Tag Archives: dress

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Greetings from Sonoma: The Outfit [SIA Post]

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer · Style Imitating Art

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I’m sure you all know how difficult it is to come home from a vacation, but it’s even more difficult when you’ve come home from a place with amazing weather, amazing food, amazing views and amazing wine! And you spent the time with amazing company (shout-out to my mom).

We didn’t have any real plans for our trip other than get to Sonoma and have fun. Well, that’s not entirely true. The one thing I wanted to do was go find this mural at The Fremont Diner in Sonoma since I’d chosen it as this week’s Style Imitating Art inspiration.

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And, yes, I succeeded! I wore my latest Moonfish purchase along with my brown and silver tote, silver shoes, and silver necklace (also from Moonfish). I was tempted to wear my gold jewelry and brown shoes but I went with the silver to mimic the metal wall.

Oh, and you’ll notice the hat in all my Sonoma photos. I bought this hat years ago at a street festival in Chicago but I think this was the first time it got worn so many days in a row.

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We ate lunch at the Fremont Diner after spending the morning on the balcony of winery with the most beautiful view: Nicholson Ranch. I’d been there once before almost 8 years ago, so of course I had to take a picture in almost the exact same spot.

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And here I am with my friend Holly, in July 2009!

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(Clearly I have a thing for silver shoes!)

If you weren’t following my Instagram Story, you probably missed out on many of the pictures I took this trip. So, here’s a taste of what we ate at The Fremont Diner (pun totally intended!)

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Fried oyster hash for me, shrimp and grits for my mom. Followed by amazing pecan pie!

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Don’t forget! If this week’s artwork inspired you to come up with an outfit, send it my way (looplooks@gmail.com) by the end of the day on Tuesday, June 20th and I’ll include it in the round-up on Wednesday.

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A Hot Day’s Dress

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

A few weeks ago I restarted my Le Tote account that I’d put on hold. I was hoping to get some dresses I could wear in Sonoma. It turned out that I didn’t end up taking any of them to Sonoma with me, but I did wear the one I got several times beforehand. We’ve had a few really hot days in Chicago and this dress was perfect for those.

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I had to run a bunch of errands before going on vacation so this outfit got worn to Ulta, Target, and the grocery store.

I’m not a huge fan of the lace-up trend that’s going on, but since this one doesn’t actually lace I rather enjoyed the fun accent that looks like it laces but it doesn’t actually tie or anything.

The shoes are a recent order from Shopbop. I have them in brown and I love them so much I decided to get them in silver, too. Especially since the straps on my silver gladiator sandals need to be re-glued.

This outfit would be perfect to wear to outdoor festivals or, if you’re like me, just around town while you do that thing called adulting.

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same dress in different color | exact same dress | same shoes | similar hat

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A deck sneak peak

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

Remember when I said we were decorating our deck? Well, the chairs came and I bought a rug and it all matches the hand-me-down tables perfectly!

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same chairs | same rug

I still need to hang our cafe party lights and find an ottoman (any suggestions??) but it’s definitely coming together! And if you want to see it person I’m still having a brunch party on June 24th and I’d love to have you there.

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I actually wore this outfit when I explored two neighborhood spots with my friend (and former neighbor) Margaret. She’s super into the food scene in Chicago so she knows all the places. We had brunch at Cellar Door Provisions and then more coffee and pastries from the Bakery at Fat Rice. Both are within walking distance of our apartment!

Cellar Door Provision is the cutest space and has simple but tasty food. Fat Rice is more energetic with some very interesting flavor combinations. But, I discovered that both have coffee bars so I know where I can go when I run out of coffee at home.

And then when we got back, she even helped me get the deck chairs set up! I’m sure she can attest to the fact that they are quite comfy. Chewie seems to think so, too.

 

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This outfit is also really comfy and I think I’m going to wear it on the plane to Sonoma ON SUNDAY!

Yes, my mom and I are taking a girls’ trip to California and I am so excited. I have already planned to pack all my new dresses (two from Moonfish!) and will get my mom to take some pictures. So, stay tuned!

similar dress | same jacket | similar sandals | similar scarf

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The saga of finding the perfect dress to wear to someone else’s wedding

Shopping

Two weeks ago my friend Annabelle got married and I decided it was the perfect excuse to go back to the Chicago Rent the Runway location and find a dress to wear!

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Just like last time, RTR sent me a questionnaire and asked what I was looking for. Annabelle’s favorite color is purple so I wanted something purple and sleeveless. Other than that, I didn’t have anything in mind.

Although, I fully admit, I had one dress I was really hoping to be able to try on.

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Sadly, that dress wasn’t available in the store. And they didn’t have a ton of items in purple, but they had still pulled quite a few things for me to try!

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I enjoy being able to try on the dresses in person and I took pictures for your enjoyment! See if you can guess why I did or didn’t like a certain dress before you read my comments.

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same dress

This one was almost a contender! I had to go up a size in it to get it to fit over my hips and booty and then that made it too loose in the bust. Also, you can kind of see it riding up on my hips in the photo. Sad, too, because it reminded me of a dress I wore to dances in high school that I loved!

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same dress

I actually really liked this one and if it had A. been in purple and B. I hadn’t felt like I wouldn’t be able to eat or drink anything while wearing it, I would have got home with this one. As it was, it wasn’t that spectacular and it was super-duper tight. But it made my legs and arms look amazing!

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same dress

This was a crowd favorite when I shared it on Instagram! And, again, if it had been purple I would have chosen it right away. As it was, I held out for something that made me fall in love.

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same dress

I actually liked this one a lot more when I put it on! The color wasn’t something I had even considered. But, in the end, that weird ruffle on the side didn’t do it for me.

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same dress

Oh my gosh, you guys. When I saw this one on the hanger I immediately thought, “No.” But, I figured I’d try it on just for you. The things I’ll do for a laugh.

To be honest, the stylist they paired me with was not my favorite. It turned out that the stylist I was supposed to work with was styling a young woman as part of a Make a Wish event and it was running much longer than anticipated. Yeah, I wasn’t going to complain since it was happening for a good cause! Plus, they comped my $25 styling fee since I didn’t get my original stylist and I had to share the one they did give me. I’m glad, too, because, like I said, I didn’t think he did a great job. Of course, I think he got handed me at the last minute so, who knows.

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same dress

I actually did end up getting this zipped, but decided it wasn’t anything special. Yes, it looked good on but it wasn’t making me swoon.

I’ve figured out that all my weight lifting has given me a much broader back than I’m used to. I have no idea what size dress I wear anymore!

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same dress

This one was actually kind of fun but it didn’t fit as well as I wanted. Once again, it was a bit tight on the hips and too loose at the top. Also, I feel like since my legs look pretty good, if I’m going to wear a full-length gown I’d like a slit in it

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same dress

So…my neck isn’t actually that long. Which meant that these ruffles were almost to my ears. Clearly this dress was designed for a super model.

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same dress

Oh boy. The reviews for this dress all say the same thing: wear fashion tape and you’d better hope you have good posture. I didn’t want to spend the entire wedding being self-concisous so I definitely passed on this one. Also, like so many of the other ones, it was too tight across my hips.

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same dress

Too tight on the hips, too much of a boho look, too not me. Yeah.

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same dress

This dress was another case of my back being too broad and my neck not being long enough. Also, it felt like something I would have worn to work at my previous job, not to a wedding. So, no.

In the end, I didn’t love any of the dresses I tried on in the store. So, they helped me order the dress I had wanted to try on in the first place. It fit perfectly and I loved wearing it.

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same dress

I still highly recommend using Rent the Runway if you have an event and want the chance to wear a dress you either couldn’t afford to buy or just don’t want to buy something you’ll only wear once. For around $100 I got to wear this almost $400 dress, feel beautiful, and ship it back when I was done.

If you want to try it, you can use this link to get $30 off your first order (and get me $30 in credit). Or if you’re in Chicago and want to visit the store, I’m happy to go with! It’s a ton of fun.

Check out my other Rent the Runway experiences here, here and here.

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A snapshot I took at the wedding. I highly recommend Chicago Distilling Company!

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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!