"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


New Year's Eve at Home

New Year's at Home

Månestråle green cardigan, 899 DKK
TopShop short shorts, £32
Fogal pantyhose tight, $60
Rachel Zoe wedge shoes, $189
Amrita singh jewelry, $250
Lara Bohinc stud earrings, £125

I'm looking forward to a quiet night at home with the family this New Year's Eve. Because two weeks after, I'll be celebrating my husband's fortieth with him and friends in New Orleans, I'm perfectly happy to lay low.

That said, I never pass up the opportunity to dress up- or wear heels- even at home. This is my perfect at-home-but-still-celebrating outfit.

Stay tuned for a smorgasbord of celebration outfits for NOLA. Happy New Year!


The Perfect Christmas Outfit


Really. This is the perfect Christmas outfit. It's sugar and spice and everything nice, don't you think? Note the red lips. See how they're matte? I love that. I also love the prices of all these pieces!

Merry Merry Christmas. The Happy New Year is still to come!

Dorothy Perkins red deco dress $44
J Crew cape $200
Vince Camuto Elanie leopard pump $89
Amrita Singh east lake earrings $100
Mango handbag $78


The Master Bedroom Makeover

the dresser and chair- maybe I won't recover it!

Jolly Rodger!

John Robshaw comforter and vintage suzani

Remember that master bedroom makeover I was going on about a while back? Well, it's in full effect and boy has it ripped my house apart. Just one week before Christmas, there are five rooms in shambles thanks to my great timing. But it's coming together and you need an update.

Office- Giant built-in desk and cabinets ripped out and currently residing on patio in back. Sure the neighbors love that. Should be hauled away tomorrow. Room has been painted a medium gray (same as my kitchen) that I love and woodwork has been painted high gloss white that I love. The Elfa closet system that previously occupied one entire wall in my bedroom has been installed in the office and my off-season clothes, shoes, and all cocktail and dressy attire has been moved. But not totally organized. Gorgeous lucite computer desk has been ordered. Need floor covering, curtain and installation to hide clothing, and file cabinet plus total closet clean out and reorganization with office "stuff" now filling the guest room.

Bedroom- Wall repainted, new white bed with SIX big storage drawers along bottom in place! Moroccan bone-inlaid dresser arrived (with small damage that needs repair:)). My fave gray and white cowhide rug might not fit properly but it will go to office if necessary.

The best part- I found this gorgeous John Robshaw comforter and shams at Red Barn Mercantile and it was on sale! It is perfect for it's bright red color, great pattern, and the way it sets off the vintage suzani. It looks so good!

So much to do still. It sounds like it's almost done but I won't bore you with the details of why it's not. Instead, we'll focus on how much I love Red Barn and why you should pop in and check them out. As a gift giving place, they rule. But the linens and things are so good, too. My jolly rodger pillow was the perfect unexpected touch to add to the bed. That's the thing about the store- you never know what treasure you're going to find!



Tracy Turnblad Then and Now

Dorothy Perkins sequin blouse, $45
Kate Spade zipper skirt, $325
Collection Good for the Sole cream shoes, £11
Givenchy wide sunglasses, $290
Bumble and bumble Classic Hairspray 4 oz, $12

Hairspray is currently playing at Signature Theatre in Shirlington. First of all, the theatre is amazing. The lounge area has an awesome view of the main drag which, right now, is decorated with lights, lights, and more lights not to mention a big Christmas tree. Second, the musical was well done and had a ton of energy. I have never seen it live and it was one of my favorite shows to date.

When it comes to the clothing, it was all fun in 1962. Actually, I especially loved how the men dressed with the waist of the trousers worn really high and the skinny ties. (Wide ties didn't start to make the scene until the mid 60s.)

As for the women, the bouffant was big. I mean really, really BIG! It puts our current "big hair" to shame. Although if that trend had stuck around for too much longer, the aerosol alone would have put a hole in the ozone.

Anyway, it was a lot of fun and I was inspired to put together a little daytime skirt and top look for you, courtesy of my favorite character, Tracy Turnblad. Hon, it's to die for!

Can't wait for the Mad Men theme gala in March to benefit the Center for Alexandria's Children!


A Christmas Wish List

We all know the best thing about shoes. They fit. Always. Even when we're eating our way through the holidays. Of course, that's the best thing about handbags and jewelry, too! As I've been out doing lots and lots of shopping, I've come across quite a few that I "need." (In my world, need is a term I toss about loosely. I am a personal shopper after all.)

Of course, most of my faves are found right here in the ALX (that's Alexandria for all you squares).

First stop- The Shoe Hive

Must-have shoe: Bettye Muller's Bombshell in a rich caramel suede with a python platform. Sorry no picture. Go to the website to check it out. $375

Must-have accessory: beaded evening bags perfect for now to punch up a holiday outfit AND for spring! by Moyna $142

Must-have gift to give or get- furry earmuffs! by Hat Attack $44

I can't go to The Shoe Hive without stopping in to Hysteria. If someone doesn't get this for me, I'm getting it for myself! Brazilian beaded necklace by Ben Amun $105

Despite my deep devotion to the aforementioned stores, I sometimes feel the need to spread the wealth, I mean credit card debt, to some other great ALX stores. Bishop Boutique knocked me out with these killer flats. And you KNOW how hard it is to get me to like a flat! by Loeffler Randall $250

All of the above is available in the stores OR online so there is no excuse, people! I have to mention one more pair, though, because it is phenomenal. The Mona Oxford by J Crew $238

That's it. Santa, are you reading this?


An Over-the-Top Christmas

An Over-the-Top Christmas Night

You know how there are always those houses that are decorated at Christmas, let's just say, less than tastefully? They forgo the white lights and candles for a smorgasbord of colored lights, waving Santas, sparkling reindeer, flashing candy cane archways, and the list goes on. And yet, even though you shake your head and chuckle smugly to yourself that your house looks festive but appropriate, the house you can't stop driving by is theirs. You find yourself making excuses to take that route home and every single time you drive by, you slow down to extend the moment, gasping with delight and breaking out into a rousing rendition of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer.

Last night, my kids and I discovered such a house. It inspired this outfit which I would probably never wear but... then again, maybe I would, just at Christmas time.

I can't wait to find a reason to drive by that house again tonight!

knitted gold shell $150
gold harem pants $180
bebe omega shoes $115
Shared Earth Fair Trade sequin clutch $55 www.fashion-conscience.com
swarovski crystal earrings $48 www.swarovski-crystallized.com
J Crew bracelets $30 each
catseye ring $13


Meeting/Holiday Shopping/Kids

Holiday Shopping

Holiday Shopping by milkbreadfashion featuring zipper jeans

One outfit, lots of things to do. I am feeling very, very efficient.

Boyfriend jeans
leopard jacket (this links to a slightly different jacket than the one pictured)
black booties


Can't Stop Thinking About These Pants...

I saw these pants at Anthropologie the other day and they made me pause and ponder. I like them. They remind me of wallpaper from formal living rooms "back in the day." But, in the end, I passed them by. Why? Because they aren't really my style. Since I keep thinking about them, though, I decided maybe I should give them a go. Something like this perhaps...

Floral Pants

TIBI extra long sleeve shirt, $275
Dorothy Perkins sequin jacket, £42
Slimming pants, $148
Wet Seal platform pumps, $30
Kendra Scott stone jewelry, $60
Kenneth Jay Lane oval ring, €82


One Dress...Multiple Parties

I was giving some tips the other day on how to dress for holiday parties and one of them was wear something different every time. At first, this freaked a lot of people out. But I quickly clarified. This does NOT mean you have to have a whole new outfit for every party. Wear the same dress... just mix it up with different accessories, shoes, handbags, jackets, and even makeup each time. Here's one dress, multiple ways. And, don't forget, each of these items on their own go with a bunch of different stuff so you have a lot of outfits here!

Vix leopard print dress $87 (on sale!)

Mason by Michelle Mason leather trim jacket$640

Faux leather collar jacket by topshop $118

Jeffrey Campbell Lita spike heel $220

Plan heels Aldo shoes $135

LILITH report shoes $110

Maxean Betsey Johnson $110

Beaded clutch Banana Republic $98

Glitter clutch J Crew $50

Handbag Mango $85

Mint Julep ring Kate Spade $78

cuff bracelet bcbgeneration $68

stripe collar necklace topshop $55

Boreal necklace Mango $62

Turquoise earrings Kenneth Jay Lane $53


Where Does the Time Go?

Just like everyone else in the world (or I guess just the U.S., really...), I am swamped this week with Thanksgiving/beginning of the Christmas/Holiday shopping season. I find that I tend to "nest" this time of year, too,(as opposed to the Spring) maybe because I'm having people over so I want things to appear that I'm organized. HA!

Anyway, in an effort to help YOU be more organized, here are a couple of outfit options for T-Day. One less thing to think about, right?


Outfit 1

Tasmine skirt- allsaints $195
Spotted snowfall sweater- Madewell $85
Elanie leopard heel- Vince Camuto $89
Bead fringe earrings- Charlotte Russe $7.50
Enamel orange bangle- Misselfridge $13

Outfit 2
Cafe plaid pants- J Crew $140
Tippi sweater- J Crew $70
Suede brogues- Asos $72
Caramelo necklace- Anthropologie $48
Coral stone earrings- Lucky Brand $25


Parties Aren't Just for Arms Anymore

This whole "arm party***" thing has gotten totally out of control. It's like no one remembers the neck anymore. I much prefer a "soirée de le cou" if you know what I mean.

Last week I picked up this amazing vintage necklace by Judith Leiber. I can't seem to take it off! Then, a couple of days later, I found this felt flower extravaganza at The Shoe Hive. For 15 bucks! How can you pass that up? Like my friend Elizabeth who owns the store pointed out, "It's so Marni!" Yup. I agree. And, since a year and a half after purchase, I still wear this long wooden beaded necklace almost every day, it seems appropriate that I mention it here, too. As I got dressed this morning, I found myself inspired by three things.

1. The rain. As in, it still is. sigh.

2. The Man Repeller (if you don't read this blog, you should.) Leandra was talking arm party again and it got me thinking.

3. This new skirt from Mara Hoffman which was a STEAL at Anthropologie. I wanted something bright and colorful to cheer up the dreary day but I didn't want the skirt to be lonely so...

enter the Soirée de le Cou! Eat your heart out arm party!

***Arm party- a term coined (at least I think it was) by Leandra Medine of Man Repeller. It means when you put a whole bunch of bracelets on your arm at once and you think it looks totally cool. Or like a hot mess, depending on how you want to look at it.


Rainy Day Dress

Having already grown tired of wearing my high-heeled rain boots with pants (of all sorts, I might add, since it's been raining so much), I decided that on THIS rainy day, I would wear a dress. Enter that cute H&M dress ($35!!!) that I wore in the photo shoot with Pearl for the Lucky Mag contest. I've worn it with chunky sandals but it's colder now and today my schedule included returns and shopping for a client, picking up kids from school, dashing to doctors appointment for Sam, booking-it to ballet for Pearl, speeding to Georgetown to finish shopping for client, cruising to Buzz for cupcake and milkshake as a treat for two tired but well-behaved kids, and, finally, making my way home. But I digress.

Recall the Dress-

I added:

brown fishnets and my favorite navy blue fedora from The Shoe Hive plus...

1. Motif 56 belt

2. Free People sweater

3. Gabriella Rocha Duckee Duck boot

and finished it off with Missoni multi color scarf, long wooden bead necklace, and resin "feather" earrings (by local designer Rachelle Celine). That makes 2 ways to wear the dress and counting!


Mixing It Up

Modern Meets Retro

Leather dress, $267
Steven by Steve Madden platform pumps, $159
Vintage bag
ASOS drop earrings, $22
Lulu Frost crystal bangle, $405

I had such a great morning today at a coffee where I got to speak about 60s fashion (specifically Mad Men style) to a great group of women who are planning a gala in March to benefit the Center for Alexandria's Children. The theme, of course, is Mad Men. I can't wait for the event!

But the inspiration today came from the absolutely AMAZING home of the woman who hosted the coffee. Her home is practically a museum of stunning and interesting art, sculpture, and furniture all perfectly integrated with the house which I am sure was built in the 1920s if not earlier. The mix of modern with traditional was exceptional and it got me thinking how wonderful it is when someone truly understands how to pull this off. It's important to mention that the hostess is not an interior designer (although she should be!); she's a lawyer. Only in DC. :)

My outfit inspiration... I am SO sad that this dress appears to be sold out. I am now on the hunt for it! Dress = modern mix of leather and feathers but streamlined, simple cut. It's minimalist despite the feathers. Jewelery and evening bag = art deco/1920s inspired (or actual vintage) that offset the edgy darkness of the dress. Shoes = mix of pretty, sexy, and ornate but in a color that doesn't compete with the boldness of the dress. Perfectly mixed up!


More Than a Muse

Yves Saint Laurent, standing in background, with Loulou de La Falaise
Photographed by Deborah Turbeville, Vogue, February 1975

On November 5th, 2011, Loulou de la Falaise died at her home in France at the age of 63. She is best known as the muse of Yves St. Laurent although the term "muse" is one that she did not appreciate, believing that it diminished her true role and influence on the YSL line. She was a real eccentric, a woman born into wealth and privilege but that embodied the spirit of a gypsy. She was the most elegant of bohemians. To me, one of her most important contributions to fashion was her inspiration and role in Yves St. Laurent's creation of Le Smoking which changed the way women dressed forever and which is a look I myself frequently reference. Click the link below to read the article on Vogue.com regarding her life, influence, and death. She was a very interesting woman and one worth knowing about.


Helmut Newton's 1975 photo of Le Smoking


A Re-do On My Room

In my house, the master bedroom is always the last to be "done." I don't know if I subconsciously first decorate the areas that other people see or if I just can't get a handle on being organized in my most private of spaces but 10+ years after moving into this home, my bedroom has never fully been decorated. As a matter of fact, since living with my parents, I haven't had a bedroom that was aesthetically the way I wanted it.

When Pearl was born, I was thrilled to create her nursery. For her changing table and dresser, I chose a pretty mirrored piece. At the time, I went ahead and purchased a mirrored chest and lingerie chest as well thinking that these 3 pieces would work throughout my home in different ways over the years if I needed them. Fast forward to 5 years later and this is what I'm thinking:

1. Lingerie chest is not very practical for lingerie because the drawers are too small. This piece will look perfect in my entry hall and be a neater/cleaner option for hiding but keeping organized bills, keys, sunglasses, etc.

2. The mirrored dresser in Pearl's room isn't going anywhere. It's perfect in there.

3. The chest in my room is also very practical and my husband and I like it so I think we'll keep it. It is like a neutral so any and all other furniture works with it.

My other jumping off points for the bedroom redecoration are this-

1. I did a mini-remodel on our bathroom last winter and like it a lot. The best part is the antique oriental rug that is in there. It gave me the idea to use a color in it to paint our vanity (in a really high gloss paint). So the vanity is a deep teal and the rug has just a little bit of that, too. I want those colors to play a part in my attached bedroom.

2. I still love my red dragon-painted oriental bedside table so that stays.

3. The walls of my room are the same mid-gray as the hall and living room and I like them so that stays, too.

Here are the major problems-

1. Storage, of course. I have a ton of shoes and clothes. And accessories. Currently, I have one entire wall of my bedroom "elfa'd" to hold as much of it as it can. Elfa is the closet organization system from The Container Store. I have a nice version with cherry fronting but I am sick of looking at my clothes every day.

2. I'm sick of our bed which has a frame all the way around but no headboard. It is old and I'm just ready for a big change.

This is my plan-

1. I'm having a sale of a bunch of my clothes and shoes with a couple friends in the next month. I've already removed a closet full of stuff but I'll need to do more.

2. I'm going to move the elfa system to my third floor office and keep formal dresses and out of season items there. I'll put a ceiling track and curtain around it so it can be closed off from the room.

3. I got another beautiful chest of drawers from One Kings Lane. Inlaid bone, very Moroccan- I love it. It should be here by December.

4. I got a gorgeous vintage suzani also from One Kings Lane that is black with red, teal, and yellow flowers. This will help pull in from the bathroom and still work with the bedside table. (This will go on the bed over the chevron duvet I mention below.)

5. I think I'm going to get this bed from West Elm. The headboard isn't my favorite but at least it has one! The main draw is the 6 drawer storage system around the frame. I can't decide on white or espresso so I think I'll go in and see if the white looks good or cheap. I have espresso now so it would be nice to have a change. Truth be told, this isn't my dream bed. But it serves multiple purposes so I think it will be good.

6. I also love this chevron-patterned duvet from West Elm. I think the mixing of patterns will be interesting.

7. First, I found this pretty suede and hemp metallic thread rug from Serena and Lily. Love. But sold out until February.

THEN, I found this unbelievable metallic cowhide rug from Calypso St. Bart. Love even more. But at $3,440, way to0 expensive.

SO, today I ordered a cowhide rug from an online place called Sunland in a brindle gray/white. I am going to Jackson Pollock that bad boy with silver and gold fabric paint. Keep your fingers crossed. The good news is that, even if I totally screw it up and have to get a brand new one, I will still be spending less money than if I got the Calypso one and just a teensy bit more than if I got the Serena and Lily one.

8. I have a chair upholstered in a pretty black and white damask. It was for Pearl's nursery originally but she moved on from it and now it is in my room unused except as a throwing place for stuff. I'm think reupholster in the teal that I love so much. The best would be teal pleather- super shiny and almost mod which will be cool with the traditional tufting and shape of the chair. But probably teal velvet will be easier to find. The search is on for that.

I'll keep you posted with pictures of the progress!


A Speaking Engagement

I had the honor last week of speaking to TC Williams advanced placement fashion marketing class about what it's like to be a stylist and personal shopper. The young women were wonderful and I was really impressed with how many of them are going to fashion school. I wish I had had that kind of direction when I was their age! Thank you to my friend Greg and Ms. Chavez, their instructor, for allowing me to share with them.

In typical fashion (ha! a pun!), I paid close attention to what I wore to speak. I wanted to look professional since they were allowing me into their classroom to provide information and guidance. But, given the creative nature of my job, I had to have some fun with it, too. Here's what I came up with- an almost exact recreation, actually- and I hope the class liked it as much as I did. (I did not wear the shiny satin top under the jacket. Instead, it was the Vince moss colored tank. The jacket feels very vintage/asian-inspired and I love it!)

Thanks, ladies, for having me and I hope to see you at the pizza fundraiser on Thursday!

A Speaking Engagement

Vince ribbed tank top, $29
3.1 Phillip Lim drawstring pants, $119
Miu Miu platform high heels, $595
Oroton earrings, 95 AUD
Gold necklace, $68
Rag Bone fedora hat, $150
Trina Turk | Ophelia Jacket, $228
Trina Turk | Ophelia Jacket, $228

Did I mention that I made it to the FINAL ROUND of the Lucky Magazine Lifestyle Contributor Contest?!! I'll send the link out tomorrow so all my wonderful readers can go online and comment on why they would love to see me win!


The Holiday Season Has Kicked Off!

You might think it's too early but, really, Halloween kicks of the holiday season these days. We're three short weeks away from Thanksgiving and the day after that, the gift-giving season officially kicks off. (Btw, I've already started my Christmas shopping. Sound crazy? Not really. Every place still has sizes, boxes, toys in stock, and no long lines. I intend to enjoy my Christmas this year!) So, with my first official cocktail party of the season this weekend, I have been thinking about what to wear today. Which reminded me that my second entry to the Lucky Magazine Lifestyle Contributor Contest was all about getting glamorous- a perfect segue to what to wear for a party.

Here it is in case you missed it before.

A Stylist's Guide to Glamour

“Glamour is something no woman can be born with. It’s not a gift at all. It’s more of a concoction than anything else.” - Loretta Young

The idea that we are not born with glamour is an idea that I love. We can ALL be glamorous with a little bit of effort. But let’s start with the everyday. Whether I’m running around town with my kids, working with a client, or having friends over for dinner, style is a part of my life. But style doesn’t automatically equal glamour which I think is a good thing. It makes the glam moments all the more special.

So, how do we achieve those moments in time that are more special, more memorable, more glamorous? What if we don’t have money for new dresses and makeup artists and people to do our hair? It’s easy—no really, it is!—if you follow a few, no fail steps.

Pop the Cork! There is nothing more glamorous than sipping bubbly while you primp. Put on your cutest bathrobe and get in the mood. (Try Francis Ford Coppola’s Sofia Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine. Even the bottle is glamorous!)

Go Big or Go Home. No, not big, crazy 1980s hair. But your hair should have some body whether you’re wearing it wavy and wild or chic in a chignon. Add some dry shampoo to your roots and be awed with how bodacious it gets! (My super quick trick for glamorous hair is that I add dry shampoo to my roots and turn my head upside down, gently shaking my hair. Next, I make a couple of twists with a large-barreled curling iron and run my fingers through to loosen them up. Finally, I pull it all back in a low, loose bun, fasten in my favorite flower, and give it all a once over with hair spray to keep it secure. The whole process takes about six minutes.)

Enhance, Don’t Exaggerate. Your face is your palette, so start with a clean slate. Wash, moisturize, and even-out your skin tone. Choose eyes or lips to stand out and add a soft blush to your cheeks. (My personal preference is to focus on the eyes. I love a soft, smoky look, but I feel extra glam when I do a subtle “cat eye.” Rather than use a liquid liner, which takes a really steady hand, I run the tip of a brush under the faucet and then dip into my favorite dark shadow. A couple of swishes later and, voilà, mysterious, sexy eyes! But remember—when you’re finished, you should feel beautiful, not overdone.)

Don’t Confuse Glitz for Glamour. Wear your clothes; don’t let them wear you. Too much of anything is a fashion no-no, so nothing should be too short or too tight or too sparkly or…you get the picture. (My favorite and most glamorous dress is a beautiful floral three-tiered maxi dress that was my mom’s in the 1970s. I’ve worn it alone with sparkly sandals, with a black leather Isabel Marant obi belt and black leather draped jacket, and—for my most glamorous nights—with a short fox fur and towering patent leather blush-colored Stuart Weitzman heels. Who knew something so sweet could be so glamorous?)

Glamour Equals Confidence. No matter what you decide to wear, you simply must be confident. Glamorous women make it look easy, but that’s not because of their outfit. It’s because they KNOW they look amazing! (Just last week, I had the honor of renewing my vows with my husband while we were at the beach. Despite the casual atmosphere, I have never felt so glamorous. My dress was soft and pretty, my shoes were flat but sexy, and my jewelry was interesting but not overdone. And, of course, I knew that my husband only had eyes for me!)

And the Number One Secret to looking glamorous is…

The Diva is in the Details. Perfect hair - check. Perfect makeup - check. Perfect outfit - check. Perfect undergarments, accessories, and perfume - check, check, and check. The glamorous woman makes sure every last detail is perfect. (Don’t let this one scare you. Perfect doesn’t mean that you have to look like Gwyneth at the Oscars. Rather, you just want to make sure you’ve addressed every aspect of your look so that no stone has gone unturned!)

All pictures by Amanda Martin of Fillmore Martin Photography

My Glamorous Beauty Bag Arsenal:

1. Neu Lash eyelash serum (for natural long and thick lashes)
2. La Mer “The Eye Concentrate” eye cream (it’s a splurge, but worth it!)
3. YSL Touch Éclat (to highlight and freshen skin tone)
4. Stila kajal eyeliner in Tigers Eye (smudges just enough)
5. Blinc mascara in black (to lengthen and separate lashes)
6. Tigi Bed Head “Hard Head” hairspray (your hair holds even in bad weather)
7. Bumble and Bumble hair powder (smells good and gives lots of body)
8. Jergens Natural Glow daily moisturizer (no need to look translucent, even in the winter)
9. Her Look Matchsticks double stick tape (keeps bra straps at bay, plunging necklines from peeking open, and even holds heel straps in place)
10. Her Look Commando underwear (no panty lines ever)


The Green Silk Pants Work for Fall, Too!

You may remember a certain pair of Alice and Olivia green silk pants that I was mildly obsessed with this spring/summer season. I loved them all summer although I didn't have as many opportunities to wear them as I would have liked. They made it out 4 or 5 times which just doesn't cut it for me as far as cost-per-wear goes. But last night, I had a chance to pull them out again and I loved it. And, in a sea of gray, black, and navy, it was fun to infuse a little celebration!

The breakdown goes like this:
Alice and Olivia green silk cropped pants (Spring 2011)
Isabel Marant Etoile black wool long sleeve top (Fall 2010)
Calvin Klein raspberry suede platform heels (Fall 2010)
J Crew leopard print skinny belt (Fall 2009)
pearl earrings and art deco pendant necklace

Here's the best reenactment I could come up with.

Fall-ifying the Green Silk Pants

Uniqlo long sleeve sweater, £50
DKNY summer pants, $175
Dolce Vita suede pumps, $199
LORD TAYLOR fine jewelry, $50
Aurora Lopez Mejia yellow gold necklace, £12,775
Dorothy Perkins buckle belt, £6


Winter Skirts

Winter Skirts Galore

Zara silk top, $80
Diesel sleeveless t shirt, $78
Polyester shirt, $76
Striped top, $58
Monsoon yellow cardigan, £55
Uniqlo cashmere sweater, £50
Mango wrap blouse, £43
Mary Portas jersey top, £35
DAKS plaid skirt, $99
J Crew knee length skirt, $128
J Crew wool skirt, $108
Karen Kane wool skirt, $79
Phase Eight full skirt, £59
Maxi skirt, $62
H M flared skirt, £25
Beige heels, 349 DKK
Vince Camuto red pumps, $100
Zara heel boots, $90
Banana Republic ballet shoes, $89
BCBGeneration platform pumps, $89
Platform pumps, $60
Dorothy Perkins lace up boots, £45
TRANSIT western cowgirl boots, £42

Thanks to cousin-in-law Kelly who wants to know what are some good winter skirt options especially that would go with boots. I had fun putting together a whole bunch of outfits and did so many that they would barely all fit into one picture. Because of that, I didn't do a lot of accessorizing on these ensembles so keep this in mind.

1. Always! accessorize. Scarves are great for winter, obviously, but you can layer long necklaces under them, too, to keep it different looking. Hats are also an easy thing to do in winter. Knit caps, fedoras, floppy hats- they're all in style right now and can be found in lots of price points so stock up.

2. If the top has short sleeves, add a leather jacket for fall. When it gets too cold for that, use a thin cardigan and then your overcoat. Faux leather is a great, less expensive option (and you can't even tell on a lot of them these days!) so try to have them in camel and black.

3. All of these outfits will work with boots, most of them with flat boots or heeled. But don't be afraid to change it up with different shoes.

4. The big question is always what tights to wear? Black opaque, brown opaque, or black subtly patterned are my favorites but I also do a skin-color fishnet (teeny tiny fishnet, please) on skirts that won't look good with a dark color.


Blush and Navy

Blush and Navy

Velvet sweater, £270
Dickins Jones cotton blazer, £90
True Religion boyfriend jeans, $490
DV by Dolce Vita platform heels, $99
Dorothy Perkins wooden bangle bracelet, £10
NICOLE SCHUMANN DESIGNS long necklace, $119
Trilby hat, $105
Missoni wool scarve, £275

This is pretty much the outfit for the day. My hat is better, though! It's by Hat Attack and the ribbon is in a yummy caramel color. I got it at The Shoe Hive in Old Town. And I love blush and navy together. Super easy outfit.

Anyway, off to pick up the kids with my cool new hat!



picture from Styled On.

I don't know where I was when the collaboration of Julian Louie and Aldo shoes was happening but I just now ran across these amazing boots. Although there was one size 8 left in the store I was in, they are basically sold out everywhere. Then I found my size on ebay and now I just keep checking on them and checking on them and they still don't have any bids... it's like someone out there wants me to have them! Anyway, here's a little everyday tribal-inspired look.


Paul Joe oversized sweater, $423
True Religion boyfriend jeans, $490
Aldo shoes, $40
Ghibli snakeskin handbag, $1,200
Sandy Hyun bib necklace, $145
Yochi tribal earrings, $54


Meet Jessica Richardson- an Alexandria Lifestyle Blogger

photo by Amanda Martin www.fillmoremartinphoto.com

It seems like the perfect time to introduce you to Jessica Richardson, a fellow Alexandrian who writes a great lifestyle blog called Alexandria Lifestyle. It's a really well-curated blog about all things stylish in Alexandria. From shops to restaurants, to events, and now, to me!, if it's happening, Jessica is covering it. I got a chance to sit down with her at my favorite (and super cool) coffee shop, Buzz. She grew up in Alexandria and now lives here with her husband and two kids so of course she knows what's up. And, as an added bonus, she's a realtor with McEnearney Associates so she knows all the best properties for sale which I think would be really fun.

If you're local, definitely add this blog to your list as a must read. And, if you're thinking of moving here, what better way to get an idea about our fair city?

One final note- Jessica mentions in her blog that she didn't know what to wear when she met with me. I must tell you that she looked totally pulled together and cool and not like she was trying too hard- which I mean as a major compliment!

Jessica Richardson, Realtor
McEnearney Associates


This Outfit is CHEAP!

I'm not always known for getting the best deals when it comes to my clothing. I'm good at it when I'm looking for other people but I think I just get tired when I'm shopping for myself and tend to forget about coupons and sales and stuff. (I'm sure my husband will be really happy to read this!) But this outfit is the exception and it makes me so happy. Usually if I'm wearing "low," I mix it with "high" so you don't make any assumptions about the cost of things. But I found this dress at H&M after I popped in for a quick look around. It was $35. The shoes are the free pair that Philip Simon sent me. The belt is mine from an old L.A.M.B. dress that I've had for about 4 years. And the purse is bcbg from about 10 years ago! That makes this ensemble basically free. Awesome.

pics by Amanda Martin with FillmoreMartin Photography



I can't stop thinking about these shoes. Can you tell that the top is light suede and the bottom is... gold glitter! I know they seem ridiculously unnecessary and maybe to some of you just plain ridiculous. But I LOVE them and I know I would wear them with lots of things. Like the high waisted purple pants from Alice and Olivia. Or the floral dress from last season from J Patterson Kincaid. Or a pair of wide legged jeans, white silk top, and skinny leopard print belt. Oh yeah. They will work with a lot.


Holy Crap! We're Losing the Gap!

Well, not exactly. But the rhyme was good so I couldn't pass it up. However, Gap is reducing by 10% it's number of stores in the U.S. while increasing it's presence in China. To additionally fight a tough economy and major competition from stores like H&M, they are looking at some collaborations. Looks like Diane von Furstenberg is doing one for Gap Kids that would hit stores this Spring. That's a collaboration I could get behind! As for losing some Gap stores... yawn. I don't think anyone will even notice.


More Rain

After a too brief respite from the rain, it's moving back in again. I hate the rain. But, if I had this outfit, I'd hate it a little less. And, yes, when I found these boots for this picture, I stopped what I was doing, ordered them, and then got back to work. As dumb as high-heeled rain boots sound, I just couldn't resist.

Rainy Days Ahead

Quiksilver embellished top, $35
J Crew zig zag shirt, £70
ROY ROGERS skinny leg jeans, $137
Gabriella Rocha lace up rubber boots, $89
Alexis Bittar fringe earrings, $295
American Apparel yellow umbrella, $28
Rag Bone floppy brim hat, $150


Perfect Fall Outfit

Running around with the family. Cool in the morning, warmer in the afternoon. Here's my perfect fall outfit.

Perfect Fall Outfit

Billabong plaid shirt, $70
Helmut Lang leather vest, $995
J Crew short pants, $80
Rag & Bone high heels, $595
Stella McCartney cross body handbag, $790
Alexis Bittar gold earrings, €198


Making My Shorts Work for Fall

Here's how I'm making those Theory leather shorts I got in the spring work in the Fall. That is, if it warms up past 60 degrees! I love it with the lumberjack plaid shirt for some reason. As a side note, the shirt is from Forever 21. I got it because I had purchased a black suede vest from them a couple of weeks ago for a costume party at which I was considering dressing as Slash (from Guns n' Roses, in case you don't know but I'm assuming if you're reading my blog, you probably do.) When I opted to dress as Courtney Love instead (of Hole fame and Kurt Cobain infamy, but you know that, too, right?) I returned it only to find out that Forever 21 does not refund money!! What?!! That really annoyed me. I mean, they are a big chain store so what the heck? Same reason I don't shop at BCBG. Anyway, I digress. I used my credit right then since I won't be back and found this shirt. I LOVE it! And, being from there, it was super cheap. Tomorrow, I'm going to try it with my straight leg white COH jeans and some moto boots by Rag and Bone. Yeah!

That's my super cute Pearl with me. My sister-in-law was taking pictures of us for Round 4 of the Lucky Magazine contest. That's right! I made it to the semi-finals! Here's the link to vote for me (as many times as you want once you register- just back click to get back to my page once your register). Lot's more pics of good outfits for me and great outfits for Pearl!