Tag Archives: gray

Let’s go to lunch

Casual Clothes · Casual Friday

Someone asked me once when it was officially appropriate to break out riding boots for every day wear. I said once the high temperature for the day was going to be in the 50s. Well, we definitely hit that in Chicago last week! So weird to think that I went from sweating in a sleeveless dress to freezing in boots and long sleeves.

Blue gingham shirt with leopard print blouse and puffy vest

Shirt – Gap (similar) | Vest – Gap (similar) | Scarf – NYC street vendor (similar) | Jeans – American Eagle (same) | Boots – DSW (similar)

I fully admit that I wore this outfit to work on Friday AND to lunch with my parents on Saturday. What? You don’t sometimes wear the same thing two days in a row? Did I just say something really horrible?

Anyway, we went to Bar Takito which just opened last month near our apartment. The food was tasty and now I really want to go there for dinner when they have an expanded menu. However, so many new restaurants have opened up in my neighborhood that I feel I need to try somewhere new first!

Although, clearly I don’t necessarily feel the need to try a new outfit on the weekends.

Gray vest, blue gingham shirt, riding boots

  

Pinstripes and Peplum

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

The title of this post sounds like something that could have come out of the fashion blog name generator, doesn’t it? Man, I hope no one named their blog that. Because I honestly don’t know if peplum is still a thing. I think it is. But, then again, I’m not necessarily one to give up a trend as soon as its “over” as long as it still looks good. And peplum hides the fact that I haven’t been working out as much as I used to!

black-peplum-gray-pinstripe-1Scarf – gift (similar) | Top – The Limited (similar) | Pants – The Limited (similar) | Shoes – TJ Maxx (similar) | Bracelet – JF&A Show (similar)black-peplum-gray-pinstripe-5

Don’t forget you can win this watch! Last day to enter!! 

This outfit came about because Behind the Leopard Glasses is doing a pattern challenge this month and while many of the patterns she chose are not ones I have in my closet, I DO have pinstripes! But, it turned out that I’d either donated or sold many of my pinstriped items and these pants seem to be the only pinstriped bottoms I have left. black-peplum-gray-pinstripe-4While I was at work I alternated between using my scarf as a shawl and wearing my denim jacket. It’s way too cold in my office to wear just a sleeveless top. But, I really liked the way this outfit turned out with the peplum so even if it’s too cold or even if it’s too out of style, I’m still wearing it.

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I don’t know what it is about this particular top, but every time I wear it I feel 6 feet tall (in case you didn’t already know, I’m only 5’4″). I think it’s because it tricks the eye into thinking my waist is lower than it is. And I’m totally cool with that.

And because I know you’re all just here for the Chewie pics, here’s one more.

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Also linking up with Happiness at Mid-Life 

  

Making jeans shopping less painful with American Eagle Outfitters Denim Experience [sponsored]

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall · Shopping

Yes, this is another sponsored post. I was given a $50 American Eagle gift card as part of my relationship with the Quality Blue Community to try out buying jeans online via American Eagle Outfitters and then write about it. I honestly jumped at this chance since my new job means a lot more jeans and, well, I only have about three pairs I can wear!  Of course, all opinions are my own.

In fact, you’ve actually heard some opinions about the jeans themselves when I wore them for the first time here.  I bought them online from the American Eagle website using their new “denim experience” that aims to give you as much information as possible about their 14 styles of jeans, including videos of their models wearing them.

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Of course, it would be even more awesome if they showed every day people wearing the jeans, but models it is. So, here’s an every day person wearing their jeans.

Gray moto jacket with white tee, skinny jeans, and pink heels

Jeans – c/o American Eagle Outfitters (same) | Jacket – Ellen Tracey via Macy’s (similar) | Tee – Be Good Clothing (same) | Shoes – Jessica Simpson via Poshmark (similar)

After perusing all the different style and color options I ended up ordering the Skinny Jean in Medium Indigo and the Skinny Jean in Clean Rinse, both in size 6. I appreciated that they give leg opening measurements, too, because I happen to know that anything under 12” is going to be too tight on my calves.

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I ended up not liking the Clean Rinse option so I decided to exchange it for a size 4 also in the Medium Indigo. Shipping and returns are free on AEO jeans which is a nice perk!  The only measurements they don’t give and I wish they did are actual waist in inches and thigh measurements. Of course, I don’t know if any denim company that gives thigh measurements but us girls with athletic thighs sure could use them!

The exchange seemed to take a long time, though. Much longer than it took to ship the original order. So, I would suggest that if you think you’re between sizes and you can afford it, order them all at once and send back whatever you don’t want. Turns out I’m right between a size 4 and a size 6 so now I have skinny-day skinny jeans and bloated-day skinny jeans. Ah, the joys of being a woman! Still I’d definitely order jeans from American Eagle Outfitters again. Especially since they’re typically under $30 a pair!!

On the plus side, as a woman you get to wear amazing shoes and get compliments all day from random people about how much they like them. And, yes, that really happened when I wore this outfit to work.

Gray moto jacket with white tee, skinny jeans, and pink heels

  

Hot and Misty

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

So, for some reason my comment notification emails are no longer showing up in my inbox. I’m not sure what’s up with that and I hope you guys are still getting my responses. Because I do try to respond to every comment I get! Even if today they are about how leggings are not pants.

White chiffon top and black leggings with scarf and fedora Top – Gap (similar) | Pants – Gap (similar) | Scarf – The Limited (similar) | Shoes – J. Crew Factory (same) | Hat – Taste of Randolph street festival vendor (similar)

Or maybe your comments will be about how my smile looks a little crazed. I took these pictures on Sunday and it was HOT and I just wanted to be done. I was sweating like crazy. But this outfit is actually perfect for my office and the weather today. Mainly because these are pants, not leggings. I swear! And the weather has cooled off substantially so wearing a scarf in July isn’t totally odd.

Although, just typing that seems odd. I swear, am I the only person who checks the weather a hundred times before deciding what to wear? You just never know in Chicago!

For example, like I said, on Sunday when I took these photos it was ridiculously warm outside and people were pressing the mist button on this sculpture at the park like crazy. Yes, this sculpture has a mist function. It’s super fun and I’d actually never seen it in action until Sunday.

Summer scarf with black and white outfit

See it in the background? And see the guy staring at it? That was basically everyone’s reaction. So, if you ever come to Chicago and want to see the misting sculpture, let me know. I’ll hook you up.

  

Changing My Mind

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

First, have you voted for your favorite outfit of June yet? I love seeing if you guys agree with me or not. So far, it’s not! Maybe you’ll make me change my mind about my favorite outfit from last month!

Speaking of changing my mind, here’s what I originally put on to wear to work:gray_tee_floral_skirt_1

Shirt – Target (same) | Skirt – LOFT via Poshmark (similar) | Shoes – J. Crew Factory (same) | Necklace (above) – clothing swap (similar) | Necklace (below) – NY & Co (similar) | Denim jacket (below) – Langford Market (similar)

It’s okay, right? I mean, it’s a fine way to make a pencil skirt work for a more casual office. But there was something just off about it. I wasn’t sure what it was until I changed my necklace and added my denim jacket. Then I liked it a lot more.

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Oh, and the hat because it was windy.

I think the colored necklace adds some dimension to the gray t-shirt and keeps it from looking washed out. It also echoes the blue in the skirt which ties the top and the bottom together. Finally, the denim jacket adds extra visual interest but keeps it more casual than a cardigan would have.

Sometimes just changing an accessory is all an outfit needs to make it more fun or interesting. Plus, accessories are cheaper than a whole new wardrobe, right? So try changing them up and you might find you’ve taken an outfit you only felt so-so about it and made it one you feel good wearing!

  

Cardigan Swap

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

Purple cardigan with black and white printed top and black pants, Chicago style blogger

Gray scarf with black and white printed top and purple cardigan

Cardigan – The Limited (similar) | Top – clothing swap (similar) | Scarf – gift (similar) | Pants – Gap (similar) | Shoes – Nine West (similar)

For everyone who says that blazers aren’t their thing I just want you to know you can still get plenty of outfit ideas from photos of people wearing blazers. Take this outfit from Skirt The Rules, for example. I don’t have a blazer that color but I do have this cardigan! So I decided to recreate her look with pieces I’ve had in my closet for awhile.

I added the scarf because this particular top is kind of low-cut and it’s cold outside. The scarf keeps me covered up, warm, and office-appropriate. Plus it adds some nice visual interest to my outfit.

Okay, enough talk about clothes. Let’s talk about my weekend. I actually wore this outfit to the office on Wednesday because today I’m on my way to Cleveland!! Why? Because my friend Rachel is running her very first half marathon on Sunday and I’m running with her. I’m super excited for her. We’re going to have a great time. And I then I hear we’ll be going to some place called Melt for lunch. I believe they are the land of grilled cheese sandwiches? I’m definitely down with that.

Black and white paired with a purple cardigan

Linking up with On the Daily Express | More Pieces of Me | Basic Training Corporate Style

  

Credit where credit is due

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

Striped shirt with navy lace pants, Chicago style blogger

Striped shirt with lace pants

Top – The Limited (similar) | Blouse – Collide Boutique (similar) | Pants – Ann Taylor (similar) | Shoes – J. Crew Factory (same) | Necklace – JF&A Show (similar)

First off, I have to give credit where credit is due. I did not come up with this outfit idea all on my own. Nope. I saw a very similar outfit on AJ Wears Clothes and knew I had all the pieces to recreate it. I just had to wait for the weather to warm up! Now that ankle pant weather is finally here I’m excited to wear these lace pants!

Also, in full disclosure, I recently ordered an almost identical sleeveless collared blouse from The Limited because this particular one gapes at the chest (seriously, my chest is not that big!) and while it looks fine underneath things, there’s no way I can wear it by itself.  I’ll have to see how the one from The Limited works out once it gets here.

Finally, there’s one other thing I want to give some credit to for my wardrobe: Pressbox.  What is Pressbox? It’s a 24 hour dry cleaning pick-up and drop off service!

We used to have a dry cleaner in our apartment building but the quality was so-so, the woman who manned it was kind of surly, and she only took cash. When that closed I started going to the one I walk past on my way to the train but trying to remember to grab my stuff as I rushed out the door eluded me.

Enter Pressbox. They installed a block of Pressbox lockers in our building and I LOVE it! Seriously. I can drop my clothes off in the locker in my pajamas whenever I remember and it’s back to me in two days or so.

pressbox

You sign up for an account, you put your stuff in the locker, lock it and you text the locker number to the Pressbox phone number. They pick it up, send you an email with the price, and then text you the access code and locker number when it’s back. You can even reuse the bag they return it in!

And last night I dropped some stuff off and then realized after they emailed me the price that I forgot to put the “Replace Button” on the cardigan I put in the locker. I emailed them and they responded within 5 minutes and said they’d take care of it.

I am not a paid spokesperson for Pressbox. I just think it’s an amazing concept created by local Chicagoans. And since I don’t iron or sew, I am all about cleaners who will take care of those things for me. Plus the prices are really, really reasonable! It’s a win-win.

What to wear with navy lace pants

  

Casual Layered Maxi Dress

Casual Clothes · Casual Friday

Chicago style blogger, maxi dress

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Maxi dress – New York & Co (similar) | Sweatshirt – Old Navy (similar) | Scarf – gift (similar) | Sandals – Old Navy (similar)

I’m off work again today as I travel to my hometown to run the Illinois Half Marathon tomorrow. So this Friday you get another outfit that I wouldn’t necessarily wear to my office. However, it is an outfit that I wear on the weekends. In fact, I’ve worn this outfit to brunch and to a meeting where I helped a former colleague set up a Facebook page for her new business.

There are two things I really like about this outfit. One is that it’s perfect for days when it’s chilly in the morning but warms up in the afternoon. Why? Because underneath that sweatshirt is a full maxi dress!

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Put your sweatshirt in your bag, keep the scarf, and ta da! You’re ready for warmer weather. The other thing I like about this outfit is the scarf. Why do I like this scarf so much? Because of its shape.

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This isn’t folded in half. Nope. It’s actually a triangular scarf. It makes it super easy to wear without worrying about how to tie it or fold it or finagle it. My mother-in-law brought this back to me from Italy a few years ago and Linda, if you’re reading, a few more of these would be great!

Now, this isn’t to say I haven’t worn this dress to work before because I definitely have as you can see here. So, whether you need a casual or a dressier outfit, I’ve got you covered. In a maxi dress.

  

Gray Dress and Black Boots

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

Chicago style blogger wears gray dress with black blouse and boots

Chicago style blogger wears a gray dress with a black blouse

Dress – Nordstrom Rack (similar) | Blouse – clothing swap (similar) | Boots – Cole Haan (similar)

After a beautiful weekend our winter weather seems to be back for another round. Hence the layers, tights, and boots. That’s okay, though, because in the past when I’ve worn this dress I’ve mentioned wanting to wear it with my knee high boots. And although I’ve worn it with my ankle boots this really is the first time I’ve worn it with my tall boots. And I really like it!

Anyway, speaking of the nice weather, how did I spend my weekend? Well, after running my last long run (!!) of this current half marathon training cycle I showed up at the PAWS Chicago warehouse to help sort donations. Almost four hours later I’d sorted so much dog food, cat food, toys, leashes, and beds I was amazed at how much people donate. The volunteer coordinator, though, said that as fast as the food comes in it goes back out through the pet food pantry.

At least I had some cute helpers?

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Also, when Jason was taking my pictures in this outfit he mentioned that I didn’t seem to be very excited to be having my picture taken. “Do something interesting,” he said.

Okay.

Chicago style blogger, gray dress, black boots

Linking up with Fizz & Frosting | On the Daily Express | More Pieces of Me | Basic Training Corporate Style

  

5 Ways to Wear a Short Sleeved Sweater

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

Chicago style blogger, polka dot sweater, pencil skirt

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Sweater – Old Navy (similar plain; similar printed) | Skirt – The Limited (similar) | Belt – The Limited (similar) | Shoes – 6pm.com (similar)

A few years ago I thought to myself, “Why would anyone want to own a short sleeved sweater? When would you even wear such a thing?” Turns out you can wear it quite a bit as evidenced here:

5 ways to wear a  short sleeved polka dot sweater

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Layered over another shirt, under a blazer or jacket, or just all on it’s own, the short sleeved sweater is great for those in-between months where it might be cooler in the morning but warmer in the afternoon. Basically, spring in Chicago.