Tag Archives: black pants

Style Up: The Easy Way to Get Dressed Every Morning

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

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Blazer – So old I don’t even remember (similar) | Turtleneck – The Limited (similar) | Pants – Ann Taylor (similar) | Shoes – Bandolino (same) | Watch – Groopdealz (similar) | Necklace – Groopdealz (similar)

Pardon me while I take a moment out of the Take One, Pass it On Challenge to tell you about something I think you’ll like.

Do you struggle with figuring out what to wear in the morning? Do you check the weather like 10 times trying to figure out if you should wear pants, tights, or a skirt? Are you stuck in a rut with your clothing? Yes, even I have these moments. Which is why when I read about The Style Up over on Thirties Two Cents I thought it was a pretty neat idea.

What is The Style Up? At its core it’s a free service that emails you a new outfit idea every night! For example, last night they emailed me this:



Photo from The Style Up website

And, as you can see, I took that as my inspiration when getting dressed this morning! Black pants, black turtleneck, camel blazer, patent leather shoes? I have all those in my closet. Why not wear them together?

The Style Up also takes your personal preferences in style and the weather conditions in your area into account.  When you create an account you get to choose your “style profile”.


Images from The Style Up

Then you get to go wild in their image archive saying whether an outfit is “Love”, “It’s Okay” or “Dislike”. If you want, you can add your own feedback as well. This, combined with you entering your basic location via entering your zip code, gives The Style Up the information they need to start sending you outfit ideas. You can give your feedback on every outfit they send you and The Style Up will “learn” more about your style.

I’ve been using it for several weeks and I’ve gotten some good ideas for future outfits. Sometimes you do have to look at an outfit and ignore how it fits on the model (they use photos from online catalogs, mostly) and just go with the idea they write in the outfit suggestions they include with every photo.

The Style Up also has a few other features but the daily outfit idea email is my favorite. And, hello, it’s free! So why wouldn’t you try it out? What do you have to lose?

Note, I was NOT compensated for or asked to write this post. I just think The Style Up is pretty cool and wanted to share it with you.

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P.S. It’s raining and gross outside. I hate taking pictures indoors. Also, I liked this pose even though I cut off my head in the picture. Which is why I’m including it anyway.

I’m Sore Olive Over

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

Olive military jacket or blazer with lace t-shirt and black dress pants

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Jacket – Old Navy via Threadflip (similar) | Shirt – Banana Republic Outlet (similar) | Pants – The Limited (similar) | Shoes – Nine West (similar)

I try as hard as possible to plan my outfits out in advance. Which is one of the reasons I love Inspiration Monday. Very little thinking involved! Olive jacket? Lace shirt? Black pants? Got it. The only thing I didn’t get was that I originally planned to wear my skinny black pants and my leather boots today. But after spending over 9 hours on my feet on Saturday and almost 12 hours on my feet on Sunday I decided that I needed flats.


Click the photo to see the full outfit

But then I felt too much like I was wearing leggings instead of pants and switched these dress pants. Which are too long to wear with flats. Wedges were the next best thing. Thankfully I sit at my desk all day at work so at least I’m off my feet. Too bad I can’t get someone to carry me during my commute.

I know, I’m whining when so many of my friends ran the Chicago Marathon yesterday and are probably sore, too. But, I’m telling you, I think I would be LESS sore if I had run instead of working the expo and then volunteering at a water station. Crazy. I mean, I slept 14 hours last night. I went to bed at 5PM and got up at 7AM. Which is why posts this week might be a bit sporadic. Still trying to catch up after a fun but busy weekend!

Also linking up with Thirties Two Cents

The Hilarity of the Half Acre Brewery Tour (Guide)

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring


Taking a quick break from this week’s 5 Days, 5 Ways challenge to share this story with you.

Last month a bunch of my Chicago Running Blogger friends and I  met up for a quick run before drinking ourselves silly at the Half Acre Brewery tour. I didn’t do a write-up on my running blog but if you’re curious, there are quite a few write-ups from my friends who didn’t fall asleep on the couch when they got home after all that beer.

The highlight (and the reason I’m writing this post) of the tour was drinking three pints of beer in about an hour after very little food.  We got a little giddy and the group decided that we loved our tour guide’s hipster outfit pictured above and wanted to recreate it.  “Host a link-up, Erin!” They said.  So here we are.



Chambray shirt – Old Navy (similar)| Lace shirt – The Limited (similar) | Pants – The Limited (similar) | Shoes – Anne Klein | Belt – The Limited (similar)| Necklaces – gift & post-race swag

Of course, I went with an office-appropriate version so it’s more preppy than hipster. But what about my blogger buddies?  Check out their interpretations below.

Polka Dot Sweater? I Hardly Know Her!

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring



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Blazer – The Limited (similar under $20) | Sweater – Old Navy (similar under $30) | Collared Shirt – TJ Maxx (similar under $30) | Pants – Ann Taylor (similar under $30) | Booties – Liz Claiborne via DSW (similar) | Necklace – Macy’s (similar under $30)

Today’s Inspiration Monday photo should have been easy.  Skinny pants and a polka dot sweater?  Polka dot sweaters have been everywhere this past season so of course I have one in my closet.

Inspiration Photo Source

 Of course, Hilary Duff’s is ADORABLE while mine required a bit of finagling.  See, mine is actually short sleeved. So in order to give it some more interest under the blazer I added the collared button-up white shirt. I like that the sweater gives is a slightly casual vibe while the button-up and the blazer make it definitely office appropriate. And I incorporated the black and gray color scheme which promptly drove my photograph-taking husband nuts. “Can’t you wear something with color? Now we need to find a colorful background!” Mission? Accomplished.

Do you own a polka dot sweater? Don’t you love the one in the inspiration photo?

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P.S. If you bought all the items linked to above (minus the shoes), your total outfit cost would be $122.41 (excluding tax and shipping). And the blazer, black pants, and collared shirt would become closet staples so you’d definitely get your money’s worth!

Inspiration Monday – The Printed Shirt

Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

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Cardigan – The Limited (similar) | Top – The Limited (similar)| Pants – The Limited (similar)| Shoes – Sole Society | Necklace – Overstock.com (similar)

This week’s Inspiration Monday photo features an adorable printed shirt with a simple pair of jeans.  Or maybe they’re black pants.  Your call.

Inspiration Photo Source

Regardless, I realized that I do not own a long-sleeved printed shirt that fit the bill.  Although The Limited has some seriously adorable ones.

the limited graphic print shirt

But, I do not need to purchase a shirt just to create an inspiration look. Nope. I have a wonderful printed shirt that I recently received for my birthday.  And although it’s a short-sleeved top, just pair with cardigan and it’s perfect for winter.

I also had this top on with my super-skinny black pants but it felt too casual for work.  So, bootcut black pants it is.  But at least my shoes have little gold studs just like the inspiration photo shoes seem to.

I feel like I say this every Monday, but you really don’t need the exact same items in a photo to be inspired to recreate it.  Use what you have!

P.S.  Please come back tomorrow!  We’ll be getting all interactive up in here and we’re celebrating someone’s first birthday!



This Is Not the Outfit You’re Looking For

Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

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Sweater – Kohl’s (similar) | Shirt – The Limited (similar) | Pants – The Limited | Shoes – Eric Michael | Bracelet – House of Gemmes

There was an entirely different outfit on the docket for today.  One involving a sequined skirt and a cardigan.  But here’s what happened.

My husband is in college getting his bachelor’s degree in chemistry.  And, as some of you may recall,  when you’re an undergraduate you have to take elective courses.  One of his courses this semester?  Digital photography for non-majors.

Now, I am super excited about him taking this course.  Why?  Because either this means I can rope him into being my photographer and using his new skills or he can teach me what he’s learned and I can apply those same skills myself.

The downside to this class?  We only have one camera.  Which means that in addition to scheduling things like who’s taking the car when and who’s using the washer and dryer when (yes, we do our own laundry) we now have to schedule who’s taking the camera when.  And he needed it this morning.  So, this outfit is actually from yesterday when I still had the camera and the chance to take a photo on my lunch break.

This outfit isn’t that different from the last time I wore this sweater but, hey, that’s how it goes when you’re trying to wear what you’ve got in your closet.  Still, swapping out the skirt and booties for pants and flats does a new outfit make!

But I still owe you a sequined skirt.

New Year, New You: Embracing the Prep

Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

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Plaid Shirt – J. Crew (similar)| Sweater – Gap (similar)| Pants – The Limited (similar) | Shoes – Bandolino (similar)| Necklace – JF&A Tradeshow (similar) | Hat – Boutique in Sausalito, CA

It’s 2013, I have a closet full of new items, and I’ve decided to embrace my preppy side.  I’ve always been studious, getting straight As, beating everyone at Trivial Pursuit, reading books the way some people eat potato chips.  Over the years my personal style has ranged from wearing all black (junior high) to wearing an assortment of items that were too big or too small (high school) to basic jeans or black pants and a plain shirt.  For the past few years, though, I’ve been working on developing my personal style into what makes me feel good at work.  And I think 2013 is the year I find it:  the year of preppy.

How do I define preppy?  Tailored, classic items.  Mixing traditional patterns but keeping the silhouette professional.  And occasionally tossing in a fun and unexpected item (zebra print heels, anyone?).

This means I’ll most likely be purging my closet of items that I don’t think are “me” anymore.  Which means all the better for you if your style differs from mine since they’ll be up for sale!

I may extend my preppiness from just my clothes and look towards learning something new.  Whether that’s playing around with my camera, learning some Photoshop skills or just experimenting with different technologies I don’t know yet.  Whatever way I choose to express my prep, I’m sure by the end of 2013 we’ll have all learned something!


Red is Just Orange Without the Yellow

Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

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Blazer – The Limited (similar) | Blouse – Express (similar) | Pants – Ann Taylor (on sale!) | Shoes – Karen Scott via Macy’s (similar)

And we’ve reached the cold and gray portion of the year.  It’s usually about this time that I just want to wear sweat pants every day.  But I can’t so these stretchy dress pants from Ann Taylor will just have to do.  These pants seem to show up on Inspiration Monday quite a bit.  I think it’s because so many of the inspiration photos from Two Birds include skinny or boyfriend jeans and these pants are my workday answer to that trend.

 Jessica Biel aka Jessica Timberlake

I really like Jessica’s outfit here.  But, alas, I don’t own a funky blazer or a fun orange blouse.  In fact, I don’t own anything orange.  I’m much more partial to red.  So partial that I’m wearing it in two layers today.

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Inspiration Monday: Stripes with the Fringe on Top

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

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Shirt – Loft (similar) | Cardigan – Target (similar) | Pants – Ann Taylor | Shoes – Karen Scott via Macy’s (similar) | Necklace – Groopdealz (similar)(similar)

Recently I’ve come to the conclusion that one of my favorite things to do is take an inspiration photo where the person is wearing jeans and figure out how to make it appropriate for an office where jeans aren’t considered every day work wear.  In the case of today’s Inspiration Monday photo I changed things up by swapping the jeans for dress pants, adding a plain cardigan instead of a fringed Bohemian style one, and ditching the boots for heels.

Inspiration Photo Source

I kept the stripes and the neutral accessories color scheme, though.  And I added my new mini bubble necklace in black as a sort of fringe.

Speaking of this necklace, Maggie introduced me to Groopdealz which is a great website that sells all sorts of jewelry, home accessories, and crafty goodness for really reasonable prices.  In fact, I’m planning on doing a giveaway with Frills for Thrills next week with an item I purchased from there!  I’ve already drooled over quite a few of the offerings but am trying to behave myself this close to the holidays.  Perhaps I should unsubscribe from their emails, huh?

But, you know, if anyone is looking for a gift for me, Groopdealz might have one or two things.  Specifically in the jewelry and scarves sections.  Not so much in the inspiration quotes or baby clothes.

P.S. Emily recently asked if leopard heels are office appropriate.  As you can see, I definitely think so.  Just wear them with black pants if you want to keep them toned down at first.

P.P.S.  Don’t forget these are the last few days to boost Loop Looks readership and win a $50 Visa gift card!  For your reference, here are the stats:

Days with more than 200 page views: 3 (we just need two more days!)

Number of Facebook fans: 66 (just 34 more!)

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Buttoned Up

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall



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Cardigan – The Limited (similar) | Scarf – NYC street vendor (similar)| Pants – The Limited | Shoes – Nine West (similar)

It’s funny how you think about cardigans.  They’re meant to be worn over something, right?  But what happens when you have a crewneck style cardigan and you button it all the way up?  It becomes more like a regular crewneck sweater!  That’s what I did with this outfit after I saw an photo on Pinterest with a woman wearing a green sweater with a leopard cardigan.  Darn, I thought.  I wish I had a green sweater.

But, wait!  I actually do!  And even if this had been more of a v-neck cardigan you could still get the same idea with the colors and patterns.

So, this is my PSA to tell you think about wearing your cardigans buttoned all the way up.  What have you got to lose?

Funny story about this photo shoot.  Molly was taking the pictures and a woman walking down the sidewalk stopped and said, “That’s my house!  Do you want me to take a picture of both of you on the steps?” (Aside: this is the Keith House)  No, thank you, we said.  Just trying to get a picture of me by my lonesome.  “Oh, so it’s not a friends thing?”  Uh, well, we’re friends but, no, we’re not taking a friends picture.  Awkward!