Recommendation Recall: Kodiak Boots and Madewell Denim

Dressed to Code in Moorea Seal Morley adjustable black wool hat with petite-friendly North Face Women's Stretch Thermoball jacket in matte black (TNF black), Madewell whisper cotton tee in black and white hardy stripe, Madewell 8" skinny jeans in quincy wash dark denim, and Kodiak Acadia waterproof insulated boots in caramel leather.
Two of the items in this photo have let me down in a big way.

I’ve been debating whether or not to write this post, but I believe that it’s important to admit when your opinions have changed. So here it is, the post on which items haven’t retained my initial enthusiasm. That isn’t to say that these items might not be a good fit for someone else or that we didn’t have some good times together. Nonetheless, in the spirit of informed purchasing, here are my recommendation recalls.

The Bad News

Ammended Recommendation: Kodiak Arcadia Boots

First post here.

I purchased these boots at REI after realizing I was completely unprepared for a slushy winter day in Seattle. These insulated boots seemed to be just the thing, and I was drawn to the gorgeous coppery color. Clearly I wasn’t alone; I’ve noticed many REI employees sporting them as well. Why am I recalling my recommendation? They scuff horribly.

As one particularly annoying salesman explained to me, all leather shoes scuff (insert eyeroll here), but these Kodiak Arcadia boots age exponentially faster than any leather shoes I’ve ever owned. Within a day, I’d tripped over my own feet, introducing a long, pale gash down the side. Within a month, the boots look as though they’d been industrially aged for a vintage look. It might have been fine if that was my thing; spoiler: it’s not. Even shining the boots only improved the look temporarily.

Therefore, I’m amending my recommendation. The boots have kept my feet comfortable, warm, and dry. They have not kept their exterior style. If you’re looking for a vintage exterior look, these might actually be a good choice.

Rear view of Madewell radio tee, Quncy wash 8" skinny jeans, and Hinge Drea blush leather sandals.
These jeans may be comfortable, but they won’t last much longer.

Recalled Recommendation: Madewell Denim

First post here.

This one is especially painful. My relationship with Madewell denim goes back to my very first recommendation on Dressed to Code and extends to three different pairs of jeans (overalls so far not excluded). The first pair to go were my 8″ skinny jeans in Lakeshore wash. At the time, I thought there was nothing quite putting on your pants for work and realizing they’d worn through in the rear — with no idea when that happened. I was wrong. A few weeks later, my black 10″ skinny jeans (purchased several months after the Lakeshore pair) split down the inner thigh. Even better, it was Monday morning as I was en route to a special trip for work. Awesome.

After the first pair, I figured it was a fluke. After the second pair died in a different, yet spectacularly embarrassing way, I checked my third pair. The fabric in the seat is discolored and thinned; time’s ticking before it also wears through. Now, I get that all items wear out. That said, the oldest pair was about six months old. I don’t know about you, but I expect my jeans, of all items, to last longer than that. As an example, my beloved demi-curve Levis wore out after five years.

Now, before any denim experts start in, I don’t over-wash my jeans or put them in the dryer. I addition to losing ground on my intentional wardrobe, I’m now desperately seeking at least one replacement pair, preferably 99% cotton or higher. I’ve ordered a few pairs and have my fingers crossed for a winner or two. Otherwise, I’ll be out of pants in about a month. Yikes.

To be fair, Madewell’s customer service has been excellent, offering to refund my full purchase price both times. However, I’d rather have jeans I don’t need to replace every few months. I believe the wear might be mitigated if Madewell decided to offer a fit cut more generously through the hips, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

Black and grey/gray Eddie Bauer Women's Flightplan II Cardigan Sweater rear/back view.
Thankfully, this Eddie Bauer has been a pleasant surprise.

The Good News

To leave you on a more positive note, I’d like to also note items which have pleasantly surprised me, items which have exceeded my expectations.

Strong Recommendation: Eddie Bauer Flightplan Cardigan Sweater

I wear this sweater at least once a week. It’s chilly in my office, so this sweater keeps me warm but not too warm when layered over a cotton tee and jeans. Remember, my workplace is rather casual. The fabric has held up well and (knock on wood) hasn’t gotten fuzzy.

Which items have been your greatest disappointments or unexpected favorites? Have a denim recommendation of your own? Let me know in the comments below.


It’s better to be right eventually than wrong forever.


Toasting the New Year with a Drink of Water

Casey of Dressed to Code wears a black Women's North Face Stretch Thermoball down alternative jacket with black Madewell 10" high-rise denim and kodiak caramel leather insulated boots.
I’m looking forward to the new year, but I’m also looking back at what I’ll continue from years past.

It’s easy to see why people love the start of the new year so much. January 1 is the day we collectively start over and vow to do things differently, to make this year better than the last. It’s the time of resolutions and renewal. That said, I can’t remember the last time that a significant change I made started with a New Year’s resolution. Change doesn’t have to start with the beginning of the year, the month, or the week. Change starts whenever you’re ready and willing to do the work. Therefore, this post, primarily covering my drink habits, is the first in a mini-series covering some of the changes I plan to continue into the new year.

Health and Fitness

A new year’s post wouldn’t be complete without some mention of being active and eating right/better/healthier/etc. About a year ago, I was forced into making some dietary changes. It hasn’t been fun, and it certainly hasn’t been easy. Nonetheless, it has been worth it to lessen or eliminate some of the uncomfortable (or even painful) symptoms I was experiencing. As part of this change, I avoid certain foods, eat others in moderation, and maintain a minimum level of activity. To continue feeling better, I plan to continue doing all of these things into the new year.

Please note that I made these changes in consultation with my doctor, a licensed and experienced medical professional.

Gazing out on the lake from Mercer Island, Seattle, Washington.
Our 2nd annual Christmas Day bike ride was much colder than the first, but it was great to get back on the bike.

What I Drink and What I Don’t

Now, in my completely amateur opinion, I’ll quickly share what I believe to be an easy place to start if you’re looking to cut back on sugar or empty calories: what you drink. The habits I’m outlining here have developed over the years for a variety of reasons, but they work for me. Even better, I save a lot of money.

I drink water.

The vast majority of the time, I drink water. I know, we’ve all heard “drink more water,” but it really is incredibly beneficial in a variety of ways. Personally, I’ll drink a lot more water if it’s already in front of me (like at a restaurant) or easily accessible.We have become better at refilling our water glasses at least once during dinner, which has made a difference.

Unless you’re in a poisoned water situation like Flint, Michigan, skip the pre-bottled stuff (it’s expensive and terrible for the planet) and fill up on good old tap water. If you don’t like the taste, install a filter or use a filtered pitcher. Bring a bottle to take with you or keep in the car when you’re out and about; I love my hydroflask water bottle for keeping water cold on hot days. What changes could you inact to make drinking more water easier?

Plus, restaurants and other food establishments in the United States are often required to provide drinking water for free or a minimal “cup fee.” This savings adds up over time, leaving you more for more meals out or your savings account.

I don’t drink coffee.

I know this one isn’t going to be feasible for everyone, but I don’t drink coffee. Yes, I now live in Seattle. Before you try to tell me what I’m missing, I’ve never been interested; too much caffeine gives me a headache; and I save that money for other things. If you feel terrible when you cut back on the coffee (or soda), it’s likely because caffeine is a legitimate physical addiction and you’re undergoing withdrawal. If you do decide to cast off caffeine in the new year, know that the secret to waking up well isn’t coffee — it’s getting enough sleep.

I do drink tea.

Instead, I usually drink tea when I want something warm. Black tea (no cream, no sugar) is generally my first choice. Right now, I’m primarily drinking decaffeinated English Breakfast from Twinings which I bought in a 100 pack from Amazon (an excellent decision).

I sometimes drink fruit juice.

Sometimes I get a craving for fruit juice, especially a nice glass of fresh squeezed orange juice. If I do drink fruit juice, I try to make sure that what I’m drinking comes from an actual fruit and isn’t fruit flavored sugar water. You should also know that a naturally occurring chemical in grapefruits can interfere with certain medications. Check everything you’re taking for interactions before you choose that particular citrus. (Side note: unless you are severely dehydrated from the flu or serious exercise in the hot sun, your electrolytes are probably fine. Skip the sports drinks.)

I very rarely drink soda.

If I do drink soda, it’s on rare occasion and probably at a fancy event. I’ll order a non-alcoholic mixed drink when the occasion calls for it. (Side note: Trader Joe’s pomegranate limeade + tonic water is an easy mocktail.) Maybe once every two years I’ll get the hankering for a Coke and drink half a can. Soda has never been a big fixture in my diet, and that’s something I’m not going to change.

I sometimes drink hot chocolate.

Of course, if you’ve seen my Instagram feed, you know that I also love a good hot chocolate. For those dietary reasons I mentioned, I avoid hot chocolates made with dairy or soy milks and order almond or coconut milk if available. If not, I order tea. I don’t stock it at home, so hot chocolate is a treat usually reserved for cozy coffeehouse meetings with friends.

A croissant, latte, and hot chocolate from Storyville Coffee add a little something special to a meeting between friends.
The hot chocolate is mine. The latte isn’t.

I don’t drink alcohol.

Disclaimer: If this part of the post sounds defensive or overly aggressive, know that complete strangers have voiced very strong opinions on this personal decision of mine over the years, ranging from inappropriate to uncomfortable and even threatening. 

This is for several reasons, including those dietary restrictions I mentioned above. Several of my many reasons for not imbibing are deeply personal and not up for debate. No, avoiding alcohol doesn’t make me a prude or a buzzkill or anything like that. It also doesn’t tell you anything about my religious or political views. Yes, I have tried it, and no, there isn’t any drink out there that will change my mind.

For one thing, it seems that I smell alcohol much more strongly than other people. I’ve had plenty of “but you can’t even taste the alcohol” drinks shoved in my face, and they all reeked of booze to me. (In the spirit of full disclosure, there was a mixed-drink exception, but I’m 99.9% sure that person had actually been discretely cut off by their friends.)

I want to emphasize that I believe alcoholic beverages, in moderation, can be part of a healthy lifestyle. Many of my friends drink alcohol, and I spend time with them when they do. (Built in DD!) I become concerned, however, when people promote alcohol (and a lot of it) as an essential part of having fun. That’s an incredibly dangerous and disturbingly prevalent notion. If you can’t remember the last time you had a good time without consuming alcohol, please consider seeking help.

Some Myths About People Who Don’t Drink Alcohol

Weirdly enough, not drinking alcohol seems to make some people very uncomfortable. Let’s talk about some of the reasons I hear:

  1. Judgement. If you do something unwise or dangerous under the influence of a substance, I’m going to judge you for it. If you do something unwise or dangerous not under the influence, I’m going to judge you for it as well. Your actions factor into others’ assessment of your character. Having a drink or two isn’t going to change my assessment of you. Getting violent, belligerent, or behind the wheel while impaired will.
  2. Fun. Yes, you can have fun without being tipsy or drunk. In fact, you should have non-alcoholic fun on a regular basis. It’s fun, and you won’t have that bar tab at the end of the night.
  3. Social lubricant. This is the one that probably makes the least amount of sense to me. Some people use alcohol to help them relax in social situations. Fine. Somehow, this has been twisted around to imply that people who don’t drink alcohol are somehow less socially adept. While there’s bound to be some overlap between the two groups, this one’s just not true. Maybe it’s really because your sober friend can clue you in as to whether you’re actually funnier while drinking or just think you are.

Being A Better Host/Friend/Member of Society

What can you do to be more conscious of people who do not partake (whether that means ever or just on a given night)?

  1. If they decline alcoholic beverages, don’t question it. Offer the non-alcoholic options. Better yet, offer all the beverages up front.
  2. Have non-alcoholic options. This is just good practice for everyone. (If you’re serving cocktails, include interesting multi-ingredient non-alcoholic drinks.)
  3. Don’t ask them why. There are a million completely legitimate reasons, all of which are none of your business unless they choose to share. Some examples include:
    • They don’t feel like it.
    • They need to drive home. Alcohol tolerance varies wildly and is not a competition. Some people are uncomfortable or not safe driving after even a single drink.
    • They’re taking medication. Many medications are incompatible or unwise to take with alcohol, including antibiotics. Do you really want to be the person who puts someone on the spot over a UTI?
    • They have a personal or family history of alcoholism. Addiction is serious business and very personal.
    • They’re trying to save money.
  4. Reconsider alcohol-themed events. If you make the entire point of the party “champagne” or “beer pong,” you’re making someone feel unwelcome or uninterested. At a minimum, try to provide alternatives and include them prominently in the invitation, like hosting a wine and chocolate tasting event (sign me up!).

Words to Avoid: “Detox” and “Chemical-free”

It seems appropriate here to caution against “quick fix” diets or “detox” products. As any legitimate medical professional will tell you, your body has its own methods of removing “toxins” from your body; their names are liver and kidney. If you want to help them out, drink more water and less alcohol. A juice “cleanse” probably won’t kill you, but that healthy feeling people report afterward is more the result of cutting back on foods heavy in fats and processed sugars. If you want to change what you eat, skip the (potentially dangerous) magic pills and simply focus on foods that are better for you. If you’re still not feeling better, consult your doctor. You may, like me, have food-related or other health issues that require treatment.

Furthermore, anyone who touts a “chemical-free” product has no idea what they’re talking about. Period. This is a fallacy (especially rampant in health and beauty products) easily countered with basic science literacy. Water is a chemical. That isn’t to say that there aren’t chemicals which you should legitimately avoid putting in or on your body; there definitely are harmful chemicals out there. However, if someone tries to sell you a “chemical-free” product, they obviously don’t know what they’re talking about.


What drinks do you consider worth the money? What’s your favorite mocktail recipe? What would you like to see in this series? Let me know!

We cannot change that which we do not recognize.



Why Am I Dressed to Code? Big News!

Dressed to Code in Moorea Seal Morley adjustable black wool hat with petite-friendly North Face Women's Stretch Thermoball jacket in matte black (TNF black), Madewell whisper cotton tee in black and white hardy stripe, Madewell 8" skinny jeans in quincy wash dark denim, and Kodiak Acadia waterproof insulated boots in caramel leather.
People who code come in all shapes and sizes and look just like everyone else.

Dressed to Code

First, why is this blog called Dressed to Code? It’s more than a play on the phrase “dress code” (I have some strong opinions on dress codes, but that’s a post for another day.). This blog is called Dressed to Code because that’s what I do; I code.

Don’t get me wrong. I do plenty of other things too, like hike, bike, and watch more Netflix than I should. My education background is in physics (probably nothing like the physics you did in high school) as well, and I’ll always love the subject. If you’re wondering why, check out this mind-blowing video on quantum mechanics. (Yes, the little cartoon professor accurately explains the famous double slit experiment.) Your view of the world will never be the same.

I learned to code, and you can too.

Nonetheless, a few stellar professors got me hooked on coding and the ability to create with your keyboard. I understand why learning to code can sound intimidating. For one, it sounds like a different language, several different languages in fact. The basic idea is that you learn how to communicate what you want in a programming language which then converts those commands to a language your computer can follow. From there, the possibilities are endless.

For example, you want to buy a jacket (like this North Face Stretch Thermoball) if the price goes below a certain dollar amount, your budget. Basic “pseudocode” (a sort of rough draft of code) might look like this:

if price < budget: buy jacket

It really is that simple, at least at the beginning. There are now a plethora of free sites that will walk you through the basics in several different languages. I learned python as my first language and would recommend it as a good starting place. (In my opinion, it’s less fussy than other languages.) If you’re already blogging and want to learn a little more to help you spice up your website, I like the HTML and CSS tutorials over at W3Schools.

The News

Enough already, I know. You just want to hear my news. Well, drumroll please…

I’ll be starting the new year with a new job as a full-time software development engineer (SDE)!

What does that mean for Dressed to Code? That remains to be seen. I am tremendously grateful for the welcoming and supportive community I have found in the Seattle bloggers and am in no hurry to leave any time soon. That said, there will likely be some kind of a transition phase. We’ll see what happens!

Dressed to Code in Moorea Seal Morley adjustable black wool hat with petite-friendly North Face Women's Stretch Thermoball jacket in matte black (TNF black), Madewell whisper cotton tee in black and white hardy stripe, Madewell 8" skinny jeans in quincy wash dark denim, and Kodiak Acadia waterproof insulated boots in caramel leather.
This look would fit right in with my Pinterest inspiration board.

Black, Blue, Brown (and Stripes!)

This look really combines a number of the elements I found myself drawn to in my Pinterest research. Check out my board here, and you’ll notice this black-blue-brown color scheme (I include white and grey as well), punctuated by black and white stripes.


This North Face Stretch Thermoball has been sitting under my tree, and I am pleased to finally be able to wear it. With temperatures hovering between freezing and high 40s fahrenheit (4C), this warm layer is just what I’ve needed. Recently, I went walking around the city with a friend, and this jacket kept me sufficiently warm with a t-shirt, beanie, and gloves. When it began to sprinkle lightly, the water drops beaded up on the exterior, but I wouldn’t trust it to go solo in a true rain.

I ultimately picked out this jacket over others for two key reasons. First, the smaller, chevron pattern is fairly flattering. Second, the matte finish means that the black jacket doesn’t resemble a trash bag. The jacket features two exterior zip pockets, and the option to tuck things into their lining inside. A hidden elastic band at the wrist keeps the drafts out of your sleeves.

(Note: This was my Christmas gift from my family, so I didn’t patiently wait for a sale like I normally do. You may have luck finding a better price once the weather warms up, and I’ll let you know if I spot a sale.)

I’m wearing an XS, which fits well with enough room for a bulky sweater underneath. The fit is a little snug around the bottom but would hit in a higher, thinner place on someone taller than myself. I like that the snug (but not too tight) fit means I’m not getting cold drafts up from below.

Dressed to Code in Moorea Seal Morley adjustable black wool hat with petite-friendly North Face Women's Stretch Thermoball jacket in matte black (TNF black), Madewell whisper cotton tee in black and white hardy stripe, Madewell 8" skinny jeans in quincy wash dark denim, and Kodiak Acadia waterproof insulated boots in caramel leather.
The stretch version of the North Face Thermoball has a matte finish.

Jeans & Tee & Hat

You’ll recognize my quincy wash Madewell 8″ skinny jeanswhisper cotton tee in hardy stripe, and Morley hat from Moorea Seal. Follow the links for my reviews in greater detail.

Kodiak Acadia Boots

I finally added a little brown to my wardrobe with these caramel leather Kodiak Acadia Boots. I got mine in person at REI, but Amazon has the full range of colors. These are insulated, waterproof leather boots with a durable sole. I’ve been wearing these regularly since I’ve gotten them and have been happy with how warm and comfortable they have been. I wear them with thick Smartwool hiking socks, so I sized up to a size 7 from my usual 6.5.

My biggest complaint is that they seem to scuff easily. I have plenty of leather shoes which don’t scuff quite as much as these, so you’d better be prepared for more of a worn leather look. My S.O. gave me a polishing kit for Christmas (purely because I’d been complaining about these), which I am excited to try out.

I spent quite a while in REI trying to decide between these and the very slightly more comfortable Kodiak Surrey II Boots. I went with the Acadia because they looked a little more like everyday shoes than heavy winter boots. The Surrey II was slightly bigger on, slightly more comfortable, slightly warmer, and slightly more expensive. Both styles are available from Kodiak in a men’s version as well.

Dressed to Code in Moorea Seal Morley adjustable black wool hat with petite-friendly North Face Women's Stretch Thermoball jacket in matte black (TNF black), Madewell whisper cotton tee in black and white hardy stripe, Madewell 8" skinny jeans in quincy wash dark denim, and Kodiak Acadia waterproof insulated boots in caramel leather.
Outside winter shoots aren’t so bad in a warm jacket and boots combination!

Wrapping Up 2016

This has been a roller coaster of a year, with some personal highs and globals lows. The takeaway message for me is that we have come so far but still have so much farther to go. Celebrate the small victories on your way to greater progress. Make the world a little kinder, a little more welcoming, and a little more aware.

Here’s to the next adventure.


Eat, Drink, and Be Merry: Il Corvo

All black everything with 10" high-rise skinny jeans in carbondale wash from Madewell and black leather chelsea boots finish out a black pea coat and t-shirt for a head-to-toe look.
Level achieved: all black.

All Black Everything

Can you believe that it has taken me this long to check black denim off my intentional wardrobe wishlist? I can’t. I wore this all-black look for lunch at Il Corvo in Pioneer Square with Julia of Style and Cheek (go check out her blog!).

I’d been eyeing these Madewell 10″ high rise jeans for a while and finally bought them when 25% off. I wear a size 25 in both of my other pairs of Madewell denim, but the stretchier nature of this material meant that the size 25 pulled and bunched in an unflattering manner. The 26 was a smoother and more comfortable fit. I wear the regular length jeans, which hits just a little long. Therefore, I’d consider having this pair hemmed and tapered like my Lakeshore wash pair. This particular black denim is called “carbondale wash.”

All black everything with 10" high-rise skinny jeans in carbondale wash from Madewell and black leather chelsea boots finish out a black pea coat and t-shirt for a head-to-toe look.
To accessorize, I would probably add my black gloves and beanie to keep me warm.

High-waist jeans seem to go in and out of style. However, I bought this pair because they look virtually the same under an untucked shirt and give me more flexibility with shirts of different lengths. In this outfit, I tucked in a old black Merona t-shirt from Target, which I love for its petite-friendly length. The waist was just high and tight enough that I could add a black and silver belt (vintage Mom) that is too short for my usual pants. I finished off the look with my Madewell chelsea boots and old Forever 21 pea coat. (I fell in love with this possible replacement at Nordstrom before I saw the price. Nope!)

I’m excited to try other all-black looks with different layers and textures, including my black satin bomber.

Pappardelle alla bolognese, focaccia bread, and kale salad for a lunch at Il Corvo in Seattle's Pioneer Square neighborhood.
Julia and I each ordered a main and a side.

Il Corvo

This pasta place had been on my list since I had first heard of it. However, with a lunch-only schedule, Il Corvo wasn’t an option for Friday date night or weekends, when I usually eat out. I finally had the opportunity to visit this rising star with Julia of Style and Cheek.


Like the reviews say, expect to wait. Thankfully, we got there as the line was just out the door, but it quickly grew longer behind us. Once the line moved up enough that we graduated to waiting inside, the smell was incredible. The place is very small; with tables against either wall, there is just enough room for a queue up the middle. The menu rotates with three options daily, but I was pretty thrilled to see the classic pappardelle alla bolognese as one of the day’s options.

Once we made it to the front, we ordered and immediately received our appetizers. I went for the generous portion of focaccia (probably serves 2-3 people), and Julia ordered the Kale salad. We then collected our own water and cutlery before selecting a table. I sat against the wall in what appeared to be a church pew. When our pasta was ready, the waiter called out my name and brought it over to our table.

Pappardelle alla bolognese for a lunch at Il Corvo in Seattle's Pioneer Square neighborhood.
Pappardelle alla bolognese from Il Corvo.


The bolognese sauce was very smooth in texture; think of a very fine pulled pork. It also had some heat to it, leaving my mouth warm in a way that had nothing to do with the temperature of the food. The focaccia was thick and fluffy with good flavor and olive oil for dipping. I ate all of it, but I was pretty hungry to start.

Overall, I thought that the food was tasty and reasonably priced. The rotating menu should help make each visit a little special. I’d recommend it for two people with some time to kill chatting.

Focaccia bread for a lunch at Il Corvo in Seattle's Pioneer Square neighborhood.
Focaccia bread for lunch at Il Corvo.

I think a great pasta bolognese might be my choice if I had to eat one food for the rest of time. What would yours be?


There’s nothing quite like a good meal shared in great company. 


Stay Cozy Casual with a Classic

Achieve cozy casual with this classic cable pullover sweater and lakeshore wash 8" skinny jeans, both from Madewell and styled on Casey of Dressed to Code.

Cozy Casual Outfit

Winter has certainly set in here in Seattle (snow!), and that means keeping my daily looks cozy casual. As you may have guessed, cozy casual means layers and warm sweaters.

Classic Cable Pullover Sweater

If you’ve been following along, I put plenty of sweaters on my intentional wardrobe wishlist. That said, I’ve been looking for the right sweater, heavy but not overwhelming. While in store at Madewell to make a not-so-successful Black Friday return, I found this classic cable pullover sweater in heather carbon. I hadn’t bought it during the Black Friday sales because it was final sale. However, after trying it on, I quickly snatched one up in size XS. It has interesting visual detail, and the sleeves are warm without being too tight. The weave is loose enough in places that I wouldn’t wear it without an undershirt. Here, while you cannot see it, I paired it with my grey whisper cotton crew neck tee.

Achieve cozy casual with this classic cable pullover sweater, lakeshore wash 8" skinny jeans, and black leather chelsea boots, all from Madewell and styled on Casey of Dressed to Code.

Madewell Denim

Denim may not be everyone’s first thought when they think cozy. However, the ‘real’ pants keep this cozy casual look from being at-home-in-your-pajamas casual. These 8″ skinny jeans are hemmed and tapered so that they fit like custom-made. They are also warm enough to stand up to some of these chilly days. (I really need to find an indoor shoot space!)

Achieve cozy casual with this classic cable pullover sweater, lakeshore wash 8" skinny jeans, and black leather chelsea boots, all from Madewell and styled on Casey of Dressed to Code.

Chelsea Leather Boots

These chelsea leather boots were another sale scoop from Madewell. You may have sensed a trend in my shopping lately… it’s Madewell. Right now, Madewell is fitting that sweet spot of fit, budget, and style (more on that later).

Achieve cozy casual with this classic cable pullover sweater, lakeshore wash 8" skinny jeans, and black leather chelsea boots, all from Madewell and styled on Casey of Dressed to Code.

 Personal Note

I received some good news lately that may, unfortunately, affect the continuation or operation of this blog. I’ll let you know more when I can, but for now, let me thank you for your support. In the few months that I have stumbled into the blogging world, I have learned so much and met some incredible people. A special thanks to Julia of Style and Cheek and Julianna of Blush and Camo for their support and encouragement.

Casey of Dressed to Code models a classic halo diamond ring from Blue Nile and snow-inspired white sparkle nails.
To be clear, this is NOT my news. This was a fun night of trying on the gorgeous baubles at Blue Nile.

Blue Nile

I recently had the opportunity to try on some beautiful diamond rings at the opening party for Blue Nile in Bellevue Square, thanks to Sydney of Gossip & Glamour (#bluenilesparkle). It was a fun night of light bites and sparkling rings. I loved that they had a number of the rings cabled into two tables so that you could inspect and try on rings without the pressure of someone watching you. As much as I love how the halo rings look on, I think I’d opt for something a little smaller when that time comes.

In honor of the snow, I opted for a sparkling white manicure using polishes White On and Disco Ball. I like that it ended up as a sort of neutral but festive and bright look. Try this combination if you’re looking for an alternative to the classic red manicure this time of year. That said, I recently ran out of my Revlon Red polish, which works wonders for a classic red manicure in a single coat!

If you’re looking for more cozy casual outfit inspiration, check out my other sweater purchase or my Pinterest board.

May your toes stay warm this winter!