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LBD Always Okay; Color, Lace, Patterns Make You Fashion Forward

by Borderstan.com December 12, 2011 at 10:20 am 3 Comments

"Borderstan"

Kate offers some options to the very simple, very simple Little Black Dress for this season’s holiday parties. (Luis Gomez Photos  and Leetie Gooch Boutique)

Coming midweek: Holiday party shoes and handbags from Laura… and jewelry and accessories from Eliza… and recommendations on where to get everything locally.

From Kate Hays. Follow her on Twitter @kateyhays and email her at [email protected]

Go in your closet and take a peek. If it looks like most of the streets of our fair city at this time of year, you’ve got it packed to the brim with grays and blacks. But our local boutiques are stocked with cute colors, fabrics and textures. So this holiday season, say buh-bye to the Little Black Dress… and helllllo color!

I stopped in at Lettie Gooch recently for a chat with Kenya Rennie, the store’s manager, who agreed with my opinion about the “LBD.” What is she loving this season? Longer hemlines and lace, the explosion of jewel tones (such as cobalt), and lots of nude tones. I gave her a few situations formerly covered by the LBD territory, and asked her to give us some ideas on what to wear.

Some of Kate’s favorite local boutiques: Some other local boutique favorites of mine include CaramelMulehrue14Current Boutique and Redeem. I think of it as a fashion win-win: A new dress and supporting local business while I’m at it.

Kate: You’ve got a work crush, who is the definition of hotness, and you want to be noticed at next week’s holiday party. But you don’t want to get put on notice by your boss for an inapprop wardrobe malfunction. What’s a girl to wear?

Kenya: I would choose one of our latest arrivals from Beth Bowley. a dress that combines one of the hottest trends of the season (lace) with one of winter’s coolest colors (cobalt). The silhouette is conservative, but the lace adds a hint of peak-a-boo flirtyness — perfect for getting your flirt on while still scoring points with the boss.

Kate: You’ve been invited to a house party. You’re single and ready to mingle. Dress?

Kenya: I’d go with the comfy lace overlay dress from Weston Wear. It’s so versatile, dressed up with glittering jewelry and pumps. Or, dressed down with flat boots and an edgy blazer… perfect for going a first date from a love connection started at that party, too.

Now you know: “A little black dress is an evening or cocktail dress, cut simply and often quite short. Fashion historians ascribe the origins of the little black dress to the 1920s designs of Coco Chanel, intended to be long-lasting, versatile, affordable, accessible… Its ubiquity is such that it is often simply referred to as the “LBD.” (Wikipedia)

Kate: What about a family holiday dinner at your beau’s home, where you want to make nice with grandma, but not look like her?

Kenya: You’ll please everyone, even grandma, with an elegant frock from Darling. Channel Audrey Hepburn in this classic number that sports a jeweled collar and pockets.

Kate: Any final ideas for us, Kenya?

Kenya: We’ve got great tops and sweaters to add sparkle to those dresses, or to repurpose them for another occasion. Grab a sequined sweater or cardigan by Darling, or a sparkling top by Collective Concepts or Fate.

Back to Kate…

And thanks to Kenya’s excellent taste and styling, I purchased this little cutie by Eva Franco for my holiday festivities, along with some awesome dangly earrings.

Go give Lettie Gooch or one of our other local boutiques a visit and find your own LBD alternative. Some other local boutique favorites of mine include Caramel, Muleh, rue14, Current Boutique and Redeem. I think of it as a fashion win-win; a new dress, and supporting local business while I’m at it.

What’s your favorite local place to pick up new threads?

Comments (3)

  1. Fantastic article. Well written and exciting to see some advice for the stylish ladies in Borderstan. I never cease to be amazed at the influx of stylish women to Borderstan, and the wonderful retail to accomodate them. And I say this as a GWM! Thank you for making us the center of a dynamic new District of Columbia!

  2. I agree with you, Joel – the fashion in DC has improved a lot, due in part to the hip little boutiques cropping up in our ‘hood. Thanks for your feedback!

  3. Kate, great article! Really fun to read and I love seeing all of the dress options!

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