bridesmaid blue

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When thrifting with some girlfriends over the weekend, I came across these blue satin heels. Talk about a gem…blue satin? low heels? potential dyed and used as a bridesmaid shoe in the 90s? $8? seemingly never worn/worn once? Ummm, I couldn’t buy them fast enough. I’d like to add that these shoes weren’t even the highlight of our thrifting. There were many laughs to be had, locking ourselves out of Goodwill changing rooms, getting stuck in tiny sweaters that looked bigger, and lots of “that looks like it was made you!” moments, not to mention the confusingly large amount of time we spent in housewares mulling over vases and paintings. I’m happily recalling our laughter that day and wearing my bridesmaid blue shoes with a smile on my face.

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Denim top: Gap ($16 marked down from $60)
Tee shirt: Gap (approx $7 marked down from approx $25)
Pants: Gap ($35 marked down from $55)
Shoes: thrifted ($8, unclear what they retail for…?)
Necklace: gift
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Fashion Huntress tips:

1) Goodwill is a great place to find good pieces at amazing prices ($5-$10), but you need to seriously dig. To really get through a big thrift store, I’ve found you need about an hour, and a lot of patience. My girlfriends and I probably spent about two hours really combing through the store, but, at the end, we were sure we had covered every once of the place! Goodwill has a “rewards” card that offers additional discounts on clothing or whatever promotion they are currently running. When I was there, reward card holders got an additional 25% off all clothing purchases- making most pieces about $3-$4. The card is free and you can sign up online. The woman in the store, however, said the online system can be a little faulty. So, I recommend asking if you can sign up in the store.

2) Button downs un-buttoned are a revelation to me! Given that the 90s theme is back in, now is a good time to embrace the un-buttoned layer. I love them for a casual summer look, but also layered over sundresses to make them work appropriate. Clearly, the denim button down is my favorite!

Anyone else embracing the 90s lately? Thanks so much for stopping by, readers! I appreciate it!

back to basics

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As much as I love my pattern mixing (which is a lot), sometimes it’s good to get back to basics. I managed to again take off my mint heels (see last few posts), and slip back into my favorite black and white animal print heels. You really cannot go wrong with a black and white look (especially in animal print, of course), especially on a gray day. We managed to sneak in these photos right before it began to rain, though my hair is really showing the humidity. Does anyone’s hair do well in 85 degrees and 90% humidity, though? If I could make a hat work at work, I’d be seriously tempted to do so these last few days. Hat or no hat, frizzy hair, and all, I’m getting back to basics today.

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Dress: Michael Kors via resale ($7, retails for $140)
Blazer: Forever 21 (approx $15)
Shoes:BCBG via DSW ($11 marked down from approx $100)
Belt:Urban Outfitters ($5 marked down from approx $60)
Elephant necklace: J Crew (gift)
Gold necklace:vintage via resale ($6)
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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) As you all know, I’m a huge fan of short sleeve blazers. I have a few and they are all neutral colors (black, black/white, cream). I tend to find them via thrifting or at places like Forever 21 or H&M. I’ve found that my Forever 21 blazers have really held up over the years. The most I’ve had to do to any of them is re-attach a button. I do wash via the “hand wash” cycle of the machine, which seems to help with reducing wear and tear. You really don’t need to spend much to invest in a couple of short sleeve blazers ($5-$20) that will last years. Short sleeve blazers are also a nice option in fall and winter when layered over long sleeve shirts like button downs and long sleeve tee shirts. 
 
2) It’s funny, even though this is a “summer” dress, I almost prefer it in winter! Here is how I last wore this dress in winter:
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I’m thinking of maybe adding a pop of color to transition it to fall, perhaps with colored tights or a colored cardigan. As you can see, a simple sundress/summer dress is very easy to transition, especially when it’s a basic cut and color! Now is a great time to look for fall staples or host a clothing swap to find pieces to transition your summer dresses.
Anyone else prepping their clothes for fall? Happy Monday, all! Thanks so much for stopping by!

joyful jungle

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There are some themes that I really seem to cycle through frequently (does anyone else remember that phase during winter when I was only wearing corduroys, Uggs, and plaid?) (I needed an intervention). In my summer attire, safari and jungle creep up, inexplicably, all the time in my wardrobe. 

Exhibit A:
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Yes. I am addicted to animal print and safari things. 
 
Anywho, when I bought this dress a couple of years ago, I wondered if it took the jungle theme too far…but the salesperson reassured me it didn’t. I think she was right. I, did, however try to add a statement necklace to this outfit and it got really out of control. So, I stuck with a simple joyful jungle theme. I mean, why not just stick with what brings you joy, right? And at the whole outfit totaling $30, it’s pure joy. I’m the Fashion Huntress, and I love animal print. …Though, if I start busting out my winter uniform again this winter (cords, Uggs, plaid), someone please help me reign it in, okay? Thanks, readers. 
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Dress: Jax via Nordstrom Rack ($15 marked down from approx $140)
Cardigan: Ann Taylor Loft (borrowed)
Shoes: Calvin Klein via Nordstrom Rack ($15 marked down from approx $100)
Necklace: Tiffany and Co.
Nails: Bananappeal via Sinful Colors at Walgreens ($1.99)
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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) When you’re wearing animal print, I think a little goes a long way. As I mentioned, I tried to add a statement necklace to my dress and it was just too much. If you’re wearing a lot of animal print (like this dress), consider toning down the rest of your outfit to balance the animal print with solid colors. I do think animal print is definitely office appropriate, and can often read as a neutral (though not with this dress!), so definitely sport your jungle/safari/animal pieces if you would like!
 
2) The Nordstrom Rack dress clearance rack (look for the red tags) is a great place to find dresses at around $20+. Many of the dresses are marked down to less than $100, though that is still a high price point for many people. I often look through the small, medium, and large racks to be sure I have seen most dresses on the clearance racks. Various sizes often wind up on wrong racks and many brands run small, so it is worth while to look through all of the racks. I, of course, tend to look for dresses that are the biggest bang for my buck, and in reality, it really only takes about 10-15 minutes to go through all three (small, medium, large) racks. 
 
Anyone else have animal print tips? Thanks so much for stopping by, readers! It’s almost Friday!!

calling fall (aka the september issues)

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I know it’s coming early, readers, but it’s been getting breezy/chilly in and around Chicago…so beware that the following pictures may have a fall look to them. On the other hand, a lot of the September issues are out, so maybe the fall theme is only fitting. I got InStyle yesterday and have been savoring all 500+ pages. I have yet to see the highly anticipated Vogue September issue, but I’m anxiously awaiting it. Despite the fact that I can’t actually afford anything in the Vogue September issue, I still can’t wait to page through it while watching the Devil Wears Prada and drinking tea. It’s really the little things.

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Top: H&M (approx $15)

Cardigan/sweater: Nordstrom Rack (approx $15)

Pants: Ann Taylor Loft ($10 marked down from $45)

Shoes: Aubrey Brooke from DSW ($12 marked down from $99)

Necklace: Banana Republic zodiac necklace (approx $10 marked down from approx $35)

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Fashion Huntress tips:

1) I love looking through September issues to get ideas for what I might want to look into for fall and winter. The prices in many of the September issues are, well, a bit pricey. Though, InStyle does have an “under 100″ feature this September, which has some nice pieces for fall at decent prices. Because fashion can be cyclical in some ways, you may be able to find some “newly trendy” pieces at resale shops (hello 90s attire). I also found this interesting article about outlet stores that you never knew existed (some of them were even surprising to me!). You can check out the article here.

2) Colored pants are a nice alternative to more traditional black and gray pants, especially in warmer months. I tend to find colored pants in places like Gap and Ann Taylor Loft. You can pay around $10/pair if you go when they are on clearance. Many stores have different “fits” which end up fitting differently, despite being all the same “size.” I always find this confusing, so I try on everything and if I find a pair of pants that fit well, I will often get them in more than one color. I am not a huge fan of pants shopping, so if I can find a pair at a good price that fit, it’s easiest to just get whatever colors I like and be done with it!

I last featured these pants in summer, seen here:

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Anyone else enjoying September issues? Have their eyes on anything for fall? Thanks so much for stopping by, readers! I appreciate it so much!

http://www.buzzfeed.com/jessicaprobus/14-outlet-stores-you-never-knew-you-could-shop-online

helping hand

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In the past year, I’ve realized more and more that I really struggle with asking for help sometimes. As a blogger, this can get awkward…seeing as how blogging takes a village to really make it work (photos, editing, etc, all involve multiple people). I’ve gotten to the point of feeling like I can ask for help with blogging (thanks, Eve for taking my photos today!). But asking for emotional support? No thanks. The funny thing is, the more I reach out, the more I realize people’s genuine willingness to be supportive and helpful. As I learn this over and over, I want to say thanks to all my helping hands; there are so many of you. And frankly, this blog wouldn’t exist without you…and neither would my sanity! Big Huntress hug.

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Top: Gap ($16 marked down from $60)
Pants: Gap ($8 marked down from $55)
Necklace: Anthropologie ($14 marked down from $70)
Shoes: Sam Edelman via Nordstrom Rack ($50 marked down from $90)

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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) Gap has a good sale going on right now for fall favorites, and has an extra 20% off their online shop today. There’s a lot of denim on sale, including the shirt featured here. I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again, Gap does denim right. Their denim is highly durable and comes in so many great shapes, colors, and styles. And don’t forget, as a fellow blogger taught me, they do match their online prices in stores, so ask the sales rep to adjust the prices if they don’t match the online price.

2) Umm someone is going to have to pry these mint shoes off my feet at some point. They are so versatile! I apologize that my last three posts have all included the same shoes, but I just love them, and basically won’t take them off. So, I’ll use this opportunity to say that Sam Edelman makes a very comfortable heel, as far as heels go. They also make great flats and sandals. They can almost always be found at Nordstrom Rack, though not usually in the clearance section, in my experience. You can also find them on Zappos, but the sale prices seem to be better at Nordstrom Rack.

Anyone else have a favorite pair of shoes? Happy Sunday, all! I hope everyone had a good weekend!

stripes on stripes

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I love that moment in fashion/getting dressed when you think, “what!? That’s madness!” to something that isn’t really that “out there” or revolutionary. This outfit is an example of my own response to something that is new to me: stripes on stripes. My inner dialogue sounded a little like this, “….hmmm black and white, and black and white…that part works…but stripes on stripes…is this a thing? Are people doing this…I don’t know…maybe it’s too much of a good thing…or maybe just enough of a good thing….Okay, I need to leave the house. This is what I’m wearing.” Seriously, you’d think I was developing some sort of national space program with the amount of thought I put into this. The result? A simple stripes on stripes look. …Why didn’t I think of this sooner?

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Top: H&M (kids, $8)
Skirt: Banana Republic ($12 marked down from approx $70)
Necklace: made it!
Cardigan: Banana Republic ($18 marked down from $70)
Shoes: Sam Edelman via Nordstrom Rack ($50 marked down from $90)
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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) Well, I continue to be on a DIY/handmade jewelry kick. The inspiration for this necklace came from Anthropologie (love their jewelry). The necklace on the left in the photo below is from their catalog (cost of their necklace was approx $58). My necklace is on the right. 
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My cost was approx $2 because I used an old pearl necklace that I didn’t wear often, and then spray painted a plastic seahorse to string onto the pearl necklace that I re-strung. Ta da! As my mom would say, you can’t beat that price with a stick.
If you’re not into DIY, there’s a great post here about how to save at Anthropologie: http://thekrazycouponlady.com/style/how-to-save-at-anthropologie/
 
2) A classic black skirt is one of the most versatile pieces of clothing you can own (much like a little black dress). But, I cannot resist a black and white twist on a classic black skirt. It’s still very versatile and can be worn with just about anything! Here’s another black and white skirt that I tend to rotate quite a bit:
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I think the skirt selection at Banana Republic is top notch and good quality. Go straight to the sale section (especially on the “additional markdown” days), and check out their skirts. When they have their additional markdown days, skirts are around $15-$25. They seem to have their additional markdown days on Tuesdays, Wednesday, and Saturdays, though I have yet to figure out if they have an “official” schedule.
 
Does anyone ever know about markdown days in advance? If so, how did you find out? Thanks so much for stopping by readers! It’s almost the weekend!

musing in mint (30 days no shopping, day 30)

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Well, readers, I’m going to acknowledge that I bought these shoes on day 29 of my no-shopping challenge. In my defense, I had been looking for mint shoes for a long time and finally was able to find them. So, I feel okay about it, as I suspect these heels won’t be leaving my feet for a long time. And, as a result of not quite making it to day 30, I decided to add on an no-shopping extra week. I found that my budget really enjoyed not feeling stretched as a result of shopping, so I’m going to stick with it for a while. I also found myself enjoying looking through what I currently have and changing up some older pieces in my closet. I also had a great time making some jewelry (including the necklace pictured here) by re-purposing jewelry I didn’t wear much (see tip #1). Next on the challenge list? ….cleaning out my closet and separating out “keep” and “donate.” 

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Top: Gap ($6 marked down from $30)
Kimono: Nordstrom Rack (approx $10 marked down from approx $35)
Pants: Gap ($7 marked down from $60)
Necklace: made it! (cost was approx $2. Beads are from Joann’s and left-over necklaces that I don’t wear much)
Shoes: Sam Edelman via Nordstrom Rack ($50 marked down from $90)
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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) I decided to look through my old jewelry and pull out some necklaces that I don’t wear too frequently. Once I had them pulled out, I started to pull them apart for the beads and charms. I was able to make two necklaces out of one necklace that I rarely wore, and still have extra beads to make a bracelet. This was a really fun challenge! Between Pinterest and YouTube, you can figure out how to make a ton of jewelry very easily, and very cheaply! Don’t forget that for basic jewerly supplies (like beading wire), you can always use coupons for Michael’s, Joann’s, and Hobby Lobby. All of them have apps and websites to print off coupons for generally 40-50% off any single item, basically every single day of the week. They also usually will accept “competitor” coupons, if you’re in a bind and can’t find a specific store coupon.
 
2)  I wanted to again share about my love of the online consignment group: Thred Up. You can buy clothes through them via consignment, and you can also “request a bag.” When you request a free bag, Thred Up sends you a bag, you put the clothes you would like to consign in it, you ship it back to them for free, they price out the items they think they can sell, give you the money, and then donate any clothes they don’t use. I think this is a great system for both consigning and donating clothes. So, if you’re in the mood for a pre-fall closet clean out, check them out: www.thredup.com
 
Anyone else have closet cleaning tips? Happy Tuesday, all! We’re almost at mid-week! Thanks so much for stopping by; I appreciate it so much!