Three Ways to Wear Thursday: Golden Turtleneck

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Hello, fabulouses, and welcome back to the blog! 

It has been such a dreadfully chilly week here, and the temps today have only added to the deep chill. Never has this Southern Belle experienced negative temperatures, and after today…I have no desire to live in Alaska *wink* According to my weather app, the “real feel” is -10 right now, and it is only going to get colder with a low of -6 and a “real feel” of who-knows-what. Oh, Spring, where are you?!

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If there is one thing I have learned over the past week of snow, ice, and chilly winds, it is that turtlenecks possess a level of warmth and classic style I never knew about! I have always been a bit skeptical of turtleneck sweaters….mainly because I had the image of 1990s rainbow turtlenecks + the lyrics to Turtleneck and Chain by the Lonely Island stuck in my head *wink*–but whether you are out playing in the snow or fighting the line at Home Depot to buy more mini heaters (that actually happened…), turtlenecks are a cold-weather style saver!

Now, in celebration of my learning of how wonderful turtlenecks really are–I have put together two, brand-new, turtleneck outfits + one #TBT look. Come on–let’s take a look!

And….just a little music while you wander through the rest of the blog *wink* (No–it’s not Turtleneck and Chain. I have more respect for turtlenecks now *wink*)

Way One: Throwback

Throwback Outfit! Click the image to check out the blog post where this snazzy outfit was first featured + get the details.

 Way Two:

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Blue Sweater: JCPenny | Turtleneck: GAP | Jeans: Chip & Pepper, Belk | Heels: Michael Kors, Belk | Hat: Sparkle Cat Studio | Bracelet: Luke & Lyla Designs | Necklace: BluKatDesign

Way Three:

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Leopard Blouse: Express | Turtleneck: GAP | Jeans: Chip & Pepper, Belk | Boots: Hunter | Hat: Sparkle Cat Studio | Bracelet: Luke & Lyla Designs | Necklace: BluKatDesign 

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Special shout out to my mom’s dog, Mattie, for being my doggy model for the photo shoot. Mattie is a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier and a total sweetheart. She cooperates in photos much better than my furbaby, Ziva, the Giant Schnauzer *wink*

Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn

Weekly Whistle: A Southern Belle in the Snow

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Hello, fabulouses, and welcome back to the blog!

It has been snowing like the dickens here all day, and of course, the VIP team created fabulous (and maybe a smidgen crazy) photo shoots *wink* 

Taking a bit of inspiration from my old stomping grounds, I dressed as if I were going to a mid-spring brunch with some other Southern Belles. The juxtaposition of warm-weather clothes and cold-weather conditions made for some fun photos that have me VERY ready for spring and summer *wink*

Now, while I go warm up for some neighborhood sledding later, y’all take a look at these chilly and bright photos! Stay tuned for more from today’s photo shoot :)

Thanks, Winter Storm Octavia, for the fluffy snow. This Southern Belle has enjoyed it :)

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Dress: Three07 | Hat: World Market | Heels: Jessica Simpson | Bracelet: Luke & Lyla Designs

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Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn

Frugal Friday: Sweet Southern Style

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Hello, fabulouses, and welcome back to the blog!

Thank goodness, it is Friday! Phew…it has been a long, stressful week–so, what better way to kick off the weekend than with a new VIP series! Whoo hoo!

Frugal Friday will be a weekly series featuring frugal outfit ideas, home decor, and great deals I find–it will always be a surprise! *wink*. Frugal Friday is all about fun, frugality and fabulousness–does it get any better than that?! *P.S. Oh, how I adore alliteration *wink*

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For the very first Frugal Friday post, I shopped in my own closet and created a sweet, Southern style outfit that is perfect for Friday night bonfires…cute dinner dates…sassy square dancing…or even grocery shopping–that is what I did tonight while wearing this outfit *wink* Oh, yeah! Living on the wild side! *wink*

Now, as I snack on these delicious banana chips from Earth Fare, let’s take a look at the snazzy outfit details. 

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Blouse: The Limited

Skirt: Three07

Belt: Thrifted

Boots: Old West, Williams Brothers (Philadelphia, Mississippi)

Earrings: Hearts of Stone Jewelry by Rachel Leathers

BLOOPER: My clumsiness never fails while on photo shoots--but sometimes, it turns out somewhat cute *wink*
BLOOPER: My clumsiness never fails while on photo shoots–but sometimes, it turns out somewhat cute *wink*

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Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn

 

VIP Interview: Arlene Goldstein, Belk Vice President of Trend Merchandising and Fashion Direction

IMG_4297Fabulous, modern, and classic are just a few words to describe the apparel at Belk and Arlene Goldstein, Belk INC.’s Vice President of Trend Merchandising and Fashion Direction.

Arlene Goldstein has over twenty-five years of fashion industry experience under her fashionista belt. She has traveled all over the world to some of fashion’s hot-spot cities in search of emerging trends and brands for Belk stores.With her signature styling and Southern fashion charm, Arlene truly exemplifies Belk’s motto “Modern. Southern. Style.”

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I had the wonderful pleasure of meeting Arlene at the 2014 Spring Preview at Belk the Summit. She looked amazing—sporting a leather moto jacket, printed dress, and leopard heels, which is her favorite “color” *wink* What fashionista doesn’t love leopard?!

The Spring Preview was spectacular, and I cannot wait for the trends to hit the racks! I sense a shopping spree in the near future *wink*

After Arlene’s presentation, she sat down with the VIP to chat about her favorite Spring 2014 trend, personal style, and more!

Now, without further ado, I present to you the VIP interview with Arlene Goldstein, Belk INC Vice President of Trend Merchandising and Fashion Direction.

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VIP: What is your favorite Spring 2o14 trend?

Arlene: I love jet setter because I love the prints. Since I travel so much, I wear a lot of black, and the jet setter trend is a chance for me to integrate some “Oh WOW!” pieces without stepping too far outside of my comfort zone. I also love the accessories–the tribal twist is definitely fabulous!

VIP: Oh, yes! Accessories make all of the difference! So, when you are not traveling with Belk, what are some of your favorite things to do?

Arlene: Well, I have a slew of grandkids, and I love being with them anytime I can! I enjoy going antique shopping too–I love old stuff. Also, if I happen to be in town when the flea market is, I love going out to it to see what all I can find. If I leave with one little trinket–I am happy. 

VIP: How would you describe your personal style?

Arlene: I think it is classic with a twist. I like to ensure that I have the basic building blocks of a wardrobe like those great, timeless pieces that can take you from season to season. 

VIP: What is your favorite fashion era and why?

Arlene: I love the 40’s because they were very romantic and sort of the post-war ear where the hemlines got longer–which we can see the hemlines dropping again in today’s fashion trends. Also in the 1940’s women were very chic–they dressed from head-to-toe with marvelous style and elegance. 

VIP: What is your favorite fashion season?

Arlene: Definitely fall!

VIP: What is your favorite fall fashion piece?

Arlene: Absolutely a jacket!

VIP Question: What is one item in your closet you would never toss out and why?

Arlene: I do not know that I have one piece, but I really love keeping accessories because you can wear older jewelry with more trendy jewelry for a look that is totally your own. Also, I would never toss out anything that was vintage. 

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Keep up with Arlene Goldstein on Twitter @BelkFashionBuzz. Be sure to check out her writings for the Huffington Post for fun and fabulous fashion articles you will love!

Twitter: click here.

Huffington Post: click here.

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Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn

Project Runway: Belk Challenge Season 12 Episode 9

THE REMAINING NINE (back row from left to right) Jeremy, Brandon, Alexander, Alexandria (front row from left to right) Kate, Ken, Dom, Helen, Justin
THE REMAINING NINE
(back row from left to right) Jeremy, Brandon, Alexander, Alexandria
(front row from left to right) Kate, Ken, Dom, Helen, Justin

Heidi: “Are you impressed that you’re still here?”

All of the designers: “Yes!” *nodding their heads*

Southern style brunch on Project Runway Season 12 Episode 9.
Southern style brunch on Project Runway Season 12 Episode 9.

Hey y’all!–imagine my saying this in my most genuine Southern Belle accent–Are y’all ready for the VIP’s weekly recap of Project Runway?

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Tim Gunn: “She is a modern Southern woman…She is the Belk customer…She dresses vibrantly and impressively. She is always fashionably put together. She knows how to use accessories, and she loves color and anything with feminine detail.”

Me: “Mom, I think Tim Gunn just described me perfectly!”

Mom: “Sweetheart, he just described every true Southern lady perfectly.”

Ken purchasing his fabric at Mood with his GoBank card. Image provided by The Weinstein Company.
Ken purchasing his fabric at Mood with his GoBank card.
Image provided by The Weinstein Company.

After their classy Southern brunch and thirty-minute sketching time, the designers were given thirty minutes in Mood to find their fabric and were given a suggested GoBank spending budget of $200–$250. Wouldn’t it be fabulous to have a $200–$250 GoBank shopping budget at Belk? I can imagine myself walking out of those doors with bags of fabulous attire, accessories, and sweet high heels. Do I have a shopping addiction? Sure, some would call it that…now, back to Project Runway!

With one day to create their looks, the designers were antsy about creating something that a modern Southern woman would wear.

Helen: “I do not design for the modern Southern woman…this is way out of my comfort zone.”

Alexander: “I do not dress like a modern Southern woman…just like a modern 80s woman.”

When time was up in the workroom, Tim Gunn (looking dashing as always) escorted the designers and models to the runway.

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The winner of this challenge was Brandon. I liked the concept of his design; however, I am not too crazy about the plaid. I can definitely see this dress in vibrant colors and a pretty, flowy fabric…perhaps then…the true modern Southern woman would snatch it off the rack at Belk. Kudos for the fabulous design concept, Brandon! Boo on the plaid!

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Heidi: “We think you all did not fully understand the concept of this challenge, and you all could benefit from a little bit more time…For the first time in Project Runway history, I’m going to send you back to the workroom. Right now—you will have one hour to work on your look, and to give you a little help, each of you can choose one fellow designer. You have access to all of the fabrics in the workroom….”

So…Designers Dom, Jeremy, and Ken were sent back to the workroom…all I could think was good luck, my darlings!

Designer Dom's second look. The second winning look of this challenge.
Designer Dom’s second look. The second winning look of this challenge.
Image provided by The Weinstein Company.

I LOVE THIS DRESS! Just so all of you know….when this dress arrives at Belk, I will be running to get it!

Designer Jeremy's first look.
Designer Jeremy’s first look.
Image provided by The Weinstein Company.
Bless his heart…Despite Jeremy’s valiant effort, he was sent home. I was very sad to see him go because I am going to miss his wonderful designs and especially his British accent.
Ken Laurence's first look.
Ken Laurence’s first look.
Image provided by The Weinstein Company.
Ken Laurence's second look.
Ken Laurence’s second look.
Image provided by The Weinstein Company.

After watching Episode 9, I chatted with Ken about the challenge and his two spectacular garments.

Me: “If you could have created a completely new garment, what would you have created?”

Ken: “I would have created the exact same dress in a different fabric. My goal was to find a lighter, more flowy fabric, but I ran out of time in Mood…and the color was most important.”

Me: “What was the concept behind your first design?”

Ken: “I wanted to design something that I witnessed selling on a day-to-day basis when I worked as a stylist at BCBG–before Project Runway. Southern women came in looking for maxi dresses that were simple, easy-to-wear, and could be accessorized for all occasions. Another factor I tried to think about was the climate here in Alabama, and that was why I wanted to go with a lighter fabric.”

Me: “What was your goal when you went back to the workroom to modify your look?”

Ken: “My main goal was to just have a dress…I was not thinking about the modern Southern woman anymore…I was just thinking about giving the judges a different look. In my original sketch, I actually created a silhouette similar to the one in my second look so I just went with it.

Personally, I loved designer Ken’s first look the most! I loved the fact that it could be easily accessorized…we all know how much the VIP loves her accessories!

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Phew…this episode was quite the humdinger! I cannot wait to see what Episode 10 has to offer!

Don’t forget to live tweet with YOUR favorite designer by using the hashtags below!

#DesignerKen

#DesignerKate

#DesignerHelen

#DesignerDom

#DesignerJustin

#DesignerBrandon

#DesignerAlexandria

#DesignerAlexander

Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn