Nine to Five: Colleen

Colleen epitomizes New Yorker style. As you read her blog, Ordinary Tales, you realize she moves through the city and looks hot doing it! We are delighted to have her as part of our Nine to Five feature. You can check out her style notes on Alex's blog.

Describe your work environment from a style perspective. 
Traditional business professional – suits and ties out the wazoo. Wearing this green skirt to work still makes me nervous – I want to be respectful to my environment, but I also want to be fashion forward, have fun with what I wear, and express myself. It’s not easy, and it’s taken a couple of years to figure out my comfort level. But on days when we meet with clients you can bet I’m in a suit, and it’s boring but that’s just the way it is.

What are your nine to five staples?
In 30 Rock, I work right above J. Crew and Anthropologie – and these have easily become my go-tos. I pop into each store at least once a week and have mastered the timing of sales, when things will get that “Extra 40% off” at J. Crew, etc. – this has all led me to being a very notorious bargain hunter. While I like Forever 21 for a stray blouse, and Nordstrom Rack for tights – those two are the only places I shop for work stuff right now. And strange as it may sound, but because I’ve learned the stores and their sales so well – yes, shopping at J. Crew and Anthropologie has saved me a lot of money.

Does blogging make you a better employee at your day job? 
I think so – I work in an environment that involves a lot of math and science – two subjects I really enjoy, but I missed expressing myself in a more creative way. Through my blog I’ve found that outlet and question the balance of the two in my life a lot less.

Do you view blogging as a means of recording life, or as the start of an alternative career?
Recording life – blogging for me is an outlet to do something as simple as pick out my favorite fall trends, or write about my thoughts on death (fun stuff!) But really – it allows me to follow my life along, write down my thoughts about it, and challenge myself to continue thinking about the world around me and aim to gain a better understanding of it.

Is blogging your main outlet, or do you also write novels, run marathons, and knit all of your own sweaters?
It’s one of my outlets – I consider running and the hunt for delicious food to be my others. Oh and baking – sweet, sweet baking.

How do you find time to do it all? When do you blog? 
Well, like a lot of people, sometimes I don’t. I have to get to work at 7 AM, and I definitely rob myself of sleep sometimes because I want to finish a post, or I just have to write something down. But about a year into blogging I started to realize that if I skip a day in the week my content is better, I feel better, and it’s really not that big of a deal. I think my 50 followers will survive ;)

Finally, what have you been pinning lately? What are the items you are just dying to add to your work wardrobe? 
Oh gosh, if we want shit to be real – a Celine bag. I die over them. But if we want to be realistic I’d like a new suit (exciting!). And if we want to be realistic and fun, I’d love a few silky blouses in a few bright colors. I also think Ted Baker is killing his fall collection and would love a shirt and skirt from that line.

Bonus! Colleen is gal pals with another favorite Nine to Five lady. Here are Anna and Colleen dining al fresco in the big apple.


  1. this was so much fun to do - thank you for this!

  2. Hooray for Ordinary Tales! Love her style (she rocks those heals perfectly), but more than anything, love the girl behind the blog.

    She's my favorite!

  3. One more thing: I did not know you worked at 30 Rock, C! That night I was visiting (the night we took these pics?) I was strolling J.Crew and Anthro, literally right under your nose, right before I took a cab to meet up with you. Cray-zy.

    1. you totally were! i would have gladly joined you ;)

  4. I love that she saves money at J.Crew and Antho. My kind of gal!



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