Tag Archives: you pick wednesday

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10 Denim Jackets Under $50

Shopping · You Pick Wednesday

Denim jackets, jean jackets under $30

Target | Old Navy

Denim jackets, jean jackets under $40

Old Navy | Forever 21 | Kohl’s

Denim jackets, jean jackets under $50

Kohl’s | American Eagle | Macy’s

Kelly recently asked me to help her find an affordable denim jacket. The great thing about a denim or jean jacket is that you can find one at literally every price point. I stuck to suggestions for under $50 but they can range from $20 to $200. And, to be honest, I can’t really tell the difference in quality! It all depends on what you want in a jacket. I bought mine over 10 years ago from the GAP outlet and it’s still in great shape. I’m looking to replace it myself, though, because the style is getting kind of dated.

So what should you look for? Here are some key things I would suggest:

1. Nothing too light and nothing too dark. An in-between shade is more likely to go with lots of different tops, pants, skirts and dresses. However, if the jacket is cheap enough maybe get two, one lighter and one darker!

2. Not cropped. A cropped jacket will go out of style faster than one that hits at or just above or below your hips.

3. Tapered in at the waist. Mine is way too boxy on me and makes me look wider than I am. I would like one that shows off my waist instead of hiding it.

Denim jackets are also a great thing to look for at thrift stores or on Poshmark since they’ve been around a long time. Just remember the three key features mentioned above so you pick out a modern looking one. Unless you’re going for a 1950s vibe. Then, by all means, grab that vintage jacket and rock that style!

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Don’t forget to ask your own questions! Hit me up on Twitter at @looplooks and get a You Pick Wednesday post just for you.

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Best Places to Buy Jewelry

Shopping

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Welcome to my jewelry stash! Would you believe that two years ago I wore the same earrings every day and only wore silver necklaces with small charms on them? Now look at this mess!

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Interestingly, I tend to buy jewelry from the same few places. So today I thought I’d share my favorite jewelry buying spots with you and a few places I bet you wouldn’t think to check.

JC Penney

My favorite floral statement necklace (on the far left in the photos above) is from JC Penney from their MixIt line. I’ve discovered that if you like J. Crew jewelry that JC Penney probably has something similar for much, much less. And since I refuse to pay a lot of money for trendy statement jewels, this is perfect.

The Limited

A ridiculous amount of my jewelry is from The Limited. But here’s the thing; their jewelry is totally overpriced for the quality. So never, ever buy anything full price. Wait for a 40% off sale or until you have a coupon and then grab the pieces you’ve been eyeing.

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New York & Company

Several of my go-to pieces, such as the teal crescent and the blue bubble-esque necklace in the center of the photos, are from New York & Company.  Much like The Limited, New York & Company has great sales (right now they are buy one get one free on all jewelry). They also have a good mix of trendy pieces and simpler items and almost everything is under $20.

House of Gemmes

My favorite black and silver bracelet is from House of Gemmes. It goes with everything and actually fits my doll wrists. However, most of their items will fit all sizes! They are slightly pricier than some of my other picks but you get a $15 coupon when you sign up for their email list. Plus, they have pretty good sales on a regular basis. And if you’re in Chicago you can go check them out in person on Saturday!

 

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JF&A Show

I’m a little hesitant to add this one because it’s really only valid for anyone who lives near Chicago. But, trust me, if you’re within a day’s drive and you LOVE accessories, this is your go-to event. Four times a year various vendors take over an area convention center and sell everything accessories related. I wrote about it when I went back in October but I still don’t think I gave you a good enough idea of how AWESOME this event is. Definitely sign up for their mailing list so you know when to mark your calendar.  My purple/gray bubble necklace, my rhinestone cluster necklace, my gray leather wrap bracelet and many, many more items that I wear regularly are from the JF&A Show. This is a must-see event for anyone interested in accessories.

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I do have jewelry from other places including etsy, Gorjana, Bauble Bar, and Macy’s but the five places listed above are my go-tos when I’m looking for  a new piece to add to my collection. Also, if you have an iPhone and you aren’t using Poshmark you need to get on that STAT. I’ve scored some killer jewelry deals via Poshmark (J. Crew necklaces and Stella & Dot earrings, to name two).  Use code HBAMM when you join and you’ll get $5 credit!

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Where is your favorite place to buy jewelry?

 

And don’t forget, if there’s something you want to see or a question you’ve been wanting to ask, I’ll happily tackle it on a future You Pick Wednesday! Just ask away!

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Also linking with Small Town, Big Wardrobe

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How to Wear Ankle Boots

You Pick Wednesday

So, I know it’s spring in Chicago and for many of us our thoughts are turning towards sandals and open-toed shoes. But for anyone who is dealing with cooler temperatures this post is for you!

A reader recently contacted me and asked for help with a pair of ankle boots she just bought.

 

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Shop

Here’s what she had to say:

My problem: So the Nine West store here had booties on sale. I loved a pair but as soon as I opened the shoebox at home, I started freaking out. Although I appreciate looking a few inches taller, these booties scare me to death LOL. What kind of outfit can I wear them with?

I bought my first pair of ankle boots in fall 2011.

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Admittedly, I didn’t know what to wear with them, either! But it turned out that they are quite a staple in my wardrobe now. So here are my suggestions on how to wear ankle boots.

1. Putting them with black tights or even sheer black textured tights/nylons will help ease you into wearing ankle boots with skirts and dresses.

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2. If you like the look of bare legs with booties, you could wear them with a skirt and no tights.

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3. Wear jeans or pants over the top of the booties.

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4. Tuck skinny jeans into them or roll the bottom of the jeans up so they hit the top of the booties.

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Want more ideas? I have to give a shout-out to Katie from Alaskan Weredork who does the best job I’ve seen of wearing her many pairs of ankle boots with almost any outfit you can imagine.

Do you have ankle boots? How would you wear them?

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Don’t forget you can always submit your own questions for You Pick Wednesday!

 

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Printed Pants: From Simple to Smashing

You Pick Wednesday

For this week’s You Pick Wednesday a reader asked on Facebook for ideas on how to wear her new printed pants. This particular pair from Old Navy are adorable and can be paired so many different ways. Below you’ll find four different outfits, at least one of which you’re sure to love!

 

1. Pair them with a sold colored top. Chambray is a sure thing for a casual look but if you’re looking to be a bit more dressy just add a solid colored shirt. For these pants I would go with pink, emerald, red, or another shade of blue. Throw on a necklace that sits right under the shirt collar and pops against the shirt color and you’ve added some visual interest to your blouse without going too crazy. Sandals make it casual but if you add a pair of heels or wedges you’ve got a more office-appropriate look.

Printed pants with chambray shirt and Bauble Bar necklace

Shirt | Pants | Shoes | Necklace

Outfit total = $100

 

2.  Another color that goes well with navy or blue is yellow. Old Navy has these AMAZING boucle jackets in multiple colors. The blue one would also go nicely with these pants but for more visual interest the yellow is a great complimentary and spring-y color. Add a tie-neck blouse instead of a necklace and some nude wedges and you have the perfect spring outfit for the office. Not a fan of the boucle jacket? Try a yellow cardigan instead!

 

Old Navy polka dot printed pants with Old Navy boucle jacket

 

Jacket | Shirt | Pants | Shoes | Earrings

Outfit total = $154

 

3. We all know I love pairing stripes with polka dots and it’s honestly one of the easiest ways to dip your toe into pattern mixing. In this case the shirt has blue stripes in it which play off the different blues in the pants. Wearing the bright cardigan over the top only gives you a strip of stripes (say that 5 times fast) so your eye isn’t overwhelmed by the two patterns. This outfit would be perfect for a casual Friday or a weekend out and about.

 

Old Navy polka dot printed pants with Old Navy striped tank and cardigan

Cardigan | Tank | Pants | Shoes | Necklace

Outfit total = $106

 

4. But if you really want to go crazy with the pattern mixing, I’m loving this floral blazer from Forever 21. It has two different shades of blues, yellows, and reds all of which go great with the blues in the pants. And because the pattern of the pants is tiny the bold floral pattern doesn’t compete with it the same way a smaller floral print might. The striped heels balance out the bold pattern on the top by bookending the pants with more pattern.  But if that feels like too much to you, nude heels or flats are a perfectly acceptable option. This outfit is bound to get you compliments in the office! Not feeling the floral blazer? A solid colored one in any of the colors in this floral one would also pair just as nicely with the pants.

Old Navy polka dot printed pants with Forever 21 floral blazer

Blazer | Shirt | Pants | Shoes | Earrings

Outfit total = $174

 

So, thoughts on printed pants? Would you wear them? Which of the above outfits is your favorite?

 

And don’t forget, I’m here every Wednesday answering YOUR questions! You tell me what you want to see or know about and I’ll make it happen.

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10 Ways to Pair Red That Aren’t So Black and White

You Pick Wednesday

Last week I asked for You Pick Wednesday submissions on Twitter and Maggie responded by asking for ideas on how to wear red that don’t include wearing it with black and white. So today I give you 10 different colors you can pair with red that aren’t so black and white.

 

Color Pairing #1 – Red and Tan

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Color Pairing #2 – Red and Chambray

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Color Pairing #3 – Red and Lavender

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lavender sweater, red shirt, white blazer, navy pantslavender shirt with red sweater

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Color Pairing #4 – Red and Gray

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Color Pairing #5 – Red and Gold

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Color Pairing #6 – Red and Brown

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Color Pairing #7 – Red and Mint

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mint shirt, red lace skirtred jacket with mint jeans and hunter boots

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Color Pairing #8 – Red and Navy

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Color Pairing #9 – Red and Pink

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Color Pairing #10 – Red and Leopard

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Which color pairing is your favorite? Can you think of any others I left out?

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Bright Colors, Bright Pants

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

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Cardigan – Target (similar) | Shirt – The Limited (similar) |Pants – LOFT (similar) | Shoes – Lucky Brand via Marshall’s (similar for $12!) | Bracelet – Gorjana

Today I’m actually contributing over at Work Your Wardrobe with some hints about how to wear colored pants. Since I’m featuring my cobalt blue pants over there I thought I’d show you a few more looks here.

 

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Outfit 1 | Outfit 2 | Outfit 3

Still not a fan of colored pants? What about colored skirts? All the same advice applies!

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Have cobalt pants or a skirt in your closet and looking for some other outfit inspirations? Here are a few of my favorites that I will be recreating in the future!

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And don’t forget! Any time you have a style question you can ask and I’ll feature it on You Pick Wednesday!

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You Don’t Have To Look Like Me

You Pick Wednesday

Today I’m flying home from Phoenix. And I’ve had the idea for this post in the back of my head for awhile but just haven’t had time to write it. So, here’s the CliffsNotes version.

Here’s the thing. I’m going to be honest; I know I’m probably smaller than a lot of other people. I’m 5’4” and I typically wear a size 2 or 4. I’m also in my early 30s so I can probably get away with some things that other people can’t. I’ve gotten comments from people that indicate that my outfits may not always be accessible to everyone. I mean, I hope I give you enough ideas that you can go out and incorporate them into your own wardrobe (the rule of three, wearing monochrome, pattern mixing, etc) but I know some people are visual learners.

Not all style bloggers look like me, I know.  But do you know what that means? Even if you don’t look like me, you don’t have an excuse to dress like a slob.  Nope.  Sorry.

Instead, why not check out one of these lovely ladies and get some inspiration! You can click on each picture to go to the full post.

 

Hems for Her

mint gap skimmer jeans hems for her blog

 

A Colorful Canvas

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Girl with Curves

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Not Dead Yet Style

And because I don’t want to leave anyone out here’s a list of some other style bloggers you might be able to relate to.

Also, the ladies over at Work Your Wardrobe have some great tips that can apply to anyone.  Every day they feature a different blogger with a different style which means you get to get tips from all ends of the spectrum.

Plus, you know you can always ask me for help, right? Even if we don’t have similar body shapes or similar amounts of lines on our face I can still help you figure out what to wear to an event, on a daily basis, or with that piece you bought that just called out to you. Just send me an email!

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More Military Jacket Inspiration

You Pick Wednesday

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Clockwise from top left:

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Last fall I wrote a post about three ways to wear military-inspired jackets since they were shaping up to be a big fall trend.  These jackets and vests are still going strong and I’ve had a few new questions about ways to wear them.  So, since today I’m actually contributing over at Work Your Wardrobe and discussing my olive blazer/military jacket I thought I’d show you a few more ways to wear one.

Above are 12 different looks I’ve come across through various blogs.  Many of these I’ve saved on Pinterest so that I have inspiration for myself. I’ve notice that many of these looks are in neutral colors such as black, navy, white, and tan.  However, it’s easy to add some punch with sequins, leopard, or patterns.  Toss on a belt over the jacket, too, and you can have it be more shape-defining.  Or add a scarf or a necklace to amp up the professionalism.

Just because some of the above outfits are vests instead of jackets don’t let that make you think you can’t wear the outfits with either!  For some people a jacket or blazer might be more versatile and for others it might be a vest. Either way, you can probably wear them with lots of things you already have in your closet!

Admittedly, I’ve been searching for the “perfect” military-inspired jacket or vest since last fall. My current jacket is filling the hole…for now.  In the mean time, here are some of the other ones I’ve either tried on or want to look for, including this one that is currently under $35!

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From Wedding to Weekend: A Multi-Purpose Wedding Dress

Shopping

Multi Purpose Wedding Dresses

Dress 1 | Dress 2 | Dress 3 | Dress 4

Mica recently contacted me with a question.  See, she’s getting married in a few months but doesn’t want a big, fancy, traditional wedding dress.  In fact, she wants something she can wear to multiple events, wedding related or not.  The lucky couple is not only having a small main ceremony but then they are planning a cross-country road trip to celebrate with as many friends and family in as many locations as possible.

Mica also wanted to make sure she didn’t break the bank on a dress since they’ll need that money for their road trip! So, she asked me for some suggestions on places to find dresses that fit the bill.

dressing down a wedding dress

Earrings (L) | Sandals | Earrings (R) | Jacket | Shoes

My first stop is always The Limited just because it’s my favorite store.  This lace yoke dress with a bit of an a-line skirt would be perfect because it’s not so over-the-top fancy that it can’t be dressed down. And it’s under $100.

Other retailers such as Banana Republic and J. Crew also carry nice dresses but they tend to be more expensive.  The Limited has good prices and GREAT sales. However, if you find a dress at a store that you love but it’s out of your price range, check ebay! I once fell in love with a beautiful dress at J. Crew but it was way too expensive. And by the time it had dropped in price they were sold out of my size. So I wrote down the dress name and searched for it on ebay. A trip to the tailor and significantly fewer dollars later I had the perfect dress.

rewearing a wedding dress

Necklace | Sandals | Cardigan | Belt | Shoes

Other good options are department stores.  Yes, they can be overwhelming but they do have the best selection of different items. Which is why I prefer to order items online and then return them at the store! So much easier than trying to find an item in the store if the sales clerks aren’t helpful.  Nordstrom seems to have the best balance of price to customer service level, but Macy’s has the best sales. Which is why the rest of the dresses here are from Macy’s. However, if you have a Nordstrom near you then why not check it out?

In the mean time, the dress above is great because it’s cotton, has a small tonal print that makes it a bit more fun, and has the belt that can swapped out to be dressy or casual.

white sheath dress

Earrings | Shoes | Blazer | Bag | Sandals

A sheath dress would be perfect because in this white cotton eyelet fabric it looks great alone or under a blazer, jacket or cardigan. It could even be transitioned to wear in an office with the blazer and the nude peep toe wedges.  Many people don’t think they can pull off a sheath dress but it can be done and most women actually look great in them. And if it’s too big in the bust when it fits you in the hips, consider how much you paid for it.  Did you save enough that it would be worth it to get the top tailored?

casual wedding dress

Necklace | Sandals (L) | Earrings | Bag | Sandals (R)

Finally, this cotton eyelet trimmed dress might be my favorite of the four I’m highlighting.  Why? Because it just seems like the perfect, light, airy dress to wear when you’re getting married in a park. The wide waistband will work on just about anyone, the v-neck is flattering, you can probably wear a regular bra with it (hooray!) and looking at it just makes me happy!  Plus, I could easily see it with a cardigan or the denim jacket above to make it even more casual. And, like the others, it’s under $100.

Other great places to look for a dress?  Well, if you don’t mind a bit of a hunt, I’ve found amazing dresses at TJ Maxx, Marshall’s and Burlington Coat Factory (yes, they are more than great coats).  However, there’s no guarantee they’ll have anything so you have to be willing to leave empty handed. Some people also swear by thrift or consignment shops for exactly this sort of situation but I’ve never been thrift-lucky.

However, since I know what size I wear in a few brands, I can use apps and websites such as Poshmark or Threadflip to search for items in my size and preferred brand and get good deals that way. Or, I can use my little online shopping secret: Shopstyle!

So, Mica, I hope you find the prefect dress for your needs!  Congrats on your upcoming wedding and be sure to send me some pictures!

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When Is It Okay To Go Nude: how to wear nude shoes

You Pick Wednesday

One of the reader questions I received recently was about how and when to wear nude shoes.  Now, when I say “nude” I mean shoes that are one to two shades lighter than your skin tone no matter where it falls on the color spectrum. I only added nude shoes to my closet this past year when I realized that with some of my outfits black shoes just weren’t going to cut it.

Case in Point

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Notice that the black shoes draw your eye down and almost make the shoes the focal point of the outfit. Whereas the nude shoes just blend in and draw your eye up so you notice the actual outfit itself.

 

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Here’s another example.  Nude shoes are the best when your legs are bare.  When I’m wearing blackish gray hose and a black cardigan my black shoes balance out my outfit.  But when I’m bare-legged and wearing a brown jacket nude shows off my outfit (and my legs, if I say so myself) better.  I could have worn brown but, again, it might draw the eye downward.

 

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These pants are interesting because these outfits could have gone either way with the shoes.  My burgundy shoes match my pants so they do tend to blend in more.  But since the top half of the outfit on the left looks heavier to my eye I think the heavier color shoe goes better with it.

 

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Again, same pants, different shoes.  In this case both shoes would go well with either outfit. Sometimes you get the option!

So, when should you wear a nude shoe?

1. When you want the attention to be on your outfit

From ByBy Style Studio:  When you’re wearing colorful or busy print ensembles that you want to emphasize. The nude shoe will keep they eye focused above your feet.

2. When you want to look taller or more streamlined

From DivaVillage:  When you wear a pair of nude pumps with a dress or a pair of pants that are a similar color, your legs will actually look longer.

3. When another color just won’t work

From Girl Next Door: Your shoes should complement your [outfit], not compete with it.

And for more nude shoe inspiration, you can see all my posts where I’ve worn them here.

Need some nude shoes in your life? Here are some that caught my eye.

 

I hope that helps clarify when nude shoes are the best option. Or maybe it made it more murky!  Tell me in the comments. And, as always, if you have your own style questions let me know! I’m happy to help!

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