tentatively without tights

Readers, I don’t want to say it. But I’m going to. I’m already missing tights season. I know, I know. I lamented about cold weather for post after post and now here I am talking about tights. It just really goes to show you, the grass is always greener, right? I guess the moral of the story here is stop looking back, stop looking forward, and appreciate life as it happens. And appreciate tights when you can wear them. Sigh. Easier said than done. For now, I’m going to take it day by day and be grateful of this wonderful weather and sun…because I know I sure will be missing it come fall.

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Top: c/o American Fashion Fox *

Skirt: Soprano via Nordstrom Rack ($16 marked down from $60)

Stone necklace: gift

Tassel necklace: made it!

Shoes: BCBG via DSW ($11 marked down from approx $100)

Bag: Peter Pilotto for Target ($3 marked down from $40)

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Fashion Huntress tips:

1) The Peter Pilotto collection still has a few pieces at Target via online and in-stores. I found a few pieces in the clearance section in the actual store; so, you can check out your local store, if interested.  If you want to go online, just google “Peter Pilotto for Target” and it should pull up what’s left of the collection online. I wanted to include a link, but it didn’t work, sorry, readers! I was surprised to see a number of pieces left, as I figured it was long gone! Per standard trend, the prices in the actual store seemed lower than online.

2) As you all know, I started my foray into online resale shopping when I was collaborating with American Fashion Fox. I found the quality to be great and the zoom featured allowed me to easily look at pieces “close” up. I highly recommend online resale that has a zoom feature to really look at items, or stick with a trusted site that ensures high quality pieces without any damages on their items. I LOVE digging through resale shops, for real readers, but my caveat is that it can get pretty time consuming depending on the shop, and I normally don’t leave with more than 1-3 items per visit. As a result, I do think online is a good way to have someone else dig and pull out the gems for you to then sort through. 

Anyone else still seeing the Peter Pilotto collection in their local stores? Did you like the collection and did you think it was good quality? Thanks so much for stopping by, readers! I hope everyone is having a good weekend!

*please note that I received this top from American Fashion Fox, but I have no financial or other relationship with this company, and all opinions are my own.

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gone fishin’ (in fuchsia)

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I mean, do I even need to comment on this amazing fish wall mural? My thoughts exactly, let’s move on from the awesome fish and move on to the theoretical concept of fishing. I’ve been fishing (ie shopping) in all sorts of new locations lately: online, thrift, charity shops, you name it. This outfit is a blend of my gone fishin’ finds: a pair of shoes I couponed at DSW for $5, a button down I thrifted, and a few well loved gifts. One of my favorite parts of fashion is putting together the finds and loved pieces, old and new alike, and creating something new.  With endless resources, we could all walk around in the latest Chanel collection (and trust me, I wouldn’t turn it down; I’m no fool). But in the real world, most of us are out there fishin’ and making it work.

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Button down top: Forever 21 via resale/thrift ($3, retails for around $20)

Jacket: Gap ($25 marked down from $130)

Jeans: Gap ($20 marked down from approx $60)

Purse: Kate Spade (gift)

Shoes: DSW ($5 marked down from approx $75)

Chain link bracelet: Bauble Bar via Nordstrom (gift)

Giraffe ring: Forever 21 (set of 3 rings, only one pictured, $5 for 3)

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Fashion Huntress tips:

1) I’m a huge fan of mixing “high and low” pieces. I’m a firm believer that you can “elevate” just about anything with the right styling. One of the easiest ways to do this is to invest in a great bag. Of course, you know what I’m going to say next, right? Get your bags on consignment or sale! You don’t have to spend a ton to snag a nice statement bag, but I think they are a great way to style up other pieces you are wearing.  Some of the best places to get a good bag are outlets- either online or in-stores. Many areas have outlet malls that do stock their store pieces. Sometimes, however, outlets stock pieces that they make more cheaply than their retail/store brands.  I always ask about this when I’m in an outlet store, because sometimes the quality can be not as great as what you’re expecting, and I think it’s good to know that up front. The Coach outlet, for example, generally stocks both “outlet” pieces and their store pieces that went from the full price store to the outlet after their season ended.

2) When shopping outlets, always look out for additional reduction sales. One of the best ways to do this is to get on the mailing list for the outlets near your house.  If you don’t live near any outlets, fear not! Many stores now have online stores for their factory/outlet stores. Some of these include: J Crew Factory (https://factory.jcrew.com), Saks off 5th (http://www.saksoff5th.com/), and Haute Look (https://m.hautelook.com/)

Anyone else have outlet tips? Like any other online outlet options? Thanks so much for stopping by, readers! I hope everyone is having a great holiday weekend, for those in the US!

whirl and twirl

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“Feel like a woman. Wear a dress.” Diane Von Furstenberg 

Personally, I think there’s a lot of ways to feel like a woman, but DVF does have a point. We finally (omg, you guys, FINALLY) got a heat wave here in Chicago. I was PUMPED (can you tell?!) to bust out a dress (no tights!) and sandals! It’s really the little things, right? Let me tell you, I sure did feel like a lady in my dress! Which, naturally, meant I had to take photos twirling in it. Another one of Fuchsia Couture by Liliana amazing creations, this dress is made out of bamboo fiber. I’m a first time wearer of bamboo fiber, and now a long time fan. If you haven’t worn it, it’s a bit hard to describe except that it feels more substantial than cotton, is apparently antimicrobial, a sustainable fiber, and the dress is locally made, designed, and sewn. Umm, feel like a lady, eco-concious, germ free, a supporter of jobs in textiles and fashion, and fancy, all at once in this dress. Sold.

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Dress: Fuchsia Couture by Liliana

Blazer: H&M (approx $15 marked down from approx $40)

Shoes: Marni via consignment (paid $25, retails for approx $500)

Necklace with stone: Express (gift, years ago)

Necklace with tassel: made it! (charm from Michael’s, $3 on clearance, added chain and clasp)

Belt: Urban Outfitters ($5 marked down from approx $25)

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Fashion Huntress tips:

1) This dress is a  great example of a more “casual” spring and summer dress styled for work.  Adding a blazer to an otherwise “casual” dress is one of the easiest ways to style your dresses for work and get more wear out of them.  This is also one of the easiest ways to go from “coffee to cocktails” aka from work during the day to out/dinner at night; just take off the blazer and you’re ready to go! You can find the dress via Fuchsia Couture by Liliana.

2) Readers, I don’t even know what happened with these sandals. I’m not sure how they wound up on consignment for $25, and looked as though they had never been worn. It’s confusing, but I think we can all agree it’s best not to ask too many questions sometimes.  Truly, consignment and resale are two of the best ways to get designer pieces that would otherwise be just slightly outside your standard budget (har har, more than slightly).  I know, I know, are you thinking, “but really? Resale for shoes?” Yes, readers. Bust out your sanitizer (alcohol wipes, alcohol from the pharmacy, Lysol/Chlorox wipes, shoe sanitizer from Amazon.com), and just clean them up before you wear them.  I only recommend using the Lysol/Chlorox wipes on the soles of the shoes, so be cautious! I think alcohol wipes or the spray works just fine on most exteriors and shouldn’t damage the shoe at all.  However, always start on the inside of the shoe when sanitizing to ensure you aren’t discoloring or damaging the shoe. After you finish the interior of the shoe, move to a small spot on the exterior of the shoe to again ensure that you aren’t causing any damage to the shoe.  With this pair of sandals, after I used alcohol swaps on the inside of the sandal and the straps, I went back with a leather conditioner to ensure the leather didn’t dry out from the alcohol.  

Anyone else have tips for styling spring and summer dresses for work? Feeling the love for bamboo fiber? Thanks so much for stopping by, readers! I appreciate it so much!

bring on the frill (aka lovely lace)

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Shoulder frill. How undervalued is shoulder frill, you guys? I mean, the shoulder pad is one thing that I don’t really miss…but shoulder frill? You just don’t see it enough, if you ask me. Lace, houndstooth, giant statement necklace, open toed mules, and shoulder frill?! It’s like a fashion party explosion gone girly happy. Sigh.

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Top: c/o Mihaela at Fashion Sky Fall. (giveaway)

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

Necklace: Banana Republic ($12 marked down from $80)

Shoes: DSW ($11 marked down from approx $70)

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Fashion Huntress tips:

1) DSW is one of the few discount shops that really does carry shoes that are on trend and sells them at a discount up front, instead of having to wait a season or two for them to be discounted. When I went on the search for open toed mules/shoe-booties, I found approximately 20-30 pairs there! A few of them were already on clearance, as opposed to just their regular discounted price.  As always, you know what I’m going to say, right? Sign up for the emails and their club! 

2) I bought these pants over winter, so I was, of course, super excited to try and style them for spring and summer. Despite being a dark print, they really lightened up with a light colored top and open toed shoes. I kept the top unbelted to add more of a light/breezy feeling.  All in all, it was really easy to transition these “winter” pants. I think they would also look great with a denim top and maybe a yellow cardigan. Try summerizing your “winter” print pants! 

Anyone else have winter pants styling tips for spring and summer? Happy Monday, readers! Hope everyone had a good start to the week!

opening doors online (aka fashion fox)

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I was recently approached by the truly lovely staff over at American Fashion Fox, and was asked to check out their online store. Readers, as you know, shopping online creates some anxiety for me. I’m just never sure on sizing and I can’t look over the items, and wind up convinced I’ll get something that doesn’t fit/doesn’t work. Well, I decided to take the opportunity from American Fashion Fox and embrace online shopping and throw caution to the wind. Guess what? It was a total success! I looked through brands I generally know fairly well and was able to guesstimate my sizing without any issues, and used the zoom function to look through the items “up close.” Per usual…I’m finding that my “I’m not sure I can do that” moments are completely unfounded! Hurrah! I’ve learned to online resale shop! What’s next? The Fashion Huntress in space?! Ha! I crack myself up.

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Top: White House Black Market c/o American Fashion Fox

Skirt: Soprano via Nordstrom Rack ($16 marked down from $60)

Blazer: Forever 21 ($25)

Shoes: Nine West via consignment ($8, retails for approx $100)

Tights: Vera Wang for Kohl’s ($7 marked down from $14)

Necklace: Nadri via Nordstrom Rack ($14 marked down from $50)

Headband: Banana Republic (approx $8 marked down from approx $35)

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Fashion Huntress tips:

1) If you’re not yet ready to take a trip to a local resale/thrift shop, online consignment and resale shopping is a bit easier than digging through clothes on your own. Additionally, shopping online for resale means you can still snag clothes at amazing prices without having to dig through the clothes on your own if you find the process overwhelming or intimidating. The prices on both of the online stores are very competitive, which I was told was due to having a good relationship with their buyers (the resale shoppers!). Additionally, they have an online shop that is all vintage and all items begin at 99 cents. You can find their shops here and here. If you have any questions, I truly found the staff to be very responsive and helpful. 

2) I don’t normally go all black and white and then wear colored tights and shoes as my statement pieces. However, this was a fun way to change up an all black and white look. Additionally, now that it’s getting warmer out, the challenge of summer dressing at work begins. Sleeveless tops, on their own, are generally not allowed at my work, so I’m all about the layers. I carry a blazer or cardigan at all times and can pop it on before meetings. 

Anyone else have online shopping tips? Digging the online resale shopping? Happy Sunday, readers! I hope everyone had a good weekend!

breaking button down barriers

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I don’t know about you guys, but lately I’ve been all about breaking fashion “rules.” I wore a button down shirt (wait for it) …OPEN! Stop it. I know. It’s too much! I haven’t been this excited about wearing a button down shirt open since the early 90s, when it was super cool to wear flannels open- a la DJ Tanner on Full House.  While I was breaking rules, I started tossing on layers, colors, a statement necklace, wearing my hair in a high ponytail. I’m a free woman! I do what I want!

…okay, maybe my reaction to wearing an open button down is a bit overzealous, but come on, breaking fashion rules is just so rewarding, right?

“Be daring, be different, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers…” -Cecil Beaton

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Umbrella top: Banana Republic ($12 marked down from $50)

Button down: Forever 21 via resale ($3, retails for approx $20)

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

Pants: Gap ($7 marked down from $60)

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

Necklace: Banana Republic ($7 marked down from $80)

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Fashion Huntress tips:

1) Gray is a great alternative to black for dress pants, and I think gray is a lot softer for spring and summer than black pants. Gap has a great selection of colored pants- especially lately. In the past few weeks, I continue to see their pants marked down to $5-$15, which is a great price range! One thing I have noticed about their pants is they don’t seem to have much stretch- probably because they are 100% cotton and have no spandex. As a result, I recommend considering a size smaller than your standard size so that they don’t lose too much shape throughout the day! 

2) Cole Haan has a surprisingly amazing sale section on their website. I’ve noticed in the stores that the prices really don’t go down nearly as much as they do online, which is a bit unusual! I recommend figuring out what size you wear there, and then shopping on the website. I found these amazing green shoes at a great price online- when there were additional reductions on their sale online. 

Anyone else have online shoe shopping tips? Thanks so much for stopping by, readers!! Happy Monday!

mooning over moms

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Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there! I’ve been fortunate enough to have so many mother figures in my family life. In terms of my fashion genes: my own mom taught me just about everything I know about fashion and bargain hunting; my sister taught me how to style the latest trends when I was a wee Huntress in the 80s; my maternal grandmother passed along her love of all things sewn, and my paternal grandmother passed along her love of cooking and flowers/gardening. While I wouldn’t say I”m a master of just about anything creative, I consider myself truly blessed for having so many creative mother figures in my life who inspired me and continue to inspire me each and every day. A very special shout-out to my mom (who never once balked at my talk of starting a fashion blog and continues to edit it) who is there for me through thick and thin, and my sister, who is a wonderful mom to my beloved niece and nephew. This is my mooning over moms look; as the mom says in Mean Girls, “you girls keep me young, I love you!”

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Button down top: Banana Republic (approx $20 marked down from approx $80)

Peplum top: Nordstrom Rack ($9 marked down from $36)

Pants: Banana Republic ($20 marked down from $110)

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

Ring: Forever 21 (years ago; maybe $2)

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Fashion Huntress tips:

1) Ever since I layered under a peplum top once, I’ve wanted to do it every day! This time, I didn’t even tuck the shirt under the peplum in, I just left it untucked. It was so liberating! Adding layers under peplum makes it very easy to wear a sleeveless top at work without worrying about adding a cardigan on top. I also liked the purple on purple, but the two different patterns. Always remember that it’s really very easy to mix and match patterns, especially if you stick within the same color palette (for example, here, I just layered purple patterns). 

2) I must wear these shoes at least once a week.  Despite being black and white animal print, they are surprisingly versatile.  If you’re going for a pop of pattern, animal print is generally fairly easy to style, especially in shoes. You all know how I feel about DSW, readers. Just go straight to the clearance section, and bring your coupons (register via their website). Getting a pair of shoes for under $20 in the clearance section is totally doable! Don’t forget to refer to the color coded system that is de-coded on a chart on top of the rack- and remember that yellow means 80% off the sticker price, but is not on the chart!

Thank you so much for stopping by readers! I hope you had a wonderful weekend!!