"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



I've been neglecting my blog the past few days thanks to a minor kitchen makeover that turned a little more major than originally planned. You know how those things go. So I've been madly searching the web for beautiful kitchen things. However, since it is also the big kick-off for holiday shopping, I thought I'd share a few items that would make great gifts. I think a lot of holiday gift guides that go out are really fun but pretty unrealistic with regards to how much you'd actually spend on a gift for most people in your life (save your significant other and your kids!)so I tried to keep this much more reasonable.

I've mish-mashed all types of gift-receivers together- kids, hostesses, husbands, friends, etc. You decide what works best and for whom. These are in no particular order...

1. Linen Me guest towels at linenme.com $12-20
2. iTunes gift card to purchase newly available Beatles songs!
3. Barbie Basics Collection 001 at barbiecollector.com (Forget the designer Barbies! This set lets you start with a Barbie in sophisticated basic black and go from there. And there are a bunch of dolls to choose from that cover a spectrum of hair, eye, and skin colors.) $13 for a clothing collection, $18 for a doll
4. John Robshaw stationary, set of 8 cards at johnrobshaw.com $25
5. Set of french mixing bowls from Wisteria.com $36
6. Tommy Plaid hat at pendleton-usa.com $58
7. Skullycandy Chops 10 earphones at zappos.com $19.95
8. Polaroid Instant Pic-300b camera at amazon.com $80
9. Hermes Vetiver scented drawer liners at hermes.com $45
10. Personalized cocktail napkins at partyinnovations.com $48 for 100

Happy Gift Giving!


An Evening of Fashion and Good Will

Last week, I attended a fundraiser for Refugees International at Bloomingdales in Chevy Chase. The event was hosted by W Magazine and Mariella Trager and featured fashion line Ports 1961 who was debuting their line at Bloomies here in DC.

Ports 1961 was launched in 2004 and has made headlines ever since. The clothes are very sophisticated and chic but with an edginess that sets them apart from more traditional lines. The pieces fit beautifully and manage to be comfortable and cocktail-worthy at the same time. I've followed this line for a while now as you'll see it credited in all of the big fashion mags but it is the first time I had the opportunity to see it in person. I loved it and look forward to seeing what's to come.

As for what to wear to this event, I hesitated a bit. I didn't have any Ports (at the time!) so that wasn't an option. The presentation started at 6:30 pm on a week night so I knew many people would be coming straight from work. Plus, let's face it, this is DC and you could almost guarantee that a lot of people would be more casual than one would expect for something like this. I had planned on my Isabel Marant black wool top with a vintage skirt but didn't like how it was looking. I ended up in this. I liked it except that the top is really hard to get in and out of (no stretch) and I was trying on clothes. Oh well. Nevertheless, I managed through it and found a beautiful dress to kick off my Ports collection! I should also mention that, despite my skeptical attitude, there were some really beautifully dressed women that evening. It just goes to show that DC has begun to develop a great taste for fashion!

top- Isabel Marant, skirt- Chyby Ryby, hat- from TJ Maxx, earrings- (you can't see them but they are beaded native american-looking chandeliers)from TJ Maxx, tights- DKNY, shoes- Phillip Lim clogs

The Ports dress pictured above is available at saks.com but, of course, Bloomingdales carries a great selection, too.


Winter Obsessions

Last season, on The Rachel Zoe Project, Rachel was in NYC for fashion week. There was a blizzard and yet she still was truckin' around town in 5 inch stiletto boots. I thought, "That is really stupid. Even for a famous stylist with her own tv show." Because I think that part of being chic is wearing what is appropriate for the occasion. When I found these boots (thanks to a friend who clued me in about this shoe line), I immediately thought of Rachel. I mean, it is still stupid to walk in snow in high heels but at least the soles of these are rubber and the boot looks like a winter boot. For real people, though, I would suggest wearing them when there is no snow. It is infinitely cooler to walk down the street in them without falling on your tush. More winter obsessions to come! Feel free to send me yours.

boots by United Nude, style Bubble Hi


Rain, Rain, Go Away

There's no question as to why I have rainboots on my mind. Not being a fan of polka dots and other teeny pictures on my boots, I've searched out a couple of more sophisticated options. And, if not sophisticated, at least cool. These are boots you'll wish you could wear even when it's not raining.

By the way, I even came across wedding wellies! Those English people are seriously serious about their boots!

Gray leopard by Sperry Topsider. Gunmetal with crystal embellishment by Holster. Black lace-up by Chooka. Three boots in mulitple colors by Aigle.


Recycled Clothing

This Saturday, I finally had an opportunity to wear something that has been in my closet for about 5 years now and has never before been worn... by me, that is. My mom gave me this beautiful floral tiered maxi dress that was hers from the 70's several years ago and I have waited and waited for the right event to wear it. My first opportunity came a few years ago but I got pregnant and couldn't fit in to the top by the time the event rolled around. The second chance came about two years after that. This time I was still nursing and couldn't fit in to the top. (jeez.) FINALLY, my husband and I were invited to a black tie optional gala this past weekend with a rock and roll theme. It was my chance. I updated the dress with a wide leather obi belt by Isabel Marant, burgundy python platforms by Pour la Victoire, and a black leather drape jacket (favorite thing in my closet!) by Loeffler Randall. Some fun earrings and a bracelet and I was good to go. I have to say, I HOPE my hair looked better than in these pictures. I don't think it was so flat looking in person. Let's just hope the outfit was good enough that no one paid close attention to the hair!


Thanksgiving Dinner

Here's another option for a nice dinner out. I love when monochromatic is broken up by teeny tiny details that really stand out like the red earrings and the leopard belt. This is a better ensemble for an evening at which you won't be doing dishes or heavy cooking. Who wants to do that in a leather top and 4 (5?) inch heels? But it is sophisticated and perfect for an evening when someone else will be doing the work.


'Tis the Season

Now that Halloween is over, I can rush along to the next big holiday or, as I like to think of it, The Holiday Season. Really, it just seems like once you start with Thanksgiving, it all runs together with parties and dinners, et cetera until New Year's Day finally ends it all. Since some people are getting ready to begin their holiday shopping for gifts, why not be extra prepared with your Thanksgiving dinner outfit?

The first is for the more casual get-together with family, football, and an all day feasting kind of thing. I like the idea of layering patterns that don't seem to match. The key to it working is making sure there is something about it that ties it together. In this case, it's the color in the plaid coordinating with the color in the skirt. More options to come this week...


Romeo and Juliet

Thanks so much to our friends who gave us tickets to see the Romeo and Juliet ballet at the Kennedy Center tonight. I can’t wait. Only a short time to plan my outfit… but it will pretty much look like this. I think it is one part delicate/romantic and one part tough- kind of like the ballet! And, as long as no one throws red paint on me, it should be perfect!


Project Runway Finale

As some of you may know, Gretchen Jones won the season 8 finale of Project Runway, apparently to the great dismay of most of the viewers and many of the bloggers out there. Personally, I don't see what the uproar is about. I love Mondo's clothes and I think his runway collection was fun. But Nina was right- it is really young and it isn't like mixing crazy patterns and colors is totally new. I loved Gretchen's aesthetic all season (especially the beautiful velvet gown she did mid-way through). And I thought the pieces in her runway collection were gorgeous. I also couldn't help but be influenced by her own wardrobe over the course of the season. Did you notice the sequined top with jeans and a silver, low-slung american indian belt in the reunion/finale show? I LOVED that! The way she mixes 70's bohemian with modern and trendy pieces and accessorizes with american indian jewelry is beautiful and a great twist on the 70's trend. So I don't really care if she's "mean" or a "bitch" or if she really is a good person. (If you watched the whole season they were all NASTY beyond belief to Michael C., especially Ivy who, I think, doesn't have a creative bone in her body!) I just know I liked her clothes and, while she most certainly draws on a past decade for her inspiration, she does it in a new and modern way. If she ever really makes it, I would definitely check it out.


National American Indian Heritage Month

Actually, November is National fill-in-the-blank Month for a bunch of stuff (adoption, diabetes, etc.). But, since it is also National American Indian Heritage Month, it seemed like the perfect time to mention the Opening Ceremony/Pendleton collaboration. Leave it to Opening Ceremony to take a brand that probably doesn't cross a fashion-conscious person's mind much and make it totally fashion-y and cool. I know I hadn't thought about it much beyond liking their blankets. But check out a couple of these pieces and tell me if that doesn't make you want to put it on and take a walk through the woods on a crisp autumn day. Or, better yet, invite some friends over for wine around the fire.