Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Hunt

I've become obsessed with finding the PERFECT Cheetah or Leopard print coat** this year (faux fur only, please). I'd like a classic chubbie style (yah, that's the technical term). Short + swingy. A big collar would be nice. Oh, and a vintage bargain is the dream.

Kate Spade's version has a great bow on the back:

Shopping at Buckle would make me feel like a teen-- but the price is right:

Etsy always has good options-- but the dream is a little shorter:

Have you found the perfect faux fur outerwear this year? Let us know!

*** bonus points if you can tell me the difference between these two animal prints.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wear Everything All The Time

I read a post by Sal of Already Pretty today (via Yes and Yes) that really resonated with me. Maybe it is because I am in the midst of moving all of my things, and am realizing how much stuff I own that I love and just don't use. I really enjoyed her musings on making use of the things we own - otherwise, what is the point of owning them?

(paraphrased and edited a tad below - full text here)

When I wear white, I eat spaghetti. Or drink coffee. Or munch on Cheetos. Or write with Sharpies or open cans of motor oil or serve grape juice to passing children or basically do any and everything possible to STAIN THE LIVING BEJEEZUS OUT OF MY CLOTHING. But I wear white anyway because what’s the point of owning it if it doesn’t get worn?

I am trying to apply this philosophy to my fancy and special-occasion garments, too. Why should those languish just because they’re flashy, or dressy, or stylized, or a wee bit more delicate than my standard boots and tee-shirts? As many have said before me, none of my clothes are "too good" for me to wear them. If I own something, it should be fair game.

But how can flashy, dressy, stylized, or delicate items get worked into daily outfits?

Don’t worry about it: ...If I am so worried about ruining something that I won’t ever wear it, I might as well not own it at all. It’s relegated to closet candy and what they hell good is that? If something gets worn and damaged, it can generally be repaired somehow. If something gets worn and ruined, well, them’s the breaks. I realize that’s some tough love, especially when we might be talking heirloom garments or investment pieces … but you hear me, right? You might as well have set your money on fire if you’ve bought a garment or accessory only to let it gather dust.

Create balance: Whatever your superspecial item may be, make sure it’s the only superspecial thing about your outfit. This is particularly important if you’re dressing down a formal garment. Balance is created when you pair that sequined bustier with jeans and a black blazer, or when you wear your gigantic rhinestone bib necklace with a simple tee and black pencil skirt. Make sure there is plenty of casual and commonplace to counteract the jolt of formal and unusual.

Layer, layer, layer: The more stuff you've got on, the more a formal or flashy piece just looks like part of the mix. And even in summer, lightweight layers can help tone down a loud item. A mondo necklace is much less mondo when it's peeking out from a button-down shirt with a shrunken corduroy blazer thrown over it. A slinky formal dress becomes a sassy skirt when you pile a cowlneck sweater and cozy wrap on top. Those special occasion pieces will be far comfier if they have a wide variety of OTHER pieces to play amongst.

None of your clothes are better than you: Who exactly owns whom, I ask yas? If you've laid down your hard-earned cash for a piece of clothing, it had better earn its keep. It's something you liked, something that fit your figure and suited your personal style, and it's something that made you feel good. So allow it to make you feel good more than just once or twice in your lifetime. YOU'RE gorgeous and special, beautiful and luminous. Why not wear the items you own that make you feel that way?

I love this post. I first experienced this concept at a young age, when I kept my first bottle of perfume hidden away in my dresser. I loved the smell of it, and would pull it out and wear it only on what I deemed "special" occasions. Well, five years passed, and that bottle was still in my dresser, and still depressingly full. At that point, I didn't even love the scent any more and ended up getting rid of it. It was a tangible reminder that every occasion should be as special as you want it to be, and that if you hold something back and save it for what you think is the "right time", you get a whole lot less use out of it than if you just wore it when you wanted to. If you love something ... use it!

I'm not sure why, but after reading the blog post, the photo spread of Emma Watson in the August 2009 Teen Vogue popped into my head. I think when I first saw these photos, I loved how casual these otherwise fancy-pants skirts and dresses were turned with a deftly placed teeshirt or blazer or pair of funky tights.

Do you make an effort to wear your most beloved pieces as often as possible?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Animal Head Art - Black Apple

I always love whatever the Black Apple has up her sleeve, and she doesn't disappoint with this little round of animal headed folk, painted onto little scalloped wooden plaques. She is putting them up for sale at noon PST/3pm EST tomorrow (Wed, Oct 27), and I am sure they will go like hotcakes, though that won't stop me from trying to buy the birdhead boy for myself.

If we are lucky, she will turn them into a postcard set for all of us to enjoy.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

No Sweat - Shop Preview

Since the weather is getting chilly, we've got some sweaters hitting the shop this week as well. Here's a few cardigans and crew necks to whet your wooly appetite:

Don't forget to follow us on twitter for instant notification on when we post something.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Dress to Impress - Shop Preview

Aight, guys. I know things have been slow around here at AHV, but I think things have settled enough after the wedding that we are ready to get back into the swing of things. I'm really excited about all the stuff we have stockpiled to finally make it into the shop. Dresses and jackets and sweaters and boots!

For your eyes only ... here is a peek at some of the dresses we've got coming your way:

As always - follow us on twitter and be first to know when something gets posted!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Designers to Know: Lauren Moffatt

I stumbled upon the wonderful Lauren Moffatt when I was researching new capes (my weakness!) and had to share some of her outerwear, since we are heading into Fall. She knows her way around contrasting piping, peter pan collars, bold buttons and sharp silhouettes.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Vintage Destination: Swift Vintage

I've been meaning to blog about the lovely Carrie of Swift Vintage for a few months now, ever since I accidentally stumbled upon her shop during one of my many trips to Burbank while I was planning my wedding. I'd actually seen Swift's shop on etsy, and had already been admiring some of their bright pieces, and was delighted to find that their brick and mortar shop was just as lovely and full of treasures as their online store. Plus, Carrie runs the place, perched behind her sewing machine, surrounded by well groomed dress forms while fixing up lovely old frocks and coats. She's pretty much living in my dream job. She's lovely, and she runs a lovely space:

Swift Vintage Shoppe & Sewing Studio
3212 & 3216 W Magnolia Blvd
Burbank, CA 91505
(818) 558-1289

And, I waltzed outta there with the best 70s plaid coat you've ever seen, hand stitched back to perfection by Carrie herself. Big heart. Little shop. I'll be back the next time I find myself in southern California.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Vintage Inspired: USBtypewriters

So, I own many a typewriter and always lament that they don't seem terribly practical for much else than decor on a shelf, or writing the occasional love letter. Enter USBtyewriter. This dude converts vintage typewriters into keyboards for your computer. You can purchase one all ready to go for $500, or buy the kit and do it yourself for around $50. Either way ... holy awesome.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Designer - Tina Frey

Always a fan of peter pan collars, and was delighted when I stumbled upon designer Tina Frey's 2010 tailor collection:

There is something nice about the stiffness of these "collars" instead of the expected fabric versions.
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