A Bit About Me

Hello ~ Thanks for stopping by!

My name is Jen.  I live in Chicago with my husband (The Man) and son (The Little Guy). After debating with myself for some time, I decided to make the leap and start sharing my simple thoughts on professional style with the rest of the internet world.

My "real" job is...
... Aside from being a Chief Mom Officer, I work part-time 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 started the blog to...
... serve as a creative outlet for me and challenge me to keep my style fun and interesting. Also, I enjoy casual photography and writing, and this provides a way for me to engage in those activities regularly. I felt I had a closet full of clothes most of which I rarely wore and almost never remixed.  My outfits (and inspiration from so many other bloggers) help me make the most of the overflowing wardrobe I have compiled over the years.

I elected to focus primarily (though not exclusively) on professional style for several reasons. I spend a good portion of my life and the bulk of my clothing budget on professional attire. While dressing well for casual affairs proves fun and exciting, keeping my outfits classy for the office (without breaking the bank) serves more importance in my daily life, and thus, has been the main focus of my style journey to date. 

I also found a void in the blogging world of quality professional style blogs, especially at a "real woman" affordable price point. A few fantastic options exist, but most bloggers share their weekend wear, jeans, mini skirts, and moto jackets. I love these things, and own several of them. But they would not make it up the elevator in my office, so they provide minimal support in my search for professional style inspiration. Further, substantially all the professional style bloggers wear high end brands out of my realistic price range. Finding few blogs about professional "chic on the cheap" style, I committed to writing my own (and have loved ever step along the way). 

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.  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. After some time of being an avid reader, I aspired to start my own blog and share my ideas and lessons learned (about style, and also about life in general). 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 my simple spin on sophisticated style.

If you have more questions, drop me a note at btcorporatestyle[at]gmail[dot]com

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