Tag Archives: white collared shirt

The Gray Zone

Casual Clothes · Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

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.

gray-moto-jacket-jeans-2Hat – 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!

gray-moto-jacket-jeans-1P.S. Don’t forget there’s a giveaway going on right now!

  

Pink Sweater Story

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

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!

Pink sweater with moto vest and pencil skirtSweater – 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).

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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.pink-sweater-houndstooth-skirt-3

 

  

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.

  

Credit where credit is due

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

Striped shirt with navy lace pants, Chicago style blogger

Striped shirt with lace pants

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.

pressbox

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.

What to wear with navy lace pants

  

Chicago Boutique Week with Comfort Me Boutique: Making the Most of Your Closet Staples Part 1

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring · Shopping

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!

Comfort Me Boutique in Chicago

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.

Black suit with white collared shirt

I quickly got work finding items that I could mix and match with these  pieces.

First up, this adorable and comfortable navy knit dress.

Comfort Me Boutique Navy Dress with white collared shirt

Comfort Me Boutique Navy Dress with white collared shirt

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!

Cards at Comfort Me Boutique Chicago

Next up, I found another dress that could also be worn to work using the layered collared shirt.

Comfort Me Boutique Black Dress with white collared shirt

Comfort Me Boutique Black Dress with white collared shirt and hot pink earrings

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 info@comfortmeboutique.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.

  

Monochrome Winter White

Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

Loop Looks, Chicago style blogger, winter white pants, tan sweater, and leopard heels

tan_sweater_winter_white_pants_3tan_sweater_winter_white_pants_4

Sweater – LOFT via Goodwill (similar) | Shirt – Forever 21 (similar) | Pants – The Limited (similar) | Shoes – Karen Scott via Macy’s (similar) | Necklace – Express (similar)

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!

Loop Looks, Chicago style blogger, winter white pants, tan sweater, and leopard heels

Linking up with Walking in Memphis in High Heels | The Fashion Canvas

  

That Monday Morning Cat

Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

Green sweater with leopard print pencil skirt

Sweater – Stitch Fix (similar) | Collared Shirt – Collide Boutique (similar) | Skirt – Target (same) | Tights – Target (same) | Boots – Bandolino via 6pm.com (similar) | Necklace – Express (same)

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.

Anyway, this outfit was inspired by the latest Style Imitating Art choice by Salazar, “Louison and Raminou” by Suzanne Valadon:

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.

green_sweater_leopard_skirt_two_ways

Linking up with Fizz & Frosting | On the Daily Express | More Pieces of Me| Thirties Two Cents

  

That Old Thing

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

Leopard print cardigan with purple scarf, white button up shirt, jeans, nude shoes. Casual Friday, Chicago style blogger

leopard_cardigan_purple_scarf_2

Cardigan – Lucky Brand (similar) | Scarf – Target (similar) | Shirt – TJ Maxx (similar) | Jeans – The Limited (similar) | Shoes – Bandolino (same)

 

Okay, so, if I can’t find my dream leopard print shoes I mentioned yesterday I suppose I shall console myself by wearing my leopard print cardigan today. It’s not the same thing at all. But, it’s what I’ve got.

Also, this white collared shirt is what I’ve got. I bought it YEARS ago. I don’t even remember when. In fact, I think I might have bought it because I needed it for a work uniform or a costume. I just hung onto it because, hey, a white collared shirt doesn’t really go out of style. But every time I put it on I think, “I wish I had a different white collared shirt.” So maybe I’ll make that one of my goals this year. Figure out what in my closet I don’t really love and replace it with something better.

I’ve read that the non-iron dress shirts from Brooks Brothers are amazing but, dang, they are pricey. However, I suppose that  just like this not-so-pricey one that I have it will last for longer than I can remember and, if I really love it, that’s worth the price, right? Decisions, decisions.

As a testament to how much I don’t love this shirt, I could only find two other times I’ve worn it. I have another white collared shirt that has metallic silver pinstripes that I wear a lot more often, but this plain white one just doesn’t get that kind of love.

white_shirt_two_ways

Also, apparently I really like to wear it with this leopard cardigan and these shoes. Who knew?

Linking up with AJ Wears Clothes

  

It’s in My (White) Jeans

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Winter

Chicago style blogger on Casual Friday wearing faux fur vest, tan sweater, white jeans, and brown knee high boots

fur_vest_white_jeans_3

Vest – Express via Poshmark (similar)(similar) | Shirt – Collide Boutique (similar) | Sweater – LOFT via Goodwill (similar) | Jeans – AG Adriano Goldschmied (same) | Boots – Bandolino via 6pm.com (similar) | Necklace – The Limited (similar)

You guys! I’ve been waiting all week for this outfit. No, not just because jeans means it’s Casual Friday. No. It’s because I LOVE this outfit!! This was one of those weeks when I took all my outfit photos on Sunday (and, yes, I do wear every single outfit that you see) but I put this outfit together at the last minute. I’m still doing the no black in January challenge and I wanted something different than regular blue jeans. So, white jeans in winter it is!

The last time I wore these white jeans after Labor Day you guys loved them. So I hope you love today’s look just as much. The collared shirt was a last minute addition and I think it adds just a bit more sophistication as well. It’s also sleeveless chiffon which makes it the perfect layering piece. Less bulk and no sleeves to roll up.

Basically, I think this outfit just really screams my style. A little something edgy and trendy paired with something a little classic and structured.

Chicago style blogger on Casual Friday wearing faux fur vest, tan sweater, white jeans, and brown knee high bootsLinking with AJ Wears Clothes| Walking in Memphis

  

A Gray Kind of Day

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

Black J. Crew sweater, gray animal print scarf, black jeans, faux leather moto jacket, J. Crew bow flats, Chicago style blogger, Fall in Chicago

black_sweater_black_jeans_3black_sweater_black_jeans_4

Sweater – J. Crew Factory (same) | Shirt – The Limited (similar) | Scarf – JF&A Show (similar) | Jeans – The Limited (similar) | Shoes – J. Crew Factory (same) | Jacket – Zara (similar)

 

Two things I wanted to mention to you today. The first, the weather is horrible. Yet I stood outside in it to take pictures. All for you! Okay, for me, too. Because I hate taking photos indoors. Also, in full disclosure, I wore my Uggs during my commute and packed my flats to change into. Yes, I’ve become one of THOSE women. The ones who wear Uggs. I don’t care. They’re warm. And comfy. And on a cold, gray, wet day like today you need some of that while waiting for the train, you know?

The other thing I wanted to mention is that it’s actually kind of difficult to make a black crewneck sweater seem interesting. I actually have several ideas saved on my Pinterest boards but several of them involve also wearing a blazer over the sweater. I just wasn’t in the mood for that kind of layering today (in fact, even the scarf is kind of driving me crazy) so I looked for other ideas. So, the black on black outfit might be kind of boring but it’s doing the job for me today. And it just goes to show that you can wear a black sweater with crazy animal print one day and tone it WAY down the next.

black_sweater_two_ways

And thus brings us to the end of Take One, Pass It On week three. You know, if you want to see how lots of other bloggers are remixing the pieces in the closet from day to day don’t forget to follow Sarah’s Real Life. She’s the one who created this challenge and she’s the one who does the round of up all the participants every week. It’s a lot of fun to see how other people make new outfits out of the pieces they pass on from day to day.

take_one_week_3Also linking up with AJ Wears Clothes