Tag Archives: button-down

Why I don’t like to do laundry

Casual Friday · Fluoxetine and abilify

Don’t forget to vote for your favorite outfit of March!

Back in January I went to visit my dad in Florida and after a day touring the Ringling estate and museum we found ourselves at an outlet mall. I remembered that a coworker of mine had been raving about her Brooks Brothers no-wrinkle, no-iron shirts so I suggested we go into the Brooks Brothers outlet store. I ended up with a plain white shirt but also found this pretty blue striped one on the clearance rack.

brooks-brothers-shirt-jeans-2Shirt – Brooks Brothers Outlet (similar) | Jeans – American Eagle Outfitters (same) | Boots – Sam Edelman c/o Shopbop (same) | Watch – Nixon c/o Shopbop (similar) | Necklace  c/o Rocksbox (use code looplooksxoxo to try it yourself for free!)  | Earrings – Le Tote (same)

brooks-brothers-shirt-jeans-4brooks-brothers-shirt-jeans-3I actually ended up wearing this shirt and my silver Sperry’s the very next day to watch horse racing. And I’ve now actually worn the shirt three times total but I fully admit I haven’t washed it yet. I’ve been told that it’s super easy to wash, dry, and shake out and it won’t shrink or wrinkle but I’m still scared! I like it a lot and I don’t want to ruin it!

Does that make me weird? Is anyone else afraid to wash their clothes?


Fall Uniform

Viagra and clonidine · Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

I wore this outfit to work last week (and again yesterday) and while I was in the bathroom washing my hands another woman said to me, “I love your sweater with that shirt and necklace!”

green-sweater-gingham-shirtSweater – Stitch Fix (similar) | Shirt – Gap (similar) |  Necklace – Express (similar) | Jeans – American Eagle Outfitters (same) | Boots – Sam Edelman c/o Shopbop (same)

I told her that I would dress like this every day if I could. I mean, I suppose I could but that might get a tad boring for you all. Still, I think this is my fall and winter “uniform”. I just love pairing a blingy necklace with the more traditional sweater and button up shirt.

The navy and the green are great fall colors and go well together without being overly matching. And, of course, the riding boots because I think it’s a rule that women in Chicago wear riding boots in the fall.

Okay, maybe not a rule, but it’s pretty standard. Especially when fall seems to have become winter overnight! I’m pretty sure that if we want to take Chewie to the dog park this week I’m going to have to bust out my snowsuit. Yes, I own a snowsuit. It’s for skiing.

Funny related story: growing up I couldn’t say snowsuit. I always said snowsnoot. To this day I have to think about the correct pronunciation before I say it out loud.

Thank goodness my daily uniform isn’t a snowsuit.

P.S. Due to some construction in our building our photo shoot was interrupted by an upstairs neighbor bringing his dog up the back stairwell. This is the only photo where neither Chewie nor I are making some weird face or pose. And even that is arguable.

The Case of the Missing Shirt

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

Back in June I wore an outfit that I loved. Blue Oxford shirt, navy J. Crew Schoolboy blazer, jeans, pearls and nude pumps. I’ve been wanting to wear a similar outfit but with my white pants however every time I go to put that outfit together I can’t find my blue shirt!

Did the dry cleaners misplace it? Do I just have way too many clothes and it’s buried somewhere? Am I going crazy? I really don’t know the answer. So when I got this shirt from Le Tote (<-Referral Link) I decided this was my chance to recreate the outfit for cooler weather.

schoolboy-blazer-blanket-scarfShirt – Le Tote | Blazer – J. Crew (same) | Scarf – Target (same) | Jeans – AG Adriano Goldschmied (same) | Boots – Sam Edelman c/o Shopbop (same)

Unfortunately, this top, even in a size small, is HUGE on me. Like, ridiculously so. The blazer helped keep some of the volume in check but there was a part of me that was hoping this could be a replacement for my missing shirt. Sadly, no. Also, this one wrinkles like crazy. So, I shall stay on the hunt for the missing shirt instead.


Old, New, Borrowed, Black

Viagra and clonidine · Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

Another Le Tote outfit coming at you today! I try to wear the pieces all in a row so that I can send the box back ASAP so apologies if you’re tired of hearing about it.

I put this floral shirt in my Le Tote closet because it’s not something I would normally pick. I figured that this was a good chance to try it out and see what I thought. And at first I was thinking I’d wear it with a plain black sweater and jeans or maybe my black vest. But then when I was looking for something else in my closet I found this old sweater vest and thought, hey, those colors are similar, let’s go for some pattern mixing!

floral-shirt-argyle-sweater-1floral-shirt-argyle-sweater-3Shirt – Le Tote (same) | Vest – The Limited (similar but $$) | Jeans – Old Navy (same) | Shoes – Payless (same) | Necklace – Le Tote (same)

But then, of course, I struggled with what pants to wear with it. At my old job I would have worn my gray dress pants but that felt way too stuffy for my new office culture. So, I decided this was a good excuse to see if I could find a pair of gray jeans. I’d put this particular pair on my Pinterest Shopping Lust board awhile ago and it turned out they still had my size in the store.

floral-shirt-argyle-sweater-2I’m not 100% sold on the pairing of the preppy vest with the floral top and the moto jeans, though. Maybe if I had some killer booties to wear with it? The black flats just aren’t doing it for me. I’ve also been wanting to add some gray booties to my closet as well but, sadly, I haven’t found the perfect pair. Too bad Le Tote doesn’t do shoes, too!

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

You Pick Wednesday: 11 Ways to Wear a Button Up Shirt

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall · You Pick Wednesday

Did you know that technically a button-down is a shirt where the collar actually buttons to the shirt and a button-up is a shirt that has buttons from top to bottom in the front? A button-up can also be called a button-front shirt but unless the collar buttons to the shirt it shouldn’t be called a button-down.

The more you know, right?

Anyway, recently a reader contacted me to say she had a closet full of button-up shirts from J. Crew and was getting tired of wearing them the same old way. I know that we tend to get in ruts of tucking our button-up shirts into dress pants, adding a belt, and going to work. So instead of the usual, try one of these 11 other ways to wear your button-up shirt!

11-ways-to-wear-a-button-up-shirtShirt in this image seen here

  1. Add a vest or sleeveless blazer over the top of the shirt and pair with ankle pants and flats.
  2. Add a puffy vest over the shirt and wear a belt at your waist over both. Pair with a pencil skirt and heels to dress it up for the office.
  3. Add a skirt and a cardigan but instead of tucking in the shirt knot it at your waist.
  4. Wear the shirt under a crewneck sweater but do some pattern mixing.  This could go with jeans, a skirt or dress pants.
  5. Button the shirt all the way to the top and add a cropped collarless blazer/jacket over it.
  6. Wear the shirt open over another top so it’s more like a jacket or cardigan.
  7. Add a blazer, scarf, skinny pants, and riding boots.
  8. If it’s cool enough out, wear a crewneck sweater over the shirt and then put a blazer on top of that.
  9. Layer two button down shirts over one another.
  10. Wear a button down underneath a sleeveless dress or a long-sleeved sweater dress.
  11. Wear with a pencil skirt and a scarf

There are probably lots of other ways you could wear a button-up shirt that I haven’t even mentioned! What’s your favorite way?

Making life a little bit more glamorous

Casual Friday

Yay for Friday! Does anyone else feel like this week went by super slowly? Or maybe it’s just because I spent most of it working on a 160 slide PowerPoint presentation. My life is totally glamorous.

J. Crew Leopard Perfect Shirt with skinny jeans and wedge sandals

Top – J. Crew Factory via ebay (same) | Jeans – Express via Poshmark (similar) | Shoes – Madden Girl via DSW (same)


Well, I suppose, even if my life isn’t glamorous my shirt can be. I mean, leopard print is pretty glamorous, right?

And, yes, this is the second time I’ve worn leopard print with these shoes. Not sure why I keep pairing the two things. Maybe it’s a sign that my brain is fried and is just making me reach for items it already knows go well together?

Regardless, I’m looking forward to the weekend. Tomorrow I’m working for CEP at the Chicago Rock and Roll Half Marathon Expo (yay for money to help pay off my credit card!) and then on Sunday Jason is taking his new car (college graduation gift to himself, by the way) racing and I have the entire day to myself! I’m giddy with thoughts about what I’ll do. In reality, I’ll probably end up glued to the couch. Let’s hope I find some motivation to do other stuff instead, okay?

Casual Friday with leopard print blouse and jeans

Patterns and Textures

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

Tan sweater with plaid pants, pearls, and nude shoes

tan_sweater_plaid_pants 013tan_sweater_plaid_pants 016

Sweater – Gap (similar) | Collared shirt – Collide Boutique (similar) | Pants – The Limited (similar) | Shoes – Bandolino (similar) | Necklace – JF&A Show (similar)

Sometimes an outfit is all about the patterns and the textures of the items in it. Take, for example, today’s Inspiration Monday photo:


Click picture to see full image

Her sweater is textured, her jacket is plaid, and if you zoom in you can see that her leggings are quilted. If she’d worn all creams and browns with no texture or pattern this outfit would look rather drab. But by adding the visual interest of patterns and textures it’s more interesting.

I tried to keep my earth-toned outfit interesting with the collared shirt (which is actually sleeveless because I sometimes dislike the bulkiness of layering a regular button-up under a sweater), the plaid pants, and the pearls. Overall it’s still a simple outfit but it’s perfect for a chilly fall Monday morning in the office.

Also linking up with Thirties Two Cents

Kid at Heart

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall



Cardigan – The Limited (similar) | Shirt – Banana Republic (similar) | Jeans – Old Navy (similar) | Shoes – Karen Scott via Macy’s (similar) | Bracelet – Chicago blogger clothing swap (similar)

Another day, another Pinterest-inspired outfit. But, really, I don’t think the outfit is the star of the show here. I mean, are you really looking at me? Or are you looking at the big green monster glaring menacingly out at you?



This is the Big Monster Toy Company and it’s located within walking distance of my apartment building. One of my favorite parts about being a runner is that I find all kinds of neat places in my neighborhood when I’m out for a run. Or, heck, even when I’m just out for a walk or a bike ride to Goodwill, one of the fitness studios, or to a friend’s place. I come across places like this and decide they need to be the backdrop for an outfit photo. This week just happened to be the day that worked out to head over there and take pictures.

But, okay, I’ll talk about my outfit. I admit that it took me a long time to figure out how to wear a button-up shirt underneath a cardigan. I always felt like it would be too lumpy or the arms would be too tight or something like that. The key? Making sure you don’t buy your cardigans super skin-tight! I think that it’s a tough transition to make from junior’s to “women’s” clothing. Junior’s clothing is cut to fit tighter so even after we’re out of the Junior’s we keep buying clothes that don’t allow for layering. At least, I know I’m guilty of this. Thankfully I’ve finally figured out that it’s okay to buy some things one size larger to allow for a better fit. Ignore the number, go for how it fits you!

Of course, we’re all still kids at heart, right? Even if our clothes no longer come from the Junior’s department.


Other ways I’ve worn this cardigan: Way 1 | Way 2

Other ways I’ve worn this shirt:  Way 1 | Way 2

Linking up with AJ Wears Clothes Friday Favorites

Mutually Inspired Series Day 1: The Argyle Sweater

Fluoxetine and abilify

Argyle sweater vest with striped button down, jeans, and burgundy shoes

Argyle sweater vest with striped button down and pearlsBootcut jeans and burgundy suede heels

Shirt – Macy’s (similar) | Sweater vest – The Limited (similar) | Jeans – The Limited (similar) | Shoes – Bandolino (similar) | Necklace – Overstock.com (similar)

Welcome to the first day of the Mutually Inspired Series where Jen from Librarian for Life & Style and I use outfits one another has posted in the past to create new outfits for this week!


My outfit today comes courtesy of Jen’s post “Purple suede and pattern-mixing” where she paired an argyle sweater with a pinstriped button-up, jeans, and suede shoes.  Since I’m working from home today I got to wear jeans, too!


Here’s the amazing thing: everything I’m wearing today I’ve had for YEARS. Seriously, this shirt is older than my college best friend’s marriage. I know because there’s a picture of me wearing it the day she got engaged.


Same shirt, back in the day

Just goes to show you that there are certain items and patterns that just never go out of style. Are they trendy? Nope. Just classic. Argyle sweaters and striped oxford shirts and two of those patterns.

Now, don’t forget to head over to Jen’s blog to see which of my outfits inspired her today!

P.S. Full disclosure: I took all my outfit photos on Sunday since it is supposed to rain all week in Chicago. My rain boots will be getting a workout this week. But I promise I really am wearing these outfits this week!!

Bullet Points and Polka Dots

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Sweater – Forever 21 (similar in more sizes) | Shirt – The Limited (similar) | Skirt – J. Crew Factory (similar under $25) | Shoes – Bandolino (similar) | Necklace – JF&A Show (similar)

First things first: the outfit.  Inspired by ShopGirl DC and worn on one of our first bare legs days this year (apologies for the starkness of my gams!) I am in love with this outfit. I love the pop of pink. I love that it consists of my favorite color of the moment (navy), and I love that it gives me a way to wear this shirt that I’d never thought of before.

You know what you love about it? You can recreate it with the pieces linked above for under $100.  Yes, I’m serious. And even though the Target website says that polka dot skirt isn’t sold in stores, I know I saw it at my local Target recently.  So there.

Anyway, Lauren over at Lauren Runs to Tri tagged me for one of those Liebster Awards where you list 11 random things about you and then answer 11 questions.  You all seemed to enjoy learning some random facts about me last week so why not have a few more?

11 Random Facts About Me

1. I was on the dance team as a senior in high school and also graduated with a perfect GPA. I was an odd mix of cheerleader, outcast, and nerd.

2. My undergraduate honors thesis was on the differences between male and female serial killers. Yep.

3. I’m married to the guy I started dating the summer before my senior year of high school. We had to date long-distance for four years while I was away at college but we made it! Our 10 year wedding anniversary is in May.

4. I used to hate all pies made with fruit. Now I enjoy apple pie and some berry pies but blueberry, cherry or peach pie are still on the no list.

5. I will try most foods at least twice before I make a determination about whether or not I like them.

6. I have two tattoos.  The one on my foot that you’ve probably seen in outfit photos and one on my back above my left hip.

7. I would rather read a book than watch a movie.

8. I got my first email address in 1996. I had a dial-up modem and AOL.

9. There is a birthmark on my left leg in the shape of a paw print but it has significantly faded as I’ve gotten older.

10. I’m terrified of snakes.

11. I’ve never worked in retail.  Food service, yes, but never retail.



Lauren’s Questions

1.  What time did you go to bed last night?

11:30 PM. I usually try to be in bed by 11:00 but lately it’s been 11:30.

2. How do you feel about public speaking?

I don’t mind it at all.  I’m technically an introvert but one who loves public speaking. Seems contradictory, but it’s really not. I like being in control of when I talk and public speaking is one way to do that! Good thing I don’t mind it, too. Part of my job involves leading training courses for other staff members!

3. If you were invisible, where would you go?

Skinny dipping in an infinity pool overlooking some gorgeous view somewhere

4. What do you want to do for your next birthday?

My birthday is in January so I always have to think of indoor things to do. I had a really good time doing a wine and painting class for my birthday this year, though, so I’m actually thinking of making it an annual event!

5. Where would you like to live when you retire?

It would be great if I could have a place in Chicago and a place somewhere warmer.  Just so that when I get tired of cold I could escape for a week. Now that I live in an apartment building and don’t have to shovel, I don’t care about the snow but sometimes the cold and the gray just gets to me.

6. What’s your favorite strength move that is quick to do?

I hope straight-legged deadlifts count because those are my favorite.

7. What is your favorite pair of shoes?

Either my nude heels or my brown riding boots.

8. What type of art do you like best?

Not knowing enough about art to be able to describe it, I guess I’d have to say in terms of paintings or photography I like geometric designs, urban landscapes, and colors.

9. Sweet or salty?

Both?  Although I more often crave sweet than salty. And if I eat too much salt I DEFINITELY want something sweet afterward.

10. Who is the last person you talked with on the phone?

Um….does leaving a voicemail count? No? Then I guess it was Kim. On Sunday. No, wait, I made a hair appointment yesterday over the phone. Yes, seriously, I can go entire days without talking to someone on the phone even at work.

11. What is your mousepad like?

At work it’s a plain purple pad. At home it’s a random mouse pad I stole from my husband YEARS ago. It’s an underwater photo of a dolphin. Told you it was random.


I’m not going to tag anyone, but feel free to answer those questions above in the comments or on your own blog. Or just tell me something random about yourself!