my pink pencil skirt. This black suit outfit may seem incredibly simple but the fact that I’m wearing a printed chiffon shirt instead of regular cotton button up makes it feel less like a traditional suit and a little more fun while still being professional and conservative. Also, believe it or not, but the pants and the jacket were not bought together. Nope. The pants came from Ann Taylor last year and the blazer is from The Limited several years ago. Amazingly, they work together quite well which isn’t always the case with black items.

snakeskin_print_two_ways

 

And, actually, this top works quite well with the black suit which makes me excited. I honestly didn’t have a lot of ideas on how to wear it when I got it but putting it with a suit turned out to be a great find. So, the lesson in this? Don’t be afraid to branch out and try different tops the next time you have to wear a suit. You’ll be surprised at what you find!

Chicago style blog, West Loop, Mary Barthelme Park

Linking up with Vodka Infused Lemonade

  

Lavender at the Zoo

•• Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

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Blazer – The Limited  (similar under $35) | Shell – The Limited (similar under $30) | Skirt – The Limited (similar under $25) | Bracelet – House of Gemmes | Shoes – Tahari via TJ Maxx (similar)

Back in March I promised you photos of the zoo.  Well, today I finally had a chance to take some outfit photos while at an event at the Lincoln Park Zoo. And what a day to take photos! I’m so glad I waited because, wow. This weather is what makes people love living in Chicago.

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Today was the perfect day to wear this ruffled lavender shell I’ve had hanging in my closet for over a year but have only worn a handful of times. I was inspired to wear it because of the link-up going on at Literately Stylish where we’re encouraged to wear Pantone’s colors of the year. Today’s submission is “African violet.”  I typically think of African violets as a deeper purple but apparently this year it means a lighter, paler shade of purple.

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I was at a professional event so I paired it with my black blazer and my houndstooth printed pencil skirt for a bit of fun without looking too stodgy.  At least, I hope that’s how I looked!

I also have a bit of “African violet” on one of my toes post-marathon. For those of you who are not runners, the occasional “black” (technically bruised) toenail is a badge of honor.  I wore my open-toed shoes proudly sans toenail polish and owned that bruised nail.

And, yes, these photos were taken at the zoo. It’s really more of a park with a zoo in the middle and on a gorgeous day like today I wanted to stay there all day. The zoo’s free, by the way, so if you’re ever in Chicago I highly suggest you stop by.

  

Packing for Phoenix

•• Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

As I mentioned on Friday, I’m in Phoenix this week for a conference for work. I’m both attending and presenting at the conference and let’s just say I’m mostly excited to go somewhere WARM and SUNNY! Chicago weather is really getting me down. It snowed on Saturday, people. Snowed. Anyway, Phoenix’s 80 degree weather will be a treat but packing for it was a bit challenging.

Sunday

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For my travel day I decided on a striped tank top under a sheer white three-quarter length sleeve top with jeans, my black blazer, and my leopard flats. I plan to wear the blazer throughout the week and this way it doesn’t get all wrinkled in my suitcase. Plus, you should really wear your bulkiest item when traveling and in this case that’s my blazer. When I get to Phoenix I can ditch the blazer and the sheer top if necessary and revel in the fact that it’s warm enough to wear a tank top!

 

Monday

 

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For Tuesday I’m busting out my green cropped pants, a simple striped t-shirt, the black blazer again, and the leopard flats. This is my day to attend conference sessions and the dress code at this conference ranges from jeans to suits so I figured I could get away with some fun colors and pattern mixing.  The blazer is because I’m sure the conference rooms will be freezing but the short sleeves are for outside.

 

Tuesday

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Tuesday we give our presentation so I dressed it up with my black and white polka dot sheath dress and my black blazer and open-toed black patent heels. And some jewelry, of course.

 

Tuesday Night

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Tuesday night is the customer/attendee appreciation party which I’ve been told is a pretty crazy event. This year it’s at a Western-themed locale so I decided to bust out the gingham and pair it with white jeans and a white tank top. And nude heels because I don’t own cowboy boots.

Wednesday

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On Wednesday we fly back to Chicago.  And since it will probably be in the 40s when we land, I’m adding a scarf to my black, white and leopard outfit.  Plus, this is classy enough for a casual conference attendee look if I choose to attend any last day sessions.

Other items I packed but didn’t photograph? A black cardigan, white shorts, a swimsuit and a swimsuit cover-up, one running outfit, running shoes, some other jewelry,  and, of course, pajamas and underwear. Basically, everything except the dress can be mixed and matched with the other items I brought, too, so if I need to make a quick switcheroo for any reason, it should be simple enough.

And if it wasn’t for that pesky liquids restriction I could have gotten away with just a carry-on! Sadly, I couldn’t find a hair mousse I liked that came in a FAA-approved size.