Have you voted for your favorite outfit of January yet? Or seen what won for every month of 2014?
For the past 10 or so years my siblings, our spouses and I have drawn names at Thanksgiving to see who we’re buying a gift for at Christmas. This year my 9 year old niece decided that the kids should get in on the action.
So, everyone in our family (all 11 of us total) put our names into a hat and drew. The rules? The gift had to be under $5.
Apparently as soon as my four year old nephew found out he drew my name he knew exactly what he was getting me: earrings.Sweater – American Eagle Outfitters (same) | Shirt – Forever 21 (similar) | Jeans – American Eagle Outfitters (same) | Boots – Sam Edelman c/o Shopbop (same)
Normally I would wear a statement necklace with a sweater and a collared shirt (as evidenced yesterday) but I thought I’d be a bit different and go with the statement earrings instead.
Especially since apparently my nephew thinks of me and thinks earrings. And he has good taste, I must say.
We all had a blast buying $5 gifts for one another, too. I hope this becomes a new tradition!
Before I sent back my most recent Le Tote box I decided to get one more wear out of the pretty jeweled necklace they’d sent. I last wore it as part of my Christmas celebration outfit but this time I decided to let it take center stage.
A navy sweater and a white collared shirt could be way too “prep-school uniform” on their own which is why I added the sparkly necklace and, of course, my leopard print wedges.
Overall this outfit is pretty simple but it’s the fun color and pattern touches that take it from blah to interesting. Adding at least one item of interest always me feel more put together when I’m wearing basics like a sweater, button-up, and jeans.
And, in the interest of full disclosure, I honestly can’t remember when I wore this outfit. I know I did. But I do know we took the pictures last week. I’m trying to build up a buffer of photos for when either my photographer is unavailable (husband’s gotta work, yo) or I just can’t face using the tripod and remote. Or, for times when I’m not going to be at work. Like right now. My husband’s grandfather passed away and we’ll be out of town for a few days. Hopefully. Assuming we didn’t get snowed in (I’m writing this on Saturday and allegedly we’re getting like a foot of snow or some such thing soon).
Another series, you ask? Why, yes, yes it is. And what’s this one? Well, I mentioned that I was thinking about doing posts where I recreate looks from my Pinterest boards but not go shopping.
Well, I have bought a few things already in January but I’m trying my best to leave my closet alone from now on. Except I know my dad wants to take me shopping for my birthday when I visit him this weekend!
Anyway, this particular outfit is a copy of a recent one from The Closet Crush and all of the items here were purchased before 2015!
The shirt is one of the older things in my closet as I think it’s been there since before I moved to Chicago. The boots were one of my first purchases after we moved here (so…2008?). The jacket I bought on eBay early last year and the necklace was added earlier in 2014 as well. The jeans are the newest items and those joined my closet this past fall.
I don’t know why I never thought to put this jacket and this shirt together because they seem like a natural pairing. And I love that the necklace sits right in the opening of the shirt and brings out the gold thread in the jacket.
Overall I felt very “me” in this outfit. I think I’m still struggling with defining my style but this is definitely a pretty good start.
Last night I attended the opening of the Milk Handmade Pop-Up Shop which gave me SO MANY gift ideas for this year. Including hats. If you’ve always lusted after my gray winter hat I’m here to tell you that Milk Handmade has the hook-up on similar ones.
Hat – Boutique in Sausalito | White shirt – Collide Boutique (similar) | Sweater – J. Crew Factory (same) | Jacket – Karen Kane via Macy’s (similar) | Necklace – JF&A Show (similar) | Jeans – American Eagle Outfitters (same) | Shoes – Liz Claiborne via DSW (similar)
Attending the launch gave me a great idea for a post about my favorite places to shop local in Chicago. I’ll admit, I see bloggers do gift guides all the time but in a way I feel like they are just a way for them to get clicks on their affiliate links in order to earn money. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I like money. But it feels disingenuous to create an entire post of just links.
Perhaps that’s hypocritical since I do link to similar (and same!) items using affiliate links when I post an outfit and occasionally do posts where I link to additional similar items in case you want to shop. But for some reason the gift guide to department and chain stores irks me.
So, instead, next week I’ll be sharing at least three places I am looking forward to shopping in Chicago and why they are my picks. And if you’re not in Chicago? Small boutiques might not have the best online shopping experience but I know that the ones I’m picking will be more than happy to help you over the phone!
P.S. Don’t forget there’s a giveaway going on right now!
I fully admit that sometimes I put an item on my shopping wish list after seeing it on another blogger. And sometimes I hold out for a long time before I add it to my closet. One of those times was when I saw Penny Pincher Fashion put together the cutest layered outfit with a bright pink sweater. I did not own a bright pink sweater. I did own a bright pink button up but no sweater. I hemmed and hawed about whether or not I should add one. And then I decided that most of my sweaters are neutrals so it was totally worth it. Plus, there was a J. Crew Factory sale!
Sweater – J. Crew Factory (same) | Vest – Target (similar) | Shirt – The Limited (similar) | Skirt – The Limited (similar) | Boots – Express (same)
This outfit is a bit dressier than I normally wear to work but what I’m finding is that unlike many places I’ve worked NO ONE asks me why I’m so dressed up. It’s really refreshing. Still, it was funny. When I put this outfit on I wasn’t digging the skirt. Not because of the look but because of the comfort factory. A little piece of me was thinking, “Just go put on black jeans!” But, no! I will not wear jeans every day.
Not only would jeans every day make for a boring blog it would go against my belief to dress nicely so you feel better. Even if all I’m going to do is sit at my desk and move documents from an old janky template to a new one (that I created thankyouverymuch).
And because Chewie will no longer let us go take pictures in the stairwell without begging to come along, here are your gratuitous dog photobombs.
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.
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) 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.
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.
Top – The Limited (similar) | Blouse – Collide Boutique (similar) | Pants – Ann Taylor (similar) | Shoes – J. Crew Factory (same) | Necklace – JF&A Show (similar)
First off, I have to give credit where credit is due. I did not come up with this outfit idea all on my own. Nope. I saw a very similar outfit on AJ Wears Clothes and knew I had all the pieces to recreate it. I just had to wait for the weather to warm up! Now that ankle pant weather is finally here I’m excited to wear these lace pants!
Also, in full disclosure, I recently ordered an almost identical sleeveless collared blouse from The Limited because this particular one gapes at the chest (seriously, my chest is not that big!) and while it looks fine underneath things, there’s no way I can wear it by itself. I’ll have to see how the one from The Limited works out once it gets here.
Finally, there’s one other thing I want to give some credit to for my wardrobe: Pressbox. What is Pressbox? It’s a 24 hour dry cleaning pick-up and drop off service!
We used to have a dry cleaner in our apartment building but the quality was so-so, the woman who manned it was kind of surly, and she only took cash. When that closed I started going to the one I walk past on my way to the train but trying to remember to grab my stuff as I rushed out the door eluded me.
Enter Pressbox. They installed a block of Pressbox lockers in our building and I LOVE it! Seriously. I can drop my clothes off in the locker in my pajamas whenever I remember and it’s back to me in two days or so.
You sign up for an account, you put your stuff in the locker, lock it and you text the locker number to the Pressbox phone number. They pick it up, send you an email with the price, and then text you the access code and locker number when it’s back. You can even reuse the bag they return it in!
And last night I dropped some stuff off and then realized after they emailed me the price that I forgot to put the “Replace Button” on the cardigan I put in the locker. I emailed them and they responded within 5 minutes and said they’d take care of it.
I am not a paid spokesperson for Pressbox. I just think it’s an amazing concept created by local Chicagoans. And since I don’t iron or sew, I am all about cleaners who will take care of those things for me. Plus the prices are really, really reasonable! It’s a win-win.
Welcome to my first ever Chicago Boutique Week! What is Chicago Boutique Week? It’s where I show you how to take closet staples and mix them up with adorable pieces from local Chicago boutiques. For the next three days I’m going to be featuring a wonderful Chicago boutique called Comfort Me.
Comfort Me Boutique’s main location is 701 W Armitage in the Lincoln Park neighborhood and they have an additional “pop-up shop” in Hyde Park at 5241 S. Harper Avenue. Comfort Me Boutique is owned by Alyssa and her mother and together they aim to have you experience the true meaning of retail therapy. Not only do they carry clothing, but they carry candles, housewares, jewelry, lotion, socks, and art. Many of it is made by local Chicago artists as well!
But I was there for the clothes and the jewelry! I showed up in my most basic of closet staples: a black suit, white collared shirt, and black pumps. I also brought a pair of nude pumps, just in case.
I quickly got work finding items that I could mix and match with these pieces.
First up, this adorable and comfortable navy knit dress.
Dress – Made in LA, eco-friendly line, made of organic cotton | Necklace – Tania Rodamilans quartz and pearl necklace, made in Chicago
This dress would be adorable on its own with sandals and simple jewelry as a fun summer outfit or you can do like I did and put a collared shirt underneath and pair it with heels and wear it to work!
Next up, I found another dress that could also be worn to work using the layered collared shirt.
Yumi black dress | Veronica Riley Martens tagua nut earrings (made in Chicago)
And that’s just the first two outfits! I’ve got even more on the way including some on-trend printed jogger pants, a super comfortable skirt, a beautiful locally made scarf, and the dress that ended up coming home with me! I hope you’ll come back tomorrow for more of Comfort Me Boutique. And if you see something you just HAVE to know more about, you can always email Comfort Me Boutique directly at email@example.com or check out their online store.
Note: Comfort Me Boutique did not ask me to write these posts. I’m doing it because I thought the store was adorable, Alyssa was super nice, and their clothes are unique and excellent quality. The only compensation I got was 30% off my purchase.
I don’t know what it is about monochrome looks but I really like them. Yesterday was burgundy and today is winter white and neutrals. I’m in the car again today but I have a 3:00 PM meeting back at my office so, once again, I need to go from a three hour car trip to work with minimal fuss. This outfit combines all the things I need for that. Comfortable, warmth, classy, but with a bit of sass.
Plus, you know how you might believe that wearing all black makes you feel taller and thinner? I actually think it’s even more true for white and neutrals. I feel super tall and super powerful in this outfit. Maybe winter white is my power color!
Wow. Okay. So, it’s Monday. And, just like Garfield, Mondays and mornings are very difficult for me. I had an amazingly fun weekend but it basically left me with no time to prep anything for this week. Including taking any blog photos. So these were snapped on my way out the door by my husband who wasn’t fully awake either and had the settings on our camera all wrong. Oh well.
I couldn’t pose with a cat since I’m terribly allergic to them. Also, as we know, I don’t own anything orange. So, here’s my ode to the painting. A green sweater and my leopard print skirt. That’s close enough to an orange kitty, right?
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, yes, I did commute to work via train in the sub-zero temps this morning. I wore a pair of yoga pants over my tights along with my snow boots. And, of course, my down coat, scarf, gloves and hat. Sigh. Some day I’ll be able to leave the house without taking 15 minutes to add extra layers, right?
In fact, here are two outfits featuring today’s sweater and skirt that did not require the addition of 6 other pieces of clothing.