Showing posts with label Office Attire. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Office Attire. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Four Ways To Find Balance During Morning Chaos


When you are a mom, every moment is precious. We all beat ourselves up for not fitting all of our plans and desires into the day. Between work, blogging and motherhood, I'm still working on finding a healthy balance between what needs to be done and what I want to do. With Mother's Day on the horizon, I salute all of the moms out there for keeping all the plates spinning.

I'm a very hands-on mom. If my daughter wants to dance with me in the morning while holding a banana and a leaky water bottle, I'm always up for it. If my son says he needs extra cuddles, I drop everything to grab him in my embrace. But my desire to spend quality time with my kids while knowing that I need to get out the door in time for my commute to work is never easy. It requires a lot of preparation and planning.

Here are my tips for balancing work and play in the morning:


1) Be thoughtful about your morning routine, down to the last minute. We have to get the kids fed, dressed and out the door before 7:00 AM. Lunches need to be prepped the night before and we tend to think about breakfast options before going to bed. Since none of this involves my own morning readiness, I try to think about what I'm going to wear before ending my day - that involves which dress, what hosiery, which shoes, etc. Eliminating these tiny decisions adds extra minutes that help you get out the door quickly and smoothly.


2) Put down your phone. Whether it is early morning or late evening, I fall victim to checking my work email. And if that wasn't bad enough, I have my blog email to check, as well as a personal email, and all my social media on Facebook and Twitter, and so on. The few minutes I gain answering an email or commenting on a friend's photo are not worth the many precious moments I lose that could be spent playing pretend cooking with my kids. The work can wait for work and when it can't, it can wait until after bed time.


3) Give yourself a couple minutes for a once-over. Most days, I'm lucky if I can get out of the door smudge-free. Something is always snagged or stained. I find that if I give myself two minutes for a last check, I won't discover a small peanut butter finger print on my behind mid-meeting.


4) At the end of the day, take some time for yourself. Find small ways to pamper yourself, whether it is a quick at-home pedicure or relief for tired eyes. This is one I'm not as great at completing. I'm fortunate that L'eggs, the brand responsible for the hosiery seen in this post and the brand that has been in my life since my mother wore them when I was a child (fresh out of the plastic eggs!), recognized this need and sent me a sweet care package with goodies for my own personal pampering.

The point is this: with a little bit of planning and a lot of relaxed breathing, you can do this, mama.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by L'eggs and the opinions and thoughts expressed here are my own. And if you want my thoughts on L'eggs hosiery, I can tell you that they are the silkiest, smoothest nude sheers  you will find at an excellent price point. Like I said, my mom wore them and now so do I! You can follow L'eggs on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest.


Monday, January 14, 2013



Whether a trend is still in or on its way out, if it is on sale, I'm sold.

Sweater: Old Navy
Button Up: Express
Pants: Target
Heels: Urban Outfitters
Glasses: Warby Parker

I've been wanting to get an animal sweater for quite some time - as far back as September. As time passed, I never felt inclined to spend $30+ for a sweater that would surely be a fading trend. I prefer to purchase staples with staying power. When I saw this sweater on sale at Old Navy for $12, I couldn't resist. Is this trend over? Perhaps. But when my son gives it his seal of approval ("Oooh! Fox!") and I spent the equivalent of a what a fancy salad might cost me at lunch to get it, I feel like I made a wise choice.

Then, I did some light Googling to provide you with a link so you can get your own sweater on sale. Guess what? You can't. It is sold out and it is going for $69 or more on eBay! Are you kidding me? Maybe I really did outfox the fashion competition by digging through the sale racks. And maybe that is my last pun of the day. Maybe.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Red, White and Blue




Happy post-election day, friends!

Blouse: Banana Republic Outlet
Skirt: Banana Republic
Belt: Macy's
Bag: Nordstrom's (gift)
Heels: Cole Haan (thrifted)

I figured that the day after we all waited to see the outcome of our political future, I would throw some red, white and blue your way. The blue is my favorite new blouse, perfect for work. The red is this fantastic leather bag that a coworker gifted me when she said she never used it; I now carry it nearly every day. And the white is my legs. My legs that haven't seen true, healthy, regular doses of sunshine since 2009. And they are blinding and they need help. No matter what side of the aisle you fall on, I think this is an issue we can all agree upon.

Note: yes, this is day two of Chicago conference dress up in my hotel room. Of course I wasn't brave enough to take pictures on the street.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Mirror Mirror



Conference wear: Day 2.

Blouse: Nordstrom Rack
Belt: Macy's 
Watch: Michael Kors
Skirt: Express
Heels: Cole Haan (thrifted)

In a cramped hotel room, space to take blog pictures is limited. Without my trusty tripod, I was forced to balance my camera on room service books and tv stands. When pondering how I would get good angles on my outfit, I realized the solution was right in front of me. So here I am, saying, "Mirror, mirror, on the wall. Who is the most awkward poser of all?"

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The View From Here



With Chicago and a gorgeous view out my hotel window, I'm amazed I got any work done at all.

Jacket: Ben Sherman
Tank: Old Navy
Pants: Nordstrom Rack
Belt: Nine West
Bracelet and necklace: The Limited 
Heels: Nine West

I was at a conference for the majority of last week, sitting through session after session while my favorite shops sat blocks away from me. I managed to turn a half hour break into a lightening round of browsing. H&M, MAC and Topshop saw a blur in blue heels sweep through. And to my surprise and chagrin, I came out empty handed. Ah well. All the more time to kick up my feet and enjoy the view from my room.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sunshine Days



Dressed for success...and the wrong season in San Francisco.

Dress: Calvin Klein, Marshall's
Jacket: The Limited
Glasses: Coach
iPad2 cover: roocase
Watch: Michael Kors
Heels: Urban Outfitters

It was over 80 degrees on Sunday. I was left with an optimism that shone right on into Monday. Bright colors, bare legs - I was ready to bring summer with me to work. But following the same philosophy that if you wash your car, it will rain the next day, I froze my tail off in the office through heavy winds and thick fog. But at least I now have a go-to outfit when the sun reappears, whenever that may be!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Paper Doll



Sometimes, you just have to let someone else do it for you.

Jacket: Urban Outfitters (years and years ago)
Blouse: H&M
Skirt: Forever 21
Belt: Forever 21
Eattings: H&M
Bag: H&M
Boots: Frye

I caught the bubonic plague last week. It was something medieval, like black death, that took me down for the count. I attempted to be a tough guy and go to work through all the ick. Standing in front of my closet, staring sadly into the hangers, I must have been pathetic enough of a sight for my husband to intervene. He took the two items I had in my hand (skirt and blouse), ironed them, and dressed me up. When I hit the coat closet with a blank expression, he sighed and said, "Here. Denim. Go." All together, I thought I looked pretty sharp, despite feeling like my skin and stomach were crawling with bugs. I complemented him on treating me like his own personal paper doll. Since I was all dolled up, I demanded he snap photos, then said, "OK, I'm done," after he took two.

I was back in bed by noon. I am really horrible at faking my way through things.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Baby Photo Bomb


It's hard to take yourself seriously as a style blogger. Thank goodness.

Sweater: LOFT
Skirt: Banana Republic
Necklace: H&M
Tights: Macy's
Wedges: Payless

There I am, taking quick pictures before work from the comfortable confines of my hallway, trying to give my best blogger poses. Then I hear the pit-pat of footie pajamas, followed by a sweet little "hi!"



 Boom! Baby photo bomb.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Static Cling and Cringe


Outside of the static, I also was clinging to my dignity all day long.

Blazer: The Limited
Tank: H&M
Belt: Forever 21
Skirt: H&M
Wedges: Payless

I fell in love with this skirt the minute I tried it on. It was not only because of my affection for Portlandia, but because a) it has a unique shape, b) the colors are extremely versatile and c) it has pockets, perfect for a girl who frequently misplaces things on the go.

What I didn't calculate in was the tights factor. The static cling crackled against my legs and the skirt rose a few centimeters with each step forward. I found myself walking in tiny steps like Morticia Adams to keep the rise at bay. Five steps, tug downward. Five steps more, shimmy shake the static loose. All I could think of was how mortified I would be in front of coworkers if I ended up wearing it like a belt when scurrying across the office. The skirt may not make a repeat appearance at work, but I can't wait to wear it this summer, sans tights.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pencils and Patterns



Embracing my curves with one of my favorite patterns.

Skirt: H&M
Blazer: The Limited
Turtleneck: Club Monaco
Tights: H&M
iPad case: roocase
Heels: Ralph Lauren

Like most new moms, I'm still holding tight to that last extra ten pounds of baby weight. I'm a bit curvier, a little wider in the caboose and outside of chasing a toddler, I'm not doing much to drop the rest. And as much as I've embraced my new body shape, I've had my share of frustrations when scraping through my closet. Jeans still don't fit, waistbands are still too tight and I find myself gravitating to wide legs and loose styles. When I went shopping this past weekend, this skirt called to me. Houndstooth is a favorite pattern of mine, it has an elastic waistband and I can't pass up a pencil skirt that actually hits below the knee. At $17.99, I was sold before I tried it on. It is pretty slinky and it took me right out of my frump zone. I'm not gonna lie - I was feeling pretty hot mama today and I haven't felt that way in a while. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Not Faux Nothing


Sorry for that title. I get really punny when I don't feel well.

Cardigan: LOFT
Pants: LOFT (similar)
Belt: H&M
Bag: H&M
Flats: Steve Madden

I woke up this morning with a slight cold, feeling like the world was weighing on my head. Staying home sick was not an option, so I decided to dress myself up. Call it a sartorial boost, if you will. As I luxuriated in my faux-fur cardigan, I pretended that I was a lady of leisure who was popping out the door to meet up with neighbors for morning mimosas. I struck regal poses and laughed in high pitched giggles, as though I had not a care in the world.

Then I coughed in a horrible throaty growl, looked down and saw a raspberry jam-smeared fingerprint on my purse and realized that I was taking pictures in front of a hallway strewn with toys. In other words, I was totally faking it.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Work or Weekend





Work wear or weekend wear - I think I found a nice new combination.

Dress: Jason Wu for Target
Blazer: The Limited
Tights: Jessica Simpson, Macys
Bag: H&M
Shades: H&M
Wedges: Payless

This dress was one of my Target purchases, bought with daydreams of summer jaunts about town with bare legs and sandals. But since patience has never been my virtue, I decided to see how it would work with tights. Not bad, not bad. The black kept it firmly in the category of winter wear and a simple low knot hairstyle was just the right amount of weekend laziness.  After reviewing the pictures, I realized I might even be able to pull off this dress at work with the right blazer, belt and bag. However, I'm on the fence. It is tough to dress up a knit sheath. Anyone have suggestions or should I stick to my summer time daydreams? Not like you could stop me...poolside lounging and park picnics play on constant loop in my head.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Spring Time Strut




"You look so ready for spring!" said my coworker. She was right. I'm so ready.

Cardigan: LOFT
Blouse: Anthropologie
Pants: LOFT (similar)
Flats: Nine West

I've long pledged my allegiance to this blouse (see here and here). When I realized it paired perfectly with my new favorite cardigan, I was elated. I felt like a hot mama in my work attire. The feeling was so good, I decided to strut my new spring wear down the catwalk. And by catwalk, I mean the hallway in my home. If you can't tell, I'm really trying to put the bass in my walk.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Simple Stripes


Stripes - I'm an addict.

Shirt: LOFT
Pants: LOFT
iPad case: roocase

There is just something about stripes that appeals to my sensibilities. Throw them on and I feel dressed up. Perhaps its the clean lines or the classic pattern, but I just feel chic in stripes. And there is truly nothing fancy going on here. Just a girl in a tee and pants standing in front of her fridge on the way out the door in the morning. If you were here, I'd offer you a beverage or a snack.

And now I'm hungry...

Friday, February 10, 2012

Bringing in Spring




I'm pulling the trigger a bit early on spring colors.

Jacket: Ben Sherman
Blouse: Jason Wu for Target
Pants: Gap
Necklace: H&M
Watch: Michael Kors
Clutch: Aldo
Wedges: Payless

I dove into the early morning crowds to get this top and after one wear, I have no regrets. It is a versatile piece in a color that I adore. It reminds me of how clear the skies have been lately in San Francisco. And the clutch made me think that perhaps a trip to the zoo is in order this coming weekend. Let's just call this outfit an interpretation of all the plans I have in my head.

In other news, Expecting Chic is listed as a blog in the running for Circle of Moms Top 25 Fashion & Beauty Moms - 2012. If you have a spare click and want to vote for me, I'd appreciate it! You can vote once a day from now until February 28.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Power Colors


I promise I'm not ignoring my daily duties of posting here at Expecting Chic. This has just been an extremely work-heavy week, filled with real-life pressures and little time to snap photos. But I did want to assure everyone that for this important work day, I'm wearing my power colors - red, white and black.

Have you entered the Stella & Dot giveaway yet?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Put A Blazer On It



If I put on a blazer, does that make it count as "business casual"?

Blazer: H&M
Button up: Free People
Jeans: Joe's
Watch: Michael Kors
Bag: Banana Republic
Boots: Frye

I'm going to answer that with a resounding "YES". This has been my go-to blazer lately. Whenever I'm feeling not quite dressed up enough, I put a blazer on it. I'm stealing this concept from Portlandia. Just put a blazer on it. And while we are talking about Portlandia, sorry, Pacific North West, but there is nothing truer than THIS.

And apparently, I like to match my accessories to my furniture. It's something I do to distract you from the cardboard boxes and plastic bins I have peeking out in my photos. Nothing to see here...hey, look! Matching leather tones!

Monday, January 23, 2012

You Gotta Coordinate


 Sometimes, I can be so unintentionally matchy-matchy.

Sweater: Gap
Blouse: Express
Pants: LOFT
iPad 2 cover: Roocase

I bought this iPad cover with my basic "pop of color" rule in mind (not to mention the fact that I am a notorious device dropper). I put on my red heels to liven up a basic work outfit and picked up my case as I was heading out the door. I marveled at my little matching pops and patted myself on the back for coordinating. Then I thought of my favorite scene in Boomerang where incomparable John Witherspoon declares that "you gotta coordinate." Then I spent the rest of the day wishing that I had a mushroom belt.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Lofty Ambitions

When I find a store I like, I cover myself in its wares.

Cardigan: LOFT
Blouse: LOFT
Pants: LOFT
Watch: Michael Kors
Purse: H&M
Flats: Steve Madden

If you follow this blog, then you know that I wear a lot of H&M. (See exhibit everything.) I've been struggling to find things to wear to work, post-baby and post-new-job. My body shape has changed - hips have shifted outward with no signs of moving back in. My work atmosphere has changed - conservative dress is the norm. I refuse to dress like a librarian (no offense to any hip librarians out there) and I need to wear pieces that address my new realities while still staying true to me. I mentioned in a previous post that I cruised into LOFT recently and went bananas on their sale racks. This cardigan is what sent me on my shopping spree. Buttoned down AND sparkly? I think I can do this. I decided today I would practice being a store mannequin and dress head to toe LOFT. Don't worry, H&M. I'll be back for you on weekends.

Friday, December 16, 2011

My Morning Commute

Join me for a tour of my morning commute, won't you?

Coat: H&M
Dress: H&M
Scarf: Gift
Tights: H&M
Boots: Kenneth Cole
Laptop bag: work provided

When you move into the heart of the city, things change. Driving becomes more of a hassle than a convenience. And when you live a mile from your job, walking becomes more and more appealing. On a typical morning, I'll walk to work with my boys joining me for half of the trip. Because of this, flat shoes have become a necessity and heels have become a burden. Boots and flats - I'm living in them. I've also had the opportunity to bust out my Seattle coats, thanks to the recent drop in temperature. Scarves, gloves, and layers are key.

As we cruise along, I play sing-song games with my son, who babbles lightly and points in the general direction of objects that gain his interest. Turbo loves to walk in the middle between Kevin and me, always wanting to be in the mix.

We stop, on average, twenty times for Turbo, who has never seen an object that he won't sniff or pee on. This leads to Kevin swearing or saying, "Hurry up!" about ten times on average per walk.

It may take me about a half hour to get to work and I may not be strutting in my highest heels these days, but you simply can't beat the view.