resolutions and evolution

With 2014 around the corner, I decided to take a look back at some of my first posts on the blog. The blog isn’t quite a year old yet, but, wow, it has taken on a life of its own over the past 11 months! My first posts were a bit rough around the edges…as were my ‘poses,’ but it’s fun to see how much the blog has evolved over the year, and how well I’ve gotten to know so many of you through blogging. Before I get all sappy, allow me to take you back to early 2013. Here are some of earliest pictures and outfits:

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That was fun, right? Is it the Fashion Huntress you have come to know? How funny that we can evolve so much over the course of a year- and how wonderful to have another year around the corner to evolve even further.
 
Here are some of my absolute favorites from 2013 (a lot less bumpy than the early posts):
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Thanks for taking a trip down memory lane with me, readers. I appreciate all of the support I have gotten over the year when I started this labor of love that I call The Fashion Huntress. It has been such a pleasure getting to know all of you, and finding my fellow ‘long lost sisters’ in fashion. You all inspire me to keep blogging, keep huntressing, and keep showing up dressed up every day! I hope everyone has a safe and happy new year!
 
See you in 2014! So many awkward poses to come…!!
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xo,
The Fashion Huntress
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flash forward (in red)

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Wow. What a whirlwind lately, readers! I’m sorry that I’ve gotten behind in my blogging during the holiday madness! But, by 2014, I’m going to be back on track! I’m slowly whittling down my to-do list…though it continues to look a bit endless at the moment- anyone else feeling that way!?

However, as I always like to say, at least I’ve got my accessories done for the day, so everything is more or less in order. We’ve had an amazing breath of fresh (warm) air here in Chicago, so I took to the streets to enjoy (and photograph)! We happened to catch the subway (the “El”) passing by overhead, which perfectly captured the mood and speed of the past week.

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I call this my flash forward in red ensemble. Next stop? 2014.

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Cardigan: Banana Republic ($18 marked down from $70)

Top: Banana Republic ($12 marked down from $50)

Pants: Banana Republic ($20 marked down from approx $90)

Shoes: Cole Haan ($70 marked down from $400)

Scarf: (gift)

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Fashion Huntress tips:

1) While I think the umbrella print top is more of a spring/summer print, I think it worked layered up while worn on a ‘warm’ winter day. I don’t think too many prints are ‘seasonal,’ but some do seem to lend themselves better to a particular season than others. Most patterns can be transitioned with layers and scarves, so consider pulling out your camisole/silk tops  and seeing if they can be transitioned into a ‘winter’ top!

2) I’m a big fan of ‘indoor’ scarves. I think scarves serve as a great substitute for necklaces in winter. Bigger ‘winter’ scarves (i.e. wool) add texture, color, and, visual interest to outfits. Personally, I wear them to cover my entire neck (see the scarf detail photo above), though you can definitely wear them with more draping. I find scarves just about anywhere, but love the scarves at H&M and Gap. Gap has a big sale right now; I saw many of the scarves for about $10. (http://www.gap.com)

I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season! Anyone else pulling out their “summer” work tops right now? Falling behind in their blogging?! Thank you so much for stopping by, readers! I appreciate it so much!

(studded) dreams come true (again)

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Don’t be fooled by these photos, readers. This fashion blogger is getting swept up in the holiday madness and falling a bit behind on posts. Thus, despite the fall colors in the background, it is, alas, not fall here in Chicago. Despite this being a “fall” post, I’m actually glad I can share it with you all after all! This was one of my favorite “casual not-so casual Friday” looks.

…for real, though, anyone else falling behind in their blogging besides me!? I’m also a bit behind in my cards, baking, wrapping. Oh, my. When all else fails, though, slip on your favorite heels or bundle up in your favorite scarf and maintain the look of organization, right? As we all learned from Elle Woods (Legally Blonde), always look the part.

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Top: Ann Taylor Loft (approx $10 marked down from approx $30)

Cardigan: Banana Republic ($18 marked down from $70)

Pants: Banana Republic ($20 marked down from approx $90)

Shoes: Rampage via Marshall’s ($16 marked down from approx $40)

Necklace: Forever 21 (approx $5)

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Fashion Huntress tips:

1) While I took these photos in fall, this outfit definitely works for winter, with the addition of socks/knee socks/knee highs/tights. I totally planned this post knowing that I could talk about how versatile fall into winter fashion can be…(yes….likely story). Personally, I like to go with bare feet in flats/heels as long as possible because I don’t look knee highs or socks, but I think bare feet this late in the season looks a bit odd. When I do wear knee highs or socks, I generally find them at Marshall’s and DSW.  I’m curious what readers think- please comment below!

2) I’ve said it once and I will say it before, I am all about long-sleeve tee-shirts at work, especially on Fridays. I like to add more formal shoes and jewelry when I wear my long-sleeve tees to polish my look a bit. When I added the red cardigan, you really couldn’t even tell that this shirt was a long sleeve tee. I say go for comfort at work- just remember to dress up your look with easy add-ons such as jewelry or dressy shoes. 

I’m curious what others think about bare feet in winter? Is there a bare foot rule?

nervously new heights (aka zippy in zebra)

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I can’t say that I’ve ever gotten nervous while taking my blog photos…until these photos. I don’t know if it was the heights, fear of falling off a ledge onto a conveyer belt, or the small space, but I got nervous (and nervous fast) on this shoot. Despite the jitters, I ended up loving the photos. There’s no height I won’t go to for fashion! (That’s not true. This is probably the most I would do.) And don’t worry, I totally did not fall onto the conveyor belt. PHEW.

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Dress: Issa for Banana Repbulic ($10 marked down from $140)

Tights: Vera Wang for Kohl’s (gift)

Boots: DSW ($15 marked down from $50)

Necklace: Nordstrom Rack (approx $5 marked down from approx $20)

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Fashion Huntress tips:

1) Even though this is a very boldly printed dress, it was surprisingly easy to change the styling of it. Here’s how I styled it last:

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It’s gotten a bit cooler since I last wore the dress, so I added full tights and boots (and a long sleeve t-shirt) underneath. I also added a short necklace versus a long necklace. A few people even asked if I had worn the dress before. Changing up shoes, necklaces, and accessories can go a long way in changing up a boldly printed piece. 

2) The tights are my first piece from the Vera Wang for Kohl’s collection- Simply Vera. I don’t live near a Kohl’s, so I rarely go, but I’ve been impressed by the Vera Wang pieces that I’ve seen others wearing. The pieces are unique, edgy, high quality, and well priced. Kohl’s, from what I hear, also has a lot of sales, so it may even be worth waiting for the Vera Wang pieces to go on sale. I will further investigate this and report back.  If you want to check it out yourself, below is the link:

http://www.kohls.com/feature/simplyveraverawang.jsp

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Anyone else going out of their comfort zone in their photos? In their prints?

Thanks for stopping by, readers! I hope everyone had a great weekend!

furry fun at the field (museum)

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Despite the intense cold we are experiencing here in Chicago, nothing will stop me from going outdoors! …Well, I’m about at the threshold where I will solely leave for work and then hibernate after…but I’m not there yet! Thus, with our adventurous spirit intact, my bf and I hit up the Field Museum.

Let me just preface this by showing you what our current weather is looking like:

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Okay,  so sometimes, you guys, this fashion blogger wears furry boots in public for long periods of time (ie during a trip to the Field Museum). I know, I know, people can really be against the furry boots because they are not the most attractive footwear in town (understatement). I hear that. I really do. But, in true Fashion Huntress honesty, commuting shoes happens, as do furry winter boots. Here’s my best “let’s dress up these boots” ensemble for furry fun at the Field (Museum).
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Top: Marshall’s ($12 marked down from approx $50)
Long sleeve long underwear top: Ruehl (gift, approx 10 years ago, for real)
Jeans: Old Navy ($30)
Boots: Bear Paw via Marshall’s ($50 marked down from $80)
Scarf: Burberry (gift)
Ring: Forever 21 ($1.50)
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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) I’ve been pretty dedicated to Uggs since they came out. I currently have a rubber snow pair that I am obsessed with- but I did want a suede pair for fall/early winter this year. I hadn’t tried out the brand Bear Paw before this year, but I’ve been really pleasantly surprised. I checked the materials and they are actually the same as Uggs. Additionally, they were a fraction of the cost. Don’t get me wrong, I still love Uggs and think they are amazingly warm, but I think Bear Paw is a good quality, lower cost option as well. Side note- I actually saw that these boots are on sale at Macy’s right now for $40 instead of the $50 I paid. 
 
2) I love the printed jeans trend, but I’m not totally confident it will stick around all that long. I got my printed jeans at Old Navy for a great price that won’t break my heart (or bank) if they don’t remain on trend. The pair I got are really durable- I’ve washed them a ton and they still look brand new.  Additionally, while I got mine for $30, they often have them on sale at Old Navy for about $15-$20, making them even more of a bang for your buck. 
Anyone else still embracing printed jeans? Wearing Uggs/Ugg-like boots and loving it?
Thanks for stopping by, readers! I appreciate it so much!

layered and laughing

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Working in a hospital means we spend our days faced with illness and problem solving. To diffuse the stress, my partners in crime and I manage to take a few moments each day to enjoy the company of each other.  Not surprisingly, our breaks often involve taking the photos for the blog…and laughter ensues.  I don’t often share my outtake photos from these moments, but sometimes I think I really should- so today I am.

Behind the scenes of these photos:

My girlfriend: I don’t see you really going for it. Are you really trying to sit in that window?

Me: My bum won’t fit in it! It’s not that I’m not trying, it’s that I don’t fit!

(passerby: “I’m not even going to ask…”)

My girlfriend: Seriously, you have to just really try! It’ll look great!

Me: I can’t fit!

Resulting photo of me falling out of the windowsill:

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I am endlessly thankful for my all of my supporters (that means you!) for taking time out of the day to laugh along the way with me (as I fall out of windows, etc.). You all make the tough days much less tough, and the good days that much better. This is my layered and laughing ensemble- one of my favorites for so many reasons.

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Denim shirt: Forever 21 ($20)

Top: c/o Mihaela at Fashion Sky Fall.

Pants: Banana Republic ($20 marked down from approx $90)

Belt: J Crew (approx $10 marked down from approx $40) (hard to remember, so old!)

Shoes: Banana Republic ($12 marked down from $110)

Jewelry and scarf: gifts

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Fashion Huntress tips:

1) Layering a non-fitted shirt under my denim shirt is new to me- but something that ended up working. The lace top added some visual interest and length underneath the denim top. The two tops together did get a bit bulky (I spared you the photos that showed just how bulky it got), so the belt was a necessity for this outfit.  I also balanced the layers on top with skinny pants, which also helped the layering seem less baggy. 

2) I am a huge fan of metallic shoes. They are so versatile and really dress up an otherwise plain outfit. You can find metallic shoes just about anywhere these days, though I found this pair at Banana Republic. As per usual, when I went through the shoe section, I looked at the price of every single shoe that I liked. Some of the exact same metallic flats were still tagged as “$50” while the others were listed at “$11.99.” I realize this may not be a completely realistic strategy for a full store of shoes. However, for a few racks of shoes, it was easy to look through all of them- and it totally paid off!

Anyone else layering unexpected tops? Loving metallics this winter?

Thanks for stopping by, lovely readers! I hope everyone is having a good start to the week!

simply black and white with a splash (of color)

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I don’t have much to say today, which is a bit odd for me. I think my just brain wants quiet time. But, thankfully it didn’t go on hiatus before I got dressed and made it through the day. Thanks, brain.

This is my simply black and white outfit with a splash of color. And yes, I sure did wear that necklace and those shoes yesterday. Thanks for not judging, you guys.

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Dress: Burberry (gift)

Cardigan: Banana Republic ($18 marked down from $70)

Top: H&M ($10 marked down from approx $20)

Tights: Target ($8)

Shoes: Lula Townsend at DSW ($12 marked down from $79)

Necklace: Limited ($5 marked down from $33)

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Fashion Huntress tips:

1) I sure did wear those shoes and necklace in my last post, but I changed them up by adding tights (instead of leggings) and double layering my long necklace into a short necklace. One way to change up shoes is by adding tights, leggings, different colored tights, or ankle pants. An easy way to change up necklaces is to layer them and/or doubling them up from a long necklace into a short necklace. No one will be the wiser if you use those easy change up tips!

2) I’ve actually never worn this dress with a scarf, especially not a flower print scarf. But, I liked the unexpected pattern and bit of color splash added to an otherwise black and white outfit. I generally like to get my scarves for under $10 at H&M, Nordstrom Rack, Limited, and Ann Taylor (clearance sections, of course).

Anyone else have good tips for accessories shopping on a budget?

Thanks so much for stopping by readers! I appreciate all of your support!