Tag Archives: polka dots

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Then and Now [Vol. 1]

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

As I mentioned in my December shopping (and gift) summary, my mom bought me a new pink blazer. I had a pink blazer from H&M but it always fit a little bit too small.  So, I decided that I would use my new pink blazer to kick off a new series that I’m calling “Then and Now”.

polka-dot-sweater-two-ways(original post)

What is “Then and Now”? My goal is to take an outfit that’s already been worn on the blog and show you how I’d wear it now and talk about what I changed and why.

I’d like to make this a weekly series, but I can’t promise anything right now. Regardless, I hope you like it!

So, on to this week’s “Then and Now” outfit.

pink-blazer-gray-polka-dots-1Sweater – Old Navy (similar) | Blazer – The Limited (similar) | Jeans – American Eagle (same) | Booties – Sam Edelman c/o Shopbop (same) | Necklace – Kohl’s (same)

pink-blazer-gray-polka-dots-2For this outfit I clearly swapped the old blazer for the new one and the pearl collar necklace for this teardrop multi-colored one. The regular blue jeans are swapped for black jeans with matching black booties to make it more streamlined on the bottom.

I never did care for the way those gray boots cut my leg off mid-calf so I was more than happy to go with the ankle boots instead. Overall, though, I think I liked this sweater with the pearls a bit more than with the teardrop necklace although I do like that the necklace has both pink and gray in it which ties the two pieces together.

So, what do you think? Do you prefer the “then” or the “now” versions?

 

  
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I need a new shirt

Casual Friday

Today you get a “real blogger beauty” photo. What do I mean by that? I mean we took it last night after I’d worked all day (and gone to the gym). You get end-of-day make-up and end-of-day hair. Proof that I really wore this to work, I suppose.

polka-dot-sweater-gray-jeans-2Sweater – The Limited (same) | Shirt – Old Navy (similar) | Jeans – Henry & Belle (same) | Boots – Sam Edelman c/o Shopbop (same) | Bag – Nine West (same)

Jason and I braved the coldest temperatures of the year (not kidding) and met for drinks after work at Bar Takito which is right next to the train stop and around the corner from Chewie’s day care. So these photos are post-drink as well.

polka-dot-sweater-gray-jeans-3Also, I need shopping advice. Yes. Me. I need to know where your favorite chambray shirt is from (if you own one that you love). This one is just a tad too short on me and I don’t love that it’s a bit stiff. And the collar acts funny. So, I need a replacement. I’m intrigued by the one I linked above from Express but I’d love to crowdsource some ideas as well.

polka-dot-sweater-gray-jeans-1I’ll even take you out for a drink.

  
Navy cardigan with hunter green pants and gold polka dot blouse

Green Pants and All That

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

First, congrats to Erica, Tanya and Katrina for winning the Flywheel giveaway! I’ll be in touch soon. Also, I have another group giveaway starting tomorrow so if you didn’t win this Flywheel one I hope you come back for that!

Anyway, I had one busy weekend! Trip to the dog park, Beaver’s Donuts, a trivia contest (more on that tomorrow as well), dinner with my husband, going for my first run in weeks, and doing the usual Sunday grocery run.

I had plans to take a bunch of outfit photos while there was light and Jason was available but snow and my laziness (sleeping in is such bliss) made it so that instead of having my husband take photos I was left to my own devices using the tripod and the timer.

Navy cardigan with hunter green pants and gold polka dot blouseCardigan – The Limited (similar) | Shirt – Forever 21 (similar) | Jeans – Old Navy (same) | Boots – Sam Edelman c/o Shopbop (same)

So, apologies for the slightly fuzzy photos. Also, I apologize for not being that inspired by this week’s Style Imitating Art pick.

“Lady Folding a Letter”, or “Comtesse de Cérès”, by Louise Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun

Yellow is one of my least favorite colors and I don’t own anything in that shade. Gold, though, I do own which is why I went with my gold polka dot top. The green pants echo the green of the desk, and the navy cardigan echoes the dark shawl and the bluish hat. navy-cardigan-green-pants-3The red eye is all courtesy of the flash I couldn’t figure out how to turn off

However, even if this outfit isn’t all that inspired it is comfy. These jeans are nice and soft and the thin blouse layers nicely under the cardigan. And just like in my fall uniform post, I’m digging the navy and dark green combo.

navy-cardigan-green-pants-1In other news, my hair seems to have decided it no longer wants to be curly. I’m kind of okay with this except for the fact that curly hair is actually easier to deal with after my lunchtime gym sessions. I’m getting a haircut on Wednesday with a new stylist so we’ll see what he has to say.

Linking up with Fashionably Employed | More Pieces of Me | On the Daily Express

  
Teal cardigan, navy polka dot top, jeans

More Navy, More Problems

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

In case you don’t follow me on Instagram or Facebook you might have wondered where I’ve been for the past few days.

Or, maybe not. Anyway, I’m back. I’ve been busy fighting off some kind of bug and then volunteering at the Chicago Marathon. Both of which led to a lot of sleeping this weekend. Man, I really do love sleeping.

Which is why I’m glad that I saw this week’s Pinned it and Spinned it prompt on Instagram because, wow, did I need some inspiration this week. Monday’s outfit still gave me some issues, though, because I wanted to wear my navy lace ankle pants but the two navys just didn’t go well together. And then I almost wore my navy pencil skirt but it felt constricting. So, jeans it was. And a dog photobomb. Teal cardigan, navy polka dot top, jeansCardigan – Van Heusen (similar) | Top – Gap (similar) | Jeans – American Eagle (same) | Shoes – DSW (similar)

I have to admit: days like today it’s really nice to be able to wear jeans. I know that my original intent of this blog was to show you how to dress for the office when you can’t wear jeans so I hope you guys don’t mind jeans a bit more often than normal, especially as the weather gets cooler. At the very least, I hope to show you that you don’t have to look like a slob even if you do wear denim to the office!

Teal cardigan with navy polka dot blouse and skinny jeans and heels

 

  
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Last of Le Tote

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

I read an article this week from the Independent Fashion Blogger website about how you shouldn’t take your photos at lunch because the lighting is bad. This made me laugh because sometimes lunch is the only free time I have!

Although yesterday my lunch hour was especially nice because it started off with a 30 minute chair massage courtesy of work. Nice perk, eh?

In an effort to make the most of my first Le Tote box, I’m wearing another piece from it today. This black and white chevron top.

letote-chevron-top-1Top – Le Tote (same) | Cardigan – Nordstrom Rack | Jeans – Express (similar) | Shoes – MIA (similar) | Scarf – H&M via Poshmark (similar)

As I mentioned, Le Tote sends you five items. You guys have now seen three. The necklace, the plaid top, and now this shirt. They also sent me a dress that was way too tight and way too dressy for my current job as well as a bangle bracelet that, while cute, would probably drive me crazy at work.

Still, I enjoyed getting this box and trying out new pieces I wouldn’t necessarily purchase. Or, at least, getting to try them out, wear them, and then decide if I want to purchase anything. For example, this top is insanely comfortable but, like the last one, it’s a little boxy on me. Plus, I already have a black and white patterned top and I don’t really think I need two.

Red shoes, though, I might need a new pair of those some day. Although, this particular pair has outlasted three jobs and a marriage. Not my marriage, though. I bought them to wear to a wedding and those people are now divorced.

letote-chevron-top-2I don’t plan to buy anything from this particular Tote, but I’ll definitely be trying it again. Especially since it’s a good way to get out of the “I hate my closet” doldrums without dropping a ton of money on a new wardrobe.

Linking up with Happiness at Mid-Life

  
Olive vest with gray and white polka dots and Le Tote necklace

Le Tote and Le Copycat

Casual Clothes · Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

I recently signed up for Le Tote (<–referral link) which, if you haven’t heard of it, is a service where you pay a monthly fee of $49 and they send you a box of 5 items of clothing and accessories that are a mixture of items you choose and that they choose for you based on your picks.  You keep the items for as long as you want and then send them back when you’re done. If you want to, you can buy the items in your box for a discount. Interesting concept, right? I’ve heard it referred to as the Netflix of clothes.

I’ve been busy so I haven’t had a chance to create outfits with the pieces I received but I did throw on one of the necklaces yesterday.

Olive vest with gray and white polka dots and Le Tote necklaceMilitary vest with polka dot sweater and jeans

Necklace – Le Tote (same) | Vest – Old Navy (similar) | Sweater – Old Navy (similar) | Jeans – American Eagle Outfitters (same) | Shoes – J Crew Factory (similar) | Collared shirt – Collide Boutique (similar
Utility vest with Le Tote necklace and polka dot sweater I put this outfit together after pinning the top half on Pinterest. I had the vest, a similar sweater, and a collared shirt (although I like the one in the Pin better) but the necklace was the perfect finishing touch.

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I think this outfit would also look great with brown riding boots. And possibly without a tennis ball for the puppy in my pocket. However, this vest is perfect for going to the dog park. Phone, keys, wallet, and a tennis ball without having to bring a bag? Perfect.

  
Printed Skirt - Summer Collaboration Collage

Patterned Skirt Summer Edition Blogger Collaboration

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

Printed Skirt - Summer Collaboration CollageGreater Than Rubies | I do deClaire | Loop Looks | Fashionably Employed

Jen from Fashionably Employed had a great idea: get some bloggers together to show you multiple ways to wear a patterned skirt in various seasons. Today we’re showing you the Summer Edition!

I chose my off-white pleated polka dot skirt because I thought it would be the biggest challenge to style for multiple seasons. Turns out I already have some ideas on how to wear it in the winter!

My biggest challenge for this particular post, though, was figuring out how to make this skirt look more casual for my office. My solution? A tee shirt.

White tee with a pleated skirt and polka dot scarfTee – Target (same) | Skirt – The Limited (similar) | Scarf – Nordstrom (similar) | Shoes – Express (similar)

Dressing down a pleated skirt with flat sandals and a tee shirtA tee shirt basically makes any outfit casual. Also, pairing it with flat sandals helps out, too.

Of course, my original outfit that I wore when I was at my previous job was still pretty casual with the denim jacket. More of a Casual Friday kind of vibe going on there. Either option, though, is a great choice when you have a semi-fancy skirt that you want to dress down.

  
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Stripes and Polka Dots

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

After my minor freak out on Friday, I was able to carve out some time this weekend to run 7 miles, attend my first Milwaukee Brewers game, get in a great workout at Crosstown Fitness, and take some outfit photos!

I didn’t want to miss today because it’s another Style Imitating Art pick, this time by Animated Cardigan.

Luggage Barcode Sunset No. 4, by Douglas Coupland

Interestingly enough, the outfits that came to mind when I saw this were ones I’ve already worn. One was even for another Style Imitating Art post and the other was for a different style challenge I used to do. So, I figured, why mess too much with a good thing?

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striped_tank_polka_dot_skirt-2Scarf – Nordstrom (similar) | Tank – Marshall’s (similar) | Skirt – J. Crew Factory (similar) | Shoes – MIA (similar)

This outfit is actually quite comfortable and even though it’s something I would have worn to my less-casual office job in the summer, it still works for my current job. Albeit, I’m probably one of the most dressed up people in the office (seriously, cargo shorts and flip flops are the norm for guys and let’s not even talk about what some of the women on the phone sales team wear). Still, I feel good in this outfit and, for me, that’s part of the reason I get dressed. Sure, I could wear a ratty tank top and jeans to work, but why?

Although, this winter I’m pretty sure I’ll be all about the jeans. Which means I need to go shopping for jeans. Ugh. I’d rather go swimsuit shopping!

Linking up with More Pieces of Me and On the Daily Express

  
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Subtle Pattern Mixing

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

Chicago style blogger, polka dot dress, striped shirt, pattern mixing, black and white

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Dress – The Limited (similar) | Shirt – The Limited via Poshmark (similar) | Cardigan – The Limited (similar) | Shoes – Bandolino (same) | Necklace – The Limited (similar)

Welcome to Monday, everyone! How was your weekend? I have a lovely low-key three days (yes, remember, I had Friday off) that basically consisted of running, grilling, and watching the first season of The Glades. I lead an exciting life, don’t I? Oh, I also taught someone how to use Facebook.

I also put together this outfit as inspired by this Erté painting chose by Salazar for this week’s Style Imitating Art.

image Spring Rain

Originally I was thinking my green pants with my polka dot chambray shirt but then I remembered that today I have a meeting with some auditors at work and decided that green pants and chambray might be a bit too casual.

So, instead, I went with subtle pattern mixing with polka dots and stripes and brought in some purple and green in the cardigan and the necklace. I also tried to find some art deco architecture to stand in front of but, alas, I could only find Victorian.

First world problems, right?

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

  
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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.