Monthly Archives

January 2016


Isabel Marant – North End Shaw – 1.29.2016

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coat by Isabel Marant

Isabel Marant is a French designer and her brand was established in 1994.  Isabel Marant continues to be one of my all-time favorite designers for her simple, bohemian designs that can be dressed up or down.  This coat is from her Fall/Winter 2015 collection and is called the “Dillon 70s Coat.”  I found this coat on sale for 60% off, and many stores are still selling with this hefty discount.

styled with: purse by Mansur Gavriel; black jeans by J Brand; boots by Tory Burch; earrings by Lizzie Fortunato (also like these)

This coat and other statement coats I like:


We must be halfway through “outerwear” season, although I wish I could say we were further along.  I feel like all I do it throw on coats and bundle up lately, and when I see people it’s always with a coat on.

A few years ago I got wise and realized it really matters less in the winter what I wear, because people see me in my coat about 70% of the time.  The coat I am wearing is also the first impression I am making.  So I decided this year I would shake things up and add a fun statement coat to my wardrobe.

Once you have your basics covered, or even if you don’t, a statement coat is a great way to keep your spirits lifted throughout the long winter season.  A statement coat keeps your wardrobe interesting and exciting.  Right now is a great time to buy a coat too because winter clothing is on clearance at most stores and you will still get a lot of wear out of a coat this year.


A statement coat is great for most occasions.  The only time you may want to re-think a statement coat is for formal events, however it really depends on the individual piece.  I would not wear this coat to a formal event.

Photo Information:  Photos taken by Anna Meyer in North End Shaw.


Iowa Caucus Survival Kit – DC travels to Iowa – 01.27.2016


It’s political season and the first big event for Presidential candidates is taking place next Monday in Iowa, Iowa caucus day.  Many Washingtonians are heading out to Iowa, or have already left, to participate in this political occasion.  Iowa is traditionally pretty cold this time of year, but recent forecasts show that the weather might be a bit “balmy” with highs throughout the state in the 30s on February 1.  That said, it still won’t be warm, and there is a good chance reporters, campaign workers, and observers will all be spending a good amount of time outside.

The Washington Post has a real-time caucus weather tracker for your reference, btw.

Here is a survival kit I created for all traveling out to the American heartland for this big event to reference when packing.


  • Luggage.  I recommend a rolling duffel bag for a trip like this.  You will likely be moving around frequently will want the wheels for ease.  When packing in a duffel you can roll clothes to minimize wrinkles and stuff items into shoes to maximize space.
  • Tote Bag.  You will also need a tote as a day bag to keep your extra layers of clothing in along with your laptop, chargers, glasses, etc.  Longchamp is one of my favorite brands for travel totes, especially because you can change the size of their bags.  Whatever designer you choose, just make sure the bag has a zip closure so things do not fall out.  You also want to make sure a tote bag is light in weight prior to putting items in the bag, because it’s only going to get heavier.  You will be carrying this bag around most of the day and sore shoulders won’t be appealing.
  • Clutch Bag.  A little clutch like this one is great to have to put in your larger bag.  It will help you keep track of basics when you are OTG.


  • Hand and feet warmers.
  • Gloves with tech friendly fingers for texting and making calls.
  • A nice looking parka.  The one I featured by Bench has a ton of pockets and is VERY warm.  I wore it during #snowzilla this past weekend and it was great.  It is also on sale at Nordstrom Rack for under $100.
  • Infinity Scarf.  One less accessory to lose with this attached to your neck
  • Earwarmers.  There are many fashionable ways to keep your ears warm these days, especially for people who might be on-air while outside.  Check out some of these options like these 180s which you barely notice when they are being worn.
  • Spanx tights and leggings.  I am a huge fan of spanx tights or leggings under dresses or jeans.  They will keep you warm and also keep your figure in check.
  • Waterproof snow boots, these Sorels are on trend and keep you warm.  The only issue is the rubber sole which does not allow your feet to breathe.  In order to keep your feet as warm as possible when wearing these boots you need special socks and liners.
  • Sock liners and thick wool socks.  Sock liners keep your feet dry while thick socks absorb the water.  Smartwool is a premier designer that uses advanced technology to ensure your feet are always protected and warm.
  • Leather boots.  You may not want to only wear snow boots.  A tall pair of leather boots, with a flat sole is ideal for a more dressed up look, while still being comfortable.
  • Sunglasses


  • Black blazer.  A black blazer is a great basic to have on hand and wear with dresses, jeans, leggings and look professional.
  • Faux fur vest.  This item is one of my favorite trends of the season.  Its a stylish layer to keep you warm in cold temperatures.
  • Dark colored jeans.  Jeans are appropriate to wear in Iowa for political events, but darker jeans help keep a professional edge.
  • Leather pants.  Leather pants are warm.  If you have a pair, you should be wearing the in Iowa.  More about leather pants here.
  • Solid colored ponte dress.  It’s always good to have at least one dress when traveling for work.  Ponte fabric is comfortable because it has stretch and it doesn’t wrinkle.


  • Ibuprofen.  Headaches might be inevitable, you will be doing a lot of listening to candidates…
  • Vitamin C.  A great way to keep your immunity up.  Emergen-c is great for a hangover too, the fizz really helps.
  • Portable Gadget Charger.   It will be a total fail of a trip if your technology is dead.
  • Hand lotion without alcohol.   Alcohol makes lotion dry quickly, but it also will dry out your skin. Avoid it!  More information on this here.

Check out all of these items here to build your own Iowa Caucus Survival Kit:


Marc Jacobs – The Riggsby – 1.25.2016

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Dress by Marc Jacobs

This Marc Jacobs dress is from his Fall 2015 collection.  Marc Jacobs has been designing clothing since the 1980s through his own namesake lines and for other fashion houses, most notably Louis Vuitton from 1997-2014.  One quality I love about Marc Jacobs is that he doesn’t produce too many pieces with his collections so his designs are more unique when being worn.  Marc Jacobs is known for his thoughtful details and his appreciation of contemporary art is also reflected in his designs, this piece included.  If you look closely the pastel highlights have been painted onto the silk.

Here is the same Marc Jacobs dress I am wearing and other floral dresses I like:


I rarely pick floral items for my wardrobe and I don’t think I am alone, I’m certain that many women in DC avoid florals.  I thought about why this is and I think many times it comes down to florals being too busy, matronly, girlish, uninspired, unflattering, or unprofessional.  At least those are the reasons why I avoid florals.  So when I found this dress, which I was completely taken with, I spent some time disecting why I actually like this floral dress or the others that I featured today.  Here are some things I think set this piece apart, besides the designer of the dress being pretty genius, and tips I would keep in mind if you are inclined try a floral pattern and want to stay professional in your look.

-The style/cut of the dress is sophisticated.

-The colors have great contrast, the deep forest green offsets the pastels.

-The print isn’t too busy, it doesn’t make me feel nauseous to look at.

-The quality of the fabric is well structured.  Flimsy rayon is a non-starter when it comes to florals.  A structured cotton or silk makes a huge difference.

Some designers that do florals well in my book are: Asos; H&M; Kate Spade; Marni; Marc Jacobs; Milly


This style of dress is classic and classy.  It’s sophisticated for the office, perfect for a cocktail party, or great for daytime shower event.  If you follow the tips I mentioned above, a good floral dress should be able to be worn in all of these settings.

Photo Information:

Photos taken by Anna Meyer.

The Riggsby restaurant and bar opened in July of 2015 and is housed in the Kimpton Carlyle Hotel located in Dupont Circle.  The Riggsby was designed by Brian Miller of Edit Lab at Streetsense, and is inspired by the supper club atmosphere and whimsical decor of American restaurants in the mid-20th century. An open pass to the kitchen gives diners a peek behind the scenes and the lounge area features custom wallpaper based on a painting by Michael Schlow’s wife, mixed-media artist, Adrienne Schlow.

The decor and experience of being a guest at the Riggsby is quite whimsical and fun.  This is a great venue for drinks with a date or a dinner party.  It’s certainly a venue you can dress for and wear something similar to what I am wearing in these photos.  It’s also somewhere you can show up in jeans and a cozy sweater and feel right at home.

Thank you to the Riggsby for your hospitality and allowing me to use your beautiful restaurant as a backdrop for this post.


fashionABLE – DC Reception with Actress & Activist Minka Kelly – 01.22.2016

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Hibret Pouch designed by actress and activist Minka Kelly for FASHIONABLE

FASHIONABLE was founded in 2010 by Barrett Ward to empower women who have overcome challenges ranging from addiction to prostitution.  The mission of FASHIONABLE is to create sustainable business opportunities both locally and globally while investing in women.

While living in Ethiopia, Barrett and his wife Rachel saw firsthand how extreme poverty forced too many young girls and women to make awful choices for money. When speaking to these women, they told him they wanted an opportunity to earn a living, not to be given charity, so he created a business that would give them a job.

When a woman is empowered with work to do, whether in the home or in an office, she not only experiences the joy and satisfaction of developing a skill, she also creates change in those around her.  FASHIONABLE works with women, both locally and globally.


Last week I had the pleasure and privilege of co-hosting an intimate reception for FASHIONABLE in Washington, DC.  The purpose of this event was to bring awareness to the life changing opportunities FASHIONABLE is making for women globally.  In attendance was actress and activist Minka Kelly and FASHIONABLE CEO Barrett Ward.

For DC people who reference Friday Night Lights more frequently than the prose of great politicians and philosophers, this post is for you!

At this event Minka Kelly, the guest of honor, shared an emotional and moving story about how she became involved with FASHIONABLE and went on to create the Hibret Pouch seen in photos above.

Minka’s mother passed in 2008 at the young age of 51 from colon cancer.  In order to “fill this hole left in her heart” Minka wanted to do something to give back and make a difference.  When she learned about FASHIONABLE from her friend and DC professional Judee Ann Williams, she knew engaging with this organization was exactly what she needed to do.  What resonated most with Minka is that this organization was helping women who were in the sex trade to have other options for making money.  Her mother had also been in a position where she had to choose a similar line of work to support her family.  “I wish my mom had this choice, an option for a different type of work, but she did this to support our family,” Minka shared.  The women in Africa who Minka met were also doing the only work they had available to them to support their families.  One woman that Minka met sold her body to pay for her sister’s breast cancer treatments.  “These women are heroic, to sell the most sacred part of themselves to help their families,” Minka said.  Now thanks to the vision of Barrett Ward there are other options.  These women are empowered and have jobs that make them feel safe and protected.

As you can imagine this was a touching evening.  It’s beautiful and admirable of Minka to open herself up and be vulnerable with the world about her personal situation in order to help many other women, children and families.

On a lighter note, when Minka was in Africa on a visit for FASHIONABLE she went to the factory where the goods for FASHIONABLE are designed.  She asked Barrett if she could design a bag.  He was thrilled by her idea to contribute and bring awareness in an even greater way.  So she picked the gorgeous pink and navy suede fabric for the exterior, and then wanting to give the women who make the scarves an opportunity,  she lined the bags with their scarves.  Minka’s intentions are pure and virtuous.  This is the story of the birth of the pouch called Hibret, meaning collaboration in Amharic.

These pouches are beautiful and an everyday basic.  I am so proud to be carrying one and will certainly be purchasing others for gifts.  I told the group that night that we were lucky to have received this gift from fashionABLE and that in gratitude we should share the mission of FASHIONABLE with as many people as possible and to let them know that they can go to the FASHIONABLE website and purchase these pouches or many other goods to help make a difference too!


Minka Kelly designed this clutch as a transition piece from day to night.  Just like most women, she needs a way to keep track of essentials in a larger bag during the day, but at night it’s only about the stuff in her little clutch.  Thank you Minka for this simple, yet game changing, tip for staying stylish and organized while on the go.

I know that most working women in DC are using huge totes to carry around policy talking points, legal briefs, and a change of shoes for walking from meetings to the office.  Having this little gem in your bag will help you find your cell phone, lipstick, business cards and other needs on the go instead of spending minutes getting frazzled, looking foolish and burrowing in your bag – I speak from all too frequent experience.

After your busy day you can pull out your pouch and look very chic at whatever social event is on your schedule that night.

This bag is absolutely the perfect clutch!

Thank you to Barrett Ward, Minka Kelly, Judee Ann Williams, Kimball Stroud, Laurie Knight and all who attended this event for creating an inspirational evening.  Thank you to everyone who reads this post and is inspired to pay it forward by purchasing a chic and “FASHIONABLE” pouch.

Photo Information:  Thank you to Dan Swartz of Revamp for sharing these beautiful images taken at the reception last week.  Look for more images from this event soon in his Washingtonian column “Dan About Town.”


Anthropologie – Capital Pool Checkers Club – 01.19.2016

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Top by Anthropologie (purchased at the F Street, NW location, does not appear online at the moment)

Other checkers I like:

Styled with black skirt from Nordstrom; shoes by Kate Spade; bracelet by Hermes


It’s always a challenge to be creative when putting work outfits together, but thanks to fun prints with a few details, like this checkered top, you can have completely exciting outfits pretty easily and inexpensively.  I purchased this top from Anthropologie during their tag sale that is still taking place.  I love the peplum detail on this shirt, which also has some tulle underneath to give the top more structure.  I also like the way it gathers, which allows the top to be flattering.  Prints can be complicated if they do not have a flattering cut.  The last thing you want is a print to own you.  Using an example like this top, you can look for more figure flattering pieces.


I love this outfit for the office.  It’s playful and conservative at the same time.  I would also wear this top under with a suit and pull it out on the weekend with black leather pants, similar to this pair, or black skinny jeans.

Photo Information: Photos take by Anna Meyer at the Capital Pool Checker Club.

I found this video by Peggy Fleming about the Capital Pool Checker Club, which has been located in Shaw since 1982.  I encourage you to watch this and learn more about this special location and its history.

The mural on the side of the building was created as part of the MuralsDC initiative by artist Richard Colman.