Tag Archives: black

The Gray Zone

Casual Clothes · Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

Last night I attended the opening of the Milk Handmade Pop-Up Shop which gave me SO MANY gift ideas for this year. Including hats. If you’ve always lusted after my gray winter hat I’m here to tell you that Milk Handmade has the hook-up on similar ones.

gray-moto-jacket-jeans-2Hat – Boutique in Sausalito | White shirt – Collide Boutique (similar) | Sweater – J. Crew Factory (same) | Jacket – Karen Kane via Macy’s (similar) | Necklace – JF&A Show (similar) | Jeans – American Eagle Outfitters (same) | Shoes – Liz Claiborne via DSW (similar)

Attending the launch gave me a great idea for a post about my favorite places to shop local in Chicago. I’ll admit, I see bloggers do gift guides all the time but in a way I feel like they are just a way for them to get clicks on their affiliate links in order to earn money. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I like money. But it feels disingenuous to create an entire post of just links.

Perhaps that’s hypocritical since I do link to similar (and same!) items using affiliate links when I post an outfit and occasionally do posts where I link to additional similar items in case you want to shop. But for some reason the gift guide to department and chain stores irks me.

So, instead, next week I’ll be sharing at least three places I am looking forward to shopping in Chicago and why they are my picks. And if you’re not in Chicago? Small boutiques might not have the best online shopping experience but I know that the ones I’m picking will be more than happy to help you over the phone!

gray-moto-jacket-jeans-1P.S. Don’t forget there’s a giveaway going on right now!

  

The Gray Ankle Boot Holy Grail

Casual Clothes · Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

As I mentioned back when I wore floral and argyle together, I’ve been on the hunt for a great pair of gray booties. I fell in love with the Rag & Bone Harrow style but, alas, they were out of my price range. However! Thanks to my partnership with Shopbop I was able to save my gift certificates for this H by Hudson pair!

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Vest – Comfort Me Boutique (similar) | Shirt – Le Tote (same) | Necklace – Jeans and a Cute Top Shop (similar) | Jeans – The Limited (similar) | Booties – c/o Shopbop (same)

So these are now officially the second most expensive pair of shoes I own. And they are worth every penny. But, no worries if you can’t afford them yourself but want a pair of gray booties for yourself! I’ve put together a list of 9 pairs that range in price from under $30 to just under $300 with most being under $150.

Shopping for Gray Ankle Boots and Booties

1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9

 Ankle booties are very “in” right now. Second only to riding boots, I would say. Of course, they don’t keep your ankles as warm as riding boots so don’t forget to wear socks with them! And if you’re not sure how to wear your skinny jeans with ankle boots, try rolling them at the ankle like I did in today’s outfit.

gray-hudson-ankle-bootsSpeaking of today’s outfit, I’m not in love with the top half. Every time I wear this vest I feel like Spongebob Square Pants. Except square and black and furry instead of square and yellow and porous.

plaid-shirt-faux-fur-vest-2No, I do not have kids. Yes, I still know words to the theme song.

Anyway! I do love faux fur vests but maybe I should look for a more fitted one? Or just accept the fact that this one, while soft and fuzzy and pocket-having, just doesn’t work for me and own it regardless.

Linking up with Work Clothes, I Suppose for Third Thursday Threads

  

Preppy Pink and Green

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

Do you ever have one of those days when you check the weather 100 times when trying to decide what to wear? Today was one of those days. Another cool, gray, rainy day in Chicago but I saw this outfit on Pinterest and wanted to wear it. A pop of color on a gray day? Cropped pants but worn with a button-up and a sweater? Seemed like a good fall outfit to me.

Pink gingham shirt with black sweater and green ankle pantsShirt – J. Crew Factory (similar) | Sweater – J. Crew Factory (same) | Pants – Express (similar) | Shoes – Sole Society (same)

It occurs to me looking at the photo now that she might be wearing a navy sweater. And I have a navy sweater. But for some reason black seemed more appropriate for fall. Also, I left off the pearls. Right now some of my jewelry seems too over the top for work. But this outfit? I felt perfect in it. I just tossed on my rain boots for my commute to work and to pick up Chewie from doggy day care.

And speaking of Chewie, of course he needed to make an appearance.

pink-gingham-shirt-green-pants-2Hey, I’m wearing pink! So let’s link up with Bri

  

Tote-al Honesty

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

As I mentioned last week, I’m currently trying out Le Tote, the service where you “rent” clothing for a month. One of my picks was this flowy plaid printed top which looks like a cotton flannel but is actually 100% polyester.

Le Tote plaid shirt with faux leather leggings

Top – Le Tote (same) | Pants – Vince Camuto via Macy’s (similar) | Shoes – Steven c/o Shopbop (same)

I honestly wasn’t sure what I wanted to wear with it so I threw on the first thing that came to mind: my faux leather leggings.

And then I honestly wasn’t sure what shoes to wear. Black would be the obvious choice. Maybe red. So I went with leopard. Of course.

Le Tote plaid shirt with faux leather leggings and leopard flatsAnd in keeping with the honesty theme, I honestly don’t know how I feel about this look. I think I like the idea, but not the execution. The top is super comfortable but it might be too boxy. I thought about layering it under a sweater (it’s certainly cool enough right now) but it’s also rather long and I thought it would look odd. So, while I have it from Le Tote I might play around with it some more.

What would you wear with this top?

  

New Spot, New Shoes

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

When I left my old job it also meant leaving my back-up photography spots. I normally try to take my photos on weekends or after work when my husband can use our fancy DSLR or I can attempt to use it with our tripod and remote. But, in a pinch, I was able to bust out my point-and-shoot and my purse-sized tripod and take pictures in the park across the street from my office.

Now, though, I have to find new spots to take photographs if I need to do the point-and-shoot method. So, yesterday at lunch I ventured out to find something.

At first I thought I’d try on one of the bridges but the foot traffic is ridiculous. Then as I was walking around I found a stairway that went down to a path alongside the river. And there was no one down there.

Pink blouse, black moto vest, leopard print flats

Blouse – The Limited (similar) | Vest – Target (similar) | Pants  – Gap (similar) | Shoes – Steven c/o Shopbop (same)

So now I’ve found my new go-to spot when I need to snap some outfit photos on my lunch break!

I’ve also found my new go-to leopard flats. These are my third pair and I think these are the winners. My first pair I wore the faux calf hair right off and they were always a tad bit too tight. The second pair, my D’orsay ones, never fit quite right and I thought that the D’orsay style wouldn’t work very well in the cooler months.

Then I found these on Shopbop and since I get shopping credit for having their widget on my blog I was able to get them for free. And I LOVE them. They have a slight wedge, a pointy toe, and are super comfortable. There may be something to this whole paying more for shoes thing…

Pink blouse, moto vest, and black leggings

  

Pinstripes and Peplum

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

The title of this post sounds like something that could have come out of the fashion blog name generator, doesn’t it? Man, I hope no one named their blog that. Because I honestly don’t know if peplum is still a thing. I think it is. But, then again, I’m not necessarily one to give up a trend as soon as its “over” as long as it still looks good. And peplum hides the fact that I haven’t been working out as much as I used to!

black-peplum-gray-pinstripe-1Scarf – gift (similar) | Top – The Limited (similar) | Pants – The Limited (similar) | Shoes – TJ Maxx (similar) | Bracelet – JF&A Show (similar)black-peplum-gray-pinstripe-5

Don’t forget you can win this watch! Last day to enter!! 

This outfit came about because Behind the Leopard Glasses is doing a pattern challenge this month and while many of the patterns she chose are not ones I have in my closet, I DO have pinstripes! But, it turned out that I’d either donated or sold many of my pinstriped items and these pants seem to be the only pinstriped bottoms I have left. black-peplum-gray-pinstripe-4While I was at work I alternated between using my scarf as a shawl and wearing my denim jacket. It’s way too cold in my office to wear just a sleeveless top. But, I really liked the way this outfit turned out with the peplum so even if it’s too cold or even if it’s too out of style, I’m still wearing it.

black-peplum-gray-pinstripe-2

I don’t know what it is about this particular top, but every time I wear it I feel 6 feet tall (in case you didn’t already know, I’m only 5’4″). I think it’s because it tricks the eye into thinking my waist is lower than it is. And I’m totally cool with that.

And because I know you’re all just here for the Chewie pics, here’s one more.

black-peplum-gray-pinstripe-3

Also linking up with Happiness at Mid-Life 

  

Red and Black is Back

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

After my latest Stitch Fix when they sent me a top with a red and black pattern (that I sent back because it was too big), I decided it was time to re-wear my red and black plaid tank that I bought last fall. So far I’ve only ever worn it with my faux leather pants with a cardigan or a blazer although I’ve also been meaning to wear it with my red pants.

But, the red pants are in the dry cleaning pile so here it is with black jeans and a red camisole.

Plaid print shell with black jeansTop – Langford Market (similar) | Camisole – The Limited (similar) | Jeans – The Limited (similar) | Shoes – Payless (same)

I know, man. I’m SO original.

I actually bought this exact same top for my mom last Christmas and she wore it out for our birthday celebration in January with a red pencil skirt and black knee high boots. It looked great!

Admittedly, I’m having some trouble coming up with other ways to wear this top. I’m open to suggestions!

Plaid tank top with black jeansP.S. I don’t mean to match my outfits to my dog, I swear!

 

  

Divvy not dally

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

On Wednesday I did something I’d never done before.

black-halter-green-pants-1

Top – Banana Republic Outlet (similar) | Pants – Express (similar) | Shoes – Bandolino (similar)

No, not take a blurry picture. I’ve done that plenty of times. No, I rode a Divvy bike!

For those of you not in Chicago, Divvy is our bike sharing program that allows you to check out a bike for up to 30 minutes at a time. I’ve been walking home from work a lot more often now (even though I work slightly further away from home than I used to, the walk is more pleasant) and finally Mag Mile Runner (plus a $10 discount) convinced me to try it.

For $65 a year I have unlimited 30 minute rides. Otherwise it’s $7 for every 24 hours. I figure I only have to ride it 10 times to make back my money and I’ve already ridden it twice.

In fact, these pictures were taken AFTER my Divvy ride! And, yes, I wore my helmet. But since my ride only took me 13 minutes (yes, they time you and you can look it up later) it was only 13 minutes of helmet time so the helmet hair aftermath wasn’t that bad.

Or maybe it was horrible and that’s why I took blurry photos. So you couldn’t tell. You’ll never know!

Until the next time I take photos post-Divvy, anyway. And since I plan to ride home as often as possible, that might be fairly often.

black-halter-green-pants-2

  

Crazy Weather, Crazy Pants

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

Earlier this week you would not have believed it was August. I was wearing a sweater, In August. In Chicago. This is crazy.

tan-sweater-cropped-black-pants-1

Sweater – Loft via Goodwill (similar) | Pants – The Limited (similar) | Shoes – DSW (similar) | Necklace – clothing swap (similar)

Oh yeah, I also got my hairs cut. I hadn’t done anything to my hair since November and I figured it was time. I seem to be back in the rut of letting it grow out and then getting it all chopped off. I’m kind of digging it short, though.

I was worried that it would look ridiculous after a lunch-time sweat-fest (aka the gym) but it turns out that when it’s short like this it just sort of does it’s own thing and I kinda like it!

tan-sweater-cropped-black-pants-2

Very Little Orphan Annie meets The Great Gatsby, no?

Anyway, I honestly can’t remember the last time I wore my black cropped pants. Let me check. Hold on….

Oh wait. It was here. I highly recommend you don’t click that link. It’s pretty horrible. Anyway, it’s been over a year. Crazy to think that black cropped pants used to be  a work wardrobe staple!

  

My Favorite Things

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

I noticed last week that you all seem to get a kick out of it when I let Chewie steal the show. So, here he is again.

Blue cardigan with black dress and sandalsCardigan – J. Crew (similar) | Dress – The Limited (similar) | Necklace – NY & Co (similar) | Shoes – Vince Camuto (similar)

I mean, I hope you think the outfit is cute. It IS my favorite dress, after all.

Blue cardigan, blue dress, blue sandals and black dressAnd I know that this outfit is super matchy-matchy with the cardigan, shoes and necklace but sometimes it’s fun to use a solid neutral base to highlight another brighter color.

Or, you know, you just want to wear all your favorite things for no real reason. I don’t have anything too exciting going on at work today. I don’t have anywhere fun to be. I just wanted to wear this outfit (which, to be honest, has been worn many times before but not photographed).

So, tell me, you have certain pieces you just love to wear more often than others, right?

Little black dress with blue accessories