Librarian style profile: Erin

Another librarian style profile to help celebrate my blog anniversary! 😀 (And if you’re a U.S. resident, be sure to enter my $50 Macy’s gift card giveaway — deadline is Monday the 11th!)

Loop LooksHere is Erin from Loop Looks, who you may be familiar with, since Erin is my blogger pal and her blog was one of the first style blogs I ever started following. She has a Master’s of Library Science (MLS) but doesn’t work in a library, so I thought that would make for an interesting and different kind of librarian style profile. I also asked Erin for 3-5 pics of an outfit, or favorite outfits, which I’ve sprinkled in-between the interview questions.

Thanks, Erin, for sharing!


Brief bio and background as a librarian (or MLS experience):

I currently live in Chicago with my husband and our dog, but I started out life in Champaign-Urbana. I suppose, then, it only makes senses that I attended the Graduate School of Library Science there! In fact, I got my MLS in 2005, but I’ve never actually worked in a library. Instead, while in graduate school, I was working at the county courthouse, and when the records supervisor retired, I took over her job. After a few years there, I moved on to be the Director of Records Management at a university in Chicago. Now I work as a knowledge-base and document repository administrator and corporate trainer at a software company. I honestly never thought I’d live or even LOVE living in Chicago, but now it’s hard to imagine moving somewhere else.

I started my blog, Loop Looks, just over 4 years ago as a creative outlet. It’s led me to meet some great people, like Jen!

[Editor’s note: Awwww, thank you, Erin! The feeling is mutual!]

Favorite outfit from Loop Looks, herringbone vest

My herringbone vest is a J. Crew knock-off {almost exact option} that I bought from a site called Groopdealz. It’s one of my favorite purchases because it’s actually really high quality, but I didn’t pay more than $35 for it! Faux leather pants/leggings are one of my favorite ways to add a little bit of personality to an outfit. They just add more pizzaz than a plain pair of black pants or jeans.The ones in this photo are Vince Camuto brand, but I recently replaced them with a pair from French Connection {here’s a similar pair of ponte leggings with faux leather panels}. The pink sweater is from J. Crew Factory {similar sweater from same brand}, and the boots are from Express {similar flat boots from same brand}.

How would you describe your style?

I’ve been blogging at Loop Looks for over 4 years, and my style has changed a lot over that time. When I first started my blog, I was in a very “corporate” setting and needed to wear business or business casual every day and could only wear jeans on Fridays. I loved pencil skirts, blazers, dark jeans, and heels. I would say I was very “Ann Taylor” in my approach to clothes. However, I loved mixing patterns but typically kept my color palate neutral with pops of color here or there.

Now, though, I can wear basically whatever I want, including jeans (or leggings!) every day. Lately I’ve noticed that my style has become more simple. In the winter, it’s skinny jeans or pants with riding boots and a sweater or a top with a cardigan, blazer or vest, and in the summer, it’s skinny jeans, a light blouse, and sandals or flats with the occasional dress or flared skirt.

Either way, I love to add faux leather and leopard print (not necessarily at the same time, though) to keep my outfits interesting.

Favorite outfit from Loop Looks, leopard pencil skirt

Since I have a closet full of pencil skirts I like to find ways to wear them more casually, too. Pairing my leopard print skirt from Target {here’s a similar and affordable pencil skirt option} with a plain white tee (also from Target), and a denim jacket is one way to make them a bit less “corporate” {here’s a classic denim jacket option}. Not that a leopard print pencil skirt is all that corporate in the first place!

Do you have any strong opinions or thoughts about the connection between style and your profession as a librarian?

I don’t know if it’s because there’s a lot of talk in the MLS world about what we can do to “be taken seriously” or if it’s just that when I started my career I tended to be younger than the people around me, but I find that I strive very hard to dress professionally, even in my current very casual office environment. I feel that if you look sophisticated and put-together that goes a long way to earning the respect of those around you.

[Editor’s note: Well said, and I totally agree!]

Favorite outfit from Loop Looks, dress + boots

This dress and scarf are from Le Tote, a clothing rental company. They like to call themselves the Netflix of clothes. I’ve been using them for over a year, and I loved this dress and scarf so much that I kept them! When you find a dress that fits perfectly, you don’t let it go. The boots are from Sam Edelman, and I think every woman in Chicago owns a pair. The hat gets me compliments every time I wear it, and I feel bad telling people I bought it years ago at a boutique in Sausalito, CA, since it’s not like people can go get one themselves! {Here’s a cute grey newsboy cap with a fabric floral detail}

Do you have a “casual Friday” policy at your work? Or do you institute your own personal “casual Friday” dress code?

Since our office is super-casual, people get away with wearing things I would NEVER think to wear to the office. Such as leggings as pants with tops that don’t cover their butt or even their workout clothes! I instituted my own personal policy of not doing either of those things (although I do go to the gym over my lunch break almost every day and wearing workout clothes in the office would save me time). I also refuse to wear sweatshirts, running shoes, flip-flops, or even just a t-shirt with jeans (I’ll add a cardigan or jewelry even with our company logo tee!). I’ve definitely been told a time or two that I’m the best dressed person in the office. I wear that as a badge of pride!

Favorite outfit from Loop Looks, blazer + jeans

A blazer and jeans will always be my go-to combination when I want to feel sophisticated but casual. This particular blazer is from Forever21 {here’s a white, collarless blazer option}. Yes, you can still shop there even when you’re in your 30s! The top is from Express {similar pleated top from same brand}, and the jeans are American Eagle. The shoes were a DSW clearance find when I needed an emergency replacement pair of shoes when a pair I was wearing broke on my way to the office! {very similar style wedges with open-toe silhouette}

Do you plan your outfits in advance, or go with how you feel on the day?

I almost always have an idea of what I’m going to wear when I go to bed the night before. I’ll check the weather, my calendar, and Pinterest if I’m feeling uninspired to come up with a basic idea. Also, since I use Le Tote, I typically have a few pieces that I want to try and incorporate into outfits before I send them back.

Do your casual and work styles differ?

When I worked in the business dress setting they most definitely did! Now, though, most of my clothes do double duty. However, on weekends, you’ll most likely find me in workout clothes! Also, I tend not to wear black jeans around the house because they just collect dog hair.

Any other personal style tidbits/faves you’d like to share?

Even though I’ve worked in my current job for almost on two years, I still struggle with how to dress! Especially since I have a blog. Sometimes I feel like I need to wear something more exciting than jeans and riding boots for the 100th time. But since I live and work in downtown Chicago and commute to work by foot and train (and sometimes bike!) wearing a skirt and heels when I don’t have to isn’t going to happen! Sometimes it’s okay to let practicality win out over originality.

Favorite outfit from Loop Looks, boots and olive vest

Another go-to combo for me, especially in the fall and winter, is a top + vest + jeans + riding boots. The plaid top is from J. Crew although I bought it on eBay {similar plaid button-down option here}. The vest is from Old Navy but I actually clothing swapped it with Jen! I had one that was too long and she had one that was too short. It was a match made in heaven! My bag is Vince brand from Shopbop {similar crossbody option from same brand}.

[Editor’s note: I loved that we swapped olive cargo vests! You can also see a very similar cargo vest option here.}

These are just a sample of some of my favorite outfits from the past year. I add my favorite outfit from every month to my Pinterest board called “My Favorite Looks.”

[Editor’s note: You can also see my favorite outfits of Erin’s on my own Pinterest board called “Loop Looks Inspiration 🙂 The style inspiration continues!]


Thanks so much, Erin! Want more librarian style profiles? You can check out more librarian style profiles here.

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4 thoughts on “Librarian style profile: Erin

  1. Pingback: Favorite Outfit of March | Loop Looks

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