Friday, September 30, 2011



This is what I wore to work yesterday.  It was a pretty casual day, as we had our annual office Oktoberfest party in the afternoon.  This space-dyed cowl tank, previously unseen on the blog, hasn't been worn since it's purchase at the end of August.

Looking Right...

Meko wanted to come outside to help with my pictures, so we worked on looking to the side and staring off into space.  She's a natural.

Looking to the left

Cardigan: Limited
Tank: Loft
Jeans: Old Navy
Necklace: New York & Company
Flats: Born

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Dressing Down a Party Dress


It's - surprise - another rainy morning here in Chicago, and the gloomy darkness this morning caused the flash on my camera to fire. Hence the kind of odd lighting. Just once this week, it'd be nice to wake up and not hear rain pouring down. But that's neither here nor there. I'm back in my comfort zone, wearing some black, white (I know the dress looks black and gray, but it's black and white) and red. I last wore this dress to Rad's and my friend C's wedding in June. Before that, the only other time I wore it was out for my birthday this year. It's a cute dress, but I guess I considered it to be a little too dressy for work. But styled with a cami underneath (since it's a total neckline offender), tights and a cardi, it doesn't look so formal. The other reason it's been dormant is that it's a little shorter than I'd like with bare legs. But once it's tights weather, I don't mind showing a little knee.

Cardigan: Target (last worn August 10th)
Dress: New York & Company (last worn June 18th)
Cami, Necklace and (sort of hidden) Brooch: New York & Company
Tights: Target
Shoes: Naturalizer

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Upon us all, a little rain must fall


I think this blue and gray colored outfit conveys my feelings about our seemingly constant rain here.  Blah.  I love fall, but not so much when it rains everyday.  But enough complaining about the weather.  I really like the pattern and coloring of this skirt, and even managed to make it office-appropriate, but I think I'd like it more if I got it altered to be closer to knee-length.  Thoughts?


The lost items for No Repeats are the cardigan, which apparently I haven't worn since last December!  Or maybe I just haven't worn it on the blog since then.  And the shoes haven't been worn since May, mostly because they're not very summery.

Cardigan: The Limited (last worn December 14th)
Tank: Target
Skirt: Old Navy
Belt: Target
Shoes: Tsubo (last worn May 6th)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Jeans for Work and Play


Happy Sunday, Style Nation!  How is your weekend going?  Mine's been fairly busy, considering I'm supposed to be resting up with a sinus infection.  Woops.  Above is what I wore to work on Friday.  Just my typical bottoms + tank + cardigan combo.  But it's easy, and it works.

Tank: Loft
Cardigan: Target (last worn August 1st)
Jeans: Old Navy
Necklace: New York & Company
Flats: Born


Yesterday, Fella and I went to the Hideout Block Party here in Chicago.  It was a gray, gloomy and rainy day until we left to head down there, but because of the weather (and the forecasted storms and hail), the Hideout had apparently scaled back on everything, not expecting a huge crowd.  By about 8:00, they ran out of food, toilet paper, water for hand washing, and were rumored to be about out of beer.  And speaking of beer, we waited in line for about 40 minutes for one!  But despite all of that, it was really fun.  We got to see Chicago blues singer Mavis Staples and Chicago's own Andrew Bird.  That was our 5th time seeing him in the past 2 years, and he never disappoints.


Anyway, this is what I wore to be comfortable, warm and kind of fit in with the concert crowd.  Have I mentioned before how tricky concert dressing is for me?  I bought this peacoat-style sweatshirt jacket last year, and was very happy to find it while unpacking another box the other day.  You can almost see the sequins on my t-shirt in this shot, but since I didn't actually take a picture of it, you can see it here.  And my scarf has a giant hole in it because Meko thought it was a toy (I don't know how many times I have to tell my dogs that accessories, although fun, aren't toys!), but fortunately I was able to hide that and still wear it.

Jacket: Old Navy
Tee: Loft
Scarf: Target
Jeans: Old Navy
Sneakers: Converse (last seen on the blog on January 4th)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

More Likely to Succeed?


Yesterday I heard a report about a UK Study that found that women who wear skirts, rather than pants, to work make better first impressions and are ultimately more likely to succeed at work.  The study does focus more on skirt suits than just skirts and dresses, but it suggests that "women can still dress in a feminine way yet still be perceived as confident and successful," so this made me think about skirts and dresses in general, not just skirt suits.  I found this really interesting, especially when you look at women's professional fashion of past decades.  In the 1980's especially, women's work wear was designed to look more like men's, as women worked to shatter the glass ceiling.  Shoulder pads added to that perception, and were used as women "power dressed" for the office.

I've spent my entire career, a good part of the 'oughts, in a business casual office, so wearing a suit has never really been required for me.  But I have kind of seen this shift.  When I graduated college and started looking for jobs, I wouldn't dream of wearing anything but a pants suit to an interview (part of that may be that I couldn't afford another suit, but pants were still my first choice).  If I ever had an important meeting, I'd always go with dress pants and a button-down.  But something shifted over the past few years, and I know that now if I ever want to convey any kind of message like "please, take me seriously" or "pay attention to my presentation," I skirt up.  But I wonder, why is that?

Do you think there's any truth to the notion that skirts make better first impressions and lead to more overall success?  How do you dress when you want to make a good impression?

Cardigan: Limited
Dress: Target (last worn June 15th)
Belt and Necklace: New York & Company
Shoes: Naturalizer

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Been Fabulous Daily


If you guys didn't know already, Cynthia of Be Fabulous Daily and I are kind of style twins.  Don't believe me?  Here she is in this shirt's red and brown twin, just the other day.  And that's so not the first time we've owned the same/similar items. What can I say, great minds think and dress alike.  Today's neglected item for No Repeats isn't the shirt though, it's these flats by Privo, last worn on April 29th.  They just fell victim to warm weather, because I know they're cute and comfortable, so I've just been waiting to bust them out again.


Jeans & Tank: Old Navy
Cardigan: Loft
Earrings & Necklace Set: Bridesmaid gift from my cousin, from South Korea
Shoes: Privo
Sunglasses: Loft

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pretty in Pink


Today's (well, Monday's) neglected closet piece is this Target cardigan.  Longtime readers may recall when I bought this sweater last fall, I claimed that it was so versatile, I could put together at least 12 outfits with it.  I won't bother linking you, but yeah, I've probably gotten at least that many on the blog.  Not to mention all the unblogged ones.  I don't know why I haven't worn it in 3 months, since my office is usually chilly enough that I always need a cardigan, regardless of the weather outside.

And speaking of pink things, Mel from A Working Mom's Closet is once again organizing Blogging for Breast Cancer Awearness.  The goal is to raise breast cancer awareness by wearing a pink item every day during the month of October (or for one week, or whatever you have time for).  Check it out if you're interested.  I participated last year for the entire month (or I tried at least).  This year, I'll be devoting a week in October to pink, and you can bet you'll be seeing this cardigan again.

Cardigan: Target (last worn June 24th)
Tank, Skirt & Necklace: Target (remixed)
Flats: Charming Charlie (remixed)
Flower Pin: eShakti (remixed)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sunday Morning, Rain is Falling


Here's what I wore on this rainy Sunday.  I had a super cute outfit for going out on Saturday night, but woops, forgot to snap a picture.  Sunday was a pretty quiet, relaxing day.  Fella watched football while I did a little closet cleaning/reorganizing and worked on some knitting.  We had dinner at Fella's parents' house, so I didn't even have to cook yesterday.  Score!  I guess I'm following Cynthia's No Repeats plan, by wearing an item that hasn't been worn in at least 30 days.  This tank top never saw the blog, but I wore it a few times over the summer, and then it just got lost somewhere in my closet.  I need to work on that.  The sneakers haven't been seen on the blog since May, so those definitely qualify as not being worn in 30 days.


Also new to me and the blog are these jeans.  They're the Dreamer from Old Navy.  I'm sure I've mentioned how many issues I've had finding good jeans in the past.  I was a fan of the Gap Long & Lean for a while, but they stretch out a LOT just after being worn once, so I've decided to stop dropping $60-$70 for those, at least until Gap keeps putting so much stretch in their jeans.  The reviews on these jeans were all really positive, so I gave them a chance.  Old Navy sizing can be so hit or miss, but they fit me perfectly, don't stretch out and are oh-so-comfortable.  Oh, and they were on sale, so with a 40% off coupon and a $10 gift card, they only cost me $5!

Cardigan & Jeans: Old Navy
Tank and Scarf: Loft
Shoes: Puma (last seen on May 12th)
Earrings: Alixandra Collections, gifted

Friday, September 16, 2011

Not Repeating


I'm starting off the fall go-round of the No Repeats challenge with something I know I haven't worn in months - tights!  It's been so long since it's been cool enough to wear tights, I totally forgot how great they are!  They make even a denim skirt a little more polished, and I like the way my legs look when cloaked in black tights.  After all, black is slimming.  I say all of this now, but I'm a little sad at the thought of summer ending, and being resigned to things like pants and tights for the next 6 months or so.


I'm as excited about the weekend finally being here as the dogs are about... well, everything.  But they were especially excited to hop into my photos.  I have absolutely nothing going on this weekend, which will be nice.  What are you up to?

Sweater: Loft
Skirt: Old Navy
Necklace: Hazel
Tights: Target
Flats: Privo
Watch: Fossil

Thursday, September 15, 2011



A quick scroll through the Flickr shows that I haven't worn pants - not jeans or capris, but actual dress pants - to work since March 28th!  MARCH!  How on earth did I make it almost 6 months?  Some of it was due to a little weight gain which caused none of my pants to fit, and I guess the rest would be due to a fairly hot summer.  I have lost about 5 pounds since writing my wordy weight post, so I can finally fit into my "fat" pants.  And as for the weather?  It's 42 degrees as I write this, so pants are fairly appropriate.  And when I pantsed up yesterday, it was only in the 50's.  I swear, I'll never understand Midwest weather.  It was almost 90 on Monday, and 2 days later it's dropped 40 degrees.  But I digress.  The point is, I've kind of missed dress pants.  They can be so comfortable, and black pants just look so smooth and polished.  You know, as long as you don't notice the dog fur all over them.


Thanks for all the photo tips and tricks in response to my post the other day!  I took Kristen's advice, and set my camera to Portrait, and it ignored all the miscellaneous junk on my porch and focused on me.  And it even knew to use the flash on the detail photo, so you could see the cute ruffles and shiny texture happening with this blouse.  Oooh, shiny.  It, in fact looks so cool that one of my co-workers asked if she could feel my shirt yesterday.  Yep, we're a friendly bunch in my office.

Cardigan: Target
Blouse: The Limited
Pants and Necklace: New York & Company
Sandals: Aerosoles

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Having Ish-shoes

When I saw Cynthia's post about problems taking outfit photos with point & shoot cameras, I could totally relate.  Look at this.

This picture sucks

Clearly, I was having issues this morning.  For starters, now that fall is approaching, the sun is coming up later, which is giving me new morning light to work with.  I tried to adjust my camera location accordingly, but my camera decided to focus on the recycle bin on my porch (which I've cropped out) instead of me.  Trying again...

And where are my feet?

Good light and focus here, but damn, where did my feet go? Okay, third time's a charm...

Woops, wrong shoes

Feet!  But wait, that's not right either.  At this point in the morning, I was about 2 minutes away from flying out the door, so I had already changed into my Birkenstocks, since they're nice and supportive for the walk to the train. Of course, when I looked at the footless pictures on my camera and set it up to take one more round, I forgot I was wearing the wrong shoes. So I gave up.

The point of this outfit - the SHOES!

And here's the shoes. They were totally the highlight of my otherwise very simple outfit.  I picked these up while shopping on Chicago's Fashion's Night Out last week and couldn't wait to wear them!  If it's possible, they're even cuter in person.

Speaking of things I'm copying from Cynthia, she and I are embarking on yet another No Repeats Challenge starting this Thursday, September 15th.  I'm getting a bit bored with my work wardrobe as of late so that'll be my main focus.  Unlike Cynthia, I only go to the office 3 days/week, so I won't be repeating any clothing items on office days (read: blogging days) during the challenge (shoes and accessories may be a little tough, but I'll try).  I don't have as much casual clothing, so me sticking to that on weekends or work-from-home days isn't quite as practical for me (seriously, I don't have enough yoga pants to cover that).  The point of this challenge, for me, is to be more creative with my office wear.  If you'd like to join us, think about where your wardrobe could use a little sprucing up, and comment on Cynthia's post to let us know you'd like to participate.  So yes, this is the least formal style blogger challenge ever.  No, there's not really any set, specific rules.  It's a challenge defined by you, for you.  Make sense?  Clear as mud?

Dress: Old Navy
Necklace, Earrings and Cami: New York & Company
Shoes: Charming Charlie

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Beautiful Weekend in the Neighborhood

One thing that I absolutely love about my neighborhood is that there's so much to do within walking distance, you really don't ever have to leave.  I haven't been out of my neighborhood since I was downtown on Thursday night.  It's possible that I've mentioned this before, but Fella and I live in Chicago's German neighborhood.  This weekend was German American Fest, the unofficial close of Chicago's summer festival season.  Though I'm sad that this signals the end of summer, it's always a fun weekend.

Oktoberfest Wear

Friday night we met some friends at the German Fest for a few steins of beer, some brats and plenty of polka. This is my German Fest summer-to-fall transition outfit. It was only a little chilly but raining on and off, which is always a pain to dress for.

Cardigan, Tank and Shoes: Target
Skirt: Old Navy
Scarf: Embellish Chicago
Hat: Kohl's (Fella's)

Parade Wear

On Saturday we walked a whole 2 blocks down the street to attend the 46th Annual Von Stueben Day Parade.

Dress: New York & Company
Earrings: Alixandria
Bag: Coach
Sandals: Chaco
Sunglasses: Loft

German CPD Band

The parade included plenty of marching bands. Above is a band made up of German members of the Chicago Police Department.

Model A (or T?)

This is members of one of Chicago's many German societies riding down the street in a classic Ford (a Model T or A, I think).


And no German parade could be complete without an appearance by Chicago's own Polkaholics.

Neighborhood Walking Tour

Tee: Loft
Skirt: Old Navy
Sandals: Chaco, as above
Bag: Coach
Bottle: Camelbak

On Sunday, I went on a walking tour through my neighborhood.  The tour was of the neighborhood's many historic, beautiful churches, and concluded with a 09/11 memorial at St. Benedict's.  St. Ben's also just completed a restoration project on their bell tower (you can see the scaffolding on the tower in the background if you look closely), so today was the first time the bells were rung in about 6 years.  Above, I'm in the Coonley Rock Garden, with St. Ben's just over my shoulder.  This is the first outfit photo that neither Fella nor my Gorillapod has taken for me, and I think the gal in my tour group who took this did a pretty good job.  I should find more random people to take my picture when I go out.  Or not.

Last but not least, since I'm totally becoming that person who dresses up her dogs, takes pictures and blogs about it, here's the dog sporting 2 new infinity scarves that I picked up this weekend.  Jude's silver scarf is from Loft, and Meko's leopard print scarf is from Limited.  Hopefully they'll let me wear them sometime too.

Dog divas


I have a post lined up for later today, but it felt weird and almost wrong to not acknowledge today's anniversary.

Similar to previous generations, who could easily tell you exactly where they were and what they were doing when JFK was shot, or the Challenger exploded, everyone I know can answer that question about 09/11.  My friends and co-workers and I have been going over this the past few weeks, most of us noting what stupid, trivial things we were doing that morning.

I was in my third year at the University of Toledo during the fall of 2001.  I was driving to my 9:00 class that morning, History of Jazz, the kind of class that everyone added to their schedules to fill a fine arts credit.  I was listening to the radio right as the first tower was hit.  They reported that a plane had crashed into the tower, but it was too early to know what had really happened, no one seemed concerned, so I didn't think much of it.  I got to class and no one had even heard of that report.  We had class as usual, but by the time that class ended, the vibe outside had totally changed.  I will never forget what a crisp, beautiful fall morning it was.  But even more so, how eerie it was that our usually bustling university campus was pretty much empty by 10am.

University of Toledo campus

We quickly learned what had happened and that all classes had been cancelled for the rest of the day.  I went back home and, like most of us, was totally glued to the TV coverage.  Although life kept going on for us in Ohio, I spent the next few weeks immersed in all of the stories of all of the people we'd lost.  I waited in a 2 hour line at the Red Cross to donate blood on September 12th, attended memorials on campus, and wondered what this all meant for our country.  Surely, things would never be the same.  Our country would soon be at war for the next decade.  Security would be heightened everywhere we go, all in defense against terrorists.  Americans would no longer feel safe at home.  People living in a country that boosts religious freedom would now be judged and even attacked for their religion and/or ethnicity because of the acts of some extremists.  Ten years later, the day's first responders would still be fighting for health coverage to treat the ailments that they are suffering as a result of helping their fellow Americans.  It's weird to me to think that my children and all of my friends' children will never know a pre-09/11 world.  Our country having been attacked by terrorists will just always be part of their history, not nearly as shocking as it was to all of us.

I didn't lose anyone personally, but I do know people who did, and have friends who were in New York that day who can never forget what they saw.  That fall morning will be on my mind today, and I will pray for those who were lost.  My neighborhood is holding a memorial service this afternoon that I'm planning to attend.  How will you remember the 10th anniversary today?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Chicago's Own Fashion's Night Out

Fear not dear readers, we're back to our regularly scheduled outfit posts here at TCC after a wedding post diversion. Woo, exciting.

Wednesday Work Outfit

Here's what I wore to the office on Wednesday. Even with fall weather coming in, I still feel like I'm in a bit of a style rut, wearing the same skirt/tank/cardigan or dress/cardigan combos. I'm a little bored with work right now, so I suppose it'd make sense that I'm bored with my work wear.

Skirt and cardigan: Target
Tank: Loft
Necklace: New York & Company
Shoes: Naturalizer

FNO Chicago

Last night, I ended up meeting Randi from Not Just MOM downtown for Chicago's Fashion's Night Out.  It's not nearly as big here as in NYC, but it was still a lot of fun.  We hung around The Shops at North Bridge, where there were plenty of happenings.  Of course all the stores were open later, and some had deals, but there were also goodie bags, free cocktails and snacks at every turn, giveaways and a mall full of fashionable ladies.

Mini meet-up by a MINI

Above, we're with the Flirty Cupcakes car at Nordstrom's.  One of the Flirty Cupcakes gals actually asked to take our picture with their car because we looked so stylish.  Um, that's never happened before.  Awesome.

S'mores cupcake

We both picked S'mores cupcakes.  And they were awesome.  Flirty Cupcakes drives around town during the week selling their tasty concoctions, so I'll definitely be stalking them to get more of these.

Trying on Hats

We did some shopping, got free makeovers from Smash Box, and finished the night off with beer and yet even more food at nearby Rock Bottom Brewery.  It was a perfect way to spend a rainy Thursday night.

Tank, Cardigan and Necklace: Target
Skirt: eShakti
Belt: New York & Company
Flats: Born
Brooch: Loft
Hat which I didn't buy but perhaps should have: Nordstrom's

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Wedding Weekend Fashions

After a few days away, I'm back. For those of you in the US, did you enjoy your long weekend? I most of the weekend back in my hometown in Ohio, celebrating my cousin's wedding. I was her Maid of Honor, so the weekend was super busy. I had a great time catching up with my family, but as with all trips home, the weekend just flew by. No outfit post for me today, since I'm working from home (thank goodness, I'm so tired, there's no way I could've woken up at 5:30 to go into the office).  Instead, here's a wedding recap.

  Rehearsal gals

My family's pretty casual, so I didn't really have to dress up for the rehearsal. I went with a skirt because it was 95 degrees out on Friday! This is me, my cousin (the bride), and her adorable 5 year old niece at the church.  After the rehearsal, we went to the bride's brother's house for a dinner featuring pulled pork, lovingly smoked by Fella for 9 hours on Thursday, and his very own homemade Memphis-style BBQ sauce. Fella's kind of awesome when it comes to grilling and smoking things.

Rehearsal Outfit
Cardigan: Loft
Tank & Skirt: Target
Necklace: New York & Company
Flats: Born

Me and Fella at the wedding

My bridesmaid dress came from eShakti.  I had the sleeves added, since I'm not always down with sleeveless dresses, and chose to have the skirt be knee-length (interestingly enough, the priest told me afterward that he appreciated my modest dress choice, since he sees lots of bridesmaids in short, strapless dresses).  I don't think it looks overly bridesmaidey, so I could probably get away with wearing this again.

MOH Dress up close

Wedding outfit
Dress: eShakti
Necklace: Satellite Paris, via hazel (birthday gift from Fella this year)
Shoes: Caparros, via PiperLime
Bag: Express

Fella's outfit
Shirt & tie: Macy's
Pants: Banana Republic
Belt: If I had to guess, I'd say Gap?
Shoes: Alamo Shoes, Chicago (bought at the last minute for our friend C's wedding in June, during a Rad visit)

Curly hair!

I wasn't sure about how to do my hair since I just got it cut pretty short a couple weeks back, but when I told the stylist to do something with curls, she ran with it.  This is the back of my hair about 10 hours after it was done, because I didn't think to take a picture sooner.  It was super hot and humid that day, so I swear I had about a full can of hairspray on my hair to combat that.  Seriously.  We rode in the limo with the windows down after the ceremony, and my hair didn't budge.  Sorry, ozone.

Lakeside chic

On Sunday after having breakfast with my grandma and aunt and visiting with the bride and groom a little more, Fella and I headed up to his parents' summer house in Michigan.  That's where they had been staying with the dogs, and I wanted to make sure we got a little r&r time after the wedding craziness.  What we hadn't planned on was that the temperature would drop to the upper 50's!  We had to borrow warm clothes from Fella's parents, and Fella was especially amused by the moose sweatshirt I was sporting.  I don't know, does this make us hipsters?  But then, is there really anything ironic about wearing a sweatshirt or flannel because it's cold out?

Dogs on the pier

Last but not least, here's the dogs hanging out on the lake.  It was too cold for us to go swimming, but the dogs had no problem with it.