A few summers ago I bought this maxi dress at Old Navy but it’s so low cut that I always had to wear a camisole underneath it. But then I read about Jen’s idea to wear a sport bra under tops and dresses instead and I thought, “hey, I need to do that.”
However, all my sports bras were too, well, sporty. Until now.
Dress- Old Navy (similar) | Sports bra – c/o lululemon (same) | Sandals – Sole Society (similar)
When I attended the grand opening of CycleBar back in July I got a gift certificate for a free lululemon sports bra. Now, I fully admit I’d never tried on, let alone purchased, anything from lululemon. But, I wasn’t about to turn down a free bra!
So, off to the lululemon in Oak Brook I went. I originally had my eye on this one but it was too…short? I dunno. I felt like I was going to have some under spillage. And I’m not even that well endowed! Anyway, I ended trying on this one. Turns out, it works perfectly with my maxi dress!
I’ve even surprised people by pointing out it’s a sports bra and not part of my dress! I’m now probably only going to wear this dress with this sports bra instead of the camisole I used to wear. Hooray for sports bras with fun backs! I’m really loving this trend.
Last Monday we unveiled this week’s Style Imitating Art challenge: Young Girl Reading. I fully admit that I procrastinated a bit on this outfit. Even though the painting has a special spot in my heart, it just wasn’t calling out to me to create an outfit.
But then the skirt I was renting for a different event arrived in the mail and I knew that I wanted to incorporate it into my outfit. Even if, in the interest of full disclosure, I didn’t wear this outfit anywhere other than for photos. I promise, though, the skirt got worn in public (which you’ll see later this week) and the top and cardigan will be worn this week with a pair of white jeans.
Cardigan – The Limited (similar) | Tee – Nordstrom Rack (similar) | Skirt – Rent the Runway (same for sale, same for rent) | Shoes – Sole Society (similar)
And, in case you need a refresher, here’s the painting we were interpreting.
And, yes, I used a book as a prop. I chose one of my favorites, Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris.
Also, since I don’t own anything yellow, when I ran past this little spot on the UIC campus I knew I wanted to take my pictures here. That rock takes care of my yellow needs!
These photos were taken kind of last minute since my weekend was jam packed! The weather was cruddy on Saturday so I just did the basics…except for going to dinner with a blog reader who is moving to Chicago next month! She and her husband were in town to find a place to live and after their successful day of finding a great apartment and signing a lease we met up for dinner at MAD Social.
Sunday I spent most of my day at a fundraiser for New Leash on Life…which is where I wore this skirt originally (but with a different shirt and shoes). I took these photos on the way home after changing in the car. Ah, the life of a style blogger.
Last night I was at an event and introducing myself to people and handing out my blog business card. One of the women asked me what my “go-to” store is for work clothes. I told her that it used to be The Limited but now that I don’t have to wear business or business casual I struggle with what to wear and where to shop.
Although, occasionally, I still find things at The Limited that fit my current work dress code. Or lack thereof.
Seriously, though. I’ve been at my current job for just over a year and I still have no idea how to dress! I have an entire closet full of clothes that either don’t fit, don’t fit with my current work environment, or just don’t seem to be “me” right now. Yet, I don’t necessarily want to get rid of all of them because I might need them in the future.
It’s funny because at work I try to convince people that it’s okay to delete old documents. But for myself I struggle with purging clothes. And emails. But that’s another story.
I told myself when I started this job that I wasn’t going to succumb to dressing like a slob. But, I admit, there are days when it’s just jeans and a t-shirt. Which, in reality, isn’t that much different from this outfit. But this outfit isn’t jeans.
In my latest Le Tote box that is on its way to me I’m getting two dresses. I hope they both fit. I also just ordered this dress in red as a causal dress – an item I don’t own very many of. Maybe that’s the answer for summer: casual dresses.
Or maybe not. Maybe I’m still a work in progress when it comes to how to dress casually.
This outfit is way dressy for my current job but would have been totally perfect for my previous position. And for as comfy as jeans are, I do miss the opportunity to dress up. So today I am. So there. And so what if it’s super cold out? I miss dresses and skirts. I might have to layer two pairs of tights but I’m doing it anyway. I mean, if I wore a skirt on one of the coldest days of the year last year I think I can wear one this week.
I don’t have any fancy plans for my birthday. Apparently this makes my friends sad. But, you know, having a birthday so soon after Christmas makes it difficult to plan unless you get it done way in advance. So, we’re going out for drinks on Thursday. Jason is taking me out to dinner on Tuesday. And tonight? Tonight I have my first swim lesson to help me get ready for the two triathlons I signed up for this summer.
Starting my 35th year off with a bang. And a dress.
Another Le Tote outfit coming at you today! I try to wear the pieces all in a row so that I can send the box back ASAP so apologies if you’re tired of hearing about it.
I put this floral shirt in my Le Tote closet because it’s not something I would normally pick. I figured that this was a good chance to try it out and see what I thought. And at first I was thinking I’d wear it with a plain black sweater and jeans or maybe my black vest. But then when I was looking for something else in my closet I found this old sweater vest and thought, hey, those colors are similar, let’s go for some pattern mixing!
But then, of course, I struggled with what pants to wear with it. At my old job I would have worn my gray dress pants but that felt way too stuffy for my new office culture. So, I decided this was a good excuse to see if I could find a pair of gray jeans. I’d put this particular pair on my Pinterest Shopping Lust board awhile ago and it turned out they still had my size in the store.
I’m not 100% sold on the pairing of the preppy vest with the floral top and the moto jeans, though. Maybe if I had some killer booties to wear with it? The black flats just aren’t doing it for me. I’ve also been wanting to add some gray booties to my closet as well but, sadly, I haven’t found the perfect pair. Too bad Le Tote doesn’t do shoes, too!
Last week we had that kind of weather where you can wear anything you want. Dress? Sure. Skirt? You bet. Shorts? Of course. Jeans? Not a problem. So what did I decide to do? Break out another maxi dress. One I don’t think I’ve ever worn on the blog before.
This is my comfiest maxi dress because it’s super forgiving. The only downside is that it’s REALLY low cut. Right now I wear a camisole underneath it but only because I haven’t found the perfect sports bra to implement Jen’s sports bra trick.
I wore this to work last Friday (and, yes, rode a Divvy bike home in it) and it was the perfect outfit to end the week. I felt classy but still comfortable. Because we all know that wearing a jersey maxi dress to work is like wearing pajamas. Right?
Tomorrow I’ll have a fun post about my trip to Arlington Race Track courtesy of America’s Best Racing! Spoiler: we had a blast!
This past weekend two friends of mine got married and I used it as an excuse to try Rent the Runway (<–referral link) for the first time. What is Rent the Runway? Well, it’s your chance to wear a dress you could never afford and not have to worry about dry cleaning or when you’re going to be able to wear it again.
My first time renting was a little odd, though, because when I first added the dress to my cart it was showing as renting for $35 for four days. But when I went to check out the price had jumped to $75! I called their customer service who told me that they were having issues with their prices showing incorrectly. They gave me the $35 price (I took a screenshot to prove to them that it said $35 at the time) which was nice but now looking at it I see that it’s currently renting for $35-$45. So, I’m a little suspicious of that $75 price! Still, the customer service was helpful in getting me the original price.
I ended up renting the necklace as well because, heck, if I’m wearing a fancy dress why not wear a fancy necklace? And renting was much easier than trying to hunt down the perfect necklace in the limited time that I had to shop.
But how do you make sure that the dress fits? Well, Rent the Runway asks for reviews and photos from the women who rent each dress and you can filter reviews by people who are the same size as you. For this dress most of the reviews said it fit small busted women with small waists and that it runs a little large. You get to pick two sizes of the same dress so you can try them both on. I listened to the reviews and picked one size smaller than my normal size and that one ended up fitting me perfectly.
The dress and necklace arrived on Thursday, I threw the box in the car for our trip, and put the dress on for the wedding on Saturday. I dropped the return bag at a UPS store this morning and it’s on its way back to Rent the Runway. I really enjoyed the experience (other than the weird pricing issue) and, in fact, have already rented another dress for an event this weekend!
Two things to note before I get on with the rest of this post.
1. I wore this dress and took these photos before fall decided to descend on Chicago. I am definitely not wearing it today! But I did wear it twice in the past two weeks. Once to a bridal shower and once to work. These photos are from when I wore it to work.
2. eShakti sent me this dress free of charge with the only stipulation that I use their “customize” feature.
Now, with that out of the way…
Dress – eShakti (same style, different colors) | Shoes – Sole Society (same) | Jacket – Langford Market (similar)
For at least a year I’ve admired eShakti dresses on Librarian for Life and Style and was a teeny bit jealous that eShakti kept contacting her to try out their customize a dress option. So, I finally decided I’d spend my own money on one when they were having their Buy One, Get One Free sale. I even added some to my cart but had to wait until I got paid. Then, lo and behold, they contacted ME!
So, I went to their site and found a few that I could see wearing either dressed up or down. I just had to decide how I wanted to customize it. With eShakti each dress has a series of customization options that include things as simple as changing the sleeves, neckline or length all the way to being as complicated as entering your specific measurements.
I went with the simpler option and took a dress with elbow-length sleeves that was supposed to hit below the knee and made it sleeveless and asked that it hit above the knee.
I know from reading Jen’s blog that eShakti tends to err on the side of making their dresses and skirts a little longer than what you ask for which is why I asked for above the knee. As you can see, it’s a perfect length!
The one measurement they don’t ask for that I wish they did was torso length. As in, the distance from the tops of your shoulders to your natural waist. I find that those of us with short torsos tend to end up with shoulder straps that are too long. The dress does pull and bunch a bit strangely across my chest and I’m not sure if that’s because the shoulder straps are too long or too short.
Regardless, it’s SUPER comfortable because it’s knit AND it has pockets. Pockets! In fact, most of their dresses do. It’s also really high quality and has definitely made me an eShakti convert. The next time I want to buy a dress I’m pretty sure I’ll be going there.
When Jen picked this painting for this week’s Style Imitating Art challenge I admit I was stumped. I had no idea what I could wear that came even close to anything this lovely ladies are wearing. Especially since I knew that Jen would nail it and get all the little details just right. She’s good at that!
But then I remembered that it’s not about how I interpret it as a competition with the other ladies who participate. Nope, it’s all about what makes me feel good. And what made me feel good last week was a maxi dress with a cardigan and a scarf.
It was almost 90 degrees with humidity the day I wore this outfit but my office is freezing so the scarf and the cardigan were necessary. However, it also transitioned perfectly to riding a Divvy bike home from work once removing the cardigan and scarf. And thanks to Maggie’s suggestion I was able to use a hair tie to “knot” my dress at my knees and bike with only minimal flashing of other people.
In the end I thought this outfit was a nice modern homage to the 114 year old painting. A long dress, a scarf, and layers.
In other news, we took Chewie to doggie daycare for the first time last week and they said he did great! He was pretty sleepy for the rest of the evening, too. We’re taking him again tomorrow so fingers crossed it goes well again.
Also in Chewie-related news, he seems to have developed a weird bump next to his left eye.
He’s still super handsome but I think it’s beginning to mar his good looks! Unfortunately, the vet told us they’d have to sedate him to biopsy it and figure out what it is. We’ll probably be doing that before the end of the month. Ah, puppies. It’s never end with them, isn’t it?
Yesterday was the weirdest weather day I’ve experienced in awhile. It took me forever to figure out what to wear because it was hot and humid when I left for work. I ended up with a tank and a skirt and grabbed a cardigan just in case.
Top – Banana Republic Outlet (similar) | Skirt –White House Black Market (similar) | Shoes – Vince Camuto (similar) | Necklace – Etsy (similar)
It ended up raining mid-morning which cooled everything down so that by the time I left work early so I could get ready to go to an outdoor concert (American Authors, The Script and One Republic, all of which were amazing) I was chilly even with the cardigan!
At the outdoor concert I wore jeans, boat shoes, a tee, a scarf, a hat, and a jacket and was still bundled up under a blanket! Crazy.
Thankfully the rain stopped as soon as we sat down on the lawn at Ravinia because even though I was prepared with an umbrella and a rain jacket I don’t know how long I would have lasted in the chilly rain. The bands were good but I’m just a wuss sometimes!