short and sweet in summer

20140701-155959-57599072.jpg

For those of us in the US, this is a short work week due to the 4th of July, which means I’m dressing fairly casually all week long. I may just show-up in sweats by the end of the week. Just kidding, just kidding (sort-of). In keeping with the shortened theme of the week, I’m keeping this post short and sweet; the only thing I’m not planning on cutting short are my naps and thrift shopping this weekend…and probably my consumption of red, white, and blue themed snacks.

20140701-155957-57597727.jpg20140701-155958-57598537.jpg20140701-160000-57600767.jpg20140701-155957-57597024.jpg20140701-155959-57599842.jpg20140701-155955-57595616.jpg

Top: Forever 21 ($20)

Skirt:  Anthropologie via consignment ($16 marked down from $88)

Shoes: DSW ($11 marked down from approx $70)

Long necklace: made it! (Michael’s charm was a $1)

Snake necklace: Nadri via Nordstrom Rack ($14 marked down from $50)

Bracelet: made it!

Watch: gift

20140701-160000-57600371.jpg

Fashion Huntress tips:
1) I can’t say it enough, readers. I basically live for all things denim. I’ve found that the quality at both Gap and Forever 21 cannot be beat in terms of washing and wearing their denim tops countless times. The only thing I’ve noticed with Gap is that many of my button downs have shrunk up in the dryer, so it might be best to line dry them (unless you don’t mind them shrinking a little). I have not had this experience with Forever 21 tops. I also love finding various shades and styles of denim tops via thrift stores. Head straight to the “button down” section (if there is one), and look through the “blues,” as that is often where denim is stocked. Because denim is so durable, I generally find the tops in great conditions with no holes or tears, but do make sure to look over the entire top prior to purchasing. There always seems to be an endless stock of button downs from places like Gap, Express, J Crew, and Forever 21 at thrift shops with the tops generally costing about $3-$6. 
2) I’ve been reading a lot about purchasing discounted gift cards online. I’m intrigued by this concept, but have not yet tried any of the sites.  A couple that I am aware of are: https://www.raise.com/ and http://www.cardpool.com/ . Both sites enable visitors to sell and buy gift cards at a discount and guarantee their cards. Discounts vary from about 5%-35% off the purchase price of the gift card, thus enabling visitors to save at least a few dollars on each card you purchase. I think this option might be good for people who tend to shop at some of the same stores fairly regularly; you can always keep purchased gift cards on hand and use them when you are sale shopping and save even more between the purchasing of the gift card and the sale prices.  
Does anyone have experience with purchasing discounted gift cards online? How has your experience been? Do you have any tips? Thanks so much for stopping by readers! I appreciate it so much!

rocking a frock

20140624-161212-58332412.jpg

We all know by now that I’m a dreamer who has a borderline questionable relationship to clothing and fashion, so it’s no surprise that when I thrifted this dreamy vintage frock (oh yeah, it’s a frock), I heard it calling out that it wanted to be worn and be loved anew. It’s perhaps one of the oddest prints I’ve seen in a while. The fabric print was dubbed the following: dreamsicle gardens, aboreteum wonderland, neon wee villageland, and polyester pink fairyland by various friends. I’m not sure what this pattern was called back when it was made, but one thing is for sure, this vintage frock lives to twirl another day.

20140624-161213-58333789.jpg20140624-161208-58328983.jpg20140624-161212-58332921.jpg20140624-161211-58331185.jpg20140624-161211-58331820.jpg20140624-161209-58329780.jpg

Dress: Vintage at
Buffalo Exchange resale ($15)
Cardigan: Banana Republic (approx $10 marked down from approx $60)
Shoes: Thrifted ($2, retail for approx $30)
Necklace: Vintage via resale ($6)

20140624-161210-58330373.jpg

Fashion Huntress tips:

1) Whenever I shop vintage, I always look at all of the seams and all of the fabric closely. Unfortunately, some places do stock vintage that is beyond repair (at least in my book) with holes that can’t be mended, etc. Holes that are in the middle of the fabric can be tough to repair, whereas a zipper can be an easy fix. Personally, I took for vintage that doesn’t need any repairs, as I have limited repairing skills. I also wash all vintage inside out, on a gentle cycle, and then line dry the pieces. 

2) This dress looked flat-out costume-y on the rack  (especially the sleeves, as they are huge!), but looked a lot better once it was on. Vintage is one of those things that requires trying things on, and thinking of how you might style something to give it an updated vintage look.  I like to think, in advance, about how I might style something. If I don’t think I can figure out a way to style it, it will just sit in my closet unworn! With this dress, modern heels and a cardigan do a lot to add an updated feeling. 

Anyone else have vintage tips? Falling in love with vintage prints? Thank you so much for stopping by, lovely readers! I appreciate it so much!

day dreamin’ (aka up, up and away)

20140603-124854-46134755.jpg

When it’s June, 70 degrees, and breezy, I always think of school year summer vacations. You remember those days…waking up when you want, maybe heading to a summer job, reading outside, going out for ice cream and long drives….sigh. I’m a romantic at heart, as you all know. I love the idea of hanging out with your head in the clouds all day…which is probably why I love a whimsical print. This hot air balloon cardigan immediately brought me back to those days. Hanging out on our backyard swing set, watching the hot air balloons float by. While I was day dreaming, I pulled out my “Up” themed necklace that I made a couple of weeks ago to complete my day dreaming themed look. Why not daydream a little? I may no longer get 3 month long summer vacations…but a girl can dream, right?

“The adventure never ends.” Disney, Up
20140603-124855-46135405.jpg20140603-124856-46136975.jpg20140603-124857-46137383.jpg20140603-124858-46138051.jpg
Cardigan: Target ($7 marked down from approx $25)
Top: Express ($17 marked down from $40)
Pants: Gap ($17 marked down from $50)
Shoes: Aersoles via resale ($6, retails for $55)
Necklace: Made it! (used locket from Michaels, construction paper, and Mod Podge)

20140603-124858-46138864.jpg

Fashion Huntress tips:

1) I generally don’t frequent Target for clothing all that much, but they actually have a pretty good clothing selection there! I usually shop their clearance section, when I do go, though I’ve noticed the clearance section is significantly bigger online than in-stores. Their prices are so-so full price for the quality, in my experience, but the sale prices are quite good. I like their shoe selection, as well, but have found that their shoes don’t really last beyond one season, so keep that in mind. You might be better off looking somewhere like DSW or Nordstrom Rack for around the same prices, but slightly more durable shoes. However, I’m open to feedback on this, if anyone has had other experiences! 
2) I’m still a huge pan of the colored pants collection at Gap. Seriously, I may have a problem. I wear their colored pants all year long, and find that you cannot beat the prices. When you shop their sale section, look for pants around $5-$15. You might be surprised how many pairs you find! One thing I’ve noticed there is I’m not the same size in all pant styles, so you may want to try on various styles and sizes before writing off any particular pair you find.
Does anyone else have tips for Target shopping? Or have any feedback on their shopping experiences there?

controlled chaos

20140416-151648.jpg

“Start every day as though it’s on purpose.” -Hitch

I mean, maybe that quote came from another source, but I know it from the movie Hitch.  For some reason, that concept really resonates with me. I have a dear colleague and friend who told me that every morning she puts two feet on the floor and says, “Thank you for letting me walk another day.” …Wow. Right? Now that is starting the day on purpose.  Well, we all know that the Fashion Huntress is a blog about fashion (and life, but mostly fashion). So, in true Huntress style, let’s talk about how this applies to fashion. Well, my sister called me yesterday and explained that she had worn an outfit to work that she didn’t really like and she felt like it just put a damper on her day and the tone of day. Yes. I hear that. I really do. When I am in an “I give up” outfit or I’m rushed to get ready and didn’t lay out my outfit the night before, my day is started with a not so great tone. I just didn’t start the day like it was on purpose.  Some may say I’m an overthinker (guilty as charged), but I’ve given that idea a lot of thought. I think getting up, getting dressed, liking what you wear, having something to eat/drink, and a grateful attitude, all contribute to starting the day like you mean it. When the rest of the day is generally chaos, I think a little bit of control and intention goes a long way. I think we need some semblance of control to be able to best cope with whatever else comes our way.  Often, I think that takes the form of deciding what to wear, what we project to the day, and frankly, what we project to ourselves. Alas, the Fashion Huntress is not a master of this process….but you can bet I’ll be striving to wake up everyday like it was on purpose. This outfit is my best version of controlled chaos- a mix of colors, patterns, and textures that is slightly chaotic, but also completely on purpose.

20140416-151740.jpg20140416-151733.jpg20140416-151709.jpg20140416-151701.jpg
Sweater: Banana Republic ($7 marked down from $100)
Button down: Gap ($7 marked down from $50)
Skirt: Gap ($5 marked down from approx $50)
Tights: Limited (old, maybe $10)
Ankle boots: Marshall’s (approx $20 marked down from approx $100)
Necklace: vintage via resale ($6)
20140416-151725.jpg
Fashion Huntress tips:
1) Gap has one serious sale going on right now. Pants were marked down to $5-$6, as were a lot of tops and shoes. My skirt was $5 and that price was pretty much standard in the store. So, if you’re around a Gap, I recommend checking it out! In more confusing online versus in-store issues, I found a dress that was $50 in the store, but $20 online (the reverse of what I normally see!).  The salesperson told me that they don’t match their online prices to the store. So, it’s official, readers. It pays to look online and in the store for items, or just ask in the store if the price is lower online and save yourself some time!
 
2) Pattern mix-ups and color mash-ups are pretty much my happy place for getting dressed in the morning.  When I think through the outfits a little more than, “I like how this looks together,” I notice a pattern. For example, all the colors in this outfit are either neutral (black) or shades of blue and green. You can totally power clash, if you want to! Stick with one color palette, or color hues (ex. pastels or jewel tones), and then keep everything else neutral. When I doubt, I always just add black or denim as my neutral pieces. I plan on doing a power clashing post soon- but I’ve been saving up enough photos to do so! Stay tuned- that should hopefully be up soon.
Anyone else have tips for mixing and matching colors and patterns? Happy mid-week, readers! And thank you so much for stopping by and hanging with me!

waning in warm and cold

20140410-110339.jpg

Well, it’s that time of year, readers. We’ve hit the period of spring and winter collision. It’s 30 degrees in the mornings, and 60 degrees by the afternoon. Well, this puts us all in a bit of a dressing conundrum, if you ask me. In the morning, I’m wearing down and Uggs, then I end up in a cardigan and sockless. It’s confusing. But, I’m busting out the scarves and serious layers to wax and wane in warm and cold. By the time I get the hang of this weather and dressing for it, I’m sure Mother Nature will change her mind and go straight for 100 degrees. I’m onto you, Mother Nature. I’m one step ahead of you, and totally ready for whatever is coming my way. …fashion metaphor for life? You betcha.

20140410-110330.jpg20140410-110347.jpg20140410-110414.jpg20140410-110449.jpg20140410-110441.jpg20140410-110432.jpg

Top: Gap ($6 marked down from $30)

Pants: Gap ($7 marked down from $60)

Scarf: Gap ($4 marked down from $30)

Purse: Kate Spade (gift)

Necklace: made it! (more info here)

Blue shoes: Dolce Vita ($20 marked down from $100)

Daytime kitten heels: Aubrey Brooke from DSW ($12 marked down from $99)

20140410-110423.jpg

Fashion Huntress tips:
1) Significant temperature changes throughout the day can be really challenging, especially for work ensembles, when you basically pick one look in the morning and have to wear it all day. I recommend scarves, cardigans, and a change of shoes! As many of you know, I keep a lot of shoes around my office for this very reason. I always have a least one pair of flats in brown and one in black on hand; I also keep heels in brown and black on hand. At the very least, you can always transition your shoes, as needed, to keep up with whatever the weather has coming.  As a side note, I photographed this look with two different pairs of shoes to show a more causal and more formal look.
2) This is basically the very last of the winter clothes I think we will see in stores (at least in the Chicago area).  I went to Gap this week and saw their scarves had been marked down to about $4-$5. You can always get them now and store them for fall, or use them throughout the winter/spring transition.  I have not seen much winter footwear or jackets left…but I do think sweaters and scarves seem to be floating around on sale quite a bit, so keep a lookout! 
Anyone else still finding winter clothes for good prices? Thank you, readers, so much for stopping by! I appreciate it so very much! Enjoy the sun, if you can!

(not so) mean mr mustard

20140328-170056.jpg

Changing it up today, here is my open letter to the color Mustard.

Dear Mustard,

You and I have,  historically, not been friends- hence, Mean Mr. Mustard. I’m sorry that I called you that name. I used to think you deserved it, but I can now see the error of my ways.  It’s just that I thought you made my blonde hair look washed out. I also thought that your name sounded like a character from Clue and that you hung out in the library with a wrench.  I’m sorry I judged you so wrong, and I really hope moving forward we can be friends. I think we are really coming along these days, and I think we have many more happy days together ahead. Please accept this apology for ruining your good name as a color.

Sincerely,

The Fashion Huntress

20140328-170145.jpg20140328-170122.jpg20140328-170115.jpg20140328-170129.jpg20140328-170154.jpg20140328-170108.jpg

Dress: Banana Republic ($7 marked down from $110)

Shoes: Jellypop via DSW ($12 marked down from $60)

Belt: Old Navy ($1.99 marked down from $7)

Tights: Hue via Nordstrom Rack ($3 marked down from approx $18)

Necklace: gift (handmade in Panama)

20140328-170137.jpg

Fashion Huntress tips:

1) I think my open letter here pretty much says it all about never saying never. I basically never used to wear yellow (mustard or otherwise), but I’ve found that no colors are really “off limits.” Admittedly, some shades of colors may look better than others, but don’t shy away from colors that you might otherwise skip over. I also tend not to wear straight line dresses because of my pear shape (I’m more of a fit and flare girl), but I’ve found that some actually do fit. If you like something, just try it on, regardless of shape or color! Worst case scenario, you end up not liking it. Best case scenario, you find a new love!

2) Based on my last couple of posts, it seems we can all agree that online shopping versus in-store shopping varies a lot by store. I found this particular dress online still listed for approximately $70, even though I found it in the store for $7. $7, you guys. If you have the time, check out the in-store sales and then compare the online sales. Generally, I find that the sales at Gap, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor Loft, and Old Navy all seem to be better in the store. 

Anyone else have colors that they used to avoid but now wear?

I hope everyone is having a great weekend! Thanks so much for stopping by, readers! I appreciate it so much!

secret agent stripes

20140331-190925.jpg

Let’s face it. I’m clearly not a secret agent (are you so surprised to hear this??). But, as my friend pointed out, from these photos, maybe I could be a secret agent- hiding in the shadows under a bridge. Frankly, the fact that it’s above 15 degrees in Chicago means that I’ll be hiding in the shadows, hanging in the sun, basically anything outdoors- as long as weather is permitting. So, I guess that means that I’m a secret agent sneaking up on Spring in these photos…making sure She’s here to stay.

“We’ll pay you handsomely, but you see, don’t steal our sun.” -The Thrills, Don’t Steal Our Sun
20140331-190909.jpg20140331-190917.jpg20140331-190932.jpg20140331-190852.jpg
Sweater: Banana Republic ($7 marked down from $80)
Skirt: Soprano via Nordstrom Rack ($20 marked down from $60)
Shoes: Lula Townsend at DSW ($12 marked down from $79)
Tights: Target ($8)
Necklace: gift
20140331-190943.jpg
Fashion Huntress tips:
1) You guys, you won’t believe this. I saw this sweater online over the weekend still marked at $60 on sale. What? I paid $7! Unclear what is going on there, but I’ve seen this quite a bit with stores like Banana Republic and Gap. I know some people can find amazing steals online, but in those stores, I tend to find way better deals in the store. If you have the time, my recommendation is to check out the stores’ clearance section. It’s worth your while to save significantly more!
2) This sweater is definitely what I consider to be a transitional sweater. It’s not too thick and it’s very bright. I decided it worked perfectly on a day when the weather really wasn’t spring, but w3asn’t quite winter. I pack away a few sweaters every spring because they are simply too thick for spring.  However, I generally keep my thin sweaters out at least until summer, because you can get away with wearing them past winter. I think an easy way to transition this look into full-on spring would be to ditch the tights and add strappy sandals. Easy as that, you guys!
Anyone else keeping out their sweaters a bit longer? Loving a peplum sweater?
Thanks for stopping by, readers! Happy Monday and wishing you all a great week!

birthday and blogversary

20140220-131932.jpg

Well, February is a big month for the Fashion Huntress. I celebrate both my birthday and my one year blogversary! Birthdays are always a time of reflection for me. I consider the past year and the many years that have passed. I marvel at how many things have happened and changed…and how many things are just the same as always (and how comforting that is). I have so many things to be thankful for, including having been able to connect to so many of you through the blogging community. I can’t help but wonder at the crossing of paths and how grateful I am that so many wonderful people have crossed my path, and are now on the journey with me.

“Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence.” -Henry David Thoreau
20140220-131951.jpg20140220-131905.jpg20140220-131846.jpg20140220-131820.jpg20140220-131913.jpg20140220-131837.jpg20140220-131828.jpg20140220-131942.jpg
 Dress: Burberry (gift)
Top: Burberry (gift)
Tights: Forever 21 ($6)
Boots: Express ($20 marked down from approx $70)
Bow necklace: Nadri via Nordstrom Rack ($11 marked down from $50)
Turquoise bracelet: Banana Republic (approx $10 marked down from approx $60, hard to remember!)
Jeweled bracelet: J Crew ($10 marked down from approx $40)
Love ring: Forever 21 ($2)
Flower ring: gift
Twist ring: gift
Giraffe ring: Forever 21 (set of three animals, only one pictured, $5)
20140220-131922.jpg
Fashion Huntress tips:
1) I want to write a full post soon about tights. I have a full blown tights obsession, just so you all know. I have a lot of luck finding good tights at a great price, probably more than any other item. This is a great time of year to get tights because it is warming up in many areas.  If you get them now, you’ll still end up wearing them now or keeping them for next year, so look around in your area! As I said, I will write about what brands I like and those that seem to last the longest, but for now, I recommend Nordstrom Rack for tights, as well as TJ Maxx/Marshalls. My favorite brand is Hue- and I find most tights for around $3-$4 on clearance at those stores.
 
2) What more can I say about these booties? I think I’ve worn them for the last 3-4 posts…sorry about that you guys, but seriously, neutral booties are SO versatile. This has the best way for me to get out of my winter boots slump. I’ve worn them with socks and tights every time, and feel like that 90s style is totally acceptable! If I haven’t convinced you yet about why neutral boots are great, then just look for my next 10 posts about them. Just kidding. …maybe.
 
Anyone else have tight-finding tips? Have a favorite pair of shoes this winter?
Thanks for stopping by, readers! I appreciate your feedback and comments so much! Have a lovely rest of the week!