March 26th, 2015

Shop-Your-Closet Case Study: Kimono-Style Jacket Reinvented

I recently worked with a new client on her closet — not purchasing anything new, but creating outfits out of her existing wardrobe. She had this great kimono-style jacket that I just pounced on the minute I saw it.  It’s what I call a “crossroads piece” —  how you wear it can really go one way (funky, youthful) or the other (dated, matronly). You decide.

These crossroads pieces typically possesss one of the following elements:

- an ethnic-inspired print, style, etc.

- a vintage feel (think a round-neck classic Chanel boucle jacket or any copycats)

- an almost too-bold print that can come off garish

She  typically wore this statement-making jacket with a pair of wide-leg, drap-ey pants. It was for  a weekend evening out. She said she never felt quite right in it.

I wanted to update  how she styled this jacket in ways that would feel more polished and current. First, a weekend going- out look:

The key when working clothing that is ethnic-inspired, and could potentially be aging because of the silhouette and print, is to make it youthful by pairing with current pieces like…

- skinny dark jeans

- boyfriend jeans

- pointy-toe heels

Second, I wanted to show the versatility of the jacket by creating an office-ready look (she is a consultant). Plus, what a great alternative to a buttoned-up blazer!


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To give this style of jacket polish and sophistication for work, pair with…

- black cigarette pants

- a black, fitted pencil skirt (the one picture works, but we’d like to tailor it to fit a little higher up on her waist and the hem to be at her knee so she gets that great hourglass silhouette)

- pointy-toe pumps

And wah-lah! The once-matronly kimono jacket gets a new life in this client’s wardrobe with just a couple of easy switch-ups.

Have you reinvented something in your closet recently?

March 23rd, 2015

In Bloom: Jenn’s Favorite Trend this Spring

Floral is never not “in” come spring. But this season, DC Style Factory stylist Jenn Barger is going rose-bold: the bigger the better.

“The bolder they are, the more modern and edgier they feel — not so grannyish.”

We see them with slightly undone hair, shoes with a tough edge or mixed with menswear-inspired elements. In other words, no shrinking violets need apply.

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Credits: Marc Jacobs floral sweater // J.Crew pumps// MSGM pencil skirt//Ted Baker purse (similar)//Not Dressed as Lamb.

This is the first of a month-long series where DC Style Factory staff showcase their favorite Spring trends. Stay tuned for Style Associate N’jeri’s pick next week!

March 17th, 2015

Skirting the Issue Style Workshop

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With the snow melting and the Spring season upon us, I was thrilled to partner with Betsy Fisher boutique last week for our Skirting the Issue style workshop. We decided to do a skirt workshop because from my experience with clients, it is more often than not, the saddest part of woman’s wardrobe. We’re talking ill-fitting, dated and completely forgotten. I have to admit, I have been guilty of forgetting the skirt area of my own wardrobe. But this spring…this spring is the season of The Skirt.

I walked attendees through skirt closet essentials, our picks for the season. We talked pencils, midis, a-lines, bold prints and more. I  also addressed what shoes work best with what skirt (even a demo of a low-contrast, nude heel bootie on our very own stylist Jenn Barger wearing her very own midi), if nude hosiery is acceptable (yes), why pointy-toe works better than round, and much more.

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I was joined by custom pencil skirt designer Betsy Garcete of Zophia, who chatted to the group about finding our natural waistline and where that pencil skirt should sit, depending on your body type. A special thank you for my very own Zophia skirt for the event. Fit like a glove!

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Following the presentation, we broke and attendees were treated to specialty drinks and food from Elizabeth’s on L, custom measurements by Betsy Garcete of Zophia, and top-notch personal styling from the DC Style Factory  and the Betsy Fisher teams. We couldn’t have asked for a better group of women. They filled the evening with a fun, positive energy.

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We also were joined by some very special friends: Stephanie David, president and CEO of PopNod and Alison Gary of Wardrobe Oxygen

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…and the ladies from The Shoe Hive in Old Town.

All attendees walked away with a skirts tip card, giveaways from Betsy Fisher and Zophia, and a special macaron treat from Olivia Macaron in Georgetown.

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Thank you to all our beautiful attendees who got to eat, shop the latest spring styles,  and learn a thing or two about this season’s skirts.

We hope you’ll join us for our next workshop in May! Follow us on Facebook or sign up for our newsletter to stay in the know. Hope everyone’s spring season is off to a fabulous start!

March 14th, 2015

Bull + Moose: Ties, Enlisted with Style

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In his old job as a legal specialist in the U.S. Army, Diego A. Echeverri wore either camo or a dress green uniform. But in this new gig as the Alexandria-based co-founder of Bull + Moose neckwear company, it’s the Afghanistan veteran’s duty to sartorially mix things up — a button down and a bow tie for a casual event, a striped rep tie with a flat-collared shirt and a suit for a business meeting. “And I prefer a simple four-in-hand tie,” he says. “I don’t like to overcomplicate things.”

He also doesn’t like to overpay for ties, which is what motivated him to launch Bull + Moose in 2013. Echeverri was about to get married, and, when searching for bow ties for his groomsmen, he says, “All the designs I liked were super-expensive, and I didn’t want to pay $75 to $200 for a good-looking one.”

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Echeverri started doing his research, visiting factories in Asia that made goods for Brooks Brothers and Calvin Klein, before zeroing in on one that executes their designs with good quality — and at a good price (most designs are $35-$45).

“China has a competitive advantage,” he says. “All silk comes from Asia, and they have factories that can do everything, which keeps the cost low.”

While developing their product, Echeverri schooled himself in what you might dub Cravat 101. “I had to learn everything — the difference between jacquard, twill and grosgrain, everything about fabric,” says Echeverri. Now Bull + Moose’s designs — including its trademark, very popular silk camo bowtie — could be called classics with a twist. Another style stars tiny gray narwhals on a sea of French blue silk.

“I drew them on my iPad and sent it to the factory,” he says. “I try to do fun, inspired designs that’ll still look classic and preppy, but on closer examination, there’s a story.”

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Not surprisingly, the ties have taken off — thanks in part to Bull + Moose’s brand ambassadors, sports figures who model the ties and promote them along with their own charities. And the sleek-and-cheeky neckwear has been spotted on celebs, too.

“One of the ‘Duck Dynasty’ guys wore our camo tie to the White House,” says Echeverri. Bull + Moose pocket square and bow ties even headlined in a fashionable (and very funny) promo for Manservant, a butler-like service now trending in Los Angeles.

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Overall, Echeverri is thrilled to be part of a men’s style revolution both locally and nationally. “We’re on the precipice of a huge change driven by millennials,” he says. “Everyone is really doing a throwback, JFK look . We’re going through a period where men are taking a lot more pride in how they dress.”

 

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Post by DC Style Factory stylist, Jenn Barger. Jenn has 13 years’ experience working as a fashion  journalist in the nation’s capitol. She has written countless gift guides for The Washington Post and now is working with DC Style Factory clients on their wardrobes. You can read more about her on our website.

February 18th, 2015

DC Style Factory Skirt Style Workshop

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Visit Eventbrite for tickets today!