It’s All About The Boots

The minute the temperature dropped below 70 degrees Fahrenheit, I brought my boots out to play!  Ugg boots, ankle boots, knee high boots, over the knee boots, black boots, brown boots…you name them, I have them.  After all, you know what they say…if the boot fits, buy it!  So, often, I do. That’s IS what they say, right??  Hehehehe!

Anyway, last week, a group of bloggers and I decided to get together and style boots for fall!  Often, people are unsure about what to wear boots, so today we’re styling our own as a ‘how-to-wear-boots’ guide for the fall/winter.

I decided to pair my knee-high boots with a faux-leather skirt, long-sleeved top, and 3/4 length coat.  Heels with a skirt that falls above the knee can’t possibly be warm enough for end-of-fall/winter’s-eve weather.  So boots are a nice way to add some warmth and coverage, without having to wear pants!

DSC_0039aDSC_0037aDSC_0047aDSC_0046DSC_0044aDSC_0043aBoots, Forever 21, here // Skirt, Forever 21, similar / / Coat, Zara, similar // Top, Forever 21, similar // Ring, House of Harlow, here // Bag, Francescas, similar

Photos: My hubby

Finally, as mentioned, I’m excited to have partnered with three other bloggers who have also styled boots for the fall on their blogs!  Check out my friends Claudia of The Penny Closet, Paulina of Lil Bits of Chic, and Silvia of Spanish Muse below (left to right).

Hope this post helps inspire you to find new ways to style your boots for cooler temps.  Comment below with your favorite boot style, how you prefer to wear your boots in the fall or winter, or simply to tell me what you thought of this post. You can also check out my daily outfits on Instagram, source of inspiration on Pinterest, and latest musings and retweets on Twitter. Finally, don’t forget to stop by my friends’ blogs (see above for links) for additional inspiration!  Have a fantastic weekend, friends!!

Until next time!  Stay Chic!

Thrifty Thursday’s – #PurplePurse 2014 and the Celine Luggage Inspired Tote

Disclosure: This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with Allstate Foundation® and Latina Bloggers Connect.  All opinions are my own.

This week, I am combining two topics for my Thrifty Thursday’s post.  Originally, I had only planned to post about the ‘Luxe for Less’ Celine Luggage inspired tote that I found at Forever 21, but then, I learned that I was selected to participate in the Purple Purse 2014 campaign.  The Allstate Foundation Purple Purse campaign is making it fashionable to talk about the domestic and financial abuse that traps women in abusive relationships. I thought it might be worth combining the two and increase exposure for this very serious topic.


For those of you who are not familiar with the campaign, the Allstate Foundation has been working since 2005 to bring attention to the issue of domestic and financial abuse.  This year, they partnered with Kerry Washington (yes of the show, Scandal, and fitting to talk about her today since Scandal premiered tonight!!) to bring even greater awareness to their efforts and raise money for this cause.

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 10.04.35 PMThe beautiful Kerry Washington!

They have made quite a splash on social media, using the hashtag #PurplePurse and helped to raise over $800,000 as of this evening!!  Part of what they are doing to raise awareness is encouraging women to post pictures of their #PurplePurse style.  Add a purple purse to your outfit, or perhaps a #PurplePurse tassel (many thanks to Latina Bloggers Connect and All State for mine!) and post it on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!

Receipt of the #PurplePurse tassel coincided with my discovery of the Celine Luggage Inspired tote.  Let me tell ya, I put them both to use immediately!  I have coveted the Celine Luggage tote for a LONG time now!  Long time.  Perhaps since I was an egg.  Take a look at the beauty that is this bag for yourself:

fall_2014_leathergoods_26Celine Luggage Tote in Light Copper

But I was not about to spend $2800 on a bag!  So, of course I was ecstatic when I found this inspired version at Forever 21:

IMG_20140922_172030My very own luggage tote!  Only $32.90 at Forever 21.

The #PurplePurse tassel is the perfect addition to what has become my favorite work tote!  It fits my MacBook Pro, fits over my shoulder, and goes with most any outfit.  Take a look at how I have styled the tote so far:


Perfect with a classic office outfit…pencil skirt and button-down top.


Even perfect for travel!  Cheers to my luggage and tote!


Finally, channeling Elle Woods of Legally Blonde with my darling Murphy in tow!

Not bad for an inspired bag, right?!  Especially to use as a work tote.  Adding tassels to bags is currently very on trend, and I have contemplated getting a tassel of my own, but am glad that I now carry one that represents something.  One that helps bring awareness to the seriousness that is the domestic and financial abuse of women worldwide.

Visit to get more information, and participate in the challenge on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter between now and 10/3/14!  Before I conclude this post, I leave you with some facts and statistics to better inform you, and hopefully encourage you to participate in the challenge and/or donate to this very worthy cause.  Open your heart and wallet to stand up for domestic and financial abuse victims and those who serve them.

Finally, if you or someone you know needs immediate help, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224.

Domestic and Financial Abuse Facts and Figures

  • Domestic violence affects one in four women in her lifetime – that’s more women than breast cancer, ovarian cancer
    and lung cancer combined.
  • Most people think only of physical abuse when they consider domestic violence. Yet, financial abuse happens in 98% of all cases of domestic violence and is one of the most powerful ways to keep a victim trapped.
  • Domestic violence and financial abuse often go hand-in-hand, but nearly 8 in 10 Americans have not heard much about financial abuse as a form of domestic violence. The number one reason domestic violence survivors stay, leave or return to an abusive relationship is that they don’t have the financial resources to break free.
  • Two-thirds of Americans believe that domestic violence is a serious problem, yet just over 1 in 3 have ever talked about it. Allstate Foundation Purple Purse aims to make it fashionable to talk about this difficult topic.
  • You can help ensure domestic violence survivors – likely someone you know – aren’t financially trapped in an abusive relationship by joining the Purple Purse Challenge.
  • The Allstate Foundation is investing more than half a million dollars in the Purple Purse Challenge. The more donations each nonprofit gets, the more it can compete for Allstate Foundation incentive funding. Go to between Sept. 2 and Oct. 3 to join the Challenge and help a nonprofit near you.
  • Kerry Washington, Emmy-nominated actress and domestic violence activist, is serving as a Purple Purse ambassador to help raise awareness for the cause and has designed a limited-edition purple purse. The purse was created to represent the center of a woman’s financial domain and to inspire women to reclaim their financial independence.

Until next time!  Stay chic!

5 wardrobe staples for dressing ‘Chic in Academia’ while expecting

So…you’re knocked up. Haha, just kidding!  But really, you are.  So, congrats!!  Super exciting times lie ahead for you!! Let’s see…sleepless nights, hormonal adjustments, very little ‘me’ time, and a body that is dismorphed (possibly temporarily, possibly permanently), to name a few.

Now you’re thinking, “It’s hard enough to be chic with a normal body, much less a gigantic belly protruding from my body!”  And, honestly, you’re right.  No sugar coating there.  I will say this though:  I’ve now been pregnant twice during my tenure as an academician (is that even a word?!).  The first time I was a 1st year PhD student and the second time, I was a 1st year postdoc.  Actually, both kids were also born in June, right before the summer.  Interestingly, neither was planned… A-NY-WAY….I digress. But, that said, I’ve had some experience with having to find maternity clothing that was outfit appropriate.

Here are a few pointers for dressing for your new, baby-in-utero-body:

1) The Long-Length Blazer Jacket

Think in terms of body proportions.  First and foremost.  You want to wear clothes that make you look, well, proportional!  Hard to do when you have a giant belly, but feasible with a few key pieces.

Take for example the two Kardashian sisters with babies, Kim and Kourtney.  You may love or hate them, but these girls can dress!  And dressing chic while pregnant was something they both did well!  I especially like what Kim Kardashian wore during her pregnancy, because like me, she had major edema towards the end of her pregnancy (I had it with both boys), so I feel a certain type of kinship with her.  Anyway, so, to even out her body a bit, she took to wearing blazers.

Pregnant Kim Kardashian

Photo Credit:

I loved wearing blazers as well.  Here is one example, taken May 2012 (one month before my second son was born, and one of the only pics I had on my current phone!):

PregnantIt’s a little hard to tell here, but I’m basically wearing a non-maternity dress (Prabal Gurung for Target and a Forever 21 blazer, one size larger than usual).  The key for me to wearing blazers, was to find ones that were a little longer than usual, in length (i.e. ones that cover your bottom).  Theory blazers are great (super expensive in store, averaging $400 or so for the blazer alone…though a great investment; and less expensive on eBay), as are Forever 21 Boyfriend Blazers (if you want a way less expensive option, averaging about $30).

And on blogger, Morgan from Allen and Co:

Great style during pregnancy can be done!

Photo Credit:

2.  The High Waisted Pencil Skirt

I LOVE pencil skirts.  Pregnant or not!  I just think they are incredibly flattering, and work well on most body types.  When pregnant, I really feel that pencil skirts work well.  For those of us who are not blessed with long, slender legs, pencil skirts also help to give the illusion of length and to add, well, proportion!  Here are some examples I love:

Love, love, love these colors as well as the fit of the skirt.  For me, below the knee is key for work-appropriate looks.  This one in particular hits right below the knee, so it really works to give the illusion of (or enhance) an hour-glass figure.

Pregnant Kim Kardashian in Los Angeles on March 12, 2013

Asos maternity pieces are also great staples while pregnant!  They are inexpensive and well-made for the price.  Here’s a popular skirt from their maternity line:


Photo Credit:

NOTE:  Also in this picture are the opaque maternity tights.  Though they don’t really qualify as a staple because you can only REALLY wear them during the fall/winter, they are amazing during pregnancy!!  Let’s be real, for those of us without a thigh gap, they prevent thigh-chaffing; they usually are control top, so they keep your baby-belly nice and snug and your thighs and buttocks in place when wearing tight-fitting clothes; and, finally, keep you from having to shave EVERY.SINGLE.DAY during the winter (don’t judge me!!).  My favorite tights come from Target and can be found here.

Here’s an example of the longer-length blazer paired well with an above the knee-pencil skirt on Ivanka Trump.  A similar skirt can be found at Destination Maternity.

So chic!  *Almost* makes me want to be pregnant again...*almost*.

And finally, this look from Sydney (blogger, The Daybook):



3.  The Skinny Pant or Jean

Okay, so you may be able to give me some insight on great-fitting maternity slacks for the work place, but I was unsuccessful in finding ANY while pregnant with both my boys.  I found maternity slacks to be all around ill-fitting, making me look like I had both a saggy bottom and a saggy belly!  They also were usually didn’t fit well in the thigh area and bottom/tummy area simultaneously.  I did wear one pair that I bought on eBay for $1 (plus shipping, of course) during both pregnancies, but nothing else.  For the most part, I stuck to black leggings with boots (during the winter), and skinny pants/jeans during the spring.

Here are some legging/blazer examples I loved re-creating:

#fabulous and pregnant

Photo Credit: Some pap…eventually Pinterest.


Um, clearly we are ignoring her facial expression here, haha! 😛 Photo Credit: Some pap…eventually Pinterest.


Here are some examples of work-appropriate looks with the skinny pant or jean:

Zadie Skinny Maternity Jeans in Blue | Isabella Oliver | Maternity Capsule Collection

Photo Credit:


And from one of the most chic bloggers, pregnant and not, Anh from 9 to 5 Chic:

Day Time Maternity with Rockstud Flats

Photo Credit:


And, if you are a bit adventurous and like to wear color to work (I personally DO NOT shy away from this!), here’s a look from Karen from one of my favorite Instagram accounts, @mychicbump:

I give it a couple more weeks before I need a whole new closet to fit my baby bump.


4.  The Long Length Tank Top

Omgosh, these are heaven sent during and after pregnancy.  You can wear them alone with your blazer and skinny jeans or pencil skirt; under dresses or tops with low-necklines, under tops or sweaters that don’t cover your belly and/or butt; but most of all, to help keep your pants up that don’t quite button during the earlier phases of pregnancy when you can still manage to wear your non-maternity pants/jeans!

Here, Andee Layne (blogger – The Honeybee – who inspired my preggers-style for my second pregnancy) in a Liz Lange for Target tank top styled in an all-black look with the jacket as the pop of color (though this color is more muted since this was worn during the fall/winter):

All Saints Jacket, Liz Lange Maternity tank from Target, Hudson wide leg maternity jeans

Another great, all-black look with pop-of-color blazer from Red Soles and Red Wine blogger (also a target Maternity tank):

Zara Floral Blazer  |  Target Maternity Tank  |  Citizens of Humanity Skinny Denim  |  Zara Flower  |  Christian Louboutin Slingbacks  |  Chanel Bag  |    t+j Designs jewelry:  Mint Jeweled Necklace  |  Black Faux Leather Square Bangle  |    White Faux Leather Square Bangle  |

Here’s the coveted, all-around amazing, Target tank (though, any long length tank will work of course!):



5.  The Fitted Maternity Dress

I was really a fan of the fitted dress.  I think one of the best things about being pregnant is that, for the first time, it is actually socially acceptable to wear fitted clothing with a protruding belly! 😛  For me, anything that was not fitted, make me look HUGE and kind of as if I was wearing a tent. 😦  So, fitted dresses for me!  Here are some looks I used for inspiration during my pregnancies:

for office wear

Photo Credit:


Different shoes for the office, but this look from Kim K. would definitely work for the office, and very chic, might I add:

Ms. Kim Kardashian (Pregnant) ...XoXo

I loved this look too!  A bit short for the office, but could work with a longer dress:

Photo Credit:

And finally, the business formal fitted dress look.  Sometimes, we have dinners to attend, galas, or other ‘dress-up’ functions!  Dresses like the following work well paired with a nice blazer during the day, and alone for the evening event.  Here’s Reese Witherspoon with a rouched-black fitted dress that I loved paired with the pink heels (similar here):

Photo Credit:


And this floral number from



So there you have it!  My 5 wardrobe essentials for dressing ‘Chic in Academia’ while pregnant!  Of course, there are a variety of other clothing options, and omgosh, let’s not even get into shoes!!  The options are endless!  But, I really do feel like these 5 options work well for most work-appropriate outfits, and furthermore, staples that can be mixed and matched so that you don’t have to buy a whole new wardrobe to accommodate your growing baby belly!  Stay tuned for my dressing ‘Chic in Academia’ while breastfeeding/postpartum!  I also have a ‘Pregnancy board’ on Pinterest that you can follow for outfit inspiration or other pregnancy-related pins!

Stay chic!!