Tag Archives: black

Hardcore Lace

•• Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

Chicago style blogger wears a pink blazer, lace shirt, and faux leather pants

Chicago style blogger, pink blazer, lace top, pearls

Blazer – H&M (similar) | Shirt – Banana Republic Outlet (similar) | Pants – Vince Camuto via Macy’s (similar) | Necklace – JF&A Show (similar) | Shoes – c/o fibi & clo (same)

Today I’m mixing up a girly top-half with a hardcore bottom half. Pink, pearls and lace combined with black faux leather? What was I thinking??

Well, I was thinking that today’s Pinterest inspiration photo is a pink blazer with a lace top. I was also thinking I had a similar outfit saved on my own Pinterest board from Ask Away Blog.

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So, since Wednesday is not a jeans day at my office I decided I’d go with the black faux leather pants. But putting heels with them just seemed too over-the-top for work. Hence the flats!

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Adding flats to these faux leather pants and toning them down with  more feminine pieces up top makes it seem less like I’m going out to a club and more like I’m going to the office. Which I am. So I think that works out.

On a separate note, I went to the BEST wine bar on Monday night! I’ve always wanted a nice wine bar that wasn’t too loud, served items other than wine, and was close to my apartment. Turns out that there is one. At least on Monday nights Paola’s Vinum on Jefferson and Van Buren is a great spot to buy a bottle of wine and just chill with your friends.

Chicago style blogger, how to wear faux leather pants to work

  

Tailoring A Pair of Pants

•• Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

Chicago style blogger, red blouse, black moto vest

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Blouse – Express (similar) | Vest – Target (similar) | Pants – The Limited | Shoes – Bandolino (same) | Necklace – NY & Co (similar)

Let me tell you a little story about these pants. I’m pretty sure you’ve never seen them on the blog before. The matching suit jacket? Yes. The pants? No. Why not?

Well, this is one of the suits I bought almost six years ago before I started my current job. And six years ago flared leg pants were still in style. I’m not talking bootcut, I’m talking FLARED. So, these were flared. And then they hung in my closet for the past few years with me debating whether or not to get rid of them.

But I HATE shopping for pants. Hate it. So I decided I’d try these on one last time before deciding if they were going in the donation pile. And they still fit. Which is when I decided I’d ask the tailoring lady at my dry cleaner if she could make them into straight legged pants. Which she said she could for the price of $26.

Chicago style blogger, flared leg to straight leg pants

Now they’re a tad too long but that’s an easy fix. Well, I mean, I’ll still be paying someone to do it since I can’t sew, but at least I don’t have to go pants shopping!

  

Gray Dress and Black Boots

•• Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

Chicago style blogger wears gray dress with black blouse and boots

Chicago style blogger wears a gray dress with a black blouse

Dress – Nordstrom Rack (similar) | Blouse – clothing swap (similar) | Boots – Cole Haan (similar)

After a beautiful weekend our winter weather seems to be back for another round. Hence the layers, tights, and boots. That’s okay, though, because in the past when I’ve worn this dress I’ve mentioned wanting to wear it with my knee high boots. And although I’ve worn it with my ankle boots this really is the first time I’ve worn it with my tall boots. And I really like it!

Anyway, speaking of the nice weather, how did I spend my weekend? Well, after running my last long run (!!) of this current half marathon training cycle I showed up at the PAWS Chicago warehouse to help sort donations. Almost four hours later I’d sorted so much dog food, cat food, toys, leashes, and beds I was amazed at how much people donate. The volunteer coordinator, though, said that as fast as the food comes in it goes back out through the pet food pantry.

At least I had some cute helpers?

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Also, when Jason was taking my pictures in this outfit he mentioned that I didn’t seem to be very excited to be having my picture taken. “Do something interesting,” he said.

Okay.

Chicago style blogger, gray dress, black boots

Linking up with Fizz & Frosting | On the Daily Express | More Pieces of Me | Basic Training Corporate Style

  

SIA: A Flamingo on the Windowpane

•• Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

Chicago style blogger, windowpane pants, black sweater

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Sweater – J. Crew Factory (similar) | Pants – LOFT via Poshmark (similar) | Shoes – Anne Klein via 6pm.com (similar) | Necklace – The Limited (similar)

Why, yes, I am in Puerto Rico. Thanks for asking. So what am I doing posting an office-ready outfit photo? Well, see, here’s what happened:

Jen chose Chicago’s famous Flamingo sculpture as her pick for this week’s Style Imitating Art. And considering this sculpture is literally at the top of the stairs when I get off the train for work I knew I couldn’t skip this week.

chicago_flamingo_sculpture

Plus, I’d just gotten these pants back from the tailor and they fit with the theme perfectly. And I know you’re thinking, how do windowpane pants go with the Flamingo sculpture?

Let me tell you: the sculpture is located in Federal Plaza. Everything in Federal Plaza is built on a grid. See those lines in the granite? They extend throughout all the buildings in the plaza. According to Wikipedia (and my friend who is a Chicago architecture docent):

The entire complex is based on a 28 ft (8.5 m) grid pattern so that seams of the granite pavers in the plaza extend into the building lobbies and up the sides to create unity among the three structures.

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Pretty neat, huh?

So, of course grid patterned pants fit perfectly with this week’s SIA choice! And I kept the rest of the outfit simple as a nod to Mies Van der Rohe, the architect who designed the plaza. And the touches of red to echo the Flamingo, of course.

I wore this outfit to work on Thursday and immediately came to the conclusion that these heels are sitting heels, not walking heels. I will be wearing this outfit again, but this time I’ll go with my trusty black heels.

Chicago style blogger, windowpane pants, black sweater

  

5 Ways to Wear Plaid Pants

•• Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

Chicago style blogger, plaid pants, camel blazer, black blouse, leopard heels

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Blazer – old (similar) | Shirt – clothing swap (similar) | Pants – The Limited (similar) | Shoes – Karen Scott via Macy’s (similar) | Necklace – J. Crew via Poshmark (similar)

Welcome to Thursday aka my last day in the office before VACATION! Yes, I’m just a wee bit excited. I was not excited, however, about this inspiration outfit. I’ll be honest, it seemed awfully similar to Tuesday’s and just kind of blah. Still, it gave me an excuse to wear another one of my new-to-me pieces that I picked up at the clothing swap a few weekends ago.

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I felt as though my closet was lacking in simple, black, work-appropriate tops so when I saw this one I grabbed it up. I’ve really been into more flow-y tops recently and this one was perfect. And as for the outfit? I suppose it has two more things going for it. One, it made me break out of my box and put these pants with black. They are a brown, black and cream plaid and yet I’ve never worn them with black. And two, it gives me an excuse to participate in Bri’s Third Thursday Threads topic of showing you how to wear something multiple ways. What is that something? These plaid pants!

what to wear with plaid pants, Chicago style blogger

Clockwise from top left: 1/2/3/4/5

Plus, a bonus sixth that didn’t make the collage!

Next week I actually have several fun posts coming up so even though I’ll be off getting a tan (after running 13.1 miles, mind you) I hope you’ll still come by to see what’s happening. There will still be outfit posts since you all clearly told me those were your favorites in the reader poll, so no worries there, either!

Linking up with H&K Style Journey | Vodka Infused Lemonade

  

Erin Go Scarf

•• Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring - Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

Chicago style blogger, green scarf, black dress, faux leather

Dress – Neiman Marcus Last Call (similar) | Turtleneck – The Limited (similar) | Scarf – gift (similar) | Booties – Liz Claiborne via DSW (similar)

Although you wouldn’t know it since the city of Chicago turned into a giant frat party on Saturday, today is actually St. Patrick’s Day. Or at least that’s what I’m told. I’m also told that if you don’t wear green on St. Patrick’s Day you get eaten by snakes. Or pinched. Or something.

Anyway, this is the outfit that H&K Style Journey and her friends chose for us to interpret for the holiday.

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It took me a long time to come up with something to wear today that was inspired by this. Our Chicago temperatures are not going to allow for bare legs or short sleeves today so this summery outfit will have to wait.

Instead I decided to layer this dress with a sweater, tights, and a scarf. I don’t think this particular dress has made it to the blog before beyond a quick snapshot from last October. And I don’t think I’ve ever worn it to work. But it layers well and the faux leather accents add some extra visual interest so I have a feeling that it might show up more often now that I can think of more ways to wear it!

Linking up with Fizz & Frosting | On the Daily Express | More Pieces of Me | Basic Training Corporate Style

  

What to Wear to Business Casual Interview

•• Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter - You Pick Wednesday

What to wear to a business casual interview

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A reader recently contacted me to ask about what she should wear to a business casual interview. She’s been out of the interviewing game for a few years so she wasn’t sure what was appropriate.

I’m pretty sure this is a question we all ask ourselves. Do I wear a suit? Is a dress okay? What about a skirt? Here are my thoughts.

1. It’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed so wear a suit if you feel comfortable in it. But don’t wear a suit just to wear a suit. Black dress pants and a fun jacket or a nice cardigan can be just as professional.

2. See if you can do some research on the company beforehand and see if you can find any images of employees online. That might give you an idea of how they dress. But if they’re wearing jeans in the photos that doesn’t mean you can wear jeans! But maybe you can go with something more fun like some beautiful cobalt blue dress pants instead of black.

3. Dresses and skirts are fine but since tights and nylons are coming back into style it’s a good idea to wear a pair. Sheer black is always a good move with a closed-toe heel.

4. V-necks are totally fine, but just be sure to wear a nice camisole underneath so you’re not flashing all the goods.

5. Keep the jewelry minimal. No jangly bracelets or huge statement necklaces. Those are fun but save them until after you get the job.

I chose the pieces above because many of them you could mix and match to suit your own personal style. Black suits are fine and dandy but, hey, don’t forget to let a little bit of your personality shine through!

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Navy and Black is Back

•• Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

J. Crew Navy Tweed Jacket with black turtleneck and black pants, Chicago style blogger

J. Crew Navy Tweed Jacket with black turtleneck and black pants, Chicago style blogger

Jacket – J. Crew via ebay (similar) | Turtleneck  – The Limited (similar) | Pants – Ann Taylor (similar) | Shoes – Bandolino (same)

First, before I get to the outfit, I want to ask you to take the Two Year Anniversary Reader Survey if you haven’t already. It would mean a lot to me! I have 25 responses so far and would love to hear more feedback.

Now, on to the outfit. I know I’ve discussed wearing navy and black together in the past. And even if you’re still not sure about it, I have to say this jacket would make you change your mind. Why? Not only did I get two compliments on it in less than 4 hours but it also has both black AND navy already in the fabric.

If that doesn’t tell you that navy and black are okay together than I don’t know what will. And if you want your own navy and blue jacket, you can still find this one on eBay.

Anyway, I tend to pair this jacket with navy or black when I wear it. I’m thinking I need to branch out soon!

Three ways to wear the J. Crew navy tweed jacket via Chicago Style Blogger Loop Looks

Linking up with Fizz & Frosting | On the Daily Express | More Pieces of Me | Basic Training Corporate Style | Two Birds

  

Black, White and Fur

•• Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

Black sweater, black and white skirt, faux fur vest, Chicago style blogger  black_sweater_faux_fur_vest_4 fibi_and_clo_flats

Vest – Express via Poshmark (similar) | Sweater – J. Crew Factory (similar) | Skirt – J. Crew Factory (similar wool; similar sequin) | Tights – Banana Republic (similar) | Necklace – Langford Market (similar) | Shoes – c/o fibi & clo (same)

I’m writing this post after a very long day so guess what? I hope you like bullet points!

1. Please take the reader survey. It’s your birthday present to Loop Looks!

2. This outfit was inspired by Stylin’ in St. Louis. Her outfit is so classy, though. All white and a faux fur vest to die for. Since my winter white wool skirt has that strip of black I paired it with my black sweater. And my (at the time) only faux fur vest.

3. Which brings me to: last night I attended a lovely gathering at a local boutique called Comfort Me hosted by Megan of Stylish and Scatterbrained. First, I got this adorable braid put in my hair by Liz of Salon Soca.

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Then I drank some wine, laughed at some hilarious greeting cards, chatted with fellow bloggers, and ended up purchasing an all black faux fur vest! You know I love my vests so of course I’m excited to wear this one soon.

4. Because I knew I’d be walking a lot today and most of my boots are currently at the shoe hospital getting their heel tips replaced, I wore these embellished black flats from fibi & clo. fibi & clo is a unique online retailer that focuses mostly on ballet flats and sandals (although they also have some fun jewelry). Their flats are designed to mold to your foot as you wear them. I have to say, they do a pretty good job. I originally ordered a size 8 but they were too big. Their website does say to size down on these shoes which apparently I ignored since I wear between a 7.5 and an 8. I re-ordered the 7s and at first they felt too tight. But after wearing them around the house they fit perfectly! And the embellishment on the toe is fun. Now I’m eying the same pair in leopard!

Black sweater, black and white skirt, faux fur vest, Chicago style blogger

Linking up with Vodka Infused Lemonade | H&K Style Journey

  

Tights Tip

•• Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

Purple dress with black tights and leopard heels for Chicago winter office style

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Dress – The Limited (similar) | Shoes – Karen Scott via Macy’s (similar) | Chandelier earrings – The Limited (similar) | Watch – Groopdealz (similar)

Let’s talk about tights. They are a necessity in the winter here in Chicago. At least, if you don’t want to spend the entire winter in pants. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with pants but, dang, sometimes you just want to wear a pretty dress and not freeze to death you know?

Finding tights that fit can be a challenge. I always buy mine a size larger than the size chart on the packaging dictates and even then I typically take scissors to the waistband and cut four vertical slits (front, back and sides) to cut down on the sausage-casing squeeze so many tights produce.

And then, I almost always match my shoes to my tights. Black tights? Black shoes. Gray tights? Gray shoes. Brown tights? You get the picture. Why? Because I think it elongates the leg and keeps the outfit more streamlined. But today I threw caution to the wind and wore my leopard prints shoes with my black tights. And actually kind of liked it.

I’ve done this once before and I didn’t like it that time. I think because the rest of the outfit was too busy for me visually. But this time with the solid purple dress and simple gold jewelry it’s much less jarring.

So, there’s my tip for the day. Match your shoes to your tights or, if you’re not going to, keep the rest of your outfit a solid color and let the shoes be the star.

 Purple dress, leopard print heels, black tights, gold jewelry, wear to work, Chicago style blogger

Linking up with Simply Just Lovely