fiery floral (aka second chance, part two)

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Well, readers, if you read my last post, you know that I am on board for Kohl’s these days. This dress is another gem that I found on my recent trip. Umm, heck yes it’s the J Lo brand, readers. And heck yes, it has a snazzy back opening. And lastly, heck yes, I wore it to work (though I kept my snazzy back opening to myself). Kohl’s, I’m official a convert. (and yes, btw, I did ask a firefighter if he wouldn’t mind having his boots in a fashion blog post…) (apparently J Lo dresses make you shameless/fearless).

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Dress: J. Lo for Kohl’s ($5 marked down from $60)

Leggings: TJ Maxx ($5 marked down from $15)

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

Blazer: Forever 21 (approx $20)

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Fashion Huntress tips:

1) I’ve found that the sizing between collections at Kohl’s is a little variable, though I suspect this may also be due to how you like something to fit. I found myself picking up sizes that allowed for a little more fabric and less cling, especially given that I wear the majority of my clothes both in and out of work. My recommendation is to go through the entire clearance section, all sizes, to make sure you don’t pass up a potential find. As always, I think you can get through the clearance section in about 30 minutes. This dress was a gem at $5. Don’t forget to also sign up for the emails to get their weekly coupons!

2) Despite the snazzy back cut-out, I think this dress worked perfectly for work with a blazer. I even pulled out my “summer” short sleeve blazer because I didn’t want to cover too much of the floral print. Moral of the story? Snazzy back cut-outs are totally okay for work- just grab a blazer or cardigan, and don’t overlook your summer blazers! 

Has anyone else tried out the J Lo line? Have you liked the collection? Thanks so much for stopping by, readers! It’s almost Friday! WOOT!

classic in second chances

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There’s been many a time that I’ve passed up Kohl’s, readers. But let me tell you, I was really wrong to pass up their clothing and accessories. I mean, Elle has a line there and so does Vera Wang. How can you go wrong? I hopped over to my local Kohl’s and checked out their clearance section. They always have 20% off coupons in their emails (so, definitely worth signing up!) and you can use it on their clearance items. Once I started digging (which I do admit you need to, in my experience), I found some real gems, including this Elle top. I’m officially a fan. After all, it’s good to give things a second chance some times, right? Ah yes…another fashion metaphor for life. Oh fashion, you’re so wise.

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Denim top: Forever 21 ($20)
Black and white top: Elle at Kohl’s ($7 marked down from $44)
Pants: Banana Republic ($20 marked down from $90)
Scarf: Limited ($7 marked down from $35)
Necklace: Kohl’s ($5 marked down from $32)
Shoes: Michael Antonio via thrift ($4, retail for $50)

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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) Many charity shops/thrift stores obtain their clothes or shoes from discount shops in the area, when the discount shops have not sold the items. For example, my local thrift shop gets Target’s unsold clearance items, or Marshall’s unsold shoes. To find out what “new clothes” to look for in your local thrift shop, ask any of the store reps. Generally, they know where their “new clothes” come from and when they get them. The shoes worn in this post were “new” via thrift, and, as a result, just $4!

2) Fall is officially upon us, so I’m pulling back out my black dress pants. Personally, I think you can get by with just 2-3 pairs of dress pants for work. I’ve had my same gray pants and same black pants for years, and they are in great shape. I highly recommend getting a nice pair of pants. I’ve always sworn by the dress pants at Banana Republic and J Crew. They are not cheap, but they are good quality, and they do go on sale! Dry clean only is pretty serious for dress pants, if you ask me. I never toss mine in the machine- and that seems to really help with their longevity.

Anyone else find their “new” clothes via thrift? Thanks so much for stopping by, readers! I appreciate it so much and hope everyone’s week is going well!

cozy cape (aka ode to sherlock holmes)

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Ever since Burberry debuted their cape/blanket wrap/shawl this season, all things cape-like and blanket-like are really having a moment. I can get on board with any trend that allows me to wear a blanket around all day (though not a snuggie, readers) (those are for the privacy of your own home). While the Burberry version is a bit (ha! more than a bit) out of my reach, I did find this nice Sherlock Holmes looking cape (with the tags still on it!) a few weeks ago while thrifting. I’m not sure if it’s an outdoor coat or an indoor coat, but I wore it all day (outside and inside) and really enjoyed myself. Outdoors, I kept buttoned up (it’s breezy and rain out!), but indoors, I let it flow openly. If Sherlock Holmes was a full time professional these days, I suspect he would appreciate the cape debut.

‘It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.’ Sherlock Holmes, A Case of Identity

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Cape: thrifed ($4, tags on it said retails for $60)
Denim top: Forever 21 via thrift ($4, retails for approx $25)
Necklace: Kohl’s ($5 marked down from $32)
Pants: Gap ($7 marked down from $60)
Shoes: Ellen Tracy at DSW ($9 marked down from $99)
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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) Capes and “blanket wraps” really are trending right now. Frankly, I’m a big fan of this trend, but I have a seen a few photos of this trend going in a confusing direction. I, personally, think wearing an actual blanket is a bit shapeless. But, many of the wraps and capes do have a bit more shape so the wearer doesn’t look completely overwhelmed by the piece. For me, this is all about proportion. I paired my cape with skinny pants and heels so outfit felt a bit more balances and didn’t get too “baggy.”
2) This is the perfect time of year (depending on wear you live) to wear coats that have shorter sleeves, vests, or capes! It’s not very cold in Chicago (yet), but definitely requires a coat or vest. I have a random assortment of coats that aren’t really true winter coats, but I tend to overlook as indoor/outdoor pieces. The cape is a good example of a “fall coat” that can be worn indoors and outdoors. Vests are also a great option with button downs and skirts as an indoor/outdoor piece, so consider pulling out your transitional “outdoor” pieces and sporting them as part of your cozy indoor look!
Anyone else have general feelings about the blanket/wrap/cape trend? Thanks so much for stopping by, readers! I hope everyone had a great weekend!

painted and patterned

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Oh, readers, it is that beloved time again: Fashion Week! I’ve been loving all of the the street style posts; seriously, could the attendees look any cooler? And the shows….swoon. So many amazing show posts.  And, of course, last but certainly not least, the September issues are all gloriously out and include hundreds of pages of glossy ads and articles. I’m just swooning…and to top it all off, fall weather hit Chicago today, so I’m even busting out my seasonal mugs. All in all, long story short, this is fashion heaven, if you ask me, and I am loving it. This outfit is my ode to Fashion Week; even though I’m not attending the shows (maybe one day??), I’m pretending I am in my painted and patterned kimono.

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Dress: BCBG via consignment ($35, retails for approx $150)
Leggings: Old Navy (approx $10)
Statement necklace: Kohl’s ($2 marked down from $28)
Triangle necklace: Forever 21 ($3)
Wedges/mules: Rampage via Amazon.com ($22 marked down from $60)
Sandals: Banana Republic (gift)
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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) The mules/wedges pictured here were purchased on Amazon.com. This is actually my first pair of Amazon shoes and let me tell you, I am quite pleased. I actually saw these shoes on the DSW website, but realized they were cheaper on the Amazon.com and came in more colors on Amazon. Hmm. I don’t have enough experience in this area as of yet, but I think it’s worth checking for shoes on Amazon to potentially snag better prices and color options. I’ll report back, though feel free to share feedback, if you have any!
2) I read an interesting article about nail polish in Consumer Reports the other day. Umm, Consumer Reports is where it’s at! I love that magazine- I’m sure no one is surprised by that. They don’t accept payment for any of their reports, and they put out great unbiased reviews. Anyway, check it out; they recommend the Sinful Colors nail polish ($1.99) as their top pick for quality and cost! I love Sinful Colors and normally get it at Walgreens. 
Anyone else have feedback about buying shoes on Amazon? Or Sinful Colors? Thanks so much for stopping by readers; I appreciate it so very much! Have a good rest of the week!

classically custom

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There’s something about the idea of a custom dress that just sounds regal and fancy to me. I envision a tailor bustling to a local castle in a horse-drawn carriage armed with endless fabrics, needles, and gold threads. …clearly I’ve had limited experiences with custom dresses previously, as my vision of them involved a castle.

Anyway, when I was approached by eShakti regarding trying out one of their custom dresses, I really wasn’t sure what to expect. So, I picked a dress, then I pulled out my tape measure, measured myself based on the categories listed on their website, and voila! My dress arrived a week and a half later, and readers, this dress fits like a glove. I don’t want to oversell it, but seriously, it’s magical, so I don’t think I can even oversell it. People actually stopped me on the street to ask about my dress. Apparently, custom dresses are where it’s at. No castle required. I’m loving this new experience in a classically custom dress. Thanks,  eShakti for showing me your ways.
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Dress: c/o  eShakti
Necklace: Kohl’s ($5 marked down from $32)
Cardigan: Banana Republic (approx $15 marked down from approx $70…few years ago)
Shoes: BCBG via DSW ($11 marked down from approx $100)
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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) eShakti can be found via the following modalities:

Their website, Facebook, and Pinterest

Their pieces are very affordable, especially given that customization is only $7.50 per piece. I found the quality to be excellent- and there are so many pieces from which to choose! Additionally, your first customization is free and you can receive $25 off your first order. You can also make specifications on some pieces regarding the style of the piece (sleeves, no sleeves, etc). The customization measurements were very straightforward, and I was able to easily measure myself (seriously, I’m not flexible). You will need a flexible tape measure to measure around yourself, but other than that, it’s easy peasy. Lastly, readers can get an additional 10% (combinable with other offers) when entering ‘thefashionhuntress’ under your coupon code when you check out- good now through October 5th.
2) In the past, I was hesitant about online shopping because I was not able to try things on. Clearly, customizing pieces makes this a non-issue. Additionally, I’ve found that so many sites now have great zoom features and enable you to really see what the piece is like. I highly recommend using the zoom feature to look through online purchases prior to purchasing, and readings the reviews. Because most online shops don’t edit customer reviews, you’ll get a good idea about fit, quality, etc.
Anyone else have experiences with customization? Any feedback? I hope everyone is having a good start to their week! Thanks so much for stopping by!

mad for summer plaid (aka ode to rainbow brite)

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Well, it’s officially September, readers, which means that sweaters, pumpkins, and scarves aren’t too far off. However, I’m taking in however many days we have left of summer (even the humid days that I complain about), and am enjoying the sun in my favorite rainbow bright summer plaid sundress.

Speaking of bright rainbows, one time I dressed up like Rainbow Brite for Halloween when I was about 4 years old. That costume was super sweet; my mom has some awesome sewing skills and made me the coolest poofy rainbow outfit. For those of you that aren’t familiar, Rainbow Brite was a cartoon character in the 80s and she rode a unicorn (see below picture). I mean, it doesn’t get any cooler, in my book.
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While I may not have a unicorn (sigh), or a super sweet Rainbow Brite costume anymore (double sigh), I’m still paying my respects to the coolest rainbow unicorn-riding blonde around in my all grown-up rainbow plaid dress; this is my ode to Rainbow Brite. You go, Rainbow.
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Dress: Lux at Urban Outfitters ($20 marked down from approx $100)
Shoes: thrifted ($8, unclear retail price)
Necklace: Urban Outfitters (…years ago, maybe $18?)
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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) As many of you mentioned, based on my last post, these blue shoes would look awesome with shoe clips. If you missed the last post, check them out! I’m officially on the hunt for vintage brooches or vintage clip-on earrings! I also thought about using wire cutters and cutting off the post of a “post” earring and using non-clip-on earrings as shoe clips. Don’t forget about Pinterest for more shoe clip inspiration! The shoe clips I’ve seen online thus far are about $20 a pair, but I’m pretty sure you could make a pair for under $5 if you have a glue gun. Go, DIY!
2) This is clearly a weekend look (especially with back cut-out on the dress). But, I’ve also worn it at work with a blazer. Here’s how I last styled this dress for work:
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This is one dress that I actually haven’t styled for winter…so I’ll need to give that a try this winter and see how it goes!
Anyone else thinking about busting out their old wedding or bridesmaid shoes? I hope everyone had a great weekend! Thanks so much for stopping by!