Tag Archives: black pencil skirt

SIA: Textured Neutrals

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer · Style Imitating Art

Happy Monday!

I’m actually writing this post on Friday (yay for Friday) because this weekend I’m going to be busy. So, let’s pretend it’s the future and I’ll you about my weekend.

I went up to Benton Harbor, Michigan and stayed in a house with some friends and then we went to run the Michigan Wine Trail Half Marathon & Galloping Grape 5K. I stuck with the 5K distance so I could enjoy wine and pool time instead of worrying about running 13.1 miles.

But before I did all that, I wore this outfit.

Lace shirt with black pencil skirt and brown bow belt Top – Banana Republic Outlet (similar) | Skirt – The Limited (similar) | Belt – Target (same) | Shoes – DSW (similar) | Necklace – The Limited (same)

This was another instance where I put together an outfit (based on this pin, actually) and realized after the fact that it fit with the Style Interpreting Art theme since Salazar chose a painting with neutral colors for this week’s inspiration.

 “Blackboard” by Winslow Homer

Of course, since my office is freezing and I sit between two air vents. I had to wear a cardigan for most of the day.

Lace tee with black cardigan and brown accessories

Lace shirt with brown bow belt and black skirtThis outfit is a great example of how swapping out just a few pieces can create an entirely different look. The shirt and the belt are exactly the same as in this outfit with my pink skirt but adding black and brown instead of pink and pearls takes it from girly to….well, I wouldn’t say tough but definitely tougher. Also, I liked that the strappy wedge sandals took it down a notch and made it feel slightly more casual.

Linking up with Fashionably Employed More Pieces of Me | On the Daily Express

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.


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?

Style Imitating Art: Uniform Style

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall · Style Imitating Art

Target sequined shoulder cardigan, The Limited striped top, The Limited pencil skirt, Chicago style blog


Cardigan – Target (same) | Shirt – The Limited via Poshmark (similar sleeveless) | Skirt – The Limited (similar) | Tights – Target (similar) | Shoes – Bandolino via Macy’s (same) | Belt – The Limited (similar)

I swear to you I was at Target to get light bulbs and toothpaste, not a cardigan! Okay, that’s not entirely true. I always check the Target coupons and Cartwheel before I go to Target and since there was a $5 off an apparel purchase plus 15% off a sweater with Cartwheel AND I’ve been wanting to get a new red cardigan, well, I had to at least look, right?

Plus, the color and placement of the sequins on this one just go so perfectly with the Style Imitating Art piece that Jen picked for this round!

The coppery gold color reflects the uniform embellishments and the placement on the shoulders reminds me of uniform epaulettes. And of course red, black and white to echo the other major colors in the painting.

I also think it’s fitting that I took these outfit pictures outside the Art Institute of Chicago which is where Jen originally saw this painting. Nice symmetry, yes?

And, yes, I am still doing the Take One, Pass It On challenge but, as a reminder, I use Mondays as a reboot. And I already have some fun outfits planned for the rest of the week. Starting with….actually, you get to guess. Which piece from today do you think I’ll be using tomorrow?

Skipping the Friday Jeans

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

Faux leather moto jacket, black pencil skirt, silver boat shoes

Top – Banana Republic Outlet (similar) | Skirt – Banana Republic Outlet (similar) | Shoes – Nine West (similar) | Jacket – Zara (similar)

Whew! It’s Friday! Anyone else feel like this week was a million years long? Maybe it’s because last week I was so busy and this week I felt like I needed to catch up on everything? Who knows. What I do know is that I normally wear jeans on Fridays but because of the 7×7 remix I decided to take my own advice and make a more casual outfit with a pencil skirt.

I left off the jewelry and paired yesterday’s skirt with some casual flats and this jersey knit top that I wore on Wednesday.



Toss on my faux leather jacket and I’m good to go. Of course, once I’m in the office I won’t be wearing the jacket around. So that’s when I’ll swap it out for the black cardigan I wore on Monday. I think the lack of bling paired with the metallic boat shoes keeps this outfit office-appropriate while still giving a nod to the “Casual Friday” idea.

As you can see, I have two more outfits to discuss! I don’t normally post on weekends but I will this week. Stay tuned for the rest of the details on the last two outfits.

Linking up with AJ Wears Clothes Friday Favorites Remix

Something Old, Something New

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

Dress as a top, skirt over a dress, purple dress, black skirt


Dress as a shirt – The Limited (similar) | Skirt – Banana Republic Outlet (similar) | Shoes – Tahari via TJ Maxx (similar)

Remember the dress I wore on Tuesday? Yes, I’m wearing it again. Except this time I put it UNDER a pencil skirt to turn it into a shirt. Crazy, right? I’ve seen other bloggers do this from time to time but didn’t ever think about doing it myself until I started doing this 7×7 remix. And then I got to thinking: which of my dresses can also be worn under skirts? Well, since this dress is kind of fitted it actually works!



So, there you go. Dress or shirt? It’s both!

Oh, while I’m spewing all kinds of words at you this week, do you also remember when I lost my wedding ring? Well I finally got my new one! It’s the same as the old one but this one was custom made so it fits around my engagement ring even better. Oh, it also has slightly larger diamonds.


So, yeah, losing my wedding ring kind of sucked but I really like my replacement.


Also linking up with Simply Just Lovely

The Outfit Switcheroo

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

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Shirt – Ann Taylor (similar ruffles) (similar color) | Skirt – Banana Republic Outlet (similar) | Heels – Vince Camuto (same) | Necklace – NY & Co (similar)

So, I had a totally awesome outfit originally planned for today featuring my new sleeveless vest generously given to me by Holly from the fall CAbi line. Why my new sleeveless vest? Because today’s Inspiration Monday outfit featured one. I was so excited!

And then Chicago remembered it’s summer. And it’s over 80 degrees outside. And if I drove to work and just had to walk a few feet from my car to my office then pants and a sleeveless vest might be okay, But I don’t. I walk 5 minutes to the train, stand outside on the train platform, take the train, then have a 5 to 10 minute walk to my office.  Plus I need to run outdoor errands during lunch. I would be one heck of a sweaty mess if I tried that in my original outfit.

Which means that instead you get green and black as my nod to the Inspiration photo. You also get the same shoes I’ve been wearing non-stop because they are super comfy. Vince Camuto, I think you have a convert.

I Always Hated Geometry

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

Geometric print shirt, black pencil skirt, black cardigan, Vince Camuto heeled sandals

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Shirt – The Limited (similar) | Skirt – Banana Republic Outlet (similar) | Belt – The Limited (similar) | Cardigan – Nordstrom Rack (similar) | Shoes – Vince Camuto (same)


So, it’s Thursday. It’s actually the third Thursday of August. Do you know what that means? It mean’s it’s time for the Third Thursday Threads link-up at Work Clothes, I Suppose which this week is geometric prints! I admittedly wracked my brain trying to figure out if I had anything geometric and all I came up with was this shirt. I suppose I tend to gravitate towards smaller prints. Or less abstract prints? I don’t know. Regardless, I think this is the only vaguely geometric top I own.

Although, come to think of it, if I own patterned tops they’re typically polka dots or stripes. Or leopard. Funny how we tend to get in a groove, huh?

Are there any patterns that are overly represented in your closet? Any that don’t show up at all?


P.S. I honestly did always hate geometry. In fact, when I took it in high school our teacher said if we had an A in the class before the final then our final exam score wouldn’t count. I worked my butt off and got that A. So I didn’t study for the final. And got a D on the exam. Thank goodness it didn’t count! That’s the lowest grade on anything I’ve ever gotten in my life.

P.P.S.  You might also notice something different about my hair. Yep, I got it cut last night! Shortest it’s been in almost 5 years!

Sunshine on Gray and Black

Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter


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Jacket – ZARA (similar) | Turtleneck – Express (similar) | Skirt – Banana Republic Outlet (similar) | Tights – Banana Republic (similar) | Boots – Cole Haan (similar) | Bracelet – House of Gemmes (only $9.99!) | Necklace – JC Penney (similar)

Welcome to another week!  Have I got some treats for you. A shining sun, a new photo location, a new camera (!!) and two fun challenges for the day.

The first is the usual Inspiration Monday from Two Birds.  They chose a simple gray and black look for today.

Inspiration Photo Source

Of course, as comfy as this look is, I can’t very well wear it to work.  So I broke out two of my trusty wardrobe staples: my gray turtleneck and my black pencil skirt.  Dress those up with a statement necklace, some patterned tights, and heeled boots and you have a simple but sophisticated outfit for work.  Oh, and add a (faux) leather jacket and you have even more of a fun vibe.  Right?


The second challenge is the Take One and Pass It On remix from Sarah’s Real Life.  The idea is you take one item from Day 1 and wear it again in a new way on Day 2.  Then another item from Day 2 and wear it on Day 3.  And so on.  Lots of ladies have committed to doing this for the entire month of February but I decided on just one week.

So, which piece from today’s outfit do you think you’ll see tomorrow?  Leave your guess in the comments!

P.S.  If you don’t follow me on Twitter you missed out on my daring trapeze exploits from Friday night.  So, I’ll post the video below.  And when my husband tweets “6th try” he means it took him six tries to upload the video.  This was only my third time on the trapeze.

Blue Leopard

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

cobalt-blazer-black (3)

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Blazer – Forever 21 (similar) | Tank – The Limited (similar) | Skirt – Banana Republic Outlet | Belt – Target | Necklace – NY & Co (similar) | Tights – Target | Shoes – Via Spiga via Loehmann’s (similar)

Some days you just want to wear something fun, am I right?  And what could be more fun than pairing bright blue with a touch of leopard?  I actually have several outfits pinned on my Pinterest board that have cobalt and leopard but it just occurred to me to wear my cobalt blazer with my leopard belt.  Crazy, huh?

Anyway, the black top and bottom basically form  a blank canvas to show off the accessories and the blazer.  And I thought about wearing my leopard heels but, in the end, decided to go with the plain black to draw the attention up instead of down.

Don’t have a reason or don’t want to wear a black skirt?  Try this outfit with black jeans or black dress pants.  Don’t have a blue blazer?  What about a blue sweater or cardigan?  Make it your own with what you have!

P.S.  Did you find yourself lusting after a bubble necklace after yesterday’s Gift Guide post?  I’m actually giving one away over at Frills for Thrills!  There are some other great items up for grabs, too.

The Rule of Three

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

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Top – LOFT | Skirt – Banana Republic Factory Store | Scarf H&M via Poshmark | Shoes – Bandolino via Nordstrom Rack

I believe I’ve mentioned my “rule of three” when it comes to outfits before.  Basically, it comes down to the idea that you should always wear at least three things to make an outfit look put together.

Today’s outfit is a perfect example.  Here’s what I mean.


The outfit on the right is fine.  There’s nothing inherently wrong with it.  But look at how adding the scarf adds some visual interest and breaks up the pattern of the shirt.  By adding the scarf you’ve gone from college student to business professional.  With one piece!

What do you think of the rule of three?