Lumberjack Chic: What to Wear With LL Bean Boots

Winters are rough for fashion in Boston. From sweaters to snow boots, fashion choices are bulky and limited when you’re trudging through an arctic tundra. The LL Bean boots are the “it” boot in New England, but let’s face it, they’re not the easiest accessory to dress around. Put commuting to work via public transit into the equation and you’re left with either changing shoes every time you need to go outside or being lazy and rocking your LL Bean boots all day.

I’m obviously lazy and choose to rock my boots all day every day at work. I work at a startup where I have the flexibility to wear what I want (read: anything goes) but it was still important for me to be fashionable.

And so I faced a dilemma – how to make LL Bean Boots look good with casual work outfits.

photo (8)

Doable, right? But it wasn’t that easy. Here’s the story. At first I had fun trying to make my popular and seemingly fashionable Bean boots look cute. I scoured Pinterest for outfit ideas and emulated them to the best of my ability. But as the days progressed into weeks, I realized that I needed to go off script if I was going to keep my feet warm and my ass from falling on ice.

back bay boston snow

I started experimenting, pairing different looks with my LL Bean boots hoping that I would find outfits that were more lumberjack chic than snow Yeti.

I paired LL Bean boots with layered Oxfords shirts, sweaters, and classic necklaces for a preppy look. This was my signature lumberjack chic look this winter. What you can’t see in the picture is the matching long underwear shirt and pants that made me feel all sexy warm underneath. I’m at least 5 pounds lighter than these pictures make me look thanks to long underwear layers.

oxford shirt sweater ll bean boots

I rocked the LL Bean boots with chambray shirts with cardigans and statement necklaces. When my jeans started falling down thanks to the silky long underwear, I broke down and bought some fleece lined leggings. I generally don’t wear leggings, but these were perfect for days when the comfort food proved to be too much for skinny jeans.

chambray cardigan ll bean boots outfitMost of my office worked from home on blizzard days, but I chose to brave the storm with my LL Bean boots, comfy boyfriend sweaters and cardigans, and long necklaces. These were the days I usually let my hair go wild for that sexy-windblown-by-a-blizzard look. I paired my fancy hair with my thickest wool socks and an extra friendly smile because I’m one of those freaks who gets excited by blizzards. Yes, really.

comfy sweaters and ll bean boots outfit

But the days came when I got sick of wearing boots and yearned for fun winter layers that would look cute with booties. On those days I threw caution to the literal wind and experimented with pattern mixing, pretending that I was wearing anything other than the clod-hopping Yeti-sized LL Bean boots. Desperate for any day other than winter, I even did my hair and makeup, hoping for some semblance of normalcy in spite of the feet of snow on the ground.

pattern mixing ll bean boot outfit

Warmer days, when the temperatures heated up to a balmy 20-something degrees, called for something flowy and spring-like. I mixed it up a bit, adding chiffon tops to the repertoire of valiant attempts to not dress like a lumberjack.

chiffon shirt ll bean boot outfit

At a certain point, I just gave up and embraced the insanity of winter. I even went so far as to pair lace tops and sweaters with my Bean Boots. I hoped that the dudes in jeans and hoodies at work wouldn’t notice the horrendous failure of mixing delicate lace with rubber-soled tumbled-leather boots meant for the Iditarod. If they did, they were nice enough not say anything. Thanks, guys.

lace shirt ll bean boot outfit

Today is another snowy day in the frozen tundra and another attempt at styling an outfit with my LL Bean boots. Do you have any favorite outfits with your Bean boots? Please share – I’m desperate for new ideas!

The Metropolitans 1925 Party

“I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.”

-Great Gatsby

On Saturday I attended The Metropolitans 1925 Party in Boston. Headed by the vivacious Julie Judson, the Metropolitans is a group of young professionals in Boston, based out of the Citi Center for Performing Arts with a focus on all things fabulous and artsy.

I first learned about The Metropolitans about over the summer when I was invited to attend their pre-party for the Jason Mraz concert. It was a fabulous event filled with food from the food startup Kitchensurfing, fun people (many of whom I knew professionally), and of course, an open bar. Having had a great time at that event, when I heard that The Metropolitans were having their big fancy 1925 Party, I was very excited.

I’m never one to miss out on a good party, but a party with an excuse to dress up in 1920s inspired attire, was a definite must do miss event. There was no doubt that Caitlin, my blogger partner in crime, and I would have an amazing night.

We got ready “sorority style” before the event, meaning Caitlin came over in sweatpants, I curled her hair, and popped a bottle of 90+ Cellars Prosecco while dancing to country music in a towel. Curled and twirled, we donned our most period appropriate dresses and tights, threw on shiny jewelry and hair accessories and headed out to the fête.

metropolitans 1925 partyJulie and The Metropolitans did not disappoint.

From the live music in the Parlor and the signature cocktails, to the “Hello, gorgeous!” greeting from Ms. Judson herself, the night was a blast! Outside of the Citi Center Parlor, the DJ was spinning modern beats in the lower level of the space, including some Taylor Swift during which every flapper in the house lost it, shaking themselves off like it was going out of style (see what I did there?). It’s a good thing that flappers weren’t known for their refinery.

When we weren’t dancing, Caitlin and I were stuffing our faces with cheese and crackers and passed apps once again catered by Kitchensurfing. Those boys know how to impress with their itty bitty steak gorgonzola bites.

As if the night wasn’t fun enough, Pretty Instant was there with the affable Jeremy Needham, a veritable sorcerer with the camera. How Mr. Needham manages to take the most amazing pictures is beyond me but he always manages make me feel like a million bucks…his Aussie accent isn’t bad either. Caitlin and I had a bit of fun throwing a dance party in front of the camera which does nothing to quash to the rumors that we’re dating. We’re not. Really. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, I just don’t date people who eat kale, or women.

Thanks Julie and The Metropolitans for the amazing night – I can’t wait for next year’s 1925 Party!

What to Wear at a Startup

In September, I made a groundbreaking leap and changed careers. I went from being a conservative lawyer to a creative career in content marketing at a startup (more on this another time).Since I started working for a small startup, my work wardrobe has changed significantly. As in, I can pretty much wear whatever I want.

Not having a dress code is awesome, but also scary, as creativity craves constraint. It can be difficult to figure out what to wear when you can wear whatever you want. The past few months have enabled me to be innovative both with my work and clothing while still looking (more or less) as professional as a content writer working needs to look. As such, I’ve created a list of wardrobe staples that run the gamut from “preppy super-business-casual” to “lazy college student”.

Oxford Shirts: Startup or not, no working wardrobe in Boston is complete without a pearl statement necklace and some button-down Oxford shirt layering. The difference here is that I can do it with jeans or leggings and still manage pull off an effortless classic look. These outfits mirror those of the preppy COO and sales guys in my office, creating a seamless flow of synergy while listening to yacht rock.

The layering look is very scalable–black pants, jeans, a skirt, or colored corduroy if you’re feeling crazy. It’s a responsive look as well. This look takes you from day-to-night, keeping you warm in a cold basement office yet giving you the ability to shed a layer if you end up going out for beers after work. It’s a good style to have in your pipeline, sitting pretty at the intersection of preppy and cool.

Scarves: Fall is in full swing so I find myself circling back to scarves. Aside from keeping me warm, scarves are also a good way to distract people from the fact that you’re wearing leggings. Also, since startup talent is fueled on coffee, scarves are good to catch or cover up the inevitable coffee stains on your shirt.
While scarves are great, they have limitations and should not be worn while playing foosball or ping pong. No one needs to be distracted by your scarf getting caught on a roller arm.
Layers: Non-Oxford layering is another fashion strategy while working at a startup. It enables you to adapt pieces of a previous corporate wardrobe without looking like you’re too good to “get shit done”. It’s also a way to increase the bandwidth of that puffer vest that you struggle to find ways to wear. If you work with all men, layers are game changer, confusing men and making them less likely to notice that you wore the same thing twice in a week month, if they notice clothes at all.
Ripped Jeans: I’ve worn ripped jeans more times that I’d like to admit. Between the comfort and stretch and ability to fold up well with my booties, ripped jeans are a low hanging fruit. I try to pair my hobo jeans with a statement necklace and jacket for a more put together look…or just give up on life. Nothing says pivot like embracing the 90s grunge look with a buffalo check flannel and a pair of Birkenstock clogs.

T-Shirts and Converse: Last but not least is the most comfortable of all of these styles and the one that will help you blend in with developers. Depending on the culture of your office and personal style, you may be able to wear t-shirts, sneakers, and ripped jeans and still be taken seriously. Since the CEO of my company wears Converse, I took the opportunity to rock them a few times as well, both times with cardigans, because I’m disruptive like that.

As you can see, you can pretty much wear anything within reason and still be startup chic.

spring style–boat shoes, camo, and stripes, oh my!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  Happy Freaking Spring!  After the horrible winter this year, I’m welcoming the nicer weather.
This weekend is beautiful here in Boston and yesterday I felt inspired to make the most out of the nice day.  I made plans to meet up with a girlfriend for lunch and beers outside at my favorite spot, Parish Cafe.  I also decided that yesterday was the day to break in my new Sperry Top-Sider boat shoes that I finally bit the bullet on.  You can’t live in New England and not own boat shoes!  Never mind the fact that I’m not a boater…YET.  If you build it, they will come, right?  Get thee some boat shoes, become a boater. I see no flaw in this logic.  In fact I could probably write this purchase off on my taxes next year as self-entrepreneurial business development.
I also wore my three favorite things because they made me happy–ripped jeggings, stripes, and camouflage. I threw a leopard print scarf in my bag for good measure because nothing says pattern mixing like every pattern you’ve ever owned vomiting on your body.  I didn’t need to use it, which is probably good because that would have been overkill but I wouldn’t have cared because I was so damn happy about the weather!
For real though, to me it was the perfect outfit. Pieces that made me happy put on in layers. Ripped jeans, a light weight cotton shirt, and a jacket.  My feet get cold easily and although I saw plenty of people in sandals, my piggers would have froze and my Sperrys were the perfect shoe for a Spring day.
If I didn’t just blog about this I might have been tempted to wear this again today…but I won’t because that’s just weird. 

march obsessions

It’s officially Spring and almost the end of March already–woohoo!  Bring on the warm weather!  In celebration of the melting of treacherous black ice that has caused me to fall on my ass on more than one occasion this winter, I’ve complied a list of the things that have been getting me through these past few weeks.  As you can probably tell, this winter has been rough for me.  It’s the little things in life that keep me sane, and happy, but mostly sane.
My secret to be happy are looking good and feeling good, as illustrated by the fancypants picture below.
march obsessions
Awesome Blazer:  I attended a blogger shopping event at the Loft in February with Elissa from Style Wire and Georgina from Notes on Lifestyle by Georgina where I picked up this adorable blazer.  It’s a dark heather grey with a black and white striped liner.  It’s cotton and so comfy, which is important for someone like me who spends her downtime wrapped in a Snuggie.  A blazer like this is the perfect way to look adorable but feel like you’re in pajamas and is my total cheat to looking put together.

Chiffon Blouse: I love blouses that can go from day to night, are long enough to wear with leggings, but sexy enough to wear on a date.  Enter this perfect chiffon blouse that I picked up from H&M last week.  I got it in white because rose isn’t a good color on me.  I’ve already worn it twice in the past week.

Body Butter: The end of winter did horrible things to my skin so I switched from my regular moisturizer to this almond body butter from The Body Shop.  Even though the winter is over, I’m still slathering this yummy stuff on from head to toe–ok not toes, as I quickly learned that walking on wood floor with body buttered feet is a dangerous idea!

Sparkling Water: Ever since the Blog and Tweet Boston Steakapalooza at DelFrisco’s where we were offered either still or sparkling water, I’ve been on a sparkling water kick.  I forgot how much I love fizzy water and I’ve been stocking up my fridge anytime I’m out with a friend who has a car.  It’s just too much work to carry bottles of water 6 blocks home from Trader Joe’s.

Athleta Yoga Pants: In case you haven’t noticed from my recent posts, I’ve become quite the yogi.  I joined a new yoga studio and have been going to classes between 3 and 5 times a week.  Accordingly, I’ve been outfitting myself with yoga clothes.  After a brief love affair with the Lululemon Wunderunder crops, I found the Althleta Chaturunga capris that I like even better (gasp!) and they come in fun colors!  I picked up these blue bad boys several weeks ago and their Catalina green cousin last weekend.

Do you have any March Obsessions that have been getting you through the last few weeks of winter?