Do you ever have one of those days when you check the weather 100 times when trying to decide what to wear? Today was one of those days. Another cool, gray, rainy day in Chicago but I saw this outfit on Pinterest and wanted to wear it. A pop of color on a gray day? Cropped pants but worn with a button-up and a sweater? Seemed like a good fall outfit to me.
Shirt – J. Crew Factory (similar) | Sweater – J. Crew Factory (same) | Pants – Express (similar) | Shoes – Sole Society (same)
It occurs to me looking at the photo now that she might be wearing a navy sweater. And I have a navy sweater. But for some reason black seemed more appropriate for fall. Also, I left off the pearls. Right now some of my jewelry seems too over the top for work. But this outfit? I felt perfect in it. I just tossed on my rain boots for my commute to work and to pick up Chewie from doggy day care.
And speaking of Chewie, of course he needed to make an appearance.
No, not take a blurry picture. I’ve done that plenty of times. No, I rode a Divvy bike!
For those of you not in Chicago, Divvy is our bike sharing program that allows you to check out a bike for up to 30 minutes at a time. I’ve been walking home from work a lot more often now (even though I work slightly further away from home than I used to, the walk is more pleasant) and finally Mag Mile Runner (plus a $10 discount) convinced me to try it.
For $65 a year I have unlimited 30 minute rides. Otherwise it’s $7 for every 24 hours. I figure I only have to ride it 10 times to make back my money and I’ve already ridden it twice.
In fact, these pictures were taken AFTER my Divvy ride! And, yes, I wore my helmet. But since my ride only took me 13 minutes (yes, they time you and you can look it up later) it was only 13 minutes of helmet time so the helmet hair aftermath wasn’t that bad.
Or maybe it was horrible and that’s why I took blurry photos. So you couldn’t tell. You’ll never know!
Until the next time I take photos post-Divvy, anyway. And since I plan to ride home as often as possible, that might be fairly often.
Doing laundry, going to Target, making a menu and grocery list, and watering plants
Notice that it did not involve taking any outfit photos. Which meant that I was sad that I wasn’t going to be participating in this week’s Style Imitating Art as chosen by Jen. She chose a lovely Henri Mattisse painting called Pot of Geraniums and it’s just full of fun colors.
But then, when I got home from work on Monday, I realized that my outfit already had two of the main colors in it! All I needed to add was some pink. And so this outfit was born.
Shirt – Old Navy (similar) | Pants – Express (similar) | Shoes – Jessica Simpson via Poshmark (similar) | Necklace – clothing swap (similar)
Admittedly, to work I wore silver boat shoes and my blue necklace but I think I like this version better. The pop of the pink in the shoes just takes it a bit over the edge, right?
Also, this picture was taken using our DSLR, remote, and a tripod. It was a pain in the ass. Hat’s off to bloggers who do that on the regular!!
By the way, it was REALLY windy when I took these photos so I added my new hat. I picked this up for $30 at the Taste of Randolph on Saturday night. Said hat purchase may have been brought on by the two sangrias I drank but it was still a good impulse purchase.
I can’t really explain the brown shoes, though. After I saw these pictures I immediately changed into my black heeled sandals. I was trying to bring out some of the browns and tans in the print but I think these just look too clunky.
Didn’t stop me from having fun while taking the photos, though!
One of the things you guys told me when I did my two year anniversary reader survey was that outfit posts are hands-down your favorites. So, in the interest of giving you all what you want, here’s a bonus Wednesday outfit post!
Which is why today you’re getting such bold colors. Because here’s the original inspiration from Nu Sophisticate:
Instead of the powder pink color I went with the more saturated fuchsia. And instead of those adorable sandals she’s wearing I just stuck with closed-toe nude pumps. Overall, though, I’m pleasantly surprised at how much I liked the fuchsia and green together.
Also, thank god for spell-check. I can’t spell fuchsia to save my life.
I’ve worn these green pants quite a bit but haven’t really paired them with much color. Now I’m thinking that needs to change! Cobalt blue, anyone?
P.S. Who else is excited that it’s warm enough to wear ankle pants again?? Unless you work somewhere that doesn’t allow ankle pants. Which I personally think is some out-dated thinking.
This outfit is also a great way to wear simple pieces such as cropped pants and a short sleeved shirt without looking like a schlub. A textured tee with tailored pants always brings an outfit up a notch.
Although, I suppose that bright green pants do not really call to mind a calm evening. But, these pants have been in the dry cleaner pile all summer so I knew I wanted to wear them before all our summer evenings are gone!
And, yes, this short-sleeved lace top is new. It’s another one of my Fashion Outlets of Chicago purchases. I’d been looking for a short-sleeved lace top to replace my long-sleeved one that’s too small for me. This one from the Banana Republic Outlet was exactly what I wanted.
First, I need to get a shout-out to Katie for inspiring me to put together my camel blazer with my green pants. She wore it first and wore it well, I must say. My outfit is basically a blatant copy but, hey, that’s the sincerest form of flattery, right? Or is that just what we tell ourselves when we’re feeling uninspired? Anyway, I loved the color pairing so much that I wanted to wear it, too.
I also used my own trick of adding an ankle bracelet between the clasps of my necklace to make it longer. Such a great way to get more use out of a necklace. And, yes, I’m one again pairing leopard print with brightly colored pants. I don’t know why I love to combine the two, but it always looks great to my eye. Especially when paired with neutrals on top.
As I mentioned on Friday, I’m in Phoenix this week for a conference for work. I’m both attending and presenting at the conference and let’s just say I’m mostly excited to go somewhere WARM and SUNNY! Chicago weather is really getting me down. It snowed on Saturday, people. Snowed. Anyway, Phoenix’s 80 degree weather will be a treat but packing for it was a bit challenging.
For my travel day I decided on a striped tank top under a sheer white three-quarter length sleeve top with jeans, my black blazer, and my leopard flats. I plan to wear the blazer throughout the week and this way it doesn’t get all wrinkled in my suitcase. Plus, you should really wear your bulkiest item when traveling and in this case that’s my blazer. When I get to Phoenix I can ditch the blazer and the sheer top if necessary and revel in the fact that it’s warm enough to wear a tank top!
For Tuesday I’m busting out my green cropped pants, a simple striped t-shirt, the black blazer again, and the leopard flats. This is my day to attend conference sessions and the dress code at this conference ranges from jeans to suits so I figured I could get away with some fun colors and pattern mixing. The blazer is because I’m sure the conference rooms will be freezing but the short sleeves are for outside.
Tuesday we give our presentation so I dressed it up with my black and white polka dot sheath dress and my black blazer and open-toed black patent heels. And some jewelry, of course.
Tuesday night is the customer/attendee appreciation party which I’ve been told is a pretty crazy event. This year it’s at a Western-themed locale so I decided to bust out the gingham and pair it with white jeans and a white tank top. And nude heels because I don’t own cowboy boots.
On Wednesday we fly back to Chicago. And since it will probably be in the 40s when we land, I’m adding a scarf to my black, white and leopard outfit. Plus, this is classy enough for a casual conference attendee look if I choose to attend any last day sessions.
Other items I packed but didn’t photograph? A black cardigan, white shorts, a swimsuit and a swimsuit cover-up, one running outfit, running shoes, some other jewelry, and, of course, pajamas and underwear. Basically, everything except the dress can be mixed and matched with the other items I brought, too, so if I need to make a quick switcheroo for any reason, it should be simple enough.
And if it wasn’t for that pesky liquids restriction I could have gotten away with just a carry-on! Sadly, I couldn’t find a hair mousse I liked that came in a FAA-approved size.
Independent Fashion Bloggers challenged its members to create a “2012 greatest hits” post for this week’s IFB Project. I could have looked through my archives and chosen my favorite posts from 2012 but I thought I’d let the stats do the talking and show you why using keywords and participating in link-ups gives you top posts!
Top Post of All Time
Since Loop Looks started in February 2012 I’ve published 256 posts (to date). The post that has generated the most visits?
The very first reader-submitted You Pick Wednesday: 5 Fun Ways to Wear a Striped Blazer! How did keywords put this post at the top? The title and the body of the post both very clearly say “striped blazer” several times. “Striped Blazer” is one of the most popular search terms that leads people to Loop Looks. So, while it may seem silly and uncreative to have very literal post titles or to repeat yourself in your post this is how you get people to find your content. And why do you write if it isn’t to share your posts with others?
Why Yoast is the Most
Have you heard of the WordPress plug-in Yoast? No? If not you should definitely take a look at it. I installed the plug-in after attending a search engine optimization class (SEO) and while I only use it occasionally the first time I really put it to the test I got great results with the post that is nipping at the heals of 5 Fun Ways to Wear a Striped Blazer.
Three Ways to Wear Riding Boots Without Skinny Jeans is the second most viewed post on Loop Looks. Why? Because I made Yoast work for me. I made sure I followed all the suggestions regarding keywords. I made sure to title all my photos with keyword search terms. And now people looking for riding boot ideas? They end up at Loop Looks.
Link-Ups are Lovely
Finally, the third most viewed post on Loop Looks is one I did back in April as part of my very first link-up. What’s a link-up? Typically another blogger has a theme, you do a post on that theme, and then you add your URL to the list of URLs on the original blogger’s post. In this case, it was a “1 Piece, Three Days, Three Ways” challenge via Bramblewood Fashion.
Day 1, my green pants with a black top and zebra print scarf is the third most viewed post of 2012. Why? Most likely because of that link-up. That post has been shared across at least three blogs and that link is always there for people to find on any of those three posts. In addition, I’ve learned that the more incoming links you have to a post the more likely you are to come up in search results. So link-ups are not only fun, they are beneficial for getting your content to the people who want to find it!
So, there you go. Why I think keywords and link-ups are the key to making a top post, whether in 2012 or beyond.