Tag Archives: peplum

Save your favorite shoes with Shoe Drop

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was meeting to chat with one of the men who started Shoe Drop and I asked you all if you had any questions for me. I was surprised that several of you mentioned that you hadn’t even realized you could get shoes repaired! To be honest, being able to get shoes repaired is one of my favorite parts of living in a big city. I’m hard on my shoes. Because I walk at least half a mile every day as part of my commute they get scuffed, the heels get caught in sidewalk cracks and tear or gouge, and the heel tips of my high heels get worn down.

Since I’ve lived in Chicago I’ve gotten several pairs of shoes repaired but it was always a chore. Finding a place that got good reviews that was also convenient, trying to communicate with the guy behind the counter, not having any idea how much I was going to get charged, getting my shoes back with masking tape stuck inside that I couldn’t remove without leaving a sticky residue.


The outfit I wore to visit Shoe Drop

Top – The Limited (similar) | Skirt – Le Tote (same) | Shoes – Vince Camuto (similar

Overall, while it certainly extended the life of my shoes, it wasn’t always the most pleasant experience.

Enter Shoe Drop. Started by Duncan and Brandon, two self-described shoe lovers, Shoe Drop aims to bring shoe repair into the 21st century. Shoe Drop started with 40 Shoe Drop-specific drop off locations and 110 Pressbox partner locations around Chicago. One of which is in my apartment building! I’d used Shoe Drop before and didn’t even realize it! Anyway, create an account in their app, drop off your shoes at a designated drop off location, fill out the form in the app, and you’re done! They come pick up your shoes, repair them, charge your credit card, and then return your shoes in about 5 days to where you dropped them off. And they text you when they’re ready!


In June of this year they opened their first physical location at 353 N Clark Street where you can not only talk to a cobbler and drop off shoes for repair, you can also get them shined. I wanted to know what happens if I show up with my blush pink leather flats and Duncan told me that was no problem. They have hundreds of colors of polish or they can even shine them with a clear polish that helps hide scuff marks.

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Photo courtesy of Shoe Drop

If you do drop your shoes off with them they go to a 4000 square foot facility near the United Center where their team of cobblers work on them. Duncan said that the people in the shoe repair business in Chicago love being able to just fix shoes and not have to worry about running a business. It’s a win-win!

My other personal favorite is that they have a price list and only take credit card (and no need to tip!)

I left my favorite black heeled sandals with them when I visited. They needed new heel tips, a shine, and the heel coverings repaired. When I got them back I swear they looked better than the day I bought them! Plus, they were returned to me in a bag that I can use to drop off more shoes!


Shoe repair might be a little pricey for some people but if you have a pair of shoes you love I say go for it. It sure beats trying to find a replacement pair!


Photo courtesy of Shoe Drop

Shoe Drop’s goal is to open more physical locations where you can stop in for a shine or just drop off all your shoes for repair at once. In the meantime, if you’re in Chicago, check out their locations map and then head on out to bring your sad shoes back to life!


P.S. I’m working with them to put together an event that would offer FREE (or discounted) shoe shines and repairs. Stay tuned!

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.


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.


Also linking up with Happiness at Mid-Life 

Peplum and Pants

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

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Top – The Limited (similar with sleeves) | Jeans – The Limited (similar) | Shoes – Vince Camuto (same) | Necklace – etsy (similar)

Considering I still don’t know how I feel about peplum and pants you can probably understand why this is not the original outfit I planned to wear today. But the outfit I did plan just wasn’t working for me. Originally I had on a different black tank and a white blazer with jeans but that tank and the blazer just didn’t work together. So I switched to the peplum and left off the blazer. And put on a different pair of jeans.

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Which might be why I was 30 minutes late to work this morning.


It’s Friday, though. Let’s just focus on that!

And speaking of Friday, since it’s Friday Favorites with AJ Wears Clothes here are three other ways I’ve worn this peplum top. As you can see, I’m partial to wearing it with skirts. What do you think? Pants or skirts with peplum?


Inspiration Monday–Sparkle

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

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Peplum top – The Limited (similar)| Blouse – The Limited | Skirt – Banana Republic Outlet | Shoes – Via Spiga via Loehman’s | Necklace – JF&A Trade Show | Earrings – c/o Anjolee


Today’s Inspiration Monday from Two Birds is yet another “celebrity” that I’ve never heard of.


Original Inspiration: Ashley Madekwe

I’m not a huge fan of her peplum top with the jeans.  It’s making her look disproportionate.  Which is why I tend to pair my peplum top with a pencil skirt.  It just seems to flow better to my eye.

I did, however, continue to incorporate the sparkle of her top with my jewelry.  I just purchased this necklace and it turns out that it goes perfectly with the earrings that I recently received from Anjolee.

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You may have heard of whoever Ashley Madekwe is, but have you heard of Anjolee?  They sell custom made diamond jewelry.  You can choose what type of jewelry you want, whether it’s a bracelet or an engagement ring.  From there you choose what metal you want (yellow, white gold or platinum), the diamond size and quality, and, if applicable, the size of the piece.

Even if you’re not in the market for some new bling, it’s still fun to play around on their website or use their free iPhone app to design your dream item.

Note #1: Anjolee provided me with these sample earrings free of charge in exchange for a post.  Me wearing them and loving them is of my own accord.

Note #2: I apologize for the photo quality for the next few weeks.  My camera took another header onto the concrete and I can’t justify spending another $145 on a new one less than 5 weeks after the last one. 

Woman in Black

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

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Top – The Limited | Skirt – Banana Republic Outlet | Necklace – JC Penney | Shoes – Nine West

When I was in seventh grade I wore black (or black and white) probably 90% of the time.  I wasn’t goth.  I just really liked black and white.  I still do, actually.  And all black can be a really classic look.  Why do you think most women have a “little black dress” in their closet?

But all black can be badly done, too.  Many people think all black is slimming.  If you wear black clothes that are faded, too big, or too tight it just makes you look frumpy, not classy.

My suggestions?  Toss the old, faded, pilled black pieces.  Stick to flattering shapes no matter the color.  Look for items that are current in terms of shape and silhouette.  And remember, when in doubt, add a statement necklace or fun shoes.  That will definitely keep you looking from looking too funereal.

Peplum and Pencil Skirts

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer


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Top – The Limited | Necklace – The Limited | Skirt – Nordstrom Rack | Shoes – Tahari via TJ Maxx

First thing’s first, I bet you are dying to know who won the Because I Shop Too Much Giveaway!  Well, the winner is…..I Just Want to Be Outside!  I don’t have a blog or Twitter address for her but she has been contacted via email.  Thanks to everyone who entered!

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And now, how about a funny Friday story?

I always wear the same rings on three fingers of my right hand.  And of course my wedding ring on my left hand.  This story is about the ring I wear on my right index finger.


I’ve had this ring since high school.  My dad gave it to me as a gift.  For anyone who doesn’t want to do the math, that means I’ve been wearing this ring for approximately 15 years.

As you can see, the ring isn’t a fully complete circle.  This is nice because it’s adjustable.  What it also means is that it has a tendency to get stuck on things and bent out of shape.  I’ve actually had it repaired several times because it got caught and bent so much it broke.  But, I love it and don’t want to give it up.

So imagine my horror when last Friday I was taking the recycling down to the dumpster and my ring got caught on the bag handle as I tossed it over the side.  I heard my ring bounce around in the metal dumpster and I leaned over to stare into the abyss of recyclables.  No ring in sight and I was too short to really dig around and find it.

Deep breaths.  Deep breaths.  It’s just a thing.  You can move on.

Turns out I couldn’t.  So when my husband got home I pleaded with him for help.  And help me he did.  Thankfully the dumpster wasn’t that full and it was mostly paper and cardboard.  He climbed in shoved one box and a bag or two to the side and there was my ring.  Totally bent out of shape on the bottom of the dumpster.

So in climbed my husband.  And he got my ring.  I washed it and bent it back into a circle and put it back on my finger.  Right where it belongs.


My husband’s a pretty awesome guy, isn’t he?

What the Leopard Dragged In

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

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Top – Ann Taylor Outlet | Skirt – Banana Republic Outlet | Shoes – Karen Scott via Macy’s | Necklace – New York & Company

I’m dragging this morning.  I had what I’m referring to as a “lost weekend”.  It was fun, don’t me wrong, but partying a bit too hard on Friday night followed by staying up all night on Saturday night (and riding my bike 25 miles) has left me a bit worse for wear this Monday AM.

So, here we are back at my uniform of black pencil skirt and interesting top.  This blouse is a teensy bit peplum so it’s got that going for it.  The necklace is more visually appealing than just the plain silver or pearl one I would normally wear.  And the shoes?  A last minute decision to break up the simplicity of the outfit.

But, really, I think it just goes to show you that even if you’re not feeling 100% you can still look put together.

P.S.  I added all my June looks over on Facebook? Let me know which one is your favorite!

Ahead of the Curve

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

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Cardigan – Target

Tank top & Necklace – The Limited

Skirt – Banana Republic Outlet

Hose – Target

Shoes – Tahari/TJ Maxx

Apparently peplum is all the rage right now.  I didn’t know this when I bought this cardigan on the clearance rack at the end of last year.  I guess I was ahead of the trend for once!

This cardigan is actually just an open cardigan.  No button or zipper.  But I found I was fussing with it too much this morning so I decided to improvise.  Don’t have a button or a nice pin?  Use an earring!  Yes, that’s a stud earring holding my cardigan closed.  Pretty ingenious, huh?