"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


Outerwear Wardrobe

This is a great time of year to invest in your outerwear wardrobe. You've still got two and a half months at least of really cold weather and you're sure to find coats at great prices right now. Having several coats in your arsenal is helpful and, if you put a little thought in to what you buy, you should be able to wear them for many years. With that in mind, don't be afraid to put a little extra money toward the basics since your cost per wear should be nice and low.


1. Long, black wool coat. Don't think boring; think interesting! Details in the lapel, buttons, cut, et cetera are what will make this a coat you'll get compliments on whether you're wearing it as a dress coat or more casually.

2. Mid-length puffer coat. Puffer coat just sounds big. Choose one that is nipped in at the waist and not overly bulky and you won't feel like a giant marshmallow. This is the coat you'll put on every time during those brutal sub-freezing days.


1. Fur or faux fur coat. Instantly glams up an outfit whether you're wearing jeans or cocktail attire.

2. Interesting pattern or other less practical details coat. There are some places you go that you never take your coat off, day in and day out. Like your kid's school to drop-off and pick-up. Your amazing outfit is never seen. But THIS coat is part of your outfit, making you look pulled together without even showing what's underneath.

3. Vintage coat. Whether a cocktail coat, day coat, or a fur coat, your vintage coat is one-of-a-kind. They are fun to wear, usually inexpensive, and beautiful. I pick them up whenever I can.


New Year's Countdown

As the New Year races towards us, I find myself once again wondering what I'll wear to ring it in. What to do if you're not going to a wild, glittering, dance-fest? How about if your night will be spent more quietly with close friends eating, drinking, and making merry in a much more subtle way? This sounds more like my evening. But, once the kids go to bed and the adults can (hopefully) stay up to watch the ball drop, I want to have something special on. I like the idea of this (change out the brown ribbon on the sweater with the black silk tie). It seems comfy but still sexy and festive. My favorite part is the necklace with the watch hanging from it. The perfect accessorie with which to count down!


It Snowed!

I guess I haven't been watching the news much because I had absolutely no idea it was supposed to snow today. I actually left the house, sans snow, this morning with wedges (no boots and no socks!), no hat, and no scarf. By the time I hit Georgetown to do some client shopping, I could barely walk down the street. Tomorrow, I'll be more prepared- although I hear it's supposed to totally melt. Anyway, I'm not taking any chances. This is what I'm thinking- and, by the way, this works great for snow on the ground but not so great for snow coming down since the fur will end up unattractive to say the least.


Hankering for Some Warmer Weather

In the midst of all this Christmas shopping, I stopped in to my all-time favorite store, The Shoe Hive. The She Hive started out as primarily shoes, of course, but has expanded to a wonderful selection that includes handbags, hosiery, sunglasses, jewelry, and more. The selection is wonderful because it covers a wide range of prices and styles. You're as likely to find a great necklace or pair of leather gloves on the "under $100" wall as you are in the glass case. And this is not the same stuff you see in every department store. I'm not sure if I've ever left without purchasing something. Of course, when I stopped in the other day for a gift, I walked out with several including an amazing necklace of tiny gold discs strung on brightly colored silk with teeny tiny evil eyes dangling at the clasp. Can we say, one for you, one for me, please?!

BUT, in addition to my gift success, I really got a hankering for a little bit of someplace warm. Check out these adorable flip flops and this fantastic bag perfect for the beach or anywhere. With months to go until respite from the cold, I guess my dreams of these will just have to keep me warm!

The bag and shoes are available online at www.theshoehive.com. For a full selection, stop in the store. 127 South Fairfax St., Old Town, Alexandria.


Quick and Easy

With so many social events this time of year, sometimes you just don't have that much time to devote to getting ready for them. Whether it's a quick change after work or throwing something on after a full day of Christmas shopping, here are two super easy outfits that will look beautiful and pulled together in about 5 minutes. The key is a great fitting dress that doesn't require a lot of extra accessorizing. Great earrings, great bag, great shoes and you're done. Have fun at the party!


A Pleasant Shopping Surprise

I wandered into World Market today looking for something for my bathroom. I hadn't been in there in a long time even though I've always liked it. But I was really pleasantly surprised to find a great- and large- selection of fun jewelry and scarves. The stuff is very inexpensive, perhaps even cheap, but for seven bucks, I picked up a cute pair of gold dangle earrings with coral beads and, for thirty, a great multi beaded and multi colored necklace. The best find of all, though, was this three tiered jewelry box. I have been searching for years for something big enough to house all my large necklaces. Until now, they have rested in permanent disarray on the top of a lingerie dresser. Although they are still a little stacked on top of each other, every necklace fit into it and it is far more organized than ever before. Since becoming better organized is on my New Year's Resolution list ever single year (literally), I feel like I'm actually ahead of the game. For once!

(By the way, the jewelry on the World Market website doesn't even come close to what was in the store so make the trip in if you have a chance.)


Party Accessories

In keeping with our holiday party trend, I've put together a bunch of my favorite accessories. All of these are pretty affordable and, just as importantly, interesting. Remember, this can be a great time to throw some color into the outfit, especially if you're wearing a basic black dress. Have fun with it!

Flair- velvet
$198 - juicycouture.com
Juicy couture bags »

Remsey Bracelet
$100 - amritasingh.com
Amrita Singh bracelets »

Maeve Earrings, Stratus
$120 - charmandchain.com
Chain earrings »

(Items pictured at top: Soleil necklace from j.crew.com, Lavish earrings from cusp.com, and Amrita bracelets from cusp.com)