‘fess up (aka casual commuting)

Readers, I’ve been thinking that I should probably clarify something about my footwear. I’m guessing not a single reader has pondered my footwear in their spare time, but I nonetheless want to ‘fess up.

I live in downtown Chicago, and walk (when it’s not stifling hot) a few miles a day to get around via bus and subway. I don’t wear the following shoes during that walk:

20130801-133413.jpg20130722-145159.jpg20130712-123236.jpg20130618-215240.jpgphoto 320130604-214905.jpg

I generally wear these:
20130829-125726.jpg20130829-125742.jpg

I either carry my heels with me or pick shoes out from my shoe stash at work. …oh yes, shoe stash.

20130829-130158.jpg

That’s one of my shoes stashes. Yes, that sure is a pair of slippers, because sometimes I need those too.

Anyway, I’m glad we had this talk, readers. As you’ve probably guessed from reading my blog, I’m a very practical person at the end of the day. And while I am practical, I still like to have some semblance of fashion even while commuting around town…just not in my heels.

Here are two good articles about this very issue:

From Forbes magazine

And Refinery 29

Both of these have a bit more (okay, a lot more) fashionable picks than mine! It’s a bit tricky here in Chicago because it’s generally freezing cold or exceptionally hot, which I think limits us even more. Shockingly (not so shockingly?), they did not include Uggs in either article. I’ll be the first person to tell you that my waterproof Uggs are essential for my Chicago winter commuting!

Does anyone else also commute in different shoes than what they wear at work? What do you wear when commuting in extreme weather?

Happy Thursday, readers! Thanks for visiting!

reminiscing and wearing (seemingly) random attire

20130827-085316.jpg

“Dress shabbily, and they remember the dress. Dress impeccably, and they remember the woman.” Coco Chanel

I would be the first person to tell you that there are days when I go to work and ask a coworker, “Does this outfit seem confusing?” Readers, you know I love color, prints and patterns. I consider myself at risk for taking this love a bit too far.

Allow me to digress for a moment.

For many years during high school, undergraduate and graduate school, I worked at a luxury salon and spa. The dress code was black and white clothing, with a blazer required at all times. Solely gold and silver jewelry were allowed. If you were anywhere on the floor, make-up was required, as was groomed hair. Heels were technically required, though you could get away with flats on most days. There were days when I just was not all about putting that much effort in my appearance. But, at some point, thanks to the help of the real talent there, I developed an ability to pull together all of the requirements quickly. Hair and make-up in 15 minutes? Done. Toss on some heels? Done. Mascara, dry shampoo, and hairpins are your best friends when you’re in a job that has such requirements.

I think I maxed out on black and white outfits after all those years, hence my love of all things bold and bright. So, coming full circle, I may be at risk for taking bold too far and looking a bit confusing. Working in a hospital has significantly less dress code requirements, though conservative business clothes are required at all times. Luckily, I have friends who will fashion intervene if I take my bold colors too far at work. While the outfit pictured here seemed out of the box to me, I think it definitely worked!

20130827-085249.jpg

My printed pants, lace top, and orange shoes combination:

20130827-085257.jpg20130620-080351.jpg

20130827-085308.jpg20130707-172750.jpg

At some point throughout my many years in the salon, dressing up became internalized. I am forever grateful that the salon took me on so many years ago when I just 17 years old and taught me the value in showing up, dressing up, and being ready. I carry the same principle with me today…except now vividly in color.

20130827-085323.jpg

Top: H&M ($5 marked down from $12)

Pants: Gap (approx $35 marked down from $55)

Shoes: Dolce Vita at Bloomingdale’s outlet ($17 marked down from $100)

20130827-085249.jpg

Fashion Huntress tips:

1) I wrote about this lace top over the weekend. I just couldn’t resist this lovely top for $5! I last wore it here:

20130620-080411.jpg

To make this top appropriate for work, I just added a tank top underneath it. I have yet to experiment with different colors underneath, but I think that would be another way to wear this top in a different/new way.

H&M has really great sales, and this top was no exception! I notice a sale basically every time I am there. However, they tend to have bigger sales every few months, where essentially half the bottom level is all sale and clearance. These sales generally are ‘advertised’ with big red SALE signs down the store windows and doors, so keep an eye out!

2) I’m sure you’ve gathered by now that I am hopping on the prints and patterns bandwagon. With this outfit, I took it a step further and added a new texture with the lace top. When I first put on the lace top, I think maybe it was too many differences (fabrics, colors, patterns), but I think it was a success! If you’re wanting to change up one of your looks or pieces, consider adding a textured fabric (lace, tweed, herringbone, etc).

There are some great fall 2013 overviews here and here that review mismatch and mixed fabrics. What do you think about mixing fabrics? If you do mix, what are your favorite fabrics?

Thanks for reading, all!!

let’s get legit, part 2

Alright readers, time for another “let’s get legit” post where I huntress my way through couture looks to find a budget-friendly option.  You can read my first ‘let’s get legit’ post here.

For this posting, I’m writing about one of my favorite trends: lace!  One of these tops is by Juicy Couture, one is by H&M.

Can you pick out which is which?

20130817-221627.jpg20130817-222155.jpg

This is a tough one, right? I thought so!

Here we go:

20130817-221633.jpg

photo courtesy of ShopBop, edits by me

20130817-221644.jpg

photo courtesy of H&M.com, edits by me

I found the H&M version of the lace top on sale for $5! Personally, I have not had a ton of luck with the quality of Juicy Couture items.  I like their designs, but have been disappointed in the quality.  These may have all been odd coincidences, but I vote for the $5 version from H&M on this one.  While it may not be the norm, the chain store top may be the higher quality item this time!

Side note, as I am sure you heard, H&M is now online: http://www.hm.com/us/

Stay tuned for my next post where I show how I styled this top!

What do you think, readers? Could you tell the difference? Happy weekend and thanks for reading!

mindful mismatching

20130822-130415.jpg

“You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

It’s probably time to acknowledge that I have a problem. It relates to printed and colored pants.

Exhibit A:

20130808-133236.jpg20130725-173007.jpg20130710-192532.jpg20130701-171009.jpg

Exhibit B:

photo 3photo 1 (51)photo 3 (12)20130815-161829.jpg

It’s safe to say that I’ve been wearing a lot of printed and colored pants lately, as evidenced above.

Color blocking seemingly random colors and prints is really up my alley, and thus I cannot resist all these fancy pants because it means I can mix and match every day of the week. Reach into my closet and put things together in a somewhat random pattern? Sold. Sounds easy and chic. Double sold.

When I was at Ann Taylor buying up their colored pants (I told you I have a problem!), I was holding the raspberry colored pants up to other color tops when the salesperson stopped me and said, “oh no no. Don’t do that color. Color blocking is not about looking like your grandmother on a basement bargain hunt in Walmart.”

I think we can all agree that comment was at least mildly offensive. For the record, my grandmother was exceptionally stylish.

But, I moved past the potential awkwardness of that comment because I believe the messaging was, “Color blocking looks random, but it’s purposeful.”

Exhibit C:

20130822-130452.jpg

For my ‘random on purpose’ look, I wore my pastel green button down with my raspberry colored pants.

I added a pink and raspberry colored necklace, and polka dot shoes.

20130822-130439.jpg20130822-130446.jpg

On that note, I embraced the ‘random on purpose’ look and happily wore my pants, mixed colors, and patterns. …all the while remembering my wonderfully stylish grandmother who surely would have approved.

20130822-130432.jpg

Top: Gap (approx $11 marked down from $55)

Pants: Ann Taylor Loft ($14 marked down from $60)

Shoes: Gap ($21 marked down from $50)

Necklace: Gap (approx $7 marked down from approx $30)

20130822-130415.jpg

Fashion Huntress tips:

1) Color blocking continues to take on a new form this season, with seemingly completely random pairings of prints and colors. I think color blocking used to look a bit more like this, for example: blue top, neutral pants, blue shoes. I still like that style, for the record, and still wear it. However, currently it looks more like two-three different shades and patterns tossed in.

J Crew has a great ‘look book’ on their site with other examples (listed under ‘colors’):

http://www.jcrew.com/womens_feature/lookswelove.jsp

 

At the end of the day, you always have to wear what you love…and perhaps forget what is “fashionable” and “trendy.” I embrace the current style of color blocking because it appeals to my personality…and you can bet I will likely be wearing it long after this trend is no longer “trendy.”

2) If I have not said it enough already, this is still an amazing time to shop summer sales. I plan on transitioning nearly all of my summer sale pants into fall and winter. Imagine the layering possibilities that fall brings when looking through printed and colored pants! If you’re not completely sold on the color blocking trend as outlined above, you do not have to shy away from printed and colored pants. Just imagine them paired with classic tops, sweaters, blazers, denim button downs…the possibilities for a more classic look are endless!

What do you think of this trend? Are you embracing it, or staying away from it?

Happy nearly Friday, readers! Thank you for visiting and reading!!

(keeping it) together in turquoise

20130817-221836.jpg

 

“no matter how you feel, get up, dress up, and show up.” regina brett

I’ve been feeling so disorganized lately, but one thing that I try to keep constant is at least the appearance of organization! Though the skirt was a bit wrinkled by the end of the day (as you can see in the photo), I did look a bit more organized than I felt.

To combat my scattered feeling, I wore one of my favorite silk tops from Banana Republic with a gray pencil skirt, and a mini jacket. I added my necklace that I call my “Little Mermaid” necklace because I think Ariel would proudly wear it (at least on land).

20130817-221850.jpg

I added my gray bow shoes to pull the whole look together.

20130817-221903.jpg

My finishing touch was a flower pin in my hair because it was so hot and humid outside, I figured pulling my hair back was the best option to camouflage frizzy hair (sort-of worked!).

20130817-221915.jpg

My keeping it together in turquoise outfit was complete!

20130817-221927.jpg

Top: Banana Republic (approx $20 marked down from approx $70)

Skirt: Banana Republic ($20 marked down from $89)

Mini jacket: Forever 21 ($20)

Necklace: Filene’s Basement (how I miss that store!) (approx $12 marked down from approx $35)

Shoes: Madden Girl ($10 marked down from approx $50)

Flower hair pin: H&M (approx $5)

20130817-221836.jpg

Fashion Huntress tips:

1) Everything pictured here is at least a few years old, minus the pencil skirt from Banana Republic.  For this look, I went to my closet and picked out items in turquoise and gray. Then, I just hung them up next to each other and put together an outfit from what I had picked out.  I last featured this skirt on my post about peplum (pictured below).

photo 1 (10)

I think a full skirt in black or gray, and a pencil skirt in black or gray both go a long way on days when you just want to pick something out of your closet and head out the door, while still looking pulled together.  I keep an eye out for basic skirts when they go on sale for that very reason- it’s a quick solution to the “I have nothing to wear” conundrum we all face some days.  These can be found at any major chain store.  I like Banana Republic and J Crew for durable, classic skirts. Both stores have great sales- and J Crew has a great sale right now for discounts on their already reduced items.

http://www.jcrew.com/sale.jsp

2) I’ve noticed recently that in some stores, their sale section is essentially all over the store and easily visible.  However, in other stores, it’s a bit more hidden.  In my local Banana Republic in downtown Chicago, it was moved to the fourth floor (yes, it’s four stories!). I went in to the store a number of times and just thought they weren’t having a sale, until a sales rep said, “Did you make it up to the secret sale section?” ….say what? Secret sale section? Well, I ventured up there and the next sales rep said, “You found us all the way up here!” Hmm…so it seems as though they are hiding, or at least not advertising, a giant room with all of their sale items. It always pays to look completely around the store (and apparently four stories up) to see where the sale items are housed. 

What do you do when you face the “I have nothing to wear” conundrum in the morning? Do you have any go-to outfits when you’re dashing out the door?

Happy mid-week readers! Thank you for visiting and reading!!

remix and rematch, part 5

It is time for another remix and rematch post, Fashion Huntress style!

These posts are all about showing how I’ve been rotating some favorite pieces to refresh outfits and make them look new again. Rotation is a key part of keeping your looks fresh, while still being budget friendly. In this post, I feature two basic black pieces that I rotate regularly: black leggings and a black blazer.

If you want to see my previous editions of remix and rematch, you can click here, here, here, and here.

Blazer: Forever 21 (approx $20)

20130808-133230.jpg20130808-133236.jpg20130712-123310.jpg20130620-080411.jpg

Leggings: Old Navy (approx $10)

20130807-072337.jpg20130704-110910.jpg20130807-072330.jpgphoto 3 (26)

Fashion Huntress tips:

1) You cannot go wrong with a black blazer at work. I think blazers instantly dress-up any look, especially for work. They are also a great way to make sleeveless dresses work appropriate, so you can get more use out of them. Though the Forever 21 blazer pictured here is not particularly “high-end,” I love the ruffled shoulders and stand-up collar. The structural details add a lot of visual interest to any outfit, and can make casual dresses look more formal. I also like the short sleeved blazer for spring and summer to keep cool. However, it also transitions well to fall and winter by simply adding long sleeves underneath.

2) Black leggings and tights are essentials here in Chicago, especially if you’re like me and insist on wearing skirts and dresses year round. Tights and leggings are one of the easiest ways to transition your skirts and dresses through the various seasons. Leggings in particular are a good way to combat office air conditioning in summer and still wear your dresses and skirts. My Old Navy leggings have been washed hundreds of times, and just now, after four years, have a tiny hole! …and let’s be honest, I love them, so I’ll probably just toss a stitch in them to make them as good as new. I don’t think you have to spend a fortune on leggings. Just get a pair that you like that you can wash and dry without worry of pilling (none of this hand washing business). I like Old Navy for leggings, as well as the brand Hue, which can be found at Nordstrom Rack.

Happy Monday, readers! Thanks for visiting!!

delightful day- thank you!

liebster_award_badges (1)

What a surprise and honor that I was nominated for two blogging awards this week!

I want to thank Meesha from the Little Bit of Me Blog for the Versatile Blogger nomination and Tulles and Tiaras for the Liebster Award nomination! It means so much that you both thought of my blog when picking your nominees!

It was not easy to me to pick my nominees; I wish I could pick everyone, but here goes…

For the Versatile Blogger the rules are as follows:

The Rules:

1. Display the Award Certificate on your blog (done!)

2. Link back to the person who nominated you (done!)

3. Present 15 awards to 15 deserving bloggers (okay, here we go!)

My nominations:

1. Tulles and Tiaras http://tulleandtiaras.wordpress.com

2. For Laquer of a Better Name: http://forlacquerofabettername.wordpress.com/

3. Veloria in Velvet: http://veloriainvelvet.wordpress.com/

4. Essentjewels: http://blog.essentjewels.com/

5. Style Salvation: http://stylesalvation.wordpress.com/

6. Vogue and Heels: http://vogueandheels.com/

7. Classy Chic & Chardonnay: http://ceislin.com/

8. Dresses for Julie: http://dressesforjulie.wordpress.com/

9. Chloe’s Cravings: http://chloescravings.wordpress.com/

10. Fashion Mayann: http://fashionmayann.wordpress.com/

11. Liberty on Less: http://libertyonless.wordpress.com/

12. Mason Bentley Style: http://masonbentleystyle.com/

13. Xpressions by Sarah: http://xpressionsbysarah.com/

14. Miss Uschi: http://missuschi.wordpress.com/

15. Nail Luxxe: http://thenailluxxe.wordpress.com/

For the Liebster Award, the rules are as follows:

The Rules :
1. You must link back the person who nominated you. (done!)

2. You must answer the 10 Liebster questions given to you by the nominee before you. (below)

3. You must pick 10 bloggers to be nominated for the award with under 200 followers (I have no idea how many followers people have, so I just picked blogs I liked, including blogs that are newer to the blogging world!)

4. You must come up with 10 questions for your nominees to answer. (below)

5. You must go to their blogs and notify your nominees. (in process!)

The questions I was asked to answer:

1. What is your favorite social networking site for the promotion of your blog ? Facebook! But I’m new to the Facebook blogging promotion world, so I’m still trying to figure it all out!

2. What is the number one item on your bucket list ? (example: camp under in stars in Machu Pichu) Hmm, that is tricky. I’d love to visit Germany during Christimastime, if I ever get the chance.

3. What is your favorite pick-me-up combination ? (example: sweater and coco) Okay, I can admit that when I’m needing a pick-me-up I can be found watching old episodes of Felicity, while wearing my pajamas and drinking tea…and paging through Vogue.

4. If you could go ANYWHERE in the world, where would it be? I’ve been so fortunate to have traveled to various places, many of which I would love to visit again: Istanbul, Bruges, Lucerne, Seville, or Madrid. And, of course, Disney World! Minus Disney World during summer…it’s just insane heat and lines.

5. You are going on a long trip, what is the one beauty product you will bring and why? Moisturizer! I can go without make-up when travelling, if need be, but my skin does not do well without some form of moisturizer! I’m going to include chapstick in the moisturizer category, because it’s moisturizer for your lips…and anyone who knows me knows that I’m a chapstick addict (i.e. upwards of five in my purse right now).

6. What is your most unique and/or treasured piece of jewelry ? (This can be vintage, an heirloom, a gift, or something you just love! ) This is really hard to say…I don’t think I can pick just one, but I love the Hermes cuff I got from my family when I graduated from graduate school, my great grandmother’s class ring from 1925, and the old wax press necklace that my boyfriend got me for our first Christmas together.

7. What is your favorite trend from fall 2013? Patterns and bold colors, because I cannot get enough of either!

8. What is your favorite era in fashion and beauty? 1950s and 60s; I love that the 50s and 60s style has become popular again. Between printed pants, belted mumus, and fitted dresses, I can always find a piece from those eras that I love.

9. You have to buy a gown and an unlimited budget, which designer will to ask to create it ? (example : Valentino) Marchesa. I love their romantic, layered, yet still edgy dresses.

10. What is your all time favorite color for beauty, clothes, and, shoes? I can generally be found wearing turquoise at least once a week. I just love it!

My nominations:

1. A Little Bit of Me: http://alittlebitofmeblog.wordpress.com/

2. Ruby Slipper Diaries: http://www.rubyslipperdiaries.com/

3. Spoonful of Sugar: http://aspoonfulofsugarbaking.com/

4. Acorn Bends: http://acornbends.wordpress.com/

5. Zegna Jewelry: http://zegnajewelry.wordpress.com/

6. Girl on the Go: http://girlonthegoblog.wordpress.com/

7. Fashionist in Suburbia: http://fashionistainsuburbia.wordpress.com/

8. Long and Luxe: http://longandluxe.com/

9. Training Camp Rookie: http://trainingcamprookie.wordpress.com/

10. Willfully Elegant: http://willfullyelegant.wordpress.com/

Questions for my nominees:

1. What is your favorite time of day and day of the week?

2. Why did you start blogging?

3. What’s your favorite article of clothing that you own?

4. If you were given a free shopping spree at any store of your choice, where would you pick?

5.Who is your favorite designer?

6. What is your favorite quote to live by?

7. What is your shameless guilty pleasure?

8. Whose style do you most admire throughout history?

9. What is one item on your current wishlist?

10. What is your favorite holiday?

Thank you again for the lovely nominations! And thank you, readers, for all of your support!