My mom grew up with short hair and knew little to nothing about styling long hair. So, for my tenth birthday I asked for a lesson on braiding. At the time I still went to my original hairstylist Tracy, who had given me my very first haircut. She was more than happy to grant my birthday wish.
Mastering basic braids – French braid, Dutch braid, fishtail braid – served me well at numerous slumber parties and school dances throughout my youth. I enjoyed the big, chunky braids of my friends with full, thick hair. I was even more fascinated with the braids of my friends whose moms had let them get blonde highlights. But my hair is fine, brown, and somewhat boring. I never loved braids on me.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago… I partnered with Salon Dm3 in Athens, GA and my friend and stylist of six years, Catie McWhirter, to undergo a summer hair transformation. I lost some length and bulk and got some fun, warm-weather highlights. Lastly, I learned three of the easiest hairstyles for summer – no braiding required!
Wish you could achieve those effortless beach waves?
Simply want a style to get your hair off your face on those hot summer days?
Need an amazing up-do to rock at summer weddings, parties, events, and festivals?
Looking for an alternative to the ever-popular braid trend?
If you answered YES to any or all of these questions, then you need to watch my latest YouTube video!
Photography and Videography by Sonali Prabhu of So Narly
By the time I was a senior in college, I’d mastered the system. I’d gone from scheduling classes five days a week, to three days a week, to finally just two days a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays. It was a typical Wednesday morning: my boyfriend had slept over, and I was slowly waking up as he headed off to class. I’d planned to hang around the apartment most of the day, so he left a few of his things to be picked up later.
I finally got out of bed, grabbed my laptop, and checked my email.
Message From: Blonde Boutique
Subject: Store Closing Sale – All Must Go! Up to 90% Off
My heart sank for a moment, then, almost involuntarily, I began darting around my room, putting on whatever clothes I could find, tossing my hair up in a twist, and throwing my makeup bag into my purse as I rushed out to my car. As I closed the door to my apartment, I remembered my boyfriend – his things were in my room and he didn’t have a key.
New Message: Josh
Blonde closing. Up to 90% off. Had to leave apartment immediately. Your stuff is locked inside. Don’t hate me.
The two-mile drive between my apartment and the boutique was a blur. What was probably five minutes felt like five hours – I couldn’t get there fast enough. I flew into the first parking spot I could find and rushed to the door.
I was thankful to find the store hadn’t been completely scavenged. I bee lined to the owner, Brandy, who confirmed what I already suspected about the boutique closing. Brandy was expecting her first child, and she couldn’t find a worthy successor to carry on the Blonde* name. After a quick hug and conversation, I circled the store grabbing anything and everything in my size, including this AKA New York sweater.
I may have worn this sweater every day for the rest of the semester. It’s the perfect weight for temperate Georgia weather, it’s as soft and comfortable as a sweatshirt, and it makes any outfit instantly fashionable and flawless.
Six years and two cities later, I’m still avidly sporting my AKA New York sweater. In fact, three days after moving to New York City and living solely in sweats while unpacking our Upper East Side apartment, I wore my AKA New York sweater on our first night out in the city.
*During its two short years in Athens, Blonde reigned supreme among the countless boutiques. In addition to my AKA New York Sweater, I still have numerous items purchased from Blonde, including pieces by Adam by Adam Lippes, Diane von Furstenberg, Dolce Vita, Lauren Moffatt (R.I.P.), Rory Beca, Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent, Velvet, and more. Unlike so many other stores, Blonde offered brands and styles that prove timeless and last not just seasons but years to come.
October is the Month of Movement on ARTicles of Clothing blog.
To kick things off, I’ve got an exciting announcement: we’re moving to New York City!
Just over three years ago, my man and I left our college town of Athens, GA and moved to Madison, WI. Now, our journey continues to NYC.
Moving from the Southeast to the Midwest has taught me so much about the different cultures within the United States. Exploring a new place through its fashion community has been particularly eyeopening. In case you missed it, you can read a more in depth account of my Midwestern fashion journey in this post.
I can’t wait to share a new perspective of yet another region, and I’m thrilled for the opportunities this move will provide for my career as a freelance writer and stylist and for AOC blog.
Please continue to follow along on this journey with us through AOC blog and social media!
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.
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!
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!
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!