musings on milly (for kohl’s)

IMG_4751 Apparently my last post on my vintage Milly dress was well timed, because I realized that the Milly for Kohl’s line is now available (in stores and online)! Never one to miss a designer collaboration with an affordable retail store, I checked it out. Not too surprisingly, many pieces were already sold out in my local store, but I managed to snag the sole remaining lemon dress that I had admired online. The prices for the line are a bit steep, if the pieces are not on sale. However, with the Kohl’s coupons, discounts in the stores, and Kohl’s cash/points, the pieces did become more affordable. And, an important side note, the quality on this line is pretty impressive and generally true to the Milly designer line aesthetic.

My verdict on this one: I don’t think many of these pieces will hit the clearance section due to their quality and popularity. If you want anything from the line, grab some coupons online, register for a free Kohl’s cash points card, and visit your local shop/online today!
IMG_4754IMG_4752IMG_4756IMG_4753
Dress: Milly for Kohl’s ($35 marked down from $70)
Blazer: Elizabeth and James via Rue La La ($55 marked down from $500)
Necklace: Juicy Couture charm from bracelet and Kohl’s necklace ($5 marked down from $24)
Tights: gift
Daytime kitten heels: Aubrey Brooke from DSW ($12 marked down from $99)
IMG_4755
 Fashion Huntress tips:
1) Designer collaborations via retail stores such as Target and Kohl’s can be a little hit or miss though, overall, I’m a fan. I prefer to check-out these collections, if possible, in the actual stores to look over the quality and fit of the pieces. With any line that I really have had my eye on, I tend to view the ‘lookbooks’ online via the official press releases.  After the release, I will attempt to go to the store the week of the release. With very popular lines, the collections tend not to go on sale. If you don’t mind potentially missing out on a collaboration, I just wait it out and see whether any of the pieces end up on sale. Here are a couple collaborations that are currently available:
 
2) As with my last post, I actively used the size chart again to attempt to find this dress in the correct size. Victory! Once again, I have gotten the message that online size charts really are your friends. I keep a flexible tape measure in my desk and my purse for this very reason- you just never know when you will need one! You can find flexible/fabric tape measures online and at your local craft store; they are $1 at my local sewing shop.
Anyone else checking out the Milly for Kohl’s line? Thanks so much for stopping by, readers! I appreciate it so very much- happy mid-week!

forward focus: 2015 (and a flashback)

Well, it’s about that time, readers: time to focus on goals for 2015. I mean it, I really mean it, this year, I’m going to clean out my closet and keep my “donate” pile going! I’m also going to try and finally get my dry cleaning to the cleaners (versus hanging out in the trunk of my car), get my shoes re-heeled, and all-around addressing the bags that sit on the floor in the corner (you know what I’m talking about, right?!)! Aside from fashion goals, there’s always the personal growth goals. Letting go tends to be one of my residual goals from year to year. There’s always room for improvement, right?

Cheers to another happy and healthy year! Thank you for your endless support and encouragement on Fashion Huntress. Here’s a look back at some of my favorites from 2014…I can’t wait to see all of your looks and hear all of your stories in 2015. Happy New Year, readers!
IMG_173020140716-130438-47078445.jpg20140630-072252-26572356.jpg20131103-174903.jpg20140511-183003.jpgIMG_2500IMG_150020140601-102607-37567508.jpg20131117-202855.jpg20140307-175224.jpg20140331-190943.jpg20140421-172218.jpg20131120-150448.jpg 20140302-163143.jpg20140416-151648.jpg20140328-170056.jpgIMG_1917 IMG_7063IMG_3136IMG_3005unnamedIMG_2189

winter whirlwind

IMG_2889

Oh my…it’s that time of year, readers. I admit that I can get a little caught up in the winter whirlwind around this time of year. This year, predictably, is no different. Even my to-do list starts to look confusing, which is an indication that I probably need to slooooooow doooooown. So, I tried to slow down a little today by doing one of the things that I love best: putting together a new look from a couple of new items and lots of older items. I’m reminding myself to take it easy and remember the joy that comes from the season, so as to avoid further succumbing to a winter whirlwind. So, cheers to a relaxing and enjoyable holiday season, readers!

IMG_2891IMG_2894IMG_2892IMG_2893

Top: Ann Taylor Loft ($20 marked down from $70)
Skirt: Ann Taylor Loft ($15 marked down from $70)
Necklace: Vera Wang for Kohl’s ($5 marked down from $44)
Shoes: Qupid via DSW ($25 marked down from $50), still available here
Tights: Hue ($3 marked down from $13)
IMG_2890
Fashion Huntress tips:
1) This is the time to hit up Ann Taylor Loft, readers, if you’re looking for a good deal. The $4.88 rack is marked down to $1.88 at some stores! And, the rest of the sale section is generally about 50% off. Loft can be very hit or miss for me, but this particular sale was a definite home run. Most of what is on sale is work wear: dresses, skirts, and tops. I saw some pants, but not many, and not very many sweaters. However, the skirts and tops are interesting prints and colors. Even the $4.88 rack was pretty full. Remember to look for it as the rack labelled “FINAL SALE $4.88 and under.” 
2) The clearance rack at Kohl’s is where it’s at for statement necklace for $4-$7. They now have a Juicy Couture line, and some of those pieces have already hit the clearance rack. Additionally, they continue to sell the Vera Wang, Lauren Conrad, and Jennifer Lopez lines. I think the jewelry is very good quality; I haven’t had any issues with any of the pieces I’ve gotten there as of yet. They also have a new rewards program that is free. You essentially just “sign up” for a free “tracking card” that tracks your purchases and gives you points, regardless of your payment method. You can read more about the program here: www.kohls.com/feature/rewards.jsp
Anyone else have luck at the Loft sale? With finding great holiday deals? Thanks so much for stopping by, readers! I always appreciate it so very much!

not so basic black

IMG_2534

If there’s one type of sale I love the most, it has to be a sale at an outlet store. When I found this dress at the Bloomingdale’s outlet for 60% off the outlet price (and I had a coupon), I was in Fashion Huntress heaven.As you’ve probably noticed, I don’t wear a ton of black and white, but occasionally there’s nothing I love more than a not so basic black dress, especially when it’s a full dress with a bow, lace, and pleats. And having found this not so basic black dress for the perfect price? Well, it was just meant to be.

IMG_2530IMG_2533IMG_2532IMG_2531

Dress: Bloomingdale’s outlet ($21 marked down from $110)
Shrug: Ann Taylor via thrift ($4)
Sparkle tights: Kate Spade via Blooomingdale’s Outlet ($5 marked down from $30)
Shoes: Sofft at Nordstrom Rack (approx $40 marked down from approx $120)
Necklace: Anthropologie ($15 marked down from $60)
IMG_2529
Fashion Huntress tips:
1) Many stores offer a discount when you first sign up for their emails. I like to save my email sign-up for when I plan to use the store (preferably during a sale), in order to ensure that I actually use the discount versus letting it expire. When are you looking at online sales, read through their email sign-up conditions (generally just 1-2 sentences), and then sign-up once you are ready to make a purchase. This may sound like common sense, but I’ve definitely missed the marked on this before and let perfectly good discounts go to waste!
2) This dress definitely seems like a summer/spring dress to me, given that it is sheer and sleeveless. As I tend to do with the majority of my summer dresses, I added tights and a shrug/cardigan to make the dress fall and winter ready. The next time I plan to wear this dress in winter, and will add a blazer and colored tights. Just imagining the possibilities is so exciting (fashion nerd alert, readers)!
Anyone else have tips for styling summer dresses? Love shrugs? Thanks so much for stopping by readers! I appreciate it so much! Happy almost Friday!

totally tweed

IMG_2410

What is it about tweed that feels so fall and so grown up? I guess maybe because kids don’t wear a ton of tweed (do they?). When I’m in tweed, I feel like I’m all grown up- like I’m organized and know what I’m doing. So, of course, whenever I find a tweed piece on super sale, I generally don’t think twice about getting it because it seems like a somewhat rare fabric these days. The fact that this dress is tweed, hot pink, and metallic…forget it. It was love at first tweed sight.
IMG_2408IMG_2406IMG_2407IMG_2405
Dress: Moulinette Soeurs at Antropologie ($30 marked down from $145)
Top: Forever 21 ($20)
Shoes: Vince Camuto via Marshall’s ($25 marked down from $100)
Tights: Vera Wang for Kohl’s ($1 marked down from $14)
Necklace: Jennifer Lopez for Kohl’s ($5 marked down from $32)
Pink ring: Forever 21 ($2 marked down from approx $5)
Peach ring: Banana Republic (approx $7 marked down from $36)
Bracelets: Kate Spade (gift)
Cape: Nordstrom Rack ($25 marked down from $50)
IMG_2404
Fashion Huntress tips:
1) I’ve found Anthropologie’s clothing sale section to be somewhat confusing in terms of when their first and second markdowns occur. As of today, they do have a sale (online and in-stores) of an additional 25% off their sale section. That’s how I managed to snag this dress last week at such a great price. Frankly, Anthro’s sales often still mean paying about $100 for a dress, but if you go through every sale rack, you will generally find at least 1-3 dresses, skirts or tops that are marked down to $20-$30. I’ve found that the best way to know about their sales and free shipping events is to subscribe to their emails, versus popping into the store multiple times.  
Here’s a great guide to the Anthro exclusive brands:
2) Jewelry at Anthro almost always goes on sale, unless the item is exceptionally popular and sells out before hitting the sale section. Once you find a jewlery item for $10-$20, it generally will not get marked down again. Additionally, items that are $10-$20 go very quickly online and in stores. I’ve often seen something and told myself to just “check-out” by the end of the day, only to find it has sold out. Additionally, the online shop seems to have the best markdowns on jewelry, versus in-store markdowns. The other week I was in the store and the necklaces were still marked as $30 in the store, but were $15 online. However, when I pointed this out, the salesperson did honor the online price. So, it pays to look online first if you are looking for jewelry in-store, and it pays to get it when you see it if it’s a great deal and you’ve had your eye on it!
Anyone else have Anthro tips? Thanks so much for stopping by, readers! I appreciate it so much! Stay warm!

breaking button down barriers

20140511-183003.jpg

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

20140511-183011.jpg20140511-182935.jpg20140511-182955.jpg20140511-182947.jpg

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)

20140511-182926.jpg

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!

totally tasseled

20140328-170307.jpg

Happy Monday, readers! Do you like how I added the exclamation mark to hopefully add some enthusiasm to Monday? I’m not sure if it’s working, but it’s worth a try, right? The weekends always pass so fast, but I’m still managing to sneak in some crafting here and there, including this tassel necklace that I made a few weeks ago. Maybe it’s just me, but I think crafting is good for the soul and mind. I probably would have made about 100 of these tassels because it was so relaxing, but alas, errands and chores were calling! A short and sweet post today, readers. Ta-ta for now!

20140328-170327.jpg20140328-170317.jpg20140328-170404.jpg20140328-170346.jpg

Elephant print button down: Gap ($7 marked down from approx $50)

Cardigan: Banana Republic ($27 marked down from approx $80)

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

Shoes: Vince Camuto via Marshall’s ($25 marked down from $100)

Tassel necklace: made it! Tutorial available  here.

20140328-170355.jpg

Fashion Huntress tips:

1) I’ve been checking out more and more online tutorials on Pinterest lately, and have been finding a ton of great jewelry projects. I generally look for ones that are straight forward and not overly time consuming, because I love being able to start and finish something in one sitting! Many of the crafts include using materials that I already have laying around, or that are fairly low-cost materials. In the case of this tassel necklace, the thread came in a package of approximately 20 different colors of thread for about $4. I used a jump ring and a chain that I got at Michael’s, both of which probably came to about $5 for a bag of rings and three chains. You really cannot beat the price of a good DIY! Check out the tutorials on Pinterest if you’re interested! And, of course, always look for coupons online before heading to your local crafting store, or check out your local Dollar Store for crafting supplies.

2) As you all know, I’m a fan of Banana Republic sales. The pants I have gotten there are virtually indestructible and can be found for great prices. Lately, I’ve been waiting for the 40% off their sale section sale; pants are generally less than $20 at those sales, so check them out. The one thing I have noticed is inconsistency within the stores on their price tags. Always check their price tags twice, and compare tags of the same items. Additionally, when you go to pay, make sure that what they are ringing matches the tag. I’ve pointed out errors numerous times lately, which leads me to believe that they are tagging things quickly and then they are not updated in the system. One pair of shoes I found was still coming up as $60 in the system but were $9.99 on another pair I saw on the shoe rack. When I pointed it out at the register, the cashier noted that the markdowns from the day before weren’t put on every shoe and that she would double check the price. Sure enough, the tag was wrong. Definitely double check these things, readers!

Anyone else have DIY jewelry tips? Happy Monday, readers. Thank you so much for stopping by!

step on the gas (aka shirt dress gone shirt)

20140429-113909.jpg

Readers, I know how to drive, but I spent many years not driving. One of the joys of living in an urban area is that you can survive without a car. Recently, I started driving more and found myself not feeling all that comfortable behind the wheel. I mean, I can get the car from point A to point B, but that was basically the extent of it. Don’t even get me started on the expressway (aka a terror of people moving at insane speeds or a complete parking lot). Anywho, so, last weekend, I took a car control class; the bf and his dad are instructors and gently encouraged me to come on down. On the days approaching the class, I kept thinking, “…I’m going to really embarrass myself out there.” So, I get to the class, and it’s a full day event. The instructors teach a small class, and then you hop in your car with an instructor and take it out to a mini course that is wet down with gallons upon gallons of water. The goal is to learn how to get your car out of control and then bring it back under control.

At first, I was super timid and basically refused to get my ABS brakes to turn on. At the “stop light” exercises, I would chicken out, go slow, and then try not to run things over (mostly cones). After the lunch break though, I busted out my gym shoes (unheard of in the world of the Fashion Huntress), put my hair in a ponytail, ditched my coat, and got out there and just hit the gas, then hit the breaks, then hit the gas, and tackled the course. And you know what? I had fun! I went fast! I didn’t embarrass myself! I’m even going back for the next class! There’s something about trying new things that is very empowering. I’m not a racecar driver, but I can officially drive with some confidence, and I know I’m going to feel more and more confident over time. First sewing, now driving? What’s next? Okay. Well, this is fashion blog, so let’s bring it on home with fashion. Today, I wore a dress as a blouse. I layered on greens, blues, and yellows, and added patterns and prints and animal print shoes. I mean, why not? Why not try a new outfit? Why not try doing something different? Why not step on the gas? Worst case scenario? You drive over some cones, or you go change your outfit. Let’s do this.
20140429-113944.jpg20140429-113931.jpg20140429-114116.jpg20140429-114208.jpg
Shirt dress/shirt: Gap ($22 marked down from $60)
Pants: Ann Taylor Loft ($2.50 marked down from $60) (yep. 2.50)
Cardigan: Banana Republic ($15 marked down from $110)
Scarf: Gap ($15 marked down from approx $25)
Heels: BCBG via DSW ($11 marked down from approx $100)
20140429-114131.jpg
Fashion Huntress tips:
1) Thin shirt dresses can definitely be worn as tops. If they are a little bulkier, I recommend wearing the shirt dress with a skirt. For less bulky tops, you can tuck the shirt dress right in to your pants and make the dress into a blouse. This is a great way to get more use out of your dresses. Here you can see how I wore this dress as a dress versus the look today:
Image
2) If you’re not already a member at DSW, I definitely recommend signing up. You get coupons for your birthday, and accrue points to earn additional gift cards. I’ve already gotten a few gift cards, and I’m not there all that frequently, so it shows you that it’s not that hard to accrue points. My strategy for DSW is to start one half size down from my shoe size, in the clearance section, and then go from a half size down, to my size, to a half size up (all in the clearance section). The sizing there is so varied, you can often find shoes slightly up or down from your standard size. Don’t forget that the yellow sticker isn’t on the signs, but it means 80% off the sticker price. I’ve found some real gems there for around $10! 
Anyone else have dress/shirt tips?  Hope everyone is having a good start to the week! Thank you so much for stopping by!