statement coat (with statement shoes)

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“Be sure to put your feet in the right place, and then stand firm.” -Abraham Lincoln 

…be sure to also put your feet in the right shoes.

Coat: Ann Taylor ($88 marked down from $268)

Blazer: Helmut Lang via Nordstrom Rack ($100 marked down from $1,000)

Top: French Connection via Savers ($3, retails for approx $100)

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

Tights: H&M ($5)

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

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Fashion Huntress tips:

1) Sadly, I think it’s gotten a little too cold to continue sporting my statement outdoor coat. I’ll be back to my full blown snowsuit now, but statement blazers are still good options! The designer clearance rack at Nordstrom Rack is where it’s at if you are looking for designer pieces at some of the lowest possible prices. I generally find that some of the “odd pieces” are left on the clearance rack because they just look odd on the hanger. This coat looked a little odd on the hanger, but looks really interesting on! So, I always recommend trying things on so you can get a real sense of pieces. 

2) As I’ve been saying for the last few posts, this is a great time to find any winter pieces you’ve had on your list. The sales at places like Loft, Ann Taylor, Gap, and Banana Republic are great sales; however, some winter items are starting to disappear, so it’s really time to grab the last of winter accessories and coats for next year! 

Anyone else have any places they like to find statement blazers? Or how they style them? Thanks so much for stopping by, readers! Happy mid-week!

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high waisted and horses

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I’ve never been really drawn to high waisted full leg pants, readers. But, in trying on my first pair, I decided I’m actually a long time fan. I think high waisted pants full leg pants are basically the power pants of spring, combine them with power heels and horses? I’m in high waisted and horse, warm weather, power heel heaven…

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Top: Nordstrom Rack ($20 marked down from $70)

Pants: Marc by Marc Jacobs via Nordstrom Rack ($7 marked down from $258)
Shoes: Cole Haan Lunar Grand ($70 marked down from $400)
Necklace: gift
Silver bracelet: Lulu Dharma via thrift ($1, retails for $190)
Floral bracelet: vintage via thrift ($3)
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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) I tried out the pants both with my blouse tucked in and then left out; I think both of the looks really worked and looked quite different. It’s nice to have a pair of pants that can be versatile, which is pretty unique for pants. So, if you’re on the fence for high waisted pants (or like me are pear shaped and are unsure if they will work), just go ahead and try them on! You may be surprised; and if not, no harm in trying!
2) Initially I thought, “hmmm red shoes, how often will I really wear them?” Answer: ALL the time. I actually tend to wear colored shoes more often than “neutral” shoes, especially with neutral pants. In a conservative work environment, colored shoes add a little fun without adding “too much” fun. Depending on what colors you wear, red or blue shoes are both great options for venturing out in to the colored shoe world. You can see how I’ve worn these heels below:
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Anyone else have colored shoe tips? Thanks so much for stopping by, readers!

eye on elizabeth and james

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Having grown up watching Full House, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have been in my life for years. (Side note: I’m sure they probably are annoyed with the Full House references. So, I’m sorry, ladies, if you’re reading this). Anywho, I’ve had my eye on their two lines: The Row and Elizabeth & James for years now. I finally took the plunge when their Elizabeth and James line was on Rue La La, (seriously discounted). I snagged a blazer, and let me tell you, readers, I am a FAN. Talk about well made; the piece is beautiful non-itchy wool, constructed with beautiful details, and has that perfectly polished feel that only a great blazer can bring. I totally have my eye on Elizabeth and James, and the fabulous Olsen twins that created such a refined yet laid back line.

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Blazer: Elizabeth and James via Rue La La ($55 marked down from $500)
Top: Ann Taylor Loft via thrift ($1, retails for approx $70)
Dress: Banana Republic via thrift ($1, retails for approx $130)
Tights: gift
Shoes: Cole Haan Lunar Grand ($70 marked down from $400)
Necklace: gift via Charming Charlie
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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) Rue La La (https://www.ruelala.com/) is where it’s at for super high-end pieces at affordable prices. Sometimes, the prices are only so-so, but other times, the discount is so high, I can barely believe it. It’s a site that you basically just have to get used to perusing on a somewhat regular basis. The real steals go FAST, so if you really want something, get it when you see it. Many items are also final sale, so be sure to look through the sizing chart to ensure that you are getting the right size. I shy away from pants since fits can vary so much, but shoes and tops/blazers/dresses seem to be fairly straight forward in terms of fit. Additionally, once you get something, you have free shipping for the next 30 days on any other orders, so essentially you pay once for shipping for the full month.
2) Many charity shops have points during which they mark-down their clothes even further; this section is known as the “$1” section. Some stores have “$1 bins” or a “$1 table.” I recommend that, if you’re a thrifter, find out when and where the $1 section is in your local charity shop. If there’s one thing I’ll say about charity shops, it’s have patience! Allot at least 45 minutes- 1 hour to really go through the shop and make sure you’ve been able to really look through the entire place. 
Anyone else loving Rue La La? Happy Wednesday, readers! Thanks so much for stopping by!

hounding after spring in houndstooth

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In a rare bout of warmth, I was able to dash outside to take a few photos. I think we are all hoping that Spring, and the promise of the season of new beginnings, is around the corner. I’d have more to say, but I’d likely tell you all again the story of these shoes, and I will spare you all that story…instead, I’ll be dreaming of Spring…

“O, wind, if winter comes, can spring be far behind?” -Percy Bysshe Shelley

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Denim shirt: Forever 21 ($20)

Sweatshirt blazer: Gap ($40 marked down from $70)

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

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

Necklace: Nordstrom Rack (approx $5 marked down from approx $20)

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Fashion Huntress tips:

1) For the first time, I wore mini socks with my heels instead of just bare feet. I have to say, I’m a big fan. I found a set of the socks at Nordstrom Rack on clearance; they were $4 for five pairs. If you’re going to wear the ballet flat/mini socks, I definitely recommend getting the kind with rubber on the back of them to help keep them on your feet. I also recommend getting a pair with a short toe, so that you can wear them with heels or shoes that show a lot of skin. I like the brand Hue, and they are called “no-show” socks. The mini socks are a great to wear heels in the winter without have freezing feet. Umm…why am I just discovering this now??

2) Patterned pants can be really tricky when trying to think of new ways to wear them (at least for me)! The last time I wore these pants, I went bold on top by adding more red to the look with a red cardigan and red scarf:

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This time, I went simple by keeping the denim top, but going neutral on top.  I added the red shoes this time and really did get a different look with these changes. I actually think this look is a bit more “spring” but with more of a “winter” pant. 

Hopefully these two looks will help you re-think your own patterned pants! …or perhaps make you think about getting a pair of patterned pants! Anyone else have printed pants change-up tips?

Thanks for stopping by, readers!! I hope everyone is having a great weekend.

flash forward (in red)

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Wow. What a whirlwind lately, readers! I’m sorry that I’ve gotten behind in my blogging during the holiday madness! But, by 2014, I’m going to be back on track! I’m slowly whittling down my to-do list…though it continues to look a bit endless at the moment- anyone else feeling that way!?

However, as I always like to say, at least I’ve got my accessories done for the day, so everything is more or less in order. We’ve had an amazing breath of fresh (warm) air here in Chicago, so I took to the streets to enjoy (and photograph)! We happened to catch the subway (the “El”) passing by overhead, which perfectly captured the mood and speed of the past week.

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I call this my flash forward in red ensemble. Next stop? 2014.

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

Top: Banana Republic ($12 marked down from $50)

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

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

Scarf: (gift)

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Fashion Huntress tips:

1) While I think the umbrella print top is more of a spring/summer print, I think it worked layered up while worn on a ‘warm’ winter day. I don’t think too many prints are ‘seasonal,’ but some do seem to lend themselves better to a particular season than others. Most patterns can be transitioned with layers and scarves, so consider pulling out your camisole/silk tops  and seeing if they can be transitioned into a ‘winter’ top!

2) I’m a big fan of ‘indoor’ scarves. I think scarves serve as a great substitute for necklaces in winter. Bigger ‘winter’ scarves (i.e. wool) add texture, color, and, visual interest to outfits. Personally, I wear them to cover my entire neck (see the scarf detail photo above), though you can definitely wear them with more draping. I find scarves just about anywhere, but love the scarves at H&M and Gap. Gap has a big sale right now; I saw many of the scarves for about $10. (http://www.gap.com)

I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season! Anyone else pulling out their “summer” work tops right now? Falling behind in their blogging?! Thank you so much for stopping by, readers! I appreciate it so much!

starry night space shoes debut

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Well, I went on and on about these shoes two days ago, so I’m going to just post the photos today. Unless anyone wants to hear me recount the story again? No takers? Okay, okay. (Seriously, my family members are begging for mercy at this point!). Well, here they are in all their glory…and there’s no better way to showcase space shoes than with dreamy fall night backdrop…

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Denim shirt: Forever 21 ($20)

T-shirt: BCBG (…? so old…? maybe $10 on clearance eight years ago?)

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

Pants: Gap (approx $35 marked down from $55)

Necklace: c/o Zegna Jewelry

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

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Fashion Huntress tips:

1) I cannot get enough of layering lately! I’ve had all of the clothing pictured here for a long time, but have not worn all of the pieces together at the same time before. Layering summer (t-shirts) and fall pieces can serve as a great substitute for winter sweaters. While I do love to cozy-up in sweaters, I actually don’t have too many. I tend to purchase more cardigans than sweaters because cardigans can be worn year round, whereas sweaters can be limited to just late fall and winter. If you want to really make your pieces last year round, consider investing in cardigans and then layer them up for late fall and winter.

2) Speaking of making pieces work year round, I’ve been wearing my “spring and summer” printed pants this fall, and will continue to wear them into winter. I got most of my printed pants at the end of summer on sale, but have found that they transition easily into cooler weather solely by wearing layers on top. I’m all about breaking from the “tradition” spring and summer wardrobe concept lately! …though I say that now…I may change my tune when it drops below zero degrees! For now, I’m on a mission to get the most use of pieces possible!

Anyone moving away from the concept of spring and summer clothes? Loving layering?

Thanks for stopping by, readers! I truly appreciate it!

swooning in scarlet space (shoes)

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You guys. Can I get serious for a minute? (Not that I ever joke about fashion). One time, many many months ago, I saw a pair of Cole Haan Lunar Grand Chelsea pumps in the Cole Haan for $400. Sigh. I don’t really know why I go in there. It’s sheer torture. But, anywho, I saw those heels, tortured myself further, and tried them on. I did lap after lap in the store, and then left.

For approximately the next eight months, I checked the Cole Haan website every week to see if they went on sale. I even went to the outlet store; I called there three times like a complete stalker looking for them. As the months went by, I almost lost hope (almost). I’m sure pretty much everyone was sick of my storytelling of the Lunar Grands. I figured perhaps it wasn’t meant to be.

Don’t fret, this story ends well. I mean, this is a fashion fairytale, after all.

One magical day last week, I checked the website again. I couldn’t believe it, I saw them on sale for $70. Here is my homage to the scarlet space shoes…tomorrow I’ll post how I wore them, but today, I swoon in the sheer love of seeing them out and about, where they belong.

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

btw, they are still available online for $100 (extra sale price was a weekend event): http://www.colehaan.com/