Category: Spotlight Series

Reader Spotlight: The Dress Every Woman Should Own

I’m excited to share my first post in my NEW Reader Spotlight series. I love when my readers reach out to me and share their purchases or information learned from ARTicles of Clothing blog. Nothing is more satisfying than connecting with my readers and hearing that AOC Blog has made an impact in their personal style and their wardrobe!

The reader in today’s feature purchased a dress based on one of the first posts on AOC Blog: Every Woman Should Own a Dress by this Brand. This post features one of my all time favorite lines, Tart Collections. The brand’s signature is its sleek jersey material that is both incredibly comfortable and drapes beautifully on the body. Over the years, Tart Collections has expanded from its trademark dresses to a full line of apparel, outerwear, intimates, and swim! If you’re looking for the ideal piece to take you from day to night or work to play, look no further than Tart Collections.

Evan in Tart AOC Blog Reader Feature

This reader is wearing one of Tart’s classic maxi dresses styled with the Hobo the Original Lauren Wallet, the accessory I deemed “the best wallet you’ll ever own.” Although the Hautelook sale event featured in my original post had ended, this reader also took into account my motto “never pay full price for anything” when shopping for her Tart maxi. She visited one of my recommended members only sample sale sites, Gilt Groupe, to purchase her first Tart Collections dress! Tart is a brand that is consistently featured in limited time sales events on such sites, so you too can snag you first Tart frock for a steal. The new Nordstrom Rack online is another great place to shop discounted Tart merchandise. They currently have over 50 Tart Collections styles in stock, including nearly 20 styles of dresses. I personally own an array of styles of Tart dresses – from strapless to long sleeve – and each is uniquely flattering and feminine.

If you have purchased an item or implemented advice featured on ARTicles of Clothing Blog, I would love to hear from you! Connect with me with the details and you could be the next reader to be featured in my Reader Spotlight Series!

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A Fusion of Music and Fashion

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Erica Bryan has pursued her artistry through theatre and music since childhood. From an early age, she realized that she’s not afraid of failing, she’s “only afraid of never trying.” This principle has guided her craft and her career around the country from her hometown outside of Atlanta to New York City, and finally to her current home base in Nashville, TN. Erica believes her theatre experience has enhanced her new journey as a singer, which springs from her realization that her goals for theatre and songwriting are one in the same: to make people feel something.

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I can say first hand that Erica is making people feel something through her artistry. She gave me an exclusive preview of her debut single, This House is Haunted, and encouraged me to draw inspiration from the song to compose the wardrobe for her upcoming performance in Atlanta at Smith’s Olde Bar.

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Erica’s debut single has a beautiful balance of light and dark. When you first hear the title of single, the word “haunted” elicits that feeling of darkness and possibly a place that is plagued by something or someone. As you listen to the verses, a lightness trickles in, revealing a sense of nostalgia and fondness. While it’s evident that the speaker is in fact haunted by a person or memory, there is a warmth and deep connection, possibly even love, with the “ghost.” It’s this sensation that is truly “haunting” the speaker and illustrates the dichotomy between light and dark in the song. This duality instantly became the inspiration for her look.

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While styling Erica for her performance in Atlanta, I focused on the balance of light and dark, the juxtaposition of softness and strength, and the harmony of femininity and edginess. As I proposed concepts, we both felt inspired by Kristen Stewart’s upcoming Chanel Pre-Fall campaign, Paris-Dallas, which plays with opposing styles from the cities and blurs the line between the two cultures.

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We built her ensemble around a key piece featuring one of spring’s top trends, fringe. In addition to the cropped fringe faux leather jacket, Erica purchased a pair of statement studded black booties. The rest of the outfit evolved from staple pieces in Erica’s closet: faux leather pants, a flowy silk and lace tank, and vibrant turquoise jewelry. The finished look stayed true to Erica’s Country/Folk vibe and illustrated the play between light and dark in This House is Haunted.

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For more information on Erica, please visit her website and listen to her music on Reverbnation. Her debut single, This House is Haunted will be available for purchase on iTunes May 13. Until then you can listen to this exclusive preview on Erica’s YouTube page. Erica is also active on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram, so connect with her on these platforms to follow along with her journey!

Photographed by Angie Webb of Suburbanite Photography

First Day of Spring Fashion

I’m so excited to celebrate the first day of spring with a spotlight on the spring look book from one of my favorite boutiques: Encore.

Encore is an upscale clothing boutique in the heart of downtown Athens, Georgia. When the owner of Encore, Nikki Grant, published their first official look book in the summer of 2012, I was absolutely blown away. Nikki took the quaint charm of her little southern boutique and raised the bar with high quality photography, skilled models, and impeccable styling of the boutique’s apparel and accessories. Encore’s look books truly set it apart from the numerous boutiques in Athens.

They recently published their Spring 2014 look book, which was shot by photographer Logan Potterf on location at The Hill, a neighborhood owned by Lee Epting of Epting Events. Some of their top spring looks were selected and styled by Nikki and her team and modeled by the stunning Mercedes Bleth.

I chose three of my favorite ensembles from the look book that feature some of the hottest trends for Spring 2014.

Tank: Michael Stars Skirt: Flying Tomato Sandal: Bronx Bracelets: Chic Sisters Designs Hat: Model's own

Tank: Michael Stars
Skirt: Flying Tomato
Sandal: Bronx
Bracelets: Chic Sisters Designs
Hat: Model’s own

Spring 2014 Trend: Try a NEW Look

Spring is all about renewal. This spring try a new look – something boho chic like this ensemble. The key pieces that make this look are the brightly colored and patterned maxi skirt and the beaded bracelets by local Athens designers, Chic Sisters Designs! Remember, local always looks good on you!

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Blouse: BCBGeneration
Shorts: Line & Dot
Earrings: In store exclusive

Spring 2014 Trend: Floral

This is my favorite outfit from the look book because it pairs an ultra feminine and spring inspired floral pattern with a wardrobe basic: the white blouse. When a new season rolls around, it doesn’t mean you have to run out and buy a whole new wardrobe. Use the staples you have in your closet in combination with investing in a few key pieces that are on trend for the season, like these Line & Dot shorts!

Sheer Fringe Wrap: Ellison Denim Cutoff Shorts: 7 for All Mankind

Sheer Fringe Wrap: Ellison
Denim Cutoff Shorts: 7 for All Mankind

Spring 2014 Trend: Fringe

Fringe is my favorite new and exciting trend for Spring 2014. This versatile sheer fringe wrap by Ellison is aptly styled with a classic denim short in the look book. This piece would also pair perfectly with a pant, a skirt, a dress, or even a swimsuit. I could see this transitioning to fall as well – the possibilities are endless!

To view the entire look book, go here. To shop new arrivals and sale items, visit Encore’s site. To shop in store, visit Encore at 186 E Clayton St, Athens, GA 30601

Spotlight on Crowned Grace Jewelry

Crowned Grace Jewel

I’m excited to share the first edition of my Spotlight Series! Crowned Grace Jewelry is a locally owned jewelry company in the Atlanta area whose gems and baubles are exclusively sold at The Chandlery in Roswell, Georgia. Crowned Grace was founded by longtime friends Wanda and Cora. Both women share a strong faith and a passion for style, which led them to create Crowned Grace. Their collection includes a full line of earrings, bracelets, necklaces, rings, and watches from bold costume jewelry to classic sterling silver. Their signature jewels are appropriately their crosses. With an array of styles and prices ranging from $10 to $120, there is a piece of Crowned Grace jewelry for everyone! Here are some exclusive pics of a selection of their current pieces:

Crowned Grace Cross

Crowned Grace Green

Crowned Grace Beaded

Stella & Dot

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HANG ON TRAVEL CASE, $39, BRING IT JEWELRY ROLL, $39, SERENITY STONE DROP EARRINGS, $49, CHRISTINA LINK NECKLACE, $79, and ADELINA CUFF, $79.

THE MISSION: To give every woman the means to style her own life

 Stella & Dot is more than a collection of affordable and stylish jewelry and accessories. It is a brand seeking to empower women and bring them together in fashion and fellowship. There are three ways to get involved with Stella & Dot:

1. SHOP: Do you love some of the Stella & Dot pieces featured in this post? Do you just have to have one? Now is the perfect time to purchase your first Stella & Dot item! Might I suggest you shop with my favorite Stella & Dot stylist, Caroline, who hooked me up with the goodies pictured in this post? Shop with her HERE.

2. HOST: Interested in getting a little more involved in the Stella & Dot brand? Want to earn a discount on your next Stella & Dot purchase? Hosting a trunk show might be for you! Hostesses earn product credit and shop at half off. If you want to find out more about hosting a trunk show, click HERE.

3. STYLE: Are you a serious go-getter? Are you looking to fill a few extra hours in your week? Becoming a Stella & Dot Stylist might be right up your alley! With a small financial investment and a lot of passion, you can launch your own fashion business. Learn more about becoming a Stylist with Stella & Dot HERE.

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SOMERVELL NECKLACE, $59

COLOR, TEXTURE, and VERSATILITY are the cornerstones of the Stella & Dot line. I believe the versatility of the jewelry and accessories is the most profound quality of the brand. Each item I got to style is perfect from day to night. Whether you pair a piece with a cocktail dress for an evening on the town or a basic black tee for a casual coffee date, the look is fresh and fun. Although the brand is best known for its jewelry, they also have an extensive line of accessories including bags, scarves, travel essentials, tech items and more.

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MAE NECKLACE, $49

October is almost over, but there’s still time to shop October deals! First, spend $50, get 50% off on Fall Favorites! If you’re looking to purchase your first Stella & Dot piece, one of these fabulous items would be a good place to start! Second, October is also the perfect month to shop for a cause with Stella & Dot’s Breast Cancer Awareness Collection. 100% of the proceeds from this collection go to the Noreen Fraser Foundation supporting women’s cancer research. Third, as mentioned above, hosting a trunk show is the best way to score a great deal on Stella & Dot goodies while getting a little more involved with the brand!

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“We get great joy out of designing irresistible jewelry. And yet, jewelry is just the tangible expression of something much greater we are creating. We have a vision of the world where STRONG WOMEN LIVE BOLD and joyful lives. They know what they want and they work for it. They inspire each other. Passion and joy are their best accessories.” 

SNEAK PEEK AT HOLIDAY 2013!

Say hello to the Luxembourg Scarf in Cerulean Tiger, $59.

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TESSA FRINGE NECKLACE, $69