Your Retro Tiki Weekend Wardrobe

Mid century America was crazy for all things tropical and Hawaiian. Many served in the South Pacific during World War II, and returned home with tales of palm trees and rum. Hawaii's 1959 statehood and the advent of quick and more affordable jet travel made it a popular - yet still exotic - travel destination. "Trader Vic" Bergeron opened his first restaurant in California in 1934, serving an approximation of Cantonese food and concocting cocktails like the Mai Tai. All over the country, Polynesian pop culture spread - tiki bars, backyard luaus, and Exotica albums and movies were everywhere. Those who still still celebrate the sips, styles and sounds from this era meet up at various tiki weekend parties all over the country. Two of the biggest are the Hukilau (June 6-9th in Fort Lauderdale) and Tiki Oasis (August 15-18th in San Diego).

257828_10100136482430178_3901742_oMe (on the right) with friends at the Mai Kai

Heart of Haute will help you pack your bags to arrive as the perfect retro tiki pin-up! Having attended a few of these events, here are my tips:
  • Bring more than one bathing suit. A lot of the events are poolside, and you don't want to be pulling on a soggy suit after a midnight dip in the Ocean. A stylish swimsuit cover up, like our quick drying Knotty Dress, is also a must.
  • At the Hukilau, the Mai Kai can be quite warm inside. I like a cocktail dress that will still keep me cool. The Sweetie Dress in Hip Kitty has an authentic vintage shape, and a print that will help you stand out in the sea of floral aloha wear. Get to the Mai Kai with plenty of time before your dinner show reservation to enjoy the gardens and the great happy hour prices in the Molokai Bar. The Moonkist Coconut is my favorite drink.
  • The Paradise Dress has a great retro wiggle dress shape in a perfect tropical pattern, with a faux sarong front that ties at the waist.
  • There is a lot of standing, dancing, and walking around. I like wedges for just a little more comfort.
  • Tiki Oasis has a theme each year - for 2013, it's "Hulabilly." For this mix of Hawaiian and country rockabilly style, bring our Ellie Tie Front Top in Red Gingham, a sweet Heart of Haute top, or gingham headbands and hair bows. Our best selling Sweetie Dress comes in red, blue, olive, and black gingham - the perfect fit for this "Hawaiian Hootenanny."
  • Accessories! These parties are not the time to be subtle. I always bring tons of hair flowers, sunglasses, and jewelry. A few extra to loan to your best friend is always a good plan.
  • I don't actually stay at the official Hukilau hotel(s). I like the Best Western Oceanside. It's right next door and has a cute little pool and free breakfast.
  • Don't overdo it! Take a nap every afternoon and alternate drinks with water. Have some snacks in your room and wear sunscreen.
Love & Moonkist Coconuts, Mrs. V  
Tiki Weekend Style

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Nine West ChillPill vip.zappos.com

Black heartofhaute.com

Heart of Haute: Attire for the Workplace

For many years, I had my "work clothes" and my "real clothes." My work clothes were your typical boring unflattering dress pants, ill-fitting collared shirts, and floppy cardigan sweaters that I had somehow decided were what office jobs required. I put much more thought and effort into my "real clothes" and felt more comfortable in the unique dresses and outfits I wore to fun events with my friends. I have since largely integrated my work wardrobe and my "real clothes." I no longer have a division in my closet, and I am not ashamed to meet friends at the tiki bar right after work (in fact, sometimes that mai tai is essential and must be acquired ASAP). Many of us have requirements for work wear (no jeans, covering tattoos, natural hair colors) that are limiting, but they don't make expressing your style and feeling great impossible. If you are in a conservative industry or position of authority (yes, and yes for me), the rules (or rules you place on yourself) may be even stricter. Thankfully, a lot of retro dresses and other pieces work well for the office. I like skirts and dresses for work to touch the top of my knee when standing. Feel free to disregard my suggestions if you are confident that you are in a more creative or permissive arena, but I don't think that miniskirts belong at any type of office job. I also abide by no cleavage at work, but daring dresses and tops can easily be worn with a scarf or camisole. A few items that do more than their share of heavy lifting in my work wardrobe: Dresses - comfortable, cute, and great for those mornings when you forgot to pick an outfit the night before - no decisions to make! I wear both knit and cotton dresses most days of the week. Ponte knit is a great fabric that is comfortable yet has a very refined look. Cotton dresses will keep you looking sharper and feeling more comfortable in the warmer months. High-waisted black pencil skirt - any top tucked into this looks more pulled together. The three piece rule can also be helpful. Three pieces can make a more complete looking outfit. Skirt, shirt, sweater. Pants, top, scarf. Dress, jacket, scarf. Plain black blazer - great for making any outfit look like serious business. Look for jackets that are fully lined. A structured blazer thrown over a cotton dress like the Monique is a great look, and an easy way to make more casual dresses work appropriate. Leave the blazer at work during the summer to take the chill off of excessive air conditioning. A sleeveless Ella blouse and swing skirt like our Twirl Skirt is an outfit that can keep you cool during a hot commute. My business travel and or conference uniform is one blazer thrown over several knit dresses. It is as put-together as a suit and certainly more comfortable for long days in meetings. A large tote bag is essential for carrying your shoes, lunch, work, purse, and even gym clothes without looking like an overburdened pack rat. I have this canvas tote - it is stiff enough to keep its shape well, and has a zip top. It is decent enough to carry into a meeting, yet can be thrown into the washing machine. With spring comes many graduations, and then new jobs and internships. Take some time to really think about the look that you want to project at work, and invest in a few key pieces. You will feel better, and look great – the corner office is waiting for you! Mrs. V
Retro style at work

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What Do I Wear to This Wedding?

Spring is finally here - warmer days, blooming flowers, and a pile of wedding invitations in your mailbox. Weddings now are not always the church and banquet hall celebrations of the past. Couples have gotten more creative, and often more casual. Looking for the perfect dress to wear to a non-traditional (or traditional) wedding? Heartbreaker has you covered! You never thought your wildest friend would ever settle down, but she is getting hitched in Vegas! It's sure to be an outrageous party, and you want to look the part. The Sweetie Dress in (limited edition) Hip Kitty leopard fabric will look right at home on the Strip, downtown on Fremont street, or posing with the Elvis Impersonator who performs the ceremony. Don't forget a sweater to ward off the freezing casino air conditioning, and a hat for a hungover pool day. For your very practical and private friend, there was no ceremony - they simply went down to the courthouse on a Tuesday. For the informal after party at a local bar, try our popular Beverly Dress in Black Dynasty. The gold metallic print elevates it from typical daytime wear. For a more traditional, semi formal wedding, try the Elsie or Elaine Dresses by Heart of Haute. These cocktail dresses are polished  and versatile, whether you prefer a fitted or fuller skirt. Sheer black stockings and your highest heels complete the look. For a tropical destination wedding, the Rebecca Dress has a full skirt and halter top that will keep you cool and comfortable in the sun and sand. Remember your sunglasses, sunscreen, and no tanning until the ceremony is over - no one wants to be the lobster sunburn girl in the photos! Kork Ease Sandals are comfortable, come in many colors and heel heights, and look better than flip flops. For a casual ceremony in the country (or even a bridal shower), try our Aimee Dress in (limited) Strawberry Patch. The Marseilles Dress in the Katherine Floral Print is a great choice for a chic country or beach wedding. For wedding gift ideas, I like a couple of cookbooks (Nigel Slater and Mark Bittman are both great), and a cast iron skillet. It is something that every kitchen (and barbeque grill, and campsite) needs, and one will last a lifetime. I hope that you have a great summer filled with top shelf open bars, good appetizers, and inspired dance moves gleaned from other people's parents! Mrs. V
What to Wear to Weddings - Summer 2013

Heart of Haute History! The Original Halter Top

Hello Heart of Haute Honeys, It seems not-so long ago that I was sitting in a hallway at Cal State Fullerton waiting for my next class to start. I spent many hours in my sketch book coming up with new designs; simple things to get Heart of Haute started. Back in those days, we were only selling on eBay and Live Journal communities.  The Heart of Haute Halter Dress, The Heart of Haute Halter Top, Aline Skirt, and Sweetie dress were the very first items in our line.  I can tell you that some of the styles I came up with are still in our line today. As months and years go by, some styles prove to be true classics in the eye of my fashion-friendly female customer. Styles like the Sweetie Dress and the Super Spy Dress, which have both been our line since 2005.  When we notice a decrease in sales and interest on a particular item, we may eventually retire a design. The Halter Top and its big sister, the Heart of Haute Halter Dress, are two of our original designs we decided to put away- but surely, not for good! I recently began receiving e-mails and requests on our facebook page for our original halter top. In efforts to keep things moving forward, I would regretfully tell the customer that item was no longer offered.  Though, after some thought about it and enough requests, we decided to bring this classic piece of Heart of Haute design history back into action! Here's a look back at some of our original photos on models- these date back to 2006. Miss Bernie Dexter Screen shot 2013-05-02 at 2.39.11 PM Cherry Dollface yhst-45547213099599_2261_709281682 Jasper James jasperblackhalter   The Heart of Haute Halter Top is now available on our website for order. I realize these are short tops, but I always advise those who don't want to bare their bellies to layer it over another halter or seek out a high waist-ed skirt or pants. Here's to an excellent summer, Heart of Haute lovers. Grab your halter tops for only $28.99! We will be adding more print options in the coming days. With Love & No Regrets, Mandie Bee        

Retro Prom Style with Heart of Haute

Prom as we know it today has is origins in formal banquets that universities held in spring for their graduating classes. The popularity of Prom increased with American prosperity and the cult of the teenager in the  mid-twentieth century. Prom fashion has thankfully become more personal and flexible in recent years - no longer is it required to have your satin shoes dyed exactly to match. If you are looking for a unique (and handmade) look for prom, Heart of Haute has the options you have been searching for. The layered satin Juliet dress is romantic and elegant, with floral scalloped lace and a bare back.  The Antoinette Dress covers your shoulders while having a see-through lace back, in burgundy or black. Looking for a classic 1950s style? The Marseilles dress can be worn over the shoulder or as a halter.  The Milan dress has a vintage shape in a trendy shade of pale green sateen, or classic black. A vintage prom look requires more than just a dress : hair, make-up and the perfect accessories are needed to complete the image.  Retro hair styles are perfect for prom, and you don't have to have long hair. Check out the ultra-popular Vintage Hairstyling Book, or any of pin-up model Cherry Dollface's hair and make-up tutorials. If you have naturally curly hair like me, check out Angelique Noire's  vintage hairstyle tutorials. Don't forget a hair flower or two to add to your updo! The Glamour Girl Shrug can add a bit of rockabilly or even punk style to your prom dress. For the perfect retro cat eye, I use gel eyeliner. Give yourself time for a test - it takes a bit of practice.  I find that it is easier than liquid, but gives you a sharper, darker line than a pencil. Keep the brush really clean for the best result. A retro or vintage inspired prom dress is just one of many styles that can help you look (and feel) great on the big night, even if you are old enough to chaperone your friend's kids, like me! Mrs. V
Retro prom style with Heartbreaker Fashion

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Lake heartofhaute.com

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Let's talk about Teer Wayde

Hello Heart of Haute Fans! Mandie Bee here. I've been busy buzzing around getting things done over here at HoH HQ this Spring. I've been meaning to post this blog entry for a while because I wanted to share my experience working with one of my favorite models! TeerMarleenblk During Viva Las Vegas,  my crew of lady friends (Katrina, Tara, and Sabina) and I were busy preparing for a quick photo shoot with the darling and dreamy Teer Wayde of Melbourne, Australia.  Teer has been a fan of Heart of Haute for years and we've been a fan of hers!   In her blog, Curves to Kill, she shares her favorite finds as well as  product reviews from various fashion lines. We are happy and honored to be among the brands she favors and reviews! vlvbts138_zps14167cddvlvbts132_zps3bf960ce While I was having my makeup done by Sabina (because I was also shooting that day), I had a ton of questions for Teer. So, I had a verbal interview with her as my eyelash glue was drying. It was kind of comical talking to her with one eye nearly glued shut, but I guess that's my way of doing things.  Casual, short, and sweet. I personally wanted to know about her and get her opinion on a few things as well.   So here are some fun facts about Teer:
  • She started her blog 3 years ago after numbers of people would e-mail her with questions about where she got her outfits for photo shoots. She thought it would be simpler and more effective to blog about the products she shoots in, that way the companies would receive recognition and her fans would get some great info, too!
  • She loves Heart of Haute for our fit and overall quality. She says she adores the Ella top because the buttons don't pucker over her bust. Yes! A button-up blouse for busty ladies? It's true.
  • Teer is also recognized as a plus size model and reminds us that beauty should never be associated with a dress size. She says she is definitely a promoter of healthy body image. Love your curves, girls!
  • Her advice to ladies of all sizes? Girl. Wear what you want. If you've got it, show it off and be proud of yourself.
Screen shot 2013-04-15 at 4.36.34 PM Screen shot 2013-04-15 at 4.36.59 PM(Photos by: TaraOPhotos.com  Phoenix, AZ - Makeup by: Sabina Chowaniec  Phoenix, AZ) Meeting Teer was a good thing and I'm so glad we had the opportunity.  Girls like her are truly inspirational. She is a sweetheart and a joy to be in the presence of- this girl is for real! Even though we spent about an hour working on the photo shoot, I can tell she is a genuine person that means what she says. Thank you, Teer!  I really appreciate you taking the time to come over for the shoot and talking with us.  My friends and I were fans before, and of course still are. It was just really cool to meet you! Screen shot 2013-04-15 at 5.20.09 PM   With Love & No Regrets, Mandie Bee    

The Sweetie Dress: The Ultimate Sundress

The Sweetie Dress has been with Heart of Haute since day 1.  It fits well, it's classic, and ladies just love it how it flatters their figure. We love it, too! This halter dress features the oh-so classic sweetheart neckline, full swingin' skirt, and princess seems through the body for a versatile fit. This dress really does looks wonderful on every kind of figure! It's no wonder we offer it in 21 different ways! I say it's the ultimate sundress. Why? First of all, the majority of the materials we choose are 100% cotton and machine washable! That's right. No trip to the dry cleaners for these sweet things.  The Sweetie Dress is also a simple piece, making it open to many interpretations to accessorize. Add a belt. A petticoat, perhaps. A cute lace slip to pop out above the neckline. It's also rather cute to pair with on of our Betty Boleros. Most importantly, The Sweetie dress FITS. I can't tell you how many of these dresses I've had in my closet over the years. It's a good standby for those summertime parties, weddings, and outings.  We continue to offer this style in new fashion prints each season as it has proven to be a staple in many ladies' fashion diets.  If you were on the fence about this style, maybe now is the time to take the plunge and find yourself lookin' sweet in one of our Sweeties.   LudellaSDBlkging I recently received this e-mail from a happy customer named, CarlyAnn, about our ever-popular, Sweetie Dress.
My name is CarlyAnn, and I just have to say I love your Sweetie Dress. I have never, NEVER been able to find a dress that fits my body off the rack without a single alteration- and certainly not online! I took a chance and purchased my second Sweetie thinking that maybe I just got lucky with the fit of the first one. But low and behold, it's two for two! I simply need to thank you for your amazing product! Please don't ever retire this cut! -1

Thank you, CarlyAnn for your testimonial!!!

With Love & No Regrets,

Mandie Bee

Viva Las Vegas: Angie Alamilla's Style Guide

Viva Las Vegas. Swing Dancers, Rockabilly and Vintage Enthusiasts flock by the thousands from all over the world each year to make it to this massive event!  It's like a subcultural adult prom that occurs every year.

I've been going with Heart of Haute to vend since 2006. One of our employees, Angie Alamilla, looks forward to Viva every year! In fact, Angie has created a basic style guide for the Viva-goer.  A car-show look, a casual day-look and an evening-look.

While there are TONS of events going on at Viva, one of my favorite things is to see what other girls are wearing.  I especially love walking around and spotting all the Heart of Haute out there, too!

We will have all of these items available for sale at the car show!

(with the exception of the Marsielles dress).

The Car Show look:

  Tres Noir "Ultra Lux"  Sunglasses 

The Sweetie Dress   This print will be exclusively sold at Viva Las Vegas and not on our website!

The Casual-Day look:

The Ellie Top in Mustard

and the Vogue Pencil Skirt in Black

The Evening Look:

The Marseilles Dress from Heart of Haute

See ya in Vegas!

 With Love & No Regrets,

Mandie Bee

Stay warm, look hot with Heart of Haute!

Winter Survival

Dress
heartbreakerfashion.com

Dress
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Cotton tote bag
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Houndstooth
heartbreakerfashion.com

Heart of Haute in the Car Culture Press!

I am honored and proud to know that two of our Heart of Haute models chose some of our pieces to use in photo shoots outside of our company. To my luck and surprise, these garments on ON THE COVER of 2 national car-enthusiast magazines. First, our gal Ludella Hahn, hits the cover of Rat Rod Magazine  in the Jane dress from the Mandie Bee line.  I think the imagery here is a good marriage of color and style. Nice work, Ludella!  (shot by her new hubby, Evan Smith).     Next,  a new face in the scene,  Lucy O' Doll, rocks our Stripey Marilyn top for a classic rockabilly look.  This is her first time winning the cover of a well-known magzine! Way to go, girl!   When I had Lucy come in for our product photo shoot with Mitzi & Co., she admitted it was only her 2nd for-real photo shoot. I'm amazed with all the work she's been producing since we first met her last August. This issue of CK Delux is on the stands now! It's truly amazing to find Heart of Haute wiggling its way into publications like these. If you happen to spot Heart of Haute when you're flipping through you're favorite pinup or hot rod magazine, let us know! We don't always catch it! With Love & No Regrets, Mandie Bee