One of my favorite bloggers, Jen, recently wrote a post about the differences between style bloggers and fashion bloggers. I think this post exemplifies why I agree with her assessment on the difference and why I am firmly in the “style blogger” camp and not the “fashion blogger” camp.
This is me, in all my simple, wrinkled, slightly-damp-from-the-kiddie-pool-at-the-dog-park glory.
Tee – Target | Skirt – J. Crew Factory (similar) | Shoes – J. Crew Factory (similar) | Purse – Le Tote (same)
I wore this outfit to work paired with a denim jacket. Then I took off the denim jacket because it was 85 degrees outside and I was riding a Divvy bike home. Yes, I rode a bike in a pencil skirt. Yes, I have helmet hair.
Yes, I take pictures after work when I’m a little rumpled. Yes, sometimes I have my husband take them with my phone camera.
Yes, I’m a real person who wears real outfits that aren’t always full of pattern mixing or unique items or avant-garde item pairings.
I’m always on the lookout for jackets or blazers or what have you that can elevate a casual look from super casual weekend to less causal work but still be comfy.
I thought I’d found it with this jersey fabric jacket from Le Tote and, while it looks awesome in the photos, it has some weird shoulder pads going on that seem to be making my shoulders look really broad.
Jacket – Le Tote (same) | Scarf – gift (similar) | Tank top – Marshall’s (similar) | Jeans – American Eagle Outfitters (same) | Shoes – MIA (similar)
The shoulder pads seem to be part of the design and structure of the jacket, though, so it’s not like I could just snip them out. Which is too bad because this jacket is super comfy, has pockets, three-quarter sleeves (my favorite!) and is otherwise perfect. In terms of comfort level It’s more like a sweatshirt than a jacket and that’s a-okay by me.
Actually, to be honest, I’ve noticed that I’ve been feeling like a marshmallow on toothpicks lately. I have to wonder if my shoulders are actually getting broader or if it’s my imagination! I mean, I have no problem with them getting broader but it does mean I might have to rethink some of what I wear.
Last week we saw the Turkish textile pattern that Jen chose for this week’s Style Imitating Art. I fully admit that I struggled a a bit with coming up with an outfit. I don’t have much in the way of florals, I don’t own anything paisley, and I think it’s just a tad too early in the year to dress in colors I associate with the Fourth of July.
Still, I think I managed to put together something that fits the bill.
I kept most of my blues in the denim family and added the bright blue with just my shoes. Jen had also written that dots were a motif that was common in these textiles so that’s the pattern I chose. Plus, the top is red and white which goes with the fabric she chose.
Want to see how other people interpreted this week’s prompt? Check out Jen’s blog tomorrow!
In other news, I did a really fun interview with Sherry of Save, Spend Splurge that you can read here. She asked me about my clothing budget, how I learned about spending and saving money, and a variety of other topics. Plus, reading her editor’s comments is always a good time!
A few weeks ago I went to Femme du Coupe’s mixology fundraiser with a friend and ended up chatting all things blogging at a late night Shake Shack run with Kit from The Kittchen.
Side note: it was my first visit to Shake Shack and I have to say it’s the closet thing I’ve found to my hometown love of Steak n Shake.
Anyway, Kit is probably my role model. She not only hustles harder than anyone I know, she’s truly genuine and wants to see people succeed. If I could only figure out how to channel a third of her…skill? Drive? Hustle?
By the way, if you want to try Le Tote for free, just leave me a comment with your email addresses and you can get one free Tote to try!
Anyway, I’ve been feeling pretty blah about a lot of things lately. Not sure if it’s the weather, some stupid stuff going on at work, or what, but my motivation is super low right now. One of the things I talked to Kit about was that my blog feels stagnant. My readership hasn’t grown in awhile (not to mention my social media following) and, while I try not to base my self-worth on that, it’s just so hard to be such a small fish in a big pond and still keep up the motivation. Especially when I’m trying to balance a full-time job, a husband, a dog, working out, volunteering, and trying to come up with photos to take and things to say.
So, friends, if you’re reading, can you leave me a comment? A tweet? Say something nice on Facebook? I just need to know I’m not putting words out into the ether for no reason. Thanks!
looplooks.net occasionally receives vendor/ brand sponsorships for mentioning their products and services…..like these shoes.
Over the weekend Jason and I went back to our hometown so that he could work on his car and I could make my first pie with my mom. Salted caramel apple, if you must know. And it turned out amazing. Anyway, on Saturday night we went out to dinner and, as we walked through downtown Champaign, Illinois, we walked right past the Thai restaurant where Jason and I went when we were first dating back in high school.
Blazer – The Limited (same) | Sweater – Old Navy (similar) | Necklace – Rocksbox (similar) | Pants – Old Navy (same) | Boots – Cole Haan (similar)
We started reminiscing about going on some of our first dates there, wondering if the owner would still recognize us. She used to know Jason by name since he went there so often. It’s why he took me there. In fact, it’s the first place I ever ate Thai food. Pad Thai, of course. And it’s now who I compare all other Pad Thai to. Jason and I even had our picture taken there for a newspaper article about “young love”.
I haven’t changed a bit! Except my hair color. I think this was a reddish blonde phase?
Anyway, we decided that on our way out of town on Sunday we’d stop by for lunch. We could tell from looking in the windows that NOTHING had changed. Not the seat covers. Not the decor. Not the signage. Nothing. We even saw the owner through the window!
So, we went in for lunch. And when Jason walked up to the owner she exclaimed, “JASON?” Yep. And the food was as amazing as ever. And we sat in the booth in the back of that newspaper photo. We didn’t even look at the menu. We always get the same thing, even here in Chicago. But nothing we’ve found in Chicago is as good.
So, “they” might say you can never go home again, but in this case that just isn’t true. We did go home. And it was amazing.
Happy Monday! For those of you who celebrated Thanksgiving this past Thursday I hope it was lovely. For those of you who just had a normal weekend, I hope it was lovely, too.
I spent the weekend eating and hanging out with my family at my parents’ house. I took the opportunity to put together an outfit for this week’s Style Imitating Art challenge that highlighted the black, tan and blue in the painting “Freedom from Want“.
I took advantage of my parents’ house and chose to take the photos in their dining room to also echo the painting.
My parents have lived in their current house for just over 10 years so although I didn’t grow up there, by now it’s definitely “home”. I think it’s so interesting that no matter where I go or where I live it’s wherever my mom is that I consider “home”.
P.S. When Le Tote sends you a short sleeved dress in the fall, what do you do? You turn it into a skirt, of course! I originally was going to wear this with just the sweater over it but at the last minute I added the button-up. I think it ended up adding just the right amount of interest as well as an additional layer to help me stay warm.
This is the second time I’ve gotten this dress from Le Tote. You can see the first outfit I put together with it here.
Don’t forget you can sign up for Le Tote and get $25 off your first month with code ERIN25!
There’s nothing too spectacular about this outfit. I’m not even wearing a necklace. My face is shiny (real life, yo) and the lighting doesn’t show off the fun gold polka dots on my shirt.
But, I wore this outfit last week to get my eyebrows waxed (again, real life) and my stylist could not stop gushing about my earrings. So, I suppose they were really the stars of the show. Literally.
Sweater – LOFT via Goodwill (similar) | Shirt – Forever 21 (similar) | Pants – The Limited (similar) | Shoes – Sole Society (similar) | Earrings – Le Tote (same) <- Don’t forget to use ERIN25 for half off your first month!
I think I may just keep these from Le Tote. I’ve worn them at least three other times and I’m still trying to build my collection of gold jewelry.
Other things to note:
I got at least three compliments on these shoes. But, I bought them back in December 2012 so they are clearly not available anymore. And, I can’t find anything really similar but I did link some cute pointy-toed flats with gold studs. Side note: when people compliment me on something I’m wearing I never know whether to tell them about my blog or not. Would that be weird?
Speaking of going to my stylist, I went last week and got my hair colored. Like, really colored. I posted photos on Instagram. I love it and it reminds me of the time I got it dyed this color in high school. That was still my favorite hair color of all time so I’m clearly pretty excited about this. Now I just need to learn how to curl it….
This past weekend Jason and I drove to visit his parents in their new home in Carmel, IN. I didn’t realize until after the fact that the last time we visited them I wore this same dress, albeit under completely different circumstances.
No more mountains in the background, for one. Carmel, Indiana is quite a bit different than Flagstaff, Arizona.
Other than Jason breaking our car to the point where we had to borrow one of his parents’ cars to drive home and now we have to go back this weekend so he can repair his car, I actually enjoyed my visit. Carmel has an adorable downtown that I hope to feature in future posts. It also has a great biking/running/walking trail that I explored two days in a row. One day while running and another day while biking. I borrowed my mother-in-law’s bike and rode over 20 miles on it. And stopped for Square Donuts.
I may have also boasted that I’m pretty sure I can eat the Big Ugly burger at Bub’s and now I think someone is going to hold me to that. Maybe I’ll run the half marathon there on December 12th. Pretty sure I can eat a one-pound burger after that.
Anyway, Carmel might not have the skiing that Flagstaff does, but I think I’ll find enough stuff to keep me busy. Other than visiting my in-laws, of course!
P.S. It was in the 90s while we were there and I hate wearing shorts in the car, so I went with this dress since it can be dressed up or down. Also, I just noticed that my attempt to photoshop out the HORRIBLE bruises on my shins from deadlifting 215 pounds turns out kind of ridiculous in the last photo. See if you can tell….#humblebrag
In Chicago we have this awesome blogging group called the Windy City Blogger Collective. The two ladies that run it (Kit and Erin) are amazing and work so hard at organizing events for all of us bloggers to get together and meet one another. On Tuesday of this week we had a happy hour at Seasons 52 where we drank ourselves silly and stuffed ourselves with wonderful food.
And then I rode a Divvy bike home in a skirt and had Jason take my picture before falling asleep. Me, that is. Not him. Although, I think he did go to sleep about the same time as me. We’re a happening couple.
I was inspired to pair this short sleeved sweater with this skirt after Sarah at Sarah’s Real Life did something similar. I didn’t tuck mine in but I might have to try that next time. I just always feel self conscious when I tuck shirts into skirts because it tends to make me look disproportional. You know, since my torso is so short and my legs are so long.
Anyway, it might also seem weird to wear a sweater in June but I think we’re doing all the seasons this week. Hot, cold, spring, summer, fall. But if it snows then I’m moving. Even if Chicago does have the best group of bloggers around!
On Saturday I attempted something I’d never done before: swimming in Lake Michigan. I mean, I’ve been in Lake Michigan before but this time I put on a wetsuit and attempted to actually swim. The water was REALLY cold (like, 52 degrees or something ridiculous) so I didn’t stay in very long. But, I have my first triathlon (thankfully in warmer water) on Sunday so I needed to try out my wetsuit.
The rest of my day was spent getting breakfast from one of our favorite food trucks, taking Chewie to the dog park, and attending the inaugural 60607 Fest where we got to try Lou Malnati’s pizza, Palace Grill mac and cheese (with bacon!), samosas from Bombay Wraps, Spiced and Infused popcorn, and drinks from Jak’s Tap and CH Distillery. After feeling like I was going to freeze to death in the lake I wanted to wear something comfy but not look like a slob. Queue the knit blazer.
Blazer – Le Tote (same) | Tank – Old Navy (same) | Jeans – American Eagle Outfitters (same) | Shoes – Tretorn c/o Shopbop (same)
I already have a red blazer but that one is a teeny bit too big and definitely more formal. This one is more like wearing a sweatshirt. I admit, I’m debating whether or not I want to keep it (it’s only $34 for Le Tote members…and if you want to join Le Tote I have my own code now that gets you 50% off your first month! It’s ERIN25).
On one hand, I don’t need another red blazer. On the other, it was nice to be able to wear this one and not feel like I was going to work instead of hanging out in my ‘hood on a weekend.
So, thoughts? Yay or nay on adding this to my closet?