denim denim everywhere

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I’m not even going to go on and on about denim today, because clearly I do that enough (long story short, I LOVE denim). I may have a problem (ie approx five denim shirts). But, let’s move on from that potential awkwardness, and focus on why I stock denim in this way. Case in point: the denim dress day. 

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Dress: Love Ady via Nordstrom Rack ($20 marked down from approx $80)
Cardigan: Target ($7 marked down from $25)
Necklace: Anthropologie (gift)
Shoes: Nine West via consignment ($8, retail for approx $100)
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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) Denim is so versatile. If there’s one thing to have around in your closet for casual Fridays, easy Mondays, or any day where you want to look put together quickly, pick up denim anything and add heels and/or big jewelry. Additionally, it’s definitely wearable all four seasons. Here are some of the ways I’ve styled this dress in the past:
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2) There’s a really interesting section of Nordstrom Rack that has dresses for around $20. They aren’t clearance dresses; they just have a generally fairly low price point. I sometimes have to look around a little to find this area, but there’s normally a few racks that are the square (as opposed to round) racks that have the <$20 dresses. I’ve found the quality of these dresses to be good, though I would encourage machine washing on a gentle cycle and line drying, just to be on the safe side. 
 
Anyone else loving denim this summer? Thanks so much for stopping by, readers! Happy Monday!! 

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! 

spots and stripes (and splashes)

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Hum dum, another Monday, readers, right? As far as I’m concerned, the only guaranteed way to jazz up a Monday is with a good outfit and/or good pair of shoes. I may have the Monday blues, but I think sporting a spots and stripes jumper dress look in all blues is the best way to embrace them. …and yes, it sure did start raining during this photo shoot. In the spirit of embracing Monday, I went with it!

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Dress: Marc Jacobs via consignment at Buffalo Exchange ($35, retails for approx $1,000+)
Top: Forever 21 via thrift ($3, retails for approx $20)
Shoes: Mia Limited Edition via thrift ($7, retail for approx $150)
Necklace: Charming Charlie’s (approx $10, marked down from approx $30)
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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) When shopping any sort of consignment or thrift, I’m always on the lookout for fakes. Sometimes, it’s very easy to spot a faux couture piece, but there is the occasional piece that I’m not sure of. One way to check apparel is to look at the tag, look for the “RN number,” and then look-up the the registered identification number to ensure that the RN is, in fact, the company you believe it is.  
 
Example from tag of dress featured in this post:
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Website to check:
(click on ‘search the database’) 
 
While I don’t think checking the tag is 100% guarantee that you have an authentic piece, it’s one way to potentially weed out fakes. Another way to check tags a bit more quickly is to do a Google image search of the tags for a particular designer and compare the tag you have to the online pictures. 
 
2) Jumpers (especially layered jumpers) can get really juvenile looking really quick. I paired this layered jumper look with some serious heels to give it a grown-up feel. Personally, I think this particular styling with flats could look a little school uniform-esque (no offense, Marc Jacobs).  Additionally, full skirt jumpers (ie my favorite kind of jumper) can leave the wearer looking overwhelmed by volume, so heels help streamline the look and add height. The key to younger looking pieces is to style them accordingly. 
 
Anyone else have designer fakes/faux tips? Thanks for stopping by, readers! I hope everyone has a good start to the week!

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.

unseen gone seen

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Seeing clothes in a new way (specifically the ones hanging in our own closets) is not easy, if you ask me. I’ve been styling my shirt dresses in a fairly consistent way, until a posting on gap.com rocked my world.

Exhibit A:

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photo via gap.com

What? A button down over a button down? …world rocked. Maybe this is a fairly obvious styling to others, but it wasn’t to me! While I was pondering seeing things in new ways, I started to wonder how much I might be missing in other areas. So, I started by challenging myself to look around me more, and look at things in a new way. I thought, “it’s the same old walk home, same old commute…or is it?”

Exhibit B:

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Photo challenge one: really check out something on my walk home. “Is this Hogwarts? Or down the street from me?”

Exhibit C:

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Photo challenge two: look at something I haven’t seen before on my walk to work…”there’s flowers here? Huh.”

Fashion again becomes a metaphor for life. My notes to self: look around you! See something you’ve “seen” but haven’t really seen. Style something in a new way. Okay, I’ll stop my gabbing now. Here’s my take on the Gap look, it’s the unseen styling gone seen…(though btw, sorry the dress is a little wrinkled. Probs should have ironed that this morning, but I really couldn’t be bothered).

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Dress: Gap ($10 marked down from $60)

Button down: Gap ($7 marked down from $50)

Sandals: Chinese Laundry via Nordstrom Rack (hmm..years ago, maybe $20)

Belt: Bitten by Sarah Jessica Parker ($9) (I know, I know, I’ve said it before, but I miss that collection!)

Bag: Kate Spade (gift)

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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) Oh snap. Gap’s sale is 40% off their sale items (in-stores), so now is the time to grab a shirt dress, if you are interested! Additionally, they are stocking a lot of shorts, summer scarves and flats on sale right now. Most items were <$20 in the store. There were also a ton of jean jackets on sale for around $20, which is a great price for a jacket that you will wear forever because let’s face it, I don’t think jean jackets ever go out of style. As you know, I don’t do a ton of online shopping, but the online sale was also quite good. 

2) I’ve found that online shops, catalogs, and other fashion blogs (of course!) have a lot of great inspiration to help think of clothes in new ways. I can often re-create looks from what I have already in my closet (ie the look today!). Additionally, even if you find something in the store, you can look online at how the retailer styled the idea. I often get great inspiration that way. And, of course, my deep love …Pinterest. Pinterest is a gold mine of styling images, and tons of bloggers share their outfits on Pinterest, so you can follow them to get automatic updates. 

Anyone else finding some great summer sales lately? Hard to believe that summer clothes are already on sale, right? Thanks so much for stopping by; I appreciate it so much!

kickin’ it in keds

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I have many fond memories of spending summers in white Keds. From what I remember, Keds were just plain white back when I was a mini Huntress. I’ve kept my eye on Keds ever since those days and umm, what up, fancy Keds? There are all sorts of fun designs, colors, and collaborations now. There’s both a Kate Spade and Taylor Swift collaboration, to name two of my favorites. In short, gym shoes have gone fun, fancy, and classy. And frankly, that’s the only way you’re gonna see this Huntress in gym shoes outside of a gym (…and you don’t see me there much, either! HA!). I have no idea why it took me so long to get back on the bandwagon, but I’m on it: kickin’ it in Keds. And I might add…my feet thanked me for sparing them a day in heels (though, as you can see, I kept a pair of heels with me for meetings) (sorry feet).

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Dress: Gap ($24 marked down from $60)

Scarf: H&M (long time ago, maybe $4-5?)

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

Keds: Keds via Nordstrom Rack ($30 marked down from $50)

Red heels: Audrey Brooke at DSW ($30 marked down from $60)

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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) I actually hadn’t seen Keds in Nordstrom Rack prior to recently, but they are all over the place in my local Nordstrom Rack! Most are at least $20 off their regular retail price.  Additionally, Keds online has a great sale selection. You really can’t beat their sale prices for gym shoes that really hold up. …only downside? You’ll probably be tempted to buy more than one pair, if you’re anything like me! However, you can also sign up for their emails and get additional discounts when they have sales.  Sale shoes can be found here: http://www.keds.com/en/women-shopby-sale/
2) Shirt dresses are where it’s at, readers! I posted yesterday about the joys of long sleeve dresses, and they can be found everywhere, though I find most of mine at Gap. The great thing about Gap is they seem to have the same style of shirt dress every season, which always fits the same way and is totally durable, and varied patterns by season. Their online sale going on right now has many shirtdresses for $15-$20. Sold. You can find them via Gap’s website: http://www.gap.com
As a side note, this dress was last seen here and styled slightly differently, just to give you an idea of how versatile they can be:
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If you have tips on stylin’ gym shoes, leave them below! Thanks so much for stopping by, readers, as always!

safari chic

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Even though it’s no longer the weekend, my mind was clearly still dreaming of vacation, as someone pointed out to me that I looked ready for a safari today in my outfit. I was feeling all sorts of safari chic which, I think, makes sense. After all, whether it be the urban jungle, the general jungle of life, or a safari vacation, it’s always good to be prepared and look the part: safari chic. Rarrr. I could totally dodge a lion in these sandals, right?

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Dress: Burberry (gift)
Shoes: Marni via consignment ($25, retail for approx $500)
Necklace: Nadri via Nordstrom Rack ($14 marked down from $50)
Bracelet: gift from Africa
Giraffe ring: Forever 21 (set of three animals, only featured one, $5)
Earrings: gift from Panama
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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) Long sleeve dresses are totally wearable in summer, especially if styled with “summer” pieces. Here, I wore this long sleeve dress with open toed sandals and no tights. The summer sandals keep the look from seeming too fall or winter. As for transitioning this dress, add some tights and boots and it’s ready for fall and winter. Here’s how I styled it last winter:
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2) Mixing all sorts of pieces is one of my favorite ways of styling via the high/low price point method. I’m a firm believer that you can make just about anything look great with one great piece. Investment pieces (one great pair of shoes, a dress, pants, purse, etc.) can help your other everyday items like that much nicer. I like to pick investment pieces that are wearable year round…and of course, finding investment pieces on sale is ideal! I like Nordstrom Rack, Saks Off Fifth, and the Bloomingdale’s Outlet for designer pieces, though I think the prices are Nordstrom Rack really cannot be beat.
Anyone else have a favorite investment pieces? Tips for finding them? Thanks so much for stopping by, readers! I hope everyone is having a good start to the week!