Search Results for: label/DC Fashion

My Wardrobe Today – Thursday (and movie review)

Picture taken in the bathroom of Mussel Bar, where I had dinner last night.

Jacket – The Limited (no longer available), Black tankAnn Taylor, Lace skirtAnn Taylor, ShoesSofft “Pavia”, Bracelet – Anthropologie (no longer available), Bag – Mulberry for Target (no longer available)

This weekend Bethesda Row is hosting The Front Row, a series of fashion events.  Thursday night kicked off The Front Row with a screening of the documentary Bill Cunningham New York.  Today there are many trunk shows in boutiques along Bethesda Row, a fashion show and book signing by Kelly Cutrone.  On Saturday they are hosting the Chic Children event with all sorts of activities for the little ones.

Last night I attended the DC screening of Bill Cunningham New York.  If you haven’t heard of Bill Cunningham, it’s about time you did:

“Fashion is the armor to survive the reality of everyday life.”
– Bill Cunningham

This is why I love fashion – fashion is a suit of armor to help you get through life, to have the confidence and strength for what comes you way. Caring about how you look is a way to express yourself, define yourself, and defend yourself. Bill Cunningham captures street fashion – he doesn’t care about celebrities, brand names, socialites.  He looks for the unique, the expressive, the beautiful.  He has been chronically fashion trends for over 50 years.  You can find his weekly slide show and commentary entitled, “On the Street” on the New York Times website.

And do look for a screening of Bill Cunningham New York at a theater near you; if one is not available put it in your Netflix queue so you get it once its available.  This film is a documentary about Cunningham.  You see how he works, but you also get a peek into who he is as a man.  There are interviews with fashion, art, and society greats like Patrick McDonald, Anna Wintour, Carmen Dell’Orefice, Tom Wolfe, Annette De la Renta, and Anna Piaggi.  The documentary was so well crafted, it lead up to a very emotional and powerful moment, but ended on a positive note.  I laughed, I cried, I wanted to see it again!

After the screening, there was a VIP after party at Mon Ami Gabi were we all could chat about the film, and get to know other fashionistas in the DC area.  I was honored to be the guest of Alison from DC Celine.  She invited me and Liz of So Much to Smile About to come and we had a fab time enjoying St. Germain cocktails and Georgetown Cupcakes.

Me & Alison from DC Celine


Liz’s fab shoes from Banana Republic  
(she hosted an event at Banana before the movie; check out her blog for details!)

Liz, Alison, Me

I had met Liz before at a couple DC Fashion Blogger events; Alison I had yet to meet even though I had been reading her blog for years and we are virtual friends through Twitter and blog comments. It was awesome to finally meet, she’s as great as I expected and she has the greatest husband too (not in the pics since he was the photographer).  A lovely experience, I only wish I could attend tonight’s events at Bethesda Row.  If you’re going let me know, and be sure to come back with a recap!

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Giveaway: Remote Styling Session with DC Style Factory

Wardrobe Oxygen Giveaway - Win Four Hours of Remote Styling with DC Style FactoryMany of you have asked over the years if I do personal styling consultations. While I did this in the past, I stopped once Emerson was born and started researching personal stylists to be able to recommend quality individuals to you. Through this research I got to know, and become friends with many personal stylists and one is Rosana Vollmerhausen of DC Style Factory.

As a wife, mother of three, and business owner; Rosana walks the talk and shows one can maintain personal style when life is busy. She believes that if key wardrobe pieces make sense for who and where you are, personal style is accessible to anyone who wants it. Rosana has 15 years of fashion retail and styling experience, including owning, running, and buying for an award-winning boutique in DC. She has styled hundreds of men and women since launching DC Style Factory seven years ago and has built a team of passionate and skilled stylists and personal shoppers. I have met them all and find them all to be friendly, understanding, and a lot of fun!

With a combined 30-plus years in style and fashion, DC Style Factory offers expertise to plus-size, petite, tall clients and more. They’ve worked with high-profile big wigs who require polish for television appearances, attorneys, CEOs, stay-at-home moms juggling carpool, young professionals taking the next step in their careers and much more. Getting to know Rosana and her team at DC Style Factory, I learned their personal style beliefs are very in line with what I discuss here at Wardrobe Oxygen, and recommend their services with confidence. Some of you have worked with DC Style Factory after my recommendation and have reported back how it was a positive, fun, and enlightening experience and it helped you better understand your style and shop with success.

While DC Style Factory is located in the Nation’s Capital, they have been known to travel for special circumstances and also offer thorough and personalized virtual consultations. DC Style Factory is generous enough to provide one Wardrobe Oxygen winner with four hours of personalized online styling!


One lucky winner will receive four hours of remote/online styling from Rosana of DC Style Factory. This entails:

  • Initial phone call and email sharing basic information (sizing, headshot, full-body shot, etc.).  From this, winner will receive:
    • A checklist of essentials with directions on how to audit your own closet
    • A private Pinterest board where you and DCSF will communicate about how you wish to evolve your personal style
  • First hour:
    • 30 minute Facetime or Skype consult to discuss body type, lifestyle, and personal style/taste.  This consult will also delve into your closet, addressing any orphan garments, items you are wondering if you should keep, and more.
    • Following this consult, winner will receive a personalized style memo which includes:
      1. Snapshot of where you are style-wise and where you want to be
      2. Personalized style tips for your specific body type and lifestyle
      3. A budgeted and prioritized shopping list of pieces that will help refine, update, and complete your wardrobe.
  • Second Hour:
    • One hour of online shopping for the high-priority items on your list. You will receive multiple links to specific high-priority wardrobe items from your personalized memo.
    • Winner will provide pictures of new purchases so they can be reviewed prior to next Facetime/Skype consult.
  • Third hour:
    • One hour Facetime or Skype discussion to discuss purchases, possible ways to wear, and next steps.
  • Fourth Hour:
    • Rosana will create eight (8) outfits on Polyvore based on your new purchases so you can start trying out your new style!

How to Enter:
The giveaway has ended and the winner has been notified.

Hive on the Hill: The Shoe Hive’s DC Pop-up Shop

Like fashion, I believe in quality instead of quantity for my social life.  My evenings and weekends are primarily dedicated to my family, and only a few choice blog events.  Last night I attended a fabulous and quality event; Hive on the Hill from The Shoe Hive.

While The Shoe Hive has the most adorable and welcoming boutique in Old Town Alexandria, they are taking the next few days (through Sunday the 16th) to have a pop-up shop at The Tabula Rasa on Capitol Hill. While yes, you can find fabulous shoes (Kate Spade, Tory Burch, Hunter boots, and many more popular brands), they also have a wonderful selection of accessories and gifts. From candy-colored crocheted berets to drool-worthy Alexis Bittar jewelry, there have something for everyone, and every budget.

Last night was Opening Night for The Shoe Hive’s pop up, cleverly titled Hive on the Hill. The Shoe Hive asked me and Alison from DC Celine to co-host the event and curate a wish list to be on display. A mix of popular music with holiday tunes, plenty of white and red wine and three adorable men pouring Allagash White beer in Hive on the Hill pint glasses (which were adorable favors for us to take home), sweet treats and some of the most stylish women in DC… it was a wonderful event. While it was fun to see friends and chat over drinks, it was also fun to shop and meet new people. The Tabula Rasa was the perfect venue – crisp, white, modern, and beautiful. The Shoe Hive decorated with white birch branches and ribbons and the whole affair was tasteful yet so much fun. I was thrilled to finally meet social media/blogging friends Amy, KC, and Rosanna in real life and again see loveies like E, Lexa, Christen, and Vyque (and spend QT with my sister!).

A big thanks to Elizabeth from The Shoe Hive and her amazing team for a fun and successful event; rarely have I attended a shopping event that made me laugh to the point of tears, met so many new and wonderful people, while being surrounded by some of the most gorgeous shoes and accessories. If you’re in the area, stop by Tabula Rasa for Hive on the Hill or visit The Shoe Hive’s warm and welcoming shop in Old Town!

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Mick Rock & Fitz and the Tantrums – W Hotel DC

Last night I had the opportunity to attend an exhibit for Mick Rock at the W Hotel in DC. Mick Rock is a music photographer, known as “The Man Who Shot the Seventies.” He has photographed music greats over the past few decades, and some of his pictures of folks like Iggy Pop, Queen, Blondie, David Bowie, and even Lady Gaga are iconic. To celebrate the exhibit, the W Hotel had a performance by Fitz and the Tantrums and had Thievery Corporation DJing.

I really like Fitz and the Tantrums’ soul sound, Money Grabberwill get stuck in your head and never leave. I had heard they were great live and was looking forward to seeing them this past summer at the Silopanna Festival, but the fest was cancelled due to Hurricane Irene. I was happy to have been invited to this event to see them… and I was not disappointed.

The W Hotel had Mick Rock’s work blown up to wall size glossy prints, placed on the walls of the hallway and two rooms. Incredible lighting, amazing music, and complimentary Absolut cocktails. We walked around and saw musical greats in such vibrant, engaging larger-than-life images. We headed into the less-crowded room and saw it was set up with a stage – we were able to get right up front where we found a cocktail table to park our purses and drinks. My husband brought his camera and was able to get some amazing shots of the performance:

Mick Rock himself, capturing the show

Fitz and the Tantrums were amazing, so full of energy and they sounded amazing.  It was awesome to experience them in such an intimate setting.  I was so glad we got a spot up close to really experience the performance, I hardly captured a photo myself because I was so busy dancing!

The set ended and Thievery Corporation took over spinning tunes. We decided to go up to the W rooftop bar and on the way I saw Michael Fitzpatrick near a bar. I just had to go up to him, and thank him for a great performance. I mentioned how I wished I had seen them this past summer and asked for a picture. He is so nice and charming in person, so happy to have gotten the chance to meet him!

The rooftop bar is amazing, with views of the White House and the Washington Monument. Even though I was born in DC and have lived in the area all my life, such a view made me a giddy tourist and we took a lot of pictures of ourselves in front of the White House.

We headed back downstairs where I saw Mick Rock mixing with the crowd, but never got a chance to meet him. However I was pretty close to him while he was shooting the Fitz and the Tantrums set; it was cool to see such a famous photographer at work!

Thank you BrandLinkDC and The W Hotel for a stellar evening of music and photography!

Photography by Karl Gary

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Guest Post: Which Necklace with Which Neckline?

Guest post by Rosana Vollmerhausen of DC Style Factory

which necklace with which neckline - styling tops and dresses right accessory by Wardrobe OxygenI gave a talk recently about necklaces and necklines. It’s a typical question we get here at DC Style Factory: Go long? Go choker? Go statement?

The easiest necklaces to wear with just about any neckline is a longer one. The length of the necklace clears any v, scoop, drape or boat neckline. Whether you decide to go longer or shorter, you don’t want your necklace bumping up against your neckline. So either select one that is about an ½ an inch to an inch above your neckline or one that drops under your neckline at least several inches.

Longer necklaces, much like v-neck tops, lengthen your neckline, which in general is more flattering. Chokers shorten your neckline, which sometimes can sometimes be a more challenging style to wear. If you are petite, pay attention to how long the long necklace goes. Right below the bustline is good – grazing your bellybutton is too long.

Here is quick, easy guide for selecting which necklaces go best with which neckline.

V-neck Top

Wear with:

what necklace v-neck top

Smaller drop/pendant necklace that flows into v of the top

Shop Smaller Drop and Pendant Necklaces:

what necklace v-neck top

Longer non-pendant necklace that clears the v of the top and flows with the draping.

Shop Long Non-Pendant Necklaces:

Pass on: Wearing with a choker, which shortens your neckline and counteracts to the lengthening effect of the v shape.


Wear with:

what necklace scoop neck top

A statement necklace that mimics the curved shape of the neckline covers expose neck/chest surface area.

Shop Statement Necklaces:

Pass on: A choker that will leave too much empty surface area and not cover enough neck/chest area.

Boatneck Top

Wear with:

what necklace boatneck top

what necklace boatneck top

A longer necklace, which draws attention up and down, and balances the high, horizontal neckline.

Shop Longer Necklaces:

Pass on: A choker/collar necklace that will bump up against with the neckline.  A statement necklace higher up on the neck that will grab and pull at the horizontal neckline.

Collared Button-down Shirt

Wear with:

what necklace button collared shirt

A statement necklace under the collar for a “brooch” effect.

what necklace button collared shirt

A statement under the shirt with some color peeking out.

Pass on: A long necklace that will compete with the vertical button placket on the shirt.


Wear with:

what necklace crewneck shirt

A longer necklace that lengthens your neckline since the high neckline of the crewneck top shortens it.

what necklace crewneck shirt

A statement necklace that “creates” a new, longer neckline. Select a statement necklace that covers the top of the crewneck.

Pass on: A collar necklace; it just further shortens your neckline.


Wear with:

what necklace strapless

A shorter statement necklace that leaves about 1/2 an inch of space between the necklace and the neckline, a longer necklace that clears the neckline, or the two together as pictured!

what necklace strapless

Another fun option is to wear with a collar necklace.

Shop Collar Necklaces:

There are a multitude of other necklines and variations on necklines, but just remember, you simply want the necklace you choose to make sense with the neckline of the top. If you are fussing with it too much or it just doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t. But selecting the right necklace can really make a difference in adding polish, personality and finish to your look. Happy accessorizing!

DC Style Factory is a personal styling and shopping business based in the Washington, D.C. area. The company creed is that style is for anyone who wants it – regardless of size, age or budget. Clients include high-profile experts in the public eye who need polish for television appearances and stay-at-home moms juggling carpool. Our job is to prepare them to look and feel good for different events in their lives no matter how big or small.

Stylist and owner, Rosana Vollmerhausen, has had more than a decade of fashion retail and styling experience, including owning, running and buying for an award-winning boutique in Washington,D.C. She has styled local fashion events and photo shoots, and has written expert fashion tips for local publications. Her true passion, though, is one-on-one work with clients, building wardrobes that make sense for where they are in their lives. As a wife and mother of three, she is a firm believer that you don’t have to sacrifice personal style because life is busy. If key wardrobe pieces make sense for who and where you are, personal style can be accessible to anyone who wants it.

Learn more about Rosana and DC Style Factory at or on the blog at

DC Goodwill Summer Trunk Show | VIP Party Ticket Giveaway!

Edited for Goodwill - Wardrobe OxygenIf you’ve been reading Wardrobe Oxygen for a while you know I have a special place in my heart for Goodwill. It’s an organization that not only helps you score great fashion and homegoods for less, but it helps people right in your own neighborhood find jobs. Recently Goodwill of Greater Washington invited me and a handful of other local bloggers to create curated collections from their DC-area stores. One Sunday, a few of us drove around to four different Goodwill shops and pulled items that fit our personal tastes and style aesthetic.

DC Goodwill Summer Trunk Show - Wardrobe OxygenIt was an awesome experience, and it helped me see the amazing fashion waiting for you at a local Goodwill. I found brands like Kate Spade, J. Crew, Boden, Hudson and AG Jeans like new for pennies. I collected handmade and vintage pieces that ooze style and the current runway trends. I found perfectly distressed Levi’s and classics that transcend trends. As someone who has a hard time thrifting because it seems all the “good stuff” is small sizes, I focused on trying to curate a collection of fabulous pieces in a broad range of sizes (and I know other bloggers did too!).

I went thrifting with Vivi of Heart, Print & Style and Lerkia of MODAGE, but the trunk show will also be featuring collections curated by the DC Goodwill Fashionista, Spicy Candy DC, Got It at Goodwill, and What I Wore Tip to Toe.  I can’t wait to see what these fashionistas pulled from the great selection at the DC-area Goodwill stores!

2016 Edited for Goodwill Trunk Show DC - Wardrobe OxygenAll the pieces that I and fellow bloggers collected will go on sale later this month for the annual DC Goodwill Summer Trunk Show at the Pepco Edison Place Gallery. This trunk show will be open to the public; however Goodwill of Greater Washington’s Young Professionals Council is hosting a VIP party Wednesday, August 24th from 6:00 PM to 8:00PM. This exclusive opportunity lets you shop from an edited selection of vintage and contemporary Goodwill fashion collections curated by me and other local DC fashion bloggers before for the rest of the public, while networking with young professionals. Complimentary light refreshments, soft drinks, wine and beer will be provided. I’ve been to previous trunk shows hosted by Goodwill and the selection is phenomenal… but it goes fast! This is a fabulous way to peruse the best of the best from the local Goodwill shops before anyone else!

Not only can you look good, but by attending you can do good. Proceeds of this year’s trunk show will support Goodwill’s goal of providing more than 700 $25 Good Samaritan vouchers for people with disabilities and disadvantages in our community who are in urgent need of clothing. Your passion for fashion can help others!

If you wish to attend, you can click here to learn more and sign up. However, I have four tickets to give away to local Wardrobe Oxygen readers. It should be a fun shopping and mingling event, and it would also be so lovely to meet some of you!

Four Wardrobe Oxygen readers will win a single ticket to the DC Goodwill Summer Trunk Show at the Pepco Edison Place Gallery, 702 Eighth Street NW Washington, DC. This event is from 6:30 – 8:00pm ET. This giveaway (and the event) is only open to those 21 and over. Winners will be chosen at random and notified by email. When you reply to your winning email, provide me with the name and email you wish your entry to be associated with; you will be added to the entry list. If you do not reply within 24 hours, a new winner will be chosen. You must be able to attend Wednesday August 24, there is no raincheck. Good luck and I can’t wait to see you on the 24th!

DC Goodwill Summer Trunk Show Ticket Giveaway

Thanks DC Goodwill Fashionista!!

The DC Goodwill Fashion Blog is one of my favorite sites. Em does an amazing job at writing about the current trends, fashion in general, and tying it in to Goodwill (an awesome organization and a great shopping resource!).

The DC Goodwill Fashion Blog has started a new weekly feature called “Blog the Blogger” where they ask the same five questions of fellow bloggers. Well guess who was today’s interviewee? Yours truly! So stop on by DCGF’s fabulous blog and read about me, stay to read about some pretty other awesome topics by a witty fellow fashionista!

DC Sip and Swap

Image via So Much to Smile About
Last Thursday I attended the DC Sip and Swap, hosted by the lovely Amy & Melissa of The Swapaholics and For those who didn’t attend, you purchase a ticket (between $10 – $20 depending on when and where you got it), bring a bag full of gently used clothing, shoes and accessories and then get to grab all the donated items that work for you.  Anything leftover was donated to Goodwill.

Image via The Feast

Have you ever seen footage of Filene’s Running of the Brides? This was like that, but with less stripping of clothes in the center of the room and more black clothing.

I brought an XL LL Bean Boat and Tote overflowing with lots of great pieces – clothes from my now-defunct Shop My Closet as well as a few other pieces that no longer fit or no longer fit my personal style. While the Sip and Swap team organized all the donations, we attendees got to enjoy downtown Clarendon. Then we came back for the official beginning of the swap.

Images via Fasshonaburu, DC Goodwill Fashionista

I was excited to meet many bloggers I have respected and read for a while, such as District of Chic, Megan Nielsen, Fasshonaburu, Cardigans & Couture, whippedSTYLE, and La Rue Neuve. I also got to catch up with DC blogger buddies like Heart Print and Style, So Much to Smile About, and MartaFacts. We sipped wine, chatted, caught up… and didn’t realize that there were some rabid swappers in attendance.

I love this video from Quarter Life, which shows what the swap was like when they opened the doors. Since I was wearing a blue maxi dress, it’s pretty easy to see me in the video (I am in the center left, and it takes me a while to come in because I wasn’t expecting Running of the Brides). There were rolling racks along the sides of the large room, tables separating jeans from blouses from skirts from trousers. The stage at the back of the room held jewelry, scarves, shoes, and other accessories.

By time I got into the room, it was packed with women who were throwing anything they could reach into their bags. Fabric was flying, a few were stripping down to bike shorts and sports bras to try pieces and throwing back into the crowd the pieces that didn’t work. It was crazy. I headed to the stage, figuring I would have a better chance finding good jewelry than clothing that would fit. I grabbed a mother of pearl bangle bracelet and a strand of pearls, turned around to apologize for bumping into someone, turned back and 90% of the jewelry was gone. I figure someone must have swept it all into a bag. I grabbed some bright purple beads, figuring I could take off the thread and repurpose, or give to Emerson as costume jewelry.

Image via The Feast

The crowd started thinning, I saw women with those giant blue IKEA bags overflowing, women crouched in corners hugging their scores. A woman walked by with two huge totes overflowing and a few items tucked under her arm. I guess I was looking with my mouth agape because she defended herself by saying, “What? I have three kids I need to dress.”

This was the swap in a nutshell. Many women who were there to donate, hope to get one or two good things, and mingle. And then there were those who were out for the kill, leaving no prisoners. I didn’t let it get me down, I went expecting to not find anything, so I ended up being pleasantly surprised. I met some awesome readers of Wardrobe Oxygen (so great to meet you, I love it when readers introduce themselves!), some awesome bloggers, and the fabulous women of The Swapaholics and Goodwill. And really, I didn’t go for the items, I went for the experience. And the experience taught me that I would definitely attend next time… but next time I’ll be sure to put down the wine glass and wear flat shoes!

What I got:

  • A gold beaded frame clutch – when I got home I realized its actually a wallet, but I can fit my cell in it and it will still snap shut and not look ridiculous
  • Navy twill pants from Ann Taylor in like-new condition, wide waistband, flat front, straight legs, very classic
  • Dark denim sailor-inspired jeans from LOFT that will fit like a dream in five pounds
  • A strand of 30” small ivory pearls that look really nice (quality costume)
  • A slim gold bangle with mother of pearl panels
  • The purple necklace (which Emerson sported this weekend)
  • A pair of perfectly faded and distressed Levis 515s that do not fit and probably will never fit so I will be passing on to someone else
  • A black LOFT jersey dress that must have been shrunken in the dryer because it hardly covers my rear (will be re-donated)
  • A black jersey MICHAEL Michael Kors top that looked cute but wasn’t my style – I gave it to my mom who totally rocks it
Have you ever been to a swap?  What did you think?

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Out and About: Spirit Animal at the W

Spirit Animal POV W Hotel Brandlink

As a blogger, I receive many invites in my inbox, but having a job and family means most of them I decline. However, when I received an email from Brandlink to see the band Spirit Animal perform at the W, I immediately emailed my mom to see if she could watch Emerson so Karl and I could have a fun date night. And fun it was!

This wasn’t our first event at the W; they often hold fashion shows, book signings, and live performances. Karl and I always start or end our W Date Nights at the Old Ebbitt Grill bar, enjoy a bourbon and ginger and a dozen or two oysters. Wednesday night was packed with tourists and business men, but we were able to snag two stools for dinner.

The P.O.V .Lounge at the W is on the top floor of the hotel with huge windows providing a view of the Washington Monument. Events here are great because it’s an intimate setting and the performers usually mingle with the crowd before and after their set.


I came straight from work, so I needed something that was appropriate for the office as well. I wore the ASOS Swing Dress in black with my old Miss Sixty black heeled booties, a couple silver necklaces, my silver cuff, and my leopard Rebecca Minkoff bag (which is a crossbody so I can dance and hold a drink even with my cast).

Spirit Animal Band photos by Karl Gary

Spirit Animal has ties to the DC area; lead singer Steve Cooper grew up in a Maryland suburb not far from me and bassist Paul Michel spent much of his childhood in the District and previously worked at DC institutions like the Black Cat and the Tabard Inn. The band also includes guitarist Cal Stamp and Ronen Evron on drums. I read one review that stated they were a fusion of Red Hot Chili Peppers and LCD Soundsystem, another that said they sounded, “like Rage Against the Machine in an unusually good mood.” I think both are pretty good descriptions, I danced all night and had a blast.

spirit animal wardrobe oxygen

It was great to get out; I’ve been on the DL since the arm incident and this was my first time out on the town wearing the cast. It was totally worth it; if Spirit Animal’s playing at a venue near you do check them out!

Photos by Karl Gary <3

Guest Post – The DC Goodwill Fashionista

I am a huge fan of thrifting – it’s a great way to shop on a budget, and I have found some ridiculous fashion scores at thrift stores.  

My favorite thrift store chain is Goodwill – they do an amazing job at organizing their locations, the money goes to such a great cause, and we lucky DC-area folks have the DC Goodwill Fashionista – a blog that brings high style to thrifting, and offers many amazing promotions and events to support the cause and show how fashion is available at your local Goodwill. 

I asked the DCGF if she would be willing to share some of her “tricks of the trade” for a successful thrifting experience:

Even after all these years, I find myself decoding the great mysteries of the Goodwill experience to the uninitiated. Case in point, two days ago a friend of mine mentioned that she’d seen something about Goodwill posted on a social networking site. And how totally awesome it was that I wrote a fashion blog for them. And how they have a great mission. She practically leaped at the chance to say all of this to me, but then concluded that she personally never shopped there. Wait – huh?

Actually, this happens all the time. People love the work that Goodwill does in their community. They love to donate their gently used goods. And they love an opportunity to be a part of the fashion scene by reading the blog or joining the Facebook page. But when it comes to actual shopping in the stores…that’s a different matter entirely.

It’s not that my friend – and others like her – are afraid of resale items, or don’t live close to our stores. It’s that mostly they feel overwhelmed. Like my friend told me, “I think it would be fun to go in a Goodwill store, but I wouldn’t know where to start!” Aha! She feels overwhelmed by the selection and doesn’t know where to start. It’s a common problem for newbies. Ha.

I’ve given out some of this advice before, but it bears repeating. Hitting up a Goodwill or thrift store or garage sale, or really any place that merchandise isn’t arranged into rows of identical items in a variety of colors and sizes, can be a scary thought. That’s why I tell people these three tips to keep in their back pocket – literally, if needed! – in order to have a great experience when they shop second-hand for the first time:

1. Determine ahead of time which department(s) you want to visit. Although it’s fun to scour the whole store for that next treasure, take it easy on your first few trips. Identify ahead of time what you might want to purchase – say, a frying pan or a black dress – to help you zero in on that area. Our stores are easily labeled by departments to make it easy to find what you want. And if you don’t find what you’re looking for and you still feel like you want to browse for something else, go right ahead!

2. Be flexible in your expectations. If you go in saying that you only want to purchase a floor-length red sequin gown in a size 6 Petite, well, you might come out disappointed. Because we rely on donations to supply our stores, you never know what might be on the racks from day to day. Which means that particular dress might not be on the rack, but similar styles or colors or sizes are often available. On the flip side, there might be a dress so fabulous that you haven’t even imagined it yet!

3. Learn the best days of the week to shop. If you want the best selection of the freshest merchandise at your local Goodwill, chances are you’ll find it on Tuesday mornings. Why then? Well let me put it this way: the weekends are high-volume times for donations, but it takes a day or so to process all of them. Ergo, Tuesday mornings are the best! If you shopped the week before, but didn’t find what you were seeking, check back in on Tuesday for all of the new goods we’ve put on the floor.

I hope those tips encourage you to take your first trek to a Goodwill. And if you’re a seasoned shopper like me, it’s still always good to keep in mind the best times to shop, and to remind yourself that you never know what’s waiting on the racks and aisles! It’s an exciting adventure for me every time I step into one of our stores, and I hope these tips will help YOU to have many great experiences like that, too!

And for those savvy thrifters in the DC area, Goodwill is having a Sweetheart of a sale:

On Valentine’s Day, all donated goods (basically everything in the store) will be 50% off at the new Goodwill Retail Store located in Falls Church, VA (2936 Annandale Rd Falls Church, VA 22042).  How awesome is that?  Happy thrifting!!

#WO2turns10: Celebrating Wardrobe Oxygen’s 10th Anniversary

blog22Yeah, this pretty much sums up how I felt last Thursday evening.

I was famous for being a quitter. When the going gets tough, I was known to cave. The main reason I got mediocre grades in school wasn’t because I didn’t understand but because I’d get overwhelmed by assignments and just not turn them in. I’ve had great ideas but never put them into action because I quit before I can even start. To have a blog reach its 10th birthday is a big deal, but when it’s me who is writing that blog, it’s huge.

wo2turns10 wardrobe oxygenLast Thursday, DC Style Factory, a personal styling company, hosted a party to celebrate Wardrobe Oxygen’s 10th anniversary. A private event took place at DC Noodles; reusable tote bags provided gifts for attendees from Dagne Dover, Jag Jeans, Karen Kane, RestoPresto, and South Moon Under. That night there was food, there was drink, there was fashion, there was fun, and there was plenty of laughter and plenty of tears.

wo2turns10As the guests entered the private room that held the party, the tears began to fall. Bloggers who I have admired over the years, friends who I always am glad to see at fashion and blogger events, friends from high school and college, Twitter and Instagram buds I was meeting in the flesh, neighbors, ex-coworkers, relatives, and blog readers.

wo2turns10 partyIt meant so much to have all these great people from so many different parts of my life come together to celebrate. Even cooler was to see a blogger friend deep in conversation with my high school friend, a blog reader laughing with my sister, a fellow ex-Washington Post columnist and Twitter bud bonding with Karl, and how there weren’t any cliques – everyone was having fun with everyone.

wo2turns10 dc noodlesDC Noodles was amazing; owner Sak Pollert is the sweetest person with the most amazing energy. They set the private room so beautifully, staff walked around offering Thai-fusion bites and bringing guests their drinks. They provided proceeds from the party’s signature cocktail to Dress for Success and ensured the evening was perfect.

wo2turns10 wardrobe oxygen partyThe event couldn’t happen if it weren’t for the amazing sponsors. One of the coolest things about blogging is getting to know the people behind brands I love. Again, tears fell when I heard what wonderful companies wished to be a part. Thank you so much to Anthropologie, Betsy Fisher, Dobbin Clothing, GoodWood, Jag Jeans, Karen Kane, Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants, Lifetherapy, Nora Gardner, Proper Topper, RestoPresto, Scratch DC, Social Shop Media, South Moon Under, Talbots, and Zophia. I am honored to have partnered with you, and honored you were part of this celebration.

wo2turns10 dcstylefactoryA big thank you to DC Style Factory. The owner Rosana and I met through mutual friends a few years ago, and we became friends. I respect her business ethics and her thoughts on style and fashion are in line with mine. For years when readers have reached out to me looking for a personal stylist I have recommended DC Style Factory and every time a reader has used them they have come back and told me what a wonderful experience it was. To have not just a friend but a businesswoman I respect offer to host this event was tremendous and it tears me up just thinking about it.

The pictures above are of a few of the women Rosana and I am in a group with – women who are smart, business-savvy, creative, and support one another in reaching our dreams while still staying wholehearted.  One of the biggest lessons I have learned during this decade with Wardrobe Oxygen is the power of female friends. When I was younger I practically prided myself on not getting along with fellow women; through this blog I met so many different women and saw how important it is to support one another, help each other rise.  Allie of a decade ago would have never had such a great group of women friends, and Allie of a decade ago wouldn’t write the blog that Wardrobe Oxygen is today.

So my last but biggest thank you is to all of you. YOU are the reason why Wardrobe Oxygen can celebrate its 10th anniversary. You are why I never wanted to be a quitter when it came to this blog and what helped me stop being a quitter in other aspects of life as well. Over the years blogging has changed a lot, but what has stayed consistent is the community built here. The relationships I have made with you, how much I have learned from you, and how much you have enriched my life and inspired me. You are amazing people, and I look forward to many more years with you here at Wardrobe Oxygen!

Photos by the amazing Emma McAlary who truly captured the spirit of the event. You rock!

#WO2turns10: Behind the Scenes (AKA what I wore and all that jazz)

dc noodles5I’ve planned parties before – Frozen and mermaid themed birthdays, showers for friends, and even a birthday for Karl where we hosted over 75 people in our home and a band played in our living room. Planning my wedding was stressful, but it was fun to take my vision and make it a reality. But when it came to planning a party for my blog, I had no interest. It seemed so self-indulgent and on top of that, terribly stressful. No need to worry, Rosana and her team at DC Style Factory took care of almost everything, just asking my opinion every so often. But still I needed to be there, and I knew my picture would be taken.

Oh God, what the heck was I going to wear???

I ordered this awesome pencil skirt made of black palliates with feathers and thought I’d wear it with a band tee shirt, the neck cut up, and a killer pair of heels. But when I put the look together it just seemed so contrived, and when was I going to wear this skirt ever again? I decided to wear my Myne “Heidi” dress, I knew it was easy and comfortable and fun and I wouldn’t be going against my advice on the blog by buying that which I didn’t need. But out for drinks with friends I was asked if I was going to wear color. The crowd would likely be in a lot of black, I should stand out in the crowd. Omigod, they’re RIGHT! I can’t wear black, I’m the guest of honor! I knew the Myne dress came in an orange-red color, my favorite color but I couldn’t find it in my size so I bought it in hot pink, another favorite color. It arrived… and the magic was gone. I sent it right back. Why am I trying so hard? I thought about this post I wrote and decided to just be. The black dress makes me happy, it brings good memories of fun times I wore it, and I knew I could wear it without fidgeting. I decided to splurge and buy a pair of silver bamboo hoop earrings with “Allie” on them, something I had wanted since high school and knew would we worn many times after the party.

The week of the party I realized a look is far more than a dress. Shoes, omigod shoes, what shoes should I wear? Talbots sent me these gorgeous heels and while I love them and will wear them to death this summer, they didn’t look right with the dress.  I freaked out and ordered three different pairs with Amazon Prime; they all arrived and none were that spectacular or comfortable. My sister joked, why not wear “those goddamn booties”? I laughed, but then I thought that was brilliant. There has been no other piece I’ve worn that has received more comments and criticism, and they’re shoes I just love, even if they’re not terribly flattering. On top of that, they’re uber comfortable. Okay, the Myne dress, the Miss Sixty booties, the new silver hoops, and of COURSE my silver cuff. Don’t try so hard Alison, just be.

dc noodles 3I decided to keep my makeup simple too. A bold lip would require maintenance and likely would get smeary with all the cheek kissing and hugs and drink sipping. Recently Skindinavia sent me their Makeup Primer Spray and Finishing Spray, claiming it will keep makeup in place for 16 hours, even in a hot sweaty Miami nightclub. I had tried it several times prior and found it lived up to its hype; it may make your skin feel a bit weird and rubbery and can cause breakouts if used on a regular basis, but gosh it keeps foundation in place until you decide to wash it off. I decided to continue with the “don’t try, just be” and did my default face of glossy nudish pink lips, a smoky eye, and lots of lashes. Reader Connie sent me Younique Moodstruck 3D Fiber Mascara to try out and it gives me the drag queen-esque lashes I love without having to mess with false lashes and glue AND it lasts through tears. A line of black liquid liner, some NARS Orgasm and I felt like me but polished.

beauty in a beat DC mobileBut hair was something that concerned me. I know how to style my hair in a way that feels me, but I never am able to keep my style all evening. Beauty in a Beat, a mobile styling business in DC reached out and offered to send a stylist to my home the day of the party to do my hair. Serena arrived the afternoon before the party and in the natural light of my living room, styled my hair for the evening. Having someone come to my house felt so decadent but the prices are comparable to going to a salon. Beauty in a Beat does blowouts, updos, partial and full extensions as well as makeup application and manicures (including gel and full sets). I think Beauty in a Beat is brilliant, not just before big events like weddings, proms, and yes, blog parties; but also a great treat for a new mom who doesn’t have the time to leave the house, someone who is convalescing after an injury or illness, or just a way to feel pampered in the comfort of your own home or office.

dcnoodles1I decided since I saved so much on not going out and buying a brand new outfit, we could splurge on transportation. Instead of taking the Metro or freaking out over trying to find parking on U Street at happy hour, we ordered an Uber to pick us up and take us home.

As you all know, I love music and decided to make the playlist for the evening. With our Premium Spotify membership, we had ad-free music going all night long. Click this link to access the playlist for the party.

dcnoodles 6I cried and while my mascara stayed in place, my blush and shadow faded away. I was having too much fun to think about reapplying my lipstick and gloss, and the heat of the day and my tendency to sweat when stressed had my hair look like a limp fried rat’s nest before all the guests arrived, but none of it mattered. I was glad to be doing this event on my terms, my comfort level, and surrounded by people who were there for me, not who I was wearing.  There’s something great about not having to think about what you look like and only about what you are experiencing!

dcnoodles4Karl took pictures with his trusty little Fuji before the party and captured a lot of my nervousness, excitement, and anticipation (as well as not-yet-done hair and no makeup!). It was great to not just celebrate with friends, but Karl, Emerson, my mom, and sister.  I will remember June 11th for a very long time.

My Wardrobe Today – Friday and fashion:district by ReadysetDC

Yellow boyfriend cardigan – Ann Taylor
Navy and white striped scoop tee – J. Crew Factory via eBay
Jeans NYDJ
Black booties Cole Haan “Air Talia Bootie”
Red print silk scarf – Liberty of London (gift from sister)
Silver earrings – Nordstrom (no longer available)
Silver cuff

Sleepy morning. Last night I went to fashion:district and didn’t get to bed until midnight. So this outfit was pulled together pretty darn quickly. I can’t believe I own a yellow sweater, but I find I wear it often, especially when I myself aren’t feeling so sunny. The color is just so joyful!

This tee shirt is another recent eBay score – still had the tag on it and I think it was around $9! However upon receiving this top in the mail I realized I have a striped shirt addition and MUST. STOP. NOW. Unless I find the most adorable unique striped shirt (would really like a short sleeved one with a deeper scoop and puffed or ruched sleeves) this is it. Seriously!

So last night… I was excited to attend because I really haven’t attended DC fashion events.  I never admitted I was a “DC Fashion Blogger” until last summer so though I am not new to the blogging scene, I am new to the DC scene.  I wasn’t even planning on going, but then the brilliant Em of Metroventure offered me up a ticket, so I just HAD to go!  I was excited because not only would I get to see the work by DC fashion designers, but I was going to meet some fellow DC bloggers.

Me & Deb from Real Girl Runway

I was able to meet up with Deb of Real Girl Runway for dinner before the show – we had never met but ended up chatting away immediately, barely able to even place our orders!  Once at Longview Gallery, we met up with Keri from A Diva State of Mind and Jill from Presenza

All my pics sucked from the event – silly little point-and-shoot. Seriously, this was the best one – at least it shows where I was standing!

The show was pretty awesome.  Before the show was a cocktail hour of sorts where we got to mingle, People Watch, sip wine, check out the fashion up close.  When the show took place, we lucked out and got a spot right against the runway.  Most of the fashion was amazing – so creative, well-made, innovative.  Some was a bit strange.  The same held true for those in the audience – I saw some phenomenal fashion, but not as much actual style.  However, last night proved all the critics wrong – DC actually is a very cool, very fashionable city.  That gallery was full of some really talented, creative, fashionable people and it made me proud of my city!

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Glenda Bailey Book Signing at Coach DC

Last night I walked almost two miles in pouring rain (and 4” heels) for this:

“Please excuse my dampness, it is such a pleasure to meet you!”

Glenda Bailey, Editor-in-Chief of Harper’s Bazaar was at the Coach store in Georgetown, signing copies of her book, Harper’s Bazaar Greatest Hits. And you know, Bazaar is by far my favorite fashion magazine. I had plans to leave work around 4:30, take the bus from Dupont to Georgetown, meet up with my sister who works there, go together to Coach and have a book signed by the wonderful Ms. Bailey.

And then it decided to rain. Rain so much that there were flood warnings. And then there was Occupy DC who shut down many streets near my office. Unable to get a bus, cabs scarce due to the rain and lack of buses, I started walking towards Georgetown hoping to hail a cab. Halfway there, I called my sister and said, “Screw it, I don’t really need that book that bad. Let’s go get dinner and some drinks instead.” She offered to drive towards me and find a warm cozy restaurant where I could dry my feet and get a nice buzz off a couple glasses of wine.

And then I thought, why? So I am wet, it’s not as though I will melt. It was a surprisingly warm evening, and I was wearing my Miss Sixty booties which kept my feet high above the puddles and pretty comfortable. I felt pretty blessed to work in such a beautiful city, and if it weren’t raining the walk down M Street would be very romantic. So instead of cursing the rain and lack of cabs, I enjoyed my walk. And I walked all the way to Coach, where I met my sister.

Of course along the way my feet got drenched, a car splashed a puddle all down my left side, my mascara was down to my cheekbones, and my previously-wavy hair with bangs became a wet matted mess. But I arrived in one piece and with plenty of time to say hello to my fellow bloggers, have a sip of champagne, and meet Glenda Bailey.

For you RHODC viewers (and local yokels who watch the CW) you’ll recognize Paul Wharton
Thanks to my sister for snapping these pictures!

As luck would have it, my camera was near the end of the battery, so my pictures aren’t that fabulous. However, my beloved blogging buddies Comme Coco and So Much to Smile About were there with their DSLRs and captured many excellent images.  A few shots from Comme Coco:

The event was wonderful – once I arrived they checked my soaking trench and umbrella and offered me a glass of champagne. Waiters walked around the store offering petit fours and mini whoopee pies. All of DC’s fashion elite were there (made me feel self-conscious being a drowned rat but I got over it). My sister and I each bought a copy of the book and stood in line. Glenda was so gracious, looked each person in the eye and wrote a unique and personal message in each book. My inscription?

Alison you have a great smile – and style. With love Glenda

Totally made the whole evening worthwhile!

A big thanks to Coach for organizing this book signing, and thanks for Glenda Bailey and Harper’s Bazaar for visiting our city. Washington DC is full of those who are passionate about fashion, and it was a pleasure to have such an event in our hometown!

Gwynnie Bee Inspired By You Tour: The DC Stop

Triste Parallell Dimesion Shift DressA couple weeks ago, Gwynnie Bee came to DC for a stop on their Inspired By You Tour. This is such a cool concept; Gwynnie Bee connects with members in a city, gives them a chance to check out the upcoming collection, lets the members be models for a day. Gwynnie Bee is awesome for how they really are inspired by their members, listen to them, and grown and develop as a company because of that feedback.

gwynniebee_8-27-15_taneisha_marie_photography-27Gwynnie Bee set up at the Hotel Palomar in Dupont Circle where a gorgeous suite was full of fall fashion. We members got to try on as much as we wanted, and when we decided what we liked best, we could pick accessories, get our makeup done, and have a professional photographer take pictures of us around the hotel and city. Since we had an early glimpse of the new collection, we also took time to enter detailed reviews on the Gwynnie Bee site to help fellow members.

Gwynnie Bee Inspired By You Tour DCI had to work that day, so I raced over for a quick session in place of my lunch break. It was so cool to meet so many of the people behind Gwynnie Bee – they’re amazing, real women like you and I who are passionate about fashion and making their fellow woman feel and look great. We gabbed about music and pop culture over Starbucks while I got my face all dolled up. We were able to capture a few looks before I had to dash back to work.

GwynnieBeeHappyHour-47Then that evening was more Gwynnie Bee! I was honored to be the host of their member happy hour in the city. Gwynnie Bee rented out the top floor of Vinoteca and over 100 members RSVPed to attend. The wine, champagne, and cocktails flowed, we had delicious eats, and we mingled with fashion lovers and GB members from the DMV area.

GwynnieBeeHappyHour-78I’ve mentioned before how I don’t really like blogging events. This day was stressful – it was hot, I did a lot of walking around the city, was a sweaty frizzy mess, and stressed out over a work project. But once I got to the happy hour and had a cold glass of Sauvignon Blanc, I chilled out and ended up having one of my best experiences at a blog-related event.

Gwynnie Bee DC Inspired By You Tour Happy HourThe room was full of gorgeous, happy women who weren’t afraid to approach one another and ask if their dress was available at Gwynnie Bee (most of us wore pieces from the collection). So much laughing, strangers bonding, people not afraid to eat, not afraid to be themselves.  Often at blog events, it’s a lot of posturing and a lot of cliques. Nothing like that happened at the Gwynnie Bee happy hour; even my sister said it was way more fun than any other blogger event she has attended with me.

GwynnieBeeHappyHour-48I think this difference is seen not just in Gwynnie Bee’s Inspired By You Tour, but its blog, social media channels, and how the company has developed over the years. There’s good people behind the brand, people who are listening and constantly trying to make Gwynnie Bee a better resource for cusp and plus sized women. They’re always tweaking their service, their site, they features… and stay tuned for I heard there’s some amazing new changes coming down the pike!

GwynnieBeeHappyHour-211Gwynnie Bee is a clothing rental service for women sizes 10-32, featuring great brands like Karen Kane, ELOQUII, Kiyonna, City Chic, Taylor Dresses, Dorothy Perkins, and more. Click this link and get a free 30-day trial of the service and be sure to not just let me know what you think, but also Gwynnie Bee! They are listening, they care, and they’re some pretty fun and awesome people!

T.J.Maxx 1000th Store comes to Washington DC

Today marks a momentous occasion for T.J.Maxx – their 1,000th store opens. It also marks a momentous occasion for all DC fashionistas – this store is in our very city at Metro Center!  Last night I had the opportunity to get a tour of the new T.J.Maxx and learn a bit about the company.

The new DC T.J.Maxx is FABULOUS. I have been a “Maxxinista” since middle school (even scored one of my prom dresses at T.J.Maxx!).  I love how I can find designer and on-trend pieces for less and how I know that discount price doesn’t mean sub-par quality.  I have been to a good dozen different T.J.Maxx stores over the years. This one blows the rest out of the water. When you enter the doors, you see a few accessories, but when you take the escalator down, you are amazed at the incredible size (over 28,000 square feet!) and airiness of the store. A huge jewelry area with display cases full of on-trend necklaces and bracelets leads you to well-organized departments for clothing, shoes, menswear, children, beauty, luggage, and home.  I also loved the displays – mannequins, display cubes and T-fixtures to break up the rolling rack monotony and showcase really great pieces.

Hey, I recognize those stripes and that chevron knit! Click the images to see them larger.

The T.J.Maxx at Metro Center has The Runway – a department that showcases high-end designer clothing and accessories at fabulous T.J.Maxx discount prices. T.J.Maxx doesn’t like anyone to state what brands are featured, but these pictures hopefully will give you an example of the amazing designers available!

Shoes, shoes, shoes! I was in love with their extensive shoe selection, the brands totally impressed me!

Along with chi chi brands, T.J.Maxx has a lot of popular department-store brands, and styles that are currently popular and available at regularly-priced retailers. Unlike department stores who purchase new merchandise monthly or quarterly, T.J.Maxx buyers are shopping weekly, reacting to the most current trends for up-to-date fashion. Each store receives around 10,000 new pieces each week, so your local T.J.Maxx can be a completely different store each time you visit. T.J.Maxx doesn’t just buy from big brands, they have over 15,000 vendors they work with, which means you may find big covetable brand names, or you may find a unique leather bag from an independent designer in Florence or a beautiful bowl crafted from a beachside Thai artist.  I can attest to this, owning a gorgeous hand-painted tablecloth from India that I found at T.J.Maxx and would never be able to find at any local retailer.

Liz from So Much to Smile About showing off an adorable popular designer dress she found at T.J.Maxx

T.J.Maxx may have low prices, but they do not have low quality. Over 85% of merchandise in their stores is current – anything from last season is marked and priced as such (except for items that don’t change with the trends like holiday gift wrap). Also 95% of T.J.Maxx merchandise is first quality (same quality you find at department stores), that other 5% is marked as such and has a lower ticket price.  I saw the same dress I bought at Nordstrom last month on a rack for almost 50% of what I paid. 

The new Metro Center T.J.Maxx is located at 601 13th St, NW and is open 9:30am to 9:30pm Monday-Saturday and 11:00am to 8:00pm on Sundays. I encourage you to check it out, and be sure to report back to let me know what great deals you scored!

Note: I did receive a gift card for attending the store preview, but was not asked to write this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Washington DC Funny

Those from the DC area have probably already seen this as that it was put on YouTube two days ago and already has almost 50,000 views.  But I watch it, and I laugh because I can relate far too well…

InStyle Essentials: DC Pop-up Shop for Custom Fitting Shirts!

As a woman with curves, one of the hardest wardrobe staples to find that fits properly is a white shirt. It pulls at the buttons, and if it doesn’t, it’s usually too big in the shoulders and neck. Wouldn’t it be great if you could buy a white shirt by your bra size instead of your dress size?  Enter InStyle Essentials! Available in three fashion-forward styles and sized according to your bra and featuring TrioFit technology, these white shirts are guaranteed to fit.

In crisp white cotton you can achieve all the hottest trends that incorporate a white shirt – there’s the Weekend Tunic which gives a safari feel and would be tres chic with skinny jeans and riding boots or tucked into wide-leg trousers; the Bow Blouse which incorporates a hot runway look and its sleeveless style is perfect for comfortable layering this fall and winter; and the Classic Button-Front which is a staple that is chic and versatile all seasons of the year. 

InStyle Essentials sent me their Classic Button-Front, and I must say it was super exciting and crazy to receive a shirt with a size tag stating 36F. Even more exciting and crazy was the fit, not a single safety pin needed to keep my underpinnings under wraps! I’ve worn this shirt under a blazer with trousers, and Tuesday Night tucked it into my full black taffeta skirt for a Carolina Herrera-esque evening look (which you can see on Instagram or Facebook)!

Exciting news for fellow DC folk, InStyle Essentials is heading to our amazing city October 1st and 2nd! From 11am – 7pm both days, their pop-up store will be at Woodrow Wilson Plaza at the intersection of 13th and Pennsylvania Avenue NW where you can receive a consultation from a fit expert, get styling tips from InStyle editors, and get your picture taken by a street style photographer.

Want to Win an InStyle Essentials Shirt?
I love the great fit of my shirt and am honored that InStyle Essentials sent me one for free.  Would you like your own free shirt sized to fit your curves?

The first 15 people who attend the InStyle Essentials DC Pop-up Shop and mention Wardrobe Oxygen receive a free shirt!  How cool is that?  thank you InStyle Essentials for coming to DC October 1st and 2nd for this fun event, and offering 15 Wardrobe Oxygen readers a free shirt valued at $59.99.  This giveaway is open to the public, no matter your age or gender!  Giveaway begins Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 11am and ends the same day at 7pm.  The winners will be the first 15 that mention Wardrobe Oxygen, no photo needed, just a mention.

Can’t wait to hear what all of you think about them, be sure to come back here and let me know if you attended, if you got a shirt, and what you think of the fit!

In am honored to be partnering with InStyle Essentials, I was compensated for this post but all thoughts and words are my own.

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The New Ann Taylor – Event w/ Washingtonian at Lost Society DC

If you have even read this blog once, you would know that one of my favorite retailers is Ann Taylor. I find their clothes appropriate to my life, whether it’s a day at the office or a night on the town. The prices are reasonable for the style and quality, and they offer apparel that is unique, but classic – pieces that look stylish now but will also be stylish seasons from now.

Ann Taylor has really upped the style for their most recent collections – amazing details like zippers, faux fur, haircalf, and leather trim. I have been going gaga over the current line – the cobalt and aqua colors are so rich and beautiful, and the silhouettes so modern yet classic. This is a purposeful change by Ann Taylor, and they are continuing this trend with their new store designs.

“The new Ann Taylor is chic and stylish with a more fashion forward direction to address the needs of today’s modern working women,” said Lisa Axelson, Ann Taylor’s Head Designer and a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). “Our new concept stores are a reflection of our new fashion direction. They are light, modern, feminine, and designed to showcase the full Ann Taylor collection while making our client feel comfortable and welcome.”

The new Ann Taylor at Metro Center

As you know, I attended an event on Monday at the new concept Ann Taylor on 13th Street NW in DC (right at Metro Center). A gorgeous store that showcases the apparel, the New Ann Taylor is just what Lisa Axelson states – light, modern, and feminine while still being welcoming.

Last night Ann Taylor had a private event at Lost Society co-hosted by Washingtonian magazine’s fashion editor Jill Hudson. The event was also in partnership with Vital Voices Global Partnership, an international non-governmental organization that identifies, trains, and empowers emerging women leaders and social entrepreneurs around the globe, enabling them to create a better world. This soire gave Washington media mavens, philanthropists and fashionistas the opportunity to see Ann Taylor’s holiday collection and learn more about Vital Voices.

A Washingtonian staff member modeling a sheath from the Ann Taylor holiday collection

Vital Voices President and CEO Alyse Nelson, Ann Taylor PR Director Andrew Taylor, Washingtonian President and Publisher Catherine Merrill Williams.  Picture via REVAMP.

While we sipped champagne and dined on adorable mini steak sandwiches and pecan pies, Ann Taylor’s PR Director Andrew Taylor informed us about the thought process behind the new Ann, introduced Alyse Nelson, Vital Voice’s President and CEO, and emceed a fashion show of the current Ann Taylor line, modeled by Washingtonian staff. After we got to spend time rocking out to DJs Broads and get a closer look at the Ann Taylor holiday collection.

Some pieces of the Ann Taylor holiday line on display last night at Lost Society

The new holiday collection is so luxe – I drooled over a dress with a floaty micropleated chiffon skirt and then a tough leather bodice, there’s a version of my new cobalt shift from Ann Taylor that is fire engine red with gold zipper detail, I desperately want their champagne-colored sequin and crystal mini skirt, and couldn’t stop petting all the faux fur pieces. Lots of cashmere, lots of pieces that just feel so good to the touch. Pieces that are on-trend and hip, without being overly trendy. Investment pieces.

If you haven’t yet heard, Ann Taylor’s Friends and Family event is going on now – save 40% on the entire store online and in person. And if you would like to see one of the Ann Taylor new concept stores, Ann Taylor has already opened select new concept stores in major cities across the country including New York, Boston, Miami, Boca Raton, Dallas, Atlanta, and Seattle.

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Attention Washington DC Area Women…

For this month, bring your gently used career wear to any nearby Zips Dry Cleaning location, and they will donate it to Suited to Succeed, a non-profit that assists women in transition from training programs and unemployment to self-sufficiency by providing free professional clothing and workshops. We all have some random suits and dresses in our closet that we hang on to but don’t really need or wear; why not simplify your closet and help a fellow woman in the process? Goes pretty well with the recent closet-gutting project!