vintage inspired passionista

a blog by entertainment writer and fashion stylist Abby Hathorn

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Ever since I can remember, I have been head-over-heels for the hippie era of fashion. The wardrobe pieces, the accessories, the hair, and the makeup are all so effortless and elegant in this oddly-romantic, slightly-rebelling-against-tradition way. Oh, y’all–I’m telling you the flow and the funk is so empowering + I am a sucker for pieces with killer sleeves *wink* 

So, for this week’s Weekly Whistle, I am throwing it back to the sixties and seventies with a little bell-sleeve and bell-bottom action. I absolutely adore this outfit because not only is it practical for my new #CampusLife *wink*, but it is also trendy and classic. When combined with the lariat necklace (worn as a headband) from Beauty In Stone, I feel like I just hopped in a fashionable time machine. 

Now, without further ado, let’s take a look at this week’s Weekly Whistle + outfit details 

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Blouse: Belk

Jeans: Chip & Pepper, Belk

Shoes: Sbicca, Molly Green (Birmingham, AL)

Bracelet: Reclaimed Inspired (Johnson City, TN)

Lariat & Beaded Tassel Bracelet: Beauty In Stone Jewelry

Stone Bracelet & Leather/Copper Bracelet: Beadsoul 

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Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn

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If there is one thing I love more than sweet tea and shopping sprees, it’s handmade jewelry. So, when I met Suzanne McKinney of Beauty in Stone Jewelry at her trunk show at Monkee’s of Johnson City, we chatted about fashion and accessories–and we could have chatted about these fabulous things for days! Suzanne is such a bright, fun, and fashionable spirit with a true passion for her craft and quality, and that is why I just had to interview her for VIP. *wink*

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With a true desire to always look and dress her best, Suzanne started her handmade jewelry business, Beauty In Stone, on fate one might say. “It just sort of happened…I saw a picture-jasper bead, got really inspired, and that’s what sort of motivated me to start beading and making jewelry for myself. Then, one  day, I said, ‘I don’t want to ever stop doing this, so I might want to start selling it!’,” explained McKinney. “I love to make my outfits really pop! [Before I started making a lot of jewelry], I would spend hours just looking around at jewelry stores in search for the perfect accessories.”

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VIP: What is your favorite piece of jewelry to make?

Suzanne:love to make [these] leather cuffs because of all the…variations of stones that I can put together and get a different look. And recently, I started naming each of the bracelets and signing the insides.

VIP: So, it’s like little wearable pieces of your art! I love that!

Suzanne: Yes! It’s kind of fun how each piece speaks to me and almost says “I have to be called ‘yacht club’ or ‘night on the town.'” 

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VIP: Is there one particular stone that inspires your pieces or do you just go with the flow?

Suzanne: Oh, I totally go with the flow! I like to see what different stones are out there, combine colors, and just see what the whole thing looks like when it’s finished. 

VIP: How would you describe your personal style–how you dress everyday?

Suzanne: I am very artsy, and I like the funky; however, I typically dress very classic. I wish I was [your age] again so I could wear some of the crazy funky things I see [you] wearing because that’s what I really love. But, that’s when accessories come in handy…I can wear something simple and classic with fun statement necklace or an artsy piece and get the style I want. 

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VIP: What is the one-stop-shop piece you make for Beauty In Stone that is appropriate for shoppers of all ages?

Suzanne: Definitely the leather lariat. It can be worn so many different ways, [and in fact], we keep finding different ways to wear it, wrap it, and layer it every time we play with it. From the neck to the wrists to even as a belt–the leather lariat is a really good, simple, versatile piece that can really fit anyone’s style. I make it in a variety of leather colors and bead them with gold or silver…and recently I have started making some leather lariats with pearls for a different, more classic look. 

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VIP: One thing I love about your pieces is each one is a little different. Yeah, you have the same styles but you name certain items, you add little initial charms to some, the stones are different in each look….You’re not buying the jewelry just because it’s pretty, you are buying it because of its personality.

Suzanne: Thank you! I really thought people would like that because they will start looking and wondering, “What is this one called? What is this one called?” I’ve also noticed that a lot of times the leather bracelets people pick for the color or beads, the name often reflects their personality or lifestyle in some way. For example, a woman today bought one, and I asked her if she happened to live by the water. When she responded with a yes, I just had to tell her to look at the name on the bracelet because it was called “Beachfront.” 

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VIP: I know we talked about this before, but you make your own leather, correct?

Suzanne: Yes! For the bracelets, I start with a shoulder of cowhide leather and slice it into strips, drill the holes into the leather to put a snap in, cut the slices and then start laying out the design of beads I want to attach. I am always experimenting–I have even mixed some leather dyes to make different hues. 

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VIP: Now, I have to ask you the VIP Question–what is one thing in your closet you would never toss out and why?

Suzanne: Oh, I could never toss out a raincoat I got from Monkee’s last year….I absolutely love outwear because it can be worn so many different ways year round. 

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Stay Fabulous,
Abby Hathorn

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 With autumn right around the corner, I am starting to stock up on some lovely transition frocks with function and versatility.

When I stumbled upon this fabulous button-down owl piece at Monkee’s of Johnson City, I fell head-over-heels for it! Not only is it warm-hued for fall style, but it is also versatile enough to be worn as a blouse, dress, and outerwear. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at this week’s Three Ways to Wear Thursday and get a look at how truly amazing this wardrobe goody is ♥

Way One: Blouse

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Owl Frock: Monkee’s of Johnson City

Lariat Necklace & Beaded Bracelet: Beauty In Stone Jewelry

Jeans: GAP

Heels: Jessica Simpson

Cuff Bracelet: Monkee’s of Johnson City

Way Two: Dress

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Owl Frock: Monkee’s of Johnson City

Necklace & Earrings: BluKatDesign

Flats: BCBG, DSW

Way Three: Outerwear

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Owl Frock: Monkee’s of Johnson City 

Dress: Old Navy

Heels: Michael Kors

Short Necklace: BluKatDesign

Earrings: Nest Pretty Things

Lariat Necklace & Beaded Bracelet: Beauty In Stone Jewelry

Clutch: Luke & Lyla Designs

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Stay Fabulous,
Abby Hathorn

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When it comes to dressing to impress, I am all about keeping it professional; however, I like to add a lot of color, pattern and all-around-fun to my business looks. I mean–who said that work couldn’t be fun, funky and fashionable *wink*

For this week’s Weekly Whistle, I took fun and funky to a whole new level by combining a vintage-inspired wrap skirt with a plaid tank, turquoise blazer and burgundy/copper jewelry. Although these outfit elements don’t exactly look off-the-rack…that is kind of the point *wink*

VIP TIP: One thing I think is important about fashion, especially in a work environment, is to keep self-expression loud and proud (and within the rules of the workplace *wink*). I love to mix patterns and colors + even play around with my hair and makeup when I am feeling super adventurous! SO, the next time you get bored with your every-day, blazer-and-pencil-skirt look, pop on a colorful blouse or opt for a patterned pencil skirt OR–one of my personal favorites–a colored blazer. It’s SURE to add a little pizzazz to your work day ♥

Now, without further ado, check out this week’s Weekly Whistle below + be sure to come back tomorrow for a fabulous Three Ways to Wear featuring Monkee’s of Johnson City and one of my (new) favorite local jewelry brands Beauty In Stone Jewelry

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Blazer: Urban Outfitters

Tank: Old Navy

Skirt: Urban Outfitters

Heels: Jessica Simpson

Earrings: BluKatDesign

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Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn

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As I mentioned in yesterday’s Weekly Whistle, I am totally obsessed with these funky, vintage-inspired frocks! Because these dresses are such statement-makers, styling them multiple ways was quite the challenge, but y’all know the VIP–she doesn’t step down from a little fashion game *wink*

By mixing patterns and dressy with casual, I was able to create three new looks with two of my favorite dresses from Monkee’s of Johnson City. Check them out below + be sure to see yesterday’s Weekly Whistle and the VIP Instagram for more ways to wear these absolutely fabulous frocks ♥

VIP Tip:

When it comes to purchasing statement pieces, think of “unconventional” or “non-traditional” ways you can mix things up. An easy way to change up any statement dress is with different accessories–trying to add pops of un-thought-of colors or patterns with shoes and up-cycled, handmade jewelry.

Way One:

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Dress: Monkee’s of Johnson City

Shoes: Michael Kors

Choker Necklace: BluKatDesign

Way Two:

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Dress: Monkee’s of Johnson City 

Plaid Shirt: Old Navy

Shoes: Steve Madden

Necklace: personal vintage collection

Way Three:

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Dress: Monkee’s of Johnson City 

Plaid Shirt: Free People, Belk

Shoes: Kork-Ease

Short Necklace: BluKatDesign

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Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn

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