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The quirky local blogger tells us how she put together six of her stylish ensembles. By Diana Elbasha

Anyone who believes the stereotype that the Washington area lacks fashion creativity should get to know Nife Oluwole. The cheery, Maryland-based blogger behind SkinnyHipster boasts a signature style of vibrant hues, busy patterns, and out-there combinations that makes her one of the most flawlessly dressed—and eye-catching—women walking around DC.

That’s why we turned to her for help in mastering a tricky trend: mixing prints. She’s proven time and again that she nails the perfect balance; we pulled together six of our favorite examples and asked her to explain how she put together each look.

Captions run left to right. 

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Posted at 02:48 PM/ET, 03/25/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
The girly pastel appears on countless accessories, shoes, and more this season. By Diana Elbasha
This week we’re inspired by Gal Meets Glam author Julia Engel’s monochromatic ensemble.

Perhaps our favorite annual sartorial transition happens between winter and spring. The drastic change in temperature means retiring the blacks and navys of our cold-weather closet for more dazzling accessories and brighter hues. 

Pastels are a great way to ease into the change of seasons. With fashion month in its final days and the world’s eye on street style, we’ve taken a particular liking to blush—a fresh, chic shade of pale pink that flatters all skin tones and styles. We were particularly taken with Gal Meets Glam author Julia Engel’s stunning use of monochrome, using varying shades of the pink to create a very sophisticated look—one that is both winter- and spring-appropriate (and that prompted us grab the next book clutch we could get our hands on). Click through the slideshow for a look at 14 pieces we’re coveting in the girly shade.

Posted at 02:20 PM/ET, 03/06/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
A closer look at the female lead’s powerful wardrobe. By Diana Elbasha
The assymetrical neckline on the dress Claire wore in episode four is a beautiful upgrade to the standard LBD. Photograph by Nathaniel Bell for Netflix.

With half the town hunkered down binge-watching the second season of House of Cards (Shop Around included), there’s been endless chatter about the show’s mind-boggling plotlines and anticipation for season three. But now it’s time to address a vital component to said plot: the wardrobes. Specifically, the sleek, designer-laden closet of Claire Underwood.

While Claire’s morality gets mixed views, one thing is certain: She looks, at all times, indisputably powerful. Her polished yet feminine wardrobe paired with unfailing poise catches our attention episode after episode; the minor but transformative details of her clothing take the standard power suit to a very fashion-forward place. The asymmetrical neckline on her black dress in episode four, shown above, is a beautifully edgy upgrade to the LBD, while slight peplum hems add a ladylike flair to otherwise nondescript blazers and pencil skirts.

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Posted at 02:49 PM/ET, 02/21/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
None of which cost a fortune. By Michelle Thomas

For as long as we can recall, the fuzziness of haircalf was a style seemingly reserved for feline-inspired prints. Not this year. Lately, the tactile material has popped up in all sorts of styles—yes, there’s still the ever-lovely leopard, but there’s also camo. And dalmatian. And oxblood! You get the picture. The thing is, this luxe look tends to come with a hefty price tag. And while we may lust over certain pieces (ahem, Milly bag, Jenni Kayne coat, and Helmut Lang top), dropping a month’s worth of rent is not the only way to get in on the trend. Click through the slideshow for 15 gorgeously cozy finds that’ll give you the look for less.

Posted at 12:54 PM/ET, 11/13/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
A look at the fixer’s endless collection of Prada handbags—and where to score affordable lookalikes. By Diana Elbasha
It’s not just the handbags: Kerry Washington wore this custom Prada gown to a Scandal premiere last month. Photograph by Lou Rocco for ABC.

Of the stylish power-fixer she plays in Scandal, Kerry Washington once noted, “All of her bags are Prada. Every single handbag—unless it’s a flashback episode. And they’re all stunning.”

The DC native is no stranger to the Italian superlabel herself. From the custom fall ’13 Prada gown (above) Washington wore to Scandal’s season premiere to stylist Lyn Paolo's real-life purse that made it into the show simply because the actress loved it, it seems our girl is taking some style cues from her character.

So today we’re offering an ode to the outstanding accessory that defines Olivia Pope style: the Prada handbag. From dark ruffles to sleek, structured pastels, here are five bags she’s worn throughout the show’s two and a quarter seasons—along with some more affordable look-alikes you can snag for yourself.

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Posted at 12:37 PM/ET, 11/07/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
Local makeup artist Laura Bateman offers easy steps for the season’s most popular beauty trends. By Diana Elbasha

DC-based makeup artist Laura Bateman. Photograph via Ampersand Photography.

It goes without saying that the runway show is the ultimate trendsetter—something about a world-renowned designer claiming a look as stylish leads us to run out and snag the first version we can find (hello, harem pants).

The same is true for the makeup looks they have their models sport down the runway. Seasons past have brought such prevalent trends as sleek, center-parted hair, neon lips, and bold brows—and this year is no exception to the bold beauty trend game. We asked local makeup artist Laura Bateman for her insight into fall and winter’s most popular makeup looks—as shown on runways from Alice & Olivia to Burberry—and how to achieve them on your own.

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Posted at 04:56 PM/ET, 10/23/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
Our beloved smoking slipper goes glam. By Michelle Thomas

First came the menswear-inspired (and oh-so-comfortable) smoking slipper, which took over as the cool girl’s go-to flat in record time. But that was last year. Next up? The smoking slipper’s glam older sister, featuring the same loafer-ish silhouette propped up on a spindly or stacked heel. We’re digging the boy-meets-girl attitude of this sophisticated style in a major way—and envisioning these beauts worn with skinny denim and dresses alike. Read on for six versions we love.

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Posted at 12:30 PM/ET, 10/01/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
Rock this trend on everything from silk shirts to suede satchels. By Michelle Thomas

For a print that’s specifically designed to blend in, camouflage sure is taking its moment in the spotlight. Though the look may be inspired by rugged hunting wear and crisp army uniforms, this season’s camo-printed pieces are far more sophisticated—imagine camo done in slinky silk, reworked into sexy pointed-toe pumps, and knitted in cozy-soft cashmere—and look especially fresh when teamed up with chic mainstays such as edgy black leather and sleek heels. (Or try pairing with equally hot leopard for a dash of on-trend pattern mixing!) Slide over to the gallery to check out 20 of our favorite camouflage fall finds.

Posted at 03:24 PM/ET, 09/18/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
The of-the-moment hue appears in everything from necklaces to nail polish. By Diana Elbasha

It dominates Kate Middleton’s closet, Citibank’s bicycles, and Facebook’s logo. Dazzling Blue, a slightly brighter navy, is seemingly everywhere we turn. The popularity of the universally flattering hue isn’t dying down anytime soon, which might explain why Pantone selected the shade as the It color for spring 2014. Here are ten of our favorite ways to add the standout hue to your wardrobe.

Posted at 12:58 PM/ET, 09/11/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
The sporty staple goes high style. By Michelle Thomas

One delightfully cool morning and the pending kickoff of New York Fashion Week. That’s all it takes to launch us full-force into fall fashion daydreaming. At the top of our new-season must list? The recent crop of high-style sweatshirts. Yup, sweatshirts. File this one under trends we can totally get behind (so cozy!).

These pullovers aren’t just blah gray terrycloth and sporty V-stitch necklines, though—on the fall runways, designers such as Givenchy, Lanvin and Tibi gave the comfy basic a majorly chic makeover. To do it right, skip the slouch in favor of more structured silhouettes with the requisite vaguely athletic sweatshirt styling, but decked out with fashiony details. Think luxe leather. Sparkly crystal embellishments. Digital prints atop sculptural neoprene. Pick your fave interpretation; wear everywhere and endlessly.

Sold on the high-fashion sweatshirt? Click through the gallery to shop 15 of our faves.

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Posted at 12:54 PM/ET, 09/04/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()