pre-spring pastels

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I decided that even though it’s exceptionally cold in Chicago (the second coldest February in Chicago history!), it was time to start busting out the spring pastels. Maybe my pastel colors and wishful thinking will translate to warmer weather. One can only hope, right? This is my pre-spring pastels look. I’m feeling warmer already…
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Blazer: Alice & Olivia via Saver’s ($5, retails for approx $400)
Denim shirt: Gap ($16 marked down from $60)
Heart top: H&M ($7 marked down from $24)
Pants: NYDJ via Nordstrom Rack ($20 marked down from $110) NYDJ sale
Heels: Messeca via Rue La La ($50 marked down from $140)
Necklace: gift
Ring: gift
Scarf: Burberry (gift)
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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) This blazer actually has shoulder pads…and I kept them in! This is a first for me. However, I found that the shoulder pads were so thin, and actually add a nice shape to the blazer. Never say never, right? So, if you’re thrifting for blazers and find one with shoulder pads, try it on first, before taking them out! However, if you do want to remove shoulder pads, it’s actually pretty straight forward. You can see how I removed them from my last blazer here.
 
2) This is the first shirt that I attempted to tailor on my own. H&M only had one shirt left and it was in a size that was too big on me. So, I figured “how hard could it be” to take it in. Ah yes, the infamous, how hard could it be? Well, it wasn’t hard so much as it involved a lot of seam ripping after I couldn’t get my arms in my modified shirt. Thankfully, I was working with a really forgiving fabric. You can read the tutorial I used here. Shirts are always easier to take in than to take out. So, if you see something you want, don’t turn it down just based on sizing. I’m definitely a novice seamtress and found that it took me about 45 minutes to tailor the shirt with my sewing machine. 
Anyone else have a good tutorial for basic tailoring? Thanks so much for stopping by, readers! I appreciate it so very much! Have a good weekend!

treasures from the trunk show (charleston, sc, cont.)

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Continued from my last post, I’m adding additional details to my magical experience at The Trunk Show in Charleston, South Carolina. The Trunk Show is a (very) high-end consignment shop in the heart of downtown Charleston. The window display is quite unassuming, with a few mannequins and some gowns. However, when you walk in the door, you can see why people come from all over the south to shop there. There is more couture consigned, organized, and squeezed into a small place than any other store I’ve visited. Ever. The staff is exceptionally friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable Unlike many other consignment shops, this staff knows exactly what is in the store and where it is. If you go in with a request, they can help find you an outfit. What? I know. This store is a rare gem.
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Hat: vintage 1950s via The Trunk Show ($20, retails for ? priceless)

Top: Nordstrom Rack ($19 marked down from $40) similar here/here/here

Pants: Gap ($8 marked down from $55)

Blazer: Banana Republic (approx $50 marked down from approx $200)

Necklace:Juicy Couture via Kohl’s (approx $5 marked down from approx $40)

Shoes: Sam Edelman via Nordstrom Rack ($50 marked down from $90)

Scarf: cape worn as scarf Nordstrom Rack ($25 marked down from $50)

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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) My top tip for The Trunk Show, as with almost every other consignment shop, is ask where the discount section is! Many high end consignment stores don’t sell “steals” on their designer inventory. Yes, it’s discounted, but unless you’re in the market for a consigned Chanel suit for $3,000 (and more power to you, if you are!), then ask where the sale section is. The real steals are always in the 70-80% off sale section of any consignment store. In most stores, it’s 1-3 racks, so take your time and evaluate your options.

photos from The Trunk Show:

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2) I always ask if clothes have to be dry cleaned and/or laundered before they come in to any resale shop. High quality consignment stores will require this and often sell items in the dry cleaning bags. For me, this is a good sign that the store is discerning with what they accept and won’t sell damaged or stained items.

If you’re ever in the area, check them out: http://www.charlestontrunkshow.com/
My review is 100% my own opinion and I did not receive anything in return for this review.

Anyone else loving vintage hats? Thanks so much for stopping by, readers! I appreciate it so very much!

charmed in charleston (south carolina)

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As you may know from my last post, I was happily on vacation last week. While we somehow arrived in Charleston, South Carolina for record low weather, we nonetheless enjoyed our time in the charming city. Perhaps you won’t be surprised to learn that I had researched the shopping in the area. During my research, I came across various reviews of a high-end consignment shop called The Trunk Show. Readers, I’ve been in more resale and consignment shops than I can count, and I will tell you, The Trunk Show is something to behold. Check out my Wednesday post for additional details, pictures, and tips for shopping The Trunk Show, if you are ever in the area. For now, I’ll leave with you my warm thoughts of sun and the south (and this suit!)

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Suit: Komarov ($40, retails for approx $600)
Top: Burberry (gift)
Shoes: Qupid via DSW ($25 marked down from $50)
Necklace: Ann Taylor Loft ($10 marked down from $40)

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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) I normally don’t thrift or consignment shop while on vacation…and I have no idea why I previously hadn’t! With so much else to see and do, I researched and then committed to digging through one store in a maximum of 45 minutes. I used travel guides and yelp to help guide my research. I have yet to find a reliable website other than yelp for this type of research, so I welcome any suggestions!

2) I actually loved the jacket on this suit; it was initially what drew me in. However, I will say that if you find a suit but don’t need a full suit, still get both pieces! You never know when you will want a full suit, and you won’t want to have half of one at that point. Additionally, I wear all of my suits as mix and match pieces, making the suit that much more versatile.

If you’re ever in the area, check them out: http://www.charlestontrunkshow.com/
My review is 100% my own opinion and I did not receive anything in return for this review.

Any one else have tips on finding thrifting and consignment shops in your area? Thanks so much for stopping by readers! I appreciate it so much!

cruisin’ in colors

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Before I headed out  for vacation, I took a not so quick trip to the Chicago Auto Show. Seriously, hanging in fancy cars is super fun. Side note, I’m on vacation, so I apologize for the slowness in posting and responding! I’ll be back on track next week!

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Top: Marc by Marc Jacobs via Nordstrom Rack ($30 marked down from $268)

Cardigan: Banana Republic ($16 marked down from approx $110)

Leggings: TJ Maxx ($5 marked down from $10)

Boots: Rocket Dog via Marshall’s ($20 marked down from $90)

Belt: Old Navy ($2 marked down from approx $10)

Necklace: Kohl’s (approx $5 marked down from approx $30)

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Fashion Huntress tips:

1) Brown and black, readers. I used to be on the fence about this, but I’ve really moved past it. I strongly believe that you can wear brown with black! Especially with so much fashion “clashing” these days, I think those old “rules” really don’t apply!

2) I last wore this shirt as featured below:

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I generally like to find silk tops that are long enough to serve as a shirt with leggings, but not so long that they are bulky under skirts or tucked in. Longer tops that can be worn with leggings can be a little tough to find, but I tend to find them most frequently at Nordstrom Rack. They are also a  good option for people (like me) with long torsos, as they ensure length and coverage.

Anyone else check out their local auto show? Focus mostly on what to wear versus the actual event? Thanks so much for stopping by, readers! I appreciate it so much!

brown boots and buckles

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For some reason, despite my somewhat, erm, expansive shoe collection, I realized I didn’t have a pair of brown boots. In fact, I realized I was rarely wearing much brown. What? A under-utilized color in the Fashion Huntress world?! Never. So, now I’m finding myself wearing my brown boots all the time, and pairing them with all my under worn brown outfits. Feels good, readers. Leave no color unworn! It’s your world, color it however you want.

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Sweater: Kenji via Savers ($2, unknown retail)

Dress: Gap ($27 marked down from $60)
Leggings: TJ Maxx ($5 marked down from $10)
Necklace: Skull Paradise (gift)
Shoes: Rocket Dog via Marshall’s ($20 marked down from $90)

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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) Clearly, tall brown and black boots are staples in your wardrobe. I’ve found that I really don’t wear mine outside once the salt and snow hit the streets and sidewalks. As much as it’s sort-of a hassle to carry around spare boots, most boots (leather, suede, or synthetic) really don’t do well in adverse weather conditions and can leave your boots looking really worn and stained. Even though I bought these boots for $20, they will still last years if they are well cared for in winter. Moral of the story: get one pair of waterproof warm boots that you will wear for six months straight outdoors (if your weather is anything like Chicago’s), and show your other boots some love by sparing them from slush, salt, snow, and sand.

2) My fiancé and I came across work created by Skull Paradise while in New Orleans, Lousiana. If you’re interested in unique, handmade jewelry and art work, it’s great to support local artisians. I met one of the artists while visiting their booth at an art fair and loved the warm enthusiasm. If interested, you can check them out via: https://www.facebook.com/CrescentCitySkullClub

Anyone else loving handmade jewelry lately? Brown boots? :) Thanks so much for stopping by, readers! I hope everyone has a good start to their week!

dancing pants (and shoes)

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I have no idea why these pants feel like dancing pants, but they just do. In the bleak midwinter, I always welcome brights, neons, and anything to liven up the overcast days (as you could see from my last post). After all, sometimes we have to carry our own sunshine with us, right? These are my dancing pants- in all brights and neon. As Hal Borland said, “No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.” I’m still waiting patiently for the fresh blooms and sun of spring, but in the meantime, I’ll be wearing the blooms instead.

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Sweater: J Crew (gift)
Denim top: Gap ($16 marked down from $60)
Necklace: gift
Pants: Ann Taylor ($11 marked down from $80)
Shoes: Nine West via Salvation Army ($12, retail for $100)
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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) Today I pushed color mixing a little further than the last post, and picked a color palette in all different shades. Because these pants are so bright and “summer/spring,” I paired them with a darker, heavy winter sweater. You can see how I last featured these pants in summer:
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 As always, you know how I feel about wearing clothes all year round! With a little layering, most pieces can be worn year round.
2) Saks Off Fifth is having a great shoe sale right now. Most shoes, even designer labels, were marked to $30-$150. As always, this is a sale that I wanted to shop in person versus online, in order to get a feel and fit for the shoes. However, I’ve also shopped online via their website and they do have a great return policy. You can check out the sale here: http://www.saksoff5th.com/ Also keep in mind that when you sign up for emails, you will receive coupons and extra discounts. 
Anyone else wearing neon and brights this winter? Thanks so much for stopping by, readers! I appreciate it so very much, as always!

mix and match

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I decided to go full-blown mix and match today, and let me tell you, readers, I really need to be doing this more often! It’s super fun to reach in your closet and just pull out some pieces in a similar color palette and voila, the easiest outfit you’ve had to put together all week. I think the look is a mix and match controlled chaos. As Donna Karan once said, “it’s all about finding the calm in the chaos.” Well put. Happy Tuesday, readers!
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Top: French Connection via Savers ($3, retails for approx $100)

Cardigan: Banana Republic ($10 marked down from $150)
Pants: Gap ($8 marked down from $55)
Shoes: Banana Republic via Crossroads ($20, retail for approx $120)
Necklace: Apt 9 via Kohl’s ($6 marked down from $18)
Bracelet: Kenneth Jay Lane Couture via Rue La La ($15 marked down from $150)
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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) I really like thrifting silk tops, probably more than any other item. I just think that silk/flowy/sheer tops are so forgiving, you can easily find tops that will work in your size, and a size or two up or down. If I’m thrifting sheer tops, I look through all of the sizes and all of the racks. Again, this sounds more time consuming than it is. You can easily get through a rack in 5-10 minutes. Always be aware of the hidden cost of dry cleaning! If you have to dry clean something frequently, it may not be worth the cost of the top to you. 
 
2) Although this look is seemingly completely random, it’s actually not very random at all! I stuck with jewel tones for all of my pieces, and easily paired pieces together as a result. Another way to mix and match like this is with all pastels, all primary colors, or all neutrals (black, white, and gray). I have seen mixed color palettes (jewel tones with pastels, etc), but I have not yet tried this. Once I day, I will post on how it goes! It’s always fun to have new fashion adventures.
Monthly manicure time! Check out these other lovely ladies and their Valentine’s Day themed manis!

Kristi from Delightfully Kristi

Piniel from Pins-Place

Justine from The Thrifty Girl’s Guide

Kate from Into the Stratosphere

Miche from Buttons and Birdcages

Jacki and Lesli from Sistas from Cali

Erika from Erika’s Style Diary

Marlena from Here, Pretty Kitty

 
Anyone else trying out new trends? Thanks so much for stopping by, readers! I appreciate it so much!