Tag Archives: dress

Then and Now [Vol. 2]

Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

What is “Then and Now”? My goal is to take an outfit that’s already been worn on the blog and show you how I’m wearing it now and talk about what I changed and why.

My bow tie print dress has been hanging in my closet since I wore it to my last day at work at my old job. I hadn’t worn it to my new job because it just felt too…over the top, I guess. But I decided recently that I didn’t care and was going to wear it anyway,

bow-tie-print-dress-2bow-tie-print-dress-3Dress – Comfort Me Boutique (same on eBay) | Turtleneck – The Limited (similar)| Tights – c/o Hanes (same) | Booties – Sam Edelman c/o Shopbop (same) | Necklace – c/o t+j designs (same)

I also figured this was a good chance to do another Then and Now installment. Here’s how I wore it the last time it was chilly outside.

bow-dress-two-ways(original post)

Clearly I like to stick with a black and gold pallet, huh?

This time I left off the belt and wore ankle boots instead of heels. I also added more opaque tights. And, to be honest, I like the look of the cardigan and the heels (and the belt) much better.

I sort of felt like a little kid all day in my dress over my turtleneck. I’ve worn dresses over turtlenecks before (evidence) but it tended to be with more streamlined dresses. I think the belt and the cardigan help tone down the fullness of the skirt and the heels definitely do a better job of not cutting me off at the ankles. I still don’t like the look of ankle boots with dresses or skirts no matter how many times I try it!

So, what do you think? Do you prefer one outfit over the other? Why?

  

It’s my birthday and I’ll dress up if I want to

Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

Yep, it’s true. Today is my 35th birthday. I don’t mind saying my age because no one believes me anyway. And you can find it on all my race results anyway so there’s no reason to hide.

purple-dress-white-blazer-1Blazer – Forever 21 (similar) | Dress – Le Tote (same) | Scarf – JF & A Show (similar) | Boots – Bandolino via 6pm.com (similar) | Tights – Express (similar)

This outfit is way dressy for my current job but would have been totally perfect for my previous position. And for as comfy as jeans are, I do miss the opportunity to dress up. So today I am. So there. And so what if it’s super cold out? I miss dresses and skirts. I might have to layer two pairs of tights but I’m doing it anyway. I mean, if I wore a skirt on one of the coldest days of the year last year I think I can wear one this week.

I don’t have any fancy plans for my birthday. Apparently this makes my friends sad. But, you know, having a birthday so soon after Christmas makes it difficult to plan unless you get it done way in advance. So, we’re going out for drinks on Thursday. Jason is taking me out to dinner on Tuesday. And tonight? Tonight I have my first swim lesson to help me get ready for the two triathlons I signed up for this summer.

Starting my 35th year off with a bang. And a dress.

purple-dress-white-blazer-2Linking up with Fashionably Employed | More Pieces of Me | On the Daily Express

And it’s SIA time! Visit 14 Shades of Grey to see what art we’re imitating this week.

 

  
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The Dress Decision

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

Have you voted or enter the giveaway yet? No? Why not?

I put this dress in my Le Tote closet because I liked the way it looked like it could be casual or dressy. Turns out it was the perfect thing to wear yesterday. Why?

letote-dress-riding-boots-3Dress – Le Tote (same) | Necklace – Le Tote (same) | Scarf – DSW (similar) | Boots – Sam Edelman c/o Shopbop (same)

letote-dress-riding-boots-4Well, I had two non-routine items on my agenda yesterday. The first was attending a board meeting for my professional organization. Everyone else wears business clothes so I wasn’t about to show up in jeans. letote-dress-riding-boots-2The other? Attending a “career night” for a class that a colleague of mine teaches (shout out to any DU students reading this!) I’m supposed to be a “professional” so I figured I’d better dress as such.

Turns out this dress fits me like a glove. Seriously. This might be the best fitting dress I’ve put on in years. Okay, at least since my first Rent the Runway dress. There’s a part of me that wants to add this dress to my closet permanently. The only thing holding me back is the price tag. At $118 it’s pretty pricey! Especially for a piece I might not wear that often. But, dang. It fits so well and I felt so good in it that I might just bite the bullet and buy it.

What do you think? Spend the money or no?

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Breaking the Rules: Wearing Leggings to Work

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

Two things first: 

1. Don’t forget to vote for your favorite outfit of October! So far it’s a landslide for one of my favorite outfits. 

2. Looking to change up your workout routine? Enter my Flywheel giveaway

You guys, I did it. I wore leggings to work. Something I swore I would never do. Although, to be honest, they’re actually running tights, not traditional leggings, but still. I wore them. And I kind of liked it.

plaid-letote-shift-dress-1Dress – Le Tote (same) | Leggings – Old Navy (same) | Scarf -gift (similar) | Shoes – Payless (same) | Cardigan – Nordstrom Rack (similar) | Necklace – The Limited (similar)

plaid-letote-shift-dress-3Of course, I wore them under a dress and not with a short shirt or something. I still can’t endorse that. But wearing them as footless tights? Okay, maybe that I can get behind.  I hate to say it but they ARE pretty comfy.

So, what do you think? Are leggings worn like this okay for the office or am I on a slippery slope to wearing my pajamas to work?

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The Casual Dressy Dress

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

When I asked for this dress from Le Tote I thought it might be a tad dressier than what I normally wear to work. And I was okay with that.

le-tote-dress-1Dress – Le Tote (same) | Necklace – Le Tote (same) | Boots – DSW (similar) | Belt – The Limited (similar)

I ended up belting it because it sort of felt like a giant sack without some definition. Maybe that’s because I’m short and curvy? Who knows. Anyway, I really ended up liking it. The faux leather details on the sleeves are really fun, too. And it has pockets!

le-tote-dress-3It’s really sheer, though, so definitely not something you would wear in the dead of winter. Definitely more of a fall dress so it actually worked perfectly for a Chicago October day. And, plus, no one at work asked why I was so dressed up and the dental hygienist told me I looked cute. What? You don’t put on a dress to get a cavity filled?

le-tote-dress-2P.S. I have no idea what’s going on with my point-and-shoot camera. All the photos look really grainy and out of focus lately. Maybe I went over one too many jarring bumps with it in my bag on my bike….

  
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Let’s all go to the races

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall · Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring · Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

Last weekend I was fortunate enough to be able to spend a wonderful day at Arlington Race Track courtesy of America’s Best Racing. Our host, Mike, was the perfect gentleman who took his time to not only tell us all about Arlington (did you know it’s probably the most modern race track in America?) but also teach us how to read the program, the stats, and give us some tips on betting. Oh, and we got to see the horses up close.

kate-spade-rent-the-runway-2

But first, our suite. We had our own room that overlooked the track, a wonderful buffet of food, our own bartender, and our own betting machine. The only criteria? Follow the dress code! No jeans, shorts, or t-shirts and no “abbreviated clothing.” I had to ask Mike what that meant and basically the answer was nothing you wouldn’t wear to dinner to meet your significant other’s parents. Hat are optional, by the way, but if you aren’t lucky enough to have a suite you’ll want one to keep off the sun. arlington-race-track-1

I invited my parents, my brother and his girlfriend, and Valerie and her husband to join us. None of us had been to Arlington before and all of us were in awe at how beautiful and elegant it is.

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Mike took us down to the paddock to see the thoroughbreds up close and then we got to watch the horses race right next to the track! Oh, and my favorite part of the day, feeding a horse mints!

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I rented this Kate Spade dress from Rent the Runway and it was perfect for our day at the track. I also rented a pearl necklace but it was too overwhelming on my frame so I went with one I already owned.

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I didn’t win any money overall but I was having fun betting. And that’s saying a lot because I don’t like to gamble! I don’t think I would ever try to make any money at horse racing but it was fun to play for a day. And Arlington itself is so beautiful that just going there makes you feel like a princess.

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Thanks again to Mike and America’s Best Racing for showing us an amazing time at Arlington. Last weekend was the closing weekend of the season but I have a feeling that I’ll be back next summer. Hopefully I’ll remember everything I learned about horse racing!

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Monday Maxi

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall · Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

Last week we had that kind of weather where you can wear anything you want. Dress? Sure. Skirt? You bet. Shorts? Of course. Jeans? Not a problem. So what did I decide to do? Break out another maxi dress. One I don’t think I’ve ever worn on the blog before.

Purple maxi dress with navy cardigan

Cardigan – The Limited (similar) | Dress – Old Navy (similar) | Camisole – The Limited (similar) | Shoes – Sole Society (similar) | Necklace – gift (similar)

This is my comfiest maxi dress because it’s super forgiving. The only downside is that it’s REALLY low cut. Right now I wear a camisole underneath it but only because I haven’t found the perfect sports bra to implement Jen’s sports bra trick.

Lilac maxi dress outfit

I wore this to work last Friday (and, yes, rode a Divvy bike home in it) and it was the perfect outfit to end the week. I felt classy but still comfortable. Because we all know that wearing a jersey maxi dress to work is like wearing pajamas. Right?

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Tomorrow I’ll have a fun post about my trip to Arlington Race Track courtesy of America’s Best Racing! Spoiler: we had a blast!

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

  
Houndstooth dress with blue cardigan and black riding boots

Dress for Dinner

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

Last night I went to dinner at Sepia and I have to say it was one of the nicest dining experiences I’ve had in awhile. If you’re in Chicago definitely put this on your list. And considering I walked there from my office it’s definitely within walking distance of the hot tourist hub of River North.

So, since I knew I was going out to dinner, I decided to wear a dress!

Houndstooth dress with blue cardigan and black riding bootsDress – Target via Goodwill (similar) | Cardigan – J Crew (similar) | Boots – DSW (similar) | Necklace – NY & Co (similar

Of course, I made the dress a bit more casual with my flat riding boots. I actually don’t wear these boots all that often because they are SO TIGHT on my 14.5″ calves. Why do most riding boots have a 14″ shaft circumference?  Who are you skinny calfed people? Show yourselves!

Anyway, I’m definitely still on the lookout for a new pair of black riding boots.  And then I can sell these to someone with tiny calves.

Riding boots with black and white dress

Linking up with Happiness at Mid-Life and Vodka Infused Lemonade 

  
Rent the Runway Oscar Wilde Dinner Dress

My First Rent the Runway Experience

Shopping

This past weekend two friends of mine got married  and I used it as an excuse to try Rent the Runway (<–referral link) for the first time. What is Rent the Runway? Well, it’s your chance to wear a dress you could never afford  and not have to worry about dry cleaning or when you’re going to be able to wear it again.

Rent the Runway Oscar Wild Dinner Dress I chose the Yoana Baraschi Oscar Wild Dinner Dress which apparently retails for $495 but I was able to rent it for much less than that.

My first time renting was a little odd, though, because when I first added the dress to my cart it was showing as renting for $35 for four days. But when I went to check out the price had jumped to $75! I called their customer service who told me that they were having issues with their prices showing incorrectly. They gave me the $35 price (I took a screenshot to prove to them that it said $35 at the time) which was nice but now looking at it I see that it’s currently renting for $35-$45. So, I’m a little suspicious of that $75 price! Still, the customer service was helpful in getting me the original price.

Rent the Runway Yoana Baraschi

I ended up renting the necklace as well because, heck, if I’m wearing a fancy dress why not wear a fancy necklace? And renting was much easier than trying to hunt down the perfect necklace in the limited time that I had to shop.

Badgley Mischka necklace

But how do you make sure that the dress fits? Well, Rent the Runway asks for reviews and photos from the women who rent each dress and you can filter reviews by people who are the same size as you. For this dress most of the reviews said it fit small busted women with small waists and that it runs a little large. You get to pick two sizes of the same dress so you can try them both on. I listened to the reviews and picked one size smaller than my normal size and that one ended up fitting me perfectly.

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The dress and necklace arrived on Thursday, I threw the box in the car for our trip, and put the dress on for the wedding on Saturday. I dropped the return bag at a UPS store this morning and it’s on its way back to Rent the Runway. I really enjoyed the experience (other than the weird pricing issue) and, in fact, have already rented another dress for an event this weekend!

Linking up with Walking In Memphis in High Heels | The Fashion Canvas 

  
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Finally, an eShakti dress!

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall · Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring · Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

Two things to note before I get on with the rest of this post.

1. I wore this dress and took these photos before fall decided to descend on Chicago. I am definitely not wearing it today! But I did wear it twice in the past two weeks. Once to a bridal shower and once to work. These photos are from when I wore it to work.

2. eShakti sent me this dress free of charge with the only stipulation that I use their “customize” feature.

Now, with that out of the way…

eShakti customized dress

Dress – eShakti (same style, different colors) | Shoes – Sole Society (same) | Jacket –  Langford Market (similar)

For at least a year I’ve admired eShakti dresses on Librarian for Life and Style and was a teeny bit jealous that eShakti kept contacting her to try out their customize a dress option. So, I finally decided I’d spend my own money on one when they were having their Buy One, Get One Free sale. I even added some to my cart but had to wait until I got paid. Then, lo and behold, they contacted ME!

So, I went to their site and found a few that I could see wearing either dressed up or down. I just had to decide how I wanted to customize it. With eShakti each dress has a series of customization options that include things as simple as changing the sleeves, neckline or length all the way to being as complicated as entering your specific measurements.

eshakti_measurements

I went with the simpler option and took a dress with elbow-length sleeves that was supposed to hit below the knee and made it sleeveless and asked that it hit above the knee.

I know from reading Jen’s blog that eShakti tends to err on the side of making their dresses and skirts a little longer than what you ask for which is why I asked for above the knee. As you can see, it’s a perfect length! eShakti customized knit dress

The one measurement they don’t ask for that I wish they did was torso length. As in, the distance from the tops of your shoulders to your natural waist. I find that those of us with short torsos tend to end up with shoulder straps that are too long. The dress does pull and bunch a bit strangely across my chest and I’m not sure if that’s because the shoulder straps are too long or too short.

Regardless, it’s SUPER comfortable because it’s knit AND it has pockets. Pockets! In fact, most of their dresses do. It’s also really high quality and has definitely made me an eShakti convert. The next time I want to buy a dress I’m pretty sure I’ll be going there.

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