Tag Archives: business casual

Unsung Wardrobe Heroes: Hollister Flannel Edition

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Unsung Wardrobe Heroes: Hollister Flannel Edition

Hi everyone and happy Monday! Today in Unsung Wardrobe Heroes, we are going to discuss a Goodwill find that has been giving and giving for well over FIVE YEARS now. My favorite flannel is said Goodwill find and I got it for a whole four dolla holla. It is Hollister brand, which I normally never wear, but at four dollars and a new but used condition – how can you not? Take a look and let’s discuss:

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What I love the most about this button down is its versatility. I can wear it unbuttoned over a crop top, buttoned up with a blazer over top of it for work, or buttoned with a moto jacket for play. And can we talk about its ability to create the perfect pinup girl look simply by tying it in a cropped knot? So flirty and fun! This top looks great with virtually anything and the checked pattern is classic, which creates a timeless look with every wear.

My favorite way to wear this top currently is buttoned down under a blazer. I love wearing it like this for work, because it creates a really true business casual look. My oversized boyfriend blazer looks cool and chic over this more closely fitted top and it takes it from a top for play to a top for work in an instant. At twenty-three, I never want to look stuffy when I’m with my clients, and this look keeps me feeling youthful and fresh, while still professional.

I normally don’t shop Goodwill or Plato’s Closet for the simple reason that I’m a pretty intense germophobe, so I don’t get a lot of pleasure in going. However, I faced my fear and I wound up with one of my go to tops in my wardrobe so maybe I should do it more often!

So there you have it, this week’s issue of Unsung Wardrobe Heroes: Hollister Flannel Edition! How do you fight germophobia while thrifting? What is your favorite thrift store find? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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Monday Update: Zara Haul Edition

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Monday Update: Zara Haul Edition

Guys. I did something bad……

I spent way too much money at Zara yesterday. But before you all sharpen the pitchforks and yell at me for giving in to my shopping addiction – LET ME EXPLAIN!!! My mom, sister, and I had a GAO (Girls’ Afternoon Out) and ventured out to Beachwood Mall, which is about a thirty-five minute trek for us. This mall is freaking amazing. It’s home to Zara, Lush, a HUGE Forever 21, H&M, Saks, Nordstrom, and the list goes on. So, not only were we in exotic new territory that we never get to go to, BUT Zara was having an incredible sale. You can’t not stock up at your favorite store when you don’t get to go very often, right? RIGHT?!

And stock up, I did. This week will be dedicated to my gorgeous new wardrobe additions compliments of my all on sale Zara Haul. We’ll start with the newest update to my business casual attire with this darling little number seen below:

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Zara button downs give me life and, coincidentally, quirky button downs make up a majority of my business cashe collection. So, obviously, I HAD TO BUY IT!! I snagged this lady bug beauty for twenty bucks. I’m not sure of the original price on this shirt, but the last button down I purchased from Zara was fifty smackers, so I consider this a steal!

This oversized button down is wonderful because it’s versatile. It’s long enough to be worn as a dress with a thick pair of tights underneath and a belted middle or over top of super skinny jeans tucked or untucked for a whimsical work look. I love wearing my other Zara button down as a dress, especially in this summer heat. However, both of these tops look totally darling tucked into pants or a skirt, as well.

Accessories are key when it comes to styling a business casual ensemble, so opt for a chunky necklace, a statement ring or two, and some killer heels to make you queen of the office!

This week on lifewithlilred will be an ode to all things Zara, starting with my Monday Update: Zara Haul Edition! Tune in tomorrow to see another one of my on sale snags. What is your favorite store to shop at? Who else goes a bit credit card happy when their favorite store is far away? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

P.S.: I bought some goodies at Lush for the first time so be on the lookout for some Bath Bomb Blitz posts in the future! 😀

Have Some Pictures!

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Have Some Pictures!

Hi everyone and happy weekend!! So at the AFI concert, amidst taking pictures and videos, the worst thing possible happened. The “Cannot take photo. Storage is full.” or whatever message popped up. It sucked. To avoid this unfortunate happenstance again during my next picture taking event, I guess it’s time to start deleting unneeded pictures from my iPod. But, damnit, I need them all! What I don’t need, however, IS AN APP FOR THE STOCK MARKET!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

Anyways, here’s some mirror pics of yours truly because I was really feeling my outfit those days:

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#feelingmyself (lol)

The above image was a summer fun ensemble while the bottom was a business cashe work attire get up. Normally, I’m not one for the mirror pics, but on those given occasions it just had to happen! AYYY!

How do you manage your iPod/Phone storage space? What are your plans this weekend? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Adulting Essentials

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Adulting Essentials
Hello everyone and TGIF! I hope all of you are having a fabulous day so far and have a bright and exciting weekend to look forward to. If there’s one thing that I know as a twenty-something, it’s that I constantly feel under-prepared. Everything up until the late teens and early twenties was great, right? A la-di-da world where the only thing that you needed to worry about was what to wear to school and your hours at your weekend job. Fast forward to the ripe age of 23. Freshly graduated from college, moving out of your dorm to your own apartment, and (sort of) ready to take on the world. This is basically what your teenage self has been dreaming about since forever. So why does it feel so stressful?!

The life of a twenty-something is a bumbling and haphazard mess 90% of the time. Job hunting, grad school, moving out of chez mom and dad. You’re stretched thin in all directions and all you want is some literal direction in your so called life. As the baby of the family, I’ve watched three older siblings do the growing up thing. And now, as the 23 year old baby of the family, I guess I have to do the whole growing up thing myself. Gross.

So what comes with growing up? A big girl job, your own place, squeezing some time in for fun between binge eating or binge studying – that all sounds about right. For a big girl job you’re armed with your education or experience. For having some fun, you have your high school or college BFFs to schedule a GNO with. But your own place? A place that you need to pay rent for, furnish, AND do your own laundry in? Well, you’re gonna need a few things:

1) Stationary: From calendars and notebooks to agendas and business cards, stationary is a total must. You know how the life of a twenty-something is a bumbling, haphazard mess 90% of the time? That, my dear readers, is what the planner is for. The calendar, the to do list, the agenda – whatever you call it, is a twenty-something essential. Doctors appointments? Job interview? Date night with the SO? Drinks with the girls? Yeah, there’s a planner for that. Hang your calendar with pride wherever you can see it and take a stab at sitting down with a glass of wine and organizing your week. You will be amazed at how your days will open up once you begin utilizing the free space that you have in between work till four and cardio at 7 on Monday and Wednesday.

2) The Perfect Mattress: The first thing that my sister did when she moved into her own apartment was buy herself a queen sized bed. Okay, girl. I see you. Now, I don’t usually say this, but she had the right idea. There is nothing better than tucking into bed with a good book and Enya on your iPod after a long day. Get comfy cozy in your boyfriend’s shirt, throw on an overnight face mask, and snuggle up on your new mattress compliments of Casper. Breathable, lush, plush, springy, and supportive, you’ll be traveling to the land of nod in no time as soon as you get curled up on the mattress of your dreams. Just make sure to put mattress shopping with Casper on your to do list before dozing off tonight! 😉

3) Business Casual Wardrobe: This isn’t necessarily an apartment essential as much as it is a life essential. I think that it is so important for twenty-somethings to begin investing in business casual wardrobe staples. Whether your ideal job setting is laid back or totally formal, you still need something to wear to the interview, right? Start supplying your closet with sharp, chic pieces that scream “boss lady” as soon as you walk in the door. I’m talking pencil skirts, crisp button downs, trench coats, blazers, cardigans, and a smart pair of trousers.

When I began shopping for my job with the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (which is about as business cashe as it gets), I gradually began making an effort to instill a more professional feel into my wardrobe. I hit up stores like Loft and Express for clothes that were unquestionably cute, but still looked put together and work place appropriate. Look for simple, well tailored pieces and let your accessories or a funky patterned cardi showcase your personality. There is no rule stating that business casual means boring!

4) Culinary Cool: One of the things that comes with moving out is not having a delicious meal prepped for you every day by the rents. I, personally, am a firm believer that everyone should have a basic understanding of cooking and finding your way around a kitchen. Unfortunately, not everyone shares this mindset with me, so cooking on your own might be a rude awakening to burnt pizzas or blowing a fortune on takeout every night.

BUT IT’S OKAY!! I promise. I absolutely love cooking and baking and my golden rule is that if you can read, you can cook. Go to the library or bookstore, snag some cook books (even if it is Making Eggs For Dummies!), and practice. Hit up your local Aldi’s or Save A Lot for ingredients, follow the directions, and you’ll have a meal that you made all by yourself in no time. I swear that it is not as daunting as it might seem and, within time, you might find yourself actually enjoying your meal preparations in your kitchen.

But, of course, you can’t cook without the proper tools. You don’t need to go overboard, but do invest in some quality but not too costly gear to help you out. Spatulas, measuring spoons and cups, mixing bowls, and a sheet pan for your pizza rolls will go a long way. And, like any well stocked arsenal, it doesn’t become that way over night. Pick up odds and ends for your kitchen every so often when you’re out and about and you’ll have all of the necessities before you know it.

5) TREAT YOSELF: Adulting can sometimes really suck. Like a lot. Believe me, I get it. Full time job, college, bills? It’s like a whirlwind of misery. That is why I am all about incorporating a TREAT YOSELF attitude into my adult lifestyle. Seriously. Get out, have some fun, and let the destressing begin. This can range from going out to get your nails done after a long week in the office to buying that sassy dress from Target because it hugged your curves in all of the right places. Do things that make you feel good (within reason). Buy things that make you feel good (within your budget), and you’ll find yourself breezing through adulthood like the boss lady that you are. YOU GO, GIRL!
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Adulting can be unquestionably overwhelming, but you’ll be just fine with the right Essentials! What are your adulting must haves? How do you destress after a long day of being a grown up? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah
Featured Image By: ZootScoop

Loft Haul

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Loft Haul

Hiii everyone and happy Monday! I hope that all of you had a fabulous and relaxing weekend. My Saturday was spent getting my shop on at Loft and scoring an amazing haul for a seriously amazing deal. If there’s one place that I know that I can turn to for totally profesh but super fun business casual attire, it’s Loft. And let me tell you, my work wardrobe was in definite need of a pick me up. The beauty of the clothing at Loft is that their clothes can really be dressed up or down depending on what you need to use them for. I love that my Loft clothes can double for work or play and that you can get great deals if you know how to shop their sales. Check out my latest haul and then I’ll reveal the price for all five items that you won’t believe! Take a look:

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The Haul:

  • Two shirts both originally priced at $54.95
  • One pair of jeans originally priced at $69.95
  • Two pairs of sunglasses originally priced at $24.50

I Paid: About $80

So how did I do it? This is all compliments of my mom, actually. Thanks to beaucoup Loft Cash, percentage off promotions, and fifteen dolla holla sunglasses, she was able to dwindle down a staggering price to something much more reasonable. My mom started shopping Loft a couple of years ago and I have always been so impressed with the clothes that she has purchased. Like I mentioned earlier, they really are the perfect work or play wardrobe staples. The clothes fall in that amazing “youthful but not trying to be young” category, which means that women of any age can pull off their clothing and still look great.

It’s not like I’m a super avid Loft shopper but when I do spend time in their store, I always seem to manage to find some really nice stuff. Their jeans, for example, are the best thing that has ever happened to the bottom half of my body so whenever I can get a good deal on their black skinnies, I always have to indulge. The frayed ends of my latest black skinny purchase (because we all know that it’s all I wear!) were a fun little detail and I’m hoping to take a razor blade to the knees if I’m feeling crafty enough. I don’t own any ripped denim but I really like the idea of it, so if anyone is a savvy pants ripper and has any tips for me, please send them my way!

And, of course, I freaking LOVE my new tops. In the pictures, they might look like your standard T, but they are actually made out of one hundred percent polyester so it feels silky and looks sleek as opposed to the regular old cotton T. These tops have an adorable eyelet detail on the back and the colors in each of them are my favorite. Green and yellow are two colors that happen to look really good on me, thanks to my pasty pale skin tone and vibrant red hair. As soon as I put these tops on, they just felt and looked SO good and if they had any additional shirts in different patterns I probably would have bought them, too!

Both of these tops will be great for when I’m out and about at work or paired under a moto jacket for errands or drinks with friends. I love the kimono feel of the yellow top and the deep green paired with the brighter teal details really had me feeling some type of way! It’s going to be really fun to create new looks for my day to day work and play wear for an outfit that’s business cashe or a young twenty-something on the go (generally going to Taco Bell).

Finally, I am obsessed with my new sunnies! I haven’t bought new sunglasses in forever because now I usually just opt for my Chanel shades from my nail tech, Vinny. But these new ones are SO fabulous and I got each of them for seven bucks, so it really doesn’t get much better than that! The solid black frames scream Miu Miu to me and the duel colored tortoise shell and navy sunnies are so unbearably chic. Both of these sunglasses are shaped in styles that I don’t already have in my sunnies arsenal so it will be nice to throw on a fresh new pair of shades before I hit the road in the Little Red Love Machine!

Obviously, Loft was really good to me this weekend and my closet so thanks me for it! I am super happy with my latest Loft Haul and am ready to welcome spring with some shiny new wardrobe additions. Who else is a major Loft fan? How are you upgrading your wardrobe for spring? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

So, What Exactly IS Smart Casual?

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So, What Exactly IS Smart Casual?

Ever had one of those occasions where you simply don’t know how to dress for it? Maybe you’ve been invited to a party where you don’t know the people or the vibe or maybe you are going somewhere during the daytime and you don’t want to look overdressed. Although no one will mind if you are dressed a little bit differently (unless you’re in something totally outrageous, that is) it can make you feel awkward and self-conscious. At a social event, that is the absolute last thing you want as it can end up hindering your whole experience there.

But what do you do when you have no idea what kind of outfit is suitable for a specific occasion and you either can’t or don’t want to ask in advance? The best thing to do here is to go smart casual. The ‘smart cas’ look has been around for decades and isn’t always the easiest thing to get right as there is plenty of ambiguity over what constitutes ‘smart’ and what constitutes ‘casual’! The important thing is not to overthink it – as long as it’s not too sparkly, tight, or short you’re probably on the right track! So, with that in mind, here are some easy looks that mean you are ALWAYS dressed for the occasion:

A Dress: You might hear the word ‘dress’ and think immediately, that this is too formal for smart casual. But in reality, there are plenty of ways that you can rock a dress and still not look like you are taking yourself too seriously. Remember, that dresses come in all shapes and styles. A cute tea dress is demure while still being flirty – opt for something that kicks out from the waist, which is a cut that flatters pretty much every body type. Go for a floral print and pair it with some cute pumps for the daytime or with some heeled sandals for a fun evening look.

If you need to look a little more corporate in your smart casual ensemble, stick to muted colors such as grey and choose a classic shift dress. Pair with some knee high boots and a jacket. But remember, if your dress is already very tailored, soften the look with a waterfall jacket, or something else that is a bit less structured. All-over tailoring does, unfortunately, emphasize the ‘smart’ aspect of smart casual a little too much.

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You can’t go wrong with a pretty floral dress.

Top & Jeans: If you were ever looking for a classic smart-casual combination, it doesn’t come much better than the top and jeans pairing. The jeans are the staple piece for this outfit, so make sure that you invest in a pair that is clearly of good quality. It might mean spending a little more money but trust us – other people can spot cheap denim from a mile off. Skinny or slim-fit jeans are the most versatile and the more flattering on basically any figure, despite what social norms about slim fitting clothes are.

If you are a little more conscious of your stomach area, simply opt for a high-waisted pair that will nip you in at your waist. The top can pretty much be anything you like, but try to avoid cotton T-shirts and tank tops as they look a little too low-key. A lace or satin blouse is always a fail safe option. As far as footwear goes, try and judge the occasion as best as you can. Sometimes heels might be necessary, but other times you might even be able to get away with trainers – providing that they are something classic, like women’s Adidas originals.

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Cute boots are always a safe bet!

Co-ords: While it’s advisable not to don anything too outrageous for a smart casual event, that doesn’t mean that you can’t still have fun with some interesting pieces of fashion. We first saw the trend for the co-ord emerge early last year and it remains a useful item in the wardrobe of many women today. Remember that a co-ord is very different from a suit: you can get them in varying prints and colors, so don’t be afraid to go bold! Plus, you can ditch the traditional top and trouser combination for all kinds of different mismatches. Why not go for a wide leg, high waisted trouser paired with a crop top (this will make your legs go on for miles) or opt for a boxy shirt layered over a matching A-line skirt? Whatever you choose, your co-ord set is going to take all of the stress out of deciding what to wear!

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Hello, stilettos!

Featured Image By: Flickr

Monday Update: Business Casual Edition

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Monday Update: Business Casual Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to this week’s Monday Update here on lifewithlilred! As my graduation from Tri-C is approaching at the end of the fall semester, I’ve been doing my best to gradually add some Business Casual attire into my wardrobe. I lucked out and was able to find the most adorable button down top from Loft while I was out shopping with my mom and I got it for a STEAL. I scored this originally fifty dollar shirt for eleven bucks! Take a look:

^^^ So cute!

Loft is a store that I would never go out of my way to go in to. I have a few really nice pieces from there but other than that, I’d rather be in Forever 21! However, my mom loves to shop at Loft and she had hella coupons on top of a forty percent off sale that they were having so she wanted to spend some time in there to see if she could find some deals. I like trying to find clothes for my beloved mother so I went in, too, so we could browse the store together.

For the most part, nothing was particularly screaming out at me. I’m only twenty-two and a lot of the clothes there definitely looked like it was for women older than me. But as I was perusing around the store to look for clothes for my mom, I came across my new button down top. I liked that it was short sleeved and I thought the pattern was just darling. I wasn’t anticipating on liking it enough to buy it but I figured that it wouldn’t hurt to try it on and see.

Obviously, I ended up liking it a lot considering I’m writing about it! When I first had it on, I didn’t know what to think. It was the most grown up thing that I’ve ever tried on before but I kind of liked that. The top also looked awesome with what I already had on – a black Brandy Melville maxi skirt and army green Guess wedges. The more I studied myself in the mirror, the more I liked what I was seeing.

I think the fact that the shirt looked so professional and put together was a plus. But I was more drawn to the fact that I could wear it for work and play. I imagined all of the different ways that I could wear it while out and about – tucked into a pair of shorts, paired with black skinnies and a cardigan, or exactly how I was wearing it in the fitting room. This top had endless possibilities outside of wearing it to school, work, and my internship and that’s what made it so fun.

After weighing out all of the amazing pros that this top had to offer, I could find no cons and knew that it had to be mine. I was really happy that I wound up finding a new addition to my attempt at a more grown up wardrobe and I was even more thrilled that I got it for such a great price! Nothing beats paying eleven dollars for an originally fifty dollar brand new to the store top!

So there you have it, this week’s Monday Update: Business Casual Edition! How do you sport a business cashe look? What stores do you shop at to achieve it? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah