Fashionably Employed | A Modern Mom on a Quest to Find Balance in Style: Welcome


I'm Jen. (I'd show you a photo, but this ol' Gallery should give you a darn good idea of what I look like.) 

I'm pumped you stopped by to peek in the windows over here in my little corner of the absurdly massive internet. I hope you love what you've found, what you find, and what's to come! I suspect you might be wondering what's going on around here. What's the deal?! 

The Quick and Dirty 

With no natural knack for style and a need to get dressed every day for work (you too, huh?), I created this space to share my lessons learned (and still learning) and inspire sartorial success at your desk. Interested in some new ideas for a little everyday style for the working woman? You're in the right spot!

I'm a Chief Mom Officer to two boys (T and J), married to a great guy (M), and work for a large public accounting firm. I have a passion for creative dabbling (as well as yoga and tennis, when time permits). And I'd love to be the most stylish lady on the block, but... I'm not. 

I stumble through style, at times losing my way or stepping off track. When visiting here, I hope you enjoy seeing some simple style ideas from a certain someone who's learned everything I know about personal style by studying voraciously, taking lots... and lots... and lots of very little baby steps, and enduring a few (fashionable, of course) bumps and bruises along the way. 

Still Curious? (You're still reading so I'll take that as a yes. Whoop whoop!) 

I live in Chicago, so if you're headed in this direction, I've provided some great ideas for a tourist visit that feels more like a trip with the locals than a ride through too many tourist traps. I've shared a list of 13 Romantic Restaurants in the Heart of Chicago.

If You Only Had a Map to Navigate This Space... Wish Has Been Granted

In my tiny corner of the Internet (a.k.a. this blog) you'll find...
... I've spent nearly a decade since graduating from school navigating the all-too-complicated world of professional style on a young professional's less-than-limitless budget. Many of us no longer wear suits every day, and the business casual code for women can makes one's head spin between the wide assortment of what may or may not be acceptable in each workplace and the plethora of places from which to acquire said wardrobe. My novice journey, lacking any natural knack for style, certainly hasn't been without hiccups or on an endless budget. Through trial and error (lots of error admittedly), I have honed a healthy understanding of what works at work for a business casual code. After debating with myself for some time, I decided to make the leap and start sharing my simple approach to and lessons learned about professional style with the rest of the internet world.

I share my simple yet sophisticated outfits regularly as examples of how I execute my lessons learned (and lessons continued to be learned) about decoding professional dress code. During your hopefully frequent visits here, expect to see a regular dose of fashion forward "real-life" style for the office (with a few casual looks tossed in as well, because we all love Casual Friday and, of course, the weekends). Check out the Gallery for all the previous goodness that's been buzzing around here.

I'd love for you to easily receive updates on new ideas I'm sharing by following my blog via your favorite form of social media. I've added a host of links in the left sidebar so you choose which outlet suits your style best. 

I also have some additional resources for your perusing pleasure.

A starter guide to building a professional wardrobe without breaking the bank.

Periodic compilations of outfits focusing on remixing one or just a few 
pieces to find new and interesting ways to style those pieces

Volume of profiles through which readers (bloggers and non-bloggers) share 
a few of their secrets to curating the perfect real-life corporate closet. 
I'm always looking for new contributors, so connect with me if you'd like to be featured.

Weekly opportunity to see a wealth of professional style shared by 
so many others getting dressed for offices everyday just like mine 
and yours. No shortage of great style ideas and inspiration here.

A recurring series about just what the heck "business casual" means for those new to the professional environment or those just interested in a refresher on how to interpret the complex, and widely vague, dress code that can quickly end in unprofessional style snafus. 

On the weekends, you'll find my Weekend Warrior Series. While I attend meetings, visit clients, crunch numbers in Excel, and do all other things "accounting-fabulous" (between musings about balancing life's work and style as a modern mom, of course) during the work week, I spend my weekends with my family striving to lead a healthier life through physical fitness, cleaner and healthier eating, and just plain old spending time together. I suspect you might play a similar hand of cards each weekend. I love sharing tidbits of all the things I do trying to maintain some sense semblance of balance in life, and I share about it in this weekend series.

I Do What All Day?

My "real" job is...
... Aside from being a Chief Mom Officer, I work for a large public accounting firm serving private equity and venture capital investment funds. I perform financial audits, so Excel and I spend a lot of time together – sounds glamorous, right? To keep it simple, I’m a professional double checker, and I don’t do taxes. I generally share outfits relevant to my "real" job but a few Chief Mom Officer outfits occasionally sneak up on me and find their way into my posts. 

So About My Arts & Crafts...

I test my DIY creative limits...

... occasionally, I incorporate simple do-it-yourself ("DIY") elements into my outfits. I dabble in basic jewelry construction, wander into the land of attempting DIY quick fixes on a piece that needs a little TLC, attack simple refashions, and even stumble through a sewing project when I'm getting really ambitious. I have no fancy training in any of these crafts, but the Internet hosts a tutorial for everything! 

Whether your creative DIY skills flourish or have never been tested, consider trying one of the many projects sprinkled throughout this little blog. In many cases, a piece that needs updating or a quick fix doesn't get much wear anyway and may end up heading into the donation bin or trash, so you've got nothing to lose!

Sounds Like I'm Not Exactly a Style Expert? 

I've been a style maven since...
... never.  In fact, my journey through fashion has been quite the opposite.  In elementary school, I thought matching meant items shared the same color (or tone), so I often sported monochromatic get ups, but not the cool kind, I promise. 

My style matured in high school to include tank tops and shorts in contrasting colors, boring jeans and baby T's often in pastel shades, and occasionally a skirt but only when my friends and I all called each other the night before (on our parents' land lines, because cell phones had not yet taken over our lives) and planned to all wear skirts together. 

And if I ever needed to wear a dress, there was a good chance my mom had to take me shopping for a $30 floral shift dress because whatever dress I bought the last time I had a special occasion no longer fit me.

I reached my fashion pinnacle in college sporting sweatshirts and sweatpants to class with my hair tied up in a ponytail like it was my full-time job. I frequented the gym, so my yoga pants and spandex tops did the rest of the heavy lifting. Dressing for a night of partying took no time at all - I had barely anything to choose from!

I attempted to pull my fashion self together when I joined the corporate world but that did not go so well. (Recall earlier I admitted no shortage of mistakes along the way.) I tried buying interesting things, ended up with a lot of random pieces that never worked together, and conceeded to my styleless self the day I showed up at work in an outfit that clashed so badly I'm pretty sure my co-workers were noticing. For a good while after that day, I committed to wearing only black with pops of color. 

Everything changed when I discovered fashion blogs. That's not to say I became a fashion maven - my posts are proof that's not the case. But I finally had a resource for basic concepts, ideas and inspiration. I became a student of The Stylish and, like I mentioned earlier, studied voraciously. (That means after 3 years of studying and passing every grade with flying colors, my style IQ has reached that of a third grader. I have some ground to make up...)

After some time of being an avid reader, I aspired to start my own blog and share my ideas and lessons learned. That brings us to the here and now.  I certainly won't be showing up in the chronicles of high fashion any time soon.  But I've come a long way.  And I hope you enjoy as I share with you my simple spin on sophisticated style.

Take a Deep Breathe

... you made it. And you're still here! If you're interested in more simple style ideas or hearing some slightly self-deprecating sartorial soliloquies, pick your favorite social media channel (heck, choose them all if you feel so inclined) and sign up to stay tuned to the happenings around these parts! 

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