Category Archives: Fashion

An Easy Half-Up Top Knot Hair Tutorial


I rock the half up “top knot” often and have recently received some requests to share a tutorial on how I tackle this low-maintenance hair style. I call the top knot low-maintenance because it’s easy to do yourself and once it’s up, you really don’t have to worry about it again for the entire day!

Having a go-to look that keeps my hair out of my face and doesn’t need to be refreshed throughout the day is key, especially during these hot and humid summer months. Hopefully this tutorial will prove that you too can add this easy style to your arsenal and have another creative option that will transition from work to weekend with absolutely NO effort.

Top Knot TutorialTop knot hair tutorial


Let me first start out this tutorial by declaring that I’m not someone who is “good at hair”. We all know people in our lives who have the gift to somehow make a plain pony tail magically transform into a gorgeous up-do. I am not one of those people.

That being said, I’m confident that if I can tackle this half-up top knot I know that you can too! Let me show you how.


1. Prepare Your Hair


I typically put my hair in a top knot when it’s at least a day old. I’m sure I could try to put it up right after I wash it, but my hair is so fine that it works better when it’s a bit “lived in” (read: dirtier). But because it’s typically second day hair, I always have this dry shampoo on hand just in case the roots look a bit greasy. The dry shampoo also adds a bit of texture to my hair and helps it stay up. Sometimes I’ll spray it even when my hair doesn’t look greasy at the root.

Side-note: I’ve tried a lot of dry shampoos, but the one I mentioned above is by far my favorite!

2. Curly or Straight Hair

I wear the top knot with both straight hair or curly hair. If I straighten my hair, I will straighten my entire head before starting the topknot. If I’m curling my hair, I typically wait until after the topknot is up before curling the hair that was left out of the top knot. I don’t think there’s a right/wrong way for this, but I have found that when the hair in my bun is curly, it has less volume.

3.  Section off Your Hair

Now it’s time to start building the top knot. You’ll need to use the comb (or just grab) a section of your hair. Do your best to create a straight line and separate the hair you will put in the top knot from the hair that will stay down. If you want more volume, go ahead and tease the hair that will go into the top knot near the root.

4. Twist the Ponytail How_to_put_your_hair_in_a_topknot-twist

If you have mastered the “messy bun” already, go ahead and skip the next few steps and do your own thing now. I have not mastered that skill so I create the bun by first twisting the pony tail.

5. Wrap the Twisted PonytailHow_to_put_your_hair_in_a_topknot-wrap

Then I wrap the twisted ponytail into a ball/bun and then wrap a ponytail holder around that bun to make it as tight and secure as possible.

6. A Tight Bun Is Okay to Start

How_to_put_your_hair_in_a_topknot-tightSharing a picture of myself wearing this tight bun on the internet for the world to see is quite  frightening. I may have lost my mind, but I think it’s important to share in order to prove that you did NOT do anything wrong if you arrive at this look after you secure the bun. You’re actually right on track!

7. Loosen Your Hair and the Bun… Slowly!

I usually start with my scalp and slowly loosen my hair so it doesn’t look completely slicked back (like my scary photo). I pull a few pieces out a tad and stop when I like the height/look. Sometimes I end up pulling too much out, which is not a huge problem because it can easily be fixed by keeping it down with a bobby pin.

Then I do the same thing with the actual bun to loosen it up and create a bigger, messier, and more volumized look. If I accidentally loosen it too much and a few strands fall out, I simply put them right back into the bun and bobby pin them in place. Remember this is a messy top knot so it never has to look perfectly styled. I personally think the messier the better.

8. Style the Hair That’s Not in the Top Knot

How_to_put_your_hair_in_a_topknot-teezingIf I’m wearing my hair straight under the top knot, I’ll take this time to tease that hair at the roots so it’s not so flat. If I’m wear that hair curly, I’ll go ahead and curl it now using this method.

9. Add a Girl’s Best Friend — HAIRSPRAY!

How_to_put_your_hair_in_a_topknot-sprayingI’m obsessed with hairspray, which probably explains why I never go a day without it. I add hairspray on the top knot and additional hair so that it stays in place and doesn’t lose its volume throughout the day.

How_to_put_your_hair_in_a_topknot-bridgetAnd just like that, my half-up top knot is DONE and ready for a whole day of fun. Like I mentioned before, I love this look because it’s easy, keeps my hair in place, and doesn’t take any maintenance throughout the day.

I know a regular ponytail does that exact same thing, but this is another option to add to your arsenal, one that can transition from work to weekend without doing a thing! Well you can always add a little more hairspray… but that’s just me. Bridget_sig


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16 thoughts on “An Easy Half-Up Top Knot Hair Tutorial

  1. Pam

    I have fine hair as well. I never thought this would work for me, but now I am going to try it. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Trang

    Since I cut my hair short a few months ago, I’ve been wearing my hair like this on occasion. I love it too; easy and cute.

    1. DIY Playbook

      Gotta love an easy hairstyle that stays put all day! And I agree, my short hair is what forced me to give this half-up top knot a try and I’m so glad I did.

  3. Bec Ellen

    B! I thought you were the most stylish and well put together years ago at Eastern and you’re even cuter now! Love love love your hair/style and your girls’ blog! I share with everyone I know . So happy for you two !

    1. DIY Playbook

      Awww Becca, you are waaaaay too sweet! Thank YOU, that honestly made my day! I hope all is well with you!!! =) And thank you so much for sharing the blog, that really means the world to us.

  4. Austin Brewer

    Love this post! My hair is super fine, too, so I always struggle to get a cute full top knot, but I feel encouraged to go pick up a few things from Target (duh) and try again!

    1. DIY Playbook

      “Target (duh)” <– I'm literally LOL. You are hilarious and so right, a few things from Target and you can totally pull this off!! Keep me updated =)

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10 Summer Items We Have Our Eyes On


The official start of summer is about a week away. How is that even possible? Where did the spring go?! You won’t see either of us complaining though. With Bridget off work and warm temps here in Chicago…summer is a happy time for us both!Rainbow_Cone_Chicago-2

With the warmer temps, comes the shuffling of our wardrobes. We will often store away our boots, jackets, and cooler weather clothing once we have consistent warm days here in Chicago. That time has finally come!Bridget_Chicago_Athleta_Workout

But when dragging our summer clothing out of storage, we’ve noticed a few gaping holes in each of our wardrobes. Most notably in the shoe department, because sometimes sandals don’t last more than a season or 2! Here are 10 summer items we’re both looking to add to our closets for the summer months ahead!


One-Piece Swimsuitjcrew-scalloped-bikini

This scalloped one-piece from J.Crew is adorable! I’m so happy one-piece suits are all the rage right now, and there are some adorable ones out there that aren’t frumpy. Gone are the days of the “mom suits” with thick shoulder straps. I always love J.Crew swimsuits because they last forever! This halter one has amazing reviews…so I’m still deciding!

Platform Sandals

I actually just got these sandals and I can’t say enough good things about them. First…the price?! Such a steal for a nice sandal. The heel is a bit high, but the block heel makes them incredibly comfortable. I’ve been wearing them to work constantly because they go with everything!

Fringe Sandals

I feel like I replace my summer sandals every year or so, but I don’t really mind because there are always new adorable ones I want to try out! These fringe sandals are too cute. The added detail makes them a little dressier than a normal sandal, so I could maybe even wear these to work with a lightweight dress.

Striped Comfy Dress

I plan to live in comfy dresses this summer. There’s just nothing easier than throwing on 1 item that you know is bound to be comfortable all day long. This striped dress fits the bill, plus the back has a little tie at the top that adds a little something extra!

Classic Hat

Now that I’m getting (ahem) older…I try to avoid getting sun on my face at all costs. No more wrinkles! That usually means a baseball cap (I love this neutral one), but I would like a “dressier” option too. This hat from Cuyana is gorgeous. I’ve never purchased anything from Cuyana, but I’ve heard great things and I may have to scoop this up. Plus, I’m thinking it would be perfect for our trip to Italy in September…



TOMS Gym Shoes

I love my TOMS wedges (the booties and peep toe block heels) because they’re so comfy. From what I’ve heard, the same is true for these gym shoes. My sister had them last year and loved them! I loved that she could wear them with an athleisure outfit, but could also wear them with jeans/jeans shorts.

Work to Weekend DressScreen Shot 2017-06-05 at 1.58.34 PM

Although I’m not technically working this summer, I do have a few work-like events that this dress could be perfect for. I also have quite a few baby and wedding showers to attend this summer and this comfy, yet classic, dress seems perfect! Plus I’m traveling to Nashville and Charleston later this summer and again this light weight, easy-to-pack dress is perfect. Needless to say I plan to get a lot of use out this dress and it’s currently on sale… so I may finally take the plunge!

Tie Front Blouse Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 2.15.25 PM

I don’t know about you, but this tie front blouse screams “it’s summer!” to me. This tie-front blouse was super popular among our readers and one I love/wear a lot. This tank tie-front is similar, but perfect for the extra high temperatures lately.

Razorback Dress Turned Cover-up

I’m not a huge fan of cover-ups that are strictly cover-ups. Not because they’re not super cute, but because I end up going to lunch or running an errand after the pool and feel way less covered up then I want to be!

I love This razorback dress because it can work perfectly as a cover-up, but can also double as an actual dress… even one that I could wear out on the weekends. I could pair it with sandals, wedges, or even my favorite converse for lots of different looks. Plus it comes in 6 different colors so there are lots of options  to choose from.

White Eyelet Blouse

How adorable is this blouse?! This is another piece I think I’d get a ton of use out of this summer. It’s on my wishlist and I’m watching it to see if it’ll drop in price over the next month or so. If I see any updates, I’ll definitely keep you guys updated!


Summer Sales



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10 thoughts on “10 Summer Items We Have Our Eyes On

  1. Colleen Bansley

    Love that bathing suit from JCrew! I have it and wore it on our trip to Mexico! FOR the readers – I have 2 kids so it was a super cute suit, flattering, holds the tummy in a bit and you definitely don’t feel like you are in a “mom” bathing suit! I felt a little younger and more chic in this rather than a tankini!

  2. Jaclyn

    I bought those TOMS sneakers about a month ago now and I am loving them! They go great with everything and they are so comfy! Highly recommend 🙂

  3. Trang

    Let me know how you like the TOMS sneakers. You know I love all things TOMS because it’s so very comfortable! I have been on the hunt for a summer shift dress that you can just throw on and have the ‘complete’ look. My fear about buying it online is that it may be too thing and see through. I am ultra interested in the one you have your eye on from Nordstrom Bridget. Please give me your review if you buy it. I did buy the stripe dress from J Crew you have above; I hope it works out for me.

  4. Sara

    Where did Bridget get the t-shirt she’s wearing in the first photo? Looking all over for one like that!

    1. DIY Playbook

      It’s from Nordstrom! I looked for the exact link for you but unfortunately it’s no longer available. I LOVE it because it’s light weight and was under $20. I’m sure they will have similar ones come fall, wish I could help sooner.

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How To Clean Converse Gym Shoes


Summer Uniform

I wear my converse on repeat pretty much all weekend and summer long. If I’m not dressed up, you will most likely find me “putzing” around my house or out running errands in jeans, a gray t-shirt, and my converse.

I feel very “me” in this uniform because it’s so comfy. And the more and more I wear my converse, the more broken in they get. I love when these shoes are extra worn in because they are the most comfortable at that point. To wear them in and increase the comfort, I have to wear them all. the. time.

And when I say “all the time”, I mean it very literally. Whether I’m painting, cutting the lawn or out running errands, you can bet that I probably have my converse on. And that goes for my entire family actually! All of us love a good pair of converse (even my parents!) as evidenced by this dorky star photo we took when we all showed up with our matching converse on.

Dirty ConverseHow_to_clean_Converse_Gymshoes-2

I love that my converse are super worn in after wearing them so much but I don’t love when they get really dirty. And this photo of “dirty converse” isn’t even a good representation of how dirty they can really get throughout the summer.

But for purposes of this post I photographed my converse as they were pre-wash. The good news is that getting these classic shoes dirty is not a problem because getting them clean is simple.

How_to_clean_Converse_GymshoesEvery few months I clean my gym shoes and figured I would take you guys along the way this time around. It’s a quick post but one that will hopefully come in handy for some of you, especially throughout the summer when converse seem to get even more use than normal.


Cleaning Converse

When my Converse start to see better days, I know it’s time to wash them. All I do is put them in the washing machine (usually with some towels so they don’t make a ton of noise!) and add some regular detergent. I press start on the washing machine and let them run through the cycle just like a regular load of wash.

How_to_clean_Converse_Gymshoes-9When that load is done, I take out the converse and simply put them in the sun to dry!

How_to_clean_Converse_Gymshoes-5Usually about 12 to 24 hours later, the shoes look brand new yet still fit like a glove! Every time I go through this process, I’m always surprised at how much brighter they look with one easy wash!

Cleaning the Rubber

Usually just throwing them in the washing machine is enough to bring these shoes back to life. But if you have some stubborn scuffs/stains on the rubber portion of the shoe (like paint or some grass stains!) that won’t come off in the wash, I usually use a magic eraserHow_to_clean_Converse_Gymshoes-4

I’ll use one of these, add water, and scrub the rubber until it is clean and bright again.How_to_clean_Converse_Gymshoes-7
But that’s actually pretty rare because the washing machine is usually plenty!

Just like NewHow to clean Converse

How easy is that?! I hope this quick post serves as a reminder as we head into the summer that you CAN wear your classic converse shoes all the time and never have to worry about getting them dirty. Whether you’re mowing the lawn, attending a muddy concert, or just running errands in the rain, these wardrobe staples can handle the miles.bridget_sig

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8 thoughts on “How To Clean Converse Gym Shoes

  1. Trang

    Ha! I know exactly what you mean by loving your super worn Converse. I have a gray pair that are old and super worn (aka so comfortable) but, a couple of years ago, I thought I’d buy a new pair to replace them since they are a part of my uniform as well. However, the new pair didn’t feel like the old and I don’t wear them as often. Thus, they are not getting the worn in feel/look that I love in my old pair. So alas, the old ones are still being worn and cleaned (I wash mine just like you do – super simple) regularly while the newer pair is put away and hardly touched.

  2. Geneviève

    Ha! I do the same and it works so well. I also put my plastic flip flops I wear for gardening and my reuseable grocery bags in the washing machine. Two thumbs up for letting the appliance work for us. 🙂

  3. Kayla

    Yes! I’ve been meaning to clean mine but didn’t know you could just throw them in the washing machine. This post is just what I needed! Thank you!

  4. Nancy McNalley

    I I soak mine in a mild Oxyclean solution for a couple of hours, then throw them in the laundry. Never dry them in the dryer. This gets shoes, shoestring, and rubber soles amazingly clean


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Finding the Perfect White Jeans


Is it just us or does anyone else constantly reach for their white jeans all summer long? From work to weekend, white jeans are a staple in our closets all spring/summer, because they are extremely versatile.Spring_White_Jeans_Sandals_FashionYou can dress them up for a night out, pair them with a blazer for work, or even combine them with sneakers for a casual summer look. You all know how we have been making a conscious effort to buy items that work hard for our wardrobes and white jeans do exactly that. However, finding the perfect pair of white jeans is HARD!

Sometimes the material is too thin and they’re see through (that’s never good…), sometimes they’re not stretchy enough, sometimes they’re not slim enough all the way through the leg. So many variables that make it incredibly difficult to find the PERFECT pair!

So not only are we going to chat about how we wear our white jeans, we are also going to dive into the details of some of our favorite pairs. Hopefully this information will inspire you to add this staple into your wardrobe OR pair them with items you already own that you haven’t thought about before.


As evidenced by these pictures, I wear white jeans A LOT throughout the summer! During the warmer months I treat my white jeans just like I would jeans. Instead of defaulting to wearing jeans with just about any outfit, I substitute blue jeans with my favorite white jeans.


I usually wear them with nude color sandals or wedges because nude color shoes are pretty much all I own in the summer. However I’m not afraid to dress down the look and pair them with my favorite converse too, especially if I’m traveling or doing a lot of walking that day.


I own two pairs of white jeans — one with holes and one without. I tend to wear the hole-y ones more than the regular ones because they fit a little more comfortably than the regular pair. However I am super happy to have both pairs because there are some occasions where I can’t wear the hole-y ones (like to work).

But finding a good pair of white jeans is HARD. Usually they are too cheap looking or super see-through (yikes) or just not a good fit. Both my pairs are over TWO years old but I’m always so hesitant to look for new ones because finding the perfect pair seems close to impossible sometimes!


Our friend Courtney suggested this pair (she swears by them!) and when she gushed all about that, I instantly shared the link with my mom earlier this year because I knew she too was in the market for new white pants. My mom and I are two different sizes with two very different body shapes but these magical pants worked for both of us! If you’re in the game for a new white pair of jeans, you may want to give these a try. Plus Nordstrom makes returns easy, so it doesn’t hurt to at least try them if you haven’t had much luck so far.



Like Bridget, I’m a big fan of white jeans and I wear them constantly during the warmer months here in Chicago. From work to weekend, these are a staple in my closet.


I actually ended up getting the white jeans that Bridget mentioned above (the same one her mom got!). After buying & returning quite a few pairs this spring, these ones were the only pair that made the cut. They’re stretchy, come up nicely on the waist, and are tight at the ankles. Check, check, & check! I will say that the fabric is a little thinner than white jeans I’ve worn in the past, but they’re definitely not see-through. (No colorful undies to be seen here!)travel-carmel-casey-suticase-laughing-fashion-white-jeans

I have another pair of white jeans from the Gap that I’ve had for years! They’re my old trusty pair, but I was excited to add another to my arsenal. Because I wear them so often, I feel like I needed another pair in case the others ever got dirty (which definitely tends to happen to my white jeans)jan-casey-bench

Just like Bridget, you’ll usually see me wearing my white jeans with neutral shoes. I’m still obsessed with the nude block heel sandals I got earlier this spring. I wear them constantly, and they’re so comfortable. white-jeans-flats

I also wear my white jeans with my favorite flats, sandals, and now my new blush gym shoes! Really any footwear works well with white.

You will probably find us wearing white jeans on repeat all summer long! From casual afternoons to dinners downtown, investing in a pair of white jeans you love is well worth it.





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13 thoughts on “Finding the Perfect White Jeans

  1. Kerri Hansen

    Oh my gosh, this post is so timely for me because after months of shopping and disappointment, this past week I found the perfect pair of white jeans (for me) in a rather unlikely place! I was so excited and wore them all weekend! On a whim at Old Navy I decided to try on a pair of their Rockstar jeans in distressed white denim. What made me decide to try them on was I noticed the pockets were in a nude fabric, which I think should be standard in all white jeans! That has been my biggest beef with my white jean search, is that you can see the outline of the pockets through the jean material. I commented awhile back that I bought the jcrew toothpick white jeans and while I loved the fit, not only could you see the pocket outline, but the seams down the side which looked like a tuxedo stripe. So after months of searching I finally have a pair of white jeans that I am in love with😍! They fit so well and the price is crazy affordable. I may have to add another non-distressed pair to the mix.

    1. DIY Playbook

      Nude material in the pockets — that’s genius!! We are totally going to check out this pair, thanks for your tip! And love the idea of getting two pairs because once you finally find a pair you love, you never want to lose them (or stain them!). Thanks Kerri =)

  2. shawnna griffin

    hey girls- great post! Love the jeans! I haven’t wore white jeans in 25 years ( when I was a candy striper) ha I can’t believe it’s been that long. Crazy how time flies by huh?

  3. Trang

    White jeans are so chic for the summer months! They go with just about everything. I recently got a pair of distressed ones from Express and love them. Now I need to buy a pair for work (casual Fridays). I’ll have to take a look at the ones you ladies suggested as well as the reader below with Old Navy’s pair.

    1. DIY Playbook

      Thanks for the Express tip, gotta check those and the Old Navy ones out!! And we completely agree, great to have a distressed (night/weekend) option and a work pair.

    2. Kerri Hansen

      I just went online to order another pair and wanted to mention the ones I bought were the “with sculpt” option, not sure if that’s why I ❤️ them so much!

  4. Katie

    I’ve had luck with Levi’s! Nice and thick, not skin tight, and they come in a bunch of different cuts and lengths. Also you can find them in a bunch of different stores or on their site directly so always bound to find a sale.

  5. Diana @ Bumps Along the Way

    I love white jeans for all the reasons you mentioned BUT wearing them around my 4 year old makes me pretty nervous! Also, I might be a bit messy but 4 year old boys…not known for being clean. So I save most of my wears for when I’m not around him (which isn’t often!). I should try them for work though, I don’t know why I never thought of that!!

    1. DIY Playbook

      Diana that is too funny! If we’re getting ours dirty from normal wear, then we can only imagine with kids around. haha! Bring on the bleach!

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Adding a Blush Blazer to My Spring Wardrobe


Ever since I became an “adult” (honestly, I still don’t feel very adult-like..) I’ve felt most put together when wearing a blazer.

It may be the old news anchor in me, but there’s just something about throwing on a blazer that makes me feel like I can tackle the day! Big meeting? Bring the blazer. No idea what to wear? Throw on a blazer! It’s just always been my adult go-to move in the working world.casey-work-18

But wearing a black blazer during the hot summer months isn’t always the best idea. Holy sweaty. When the temps heat up, I’ll often wear shift dresses to work and throw a light sweater or blazer on over it. I have a khaki and gray blazer, but was in need of something a bit more fun.

My New Blush Blazercasey-blush-blazer-1

That’s when I found this blush blazer at Zara. casey-sunglasses

When I first saw it, I was worried it might read to 80’s. Ya know..pastel color, shoulder pads, long? But once I put it on and saw the structured feel and slimming cut, I was hooked!casey-blush-blazer-5

I’ve now been wearing it to the office on a regular basis. Because it’s pretty dressy, I like pairing it with dark jeans and cute sandals. The gray t-shirt underneath also really dresses it down.casey-blush-blazer-18

I have been wanting to wear the blazer with a black shift dress and heels, as I think it would make for the perfect pop of color!

And for the weekend, I think it would be super cute with my leather leggings, a black top, and these black heels. So cute, right?! leopard-clutch

Blush has been the “it” color this season, so I guess it was about time I jump aboard the blush train. While I normally don’t wear much pink (actually not much at all…), I’m really digging this feminine hue. Although this tan one is super cute too…casey-blush-blazer-9

And I’m also pretty excited because I found a new amazing spot for blazers & work wear…Zara. Honestly I’ve only gone in there a few times (it’s on Michigan Avenue and is huge and overwhelming), but if you take the time you can find some really nice pieces for work. casey-blush-blazer-17

Blush Favorites

So what do you guys think? Are you loving blush these days? This blazer has prompted me to add a few more pieces of blush to my spring wardrobe. Like this adorable top or this purse! Just probably not all at once, because then I may be encroaching on Easter egg territory…



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17 thoughts on “Adding a Blush Blazer to My Spring Wardrobe

  1. Erin

    love the blazer! i’ve got this amazing one from loft that is teal. I really love it! i do find it to be versatile. I’ve been wanting one of a different color and ended up with a black blazer that was collarless — and it was perfect for my work trip a couple weeks ago. but blush… so pretty! love it paired with gray!

  2. Kerri Hansen

    Beautiful! Love the blush trend! So soft and subtly girly girlish! I just bought a pair of blush colored cargo jeans from Target in March and they are the new fave item in my #momuniform.

  3. Trang

    Blush is beautiful….on other people such as yourself. Unfortunately, it doesn’t compliment my skin tone and hair color combination. I wish it did because I really do like the hue and there are so many cute things out there this season in this color. My only hope would be to opt for a small cross-body purse in that color.

  4. Kristen Ayotte

    The new blazer looks great on you! I’m loving blush and florals this Spring. Groundbreaking, right?! 🙂

    P.S. There’s also a nice Zara on State St that seems a little less frantic in my opinion. Corner of Randolph and State. You can also reward yourself with a Magnolia Bakery cupcake when you’re done!

    1. DIY Playbook

      Kristen….thanks for the tip! The Michigan Ave. one is crazy town! I love the idea of a less hectic one, and that cupcake sounds like the perfect post-shopping treat! 🙂

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Cold-Shoulder Blouse Styled for Work to Weekend


Is it just us or has anyone else noticed that cold-shoulder blouses are ALL the rage lately?!Gingham-cold-shoulder-blouse-fashion-

For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, allow me to clarify because I was just like you the first time I heard someone refer to this new trend. Cold-shoulder shirts are blouses (or dresses!) that have the shoulders cut out. Some have long sleeves, like this one, but many have short sleeves or just ruffly fabric below the shoulder.

In short, if the shoulder is exposed it’s considered a cold-shoulder shirt. Now that I’m seeing this trend everywhere I thought today’s post could be the perfect chance to help make your next cold shoulder shirt work a little harder in your closet!

The exposed shoulder of these shirts makes this style a bit “scandalous” for most workplaces BUT that doesn’t mean you should totally write-off these cute options during the week. Today I’m styling the cold-shoulder trend for both work and weekend. Even if you don’t have my exact shirt, you can take this post as a reminder that your cold-shoulder shirt could work in the office with a little creativity!



I scored this gingham cold-shoulder blouse from H&M for $24 (it’s sadly sold out, here’s another gingham option!) and loved it because of the long sleeves and gingham pattern. The day I tried it on I had this blazer on, which is what inspired me to initially try to make the cold-shoulder work during the week. And to my surprise, it does and makes the $30 price tag even more of a steal. Gingham-cold-shoulder-blouse-fashion-blazerI love the gingham and tiny ruffle detail above the bust. The sleeves slip right into the blazer and keep those cold shoulders a weekend secret! Gingham-cold-shoulder-blouse-fashion-bridgetI think this exact blouse and blazer would look great paired with a black or floral pencil skirt for work, a shower, or a fancier spring/summer event. The possibilities are endless with this classic gingham pattern.Gingham-cold-shoulder-blouse-fashion-bridget-casualInstead of saving those cold-shoulders just for the weekend, I urge you to reconsider because a blazer or sweater can transition them into the work week.



On nights out or weekends, you can lose the blazer and rock the exposed shoulders for a trendy, yet still classy look.

Matt told me I should be holding maracas with a mariachi band behind me with this shirt on because of the sleeves. Mariachi band or not, I love the look and overall trend… bring on the cold shoulders! Plus, this blouse is so comfy. Gingham-cold-shoulder-blouse-fashion-bridget-heelsThese sleeves are elastic without being too tight or restricting. You can push the sleeves down to look more relaxed (like I did here) or pull them up depending on your preference. Since it’s still a bit chilly here in Chicago, I paired this blouse with pants but I think it will work just as well with shorts this summer!

My Favorites

Overall I’m loving the cold shoulder trend and look forward to adding a few more of these versatile pieces to my wardrobe over the summer. Here are some of the blouses I currently have my eye on:

What do you guys think? Are you all about the cold-shoulder or are you currently giving this trend the cold-shoulder?! I’d love to hear!



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8 thoughts on “Cold-Shoulder Blouse Styled for Work to Weekend

  1. Trang

    I’m adoring this look on you Bridget, but I personally am giving this trend the cold shoulder. My shoulders are not properly accentuated with this style. Like any fashion trend, it’s not for everyone, but it sure love it on you. Rock it girl.

    1. DIY Playbook

      Love your attitude! I feel the exact same way when I see high-waisted shorts. I LOVE them but anytime I wear them, I feel like they don’t flatter my body. So you’re right, it’s all about what works for you and what you feel comfortable in. =) Thanks Trang!

  2. Katy

    I love this look and it wasn’t something I had even considered! Maybe you said and I missed it, but where’s the blazer from?

    1. DIY Playbook

      Thanks Katy! The blazer is from H&M and I’m OBSESSED with it. I bought it at the beginning of the year (for like$40) and have gotten so much use out of it.

    1. DIY Playbook

      Awww, thanks Lindsay! There’s no magic– I just put half my hair up, wrap it in a round bun, and then put the hair tie over it. It’s usually my last resort because I usually only do it if my hair isn’t cooperating. However, I do have A LOT of hair so I do think that helps in this hair style. Oh… I also do “teeze” my hair before I put it up so the bun has a little bit more volume.

  3. DressProfesh

    Omg, I love these looks!1 I just posted how to wear a cold shoulder blouse on my blog, and I used a white blazer for my office look! White blazers are honestly so versatile, I wear mine all the time! And gingham is a must for the spring too- I’m working on some looks for my next post!

    1. DIY Playbook

      Awww, thanks so much for your kind words! And I agree about the white blazer — such a staple to have in your closet. =) Have a great weekend.

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Style Series: We Got It From Our Mamas


We always say that we are best friends. But that’s actually a lie.

Our moms actually fill that #1 slot for each of us. We’ve both always been close with our moms (although a few of those teenage years may have been a challenge for our poor mamas, ha!), and we feel so fortunate to consider our moms to be our besties.

Mother_Daughter_Date-jan-patAnd even though our moms are friends with one another, we rarely get together the 4 us. In fact, we don’t believe we’ve ever done an outing with just us gals all together! In honor of Mother’s Day, we decided to change that.brunch-summerhouse-santa-monic

We planned a mother-daughter day and invited the moms for brunch and activities in Chicago. We started with brunch at Summer House Santa Monica. If you’re in Chicago (or visiting!) we hope you add it to your list of restaurants. They have delicious food and you really feel like you’re in California instead of Chicago.

Lincoln-park-conservatory-chicago-illinoisAfter mimosas, coffee and plenty of catching up, we decided to hit up the Lincoln Park Conservatory to check out the botanic garden. Wow, another gorgeous spot to add to your Chicago bucket list (the Garfield Park Conservatory is just as amazing and even bigger. So put that one on your list too!).

Mother_Daughter_Date-jan-pat-girls-dayWe also decided to do a little photo shoot to show how fabulous our mothers truly are and to chat about their style when it comes to fashion! Plus, everyone says we both look just like our moms and we figured we’d see if you guys agree.

Jan & Casey

Even though my mom has dark hair & dark eyes (compared to my blonde & blue), we’ve ALWAYS gotten comments about how much we look alike.


When I was younger, I didn’t really see the resemblance. Now that I’m older…I totally see it, and I love it! How could I not love looking like such a gorgeous gal?!

But Jan isn’t just a beautiful woman, she also has some serious style. jan-lincoln-park-conservatory

Dress (similar) // Shoes // Necklace // Purse (similar)

She found this Michael Kors dress at Nordstrom, and she absolutely adores it. Gotta love the lightweight material and classic color palette! shoes-lincoln-park-jan

I was with my mom when we picked out these new sandals for summer. She said, “for shoes that look like they could be a torture device, they sure are comfy!” Ha! The color is perfection since it can go with just about anything. And the heel height isn’t too high so you can walk all around in these bad boys all day long.jan-ohalloran

Just like me, Jan has an affinity for long necklaces and this one from Kendra Scott is a winner. Again…a piece that can go with just about anything! I have this one in white and wear it just about every other day!

We certainly coordinated for our Mother’s Day out! You really just can’t go wrong with navy, white, and cognac. casey-white-jeans-spring

White Jeans // Sandals // Striped Top // Purse (similar) // Earrings // Watch // Cuff Bracelet

My new favorite white jeans have been on repeat lately and I feel like I’m constantly wearing them with my new block heel sandals. The shoes are good for work or weekends and I’ve already gotten lots of miles out of them. casey-purse-white-jeansThe one-shoulder top is a fun new item I just added to my spring wardrobe. And when it’s a little chilly, I just throw a jean jacket on top. casey-white-jeans-jackeet


Pat & Bridget

People tell me I look just like my mom…. ALL. THE. TIME. While others may cringe at the thought of looking or acting just like their mother, I take it as the biggest compliment.
Mother_Daughter_DateEven I see the resemblance! Sometimes when I glance in the mirror quickly, I think it’s my mom staring back at me. So yes, when people tell me I look just like my mom… I believe it and definitely agree with them. I also think it’s such an amazing compliment because, how gorgeous is this amazing woman?! Mother_Daughter_Date-pat-dress

If I look this young, gorgeous, and HAPPY as my mom when I’m a grandma like her, I’ll be extremely grateful. I could go on and on about her inner-beauty, which is what I admire the most about her, but because this post is all about fashion and style, I’ll stick to her style.

My mom scored this dress on sale for $30 (similar here and $24 option here). She says it’s super comfy and she loves that it’s age-appropriately “off the shoulder”. Plus she can wear this versatile item all spring/summer/fall long by dressing it up (like today) or dressing it down by pairing it with her favorite sandals or converse.

She paired it with a black clutch, the tassel necklace and these peep-toe booties for our day out. Pat says she loves all three of these accessories because they can go with so many pieces in her closet.


And I couldn’t agree more about finding items that are versatile for the upcoming warmer weather! How fun is this cold-shoulder ruffled tank (similar one I’m loving here)? I also scored it on sale for under $25. What can I say, I shop sales just like my mama! I love this versatile piece because I can wear it with regular jeans, white jeans, or shorts all summer long.

On this day I paired it with my favorite jeans, comfy heels, watch and a purse I scored from Marshall’s. And remember when I talked about putting Sephora’s $14 lip stain on my shopping list after Casey’s glowing reviews?! I bought it and am really loving it because it lasts all day long… even after eating!Mother_Daughter_Date_Bridget_Pat

I hope our moms come back for another style post soon because we love how both of them prove that you can be stylish and on-trend at any age! Plus, having an excuse to spend the day with these two and snap a few photos is such a treat.Mother_Daughter_Date-moms-laughing

A very happy Mother’s Day to 2 very special women. Not only are we so lucky to have such amazing role models in our lives but we are even more grateful to call these women our best friends. Love you Jan & Pat!!

Psst…tomorrow’s post will be an “evening post”. So instead of 5:00am it will go live at 5:00pm. We hope you tune in for this special blog post!



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8 thoughts on “Style Series: We Got It From Our Mamas

  1. Kerri Hansen

    What a sweet post! The 4 of you gals are totally adorable! Happy Mother’s Day to your beautiful mamas, they sure did an amazing job raising the two of you!
    Casey I just checked out your jeans online, and I am tempted to order them. A few weeks ago I commented that I bought the j crew toothpick white jeans. While I love the way they fit, I noticed that you can see the seam down the side of the legs, looking rather “tuxedo stripe-ish” if that makes sense. If only the fabric was a little thicker. I haven’t returned them yet, as I wonder if I am being a little hyper critical … would anyone else even notice? Why is finding the perfect white jean so hard?

    1. DIY Playbook

      Aww thanks so much Kerri! We are lucky to have them.

      I am loving the jeans so far. They are thinner than another pair I have, but they’re not see-through (like you definitely can’t see your underwear though them.haha!). I’d say at least order and try and you can always return them! Why is finding white jeans so hard?! Ugh. the struggle is real.

  2. Katie

    Cute! I have two girlfriends I’ve known since elementary school and each year around Christmas time we plan an afternoon together with our moms and bake/ craft up an ornament. It’s become a little tradition and we have the keepsakes on our trees to remember it by.

  3. Holly Finke

    Hey ladies!

    I love your blog! This is such a great post. Would love to meet you when I come to Chicago this summer. You guys sound so fun.


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An Honest Review of our New Flats for Work


Let’s go back….back to this post where we outlined all of the shoe recommendations we received from our lovely readers. After lamenting the fact that it is so difficult to find flat shoes for work that are comfortable AND cute, our readers came to the rescue with some amazing insight.finding_perfect_flats

If you’re currently on the flats struggle bus (we feel ya!), then we strongly urge you to check out this post because it has a wide-variety of flats for every price point.

After reading through all of the comments and reviews, we both decided to purchase some new pairs to add to our repertoire. We then wore then for over a month at work (and on the weekends) and are here to report back on our honest thoughts about each pair.

Cognac Lace Flat

Vionic Lace Flat

Casey: I’ve alway admired the lace-up look from a distance, but never took the plunge on purchasing because I just didn’t think it would be functional. I imagined tying and re-tying the laces, and figured most lace-up shoes would be incredibly uncomfortable.white-jeans-flats

I’m happy that I was dead wrong with these flats from Nordstrom. Not only are they stylish (& make me feel cool because I’m trying the lace-up trend), but they’re also incredibly comfortable and low-maintenance.flats-lace-up-cognac

Many readers recommend Vionics because of their support and cushion, and these definitely have that. I hate when flats have no support on the bottom, and you literally feel like you’re walking barefoot on the ground. No thank you!cognac-flats-lace-up

The first time I wore these they did pinch a little on one side of the toe “cleavage” (gross word, but it does accurately describe the foot area. ha!)  but they’ve since loosened up a bit and I’ve had no more pain issues. casey-trench-coat-12

I’d double knot the laces and haven’t had any trouble with them unraveling over the course of the day. So my initial worry has been put to rest. I’m obsessed with the cognac color because it goes with everything. I wear these with black, brown, white, jeans….any kind of pants really! I will say that these probably are not the best shoes to wear if it rains, specifically because they’re suede.

Overall Grade: A

$25 Payless Flats

Nude Payless Flats

Casey: After hearing how AMAZING these budget-friendly Payless flats are, we both ended up buying some to add to our shoe collections. I went with the nude plain ones (above). I’m not gonna lie, these are not exactly a “cloud” on your foot. But for $25 they’re pretty impressive. The first time I wore them they did pinch a bit on my heels, but after one wear they got a lot better.

The nude color is nice because it goes with everything, but I prefer the cognac lace-up flats to these. I do keep these nude flats at work though, just so I have a second shoe as a back-up.

Overall Grade: C+

Payless Flats with Tassel

Tassel Flats

Bridget: I bought these tassel flats from Payless and honestly didn’t have a high expectation for their performance, but was still willing to give them a fair shot because they were $19. I mean let’s be real, who can beat $19 for a pair of everyday shoes? BUT I shouldn’t have judged just by their price tag because I have really grown to like them a lot! Surprisingly I have worn them at least 4-5 times per week since buying them because they go with everything. I pair them with jeans, black pants, navy pants, and even skirts!

Flats_Shoes_Jeans_Fashion-2Unlike Casey’s ballet flats, these have a little bit more support and a tiny heel so you definitely don’t feel like you’re walking on the ground. My mom tried mine on one day and went out and bought the same exact pair and reports positive reviews as well.

Flats_Shoes_Jeans_Fashion-3The one negative I would give about these shoes is that they make my feet sweat a little bit. <— I know that’s way too much information, I apologize. But in honor of full disclosure, this makes shoe a tiny bit slippery inside at times.

However I asked my mom about this issue and she hasn’t noticed that at all. Overall I’m super happy with the performance of these $19 flats and will definitely go back to Payless to shop for additional flats next school year.

Overall Grade: A-

Gold Heel Flatsabbatha_beige-taupe_32_main_sq_gy_2000x2000

Bridget: I chose these flats from Aldo as my more expensive pair because I loved the shape and the gold accents. Much like my Payless pair, this shoe matches with just about everything and the gold accent instantly brings a hint of glam to your everyday wear. I have received quite a few compliments on these structured flats since adding them to my work wardrobe.flats_fashion
However, I don’t wear them nearly as much as I want to because they are extremely sturdy and structured in the back of the shoe, which has caused severe blisters from a whole day of walking. I walk about 3 miles while at work and that was too much for my feet to take, so unfortunately I rarely wear these flats. If I do wear them, I typically only wear them once every few weeks so the tender spots on my feet have time to heal before exposing them to more rubbing. Or because these flats are a tad “fancier”, I wear them to evening events that I know won’t require a ton of walking (i.e. date night).beige_flats_aldo

Like I said, I really love the look but the pain isn’t worth. And I still love buying shoes at Aldo, I’m just going to be more weary when I choose flats by looking for ones that are more flimsy on the back instead of so structured. The price of these flats were almost three times the Payless alternative and I would reach for the cheaper pair 10 times over the more expensive pair.

Overall Grade: D+

We have had so much fun testing out these “products” and then reporting back of our results. It’s always nice to get honest feedback, so we’d love to continue these little experiments throughout the year! If you have products or ideas of what you want to see reviewed here on the DIY Playbook, don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!



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4 thoughts on “An Honest Review of our New Flats for Work

  1. Trang

    Bridget, have you tried no show socks with your tasseled flats? Maybe that would help with the sweats?

    1. DIY Playbook

      I have tried that idea, but the socks show a little bit when I put on these flats so I tend not to use that trick with these. Great suggestion though, I LOVE little socks!

  2. Katie Lewis

    Just a thought for Bridget, you could line the heel of your dressy flats with a strip of moleskin to keep it from rubbing. You can usually pick up a roll of it by the arch supports and other inserts at Target, Walgreens, etc…It’s very thin and soft so it doesn’t show or make the shoe any tighter. This has saved many pairs of stiff shoes for me.


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Spring Items We Have our Eyes On


Instead of sharing an outfit post, we thought we would switch things up this Wednesday and share each of our spring “watch lists”. These are items we have our eye on for the upcoming warm weather and hope to eventually add to our closets.

It’s doubtful that we’ll add all of these items, but it’s always fun to look. Plus, we find when we make a specific list of items we need, we are far more likely to purchase with intention and not just buy to buy. flats-lace-up-cognac

Side note: We’re trying a new layout in today’s post so you’ll have to let us know if you like this format better or would rather the regular mood board instead. To get more details on each item, you can click on the item’s name, the picture OR the link within the description. Our hope is that this format is more straight forward and easier to navigate but again, you’ll have to let us know!


Striped Loft Dress

When it starts to get warm out, I love wearing dresses to work. It’s just so easy to throw one on, add some jewelry, and head out the door! This striped dress from LOFT is adorable and would look super cute with some wedge heels for a workday.

Tortoiseshell Sunnies

I love my Ray Bans, but it’s fun to have a less expensive pair of sunnies to throw in your bag. These tortoiseshell ones are awesome. So glam and would go with any springy outfit! Plus you can’t beat that price!

Pajama Set

I don’t know about you, but when the temps get warmer I get sooooo hot at night. But I love being under the covers (there’s just something about the weight of the blankets that is just so comforting!). I have nice long-sleeved pajamas for the winter, but haven’t ever upgraded to a summer set. These ones are adorable and I think they just might be worth the money!

Gladiator Sandals

I feel like I need new sandals just about every year because my old ones get so beat up! I wear them until the very end of their life. I love these gladiator sandals and think I’d get a heck of a lot of use out of them over the next few months! They’ve got some stellar reviews, so they just might hop into my online shopping cart.

Off-the-Shoulder Striped Top

Ummm…yes please! Can’t you just picture this top with white jeans, wedges, and a tan? Absolutely love the classic look of this piece. A trip to J. Crew to try this baby on is definitely in my future.

Denim Shorts

After getting out my warmer clothing for the season, I chucked my old jean shorts. They were a DIY pair (here’s how you can make your own!), and had seen better days. Honestly, they were so frayed that I was nervous they were gonna unravel all the way up to my booty. Not cute. These high-waisted ones from Madewell look adorable and I think they would last for many seasons to come.

White & Gold Sneakers

I love my black Nikes for working out, but I need a shoe to just throw on for weekends. This rose gold sneaker fits the bill. Comfortable, neutral (so it goes with everything!), and a bit dressier than my typical gym shoes. These are a must!


Tie Front Plaid Blouse

I don’t need much this spring, but I do have my eye out for some shirts. I always like to have a few go-to tops in my closet that I can mix & match with jeans, dress pants, or even shorts and I feel like this plaid number totally fits the ticket. I love that this blouse could work with converse and jean shorts or be dressed up with white jeans and wedges. I haven’t tried it on yet but I’ll keep you guys updated!


I have gym shoes that I love for an athleisure look and I also have go-to flats/heels for a more dressy look, but I’m in the market for an “in-between”, more casual look. I’ve seen this type of sneaker everywhere and they have really grown on me! Plus, I saw that this exact sneaker is made by Sperry so I’m now officially sold!

Cross-body Purse

I have a few staple oversized bags that I love, but I have my eyes peeled for a simple + affordable satchel for the spring/summer. I’m loving this one because it’s $35 and can match with almost everything. Usually once I find the perfect satchel, I wear it with everything throughout the summer and only swap it for a clutch for special occasions. I may want something a tad lighter, but finding one that’s this shape and this price has been harder than I thought it would be!

Versatile Sandals

You know when you find a pair of sandals you love and eventually wear them so much that they become a raggedy mess… and belong in the garbage now? Well I did that with my all-time favorite Target sandals from over 3 years ago and sadly, just threw them away. They were so comfy and matched with everything so I never wanted to let them go… until I had to because they were such a hot mess. I’m hoping to find another, equally as comfortable, pair and this pair is on top of my list. For $16, worth a try right?

White Pants

Our friend Courtney raves about these white pants so we know they must be good! My little sister just bought them and she also says that they fit great and aren’t cheap/see-through like many other competitors. If these pants get the seal of approval from Courtney and Maggie (both admirable fashionistas!), I’m sold!

Two Toned Eye Glasses

I’m due for a new pair of eye glasses and I’m digging this two toned look! I know Warby Parker offers to send their customers 4 pairs of glasses to “test out” and decide on at home (genius!) but I think I’m going to go into the store. For me glasses are like jeans, I need to try them on in order to make sure they fit… online shopping just doesn’t work for me in this department.


P.S. There are some great sales happening right now if you’re doing some spring shopping!


  • LOFT: 40% off everything (these sales are the best!)
  • Express: 30% off dresses <– this one is adorable for Easter
  • West Elm: Their Now or Never Sale is currently happening…which means 20% off!
  • Crate & Barrel: Up to 20% off Outdoor
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16 thoughts on “Spring Items We Have our Eyes On

  1. Erin

    yes i love warby parker! it’s always fun to try on different glasses but i do find a lot of their glasses are on the bigger side. but still their customer service is on point & the price is so reasonable!

    I’m on the hunt for white jeans too! i tried one on at the loft and couldn’t do it because it felt like it was see through! I have white ankle work pants, but would like jeans!

    and as for those sperry’s.. i have a similar color from vans, and they are ON POINT. so easy to wear with anything!

    1. DIY Playbook

      Good to know for Warby Parker! And we feel the exact same way about white jeans! The struggle is real. So hard to find ones that are tight all the way through the leg and not see through!

    2. Kerri Hansen

      I just ordered some white jeans from J Crew on the advice of Casey from hisugarplum. Shopping for white jeans is hard! Almost as bad as bathing suit shopping!

    3. DIY Playbook

      Did you get the J.Crew toothpick ones she suggested? I have my eye on those! I tried on the Vince Camuto ones she likes, but didn’t love them because they’re a bit loose at the ankles.

    4. Kerri Hansen

      Yes, although the toothpick name threw me for a loop….a toothpick I am not!😂 But every time I buy something “Cassie approved” I am always happy with it. I am waiting for them to arrive in the mail, and when I get my hands on them I will let you know!

  2. Trang

    It’s funny, I feel like I know you girls so well now that when I see these items that you have your eye on, I say, ‘that is so Bridget’ or ‘that is so Casey’. You definitely have style. I am still trying to figure out mine!

  3. Kerri Hansen

    Oh my gosh, great post, and as usual I found myself nodding in agreement with all of your choices, especially because I have had my eye on, or already own similar things on your list! Casey I was just in Loft yesterday and fell in love with a similar dress, but the one I am coveting is Lou & Grey and is a bit more casual. The fact that everything is 40% off makes it even more tempting! I also just bought some pajamas similar to the ones you like, and for the exact same reason, but mine were from Target, so very affordable. I love them, not only are they cute but they are so much cooler for sleeping in. Only issue is that they shrunk when I washed them so my advice there is to size up if you buy them! Bridget, I own a pair of similar gold tone slip on sneaks, I got them a few years ago at the Gap outlet for $12 and I have almost worn them out! They are so comfortable, easy to wear and go with everything! I have had my eye out for a replacement pair, so thanks for the tip! I almost bought a similar plaid tie-front top at Anthropologie yesterday. It was so cute! I left my wallet in the car on purpose which is the only reason I didn’t buy anything yesterday! All of the things you posted give me 😍!

    1. DIY Playbook

      I love Lou & Grey at LOFT! That material is always sooooo soft! But I agree, a bit casual for work. I think my mom is getting me those pajamas for my birthday, so I’ll definitely report back on them. They were pricey, but I figure I’ll wear them almost every single night. Hopefully they keep me cool at night!

      Thanks for your insights, Kerri!

  4. Lucy

    personally, i prefer this format. i see the picture, then i see what you say. with mood boards, i have to scroll up and down to figure out what which item you’re talking about.

    1. DIY Playbook

      thank you for your input Lucy! It’s so helpful as we plan content moving forward. We agree…having to scroll up to view the mood board can sometimes be a huge pain!

  5. Diana @ Bumps Along the Way

    I LOVE this shopping list idea for new seasons and do the same myself, although sticking with it is another story…I always seem to find a reason that I “need” a few more basic tanks/sweaters/tees, depending on the season! But I am trying!

  6. Katie

    Those white jeans are currently at Nordstrom Rack online 44% off! Waiting for mine to arrive so I can try out too.


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Spring Essential – A Trench Coat


As we are sloooooowly transitioning into spring here in Chicago, we could not be more excited to replace the winter clothes in our closets over to our favorite spring staples. We’re ready for lighter colors, less layers, and a whole lot more sunshine! We’ve got spring fever!

One item that we practically live in this time of year is our trench coats. We each added a trench coat to our collection last year and we still can’t believe how much use we get out of this seasonal item. You guys know how much we love finding items that can be worn to work and on the weekends and this piece definitely fits the bill (to say the least).


I bought my first trench coat last spring, and it was such a worthwhile purchase for my wardrobe because it’s incredibly versatile. After looking at lots of options, I ended up going with a Michael Kors one from Nordstrom. It ended up beating out the other ones because it has a detachable hood and inner lining!

It doesn’t look like they sell the exact same one anymore, but this Michael Kors trench coat is incredibly similar (plus it’s got the hood & liner!)


The liner and hood are off in these photos, but it’s so nice to have those options for chillier days or days with rain in the forecast. Plus the buttons make it simple to attach and de-tach based on the weather. white-jeans-flats-trench

During the spring, I wear my trench coat to work on most days specifically because it makes any ensemble look that much more pulled together. Plus, the neutral color ensures that it works with just about any look for the office. casey-trench-coat-12

But I definitely wear my trench on the weekends too! Whether I’m running errands or heading out on the town. It really is just such a nice lightweight coat that works with just about anything!



I bought my go-to trench coat last year from Banana Republic outlet for 50% off but it looks like it’s on sale again this year. I actually just saw the exact same one for 30% off at the outlet again this year in khaki, black, and navy stripes. I also found this very similar one from H&M for under $50, definitely the cheapest option I have seen so far this season.

Fit Tip: I’m wearing an XS and I’d say this trench is true to size, but if you’re looking to add some bulkier layers under your trench coat, I would suggest sizing up one.Trench_Coat_Bridget_Spring_Fashion-6The trench coat is awesome because it matches with everything! Today I paired it with jeans and booties for weekend errands. But like Casey mentioned, I wear it to work all the time with black pants, grey pants, skirts and even dresses. Trench_Coat_Bridget_Spring_FashionDuring the weekends, I’ll also dress this coat down by pairing it with converse and even a baseball cap. OR it’s perfect paired with rain boots during the rainy spring days here in Chicago.


A coat that can be worn over a dress, with Hunter boots, and with converse? This trench has definitely earned its stay in my closet. Trench_Coat_Bridget_Spring_Fashion-3I love the black and navy stripe options at Banana and have even seen some other bold colors that have caught my eye over the years. But I will say I’m glad I decided on the khaki because I can throw it on with any outfit and not really worry about coordinating.

Bottom line: We’re pretty obsessed with these hardworking jackets and definitely recommend adding one to your closet this spring if you don’t already have one. If you’re anything like us, we KNOW you’ll get your money’s worth. If not during this first year, definitely for years and years to come. You just can’t go wrong with a classic trench this time of year! bridget_and_casey_sig

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