Tag Archives: black

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Cool in the Summer

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

Okay, okay, it might not be so cool today but, hey, I wore this outfit a while back when it was one of our cooler days. However, you will never hear me complain about how hot it is! I’ve grown to love the heat. Maybe it has something to do with not running as long of distances in the summer? I don’t know.

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Shirt – clothing swap (similar) | Necklace – clothing swap (similar) | Jeans – American Eagle (same) | Shoes – DSW (similar) | Watch – c/o JORD (same)

Or maybe it’s just that I’m not cool enough for my neighborhood anymore! Seriously, you guys. When I moved to Chicago’s West Loop the street about half a mile north of me was known as “Restaurant Row” but now it seems that the entire neighborhood is getting trendier by the minute! A new restaurant opens up every week it seems. We have two new boutique hotels going up. So many new condos and apartments that are already out of my price range. It’s crazy.

Oh, and McDonald’s is moving their headquarters to a few blocks from me. Not to mention Google has their building across the street from where we board Chewie.

Sometimes I feel bad for not taking advantage of all these new places but, hey, I’m not making “new” money so I guess I’ll just have to continue to be warm and not cool.

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End of an Era

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

I got some sad news via email today. The Le Tote ambassador program is being discontinued! As an ambassador I got some nice perks just for doing what I was already doing: telling you how much I love Le Tote. I’ll still keep using Le Tote but I’ll have to rely on people using my referral link.

Anyway, speaking of Le Tote, today’s outfit features a striped blazer I got in my last Tote.

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Blazer – Le Tote (same) |  Camisole – The Limited (similar) | Jeans – American Eagle Outfitters (similar) | Shoes – J. Crew Factory (similar

I really wanted to like this blazer. It’s cotton-y and comfy and I would like a striped blazer to replace a navy and white one I consigned awhile ago. However, for some reason I just wasn’t feeling this one.

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But, again, that’s what I love about Le Tote. I got to wear this all day and then make my decision about whether or not to keep it. And, if I decide later that I want to try it again, I can do that.

So, even though I will no longer be an official Le Tote ambassador, I’m still going to use them and share about them here on the blog. And that’s how you know that something is good, right? I get no perks for telling you about it but I do anyway.

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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.
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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”.

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

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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.

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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

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Black and Navy [Pinterest Parallels Vol. 18]

Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

A few weeks ago one of my blogging buddies shared an event on Facebook. For $60 you could get hair, makeup and two hours with professional photographers in a location not that far from my apartment. I’d never paid for professional photos for my blog before, but I thought this might be fun.

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And it was! I was originally a bit stressed about what to wear because the location, Boutique Photo Loft, isn’t my normal aesthetic. However, the photographers had a plain white photo backdrop set up, too.  I decided this was a great chance to try out a black and navy outfit I’d saved on Pinterest.

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Sweater – Forever 21 (similar) | Skirt – Langford Market (similar) | Tights – Target (similar) | Scarf – Dry Goods (similar) | Booties – Liz Claiborne via DSW (similar)

I showed up to the venue after work with a suitcase full of clothes, shoes and accessories. The venue was in this old warehouse, on the third floor, behind a hidden door. I felt pretty ridiculous walking up and down the hallway over and over again trying to find it! Finally, I figured it out and went on in. After a short wait, it was time for make-up and hair. The artist asked if I wanted anything in particular and I said that I wanted my hair to have volume and my eyes to have drama. I’d say she delivered on both!

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The photographer got some great shots and was pretty good at telling me where to put my hands, where to look, and how to angle my feet. I need that kind of direction because I never really know what to do. But, I did learn I’m much better at acting playful than I am at acting serious.

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I had a fun time and would definitely do it again now that I’ve had the experience!

I have a few more photos to share of other outfits so those will be coming up in the next few weeks. Don’t want to overload you all at once 🙂

Also, in case you’re curious, I did actually wear this outfit to work. And later that week a coworker told me I should be nominated for the best dressed employee in our office. I’ll take that kind of compliment!

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SIA: A Splash of Gold

Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter · Style Imitating Art

Remember the faux leather leggings I purchased in January? In fact, my only purchase in January?

I love them. I never want to take them off. I want to wear them every day. And, by the way, they’re on sale.

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Cardigan – Nordstrom Rack | Shirt – Express (similar) | Pants – Club Monaco c/o Shopbop (same) | Boots – Express (similar) | Watch – gift (same)

I paired them with this blue top and my black faux suede boots and felt pretty sassy all day. I wasn’t in love with this cardigan and kind of wish I’d gone with a striped one, but in the end I stayed with black.

All together this outfit has the dark night sky colors the echo the painting that Salazar chose for this week’s Style Imitating Art challenge. The gold zipper on the top is a nod to the firework-eque splashes in the night sky.

Anyway, back to these leggings. When I first put them on it was like putting on a wetsuit. And if you’e never put on a wetsuit, well, let’s just say it was challenging. Thankfully they’ve stretched out just enough to make it so they go on a bit more easily. And I don’t have to wear a belt! And they don’t fall down! And I think they make my legs look nice.

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Also, I got some of my professional photos back and I’m looking forward to sharing them on the blog! In the meantime, I’ve put a few sneak peeks on my Facebook page if you want to go take a look.

Finally, happy birthday to my husband! His birthday was actually yesterday and we went out to dinner on Saturday night. We went to RPM Steak and it was lovely! Plus, it gave us an excuse to put on some nice clothes and try to take some pictures of ourselves.

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Dress – Stitch Fix (similar) | Long necklace – Le Tote (same) | Short necklace – The Limited (similar)

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How do you fix a horrible, no good, very bad day?

Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

Wine. That’s how you fix it.

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Cardigan – Le Tote (same) | Jeans – American Eagle Outfitters (similar) | Flats – J Crew Factory (similar

Ah, if only I had my parents’ wine cellar. Yes, this is in their house. Yes, I am jealous.

It’s okay, though. I finally cashed in my gift from my parents from back in August when I completed the Chicago Sprint Triathlon. They let me go to Perman’s Wine and buy some bottles. If you live in Chicago and want a nice, local wine shop I highly recommend Perman’s! Even if you don’t drink wine but want something to give as a gift or take to a dinner party, they can pick out something awesome for you. They also have some unique beers, ciders, and spirits if those are more your thing.

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I went on New Year’s Eve to get some wine to take to our neighbors’ as well as to have in the house. It’s come in handy this week when so far I’ve had some pretty crappy days. Tuesday was just a couple crappy meetings with my department VP and Wednesday, well, let’s just say that as I sit at my kitchen island writing this I can’t find my phone.

Yes, my phone is MIA. I had it on my desk at work but when I left the office to go the gym it wasn’t in my bag. I went back to my office but it wasn’t on my desk. Of course, when I can’t find something I get panicky so I might have overlooked it. Fingers crossed it’s actually on my desk when I get there in the morning.

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Otherwise, it’s a new phone for me! Although, I honestly don’t know if the stuff on my phone is backed up. So there’s that.

Anyway, as much as I’ve wanted to drink an entire bottle of wine several nights this week, I didn’t. I stuck to one or two glasses. But, if I have to deal with getting a new phone, well, I might drink an entire bottle. No regrets.

UPDATE: Phone has been located! But I might still drink a whole bottle of wine. Because that was stressful.

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Let’s Get Dressy

Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

Before we move on from holiday outfits, I have one last one to share with you. If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram you probably saw that last week I was debating which dress to wear to the Windy City Blogger Collective Holiday Party at the Hyatt Centric. Long and black with a cut-out back or red and short.

Turns out the long and black dress won by a landslide so that’s what I wore.

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Dress – Le Tote (same) | Heels – Bandolino (similar) | Purse – Kate Spade (similar)

I am wearing a necklace, but it’s tiny and delicate so you can’t see it in the photos. And of course I didn’t think to take a close-up.

Also, Chewie did not join me for the party, however. He’s not a party kind of dog.

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Oh, and in case you’re curious, it’s really difficult to get a good photo of your back when you’re trying not to freeze while taking pictures with an impatient husband and a dog who would rather be playing at the park. This is the best we could manage.

Anyway, the dress got lots of compliments as did my hair. I got it re-dyed right before the party so it looked fresh and curled. I can’t curl my own hair (seriously, I am the worst) which is why it looks the same in most photos: either totally straight or kind of curly in its natural state.

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All of my holiday parties are finally done – except, of course, for the family gatherings I have coming up at the end of the week. But I’m pretty sure I won’t be getting all gussied up for those.

I hope you enjoyed all my holiday outfit posts. I totally didn’t plan to have three of them but, hey, I think it worked out well!

I also hope you have a great holiday or, if you don’t celebrate this week, that you enjoy your week!

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No Stress Holiday Outfit

Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter · Style Imitating Art

Between December 1st and January 1st I bet you have a lot of events to go to. At least, I know I do. And, if you’re like me and also work 8-5, go to the gym, and have a family/dog to take care of  coming up with an outfit to wear to all of those events is just one more thing to stress out about.

But, never fear! I have figured out the answer.

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Top – The Limited (similar) | Pants – The Limited (same) | Shoes – Bandolino (similar) | Necklace –  JF&A Show (similar)

My solution? All black with bling!

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Black sequined pants or a black sequined skirt paired with a black top and a glittery statement necklace are easy to put together and show some fun holiday spirit but don’t require much thought. I mean, what’s easier than all black?

So, whether you have an upcoming holiday party or need an idea for New Year’s Eve, may I suggest something with black sequins? Here are a few ideas:

P.S. This outfit and post were partially inspired by this week’s choice for Style Imitating Art – “Stressed Out” by Layla Holzer.

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SIA: Thanksgiving Edition

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall · Style Imitating Art

Happy Monday! For those of you who celebrated Thanksgiving this past Thursday I hope it was lovely. For those of you who just had a normal weekend, I hope it was lovely, too.

I spent the weekend eating and hanging out with my family at my parents’ house. I took the opportunity to put together an outfit for this week’s Style Imitating Art challenge that highlighted the black, tan and blue in the painting “Freedom from Want“.

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Dress as a skirt – Le Tote (same) | Sweater – Loft via Goodwill (similar) | Shirt – Old Navy (similar) | Necklace – New York & Co (similar

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I took advantage of my parents’ house and chose to take the photos in their dining room to also echo the painting.

My parents have lived in their current house for just over 10 years so although I didn’t grow up there, by now it’s definitely “home”. I think it’s so interesting that no matter where I go or where I live it’s wherever my mom is that I consider “home”.

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P.S. When Le Tote sends you a short sleeved dress in the fall, what do you do? You turn it into a skirt, of course! I originally was going to wear this with just the sweater over it but at the last minute I added the button-up. I think it ended up adding just the right amount of interest as well as an additional layer to help me stay warm.

This is the second time I’ve gotten this dress from Le Tote. You can see the first outfit I put together with it here.

Don’t forget you can sign up for Le Tote and get $25 off your first month with code ERIN25!

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Games and Adventures

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

Have you voted for your favorite outfit of October yet? 

Happy Monday! How was your weekend? Mine was full of adventure including a Game of Thrones themed party at a local bar, exploring an abandoned grain silo with a view of downtown, and working at one of the largest races in Chicago.

Which means that you get a few photos from the weekend and an older outfit photo that I originally shared on Instagram. So let’s start with what you’re probably here to see: the outfit photo.

IMG_0079Vest – Le Tote (same) | Turtleneck – The Limited (similar) | Jeans – American Eagle Outfitters (same) | Shoes – Vince Camuto (similar) | Belt – Target (same)

I felt totally awesome and badass in this outfit and I can’t even explain why. The vest was slightly too big so I might request it again from Le Tote in a size smaller. But overall I really liked this outfit. Noting too fussy but it felt put together and comfortable. And, yes, I’m wearing open-toed shoes with a turtleneck. No, I can’t explain it.

What I can explain is my Game of Thrones party outfit!

nymeria-sand-snake-costumeI decided to go as one of the Sand Snakes…but only if I could find what I needed at Goodwill. I don’t historically have good luck at Goodwill but I decided to chance it. And I found everything I needed! I was in shock and super thrilled.

The dress was a J. Crew bridesmaid’s dress that I got for $7 and trimmed with brown duct tape and ribbon. The leggings were $6. The belt was $3 and the dog leash that I wore like a whip was $2. So, all of that for $18 plus the duct tape and ribbon at Michael’s Crafts and the boots I already owned. I didn’t win the costume contest but that’s okay. I had a great time putting my costume together!

That was Friday night. Saturday morning we got up early to go do some urban exploring. There are some abandoned grain silos in an industrial area of the city just southwest of downtown. They are apparently a haven for urban decay photographers so I joined my husband and some of his friends for an adventure.

IMG_0383 IMG_0437My husband hasn’t finished processing all of his photos yet so I just grabbed the two that I’m in to give you a taste. I also took a few with my iPhone that you should be able to see here. I’m looking forward to going back on a warmer day (and with more advanced notice) to shoot some outfit photos here. There are so many cool backgrounds!

Because you guys might be tired of just seeing the stuff around my apartment.

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Wednesday, though, I’ve got a new location for you! More photos from Carmel, Indiana!