classic in second chances

IMG_1881
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.

IMG_1883IMG_1886IMG_1884IMG_1882
Denim top: Forever 21 ($20)
Black and white top: Elle at Kohl’s
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)

IMG_1885-0
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!

cozy cape (aka ode to sherlock holmes)

IMG_1853-0

Ever since Burberry debuted their cape/blanket wrap/shawl this season, all things cape-like and blanket-like are really having a moment. I can get on board with any trend that allows me to wear a blanket around all day (though not a snuggie, readers) (those are for the privacy of your own home). While the Burberry version is a bit (ha! more than a bit) out of my reach, I did find this nice Sherlock Holmes looking cape (with the tags still on it!) a few weeks ago while thrifting. I’m not sure if it’s an outdoor coat or an indoor coat, but I wore it all day (outside and inside) and really enjoyed myself. Outdoors, I kept buttoned up (it’s breezy and rain out!), but indoors, I let it flow openly. If Sherlock Holmes was a full time professional these days, I suspect he would appreciate the cape debut.

‘It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.’ Sherlock Holmes, A Case of Identity

IMG_1850IMG_1852IMG_1854IMG_1855

Cape: thrifed ($4, tags on it said retails for $60)
Denim top: Forever 21 via thrift ($4, retails for approx $25)
Necklace: Kohl’s ($5 marked down from $32)
Pants: Gap ($7 marked down from $60)
Shoes: Ellen Tracy at DSW ($9 marked down from $99)
IMG_1851
Fashion Huntress tips:
1) Capes and “blanket wraps” really are trending right now. Frankly, I’m a big fan of this trend, but I have a seen a few photos of this trend going in a confusing direction. I, personally, think wearing an actual blanket is a bit shapeless. But, many of the wraps and capes do have a bit more shape so the wearer doesn’t look completely overwhelmed by the piece. For me, this is all about proportion. I paired my cape with skinny pants and heels so outfit felt a bit more balances and didn’t get too “baggy.”
2) This is the perfect time of year (depending on wear you live) to wear coats that have shorter sleeves, vests, or capes! It’s not very cold in Chicago (yet), but definitely requires a coat or vest. I have a random assortment of coats that aren’t really true winter coats, but I tend to overlook as indoor/outdoor pieces. The cape is a good example of a “fall coat” that can be worn indoors and outdoors. Vests are also a great option with button downs and skirts as an indoor/outdoor piece, so consider pulling out your transitional “outdoor” pieces and sporting them as part of your cozy indoor look!
Anyone else have general feelings about the blanket/wrap/cape trend? Thanks so much for stopping by, readers! I hope everyone had a great weekend!

painted and patterned

IMG_1832

Oh, readers, it is that beloved time again: Fashion Week! I’ve been loving all of the the street style posts; seriously, could the attendees look any cooler? And the shows….swoon. So many amazing show posts.  And, of course, last but certainly not least, the September issues are all gloriously out and include hundreds of pages of glossy ads and articles. I’m just swooning…and to top it all off, fall weather hit Chicago today, so I’m even busting out my seasonal mugs. All in all, long story short, this is fashion heaven, if you ask me, and I am loving it. This outfit is my ode to Fashion Week; even though I’m not attending the shows (maybe one day??), I’m pretending I am in my painted and patterned kimono.

IMG_1835IMG_1834IMG_1837IMG_1838

Dress: BCBG via consignment ($35, retails for approx $150)
Leggings: Old Navy (approx $10)
Statement necklace: Kohl’s ($2 marked down from $28)
Triangle necklace: Forever 21 ($3)
Wedges/mules: Rampage via Amazon.com ($22 marked down from $60)
Sandals: Banana Republic (gift)
IMG_1833
Fashion Huntress tips:
1) The mules/wedges pictured here were purchased on Amazon.com. This is actually my first pair of Amazon shoes and let me tell you, I am quite pleased. I actually saw these shoes on the DSW website, but realized they were cheaper on the Amazon.com and came in more colors on Amazon. Hmm. I don’t have enough experience in this area as of yet, but I think it’s worth checking for shoes on Amazon to potentially snag better prices and color options. I’ll report back, though feel free to share feedback, if you have any!
2) I read an interesting article about nail polish in Consumer Reports the other day. Umm, Consumer Reports is where it’s at! I love that magazine- I’m sure no one is surprised by that. They don’t accept payment for any of their reports, and they put out great unbiased reviews. Anyway, check it out; they recommend the Sinful Colors nail polish ($1.99) as their top pick for quality and cost! I love Sinful Colors and normally get it at Walgreens. 
Anyone else have feedback about buying shoes on Amazon? Or Sinful Colors? Thanks so much for stopping by readers; I appreciate it so very much! Have a good rest of the week!

classically custom

IMG_1795

There’s something about the idea of a custom dress that just sounds regal and fancy to me. I envision a tailor bustling to a local castle in a horse-drawn carriage armed with endless fabrics, needles, and gold threads. …clearly I’ve had limited experiences with custom dresses previously, as my vision of them involved a castle.

Anyway, when I was approached by eShakti regarding trying out one of their custom dresses, I really wasn’t sure what to expect. So, I picked a dress, then I pulled out my tape measure, measured myself based on the categories listed on their website, and voila! My dress arrived a week and a half later, and readers, this dress fits like a glove. I don’t want to oversell it, but seriously, it’s magical, so I don’t think I can even oversell it. People actually stopped me on the street to ask about my dress. Apparently, custom dresses are where it’s at. No castle required. I’m loving this new experience in a classically custom dress. Thanks,  eShakti for showing me your ways.
IMG_1796IMG_1800
IMG_1797IMG_1798
Dress: c/o  eShakti
Necklace: Kohl’s ($5 marked down from $32)
Cardigan: Banana Republic (approx $15 marked down from approx $70…few years ago)
Shoes: BCBG via DSW ($11 marked down from approx $100)
IMG_1799
Fashion Huntress tips:
1) eShakti can be found via the following modalities:

Their website, Facebook, and Pinterest

Their pieces are very affordable, especially given that customization is only $7.50 per piece. I found the quality to be excellent- and there are so many pieces from which to choose! Additionally, your first customization is free and you can receive $25 off your first order. You can also make specifications on some pieces regarding the style of the piece (sleeves, no sleeves, etc). The customization measurements were very straightforward, and I was able to easily measure myself (seriously, I’m not flexible). You will need a flexible tape measure to measure around yourself, but other than that, it’s easy peasy. Lastly, readers can get an additional 10% (combinable with other offers) when entering ‘thefashionhuntress’ under your coupon code when you check out- good now through October 5th.
2) In the past, I was hesitant about online shopping because I was not able to try things on. Clearly, customizing pieces makes this a non-issue. Additionally, I’ve found that so many sites now have great zoom features and enable you to really see what the piece is like. I highly recommend using the zoom feature to look through online purchases prior to purchasing, and readings the reviews. Because most online shops don’t edit customer reviews, you’ll get a good idea about fit, quality, etc.
Anyone else have experiences with customization? Any feedback? I hope everyone is having a good start to their week! Thanks so much for stopping by!

mad for summer plaid (aka ode to rainbow brite)

IMG_1730

Well, it’s officially September, readers, which means that sweaters, pumpkins, and scarves aren’t too far off. However, I’m taking in however many days we have left of summer (even the humid days that I complain about), and am enjoying the sun in my favorite rainbow bright summer plaid sundress.

Speaking of bright rainbows, one time I dressed up like Rainbow Brite for Halloween when I was about 4 years old. That costume was super sweet; my mom has some awesome sewing skills and made me the coolest poofy rainbow outfit. For those of you that aren’t familiar, Rainbow Brite was a cartoon character in the 80s and she rode a unicorn (see below picture). I mean, it doesn’t get any cooler, in my book.
Copyright: Hallmark
While I may not have a unicorn (sigh), or a super sweet Rainbow Brite costume anymore (double sigh), I’m still paying my respects to the coolest rainbow unicorn-riding blonde around in my all grown-up rainbow plaid dress; this is my ode to Rainbow Brite. You go, Rainbow.
IMG_1733IMG_1731IMG_1734IMG_1728
Dress: Lux at Urban Outfitters ($20 marked down from approx $100)
Shoes: thrifted ($8, unclear retail price)
Necklace: Urban Outfitters (…years ago, maybe $18?)
IMG_1729
Fashion Huntress tips:
1) As many of you mentioned, based on my last post, these blue shoes would look awesome with shoe clips. If you missed the last post, check them out! I’m officially on the hunt for vintage brooches or vintage clip-on earrings! I also thought about using wire cutters and cutting off the post of a “post” earring and using non-clip-on earrings as shoe clips. Don’t forget about Pinterest for more shoe clip inspiration! The shoe clips I’ve seen online thus far are about $20 a pair, but I’m pretty sure you could make a pair for under $5 if you have a glue gun. Go, DIY!
2) This is clearly a weekend look (especially with back cut-out on the dress). But, I’ve also worn it at work with a blazer. Here’s how I last styled this dress for work:
20130627-191807.jpg
This is one dress that I actually haven’t styled for winter…so I’ll need to give that a try this winter and see how it goes!
Anyone else thinking about busting out their old wedding or bridesmaid shoes? I hope everyone had a great weekend! Thanks so much for stopping by!

reflecting on ruffles

IMG_1766

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.

IMG_1767IMG_1771IMG_1772IMG_1769

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!
IMG_1768
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).
IMG_1773IMG_1764IMG_1771
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~
image
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!

bright white post labor day

IMG_1687

Every once in a while, fashion rules come up on the Fashion Huntress. One rule that often comes up is “no white after Labor Day,” which we’ve pretty much all agreed is not really a rule anymore anyway. I completely agree, so I’m celebrating breaking rules, or lack thereof, in all bright white. I hope everyone had a nice long weekend; they always seem to just go by too quickly, right? Ah well, four more days until the next one…

IMG_1689IMG_1692IMG_1690IMG_1691

Top: c/o Fashion Sky Fall
Pants: Banana Republic (gift)
Belt: Old Navy ($1.99 marked down from $7)
Shoes: Nine West via resale ($12, retails for approx $100)
Necklace: gift
IMG_1688
Fashion Huntress tips:
1) Summer white, despite no real rules, does seem to be slightly different that winter white. I actually saw an interesting article in Vogue about the apparent difference:
As you know, my general rule is that there are no rules, just wear what you love! But, nonetheless, I did enjoy looking through and reading the article. And, I agree that ivory and cream seem to lend themselves well to fall and winter. 
2) Speaking of rules, I went back and forth about wearing hot pink shoes at work quite a bit. As you may know, I have worn them before at work and, ultimately, decided that they are fine at work if toned down quite a bit. I think the all white look makes the shoes still look quite bright, but not overly “showy.” I’m a firm believer that many things that can worn at work, as long as it’s done in a more “conservative” way. Fun shoes deserve to be worn, after all. I mean, you wouldn’t want them sitting all lonely in your closet, right? Lol, okay, I need to stop talking about how clothes and shoes have feelings.
Anyone else have white rules? Non rules? I hope everyone has a great day! Thank you for stopping by!