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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strong and small


Do you ever have those days that come full circle? My day started out with my feeling super strong, then feeling super small….and then feeling super strong again. I guess that is to say that I started my day feeling as though I was proudly representing myself, only to turn around and make myself small. It’s so interesting what situations bring out feelings of, “I’ve got this! I am doing great!” and what situations bring out feelings, “I don’t have this. I have no idea what to do.” So how does it come full circle? And how did it come full circle that day? …by reminding myself of the adage, “just do you.” Oh yeah…just be me. I can do that.  And then I was back to strong again. I’ve totally got this.

Well, for now, anyway. And that’s just fine too. This is my ‘strong and small and back to strong’ look…aka how to ensure people stare at you as you pose for photos demonstrating your super hulk strength.
“Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.” -Oscar Wilde
Top: Forever 21 ($20)
Pants: Gap ($21 marked down from $55)
Boots: Express ($20 marked down from approx $70)
Necklace: gift
Fashion Huntress tips:
1) I am the first one to say, “oh, you can mix and match just about anything!” …these pants seem to be the exception for me. I’ve had a really hard time changing my top from anything other than a navy blue top or a denim top when I wear these pants. I would love other people’s suggestions if you have them! Some pieces are just flat-out hard to mix and match. On the other hand, I really like them, so I decided to get them regardless of their “inflexibility.” If you find something you love, but it doesn’t really “mix-up” all that well, that’s okay too! Not everything can be heavily rotated in a lot of different ways.
2) Patterned pants are definitely still being shown a lot for spring, so it’s time to bust out any pairs you may have had from last spring or summer! You can find patterned pants just about anywhere these days, though I tend to see them most frequently at Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy. Prices range on patterned pants, but I generally try to find them on sale for <$20. Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy all have days where everything in the store is on sale, or when they have a “pants sale.” Signing up for their emails is a good way to find out about these sales. If you don’t want a ton of emails in your inbox, you can also just look on their website to see what their sales are for the day. 
Anyone else loving printed pants? Have any that seem harder to mix-up?
Thanks for stopping by, readers! I appreciate it so much!

mixed musings in mustard (tights)


Lately, I’ve been thinking about comfort levels when wearing certain outfits and stepping out of our fashion box (you know, my whole “new version of you” kick for 2014). Thus, in the spirit of “does this outfit make sense,”I wore another random ensemble: mustard tights, printed skirt, and cranberry silk top. What is it about wearing something that is out of our fashion box that is so liberating? When I put on the outfit, I thought, “hmmm I don’t know..” but wearing the outfit felt great because it was new for me. So, I could go on and on about this process or I could leave it at: sometimes we surprise even ourselves. I wish I could be more brave in general, but I guess starting with my clothes isn’t a bad start, right?

Top: Diane Von Furstenberg via Nordstrom Rack ($23 marked down from $250)
Cardigan: Banana Republic ($18 marked down from $70)
Skirt: Soprano via Nordstrom Rack ($20 marked down from $60)
Tights: Hue ($3 marked down from $15)
Shoes: Lula Townsend at DSW ($12 marked down from $79)
Necklace: Nadri via Nordstrom Rack ($14 marked down from $50)

Fashion Huntress tips:
1) For real, my tights post is coming ASAP. But in the meantime, this is the time to buy your tights, readers. I have seen tights marked down by at least 50% at Target, Nordstrom Rack, Gap, and many other stores. It’s still cold in Chicago, so we are still wearing tights here. However, if you live in a warmer climate, just save them for when it gets cooler. I aim to spend around $5 on tights. You can get great high quality tights for around that price, especially this time of year.

2) I think the Fashion Week shows were a good reminder for me: anything goes. I, sadly, didn’t see any shows in person (dream big, right?), but all of the highlights were all over the place: pastels, florals, McDonald’s dresses, boho, romantic- the list goes on and on. All of the trends were so different and fresh, and a lot of color/pattern mixing and matching. If there’s any doubt about any of your looks, just go for it!

And, of course, still feel free to email me your fashion risks and “does this work?” looks to

Anyone else take inspiration from Fashion Week?

I hope everyone is having a great week! Thank you for stopping by!!

scarf, stripes, and statement (necklace)


I don’t have too much to say today except that I am swooning over this statement necklace by Pam Hiran that I found at Anthropologie the other day. Seriously, they have such great jewelry there, and this necklace is no exception. I had been looking for a big statement necklace and finally found this unique gem! I paired the necklace with my striped sweater and favorite fall coat/scarf combination.

By the way, seriously, I think my leaf background posts are getting a little out of control lately, but I just can’t stop myself! My girlfriend and I were lamenting today that we will really be suffering when we try and take the blog photos in the snow. But, for now, I am still lovingly including the colorful leaves and an ability to stand outside for a full three minutes without my coat! I mean, this necklace just had to be photographed in natural light! It’s only right! (Brr).


Sweater: Banana Republic (approx $17 marked down from approx $70)

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

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

Necklace: Pam Hiran via Anthropologie ($15 marked down from $60)

Shoes: Shoes: BC at Urban Outfitters (they are so old, I can’t even remember the price! Approx $30 on sale)

Jacket: French Connection (bought years ago when I lived in Spain!)

Scarf: Burberry (gift)


Fashion Huntress tips:

1) There are so many places to get great statement jewelry! If you are looking for unique pieces, I think Anthropologie and J Crew have great jewelry, though it can be costly unless you wait for the sales. Some of the “chain” jewelry selections include Charming Charlies, H&M, Bauble Bar, and Forever 21. I have seen, both on blogs and in stores, amazing finds at those shops/websites. I personally like to dig through pieces in person to find unique and durable necklaces. Durable may seem like an odd word choice, but if you’ve ever had a necklace break and beads fly everywhere, then you know what I’m talking about! I like to look for metal necklaces and/or beads strung on metal wire, in order to ensure that the necklace will last. 

2) I really wanted the necklace to stand out in this outfit, though I think it would also look great among layered tops and thick sweaters. I also think pairing it with my hair up and big gold bracelets would showcase a totally glam look.  Sometimes very unique pieces can seem less versatile than more “standard” pieces, but I find that many unique pieces are quite versatile. The shoes seen here, for example, are turquoise wedge loafer/moccasins.  That doesn’t sound too versatile, right? But, I wear turquoise all the time, so I wear the shoes all the time! Same goes for the necklace. The turquoise beads mean I’ll likely end up wearing it a lot. If you like a specific color and tend to wear it a lot, consider picking your statement pieces in those colors to ensure you will wear them frequently!

Anyone else have a strategy for getting use out of unique pieces?

Thank you so much, as always, for reading and stopping by!

tumbling in autumn (tribal)


Autumn is sort-of slowly tumbling in here in Chicago. The mornings are cool and breezy, while our afternoons are still on the warm side. I knew I was going to be in trouble when I spotted this fleece moto jacket at Gap a month ago. Yes, you sure did read that right. Fleece. Moto. Jacket. I thought to myself:

1) Where will I NOT wear a fleece moto jacket (nowhere. I’ll wear this bad boy to everything all throughout fall)

2) Will I ever take it off? (Unlikely)

September 1 hit and I busted out this jacket…and have yet to not wear it on my morning walks to work. I love that it’s also structured enough to be worn at work as a “blazer.”


Okay, you get that I love it. I’ll move on to the rest of this outfit. I found this great tribal dress at Marshall’s for $5 on clearance. Wha? Yes. I added my ever faithful leggings and turquoise shoes and started my autumn party off right.


I love an asymmetrical hemline, as you guys know. Here I am looking for leaves to fall so I can jump in them. Sadly, it’s a bit too soon in the season for that.


Dress: Marshall’s ($5 marked down from approx $30)

Jacket: Gap ($40 marked down from $70)

Leggings: Old Navy ($10)

Shoes (flats): Dolce Vita ($20 marked down from $100)


Fashion Huntress tips:

1) I’ve been loving Marshall’s lately! I still have yet to figure out their clearance system, but it seems like this is a good time of year to look for their sales and clearances, as it’s a change of season.  As you can see, this dress could easily transition from a  summer dress to a fall/winter dress, solely by adding layers.  You don’t have to shy away from the last of the end of season sales just because there are seemingly “summer” clothes on sale. Post Labor Day, it seems as though the sales will be slowing down a bit soon.  If you’re still looking for transition pieces, now is a good time to check out the tail end of the sales!

2) Sweatshirts have taken on a life of their own lately.  There are a lot of “dressy” sweatshirts hitting the racks these days and I am loving it. Most of the dressy sweatshirts still won’t be appropriate for my workplace, but the fleece moto jacket from Gap is definitely work appropriate. You can make fleece/sweatshirt work appropriate by looking for pieces that are very structured.  For me, this is a dream realized!  Seriously, someone will likely need to have an intervention with me about that jacket/blazer…

Gap has so many great pieces for fall, including this jacket.  You can check them out here:

Also, here’s a good article about other types of dressy sweatshirts:

Readers, how are you preparing for fall fashion? Any pieces that you are loving? What are people’s thoughts on sweatshirts at work?

TGIF, readers! Thanks for stopping by!

dolled up denim


With a massive heat wave passing through Chicago, I have been pulling out my favorite summer dresses to wear to work. Readers, you know I love denim (a lot). Given that we cannot wear jeans to work (and who would want to in this heat??), I like to get creative with denim. I found this dress at Nordstrom Rack for $20. I love the full skirt, zipper, pockets, and shoulder details. In other words, I love every part of this dress!

To dress up my denim, I added my handmade necklace by Zegna Jewelry.


I also added my “matches everything” polka dot shoes from Gap.


The final product is a work outfit that is perfect for a summer heat wave!


Dress: Love Ady at Nordstrom Rack ($20 marked down from approx $80)

Necklace: Zegna Jewelry

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


Fashion Huntress tips:

1) I like dresses that have a cap sleeves because they work for day and night, with or without a cardigan. It’s been so hot here that even with air conditioning, it is still pretty warm inside. As a result, it’s generally too warm for a cardigan. Thus, if I want to wear a dress, it needs to have cap sleeves (versus a tank top dress or ‘spaghetti straps’). When looking for dresses that work for day and night, keep a look-out for short sleeve or cap sleeve dresses. These are not the easiest to find, so I normally get them when I find them!

2) To transition this dress for cooler weather, I added a cardigan, tights, and/or leggings. I last wore it in slightly cooler weather.

Posted here:

photo 3 (35)

Without the cardigan and different jewelry, I easily created a new look for this dress to keep it fresh and versatile. Readers, you know I love to switch-up accessories to create new looks! Getting creative with layers and jewelry really adds to your ability to wear clothes throughout different seasons.

Regarding my necklace by Zegna Jewelry:

Zegna’s Etsy store can be found here:

Zegna’s blog can be found here:

Speaking of accessories, I plan to post another ‘remix and rematch’ this weekend to further illustrate my affinity for rotating accessories and layering!

Happy mid-week! Thank you for stopping by today!

tribal tuesday


On a recent trip to my sister’s, I found myself in need of borrowing a shirt! …likely story, right? Always happy to oblige, she let me pick out a black and turquoise tribal tank top that she found on sale on Anthropologie. It just so happens that I had a lovely necklace given to me by one of my former students that I thought would look fabulous with the tank top.

This handmade necklace came from Embellish Boutique in Chicago. I believe it is hand stamped metal and the interior is actually woven fabric.


The necklace really popped with the tribal tank top.


To keep the tank top work appropriate, I added my faithful denim blazer from Urban Outfitters and full gray skirt from H&M.


Lastly, I added my newly found asymmetrical orange flats


With that, my tribal Tuesday look was complete!


Top: Munrow from Anthropologie (borrowed and I promise I will give it back to my sister!)

Blazer: Lux at Urban Outfitters (approx $10 marked down from approx $60)

Skirt: H&M ($20 marked down from approx $50)

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

Necklace: gift from Embellish Boutique in Chicago


Fashion Huntress tips:

1) I wear my gray skirt and denim blazer very regularly (as I’m sure you’ve seen on my blog)! However, people always ask me about them (ie “Oh, is that new?”). By adding different shoes, jewelry and shirts, these pieces do look new again. I love giving them new life! Given that I have had each piece for over five years, you can tell that these practical pieces really do not go out of style. Rotating your practical pieces is completely budget-friendly. Even with classic pieces, I like to keep a look out for a good price and high quality. I got both of these off season, which contributed to their affordable prices.

2) Speaking of practical staples for work, there are many good lists and examples of work-wear basics online. Marie Claire has a good list, and Real Simple includes tips for where you may want to consider spending less/more.

Marie Claire has a list of work-wear essentials:

Real Simple also has a good general checklist.

Thank you for stopping by, lovely readers!

pink pants on parade


I generally do not find a lot of khakis that I like and seem stylish, but these pink khakis were a great find at Gap.

I kept my look casual with a denim top, but added heels to look dressy enough for work. I found these Marc Jacobs heels at a local charity shop, seemingly worn maybe once in the past (if that), for $10! You can read more about that fab find here.


I also added a cute head scarf that I found at my local consignment shop. The scarf matched perfectly, and added a bit of whimsy with the travel/architectural design. Plus, aren’t headscarves the best for quick hairdos?



Pink khaki pants: Gap ($17 marked down from $50)

Denim top: H&M ($20 marked down from approx $40)

Shoes: Marc by Marc Jacobs (paid $10, generally retail for anywhere from $300-$450)

Scarf: unsure of brand, via consignment ($4)


Fashion Huntress tips:

1) I have to confess that I very rarely read the fit description label on pants. Not reading these in the past was a real shopping error but it actually saved me a lot of time to read the label on these pants at Gap! I went straight for the pants that were labeled “relaxed in the hip” and the pants fit perfectly. You can also look up most stores’ size chart, if you want to measure yourself before you go out and shop. Gap’s size chart, for example, is listed here:

I highly recommend either of these time savers if you are looking for work pants and do not have a ton of time on your hands…and then, of course, when you’re in the store head straight to the sale section!

2) I plan to transition these pants from summer to fall by adding a sweater and closed toed heels. Knowing Chicago weather, fall is likely still a few months away. However, I like to think through how many seasons I can wear a piece prior to purchasing. I think I can likely wear these pants for three seasons (spring, summer, fall), so I consider them a good investment for versatility, especially for $17!

Hope the start of the week is going well, readers! Thanks for stopping by!