Okay, yes, it’s technically May and not Smarch (although, I don’t think anyone is super sure when Smarch even is…) but I’m still going to quote The Simpsons to reference how I feel about May.
April showers do not bring May flowers. They bring…more showers.
So, it’s back to some indoor photos.
Sweatshirt – Stitch Fix (similar) | Pants – The Limited (similar) | Shoes – Kate Spade c/o Shopbop (similar)
Also, I got my hair cut and I’m still trying to figure out how to look less like a drowned rat after going to the gym at lunch. Even my hair dryer tricks aren’t working right now. It’s one of the reasons I actually prefer my hair long. It just works better for my lifestyle. But, hey, it’s hair. It grows back.
I’m writing this post while sitting in the airport on my way back to Chicago from Tampa. Let me tell you, as hard as it was to leave the 80 degrees, sunshine and amazingly low humidity, I’m looking forward to seeing this face. And my husband, of course.
In the meantime, I’m happy I have a backlog of outfit photos to share. I wore the outfit below to work on one of the randomly warm days we’ve had this winter. Although, to be honest, I did wear my Uggs during my commute.
I really, really liked this outfit and debated keeping this top. I used to have a similar one that I wore in a similar outfit years ago that I got rid of because it was just too billowy. This one from Le Tote was almost perfect in many ways, but it ended up being a tad too short. It looks great in the photos but if I lifted my arms it rode halfway up my torso.
Still, when I wore this outfit to work our internal systems project manager told me that I always look amazing. Although, let’s be honest. It’s not that difficult to do in our office. And as much as I like being able to wear jeans, sometimes you’ve just got to wear your bright red pants and look fabulous.
I pinned this outfit a year ago and had all the pieces to recreate it….except for the shoes. It occurred to me when I finally wore it that I could have worn my leopard flats but, look, I finally have brown flats so I was going to wear them!
Sweater – Forever 21 (similar) | Shirt – J. Crew (similar) | Pants – The Limited (same) | Shoes – Dr. Scholl’s (same) | Watch – Nixon c/o Shopbop (same)
Also, I know everyone was gushing about the weather in Chicago being abnormally warm for the first part of November but, I have to say, I was enjoying it, too. I mean, I wore this outfit with just my trench coat and was perfectly fine! Even with flats and exposed feet. Crazy, right? This time last year it was boots all the time.
Also, funny story about this plaid shirt. See, originally I got it in a size 2 as a gift. That size always felt a little bit tight across the shoulders and in the armpits, though, so after a few months I sold it on eBay and bought it in a size 4.
Then I was wearing it at work about a month ago. I went to the gym on my lunch break and when I put the shirt back on afterward I realized I had hulked-out of it and there was literally a shredded hole under one arm! Not on seam, either. A legit shredded hole just in the fabric.
I guess there is a downside to weight lifting.
Anyway, I loved that shirt so much (clearly since I’d already bought it myself once) that I immediately took to eBay again. However, this time I couldn’t find it in a 4….so I bought a 6. And it still fits! I probably paid too much for a used shirt, but, hey, when you like something you like something.
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….
It’s been awhile since I’ve participated in a Style Imitating Art challenge, but I finally got the chance again! This outfit was inspired by a questionable one I posted on Instagram. At least one person said that to make it look less clownish I should wear leopard shoes.
I bet when you first saw that painting you thought I’d wear my leopard print skirt. Or maybe my leopard print shirt. Or maybe my leopard print scarf. Yeah, I might have a leopard problem. But, no, I went with recreating this outfit. And you know what? The comments on Instagram were correct. I like it MUCH better with the leopard flats.
We took these photos in a shopping area in Carmel, Indiana when we were in town for Jason’s grandmother’s 90th birthday party. We had to run an errand and found this great photo location that we didn’t want to pass up. I love that there are still flowers. Helps me forget that it’s fall!
I don’t really know how to write this post without sounding like I’m bragging or like I’m vain or, I don’t know, like there’s something wrong with me. Because I’m not writing it for any of those reasons. I’m writing it because I’m proud and I want to share something that’s been working for me.
I know, I know. You’re thinking, “Wait. This is a style blog. Why are you talking about working out?? Don’t you have a fitness blog for that?”
But here’s the thing: working out can change your body. And when your body changes it changes what you wear.
For example, take these three dresses.
Which are all from Le Tote, by the way. Which I love because it lets me try things I wouldn’t think I could wear…until now. Try it yourself for 50% off with code ERIN25. Sales pitch over.
Last year at this time I wouldn’t have felt comfortable wearing them. In fact, for the longest time I didn’t feel comfortable in a wrap dress at all. I felt like they clung, showed every bump I had (or imagined I had) and just weren’t flattering. Never mind a body-skimming knit dress that could possibly enhance a bulge or two.
Now, I know, you’re rolling your eyes and thinking that I’ve always looked just fine. But, when you’re in your own body and wearing your clothes every day you can tell when something is off. In fact, I noticed it with my red and green pants.
When I replaced my original red pants I had to go up a size. Actually, I had to go up two sizes. And I almost replaced these green pants that I’ve had since 2012 because they had gotten too tight in the waist. I haven’t been a couch potato in years, but clearly whatever I was doing (running all the time) wasn’t doing enough.
But last fall I met a woman in my office who had an enviable physique. I asked her what her secret was and she told it was the book Thinner, Leaner, Stronger. So, I bought it. And it became my bible. How to eat, how to workout, what to lift at the gym. I even got a personal trainer that I meet with once a week.
And it paid off. I lost 10+ pounds, I’ve got almost visible abs for the first time in my life. I’ve got muscle definition in my arms that sometimes you guys even comment on. I can deadlift 1.5 times my bodyweight. And I’m even a faster runner! I don’t follow TLS as religiously anymore (I mean, I do have to train for triathlons and try amazing drinks) but I still workout 4-6 days a week, mostly doing strength training.
Journal Menu lets you choose what type of workouts you want to track and customizes the pages in your journal to match
So, believe it or not, I’ve actually had to re-buy those red pants TWICE, getting them in smaller sizes each time (thank goodness The Limited still sold them!) and now the green pants are a tad bit loose. Actually, a lot of my clothes are too loose. Most of my pencil skirts are too big at this point. Thankfully I rarely have to wear them. But, I have expanded my dress options because now I feel much more comfortable in knit dresses!
I am proud of what I’ve accomplished and, I have to say, I’m thrilled that my wardrobe options have expanded! I never thought I could wear a wrap dress but, look, here I am rocking one.
I promise I’m not being compensated to tell you about Thinner, Leaner, Stronger and while I received the Journal Menu for free I’m not getting paid anything additional to include it in my life. I just really think it’s awesome that yes, you can make a significant change to your body if you really want it.
If you want to know more, just ask. I know that talking about weight and body shape and what you look like isn’t necessarily “polite” conversation, but it’s such a huge part of my life right now and has had such a big impact on even my wardrobe that I felt weird not sharing.
Now, excuse me, I’m off to find some more dresses that make me feel like a million bucks.
Although, the necklace, the black blazer, the shoes and the striped shirt are all still in my closet. I really like to hang onto things as long as possible and only replace when they no longer fit, fall apart or no longer fit with my lifestyle.
Take the shoes I’m wearing today, for example. These are replacements for my black Bandolino wedges that had a buckle on the toe and that I wore until the insides literally fell apart. Bri had these on in a post and I thought they would be a good replacement. Turns out they fit great and are quite comfy. So, if you’re in need of black wedges than go for these. They’re on sale right now, too!
And while you’re at it buy some red pants and something striped. Because clearly you’ll get some good use out of those items, too.
Of course my first outfit of the Top 10 Remix would feature three of the items I chose. In fact, in all honesty, I chose most of my Top 10 items AFTER I wore this outfit. But that’s not why I chose them.
This is actually my third pair of red pants. I think I’ve told this story before, but my first pair I bought when I was out shopping with my mom. They were from Gap and they were my first foray into brightly colored bottoms.
At first I was hesitant but then I wanted to wear them all the time. But, they were getting tight in the calves (and other places) so I decided to replace them.
I bought a pair from The Limited but while they fit in the thighs they were a little loose in the waist. I dealt with it for awhile but when I started losing weight I knew they would need to be replaced as well.
Which brings us to this pair. Clearly I think red pants deserve a spot in my wardrobe or I wouldn’t keep buying them!
I’m sure I’ll be wearing the blazer and the shoes again before the end of the month so I’ll save my stories about those for later posts.
Sometimes I just get tired of wearing jeans. Does that happen to you? Or is it just me? Anyway, last week I had one of my professional association meetings and I decided that was a good enough excuse to wear my new red pants.
These are the pants I bought to replace my previous red pair that got ridiculously large in the waist and that I felt never hit me quite right at the ankle. I bought these ankle pants in a Tall so that they actually came to my ankle bone and didn’t end just at the bottom of my calf. To me, that is NOT an ankle pant when they have such a short inseam.
Short girl with long legs problems, I guess.
Anyway, when I was at the office I just ditched the blazer so I didn’t look as dressed up. Thankfully, no one says anything to me. In fact, my boss actually asked my opinion on a t-shirt he was designing for our team since he says “I’m the one with the fashion knowledge.”
Two weeks ago I was lucky enough to attend a complimentary class at the newest Chicago Flywheel location in the Old Town neighborhood. Since I was there to workout I didn’t take a lot of photos but here’s a post-workout group pic.
That’s me front row dead center. So sweaty. (Pic courtesy of Flywheel Sports)
Anyway, even though I’ve been really active for the past 7 years with running and marathoning and gymming I’ve recently decided to see if I can build some more visible muscle. To that effect I’ve been doing a new regiment of strength training paired with high intensity interval cardio. Flywheel is a perfect fit since it’s an interval training spin class with some light weights thrown in.
Many of the bloggers in attendance were a bit apprehensive about Flywheel since they’d heard it was intense. Well, yes, it is. And if you choose to have your name shown on the “torq board” it can get a bit competitive. But, just like many fitness classes, you get out what you put in.
And Flywheel Sports was nice enough to give three of my readers the chance to try it themselves! You can win a free class along with some swag.
To enter just scroll down to the giveaway widget at the bottom of this post. Each winner will get one free ride card that can be used at any Flywheel location and either the hat, water bottle or sweat band. Giveaway ends on Monday, November 17th.
I’ve been on my new exercise and diet plan for about three weeks now (with a few cheat days) and I’m already finding that several pairs of my pants are getting a little big around the waist. Especially this red pair which has always been a bit big there anyway.
I had to jerry-rig some kind of system with a belt and a safety pin to keep these pants up! I refuse to give up on them so it’s time for me to find a tailor who can take in the waist but leave everything else the same. I may be losing inches in my waist but all those squats and deadlifts and Flywheel classes are surely not shrinking my butt and thighs!
Want to give your legs a workout? Just enter the giveaway for a free Flywheel class below!