back to basics


As much as I love my pattern mixing (which is a lot), sometimes it’s good to get back to basics. I managed to again take off my mint heels (see last few posts), and slip back into my favorite black and white animal print heels. You really cannot go wrong with a black and white look (especially in animal print, of course), especially on a gray day. We managed to sneak in these photos right before it began to rain, though my hair is really showing the humidity. Does anyone’s hair do well in 85 degrees and 90% humidity, though? If I could make a hat work at work, I’d be seriously tempted to do so these last few days. Hat or no hat, frizzy hair, and all, I’m getting back to basics today.


Dress: Michael Kors via resale ($7, retails for $140)
Blazer: Forever 21 (approx $15)
Shoes:BCBG via DSW ($11 marked down from approx $100)
Belt:Urban Outfitters ($5 marked down from approx $60)
Elephant necklace: J Crew (gift)
Gold necklace:vintage via resale ($6)
Fashion Huntress tips:
1) As you all know, I’m a huge fan of short sleeve blazers. I have a few and they are all neutral colors (black, black/white, cream). I tend to find them via thrifting or at places like Forever 21 or H&M. I’ve found that my Forever 21 blazers have really held up over the years. The most I’ve had to do to any of them is re-attach a button. I do wash via the “hand wash” cycle of the machine, which seems to help with reducing wear and tear. You really don’t need to spend much to invest in a couple of short sleeve blazers ($5-$20) that will last years. Short sleeve blazers are also a nice option in fall and winter when layered over long sleeve shirts like button downs and long sleeve tee shirts. 
2) It’s funny, even though this is a “summer” dress, I almost prefer it in winter! Here is how I last wore this dress in winter:
I’m thinking of maybe adding a pop of color to transition it to fall, perhaps with colored tights or a colored cardigan. As you can see, a simple sundress/summer dress is very easy to transition, especially when it’s a basic cut and color! Now is a great time to look for fall staples or host a clothing swap to find pieces to transition your summer dresses.
Anyone else prepping their clothes for fall? Happy Monday, all! Thanks so much for stopping by!

helping hand


In the past year, I’ve realized more and more that I really struggle with asking for help sometimes. As a blogger, this can get awkward…seeing as how blogging takes a village to really make it work (photos, editing, etc, all involve multiple people). I’ve gotten to the point of feeling like I can ask for help with blogging (thanks, Eve for taking my photos today!). But asking for emotional support? No thanks. The funny thing is, the more I reach out, the more I realize people’s genuine willingness to be supportive and helpful. As I learn this over and over, I want to say thanks to all my helping hands; there are so many of you. And frankly, this blog wouldn’t exist without you…and neither would my sanity! Big Huntress hug.


Top: Gap ($16 marked down from $60)
Pants: Gap ($8 marked down from $55)
Necklace: Anthropologie ($14 marked down from $70)
Shoes: Sam Edelman via Nordstrom Rack ($50 marked down from $90)


Fashion Huntress tips:
1) Gap has a good sale going on right now for fall favorites, and has an extra 20% off their online shop today. There’s a lot of denim on sale, including the shirt featured here. I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again, Gap does denim right. Their denim is highly durable and comes in so many great shapes, colors, and styles. And don’t forget, as a fellow blogger taught me, they do match their online prices in stores, so ask the sales rep to adjust the prices if they don’t match the online price.

2) Umm someone is going to have to pry these mint shoes off my feet at some point. They are so versatile! I apologize that my last three posts have all included the same shoes, but I just love them, and basically won’t take them off. So, I’ll use this opportunity to say that Sam Edelman makes a very comfortable heel, as far as heels go. They also make great flats and sandals. They can almost always be found at Nordstrom Rack, though not usually in the clearance section, in my experience. You can also find them on Zappos, but the sale prices seem to be better at Nordstrom Rack.

Anyone else have a favorite pair of shoes? Happy Sunday, all! I hope everyone had a good weekend!

stripes on stripes


I love that moment in fashion/getting dressed when you think, “what!? That’s madness!” to something that isn’t really that “out there” or revolutionary. This outfit is an example of my own response to something that is new to me: stripes on stripes. My inner dialogue sounded a little like this, “….hmmm black and white, and black and white…that part works…but stripes on stripes…is this a thing? Are people doing this…I don’t know…maybe it’s too much of a good thing…or maybe just enough of a good thing….Okay, I need to leave the house. This is what I’m wearing.” Seriously, you’d think I was developing some sort of national space program with the amount of thought I put into this. The result? A simple stripes on stripes look. …Why didn’t I think of this sooner?

Top: H&M (kids, $8)
Skirt: Banana Republic ($12 marked down from approx $70)
Necklace: made it!
Cardigan: Banana Republic ($18 marked down from $70)
Shoes: Sam Edelman via Nordstrom Rack ($50 marked down from $90)
Fashion Huntress tips:
1) Well, I continue to be on a DIY/handmade jewelry kick. The inspiration for this necklace came from Anthropologie (love their jewelry). The necklace on the left in the photo below is from their catalog (cost of their necklace was approx $58). My necklace is on the right. 
My cost was approx $2 because I used an old pearl necklace that I didn’t wear often, and then spray painted a plastic seahorse to string onto the pearl necklace that I re-strung. Ta da! As my mom would say, you can’t beat that price with a stick.
If you’re not into DIY, there’s a great post here about how to save at Anthropologie:
2) A classic black skirt is one of the most versatile pieces of clothing you can own (much like a little black dress). But, I cannot resist a black and white twist on a classic black skirt. It’s still very versatile and can be worn with just about anything! Here’s another black and white skirt that I tend to rotate quite a bit:
I think the skirt selection at Banana Republic is top notch and good quality. Go straight to the sale section (especially on the “additional markdown” days), and check out their skirts. When they have their additional markdown days, skirts are around $15-$25. They seem to have their additional markdown days on Tuesdays, Wednesday, and Saturdays, though I have yet to figure out if they have an “official” schedule.
Does anyone ever know about markdown days in advance? If so, how did you find out? Thanks so much for stopping by readers! It’s almost the weekend!

musing in mint (30 days no shopping, day 30)


Well, readers, I’m going to acknowledge that I bought these shoes on day 29 of my no-shopping challenge. In my defense, I had been looking for mint shoes for a long time and finally was able to find them. So, I feel okay about it, as I suspect these heels won’t be leaving my feet for a long time. And, as a result of not quite making it to day 30, I decided to add on an no-shopping extra week. I found that my budget really enjoyed not feeling stretched as a result of shopping, so I’m going to stick with it for a while. I also found myself enjoying looking through what I currently have and changing up some older pieces in my closet. I also had a great time making some jewelry (including the necklace pictured here) by re-purposing jewelry I didn’t wear much (see tip #1). Next on the challenge list? ….cleaning out my closet and separating out “keep” and “donate.” 


Top: Gap ($6 marked down from $30)
Kimono: Nordstrom Rack (approx $10 marked down from approx $35)
Pants: Gap ($7 marked down from $60)
Necklace: made it! (cost was approx $2. Beads are from Joann’s and left-over necklaces that I don’t wear much)
Shoes: Sam Edelman via Nordstrom Rack ($50 marked down from $90)
Fashion Huntress tips:
1) I decided to look through my old jewelry and pull out some necklaces that I don’t wear too frequently. Once I had them pulled out, I started to pull them apart for the beads and charms. I was able to make two necklaces out of one necklace that I rarely wore, and still have extra beads to make a bracelet. This was a really fun challenge! Between Pinterest and YouTube, you can figure out how to make a ton of jewelry very easily, and very cheaply! Don’t forget that for basic jewerly supplies (like beading wire), you can always use coupons for Michael’s, Joann’s, and Hobby Lobby. All of them have apps and websites to print off coupons for generally 40-50% off any single item, basically every single day of the week. They also usually will accept “competitor” coupons, if you’re in a bind and can’t find a specific store coupon.
2)  I wanted to again share about my love of the online consignment group: Thred Up. You can buy clothes through them via consignment, and you can also “request a bag.” When you request a free bag, Thred Up sends you a bag, you put the clothes you would like to consign in it, you ship it back to them for free, they price out the items they think they can sell, give you the money, and then donate any clothes they don’t use. I think this is a great system for both consigning and donating clothes. So, if you’re in the mood for a pre-fall closet clean out, check them out:
Anyone else have closet cleaning tips? Happy Tuesday, all! We’re almost at mid-week! Thanks so much for stopping by; I appreciate it so much!

but it’s not my birthday burberry (30 days no shopping, day 28)


When a friend says to you, “I’m not wearing this Burberry dress and top anymore, do you want it?” The only reasonable thing to say is, “Absolutely.” Am I right? Well, that’s the full story of this dress and top. And while it was no special occasion, birthday, or otherwise, I was very thankful to take these hand me downs, despite saying, “Are you sure?” approximately twenty times. I don’t know why hand me downs get a bad rep. I’m a huge fan. 


Top: Burberry (hand me down)

Dress: Burberry (hand me down)
Shoes: Banana Republic via consignment ($20, retail for approx $120)
Fashion Huntress tips:
1) I’ve been doing some research on clothing swaps and found some interesting websites. From what I can gather, large scale clothing swaps that are put on by organizations charge an “entry fee” (around $25). After you pay your entry fee, the general expectation is that you will bring your own clean clothing that you are willing to give away (swap), and that you are able to “take what you want” for free (after the entry fee, of course). Here are a couple of links that have information about formally organized clothing swaps. 
Personally, I think organizing one among friends, family, and coworkers is a great way to have one! Below are some tips for hosting your own:
2) Sundresses are great for work, and can easily be modified for a work setting. I tend to layer under my sundresses that are a bit low cut for work, as I did with this dress. You can, of course, layer on top of the dress and wear it as a dress, or a skirt. Don’t leave your weekend sundresses in the closet during the week! Pull them out and dress them up. This is a great way to ensure they get their full usage.
Anyone have clothing swap tips? Attend any? I hope everyone had a great weekend! Thanks so much for stopping by! 

planning a path (30 days no shopping, day 25)


Maybe it’s the change of seasons or fall anticipation, but I’ve been feeling a little unsure of my path lately. I think I’m headed in the right direction…but the path doesn’t seem so clear. As a result, my brain has been all sorts of jumbled lately. So, I’m going to leave it at that today. The photos were shot at the subway, which I think nicely captures the idea of going somewhere…wherever the world will takes us, I guess. Good thing I’m in my walking shoes.


Top: Gap ($7 marked down from $50)
Skirt: Nordstrom Rack ($30 marked down from $130)
Shoes: Cole Haan ($150 marked down from $350)
Necklace: Urban Outfitters (1.99 many years ago)
Bracelet: assorted, mostly gifts


Fashion Huntress tips:

1) While Cole Haans can be pricey, I’m a huge fan of their shoes and the Nike Air collaboration. They truly are some of the most comfortable heels I own, and are so lightweight! Cole Haan always has a great sale selection on their website, and Nordstrom Rack tends to stock a lot of their shoes as well. I’ve heard that the Nike Air/Cole Haan collaboration to scheduled to end sometime soon-ish, so grab the shoes while you can, if you are interested in a pair! 

2) While I’m still not shopping, I have continued my online perusal of stores and saw that Ann Taylor Loft has a 60% off their sale section sale going on right now. Most of the dresses are between $20-$30, so check them out if you are interested. Additionally, Marshalls is having a clearance event, and holy moley, there are a lot of clothes on clearance! I saw a lot of maxi dresses for around $20, though I made it out without buying anything! Check out their clearance section, if you are so inclined and still shopping. Shop for me!

I’m almost done with my no shopping challenge! Woo hoo! Congrats to all other who are also currently underway- you can do it! Thanks so much for stopping by readers. I hope everyone has a great rest of the week and weekend!

Summer Style with The Fashion Huntress

Thanks, Katie, for the opportunity to collaborate! xo!

Charm(ing) City Style

I’m excited to be writing to you from one of my favorite places, Litchfield Beach, SC.  Because I know I’ll be spending the week with my head in a book and my toes in the sand, I decided to tap a few of my favorite bloggers to help me this week. Yay for guest posts! It’s all about summer style this week, so be sure to keep checking back.

First, I’d like to introduce you to The Fashion Huntress. I adore her always on trend work style, and the fact that she always always gets the very best deals on the cutest stuff. It’s seriously insane. I want her to come shopping with me and teach me her ways. 

Hi, all! I want to, first and foremost, thank Katie for having me guest post today! Katie and I did a little chatting and decided that summer styling is a…

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