Tag Archives: dress

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Where did all my flowers go? [SIA Post]

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring · Style Imitating Art

Sometimes photo shoots come together with little effort. Sometimes we find awesome backgrounds and great lighting and the smiles are genuine and the dog behaves and I love my outfit and what I pick matches my own Style Imitating Art choice perfectly.

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Then there are days like yesterday. In the interest of keeping it real, I will tell you that I haven’t actually worn this outfit yet other than for these photos. I tried on a bunch of different things but didn’t like I how I felt in any of them. That while purple is one of my favorite colors, I actually own very few purple items.

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Sunday was a struggle for me. I had almost zero motivation to do anything. Everything was making me grumpy. I woke up dehydrated even after drinking a ton of water on Saturday. I did;t feel comfortable in any of my clothes. I’d ripped a hole in the crotch of my favorite go-to jeans the day before. I told Jason that the photos didn’t matter because “no one reads my blog.”

Yeah, I’m just a ray of sunshine, aren’t I?

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I know it will get better. I know I can turn my own attitude around. Perhaps I need to try that routine of writing down three things for which I’m grateful or that make me happy each day. Have you ever tried that? Does it work?

Or maybe I just need to drink more water and wear more purple. Or remind myself that people do indeed read my blog as evidenced by the SIA submissions I’m getting already! Don’t forget that if you want to participate just snap a photo of an outfit you put together as inspired by this week’s painting and send it to me before Wednesday, May 10th so I can include it in the round-up.

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Same Dress | Similar Cardigan | Similar Shoes

 

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Those crazy dog ladies

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

Do you love puppies? Do you have a soft spot in your heart for rescue dogs? Then you do not want to miss today’s post!

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This is Flopsie. I’m sure she’s already found a home since puppies don’t stay in shelters very long. Especially since she was so cuddly! 

No, I didn’t get another dog. Chewie is still an only puppy. But I did cheat on him by meeting Christine at The Anti-Cruelty Society for a photo shoot with some of their adoptable pups.

Christine and her blog, The Rescue Runway, are a combination of two of my favorite things: wearing fun outfits and playing with puppies. So of course we had to do a photo shoot together.

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Christine’s blog tries to showcase the puppers that have been at the shelter for awhile. For example, this is Connor. He’d been at Anti-Cruelty since April 5th but I no longer see him on their website, so I think he found a home! Hooray!IMG_7388

They’d better have a couch he can sit on, though. He was all about being on the benches!

I wore my latest Julia dress from Annabelle’s LuLaRoe boutique since I knew it would be easy to move around in. I mean, it’s basically a big t-shirt. And, of course, a cute pair of sneakers so I could chase after puppies.

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Like Chi Chi. He wanted to explore so he pulled us all over the courtyard. But he also gave kisses.

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But, I have to say,  my favorite was Amit, whom Christine already profiled. He’s super sweet and his bio on the shelter website does not do him justice. Or maybe I’m just biased because Amit sounds very similar to Chewie.

Anyway, I don’t plan to bring home another dog any time soon, but I hope you will share Christine’s blog so more people can get their eyes on these puppers who need homes.

 

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Fashion Philanthropy

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring · Shopping

I have a friend. Her name is Annabelle. She’s one of the nicest, most interesting, hardworking people I know. I’m thrilled that I’ve gotten to know her a bit better recently since I’ve ended up behind the scenes of her latest endeavor to raise money for services and create jobs for adults with disabilities.

She recently became a LuLaRoe consultant, which, if you don’t know what that is, is a clothing line that is sold online via Facebook groups or at houses during pop-up shops. Yes, a lot of women sell it to make extra money but Annabelle is hoping to use her side business as a way to create jobs for adults with developmental disabilities. She’s even donating part of her proceeds to her “day job” employer, Garden Center Services.

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LuLaRoe dress | same jacket | similar scarf | similar shoes

Because I think this is so awesome, I’ve been helping her out when I can. And spending my own money on things like this dress. It’s called a Julia and it’s basically stretchy t-shirt material.

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The thing about LuLaRoe is that when you see a pattern and style you like, you’d better grab it. Consultants order sizes and styles but don’t get to pick patterns. Which means that what they have is always a surprise! I was helping Annabelle unbox her initial inventory shipment when I spotted this dress. Lucky me!

The best way to shop Annabelle’s inventory is either via her Facebook group or at her pop-up shop in Lincoln Park, Chicago. In fact, she’s got one coming up on March 10th from 6 to 10 PM that will coincide with another fundraiser for Garden Center Services – the growARTS art show! So, you can shop for art or you can shop for clothes and either way you’ll be helping fund Garden Center Services.

I did both at the February art show and not only came home with the dress, I also came home with some lovely art.

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Art for sale is either painted by adults in the growARTS program or is donated by their family or friends. The artists in the program also get paid a commission for each piece that sells. There is truly something for everyone, though, and I had a difficult time sticking to just this one piece.

Same thing with sticking to just one dress. I have a feeling that if I continue to help out Annabelle behind the scenes I’ll own a lot more “LuLa”.

Oh, and speaking of art, there is so much street art in our new neighborhood! All three of these photos were taken within a 5 minute walk of our house. So fun! And, yes, it’s been warm enough in Chicago to dress like this. I’m loving this weather, too!

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Renting the Runway…in Person

Shopping

I’ve mentioned Rent the Runway in the past a few times. I rented a dress from them for a friend’s wedding, wore one of their dresses when I went to the horse races for the first time, and rented a tulle skirt from them when I wanted something fun to wear to a dog prom.

The first Saturday in November Jason and I attended the Illinois Science Council Science Cocktail Party and I wanted to use it as an excuse to dress up. Their emails always say to wear “weather appropriate cocktail party attire” but also go on to say that if you don’t feel like dressing up you can wear jeans and flannel, too. So, really, it’s anything goes!

I was debating wearing my gold dress (sans blazer and tights) or renting something from Rent the Runway. I debated until it was too late to order something online. But, wait! Rent the Runway has a brick-and-mortar location here in Chicago! I made an appointment and showed up on Saturday afternoon to a dressing room full of dresses for me to try on.

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1 (same in red)| 2 | 3 | 4

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1 |2 | 3| 4

Plus a few others (like this one and this one) that I didn’t take pictures of. Although many of these look great in photos, they didn’t all fit perfectly. Until I tried on the one on the bottom right. fullsizerender-3It was kind of like when I was trying on wedding dresses; I knew this was THE one. It fit perfectly, the slit made it more fun than a regular sheath dress, and the colors, pattern and fabric made it a great choice for a fancy-but-not-fancy event.

Being able to try on so many dresses was the perfect way to choose something. Plus, since I was   doing a same-day rental I was able to get accessories for $15. The dress itself? $30 to rent! It retails for $465 so this was a great deal. Plus, as I tried on dresses my stylist would go out to the floor and find more things for me to try on as she saw the items on me. I didn’t even have to leave the fitting room area!

Plus, after I wore it I just put into a bag and dropped it at the UPS store! I didn’t even have to go back to the physical location to return it.

I highly recommend using the Rent the Runway location in Chicago (or find one near you) if you need a dress for an occasion. They also rent fancy clothing (blazers, jackets, tops, etc) and accessories (purses, jewelry). It’s so much fun to try on so many fun things that I could never afford normally. Now, I just need more reasons to wear fun dresses!

This is not a sponsored post. I just had such a good time and wanted to share it with all of you! 

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SIA: Le Chien Noir

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer · Style Imitating Art

Remember last week when I said that this week’s Style Imitating Art challenge was going to feature Chewie? Well, I thought it would be fun to do a little comparison from 8 month old Chewie to almost 3 year old Chewie.

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Clearly he’s all ears and legs. I couldn’t quite get him to make the same face as the cat in this week’s art, though.

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I went with black and tan with a little pop of red in my accessories. And in Chewie’s collar, of course.

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I wore this outfit to lunch at a nearby restaurant that was donating proceeds to One Tail at a Time. Chewie came with us, too, and behaved himself quite well! A couple sitting across from us even commented on how well behaved he was. Hahah, don’t we have them all fooled?

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Dress – Eva Franco (similar skirt) | Shoes – Sam Edelman c/o Shopbop (same) | Hat – vendor at a neighborhood festival (similar) | similar black bracelet | similar red bracelet

Don’t forget to visit Jen’s blog to see how the other SIA participants interpreted this week’s art choice!

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SIA: Great Wave of an Outfit

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer · Style Imitating Art

Well, look at that everyone. It’s Tuesday and it’s September! But you know what, I’m still wearing my summer clothes. Take that, fall! Okay, to be honest, I do have some scarves from Moonfish Mama that I’m dying to wear, but they’ll just have to wait a few more weeks.

In the meantime, let’s take a look at what I wore for this week’s Style Imitating ArtThe Great Wave.

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Dress – Le Tote (same) | Earrings – Le Tote (same) | Sandals – Sam Edelman c/o Shopbop (same)

I know the painting doesn’t have any bright pink in it, but something about this dress just seemed appropriate. Whether it was the pattern that echoes the wave spray, the blue that I tried to bring out more with the earrings, the ivory background, or the pleats on the front of the dress, it just worked for me.

Actually, I really liked this dress in general. It reminds me of my little black dress that I wear all the time in the summer. I’m debating keeping this one from Le Tote because it’s just so easy to wear! However, summer IS coming to an end so I don’t know how much longer I’ll be able to wear it this year.

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I have, however, already worn it twice since I’ve had it. Once to work and once to get boozy sno-cones. I’m slowly trying to get Chewie accustomed to outdoor patios so that we can take him more places in the summer. So far we’ve been to two and he’s done remarkably well! My little boy is growing up! He’ll be three next month, by the way.

Anyway, don’t forget to head over to 14 Shades of Grey to see how other people interpreted this painting!

 

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Erin and the Chewie

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer · Style Imitating Art

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”.

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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!

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SIA: Pearl Earrings

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer · Style Imitating Art

You would not believe the struggle it was to get photos of this outfit. Seriously. Hurdles I had to overcome included oppressive heat, thunderstorms that were so strong they destroyed a train stop near my apartment, and a husband (aka photographer) who was out of town with our “good” camera.

But, I persevered! Because it’s Style Imitating Art time!

If you need a refresher, this week we’re using The Girl with the Pearl Earring as our inspiration. And, yes, I am wearing pearl earrings.

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Dress – BCBG Outlet (similar) | Sandals – Sam Edelman c/o Shopbop (same) | Earrings – Stella & Dot via Poshmark (similar)

I bought this dress years and years ago. Seven years ago, actually, on a trip to Sonoma & Napa. Facebook reminded me just yesterday morning how long ago that trip was. It’s still one of my favorite vacations to date.

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Anyway, this weekend I was browsing the Tribeca boutique sidewalk sale and realized they had a ton of different dresses in this same blue color. So, if you’re in Chicago and need a blue dress, come on over to the West Loop! I didn’t need another blue dress but I admit I was tempted. Because, like I said last week, I crave dresses in the summer.

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Don’t forget to visit Salazar’s blog to see all the outfits inspired by this week’s SIA choice!

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Fit and Flare

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

I think every summer I come to the same conclusion: I need more dresses. And more sandals. I just ordered these which are like the quintessential white-girl-in-Chicago sandals but, whatever.

Dresses, though, are tougher for me. I ordered this one that I mentioned in my June Shopping Summary and I actually think I’ll wear it on Friday this week. Friday is my company’s summer party on the rooftop deck of our building and it’s supposed to be ridiculously hot. And then later that evening I’m planning to meet Emily for dinner. Since I bought the dress to wear out and about when it’s hot I think it’s the perfect time to break it out of the closet.

In the mean time, here’s one of the other dresses I own that gets a workout in the summer.

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Dress – c/o eShakti (same) | Sandals – c/o Shopbop (same in other colors, similar) | Necklace – gift (same in different color) 

I think part of my issue stems from feeling like my dresses need to have different silhouettes. Like, how many fit-and-flare dresses can one have? Honestly, this is a silly thing to think. If that’s the style you like and feel comfortable in than that’s what you should buy! I tried a trapeze dress recently and Jason just shook his head. Apparently it wasn’t flattering.

I also own some sheath dresses but those are sometimes too formal or constricting or too clingy for my mood.

So, fit-and-flare dresses it is, I suppose.

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SIA: The Art of Independence

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer · Style Imitating Art

A few weeks ago I had a gift card to redeem at lululemon but it was only redeemable at one in the suburbs. So, we decided to make it a date night and head over to Oak Brook mall so I could shop and we could eat dinner.

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Dress – Le Tote (same) | Necklace – Le Tote (same at Le Tote, same for sale) | Shoes – Loeffler Randall c/o Shopbop (similar

I wore this dress and it turned out to be the perfect outfit to go along with this week’s Style Imitating Art choice.

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Ntombephi “Induna” Ntobela, My Sea, My Sister, My Tears, 2011, glass beads sewn onto fabric

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The blues, the patterns, and the fact that my necklace is a bead work so well, right?

Also, I want to take a moment to talk about lululemon sports bras. This was the first time I’d ever actually tried anything on in that store and the sports bras were so….tiny! I don’t even have that big of a chest and yet I felt like I was going to accidentally flash myself in the dressing room.  Their stuff looks so cute on other people but I’m not sure how I feel about it. Any of you have thoughts?

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