Monday, October 31, 2011

for plastic wrap.

Never thought I'd post about an outfit fashioned from a roll of saran wrap, but it is Halloween so I'm going to make an exception. I'm pretty disappointed in myself for not watching Hocus Pocus this month, but I did embrace the holiday with two different costumes. First up, a family-friendly cat for work (shouldn't come as any surprise, considering the plethora of cheetah print I have in my closet):

dress: Old Navy turtleneck: Old Navy necklace: Kate Spade (sold out)

And a not so family-friendly Dexter victim for a party, with my husband dressed as Dexter (a.k.a. my MURDERER, how rude):

It was all fun and games for about 30 seconds, until someone asked me how I was going to go to the bathroom....didn't exactly think that one through. It got interesting. Anyway, Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 28, 2011

to winterize her favorite skirt.

My goal for this winter is to still wear my go-to warmer weather pieces by layering the crap out of them. I love that cozy, chunky sweaters and turtlenecks are big for this season, makes it much easier to achieve my goal. Here's my first winterizing attempt (although I'll have to put tights with this when it gets really cold!), photographed by the lovely Charlene Ondak:

sweater: J.Crew shirt: Lands' End Canvas skirt: J.Crew (sold out!) booties: Loft (last year)  
watch: Marc by Marc Jacobs bracelets: DY sunglasses: Ray-Ban

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

for a day in the country.

I had a lovely, relaxing weekend in Michigan with some of my best friends from college. There's nothing like drinking wine and laughing 'til you cry with the people who know you best :) In the time not spent power walking and watching youtube videos, we went wine tasting and apple picking- where the very talented Charlene Ondak snapped a few blog photos for me. I went with a country-themed and cozy fall outfit, and chose a stacked heel so I wouldn't embarrass myself tripping over fallen apples. Check out the pictures- isn't Char an awesome photographer??

sunglasses: Ray-Ban. sweater: J.Crew. shirt: Lands' End Canvas. 
jeans: J.Crew. shoes: Old Navy.

me and the ladies- kate, lisa, shan, kyle and char (the photog!)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

and opts for the wedge.

Late October is a good time to go boot shopping, apparently- everything is on sale! Each of my top 3 contenders were at least 25% off, which made hitting my $200 budget much easier. I had a great shopping trip on Friday, thanks to the great prices and the company- two of my best friends from college. Life doesn't get much better than that!

I found a couple pairs of boots at Bloomingdale's that I really liked, but I knew they weren't "the one" because of my hesitation (I have a very if-I-like-it-I-buy-it attitude). The first ones were a buttery soft gray leather with a perfect heel height, but the gap between my calf and the boot was a little too big, and I was unsure about how the delicate leather would hold up in the winter. Next, I fell in love with a pair of boots by Coach- they were just the color I wanted and the buckle details were awesome...the price, not so awesome. They were 30% off, but it still put them right around $300, over my budget. They also had a 4.5 inch heel, which is just a little much for me for an every day boot. I went home bootless on Friday, mulling about my choices and wishing stores were open 24 hours a day...

Enter online shopping, my favorite pastime. Banana Republic was having a 25% off promotion, per usual, and I decided on a very simple, classic wedge boot. I'm really quite obsessed with wedges lately, so I thought I'd give them a go in boot form. The wedge mixed with the camel color I love and a friendly 3 inch heel gives me hope that this is my ideal boot. Now I just have to wait patiently for my package...torture.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

for the perfect pair of boots.

My next project is going to be a tough one- finding the pair of boots that will hug my feet and keep them warm and happy for the next 6 months in the Windy City. Right now, I have 3 pairs of boots (not counting booties. Including them pretty much triples my count). I have a flat, tan pair that I bought at J.Crew last winter- very trusty and still in good condition. I have a black pair from BR with a modest heel- also in pretty good condition, but I feel pretty "ehh" when I wear them. Not terrible, not fabulous, just there. Lastly, I have an awesome chocolate brown pair that I got in Germany while I was studying abroad (brand unknown). These guys have seen me through many a college bar, work day and shopping expedition. They've held up remarkably well for being 6 years old and I love them to pieces, but I'm ready to introduce a new everyday pair to my collection. In short, I'm looking for "I don't need a job, I don't need my parents, I've got great boots" boots (any Friends fans out there??).

I'm loving wedges lately, so I think a wedge boot would be fun. But I also love the basic, stacked heels I've been seeing. Skinny heels are out of the question- I will end up with a broken arm this winter if I go that route. Other than that, I'm open to whatever, so I'm just going to hit the shops and see what strikes my fancy! Here are a few of the images I'll keep in mind while shopping:

from shopbop

from piperlime

Oh, as for that tricky budget thing...$200. Might be difficult! Gotta hope for sales.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

to dress it down.

The weekend after our wedding (back in June), we had an event at Rick's country club. I obviously chose "country club wife" as my outfit theme and headed over to Kate Spade- the holy grail of preppy, chic, trendy and generally adorable clothing. I tried on every single dress in the store, no joke, and ended up with a black, pleated skirt number that had some awesome detailing on the neckline. Apparently, country club wives are a little saucy these days, and my friend and I ended up being the most conservatively dressed ladies at the dance (not to mention the youngest. My friend wore Lilly Pulitzer, by the way).

Anyway, I had every intention of wearing this dress again over the summer and I failed miserably. It waited patiently in its bright pink garment bag to be taken out to another party, but the cost per wear remained embarrassingly high. Last week, I decided to cut the poor thing some slack and take it out for a spin. I wore my trusty chambray button-down underneath and a casual skinny belt to dress it down.

dress: Kate Spade. shirt: J.Crew. belt: J.Crew. shoes: Cole Haan. bracelets: DY.

me & my handsome hubby at the party (ignore my red wine teeth and farmer's tan).

Friday, October 14, 2011

for her pretty sissy.

I told you guys a few weeks ago that I was starting my guest stars adventure with my lovely older sister. She's a tall girl with a teensy little waist, so I thought a high-waisted, pleated skirt would look great on her. I got the inspiration from these pictures of Olivia Munn and Lea Michele from

I also wanted to get my sister into a pop of color, because she lives in NY and has an aversion to all things bright and cheerful (haha, half joking). I wanted her to wear whatever we got over and over again though, so I knew I had to tread lightly. We went outlet shopping with our step-mom down in FL, but ended up with 11 pairs of shoes instead of anything for this blog post. I take that back, we got 1 Kate Spade necklace in a beautiful deep purple (space truckin. One of my dad's favorite albums. Raise your hand if you know what I'm talking one? Ok I'm done.) color.

So, I went shopping alone in Chicago to find the perfect skirt. I actually saw and bought the H&M skirt for myself before I put my selfishness on the shelf and remembered it would look great on my sister too. And you can't beat the basic color-blocking. I headed over to Old Navy to find a top, and found the black & white printed tank for $20! For the pop of color, I settled on a zip front cardigan in teal, also a steal at $16. Did I mention the skirt was $17?? A whole outfit for $50. I'm the winner AGAIN!

She tried everything on last weekend when we saw each other in Ohio, and wore it to work this past week. She could wear a paper bag and look gorgeous, but I'm loving this look on her. What do you think?

skirt: H&M. top: Old Navy. cardigan: Old Navy. necklace (worn as bracelet): Kate Spade.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

to brighten her mood.

It's been one of those weeks...I have a feeling it has something to do with the mass amounts of beer and trans fat I consumed over the weekend (visiting my alma mater, Miami of Ohio- also known as the best place on earth. People call it "J.Crew U", so you can see that we were a match made in heaven). Anyway, getting dressed in bright colors and putting on pink lipstick always seems to cheer me up, so I gave it a shot on Tuesday.

I pulled out the blazer from my lost & forgotten project and paired it with an obnoxiously floral pencil skirt. Did a little mixed print action with my shirt, threw on my favorite statement necklace and pink suede shoes and headed out the door. I was still a little sassy at work, if I remember correctly, but at least I tried.

blazer, skirt and shirt: J.Crew. shoes: Kate Spade. necklace: BR.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

for her health and happiness.

My hubby bought me a subscription to Women's Health (not going to read into that one...) and in the very first issue I read, I stumbled upon this wonderful piece of literary heaven:

"Talk about retail therapy: frequent trips to any kind of store could actually extend your life.
In a new study, women who went shopping daily for 10 years- even if they didn't end up 
buying anything- were 23 percent less likely to die during that time period than those who
browsed less often."

I can't even begin to explain the level of validation this tidbit of information gave me. Sometimes I feel guilty for toiling away my weekends at the mall or cutting out of work at lunch to browse some shops, but you know what, shopping and styling makes me happy and, apparently, healthy too :)

Monday, October 10, 2011

to bare her legs.

We've been having some gorgeous weather in Chicago lately; I'm definitely taking advantage of it and wearing all of my favorite skirts sans tights while I can.

Someone please remind me to take my hand(s) OFF of my hips before the camera flashes. Jeez, skinny arm much??

Monday, October 3, 2011

and is a repeat offender.

Yes, I wore this sweater out on Saturday. Yes, I wore again to work on Sunday. It's not gross because it didn't technically touch my skin the first day.

I'm just loving this comfy knit (surprisingly soft for H&M) and I'm especially loving my new red pants from J.Crew (wool cafe capri that's selling like hotcakes- get 'em while they're hot, ladies).

sweater: H&M. pants: J.Crew. shoes: J.Crew. sunglasses: Ray Ban.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

to continue her love affair with the sweater dress.

I'm pretty sure I went shopping like 6 different times for my cozy sweater project. I kept changing my mind about what kind of look I wanted- I loved how the inspiration picture mixed dressy, silky bottoms with big knit tops, but I couldn't find anything quite right. I finally came across an off-white long sweater with tan elbow pads that was so cute and a great price- $35 from H&M. I bought it thinking I could find a skirt to go with it, but ended up back at H&M the next day to get another, thinner sweater dress to put underneath. This one was $35 too, so I only spent $70 of my $100 budget! Woohoo, go me, I'm the winner!! I know I'll be wearing these a lot; a sweater dress, tights and boots is my go-to outfit in the fall and winter.

The rainy weather I was complaining about in my last post has disappeared, and it has been replaced by the gorgeous, sunny, cool autumn weather that makes me want to race to an apple orchard to pick apples to eat as many fresh cinnamon and sugar donuts as humanly possible. I wore this outfit yesterday over to a friend's house, and it transitioned beautifully to an impromptu steak dinner with my wonderful in-laws and hubby. Pictures are compliments of Mr. lauren goes shopping (I learned that if you feed him approximately 6 beers, 2 glasses of wine and a whiskey, he LOVES taking blog photos).

dresses: H&M. necklace: BR. shoes: Ann Taylor Loft. bag: my Lou baby.