by April 5, 2013 at 10:00 am 0


There is one that’s right for you. (Dafna Steinberg)

From Dafna Steinberg. Follow her @AlizaySteinberg. Email her at dafna[AT]

All right, Borderstan… who is ready for SPRING??

I realize that the weather in our fair city has not exactly been cooperative when it comes to planning a spring wardrobe (what is up with this cold wind?), but it doesn’t hurt to start getting ready anyway. Maybe if we all close our eyes and imagine warm, sunny days, it’ll happen?

While I could go into different outfits to wear for warmer days, I’d rather focus on some necessities that you need to have in your closet. One of these necessities is the leather jacket.  Everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) needs a well-fitted leather jacket — especially when the weather goes from warm to cold in about 3.5 seconds.

They are great for different seasons and can be dressed up or dressed down. But what kind of leather jacket should one wear? There are so many different ones from which to choose! Following are some style options for different kinds of leather jackets:

Leather-Jacket-(1)_InsideJacket #1: The Biker Jacket

Black biker jackets, like the ones iconicized by Joey Ramone or Marlon Brando, are HUGE right now! So huge in fact, that New York Times photographer and style maven, Bill Cunningham, had an entire report on how the biker jacket was changing the shape of this year’s Paris Fashion Week. So, if you have one, pull it out! You’re already ahead of the curve. For those readers who are vegan and would prefer not to wear anything made from animals, there are a few designers who are now using vegan leather. Just check out this jacket from Free People.

Leather_-jacket2_InsideJacket #2: Fringe Leather Jacket

Remember Dennis Hopper’s jacket in Easy Rider? These jackets, which tend to come in suede, are fantastic. They’ve got a vintage aesthetic while still being completely contemporary. If you don’t feel like wearing a leather jacket but still want the fringe, you can always find a denim jacket that sports it (those were also once popular).  What better way to make a statement then adding a little flare with some fringe?

Leather-Jacket3_InsideJacket #3: The Leather Trench Coat

Leather trenches can be tricky. The wrong length and size can make you look like you are swimming in a sea of leather. For ladies, try a trench that hits at or a bit above your knee. They can create a beautiful silhouette, great for giving you that hourglass shape.

Guys, think more Javier Bardem from Skyfall and less Morpheus from The Matrix. Leather trenches that reach almost to your ankle don’t necessarily make you look cool (unless you are going for that rugged cowboy look in a floor length leather duster). Similar to the ladies, try a jacket that reaches your knee and is fitted properly. I repeat… FITTED PROPERLY.

Trying to find a good leather jacket can take time, but trust me, it’s worth it. Don’t be afraid to drop some extra money on a jacket. It’s one of those things that doesn’t go out of style and will last you a long time. Also, know the difference between the kinds of leather you are getting.

Cowhide is more expensive than pig hide, but is generally better quality. If you’re buying vintage, keep in mind there are leathers made from endangered animals and it may be illegal for you to buy them. If, as I mentioned before, you are completely against wearing leather, there are a number of designers and brands that carry jackets made from vegan leather.

That’s all for now, Borderstanis! Happy (Hopefully) Spring!

All jackets available at Blue’s Hard Goods, 1803 14th Street NW.

Get an RSS Feed for all Borderstan stories or subscribe to Borderstan’s daily email newsletter.

by February 22, 2013 at 1:00 pm 0


Dafna’s Fashion Friday, Santa Fe Edition. (Dafna Steinberg)

From Dafna Steinberg. Follow her @AlizaySteinberg. Email her at dafna[AT]

Howdy Borderstanis! I’m writing from the land of enchantment: New Mexico! Santa Fe, to be precise. Which seemed like a perfect reason to write about trend that just won’t quit and is really big for spring: Western wear.

Don’t worry. I’m not suggesting you start dressing like Roy Rogers and riding a horse named Trigger to work. Nor am I saying you should start going to line dance country bars (unless that’s already your thing). However, some elements of western fashion are very easy to incorporate into every day life and will give a little extra flair to your daily wardrobe choices. Here’s a list of a few items you can try out.


These make a great and easy introduction to rocking a western look.  Tie one around your neck or get creative! (I’ll  make a bracelet out of one or tie one around my calf) There are tons out there with great patterns aside from the standard paisley print. My recommendation, however, is go for ones made in the USA. Preferably vintage. The ones from China just aren’t the same.

Cowboy boots

Honestly, I’m a believer everyone should have at least one pair. I know I have two and would be more than happy to up that count. Cowboy boots are quite possibly one of the most comfortable kinds of shoes and most people I know who own a pair literally live in them. Some good brands to look into: Frye, Tony Lama and Wolverine.

Cowboy shirts

Great for men and women, these pearl snap button shirts are comfortable and flattering. They are cut a bit slim, which gives them a better fit to the body. They also come in a variety of styles: Plaid ones are great for casual, solid colors can be work appropriate. For women, dress one up with a cute skirt to the office or dress it down with a pair of reliable jeans. Men can wear one with a blazer (tie is optional as it would cover up the pretty buttons) or roll up the sleeves for a more casual look.

Bolo Ties

For the very daring, a bolo tie will dress up any outfit. Typically worn instead of a tie, they can make great necklaces on women who wear them loosely. Guys, rock them with a collared shirt for a different take on the regular “suit and tie” look.

I’m not going to discuss the contentious topic of “Navajo” print, even though it has come back into style a lot in the past few years (and I have a picture of it above). Here’s some info as to why it’s such a hot button fashion issue, and you can decide how you feel about wearing it.

For local shops that sell western style clothes, Federal has some great men’s wear, including great denim and lots of Pendleton. Ladies can find some western inspired pieces over at Redeem where guys can also find some great boots (not necessarily cowboy, but they do have Wolverines). Also in Redeem, check out Mutiny which has some great western products. Vintage lovers can shop at Dr. K’s, Blues Hard Goods, Ginger Root and Junction.

by November 30, 2012 at 10:00 am 1,498 0


Andrew Nguyen’s fashion at Blues Hard Goods on 14th Street. NW (Courtesy of Blues Hard Goods)

From Dafna Steinberg. Follow her @AlizaySteinberg. Email her at dafna[AT]

Vintage lovers, get excited… there’s a new store opening up, offering great one of a kind vintage pieces. Well… it’s not really a new store. Blue’s Hard Goods, the shop formerly known as Rue 14, has gone through an amazing transformation.

Racks that once held brands like Free People and Marc by Marc Jacobs are now lined with vintage workmen’s jeans, Varsity jackets and old sailor’s uniforms. The aesthetic is reminiscent 1950s blue collar. Or maybe it’s 1850s, considering the amount of Western Cowboy and Native American gear that decorates the store. Whatever it is, it is decidedly American.

I’ve noticed, as of late, that a lot of brands are sporting “Made in USA” tags. More and more brands (especially up and coming ones) are keeping things local rather than outsourcing to factories in China or other countries.

Perhaps, in the wake of this nationally political year, the fashion-conscious have also become somewhat patriotic. American Apparel aside, a number of local boutiques are selling more products made in the United States, and it’s impacting DC fashion trends. American made denim is coming back with a vengeance and I’ve noticed Western wear is beginning to creep into a lot of fashion forward street style.

And don’t forget bandanas! Andrew Nguyen, owner of Blues Hard Goods, has quite an obsession with vintage bandanas. His collection is substantial. In fact, one of the coolest pieces Nguyen has in his inventory is a scarf made entirely out of bandanas. By the clothing line “Mr. Vintage,” these scarves make a great addition to any urban cowboy’s  wardrobe. Especially one who is conscious of buying US made products.

Another cool facet to Blues Hard Goods is Los Gitanos, a collection of women’s clothing hand picked and styled by Tara Papanicolas. Her aesthetic, like that of Blue’s Hard Goods, harkens to a romantic, bygone era.

Blue’s Hard Goods is located at 1803A 14th Street NW. Stop in to check out the store or stay hip to new inventory by following them on Instagram: @BluesHardGoods.

Stay tuned for another edition of Dafna’s fashion.

Get an RSS Feed for all Borderstan stories or subscribe to Borderstan’s daily email newsletter.


Subscribe to our mailing list