loving leaves (aka cozy layers)

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With the significant temperature drop in Chicago, I’m all about cozying up in sweaters, big scarves, and keeping it simple. If you haven’t gotten enough of my fall photos, there’s still more to come. We’re so lucky to have had a long fall here, as many years it seems to fly by straight into winter. So, I’m loving leaves, fall colors, and cozy layers. (And hot cocoa) (And fun size chocolates) (and that I wore those shoes as part of my Halloween costume).

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Sweater: Gap ($7 marked down from $65)
Top: Forever 21 ($20)
Pants: Ann Taylor (approx $15 marked down from approx $70)
Scarf: gift
Shoes: BCBG via DSW ($11 marked down from $100)
Necklace: Jenifer Lopez for Kohl’s ($5 marked down from $32)
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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) I love taking pieces and re-working them (if you haven’t already noticed this about me). This is the same denim top from my last post, and the same necklace. Check it out in the photos below:
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With pants and a sweater, the top and necklace look completely different. Basic pieces (denim tops, black pants, statement necklaces) can easily be worked into all sorts of looks. And, of course, you can get long lasting basic pieces for great prices that will last! For denim, I love Gap and Forever 21. For real, the quality of Forever 21 and Gap denim tops is kind-of unreal. I should have worn holes through my denim by now, but they look the same as they day I bought them. You can find Gap denim on sale for about $10-$20. Forever 21 denim may go on sale, but I rarely see it on sale, so I often buy it via a thrift store (about $3-$5) or in their actual store (about $20). 
2) Gap is having one of their “clear the floor sales.” Almost everything in the store is on sale, and the sale section is an additional 50% off the sale price. You know what I’m going to say, right, readers? This is the time to go, if you’re in the market for denim, sweaters, or scarves! It’s the “end of fall” in retail world, so most of what is on sale is end of summer and early fall clothes. Scarves were about $5-$10 and sweaters were around $7-$20. There was even some denim on sale for around $20, which is about as low as I generally see it go. 
Anyone else rotate their favorite pieces? Have tips for re-working items? Thanks so much for stopping by, readers! I appreciate it so much!

totally tweed

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What is it about tweed that feels so fall and so grown up? I guess maybe because kids don’t wear a ton of tweed (do they?). When I’m in tweed, I feel like I’m all grown up- like I’m organized and know what I’m doing. So, of course, whenever I find a tweed piece on super sale, I generally don’t think twice about getting it because it seems like a somewhat rare fabric these days. The fact that this dress is tweed, hot pink, and metallic…forget it. It was love at first tweed sight.
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Dress: Moulinette Soeurs at Antropologie ($30 marked down from $145)
Top: Forever 21 ($20)
Shoes: Vince Camuto via Marshall’s ($25 marked down from $100)
Tights: Vera Wang for Kohl’s ($1 marked down from $14)
Necklace: Jennifer Lopez for Kohl’s ($5 marked down from $32)
Pink ring: Forever 21 ($2 marked down from approx $5)
Peach ring: Banana Republic (approx $7 marked down from $36)
Bracelets: Kate Spade (gift)
Cape: Nordstrom Rack ($25 marked down from $50)
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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) I’ve found Anthropologie’s clothing sale section to be somewhat confusing in terms of when their first and second markdowns occur. As of today, they do have a sale (online and in-stores) of an additional 25% off their sale section. That’s how I managed to snag this dress last week at such a great price. Frankly, Anthro’s sales often still mean paying about $100 for a dress, but if you go through every sale rack, you will generally find at least 1-3 dresses, skirts or tops that are marked down to $20-$30. I’ve found that the best way to know about their sales and free shipping events is to subscribe to their emails, versus popping into the store multiple times.  
Here’s a great guide to the Anthro exclusive brands:
2) Jewelry at Anthro almost always goes on sale, unless the item is exceptionally popular and sells out before hitting the sale section. Once you find a jewlery item for $10-$20, it generally will not get marked down again. Additionally, items that are $10-$20 go very quickly online and in stores. I’ve often seen something and told myself to just “check-out” by the end of the day, only to find it has sold out. Additionally, the online shop seems to have the best markdowns on jewelry, versus in-store markdowns. The other week I was in the store and the necklaces were still marked as $30 in the store, but were $15 online. However, when I pointed this out, the salesperson did honor the online price. So, it pays to look online first if you are looking for jewelry in-store, and it pays to get it when you see it if it’s a great deal and you’ve had your eye on it!
Anyone else have Anthro tips? Thanks so much for stopping by, readers! I appreciate it so much! Stay warm!

halloween a la huntress

It’s a little challenging to take artistic photos with this type of get up on, but I couldn’t resist sharing this one. And yes, that “dalmatian coat” sure is a bathrobe. Albeit a little early, this is Halloween a la Huntress. We will be back to our regular programming on the next post, readers!

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board game blues

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“WOW! That dress! You look like a board game!” -my friend, Eve
You know, readers. I’ll take it. I guess it sort-of does look like a board game. And with the comment coming from a close friend and confidante, I think this dress simply must be the board game blues. Minus the blues. All the fun.
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Dress: Banana Republic ($18 marked down from $120)
Denim shirt: Forever 21 ($20)
Tights: Apt 9 at Kohl’s ($7 marked down from $12)
Shoes: thrifted ($8, unclear what they retail for…)
Necklace: Juicy Couture charm from bracelet and Kohl’s necklace ($5 marked down from $24)
Bracelet: Juicy Couture (many years ago!)
Ring: Banana Republic ($5 marked down from $40)
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Fashion Huntress tips:

1) As you all know, additional markdowns on sale times are where it’s at when sale shopping. Most stores have these types of sales about two times per month, if not more. I always check my emails and stores’ homepages to see when the sales are. Banana Republic normally takes 40-50% off their sale items, as does Ann Taylor Loft. J Crew will also occasionally take 20-30% off their sale items. So it’s always worth checking your favorite stores to snag the best deals. This type of sale shopping is how I found this dress for a such a great price!
2) I will often find a great sale item that’s in a different size than my own. I used to bypass these items, and I’ve now realized what a mistake that can be! I bought this dress, pulled out a tape measure, some pins, and pulled in both sides of the dress in approximately 10 minutes. If you are sewing by hand, I would think this type of alteration would take about 30-45 minutes. With a sewing machine, it just took 10 minutes! I’m not a master seamstress, readers. This type of alteration is a super easy fix. So, think twice before you pass something up based on a slightly “off” sizing issue. I do, however, bypass most items that flat-out cannot be altered or that are significantly off in sizing.
Anyone else do basic alterations on their own? I know many of you out there make your own clothing! I would love some basic tips for amateur seamstresses like me! Thanks so much for stopping by, readers!

dreamy diner

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I have consistently driven past this retro drive-in diner, Superdawg, and said, “I need to go there!” So when the bf suggested we go, I was on board. Actually, I believe I said, “Gah! Best day ever! Yes!” …what can I say, I’m enthusiastic about retro diners. Anywho, I believe I was slightly overdressed for the event (if there is such a thing), but I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Superdawg is where it’s at if you’re in the area and looking for a fun and delicious flashback meal. Be sure to overdress for the event too.

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Sweatshirt: Gap (approx $5 marked down from approx $40)
Denim top: Gap ($16 marked down from $60)
Jeans: Gap ($20 marked down from $60)
Scarf: Limited ($7 marked down from $35)
Heels: Michael Antonio via thrift ($4, retail for $50)
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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) There’s often a question of whether one can pair denim with denim. I love how popular denim with denim has become. So my answer is a strong yes!! I often wear light denim with dark denim when if wear it together. However with this look, I wore light denim with light denim and added a dark sweatshirt. The result was a seriously comfortable weekend look.

2) I’ve often questioned sweatshirts at work. They can be exceptionally tricky to style in a conservative work environment. Generally speaking, I think sweatshirts should be reserved for the weekends. If you’re on the fence, you can try out a formal sweatshirt that is solid color (not heather) with some detailing. Overall, though, this is one trend that I think should probably be resolved for outside of work wear.

Does anyone else feel differently about sweatshirts at work? Have styling ideas? I hope everyone had a great weekend! Thanks for stopping by!

cozy comfort

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Flannel dress, cozy sweater, tights, falling leaves and autumn trees…need I say more, readers? I think not. I’m swooning over fall, as per usual. This look is cozy comfort and autumn dreaming…

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Dress: Gap ($13 marked down from $60)
Sweater: Gap ($12 marked down from 60)
Tights: Gap (I can’t remember! maybe $8?)
Shoes: Made by Elves at Urban Outfitters ($20 marked down from approx $110)
Necklace: Jennifer Lopez for Kohl’s ($5 marked down from $32)
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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) Gap is having another one of their “take an additional 40% off sale items” sale. I was surprised that a good portion of the sale is actually fall and winter apparel. Many of their fall dresses and coats were marked down significantly. If you’re mad for plaid, like I am, there is a lot of plaid and flannel on sale. Check it out!

2) I’ve gotten a few questions lately about tights and the brands I like. My favorite tight brand is Hue- they are seriously durable and very comfortable. Hue tights are generally $5-$10 on sale and well worth it. Check out their online sale section for more information. I swear, Hue doesn’t pay me! They probably don’t even know I love them- but I do! As a side note, I strongly recommend you wash all tights by hand and hang dry them in order to make them last. You can find Hue at Nordstrom Rack and via their website: http://www.hue.com

Anyone else have favorite tights and leggings brands? Thanks for stopping by readers! I hope you have a great rest of the week!

fancy & festive

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I don’t know about anyone else, but I don’t have a strong desire to repeat my middle school dances. But, there’s something about a full and shimmery dress that just speaks to my middle school heart. This dress is reminiscent of those fancy and festive dresses from many moons ago, though in a grown-up way. I call this my fancy and festive look for work, minus the awkward arms extended dancing, gym mats, and 98 degrees slow song. If you ask me, this is how you do fancy without the middle school awkward. #grownup

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Dress: Mad Men for Banana Republic (gift)
Head scarf: Mad Men for Banana Republic (gift)
Cardigan: Banana Republic ($18 marked down from $70)
Shoes: Sam Edelman via Nordstrom Rack ($50 marked down from $90)
Necklace: Anthropologie ($14 marked down from $70)
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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) As you know, I really enjoy a good Banana Republic “additional markdowns on sale items” sale. They often have these sales on the weekend and generally involve an extra 40% off the sale and clearance items. Different dresses, colors, and styles are all marked different, so it pays to look through the entire sale section to find the best prices. As with many places, I generally look at least one-two sizes up and one size down from my usual size, as you never really know about fit, and may miss a good piece if you don’t check additional sizes! I subscribe to the Banana Republic emails so I always know about when the “additional markdown” sales occur. 
2) Speaking of emails, I have a separate email address that I use as my “shopping” email. That way, store emails don’t fill up my entire inbox, but I still know about the sales as they are occurring. I generally go through the email once every couple of days; many stores send information about new pieces, but I also get various coupons (Kohl’s, for example), and special offers on “free shipping,” etc. I think it’s worthwhile to have an email that just collects these emails for you (and it’s free!); you won’t get overwhelmed by them in your daily inbox and can pull up the coupons on your phone, if you have a smart phone, while you’re shopping. This is definitely easy peasy coupon and sale organization! 
Anyone else have email tips? Banana Republic finds lately? Thanks so much for stopping by, readers! I appreciate it so much; it’s almost mid-week! WOOT!