Walk the Line

I’m always on the hunt for sleeved dresses that comply with the conservative dress code at my office since I’d consider myself mildly allergic to cardigans. So naturally, I’m a sucker for sleeved dresses that also offer interesting  details. When I saw this one at Zara, I was immediately drawn to the varying stripes and slim fit that was balanced with a more traditional color scheme. All I have to do is struggle to zip up the back myself, throw on minimal accessories, like a gold bangle and white pumps, and I’m out the door.

 Dress: Zara | Heels: Vince Camuto (bought at Macy’s) | Bracelet: Express | Lipstick: MAC “Impassioned”

Saturated

Each time I go back home, I feel a mixture of pride and intrigue to see how my Mile High city keeps growing. New restaurants and small businesses continue to pop up in revitalized neighborhoods, and Denver remains a dream destination for out-of-state transplants (if I had a dollar for every perplexed look I get when I tell people in Chicago that I moved away from Denver….I’d have a lot of dollars).

So while I’m in town, I make an effort to drag my family and boyfriend to explore new neighborhoods. We took these pictures in an artsy part of Five Points around 25th and Walnut where there are splashes of color on nearly every building. With early morning single digit temps and a fresh dusting of snow, I decided it’d be a good time to bust out my new coat, rubber boots, and hat. I recently purchased these sunglasses in an effort to step outside the box from my usual black or tortoise style– they’ve received mixed reviews from my parents (Mom: initially there were eye rolls, but she eventually came around. Dad: “Groovy”).

They make me smile and remind me of my daily fashion mantra- “Don’t take yourself too seriously.”🙂

 Coat/pants: Ann Taylor | Hat: American Eagle | Gloves: Target | Sunglasses/boots: Nordstrom | Lip: MAC “Girl About Town” topped with MAC “Pink Nouveau”

Pom Pom

This winter I’ve really tried to focus on diversifying my collection of outerwear and cold weather accessories with hopes it would improve my mood towards the frigid temps (TBD if that strategy works). When I saw this hat at LOFT, I loved the playful furry pom pom detail and thought it would be ideal while out and about on the weekends. And those who know me know that I avoid washing my hair like the plague. Seriously. So here’s to staying warm and lazy this season.

 Hat: LOFT | Sweater: Forever21 | Vest/pants: Nordstrom | Sneakers: Aldo | Lip: MAC Rebel

Cleveland details

 It’s taken me over a month to finally post these pictures from my weekend trip to Cleveland, but better late than never, AmIrite? I got a personal tour courtesy of my best friend who lives there with her husband and snapped these pics while we made our way around the city. We let our eyes feast on mouth-watering treats (and purchased a few cupcakes) at the bustling Westside Market and explored the Case Western campus with its red and gold backdrops before the leaves fell. Naturally, the weekend felt like a perpetual food coma as we indulged at The Stone Oven, Barrio tacos in the Tremont neighborhood, Mia Bella in Little Italy, and Mitchell’s for some homemade ice cream. Cleveland gets a bad rap by outsiders (who often refer to it as the “Butthole of America”), but I was pleasantly surprised by its charm along with the fierce sense of loyalty and pride many Cleveland natives have for their hometown.

In order to stay warm yet stylish, I packed my favorite leather leggings with a heavy sweater to layer with my faux fur vest. I love how easy it is to incorporate different textures that still offer practicality during the fall and winter months. And my floppy hat makes me feel like a polished diva while I disguise my unwashed hair.

**For those of you who are considering purchasing leather leggings, FYI they should fit like a second skin when you buy them because they WILL stretch out (if you size up, you will experience diaper butt by the end of the day and ain’t nobody want to see that!)

 Sweater/Leather leggings: Topshop | Fur vest/purse: F21 | Floppy hat: H&M | Booties: Aldo

Cozy Cocoon

When you live in a city where frigid temps drag on for 6 months, stylish outerwear is key. At the end of March last year, I felt utterly uninspired by my old tweed coat that matched the grimy layers of snow that never seemed to disappear. This season I made it a priority to hunt down a new coat that a.) had interesting details and b.) would offer a jolt of color in the midst of perpetual grey skies.  This past weekend when I ventured to Cleveland to visit my best friend and her husband, the cooler weather offered the perfect opportunity for me to parade around in my favorite new coat I recently scored on sale at Macy’s. The collar really sold me since it allows me to wear the same coat multiple ways (bundled up against my neck, open with the collar down on my shoulders etc), hopefully avoiding another style rut come mid-February. And the rich maroon hue really made me swoon. Obviously.

I know I still can’t completely escape a Chicago winter without those knee-length sleeping bag coats sported by the masses, but I’m still looking forward to occasionally switching into something more glam.

Side note: My parents recently indicated that I might be “getting too old to wear ripped jeans like these.”  If wearing my new favorite pair of distressed denim with killer heels is wrong, I don’t want to be right. Sorry Mom and Dad.

Coat: Tahari / Jeans: Zara / Top: Banana Republic / Shoes: Enzo Angiolini / Gloves & sunglasses: Target / Lipstick: MAC “Pink Nouveau”

 

 

Ladylike

I used to think I couldn’t wear midi skirts since I only measure 5′ 1″ tall (5′ 1 1/4″ if I really stretch it). I thought I would drown in a skirt that fell below my knees (and some who see this post may still feel that way). But with the influx of sassy midi skirts I’ve been seeing lately (here, here, and here) I couldn’t resist trying the trend. I love that the shape of the skirt offers a welcomed alternative from the typical pencil skirt at the office and instantly adds a whimsical, ladylike feel. With a pop of pink, I could slip into Alice in Wonderland mode and fall down the rabbit hole – so ya know I could just avoid ever going to work again.

Top: Express / Skirt: Nordstrom / Clutch: DSW / Shoes: Enzo Angiolini / Necklace: Forever21 / Lipstick: MAC “Pink Nouveau”

How you like them apples?

This past weekend, a few girlfriends and I decided to escape the city for a change of scenery and some quality fall apple picking at Edward’s Apple Orchard (definitely recommend the Poplar Grove location). After the nearly 2 hour drive of riding along crisp cornstalks, lazy cows, and those wholesome red barns that just ooze ‘Merrica vibes, my nose caught whiffs of the apple cider donuts that I had eagerly anticipated ever since I googled “apple orchard.”  It’s hard to determine which came first; my apple donut fantasies or the image of the perfect fall country outfit. Luckily my plaid purchase (love this similar option) from a recent sale at Loft made the latter a no-brainer. A certain someone may have once said that me in this fur vest resembled a baby grizzly, but it’s become the perfect diva item in my closet that I try to recycle again and again during the fall and winter months.

My roommate joked that we must be turning into some hardcore citydwellers since the idea of scarfing donuts, seeing some farm animals, taking in the manure fresh air, and hopping on a hay ride to pick some apples sounded like the perfect, downright exotic Sunday afternoon.

Top: LOFT / Fur Vest: Nordstrom (similar here, see it on Gal Meets Glam) / Jeans: Urban Outfitters / Boots: DSW (Tahari) / Hat: H&M (similar here)

 

A robe story

Although I usually aim to look put together while I’m at the office or out and about on the weekends, my pajama and lounging attire has always remained pretty juvenile and mismatched. I relish my time at home when I can wrap myself in my prized and undeniably soft pink polka dot short robe while primping or binge watching Netflix. While I’ve had variations of the same plush microfiber style, my loyalty to the utterly un-stylish (Read: un-sexy) bath accessory has never wavered, as I cling to its comfort like a crazy spinster in hermit-mode. One night during college I may or may not have strongly considered wearing it while satisfying a late night craving in the GoodTimes drivethru.

When suggesting gift ideas for my recent birthday, I figured maybe 25 *gasp* was a good year to graduate to something more sophisticated. I loved the idea of a brightly colored short silk robe that would still offer practicality but up the style factor. Here are some favorites that emulate the look I was hoping for.

Cooling trend

When the cooler temperatures rolled in, I happily reached for my favorite fall hues; mustard and burgundy. My love for saturated colors runs deep and pairing two of them together in one outfit really makes me swoon. I’ve been pleased with LOFT’s new fall collection (thank god they ditched the positively uninspiring and underwhelming flesh tones from their spring line) and picked up this silk top during a recent trip to check out their sale featuring 40% off full-priced items. I’ll be counting on its versatility to take me well into the winter months. The colors are offset by neutrals, including my go-to black blazer and some sassy leopard (because hello, animal print can be neutral too).

Skirt: The Limited / Top, Blazer, Earrings: LOFT / Shoes: Michael Kors / Purse: Uptown wholesale shop / Lipstick: MAC Rebel

Thank you to my good friend Katie for taking these pictures. I can always count on you to encourage me to buy those fabulous pumps I can’t live without and keep me sane at work😉

Home sweet home

A little over a year ago, I packed up my life into my Honda hooptee and made the 1,000 mile drive from the only Mile High I’ve ever known to the city of 6 month winters (although I’m still experiencing summer amnesia), Al Capone, and deep-dish pizza. I still love my new home, but each time return to Denver, I’m reminded that Colorado will always have a piece of me. I’m ashamed to admit that it took moving away for me to appreciate its raw beauty that makes my heart ache. While home for my most recent visit, I was lucky to have my trip coincide with the small window when the aspen trees burst in pockets of fiery golds (you have to time it right to catch the fleeting color that only lasts for a few short weeks). My dad and I managed to make a quick mountain getaway before my return flight to catch the trees in their prime.

Overalls/Shirt: Zara, Sandals: Steve Madden

I wanted to dedicate this post to my dad, Dougie Fresh. To the man with an unwavering loyalty to nature who keeps me laughing with his corny puns, crooked baseball hats, and bushy eyebrows that always get caught in ski goggles.