Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ebay Obsessions

Oh, Ebay, how I love you. Let me count the ways:

- I love that I can find vintage and second hand items that are totally unique and affordable and, usually, exceptionally well-made.
- I can buy items that are in line with current trends (if I feel like being trendy) without needing to buy anything new.
- I also like that it is not a "spur-of-the-moment" sort of decision. Searching, examining, waiting, bidding - it really is the opposite of how our shopping culture is right now - where buying decisions are haphazard and superficial. [Do you really need another black top?]

In any case, I've spent some time this week looking for new things to add to my closet. I will only bid on some of these. For instance, do I really need the feather dress at the bottom? Prob. not, but, God, isn't it delicious?

Vintage 60s black lacy girdle bustier - currently at $46

Monday, February 23, 2009

Follow Me on Twitter

Yes, I finally broke down and am now micro-blogging on Twitter.

Some recent posts:

Heavily procrastinating by trolling for vintage lingerie on Ebay . . . oh, e-commerce, you will be the death of me! from web

Every year I think I should go watch the show somewhere. And every year I am glad that I didn't because everyone is so bored silly with it. from web

will someone please tell SJP that parting her hair in the middle is hideous. Just. Plain. Ugly. What do they pay those stylists for? from web

WHAT the hell is Beyonce wearing? One of her mom's creations? ugh. from web

So maybe its more like a pink lavender? Still heart it! from web

Love Nat Portman's fuschia dress. So sleek. from web

Um, just checked in on the oscar fashions on Yahoo and . . . where in hell did Miley get that belt? So weird. It looks ridiculous! from web

Just ordered Lulu's Organic Hair Powder from Bona Drag. Yeay for conserving water by not washing hair. (I'm such a dirty hippie!) from web

Didn't make it to Listopad pop-up shop yesterday, but fell IN LOVE with HEMP FAUX FUR hoodie vest at Captitol Hemp. http://capitolhemp.com/ from web

Heading over to Mercedes Bien in Adams Morgan to check out Listopad's latest vintage finds. Hoping the black vintage corset is still there. from web

Maria thinks that life is too complicated to not be totally open with the people in your life (and others!) from web

Maria is fighting off a cold. Back, cold, back! from web

Head like a crazy merry-go-round-slash-ferris wheel kept me up ALL NIGHT LONG. No cotton candy, either. from web

Is still so excited/distracted by things that she shouldn't really talk about on Twitter. Shhh - life is great fun, if you let it be. from web

I try to wear something vintage/secondhand every day. Today's item is a pair of secondhand Nine West Heels I bought for $5. from web

I'm never really sure what color tights to wear with a navy suit and brown heels. Def. not the black ones I threw in my bag this morning. from web

still having a weird hair day. ugh. from web

I'm wearing black and white AGAIN today. Both tops were/are white vintage blouses. Thank you, Goodwill! from web

Having a weird hair day . . . : ( from web

Blah - not liking that I can't bike to work. from web

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Conserve Water! Stop Washing Your Hair!

I really hate washing my hair - especially in the winter (well, actually, year round . . . I am a bit of a dirty hippie at heart). The chlorine-heavy DC water dries out my hair and my skin. And although my kinda alt-punky hair looks much better after a few days of natural oil build-up, there are just times that washing is necessary. However, I just found out about this little powder that will let you go that extra day or two without having to engage in water usage and skin dryage . . . and is more environmental since it helps you conserve water! (My hair washing showers are always SO much longer than regular ones . . . you have to shampoo, then condition . . .)

And, although I have heard of hair powders before (and my bff Jenn used to use baby powder on her light blond hair in high school), I have never seen one that is organic. Yes, organic. It is a bit pricey for $40, but, seriously, this bottle will last you a year, if not more (unless you are a bit filthy, like me)! What a small investment for envy-worthy locks and significant water savings.

More on the powder from coolhunting.com. "Lulu originally created the recipe as a gift for her best friend when she realized that the talcum powder they had been dousing their hair with could be potentially carcinogenic. She read up on beauty product ingredients, and used her fashion publishing connections to set up meetings with beauty companies and eventually came up with a fragrant combination of natural and organic ingredients. The talc-free powder is made with white clay, baking soda, USDA Organic corn starch and rice powder, and Oregon Tilth Certified Organic horsetail powder and essential oils. Available in four distinctive scents Lavender/ Clary Sage, Patchouli/ Amber, Jasmine and Tuberrose each 4.5oz container is $40."

You can order it from the following on-line retailers:

Lulu Organics
Bona Drag - [Love this little, tightly edited online store.]

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Interview with Project Beltway

Today, I wanted to share with you the interview with Rachel Cothran, the writer of Project Beltway. I want to start off my saying that Rachel is one of the sweetest, most authentic people I have met in DC. My own personal opinion is that this authenticity is also prominent in the way she dresses - whenever I see her out (or see pictures of her on Facebook! or in Capitol File or in the Washingtonian or in . . .), she is almost always wearing an unbelievable vintage something or other. She rocks vintage garments, like no other - everything looks pulled together and modern, yet classic. We heart Rachel! (And, we think she is in NYC this week for Fashion week - how fun!)

  1. Tell us a bit about your blog. Project Beltway is an evolving creative endeavor. It started off as mainly a street-style blog, because that was what was inspiring me at the time (I launched in January 2007). Now it's a crazy jumbly mish-mash of style inspiration, rants and raves, event and street-style photos, and style-related event announcements in DC. I'm pretty committed to keeping it DC-focused because I think, and always have thought, that DC is probably one of the most interesting places to be writing and observing fashion and style. Our city is unlike any other, and the way we approach fashion is just as unique.
  2. Why did you start writing the blog in the first place? It seemed to me that there weren't enough people writing creatively about style and fashion here. It has been so exciting and rewarding to be a part of the growing interest in fashion in Washington. Blogs have been hugely instrumental in that.
  3. What do you enjoy most about writing about fashion/style? I think what I enjoy the most is having a space to explore what it means to carve out individual style. Writing the blog both inspires (discovering and being part of a community, finding my own creativeness) and challenges me (getting over the fear of having a public voice, finding a writing style) on a zillion different levels. It reminds me to have a bit more fun getting dressed. Clothes are just costumes like wine is just a bunch of mashed up grapes. When you subscribe too much to rules, you take away everything that's interesting and fun about fashion, and you run the risk of looking totally boring. Doing Project Beltway is a creative outlet that inspires me to be a more courageous dresser and person.
  4. Can you tell us what fashion trend(s) you really like for Fall 2008? Oh jeez. So many. I feel like I'm way more into fall this year that I have been in past seasons. I think a lot of that has to do with fashion getting more and more respect and attention, so more and more people are willing to seek out and buy interesting and unique clothes, so retail has responded accordingly. A short list of what I'm craving for fall: long leather gloves (J.Crew has them in three colors), exquisitely crafted lace (I was wary of the Prada show at first but now I'm obsessed), and statement necklaces. I wore one by local designer Julie Wolfe for my "Romper Room" shoot in DC Mag back in June. They are so easy to buy on the cheap, too. FW editor Jenn Barger wore a gorgeous purple jeweled one to their launch recently and I about fell over when she said it was from H&M.
  5. On the flip side, is there a style (i.e., pencil skirts, high heels, anything well-tailored) that you consider timeless – something that can last through years and seasons? A white button-down shirt tailored to your figure, black patent leather pumps, a trench coat, white linen pants and striped boatneck shirts for summer, and a black pencil skirt. Coco Chanel once said that all a woman truly needs is a pencil skirt; I like this one from Verrieres & Sako via original DC indie store Unsung Designers. I own their Double Collar Suit Dress and it manages to be both sophisticated and badass. I also think heirloom jewelery or any jewelery that you adore counts as classic. If you make something your signature, it will always be timeless.
  6. Many times, people shy away from buying more expensive or designer items because of the cost. However, a well-made piece of clothing, or pair of shoes, can last a really long time. Is there a designer or a label that you like to invest in for the cut/style/quality? Achem, well. I would not throw a Balenciaga or Hermes bag out of bed. It would be a bag for sure. I always seem to like the bags Boyy makes. Right now I'm obsessed with the simple styling and cool pocket watch-like chain on this one.
  7. Along with that, is there a piece of clothing that you have owned for a long time and are still devoted to? I'm a total sap when it comes to clothes that have memories attached to them. I still own a cheap and vaguely trashy polka-dot halter dress that I wore when I met my college boyfriend (his frat was hosting a party at what was once Zei Club....anyone remember that place?!). If there is one item of clothing that I am most devoted to though, it would be my vintage pink brocade swing coat with bead embellishment at the hem, placket and cuffs. I found it while I was living in a shack on the Outer Banks, at a vintage shop so randomly, bizarrely located that it may as well have been out of a Tim Burton movie. It was $70 which was a lot for a girl living off of Celeste Pizza For One. But I loved it, and that was that. In love and in clothes, you have to trust your gut when you find something wonderful. **pics attached** - look, me with hair!
  8. People are saying that "green is the new black" – what kind of things do you do in general to live a "greener" life? I buy vintage, I shop at local markets when I can, and I don't drive a ton. My dad has always been a stickler for what we now call green living, leftovers from family members living in the Depression: we've had solar panels on our roof for as long as I can remember, and my parents now use well water. He even takes military showers (you turn water off while you lather) and even saves thin slivers of soap to smush together to make a bar. He told me recently that if you run your dishwasher at night, it saves on energy costs. Because of him I'm anal about turning off lights when they're not in use.
    1. What have you found is the easiest thing(s) to do? (i.e., recycling, thrifting) I pretty much only buy thrift, vintage, or consignment clothing and accessories.
    2. Is there anything that you have found challenging? (i.e. driving less, traveling less) I'm pretty attached to having a car, unfortunately.

Loving Larsen Gray ON SALE

I am completely in love with this recycled wool moto jacket from Larsen Gray. It comes in black and the the sweetest shade of gray. From REVOLVE Clothing. The gray is $107 and the black is $152. Buy one here.

You can find a lot more of the collection at shopbop.com. And check out their "earth-friendly" section!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Interview with DC Goodwill Fashion Blog

There are times in your life where entire months can go by without you even really noticing . . . I am still not totally sure what I did from August until just a few weeks ago. Well, I did do the Crafty Bastards show and I did start a new job. I even blogged . . . a bit.

Sadly, one of the things that I really wanted to share with you all (
all 5 of you that are still actually checking in on me here) are a few interviews that I did with some INCREDIBLY stylish young women who also happen to be Washington DC bloggers. I feel so badly that I never posted their great responses on style, fashion, their favorite designers and living a green life in a timely fashion. But, as I always say, better late than never! So, over the next few days, I will post the interviews! (Note: As you will see, I asked about everyone's thoughts on trends for Fall 2008 since the interview happened in September. Obviously, we are way into Winter, looking longingly at Spring - and all the shorts! on the runways. Maybe, the lovely ladies will offer us some ideas on Spring Fashions in some upcoming posts?)

Tonight, we will start with Em Hall, the ├╝ber-fashionable writer for the DC Goodwill Fashion Blog. Besides writing an really great blog on fashion, Em lives a really green life! Ch-ch-ch-eck it out below!

1. Tell us a bit about your blog. The DC Goodwill Fashion Blog is all about vintage and contemporary fashion with a Goodwill twist. The blog emphasizes mixing high and low, old and new in attempt to help every reader discover his or her own personal style. And, at the end of the day, all money raised through the blog and shopgoodwill.com help to support Goodwill’s mission of training and employment for people with disadvantages and disabilities. In that way, one can look good and do good. What could be better that that?

2. Why did you start writing the blog in the first place? The idea for a blog at Goodwill actually predated my joining the marketing department. But once we started tossing around the idea more seriously, our team decided that a fashion blog would be a unique way to engage a new audience with Goodwill’s mission. It’s now about 15%-20% of my job as the Retail Marketing Manager.

3. What do you enjoy most about writing about fashion/style? I love the creative freedom in describing textures, colors, cuts, hemlines, heel heights, etc. I get to stretch out my vocabulary and have an excuse for browsing style.com during the workday!

4. Can you tell us what fashion trend(s) you really like for Fall 2008? I like the availability of great coats. One always sees so many dresses, trousers, jackets, etc., but Aquascutum, for example, made half of their show completely covetable and mostly wearable overcoats. I love it!

5. On the flip side, is there a style (i.e., pencil skirts, high heels, anything well-tailored) that you consider timeless - something that can last through years and seasons? Oh gosh. I think a quality handbag can be carried for years, even decades, if properly cared for and worn with panache. See #6.

6. Many times, people shy away from buying more expensive or designer items because of the cost. However, a well-made piece of clothing, or pair of shoes, can last a really long time. Is there a designer or a label that you like to invest in for the cut/style/quality? I purchased a Chloe Paddington handbag (at a deep discount) about three years back and I can’t ever imagine parting with it. Ever. Shoes will have worn soles and scuff marks. Clothes will have worn fabric and a shape-shifting wearer. But a bag… A bag will always fit and if the material is of high quality – in this case gorgeous leather – it should last for a very long time.

7. Along with that, is there a piece of clothing that you have owned for a long time and are still devoted to? Nope. I don’t get really attached to my clothing. I donate about ¼ of my wardrobe every season to make room for new things. Now, of course, the higher end pieces I tend to hold on to longer. It’s the H&M, Gap, Target, that kind of stuff that all goes to Goodwill. Heck, some of it even came from Goodwill to begin with! But I can’t think of any single piece I’ve held on to for any amount of time.

8. People are saying that "green is the new black" - what kind of things do you do in general to live a "greener" life? Wow, that’s a long list: no car, CFL bulbs, all-natural cleaning products, no paper towels, recycled toilet paper, natural cat litter (I’m actually training them to use the toilet so I don’t have to have any litter), hand wash and dry about ¼ of my clothes, programmable thermostat, recycling, etc., etc. I even use the water collected from my humidifier to water my groundcover. I don’t find any of it to be a hardship, although I do have a Zipcar membership for when I just have to pick up more than a couple of bags of groceries and my bike just won’t do! And whenever possible, I even take the train instead of flying. But that’s a personal indulgence. There’s so much more leg room!

Monday, February 2, 2009

List of "Better" Drycleaners: Finally!

I finally found a list of drycleaners in the DC area who use methods that are better than your average perc-spewing drycleaning business. The list includes businesses that use these "greener"methods:
Wet Cleaning,
CO2 cleaning, and
Silicone Cleaning

Look here! Look here! NoDryClean.com

There are also some very detailed explanations about how each type of cleaning process works to get the dirt out of all your pretties.

You can search by your zipcode!

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