dancing pants (and shoes)

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I have no idea why these pants feel like dancing pants, but they just do. In the bleak midwinter, I always welcome brights, neons, and anything to liven up the overcast days (as you could see from my last post). After all, sometimes we have to carry our own sunshine with us, right? These are my dancing pants- in all brights and neon. As Hal Borland said, “No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.” I’m still waiting patiently for the fresh blooms and sun of spring, but in the meantime, I’ll be wearing the blooms instead.

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Sweater: J Crew (gift)
Denim top: Gap ($16 marked down from $60)
Necklace: gift
Pants: Ann Taylor ($11 marked down from $80)
Shoes: Nine West via Salvation Army ($12, retail for $100)
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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) Today I pushed color mixing a little further than the last post, and picked a color palette in all different shades. Because these pants are so bright and “summer/spring,” I paired them with a darker, heavy winter sweater. You can see how I last featured these pants in summer:
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 As always, you know how I feel about wearing clothes all year round! With a little layering, most pieces can be worn year round.
2) Saks Off Fifth is having a great shoe sale right now. Most shoes, even designer labels, were marked to $30-$150. As always, this is a sale that I wanted to shop in person versus online, in order to get a feel and fit for the shoes. However, I’ve also shopped online via their website and they do have a great return policy. You can check out the sale here: http://www.saksoff5th.com/ Also keep in mind that when you sign up for emails, you will receive coupons and extra discounts. 
Anyone else wearing neon and brights this winter? Thanks so much for stopping by, readers! I appreciate it so very much, as always!

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!

living in layers

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I’m not entirely sure how to explain this outfit, except to say that I got slightly overzealous with my layering. I don’t know if it’s the snow, the cold, or the lack of sun, but I think I’m subconsciously trying to create a fashionable and cozy cocoon…
“The whistle dropped from the branch’s spindly fingers like a black cocoon, a pendulum of secret music; the wind pushed sound soundlessly around.” -Karen Russell
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Navy blue shirt: J Crew ($2 marked down from $55)

Button down: Gap ($16 marked down from $45)
Ruffle cardigan: Kenneth Cole via Goodwill ($4, retails for $110)
Pants: Calvin Klein via Costco ($14, retail for $70)
Shoes: Laik Moda via Savers ($10, retail for approx $70)
Necklace: vintage via charity shop ($6)
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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) In case you missed the last time I wore these pants, they are totally from Costco, readers. Costco doesn’t have dressing rooms, so you really need to do some guess work on their clothing. However, with pants that are basically leggings, the sizing is very forgiving, and you can probably ballpark your size fairly easily. Often times, I find that their clothing is so-so, but I try and never say never and always give it a walk through- you never know what you’ll find on any given hunt!
2)  I last wore this top and pants in two separate outfits, as seen below. Layering is really what makes winter dressing so much easier than summer dressing, in my opinion. As you can see in the outfit featured today, I piled on three shirts, and easily created a completely different outfit than the previous two outfits. Additionally, because the layers were all thin, I was definitely not too warm throughout the day. One easy way to create winter layers is to layer your thinner summers tops versus the traditional sweater layering. Layer away, readers!

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Anyone else loving layers in this blizzard weather? Thanks so much for stopping by, readers! I appreciate it so very much!

black and white (and a blizzard)

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Forgive the delay in posts, readers; we’ve been digging out of a winter blizzard over here! The snow is up to my height in many parts of the city, which is saying a lot because I normally wear pretty tall heels. As we slowly dig our way out, I send my thoughts to all those who are snowed in and/or lost power. Winter builds quite the fortitude in all of us. This is my black and white, and a blizzard, look. Let no amount of snow get you down!

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Button down: Burberry (gift)
Blazer: Kensie via Savers ($3, retails for $89)
Skirt: Halogen via Nordstrom Rack ($13 marked down from $80)
Tights: Simply Vera via Kohl’s ($2 marked down from $16)
Shoes: Made by Elves via Savers ($6, retail for approx $110)
Necklace: (gift)
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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) In keeping with my blazer love, I also keep a short sleeve blazer around, even in winter. I don’t know about anybody else, but I often get just a little too warm some days if I’m in too many layers while indoors (outdoors is clearly another story!). So, I keep a long sleeve and short sleeve blazer at my desk in order to layer up or layer down. There are soooo many blazers at thrift stores and charity shops. Most of the time, they are great quality. So, if you’re in the market for a blazer, I definitely recommend starting at your local thrift and/or charity shop.
2) A white down is another wardrobe essential. I have two that I have ready at any given time. They match just about everything and add instant formality to any look. I used to have just one, but then that one would often sit in a dry cleaning bag…and well, you know how it goes. So, I now like to have two, in order to ensure that at least one is clean at any given time. As with any white tops, I always wear a t-shirt underneath in order to prevent staining of your button down. Trust me on this one- it really helps ensure the longevity of your top! 
Anyone else have white button down tips? Thanks so much for stopping by, readers! I appreciate it so very much!

causal and chic friday

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I know my Friday is off to a good start when I’m in my favorite Friday “work uniform.” I don’t have an actual work uniform, but I seem to always end up in denim shirts and skirts on Fridays. Toss in some sweater tights, and it’s a full blown casual Friday party. And, of course, icing on the cake? A statement necklace to keep the look from becoming a little too casual of a party at work. I’m keeping today short and sweet…casual and chic. Happy Friday, readers!

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Skirt: Ann Taylor Loft ($2 marked down from $60)

Top: Gap ($16 marked down from $60)

Tights: Gap ($2 marked down from $20)

Shoes: Not Rated via DSW ($50 marked down from $75) (seriously, I wear these ALL the time)

Necklace: c/o Oasap available here

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Fashion Huntress tips:

1) When tights are around $2-$5, their price has generally gotten to the lowest that it will be. The current Gap sale has quite a few pairs of tights at this price point. I found that the in-store sale was better than the online sale, so it might be worth a trip to your local store, if you are looking for high-quality, low cost tights.

2) I don’t know about anybody else, but I often find that denim shirts and button downs just do not lay flat under skirts. As a result, I seem to get the “ripple/bulk” effect when I pair my button downs with pencil skirts. In order to avoid this, I often tuck my denim shirt or button down into my tights and then put on my skirt. This seems to really cut down on the otherwise bulky look that tops can add to pencil skirts. It may sound uncomfortable, but I really don’t even notice it- and of course, I generally buy my tights in one size up to leave the room I need for tucking in shirts. Side note, this top was last seen here (much less bulky with pants!):

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Anyone else have tips for keeping pencil skirts laying flat? I’d love to hear them! I hope everyone has a wonderful Friday and weekend! Thanks so much for stopping by!

cozy colors

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With all of the tasks that generally need to be completed in January, and all of the resolutions to be made, for me, there’s nothing better than a cozy outfit with a cozy cup of tea. As one of my favorite quotes says, “There’s absolutely no reason to be rushed along with the rush.” Thank you, Robert Frost. Very cozy indeed. This is my cozy colored mid-week outfit.

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Sweater: Gap ($9 marked down from $50)
Scarf: Gap ($5 marked down from $40)
Pants: Ann Taylor (approx $15 marked down from approx $70)
Shoes: Aerosoles via Savers ($4, retail for $70)
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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) The current Gap sale is rocking my world. The sale is 70% off sale price items, making most items around $5-$10. Some of the skirts were around ….wait for it: $2. So, if you’re in the area and in the market for some winter attire and long sleeve tees, this is when the prices really start to bottom out. The sale was not picked over at all when I was there, so it’s definitely worth a visit. 
2) Sadly, my feet have put up a bit of a fight this week in terms of heels. So, I’m embracing my under-utilized flats collection! Work flats, for me, can be difficult to find due to high arches and heel issues. I think everyone has their own ways of making it work with finding a balance between a comfortable but still dressy work shoe. For me, I adore Aerosoles. They’ve really upped their game lately in terms of fashionable and comfortable shoes. If you’re in the same situation, I definitely recommend checking them out: http://www.aerosoles.com/.
Anyone else have favorite flats? Or a brand that they recommend for work days? Thanks so much for stopping by readers! Happy mid-week!

true blue (and black and white)

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If I had to pick a power color (or a color I wear most frequently), I would have to say it’s blue. There’s something about the theme and variation on blue tones that just rock my world, especially on a cold Monday. While writing my post, I looked up “blue quotes” and found this lovely quote by Raoul Dufy: “Blue is the only color which maintains its own character in all its tones…it will always stay blue.” Power color indeed. I am in my true blue silk (and black and white) on this chilly Monday. Stay blue, readers (aka stay you).
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Top: Marc by Marc Jacobs via Nordstrom Rack ($30 marked down from $268)
Skirt: Soprano via Nordstrom Rack ($16 marked down from $60)
Blazer: Elizabeth and James via Rue La La ($55 marked down from $500)
Tights: Target ($8)
Shoes: Messeca via Rue La La ($50 marked down from $140)
Necklace: Banana Repbulic ($7 marked down from $80)
Bracelets: gifts
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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) I’ve only had my blazer for a week and it’s already seeing some pretty heavy rotation. To be honest, I never really invested in a high quality blazer because I always felt like the ones I found were a little too plain. This blazer has a nice amount of detail, but is not so modern that it will become outdated. Long story short, I now officially endorse owning a high quality black blazer! It’s so versatile, you’ll wear it forever. To ensure longevity, dry clean your blazer instead of machine washing. I really like the options on Rue La La for blazers, as well as Haute Look. I tend not to find them at great price points in stores, so I recommend considering looking for one online instead of in stores. 
2) When in doubt, the easiest way to get out the door and to work quickly is with your staples: dress pants or a pencil skirt, silk sleeveless top, heels/flats, and a blazer. I find this equation particularly helpful if I forget to lay out my outfit the night before (which means, inevitably, that madness ensues). I keep my silk/sleeveless tops in the front on my closet, right next to my dress pants. That way, if I’m ever in a hurry, I’m not digging for anything and can pull together an outfit in less than a minute. …gotta leave time to get your morning coffee, right? Here’s another example of an outfit with this same skirt and same “formula.”

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Has anyone else found blazers online? Or have you found one you love in-stores? Thanks so much for stopping by, readers! Happy Monday!