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.
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!
Instagram is arguably one of the fastest growing social media platforms. On this week’s episode of HBO’s Silicon Valley, I learned that Instagram actually began as a project similar to Foursquare that focused on checking in and location based social networking, then it pivoted and revised its focus to mobile photography. Instagram has been a particularly significant platform for the fashion community. From LIKEtoKNOW:IT, a service that allows you to LIKE photos on Instagram and receive ready to shop product links directly to your inbox, to Vogue’s impromptu Instagram fashion shoot aka promotion for the Met Gala and the Anna Wintour Costume Center’s Charles James: Beyond Fashion exhibit, the fashion community has found ways to fully utilize Instagram’s features. The platform is gaining such popularity in the fashion industry, the Council of Fashion Designer’s of America (CFDA) named their first ever Fashion Instagrammer of the Year to be the official CFDA Instagram correspondent for the 2014 CFDA Fashion Awards (which were last night, btw!). You can find plenty of lists floating around of the most stylish Instagram accounts you need to follow now. These mainly consist of bloggers, models, editors, designers, and the like. But what about the awesome Instagrammers who are flying under the radar? Well, I think I’ve found three of them. Here are 3 unsuspectingly stylish Instagram accounts you should check out!
Maybe I’m weird and creepy for being obsessed with a 14-year-old’s Instagram. Maybe I’m just partial to anything and everything relating to AMC’s Mad Men. But really, is it just me or does this girl have amazing style? Chanel + Chuck Taylor + Miu Miu… need I say more?
You may know Bethany Watson by her voice as one of the leading radio personalities of the nationally syndicated Elvis Duran Morning Show. Bethany is a born and raised Wisconsin gal (shout out to all my Mad Town ladies) living in NYC. Of all my unsuspectingly stylish Instagrammers, Bethany rocks the most attainable, everygirl looks – most recently she prided herself in finding the amazing Alice + Olivia pumps (pictured above) at a local consignment store for $60!
Busy Philipps is my all time favorite person to follow on Instagram. In addition to showcasing her amazing fashion sense, she posts tons of awesome pictures of her life in LA and some of the best throwback photos. This major celeb’s Instagram is down to earth, totally relatable, and seriously stylish.
Know of an awesome Instagrammer that’s flying under the radar? Share the unsuspectingly stylish Instagram account you’re obsessed with following in the comments below!
I typically tend toward dainty jewelry. I have a petite frame and small stature, so I usually find myself feeling swallowed whole by bulky jewelry. Then, it seemed like chunky jewelry was beginning to take over – the bigger and bolder the better! Then, layering lots of delicate jewelry seemed to be on trend: stack rings, knuckle rings, charm necklaces, any and every light weight bauble in the jewelry box! Once the layering trend caught on, ladies started packing and stacking on multiple pieces of chunky jewelry – bangles piled elbow high! How’s a girl to know what to do with her collection of chunky and dainty jewelry? I realized the key is finding a balance.
The take away here is that tracking trends can become overwhelming and can ultimately confuse your sense of style. Jewelry is one of the easiest areas to play around in your wardrobe. You can mix metals, weights, and styles of jewelry, and despite the trend that happens to be the flavor of the week, you really can’t go wrong. However, I still believe in having some staple pieces of jewelry in your collection.
I’m a gold jewelry girl, and mixing metals is a style I’m still working on. So, my 4 jewelry essentials are featured in gold but would be great in rose gold, silver, or gunmetal too!
THE ESSENTIAL NECKLACE
Layering dainty necklaces is my go-to everyday look. However, my ESSENTIAL NECKLACE is a chunky statement necklace. Having this necklace in your collection gives you an instant outfit. Do the math!
Basic Black Dress + Statement Necklace = Instant Outfit
Simple Solid Tee + Statement Necklace = Complete Look
Crisp White Blouse + Statement Necklace = Done!
Shop a similar necklace by Dream Collective on Of a Kind here
THE ESSENTIAL BRACELET
I probably rely on my gold bangle too much. This is my ESSENTIAL BRACELET. With my small frame comes teeny, tiny wrists that almost never accommodate your average bangle, so once I find one that fits, I basically never take it off. I’m typically very active and expressive with my hands, so I only layer bracelets under special circumstances to avoid unnecessary banging and clanking. Work at a computer all day like me and sworn off bracelets? Bangles are easy to take on/off at the desk and are too big to lose. Fashion vs. Function dilemma solved!
Shop a similar bangle by Dannijo here
THE ESSENTIAL EARRING
You thought I was gonna say hoop or stud, right? Let’s rethink the essential earring. Sure, I hope you have a great hoop and a go-to stud in your jewelry collection, by my ESSENTIAL EARRING is the drop earring. Some necklines compete with a necklace, and you need an earring to be your anchor. A dainty drop earring is the perfect feminine focal point in such outfit occasions!
THE ESSENTIAL RINGS
Two rings (or three rings, or four rings) are better than one. Let’s be honest, the only ring that stands alone is an engagement ring. When it comes to any other rings, the more the merrier, but pairing them well is key. So, my ESSENTIAL RINGS include a balance of basic bands and easy to pair statement rings. Don’t forget the latest fashion: knuckle rings!
Shop similar bands and knuckle rings by Gorjana here
Shop similar statement rings by Dara Ettinger here
Photographed by Angie Webb of Suburbanite Photography
P.S. Angie has a giveaway going on now through Sunday, June 1 for a 90-minute session – enter here!
So, I said I’d be coming to you with quick posts during my crazy week, but today I carved out some time to share a story that’s long overdue: My Midwestern Fashion Journey.
Last night I attended a fashion panel Q&A/discussion in Madison, Wisconsin. I know that fashion exists everywhere. “Fashion is instant language.” It’s something we don’t need words to understand – it speaks for itself, it tells its own story. Fashion is something that is part of every community and culture, whether people are cognizant of it or not. So, I won’t go on to make the broad statement that I didn’t know a fashion community existed in Madison. It’s the home of online retail giant Shopbop for goodness sake. But after living in Madison for the past few years, the fashion community didn’t exist to me until last night.
I like to think of myself as one who thinks outside of the box when it comes to city searching. I grew up with a mom who was a tried and true foodie before foodies existed. Every weekend we’d get in the car, leave the confines of suburbia, and scour every corner, hidden gem, and local hole in the wall in Atlanta for the best butter, cheese, produce, and chicken. But, somehow, when I moved to Madison I fell into the classic pitfall of a GEN Y city girl.
Madison is a small town with a Midwestern culture, both of which are pretty unfamiliar to me. When I first moved to Madison, I looked for those familiar fashion faces to anchor me. I located the local Anthropologie and Sephora… and… that was about it. No major department stores at the malls? No Nordstrom Rack? No Lululemon? (Please note a Lululemon has since been built in Madison.) I immediately strapped on my skeptic hat about the existence of a fashion community here. Perhaps, I thought, Madison is a town concentrated with local boutiques. This is the case in my former college town, Athens, Georgia, but Athens is about half the size of Madison and just about an hour and a half from the heart of downtown Atlanta. Still skeptical. As a GEN Y city girl, I wanted to be inundated with options. I wanted my safe department stores for the basics, the national chains for the seasonal must-have, and the amazing local boutiques too. I felt I’d already struck out on the first two, so I had a pretty bad attitude when it came to the third.
I found Hot Mama, a Midwestern chain with closet staples like Michael Stars and Splendid and a pretty great selection of premium denim. Things are looking up. I found an awesome casual/active wear store, Neena, with brands like Beyond Yoga and Rese. Another step in a positive direction. And, of course, there’s Bop. The little brick and mortar caterpillar that later emerged into the major retail butterfly Shopbop. When my mom came to visit for the first time, we strolled in and out of several shops in the State Street section of downtown, and I ventured into the Monroe Street area one Saturday after a trip to Trader Joes, but still, the fashion community in Madison wasn’t really speaking to me. I’d hit a wall, and through inaction, put my exploration on hold.
Friends know that I’ve had a real journey acclimating to Midwestern culture and Midwestern fashion. And, yes, I do attribute some of this to my GEN Y city girl mentality. The fashion community in the South is intense. It piggybacks off the pulse of its coastal counterpart, fashion mecca New York City, while adding its own southern charm. It’s very vocal and competitive. In the Midwest, everything is more quiet and laid back, including the fashion. I remember feeling very loud the first time I went out in Madison. Not literally audibly loud, but my outfit was screaming “I’m not from here! I’m a southern, GEN Y, city girl!” Although I still wouldn’t say I feel particularly comfortable in Madison when it comes to my style and meshing with the Midwest, time has truly been my greatest ally, and over the past couple years, I’ve accepted my uniqueness in a Midwestern fashion world.
So, I come back to last night: the fashion panel Q&A/discussion. As a fashion blogger for the past eight months, I’ve revisited my desire to explore the fashion community in Madison. A new friend recently turned me onto the Wisconsin Fashion Network, which led me to the event last night. While I’m still fairly certain I was one of the only non-Midwesterners there, I was able to meet some fellow bloggers, local business owners, and other ladies with an active interest in the fashion community. It was truly a breath of fresh air. After a fairly formal Q&A/discussion, we got down to the real conversations over drinks.
My two major connections of the night were with GaBrielle Pedriani of Look Sharp, Sconnie and Pamela Wilson of Iona. GaBrielle has completely changed my perception of personal style bloggers with her very honest and unique approach to personal styling blogging that defies the typical I’m always casually standing outside this chic cafe with my perfectly on trend handbag slung over my shoulder aesthetic that many personal style bloggers take. Better yet? Her images are backed with words: rich descriptions, a clear voice, and actual writing ability – things that are sadly lacking in many fashion blogs. Then there’s Pamela. I’m pretty excited to make time for a trip to my newest retail discovery: Iona. After chatting with Pamela last night and heading to Iona’s site this morning, I’m eagerly anticipating a carefully and creatively curated boutique with some one of a kind wares. I definitely foresee a more in depth post once I actually explore the boutique, so stay tuned, and in the mean time, shop the site!
I don’t know about you, but for me, this week is going to be crazy! Full of travel, events, my man’s birthday, and out of town company for the holiday weekend in addition to the usual client meetings, work, and of course AOC Blog! So, I’ll be coming to you with some quick posts! Today I absolutely MUST share with you a limited time event: Nasty Gal’s eBay Auction!
Sophia Amoruso aka #GIRLBOSS aka The Original Nasty Gal is getting back to her roots with an event on eBay. In June 2008 (almost six ears ago!), Amoruso grew her thriving eBay shop, Nasty Gal Vintage, into the impressive empire we know today as Nasty Gal. Amoruso is revisiting her beginnings with an auction of extraordinary designer vintage pieces right from her own closet. The proceeds will go her latest venture, The #GIRLBOSS Foundation, a nonprofit Amoruso is launching in conjunction with her first book, #GIRLBOSS (yes, this girl is on fire!). It’s really all quite poetic. The #GIRLBOSS Foundation’s mission is to empower the next generation of female entrepreneurs in the creative community through a distinctive grants program that provides women in the fields of design, fashion, music, and the arts with the financial support to achieve their goals. The auction began yesterday and will run for the next ten days, ending Thursday, May 29. Below are some of my favorite pieces, available for bid now!