gray day (rotation time)

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Really hazy weather led to some challenges in capturing quality photos this week, readers, so I apologize for the haziness in the photos! Anywho, this is the year I commit to rotation in my clothing, shoes, and coats. I often find myself reaching for my same clothes in winter…just the same boots and coat daily. It’s cold, gray, a bit dreary, often early- it’s easy to just reach for whatever is nearest. But this year I’m committed to truly rotating through my winter items instead of falling into the same routine! The perfect companion to this rotation project is also pairing down and donating what I don’t wear. Win win.

Top: Ann Taylor ($16 marked down from $70)

Skirt: Ann Taylor Loft ($15 marked down from $90)

Tights: H&M ($5)

Shoes: Not Rated via DSW ($50 marked down from $75)

Coat: thrift ($9)

I realized recently that I rely heavily on online reviews when trying new products, but rarely offer my own reviews of products! So, I’d like to occasionally offer feedback on products, as I’m able to do so.

As you can see from the photo on the left, my nails are peeling very badly this winter (my polish peels as a result, as you can also see in the photo!). I use lotion constantly, I use cuticle oil nightly, I use base coat- you name it, I have tried it. While I think these efforts do help, I decided to try the new(er) Essie Treat Love & Color nail treatment. The color is really just a slightly glimmer on your nails, but the collagen added to the nail treatment seems to really be helping with peeling! I’ll report back in a couple of weeks my full opinion of the product- but I can say in week one, my nails have stopped peeling. A small victory for sure!

I found my bottle at Target for $10, but it is sold basically anywhere Essie is sold. More info on Essie Treat Love and Color can be found here.

pink pattern party (aka ode to A)

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Sometimes, we just know a kindred spirit right when we meet them, right? This is definitely how I feel about my friend A. The first time I met her, I noticed her jazzy glasses and shoes…and I just knew we would get along. Over the years, we’ve traded nail and clothing tips- and when I started getting migraines again, A. was my go-to doctor/friend. She tuned me right up, and happened to have a skirt in her bag for me (the one featured here!). I mean, what more can a girl ask for? Migraine free and a fancy twirly skirt? Well, let’s just say, I’m glad to have met her, for a variety of reasons- this look is my ode to A.

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Top: Gap via thrift ($3, retails for approx $50)

Skirt: gift

Shoes: Kohl’s ($23 marked down from $55)

Necklace: Anthropologie ($15 marked down from $60)

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Fashion Huntress tips:

1) Sometimes, okay more than sometimes, I just go full-blown pattern mash-up. This look is definitely an example of serious pattern clashing- though I kept the look coherent by wearing shoes that had the colors of both my top and my skirt. When pared down, the look is essentially a mix of black, white and pink, which seems to work- despite being three different prints! My Pinterest board is FULL of pattern mixing looks- you can check out my Pinterest board if you’re looking for more inspiration- you can find it here.

2) Hands down, for me, the easiest thing to thrift is a button-down top. If you haven’t thrifted much or are looking to thrift more, I recommend starting in the “long sleeve button down” section of any thrift shop. First, button-downs really don’t need to be specifically fitted since they are often layered and/or tucked in to pants or skirts. Second, most thrift store stock a LOT of button-downs, so you are likely to find at least 1-2 tops (or 3-4!) that you like. Target price for a button down at a thrift store? About $2-$6. Happy hunting!

Anyone else loving full skirts and pattern mixing this summer? Thanks so much for stopping by, readers! I appreciate it so very much!

more mint please!

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I think we can all agree that my obsession with mint may be reaching an unhealthy level. But seriously, I cannot stop myself and really see no reason to anyway. I can’t help but think back upon a time when colored pants weren’t even being made with much frequency, unless, of course, they were Spandex (80s and 90s). I love how liberating it is to be able to choose between jeans, dress pants, colored pants, printed pants, leggings, you name it: because our options are seemingly unlimited. The world is our (fashion) oyster; more mint please!

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Plaid button down: Gap ($7 marked down $50)

Floral sweater: Ann Taylor Loft ($5 marked down from $55)

Pants: NYDJ via Nordstrom Rack ($20 marked down from $110) NYDJ sale

Necklace: vintage pearls (gift)

Shoes: Sam Edelman ($50 marked down from $150)

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Fashion Huntress tips:

1) I’ve recently found that Nordstrom Rack is stocking a LOT of Not Your Daughter’s Jeans brand jeans for really affordable prices ($30-$5). The online sale prices at the official NYDJ website (link above) aren’t great, but I would argue that these pants are worth it if you have a hard time find pants that fit well, especially if you are pear shaped. NYDJ also stocks standard jeans, as well as colored pants in various colors and cuts. I’m a first-time buyer, but now a long time fan. You can see how I last styled these pants below:

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2) This time of year is the perfect time to grab the last of winter items that are now on clearance. Most stores are stocking the last of their sweaters and heavier pants, and have them at the lowest prices you are likely to find. A recent visit to Gap revealed sweaters between $5-$10, and Ann Taylor Loft ‘final sale’ sweaters for around $3-$5. I’ve found that many stores no longer have much outerwear on sale, as I’m guessing it has sold out, but certainly pants and sweaters are still being sold at great prices. 

Anyone else finding some end-of-winter deals? Any recommendations for where to look? Thanks so much for stopping by, readers! I appreciate it so very much!

lilac and lace

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It may still be snowing here at times, but I am feeling very floral and pastel these days (see my last three posts, ha!). I found this dress over the winter and wanted to save it for spring, which is unusual for me. I normally tear the tags right off and style away! But, there’s something about the wait for spring that always feels so refreshing and rewarding to me. After a long winter, spring is nearly upon us, as is the sense of renewal. This is my lilac and lace look, greeting and patiently awaiting the season of renewal in a soft palette.

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Dress: Simpy Vera for Kohl’s ($10 marked down from $70)
Blazer: H&M ($15 marked down from approx $40)
Necklace: vintage via Greg’s Antiques in New Orleans, LA ($3)
Tights: (gift)
Shoes: Rock and Republic via Kohl’s ($5 marked down from $75)
Bracelet: Lulu Dharma via thrift ($1, retails for $190)
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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) Lucite can be really tricky to pull off at work, readers. Personally, I think clear lucite is exceptionally challenging at work. On the other hand, a colored lucite tends to add visual interest while still looking professional. The lucite in these heels is a very subtle detail that’s almost imperceptible. My advice: if you’re going to go lucite at work, go subtle. You can see how I last featured these shoes below:
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2) When I find vintage jewelry, I always consider whether or not the piece can be “cleaned up” when it’s not in the best shape. This necklace needed a good cleaning and was originally strung on a string instead of wire. I simply washed the beads with soap and water, and then re-strung the beads on a thin wire that I bought at a local craft store. String tends not to hold up well over time, whereas wire will definitely stand the test of time. You can see how I last featured the necklace below:
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Anyone else have lucite heel tips? Or vintage jewelry tips? Thanks so much for stopping by, readers! Happy Monday!

mix and match

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I decided to go full-blown mix and match today, and let me tell you, readers, I really need to be doing this more often! It’s super fun to reach in your closet and just pull out some pieces in a similar color palette and voila, the easiest outfit you’ve had to put together all week. I think the look is a mix and match controlled chaos. As Donna Karan once said, “it’s all about finding the calm in the chaos.” Well put. Happy Tuesday, readers!
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Top: French Connection via Savers ($3, retails for approx $100)

Cardigan: Banana Republic ($10 marked down from $150)
Pants: Gap ($8 marked down from $55)
Shoes: Banana Republic via Crossroads ($20, retail for approx $120)
Necklace: Apt 9 via Kohl’s ($6 marked down from $18)
Bracelet: Kenneth Jay Lane Couture via Rue La La ($15 marked down from $150)
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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) I really like thrifting silk tops, probably more than any other item. I just think that silk/flowy/sheer tops are so forgiving, you can easily find tops that will work in your size, and a size or two up or down. If I’m thrifting sheer tops, I look through all of the sizes and all of the racks. Again, this sounds more time consuming than it is. You can easily get through a rack in 5-10 minutes. Always be aware of the hidden cost of dry cleaning! If you have to dry clean something frequently, it may not be worth the cost of the top to you. 
 
2) Although this look is seemingly completely random, it’s actually not very random at all! I stuck with jewel tones for all of my pieces, and easily paired pieces together as a result. Another way to mix and match like this is with all pastels, all primary colors, or all neutrals (black, white, and gray). I have seen mixed color palettes (jewel tones with pastels, etc), but I have not yet tried this. Once I day, I will post on how it goes! It’s always fun to have new fashion adventures.
Monthly manicure time! Check out these other lovely ladies and their Valentine’s Day themed manis!

Kristi from Delightfully Kristi

Piniel from Pins-Place

Justine from The Thrifty Girl’s Guide

Kate from Into the Stratosphere

Miche from Buttons and Birdcages

Jacki and Lesli from Sistas from Cali

Erika from Erika’s Style Diary

Marlena from Here, Pretty Kitty

 
Anyone else trying out new trends? Thanks so much for stopping by, readers! I appreciate it so much!

gone green (aka flannel revival)

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Well, readers, I fear it has begun…my slightly irrational attachment to flannel and sweaters has started up again this season. I promise, I will do my very best to not just feature flannel and sweaters for the next six snowy/cold months in Chicago. I might as well just say it: I, The Fashion Huntress, have an addiction to warm layers and flannel. I even pulled out my snow boots and down coat…there’s no turning back, readers. The cold is here to stay. I’m going to keep it fashionable, though, because the cold will not stop the Huntress (except when it gets below zero. Then all bets are off).

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

Flannel: H&M ($20 marked down from $25)

Pants: Ann Taylor Loft (approx $20 marked down from $100)

Shoes: Miss Mooz via Nordstrom Rack (long time ago, can’t remember anymore!)

Necklace: Forever 21 (approx $3)

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Fashion Huntress tips:

1) This sweater and flannel were last seen worn differently as seen below. I love fall and winter layering because it gives you many more opportunities to wear the same pieces over and over, but in new ways! Sweaters and button downs can be rotated and combined endlessly, and when you swap out the pants, you have even more options! 

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2) There are quite a bit of button downs and sweaters on sale now, but most of them are from the “fall collections.” Personally, I wear “fall sweaters” and “winter sweaters” interchangeably throughout the seasons, especially with layers. So, now’s a great time to pick up sweaters and button downs, though remember that boots, scarves, and winter coats are not likely to be on sale for at least another 1-3 months, so you may want to hold out on those items!

Anyone else getting ready for winter fashion now? Pulling out the sweaters and layers? Thanks so much for stopping by, readers! I appreciate it so much! I hope everyone had a great weekend!

power suit/power clash

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Some days, even though my job doesn’t really call for it, I just really want to rock a power suit..and not just a power suit, I want to power clash in a power suit. While I don’t envy people who have to wear them everyday, I like the option of sporting the look occasionally. Well, let me tell you, readers, G (my fab photog) really outdid herself this time with capturing the spirit of the suit in these photos. The thing is, G is one of those people who doesn’t judge when poses go all sorts of awkward (and they get plenty awkward, let me tell you). In fact, she doesn’t even mind when people walk past and stare during photo shoots (for example, as cars drove past today in the alley way, people rolled down the window, and asked what we were doing) (taking blog photos, obvi). And don’t even get me started on her contributions to The Fashion Huntress, because I’ll get all teary-eyed… Anyway, the spirit of power suit/power clash is exactly what G is all about: owning it. Given that we spend 40+ hours together a week (for the past four years now), I think (I hope) I may be picking up her spirit to just own it…I sure hope so. Cheers to the people to who lift us up and inspire us to be the best version of ourselves …and doing it while in a fab outfit. #ownit #beyou #grateful

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Suit (blazer and skirt): Marni for H&M (…years ago, but I did pay full price; maybe $150?)

Bonjour shirt: H&M ($8)

Necklace: Banana Republic ($12 marked down from $80)

Shoes: BCBG via DSW ($11 marked down from approx $100)

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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) I’ve had this suit for a few years, since the Marni for H&M collection came out. I actually rarely wear it as a full suit, but it’s nice to have the option. One of the nice things about suits is that you can always break them into lots of different outfits because you can wear the pieces separately, together, change the top underneath, and change the shoes.  Speaking of shirts, I actually found the shirt in the post today in the “kids” section at H&M. The sizes go up to around 14+ years (at least in their tops they do), which would easily fit an adult small/medium. You have to kind-of walk around the full kids’ section to find what I guess is a “teens” section, but they do have a handful of sweaters and tops, and, of course, the prices are lower than they are in the “women’s section.” Additionally, they are having a 50% their sale section store-wide, so check it out if you’re around an H&M.
 
2) Since I got it, this necklace has made countless appearances on the blog. Banana Republic and J Crew have really great statement necklaces that are incredibly versatile; you can dress them up, or dress them down. J Crew Factory (http://factory.jcrew.com/) has great pieces at great prices, whereas I think they get a bit pricey in the actual store, even on sale. The time to get jewelry at Banana Republic is when they have the 40% off their sale section events. I believe they have one going on right now, and often do on Wednesdays, for whatever reason. You can easily get great statement necklaces for $10-$20 at either location. 
 
Anyone else have statement necklaces tips? Where do you find your favorites? Thanks so much for stopping by, readers! I appreciate it so much!