furry fun at the field (museum)

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Despite the intense cold we are experiencing here in Chicago, nothing will stop me from going outdoors! …Well, I’m about at the threshold where I will solely leave for work and then hibernate after…but I’m not there yet! Thus, with our adventurous spirit intact, my bf and I hit up the Field Museum.

Let me just preface this by showing you what our current weather is looking like:

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Okay,  so sometimes, you guys, this fashion blogger wears furry boots in public for long periods of time (ie during a trip to the Field Museum). I know, I know, people can really be against the furry boots because they are not the most attractive footwear in town (understatement). I hear that. I really do. But, in true Fashion Huntress honesty, commuting shoes happens, as do furry winter boots. Here’s my best “let’s dress up these boots” ensemble for furry fun at the Field (Museum).
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Top: Marshall’s ($12 marked down from approx $50)
Long sleeve long underwear top: Ruehl (gift, approx 10 years ago, for real)
Jeans: Old Navy ($30)
Boots: Bear Paw via Marshall’s ($50 marked down from $80)
Scarf: Burberry (gift)
Ring: Forever 21 ($1.50)
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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) I’ve been pretty dedicated to Uggs since they came out. I currently have a rubber snow pair that I am obsessed with- but I did want a suede pair for fall/early winter this year. I hadn’t tried out the brand Bear Paw before this year, but I’ve been really pleasantly surprised. I checked the materials and they are actually the same as Uggs. Additionally, they were a fraction of the cost. Don’t get me wrong, I still love Uggs and think they are amazingly warm, but I think Bear Paw is a good quality, lower cost option as well. Side note- I actually saw that these boots are on sale at Macy’s right now for $40 instead of the $50 I paid. 
 
2) I love the printed jeans trend, but I’m not totally confident it will stick around all that long. I got my printed jeans at Old Navy for a great price that won’t break my heart (or bank) if they don’t remain on trend. The pair I got are really durable- I’ve washed them a ton and they still look brand new.  Additionally, while I got mine for $30, they often have them on sale at Old Navy for about $15-$20, making them even more of a bang for your buck. 
Anyone else still embracing printed jeans? Wearing Uggs/Ugg-like boots and loving it?
Thanks for stopping by, readers! I appreciate it so much!

layered and laughing

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Working in a hospital means we spend our days faced with illness and problem solving. To diffuse the stress, my partners in crime and I manage to take a few moments each day to enjoy the company of each other.  Not surprisingly, our breaks often involve taking the photos for the blog…and laughter ensues.  I don’t often share my outtake photos from these moments, but sometimes I think I really should- so today I am.

Behind the scenes of these photos:

My girlfriend: I don’t see you really going for it. Are you really trying to sit in that window?

Me: My bum won’t fit in it! It’s not that I’m not trying, it’s that I don’t fit!

(passerby: “I’m not even going to ask…”)

My girlfriend: Seriously, you have to just really try! It’ll look great!

Me: I can’t fit!

Resulting photo of me falling out of the windowsill:

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I am endlessly thankful for my all of my supporters (that means you!) for taking time out of the day to laugh along the way with me (as I fall out of windows, etc.). You all make the tough days much less tough, and the good days that much better. This is my layered and laughing ensemble- one of my favorites for so many reasons.

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Denim shirt: Forever 21 ($20)

Top: c/o Mihaela at Fashion Sky Fall.

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

Belt: J Crew (approx $10 marked down from approx $40) (hard to remember, so old!)

Shoes: Banana Republic ($12 marked down from $110)

Jewelry and scarf: gifts

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Fashion Huntress tips:

1) Layering a non-fitted shirt under my denim shirt is new to me- but something that ended up working. The lace top added some visual interest and length underneath the denim top. The two tops together did get a bit bulky (I spared you the photos that showed just how bulky it got), so the belt was a necessity for this outfit.  I also balanced the layers on top with skinny pants, which also helped the layering seem less baggy. 

2) I am a huge fan of metallic shoes. They are so versatile and really dress up an otherwise plain outfit. You can find metallic shoes just about anywhere these days, though I found this pair at Banana Republic. As per usual, when I went through the shoe section, I looked at the price of every single shoe that I liked. Some of the exact same metallic flats were still tagged as “$50” while the others were listed at “$11.99.” I realize this may not be a completely realistic strategy for a full store of shoes. However, for a few racks of shoes, it was easy to look through all of them- and it totally paid off!

Anyone else layering unexpected tops? Loving metallics this winter?

Thanks for stopping by, lovely readers! I hope everyone is having a good start to the week!

simply black and white with a splash (of color)

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I don’t have much to say today, which is a bit odd for me. I think my just brain wants quiet time. But, thankfully it didn’t go on hiatus before I got dressed and made it through the day. Thanks, brain.

This is my simply black and white outfit with a splash of color. And yes, I sure did wear that necklace and those shoes yesterday. Thanks for not judging, you guys.

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Dress: Burberry (gift)

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

Top: H&M ($10 marked down from approx $20)

Tights: Target ($8)

Shoes: Lula Townsend at DSW ($12 marked down from $79)

Necklace: Limited ($5 marked down from $33)

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Fashion Huntress tips:

1) I sure did wear those shoes and necklace in my last post, but I changed them up by adding tights (instead of leggings) and double layering my long necklace into a short necklace. One way to change up shoes is by adding tights, leggings, different colored tights, or ankle pants. An easy way to change up necklaces is to layer them and/or doubling them up from a long necklace into a short necklace. No one will be the wiser if you use those easy change up tips!

2) I’ve actually never worn this dress with a scarf, especially not a flower print scarf. But, I liked the unexpected pattern and bit of color splash added to an otherwise black and white outfit. I generally like to get my scarves for under $10 at H&M, Nordstrom Rack, Limited, and Ann Taylor (clearance sections, of course).

Anyone else have good tips for accessories shopping on a budget?

Thanks so much for stopping by readers! I appreciate all of your support!

black friday bold (aka zebra kimono)

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Can I just say that being out on Michigan Ave in downtown Chicago on Black Friday was INTENSE?! I’m a huntress for life, don’t get me wrong, but holy moly it was really overstimulating out there that day. Regardless of the crowds, I endlessly love the Magnificent Mile and feel lucky to live near so many amazing stores, museums, stores, parks, …and stores. What can I say? I really am a huntress for life.

Anywho, Banana Republic was rocking my world on Black Friday. The sale section was 40% and I snagged this amazing Issa for Banana Republic zebra kimono for $10 marked down from $140. Zebra print? Kimono? I don’t care how bad holiday crowds got that day, I was in it to win it.

PS- These photos turned out slightly grainy due to losing afternoon light quickly. It shouldn’t be dark at 4 pm, Mother Nature! We’re trying to get a photo shoot in around here! Ah well, we made it work.

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Dress: Issa for Banana Repbulic ($10 marked down from $140)

Necklace: Limited ($5 marked down from $33) (also Black Friday)

Leggings: Limited (approx $10 many years ago!)

Shoes: Lula Townsend at DSW ($12 marked down from $79)

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Fashion Huntress tips:

1) I love bold prints (as you all know), but even I did a double take with this print. As is my general rule, I tried on the dress and loved how it looked.  Though, as with many unusual prints or cuts, I’m guessing this dress was passed up by others, as there were a ton of the dresses hanging on the rack. When I was in the store, I looked up the dress online to see how Banana Republic had styled it when it first came into the stores. By doing that, I was easily able to envision how I would style it. Always try things on. And, if you’re unsure about how to style a piece, ask a salesperson or look it up online! 

2) The online picture of this dress featured it with sheer tights. However, for work, I think this dress is way too short to be paired with sheer tights. Thus, I thought of the dress more as a “top” and styled it with thick leggings.  If you’re going to feel self conscious about something you’re wearing, just style it differently to make yourself more comfortable.  For evening, I could easily wear this dress with sheer tights; for work, I just felt way too uncomfortable. However, with leggings, I was good to go! 

Anyone else end up with good finds from Black Friday and Cyber Monday? I read about many of your finds thus far and they sound amazing!

Thank you so much for stopping by, lovely readers! Happy Tuesday!

terrific two (dollar) and holiday train

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It’s December! I’m aboard the holiday train and it has pulled out of the station. There’s no stopping this train now; I’m watching holiday movies, listening to holiday music, eating holiday treats, etc. It was only a matter of time before my clothes started to reflect my inner holiday spirit. ABC Family started their countdown last week; it’s basically a holiday party every day.

Anyway, when I found these hunter green (or should I say ‘huntress green?’) pants at Loft for, get ready, $2.50, I knew I was going to pair them with red and gold glitter everything! My tea/coffee print top morphed into a “hot cocoa” print top; my red plaid flats became red flannel print; my huntress green pants were dubbed evergreen holiday pants. I meant it when I said the holiday train is on the tracks and headed for the North Pole. You know I love a good fashion theme (and metaphor), and I’m definitely going to take this theme WAY too far this season. It’s a terrific two (dollar) and holiday train ensemble, and though you can’t hear it, you can bet I was humming holiday songs while taking the photos, writing the post, and posting.
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Jacket: H&M (approx $15 marked down from approx $40)
Shirt: Gap ($27 marked down from $55)
T-shirt: Old Navy ($2 marked down from $9)
Pants: Ann Taylor Loft ($2.50 marked down from $60)
Shoes: Rampage via DSW (approx $10 over 5 years ago!)
Scarf: Burberry (gift)
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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) One of the questions I am frequently asked is about how to make shoes last. As a commuter, I always have a pair of dress shoes in my bag and ‘commuting’ shoes on my feet when I’m headed to and from work, especially this time of year. Nice shoes really don’t go well with snow, salt, and sand, which is generally all over the streets and sidewalks in Chicago in winter. I do think that shoes should be worn, don’t get me wrong, but I like to preserve mine as long as possible by leaving the snow, sand, and salt to my winter boots. Using this tactic, the plaid shoes pictured here have remained in great shape over the years. 
2) Cyber Monday is still happening on many sites for a few more hours, if you want to sneak in a few more deals! I found that Loft, Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy all had great sales in their stores, and great online sales are ongoing until tomorrow. 
My Black Friday post is coming tomorrow! What a whirlwind! Did anyone find anything good?!
Sorry for the delay in posting last week- the holiday got me a bit off track, but I am catching up on all of your posts (and mine)! Thank you so much for visiting!

black and brown bliss

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I spent many years thinking you couldn’t wear black and brown together. I have no idea where I got that idea, or why, but I used to think that wearing black and brown together was a serious fashion no-no. Even as an adult, I put on my brown tweed dress and thought, “can I wear this with black tights? What will people think?” …apparently some old thoughts die hard, huh? Letting go of this fashion “rule” was so liberating, and the result? This traditional tweed dress got a serious modern update.

“By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go.” Lao Tzu

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Dress: Ann Taylor via consignment ($12 marked down from approx $120)

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

Leggings: Blue from Filene’s Basement ($4 marked down from approx $20)

Boots: DSW ($15 marked down from $50)

Belt: Urban Outfitters ($5 marked down from approx $25)

Earrings: Anthropologie ($4 marked down from $31)

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Fashion Huntress tips:

1) Although I found this dress on consignment, I have been finding a lot of great pieces at Ann Taylor Loft lately. They continue to have 50% off their sale section right now.  I even got 50% off their “final sale” items, which brought some pieces down to $2-$7. Amazing, right?! You all know that I am not sponsored by anyone, I just am loving that store lately! http://www.loft.com/

2) I have no idea where I picked up “fashion rules” such as not mixing black and brown, not wearing white after Labor Day, etc. I have found that “fashion rules” do not really seem applicable anymore, especially in a time when “mismatching” is so popular. If any of these “rules” are stopping you in the mornings, consider just trying on whatever you want to wear and see how it looks! You never know how something will look until you try it on, and you may be surprised (as I was) to see that wearing what you love, without any rules, looks completely fabulous.

Anyone else have fashion rules that they find are now out of date? Fashion rules that they love breaking?

Thanks for stopping by, readers! I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend and staying warm! We are down to single digits here, so please bear in mind that my upcoming posts might largely reflect giant down jackets and piles and piles of wool. Maybe I can make a down comforter look like a chic parka…?

windy wonderland homage to alice

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Lately, I’ve had my head in the clouds, day dreaming. Day dreaming always makes me think of Alice, the perpetual storybook dreamer, falling down the rabbit hole into a world of dreams. This outfit was perfectly captured on a windy day; I suspect that if Alice were around today, and a working woman dressing herself on a budget, she would have felt right at home reaching for the clouds in this dreamy ensemble. I call this my windy wonderland homage to Alice outfit. 

“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see?” Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
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Top: H&M ($10 marked down from approx $20)
Skirt: Ann Taylor ($12 marked down from $60)
Sweater: Marshall’s ($20 marked down from $50)
Tights: Target ($8)
Shoes: Lula Townsend at DSW ($12 marked down from $79)
Belt: Ann Taylor ($5 marked down from $25)
Necklace: Tiffany & C0 (gift)
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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) Chiffon and tulle skirts seem to be here to stay, at least for now. Many chiffon and tulle skirts are being styled in stores and catalogs for ‘holiday looks.’ I was initially intimated by styling chiffon and tulle skirts for work. I’ve found that it’s not difficult at all, especially in fall and winter. By tossing a sweater or cardigan on top of the skirt, you can instantly dress down an evening skirt.  By wearing a sparkly top underneath, you can easily dress the skirt right back up again for an evening out. Side note: you guys know I feel about chiffon/tulle/slips. Always wear a slip when needed, as is the case with this skirt!
 
2) I grabbed a couple of long cardigans at Marshall’s last season for approximately $20 each.  I find that I consistently wear these sweaters week after week with pants, skirts, and leggings. Personally, I like to keep my sweaters simple (black and/or gray), and then add color with pants, skirts or tights. One way to save money on a “cold weather versus warm weather” wardrobe is by wearing your pants and skirts year round, and investing in neutral sweaters to wear over your “spring and summer” pieces. 
 
Anyone else embracing chiffon and tulle this season? Anyone have styling suggestions?
 
Thanks for stopping by readers! I appreciate your thoughts and comments 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/