Tie me up, tie me down…

Fashion Ennui.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

At any given time, I have a wishlist in my trusty little notebook of things I'd like to buy sometime. There are fairly affordable things that get checked off pretty quickly (Kiehl's Crème de Corps lotion, for instance), things that have to wait a while (a new Macbook) and things that are pretty much unjustifiable pretty much for the foreseeable future (Chanel Jumbo XL bag). It's not so much that I need to remember that I want these things, but they serve as a motivator, like if I just buckle down and work a little bit harder, they could be mine.

And then, every once in awhile, the list gets pretty bare. It's not that I have everything I want (although my closet is pretty much busting open at the seams… so maybe I do), it's that nothing much is exciting me. I've been to all the stores, clicked around many a website, and I'm just not spotting those I-have-to-have-it items that usually get me all giddy inside.

Is it me? Is it fashion? Have I really reached the end of my wishlist? (Um… and does that mean I can justify the Chanel bag?)

I'd love to hear what's at the top of *your* wishlist at the moment. Christmas is coming, after all! I'd like to have something on my list for Santa.

Comment away!

{The one exception to this post is last season's Phillip Lim Tally tote, which I still totally want and which they've still got at full price at, even though it went on sale everywhere else months and months ago. Grrrr.}

Big Changes are Afoot.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I've been a bit quiet lately, but there's big news: Earlier this week, I started as a full-time editor over at FW, the Post's new fashion glossy. That has meant a lot of time wrapping up any last freelance assignments (except for Lucky – I'm happy to report that I'm keeping that gig) and, of course, ramping up my work wardrobe. I hope you'll bear with me as I adjust to this whole "day job" thingy – in return, I promise to squander at least some of my salary on lovely, frivolous things. Like, say, these appealingly whimsical Corso Como bow-tie booties. With dark tights and a LBD? Why yes, please.

Inside the World of Brangelina

Monday, October 20, 2008

When I'm not busy obsessing over slouchy fall boots, I do really enjoy catching up on my celebrity gossip. I'm pretty excited to pick up the new issue of W mag with Ange & fam as photographed by Brad, but I was even more interested in reading up on the backstory. In short: Mr. Pitt insisted on getting 70 rolls of a film that hasn't been manufactured in four years, which in part had to be tracked down and couriered from Tel Aviv to the South of France, and then he wanted another kind of hard-to-find film, which then had to be hand-carried by a W editor to France. I guess when Brad and Ange are giving you an exclusive, you jump through every hoop to make them happy, but really? Makes for some very fascinating tidbits, at the least. You can almost imagine the panic that must have ensued at the W offices every time Brad made a request.

Who are the Great Shopkeepers in Your Neighborhood? {DC edition}

Saturday, October 18, 2008

We had a note this week from reader Anna (hi Anna!), who recently moved to DC and needs a quick primer on where to shop/what to do/who to see for personal grooming purposes. We realized we'd been remiss about sharing some of our favorite DC stores thus far, and thought it was high-time—now that we're fully settled in—to give some accolades where they're due. It's by no means an total list of all I love, but it's a start.

And so, a guide for Anna, or anyone else in, around or coming to DC… Those of you locals with suggestions to add, please feel free to do so in the comments.


Brows: We'd never had our brows regularly groomed before, but had heard so much about Bluemercury Georgetown's Lance that we decided we had to go see him. And now: We'll never go anywhere else, he's just that good.

Hair I have always absolutely hated my hair -- until now. Thanks go solely to Chris, hairstylist extraordinaire and the co-owner of U Street's newish Parlour salon, who has managed to tame my thin, fine, incredibly unruly locks into a sleek and easily styled bob. He always takes the time to talk things out and offer great suggestions. Words cannot express my hair joy.

Nails: It's nothing fancy, but I always go to Queen Nails near Dupont: 1) It's pretty reasonable for in-the-city prices ($36 for a pedi); 2) they do a solid, long-lasting job; 3) It's near my apartment; 4) It's also near tangysweet, for a yogurt fix afterwards.

Facial: Terrie at Hela Spa's new The Collection at Chevy Chase outpost is just amazing. Gentle (very important for my easily irritated skin), meticulous, helpful… Two thumbs up. Better than Cats. I'd go back again and again.


Best Bargains, secondhand division: I've long been a fan of Dupont consignment shop Secondi, but it's gotten so popular that the selection can be really picked over. I'm really, really loving Georgetown's new Second Time Around (a few doors from Annie Creamcheese), which has a great mix of new and gently used clothing. I've spotted everything from vintage coats to brand-new J Brand jeans, and the staff is insanely friendly and helpful. {Side note: I've also started consigning my old clothes at Second Time Around – they've got a great online system so you can see everything that has sold, and they also let you take back the things that haven't sold after three months, which is a really nice perk.}

Best Bargains, new division: Bethesda's Mustard Seed (which also has vintage and consignment clothing) has a great selection of reasonably priced, cute-but-not-cutesy new items. I almost always leave with something.

Worth the Drool: Nothing beats Muleh for an afternoon of sartorial swooning. Phillip Lim, Ports 1961, Vivienne Westwood—oh my!

Favorite Newcomer: I was just up in Bethesda Row's Ginger earlier this week and am incredibly impressed with their selection for fall. Lots of quietly stylish finds and very cool pieces.

Best Home: U Street's Rckcndy is so well-stocked this season, I think that it's accurate to say I want everything in the store. It's not super-cheap, but it's all really super.

Best Home, part 2: I tend to get excited whenever I step into Dupont's Tabletop. Their newish second floor means there's twice the goodness.

Biggest Selection: The Georgetown Cusp is almost overwhelming in its amount of merchandise, but there's always plenty to check out.

Fave Discount Department Store: The Filene's Basement at the National Press Building in Penn Quarter. Generally pretty quiet, a wide selection of stuff, great shoe department. The Friendship Heights Loehmann's is another solid stop.

Best Guys Stuff: DC's really been lacking in the menswear category, which is why I'm totally jazzed about brand-new shop For the Greater Good. Cool, indie brands like Common Projects; totally hip vibe.

Best Shoes: I might as well just go ahead and forward a chunk of my paycheck straight to Zelaya. They're the ones who introduced me to amazing DC comfort-shoe maven Jeanne Jarvaise, and I literally might never wear another brand again, she's just that great.

Best Vintage: You never know what you'll find with vintage, so it probably makes sense to hit all the big ones. Annie Creamcheese is enormous, but it can be pricey. Meeps has a smaller selection but a totally fun retro vibe. Remix Vintage is worth the trip to Eastern Market – such gorgeous stuff. The weekends-only Adams Morgan hotspot Mercedes Bien has just ramped up their selection by bringing in wares from those cute Listopad girls, while U Street Vintage Junction is small but generally worth a browse. And if you feeling like hopping up to Takoma Park, I always find something great at the large and well-priced Polly Sue's. Plus, you can never go wrong with thrifting in DC. Goodwill, Georgia Avenue Thrift, Value Village… all have been great retro resources for me and my unending quest to Own More Stuff. {sigh}

That's it for today! Please leave your own suggestions in the comments… We'd all love to hear them!

We are seriously so, so excited.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

You recognize this sweet little face, don't you? It's Monte, the adorable pup that belongs to Johanna-from-ASeriousJobisNoExcuse-and-now-Stylista. And yes, he's wearing Ray Ban Wayfarers, because he's cool like that. And also because he is the very stylish star of our first round of limited edition "Team Johanna!" t-shirts, now available for pre-order, thanks to our generous friends at T-Shirt Insurgency, home of hilarious rebellious breakfast food tees.

Here is the deal:

1) No, the t-shirts do not actually say "Team Johanna." It was just a little too 2006 for our taste. Instead, we decided to let you show your support in a slightly quirky, 'wink-wink-nudge-nudge' kind of way.

2) Much love and thanks to our talented friend Tad for the fab design.

3) Because we were slightly concerned we could end up with a boxful of Monte tees, there is only a limited amount of shirts being printed for round one. Get one while you can! If the demand exceeds our initial estimate, we'll definitely get more printed. (And truthfully, we have dreams of putting Monte in an insane Philip Treacy hat for Limited Edition #2, so we're really hoping that happens.)

4) The t-shirts are American Apparel women's sizes. They run a bit fitted (we wear a large) and are a really nice quality. They should be shipped in about two weeks, hopefully just in time for the debut.

5) There are no men's sizes yet. So sorry, men. But! If you would like a Monte shirt and would commit to a pre-order, leave us a comment here. We will tally up the requests and put in an order once we've gotten enough enthusiasm.

6) Stylista debuts October 22! We have seen a press screener of the first two episodes and we have to say, without (much) bias, that it is incredibly, amazingly, entertainingly good. So much fun! So much snark! So much cleavage! We cannot wait.

Excuse us, we have to go order our tee now. Whee!

Fall Wishlist, part 8 of 229 (and growing)

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

In order to take our mind off an out-of-control gray leather boot obsession (these, near-perfect and less expensive; or these, completely perfect and so expensive?) , we've decided to take up knitting again. Or at least think about taking it up again, while just purchasing the things from etsy that we desire to one day make ourselves, like this adorably slouchy cowl-neck scarf, $32. We also like this one. Ooooh, and this one. And the super-oversized one that we might have already gotten from H&M a couple of weeks ago. Decisions!

Oh Alber, you've done it again.

Lanvin = le swoon.

Currently coveting: Natalia Brilli jewelry

Friday, October 03, 2008

These gorgeous pieces by Parisian designer Natalia Brilli popped up in my e-mail newsletter from Georgetown's fab Hu's Shoes today, and I loved them immediately. Leather pearls, knots of gold, textured cuffs… yes, please!

Will Also Work for Lim.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Ack! Love his bow coat. I'm almost hoping the weight is blazer-esque; if so, it would definitely be my go-to work-meeting staple.

Will Work for Bows {As if That Wasn't Clear}

It's been, oh, about four days since I featured something with a bow, so I thought I'd just let you know that I'm still drooling over the Proenza blouse. This snap from the Neiman Marcus website just makes it look So. Voluminously. Perfect.

Fall Wishlist, part 7 of 35

I admit to being completely glued to each new episode of The Rachel Zoe Project. Zoe's, er, unique approach to life and scarily bony clavicle do get old about halfway through each show, but I can't get enough of her insanely enormous wardrobe or the red carpet-worthy styles that are heavily featured in every episode. (Plus, I'm totally rooting for her adorable underdog assistant Brad. Go Brad!)

{At the commercial break's urging, I even went so far as to take her shoddily designed Fashion IQ quiz, which—kind of tellingly—is riddled with spelling errors. "Tribecca?" C'mon. "Brooke Sheilds" and "Calvin Kline"? Is this some sort of joke? My intelligence fully insulted, I gave up at question 8, which references "Elenor Lamber." Ridiculous.}

Grammatical gaffes aside, I do have to credit the show for inspiring my next fall must-have: super-fuzzy earmuffs! The coverage of the fall 2008 J. Mendel show in last week's episode was gorgeous, and I especially loved the voluminous fur earmuffs sported on the runway. It's the perfect antidote to pesky hat head. I found lots to choose from on eBay

Fall Wishlist, part 6 of a well-edited 32

It's been a while since I've listed some of my fall wants, but now that the weather has officially turned (my first fall in years! such exciting times for my sweater collection!), I'm back on the hunt. Here's one I've already purchased—LL Bean's classic Maine hunting boot, with a nearly knee-high 16" rise. (One caveat: Don't lace these things on unless you're ready to wear them for awhile. It's a serious effort. And no, you will not be able to pull your leggings on over them. Because I have tried. And it wasn't pretty.) Us large-footed gals don't get many breaks, but these shoes are one of them: Because they're made only for men, they start in a men's size 7 (which, given their oversized tendencies, is the size I ordered for my women's 10 feet). I'm not giving up my wellies completely, but think this will be a great, preppy-rugged alternative on blustery, cold days.