still merry in marimekko (30 days, day 14)

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Well, readers, I think it’s time that I share…I took note of many of my fellow bloggers and am on my own personal 30 day no shopping challenge. Like most things you are unsure of, I kept this one to myself, figuring I wouldn’t make it. But, I’m 14 days in and I’m pretty sure I might make it (maybe). As a result of my no shopping challenge, I’m all about rotating some of my favorite pieces this month. So, my beloved Marimekko dress is making another appearance. This time, however, I styled it for work. 30 days? I’ve got this. …(right?). Either way, I’m still merry in Marimekko.

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Dress: Marimekko for Banana Republic ($100 marked down from $130, used a coupon)

Shrug: Nordstrom Rack (years ago, maybe $10?)

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

Shoes: Nine West via resale ($2, retail for approx $100)

Short necklace: Fab ($28)

Long necklace: gift

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Fashion Huntress tips:

1) I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again: maxi dresses can be tough to style for work. You don’t want to look too informal, and you don’t want to look overly formal either. For this look, I added a shrug, formal/informal heels, and a belt. I originally had on a statement necklace and it was just too much. So, I kept it simple with more understated jewelry. The key is balancing an informal and formal style to keep it looking like you didn’t come from a beach or a wedding. 

Here’s how I wore it last on a weekend:

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2) Belts can go a long way in giving an outfit a new feel. I really don’t have many belts, but I do rotate them quite a bit. I find a lot of belts on clearance at Ann Taylor Loft and Urban Outfitters. You want to make sure your belts are high quality, or they will be useless when the elastic wears out or the straps break. I look for thick elastic or leather that is genuine leather. 

Anyone else have maxi dress styling tips? Places to find belts? Thanks so much for stopping by, readers! I hope everyone had a great weekend!

whirlwind week

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Sorry for my lack of posts this week, readers! It’s been a whirlwind week that has left my schedule topsy turvy and jam packed. I did manage to squeeze in a couple of photos last weekend on a mini road trip through rural Wisconsin. What up, corn fields.

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If you’ve ever wondered what the Fashion Huntress wears on a mini vacation (which I highly doubt, but hey, maybe you have), look no further! On vacation, I tend to opt for super low key and super comfortable. Even I retire my high heels and statement necklaces sometimes…though I think the cows would have probably appreciated my bling, I’m just saying.

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

Shoes: Naturalizer (maybe $25…years ago)

Purse: Cole Haan ($30 marked down from $300)

Scarf: Ann Taylor (gift)

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Fashion Huntress tips:

1) I’ve been known to seriously underpack on trips. I’ve forgotten pajamas, my toothbrush, my hair brush, you name it. I probably need to work on a checklist or something, but that’s a whole other story. I tend to pack clothes that are in one or two color families. On this trip, I packed predominantly blue clothes and accessories so that I could wear the same scarf and same shoes on both days. I even tend to leave my nails bare so I don’t have to cringe over chips in my polish. I know, I know, it’s extra low maintenance. But, I find I really don’t have to carry too much when I can rotate what I have and not lug around extra things and bags.

2) You still won’t find me in gym shoes pretty much ever, but I can definitely get behind a pair of ballerina style gym shoes. There are a lot of brands that I think have great “gym shoes” that you can wear to work or on trips, as they still look formal enough to be worn with dresses and casual non-gym clothes. I think Aerosoles, Puma, Naturalizer, and Keds all have great options for dressy gym shoes.  Almost all of them can be found at Nordstrom Rack and online. And, of course, always start your search in the sale section! 

Anyone else have vacation packing/fashion tips? Thanks so much for stopping by, readers!

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!