Monthly Archives: January 2013

Record-Setting Forecast Perfect for my Red Vest

Ironically, right after Saturday’s post about Chicago’s first snowfall after going a record-setting amount of days without any, today I’m following it up with a post about yesterday’s record-setting warm-up! Even before the sun rose on Tuesday, Chicago broke another winter weather record; slightly before 7:00 a.m. the city surpassed the previous warmest day on record. The mercury rose past the 59° mark set back in 1914 to 63°, making yesterday the new warmest January 29th in Chicago history.

But the warm weather won’t stay long – in fact, we’re on track to break even yet another record! Meteorologist forecast for temps to drop from the record 63° on Tuesday to -2° early Friday morning; that’s an extreme 65 degree drop in temperature! Yikes! It’s dramatic changes in weather like this that makes dressing appropriately during the winter difficult sometimes. Yesterday’s little warm-up had some people out & about in nothing but a sweatshirt (and even shorts)! I ran out to do some errands in the bright red ‘Cord Puffer Vest’ I bought from Anthropologie earlier this fall.

Anthropologie - Cord Puffer Vest

Personally, I find vests to be an awkward article of clothing to wear – it has to be cool enough to need an additional layer, but not too cold because your arms are still exposed. Yesterday’s warm temp was perfect for my puffy vest; check out a couple ways I style my causal corduroy topper…

Anthropologie Cord Puffer Vest  worn with Light Yellow Cotton Top

Anthropologie Cord Puffer Vest  worn with Light Yellow Cotton Top

I simply paired the bright cord vest with a basic cotton top to create this perfectly put-together look. Light yellow, bright red and navy is a color combo I love, and the subtly patterned pants & riding boots add a touch of style to the effortless ensemble.

Anthropologie Cord Puffer Vest  worn with Chambray Shirt & Black Leggings

Anthropologie Cord Puffer Vest  worn with Chambray Shirt & Black Leggings

The bright red vest adds a pop of color to the Free People chambray shirt and black leggings. Black leather lace-up buckle boots add an edgy element to this somewhat sporty ensemble.

Anthropologie Cord Puffer Vest  worn with Ivory Silk/Cotton Top & Denim

Anthropologie Cord Puffer Vest  worn with Ivory Silk/Cotton Top & Denim

Talk about texture! I topped my ivory silk & cotton top from Anthropologie with the corduroy puffy vest and paired it with dark denim. A couple layered necklaces add a bit of brass while ivory lace-ups bring the neutral color back down to the boot.

Anthropologie Cord Puffer Vest  worn with Olive Cardigan & Ivory Lace Maxi Skirt

Anthropologie Cord Puffer Vest  worn with Olive Cardigan & Ivory Lace Maxi Skirt

I absolutely love this look! The bold red vest is an unexpected add-on to the bohemian-styled olive cardigan from Anthropologie and Free People ivory lace maxi skirt. A large agate stone & layered gold necklaces accessorize the look while olive suede boots peak out from under the lace to finish it off.

Which look is you favorite? And how does your fashion change when the weather fluctuates?

Through the Slush & Snow my Sorels Save Me

It’s almost February and it finally snowed here in Chicago! After a record setting 335 consecutive days (about 11 months) of less than one inch of snow, we finally had our first measureable amount of snowfall on Friday. And even though it was just a light dusting, I still pulled out my ‘Joan of Arctic’ Sorel boots that Santa gave me for Christmas!

Free People - Joan of Arch Sorel Boots

Not only are my faux-fur trimmed boots fun & fashionable, but they’re also very functional! There are many benefits to buying a pair of winter boots, here are just a few…

  1. Possibly the most important – they keep you from ruining your nice shoes & boots in the winter sludge. Sure the salt pellets put down on the sidewalk prevent people from falling, but they also leave pesky, unwanted white lines around the bottom of your boots.
  2. They have treaded rubber soles – to give you traction and keep you from falling on slippery ice.
  3. They’re insulated – so your toes will stay nice & toasty when the temperature is cold!
  4. They’re waterproof – so you don’t have to worry about any wetness seeping through to your socks! (Really, is there anything worse than having to stand in soggy socks all day long?! No.)

It doesn’t take much for the fresh, powdery snow to turn into brown, gritty muck! Even though walking around the sloppy city sidewalks doesn’t quite compare to trekking through the Winter Wonderland I did when I was back home for the holidays; I’m glad I’ve got my Sorel’s to get me through the snow…even if it is just an inch!

My Sorels in the Snow & Slush

As I said, the wet concrete doesn’t quite compare to….

Slushy Chicago Sidewalks

Slushy Chicago Sidewalks

the beautiful mounds of snow that reflect the bright sunlight in Minnesota…

Sunshine & Snow in Minnesota

Sunshine & Snow in Minnesota

Sunshine & Snow in Minnesota

Sunshine & Snow in Minnesota

What are the winter weather conditions where you live – sunshine, slush, or snow?

Grecian Goddess, Global Traveler & Glam Rock – the Many Looks of my New Maxi…

Speaking of $30.00 steals…I came across another fabulous find for $30 last month during my employee appreciation bonus time! During a trip to the Free People boutique in the Watertower Place I came across a single ‘True Romance Maxi Dress’ hanging in the sale section. And even though it was a size 10, I decided to try it on. (I’m not intimidated by what’s on the tag. I know my body type & what silhouettes work for me; I buy anything from a size 25 to an XL – fit is what’s most important, not the number that’s hidden inside the hem.) And when I did, I was pleasantly surprised with what I saw!

Free People True Romance Maxi Dress

The two-toned gold chiffon maxi dress has an intricately braided, bead embellished keyhole front & back. An elastic waistband gives shape to the flowy drape of the crinkled chiffon dress and a pleated two-tiered hem adds yet another textural element. I gotta say…I kinda felt like a Grecian goddess in this dress! The friendly girls at FP liked it too – they even put my photo on their Instagram feed.

Me on Free People Instagram Feed

It’s a little big in the waist, but simply tightening up the interior elastic band is a quick & easy fix. Even with the added cost of alterations, I still saved tons on this feminine floor-length frock. Originally $228.00, I only spent about $35  after my additional discount on sale stuff.  The generous discount I receive for working at Anthropologie in general is well worth my time on the sales floor, but when I get an additional percentage off already marked-down merchandise it’s an even better perk!

Check out some of the ways I’ve styled my brand-new boho gown…

Free People Chiffon Maxi with Floral Print Cardigan

Free People Chiffon Maxi with Floral Print Cardigan

This is the outfit I tried on in the store – the Free People floral print cardigan layered over the chiffon maxi and Anthropologie olive beaded beanie keep me cozy while my Steve Madden riding boots complete the look.

Free People Chiffon Maxi with Wanderer Belt

Free People Chiffon Maxi with Wanderer Belt

If I don’t get the chance to cinch the elastic waist in the dress I can just belt it for a quick fix. My Free People belt worn backwards let’s everyone know what this prairie princess is – a wanderer. And the Aldo olive green suede boots will let her do just that!

Free People Chiffon Maxi with Chambray Shirt & Moto Jacket

Free People Chiffon Maxi with Chambray Shirt & Moto Jacket

This layered look has tones of texture to it! Here I’ve layered a Free People chambray shirt over the chiffon maxi and topped it with an Arden B. leather moto jacket. Burgundy leather boots from Urban Outfitters peak out on the bottom and complete a color combination I love – goldenrod, denim & deep red.

Free People Chiffon Maxi and Chiffon Slip

Free People Chiffon Maxi and Chiffon Slip

I don’t quite know how I feel about this outfit – it’s a lot of chiffon!! But, the golden hues of the dress coordinate perfectly with the colors in the Urban Outfitters antique-motif chiffon fringe topper. The braided leather belt breaks up the head-to-toe chiffon ensemble and gives shape to the flowy silhouette.  What’s your take on the outfit? Sheer madness!! Or have I just gone mad?

Free People Chiffon Maxi with Black Studded Belt & Boots

Free People Chiffon Maxi with Black Studded Belt & Boots

I love adding edgy elements to ultra-feminine ensembles; and here, goddess goes glam rock! The black leather belt is a bold contrast against the sheer material of the dress and the gold studs around the waist match those that are sewn in along the neck. My hard-core Free People black leather lace-up buckle boots have this goddess going to a rock concert, rather than the opera.

Free People Chiffon Maxi, Velvet Blazer & Patchwork Booties

Free People Chiffon Maxi, Velvet Blazer & Patchwork Booties

My Jeffery Campbell ‘Lita’ booties act like (and look like!) a kaleidoscope that this spectrum of style reflects upon. The colorful patchwork leather boots compile the shades that are throughout the rest of the ensemble. I’ve belted the two-toned gold dress with a peacock feather belt and topped it with my Free People burgundy velvet blazer. The collection of colors and rich texture is refined; add-in the funky booties, and you’ve got a fashion renegade!

Now that you’ve seen my new maxi dress styled a couple different ways, which look do you like best? Send me a comment with your #1. I can’t wait to see which one pick!

Saturday Steal: Stocked-Up on Off-Season Summer Stuff

Yesterday after my workout I decided to walk a couple blocks and stop at the Urban Outfitters Surplus store on Fullerton to see what I could find…and what I did was well worth the trip! I must have had summertime on my mind because I’ll have to wait until then to wear what I bought; but when you can stock-up on off-season stuff for a fraction of the price you just can’t pass it up! Check out what I got…and even more surprising – see how much I spent!!!

Urban Outfitters Floral Print Romper

I don’t typically wear bright colors, but I love how the hues pop against the black background of this jumper. The fun floral print, flirty silhouette and vibrant colors have me wishing it were summer so I can wear this playful piece! Originally $69.00, marked down to $9.99.

Urban Outfitters Red Silky CrissCross Romper

It’s almost like the intricate strappy neckline extends from the bold crisscross pattern that covers the one-piece. And the lightweight, flowy fabric makes this perfect for those hot, humid days.  Originally $59.00, marked down to $9.99.

Urban Outfitters Salmon Scalloped-Edge Onesie

Scalloped edges add a subtle touch to this simple salmon-colored romper. With such a basic silhouette, I can pile on a bunch of necklaces or add a belt – the options are endless! Originally $59.00, marked down to $9.99.

Urban Outfitters Fuschia Fanny Pack

This fuchsia fanny pack is the perfect hands-free carry-all for all the music festivals I intend on attending again this summer. Having to hold onto a bag while trying to work your way through a crowd is annoying! This vibrant velvet hip bag will hold my things & keep me worry-free while I spend my summer days under the sun, bouncing between stages surrounded by the sweet sound of music. Originally $29.00, marked down to $9.99.

Urban Outfitters Black Leather Corset Top

This black leather corset top is not something that I would typically buy, but when I saw it I had an idea for an outfit in mind…

Leather Look - Black Corset Top & Fit-n-Flare Skirt

I recently bought a black leather fit-&-flare skirt for work and thought it may make for an interesting ensemble if I wore the black leather corset top under a sheer shirt tucked into my skirt. The leather top peaks out from underneath the see-through shirt and meets the top of the high-waisted skirt – it’s an interesting inside-outside approach to a leather look :/

Leather Look - Black Corset Top & Fit-n-Flare Skirt

Leather Look - Black Corset Top & Fit-n-Flare Skirt

As I said, not my typical attire…but maybe I’ll give it a try – I’ll let you know if I ever end up wearing it :) Originally $34.00, marked down to $14.99.

I was debating on one of the items, but when I got up to the register and realized there was an additional 50% off I added it back to my pile of purchases – when things are 5 bucks who can pass them up?! If I were to buy all of this merchandise at full price I would’ve paid around $250.00; but instead, my total for the five items was only $30.00! Again I say – well worth the trip!

Burr it was Cold out Today!…but I Stayed Warm Styling my Burgundy Stretch Pants

Today was a bright, but very brisk day here in Chicago, so after my morning workout I decided to stay out of the cold and play with my clothes. I spent my much needed day off styling some of the new stuff I’ve bought over the last couple weeks and bonding with Lola (also long overdue). I had such a lovely day of putting looks together – letting one pair of pants transition from one outfit to the next, taking snapshots and being inspired along the way Its days like this that reinvigorate my styling sense; since sadly, I don’t get to wear 90% of what I own (pathetic, I know, but I’m banned to wearing only black where I work) I love to I challenge myself to reach inside my closet and create a couple different outfits with what I pick. So now, after writing what I have to say & editing the photos of my ensembles underneath my electric blanket, here’s a glimpse at my day of staying warm & working with my wardrobe.

I debated over buying the Seams Cool Knit Leggings from Free People for months – I think I tried on the deep red riding pants every time I went into a FP Boutique but was never 100% sold on them.

Free People Seams Cool Knit Leggings

It wasn’t the fit, the feel, or the price…but rather, I just couldn’t rationalize buying a pair of burgundy pants when all I wear nowadays is black. But when I spotted them on sale while shopping last month when I was distraught over my missing dress, what can I say – I was swayed :) On sale + my additional appreciation discount, means I only spent $19.99 on the stretchy pants (originally $78.00)! Check them out…

Free People Burgundy Pants w Charcoal Striped ShirtWorn with a Free People charcoal striped shirt and Holding Horses lace-up military boots from Anthropologie

Free People Burgundy Pants w Graphic Thermal & Fur VestWorn with a Free People graphic thermal & furry vest and Steve Madden riding boots

Free People Burgundy Pants w Chambray Shirt & Knit ScarfWorn with an ivory layering tank, Free People chambray shirt, an Urban Outfitters kiwi knit scarf and Steve Madden ivory lace-up boots

Free People Burgundy Pants w Graphic High-Low ShirtWorn with a Free People graphic print high-low top and black leather lace-up buckle boots

Free People Burgundy Pants w Gold Sequin BlazerWorn with a grey layering tank, a Gypsy Junkies gold sequin blazer and Diba black booties from AKIRA Footwear 

Free People Burgundy Pants w Silk/Cotton Top & Fur VestWorn with an Anthropologie ivory silk & cotton top, Arden B. brown fur vest and Steve Madden ivory boots

Free People Burgundy Pants w Anthro Kiwi Knit PonchoWorn with an Anthropologie kiwi knit poncho and Steve Madden riding boots

I still have several other ways I wanted to style my new stretch pants with…but I was side-tracked with some other outfits I came up with. Perhaps on my next day off, when it’ll probably be too cold to go out again, I’ll stay inside & style the rest.

In the meantime…