"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-Shop Your Closet and Save $$

You know I love a new outfit as much as the next girl but I also love to play in my own closet. New Year's Eve is the perfect time to do this because, chances are, you bought something last year or the year before and haven't worn it again.

Here's how:

Isn't it better to wear a dress or jacket from a past season thereby decreasing your chances of someone else having it on by tenfold? Yes! If it's a dress, consider this. Add a sweatshirt or cashmere sweater over something sparkly or bright to give it some edge. Wear boots or a funky, chunky heel and breakout jewelry with a tribal feel rather than the typical sparkles. As for a jacket, wear it with pants if you used it over a dress last time or vice versa.

Break out your coolest rock tee and pair it with a something fancy like an evening skirt or sequin pants or even put it under your best le smoking.

Have a sequin top? How do you usually wear it? If it's with jeans, then try it with flowy silk pants or a pencil skirt. If it's usually worn dressy, pair it with dark jeans and a leather jacket.

Most of all, have fun while you're doing this and let your creativity come out. Pull out every dress, sparkle, skirt, or jacket that is a possibility and lay it on the bed. Then start playing. There is no better start to a new year than a fresh one with a few extra bucks in your wallet!

P.S.- Upon playing around in my closet a bit, I came out with a few new options. I also realized that New Year's is not necessarily the holiday I like to be super fancy for. I think it's because I'm more the house party kinda girl these days.

This is how I wore this dress to a party about a year ago.

Fast forward to this year...The best parts are the vintage 20s headpiece and the Venessa Arizaga bracelet!

This was my New Year's Eve outfit two years ago for a casual party.

I'm staying in for New Year's this time with two close friends and my hubby. Perhaps I'll pull the pants out again. Note- this would work just as well for day!

I wore this dress originally over black opaque tights and belted with a soft silver belt that came with it. I like it even better over dark skinny jeans and made more "downtown" with the jacket and boots.


I Seriously Love This Jacket

The gold jacket I wore to the HRC holiday party last week was a big hit. Not only did I have no fewer than four women tell me they liked it or that it was cool but I even had men stopping me to comment on it. Gay men, that is. And that means something special.

Ultimately, I kept the rest of it pretty simple- black jeans, white boyfriend tank. I opted for the studded Miu Miu heels (which also garnered a few compliments) simply because they're bad-ass and that was what I was going for. On the way out the door, despite the fact that I had actually blown out my hair that night, I asked my nanny-who has excellent taste, I might add- if I should wear the bowler hat. She said yes and so I did. It worked and I felt very Russell Brand.

Here's the picture. I know it's not the best. I do SO hate having my picture taken. But it was necessary and now you can see. In the words of Wayne and Garth, "party on!"


I'm a Mom Before Anything Else

I did remember to take the picture of my Get Me to the Greek outfit for the HRC holiday party. I'll post it tomorrow. But tonight I had to take a minute to talk about the mom part of my blog. Meaning, most of my fashion choices are influenced by the fact I'm a mom. That's true of pretty much every decision I make. I'm a mom first, above anything and everything else.

Like all of you, I have been torn apart by the tragedy in Newtown, CT. I don't have anything more profound to say than anyone else. My opinions are my own. You have yours, too. But I do have this blog and it gives me the opportunity to publish what I want to say when I want to say it. And this evening, above all others, I want to say something. As a mother, I have been more veclempt than ever before. These events are always devastating. When children are involved, I guarantee every parent in the world is touched. Let me jump right in.

Where is our compassion? Have we forgotten that this poor soul, Adam Lanza, is a person? That he is a son? A brother? Have we ignored that he is sick, disturbed, troubled? I expect NO compassion from any family who lost someone on Friday. That is too  much to ask. But for the rest of us, how can we expect our own children to respect life, have empathy, practice forgiveness if we cannot set this example for them?

My heart, like all of yours, is broken. I literally yelled out in pain when the news reported that so many children had been murdered, that they were so young, that many were kindergartners. My mind rejects on every level the information that is being fed to us. But I have also been distraught over the vengeful reaction of so many people in this bizarre social media world we have created.

When something like this happens, it is hard to believe in God. But today, I am trying to believe. And, because of that, I am guided by Jesus' teaching that we should love and value ALL human life. Even the sick. Even the violent. God will judge, not me. So I choose in this Christmas season to have compassion and forgiveness and to set the example for my children that I don't call anyone scum or a monster, that I don't want anyone to rot in hell or die a painful death. I send my prayers to everyone involved and I look forward to the day when we move forward. I look forward to a more peaceful and loving humanity. I look forward to the children of today that will take us to that point in the future.

Every year, my Christmas card wishes peace for the new year. This year, more than ever, I wish for peace. This includes in our hearts. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and sincere love to you and yours for 2013.


Get Me to the Greek

I think I finally did it. I've been trying to "copy" an outfit that Russell Brand wore in Get Him to the Greek for at least a year now. In this particular scene, he has on his signature skinny black jeans, a too-small tee, and some rockin' black boots. But the kicker is the shrunken silver tuxedo jacket he wears to top it all off. I have looked high and low for this jacket from new to vintage but, alas, I've never been able to find it. Until now. As with all inspiration outfits, it's always better when it's not exactly the same anyway. So here's the jacket. I'm off to the HRC Federal Club holiday party on Thursday and I plan to wear it then. It's very festive as you can see!

P.S.- I got this ON SALE at the Juicy store Black Friday weekend. 40% off, baby.

The Jacket

Juicy Couture jacket


Oh The Weather Outside is... Balmy?

As you well know, I am a self-professed "summer" girl. I like the heat, the beach, and the sun (despite my fair-and-freckled skin). But the winter offers one thing that summer doesn't and that's the ability to layer my outfits making them far more interesting. So I'm sure you'll understand my annoyance at today's 65 plus degree weather. I mean, I decorated my Christmas tree tonight and I was literally sweating. It's tough to be in the Spirit when I'm forming perspiration on my upper lip as I'm straining to straighten the angel at the top of the tree.

Anyhoo, on a normal third day of December, I would be layering a lot. And it would go something like this.


Dorothy Perkins lace tee / rag & bone / Army jacket / Vest / Etoile Isabel Marant drawstring pants / High heel boots / Juicy Couture pyramid ring / DANNIJO long earrings / Monica Vinader engraved ring, $175


Geek Chic Pour Moi? Mais Non!

Jenna Lyons (photo from People magazine)

Geek Chic

J.Crew knit top / Vero Moda short sleeve shirt, $24 / Citizens of Humanity slim fit jeans / Opening Ceremony suede wedge shoes, $465 / Herm├Ęs stainless steel watch / Alexis Bittar yellow gold jewelry

I love me some Leandra Medine from Man Repeller. She's smart, funny, uber stylish, and a phenomenal writer. She pulls off the geek chic look so well and so, well, not geeky. Just like Jenna Lyons, creative director of J. Crew. Tres cool.

Today, I tried my own hand at geek chic. I'm gonna go out on a limb and say... failure. I wore a navy cashmere cardi from J. Crew, a pair of straight leg jeans from Citizens, a vintage tee with a skull illustration, and a pair of wedge shoes (much like the MacAlister booties from J. Crew). You're probably wondering why I just don't post a picture so you can see what I mean. The answer is because I don't want you to see. What can I say? Everybody has a bad outfit day sometimes. This is not to say you shouldn't give it a shot. It can work but just not for me. And that's kind of the thing about fashion. You have to know what works for you and make sure not to force something that doesn't.

I did make some minor improvements throughout the day to subtract some of the geek and add some of my usual boho. Case in point, a cool fedora by Hat Attack from The Shoe Hive and these awesome (and sparkly!) ankle boots by Matt Bernson from Bishop Boutique. Much better!


Here Are the Party Outfits I Promised

Holiday Parties

J.Crew short cocktail dress / TIBI / Dune high heel pumps / Dolce Vita platform pumps / Clutch handbag / Diamante jewelry, $34 / Vince Camuto art deco jewelry / Statement ring / Dorothy Perkins gold bracelet / Kenneth Jay Lane jewelry

The prices on this stuff are great! One additional piece of advice from the post before last. Always walk the accessorie department of whatever store you're in. You can never have too many options when it comes to jewelry and, if worn well, the price doesn't matter. Even cheap stuff looks good when put together the right way.


Thankful for a Laid Back Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving- One or the Other

Tory Burch tunic / rag & bone slim fit shirt / rag & bone slim fit jeans / J Brand wide leg flare jeans, $160 / Madison Harding western cowgirl boots / Mimi Loves Jimi wingtip oxford shoes, $73 / Isis pyramid jewelry, $11 / Pendant jewelry / ASOS zig zag ring / Feather earrings, $12 / Earrings / Chan Luu

I appreciate any chance to dress up but Thanksgiving is one holiday where I take it down a notch. Don't get me wrong... I would never go to dinner without making some sort of effort. But a family holiday filled with kids, football, food, wine, dessert, more wine- well, that requires lettin' loose just a little.

Here's how I keep it casual but still look cute.

Comfy jeans (boyfriend jeans with stretch of course or a softer, wide-leg pair)
Fun top- this translates to a soft sweater if it's cold or something silky if not
Cute flats (not for me- I always wear heels- but you can if you want!)
Great jewelry- always

Happy Turkey Day!


Get Dressed Up and Have Fun Doing It!

As the holiday season comes galloping towards us, I have been getting ready to enjoy one of my favorite aspects of it- dressing up for parties. However, while I swoon at the thought of towering high heels, sparkling baubles, and festive ensembles, I know that for many more, there is dread at having to figure out what to wear. Back in the good ol' days of working in retail, I helped more women than I can count find a dress for something they were headed to in the next couple of hours. What a shame! How can you enjoy the evening if you're rushing around figuring out what to wear, not to mention the money pouring out of your pockets on something you haven't thought through? Here's how to handle it once and for all. Save money, look gorgeous (and unique!), and, most of all, be able to have FUN the night of your party.

Step 1- Choose your outfit a few days before the event. As a matter of fact, choose a few and then take pictures of them! If another party pops up unexpectedly, you'll have something figured out already.

Spend an evening trying on your options. Explore your closet. Think outside the dress and see what holiday options are hiding in your skirt, top, or trouser departments. Match shoes AND jewelry to each look that makes the grade. Take a picture of it all laid out on the bed so you don't forget. Put in your calendar to pick up a new pair of tights or bra or shoe pad if you need it so you can pop in somewhere before the day of the party.

Step 2- You don't have a thing. Truly. Your favorite dress really has been seen by everyone- three times. Allow yourself to buy something not under the pressure the impending party. If you want to know the truth, the BEST way to do this is to buy the perfect dress when you come across it even if that means it is in September and you haven't been invited to a thing. Then you'll have it. But if that hasn't happened for you, decide where you want to go and make sure there are other places nearby in case you need to go to a few. Remember, if you go to a large chain and choose something on their window mannequin, you just may see it on several ladies at the event. BETTER TO GO SIMPLE AND MAKE IT YOUR OWN!

Step 3- Make it your own. How? With accessories! This is the best way to mix up your looks and save money because you can wear this stuff again and again, with jeans and tees, or suits, or whatever. Don't fall victim to not thinking about your jewelry and then only have some small sparkly hoops to put on. You'll feel more fantastic if your jewelry stands out.

Step 4- You were so organized that you can actually enjoy the process of getting ready. If it's a big event, go get your hair and makeup done. (Have pictures from magazines if you haven't used the person before!) If not, give yourself an hour and have some wine while you're doing it. Got kids? No problem! Let your daughter come in and watch. She'll be thrilled to participate and to get the brush blush swiped across her cheeks. Your son can watch, too, but if he won't tolerate it, hand him a book or video game or turn on the cartoons. You deserve the hour off, I'm sure.

One final bit of advice. Make sure you are comfortable. There is nothing chic about a woman who can't stand in her heels or who keeps pulling on her dress. That is more important than anything else.

Now you know my secret to always enjoying a party! Outfit ideas to follow...


The Princess and the Pea(coat)

The Perfect Pea

First of all, I'm no princess but it made a good title so I went with it. I consider myself to be more like a queen (At times, an evil one.Check out my pics on Facebook or instagram to see what I mean...) Second, I have been searching for the perfect pea coat for some time now. I wanted classic, edgy, and unique all in one. No shiny buttons. No bright colors. Tonight, I finally found it! The Queen is satisfied!


Still Feeling Dark


MSGM leopard print dress / Matt Bernson boots / DANNIJO army necklace
I know. I suck. Sometimes you just don't feel like doing much of anything in the evening and, since that's when I write, the blog has suffered. But tonight the election was stressing me out so here I am.

I'm still feeling the love for all things dark and moody. I've been wearing lots of leather, black knit caps, dark jeans and boots...it's like I think I'm a downtown girl from NYC. Ha!

Anyway, this is a look I did for a baby shower this weekend. Comfy, slightly brooding but not too, and of course, mostly black. Plus, there is something extremely freeing about not giving a shit if you look skinny or not (which is yet another nice thing about being 40!)

Until next time... which hopefully doesn't mean another month!


Morocco, Baby!

I'm off to Marrakech tomorrow for a little over a week so I will be totally and completely unavailable to blog! But I am sure I will have lots of good stuff to tell you when I get back.

In the meantime, my suitcase has grown beyond my control. I started out so well, taking pictures of outfits, eliminating too many pairs of shoes, being very practical. But then the weather turned unseasonably warm there (97 degrees tomorrow!), and I have to be somewhat covered up but I don't want to be wearing jackets in that kind of heat so... blah, blah, blah. Anyway, the clothes I'm bringing will pretty much cover any situation in heat, cold, desert, city, camel ride or taxi ride. Seriously. I am very prepared.

Can't wait to share the pictures!

Laila Tiaba!


The Dress Was the Winner!

Me and My Love

Last night, Josh and I went to the HRC Annual Dinner. It was a wonderful night where we made some new friends, saw an outstanding performance by Cirque de Soleil, and listened to some AMAZING speeches. If you haven't yet heard of Corey Booker, mayor of Newark, New Jersey, you will soon. Wow! If he ends up in the White House, I wouldn't be one bit surprised. I hope all of my friends from New Jersey vote for him in his race for the Governor's seat. The summation of Mr. Booker's speech is this- Amercia has not yet realized it's goal of liberty and justice for all. We are still working towards that. And the sooner people stop thinking of this battle as a "gay rights" battle, the better. This is a HUMAN rights battle.

Needless to say, the night was emotional. However, on a more shallow and superficial level, I was having fun because I got to dress up- and you know how I love a fancy party! The dress was the winner. I chickened out on the sequin tube top, mostly because I had eaten four pieces of pizza at my son's birthday party earlier in the day. Hahaha! Anyway, it's hard to see because the pictures are a little dark but here I am. The dress is by A.L.C.. The CRAZY GORGEOUS shoes are by Miu Miu. Around my neck was a vintage necklace by Judith Leiber and a 19th century pearl necklace to name two. (I had a little soiree de cou goin' on!), and lots of bracelets by Alexis Bittar, Ben Amun for Isaac Manevitz and more. I was heavily jewerly laden! Finally, the black fringe jacket is by BCBG.

I'm already looking forward to next year!

ahhh....the shoes.

Comfy, I swear!


What To Wear to the HRC Annual Dinner?

I have been so remiss with blogging for the past month. Frankly, I just ran out of steam. Not about ideas for things to wear and there certainly is no shortage of content from all the fashion shows. No... I just got tired of having to do it all the time. Sorry about that. But I'm going to try and make a comeback so bear with me.

Up next in my life (not including the YMCA Alexandria 5k race and my son's 4th birthday party on Saturday) is the HRC Annual Dinner on Saturday night! I LOVE any chance to dress up so of course I've been obsessing.

I know what I'm wearing... but you don't. Here are two looks that I've tossed about and one of them (well... a close version of it) will be walking in to the most fabulous party of the year. Take a guess which one it will be. I'll post a picture so you know if you guessed correctly!
Which To Wear

Alice + Olivia alice olivia / ASOS sequin top / Mango straight jacket / A.L.C. slim fit pants / Miu Miu platform booties / Charlotte Olympia platform pumps / Erickson Beamon rose earrings / Kenneth Jay Lane emerald earrings


The Fashion Show!

To say that I'm tired would be an understatement. The Fashion's Night Out Fashion Show at the Torpedo Factory on Thursday night was a huge event, took a huge amount of time, but, most importantly was a smashing success and worth every single minute. There were a couple hundred people in attendance and the vibe was festive and exciting. Monte Durham from Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta was our emcee and what an emcee he was. He was the most sincere, hilarious, happy-to-be-there celebrity emcee I've ever experienced. He was great. The models were out of this world. I mean that truly. Our celebrity models included Dr. Katy Nelson (@drkatynelson), Tommy McFly (@tommyMcFLY), Sonya Gavankar-McKay (@SonyaTV), Pamela Sorenson (@pamelaspunch), and Britt McHenry (@BrittMcHenry). They were such a nice group of people, all beautiful (and handsome!), and all willing to help out however we needed. Our professional models were gorgeous. They were total dolls and I appreciated how laid-back and cool they were. Maurisa Potts made this entire FNOAlexandria thing happen, big time. Maggy Francois was a fantastic show producer and her assistants, Ariella Faith and Joel Cas were SO helpful and had great insight. Tara Zimnick-Calico from the Torpedo Factory is my new favorite person in the world- she was a beautiful model, worked incredibly hard to make this whole thing happen, and was very supportive. Love her! Finally, the stores. What can I say but that the beautiful clothing, shoes, and accessories came exclusively from the FABULOUS stores in Alexandria. If you want to look as good as ANY of the models, visit all of these stores. I mixed and matched from a lot of them and created outfits that were as fashionable as you'll find anywhere. So keep shopping and support our local boutiques. Oh, and if you feel like you can't quite put those outfits together yourself, call me. That's what I'm here for!


Tonight Twitter Made Me Really Happy

I'm kinda sorta new to Twitter. I've been signed up for about a year but I've really only been using it for about 4 months. Hilariously (or perhaps embarrassingly) the reason for my delay was that I didn't understand I had to get a separate app for my phone in order to access it from there. Which is actually the only place that I access it. Then again, I didn't have any apps until about the time I figured out the twitter app thing so that just goes to show that this whole social media thing is not exactly second nature to me.

All that said, now that I'm in to twitter, I'm really IN to twitter. It is tough not to check it constantly. Really, you have to check it constantly for it to be relevant. And of course I have to tweet. That's been a learning experience too. You have to be careful about what you put out there. For example, one night at the beach after one too many glasses of wine, I thought somebody in twitter land might be interested in a picture of me with a sunburned forehead and nose. The cold light of morning made me quickly realize no one wanted to see that so I deleted it but it goes to show how easy it is to get yourself in lots of trouble real quick.

Anyhoo, this is way too much about twitter and not nearly enough about what I saw on twitter today that made me so happy. This bracelet by Venessa Arizaga. (ness218 on instagram tweeted a pic of this fantastic bauble and I added pics of a necklace and another bracelet.)

Venessa Arizaga

I hadn't heard of Venessa but I am totally in love with her stuff. So thank you twitter person who tweeted this picture! Being obsessive has its benefits.


Seeing Red

As a blonde, red is not my favorite color. Generally speaking, I think it is a tough color for my light hair and fair skin to pull off, especially in a dress. Lucky for me, the huge red trend for this season embraces all shades including deep burgundy. No matter what shade you love, you can find a piece that works for you. Coats, jackets, pants, dresses, shoes, bags... all have fantastic options in red. Happy days!

Seeing Red


Dannijo and Shoes? Thank You Lord!

So, today I'm wrapping up pulling clothes from the amazing boutiques for FNO Alexandria and I make my last stop Bishop Boutique. Of course there were lots of gorgeous shoes and jewelry for the show but, in typical fashion, I found a little something for myself. You know how much I love the jewelry design duo known as Dannijo?... Well, today I found out they collaborated with Matt Bernson and one of the fruits of their labor was THESE BAD-ASS FRINGE BOOTS! Oh yeah! Calf hair, suede, and fringe down the side. It's pretty darn cool.


Seeing Spots

Kusama for Louis Vuitton (image from www.freshmag.com)

I suppose it's no accident that polka dots are so big for Fall when, for the same season, Louis Vuitton collaborated with Yayoi Kusama, an artist who is truly obsessed with dots. (She literally checked herself in to a mental institution at one point in her life because of this obsession!) But her obsession is now ours as the season is full of the always classic, sweetly sophisticated polka dot.

Polka dot skirt

J.Crew polka dot pants

Brian Atwood platform pumps

Loeffler Randall high heel

Louis vuitton wallet


The Mighty Jacket

I've always been a big fan of the jacket as a way to look pulled together when the weather cools. The one downside is the way they feel under a coat once the weather actually gets cold. As I've been out shopping for clients and FNO Alexandria, I've come across quite a few that have conquered that problem. They are a bit slouchy, without shoulder pads, and not overly (or at all) lined making them lightweight and easy to move around in, even under a coat. The question is, which one to get? Awww, heck. Get them all.

Great Fall Jackets


FNOAlexandria Fashion Show Update!

I've been hard at work pulling clothes and accessories from our awesome ALX boutiques. There's so much good stuff, I couldn't possibly mention it all. You will just HAVE to come to the fashion show at the Torpedo Factory on Sept. 6, 8pm sharp to see it all.

Let me tease you with a couple of highlights (and, keep in mind, I have about 15 more stores to pull from!):

Beaded tank by Chan Luu from Zoe boutique. Perfect with jeans, a leather skirt, brocade ankle pants... you name it.

Vintage leopard print shorts from Pretty People. Sweeten them up with a cashmere sweater and flats.

A black and white striped mid-length jacket from The Lucky Knot. Graphic and cool and bound to make every outfit look pulled together.

1920s plum velvet opera jacket from Amalgamated Clothing and Dry Goods. Oops. That one actually came home with me. For the fashion show, cocoa colored swing pants with a cropped beaded sweater. The decades are mixed so the look is totally fresh.

There is so much more and I really want you to see it all so come to the show. You won't be disappointed!


Bye Bye Snow White, Hello Maleficent!

I love the brocade trend for fall. Although elegant, it is also kind of dark and mysterious which seems to be a theme for me this year. Maybe turning 40 has me thinking that the time for youthful innocence is gone. Bye bye Snow White, hello Maleficent! (minus the majorly evil stuff) Anyway, I love it and will be working it in to my wardrobe for sure. I am super bummed that a vintage Givenchy copper brocade jacket from Pretty People didn't make it home with me today- only because it was too big- but I'll be on the lookout for something else like it. Check out these black brocade pants by Elizabeth and James. I like them with a peplum top (even one that is totally matchy!) but I think it would also look great with a leather tee.

3.1 Phillip Lim peplum top / Elizabeth and James peplum top / Elizabeth and James metallic pants / Nicholas Kirkwood high heels


Disappearing Act

Every couple of years, the fashion industry announces that leopard print is back "in." When is leopard print NOT in?? I mean, I always love it and think it is a timeless classic.

Camouflage, on the other hand, really does go in and out of style and you don't want to be caught in it when it's out-unless you happen to be hunting. But the good news for me since I happen to love camo is that it is IN for fall. Get it quick before it...disappears. (Get it?:))


MICHAEL Michael Kors michael kors dress / MICHAEL Michael Kors jersey top / Current/Elliott jeans, $300 / Repetto flat / M Z Wallace tote handbag, $275 / Tote handbag / Diane von Furstenberg leather shoulder bag, $755


A Season of Black


After several seasons of color, color everywhere, I am moving on. I don't know if many people would think of black as "fresh" but that is how I feel about it and I can't wait for the weather to cool to start working it in. I mentioned before that I don't wear much black in a summer spent in Washington, DC and the beach but I've begun wardrobe updating for the Fall and so far it consists of:

1. 1 pair of black Isabel Marant wedge high top sneakers.
2. 1 pair Brian Atwood puffy croc pumps.
3. 1 pair super dark wash navy denim skinny jeans.
4. 1 pair charcoal wash skinny jeans.
5. 1 AMAZING Givenchy short sleeve black leather top.
6. 1 neutral snake-print silk jacket.

So dark, so moody, so mysterious... That's the best part about black- the mystery. And mystery can be very interesting, don't you think?