Tag Archives: black boots


Sometimes you can go home again

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

Over the weekend Jason and I went back to our hometown so that he could work on his car and I could make my first pie with my mom. Salted caramel apple, if you must know. And it turned out amazing. Anyway, on Saturday night we went out to dinner and, as we walked through downtown Champaign, Illinois, we walked right past the Thai restaurant where Jason and I went when we were first dating back in high school.
pink blazer with polka dots

Blazer – The Limited (same) | Sweater – Old Navy (similar) | Necklace – Rocksbox (similar) | Pants – Old Navy (same) | Boots – Cole Haan (similar)

We started reminiscing about going on some of our first dates there, wondering if the owner would still recognize us. She used to know Jason by name since he went there so often. It’s why he took me there. In fact, it’s the first place I ever ate Thai food. Pad Thai, of course. And it’s now who I compare all other Pad Thai to. Jason and I even had our picture taken there for a newspaper article about “young love”.


I haven’t changed a bit! Except my hair color. I think this was a reddish blonde phase?


Anyway, we decided that on our way out of town on Sunday we’d stop by for lunch. We could tell from looking in the windows that NOTHING had changed. Not the seat covers. Not the decor. Not the signage. Nothing. We even saw the owner through the window!

So, we went in for lunch. And when Jason walked up to the owner she exclaimed, “JASON?” Yep. And the food was as amazing as ever. And we sat in the booth in the back of that newspaper photo. We didn’t even look at the menu. We always get the same thing, even here in Chicago. But nothing we’ve found in Chicago is as good.


So, “they” might say you can never go home again, but in this case that just isn’t true. We did go home. And it was amazing.

P.S. This might be outfit deja vu, too, for you. Because I’ve worn a variation of it before.

P.P.S Linking up with Lifestyle by Joules


Boots and Black and Bar Siena

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

A few weeks ago I finally got to try a new restaurant in my neighborhood: Bar Siena. I went with a group of friends and we enjoyed some yummy food and drinks. I knew I would be walking to and from the restaurant and I wanted to wear an outfit that was both cute and practical.

Hence, black dress and knee high boots.


Jacket – Langford Market (similar) | Dress – Nieman Marcus Outlet (similar) | Scarf – gift (similar) | Boots – DSW (similar

After I put together this outfit and wore it to dinner, my mom sent me some fun knit boot cuffs that would have gone perfectly with this! So, I foresee wearing this outfit again soon so that I can wear my new accessory.


Also, amusingly, two of my three friends I was meeting for dinner showed up wearing red jackets. I ALMOST wore my red trench to dinner instead of my denim jacket. Wouldn’t that have been amusing? Clearly I’m friends with some ladies with good fashion sense.


How you know your outfit is a winner

Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

I had a hair appointment last week to get a trim and the instant my hair dresser saw me in this outfit he said, “Your outfit is so cute!”

houndstooth-sweater-pleated-skirt-1houndstooth-sweater-pleated-skirt-4Sweater – The Limited (similar) | Skirt – The Limited (similar) | Necklace – The Limited (similar) | Boots – Cole Haan (similar) | Tights – c/o Hanes (same)  | Purse – Nine West (same)

I told him that originally I was going to pair this sweater with my smaller houndstooth print skirt but decided at the last minute that I didn’t like them together and threw this skirt on as a last resort.

houndstooth-sweater-pleated-skirt-2“Oh, no,” my hair dresser said. “This one is perfect.”

I can’t decide if his gushing over my outfit means it’s a total winner or if it’s just his job to gush. Regardless, I’ll take the compliments and put this outfit on the winner list. houndstooth-sweater-pleated-skirt-3Linking up with Fashionably Employed | More Pieces of Me | On the Daily Express


Pinterest Parallel [Vol. 1]

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter · Pinterest Parallels

Another series, you ask? Why, yes, yes it is. And what’s this one? Well, I mentioned that I was thinking about doing posts where I recreate looks from my Pinterest boards but not go shopping.

Well, I have bought a few things already in January but I’m trying my best to leave my closet alone from now on. Except I know my dad wants to take me shopping for my birthday when I visit him this weekend!

Anyway, this particular outfit is a copy of a recent one from The Closet Crush and all of the items here were purchased before 2015!

tweed-jacket-white-shirt-1Shirt – The Limited (similar) | Jacket – J Crew via eBay (similar) | Jeans – American Eagle Outfitters (same) | Boots – Cole Haan (similar) | Necklace – Express (similar)

The shirt is one of the older things in my closet as I think it’s been there since before I moved to Chicago. The boots were one of my first purchases after we moved here (so…2008?). The jacket I bought on eBay early last year and the necklace was added earlier in 2014 as well. The jeans are the newest items and those joined my closet this past fall.

tweed-jacket-white-shirt-3I don’t know why I never thought to put this jacket and this shirt together because they seem like a natural pairing. And I love that the necklace sits right in the opening of the shirt and brings out the gold thread in the jacket.

tweed-jacket-white-shirt-2Overall I felt very “me” in this outfit. I think I’m still struggling with defining my style but this is definitely a pretty good start.



The Arrow Points to Dinner

Casual Clothes · Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

For the past three years Jason and I have lived in a booming area of Chicago that is filled with awesome restaurants and new ones opening all the time. However, for most of those three years Jason was in school so we didn’t have the disposable income to go out to eat that often.

letote-arrow-blazer-2Jacket – Le Tote (same) | Jeans – The Limited (similar) | Shirt – Target (same) | Boots – Express (same)

But now that we’re both working we’re trying to take advantage of being able to try all these places so close to us. I wore this outfit to dinner on Saturday night when we went to Kaiser Tiger for sausage, bacon and beer. Seriously. That’s their motto.

letote-arrow-blazer-3I highly recommend Kaiser Tiger if you like any of those three things. I also recommend this jacket from Le Tote. It’s just structured enough to look dressy but comfortable enough to feel casual. I strangely had a tough time deciding what to wear with it, though, so in the end I went with plain white. I might try it one more time with black and white stripes, though. Just to mix it up. Or maybe a burgundy shirt instead.

letote-arrow-blazer-1Linking up with Fashionably Employed | More Pieces of Me | On the Daily Express

red-shirt-leather-pants-1 (1)

Faux Leather and Faux Suede Plus a Spa Card Giveaway

Giveaways · Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

As I mentioned yesterday, I had a busy weekend! Part of it included being part of a trivia team with fellow ChicagoNow bloggers at a fundraiser for the Asian American Journalist Association. I didn’t know the dress code but I did know I was meeting my husband for dinner so I wanted to wear something fun. Specifically I wanted to wear my faux leather pants but with the cold weather I wasn’t sure what to wear with them. Could one wear riding boots with leather pants?

red-shirt-leather-pants-1 (1)

Blazer – The Limited (similar) | Shirt – Express (same) | Pants – Vince Camuto (similar) | Boots – Express (same) | Necklace -c/o ONecklace (same)

I hope the answer is yes because I did. I think the key is that my boots are faux suede in the front which contrasts nicely with the leather.red-shirt-leather-pants-2 (1)


Anyway, in a room full of journalists from Reuters, the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, UPI and two journalism schools (to name a few) guess who won? If you said the ChicagoNow bloggers you’d be right. Yes, my team won the entire thing! Our team was so well matched in terms of knowledge and we all contributed equally. Not bad for a group of strangers!

Would you like to win something for yourself? How about a $160 gift card to a spa of your choice? Well, you’re in luck because a group of us has gotten together to give away just that!

As the holidays approach, life always seems to get a little crazy. And many of us forget to take a moment or two for ourselves. So not only as a thank you from me to you as a token of appreciation for your readership, but also as encouragement for you to give yourself a little TLC this holiday season, I’ve collaborated with several other bloggers to bring you a great giveaway for a $160 gift card to Spafinder. Among many other wellness initiatives, Spafinder offers gift cards that can be used at a network of over 70,000 spas and wellness retailers around the world. If you’re interested in taking a few moments of time for yourself, check out their network and enter the giveaway below for your chance to win the gift card!

Pink sweater with moto vest and pencil skirt

Pink Sweater Story

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

I fully admit that sometimes I put an item on my shopping wish list after seeing it on another blogger. And sometimes I hold out for a long time before I add it to my closet. One of those times was when I saw Penny Pincher Fashion put together the cutest layered outfit with a bright pink sweater. I did not own a bright pink sweater. I did own a bright pink button up but no sweater. I hemmed and hawed about whether or not I should add one. And then I decided that most of my sweaters are neutrals so it was totally worth it. Plus, there was a J. Crew Factory sale!

Pink sweater with moto vest and pencil skirtSweater – J. Crew Factory (same) | Vest – Target (similar) | Shirt – The Limited (similar) | Skirt – The Limited (similar) | Boots – Express (same

This outfit is a bit dressier than I normally wear to work but what I’m finding is that unlike many places I’ve worked NO ONE asks me why I’m so dressed up. It’s really refreshing. Still, it was funny. When I put this outfit on I wasn’t digging the skirt. Not because of the look but because of the comfort factory. A little piece of me was thinking, “Just go put on black jeans!” But, no! I will not wear jeans every day.

Not only would jeans every day make for a boring blog it would go against my belief to dress nicely so you feel better. Even if all I’m going to do is sit at my desk and move documents from an old janky template to a new one (that I created thankyouverymuch).


And because Chewie will no longer let us go take pictures in the stairwell without begging to come along, here are your gratuitous dog photobombs.pink-sweater-houndstooth-skirt-3



Sweatshirts at Work

Casual Clothes

You may remember that back in August I purchased a gray leopard print sweatshirt from Stitch Fix. In my previous job this would have probably been a weekend-only top, although it’s so comfy that I’m pretty sure I would have found a way to wear it to the office. Regardless, it’s perfect for my current job so to work it got worn.

gray-leopard-sweatshirt-1Sweatshirt – Stitch Fix (same) | Jeans – American Eagle Outfitters (same) | Boots – Express (same)

gray-leopard-sweatshirt-2I kept the outfit really simple this time around but am already envisioning pairing this sweatshirt with red pants, black jeans, or even a black pencil skirt. Although, I also think leopard can be a neutral so who knows what else I’ll end up putting with it!

Gray sweater with white jeans and black boots

Gray Pall

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall · Style Imitating Art

I had every intention of participating in this week’s Style Imitating Art challenge but man, sometimes life just gets in the way. For example, I had visions of wearing my black sweater with my faux leather pants and black booties but I couldn’t find my black sweater. So then I switched it up with this outfit, took pictures, but then didn’t have time to blog until now!

Gray sweater with white jeans and black boots

Sweater – Gap (similar) | Shirt – The Limited via Poshmark (similar) | Jeans – Adriano Goldschmeid (same) | Boots – Cole Haan (similar) | Necklace c/o fibi & clo (same in maroon

And then I had all kinds of issues with this outfit. The jeans bunched up at my knees with these boots. I feel that the boots are too pointy for what’s in style right now (although, since these are the most expensive shoes I own, I don’t think I’ll be replacing them any time soon). And then I was having troubles taking pictures because it was so sunny.

Sigh. Difficulties all around. Ah, well. I suppose if that’s the worst part of my life right now I’m doing pretty well, don’t you think?

Grey sweater with striped blouse and black boots


Sole Society Review: Maddy Riding Boots


Sole Society Maddy Riding Boots

A few weeks ago I asked for your opinions on Facebook about which riding boots I should order from Sole Society.  The almost unanimous opinion was that I should order these, the Maddy riding boots.

So, I did.

Review of Sole Society Maddy Riding Boots

Here’s what you should  know about the Maddy riding boots:

  • They are made of real leather. Since I don’t have any qualms with wearing real leather I prefer, when possible, to buy riding boots made from it because I feel that they last longer.
  • The entire back of the boot is stretchy material which is great for those of us with athletic calves
  • Based on a size 6 the calf circumference is 14”. I ordered a size 8 so the calf circumference was closer to 15.25”.
  • They come in all full and half sizes between size 5 and 10 and then only full in 10 and 11.
  • They don’t have a full inside zipper. It’s only up half the inside which I was a bit concerned about it but it didn’t end up making a difference.

When I first put them on I thought they were too bulky around the ankle. But that was on bare legs. When I put them on with my jeans they looked much better. And considering I mostly wear my riding boots with jeans I think they’d be fine. Plus, it can be difficult for me with my 15” calves to find riding boots that fit comfortably over my jeans and these did that just fine.

Sole Society Review Maddy Riding Boots

I also tend to shy away from boots that have straps around the ankle but with these the strap sits lower on the front of the shoe making it less likely to cut off your leg, visually, which I liked.

However, I ended up returning them. Why? Because the size 8 I ordered was too big in the heel.

I’m in a weird gray zone between a size 7.5 and an 8. The front of my foot is an 8 but my heel is a 7.5.

Sole Society doesn’t currently do exchanges so I’ll just have to hope that after they process my return they still have a 7.5 in stock that I can order to try. Otherwise I’ll be using my store credit to try another pair.

Yeah, that’s the other thing about Sole Society. They charged a $7.95 restocking fee if you ask for a refund instead of store credit.

Still, I really liked the elastic back and the leather was nice and smooth. I do worry that they might start to get slouchy around the ankles but hopefully the elastic on the back would help with that.

So, there’s my review of the Sole Society Maddy Riding Boots. Hopefully the 7.5 will work better for me because otherwise I really liked them!