Conservative Neon {Outfit}

You could possibly blame my love of Zumba, but I’m pretty sure I’ve always loved bright colors. I’ve been playing with colors in my work outfits lately, and my most recent challenge has been making neons work appropriate in a conservative office. I got this neon green, floral skirt at J. Crew when I had a 30% off pass. It was pricey, but it was one of my splurges for the summer. I went one size up so the length was just a couple inches above my knee, which I understand is a flattering skirt length for shorties.

I went with neutrals for the rest of the outfit and added a conservative gray jacket on top to help tone down the look. This jacket was a find at the last Green Jeans consignment sale (which is happening next week if you’re in the Charlotte area!) for under $20. It’s one of my other favorite sweater-jackets (similar to the one I blogged about last time). It looks sort of like a blazer but feels like a sweater. I love it!

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Outfit details:

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I went to the Southend area of town to shoot the photos on this post. I love this part of the city, especially how much it’s being revitalized.

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Charlotte has been an interesting place to live over the last few years. I remember when the town seemed crazed with money. The ritzy mall was always bustling and huge condo buildings were going up left and right. Then, the market crashed, and the half finished condos sat half-finished, slowly decaying in the open air. At the offices where I worked, I watched people slowly trickle out while hiring freezes kept new people from coming in. It felt a little like my future was disappearing before my eyes. But things are getting better every day.

The offices are filling out again. New buildings are going up. I love seeing the seats filling up at work, and it makes me happy to see the construction projects all around. I’m enjoying all the signs of things getting better, and I’m staying hopeful things keep going in the right direction.

***

I wanted to share a recent note from the Universe that came through my email the other day. I posted it on The Chic Life’s Facebook page, but in case any of you don’t follow there, here’s the quote:

It’s perfectly normal, Diana, that when waiting for a really big dream to come true it seems like it’s taking forever, you wonder if you’re doing something wrong, and you feel like you should just be happy with less.

But I promise you, no matter how long it takes, once it happens it’ll seem as if time flew, you’ll wonder how you ever doubted yourself, and you’ll feel like you should have aimed a little higher.

Aim a little higher, Diana -

The Universe

Remember – aim a little higher!

My Latest Work Uniform {Outfit} and Nom Nom burger

I tend to wear the same thing to work. Once I’ve found something I like, I wear that over and over and over again. Not literally the same outfit. It’s more like the same kind of outfit.

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My current uniform = cropped skinny pants (that are a little loose) + t-shirt + jacket that is a sweater that looks like a blazer (so comfy!) + heels/flats

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Not sure exactly why I love my pants so loose. Some of it is a comfort thing. Some of it is not wanting people noticing my outfit in a way other than I had intended. I like looking professional, not sexy, when I’m at work. I’ll save those stretchy skinny jeans/pants for another occasion! Either way, maybe some of it is also because I’m really a tomboy at heart. You knew this, yes?

Anywho, I scored these red pants on sale plus an extra 30% off making them only $27.99 (down from $89.99, marked on sale to $39.99)

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And this jacket has been a real staple for me on my new work project. I wear this thing almost once a week or at least every other week. I found this on sale for $69.99 and got it for $48.99 after an extra 30% off.

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Full outfit:

  • Red dress pants: J Crew
  • T-Shirt: Gap
  • Navy Sweater Jacket: J. Crew
  • Peep-Toe Heels: Banana Republic
  • Tote: Michael Kors

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Not my best picture, but you can see my shorter hair cut pretty well here. My hair has grown out a couple inches since this photo was taken (been meaning to blog it for awhile). I’m now at the point where I need to decide if I want to grow my hair out and have it long-ish for fall/winter or go short again. I’m leaning towards short…especially with Zumba convention coming up next month!

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We recently checked out one of the new-ish restaurants in town, Nom Nom Burger, which features Asian style burgers.

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The burgers are wonderful. I love the way they cook their burgers but the Asian themed toppings really take things over the top. This is a photo of the Kalbi Burger – “Sterling Silver® ground beef. Kalbi marinade. Kimchi. Fried egg. Sesame roasted nori. Spicy aioli. Roasted garlic.”

This one was good, but the Nom Nom Burger is our fave – “Sterling Silver® ground beef glazed with house special teriyaki sauce. Provolone cheese. Fresh sauteed Shiitake mushrooms with mirin. Caramelized onions with ginger orange marmalade. Mayo.”

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The restaurant features other dishes for the non-burger fan, like Yakisoba (Japanese style noodles with veggies and optional addition of chicken for $2). The noodles were great, but the burger is still tops in my eye.

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Nom Nom Burger has delicious desserts (try the “Xango” – cheesecake and puff pastry…hello!), but if you’re wanting something simple, you can always hit up the Ben & Jerry’s right across the patio.

***

Reader question: What’s your work uniform?

First Day of Work {Outfit}

I must have jinxed myself when I said that I didn’t see myself dressing up for work in the near future. Next thing I know, the project that sent me to Pittsburgh ended, and a new one was starting up. Yesterday, I felt a little like a kid getting ready for their first day of school. I was nervously excited, and I went ahead and picked out my outfit and laid it out in preparation for the big day ahead.

I actually got some really cool silk track pants when I was doing some last minute shopping for my upcoming vacay this past weekend, but I decided to stay conservative for my first look on the job. I wanted to scope out what the other ladies are wearing so I don’t wear something totally crazy. I went with simple black cropped pants, a fitted white tea, and a Jackie cardigan. I decided on understated jewelry (studs and a simple pearl bracelet) and added this lightweight coat since it was a little cooler outside than I originally expected. It was a little cooler inside the office than I expected, too, so I actually wore my coat for most of the day. The new work environment is pretty conservative, but I think fun accessories, like my hot pink purse, will work out great. And hey, at least I don’t have to wear a suit every day, right!?

Here’s what I wore:

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Outfit details:

  • Cropped black pants: Banana Republic
  • white t-shirt: Gap
  • Jackie cardigan: J. Crew (scored on sale recently!)
  • Jacket: Armani Exchange
  • Peep-toe pumps: Banana Republic
  • Purse: Kate Spade
  • Jewelry: gifts from family

By the way, I recently scored some deals at J. Crew for some work clothes. I’m thinking of doing a “haul video”. It sounds like there’s some interest based on a Facebook post from the other day, so maybe I’ll put one together? Video makes me nervous, but I think haul videos are fun, and I like watching them. Maybe I won’t look too ridiculous if I make one, too?

Anywho, I’m actually really excited about putting more work looks together to share with you guys. Does anyone need more work outfit ideas?

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And how great of an “investment” was this purse? I was just thinking today how much I’ve enjoyed using this purse since I got it. I’ve been using it almost every day for (I’m guessing) about a whole year! I love it when I can splurge on one quality item and use the heck out of it! Especially when I get that item on sale, like how I scored this purse 50% off! Quality > quantity. It’s the Parisian Wardrobe way!

Thanks for reading!

Girly Distressed {Outfit}

One of my closest friends is moving to NYC. Though I’m sad that she won’t be in town any more, I’m really proud of her achievements and am excited for her future in the big apple. This past Monday, I met up with her and some of her other friends for one last get-together before her big move. Here’s what I wore:

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I actually wore this top earlier in the day to work (and I actually had to dress up a bit!). I swapped out my cropped, black pants and cardigan for something a little more casual for my dinner outing.

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I got to wear the new-to-me locket that I scored at the Green Jeans sale for $10.

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Outfit details:

  • Top: J. Crew
  • Distressed Jeans: Zara
  • Bow Peep-toe heels: J. Crew
  • Jacket: Banana Republic
  • Purse: Kate Spade
  • Necklace: vintage (purchased via the Green Jeans sale)
  • Bracelets: ALDO, Banana Republic

***

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Here’s a photo from my Bahamas wedding in 2008. Dana was one of my bridesmaids (third from the left).

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And since you guys like eats photos, too, here’s what I ordered for dinner – the BBQ brisket sliders…

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…and a side of sweet potato fries.

***

Good luck in NYC, Dana! I’m going to miss you. Please come visit soon, and I’ll try to visit you soon, too!

Baggy and Casual {Outfit}

I’m definitely still trying to figure out my new style. I’m not a 20-something, Abercrombie-cut-off-jean-skirt-wearing kind of girl any more, though we’ve talked about that before. One thing I’ve recently noticed is that I’m no longer the business professional type working in a formal corporate America environment, and I may not be for awhile (if ever?). As a consultant, I could work in any environment, but more and more companies are relaxing their dress codes. I can’t remember the last time I had to wear a pencil skirt to work, and I think I wore a suit maybe three times last year.

All of my clothes lately are trending towards comfy (baggy?) and casual, both at home and work. I’m also noticing that I’m gravitating away from preppier clothes (which seem to be most popular here in the south) towards a more laid back LA-style. I don’t think I actually have LA style, I’m just saying that’s been my inspiration lately when I’ve been shopping and getting dressed. Who knows where I’ll land style-wise, but I’m going to have fun playing with clothes along the way.

Here’s my outfit from when I went shopping with my sister. I really felt like I needed sleep Saturday morning, so let myself sleep in. Sis slept in, too, so I guess it worked out. But, after that, we were under time constraints the rest of the day, so we sort of had to rush to get ready. I threw my hair into a quick bun and skipped make-up to make up for slept lost time. I just got this Sincerely Jules top from ShopBop (LOVE the inspirational message), so I really wanted to wear it since it was new and super soft. I knew we’d be running around most of the day, so comfort was key. I paired my new top with these boyfriend jeans that I almost consigned since they’re a bit baggier than I’d prefer. I decided to keep the jeans to try them out a few more times, and I’m actually kind of liking the over-sized fit.

I scored the green Banana Republic jacket on super sale a couple years ago for around $30. It was a great lightweight coat for the spring weather. And, I just purchased these shoes from Summerbird (literally on this day). It was a great weekend for consignment shopping.

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Outfit details:

  • Dream Believe Achieve t-shirt: Sincerely Jules via ShopBop
  • Distressed boyfriend jeans: J Crew
  • Jacket: Banana Republic
  • Shoes: Miss Sixty
  • Twisted vine necklace: Gorjana via ShopBop
  • Bracelets: Spiked one found at the Green Jeans sale, chain by Juicy Couture purchased via Piperlime
  • Purse: Kate Spade

Thanks for reading!

How has your style changed lately? Are you getting more dressy or more casual?

Green Jeans Blogger Style Challenge

On Tuesday night, I participated in a style challenge with two of my blog friends, Kseniya and Jenn, at the Green Jeans consignment sale. I’m volunteering for the GJ team via blogging and photography and also helped coordinate this style challenge. We got to shop the whole store to make our selections. The theme – our favorite spring trend. Perks of the challenge – entry to the charity sale and the chance to win some shopping credit for the half off sale.

Here are the looks – can you tell which one is mine?

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More info on the outfits from each blogger:

Outfit #1
I’m really loving all the distressed denim I’m seeing for spring/summer 2013. I like the juxtaposition of the edgy/casual distressed denim paired against the dressy top and pointy heels. ( J. Crew, Anthropologie, Michael Kors)
Outfit #2
Trend: Bright colors – electric colors! And a bit of color blocking – can’t just be one bright color!
Process: I came across several pairs of great colored pants but I liked the pink pair because they were versatile for work or play, when I saw the green blazer I knew it was a match made in heaven.
Outfit #3
Several designers used leather in their SS13 collections so my inspiration was to play with textures (leather, sheer fabrics, suede) and include this year’s color (emerald). The necklace tied all the colors and the theme together to complete the look. (Forever 21, H&M, J. Crew)

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In process styling

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I styled outfit #1. I really wanted these jeans to work for me because they were my size, but they didn’t fit!

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Jenn did #2

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Kseniya styled #3.

I thought Kseniya and Jenn’s outfits were fabulous. These ladies have some styling skills! Which one do you like best?

Check out the Green Jeans Sale Facebook page to see who won! Winner should be announced soon. And the 50% off sale started this morning and goes through tomorrow afternoon. Tags that say Discount: Yes will be marked half off. Woohoo!

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