Tag Archives: business attire

Stripes: I Hate to Admit It, But I’m Not Superwoman

Ahh the last 5 years have been intense. I’ve learned how to multitask, keep lists, and rock projects for both work and school. How to prioritize. How to push my limits and do more things than I ever thought possible. I’ve also learned that sometimes I can’t do it all.

I was initially excited to blog about this outfit because it was the first themed Friday we had in my department and we did Fancy Friday. How fun is that? (the answer, jsyk, is way fun). But see that face? That’s an exhausted face after fighting an hour of traffic to make it home from the office after a full day at work. I’m exhausted. And I haven’t even started my paralegal program (which starts this week making me both a full-time worker and full-time student).

Seeing this photoshoot was the last straw for me (and you’re getting the least tired looking pictures in the bunch). All the photos showed just how tired I am: bags under my eyes and no color in my face despite the blush I layer on in the mornings and, suddenly, I realized I don’t think I can do it all. Especially once I add school in to the mix.

So I’m sad to say, starting this week, I am only going to be able to post twice a week until next summer once I’m back to only having one full time occupation. I’m so sorry. This is not a decision I am taking lightly, but I don’t want to post just to post nor do I believe the quality of my writing will be up to my usual level if I’m falling asleep while typing.

Dress&Black Tights: H&M//Blazer&Blue Tights:F21// Shoes:Lucky Brand via Macys

Despite the fact that I feel like I’m letting people down by doing this, I realize in order to not fully burn out, I need to take care of myself and my commitments. This is not easy for me to admit (what you’re not reading are the two paragraphs of excuses and attempts for me to legitimize this decision which were way more for me to help comfort my type-A mind than to help you understand me), but I want to produce quality posts for this blog and I’ve learned enough about my sleep deprived brain in the last 5 years it’s not going to happen if I’m posting 3-4 times a week while holding two full-time occupations.

Again, I do, fully, plan to come back to posting every other day once I’m done with the craziness that is going to be the next 9 months but until than, I’m going to have to accept that I’m not Superwoman and sometimes I just need to accept that I need rest in order to function (crazy, right? Who’da thunk?).

And on this note (kind of), any advice from people who have worked full time and gone to night school? Any tips about how to stay awake when you’re only getting 6ish hours of sleep every night? Any suggestions of how to not go absolutely crazy while juggling a lot? I’d LOVE (ok, let’s be real, I’d freaking love) to hear all about it in the comments!

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Stripes: That Business Casual Thing

Hey guys, good news! I think I’m starting to get the hang of this whole “business casual” thing. Whew boy, just when I was afraid I’d never fit into this new, big girl world I’m navigating, I’ve finally started feeling comfortable in my slacks and nice shirts. But trust me, this transition has been full of weird feelings about clothing and fashion.

It felt (ok, ok, still feels) like when I started fashion blogging: a sense of uncertainty, not really knowing what went together or how to make a “look”, not having much to work with, and still feeling out the rules. Yeah, fashion is a definitely a journey and this has been the maiden voyage of my fancy pants ship of business casual.

I did finally invest in some new work clothes so I have some exciting outfit posts planned for the near future! Get excited, folks, things are about to get epic up in here. Having more clothes to choose from definitely makes me feel much more confident in my outfit choices and I am really beginning to not only appreciate the art of accessorizing but also realizing just how much I need to work on my fear of wearing necklaces. I’m not sure what it is but I am horribly uncomfortable wearing any jewelry, especially necklaces. I’m for sure going to be working on this in the near future because who doesn’t love a well accessorized, professional lady?

Blazer:Charlotte Ruse//Top:TjMaxx//Pants:Gap//Shoes:Lucky Brand

Have I mentioned that working so much is exhausting? Ho.ly.cow. So I’m sorry if I’m rambling or not making sense to well rested brains, mine is on a planet of it’s own right now…I suppose you’re just getting some greater insight into the inner workings of my crazy mind. Yeah, it’s like a party up in here-a weird party filled with 2 parts wonderland, 3 parts business casual, and 1 part totally awesome. And there I go again with my rambles…

Anyone else feel like fashion is a crazy journey or share my fear of necklaces? What about imaging a puddle of awesome floating around in their brain (yeah, that’s probably just me)?

Sequins: The Back of the Closet

I couldn’t decide what to wear this morning (not actually the most typical quandary I find myself in, considering I usually plan my outfit as I fall asleep the night before), so I dug deep into the back of my closet and pulled this baby out.

Sweater & Dress: H&M, Scarf: Vintage, Boots: ..I forgot…, Tights: Target, Bag: Modcloth.com
This dress always looks so frumpy and ugly on the hanger, as if it would be too long or awkward. I always forget that I like wearing it, and an office job is the perfect place for it! I did spend the whole day feeling super toned down, but such is life. I can’t always be ridiculously dressed, I suppose.

Also? Can I just say about the above pose? I have a perpetual fear of being photographed from the side angle. I’m not the thinnest girl (I’m healthy, though, and I love my body), and I have a stomach condition that causes almost constant tummy bloat. So I live in fear of sideways shots and appearing pregnant. But this dress is fluffy and full enough that I could totally pull off a sideways shot! Because now you’ll never know if it’s just windy (which it was) or what!

I’ll admit, though, it does help that I get to bring my favorite ridiculous “business briefcase”  with me, though!


How about our readers (we know you’re out there!)? Do any of you have those easy-peasy pieces hiding in the back of your closet? How do you doll up a piece that’s on the bland side?

Stripes & Sequins: Favorite Bags

After realizing that we both have a ton of similar possessions that are stylistically unique to each of us, we thought it would be fun to do a weekly compare and contrast post. You can read the initial post here. We hope you enjoy the series!

Bags!
I got this bag for Christmas in 2009 after lusting after Lucky Brand bags for years (sensing a trend? Yeah, I LOVE Lucky Brand!). I loved to go to Macy’s and just clutch the stylish leather wallets, bags, and satchels dreaming of the day I would own one. And then I got one and it has seriously been everything I could ask for in a bag. I love how well the leather has held up and that the constant Northwest rains have had little to no effect on the leather. I also can fit everything I need in it including (but not limited to): wallet, make-up, notebooks, books, my laptop, gloves, and a snack all at once.

This purse also is a little sentimental as it was my first big wardrobe investment piece. I know I am going to be able to use it for years and I still get as many compliments on it today as I did on the first month I had it. Also, to my surprise, I also have felt little temptation to even look at other purses since I got this one because it really is my dream bag and why fix what isn’t broken?

This bag first caught my eye after I finally invested in a new laptop. I knew I wanted something that would keep my precious laptop safe, as well as something that would serve as a purse. The reviews I read initially commented on the limited space–saying even that it wouldn’t hold a charger or wallet. I was warned that my bag wouldn’t hold more than my laptop and possibly a thin notebook. I accepted the inevitable, and reminded myself that the top priority was mainly my laptop. So you can imagine my pleasant surprise when I saw that it would, indeed, hold everything I need!
In addition to my laptop, of which you can see a glimpse of its shiny corner, this bag holds two books (I’m only thirty pages from the end of Siege of Krishnapur, so I live in constant fear that I’ll finish it without a replacement book), my sketchbook, my planner, my wallet, charger and phone. I’m not sure what computer the others girls who bought this bag have, but mine is plenty small enough! Yay!

Sequins: Professional Snow Day

Snow is still here (but the forecast says it should be gone by the end of the weekend, and it’s starting to freeze rain–yuck!) and life goes one. Including work. This is how I juggle wearing professional, office-appropriate attire when it’s 12′ outside.

Shirt: Modcloth, Vest: Thrifted, Skirt: Kensie, Gloves & Tights: Target, Boots: Sorel, REI, Scarf: Knitted by Yours Truly!

That was as far as I was willing to strip for the photo shoot! Also, before you all start thinking I’m a bad person for showing off my sweater vest when just a few posts ago Stripes was lamenting her lack of one, the real conversation went like this:

Stripes: This outfit really makes me want a sweater vest.

Sequins: Did you seriously just say that you want a sweater vest?

Stripes: Uhh.. Yeah? Why, is that a bad thing?

Sequins: Aren’t you the one who, just weeks ago, mocked me and my desire to wear one?

Stripes: Probably? So?

*Sigh. It’s a good thing I like her. Also, the rest of the photo shoot I looked like this:

It’s super cold outside. I hope everyone reading this stays nice and warm and dry!

Sequins: Lunch Date

This outfit is one of my more boring ones, yet perfect for a long day at the office punctuated in the middle by a lunch date with Plaid.

Sweater: H&M
Skirt: Gap Outlet
Scarf: Thrifted
Tights: Macy’s (gift)

Its simplicity makes it an ideal outfit for a reflective post similar to Stripes’ Growing Up post.

My “daily uniform” used to consist of jeans, sneakers and black shirts. I seriously had like five pair of black shirts that I would rotate through, wearing them with black fleece pullovers. My hair was much longer back then, and always in a messy bun. That was (almost) literally the only thing I would wear.

Which, if you think about it, made the fact that my closet was full of skirts and dresses a bit unfortunate. I wasn’t brave enough to wear skirts–I was pretty sure I’d stick out like a sore thumb in the high school I went to, and I managed to convince myself that even if I was brave enough to wear one, I’d end up wearing it “wrong” (whatever that meant), so I should stick to the basics.

Going to college was a pretty pivotal life-changing moment for me, because that was when I grew the courage to wear skirts. My style in college was way different than it is now, for sure. The neon yellow “I ❤ the 80s” shirt paired with a mini bubble gray-black striped skirt is an outfit of the past, and will pretty much never make a  reappearance (thank goodness).

What stayed was my courage–being brave enough to wear an outfit for the sole quality of me wanting to wear it is pretty big. It’s what I need to wear bright pink tights, or finger painted horse print shirt (oh, has that still not managed an appearance on the blog? Just you wait, folks. Just you wait). My courage definitely gets bolstered by the online fashion community, who have me completely convinced that wearing a sweater  backwards is a-okay (although I won’t lie, I still giggle a little, and don’t plan on adopting that trend anytime soon).

Being brave enough to be the person I want to be, defined by what clothes I wear or what I read, or what I want to talk about, is definitely the big hurdle I faced growing up. And now all our online readers get to reap that benefit when they get to giggle over pictures of my ridiculous pink tights, or a crow skull necklace!

Sequins: Board meeting day

Today was a big meeting day, quarterly Board of Directors meeting. Which means dressing fancy.

Coat Necklace Belt & Sweater: Thrifted, Shoes & Bag: Modcloth.com; Tights: Soujourner, Dress: Charlotte Russe

This dress is my go-to for fancy work events and I love everything about this outfit. It’s professional but totally me, and totally fun.

So funny story about this bag… I was reading reviews about it on ModCloth.com (and no, I’m not being paid to say any of this. Although I kinda wish I was…) and one reviewer said they loved the bag, but that it didn’t fit like anything aside from the computer itself–not even the charger.

I got my bag in the mail, looked at it–looked at my computer–looked back at the bag, and the exact comment in my head?

“Oh bitch, please”

This bag officially holds my computer, work planner, sketch book, pens and inks, wallet, keys, and yes–a charger. And I was sure to leave a comment saying so. To be fair, I will admit that my laptop is a 13″ Macbook, which are much smaller than the average computer. But seriously, I love this bag. I love it times a million.

I hinted at this necklace a while ago, and to be perfectly honest, it’s my new favorite-est ever. It’s a deer head. Don’t even get me started on how amazing it is (because I’m pretty sure I can talk your ear off for way longer than should be possible).

Happy work outfit! Ten out of ten for me.