jazzed in a jumpsuit

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Umm, I haven’t been this jazzed about a trend since I realized I could wear denim tops to work, readers. I decided I am LOVING the jumpsuit trend. For the record, I had tried on shorts/rompers many times in the past, before I realized I just feel more comfortable in a full length/pant jumpsuit. My fiance, J, is endlessly supportive of my quirky fashion, but he just could not get on board for this trend, noting, “you will definitely look back and question this one.” I laughed and decided he may be right…but, for real, today, I’m totally jazzed in a jumpsuit.

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Jumpsuit:Asos via giveaway from Windy City Wardrobe

Blazer: Elizabeth and James via Rue La La ($55 marked down from $500)

Shoes: Sam Edelman via Nordstrom Rack ($50 marked down from $90)

Belt: Urban Outfitters ($5 marked down from approx $60)

Necklace: gift (from Anthropologie)

Purse: Nine West via the Nine West outlet in New Orleans, LA (approx $20 marked down from approx $75)

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Fashion Huntress tips:

1) To order a jumpsuit or a romper is pretty challenging due to the specificity of the fit of these types of pieces. However, once I busted out my tape measure and got really committed to using the “size chart” offered online, I was able to order this jumpsuit online and have it fit perfectly! I generally ignore the size charts online, to be honest, which, I know, is probably surprising and a bad habit! Size charts really do help with knowing whether a piece will fit and whether some basic alterations, on your end, will help ensure that your online pieces will fit like a glove. 

2) While many people can sport a jumpsuit/romper without a belt, I quickly identified that the no-belt look wasn’t going to work for me and my proportions.  Additionally, the blazer helped add a better sense of proportion and balance to the look.  Overall, the jumpsuit was one of the more challenging pieces I’ve styled, but I found that patience was key. Once I tried on a few belts, some heels, and various blazers, I was able to find a combination that looked professional and balanced. As with most trendy pieces, I highly recommend styling your challenging pieces by trying them on with a variety of combinations. The “flat lay on the bed” method just doesn’t seem to work for me when I’m styling a “trendy” piece. 

Anyone else have jumpsuit and/or romper styling tips? Thanks so much for stopping by, readers! I hope everyone had a good weekend!

fiery floral (aka second chance, part two)

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Well, readers, if you read my last post, you know that I am on board for Kohl’s these days. This dress is another gem that I found on my recent trip. Umm, heck yes it’s the J Lo brand, readers. And heck yes, it has a snazzy back opening. And lastly, heck yes, I wore it to work (though I kept my snazzy back opening to myself). Kohl’s, I’m official a convert. (and yes, btw, I did ask a firefighter if he wouldn’t mind having his boots in a fashion blog post…) (apparently J Lo dresses make you shameless/fearless).

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Dress: J. Lo for Kohl’s ($5 marked down from $60)

Leggings: TJ Maxx ($5 marked down from $15)

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

Blazer: Forever 21 (approx $20)

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Fashion Huntress tips:

1) I’ve found that the sizing between collections at Kohl’s is a little variable, though I suspect this may also be due to how you like something to fit. I found myself picking up sizes that allowed for a little more fabric and less cling, especially given that I wear the majority of my clothes both in and out of work. My recommendation is to go through the entire clearance section, all sizes, to make sure you don’t pass up a potential find. As always, I think you can get through the clearance section in about 30 minutes. This dress was a gem at $5. Don’t forget to also sign up for the emails to get their weekly coupons!

2) Despite the snazzy back cut-out, I think this dress worked perfectly for work with a blazer. I even pulled out my “summer” short sleeve blazer because I didn’t want to cover too much of the floral print. Moral of the story? Snazzy back cut-outs are totally okay for work- just grab a blazer or cardigan, and don’t overlook your summer blazers! 

Has anyone else tried out the J Lo line? Have you liked the collection? Thanks so much for stopping by, readers! It’s almost Friday! WOOT!

classic in second chances

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There’s been many a time that I’ve passed up Kohl’s, readers. But let me tell you, I was really wrong to pass up their clothing and accessories. I mean, Elle has a line there and so does Vera Wang. How can you go wrong? I hopped over to my local Kohl’s and checked out their clearance section. They always have 20% off coupons in their emails (so, definitely worth signing up!) and you can use it on their clearance items. Once I started digging (which I do admit you need to, in my experience), I found some real gems, including this Elle top. I’m officially a fan. After all, it’s good to give things a second chance some times, right? Ah yes…another fashion metaphor for life. Oh fashion, you’re so wise.

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Denim top: Forever 21 ($20)
Black and white top: Elle at Kohl’s ($7 marked down from $44)
Pants: Banana Republic ($20 marked down from $90)
Scarf: Limited ($7 marked down from $35)
Necklace: Kohl’s ($5 marked down from $32)
Shoes: Michael Antonio via thrift ($4, retail for $50)

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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) Many charity shops/thrift stores obtain their clothes or shoes from discount shops in the area, when the discount shops have not sold the items. For example, my local thrift shop gets Target’s unsold clearance items, or Marshall’s unsold shoes. To find out what “new clothes” to look for in your local thrift shop, ask any of the store reps. Generally, they know where their “new clothes” come from and when they get them. The shoes worn in this post were “new” via thrift, and, as a result, just $4!

2) Fall is officially upon us, so I’m pulling back out my black dress pants. Personally, I think you can get by with just 2-3 pairs of dress pants for work. I’ve had my same gray pants and same black pants for years, and they are in great shape. I highly recommend getting a nice pair of pants. I’ve always sworn by the dress pants at Banana Republic and J Crew. They are not cheap, but they are good quality, and they do go on sale! Dry clean only is pretty serious for dress pants, if you ask me. I never toss mine in the machine- and that seems to really help with their longevity.

Anyone else find their “new” clothes via thrift? Thanks so much for stopping by, readers! I appreciate it so much and hope everyone’s week is going well!

reflecting on ruffles

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My love of ruffles is exceeded solely by my love of mint, I think. In fact, I love ruffles so much, I did some research (nerd alert) on dictionary.com about the origin of the word ruffle. The word ruffle originated somewhere between 1250-1300 originally as a descriptor of a “crumble” or a “rumple.” I love that for almost 800 years, people have been talking about ruffles in one way or another. And while this is a modern dress, I can’t help but think of a similar ruffle explosion that may have adorned a silk ball gown or a white lace collar. I believe that this gem was just calling my name right as someone donated it to my local charity shop; perhaps they found the ruffles to be just a touch too much. I find them to be just right. Today, I’m reflecting on ruffles.

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Dress: Max and Cleo via resale ($4, retails for approx $160)
Shoes: Jellypop via DSW ($12 marked down from $60)
Shoe clips: borrowed from friend (thanks, girl!)
Necklace: made it!
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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) I’m really behind the times on shoe clips. My friend lent me this awesome pair of shoes clips (from her wedding day, no less!) to try out. The result? Ummm, why wasn’t I using these sooner? Shoe clips totally changed up these pumps and can change up any shoes whenever you want! Here is what they look like (below), including their flat back. And no, they definitely don’t hurt the top of your feet, you can’t even feel the clip once it’s on (as was my concern).
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You can find shoe clips online, including places like Amazon.com. Additionally, many people have recommended using clip-on earrings (brilliant). Lastly, you can buy plain metal shoe clips online (again at Amazon.com), and make your own clips. I am EXCITED, readers. Really excited about this. Stay tuned.
2) Our offices at work are a bit warm lately, so I’ve been wearing less layers, but I did have a short bolero type cardigan for this dress, in case you were wondering about layering. I definitely plan on wearing this dress in winter and fall. I’m thinking of adding leggings and tall boots for fall; I’m not sure about styling for winter…maybe a long sweater? Either way, know that this is a very summery dress that can definitely work all year round. So, if I haven’t convinced you yet, here’s another reminder to get your “summer dresses” ready for fall!
Btw, guess who’s back from Japan?! G, my fab photog! Welcome back, G!
Below photo is G photog-ing in Tokyo~
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Anyone else out there that’s tried shoe clips? What are you general thoughts? Where do you find them? Thanks so much for stopping by, readers! I appreciate it so much!

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! 

totally toile (aka resale redo)

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If there’s one thing I can rarely turn down it’s snacks (generally cheese and carbs), discount shopping, naps…and toile. I’m a sucker for anything toile printed, which really is no surprise. A fabric that features pastoral romantic scenes repeatedly? Sold. The other day when I stopped quickly into a resale shop, I found a somewhat dowdy looking toile skirt that I decided I could probably turn around.

Exhibit A: That’s a lot of toile. Even for me. And that skirt style? Erm….This skirt needs some love, and scissors!
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 Exhibit B: How the Fashion Huntress “measures” and cuts to resew a skirt…
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Voila! A new skirt was born! This is my resale re-do totally toile skirt.
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Skirt: thrifted ($3)
Top: Forever 21 ($20)
Shoes: Audrey Brooke via DSW ($30 marked down from $50)
Necklace: Nordstrom Rack (approx $5 marked down from approx $20)
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Fashion Huntress tips
1) My sewing skills are basic, readers. Modifications to clothes I find via resale have to be minimal for me to feel somewhat confident that I can re-style and re-sew something. Thus far, I think the easiest way I’ve found to modify a skirt or shorten a dress is just to lay one of your shorter pieces on top of the longer piece and cut along the edge (make sure to keep about 1/4-1/2 inch for the hem). Once you cut off the excess fabric, you can then measure the shortened piece to make sure your cutting is even (though I didn’t even bother with the toile skirt, I just cut carefully).  You could definitely do this project without a sewing machine and hem the piece by hand. I used the machine (sorry mom!) because it goes a lot faster. There’s a lot of long dresses at resale shops that could easily be altered, so don’t rule those finds out!
 
2) Given that toile has an “older” feel, I kept this look fresh with a denim shirt and heels. Additionally, because the skirt is probably over 10-20 years old, the cut is not very modern/fitted. As a result, I tucked my shirt in to give the outfit a bit more shape. Play around with it! I also may try and belt it next time I wear it, though haven’t figured out what to do with the waist tie. I’d love any styling tips you have, readers! 
 
Anyone else modify/alter their resale finds? Have tips for easy alterations? Thanks so much for stopping by, readers! I hope everyone had a great weekend!
 
Btw, if you’re interested in toile, generally, here’s a nice overview of the history of American toile.

mad about magenta

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Readers, I found myself reaching for a sweatshirt this morning. Let’s face it. This whole winter weather in spring thing is kind-of a downer. On the other hand, it’s sunny. So, I had a mini talk with myself while getting ready:

“Self. You can’t wear sweats today to work. It’s not okay to violate a dress code just because it’s cold out. I know, I know. You want to stay in bed and stay warm. But you can’t do that either. You need to just go ahead and pick out a grown-up outfit. I know, I know. Times are tough. Now. Get moving. Oh, shoot. Now you’re late. Goodbye, Starbucks. I’ll miss you. GAH! Go go go! Oooo, that jacket looks FAB! Alright, day, let’s do this!”  I think that monologue says it all. Another day, another look, always just trying to make it work, right? Toss on something bright, a fun pair of shoes, and head right on out that door to take the world by storm all over again.
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Jacket: Gap ($25 marked down from $130)
Top: Ann Taylor Loft ($14 marked down from $60)
Pants: Gap ($8 marked down from $50)
Heels: BCBG via DSW ($11 marked down from approx $100)
Necklace: Mango store in Spain many years ago
Bracelet: J Crew ($10 marked down from approx $40)
(nails: Parka Perfect by Essie)
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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) I saw this jacket many months ago, and figured it wouldn’t even make it to the sales because it was so cute. But lo and behold, it sure did. The funny thing is, it took months go on sale. I think I initially saw it in November? So, it just goes to show you. Most things really do go on sale eventually. There were very few winter items left, but the Gap sale continues, readers. If you are interested, most items were marked down to at least $20. 
2) It seems like many of us remain in areas that are still experiencing fairly cold weather. It’s remained in the 30s here in Chicago. It really makes spring dressing challenging! I’ve decided to stick with winter brights, as a result. This jacket is probably a “winter jacket” but the bright color really made it work for a spring look. I then added another bright to the look with the lace top. Together, the look is “spring” but still layered and warm. 
I would really love anyone else’s tips for how to dress in this really odd transition time! This is unseasonably cold, even for Chicago, so I feel a bit lost some days!
Thanks for stopping by, readers! Your comments, tips, and words of encouragement always make me smile.

divine diane

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I’m a huge fan of designers, in general, but a few of them really have my heart. Diane Von Furstenberg is one of the designers that really has my heart, my respect, and my admiration. Having started her company in the 1970s, she invented the wrap dress in 1974. Wrap your brain around that, readers. The wrap dress didn’t exist before she came up with the concept. What? …Wow. The most universally flattering dress design (if you ask me) came out of her brain. Aside from that, she’s had a life that always made me think, “wow…nothing will stop her.” I always heard that you “feel like a lady in a DVF wrap dress.” Well, I’m here to confirm that, readers. That woman has some serious talent! If you want to read more about her and her life, you can read more here.

Here are some of my favorite DVF quotes:

“Personal style is accepting who you are.”

“Attitude is everything.”

“You’re always with yourself, so you might as well enjoy the company.”

Diane, girl, if you are reading this (erm…a wee bit unlikely), shout-out to you and your fab self.

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Dress: Diane Von Furstenberg via consignment ($35, retails for approx $400)

Shoes: Moschino via consignment ($24 marked down from approx $400)

Necklace: Charming Charlie’s (approx $10 on sale)

Tights: Simply Vera, Vera Wang for Kohl’s ($7 marked down from $14)

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Fashion Huntress tips:

1) I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again, if you are all about finding great designer pieces at a good price, I strongly suggest consignment. I found this dress just hanging out on the “designer” rack in a consignment store outside of Chicago. The dress was marked at $60, but was on sale, so I got it for $35. I know, it’s hard to believe, but even resale and consignment shops have sales! Ask the shop owners what their policies are for pricing and sales. I know whenever I’ve asked, I’ve been shocked! Deals on top of deals!? Fashion Huntress heaven. I bought the dress and brought it to my local dry cleaner- and ta da! Ready to go!

2) Kohl’s. Let’s have a moment. So, I have not ever lived very near a Kohl’s, which has limited my ability to report on their clothes. However, I visited one recently and, wow, they have a lot of designer collections there! I wasn’t super impressed with their prices, to be honest, but they have a LOT of sales and coupons there. The Simply Vera line had great dresses that were still about $70-$90. Eh. But, on sale and with coupons? The dresses were much more accessible, price-wise. I think it’s definitely worth a visit and you can sign up for their coupons in advance here.

Anyone else have Kohl’s tips? Feedback on their lines?

Happy Monday, readers! I hope everyone is having a good start to the week and thank you so much for stopping by!

strong and small

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Do you ever have those days that come full circle? My day started out with my feeling super strong, then feeling super small….and then feeling super strong again. I guess that is to say that I started my day feeling as though I was proudly representing myself, only to turn around and make myself small. It’s so interesting what situations bring out feelings of, “I’ve got this! I am doing great!” and what situations bring out feelings, “I don’t have this. I have no idea what to do.” So how does it come full circle? And how did it come full circle that day? …by reminding myself of the adage, “just do you.” Oh yeah…just be me. I can do that.  And then I was back to strong again. I’ve totally got this.

Well, for now, anyway. And that’s just fine too. This is my ‘strong and small and back to strong’ look…aka how to ensure people stare at you as you pose for photos demonstrating your super hulk strength.
“Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.” -Oscar Wilde
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Top: Forever 21 ($20)
Pants: Gap ($21 marked down from $55)
Boots: Express ($20 marked down from approx $70)
Necklace: gift
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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) I am the first one to say, “oh, you can mix and match just about anything!” …these pants seem to be the exception for me. I’ve had a really hard time changing my top from anything other than a navy blue top or a denim top when I wear these pants. I would love other people’s suggestions if you have them! Some pieces are just flat-out hard to mix and match. On the other hand, I really like them, so I decided to get them regardless of their “inflexibility.” If you find something you love, but it doesn’t really “mix-up” all that well, that’s okay too! Not everything can be heavily rotated in a lot of different ways.
2) Patterned pants are definitely still being shown a lot for spring, so it’s time to bust out any pairs you may have had from last spring or summer! You can find patterned pants just about anywhere these days, though I tend to see them most frequently at Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy. Prices range on patterned pants, but I generally try to find them on sale for <$20. Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy all have days where everything in the store is on sale, or when they have a “pants sale.” Signing up for their emails is a good way to find out about these sales. If you don’t want a ton of emails in your inbox, you can also just look on their website to see what their sales are for the day. 
Anyone else loving printed pants? Have any that seem harder to mix-up?
Thanks for stopping by, readers! I appreciate it so much!