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!

but it’s not my birthday burberry (30 days no shopping, day 28)

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When a friend says to you, “I’m not wearing this Burberry dress and top anymore, do you want it?” The only reasonable thing to say is, “Absolutely.” Am I right? Well, that’s the full story of this dress and top. And while it was no special occasion, birthday, or otherwise, I was very thankful to take these hand me downs, despite saying, “Are you sure?” approximately twenty times. I don’t know why hand me downs get a bad rep. I’m a huge fan. 

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Top: Burberry (hand me down)

Dress: Burberry (hand me down)
Shoes: Banana Republic via consignment ($20, retail for approx $120)
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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) I’ve been doing some research on clothing swaps and found some interesting websites. From what I can gather, large scale clothing swaps that are put on by organizations charge an “entry fee” (around $25). After you pay your entry fee, the general expectation is that you will bring your own clean clothing that you are willing to give away (swap), and that you are able to “take what you want” for free (after the entry fee, of course). Here are a couple of links that have information about formally organized clothing swaps. 
Personally, I think organizing one among friends, family, and coworkers is a great way to have one! Below are some tips for hosting your own:
 
2) Sundresses are great for work, and can easily be modified for a work setting. I tend to layer under my sundresses that are a bit low cut for work, as I did with this dress. You can, of course, layer on top of the dress and wear it as a dress, or a skirt. Don’t leave your weekend sundresses in the closet during the week! Pull them out and dress them up. This is a great way to ensure they get their full usage.
 
Anyone have clothing swap tips? Attend any? I hope everyone had a great weekend! Thanks so much for stopping by! 

planning a path (30 days no shopping, day 25)

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Maybe it’s the change of seasons or fall anticipation, but I’ve been feeling a little unsure of my path lately. I think I’m headed in the right direction…but the path doesn’t seem so clear. As a result, my brain has been all sorts of jumbled lately. So, I’m going to leave it at that today. The photos were shot at the subway, which I think nicely captures the idea of going somewhere…wherever the world will takes us, I guess. Good thing I’m in my walking shoes.

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Top: Gap ($7 marked down from $50)
Skirt: Nordstrom Rack ($30 marked down from $130)
Shoes: Cole Haan ($150 marked down from $350)
Necklace: Urban Outfitters (1.99 many years ago)
Bracelet: assorted, mostly gifts

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Fashion Huntress tips:

1) While Cole Haans can be pricey, I’m a huge fan of their shoes and the Nike Air collaboration. They truly are some of the most comfortable heels I own, and are so lightweight! Cole Haan always has a great sale selection on their website, and Nordstrom Rack tends to stock a lot of their shoes as well. I’ve heard that the Nike Air/Cole Haan collaboration to scheduled to end sometime soon-ish, so grab the shoes while you can, if you are interested in a pair! 

2) While I’m still not shopping, I have continued my online perusal of stores and saw that Ann Taylor Loft has a 60% off their sale section sale going on right now. Most of the dresses are between $20-$30, so check them out if you are interested. Additionally, Marshalls is having a clearance event, and holy moley, there are a lot of clothes on clearance! I saw a lot of maxi dresses for around $20, though I made it out without buying anything! Check out their clearance section, if you are so inclined and still shopping. Shop for me!

I’m almost done with my no shopping challenge! Woo hoo! Congrats to all other who are also currently underway- you can do it! Thanks so much for stopping by readers. I hope everyone has a great rest of the week and weekend!

well suited without shoulder pads (30 days no shopping, day 23)

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I don’t know about others, but I tend to have some nice moments with complete strangers when resale-ing. I found this 80s vintage suit a while back when I was resale-ing. I was really debating the shoulder pads and blazer fit. Of course, I was also awkwardly balancing my purse, and layering the suit over my jeans and top due to a lack of dressing rooms. Well, this stranger inevitably saw my scrutinizing (which, let’s face it, I normally do in the privacy of a dressing room). Anywho, she mentioned that she loved the suit and thought it would look great without the shoulder pads. I told her I hadn’t taken shoulder pads out of a blazer before and she proceeded to explain how to do so. Thanks to this fellow shopper/stranger, I decided to embark upon some basic alterations. 

Here is the jacket in process (holy shoulder pads, right?) and my sewing the jacket back up:
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And here it is in all its 80s glory. Thanks to the fellow shopper who assisted, and the great YouTube tutorials. It takes a village!
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Suit: Albert Nipon vintage ($12; current suits retail for around $500)
Top: Forever 21 via resale ($3, retails for approx $20)
Shoes: Jellypop at DSW ($12 marked down from $60)
Pearls: vintage (gift)
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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) SIGH, even though I’m still not shopping, I will say that I have seen that DSW is having a ton of sales right now. Because it’s better for me to not even walk into stores and be tempted, I’ve been looking at their shoes online. They actually have a lot more shoes online than they do in stores, which I found surprising. It also looked as though they consistently have free shipping, so I will look into that more. I think DSW is great for shoes that are “on trend,” especially if you aren’t totally sure the trend will continue and don’t want to spend a ton. 
 
2) This vintage suit basically looked like a full blown tapestry when buttoned up and wearing both pieces. For this post, I did want to show the full suit, but I think these pieces might actually look a bit better worn separately. The nice thing about suits is exactly that: you can wear the pieces together or separately and get a lot of use from both pieces. I hadn’t ever looked through vintage suits before, but I actually enjoyed it! I found that my suit definitely needed some basic alterations, but otherwise, it was ready to wear.
 
Anyone else have vintage suit tips? Thanks so much for stopping by, readers! I appreciate it so much, and all of your comments!