Category Archives: Professional

CUSP & UWIB

Sincerely Jennie CUSP Neiman Marcus

I recently had a great night out with CUSP in Neiman Marcus and United Women in Business. While I’ve had the pleasure of joining UWIB for several great events around Chicago, including a Madewell networking event, the CUSP event still blew my expectations out of the water. The night’s events consisted of a fashion show with panelist designer Rebecca Taylor, delightful sips and sweets, fashion illustrations by Kristine Steiner and no shortage of eye-catching clothes on the racks.

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Happy Blogiversary

Sincerely Jennie Blogiversary

Today is so exciting for me! It happens to kick off the week of my one year blogiversary. That’s right, 365 days ago I started Sincerely, Jennie, my first blog on my own. When I decided to create this little space on the Internet I was coming off of another blog that I’d shared with a friend. That blog was ending so I decided to go out on my own. I wanted to continue sharing glimpses into my life with (virtual and IRL) friends with shared interests.

This past year with Sincerely, Jennie has been fun. I’ve gotten more involved with the Windy City Blogger Collective and gained some close friends, I’ve found my voice and my groove in posting, and my boyfriend and I may have gotten even closer through my blog outfit shoots (if you can believe that). I’ve gotten to work with brands I never would have met otherwise, such as Blumoss Swimwear, Irresistible Me Hair, Modern Table Meals and Chicago local businesses. I’ve learned a lot about blogging and picked up tips that have also helped me at my real life job of communications. There have been weeks when keeping up with a blog has been too much, but you know what, I’ve allowed myself to take a break when I needed it. I don’t ever want to stay away too long, though, because I actually enjoy keeping up with this hobby!

This week I’m going to take a look back on some of my favorite posts, talk about what I see in the future for the site and host a giveaway to say thank you to all of you for making this so much fun. It’s definitely a lot more enjoyable to have a blog when I actually know that my content connects with people out there. So thanks for stopping by and reading along. I look forward to the next year to come!


Skirting the Issue

Sincerely Jennie Professional Dress

I’ve spent time on here talking about professional dress because not only is work attire something I enjoy, it rules a lot of our lives! Think about it, we’re in the office five days a week, so there’s a chance we spend quite a bit of effort and time thinking about what we’re going to wear to work each day. I know my professional dress is starting to edge out the ratty weekend Ts and short weekend skirts.

Still, I was trying on outfits for a recent client meeting and it dawned on me that my closet was missing key pieces to help make the planning process fun. I needed something more casual than a day in the office but less formal than a new business pitch. I needed something polished but unique, classic with an unexpected twist. I needed…I needed…this skirt and blazer!

Banana Republic – knit midi skirt (check stores) | White House Black Market – white blazer & pendant necklace (check stores), black tights | Express – black silk v-neck | Forever21 – faux suede heels | Hair – Irresistible Me Sapphire 8 in 1 Curler and Fave 4 Texture Takeover Hairspray | Photos by Sarah

Sincerely Jennie Professional Dress

A peplum blazer and knit midi skirt were just a few of the recent purchases I made to spruce up my work wardrobe. Items like these, that aren’t your normal black suit jacket and skirt, help your personality and creativity shine through while still fitting in the business world. What are your wardrobe staples for when you need to wow at the office?

Sincerely Jennie Professional DressSincerely Jennie Professional Dress Sincerely Jennie Professional Dress


Looking Ahead

WCBC-2015-Gift-Basket-2016-And-Beyond-1-2

Can you believe we’re nearing a new year? I don’t know about you, but I want to hold on to the holidays as long as I can! Since we {sadly} can’t stop time, I am beginning to plan for my best 2016, and maybe you are to. To help you do so, The Windy City Blogger Collective is hosting a giveaway. Sponsored by At-A-Glance, I’ve teamed up with other bloggers to send one lucky winner a basket full of all the little things needed to keep organized!

Valued at over $200 this basket includes:

Enter to win below, and don’t forget to stop by The Windy City Blogger Collective site to see all of the other themed baskets that are available. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

WCBC 2016 And Beyond Gift Basket Giveaway Sponsored by At-A-Glance


#SMWChicago Recap

Sincerely, Jennie Social Media Week Chicago Review

Last week I had the pleasure of attending Social Media Week Chicago for work. Although it already feels like eons ago, I still wanted to share some tidbits I picked up that helped spark my creativity.

Social Media Week Chicago is held once a year and is chock-full of interesting panels and presentations (and a few happy hours) with really knowledgeable speakers. The event is good for a lot of skill levels, and I think especially valuable for people who consider themselves beginner/intermediate. Sometimes even just the Q&A portions of sessions can be a great way to spark creativity.

If you weren’t able to attend Social Media Week, check out the tweets and comments after the jump that express some of my key takeaways from the panels I attended.

Sincerely, Jennie Social Media Week Chicago Review

Here was something shared at the Masterclass: Infographics — How to easily turn content into visuals people will want to like and share. It’s no secret people’s attention spans have dwindled. As bloggers, we have a leg up since our content relies on photos and graphics. If you’re looking for even more ways to cut down on your words, try using free graphic tools like PicMonkey or Canva to tell your story through infographics instead.

Sincerely, Jennie Social Media Week Chicago Review

Also related to above, and also no secret, Instagram has pulled ahead in the social media ranks. I’m curious to see what’s next for the app. Will the ads take off? What other features will be unveiled? Only time will tell!

Sincerely, Jennie Social Media Week Chicago Review

Even though everyone kept harping on images, that’s not to say that writing and blogs are dead. Instagram, photos, infographics, they’re all just pieces to support the bigger picture you’re creating in your own little corner of the Internet. As Erin shared in her Masterclass: Keys to Working with Bloggers and Influencers, bloggers can offer brands and audiences something that not everyone else can.

Sincerely, Jennie Social Media Week Chicago Review

And speaking of your blog, here’s a reminder to create good content! It’s what helps you rank well, not checking all of the boxes that some plug-in says you need to. People want to hear what you have to say and they want to know that you really care about the content you’re sharing.

Aside from the above advice, another thing harped on at Social Media Week Chicago was being true to your brand. I think we can all agree that’s perhaps the biggest piece of the social media puzzle.


Go Blog Social

Sincerely-Jennie-Go-Blog-Social-Review

This past weekend was full of fun for me, including getting to attend the Go Blog Social pop-up conference in Chicago. I had the pleasure of being a blog ambassador for Go Blog Social and it exceeded my expectations. It was my first time at the conference, which is organized by several bloggers in Kansas City. I took away a lot of blog tips and inspiration, and left feeling like my online friends had turned into real friends. Continue reading to hear about the conference and some of the best tips the experts shared. And if you want to hear more about the conference, please leave me a comment.

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Professional Series: Chicago Communicators

PCC Luncheon 1My colleague and me at a PCC lunch and learn.

As part of my professional series, I’ve asked coworkers and friends to share their advice for young professionals. Today, my coworker Natalie is discussing her experiences at networking events, specifically for communications professionals in Chicago. 

Natalie Terchek

For young professionals, networking can seem a bit intimidating and overwhelming. I’m a pretty introverted person, and it used to be very difficult for me to approach the topic of business when I was at parties or events. I was afraid I would seem too pushy if I asked someone about job opportunities at their company.

After speaking with my colleagues, I learned that an easy, less stressful way to network is to join a local networking group. These groups host seminars and events in a fun, relaxed environment (like a bar or restaurant), but they’re structured in a way where you don’t feel uncomfortable talking about business. Most of the events are held during the week after work hours, and it feels much more natural to talk about business while you’re in the middle of the work week, rather than on the weekends. Continue after the jump to learn about three top networking associations in Chicago. Continue after the jump to learn about three top networking associations in Chicago.

– Natalie, Communications Professional
Chicago

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Simply a Steal

HM sleeveless jersey dress

The other day, two things happened for me that are rare. The first, I went into H&M to actually shop (I typically avoid the store because I easily get overwhelmed in it). The second was that I found multiple pieces of flattering clothing – each costing less than $13! This dress was one of my purchases. It’s the perfect addition to my work wardrobe and is very similar to a designer dress I’ve been eyeing.

If you want something more casual, H&M has this dress in plenty of patterns. Click here to see all of your choices for summer.

HM – Sleeveless jersey dress | Blazer – similar | Nails – Zoya “LC” | Purse – {similar} tan purse | Necklace – {similar} floral statement necklace

HM sleeveless jersey dress

HM sleeveless jersey dress

Gold heel sandals

HM sleeveless jersey dress


Guest Post

How to wear a graphic midi skirt

I’m very excited to be a guest blogger today on Verily. This women’s fashion and lifestyle site not only empowers its readers with a “no photoshop” policy (so no retouching already beautiful women!), it also offers sound advice for all facets of your life. I am sharing tips in the fashion section, so head on over to read more about how to style a graphic skirt three ways.


On the Hunt

Safari dress

This is one of those looks that I pulled together and had to think, style or costume? Let’s examine the pieces:

The safari dress? Perfect for a 90 degree work day.
The hat? Yes, shields your eyes and looks great on vacation.
And the Ivanka Trump animal print heels? The right balance between playful and professional.

But all together? Well…I just went for it. And I actually really liked the way it turned out, especially with me in my natural habitat (planted trees and concrete sidewalks).

Straw hat

Ivanka Trump heels

Safari dress

Straw hatDress – Banana Republic Outlet (similar) | Hat – H&M | Heels – Ivanka Trump via Marshalls | Nail polish – Ulta “Snow White