Monday, September 28, 2009

DC is Going Green!

It's true! The DC "green scene" is growing exponentially. There are social events for greenies, more and more restaurants proclaiming local and organic menus, boutiques that sell vintage and eco-friendly fashion, eco-spas, farmers' markets, sustainable hotels, "green" yoga studios . . . and there is no better place to read all about it than on Going Green DC.

Check out my friend Sacha's blog out pronto!

If you want to meet all the young and hip green leaders in DC, then you must definitely come to the Extreme Green Gala on October 9th, hosted by CarbonFundDC. More details here.
And, oh my gosh, the Green Festival is almost here! So excited!! (October 10 & 11)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

DC's BEST Consignment Stores (from

This is a great list of consignment stores in the DC area that I just found on This was originally written by Sara Levine and Gretchen Cook (the descriptions are theirs). I have added some comments about the places I have been to, the addresses and a link to the website - if the store has one. If you have been to others, please let us know how they are!

Best for fashionistas: Grace & Kelli. (7311 Little River Turnpike, Annandale, VA) The boutique ambiance hints at the sticker shock here: Handbags from Ferragamo, Prada, Chanel, and Gucci can run more than $1,000, suits from Akris, Burgamo, and Diane von Furstenburg $100 to $300. But the 30- to 40-percent discount on the latest fashions lure many—and prices drop 25 percent after two months. Online store shows and sells some of the shop’s clothing.

Best for urbanites: Secondi. (1702 Connecticut Ave. NW, DC) In the oft-updated selection of clothing, shoes, and handbags you’ll find designer labels like Fendi, Louis Vuitton, and Gucci. A great place to look for party dresses. [RR says: I agree - a great place for party dresses . . . plus you can always bring them back to resell after your event! I find the prices a little steep for the lesser labels - about the same as you would score on sale at Macy's. However, you can get some nice designer pieces for a good price. Every once in a while, the store will have a vintage piece that is TO DIE for. Secondi also has nice coats each season. My favorite coat from last winter was a faux shearling, vintage suede number that I paid less than $80 for at Secondi. I wore it all winter long! However, I find the customer service a bit spotty, which is always so surprising to me because the owner is amazingly nice.]

Best for socialites: Inga’s Once Is Not Enough. (4830 MacArthur Blvd., DC) The place for such high-end finds as fur coats, Tuleh dresses, and Manolo Blahnik stilettos. The Chanel section is particularly impressive, as is the hidden back room with haute handbags. While prices may seem high, everything is in excellent shape; some items still have tags from Neiman Marcus.

Best for ladies who lunch: Encore Resale Dress Shop. (3715 Macomb St NW, DC) This longtime favorite with socialites offers a good selection of conservative but dressy couture, evening wear, and furs. Prices are most competitive in the everyday category, and don’t miss the $1 bin where an opera-going velvet gown recently landed.

Best for career women: Fashion Exchange. (6663 Old Dominion Dr. # B McLean, VA) A great selection of professional and casually elegant outfits. The small shop has a few upmarket designers like St. John, Christian Lacroix, and Carolina Herrera, but most racks contain midrange separates for as low as $15. Handbags and shoes run to the practical and lower-priced, with a few justifiably costly items like a beautiful Prada purse for $350.

Best for power lunchers: The Ritz. (5014 Nicholson Lane, Rockville, MD‎) Pricey knit suits dominate, with more than 200 by St. John on a recent visit, but the prices on those—average $300—are still one-third below retail. The shop stocks conservative designers—Chanel, Hermès (scarves and men’s ties too), Louis Vuitton—as well as a small selection of furs and casually elegant separates. [RR says - they sell fur. Ugh. Enough said.]

Best for wide selection: Carousel Consignments. (12168 Nebel St, Rockville, MD‎) From $15 Ann Taylor slacks to midprice evening wear to $400 Chanel suits, this is a one-stop shop for top designers and affordable brands—and the discounts are some of the best around. The friendly staff will help you pick through the selection.

Best for your first job: Clothes Encounters. (202 7th St SE, Washington, DC) Lots of young Hill staffers head here. The prices are low, and the selection skews toward business attire: jackets, pantsuits, conservative dresses. [RR says: I've gotten some cute accessories here for super cheap: a Coach belt for $5, a Banana Republic suede hobo for $25. The selection is less interesting than at Secondi, but things get marked down a lot, so it is a fun place to stop into if you are visiting Eastern Market.]

Best for a (discounted) splurge: Second Chance. (4920 Fairmont Ave, Bethesda, MD‎) This small shop doesn’t have truly cheap finds, but you may spot an Yves Saint Laurent dress or Ferragamo shoes at a discount. If the gently used designer finds are still out of range, visit during twice-yearly sales.

Best for stylish everyday wear: Current Boutique. (2529 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA‎) There are some designer pieces at this shop, which stocks new and consigned items, but the emphasis is on midprice brands—think Banana Republic or Seven jeans. Fun jewelry, too.

Best for dressing up: Chic to Chic. (15900 Luanne Dr, Gaithersburg, MD‎) The chandelier says it all: couture clothing mixed with great service. Power suits mingle with sexy separates. Eveningwear from Moschino, Max Studio, James Perse, and Versace offers the best choices—with bargains like a $98 Nicole Miller cocktail dress. Lots of items are new because the owner shops retail sales.

Best for European flair: New to You. (108 W Broad St, Falls Church, VA) French rock sets the scene for hard-to-find couture—like a Thakoon evening jacket ($369) and a Roland Mouret jacket ($520). The style is largely for young, well-heeled hipsters looking for True Religion, Seven, and Citizens of Humanity jeans at one-third below retail, but professional women can find sophisticated or sexy separates, handbags, and shoes. Don’t miss the fine jewelry, which recently included a pair of 18-karat Cartier hoops for $1,645 ($1,000 off retail).

Best for teens: Mustard Seed. (7349 Wisconsin Ave, Bethesda, MD) Though the consignment selection can be hit-or-miss, prices are good, and there are always plenty of jeans to peruse—with patience, you’re likely to find a good pair, no matter your age. The store also sells vintage and new items. [RR says: Yes, many teenagers! And many teenager type clothing! The boutique has also started selling new items as well, so definitely keep an eye out if you are buying something new or something old. Last winter, I got a grey vintage wool dress that was one of my staples for winter events. We've gotten some shoes for my fiancé there as well. It is not convenient for me to go there and I wouldn't make a special trip out of it - just not enough things to make it worth it.]

Best vibe: Diva Boutique. (116 S Pitt St, Alexandria, VA‎) Housed in a lovely three-level Old Town rowhouse, owner Cindy McCartney’s shop is as cheery as she is. She sets out candy and other goodies for shoppers as they browse the well-edited selection of designer dresses, jeans, shoes, handbags, and more.

RR says: Remember that buying secondhand or vintage clothing is absolutely the greenest way to do fashion! But, don't forget to bring your own very fashionable, REUSABLE bag - you will definitely lose green karma points if you take your nice "new to you" clothes home in a plastic bag!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Custom Wedding Cake Toppers

(I just can't stop posting this week!!)
I absolutely love these! Hand made in San Diego. Sold on
A great gift for a couple or a fancy topper to your wedding cake.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Crafty Bastards is LESS than 2 weeks away!

We love us some crafty bastards! The awesome Washington DC arts and crafts fair is less than 2 weeks away! Many of the vendors will be local, so come out and support the local talent.

Here are just some of the fair's vendors:

Check out all the vendors HERE.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Newest Eco-Friendly Fashion Obsession: Vintage Shoe Clips

The Fall Fashion mags were filled with prettily embellished flats for fall – a huge relief from the towering heels that have monopolized the pages over the last few seasons. I actually really like heels – my high arch makes wearing flats a little challenging. But I was still excited by the idea of the sparkly, beaded slip-ons . . . an easy way to dress up a simple pair of jeans. I just got a pair of ankle-length, partially destroyed jeans and I think pairing them with some dainty flats is very Hepburn-ish (even though my thighs are not so Hepburnish).

But instead of investing in several pairs of shoes, a more economical AND eco-friendly approach is to invest in one or two well-made (or vintage!) pairs of plain flats (or you might already have some) and accessorize them with vintage shoe clips. has SO many pretty versions – from the most blingy, diamonette styles, to more simple versions that are more than appropriate for work.
Here are some that I like:

$9.99 - buy them here.

$15 - buy them here.

$25 - Buy them here.

$10 - buy them here.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Great Article! "Hip Nesters Haunt Flea Markets . . ."

From the Washington Post Express
By Betsy Lowther

"DIY DECORATING USED TO to be simpler: Pick a style (modern, shabby chic, country craft), acquire its key accoutrements (chrome accents, weathered finishes, "Little House on the Prairie" ginghams), repeat until complete. But now, savvy nesters no longer want to be defined by one design look. Instead, they're fusing high and low, old and new, classic and oddball, for an effect that's both chic and cheeky. The trick to this artsy, madcap aesthetic? A healthy collection of vintage pieces, repurposed in unexpected ways (think an old classroom map hung as artwork or laboratory beakers as flower vases). We tagged along with three local experts to learn the secrets of nabbing secondhand scores." Read more here.

And check out the great local Northern Virginia site: Three Potato Four - where you can find all kinds of quirky vintage and secondhand things for your decorating obsessions.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Wanting little white (hemp) sneakers . . .

I haven't paid much attention to J. Crew since college . . . their prices have gotten a bit outrageous for items made in sweaty factories in China. Plus, there were all those issues with J.Crew selling fur and the PETA protests that finally made them stop. Anyway, I haven't looked at a J. Crew catalog in more than a decade.

But this weekend, I was visiting my parents and my mom had one in the bathroom, and, well, I needed, ahem, reading material . . . long story short, I looked through the catalog and really liked how they styled the outfits in the catalog. I doubt that I will buy anything from them, but at least I was inspired. My favorite mini-inspiration were the little white sneakers like in the outfits below:

I love the relaxed, yet professional look - this is definitely something I could get away with at work. Of course, I have no interest in buying these little white sneakers from J. Crew. But, after a bit of searching, I found the cutest, eco-friendly pair from Simple. These are the "Satire" sneaks for women made from Organic Cotton and Hemp. (GAWD - I LOVE hemp!)

Look how cute! And only $55!!But there's more! The laces are made from recycled soda bottles! No animal byproducts or even regular animal products! The bottom of this shoe is made from a recycled car tire!

So many things to love love love! Thanks J. Crew for giving me some style ideas - thanks to Simple for making something that I actually want to buy!

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