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Spring Makeover Part 1: Wardrobe

Apr 25, 2012

I turned 31 this month, which puts me solidly in my 30s and well past the I'm-Freaking-Out-Because-I'm-Not-In-My-20s-Anymore!!! phase of my life. I spent it in a very 30-something way -- I took the day off work, and Ashmi treated me to a spa day at the W Hotel. (Remind me why was I concerned with leaving my rowdy, barely-getting-by 20s?) That night friends came over and made me dinner, and the whole thing was just so ab fab.

The next day I began thinking about how I want 2012 to go for me. What should my next career step be? Should I finally hire maids? Do I need a new hairstyle? What about moving to another city? Getting new furniture? Joining a gym? Laser hair removal on my legs? A dermatologist? A life coach? Oooh...a new Coach bag, perhaps? The factory outlet is online now and has so many sales!

At some point, in the midst of the brain knot I worked myself into, I decided the answer to a lot of my issues was updating my wardrobe. I have so many things that don't fit -- some too big, some too small -- and I don't want to fit into the big ones ever again, nor will I likely fit into the too small ones, although I sure do try. I also have many pieces that were nice a couple of years ago (or several years ago) but are either outdated or worn out. Then there are the clothes that quite frankly belong on a 21-year-old, and I am beginning to realize that I will not be forever 21. (Can we open a store called Forever 31, please?)

Kelly is back for her yearly visit, and there's probably no one else on the planet that can overhaul my wardrobe as she can. 
 I'm bringing good fashion sense to the District, and I'm starting with tiny hats!

(Okay, so I made her put on the tiny hat we found in Eastern Market. But if anyone can pull it off, it's...probably a royal. Good thing she didn't buy it!)

Kelly worked at LOFT for three years in college, and they kept her in the dressing room the entire time because she was so good at dressing women, therefore causing them to spend all their money at LOFT. Seriously, LOFT should pay her a bona fide salary with benefits to work their dressing rooms. So I gave her free reign over my closet and credit card, and we got to work.

I told Kelly I want a "sophisticated look." Apparently that meant just about every top and dress I own had to go. As I tried on things for Kelly and she repeatedly asked me, "Are you serious?" I began to understand how the ladies on "What Not to Wear" feel. When you're really trying to change your style, you don't realize how ingrained into your brain is your former way of thinking about style and what looks good on you. To fill out my depleted wardrobe, I initially gave Kelly my LOFT credit card and told her to pick things out for me. She came back with clothes I would have never looked at. But she was right -- almost everything she picked out gave me the sophisticated look I was hoping for. We went out to a few more stores, but that proved to be disastrous as we ended up fighting in two of them (Forever 21 and Zara -- the former was my choice, and Kelly has since banned me from it; the latter was her choice, a store I never liked, but I've now discovered they carry the BEST blazers).

A few days after the makeover, I ventured out on my own. I got a really pretty drapey yet structured gray jacket from H&M and a polka dot shell top from LOFT. Last week I'd been wearing all of Kelly's picks for me -- one coworker said I looked like a top executive and Kelly should start a business styling Washington women --, so yesterday I wanted to debut the outfit I put together all on my own:

Look at me! I can pick out clothes all by myself now!

The compliment I got? "You look like a librarian!"At least that's better than "art teacher," a comment a coworker made when I tried the oversized cardigan trend. I'll take it.

If you're interested in purchasing my discarded garments (some are actually pretty nice but just didn't pass Kelly's strict rules that apply to my body type and fashion goals), I'll be selling them, along with various household goods, at the Ross Elementary School Community Rummage Sale this Saturday between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. at 1730 R St NW. I promise to give you a good deal if you tell me I look sophisticated. ;)

As for the rest of my ideas, I've got some more makeovers in the works. Next up, my haircolor! I'll fill you in soon!

Help a blogger out, yo.

Apr 10, 2012

It's warm outside, which inevitably means I will cut my hair (check), change my hair color (still contemplating), buy a new wardrobe (halfway there), spend exorbitant amounts of money on makeup I don't need and probably won't use (resisting the urge) and I will give my blog a makeover (happening right now as you read this).

I've been messing around with a few design ideas, but what's really stumping me is a tagline. "Inside the head of a wistful city girl who loves cake and shoes she can't afford" doesn't accurately describe me anymore. Sure, I'm wistful, but not nearly as much as I used to be. I have too much going on to sit around and muse about a life I wish I had. I still love cake, but when I began this blog I packed on 20 pounds because I loved it so much, so it's much more of a treat now than it used to be. And of course I love shoes I can't afford (have you seen my Pinterest???), but I'm wise enough now to pin a picture of them on a virtual board instead of buying them and adoring them from afar as the heels are entirely too high for me to manage.

Here's what I've been mulling over:

1) Attempts at not getting fat and broke in the District
2) Skinny, single and fabulous is better on TV
3) DC sure isn't what it used to be...and I lurv it!
4) Everything I know about cake, fashion and hipsters, I learned from DC
5) If only I were allergic to gluten and fashionable footwear

Basically, I want to convey that Carrie Bradshaw is an anorexic liar and learning how to be a woman is about being comfortable with yourself rather than conforming to societal norms that are really not normal at all. But funny. And also that DC is a cool city with more to it than Capitol Hill.

I'm open to suggestions here. Do you have any for me?

So this is how you get mentioned in the Washington Examiner!

Apr 5, 2012

My latest Borderstan post was picked up by the Washington Examiner, woo hoo! Not exactly on my DC Bucket List, but still pretty dern cool.


NOTE: On my Bucket List is a mention in the Washington Post, which I came *this close* to attaining last month when my friend's wedding was covered in the Style section and she mentioned that I helped her and her husband get together after having one too many glasses of sangria at Jazz in the Sculpture Garden one summer night and then calling him out on not kissing her yet. He kissed her the next day, on my rooftop no less. (You're welcome, friends.) They called me the day the story came out to apologize for telling the reporter that I'd had too much sangria, but they pointed out they specifically told her not to use my name but only to allude to me. Their "apology" sent me into a full on anxiety attack, and now they have some major splaining to do. And I have to figure out another way to get my name in the Post.

Anyway, here is the Borderstan story that got me 15 minutes of Internet fame...

If you take a stroll down 14th Street NW without a particular destination in mind, you’ll probably miss a lot. The juxtaposition between new, old and renovated buildings makes for exhilarating window shopping, but if you find yourself on a not-so-pretty block you may pass over a gem.

“This block will always look this way,” says Timothy Paul, owner of Timothy Paul Carpets & Textiles of his store’s block located on 14th Street  between Rhode Island Avenue. and P Street. “That guy owns the building his shop is in; he lives above it.” He goes on to tell me about the other small business owners around him. After nine years in his location, he knows the neighborhood and the people who make it what it is.
The outside of Paul’s modern-looking store is surprisingly camouflaged amid the older stores, whose shabby exteriors tells the neighborhood’s history and their resistance to gentrification. Somehow, even so close to the Whole Foods whose urban prophecy: “If you build it, they will come,” seems fulfilled, these seemingly out of place shops survive. But then again, so does the upscale carpet store nestled among them.

Inside Timothy Paul’s store you’ll find carpets in brilliant colors and patterns, no one like any of the others. Not only are the carpets woven to last for decades, each one has a story behind it. If you ask Paul, who you’ll find in the store almost every day, he’ll tell you all the background he knows on every piece. And if you’re wondering where to get a great cup of coffee afterwards, he can tell you that as well, and who to talk to when you get there. Shopping here is an experience, and Paul will guide you through it with the kind of details only a longtime resident who is passionate about his trade and his neighborhood can offer.

Read Complete Post HERE