I know, I know. I JUST wore a black and white houndstooth outfit. But, in reality, I did actually wear these outfits on back to back days to work. No one noticed (or at least, no one said anything). I’ve admittedly been staying up too late and getting up too early which means my brain reaches for the first thing it sees outfit-wise. And in this case it was a houndstooth dress.
Dress – Target via Goodwill (similar) | Cardigan – Old Navy (same) | Tights – c/o Hanes (same) | Shoes – c/o fibi & clo (same) | Purse – Nine West (same) | Necklace – Le Tote (same)
My boss at my former job used to wear a very similar outfit. Black and white wrap dress, long black cardigan, tights and flats. I always thought it was a simple and classy outfit. Yet, for some reason, it never occurred to me to wear it until my brain was half asleep and this is what I put on.
Clearly I was saving it in my subconscious for a day when I needed extra inspiration.
This dress was one of my first thrifted pieces that I ended up wearing on a regular basis. So, let’s take a look back at the very first time I wore it!
The black and white dress with the purple cardigan is still one of my favorite outfits. Sadly, those sandals are no more but clearly the dress is still going strong! And, yes, I still have the cardigan as well.
Do you like the purple cardigan or the black cardigan better? Or are they equally awesome?
I had a hair appointment last week to get a trim and the instant my hair dresser saw me in this outfit he said, “Your outfit is so cute!”
Sweater – The Limited (similar) | Skirt – The Limited (similar) | Necklace – The Limited (similar) | Boots – Cole Haan (similar) | Tights – c/o Hanes (same) | Purse – Nine West (same)
I told him that originally I was going to pair this sweater with my smaller houndstooth print skirt but decided at the last minute that I didn’t like them together and threw this skirt on as a last resort.
“Oh, no,” my hair dresser said. “This one is perfect.”
Welcome to 2015! I typically do my “year in review” post in February during my blog’s birthday month so don’t expect a full recap from me right now.
I’m sure you’re relieved, right? There ARE only so many year-end-recap posts one can read at a time, I’m sure.
Your eyes might not be relieved at this outfit, though. It’s a lot of pattern. But, it’s what I wore to celebrate Christmas with my family and no one’s eyes started bleeding so I think it’s okay.
Vest – Groopdealz (similar) | Shirt – Old Navy (same) | Jeans – Old Navy (same) | Booties – Sam Edelman c/o Shopbop (same) | Necklace – Le Tote (same)
Other patterns I’ve noticed over the past few months?
I’m having a difficult time figuring out my new style. Am I casual? Am I dressy? Do I care what people at the office think? I didn’t realize how much I actually enjoyed being “forced” to dress up or just how much having a boss with amazing style impacted me.
I am in awe of people who post “flat” outfits on Instagram using those white backgrounds and no shadows. How is this possible?
In the same vein, how do they keep all those Instagram style challenges straight? And do I want to do the same thing?
Finally, I mentioned awhile back (and maybe just on Facebook...) that I’m thinking of trying something new starting in February. I’ve saved so many outfits on Pinterest that I want to recreate with items I already own. So I’m thinking I want to try and purchase as few items as possible and use what I already have in my closet to put together outfits using Pinterest as inspiration.
I know there are already blogs out there that recreate inspiration photos and blogs that recreate stuff on Pinterest but do any of them do it without shopping? Hmm…
I used to be a horrible over-packer. Throwing anything and everything in a suitcase because I wanted options. And then I realized that I just needed to get better about mixing and matching what I brought instead of bringing a totally separate outfit for each day! So that’s what I did when I packed for my winter vacation to Flagstaff, AZ (where it snows and is cold, by the way). I packed 12 pieces and could have easily made at least 12 different outfits!
I stuck to a black and gray color palate with a pop of red from the one plaid shirt. Flagstaff is very casual and so is my husband’s family so there was no need to dress up. I also only brought one pair of shoes (in addition to my snow boots) so that I had plenty of room for ski gear.
Of course, I ended up getting sick on my trip and spent one entire day in pajamas. Although, even if I had needed real clothes I probably STILL over-packed. Why? Because look at all these outfits I could have made from the 12 pieces I brought.
And, believe it or not, the outfit I wore on the plane isn’t even pictures! Nope. On the plan I wore the outfit in the center of the bottom row WITH the houndstooth vest! Crazy, right?
So, learn from me. You don’t need to pack everything in your closet. Just pick a few key pieces that you can mix and match and you’ll be good to go. Don’t believe me? Here’s some other packing posts I’ve done that might help you change your mind:
As I mentioned in my November Shopping Summary, I bought the cliched blogger vest: that houndstooth J. Crew one. Of course, mine is a “designer knock-off” but, really, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?
And I’m pretty sure they all came from the same factory anyway.
I wore this outfit the day before Thanksgiving for the car ride to my parents’. Vests are perfect for situations like that because they keep you warm without overheating in the car. Or is that just me?
Anyway, my mom said she loved my vest and I always get a thrill out of her liking something I’m wearing. And, like I said in my shopping post, the quality of this vest is amazing for the price. I’m really glad I bought it.
I fully admit that sometimes I put an item on my shopping wish list after seeing it on another blogger. And sometimes I hold out for a long time before I add it to my closet. One of those times was when I saw Penny Pincher Fashion put together the cutest layered outfit with a bright pink sweater. I did not own a bright pink sweater. I did own a bright pink button up but no sweater. I hemmed and hawed about whether or not I should add one. And then I decided that most of my sweaters are neutrals so it was totally worth it. Plus, there was a J. Crew Factory sale!
Sweater – J. Crew Factory (same) | Vest – Target (similar) | Shirt – The Limited (similar) | Skirt – The Limited (similar) | Boots – Express (same)
This outfit is a bit dressier than I normally wear to work but what I’m finding is that unlike many places I’ve worked NO ONE asks me why I’m so dressed up. It’s really refreshing. Still, it was funny. When I put this outfit on I wasn’t digging the skirt. Not because of the look but because of the comfort factory. A little piece of me was thinking, “Just go put on black jeans!” But, no! I will not wear jeans every day.
Not only would jeans every day make for a boring blog it would go against my belief to dress nicely so you feel better. Even if all I’m going to do is sit at my desk and move documents from an old janky template to a new one (that I created thankyouverymuch).
And because Chewie will no longer let us go take pictures in the stairwell without begging to come along, here are your gratuitous dog photobombs.
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!
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.
I mentioned in my August shopping summary that I ordered a blue pleated skirt from American Eagle Outfitters. Well, that puppy costs me $7 and this is the result.
Vest – Express (similar) | Shirt – Express (similar) | Skirt – American Eagle Outfitters (same) | Booties – Liz Claiborne via DSW (similar) | Necklace – NYC jewelry store (similar)
Let’s just say that, yes, there are still some items from American Eagle that are designed for teenagers with no hips. But, since it would cost me more to ship it back then I paid for it, I’ll keep it around for a bit and see if It grows on me. Or if shrink in it, is more like it.
As for the vest, I’ve had it a a number of years and I think it’s about time for it to go. It’s too short on me and just cuts me off at a weird spot.
Also, Chewie was NOT interested in playing nicely with the camera. Just in case you thought he was a good dog who listened nicely. He couldn’t have you think that. Nope.
So, yeah, just one of those days. At least it’s Friday!
Blazer – The Limited (similar) | Dress – Target via Goodwill (similar) | Belt – Target (same) | Shoes – Bandolino (same) | Necklace – The Limited (same)
Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you had a great weekend. Mine was packed full including:
Leading my first group run with the Chicago Area Runners Association
Going to my nephew’s little league game and my niece’s kiddie soccer game
Drinking way too many beers while hanging out with my family
Going to brunch with my Ragnar Chicago team (that’s a 200 mile running relay, by the way)
Visiting the Maxwell Street Market in Chicago for tacos and tamarind Italian ice (and to marvel at what is basically a flea market)
Passing out for a nap.
And because I’m going to be super busy today attending a conference I had to take these pictures last night. But since I fell asleep and then it started raining we had to sneak them in using the flood lights on the roof.
I think, though, that the lighting makes the red really pop. Of course, pairing red with black and white always makes red pop. I needed something comfortable to wear today and this dress is probably the most forgiving item I own. The last time I wore it I also paired it with a belt but wore a cardigan instead of a blazer. Not sure why I haven’t featured this dress on the blog since then! I’m thinking it needs to become a summer staple.
Shirt – Macy’s (similar) | Vest – Target (same) | Skirt – The Limited (similar) | Tights – Banana Republic (similar) | Shoes – Bandolino (same) | Bracelet – House of Gemmes (similar) | Necklace – ONecklace (same)
A few weeks ago my friend Kelsey asked me what were the top 4 clothing items I felt I was missing in my closet. One of the items I listed was a knit moto jacket. I love the juxtaposition of the asymmetry and the “rock” style of the moto jacket with a pencil skirt and heels. However, it occurred to me that while a knit moto jacket could be more like a cardigan in the winter it might look kind of silly to wear one all day long. So when I found this knit moto vest at Target, well, I knew it was the solution to my dilemma.
I also had a $25 Target gift card and this vest is on clearance so, well, duh. It adds a little extra something to the otherwise simple blouse and skirt combo that is a staple of offices pretty much everywhere. Sometimes it’s the simple extra item that makes an outfit more visually interesting and keeps you from falling into that outfit rut where getting dressed is painful.
Oh, and yes, I’m wearing my hair straight. At this shorter length I’ve decided it looks better if I straighten it. Not as hat-friendly as my curly hair but I feel better about it so here we are.