Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Changing Names

I'm excited to announce that, after much debate, I have decided to change the name and URL of this blog.
While The Littlest Unicorn does a great job of describing me (I am little and I love unicorns) it doesn't do a very good job of representing what I talk about here on the blog.  In an effort to be more "professional" and to at least have a title that corresponds to what this little blog has turned into (and not to mention an easier URL to type) I will be making changes on September 1st.

I have decided to just edit my adjustments rather than create a whole new blog and re-direct people to it, so followers: you're all good!  If you check out my blog by way of typing in the URL address you can become a follower and you won't have to worry about anything!  If you don't want to commit to becoming a follower, that's ok too - just send me an email or leave me a comment and I will be sure to let you know the new address!  For these purposes my email is: arh9468@gmail.com.

Can't wait to see you all at my new address on September 1st!

Barely Baring

My mom actually inspired this look when she told me she tied a shirt in front over a skirt she wore to church...
Vintage pleated skirt - FC ($8)
Vintage Prada silk blouse - FC ($24)
Soho Lab wedges - FC ($10)
Vintage Dooney & Bourke purse - FC ($40)
Bandeau - F21; layered necklaces - thrifted

...that and this picture of the always-gorgeous-Liz from Late Afternoon...
So, yeah, Mom inspired me to tie my shirt (which is a fun way to retro-ify your outfit) and Liz inspired me to bare some skin as well as provided the perfect hair accessory to complete the outfit.  I love that, separately, the pieces feel so fancy (a silk blouse and pleated skirt) but because of the styling, it's got a casual-chic twist! And, yeah, you read it right: Prada.  Just one of my lucky finds from working at a consignment store!

This is probably one of my more "experimental outfits" and I was really pleased with it!  Oh, FYI - I did button the shirt for work.  Since I work in "clothing" I could get away with this outfit just as it is...but, I don't know, modesty took over and I buttoned all the buttons.  It did, however, still leave a peek of skin showing where my skirt and shirt didn't quite meet.  So I bared a little midriff, after all!

On to business: I have fallen behind on the 21 Day Challenge and while I was planning on linking this to "new hair-do" it's not technically new (I tried it here with poor picture quality previously).  I will instead link this to "copycat" since I practically copied Liz's look and, not to mention, I have an idea for a new hair-do that is, actually, new for me...so stay tuned!
21 Day Challenge

How do you feel about baring a little skin?  Is it a trend you would try?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

How to Dress for a Hurricane

As you all know, I live at the beach in North Carolina.  Irene has passed and now it is a beautiful day outside but the last 2 were not so pleasant.  The shop was closed yesterday but I did have to work Friday and it got me thinking, what can I wear for this weather?
Express dress (from seasons ago) - FC ($12)
Ipanema sandals (designed by Gisele) - FC ($8)
Vintage Dooney & Bourke bag - FC ($35)
Peacock feather earrings, FC ($3.50); Jade bangle - from bf
So, what do you wear when the weather calls for a hurricane?  It is similar to dressing for a rainy day...a very, very rainy day, and you have to account for strong winds too.  Here are my tips:
  • Steer clear of jeans: the hems will get wet and denim tends to stick which can be really uncomfortable
  • Cotton is king: it can get wet, be washed and dried...perfect fabric for crazy weather
  • Rain-proof shoes: no leather! try rainboots or, like me, sandals that can get wet
  • Be careful with short or flouncy skirts: the wind will definitely catch it and you'll be pulling a "marilyn monroe" which, while sexy, is not always the best look
  • Don't worry about your hair: no use spending hours fixing it because it will not last.  i usually braid mine or just let it air-dry and do as it pleases
Following my own rules...I opted for a comfy cotton dress with my rubber (and therefore rain-proof) gisele sandals.  I went with my old D&B purse which holds a lot and I don't really care if it gets wet.  I didn't do my hair and left my accessories simple.

I hope everyone on the east coast is safe from Irene.  We made it out pretty well actually, some friends lost power but we never did...though we did lose internet.  Yesterday after the storm the bf and I went to the ocean where he surfed, I photographed, and lots of people found some really awesome shells (including a starfish bigger than this guy's hand) that had been knocked up to shore.  How did my east coast friends hold up?

P.S. I apologize for the less-than-stellar quality of these photos...poor lighting!

Tell me, what do you wear when the weather is crazy?  Do you have any tips or go-to outfits for rainy days?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The "Mullet"

Haha, don't let the title fool you - I did not get a mullet haircut...it's just the idea of a dressy-casual outfit: business in the front, party in the back, right?
Vintage The Limited pencil skirt - FC ($7)
Screen-print tee - FC ($5)
Vintage belt - thrifted ($2)
Pink Studio wedges - FC ($12)
Micheal Kors bag - FC ($35)
wrap-around + friendship bracelets
Included the next 2 (even though the lighting is bad) to more closely show
the cool neon print on the shirt as well as my corresponding layered bracelets!

But seriously, I love to mix fancy and casual pieces like a pleated skirt with worn-in tee or a ground-grazing silk maxi with a vintage band t-shirt.  I love the idea of mixing fancy with casual, old with new or just unexpected combinations in general!

Since I don't work in an office I wanted to dress down this pencil skirt I got.  Paired it with a crazy-colored screen print tee and tied the look together with multicolor layered bracelets.  I also mixed black and brown in my accessories (another favorite combination).

I think Ralph Lauren executed this look well in the SS 2011 collection (via style.com):
southwestern vest over lace dress
adds a thick, western-inspired belt to a floor-length gown
personal fav: flannel + sequin skirt

Do you do business in the front and party out back?  In other words, do you mix business with casual?  What are some interesting combinations you've come up with?

21 Day Challenge

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bow Tie Blouse

This is a first: finding, photographing and posting about an item on my August Wishlist in August
Ann Taylor bow-tie blouse - thrfited ($4.50)
(new w/tag) H&M shorts - FC ($10)
Soho Lab wedges - FC ($10)
Vintage Louis Vuitton bag - hand-me-down from Mom
F21 sunglasses; pendant from BF's gma; wrap bracelets + cuff
left the tie hanging loose to elongate my silhouette
another way to tie the "bow"
and yet another way!

My friend Camber (you can see her featured here) used to hit up the thrift stores about once a week.  Well, she's got a big-girl job now and our schedules don't line up so nicely anymore.  Sad face.  So I ventured into Bargain Box, our favorite thrift store here in town, by myself a couple days ago.  They have a vintage room (awesome, I know) and I always check it out first.  I went into the dressing room with an armful and came out with nothing.  Depressed and about to leave, I saw this blouse hanging up on the wall.  Bingo!  Ann Taylor (not Loft) 100% silk bow-tie blouse for $4.50?  Yes, please!!!

Though you can't see the color clearly in these photos the blouse is a pale shade of lavender.  The brown in the shorts complements it perfectly creating a neutral-esque monochromatic look.  Apparently InStyle did an article titled "You Can Do Summer Neutrals" (May) featuring soft purples and pinks.  I couldn't find it online anywhere but Jordana Brewster pulls off the lavender-as-a-neutral look nicely:
via posh24.com

You can also see a wrist full of arm candy.  That's me participating in the 21 Day Challenge again.  I LOVE to layer accessories (see more here) be it necklaces, bracelets or a hand full of rings so this challenge was a piece of cake for me!  Hint: wrap-around bracelets are an easy way to pull off the "layered" look!  Here are some affordable options but they are also an easy DIY - let me know if you want to know how!

My question for you is:  How do you feel about "atypical" neutrals?  Are there any soft colors you've pulled off as a neutral?  And what do you think of layered accessories?  Did you participate in this prompt of the 21 Day Challenge?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Straight Maxi

It is no big secret that I love maxi skirts.  In fact you've already seen me wear one here, here, here, here and (the same one worn differently) here.
(old) Gap skirt - FC ($6.50)
Anthropologie top (on sale) - gifted, Mom
Vintage belt - from Mom
Michael Kors tri-color purse - FC ($35)
Vintage (turn-of-century) necklace - birthday gift from Mom
Pink Studio wedges - FC ($12)
close up of my birthday necklace
even closer close-up!
This skirt is what I've come to call the "straight maxi" as opposed to the more flowy styles (this one would be a good example).  I love the feel of the tribal top but I've only ever worn it in the Fall over a pair of skinny jeans and boots.  I wasn't sure how to make it work for Summer since it's a little too voluminous to tuck in.  Then it dawned on me: why not utilize the stick-straight maxi skirt as if they were straight-leg skinny jeans!  I just love the look that came out of it and realized the gray in the shirt coordinates perfectly with the skirt.

This spread I found on style.com demonstrates 2 totally different ways to style a straight or "column" maxi for Fall!
via style.com
On to the the rest of the outfit:  I belted the top to keep my waist defined under all that fabric, allowing me to link this to the 21 Day Challenge's "belt it" prompt!  I typically tuck in when I belt so this is sort of a new way to "belt it" for me...another blogger and I agreed, a better prompt (for us) would be to not belt it since I seriously belt everything these days!
21 Day Challenge

The necklace was my birthday present from my mom - we found it at Preen, this awesome all-jewelry vintage shop.  Can you believe that?  This place was huge, you guys and filled with nothing but vintage jewelry!  I was in heaven.  This necklace is from the turn of the century and it is technically composed of a vintage pin pendant and old-school watch chains.  Love it- thanks, Mom!!!

Do you love maxi skirts as much as me?  Do you prefer straight or flowy?  How do you wear yours?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Color Blocking and Re-Thinking

I've been meaning to try the whole color-blocking look for a while now and when I saw it was one of the prompts of Freckles in April's 21 Day Challenge I decided to go for it!
JJ Authentic dress worn as skirt - FC ($12)
Purple tee - thrifted ($3)
Old Navy orange/yellow scarf worn as obi belt - FC ($3)
Soho Lab wedges - FC ($10)
Vintage Dooney & Bourke purse - FC ($40)
Thrifted chain + DIY fish earring-turned-pendant
Close up of the colors and my make-shift "obi belt"

In these next two photos I switched to my Lucky Brand necklace to tie in the orange in the scarf-belt:
side view
I am really pleased with my first color-blocking attempt, what do you think?  I would say my main inspiration for this look comes from Gucci's Spring/Summer 2011 collection:
via style.com
via style.com
If you are loving this look and thinking that you missed out since Summer is coming to an end, think again!  Color-Blocking will continue into Fall in richer, darker hues and it might possibly be even more fun in the cooler weather (think: tights, cardigans).  Need proof?
Chloe's poncho is entirely color-blocked
via style.com
Bottega Venetta color-blocks a 60s-insipred trench and shift
via style.com
Now, on to the business of the 21 Day Challenge.  I unintentionally combined 2 of the prompts in this outfit: 1) color-block, check!  2) wear something in an unconventional way...dress worn as skirt and scarf worn as belt!  I would, however, like to submit this one to Color Block so I'll have to come up with something else that's unconventional...hmmm...

Anyway, the whole idea of these challenges is really fascinating, so much so that I decided to participate even though I'm a little late.  Let me divulge for those of you unfamiliar:
  • I have previously discussed "linking up"...this just means another blogger is "hosting" or allowing you to link an outfit/post/etc. to their blog.  Excellent examples:
  • Challenges involve linking up but they are a little more involved.  I believe Kendi started the 30 for 30 Remix in which you pick a certain amount of pieces of clothing and then are confined to those pieces for 30 days.  This forces you to re-think, re-use and generally think outside the box when coming up with outfits
  • Freckles in April's 21 Day Challenge seemed like a good place for me to start.  She provides prompts that should inspire your outfit of the day.
Whew.  A lot of possibly confusing info.  Now I know most of my fellow blogger friends are saying, "duh, Amanda, I knew all of this."  To this I retort:  this info is mostly for my friends and family member fans who quite possibly don't know a thing about blogging!

If you host a link-up or have come up with your own interesting challenge (or if you just know of any that I left out) please let me know about it!!!  I have recently discovered these and a) can't keep up fast enough and b) find myself completely inspired and challenged thanks to you all!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Inspiration Monday...on Tuesday

Yesterday was the first day I decided to take part in Two Bird's Inspiration Mondays.  But I'm late to post it so it's Inspiration Monday on Tuesday this week!

The inspiration photo the lovely ladies at Two Birds gave us this week was:
Karolina Kurkova
I knew I had the perfect white denim skinnes but wasn't too sure about the (what appears to be) flannel button down because it's still so darn hot here.  So this is what I came up with:
F21 white skinny jeans - FC ($10)
F21 pale pink tee - FC ($5)
Free People plaid vest - FC ($12)
Soho Lab Wedges - FC ($10)
Vintage belt + necklace - thrifted
Vintage Louis Vuitton bag - gifted to me by Mom
So this is my take on the look!  I substituted a plaid cut-off vest instead of a long sleeve button down to make it more appropriate for summer.  What do you think?

Cropped pants and cuffed/rolled skinny jeans have been super popular recently.  This is a dangerous look for petite gals as it visually cuts our legs off.  Here are some tips to follow for pulling off this look:
  • Always wear wedges with a cuffed or rolled hem
  • Cuff it at the smallest part of your leg (typically an inch or two above your ankle)  Stay far away from a cuff at your calf or right under the knee-those are no-no's.
  • Try a nude wedge if you've got one, that way you are elongating your legs to combat the crop cutting them off!
Fabsugar.com noted cropped trousers as a Fall 2011 trend...cuffing or rolling your slim pants and/or jeans is a budget-friendly way to achieve this look!
Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney and DKNY via fabsugar

Side note:  These photos were self-taken behind my work.  I agree the white wall was a poor choice of background but my options were limited.  Also, we had a tornado warning the night before, hence the clouds.  The first photos have been edited and I kind of like the white-out look.  I included the last two so you could see the unedited versions.  Which do you like better and/or which do you think shows the outfit more clearly?

How do you think I did?  Did you participate in Two Bird's Inspiration Monday?  Let me know so I can check out your take!


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