Thursday, May 30, 2013

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Fashion Fix

The Most Stylish People Around the Illinois State Capitol--Part 2!

Yesterday, we showed you some fabulous styles from the Illinois State Capitol.   As promised, you saw legislators, staff, and lobbyist.  But, one post was not enough.  Today, we're showing you more fashionable people.  We spotted them everywhere; on-the-go, working hard, at events--they were all over.

Let's check them out...

Wonderful tie choice, but please note the cufflinks!
Color blocking+great accessories

Yes, they're busy...

...but at least they have time to show their style.  Gotta love the 3-piece!
Why always wear a dark suit!?
Nice touch here with the pocket square.

Bow Tie Swag.  Always a good choice to step outside the box.

Love her Daytime/Nighttime Style.  Perfect for May session days!

Relaxed, yet professional.  See what they did here?

She never misses a beat.  Always fashionable.
Play like a Champion...and dress like one, too!
Can't go wrong with the blue and red in government.
Cufflinks are a great touch.

Nice choice with the stripped shirt.  Dapper style; winning smile.

Vibrant colors for Spring + a ttendy
shirt-tie match. 

Gray suits--nice choice for warm weather.
Pocket squares show just that little extra effort.

Classic look with an eye-catching bold tie!
Love this fancy suit; accessorized with cute shoes.

Using the solid dress as a canvas.  Why not go bold?!

We hope you all enjoyed this feature!  It was so much fun to put together.  Hopefully, you not only got some fashion tips, but the comfort of knowing what styles you can try in the workplace.

Thanks a zillion to all our wonderful participants.  You are trendsetters for sure.  And, a special thanks to one of my favorite lobbyists, MC for this very cool idea. 

For more fashion tips and tricks, check out:
Top 4 Tips for Capitol Fashion

Style Tips for the Workplace

Men's Fashion Tips for Warm Weather

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Fashion Fix

The Most Stylish People Around the Illinois State Capitol--

We are so excited about this post.  Fashion is a favorite, and so is legislative law.  Now, we've put them together.  Last week, we gave you the Top 4 Tips for Capitol Fashion.  Today and tomorrow, we'll be showing you the some of the Most Stylish People doing the work of the people of Illinois.  

You'll see legislators, staffers, and lobbyist, who not only do a great job for this State, but look amazing doing it.  So many people were eager to offer their photographs and their contribution to this site is more than appreciated.

Here's the first set of looks.  

Fabulous use of color, prints, and solids

Stunning use of a solid-colored dress as a canvas and exuding 1st Lady Style.

The shirts and ties here are everything.

I'm not sure they planned to coordinate, but they look great.
Never be afraid of color!
She's always fabulously dressed, head-to-toe...just another day at the Capitol.  

Love how her blouse brings out the coral in his tie.
Color-blocking at its best.

He's not afraid of a colored shirt.  See, Gents.  It works great!

Great looks for day session and evening receptions
Nice no-tie look 

Love this shirt and tie combo!

These Gents used their ties as highlight pieces.  Smooth moves.

Her non-traditional suit look is great for Spring.

Of course nothing sets off a great outfit like shoes!

Please take notes from the looks you see here.  There's no question these are all Fashion Do's!

Stay tuned tomorrow, when we'll show you more fashionable looks from the Illinois State Capitol.

In the meantime, check out:
10 Fashion Tips for Gents

Smooth Gentleman Must-haves

Major Must-haves for the Fabulous Fashionista

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Tops

Top 3 Spots to Dine in Springfield, IL---

It looks like this week will be dedicated to the government scene in the Illinois capital city of Springfield.  Tomorrow, we'll be bringing you the best fashions around the Capitol, but today we have to spotlight 3 favorite places to eat:  Cafe Moxo and Nick and Nino's Steakhouse.  These places cover all the meals you need when visiting Springfield to either lobby or see the historical sites.

Cafe Moxo
I love this place.  Their breakfast and lunch menus are unmatched and the staff is full of great people.  They treat you like family and the customer service is award-winning.  My favorites start with their oatmeal and made-to-order breakfast sandwiches, but the strata and french toast are tasty as well.  They have fresh parfait, too.  You can't go wrong.

Often, days at the Capitol can get quite busy.  You can always count on Cafe Moxo to save your stomach in the clutch.  They have bag lunches including a sandwich, chips or pasta salad, drink, and a cookie.  You can't beat this--especially between committee and floor debate.  Moxo delivers, which is incredible helpful.  If you're a tourist, take the time to sit-in and enjoy the atmosphere.  They have outdoor seating for nice days, with comfy couches and a fireplace inside to keep warm.

I can't say enough great things about this place.  Check them out on their site, on Yelp and Trip Advisor, and follow them on Twitter!

Nick and Nino's
End your long days here.  Open Tuesday - Saturday, this spot in the Springfield Hilton is a must.  You are seated at the top of the capital city, and served by the a wonderful staff from the moment you reach the hostest.  The food here is great.   Seabass is perfect.  Steaks are perfectly cooked, and the flight of filets will make your tastebuds extremely happy.

The drinks at Nick and Nino's are just right to unwind.  In conjunction with their Pinnacle Club bar, the mixed drinks, wines, and spirits are worth every sip.  The atmosphere is great.  It's laid back and relaxing, yet just right for sharing laughs with coworkers or friends.

Check out Nick and Nino's for dinner when you visit Springfield.  You won't regret it.  Book on Open Table now.

La Calia
This little gem is new to the city, but no less fabulous.  The decor has character and the staff is extremely personable--even up to the chef herself, who comes out to chat with patrons.  The Fish Vera Cruz is a favorite, preceded by brussels and bacon as an appetizer.  There's a full bar, you must try the Whiskey Pie.  Everything is made fresh everyday.  

La Calia has a great vibe for casually relaxing with friends after work, listening to the music in the background and talking about the art lining the walls.  It's also right across the street from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, so stopping there before or after is a must, too.  

Yes, there are other places to eat in Springfield.  But these 3, you just can't miss.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Loves Chicago

From the Rooftop--

Summertime Chi is fast approaching, and with these nice temperatures, it is time to have food and drinks on some of the best rooftop spots in the City.  Get ready for the weekend!

There are plenty of great top spots across Chicago.  Here are just a few...

Epic is one of the best Hubbard Street spots.  Their food is good, and the drinks are refreshing.  What wouldn't be on this rooftop in River North?!  Drink the Sex Panther, and nibble on some dessert.  You can't go wrong.  

J. Parker

A Lincoln Park gem in the Hotel Lincoln, this spot has quickly become a fan favorite.  With views of Lake Michigan, the intimate setting is perfect for a date, girl talk, or guys night out. 

Plymouth Restaurant

This is a regular spot for John Marshall and DePaul University Law School students.  It's right next to JMLS, and gives hardworking students the perfect escape between studying.  Plymouth is great for any patron, though. 

Zed 451 

Their brunch is beyond amazing.  Beyond.  The rooftop is, too.  This place is a go-to for so many reasons and a summer afternoon or evening is just another.  The roof is comfortable, and just right for unwinding.  

Roof at The Wit
State and Lake is one of Chicago's most popular intersections.  Roof is great for warm or cold days, as they have indoor and outdoor rooftop space.  The central location is perfect, just steps from the river and the lake.  The DJs are on point for a good time, too.

This is obviously just a sample of the many rooftop spots worth stopping by as the weather heats up.  Here's more B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Loves Chicago...brunch, spots by neighborhood, and more!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Tops

Top 4 Tips for Capitol Fashion--

As you may know, I am a legislative lawyer by day.  I love this job, and appreciate the opportunity to participate in the legislative process.  While taking part in making sure our laws are fitting, I also make it a priority to have fun dressing for my days at work.

Some of you may work in similar settings.  Hopefully these tips are helpful to you.

1.  Stay proper
On the legislative scene, there's meetings, receptions, and around all the time--cameras!  The business of government is public, so news reporters are there every minute.  You never know when you'll get caught on tape, and even without the tape, it is important to dress properly.  You're meeting with people you may not know and if you do know them, you want to be sure you're giving the right message.  You don't have to necessarily wear a suit every day, but be sure your attire is professional and work appropriate.

2.  Switch it up
Yes, we just told you to keep it professional, but it doesn't mean you have to be boring in what you wear.  Ladies, don't be afraid to add accessories to your business attire.  Adding color can always be the right touch.  Gents, we know white shirts are easy go-to's, but wearing a colored or patterned shirt is ok, too.  Pick ties with interesting designs, and put just a few extra minutes into your look.  Try a pocket square or genuine handkerchief. It's ok to go against the grain.

3.  Be comfortable
This is not only a tip for sensible shoes ("sensible" is subject to interpretation--I happen to think high heels are quite sensible :).  This tip also means being comfortable in what you're wearing.  If you don't feel comfortable in what you're wearing--whether it's because the clothes don't fit properly, or just aren't your style, you won't be be able to do the work of the people the way you should.  Pick items fitting to your body type and personality.  Be you in your professional clothing, not someone else. Having your own "fashionmark" is ok.

4.  Get casual with caution
After committees and a long day of floor action, you'll often find events like receptions or fundraisers.  Of course professional-wear from the workday is appropriate for the evening.  But, if you plan to wind down, be careful.  Your suit is always appropriate, but getting casual on your state or local legislative scene can be risky.  If you wouldn't want your boss to see you in it, don't wear it.  If it's too short, tight,  something you can wear to the beach or cut grass--don't wear it.  Just because the setting seems casual, events with coworkers and colleagues are never completely relaxed.  Keep your clothes appropriate at all times.  

These tips might be a bit vague, but stay tuned next week.  We'll have pictures of our favorite Capitol Fashions.  Can't wait!!

Monday, May 20, 2013

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Fashion Law

International Production: Fashion's Trip Around the World--

Over the last few weeks, there have been numerous reports about the conditions of textile factories.  These establishments have had subpar working conditions and are havens for unruly demands upon the workforce.  The impact on the labor force is major.  Workers in Zara's Argentinean factory were working 16 hours with no break, in dimly lit spaces.  Children worked there, too.  Moving production is definitely now a consideration.  A Bangladesh factory, riddled with code violations and poor working conditions collapsed in late April.  A worker was found in the wreckage a few weeks later.

The impact on the fashion industry is major, too.  Factories are shifting production to other countries because of rising wages and labor shortages in China.  China has long been an international capital of clothing production, but a shift appears to be afoot.  Lever Style, founded in Hong Kong, produces attire for a number of American apparel companies.  Their employee count has dropped by 1/3 in the last 2 years.  Like other garment manufacturers and designer brands, other locations for production are catching their eye. 

Coach is shifting production to other countries, reducing reliance on China. Nordstrom is moving to India. They have 450 factories on 40 countries.  China is the world's largest recipient of foreign direct investment, although growth is starting to decrease.  U.S. retailers profit margins average 1-2% according to National Retail Federation.  

Production location is less important to retailers, while quality is paramount.  Uniqlo is the largest apparel chain in Asia. It makes 70% of its clothing in China.

So why not have more production here? American citizens simply live in a different world with different expectations. The conditions laborers accept overseas would hardly fly here.  Many countries just don't have the employment law standards and practices so common here.  Is this any reason to keep production out of the States?  Is this system just part of the globalization scene, letting each nation do what they do best?

What do you think?  Should we have more clothing production here, or keep things as they are?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Cares

Imerman Angels 3rd Annual Golf Outing!

Imerman Angels is one of our favorite charities and their mission is so necessary in the tough task of fighting cancer.  This event will not only be a blast, but helpful to continuing the mision of the organization.  

What does Imerman Angels do?

Imerman Angels carefully matches and individually pairs a person touched by cancer (a cancer fighter or survivor) with someone who has fought and survived the same type of cancer (a Mentor Angel).  Cancer caregivers (spouses, parents, children and other family and friends of fighters) also receive 1-on-1 connections with other caregivers and survivors. These 1-on-1 relationships inspire hope and offer the chance to ask personal questions and receive support from someone who is uniquely familiar with the experience.

The service is absolutely free and helps anyone touched by any type of cancer, at any cancer stage level, at any age, living anywhere in the world.  Imerman Angels is a federally registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

Visit for information on how to support or join the network of cancer fighters, survivors and caregivers.

For more info and to get tickets, click here!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Tops

Top 5 Tips for Using Social Media--

These should actually go without saying, but for whatever reason, it seems they do not.  As social media continues to be a staple in our lives, we must remember to keep it in its proper place.

Here are some tips:

1.  Make the most of your use, but don't use too much.
Social media is a great tool.  It allows us to connect with people we might not if we didn't have it, but it also allows us to meet new people.  This can be great for business, professional development, and also personal growth.  The downfall of social media is when it becomes a replacement for human interaction.  Sure, some people are shy and this is helpful for the introverted.  But, we must be certain to keep the live interaction present in our world.  Let the network connect us, yet push us to personally engage with one another.  It's ok to put your phone down some times.  

2.  Only post when you're calm.
Drunk texting, Twitter ranting, and other electronic forms of venting are so common these days.  Your emotions can often take over, but be careful when having your smartphone in your hand or your computer near.  Even though many platforms now allow for deleting, things can never really be completely gone.  The minute you post, someone sees it and can make record of it forever.  Don't create a transcript of regret.  

3.  Post with purpose.
Some say social media is a means for making people care about things they generally wouldn't.  You're Facebook friends and follow them on Instagram--but no one wants to be flooded with too much from 1 source.  It compromises the content.  If you share on social media for business or pleasure, make your posts worth it.  Less is more.  

4.  Don't be afraid to disconnect.
If for whatever reason you're not getting what you want from another social media user, or maybe getting too much--unfollow, unfriend.  Having a high number of followers is great, but if you're not receiving the benefits of your network, change it up.  There's no harm in social media shopping.  You should get the most out of your experience.

5.  Be positive.
Unfortunately, there's more than enough bullying in real life.  We don't need it on the web, too.  Offer content and posts to help people or be neutral.  Don't take anger or aggression out on the internet, and don't put others down on the worldwide web.  The effects are far too harmful sometimes to retract.  Post with positivity.  

We're certain these are obvious to you, but a reminder never hurts.  

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