festive in “fantastique”

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Is it just me, or do short work weeks often feel longer than the average work week? I think they may feel longer because the excitement of the upcoming holidays continues to build by the day! What’s my Monday remedy for pre-holiday excitement jitters? A fun outfit, of course! This is my festive in “fantastique” Monday pre-holiday-I’m-too-excited work look. Happy Monday, readers!

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“Fantastique” t-shirt: J Crew ($3 marked down from $65)
Skirt: Ann Taylor Loft ($15 marked down from $90)
Necklace: gift
Scarf: gift
Bag: c/o Carrot
Tights: Hue via Nordstrom Rack ($3 marked down from $15)
Shoes: Nine West outlet in New Orleans, LA ($25 marked down from approx $100)
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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) T-shirts at work can be very, very tricky, if you work in a formal work setting. Similar to jeans and sweatshirts, t-shirts can be a no-go at work if not styled up. To sport this t-shirt at work, I added a very big statement necklace, a skirt, tights, and heels. Additionally, I bought this shirt two sizes too big to ensure that it didn’t look as though I was wearing a fitted tee at work (definitely a no-go in my book, especially with a pencil skirt). I’ll wear a fitted t-shirt all weekend long; but at work, a slightly less fitted tee is the easiest way to pull off a t-shirt in a conservative work setting. 
2) Since I was a wee Huntress, I don’t remember ever seeing final sale markdowns at J Crew. However, I saw over the weekend that there were a number of tops that had a red line down the tag and were marked down to $4.99- and the 40% off the sale price included the final sale items. Hmm…have I been missing out? I’m not sure, readers, but feel free to let me know if you’ve seen this before and I will also continue to look moving forward! The red tag final sale items were mixed in with the rest of the sale items, unlike many other stores. So, it’s definitely worth a quick dig through their sale section to see if you can snag a few “red tag” items at your local J Crew.
Anyone else loving the styled up t-shirt? Finding final sale red tag items at J Crew? I’d love to hear your tips! Thanks so much for stopping by, readers!

sparkle and shine

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‘Tis the season to wear all things shiny and sparkly. Seriously, I can’t even stop myself. But really, why would I even want to stop myself? I say, bring on the bling! It’s totally the season to sparkle and shine.

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Dress: c/o Oasap , available here

Leggings: Banana Republic ($17 marked down from approx $90)

Shoes: Vera Wang for Kohl’s via Savers ($8, retail for approx $90) IMG_2926

Fashion Huntress tips:

1) Long sleeve dresses are totally where it’s at in fall and winter, though they are a bit difficult to find. Personally, I like long sleeve dresses versus cardigans so that you can see the full shape and style of the dress. However, when a long sleeve dress is not an option, you can always opt for layering under and over with your spring and summer dresses. I always love to layer under dresses with long sleeve tees and denim (of course). There’s also a huge selection of long sleeve dresses for great prices at Oasap.

2) For dresses that are on the short side, I always opt for leggings instead of tights. Even if your tights are completely opaque, they are still tights, and may not really work with a shorter dress. In more conservative work environments, I always opt for thick leggings when wearing anything that doesn’t meet the “hands down by your sides” rule. When you put your arms by your sides, if your dress hemline doesn’t go past your fingertips, I opt for leggings or pants instead of tights. 

Anyone else have rules of thumb for leggings versus tights? Loving long sleeve dresses? Thanks so much for stopping by, readers! I appreciate it! Happy Monday!

thankful

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Tomorrow, in the US, we celebrate Thanksgiving Day. While reflecting on blessings is not limited to one day, Thanksgiving, to me, is an important day to celebrate with loved ones and reflect on the many blessings we have experienced throughout the year. I am so thankful this year for the many blessings that have come my way and for all the people that I have to share them with, including you, lovely readers. The Fashion Huntress used to just be a dream in my mind and now it’s a reality. I’m thankful for endless support and the blogging friends I have met along the way. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and weekend. We’ll be back to our regular programming at the end of the weekend.

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wonderful wool

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Layers, readers. I can’t stop myself. It’s going to be four, five, or six straight months of layers. Despite only being November, it’s already getting to the point of not being able to have exposed skin outside in Chicago. So, I’m layering up in a cozy cocoon of warm wonderful wools and knits. I’m not going to hibernate, though, don’t worry. These cozy looks are too fun not to share. Stay warm (and cozy chic), readers!

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Top: Forever 21 ($20) similar here/here

Shrug: Ann Taylor via thrift ($4)

Skirt: J Jill via Savers ($5, retails for approx $80) similar here/here/here

Boots: Not Rated via DSW ($60 marked down from $75) here

Tights: Hue via Nordstrom Rack ($3 marked down from approx $15)

Necklace: Banana Republic ($7 marked down from $80)

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Fashion Huntress tips:

1) I find wool to be a little tough on the skin, personally. So, if I’m wearing wool, I’m wearing layers to avoid itching, etc. Maybe it’s just me, but I seem to have the same reaction to wool and mohair. I really love the warmth, however, so I find that layering with tights, leggings, and long sleeve tees helps to ensure that my wool actually gets worn. Additionally, for me, wool is a dry clean only situation. I don’t try and toss it through the machine (like I do with just about everything else). So, wearing layers with your wool helps to ensure that you won’t have to dry clean the item every single time you wear it. 

2) You all know, probably very well at this point, about my denim obsession. However, for many people, denim in the workplace is not an option due to dress codes. Denim tops can easily be substituted for a white button down, a navy button down, or a sheer dress shirt with a camisole underneath. I love the versatility of denim, but other solid color button downs are just as neutral. I love the button downs at Gap, H&M, and via resale/thrifting. If you want to go high end, just make sure to dry clean your high end/designer pieces. 

Btw, this month I’m teaming up with the #monthlymani girls for the Black Tie theme! Check out my themed nails below:

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The other #monthlymani girls to check out their fab looks:

Kristi from Alligator Toe

Justine from The Thrifty Girls Guide

Piniel from Pins-Place

Kate from Into the Stratosphere

Jacki and Lesli from Sistas from Cali

Erika from Erika’s Style Diary

Marlena from Here, Pretty Kitty

Anyone else have wool wearing tips? Loving nail art? Thanks so much for stopping by, readers! I appreciate it so much!

loving leaves (aka cozy layers)

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With the significant temperature drop in Chicago, I’m all about cozying up in sweaters, big scarves, and keeping it simple. If you haven’t gotten enough of my fall photos, there’s still more to come. We’re so lucky to have had a long fall here, as many years it seems to fly by straight into winter. So, I’m loving leaves, fall colors, and cozy layers. (And hot cocoa) (And fun size chocolates) (and that I wore those shoes as part of my Halloween costume).

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Sweater: Gap ($7 marked down from $65)
Top: Forever 21 ($20)
Pants: Ann Taylor (approx $15 marked down from approx $70)
Scarf: gift
Shoes: BCBG via DSW ($11 marked down from $100)
Necklace: Jenifer Lopez for Kohl’s ($5 marked down from $32)
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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) I love taking pieces and re-working them (if you haven’t already noticed this about me). This is the same denim top from my last post, and the same necklace. Check it out in the photos below:
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With pants and a sweater, the top and necklace look completely different. Basic pieces (denim tops, black pants, statement necklaces) can easily be worked into all sorts of looks. And, of course, you can get long lasting basic pieces for great prices that will last! For denim, I love Gap and Forever 21. For real, the quality of Forever 21 and Gap denim tops is kind-of unreal. I should have worn holes through my denim by now, but they look the same as they day I bought them. You can find Gap denim on sale for about $10-$20. Forever 21 denim may go on sale, but I rarely see it on sale, so I often buy it via a thrift store (about $3-$5) or in their actual store (about $20). 
2) Gap is having one of their “clear the floor sales.” Almost everything in the store is on sale, and the sale section is an additional 50% off the sale price. You know what I’m going to say, right, readers? This is the time to go, if you’re in the market for denim, sweaters, or scarves! It’s the “end of fall” in retail world, so most of what is on sale is end of summer and early fall clothes. Scarves were about $5-$10 and sweaters were around $7-$20. There was even some denim on sale for around $20, which is about as low as I generally see it go. 
Anyone else rotate their favorite pieces? Have tips for re-working items? Thanks so much for stopping by, readers! I appreciate it so much!

dreamy diner

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I have consistently driven past this retro drive-in diner, Superdawg, and said, “I need to go there!” So when the bf suggested we go, I was on board. Actually, I believe I said, “Gah! Best day ever! Yes!” …what can I say, I’m enthusiastic about retro diners. Anywho, I believe I was slightly overdressed for the event (if there is such a thing), but I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Superdawg is where it’s at if you’re in the area and looking for a fun and delicious flashback meal. Be sure to overdress for the event too.

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Sweatshirt: Gap (approx $5 marked down from approx $40)
Denim top: Gap ($16 marked down from $60)
Jeans: Gap ($20 marked down from $60)
Scarf: Limited ($7 marked down from $35)
Heels: Michael Antonio via thrift ($4, retail for $50)
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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) There’s often a question of whether one can pair denim with denim. I love how popular denim with denim has become. So my answer is a strong yes!! I often wear light denim with dark denim when if wear it together. However with this look, I wore light denim with light denim and added a dark sweatshirt. The result was a seriously comfortable weekend look.

2) I’ve often questioned sweatshirts at work. They can be exceptionally tricky to style in a conservative work environment. Generally speaking, I think sweatshirts should be reserved for the weekends. If you’re on the fence, you can try out a formal sweatshirt that is solid color (not heather) with some detailing. Overall, though, this is one trend that I think should probably be resolved for outside of work wear.

Does anyone else feel differently about sweatshirts at work? Have styling ideas? I hope everyone had a great weekend! Thanks for stopping by!

cozy comfort

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Flannel dress, cozy sweater, tights, falling leaves and autumn trees…need I say more, readers? I think not. I’m swooning over fall, as per usual. This look is cozy comfort and autumn dreaming…

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Dress: Gap ($13 marked down from $60)
Sweater: Gap ($12 marked down from 60)
Tights: Gap (I can’t remember! maybe $8?)
Shoes: Made by Elves at Urban Outfitters ($20 marked down from approx $110)
Necklace: Jennifer Lopez for Kohl’s ($5 marked down from $32)
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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) Gap is having another one of their “take an additional 40% off sale items” sale. I was surprised that a good portion of the sale is actually fall and winter apparel. Many of their fall dresses and coats were marked down significantly. If you’re mad for plaid, like I am, there is a lot of plaid and flannel on sale. Check it out!

2) I’ve gotten a few questions lately about tights and the brands I like. My favorite tight brand is Hue- they are seriously durable and very comfortable. Hue tights are generally $5-$10 on sale and well worth it. Check out their online sale section for more information. I swear, Hue doesn’t pay me! They probably don’t even know I love them- but I do! As a side note, I strongly recommend you wash all tights by hand and hang dry them in order to make them last. You can find Hue at Nordstrom Rack and via their website: http://www.hue.com

Anyone else have favorite tights and leggings brands? Thanks for stopping by readers! I hope you have a great rest of the week!

fancy & festive

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I don’t know about anyone else, but I don’t have a strong desire to repeat my middle school dances. But, there’s something about a full and shimmery dress that just speaks to my middle school heart. This dress is reminiscent of those fancy and festive dresses from many moons ago, though in a grown-up way. I call this my fancy and festive look for work, minus the awkward arms extended dancing, gym mats, and 98 degrees slow song. If you ask me, this is how you do fancy without the middle school awkward. #grownup

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Dress: Mad Men for Banana Republic (gift)
Head scarf: Mad Men for Banana Republic (gift)
Cardigan: Banana Republic ($18 marked down from $70)
Shoes: Sam Edelman via Nordstrom Rack ($50 marked down from $90)
Necklace: Anthropologie ($14 marked down from $70)
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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) As you know, I really enjoy a good Banana Republic “additional markdowns on sale items” sale. They often have these sales on the weekend and generally involve an extra 40% off the sale and clearance items. Different dresses, colors, and styles are all marked different, so it pays to look through the entire sale section to find the best prices. As with many places, I generally look at least one-two sizes up and one size down from my usual size, as you never really know about fit, and may miss a good piece if you don’t check additional sizes! I subscribe to the Banana Republic emails so I always know about when the “additional markdown” sales occur. 
2) Speaking of emails, I have a separate email address that I use as my “shopping” email. That way, store emails don’t fill up my entire inbox, but I still know about the sales as they are occurring. I generally go through the email once every couple of days; many stores send information about new pieces, but I also get various coupons (Kohl’s, for example), and special offers on “free shipping,” etc. I think it’s worthwhile to have an email that just collects these emails for you (and it’s free!); you won’t get overwhelmed by them in your daily inbox and can pull up the coupons on your phone, if you have a smart phone, while you’re shopping. This is definitely easy peasy coupon and sale organization! 
Anyone else have email tips? Banana Republic finds lately? Thanks so much for stopping by, readers! I appreciate it so much; it’s almost mid-week! WOOT!

all for fall

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Back when I was just a wee Huntress, I used to have a book called “All for Fall.” I’m pretty sure the book was about jumping in leaves and generally enjoying fall. Maybe that’s where my love of all things fall began. Either way, I am definitely all for fall as an adult: fall colors, throwing leaves, wearing tights, you name it, I’m all about it. This is my all for fall look…welcome, Autumn. I missed you, girl.

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Dress: Savers ($4, retails for ? no idea!)

Necklace: vintage via Greg’s Antiques in New Orleans ($3)

Tights: Hue via Nordstrom Rack ($3 marked down from $15)

Shoes: Banana Republic via Crossroads ($20 marked down from approx $120)

Jacket: Banana Republic ($30 marked down from $175)

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Fashion Huntress tips:

1) I was a little on the fence about a short sleeve sweater dress, but I ended up really liking it! It’s especially perfect for a fall-ish/summer-ish day. And, of course, I can easily add a long sleeve tee-shirt underneath to add more warmth in winter. So if you’re on the fence about short sleeve sweater dresses, fear not, they are a definite go for fall and winter. I think this one is a little on the short side, so I wore completely opaque tights to ensure looking work appropriate.

2) I found this dress on my first visit to Savers and let me tell you, readers. I. Am. A. Fan.  They have a very interesting business model that helps support local non-profit agencies. The Savers in my area support the Epilepsy Foundation. Super cool. From what I gather, Savers is essentially a for-profit discount chain that provides local charities with financial support for bringing in clothes, regardless of whether or not Savers ends up selling the clothes in their store. The prices are just slightly higher than at Goodwill (approx $5-$6 for a top versus $3-$4).  If you donate there, I’ve been told that they will give you a 20% off coupon for your next visit. I definitely found myself digging quite a bit, but the stores are very spacious and well lit. There are even big changing rooms, carts, and baskets. If you have 30-60 minutes, I definitely recommend trying out a Savers near you. You can read more about them here: http://www.savers.com/

Anyone else have feedback about Savers? Tips? Thanks so much for stopping by, readers! As always, I appreciate it so very much! Happy almost mid-week!