Ask Liz over 5 years ago by Liz Adams

Coffee with Liz • December 7, 2018

I’m curious about what you did for work before you started your blog?

I studied Textiles in college and was a clothing buyer for 2 years out of college before I started working for a contracting firm for 1.5 years. While I was working at the contracting firm I started my blog because I missed working in fashion and Sequins & Stripes was born! I formed my LLC in September of 2011 so it was 7 years ago this year. 

As a recent college grad doing a bit of an overhaul of her closet, what are five investment pieces you would suggest for someone just starting to build her wardrobe? It doesn’t have to be professional pieces, but just anything you wished you would have done earlier in your wardrobe development years. (I also live in Chicago so the seasons I dress for are the same as yours.) 

A quality cashmere sweater, a designer pair of denim, a nice coat, a silk blouse and a classic pair of ballet flats. These are probably my most worn items!

My boyfriend and I are starting to look at engagement rings! I’d love to know more about the process you went through when ring shopping. Did you pick it out together or did Dave surprise you? How did you decide on what style you liked? Any other tips/tricks we should keep in mind? Please let me know!

Dave completely surprised me! I think I had mentioned that I like a round diamond but other than that I had no idea what he was planning. Luckily his mom has great taste and she helped him design the ring. I would say look around at everything! I had designed a ring for myself on Blue Nile – ha, but it’s fun to see what style you end up liking. I knew I wanted something simple so he didn’t have to go into too much detail. 

I’m looking for the best cozy loungewear for the winter season. Do you have any go-to brands or loungewear sets? 

 I love this top and bottom set from Cosabella! I have these Make + Model joggers in 3 colors! I just ordered these Calvin Klein joggers and I asked for these pants and this sweatshirt for Christmas! I also live in these pajama sets (I have them in black, navy and pink). 

We just moved into our new house so I am organizing like crazy! What do you do with your jewelry?  Do you have a particular jewelry box and if so, which one and where do you keep it?

Ugh it sits in a jewelry case in a drawer in my bathroom. Since becoming a mom I don’t wear too much jewelry. My rings and dainty necklaces sit on a tray on my vanity because I reach for them the most but I keep my fashion jewelry out of reach of my nosy kids. I have also moved away from a lot of statement jewelry, aside from earrings. That’s all I really have left!

Any thoughts on what to get my son’s preschool teachers for their holiday gifts? He has two teachers and I’d like to spend no more than $100 total.

I was just thinking about this! I thought a monogrammed card case would be cute with a Starbucks gift card or Visa gift card inside! Last year I gave little beauty gift sets because teachers deserve some self indulgence. 

How would you recommend dressing skirts or dresses for the office in the winter? Is it even appropriate to not wear tights in the winter? I just hate feeling so compressed all day sitting in tights, help! 

I would pair some pretty tall boots like these, these or these (with cozy socks underneath of course!) and a classic cashmere sweater!

I walk to and from work in the Loop each day. I typically wear slip-on sneakers for my walk, but now that it’s starting to get colder I’m hoping to find shoes that will withstand the Chicago winter. Any suggestions for shoes or boots that are comfortable, warm, and still stylish enough to walk into work with? 

I just bought these boots and love them! They aren’t as bulky as the trendier versions out this year. I also have an older version of this boot that is my go-to “winter” boot when I need to look a little nicer. All of Blondo’s boots are waterproof which are great for wet winters! I love this style and these are beautiful!

My fiancé and I are doing our engagement photo shoot in December and doing some shots inside and some outside (even though it’ll be freezing!!). I’m looking to put together two different looks – any suggestions? How do we stay warm but also cute and photo ready?!

I think for photoshoots you just kind of grin and bear it! Come prepared with a warm winter coat but take it off for photos. Keep the photos light and ask for in-between moments (those are always the best) – laughing with your fiancé, keeping each other warm, etc. I would probably do one casual look with jeans, boots, a sweater and cute scarf (also love this plaid or this pink) or hat and then something dresser like my favorite dress of all time (seen here) and some pretty OTK boots (love the grey color). 

I would love to hear how you like the VW Atlas for your two kids, as I’m debating it for our own family! Do you think it would work for three kids? I want to be a cool mom and choose the Atlas over a minivan but I’m worried it will be hard to manage. 

We love our Atlas!! It is super spacious and we actually got it knowing we could expand to three kids if/when it happens. The third seat folds down at the press of a button for a ton of trunk space but we loved that you can flip only one seat up incase of three kids (and still have ample trunk space). We also went with bucket seats so it is super spacious and Webster can even lay between the boys. The interiors are beautiful, too! 

What shirts and/or camis do you recommend for layering open faced casual sweaters in the fall and winter? I find I’m either too warm or feeling a bit skimpy in my light tank tops.

I love Madewell’s muscle tank! I also own this tee in almost every color – it is the bestttt. Soft and STAYS soft, holds up in the wash (no sloppy neckline) and a great basic. 

Where did you get your bedding? I’ve noticed it in recent photo and it is so pretty!

We were in desperate need of new bedding and I recently bought this honeycomb duvet cover and euro shams! I also bought this large blush faux fur throw to layer on top and it is beautiful. Both are currently 25% off with code JINGLE!

Would you be able to share good ideas for stocking stuffers for the men in your life? I find it so hard to find things beyond socks and underwear, ha!

Why are guys so hard to shop for? I usually fill Dave’s stocking with silly little things like this mini pac man arcade game for his office,a cute barbecue ornament, we love our embroidered keychain, this overindulgence survival kit will probably come in handy, you can’t go wrong with a men’s grooming set, bluetooth earmuffs (50% off!), a nice bottle of shaving cream (this is Dave’s FAVORITE), a manly coffee mug or a cute new winter beanie

Submit your questions for next week by emailing with the subject COFFEE WITH LIZ!

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  1. RE: the engagement ring shopping, my biggest tip is to buy from a wholesale jeweler! Ask around for recommendations, but many cities have a jewelry building and you can comparison shop and find a shop you trust and feel good about. You won’t get the bells and whistles that you would at a fancy jewelry store, but your dollar will go wayyyyy further. I tried on at Tiffany for fun to get an idea of diamond shapes, sizes, etc, but at the end of the day, my husband worked with a family diamond dealer. Good luck and have fun!!

  2. Those Bluetooth earmuffs are genius! My husband wears 180’s for his commute already with AirPods underneath and now he can do both – great stocking find!

  3. I have a pair of Blondo’s and they are the most comfortable boots! I don’t think I’ll ever buy a pair of boots from a different brand. So stylish and waterproof too. Didn’t even need to break them in!

  4. I am also doing our engagement photos in the winter! I actually came across the Celeste Gal Meets Glam dress yesterday on Nordstrom but they’re out of size 2 and so is the GMG website! I was put on the waitlist. How often do they restock? I really want that dress before January for our photos and engagement party!