1) It’s probably best to avoid jeans.
Most summer styles, especially in the Washington area, are a lighter wash and looser fit. That’s ideal for our icky humid summers, but chances are you’re going to want something sleeker, slimmer, and darker come fall. And since you’ll wear them all the time, it’s worth it to pay full price.
1) Avoid obviously serged ruffles.
2) Buy patterns on certain fabrics.
3) Make a beeline for the Love 21 room.
As we head into summer, the season of barbecues, rooftop parties, outdoor concerts, and movie festivals, choosing an outfit for each event can be almost as fun as the events themselves. But if you find summer getaways and cocktails have left you strapped for cash, look no further than Buffalo Exchange, the newest trade and consignment outlet to hit Washington. For those unfamiliar, the premise is pretty simple: Customers are encouraged to bring in gently used clothing to be sold through in-store buyers; they can also shop the inventory that caters to both men and women.
Interested in selling? The chain—which has stores all over the country, but none previously in the DMV area—has a reputation for being picky about what it accepts on consignment, so we asked store manager Anna Weldon for a few pre-opening tips on what to bring in.
By Sarah Zlotnick
This season’s resurgence of friendship bracelets has us perpetually on the hunt for fun, colorful additions to our arm parties. And while we instantly fell in love with this J.Crew cloth bracelet, the style had us thinking back to our summer camp days, when we made bandana versions of these by the wristful. Using only fabric scraps, pretty buttons, and a small jar of water, this sweet bracelet set can be yours in under ten minutes (and well under J.Crew’s $22 price point!). Read on for the instructions.
By Erin Keane Scott
The annual simultaneous arrival of bathing-suit and wedding seasons is officially upon us (whose idea of a cruel joke was that?), meaning weeks of continuous picture-taking that make us wish the words “social network” weren’t in our lexicon. Per the ace advice boudoir photographer Shelby Leigh gave us back in April, we’ve perfected our skinny arm and made false lashes a must for any and all photo-worthy events. But though our Facebook profile is now much improved, we couldn’t help but wonder how our favorite local style setters manage to look so flawless in photos time and time again. Read on for their go-to strategies.
Poke, slide, slip, sweat. If that's your bra talking, it's time to review the finer points of a perfect fit. We've asked Susan Nethero, the woman Oprah dubbed the "bra whisperer," to share her top five tips for choosing a well-fitting bra.
1) Support shouldn't come from the straps
There's more to the architecture of a bra than you might realize. Think the straps should do most of the work? Au contraire, says Nethero. "Ninety percent of the support should come from your bra band, and only the remaining 10 percent should come from your straps. Most women associate looseness with comfort, but that is actually the most common cause of poor bra fit. When bands are too loose, the back of the bra rises up, causing breasts to sag. Finding the right fit will eliminate the appearance of back fat and will end discomfort, meaning you can stop fidgeting with your bra all day! Your underwire will stop poking, your breasts will stop over- or underfilling your cups, and your bra straps will stop falling down."
By Sarah Zlotnick, Natalie Grasso
The cover story of The Washingtonian's April issue featured a great exploration of the area's hidden gems. And while there was lots to discover, the list was unfortunately lacking in advice from the city's style stars (sometimes there's just not enough room for everything good in print). But never fear! We consulted a few of Washington's top fashion folk for tips on where the in-the-know go.
Annie Lee, owner of Pretty People Vintage
"One of my favorite places is Treasure Trove. It's in Annandale and owned by Inova Hospital--all proceeds go to the hospital. All of the doctors' wives and the nurses who work for the hospital bring their stuff there. They have a great turnover--every couple of weeks, it's like a brand new store. They have housewares, clothing, books, great jewelry, really beautiful paintings. It's kind of like a high-end thrift store. They're very discerning about what they take in, but the prices are still affordable. I've gotten so many things there: really great vintage dresses that little old ladies bring in, furniture, decorative accessories for my store. It's next to a grocery store and has a very plain strip-mall storefront, but inside, it's amazing."
By Natalie Grasso
First and foremost, what's a good way to produce a natural smile?
"When you get in front of the camera, laugh! You'll feel silly but it truly does work for making your smile look amazing and natural. [And you don't have] to be hysterical--just a little giggle will do. There are too many people who look like they are in pain because their camera smile isn't their real smile. If you're going for a more serious smirk, just relax your mouth--so there is a bit of air between your lips--and 'smile with your eyes', which basically means make sure you still look happy and not angry."
What type of outfit looks best on camera?
"The clothing that reads well on camera--and in real life, for that matter--is clothing that fits and is flattering. [As a photog], I tend to gravitate towards images that look timeless, so it's usually the really tame ensembles I love--like a little black dress. You can look at that image at any point and it will always just be a classic."
By Sarah Zlotnick
Good news, guys: Menswear is experiencing something of a renaissance in Washington right now. Between all the awesome new places to shop, homegrown shirt and tie labels, and dapper Washingtonians rocking bold looks in our What I Wear to Work column, there's never been a better time to amp up your style game. The latest evolution of the scene? A super-cool "style speakeasy" happening Thursday, April 26. Masterminded by Elise Peterson of It's Vintage Darling, bow-tie maker Eliot Payne of Accoutre, and favorite Shop Around photog Kate Warren, the first WW Club (it stands for Whiskey and Women) event will feature a selection of menswear from Jack Spade, Federal, It's Vintage Darling, Dr. K's Vintage, Ginger Root, Alton Lane, and The Good Kin. There will also be a burlesque performance, a whiskey tasting, and a stocked bar. General admission is $10, and $25 gets you advance access at 6:30, a half-hour open bar, and a private burlesque performance. Tickets are available here.
Afraid to show up without already looking the part? No worries--Peterson and Payne styled a killer lookbook for the event (you can click through some choice shots in the slideshow above) and offered up eight simple guidelines for giving your closet a much-needed kick in the, well, pants. Happy clothes hunting!
Michelle Obama is a busy, busy woman. Between appearances on Nickelodeon shows, delivering gifts to Toys for Tots, and supporting her husband while he, you know, runs the country, FLOTUS doesn’t have time to spare for sartorial insecurities and multiple outfit changes. In Commander in Chic, a working woman’s style manual modeled after Mrs. Obama herself, Essence editor-at-large Mikki Taylor offers readers a lifestyle guide for the modern woman with an impossibly packed calendar. Can’t spare a second to read the compendium that could save you even more? No worries—Taylor summarizes five of the most important takeaways right here.
1) Wear clothes that make sense for your life.
"We all have long days, just as Mrs. Obama does,” says Taylor. “We may not have state dinners at the end of the day, but we do have events.” Taylor tells us life gets a lot easier when you size up how you’re spending your time and fill your wardrobe with pieces that fit within that framework. Be realistic about what you actually need to get dressed for. Attending a lot of company networking happy hours? Then you probably don’t need to keep a bunch of sequin miniskirts around.
“Define what works for you, and never veer from it,” says Taylor. “If something is not in Michelle’s lane, you won’t see her in it.”
Pay attention to the differences between how you think you ought to dress and what actually allows you to function. “You’ll never see Michelle suited up and there for the ‘appearance’,” says Taylor. “She’s there to do the work—it’s not about playing dress-up.”
Does your job keep you on your feet all day? Save the heels for after hours and wear a pair of comfy flats or chic, supportive boots. Never leave your computer? Wear sleeves you can roll up and leave the bracelets at home. You’ll be more productive when your wardrobe doesn’t interfere with the task at hand.