"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


Making My Spring Pieces Work Now

Anthropologie Chambray Romper

Rachel Zoe Angled Hem Cardigan

Source: yoox.com via Kathryn on Pinterest

DSquared wedges

I admit, the weather has been (until today) totally helping me out. I'm so ready for spring and Mother Nature clearly is, too, that I've been breaking out some of my new spring pieces already. Given that it is still February, however, I don't want to look inappropriate either. But it's all about how you put it together. Case in point, my new chambray romper from Anthropologie. It's a halter and definitely spring-y. But paired with my new Rachel Zoe sweater and some suede wedges, it's a warm winter's day ensemble!


Oscars- Only the Dresses Worth Mentioning

photo by Bauer Griffin at zimbio.com

Louise Roe on the red carpet
photo- Getty Images

With so many people commenting on who wore what to the Oscars and whether or not it was good, I'm thinking you just may have had enough. But I do have opinions, of course, so I've decided to handle it by only commenting on the people who did something interesting, good or bad. I mean, Cameron Diaz, Penelope Cruz, even Angelina Jolie were all so... expected. The only thing that makes Angelina even slightly more mentionable was the hilarious and pretentious pose she couldn't stop making even on stage.

But I'll keep it quick so that you don't lose interest.

Starting with the worst:

Melissa McCarthy- Terrible. But only because of the sleeves. I like her so much, I feel badly saying it but it's true.

Amara Miller- I know she's 11 so I'll be gentle. But who chose that for her? She's super young and sweet and they've got her swathed in enough fabric to drape a window. Let the kid have some fun and cut that ridiculous tulle off her arms!

Jennifer Lopez- Umm. I know you all saw what I saw when she was presenting. Yikes. But besides that, I really disliked this dress. It made me dizzy.

Berenice Bejo- It pains me to say this because I could not stop staring at this woman while I watched The Artist. She is SO gorgeous and has these stunning, stunning features. But the dress was frumpy. Mint green was interesting but the dress looked like it was made for someone much older.

Jessica Chastain- I dunno. There was something that seemed too done about it. I just didn't dig it. At all.

And the best:

Gwyneth Paltrow!!!- This was by far my favorite. She looked perfect (for the second year in a row, I might add) in her white Tom Ford cape dress. A cape on the red carpet! I'm so happy that some stars are willing to be interesting and unique without being wacky.

Sandra Bullock- I know I'm in the minority here but I love this Marchesa dress. Why does everyone think it was ill-fitting? Just because it wasn't tight at the top does not make it a bad fit.

Rooney Mara- I loved her in this ivory dress by Givenchy. And I loved her with a smile. So much better than the usual gloom and doom.

Shailene Woodley- Fantastic. To all the naysayers, I say this was one bad-ass Valentino dress and she looked gorgeous.

Louise Roe- Do you know who she is? I didn't. But she was a host on the red carpet last night and does a lot of stuff for E!. Her dress was by Black Halo and, next to Gwyneth, was at the top of the list. It just goes to show you don't have to wear a major designer to look beautiful and cool.


Floral a la Simon Doonan

I finally got around to reading "Gay Men Don't Get Fat" by Simon Doonan. 40 pages in and laughing all the way, I pause briefly to write this blog. Floral may be a big trend for spring but Simon has been rockin' the flowers for quite some time. Chapter One of the book (Screaming Mimis) gives a hilarious account of his floral "uniform." It is the perfect beginning to what promises to be many more chapters of fun. Anyway, it describes the floral shorts AND floral top he paired to a hetero barbecue, never wavering in his style confidence. In homage to his outfit (which I'm sure was incredible), I've put together a few all-floral ensembles for you. Without further ado... Les Fleurs.

Floral a la Simon Doonan

Floral shirt, £15
D G silk top, £270
Alexander McQueen cotton shirt, £155
Zac Posen fitted shirt, $141
Floral print shorts, $62
Candela high waisted floral shorts, $98
Yellow skirt, $81
D&G floral pants, $170


Fade Out

Fade Out

Hollister Co button down collar shirt, $35
J Crew stripe shirt, $65
Gray blazer, $130
Topshop skinny jeans, $76
Balmain straight leg jeans
Dsquared distressed skinny jeans, £148
Vintage oxford, $89
Zara boots, $159

I've been trying to convince myself (and others) that light blue denim is in for about 6 years now. So either I was "out" of style every time I wore mine or totally "cutting edge." I prefer the latter.

In any case, here's my proof. I still love dark jeans, especially for dressier occasions and for their universally flattering color, but the light denim feels very fresh.


Peplums Don't Have to be Demure

Peplums Don't Have to be Demure

Alice Olivia peplum dress, £215
Elizabeth and James sleeveless tank top, £59
Mulberry metallic top, $600
J.Crew cropped capri pants, $298
J Brand low rise jeans, £190
Wedge heels, $144
Sam Edelman high heel boots, $138
Suzanna Dai drop earrings, $195
River Island tribal jewelry, $14
Mali Sabatasso chain jewelry, $170

The peplum trend for spring is a cute one that looks good on most body types. If you're petite or very thin, it gives you shape. If you're curvy, it celebrates those curves without exaggerating them. The only thing about them that gave me pause was how sweet they are. I don't really dress "sweetly." So I wanted to see about giving the peplum some edge. Mission accomplished.


A Valentine's Night Post

I know you all are SHOCKED that I am posting a blog on Valentine's night. I'm sure you assumed I would be out at some super fancy restaurant in a super fancy outfit, right? Actually, if you read my blog at all, you know that is the opposite of what I would be doing on a night like tonight.

I did not celebrate the occasion with a themed ensemble. But some people did. Like my four year old daughter who was like a real, live valentine in her red tutu and pink leggings. Or the fantastic employees at the YMCA Alexandria who added a red sweater or jacket to honor this special day. All appropriate and charming in my opinion. However, I feel I MUST send an urgent message to the woman I saw walking in to a local restaurant this evening. Red dress plus sheer red pantyhose equals BAD Valentine's Day outfit. I assume you were going in to celebrate with your sweetie. But my advice to you is, if you want to keep him, switch up the ensemble. Assuming the red dress is a given, try this. If you're guy isn't impressed, he doesn't know what he's talking about.

V Day

Alexon below the knee dress, £125
Wolford hosiery, €18
Steven peep toe platform pumps, $159
Kate Spade block earrings, $78


The CAC Has Gone Mad!

(image from deadline.com)

(image from blogs.amctv.com)

It’s February and it feels like we’re still in the thick of winter. But the reality is that Spring is just around the corner. Although March doesn’t officially recognize Spring until the 21st, I celebrate its arrival on the first of the month. And I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than a fantastic party for a great cause.

The Center for Alexandria’s Children (CAC) is holding its annual Spring Gala Fundraiser on Thursday, March 1 with a groovy new theme and venue. This year’s event is at Virtue, which, if you haven’t been, is another hit from the team that brings us (among others) Restaurant Eve and Society Fair. But the MOST exciting part of the party for me is the Mad Men theme.

I love a good theme party almost as much as I love a good costume party but don’t get nervous. This isn’t a costume party. It is, however, an opportunity to embrace the glamorous, sophisticated style of the early to mid 1960s. Which leads us to the question: what to wear to a Mad Men Theme party?


Rather than go on for pages about the history of early 60s fashion, I’ll offer some tips and ideas for getting dressed for this party.

It’s all about the glamour. Back in the day, it was common to wear a long gown for a cocktail or dinner event. But, for this shindig, you’ll be more comfortable keeping the ensemble on the shorter side. A-line shaped skirts or sheath dresses were coming into their own. Hemlines started to get really short in 1964 so you have options here; to your knee or just above works with the a-line skirt and shorter works with the sheath dress. Cap sleeves were popular as were close fitting dresses covered in lace and with long sleeves.

The shoes are easy – stilettos or kitten heels were favorites. Hair was still big, big, big and often incorporated elaborate styles that needed extensions or falls. Don’t shy away from the hairspray and come as coiffed as you can. A dramatic cat-eye was popular for makeup with a lighter lip.

This theme couldn’t be more timely. 60’s style is IN and you won’t have any problems finding modern dresses that reference the time period, which means you will get lots of use for your outfit even after the party is over. Check out pieces from Alexandria’s local boutiques (Kiskadee, Hysteria, and Periwinkle to name a few) that are well stocked with many options.


Oh you lucky guys. This is your chance to strut your stuff for the ladies. Put on a suit or at least a jacket, press your shirt to perfection, add a tie (on the skinnier side), polish your shoes, and comb back your hair. You’re ready to go. And please don’t think I’m neglecting you with this brief bit of advice. It is just that the way men dressed was simple back then but certainly more formal. Check out Colin Firth in “A Single Man.” He exemplifies the look perfectly.

(image from human08.tumblr.com)


Pleats, Please


Knit sweater, $72
Miss Selfridge coral blouse, $61
Soul Cal denim t shirt
Cacharel elastic waist skirt, £399
Topshop pleated skirt, $96
Red skirt, $60
Madewell oxford flat shoes, $148
Platform shoes, $58
Jane Norman lace up boots, £45
J Crew bright jewelry, $60
Kate spade jewelry, $88
Tear drop earrings, $58
Kate Spade enamel jewelry, $98
NW3 by Hobbs lip jewelry, £49

Pleats are back, baby! As we all know, this look can be a tough one, depending on your shape. Keep in mind that, no matter how big a look is, you shouldn't wear it if it makes YOU look big. Hahaha! But, seriously, if you find that the pleats add unwanted inches to your hips, let the skirt fall pleat-less from the waist until midway down and then begin to pleat. Or find a fabric that is soft and flowing rather than one with structure because it will lay better. In the end, if it doesn't work, skip it. There will be plenty of other trends this season that look gorgeous on you! By the way- it you say the word "pleats" too many times in a row, it starts to sound really nonsensical. I feel like this blog is one pleat away from that fate.:)


Traffic Cone is NOT a Good Look

Despite a pounding headache, I'm super excited to head out to the W Hotel tonight in DC for Simon Doonan's book signing (Gay Men Don't Get Fat). Since a very kind friend of mine invited me, I get to go to the pre-signing party where I'm hoping to have a better chance of an actual meeting with the fantastic Mr. Doonan. I think he's hilarious and obviously talented so it's gonna be kool and the gang. (That's a reference he is old enough to get and I am, too, so maybe we'll get along famously.)

Anyway, given the major orange trend for Spring (or tangerine if you want to sound more delicate about it), I'm wearing my new 3.1 Phillip Lim jacket again. If you've forgotten, I wore it in New Orleans a couple of weeks ago. However, I'm switching it up because 1. I don't really like to wear the same exact outfit twice and 2. I was a little bugged by how I wore it last time. After a couple of drinks in NOLA, I became convinced that I looked like a traffic cone. As far as I can tell, that is not stylish.

SO, in an effort to avoid this sensation again, I'm messing around with the proportions a little and having some fun with texture instead of sticking with the plain black tank underneath. The top underneath is white, sheer, and with a much longer back than front. I love it.

Check it out:

shoes- Marni
jeans- COH
top- Anthropologie
jacket- 3.1 Phillip Lim

me and Simon Doonan- He's all business; I'm all about the picture!

The outfit was a hit tonight. Especially the jacket. It will be fun to plan the next outing of this memorable jacket. I'm thinking stripes (not navy/white, though, as that could be too nautical). We'll see.