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!

maxi dress, camo, and stripes

Holy hotness today!  It is a blamy 88 degrees here in New Jersey and I’m ready for spring to come back or for the skies to open so that some of this humidity can go away.
Today was one of those days where I stuck my hand out the window and deemed it appropriate weather for a maxi dress with a tank top and a jacket…then as soon as I set up my camera I started sweating like a pig.  That’s when I realized that sticking my hand out the window does not qualify me as a meteorologist.  Turns out people actually go to school for meteorology.  Hmph!
This maxi dress did keep me pretty cool even in the hot temps, however I had completely forgotten about the chub rub that the summer brings.  Probably because last summer I was running and didn’t have any–womp womp 🙁   
For those of you unacquainted with “chub rub”, please eat a cheeseburger or thank your parents for superior genetics.  For everyone else, I recommend Body Glide.  It’s amazing during running but works just as well for when your thighs become friendly with each other while running errands as well.  Tip: get the men’s version, it’s cheaper, has no scent, and is easier to apply.

Maxi dress: Love Culture // Tank: Gap // Camo Jacket: Gap // Belt: Joe Fresh // Sandals: American Eagle // Bracelet (really a necklace wrapped around my arm): H&M
Also I’d like to give a special shout out to my Instagram followers who helped me decide on a sandal color today while shopping.  In accordance with the popular vote (and what I was leaning towards), I chose the bronze!  Follow me on Instagram to help me with future shopping indecision.
Is it super hot where you live today?

rainy day pink and green

Blouse: Joe Fresh // Jeans: Forever 21 // Necklace: Forever 21 // Bracelet: Target // Umbrella: Totes

Today was one of my last chances to use an umbrella before I move to Boston.  This might sound ridiculous, unless you’ve ever been to Boston and know that umbrellas are a big bright waste of space because of the wind.  After 3 years and approximately 427 umbrellas, I finally gave up the fight.  
It’s only recently that I’ve started to give umbrellas another shot and now it’s almost too late.  Just over a month until I move to the city where umbrellas are more likely to flip inside out and poke you in the eye than protect you from the precipitation.  In the meantime, I’ll embrace the opportunity to let this hot pink one do it’s job.

maxi skirt and chambray shirt

Today is one of those beautiful spring days where the birds are chirping, the sun is shining, and I woke up with a renewed sense of vigor and productivity (the strong coffee I made didn’t hurt).  After days of rain, we’re getting up to 80 degrees in New Jersey so I’m wearing the maxi skirt I purchased back in February.  
This is my first maxi skirt.  I have plenty of maxi dresses but find skirts are usually unflattering on my shapely derriere.  The tribal print on this skirt, however, makes it a bit more forgiving.  The chambray that I styled over a plain v-neck tee also hides my hips just the right amount.  See, you almost can’t tell I won the “Most Likely to Be Mistaken for J-Lo from the Back” superlative in high school.
Skirt: Love Culture (similar) // Tee: Old Navy // Chambray: Old Navy (similar)  // Sandals: Nine West (simliar)

Teal and Gold Bracelet: Forever 21 // Gold Chain Bracelet: Yuni Kelly 
Necklace: Payless (similar)

How’s the weather where you are?  Are you finally dressing for Spring yet?

derby weekend wrapup

It’s Monday!  I hope everyone had a great weekend. Between the Kentucky Derby and Cinco de Mayo, my blog; Twitter; and Instagram feeds were going crazy!  
I went down to the Kentucky Derby this weekend on a girls’ road trip.  It took us about 12 hours from Pennsylvania (where we started on Friday morning) to get to Kentucky.  I drove and had my friend take pictures of all of the state signs as we passed.  It was a beautiful day and a fairly easy drive.

We arrived in Kentucky around 6pm and headed out to meet up with a friend’s friend.  I got introduced to this amazing Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale.  As both a bourbon and beer drinker, this was right up my alley.  We spent Thursday night in Elizabethtown with my friend’s friend.

The forecast for Saturday was 100% chance of rain so on Friday we got manicures and headed out to Walmart to pick up ponchos.  I got a cute pink kids poncho to go with my teal and magenta color scheme.  I found myself in the camo aisle and picked up a tshirt and a Real Tree tank top for my upcoming country concerts as well.  I’m a sucker for camo.

Friday night we went down to Fourth Steet Live! in Louisville.  Third Eye Blind was playing and the weather was nice.  I’d hoped to be able to explore the city more, but with 5 girls taking showers, we were lucky we even got out of the hotel!

We called it a night after the concert (and a stop to Waffle House) so that we weren’t too tired for the big day at the Derby!  On Saturday we woke up to icky weather so we donned our dresses and hats (and rain boots and ponchos) and headed out to Churchill Downs for some fun.

Not exactly the outfit I had planned.

As the clouds continued to roll in, I got a bit pouty…

…and then we found the Mint Julep stands and got happy!  Very happy! Despite the fact that I looked pregnant with my purse under my poncho!
We had General Admission seats to the infield which was fun but messy.  It wasn’t too crowded because of the rain.  Accordingly, we all looked like idiots in our ponchos and huge hats, but at least the hat kept my face dry.
I stayed for the entire race even though two members of our party left early.  I don’t blame them for being wet, cold, and miserable but I think they missed out on some of the ridiculousness.  At one point, there was a slip and slide in the infield.  Not exactly up to snuff with the classiness associated with the Derby, eh?  It was a mess but we had a good time despite the rain.  Next year I’m definitely getting seat tickets, as I have a feeling there are no young men in horse masks in the seats.

The skies cleared for the final race (no, I didn’t win any money) and our departure from Churchill Downs.  My friends and I got a ride to take us back to the hotel but unfortunately, our easy ride back didn’t go as planned when we got hit by another car.  Insane.  Apparently it’s not a real vacation unless I get inured.
I got to wear a fancy neck brace in addition to my fancy hat and visited the Louisville Memorial Emergency Room, which was more of Louisville than I had bargained for.  At least I had a hunky fireman assisting me.  I made a new friend in the ambulance ride to the hospital (the girl who was next to me in the cab) so I can’t say that the trip was a total bust.

Don’t let the picture fool you, this was pure adrenaline and not joy.  This is also my third picture on a backboard in 14 months so I couldn’t break the tradition!  I spent several hours in the ER and was released with a prescription for muscle relaxers and pain meds, which is the reason that this post is slightly rambly with little wit.  
Yesterday we drove the 12 hours back to New Jersey, and by “we” I mean my friend drove my car while I napped and groaned at every bump in the road.  All in all, it was a good trip, aside from the pouring rain, car accident, and raging neck pain.
How was your weekend?