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April 14, 2018

Hunter for Target Shopping Tips and Alternatives

Hunter for Target review and shopping tips

If you shopped #HunterxTarget online with me last night, I hope you found my Hunter for Target shopping tips helpful and that you were able to get all of your favorites! If you missed out on your Hunter for Target favorites, no worries, because you're in good hands. 

April 20, 2018 update - Target has decided to cancel the Women's tall rain boots. See their statement on the matter. 

As I've witnessed today on social media, many shoppers are upset with the way the launch went. Many were unable to get their must-haves due to high online demand, scarce store distribution, and other issues. A personal note: only one store in my area carried the collection, so I had to travel farther to shop. This strategy on behalf of Target created quite a crowd upon store opening this morning. I was able to shop online last night and buy my favorites, so I feel fortunate overall. Since so many people are not in the same boat, I'm sharing some tips and alternatives. 

April 20, 2018 update - While I normally write shopping and fitting room reviews of these Target collaborations, I debated writing a Hunter for Target review due to my disappointment in the launch as well as the quality issues with the products and lackluster apparel offerings. I couldn't believe that Target would announce that the Women's tall rain boots would be delayed (and recalled) just hours before the online launch. Talk about a blunder. How could both Target and Hunter allow a mistake of this magnitude to happen? What really went wrong in the production or QA process? Why was the quality of the boots so terrible? The pink ankle rain boots I bought (and returned) had visible glue stains, puckers, scuffs, and a crooked Hunter logo. This, in combination with eBay reselling and a lack of strict purchase quantity limits further alienates frustrated customers from shopping limited edition collections in the future. (Missoni and Lilly Pulitzer are great examples.) 

The disappointment is greater knowing that the tall rain boots are Hunter's signature item. If you still have your heart set on getting some, See Hunter's sale section and Nordstrom Rack's discounted selection. 

Dear Target, you owe your customers more than an apology!

1. Search the go-back racks. Many of the clothing/footwear items that disappeared during the launch may have been rejected once they were tried on, so check in stores frequently in the coming days. Keep an eye in all departments, as things sometimes go back to random areas. Ask the fitting room attendant for help. The Target associates in the store I shopped were asking individual guests if we needed help, which was a nice level of service. Even if stores close to you did not carry the collection, keep a watchful eye on the racks (see #2). 

2. Expect to see returns. The return policy for this collection is 14 days, and REDcard holders get an additional 30 days. It's especially smart to check for returns a few days after the launch, once online orders have been received and shoppers return their unwanted items to their local stores. A peek at the customer service desk for returns can't hurt either.

Hunter for Target accessories

3. Check online. Naturally, there are lots of Hunter for Target items available on eBay, as long as you don't mind paying more (which I know, defeats the purpose of these collaborations). Not the best strategy, but there's no shortage of inventory on eBay right now. As of this writing, there are 3,461 items for sale, and I'm sure this number will grow quickly. See my Twitter feed @thekeytochic for sizing and quality tips. 

4. Opt for the real deal. Hunter's wellies are famous for a reason, and you'll know you're getting top quality. You can't go wrong with their Original boots, which come in an array of colors and styles to brighten any rainy day. Plus, Nordstrom Rack has discounted Hunter merchandise, with many items under $100.

Shop Hunter on sale:

If you missed out on the sold-out backpack, see the selection of Hunter backpacks that Zappos has right now, with many on sale.

Shop Hunter backpacks:

If you missed out on the bum bag, shop this quilted belt bag pictured below by A New Day for $24.99. It comes in black and red

A New Day Target belt bag fanny pack

5. Stay updated. Target's last-minute announcement about the Women's tall rain boots being delayed was disappointing, to say the least. I was told in store that it was a distribution problem, although I also heard on Twitter that it was a Quality Assurance (recall) issue. Who knows? Here's Target's explanation. I'll post updates on Twitter as they become available.

6. Stay social. Use #HunterxTarget to connect with other shoppers on social media for trades, Facebook groups, and personal shopping requests. I'll be returning to Target in the coming days to see what's in stock, so feel free to reach out to me with shopping requests (I'm @thekeytochic). 

This post contains affiliate links and I may be compensated if purchases are made by clicking links.

For more #HunterxTarget inspiration and shopping tips, catch up with me on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook @thekeytochic. 

Shop belt bags under $70:

See what's on eBay:

Shop main line Hunter:

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March 4, 2018

16 Tips For How To Shop Hunter for Target

Calling all Target Style and Hunter fans! Mark your calendars and set your reminds for Saturday April 14. Beloved British brand Hunter is partnering with my favorite retailer Target for a limited edition collection of boots, outerwear, clothing, shoes, accessories, and outdoor gear for men, women, and children. The #HunterxTarget collection arrives just in time for festival season, spring showers, and all your outdoor summer activities. 

In breaking with previous Target designer collection launches, #HunterxTarget will launch on a Saturday instead of a Sunday. There are over 300 items, including hammocks, sunshades, and coolers. Prices will range from $5 to $80, with most items under $30. Sizes include XS-3X for women, S-XXL for men, and 18M-XL for kids and toddlers.

April 20, 2018 update - Target has decided to cancel the Women's tall rain boots. See their statement on the matter. 

April 14, 2018 update - The Women's tall rain boots are delayed. See Target's explanation here. Watch my Twitter for updates. 

See my post about how to shop Hunter for Target after the launch and score sold-out items. Hint: Nordstrom Rack has discounted Hunter merchandise, with many items under $100.

If you missed out on the sold-out backpack, see the selection of Hunter backpacks that Zappos has right now, with many on sale.

If you missed out on the popular belt bag, consider these alternatives under $70:

Shop this quilted belt bag pictured below by A New Day for $24.99. It comes in black and red

A New Day Target belt bag fanny pack

Shop main line Hunter on sale:

Shop Hunter backpacks:

March 23, 2018 update - See the HunterxTarget lookbook here. Bookmark this page to shop the collection online once it's available. Also, the collection will be available in select stores. See which stores will have it. See the REDcard exclusive items here. See the online exclusives here.


When will the collection go live on Target.com? The collection will go live at Target.com in the early morning hours of Saturday, April 14. Target is not able to provide a specific time. Helpful hint...if you follow me on Twitter @thekeytochic, you'll be amongst the first to shop the collection.

Purchase quantity limits: There will be no purchase limits in Target stores, and standard limit restrictions will apply at Target.com. Target.com purchases are limited to five of the same item and twenty items per cart.

The return policy: Hunter for Target has a 14-day return policy versus the standard 90-day return policy. REDcard holders will receive a 14-day return policy plus an additional 30 days.

Are any collection items available exclusively in-stores or online? Yes, fewer than 20 items are store exclusives; these are small, low-price items such as wallets. Fewer than 60 items in the collection will be available exclusively at Target.com. See the lookbook for more information.

Preview my favorites:


I'm sharing my in-store and online tips for how to score all your Hunter for Target must-haves.

The In-Store Strategy

1. Know where to go.  Plan your shopping well in advance. I've overheard people calling in sick to work just so they could get in line and shop. Be ready to stand in line on Saturday morning. Once it's published, use the store locator to find the stores near you that'll stock the #HunterxTarget collection. 

2. Phone it in. Be extra prepared by calling your local store the week before the launch to confirm if they'll carry the collection and exactly where in the store it'll be located.

3. Be an early bird. You know what they say about the early bird. Stores open at 8am on launch days. I've found in the past that if I arrive by 7:30am or earlier, then I'm able to get what I want due to decreased demand in my geographic region. 
For shoppers who live in large cities, I recommend going at least 1-2 hours before the store opens if you're really motivated to be the first to shop. For shoppers in more suburban or rural areas, the competition and crowds are reduced, but the selection of goods may be as well. In my experience, stock varies widely from store to store. Sometimes metropolitan area stores and stores in higher income neighborhoods carry a better selection of merchandise. It takes some trial and error to find the best stores in your area, and visiting more than one store (if you can) is advised.

4. Bring a buddy. A family member, friend, or significant other might be able to help you get the pieces you want and help you make purchasing decisions. 
Or even better, have a dedicated friend tackle one store while you visit another. "Divide and conquer" should be your strategy! Arrange to meet in line at the same time or go to the store together so you're not cutting in line and you can be in the same shopper group for maximum teamwork. The Lanvin x HM faux fur coat and embellished tee would not be mine if not for a dedicated boyfriend. The same goes for the Isabel Marant x HM fringe boots, and I feel very grateful. Full disclosure: I may or may not have bribed him to shop with me in exchange for a lavish Sunday brunch. 

5. Check for go-backs and barter. If your favorite pieces disappear from the racks in a flash, be courteous, be patient, and don't be afraid to chat with employees and other shoppers to politely trade to get what you want! Just respect the rules that they have in store. The fitting rooms are a great place to start.

6. Know your limits. There are quantity limits per person on these collections to prevent buying in bulk, and the return policy time frame is shorter (usually 14 days for purchases made in stores). Be aware of these restrictions in order to prevent any buyer's remorse. 

7. Persistence pays off. Target does not restock these collections, but you can still score your favorites. If you don't find what you want after the launch, check back for returns in the coming days, as many shoppers make returns. Don't forget to check the customer service desk and clearance racks for returns in early and mid May as well. 
After four or so weeks, the collection might be discounted to 30% (and eventually to 50% or 70%) off, so frequent visits to Target after the launch could really pay off. In mid August 2015, I found some returned Lilly for Target shorts in my size for 50% off. Score! Call your local stores to ask what they have in stock and use #HunterxTarget on social media to buy/trade with others.

8. Consider main line Hunter instead. With inflated resale prices on eBay and other platforms after the launch, you can likely buy main line Hunter and Hunter on sale for less than the marked up resale prices. Consider shopping the real deal if you aren't able to get your #HunterxTarget wish list items.

Hunter for Target lookbook preview

Hunter for Target lookbook preview

The Online Strategy

1. Learn the lookbook. Study the Hunter for Target lookbook preview carefully to select your favorites, get outfit inspiration, research the sizing, choose colorways, see online exclusives, set a budget, and check the prices. 

2. Play favorites. Make a list or collage of your favorites to help you stick to your budget and prioritize your potential purchases.

3. Know when and how to shop. Be extra prepared by using more than one web browser, mobile device, etc. Refresh your browser often and have patience. These collections don't always launch at a specific time. Expect some glitches and be persistent. Remember that patience is key. (If I was forced to choose between shopping online and in store, I'd shop in store. This allows you to try things on, see the sizing, and not have to deal with website glitches.) 

4. Save your info. As the time to shop online approaches, log onto target.com and have your checkout and payment details saved ahead of time. Bookmark this page to shop the Hunter collection. Clear your cart of any items in order to streamline the checkout process. This reduces the chances of having your cart emptied of any out-of-stock items before you can click the "complete order" button.

5. Click quickly. Shop your top pick(s) first and submit your order right after placing in your cart. Do not shop and fill up your cart. Why? Once an item is in your cart, it's not reserved for you. In order to avoid an item being removed from your cart because it's sold out, you need to click quickly and complete your order! That's why I create a prioritized wish list and try to buy my top picks first. 

6. Multi-task. While shopping online, be extra prepared by using more than one web browser, mobile device, etc. Sometimes items become available first on the mobile site, and sometimes they don't. Sometimes some shoppers can see certain items while others cannot. Refresh your browser often and have patience. Items tend to pop up and then disappear during the initial launch. Expect some glitches but don't give up. Remember, persistence and patience are key, and you may have to sacrifice some sleep if you're really motivated to snag your favorites. Let's all hope that Target's site won't have a Missoni or Lilly flashback with all those technical issues. 

7. Save your info and get a RedCard. If you don't have one already, then consider getting a RedCard. Why? Target RedCard users enjoy free shipping, an extra 30 days to return certain merchandise, and a 5% discount on purchases. In a new move, Target is offering RedCard holders the ability to shop exclusive colors (see them here) of select Hunter for Target styles online beginning April 7. Hello, early access!


8. A little birdie said to stay social. Don't miss out on the online launch. Please join me on Friday April 6 and Friday April 13 at 9pm Pacific time on Twitter @thekeytochic to get tips, ask questions, share your excitement, discuss your favorites, and most importantly, get help to be the first to shop the #HunterxTarget collection. 

Sign up for Target's email updates right here

Find me on Snapchat, TwitterFacebook, and Instagram @thekeytochic for shopping info, collection updates, sizing info, and more. 

Hunter for Target men's olive rain boots

Above, an olive green pair of Men's Hunter for Target rain boots ($40). 

This post contains affiliate links and I may be compensated if purchases are made by clicking links.

Shop Hunter on sale:

See the latest from Hunter:

Preview Hunter for Target:

Shop Hunter:

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February 27, 2018

Women's 2018 Fashion Trends at MAGIC Trade Show

As I browsed hundreds of booths at MAGIC Trade Show earlier this month, I photographed anything and everything that captured my attention. After a few hours, it all became a blur of prints, colors, and silhouettes. The more memorable looks on the trade show floor tend to stand out to me because of a new color scheme, silhouette, print mix, or unexpected pairing. For spring/summer 2018, I've chosen to highlight seven key themes that kept emerging as I strolled past vendor after vendor. In terms of color, millennial pink is still going strong, but there's a new player in town - lilac. This season it's a pastel shade of purple with pink undertones. Think Ultra Violet, Pantone's color of the year, but more muted and soft. It's already popping up in retail stores, and fortunately, if you've stocked up on all things millennial pink, they work well together. 

Here's a look at the top seven Women's trends I spotted for spring/summer 2018.

1. Ruffled Sleeves
All kinds of statement sleeves dominated the show this season, but tiered and ruffled sleeves were the main attraction. Bonus points for pairing with a ruffled skirt (see number 4 below). 

ruffled sleeves fashion trend 2018

See more ruffled sleeves:

2. Tie Waist Details
While self belts on tops and dresses aren't new, the tie waists on trousers, skirts and denim feel fresh and chic. They are easy to style with crop tops and tucked-in blouses. Paper bag waists like on the skirt below are a key detail as well.

tie waist fashion trend 2018

More tie waists:

3. Woven Straw Bags
The straw/acrylic handbag craze launched by Cult Gaia's ubiquitous Ark bag in 2017 continues with new styles that include round shapes, ring handles, and picnic-inspired silhouettes. 

straw bag fashion trend spring summer 2018

Browse more straw bags:

4. Flirty Ruffled Skirts
Wrap style mini skirts and pencil midi styles feature ruffles, tiers, and flounces galore. The more details, the better. 

ruffle skirt fashion trend 2018

See more ruffled skirts:

5. Colorful Camouflage Prints
While florals, stripes, and gingham are standard spring/summer print staples, camouflage is emerging in colorful and embroidered versions for a modern take on military-inspired style.

colorful camouflage fashion trend 2018

Discover more camouflage:

6. Pretty in Pastels
Color trends are all over the map, but one major theme stood out. I spotted a wide variety of pastels including mint, lavender, blush, mauve, banana, lilac, and peach. 

pastel colors for spring summer 2018

Shop pastels:

7. Vertical Stripes
Spring/summer is the season of stripes, more specifically, vertical stripes. When teamed with the aforementioned ruffles and tie-waist details, it creates a fun, embellished look for summer.

stripe print fashion trend 2018

See more vertical stripes:

This post contains affiliate links and I may be compensated if purchases are made by clicking links.

Catch up with me on InstagramFacebookTwitter, or Snapchat @thekeytochic. 

Get more fashion trend reports here:

Five denim trends for 2018

Five Women's footwear trends for 2018 

Men's spring summer 2018 fashion trend forecast

Women's spring summer 2018 fashion trend forecast

Women's fall 2018/winter 2019 fashion trend forecast (macro trends)

Women's fall 2018/winter 2019 trend forecast (four key themes)

Women's spring summer 2019 fashion trend forecast

Browse more trends for 2018:

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February 19, 2018

Top Women's Footwear Trends for 2018

I've just returned from a season at MAGIC trade shows, the biggest American trade show for the fashion industry. FNPlatform is the footwear division that's part of MAGIC, and I scoured the trade show floor to document emerging shoe trends for spring and fall 2018. In this report, I'll be sharing the top five themes that stood out. So let's get started.

1. Sculptural Statement Heels
Sure, kitten heels and block heels are strong silhouettes for 2018, but there's a new movement towards more sculptural heels for spring and fall. Cone shapes, slight curves, and artistic shapes take center stage. Clockwise, from top left: Carrano, N.Y.L.A., Vicenza, and Carrano.

sculptural heels trend 2018

See more sculptural heels:

2. High Shine
Practically every booth I peeked into or browsed included some representation of glossy finishes, metallics, or patent leather. With the resurgence of the '80s this fall, footwear is right in line with this notice-me trend. Clockwise, from top left: Carrano, Vicenza, N.Y.L.A., and Carrano

metallic shoes fashion trend 2018

Shop shiny shoes:

3. Slide Them On
The chic mule silhouette (in a pointy toe shape) continues to be a strong theme for 2018, as do casual slide sandals. Expect to see fun embellishments such as embroidery, fringe, lace-up details, and shiny finishes. Clockwise, from top left: Vicenza, Ipanema, Schutz, and Schutz.

mules and slides footwear fashion trend 2018

See more slides and mules:

4. Fit To Be Tied
Knotted and bow details add flair to chic booties, sleek heels, and fun sandals. Combined with metallics and muted shades of pink, they make a stylish statement. Clockwise, from top left: Schutz, Vicenza, Coconuts by Matisse, and Schutz.

knotted bow shoe trend 2018

Browse knotted and bow styles:

5. Menswear Moment
Loafers, booties, and oxfords get the menswear treatment with plaid prints, buckles, grommets, and two-tone styling. Clockwise, from top left: Vicenza, N.Y.L.A., N.Y.L.A., and N.Y.L.A

menswear shoe trend fall 2018

See more menswear shoes:

This post contains affiliate links and I may be compensated if purchases are made by clicking links.

Follow along on social media @thekeytochic for more trend reports and fashion inspiration. 
See more trends for spring 2018 in my retail report on The Key To Chic and get more fashion inspiration via my blogs:

Women's 2018 denim trends

Men's spring summer 2018 fashion trend forecast

Women's spring summer 2018 fashion trend forecast

Women's fall 2018/winter 2019 fashion trend forecast (macro trends)

Women's fall 2018/winter 2019 trend forecast (four key themes)

Women's spring summer 2019 fashion trend forecast

Love shoes as much as I do? See more shoe trends.

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February 3, 2018

Universal Thread at Target Review

When Target launches a new brand, I'm always intrigued to see more and shop the line as soon as it hits stores. So when I spotted their denim-centric brand this month called Universal Thread, I had to get a closer look. Target describes the Women's line as a "lifestyle brand that's grounded in denim." Sizes range from 00 to 26, and prices are under $39.99. Sounds good to me!

February 21, 2018 update - See five key 2018 denim trends for Women in my MAGIC trade show report on Fashion Trend Guide.

Universal Thread aims to be inclusive and cater to all women, offering a variety of fits, rises, lengths, and sizes. With features such as slimming pockets, better fabric, contoured waistbands, adaptive clothing, sustainable pockets, and recycled cotton, this line sets itself apart from the competition.

Here's a preview of what the two Target stores near me carried. 

Universal Thread Target review

Dark denim prevailed here, with skirts, woven tops, and denim dresses rounding out the mix.

Universal Thread Target denim review

Visual merchandising felt more boutique-like, although I was not inspired to create complete looks because the tops and bottoms were scattered around.

Universal Thread Target jeans

Woven blouses have an airy, boho feel. 

Universal Thread Target blouses

Embroidered denim, a key trend for spring/summer '18, is seen on these white skinny jeans ($27.99). 

Universal Thread Skinny jeans

There are also accessories and footwear, found in their respective departments. (Not a lot of cross merchandising here.) 

Universal Thread accessories

Below, high rise raw hem straight jeans ($27.99) and a navy gingham dress in cotton ($24.99). I have these jeans in size 0 (they run slightly big). They keep their shape, are comfortable and fit like a girlfriend jean with a flattering high rise.

Universal Thread Target jeans and plaid dress


The footwear has a homespun, basic feel, with lots of slides, sandals, and a few boots.

Universal Thread Target shoes

I tried on my usual size 7 for reference. 

The Ava Shield espadrille sandals ($32.99) are my top pick. The round buckle and cognac color give them a retro feel, while the 2.5" wedge height is easy to walk in and comfortable. These run true to size and also come in black. 

Universal Thread Ava shield espadrille sandal

The Aurora backless sneakers ($27.99) were much more cushioned and bouncy that they look. I like the sporty, effortless vibe. As far as sizing, they run slightly big. I'd go down half a size.

Universal Thread Aurora backless sneakers

The Autumn braided cut out boots ($34.99) are comfortable and run true to size if worn barefoot. If you have wide feet, I'd go half a size up. I found these to be more comfortable than expected. They were easy enough to slip on and look great with cropped denim. These also come in black. 

Universal Thread Autumn braided cut out boots

The Wenda cutout boots (A Free People dupe) are selling out quickly. They are $32.99 and also come in ivory. I tried on my usual size 7 and they felt snug as well as comfortable. If you have wide feet, I'd go up half a size. The texture has a nice faux leather feel, and the cut out detail gives some breathability. 

Universal Thread Target Wenda cutout boots

In the Fitting Room

Notes on fit: it runs similar to Mossimo and Mossimo Supply Co. 
Notes on quality: no loose threads, tricky openings, or stuck zippers spotted.
Notes on price: the denim is a good bargain, with everything I tried on under $30.

On the left is the railroad jacket ($29.99) in small with my boyfriend jeans from Zara. The jacket has an easy fit, snap front closures, and ties on the inside to cinch the waist. I liked the small striped print and laid-back vibe. What's cool about this is that it can be worn open as a jacket or closed as a layering shirt. 

On the right is the red floral woven top in small ($24.99) with the tie-front wide leg jeans ($27.99). I loved the cotton fabric and the elastic cuffs on the blouse, and found the fit to be loose. I'd size down on this if I plan to wear it tucked in. The jeans have a high rise, center back zip, and run very small in the waist. I'm wearing a size 2. They don't have back pockets so they're not that flattering on the booty. I liked the length, the side pockets, and the cute tie at the waist. 

Universal Thread Target railroad jacket denim

Denim disclosure: I have a weakness for grey jeans. I'm ashamed to admit how many pairs I own, mostly from J Brand and Old Navy. This distressed pair ($24.99) really impressed me. I'm wearing a size 0, and I usually get a 0 or 2 at Target. The rise is high, which I love, the pockets are not shallow in the front, and the distressed hem was a cool touch. I found them to be flattering both in front and back. I'm happy to report no gapping in the waistband! 

On pocket placement: sometimes the back pockets can be too small or placed to far/close together, giving an unflattering look. These were designed better than some of the Mossimo jeggings I've purchased at Target, and they met all my criteria for a great pair of skinnies. With 2% spandex, they're not too stretchy, and have enough heft to keep their shape. The 26" inseam means I don't have to hem these, so no #shortgirlproblems. I took these home without hesitation.

February 15, 2018 update: I've worn the grey jeans twice now, and I love them. They don't stretch up after a few hours of wear, which is nice. I also bought the high rise skinny crop ($24.99) in a size 2 because they didn't have a size 0. After wearing them all day and walking around, they stretched up in the waist and hip area. 

Shoe note: I'm wearing ruffled slides by Nine West, available here in black or here in natural

Universal Thread Target grey skinny jeans

I wasn't impressed by the tees, handbags, or belts, so I passed on those. My hope is that there are more woven tops, novelty jackets, embellished jeans, and on-trend blouses in the coming seasons. As far as denim, I'll be trying on some straight leg, embroidered, and high rise skinnies when I can find them in stores. 

As more of these Universal Thread pieces trickle into stores, I'll be sharing my favorites on social media @thekeytochic.

This post contains affiliate links and I may be compensated if purchases are made by clicking links.

Shop my favorites:

Shop more options by Universal Thread:

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