Tag Archives: gray


Not always black and white

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

It’s a good thing I have a backlog of photos to post. Why? Because my husband started a new job on Monday and I have a feeling that his new schedule and commute, combined with the slowly decreasing daylight hours, means outfit photos won’t happen nearly as often.

And, yes, for those of you keeping track, this is his third job since he graduated with his chemistry degree less than two years ago. The first one was not a good fit and the second one was a contract job with a corporate policy of A. not hiring people with “only” Bachelor’s degrees and B. not keeping contractors for more than a year.

This new job is at least contract-to-hire but, unfortunately, his commute is going to be horrid. Which is why we’re thinking of moving to the suburbs when our lease is up.

Which breaks my heart.


Blazer – The Limited (same) | Dress – Le Tote (same) | Shoes – J. Crew Factory (similar) |Necklace – gift (similar

There are lots of reasons that it makes sense to move to the ‘burbs. It’s easier for me to commute downtown than it is for Jason to commute out there.  We could get a place with a garage where Jason can work on his car and still save money for retirement (which needs to be happening at a much faster pace).  And I’m sure there are other benefits that I can’t think of right now. Relationships are about compromise, right?

Nicole at Cedar & Rush recently made a similar move and she blogged about how sometimes we have to “give up things we LIKE, to get the things we LOVE.”

Does moving to the ‘burbs get me closer to something I love? I honestly don’t know right now. But, hey, even 5 years ago I didn’t want to move into the actual city of Chicago! Life isn’t always so black and white, you know?



Boots and Black and Bar Siena

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

A few weeks ago I finally got to try a new restaurant in my neighborhood: Bar Siena. I went with a group of friends and we enjoyed some yummy food and drinks. I knew I would be walking to and from the restaurant and I wanted to wear an outfit that was both cute and practical.

Hence, black dress and knee high boots.


Jacket – Langford Market (similar) | Dress – Nieman Marcus Outlet (similar) | Scarf – gift (similar) | Boots – DSW (similar

After I put together this outfit and wore it to dinner, my mom sent me some fun knit boot cuffs that would have gone perfectly with this! So, I foresee wearing this outfit again soon so that I can wear my new accessory.


Also, amusingly, two of my three friends I was meeting for dinner showed up wearing red jackets. I ALMOST wore my red trench to dinner instead of my denim jacket. Wouldn’t that have been amusing? Clearly I’m friends with some ladies with good fashion sense.


Layered Surprise

Casual Friday

In case you missed the Internet on Monday, there was a crazy moon thing on Sunday. A lunar eclipse/bloodmoon to be exact. Jason and I went out to Chicago’s Adler planetarium and he rented a fancy lens to take photos of the moon over the lake.

And there were clouds. And we almost went home. But then the layers of clouds passed and we were treated to a perfect view.


When you’re going to be out near the lake in Chicago, even in the summer, it makes sense to also dress in layers. You just never know when a cool breeze is going to blow in.


But, when you take off the layers you want something of interest to stick around.

Which is where my brand new necklace comes into the equation!


Cardigan – Old Navy (similar) | Tee – Target (similar) | Scarf – DSW (similar) | Jeans – American Eagle Outfitters (same) | Shoes – Express (similar) | Necklace – Guapa | Watch c/o JORD (same)


I was at the Randolph Street Market on Friday evening and Saturday morning as part of the Editors and Designers Choice for Charity and I saw this awesome booth that was displaying all her jewelry and scarfs on white t-shirts. I thought it was such a great idea that I gave her my award for Best Booth. And then bought this necklace because I couldn’t stop thinking about it!

I promptly wore the necklace two days in a row. Yes, it’s a little Mr. T but, you know, I don’t really care. It makes for a great layered surprise.



The Great Sandal Hunt: Shopping with Splender


When I was packing for my work trip to Ontario, I tried to keep the number of shoes I was taking to a minimum. Sandals, flats, casual and, of course, my workout sneaks. I decided to wear the sandals on the plane because they went with my black maxi dress.

What I didn’t realize was that the elastic strap on my sandals is about to give way on one of the buckles! Also, unbuckling them to go through the security line at the airport and then putting them back on afterward was kind of annoying.

I bought those sandals back in April of 2012 and considering they were $21 from Old Navy, aren’t real leather, and I’ve worn them every summer since, I feel like they outperformed their initial construction! However, I’m at the point now where when items like this start to fall apart I want to replace them with real leather goods that will, hopefully, last just as long, if not longer.

So, I turned to the cash back shopping site Splender to help offset the cost of the sandal upgrade.


Dress – Le Tote (same) | Necklace – Rocksbox | Sandals – Nordstrom (same)

Don’t forget to use code ERIN25 for 50% off your first month of Le Tote! Or code looplooksxoxo for a free month of Rocksbox.


Splender collates deals and coupons from over 800 online shopping sites, including Nordstrom, Macy’s, Ann Taylor, and more. You can browse by store or by deal and when you find one you like you just click the Shop Now button. After that you shop normally and anything you buy at that store you earn cash back. At Nordstrom, for example, it’s currently 4%.

Which is why I ordered these lovely Seychelles sandals. They have a zipper in the back so if I have to take them off in a security line in the future I can just unzip and slide them off! IMG_2295

I also debated about ordering this Trouve pair but, sadly, they were out of my size.

I was also lusting after these Frye sandals which, in all actuality, are the closest in look to my original pair.  I found them in my size at Lord and Taylor which has a 6% cashback incentive via Splender but even with stacking the coupon codes and deals listed by Splender they were still more than I wanted to pay. I might regret that decision, though. And, if so, I’ll return the Seychelles ones and go back to Splender to buy the Fryes!

Splender is free to join and there are no ads, which is nice. You get your cash back via a commission that the store pays Splender. If you’re curious about how it all works, they have a fun YouTube video that explains it.

When I was searching for replacement sandals, I used Splender’s “Stores” function to filter all their stores by Shoes and Accessories and then scrolled through the alphabetical list until I a store caught my eye. The only thing I found a bit annoying was that sometimes they don’t have ALL the offers listed on the store’s listing on Splender. For example, when I clicked on Lord and Taylor it didn’t list that on that particular day they were having an extra 15% off sale on all full-priced items.  Also, the Free Shipping filter doesn’t filter out stores that only have free shipping if you spend a certain dollar amount.


In a perfect world, I’d like to also be able to search by item (i.e. black sandals) and find stores that sell that item instead of just browsing at every store in the list. But, hey, I suppose it’s similar to hunting for what you want in the mall, too!

Overall, I liked that I could browse so many stores in one place and that it’s basically no extra work for me to earn a little extra money just for doing what I like to do: shop!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


All of the Seasons (52)

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

In Chicago we have this awesome blogging group called the Windy City Blogger Collective. The two ladies that run it (Kit and Erin) are amazing and work so hard at organizing events for all of us bloggers to get together and meet one another. On Tuesday of this week we had a happy hour at Seasons 52 where we drank ourselves silly and stuffed ourselves with wonderful food.

And then I rode a Divvy bike home in a skirt and had Jason take my picture before falling asleep. Me, that is. Not him. Although, I think he did go to sleep about the same time as me. We’re a happening couple.


Sweater – Old Navy (similar) | Skirt – LOFT (similar) | Shoes – J. Crew Factory (similar) | Necklace – Rocksbox 


I was inspired to pair this short sleeved sweater with this skirt after Sarah at Sarah’s Real Life did something similar. I didn’t tuck mine in but I might have to try that next time. I just always feel self conscious when I tuck shirts into skirts because it tends to make me look disproportional. You know, since my torso is so short and my legs are so long.

Anyway, it might also seem weird to wear a sweater in June but I think we’re doing all the seasons this week. Hot, cold, spring, summer, fall. But if it snows then I’m moving. Even if Chicago does have the best group of bloggers around!



Chilly in Camo

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

Remember back in April when I did the 10 piece wardrobe challenge? And all I wanted to do was wear my white blazer? Well, this is one of the outfits I wore that I never got a chance to photograph. And I liked it so much that I wore it earlier this week.

Let’s not talk about how I could wear the same outfit in April and in June.  Stupid weather.



Blazer – Forever 21 (similar) | Tee – Target (similar) | Pants – LOFT (similar) | Shoes  – J. Crew Factory (similar) | Necklace – Rocksbox (code looplooksxoxo should still get you a month free)

This past Tuesday evening my friend and neighbor invited me to go with her to see the Barenaked Ladies in concert at Northerly Island, an outdoor concert venue on Lake Michigan. Hard to believe, but even wearing jeans, ankle boots,  a long-sleeved top, a sweater, a scarf and gloves I was cold. In June! At least the concert was entertaining. Highly recommend going to see Barenaked Ladies even if you don’t know all of their songs. I don’t normally enjoy concerts but this one was great.

I suppose the only plus side to the chillier weather (and the fact that my desk at work is freezing until mid-afternoon) is that I can still wear blazers to work and not sweat to death on my commute.

And, yes, I just wrote a post that was mostly about the weather. My life is just that exciting.



05_May_2015 - 9 of 10

Casual Bling

Casual Clothes · Casual Friday

Once again, it may seem silly to be wearing a sweater when it’s practically summer but I liked this outfit so I wanted to share it with you.

It’s an interesting combination of bling (thanks to Rocksbox) and casual (thanks to my sneakers from Shopbop).

05_May_2015 - 9 of 10

Necklace – via Rocksbox (you can still try it free for a month with code looplooksxoxo) | Sweater – J. Crew Factory (similar) | jeans – Henry & Belle via Stitch Fix (same) | Shoes – Tretorn c/o Shopbop (same)

05_May_2015 - 10 of 10

Most of the people in my office don’t wear a lot of jewelry so when I wear pieces like this I tend to get comments. Good comments, though. In fact, the day I wore this one I got a compliment on it. It’s fun when people compliment my Rocksbox pieces because I can tell them how much fun it is to try out new jewelry all the time.

05_May_2015 - 8 of 10


More camo, more shiny

Casual Clothes · Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

Last week we had a really interesting discussion about camo print pants. Many of you said you felt the same way I did and were excited to see how I would style them in the future.

Well, the future is now because here’s another outfit with my camo print jeans!

camo-jeans-gray-vest-1Jeans – LOFT (same) | Shirt – J. Crew Factory (similar) | Vest – Gap (similar) | Necklace – c/o Rocksbox (use code looplooksxoxo for a free month!*) | Shoes – c/o Shopbop (same)

camo-jeans-gray-vest-3Rocksbox gave me three month trial of their service so I could try it out and tell you guys about it. I’ve already worn everything they sent me in my first box and am looking forward to my next one!

Yes, Rocksbox is one of those services, similar to Le Tote, where you pay a monthly fee to borrow designer items. Whereas Le Tote is for both clothes and jewelry, Rocksbox is just jewelry. And so far they hit my style spot-on. You get three pieces and they can pick from your wish list or they can use your wish list to send you items they think you’d like. I’ll show you the other two items tomorrow!

And, yes, you can buy the pieces or you can just wear ’em, send ’em back, and get new ones!

camo-jeans-gray-vest-2I thought this necklace was perfect for adding a little bit of shine and femininity to an otherwise casual outfit. I wore this particular outfit to run a ton of errands over the weekend (Goodwill, Home Depot, grocery store, Target) and now I want to wear it too work. Too bad I already sent back my Rocksbox and I’ll have to wear something out of my own jewelry box that I probably won’t like nearly as much.

I still really like the outfit, though. Very comfy and practical. I also like how the gray works with the more muted camo print and keeps it all very neutral.

What do you think? Which camo print outfit do you prefer so far?


*offer expires in 30 days


Pinterest Parallels [Vol. 2]

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter · Pinterest Parallels

Pinterest Parallels is my attempt to recreate outfits I’ve saved on Pinterest using items that I haven’t purchased recently.

I saved this photo about two months ago because I’m always looking for ideas on how to “dress down” my dresses. And since I have a short sleeved black dress that doesn’t get enough love I thought, hey, I can do this one!

black-dress-brown-boots-1Dress – Nieman Marcus outlet (similar) | Shirt – The Limited (similar) | Scarf – gift (similar) | Boots – Sam Edelman c/o Shopbop (same) | Watch – Nixon c/o Shopbop (same) black-dress-brown-boots-3This outfit? So comfy! I felt like I was wearing pajamas all day. However, I also felt cute and spunky which, let me tell you, I normally do not feel when I’m wearing my pajamas. Plus, I think it was a great way to take this black faux leather trimmed dress (which I have also worn out to events) and make it more appropriate for my casual office.

black-dress-brown-boots-2It also got me mixing brown and black which is something I’m always a tad bit hesitant to do. But I actually liked the way the brown boots looked better than if I had worn black boots. I think black boots would have made it look too dressy.

What do you think?

Notes: Dress is from August 2013. The tee is so old I can’t remember. The scarf is from at least two years ago. The boots and the watch are the most recent additions to my closet.


Respectable Fun

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

Apologies for the radio silence last week. I was super busy at work and at home after getting back from Florida. I even had to bail on a blogger event at Blaze Pizza. And when I pass up free pizza (and wine!) you know I’m swamped.

One of my jobs at work is to train new employees on what it is exactly that our company does and why. I don’t really train them on how to do their jobs, but I talk to them about our products, our general workflows, and which departments do what.

Although our company doesn’t have a dress code and we can basically wear almost anything we want, when I have new employees to train I try to dress nicely (not that I dress like crap the other days or anything) but not too over the top lest I scare them.

le-tote-leopard-scarf-moto-jeans1Blazer – The Limited (similar) | Scarf – Le Tote (same) | Tee – Target (same) | Jeans – Old Navy (same) | Booties – Sam Edelman c/o Shopbop (same)

I had two new employees to train a few weeks ago and I figured a blazer with some fun jeans and a tee was just the ticket, I think. The blazer makes me seem like someone they should totally listen to but the moto jeans and leopard print say that I’m not super serious.

Or maybe I’m just deluding myself. Anyway, I really liked this outfit and thought it was a good way to wear these jeans that I’d only worn one other time.

le-tote-leopard-scarf-moto-jeans2Linking up with Fashionably Employed | More Pieces of Me | On the Daily Express