December 16th, 2014

The Baby Shower

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This post has nothing to do with style or fashion. Since we are in the season of celebrating, though, I wanted to share the fun and joy I had last weekend throwing a baby shower for my dear friend Stuart of Brierre Yoga.

Planning the shower brought back a flush of memories of when I was pregnant for the first time: navigating the physical changes for nearly a year of my life, excited and terrified of what motherhood would bring, and figuring out what clothing to use to cover the two feet of stomach extending horizontally from my waistline. And let’s not forget…the baby clothes! The itty bitty tiny baby onesies, socks and hats!

I am firmly out of the season in life where maternity wear, nursing bras, tops that make room for nursing bras, spit-ups, baby carriers and carseats are the norm. It was a wild ride. Hard to believe that the different ups and downs of birthing and caring for those wiggly, squeaky, screamy, sweet, beautiful three babies amount to just a split second of my life. There are profound changes, yes, but then what is most surprising is how certain things about me just never did change. Having those babies reinforced the woman I have always been: strong, silly, loving, sometimes driven, sometimes lazy, affectionate and so much more.

So we celebrated. And it was just wonderful. It was wonderful to share in the excitement of a new baby and to also have my own first baby  (who is now  a very grown-up 9-year-old) take such a big part in planning and helping with the festivities. We made just about everything you see from the decorations to the food. My daughter and a friend did the stenciling. We made the signs and notes. We cooked. We baked. My daughter and her friends were my right-hand girls at the festivities. The scrumptious macarons were from DC’s Olivia Macaron.

We didn’t do a ton of baby shower games, which was on purpose. We simply sat around in a big circle and showered our new mama with love. My friend was glowing. We, her friends and family, were glowing.

Honored to wish this special, new family much happiness in this new chapter of life. And if she ever does ask me for advice? The first thing I will tell her is this: No, you’re not doing it wrong. You are doing it perfectly right.

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*Thank you to the lovely Ashley Lettich of Ashley in DC for the amazing photos from the event.

December 13th, 2014

Party Time: Looks for Every Holiday Occasion

The last few weeks have been a blur of getting our clients ready for the holiday season whether it is for casual neighborhood parties, office gatherings or black-tie soirees. We asked some of our blogger, retail, and designer friends with serious style muscle  to share with  us what they are looking forward to wearing this holiday season. Take notes…

Winter White Holiday Cocktails

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elizabeth todd

I like to keep it simple when dressing for holiday parties and I tend to wear pants over dresses and skirts. When you have to stop by multiple parties in one night I think it is better to keep the clothes understated and let the accessories carry the outfit. Winter white is my favorite with lots of gold and sparkles, of course.” - Elizabeth Todd, The Shoe Hive

Sweater: Vince/Leather pants (similar): 7 For All Mankind/Earrings: Asha/Clutch: DVF/Cocktail Ring: Asha

Dance Party Sass

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jenn barger

“A jumpsuit channels an easy Studio 54 kind of glam — very much, an ‘I threw this on before discoing over’ vibe. I like that this DVF version is not black, but yet it’s still a neutral-enough color that it can set off all sorts of shoes, jackets and jewelry. I could also see it going out to brunch layered over a thin, long-sleeve black tee with booties and a scarf.” - Jenn Barger, DC Style Factory

Jumpsuit: DVF/ Coat: Elizabeth and James/ Pumps: Ann Taylor/Clutch: Marni/ Necklace: Panacea

Neighborhood Party Sparkle

 

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wardrobe oxygen” Several years ago I purchased a sequined top on a whim, and it has been one of my best purchases.  It always makes at least one appearance during the holidays because of its versatility and sparkly festiveness.  I have a few house parties on my social calendar this year and plan to pair this top with skinny black jeans for a look that is fun but not too fancy for the casual location.  The season gives me a chance to up the shine factor and I’ll be highlighting the silver parts of the sequined top with a silver clutch and pumps.  The Balm’s Mary Lou Manizer is my go-to for evening shine and shimmer, and Too Faced’s Better than False Lashes truly gives the look of falsies without the glue and it washes off easily at the end of the evening.”  - Alison Gary, Wardrobe Oxygen

Top (similar): Alice + Olivia  / Jeans: J Brand / Pumps: Charles David/ Clutch: Clare V./ Shimmer: The Balm Mary Manizer/ Lashes: Too Faced

Black-Tie Glam

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bridgette raes“While I love the idea of holiday outfits that can go from day to evening, it is so rare that we have opportunities to get really dressed up. Should there be an opportunity to wear a glam look, go for it. Instead of going with black or expected holiday colors, I went with a beige shade to change things up. I particularly love the clutch that can be used so many different ways while adding some pop to this soft holiday look.” - Bridgette Raes, Bridgette Raes – Style Expert

Gown: ModCloth/ Heels (similar) : Carvela/Clutch: Natasha Couture/ Bracelet: Stella & Dot/Earrings: Max&Chloe

Office Party Chic

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betsy garcete“Less is always more. CEO glam can easily go from day to night.”  - Betsy Garcete, Zophia

Skirt: Zophia/ Buttondown: Rochelle Behrens/Gloves: Tory Burch/ Booties: Zara/Faux Fur cardigan: Anthropologie/Belt: Reiss/Lip: Tom Ford/Perfume: Chanel/

 

 

 

Whatever you wear, we hope that it adds to the special, festive mood of the season. We wish you health, happiness and the joy of kicking up some sparkly, celebratory heels. Happy, happy  holidays!

December 9th, 2014

Shop Local Profile: DeNada

This is the fourth and last installment of our holiday Shop Local Profile series. We hit up our favorite designers, retailers and artisans for their holiday shopping secrets. For our last installment, we featured Sill Life Terrariums and this time, we feature a designer who we’ve been buying for years — DeNada.

Local hero 4: Virginia Arrisueño, DeNada knits, denadadesign.com and at Redeem.

Soft, Peruvian alpaca yarn gets knit into chunky, edgy-looking scarves, hats and wraps via Arrisueño’s design studio, in biz since 2009. The unisex styles are both warm and statement-making.

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What inspired this fall and winter collection?

Last year, when we started working with alpaca, it was heavier, thicker and in darker colors. But this year, I think everything has lighter tones and feel. And I added some pops of color —chartreuse, mauve.

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What’s the most unusual gift you’ve ever gotten?

My brother loves to joke around, and he tends to give me very odd gifts … he’ll get me things like a stamp that says WTF  or he’ll buy me gag gifts. It’s not that they are useful, but they bring a smile to my face.

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How can you make sure a gift isn’t a dud?

If you’re giving something like clothing, observe the recipient and see what kind of colors they wear. If the person wears black, don’t give them a fuchsia handbag. And get a gift receipt!

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What’s on your wish list this year?

As I get older, I rarely ask for gifts. I just like spending time with my family. My goal is to live Christmas through my three-year-old son, Atticus. But I would like a spa gift certificate. It’s been a while since I’ve gotten my nails done!

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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 to find the best and the brightest gifts this holiday season. Email dcstylefactory@gmail.com to work with Jenn.

 

 

 

December 7th, 2014

Shop Local Profile: Sill Life Terrariums

This is the third of four installments of our holiday Shop Local Profile series. We hit up our favorite designers, retailers and artisans for their holiday shopping secrets. For our last installment, we featured Dylan Design Company’s sleek yet rugged furniture and funky home goods. This time, we feature a terrarium expert.

 

Local hero 4: Holley Simmons, Sill Life terrariums, silllife.com

Simmons, a food writer by day, turns green thumb by night, arranging quirky terrariums in vintage vessels. She’ll customize a mini garden for you, and you can also give people tickets to one of her DIY workshops.

 

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What inspires your gardens?

The succulents, cacti and fern I work with are all so naturally gorgeous and lush that most of my inspiration comes from them. I simply take a look, combine them, and let them do all the work!

 

Where do your plants and materials come from?

I use many found materials: rocks discovered while walking through Rock Creek Park, moss foraged on hikes. And most of my succulents are grown in the D.C. area, so they’re built for this weather and thrive in this environment. I promise you’ll be able to keep them alive!

 

 

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What’s the best present you’ve ever gotten?

A stack of rare, vintage poetry books bound in a silk scarf and adorned with a beautifully written note. Which was hand-typed on a vintage typewriter of course! The boy is good :)

 

 

 

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What are you asking Santa for this year?

I’ve been wanting a Schott leather motorcycle jacket for years. They last a lifetime and match absolutely any outfit, but I can’t pull the trigger on the $700 price tag. Maybe if everyone in my family pitched in I might be able to swing it?

 

Where do you shop for gifts?

I shop based on the recipient to make sure I get the most meaningful gift, so there’s no one go-to spot for me. Though I love the Mutiny workshop  at 52 O Street (especially the menswear and fine leather goods) and Salt & Sundry is just the best for food-lovers and dinner party-throwers.

 

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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 to find the best and the brightest gifts this holiday season. Email dcstylefactory@gmail.com to work with Jenn.

December 3rd, 2014

Shop Local Profile: Dylan Design Company

This is the second of four installments of our holiday Shop Local Profile series. We hit up our favorite designers, retailers and artisans for their holiday shopping secrets. For our last installment, we featured Mallory Shelter’s delicate, handcrafted jewelry. This time, we feature a local carpenter/craftsman.

Local Hero 2: Tony Oliver, Dylan Design Company, Baltimore, Md., and via West Elm at 1728 14th St. NW.

Using rugged materials — wood, brass — and a clean aesthetic, Baltimore carpenter and craftsman Tony Oliver creates both sleek furniture (a round wood table the Eameses would love) and gifts like leather-accented wood cutting boards or a funky brass table lamp.

 

What inspires your work?

I’m always considering how something will look in five or 10 or 20 years, and I try to use materials that will age gracefully and get a nice patina over time.

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What are you asking Santa for this year?

A diaper bag from Almanac Industries.

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Where do you shop for gifts?

I go on Etsy, and I also dig through my pile of wood scraps to see what I can make for people!

What’s the best present you’ve ever received?

My wife made me a blanket for Christmas when we were still dating. We still use it daily!

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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 to find the best and the brightest gifts this holiday season. Email dcstylefactory@gmail.com to work with Jenn.