Work, B*tch

My sister is stepping in to do a guest blog. Isn’t it cute how she *’s out the “i” in Bitch in her title? Ha – I think she forgot she was writing for my crass, whiskey-saoked blog. Goes to show that we have pretty different, ok … very different styles. Some of you are a bit more classically stylish like she is though, so I always love when she gets a chance to write.

It’s pretty funny she’s the one that’s blogging and that she’s blogging about work, seeing how I’m currently unemployed and technically should have all day to write, but instead I’m … looking … constantly … for jobs. Or watching The Voice. So you know. 

I hope you enjoy this post by her. Especially if you work in an office environment where business casual (is that what this is?) is the way to go. Me? I only find myself looking for jobs now where I have the freedom to wear whatever I want. I’ve been spoiled and won’t ever back! 

Enjoy! Happy Monday! xoxo, Lou

When I first started my office job in the fanciest building on campus at my alma mater, I was Jazzed about wearing Office Clothes. Visions of me dressed like this were dancing in my head:

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Sometimes, I’m not far off this mark. BUT, suits are crazy expensive, and one can only come up with so many clever combinations of suit-top-heels before one gets a little bored with office attire. After only a short time at my office job, this is how I felt about wearing office clothes:

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As previously mentioned, I work in The Fancy Building on campus. The university president works in this building. There is definitely a dress code. (Side Bar: We have actual Casual Fridays and people really do say “T.G.I.F.!” It can make life feel a lot like a quirky sitcom.)

Needless to say, I’m on the younger end of the employee spectrum, and most people in the building tend to walk the conservative line when it comes to work wear. So I realized I had two choices: Fall into the same habits of my coworkers, and try to blend in, OR, be true to myself and my love of clothes, and have as much fun as possible within the parameters of Looking Professional.

I never thought I’d be a Blazer Girl. But I LOVE My Blazer. Investing in a great Blazer is so worthwhile when you need to wear Work Clothes on the regular. It polishes up any ensemble, for example:

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Without the blazer, that outfit is super casual. It’s a cotton turtleneck, relaxed-fit skirt, and some booties. But add the blazer, and voila! Polish.

Another great work staple is the Pencil Skirt. I commute by bicycle most of the time, so this item is reserved for carpool days. Be Forewarned: pencil skirts have a volatile magic. You will probably not open a single door for yourself all day, but it’s likely because the door-holder is enjoying the view:

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It’s easy to fall into Pin Up Girl territory here, so pairing the magic skirt with a simple cotton top and cozy shrug gives it some balance.

Speaking of inappropriate office outfits, I’m pretty sure this dress was way too short for me to wear to work:

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I wore that white cardigan over it and somehow decided that made it more modest, but looking at this picture I’m kinda surprised I didn’t get sent home to change. Hello, legs!

Which is not to say that dresses in general can’t be Work Appropriate. Do you have a spirit animal? I do, and her name is Taylor Swift. One morning Swifty ran into some Joan from Mad Men inspiration to create the following work outfit:

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I really wanted to wear the Ray Bans all day, but they made it hard to see my computer screen.
T-shirts can also make for a good work ensemble, so long as you apply the requisite Polish.

Example One, The Tee / Cardigan Layered Look:

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Example Two: The Button Down / Tee / Cardigan Combo:
(I have no clue what I’m doing in this picture, but I like my outfit)

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It’s important for my office steez to be bicycle friendly whenever possible, so I’ve invested in a lot of good Pants over the last year and a half.  The goal is always slim cut, ankle or capri length, for the ease of hopping on the bike to G-O! These wine colored gems are one of my new favorite pairs (shown with a little daytime sparkle!):

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I also decided awhile back that toothpick cords are completely work appropriate, and no one has ever contradicted me, so:

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(you better work, b*tch)

Clearly we must now segue into Sweaters. It’s fall, and I love sweaters. Let’s enjoy this one again:

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This is what I’m wearing today, and so many people have commented on “the chicken” on my sweater, to which I can only reply, “Chickens don’t wear berets.”

Remember how we have actual Casual Fridays? Well you still don’t want to look like a hot mess, especially when your university prez is on the TLC tip. He don’t want no scrubs.

Casual Friday Example One:

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The shorts were a gamble, but the polish here? Oxfords and a cute, simple sweater. Nautical theme!

Casual Friday Example Two:

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Jeans and some school-spirit red plaid, with more oxford polish.

See? Dressing for work can be – and should be – fun. Even if your office has Professional Polish Parameters (yay, alliteration!) there are always opportunities to be creative. Find your spirit animal and let her shine! Then, if your sister has a fashion blog, you can take lots of mini work breaks by creating a catalog of outfit selfies which will one day become a What to Wear at the Office post. Cheers, Lou!

10 Things I Love About Naked Lady Parties

I recently hosted a Naked Lady Party at my apartment. In case you’re unfamiliar, this is where you invite a gaggle of girlfriends to visit your house with armloads of their old accessories, clothing, shoes, etc that they no longer want in their closet.

Methods on the actual swapping of stuff varies, but in our case, we typically sort the goods into categories (sweaters, dresses/skirts, jewelry/accessories, pants) and have at it.

Below are the top 10 things I love about these swaps.

10. Food

I always ask my girls to help supply the food and drink for these shindigs. So while I’ll buy some champagne and delicious juice, maybe some carrots and dip, I rely on them to bring the stuff I’d never buy myself like Doritos and Blueberry moonshine (thanks Lauren!)

In all honestly, I might have thrown this party solely in the hopes someone would bring a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos. And I don’t know why we served them off of a plate, we just did ok?

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A kitchen full of girls and food. WINNING.

9. They cure hangovers

The night before this swap I was slaving away collecting notes for Miss Jimi Pop’s upcoming feature. It was a real sacrifice let me tell you. So I went from this Friday night:

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To this on Saturday day:

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HUNGOVER

That’s my boyfriend’s dirty t-shirt. I could hardly put makeup on. I wanted to sleep all day. But I didn’t. Because I knew I had 10 girls coming over to my house … my dirty house full of empty cupboards. My friend Jordan promised I would snap out of it, and guess what? I did.

Having a bunch of girlfriends over to your house to drink tons of booze and eat and laugh and “shop” works fucking wonders for a hangover. So eventually, I ended up feeling like this:

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(We were actually sending that picture to my boyfriend for doing most of the party prep work. God bless him for understanding the demands of this blog, right?)

8. Friend Steez

It’s really fun to see the things your friends find  and how they incorporate them into their own sense of style. It’s also awesome to pick up a piece of clothing and know immediately who brought it. Swaps allow you to accumulate fashion finds you might never pick out for yourself. And with everything being free – it’s virtually risk free!

The only risk that remains after leaving the party is figuring out how not to look like an asshole when wearing all your new shit.

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My friend Laura scored this party purse. We don’t know what it’s for … drugs? Condoms? But who really cares? It looks fucking cute.

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Somehow Jordan managed to find a made-for-her vintage crop top and vest that weren’t already housed in her own closet. Aren’t you already loving how she’s styling her shit? Cute. Always cute. 

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I found this sweater!!!! Which I want to live in it’s so comfortable. Fine, fine … I’ll show you the real deal and not the ‘filtered til you don’t look hungover’ deal.

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7. Girls looking like adorable jackasses in ridiculous clothing

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6. Having your friends call you a bitch for making fun of their clothes

5. Having your house look like a store where everything is free.

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4. This sweater

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3. Girlfriends

There has not been one swap where I haven’t met at least one new friend. It’s a great way for your friend circles to mix and for friends to invite new friends to join. I love meeting new girlfriends because who are we kidding? Girlfriends are the absolute BEST!

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2. The Clothes

This last swap, I walked away with quite a few new items of clothing. An entire basket full actually. Here’s the deal: it’s more or less free shit, you can take fashion risks, you cut down on shopping time, you get to drink while you shop, so many of your friends are there to lend their opinions, sometimes you find AMAZING stuff (who was there when I got the cutest Cheap Monday jeans on earth???)

Here’s a look at some of the stuff I found this time around:

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Hello cute new ass-tight jean skirt!

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Orange/Red pants! Welcome to my summer wardrobe!

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Prints, prints, prints!

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My boyfriend “Where would you even wear that to?”

Me: “Um I dunno, probably wherever the fuck I want.”

Yay! Welcome new suede, button-detail, ankle  length skirt!

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Yeah I got really lazy taking these photos, but I do love getting new bathing suits.

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Cozy, cozy polka dot dress. And not obnoxious polka dots either as someone at the swap pointed out. And … pockets.

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Jordan! Haha oh the big, baggy, cropped, and hippie-influenced shit I got from Jordan. God bless her. And god bless how comfortable and amazing her style is.

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100% cotton on that baby – yes please.

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Haha – yep. Jordan’s. But Trash Cat is all mine. You can’t get cats at these things, at least not that I know of.

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Technically I got these the night before, but it counts. Orange Vintage Vans. Swoon.

1. Women

Yeah, it’s pretty great to have a bunch of girls getting naked and trying on clothes in your living room. But what’s even better is the community it builds.

Not only does it bring women together and support friendships among women, we also donate any leftover clothing to women’s shelters or women’s centered non-profits in town. So this focus on fostering positive female relationships through fashion is my #1 reason I love Naked Lady Parties.

Damn sometimes it just feels so good to be a girl and I love when we make an active effort to celebrate that.

If you haven’t had a chance to host or attend a Ladies Clothing Swap, I highly suggest you get on that stat.

xoxo, Lou

Goodwill Hunting

Is that the name of that movie?

Even if it’s not, it’s what I’ve been unintentionally doing. And lo and behold, unintentionally succeeding at! (In my personal opinion of course.) Except ultimately it’s done a great thing in that it’s taught me that you don’t have to be a killer fashionista to find shit at Goodwill that is just as cool as shit you would find online or at some mall. In fact there’s way less pressure because you’re spending $10 on cashmere instead of $11o.

This is important for me because, being as saddled with student loan debt as I am, spending money has always been a major commitment for me. I’ve never been a frivolous shopper for the mere fact that I literally wasn’t able to be a frivolous shopper. Unless, it turns out,  I get a decent raise and I’m at Goodwill and I’m buying stuff that doesn’t matter for the same reason that it costs the same amount of money at Goodwill as it does if I were spending it at some burrito cart the second I find myself stuck at work on a Thursday morning with a massive hangover.

Ok so let’s see.

I got a sweater I really love and that I actually think I will wear. I’ve always, ok for like 4 months I’ve struggled with that fashion “nail in the coffin” where I want to wear shit that doesn’t actually suit me. You know? I really am happiest in jeans, t-shirts, hoodies, and simple stuff like that. I suppose the key is focusing in on how to maximize that.

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This sweater  seems like something I’d wear all the time. Awesome. It’s 100% cashmere and blue and has awesome buttons and was made in Scotland and I’m pretty sure I think it’s awesome, which is bound to translate well. Oh, and it cost me $10.

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The print on this sweater is made of bunnies. It’s pretty cute. And always makes me pretty happy when I look at it in the middle of the day. AND it’s good for work, so sometimes that’s great as well. Oh and it was $6.

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Ok. I had this backpack I really loved that I got off the free table at my last apartment. I didn’t even want a backpack. I just found one and I thought it was great so I started using it all the time. Then, when the strap on that one broke, I felt sort of lost.

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This was that backpack.

Then, when my bf needed a backpack … this is a long story. Fact is … I found this cute purse for $6 at Goodwill the other day and it was awesome because … it was comfortable and cute. Just like my cat …

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That’s a $10 100% cashmere crop-top I found at Goodwill. 100% cashmere cropped tops kind of confuse me, but I do think they’re cute and I will, I believe, find the perfect evening to wear this.

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And more purse.

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Let’s see. I also found this mug for $2. I certainly didn’t need a new mug, but … come on.

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And oh shit. Speaking of tumble-upons. I decided for $5 to read Rob Lowe’s autobiography.

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And there. I guess I’ve gone and successfully summed up a trip to Goodwill with me. All for like … $39.

xoxo, Lou