"Feeling unique is a habit you shouldn't give up."

- Alberto Fermani

"Anyone can get all dressed up and glamorous, but it is how people dress in their off days that is the most intriguing."

-Alexander Wang


Pikolinos Does Maasai

During a shopping jaunt with my intern the other day, we came across these great shoes in Nordstrom by the brand Pikolinos. The shoes are made in Spain but then sent to Kenya where they are handbeaded by people of the Maasai tribe. The result is gorgeous, boho chic shoes that are insanely comfortable. I had never heard of the line before and thought it was new but the salesperson informed me they've had them for a while just never with the beading. Lo and behold, when I researched it a little, I discovered that Olivia Palermo is the brand ambassador for the Maasai Project and that this is the fourth collection. The Project enables women of the Maasai community to earn a salary that gives them greater access to food, medicine, and education while enabling them to hold on to a traditional way of life. Cool project, cool shoes.


Sometimes It Takes a BIG Message to Get the Point Across- Barbara Kruger at The Hirshorn

Barbara Kruger, Belief + Doubt Exhibit, The Hirshorn Museum
If I haven't mentioned it, I have the loveliest, smartest, sweetest intern working with me from T.C. Williams. Patience is a senior and graduates soon, after which she'll head to VCU for a major in fashion. I've been lucky to have her here even if for such a short time.

Besides the obvious work that I do regularly (closet consultations, photo shoots, personal shopping, and blogging) I wanted to make sure that I expressed to Patience other types of things I do in an effort to find inspiration and to make myself more knowledgeable. So today we headed into DC to check out a new exhibit at the National Archives called The Documerica Photography Project- Searching for the Seventies. It was fascinating and I can't wait to tell you more about it later. But we also popped into the Hirshorn (my fave) and came across an exhibit I hadn't been expecting and didn't know was there.(That's why you should always make a stop in the restroom because you never know what you'll find on the lower level of the museum.)

Barbara Kruger, a 60-something artist based in New York, transformed the area into a room full of messages, some funny, some powerful, some provocative but all a thought-inducing. She's well known for "I Shop Therefore I Am"- which you might think is my favorite, but isn't. I do, however, have a few. Topping the list- "Belief + Doubt = Sanity." I'm also a big fan of "Whose Power? Whose Values?" and, finally, as you make your way down the escalator, "Don't Look Down on Anyone."

Really, though, there's something for everyone. It might make you a little uncomfortable with all those giant letters in black, white, and red surrounding you and getting in your face. But a little uncomfortable is what keeps life interesting, right?


From Sweaters to Swelter

Saturday was so cool in Rehoboth Beach, DE that we didn't even hit the beach. Sunday we ventured out but at a brisk 70 degrees, my cover-up stayed decidedly ON. You can imagine how icy the water felt. But just a few short days later, temps are reaching the mid-90s and DC's characteristic summer humidity has set in. I'm not gonna lie. I LOVE it when the weather is like this. My friend Elizabeth (as in The Shoe Hive Elizabeth) calls me at least once in the beginning of every summer to say two things. The first is that she remembers the summer (probably 10 years ago now) that I called her and said, "The weather is so amazing today that I went outside and just twirled around!" This is unbelievable to her because the weather I was referring to was exactly like it was today. The second thing she says is- and this is a follow-up to the story I just told- "I hate summer." I guess we just have to agree to disagree. DC summers work for me.

Today my daughter Pearl snapped a picture of me with my phone in a characteristic summer outfit pour moi- a midi-length eyelet white dress, platform sandals, and big earrings. Big earrings replace my statement necklaces or bracelets in the heat to avoid sweating in them. Earrings are cooler. That's a fact. So bring it on summer! I'm ready and waiting.

Summer of 2013 with a Summer of '72 Vibe


Free To Be Me

I stopped blogging. I don't know exactly what my problem was but it had something to do with feeling uninspired. I was tired of trying to come up with interesting "content." But the other day, I had an epiphany. I have a point of view on style and fashion and, while that always influences what I'm posting about, I was working too hard to appeal to a lot of different people. I had forgotten to tell you about what really inspires me. Or at least what really brings me joy because it is beautiful. So I'm getting back to basics starting now.

The Rodin Museum in Philadelphia re-opened after a lengthy renovation. About 8 months ago, the family and I visited it and I found it to be really special. My favorite was the bust of  The Man with a Broken Nose. The message is not hard to decipher- Rodin found beauty in character, not just what was thought of as traditionally beautiful. It is a powerful, moving sculpture and I felt strongly connected to it. It also drove home the idea that the things that speak to me don't need anyone else's approval. I'm just free to be me!

The Man with a Broken Nose
Auguste Rodin



Paris is on my mind. If I had to describe one of the major driving mantras in my style ideology, it would be "try to look like you're not trying." I think this is what makes Parisienne women so chic. They can be dressed up or down but it looks completely natural.

I'm calling myself out by mentioning this but I have a minor obsession with all of the Real Housewives. Last week on the Beverly Hills version, the ladies were in Paris. A couple of them looked so ridiculously L.A., so over the top, so... wearing things that look like they are trying to be stylish, that they stuck out like sore thumbs in the City of Sophistication. Note to self, when visiting Paris, keep it simple.

I don't have plans to visit again any time soon but, if I were suddenly to be whisked away for a whirlwind long weekend (hint, hint), here is what I'd pack.

Weekend in Paris

Proenza Schouler striped sweater / Markus Lupfer / Isabel Marant / Current/Elliott / Isabel Marant printed pants / Rachel Zoe jersey skirt / Marc by Marc Jacobs leather pants / CO-OP Barneys New York platform booties / Isabel Marant low heels / Valextra bag / Chanel shoulder bag, $3,890 / Diane von Furstenberg color block handbag / Stackable ring / Alexis Bittar earrings / Alexis Bittar crystal stud earrings


Track Pants

A couple of years ago (4 seasons maybe?) I bought a pair of blush track pants by 3.1 Phillip Lim. The fabric is some kind of silky synthetic concoction so they are sturdier than silk but still have that look. The waistband is elastic. The legs taper at the ankle. They are, by all accounts, sweatpants made from fancier fabric. I have worn them too many times to keep track of but they have served me well for all different types of events. They've been paired with a sequin tank, tribal necklace, and fedora for a casual party, with a silk top and white tuxedo jacket for a cocktail party, and, just the other day, with an Isabel Marant vintage-inspired baseball tee and fitted denim jacket for day. It was in just this ensemble a couple of days ago that I realized how many people still have not taken the leap to trying out this silhouette. I had no fewer than 5 people stop me to tell me how much they liked them. I was amazed that people seemed to react as if they had never seen something like them because the style is everywhere in the stores. I myself have added 4 or 5 additional pairs in different colors and fabrics, the most recent being an amazing black leather version. So, if you haven't tried them yet, give it a shot. They're much more flattering- and comfortable- than you imagine.

Look at these ladies from LFW and see what I mean...
(Images from Vogue and Harpers Bazaar)


Leather Love

You might not think of leather as a typical Spring fabric but this season's versions are lightweight and buttery soft. While I know the thought of wearing it in a DC summer is ridiculous (I won't even wear cuff bracelets when the humidity makes it feel like 100 degrees), I think of the lighter version as a three-season kind of prospect rather than just Spring. So indulge now because the weather is perfect!

Leather Love

theyskens' theory leather tank / Alice + Olivia peplum tank, $570 / Vince jacket / Vince jacket / Helmut Lang / Helmut Lang slit skirt, $410 / A.L.C. / Proenza Schouler