Archive for the ‘Men’s Clothing’ Category

September 16th, 2015

DC Style Factory Showcases Fall Style at Urban Alliance Event

Last Wednesday, DC Style Factory partnered with PopNod  and hosted a fall fashion event to benefit DC’s  Urban Alliance. The stylish soiree took place on the rooftop of Embassy Row Hotel DC - with a breathtaking view and sunset over Dupont Circle. The evening’s good vibes centered around the mission of the Urban Alliance — to mentor and provide opportunity to under-resourced highschool seniors in DC, Baltimore and Chicago. More than 100 revelers joined us to  support the organization and usher in the fall fashion season.

DC Style Factory styled and produced the highlight of the evening’s festivities — a fashion showcase of the season’s best trends to  wear work and after work. Women’s looks were from Betsy Fisher on Connecticut Avenue, NW. Hair and makeup by Sunny Oh of D Sharpe Style in Bethesda.

Men’s looks were Ted Baker, Hugo Boss and AG denim.  For guys, style topics and trends included monochromatic grey, mixing of pattern and texture, the Chelsea Boot, and how to wear denim on Casual Fridays at the office. For ladies, I talked about updates to the classic trench, the power of the pencil skirt, mixing patterns and menswear-inspired looks that are still going strong this season.

Models were in on the Urban Alliance mission: each of the six looks was worn by Urban Alliance program graduates, mentors,  and  staff that keep the mission wheels moving.  Each model strutted — some eating up the spotlight and photography flashes like seasoned catwalk professionals — around the glowing, lit pool. The guests greeted each model and look with collective “oooohs” and “aaaaahs.”

The event was just the start of a bigger campaign on to benefit Urban Alliance interns: Fashion with an Impact. Visit this Style Story page on PopNod  and learn how you can shop with meaning. We all know the power of that first impression when it comes to landing a job.  You can now be a part of helping a young person make that great first impression.  PopNod shoppers can  purchase clothing that will be shipped directly to the Urban Alliance and gifted to intern graduates embarking on their professional journey.

The evening was best summed up by one of our models, Johnnie Wallace (he’s the dapper fellow in monochromatic grey) who works at Alexandria Renew Enterprises. Alexandria Renew sponsors two Urban Alliance interns annually, and Wallace mentors these interns:

“I grew up in an ‘underserved’ home and community.  I didn’t have the support or my birth mother to pursue anything past the government assistance or “street” life that surrounded me as a child.  I found mentors in people outside of my home and community that guided me through tough times as a homeless teenager. This  ultimately led to my happiness and success today.  I want to have an impact on youth who may not have the guidance and assistance within their home to soar past their perceived limitations and into higher education, successful careers, and positions as community and family leaders. I strive everyday with my interns to ensure they are proud of their differences and that taking the road less desired makes them stronger than those who have inherited support.  Imagine if every capable adult served as Urban Alliance like mentor to just one youth within our country. We would have less teenage parents.  We would significantly decrease the high school dropout rate and increase the higher education acceptance rate.  We would have less crime and more youth contributing to society and not behind bars.  I am living proof that positive mentorship at an impressionable age can change the course of someone’s life.”

Enjoy some of the gorgeous snaps by E. Brady Robinson of our fabulous evening.  Our team was honored to be a part of  this event, and I know I will remember it for a long, long time.


August 31st, 2015

DC Style Factory X PopNod: Fashion with an Impact Fundraiser

DC Style Factory is partnering this month with PopNod for a fashion event to benefit DC’s The Urban Alliance - an organization that mentors at-risk youth, preparing them for professional life after high school. The group’s supporters include Vice President Joe Biden and First Lady Michelle Obama. PopNod is a website and app that combines shopping the latest styles and fashions with donating to your favorite cause.  You pay the same price for the item as you would normally — but then PopNod matches a portion of your purchase and donates to your cause. Shopping with purpose.

Come mingle, drink, eat and enjoy the rooftop pool and bar of Embassy Row Hotel, 2015 Massachusetts Ave., NW. DC Style Factory will also showcase the latest fall trends and how to incorporate them into your professional DC look. We will have six male and female models wearing the latest in fall fashion. I will give  tips on how to update your work look this fall, how to rock an office cocktail party look, and more. Festivities start at 7 p.m.. Our models take center stage at 7:30 p.m.

The event also kicks off a digital campaign for The Urban Alliance that focuses on  students’ need for professional work attire.  PopNod and Urban Alliance have teamed up to encourage donors to purchase brand new clothing items on and donate them to Urban Alliance interns entering the professional workplace. Register at and  join us for a wonderful evening of food, drinks and fashion for a great cause. #FashionImpactDC

May 27th, 2015

Suited Up: Office Style for Millennials

In the late 1990s, I worked at a city magazine with a relatively strict dress code. The mostly female employees — all 20 to 40something — wore hose, heels and suits or formal separates nearly every day. It felt a little like a rehash of “Working Girl”, but in a way, it was nice to have a uniform. The message? Wear that jacket/shirtdress/kitten heel, and you might get a promotion/byline/better job.

Still, on at least one occasion, the boss sent one of the younger sales reps home to change clothes before heading out to an appointment with a client. (The sale rep didn’t like pantyhose, and tended to come to the office bare-armed). I felt bad for her, if a little smug in my black Ann Taylor suit and Hanes tights that, for once, didn’t have a run in them.

Fast-forward a few decades, and the cubicle-chic landscape has changed — especially in creative industries. “In creative fields, it’s important to show your style and personality,” says Herb Heiserman, a managing partner at Bethesda design, real estate and strategy firm Streetsense. “Still, I think it means visible tattoos are fine but Lululemon pants at the office aren’t.”

So how do workers — particularly 20somethings — stylishly climb the ladder without cramping their sartorial sense? “There’s been a loosening of dress codes, sure, but I think it’s always about showing a sense of respect,” says Heather Case, a Virginia-based career coach with Lee Hecht Harrison. “You need to think about whether you’re seeing clients or just sitting at a desk.”

Does everyone woman still need a suit? Not necessarily. “I wear sleeveless dresses on Capitol Hill and can’t remember the last time I wore a suit,” says lobbyist Jessica Killin. “I think guys have it harder, and still have to do a dark suit and a red tie.” And for job interviews in non-creative fields (read, most federal gigs), yep, you’re still probably safest in a matching jacket and pants.

Here are a few rules that still apply:

• Don’t wear flip flops to work, unless you’re a yoga or surf instructor. “No one wants to see your feet, and that flapping noise they make you walk will drive people crazy,” says Page Holland, a human resources manager in Reston.
• Make sure the clothing you wear fits you properly. Nothing worse than a shirt that pulls or exposes. And for a man, an ill-fitting, too-large suit looks sloppy.

• And, if you’ve climbed the ladder a bit, up your style game. “If you’re leading the company, lead by example and wear style-appropriate attire,” says Heiserman. “For guys that might mean interesting socks or a nice tie bar, something to spark interest.”

• No visible bra straps. Ever.

• Sure, you have great legs from all those Soul Cycle classes, but a dress so short people mistake it for a shirt belongs — if anywhere — at brunch on Sunday, not at a meeting on Monday. “It’s not appropriate for your skirt to show too much of your thighs and hamstrings,” says Killin. The long and short of it? You should be able to sit down and not expose yourself, adds Killin.

• Along the same lines, not too much skin. Avoid too much cleavage or any of the crop tops that expose your midsection.

• Yoga pants or athletic wear is a no-no.

Post by DC Style Factory stylist, Jenn Barger. Jenn has more than 15 years of experience working as a fashion and design journalist in the nation’s capitol, including serving as the founding editor in chief of the Washington Post’s FW magazine. Today she works with DC Style Factory clients, injecting polish and personality into their wardrobes. You can read more about her on our website.


March 14th, 2015

Bull + Moose: Ties, Enlisted with Style

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.”

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.”

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.

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.”



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.

November 27th, 2014

Navigating Black Friday

Thanksgiving is here! And then comes tomorrow — the Black Friday craziness. As much as I love shopping, finding great deals, etc., the madness of Black Friday can feel all too overwhelming. Yes, even for someone who shops for a living! One strategy I use when my clients ask me for Black Friday recommendations is this: buy what you need. When I say “need” I don’t necessarily mean clothing, shoes or accessories that are utilitarian like snow boots  or a rain jacket. That’s a different list. When I say a Black Friday need, I  mean those pieces that will be worth their weight in gold in terms of:

- Cost-per-wear, like work wear staples that stay in your closet for years to come.

- The pop-and-polish factor. Think the great purse that elevates any outfit you wear.

- The joy they bring. For example, those sparkly party pumps that just make you smile when you wear them on date night.

These are not impulse buys. They are things you may have been waiting to go on sale because you know you would be investing a little more.

1. The Bag

A great everyday bag can finish a look, add color, texture and interest, and even elevate the simplest outfit. Even though the handbag and accessories industry is the fastest growing in the luxury goods market, I find our clients still balk at the high price of handbags. It’s often tough for most people to stomach hundreds and hundreds of dollars — or more — in a bag.  So Black Friday sales are a great time to go bag hunting.

The specifics

Whenever I carry my Foley & Corinna mid-city tote, people stop me and ask where I got my purse. I am all about investing in a good purse — particularly a good everyday tote. It doesn’t have to be crazy expensive, but I do think a little more spent on a handbag can make a difference in your overall professional look.  This one is a go-to in my book. When it is full size,  it fits my laptop. It also folds over into an oversize clutch. I have used it in two fashion shows as last-minute props — it’s that good.

And now it’s on sale — along with a slew of other fabulous clutches, shoulder bags and more.

3. The Statement Shoe

I usually wait to buy going-out shoes. They aren’t shoes I wear everyday so I am always reluctant to spend an arm and a leg on them. But  we all need those special pieces that when we put them on we feel — bam! I know when I have a fancy night out, they will add the wattage I need.

The specifics

Rebecca Minkoff Raz Heel. Just the right amount of sexy, rocker chic that I can do with jeans, a simple LBD or black cigarette pants and turtleneck. If you are shopping locallyThe Shoe Hive in Old Town Alexandria, Va. is offering up to 30 percent off for Black Friday. That means 30 percent off  these Derek Lam beauts!

 4. The Suit

Suits are usually a a tough, expensive wardrobe pill to swallow for my male clients.  In today’s work environment, the suit is not as much of a mainstay as it used to be. Some clients need them more (attorneys for court, consultants presenting to clients, heads of nonprofits for events, etc.) and some  less (graphic designer, real estate agents, etc.). However, I am still a proponent for a good suit - you will always need them for weddings and funerals and job interviews.  We all  know we should invest a bit more on fabric and fit, but it’s tough to make peace with plunking down that much for something that you don’t necessarily wear all the time. For ladies — having a go-to outfit for a job interview is essential.

The specifics

Check out Brooks Brothers, NordstromTed Baker and Hugo Boss for great deals on men’s and women’s suits this weekend. Locally, ladies can check out Betsy Fisher. The boutique will be offering 30 percent off for Black Friday while celebrating 26 years dressing power women in the Nation’s Capitol.

5. The Coat

Coats can be expensive — particularly nice, dressier ones. So when they go on sale…if you find one that fits well and feels like an elevated classic (has the simplicity that gives it staying power in your closet, but also the modern tailoring and lux appeal that make it feel special), buy it.

The specifics

Nordstrom’s Black Friday sale, again, is hard to beat with its selection and deep discounts.

Personally, though, I have had my eye on A Piece Apart’s Esta Double Breasted Coat in a gorgeous mint. And starting tonight, it will be 30 percent off!


So that’s my roundup for Black Friday. Good luck out there and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!