Crazy how just one thing, a necklace, can take a simple outfit up a notch, right?
For fall, though, I’d probably just add a cardigan (maybe in cobalt blue?) or wear a black sweater and black ballet flats. Too bad I already sent this necklace back to Le Tote!
I’m waiting just a bit longer to bust out my riding boots, though. I have this weird self-imposed limit where I won’t wear them until the high for the day is under 60 degrees. For now I’m wearing flats, occasionally booties, and sneakers. I have a feeling the boots will be coming out soon, however.
A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was meeting to chat with one of the men who started Shoe Drop and I asked you all if you had any questions for me. I was surprised that several of you mentioned that you hadn’t even realized you could get shoes repaired! To be honest, being able to get shoes repaired is one of my favorite parts of living in a big city. I’m hard on my shoes. Because I walk at least half a mile every day as part of my commute they get scuffed, the heels get caught in sidewalk cracks and tear or gouge, and the heel tips of my high heels get worn down.
Since I’ve lived in Chicago I’ve gotten several pairs of shoes repaired but it was always a chore. Finding a place that got good reviews that was also convenient, trying to communicate with the guy behind the counter, not having any idea how much I was going to get charged, getting my shoes back with masking tape stuck inside that I couldn’t remove without leaving a sticky residue.
Overall, while it certainly extended the life of my shoes, it wasn’t always the most pleasant experience.
Enter Shoe Drop. Started by Duncan and Brandon, two self-described shoe lovers, Shoe Drop aims to bring shoe repair into the 21st century. Shoe Drop started with 40 Shoe Drop-specific drop off locations and 110 Pressbox partner locations around Chicago. One of which is in my apartment building! I’d used Shoe Drop before and didn’t even realize it! Anyway, create an account in their app, drop off your shoes at a designated drop off location, fill out the form in the app, and you’re done! They come pick up your shoes, repair them, charge your credit card, and then return your shoes in about 5 days to where you dropped them off. And they text you when they’re ready!
In June of this year they opened their first physical location at 353 N Clark Street where you can not only talk to a cobbler and drop off shoes for repair, you can also get them shined. I wanted to know what happens if I show up with my blush pink leather flats and Duncan told me that was no problem. They have hundreds of colors of polish or they can even shine them with a clear polish that helps hide scuff marks.
Photo courtesy of Shoe Drop
If you do drop your shoes off with them they go to a 4000 square foot facility near the United Center where their team of cobblers work on them. Duncan said that the people in the shoe repair business in Chicago love being able to just fix shoes and not have to worry about running a business. It’s a win-win!
My other personal favorite is that they have a price list and only take credit card (and no need to tip!)
I left my favorite black heeled sandals with them when I visited. They needed new heel tips, a shine, and the heel coverings repaired. When I got them back I swear they looked better than the day I bought them! Plus, they were returned to me in a bag that I can use to drop off more shoes!
Shoe repair might be a little pricey for some people but if you have a pair of shoes you love I say go for it. It sure beats trying to find a replacement pair!
Photo courtesy of Shoe Drop
Shoe Drop’s goal is to open more physical locations where you can stop in for a shine or just drop off all your shoes for repair at once. In the meantime, if you’re in Chicago, check out their locations map and then head on out to bring your sad shoes back to life!
P.S. I’m working with them to put together an event that would offer FREE (or discounted) shoe shines and repairs. Stay tuned!
This week’s Style Imitating Art challenge featured “Una and the Lion“, a painting full of neutral colors, a woman in a dress, and some animals. Therefore, I bring you my own version, also full of neutrals, a dress, and an animal: “Erin and the Chewie”.
Dress – New York & Co (similar) | Vest – Old Navy (similar) | Sandals – Sam Edelman c/o Shopbop (same) |Necklace – Le Tote (same)
This outfit was also inspired by one that Jen wore and it features the vest that I swapped with Jen. And since Jen chose the art for this week, basically this entire post is just all Jen all the time.
In other news, I’m meeting with a start-up this week called Shoe Drop to learn more about their business model and services. Basically, it’s a shoe repair service where you drop off your shoes at kiosks around the city, they pick them up, fix them, and deliver them back to the kiosk for you to pick-up. Perfect if you’re busy and don’t want to hunt down a shoe repair store. If there’s anything specifically you’d like me to ask, let me know! I never used a shoe repair service until I moved to Chicago but now I’m all about it since I walk so much and my shoes take a beating.
Speaking of which, I’ve been wearing these gold sandals so much that I bought another, similar pair. The reviews for my first pair said they run a half size big but I don’t agree with that. I ordered a 7.5 in the gold ones and they feel slightly too big. I ordered a 7 in the new pair and they fit perfectly. Just something to keep in mind!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
Dress – Stitch Fix (similar) | Long necklace – Le Tote (same) | Short necklace – The Limited (similar)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!