Red Carpet Style Preview at Westfield Hawthorn – Vote for Your Favorite!

Suburban Life Magazine – Lake County hosts their annual Women of Distinction Awards Luncheon this Thursday, October 30th in Hawthorn Woods.  In September, we were delighted to announce that our very own Founder and Mom-in-Chief, Melissa Haak, had been named as a Lake County Woman of Distinction.  We couldn’t agree more!  You’ll find Melissa and other female leaders in this month’s issue.

Image from Suburban Life Magazine - Lake County on Facebook
Image from Suburban Life Magazine – Lake County on Facebook

But as a busy mom of four, who spends much of her day in her minivan shuttling her brood to and fro (all while managing a social media empire – thank you) looking red-carpet ready hasn’t been one of her main priorities.  So we asked our friends at Westfield Hawthorn Shopping Center to help out!  Still, no shopping trip is complete without some input from our girlfriends.  So readers – yeah you!  Help a girl out why dontcha’?  Help Melissa select her best Red Carpet look for this Thursday! ~ Loralie, Little Lake County Features Editor & Marketing Director

From Melissa:

As a tween in the 80’s/90’s I could spend a day at the mall. We would fill dressing rooms with outfits and dresses and spend hours trying on clothes. I don’t have the time or the body for that anymore. Aside from the need to still lose a bit of the “baby weight” shopping with a 3 year old and 18 month old means you have approximately 90 minutes and one large cup of pretzels bites before they thrown themselves out of the stroller in a total meltdown (ask me how I know).

The 3 year old is actually a scary good personal shopper
The 3 year old is actually a scary good personal shopper

Armed with the knowledge that I had limited time and a somewhat limited budget ($200 for everything) I met up with Managing Editor Hyacynth at Westfield Hawthorn. The plan – hit up the old reliable’s Banana Republic and Loft, check out New York & Company because sometimes I strike gold there, check JCPenny’s for budget-friendly options and finally Macy’s because generally I can always find something for any occasion there.

If I’m shopping at a mall I like Hawthorn because it doesn’t feel like I am walking 2 miles between each store, and with two kids this huge! Their family lounge is also a huge plus, it actually made me miss having a nursing baby and proved to be a refuge when the little ones were at their wits ends.  They also have a brand new family friendly dining court and coming soon a new play area!

We shared photos with our Facebook fans before we headed out (doesn’t everyone pre-shop online? I need to be efficient!) and we shared some peeks with you as we went. Here is a sampling of some of the outfits…note to self next time wear the spanx to try on the outfits.

Dress Shopping at Macys

First stop was Macy’s because that’s where we parked. The problem of shopping with an exuberant 3 year old and an optimist 10 years my younger became immediately clear. My daughter would declare every dress beautiful and Hyacynth kept insisting I was dressing old. Sigh. I tried on the most dresses here and could have gotten any of these pictured.

The black and white one was my favorite (worst picture) it’s a Lauren by Ralph Lauren dress. I also liked the second one, especially the cut (more flattering) but the color wasn’t exactly fall. Hyacynth didn’t like the stripes -too stuffy and the sweater dress was such a disappointment. I really wanted to like it but the high/low hemline doesn’t work for me and the sleeves were just, yuck.

Event dressing at Loft

I was bummed at Loft as they didn’t have a lot of dressy options out yet. The first dress was a fan favorite in our pre-shopping posts and it was  nice… it just didn’t feel right. The dress on the end is the same style, different pattern and I didn’t like it. The skirt in the middle was fabulous. I love a good pencil skirt and this was black lace/crochet. It was classic but updated and interesting I loved it, I may go back and get it. However there was nothing to pair with it on top that was dressy. Hyacynth loved the look for going to work, but not a luncheon, and since I work from home in the wee hours of the day….well the skirt stayed…for now.


We went to New York & Company next but have few pictures on account of several bathroom breaks needed in a row by children.  I was really interested in the Eva Mendes collection but it was pretty picked over in my size and the lace sleeved dress we shared on our page before heading out ended up being too heavy for a luncheon {Eva Mendes shown in stock image, in case you were confused}. I did really like this plum one.

Two more stores…come on kids, we can do this!

Banana Republic Style

I love Banana Republic we should probably get that out in the open first. I actually bought both of these dresses…so more on them below….

Last but not least,

Jcpenny fall style

JcPenny used to be my go to store, but has been rather hit or miss lately. There are some great designer lines there now but there is a lot to pick through. Everyone was done at this point, can you tell how tired we are? We also had to go get kids from school so we were crunched for time. My tiny personal shopper, seen beaming proudly, picked out the blue one. She really wanted me to wear blue (ignore the jeans still on), it would need hemming though and I had no time for that. The sweater dress was bought, so that means we have three contenders:


So what should I wear? I love 1 and 3 and think they are probably more appropriate for an event.  Sorry number 3 isn’t styled, I ran out of time. I would probably do black heels and a sparkly necklace.

Vote for what I should wear in the comments below. Be sure to follow us on Facebook where we will be posting live updates of the event and the prep with Cali Parisi Laursen Artistry.



Disclosure: Westfield Hawthorn provided Melissa with a gift card to shop with for this style post. No other compensation was receieved and all thoughts and opinions are that of the author. 


Dance academy of Libertyville
About Loralie 266 Articles
When Loralie isn’t out exploring with her two pint-sized adventurers you’ll often find her in front of her computer plotting to take over the world (or at least Lake County.) She appreciates good friends, good food, expensive shoes and parents who make two lanes in the drop-off/pick-up line at school. Her spirit animal is The Hobbit. She invites you to join her on her quest for unique distractions, diversions and deliciousness in this county we call home. She is the Features Editor and Marketing Director at Little Lake County.

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