If you’re looking for a little retail therapy this weekend but don’t want to leave your couch, head over to my go-to deal destination, Hautelook, for an awesome sale on Elizabeth and James eyewear. Just because summer is over doesn’t mean it’s not important to protect yourself from UVA and UVB rays in winter months. SPF moisturizer, lip balm, and protective eyewear are equally essential even when it’s cold outside! An added bonus of sporting sunglasses in the cooler months is shielding your eyes from brutal winter winds. Plus, sunglasses are a quick, easy, and cute way to complete an outfit no matter what the season.
I test drove three unique pairs of Elizabeth and James sunglasses and couldn’t be more in love. They’re comfortable, flattering, and get the job done when it comes to truly protecting your eyes. All Elizabeth and James sunglasses offer 100% UV protection against UVA and UVB rays. Fashion truly meets function with this stylish eyewear!
ELIZABETH and JAMES – LEXINGTON SUNGLASSES
The first pair I tried is the Elizabeth and James Lexington frame. These sunglasses are an interesting, fashion forward twist on the classic wayfarer style. The purple horn hue is both unique and neutral – a medium tone gray with a dusty purple tint. They’re ideal for a laid back, casual look, they flatter a variety of face shapes, and they pair well with any ensemble. Three reasons to buy the Lexington sunglasses!
Original price: $155, Hautelook price: $44.97
ELIZABETH and JAMES – MARION SUNGLASSES
If you’re searching for the perfect everyday eyewear, look no further than the Elizabeth and James Marion frames. These classic black or tortoise glasses will instantly become your go-to eyewear. The Marion style is my all time favorite. They’re over-sized without being over-powering – ideal for any face type and size. With such a timeless shape and color, these frames are bound to become a staple of your eyewear collection for seasons to come.
Original price: $265, Hautelook price: $49.97
ELIZABETH and JAMES – LINDALL
Step outside the box and back in time with the vintage-inspired Elizabeth and James Lindall frames. Round sunglasses are often an overlooked shape in today’s eyewear market. I took a fashion risk with these Lindall sunglasses and couldn’t be more pleased to add a new and unique style to my eyewear assortment. Unfortunately, this pink horn hue is not available in this Hautelook event, but I’m loving the gray ink color!
Original price: $185, Hautelook price: $49.97
Photographed by Angie Webb of Suburbanite Photography
One year ago today I launched ARTicles of Clothing Blog. I can’t believe it.
A successful one-woman business is a myth. If I’ve learned one vital thing over the past year, it’s that you can’t do anything alone. As a blogger and freelancer, most days it’s just you and your computer. It can feel lonely and isolating, but it doesn’t have to be. It shouldn’t be. The minute I started connecting with others, particularly fellow artists, entrepreneurs, and creative spirits, my work improved drastically. I could not have pressed forward day after day and continued to compose this blog without the support and contribution of many, and to those invaluable people, I want to say THANK YOU and CHEERS TO YOU!
Thank you to…
I met Jessica at a seminar at AmericasMart in January 2013. She was the first style blogger I connected with, and over coffee she told me one of the most important things an aspiring blogger can hear – you just need to sit down, and do it!
Angie Webb, Suburbanite Photography
Angie started a blog in college, and through it, I grew to know and love her. In the spring of 2013, Angie and I sat down over dinner to catch up and discuss my desire to establish my own blog. She gave me a great deal of advice and encouragement and, most importantly, a branding questionnaire that was vital to my creation of AOC. Since then, she has contributed to AOC as my primary photographer and an avid supporter.
Over the years Denise has had many roles in my life – dance teacher, Pilates instructor, mentor, friend. Since venturing out as a freelancer and blogger, she has taught me about being an entrepreneur, helped me make meaningful connections in my industry, and always been there at the right time with a piece of advice, encouraging word, or relevant music video.
Erica Bryan, Singer/Songwriter
When Erica reached out to me about working with her as a stylist, I could never have imagined what an impact she would have on me and my career. From the moment we partnered together, Erica became my advocate. I truly believe Erica and I are kindred spirits, placed in each others’ lives at this point in time for a specific purpose. Erica’s passion is contagious, and I’m continually inspired by her enthusiasm and commitment to her artistry.
Catie has been my hair stylist for the past five years and over that time has become a close friend. Earlier this year, Catie connected me to her longtime friend, Nikki, owner of an upscale boutique, Encore. I partnered with Encore for the first time for a feature on their spring 2014 look book, and since then, Nikki has continued to be a dedicated supporter of AOC.
Tova Gelfond and the Eide Team, Eide Magazine
For years I’ve admired Eide for their dedication to narrative voice and carefully curated aesthetic. In June, they reached out to me about reviewing their summer issue, and I had the opportunity to interview the magazine’s founder, CEO, and Editor-in-Chief, Tova Gelfond. Speaking with and learning from Tova and working with Eide is an undeniable milestone in my career and highlight of year one of AOC.
Jocelyn Negron, Must Love Sparkle
Jocelyn is the founder of Must Love Sparkle, a jewelry destination characterized by a unique aesthetic, exceptional quality, and attainable prices. She has a keen eye for buying and her own collection has a stunning design. Jocelyn has contributed jewelry for a personal photo shoot and for styling singer/songwriter Erica Bryan. Throughout our partnerships, Jocelyn has been a meaningful advocate AOC.
GaBrielle Pedriani, Look Sharp, Sconnie
GaBrielle was the first blogger I connected with in the Midwest. After visiting her blog, my perception of personal style bloggers completely shifted. Gabby defies the typical personal style blogger aesthetic ,and she’s a skilled writer. Although I only got to know her for a short time before she relocated to NYC, Gabby made a profound impact on me as a blogger and my Midwestern fashion experience.
Pamela Wilson, Iona
Pamela has been key influence in my Midwestern fashion journey. Upon meeting Pamela at a fashion event, she immediately welcomed me into the local fashion community. I’ve learned a great deal from her approach to fashion and entrepreneurship, and I’ve made some invaluable connections through events hosted at her boutique.
Amsterdam Station, Alternative Rock Band
Amsterdam Station approached me this summer while in the process of re-branding. As part of creating their new look, they enlisted me as a stylist. The band has an invigorating energy that translated into our work together. Amsterdam Station not only furthered my styling career but also broke me into the world of styling men.
Sonali Prabhu, So Narly
I connected with Sonali through mutual friends and was immediately impressed by her social media presence and following. Sonali is wise beyond her years and, in my opinion, represents the future of social media. She’s innovative, committed to her brand, and confident yet humble. While composing my first YouTube video, Sonali was a take charge director and brought a fun energy to the shoot.
Ryan Pernice and Micki Kimberly, Osteria Mattone
Ryan and I went to high school together, and he’s now the owner of two successful restaurants in our hometown. I had the opportunity to do a photo shoot on location at his Italian restaurant, Osteria Mattone. A portion of the shoot was dedicated to today’s celebration, AOC’s one year birthday. Pastry chef and personal friend, Micki, composed a special dessert for the occasion: Budino Caramellato with Fior di Latte Gelato (yes, we ate it after the shoot, and yes, it was as good as it looks and sounds).
Midwest Style Bloggers, Community
I’ve connected with a number of the founders and members of the Midwest Style Bloggers at various events. They have welcomed me into the Midwest fashion community and have been invaluable to the growth of AOC.
My friends, family, and the AOC Blog Focus Group
Despite the fact that most of my friends and family are far more traditional and practical than I am, they have offered me unlimited love and support over the past year. I could not have launched this blog and continued to grow and improve it without the feedback of my Focus Group. I want to express my particular appreciation for the following people: My boyfriend, who has no interest in fashion whatsoever but has never failed to listen, lend a hand, or provide a second opinion; My mom, who has fueled my creativity from a young age by enrolling me in my first dance classes, buying me countless notebooks, and exposing me to art in various forms; My Kitty Kat, for serving as my co-stylist on my first photo shoot; and My Boo, for setting the foundation for my reader spotlight series.
YOU, My Readers
I only make up 50% of this blog, the other 50% is YOU, my readers. Without your loyal readership, this blog would just be words and images floating around cyberspace. ARTicles of Clothing blog is both by you and for you.
CHEERS TO YOU ALL!
As part of celebrating ARTicles of Clothing Blog’s first birthday, I wanted to reflect and share the top five posts from year one.
Year one on AOC Blog was a bit of a roller coaster and a lot of learning what not to do. As much as I tried to research and plan before launching AOC, it evolved in ways I never expected and ultimately lacked some direction and focus.
There’s definitely more pressure for year two. So, I’m in the process of implementing some changes to make AOC even better. One of the most meaningful sources of information is YOU, the readers, which is why reflecting on the top five posts of year one is so important.
These posts indicate the type of content you like to read on AOC. If you missed any of these top five, be sure to check them out!
5. BLACK AND WHITE
You know those days where you go to your closet and think, I have nothing to wear? We’ve all had them. In my years of building a wardrobe I have come to realize there is one way to avoid the I-have-nothing-to-wear clothing dilemma for good. The answer is black and white.
4. REAL BLOGGER BEAUTY
In January, I urged you to set a goal to FEEL GOOD and LOOK GOOD in 2014 by making small changes to your everyday life to produce big results. Shifting the trajectory of social media is a lofty goal, so today, I’m starting with one small step by participating in and promoting the #RealBloggerBeauty campaign. My #RealBloggerBeauty moment is illustrated above through these images of myself over the past eight years.
3. 3 UNSUSPECTINGLY STYLISH INSTAGRAM ACCOUNTS
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.
2. MY COMPLETE BATHING SUIT GUIDE
Three years ago I decided I could no longer squeeze my tatas into size large bathing suit tops that were ultimately ill fitting elsewhere. I had to take the plunge and invest in some bathing suits that fit my body. So, I bid farewell to my days of stocking up on multiple suits every season from the glorious Target swim section and found some brands that would suit me and my body better and stand the test of time.
And the #1 post of year one of AOC is…
1. A FUSION OF MUSIC AND FASHION
Erica’s debut single has a beautiful balance of light and dark, which instantly became the inspiration for her look. 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 is evident that the speaker is in fact haunted by a person or memory, there is clearly a warmth and deep connection, possibly even love, with the “ghost.” It is this sensation that is truly “haunting” the speaker, which ultimately illustrates the dichotomy between light and dark in the song.
“She’s late. She gets home and sees her guests have already arrived. A moment of panic arises until she slips on her little black dress, dabs on some scent, pats her chignon into place, and clips a string of pearls around her neck. She’s perfect.” – Didier Ludot, The Little Black Dress – Vintage Treasure
Like Christian Dior, you too may consider the little black dress “the most essential thing in any woman’s wardrobe,” but when you slip on your go-to LBD, did you know you’re wearing a piece of history?
I didn’t realize the extent to which the little black dress had made its mark until reading Ludot’s The Little Black Dress – Vintage Treasure. This book is about one quarter text and three quarters pictures, both of which shed light on the journey of this simple yet profound article of clothing. Although Miranda Priestly’s monologue on cerulean in The Devil Wears Prada is a bit smug and over the top, she has a point in that there is a deep history behind every garment. I learned quite a few things from The Little Black Dress – Vintage Treasure, and I’m here to share the highlights with you:
BEWARE THE LITTLE BLACK DRESS
1. The little black dress should not be mistaken as just another wardrobe staple.
“By some mysterious alchemy, the little black dress embodies the woman who wears it like a second skin.”
2. The little black dress is powerful in ways we can’t quite understand.
“They say black absorbs the contours, but it’s a magnet for the eyes.”
3. The little black dress is unsuspecting.
“As we see it through the kaleidoscope of memories, the dress becomes the very essence of the woman.”
EVOLUTION OF THE LITTLE BLACK DRESS
Chanel brings the color black out of mourning and introduces the “Ford” dress, which quickly becomes the uniform of the modern woman.
Hemlines may change, but the little black dress is here to stay.
The little black dress joins the resistance. Despite the scarcity of fabrics, the LBD endures as a symbol of patriotic chic.
War is over and the little black dress is just getting started. Haute couture is reborn and the LBD becomes the uniform of the existentialist movement.
Christian Dior presents his first post-war collection, complete with the little black number, the “Diorama” dress.
Two words: Audrey Hepburn.
The little black dress goes back into mourning with the death of Christian Dior.
Film is dominated by the little black dress. “It was in the torment of those years that [the LBD] revealed its true nature: it was indestructible.”
The little black dress becomes the emblem of the young jet set – think Studio 54.
Peace, love, and the little black dress. Despite the Flower Power fashion movement, the LBD holds its ground.
Black returns with a vengeance and for a long time to come with the help of Karl Lagerfeld.
Miuccia Prada hits the scene. “The dress returned to its place of honor in every fashionable wardrobe. Mothers’ and daughters’ tastes in fashion could strengthen, broaden, and converge around the little black dress.”
“The little black dress obeys no standards, resists every fad, is fashion incarnate.”
I’ve been so excited about my recent photo shoot with Angie Webb of Suburbanite Photography. Angie and I had the opportunity to shoot on location at Osteria Mattone, a restaurant combining the casual spirit of an osteria with the more formal dining of a trattoria. I can’t resist a quick post to share a sneak peek inside the shoot. Today, Angie shared this preview image on the Suburbanite Photography Facebook page:
Stay tuned for more images from the shoot!