Making Your 9 to 5 Style Look Chic, Feel Comfortable, and be Ethical

Making Your 9 to 5 Style Look Chic, Feel Comfortable, and be Ethical

When I dress for work, my goal is to look chic and feel comfortable. But, because I’m a conscious consumer, I make sure to buy clothes that I intend to have during my entire career.

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My Elevenses velvet joggers from Anthropologie have been with me for years and are perfect for work. They feel comfortable like sweatpants, but they’re also professional because of the fabric. You can find a similar style on sale here!

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To match my patterned velvet joggers, I opted for my burnt orange blouse from Handle with Care, a boutique in the Old Town neighborhood of Chicago. I love purchasing my clothes from local businesses like Handle with Care. Not only do they have adorable clothes and accessories, but they have the sweetest associates, too! This blouse is a wardrobe staple because I can dress it up for work and dress it down with distressed jeans and Superga sneakers.

Since my blouse and joggers were so colorful, I kept my footwear simple with my nude BP. open toe heels. Over accumulating clothes is something I avoid, so I only own one pair of nude open toe heels. Getting dressed has become so much easier since minimizing the amount of options I have in my closet!

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This J. Crew coat has kept me toasty this winter. I needed a classic professional coat I would have for a long time. This coat by J. Crew has been ideal!

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To accessorize, I matched my orange David Yurman bracelet with my blouse and pants. I also accessorized with my simple heart-shaped ring by WE SEE STARS from Babel Fair, a boutique in NYC.

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With a lot of heart,

Carly

Photos by: Ali Stone Photography

The First Cut Is The Deepest

The First Cut Is The Deepest

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’m talking about brands I’m currently LOVING.

After learning about the online retailer IMBY, I knew it would become one of my favorite places to shop because it carries clothes that are versatile, classic, and made in the USA. I found these Joah Brown Cool Cut Loose Leggings there and love the cuts along the knees because they’re a subtle detail that add an unexpected element.

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To keep this look comfortable, I opted for my soft Frank & Eileen button up. You can find a similar style here. Frank & Eileen has won my heart because the fabric is imported from Italy and the button ups are made in the USA.

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To stay cozy, I layered on my Velvet by Graham & Spencer sherpa jacket. You can find similar styles here and here. I love my sherpa jacket because it’s  reverisble and makes a perfect companion for my wool Superga sneakers.

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My ears are uber sensitive in cold weather, so I’ve been living in my hats and ear warmers this winter. My L.A.M.B. x Burton beanie has been a lifesaver for my ears. You can find a similar style here.  These TOMS sunglasses have also been a seasonal staple during the sunny winter days.

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When I found this heart shaped ring by We See Stars at Babel Fair in NYC, it was love at first sight. I’ve accumulated a collection of gold rings from my travels to remind me of the places I’ve visited. Now, everytime I wear this ring, I remember my trip to NYC.

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What brands are you loving?

With a lot of heart,

Carly

Photography by Ali Stone, blogger of Those White Walls and professional photographer

Vacation Mode In Maui

Vacation Mode In Maui

Aloha lovelies!

Vacationing in Maui has been my family’s winter tradition. Maui is one of my favorite places on planet Earth – not just because of its beauty, fresh food, and positive energy – but because of all the memories my family’s created there.

This vacation, most of the time, me and my family relaxed by the pool and took walks along the beach. While relaxing by the pool, I read A TON of magazines from the app Texture, which is one of my FAVORITE apps – it’s basically Netflix for magazines. I also read a good chunk of The Paris Architect, which is about an architect living in Paris during World War II and the unexpected, life-threatening tasks he’s asked to complete – it’s so good!

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Hanging out at the pool at the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea

One night, we spent watching a sunset at Little Beach, which I highly recommend going to if you make your way to Maui. Every Sunday evening at Little Beach, there’s a ceremony with a fun drum circle and… naked people. Yep – my family spent an evening on a nude beach. But, we were among the clothed participants. Little Beach’s a fun atmosphere where you can hang out with awesome people, see fireworks, and drink a cold one.

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Sparklers and fireworks light up Little Beach on Sunday evenings
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Cold beer and Little Beach is a great combo
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Taking in the view of the Hawaiin island Lanai

Another adventure I went on was with my parents. They’re one of my favorite travel companions because they love to take in almost all of the experiences a place has to offer. During one of our final days, we took a road trip to the west side of the island called, of course, West Maui. That side of the island surrounds an extinct volcano! During our drive, we watched whales, bought delicious mango bread from a roadside vendor, saw surfers, and ate at the delectable Mama’s Fish House Restaurant, which has an incredible history on the island. To end the day, we stopped at the town Pa’ia to do some shopping. I love the boutique Wings Hawaii there, which thoughtfully curates globally- and locally-made clothing, accessories, and home decor.

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I imagine this whale was saying to me “shaka, brah”
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Stopped at Honolua to take in the scenery and surfers
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Loved watching this surfer take this wave
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A surfer in West Maui
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Me and my Mama on a Maui road trip
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Me and my Faja on a Maui road trip
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Fell in love with Mama’s Fish House Restaurant and this sandman

To end this post, I thought it would be fitting to share an excerpt from The Law of Aloha:

“”Aloha” is more than a word of greeting or farewell or a salutation. “Aloha” means mutual regard and affection and extends warmth in caring with no obligation in return. “Aloha” is the essence of relationships in which each person is important to every other person for collective existence. “Aloha” means to hear what is not said, to see what cannot be seen and to know the unknowable.”

With a lot of mahalo and heart,

Carly

Day Off Style

Day Off Style

It’s your day off. And, as most adult day-offs go, you have errands to run! Why not do it in comfort AND style?

My Reformation LBD (little-black-dress) is SO comfortable – it’s like wearing sweatpants in the form of a dress! You can find similar styles here and here.

Little black dress by the Reformation. Reversible jacket by Velvet by Graham and Spencer. Necklace by Jimani Collections. Sneakers by Superga.

Reformation Brand Highlights: A Certified Benefit Corporation (B Corp) that makes its clothes in small quantities using eco-friendly technologies. 

Don’t forget to layer for the cooler fall weather! This reversible faux shearling jacket is like a blanket! For a different look, just reverse the jacket to show the faux suede.

Little black dress by the Reformation. Reversible jacket by Velvet by Graham and Spencer. Necklace by Jimani Collections. Sneakers by Superga.

Velvet by Graham and Spencer Brand Highlights: Manufactures primarily in the U.S.

Superga sneakers are a go-to shoe for me when I’m running errands because of their comfort, simplicity, and versatility. I love these Superga sneakers because the felt adds a fun texture, but the beige color keeps it classic.

On my off days, I like accessorizing with simple jewelry that makes a subtle statement. This Jimani Collections necklace is PERFECT for a day off with its dainty brass chain and glass beads.

Little black dress by the Reformation. Reversible jacket by Velvet by Graham and Spencer. Necklace by Jimani Collections.

Jimani Collections Brand Highlights: Partners with non-profit J127 Foundation that funds a 6-month training program for disadvantaged women to learn design from local Kenyan experts. Women earn income by using skills to create Jimani pieces.   

Now that you’re ready to have a productive day off, don’t forget to have some fun, too!

With a lot of heart,

Carly

P.S. My sincerest gratitude to Jimani Collections for the beautiful Aurora Necklace.

 

Werk Workday Style

Werk Workday Style

Gone are the days of business professional attire that’s, may I say, BLAH! We, women, live during a time when we can show our personality in professional environments with the strictest of dress codes.

Button-ups, a workday fashion staple, are now available in vibrant and subtle colors and patterns. Frank & Eileen button-ups are a favorite of mine because they’re classic in style, versatile, and offered in a variety of colors and patterns. This look features a Frank & Eileen gray and white gingham button-up that’s 100% cotton and PERFECT for colder-weather months because it has a heavier feel.

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Frank & Eileen Brand Highlights: Fabric’s woven in Italy. Button-ups are made in California.

Trousers have also gotten an upgrade. This look features a pair by the Reformation that has tassels on the hems. If you want a pair of business professional trousers with a twist, the Reformation has an AWESOME selection! Here’s a similar style with ruffled hems.

Reformation trousers, Yakutti bag, and Barneys New York heels

Reformation Brand Highlights: Manufactures in small batches in L.A and throughout the U.S. Uses vintage materials and sustainable fabrics to manufacture garments.  

Another way to show your personality at work is through your bag. My forest green Chic Shega bucket bag  from Yakutti is perfect for my workday because it has a refined bohemian look – totally my style – and is large enough to carry my workday essentials and iPad, which has the latest books I’m reading.

Chic Shega bucket bag from Yakutti, Frank & Eileen button-up, Reformation trousers, Barneys New York heels

Chic Shega Brand Highlights: Products handcrafted in Ethiopia using environmentally-friendly and fair-trade practices.

Yakutti Brand Highlights: An online boutique that sells artisan-made goods. Earn shopping credits that give you access to member pricing and up to 50% off on exclusive collections by creating a member account, posting style photos, and publishing style content on your Yakutti account. 

Deciding what shoes to wear is  extremely important when putting together your workday outfit. No one wants to find themselves bandaging up their poor toes and heels because their uncomfortable – yet, probably adorable – shoes are tearing apart their feet! Be picky about the workday shoes you invest in because you CAN find flats, booties, and heels that are comfortable and stylish. I could wear my Barneys New York black heels for hours! You can find similar styles here and here.

Frank & Eileen button-up, Reformation trousers, Chic Shega bucket bag, Barneys New York heels

Barneys New York Brand Highlight: Made in Italy. 

Always remember, authenticity in the way you dress for work is the easiest and quickest way to feel comfortable and confident. Now, go conquer your workday!

With a lot of heart,

Carly

P.S. My sincerest gratitude to Yakutti for gifting me the beautiful Chic Shega bag! The opinions I’ve shared are my own.

October Outings

October Outings

This blog post is dedicated to my papa, who passed away on Sunday, October 16th and who helped teach me that family is everything.


Growing up, my dad and I would spend a fall day going on the roller coasters and walking through the haunted houses at Six Flags Great America’s Fright Fest. Afterward, we’d go to Didier Farms in Lincolnshire, IL to pick pumpkins, eat delicious buttered corn on the cob,  sip cider, and walk through the cornfield maze. Then, we’d go home to carve our pumpkins and bake pumpkin seeds! What a perfect day it always was! Since fall activities hold a special place in my heart, I thought I’d create an outfit perfect for a pumpkin picking, corn on the cob eating, maze wondering outing!

To channel my inner farmer, the foundation of my outfit are overalls by Madewell. To keep my arms warm during these cooler autumn months, I’m wearing a Left of Center long sleeved shirt from Anthropologie – here’s a similar style. Next, I’m wearing an olive green vest by Sanctuary – find similar styles ON SALE here and here. For added warmth, I’m wearing this tie-dyed scarf by Heshima Kenya. The scarf is sold out, but the company has so many other gorgeous scarfs to purchase! To bring together the olive green vest and scarf, I’m wearing booties by TOMS – similar style here.

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TOMS Brand Highlights: Gives shoes, sight, water, safe birth and
bullying prevention services to people in need.

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Left of Center Brand Highlights: Made in the USA.

Heshima Kenya Bran Highlights: Offers a holistic model of case management, specialized secondary education, entrepreneurship, child protection and social enterprise programs to refugee girls and women.

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What are your favorite fall activities?

With a lot of heart,

Carly

Knots and Flares for Craft and Art Fairs

Knots and Flares for Craft and Art Fairs

After spending a day enjoying the Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago,  I’ve been on a craft fair high! Craft and art fairs are the perfect places to purchase fashion and home decor made in small batches – meaning, not many people will have your findings! Plus, much of the merchandise is either locally or USA-made. Since I love spending a day at a craft fair, I wanted to put together an outfit ideal for one!

You want to feel comfortable and confident while perusing craft fair goodies. These Just Black high-rise flare jeans are super stretchy and give off a laidback 1970s vibe. I found these jeans while shopping with my dad (who’s one of my fav. shopping buddies, BTW!) at E Street Denim, a boutique with a location in Highland Park, IL. One of my favorite details of the jeans are the front flat pockets.

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Just Black Brand Highlight: Made in the USA.

After purchasing the high-rise flare jeans, I was in pursuit for tops to pair with them. Lo and behold, one one of my favorite brands MIMU MAXI recently released a new blouse! The new blouse is called the Way Top because it can be worn in SO MANY WAYS! There are slits along the side seams, so you can tuck the front half into a skirt or pants, tie the front half into a knot, or leave it as is! For this look, I’ve tied the front half into a knot to highlight the jean’s front pockets.

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MIMU MAXI Brand Highlights: Founded by sister-in-laws. Made in New York City.

When going to a craft or art fair, make sure to wear comfortable shoes! I’m wearing easy-to-wear Free People booties . To add a pop of color to this monochromatic look, I’ve added this neon statement necklace by WorldFinds. You can find  local retailers that sell WorldFinds by clicking on this link. I wear a watch almost every day and wearing my Shinola watch with this strap.

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WorldFinds Brand Highlights: Handmade and fair trade. 

Shinola Brand Highlights: Made in Detroit, MI. 

C. Alexandria Brand Highlights: Handmade in Madison, WI.

I hope you’ve found outfit inspiration from this week’s blog post. Now, time to find the next craft fair to attend!

With a lot of heart,

Carly