by August 28, 2012 at 5:00 pm 1,345 0

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]

A week without DC’s soul-sucking August humidity is enough to have me say “sayonara” to summer, while running with open arms towards fall.

Yes, we can all finally look forward to a frizz-free hair and fewer melting makeup disasters, and embrace new pallet of colors, textures and styles. Yes, bring on the tweed, the corduroy and jeans! Oh, how I have missed my jeans…

But best of all, there is no need to venture to a suburban “mall” or even an overpriced designer storefront to find some of this season’s best looks — it’s all in the neighborhood. Here are some of this season’s trends worth checking out in the area.


Neighborhood boutiques are overflowing with colorful, textured clutches and vibrant, chunky necklaces. One of my favorite finds is a tad-bit unconventional. Yes, it’s a Turkish bath towel — the perfect multi-purpose accessory that can be used as a scarf, a shawl or a fall picnic blanket at a local park or vineyard.

These great accessories are from Table Top (1608 20th Street NW), Lou Lou (1601 Connecticut Avenue NW), Redeem (1734 14th Street NW), Current Boutique (1809 14th Street NW) and Axis Salon (1509 Connecticut Avenue NW).


Colorful, textured clutches and makeup bags. Makeup bag (top left) from Table Top. Clutches from Lou Lou. (Rachel Nania)


Chunky, colorful necklaces from Redeem and Current Boutique. (Rachel Nania)









Women’s Clothing

For early fall, women’s styles are trending towards comfortable patterned dresses (and chunky necklaces, above). Pair these with a pair of boots and a cardigan and you are set!

Men’s Clothing

Bold colors and traditional plaids, tweeds and prints are in for the gents. Here is an example of a show-stopping outfit from Ginger Root Design. Don’t forget to grab a comfortable, textured sweater for the chilly evenings, like this one from Redeem.


Get ready for Fall. (Rachel Nania)

Pictured: A patterned fall dress from Current Boutique pairs perfectly with a bold, colorful necklace; patterned fall dresses from Current Boutique; a bold men’s outfit from Ginger Root Design; a textured men’s sweater from Redeem.

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by December 14, 2011 at 10:00 am 2,368 0

Violet Boutique, 18th Street NW, Urban Expressions

At Violet: Faux leather python embossed metallic clutch in light gold by Urban Expressions ($40). (Courtesy of Violet)

See LBD Always Okay; Color, Lace, Patterns Make You Fashion Forward from Kate on Monday; look for accessories and jewelry options from Eliza tomorrow.

From Laura Herman of LauraLikesThis. Laura is also a contributor over at Brightest Young Things and you can find her on Twitter @Lmhhabs. Email her at [email protected].

‘Tis the season for holiday parties galore and generally having a good excuse to get all glammed up. I’ve always been a shoes and bags girl, so for me, holiday dressing and gifting is just as much about finding the perfect shoe and handbag as the actual outfit.

For all you Borderstan fashionistas, here’s a run down of the hottest trends in shoes and bags for the holiday season — and a guide to where you can find the look locally. Because who doesn’t love pretty shoes and supporting local biz?

Get the Look Locally

One of the best parts of the Borderstan area is that you don’t have to travel far to shop.

At Current: GORGEOUS Dior tan snakeskin with black velvet pumps, size 8.5, $198.95. (Courtesy of Current)

Between boutique womenswear and handbags at Lettie Gooch, Rue 14, Junction and Violet, plus high-end consignment and vintage finds at Secondi and Current Boutique, you’re sure to find the perfect shoes and bags to get you through holiday parties, New Years’ Eve, and then all of those straggler holiday parties that happen in January.

Lettie Gooch1517 U Street NW, carries a great selection of trendy bags and accessories. A stop by this weekend revealed lots of sparkly clutches that would be perfect party accessories.

At Current: Wilbur & Gussie blue and gold clutch with broach, $82.95. (Courtesy of Current) 

Secondi, at 1702 Connecticut Avenue NW, is a high-end consignment boutique carrying shoes and bags. You’ll need to set time aside to dig through the wares, but I’ve seen everything here from Louis to Louboutin. Just recently, I saw lots of platform pumps, suede and statement handbags.

Current Boutique, at 1809 14th Street NW, sells old and new items, also specializing in high-end consignment. I spotted a Coach Poppy black sequin crossbody bag there recently that was absolute perfection. Plus, the GORGEOUS Dior snakeskin and velvet pumps pictured above.

Somewhat newer to the neighborhood, Violet Boutique at 2439 18th Street NW is a good spot for on-trend partywear or a fun new bag. I’m also digging all of their costume jewelry.

Junction, a vintage and resale boutique at 1510 U Street NW is also a great spot for one-of-a-kind statement finds, from accessories to shoes and clothing. The vintage-y look is really in right now (think: lace-up booties, dainty pillbox bags, beige ANYTHING) and Junction is a great spot to score a vintage staple for holiday dressing.

Secondi Consignment, Connecticut Avenue NW

At Secondi: Giuseppe Zanoti pumps (left), size 7,  $145; and Jimmy Choo pumps, size 37, $236. (Alejandra Owens)

Now that you know where to shop, let’s talk trends for the season…

Let’s Get Some Shoes!

This season’s trends are all.about.the.concealed.platform. You can’t go wrong with a classic black suede pump with a height that you can rock in the office or at a party.

I’m also loving multi-tonal anything this season, and especially for shoes. Plus, suede is perfect for this time of year (just make sure to waterproof them!!)

SPARKLE. It is the holiday season after all. Sequins are everywhere from dresses to tops, handbags and headbands, so shoes are fair game too (and more sparkle is rarely a bad thing, in my opinion).

Booties. While everyone still loves a good pair of riding boots, this year’s look is all about black tights and booties. Plus, they’re versatile for dressing up or down.

Secondi Boutique, Connecticut Avenue NW, Prada

At Secondi: A Parada bag for $150. (Alejandra Owens)

And a Handbag, Too

Let’s keep the sparkle thing going, shall we? One of my favorite looks is an all-black outfit with a gorgeous showstopper bag and red lipstick, of course. It’s all about the statement piece, like this one:

Satchels. Once you start carrying a satchel, it’s hard to pick up anything else. They are so wonderful. Keeping with current obsessions — I love a satchel that is a.) suede b.) multi-tonal or textured and c.) extra points for both or a small pop of something unexpected — such as bold hardware or a print.

Party clutch or mini purse. Everyone needs one, especially this time of year when holiday parties and events beckon, but these bags can be tricky because of size. Make sure that your clutch or mini bag can hold cell phone, keys/wallet and a lipgloss and you should be good to go. Bare essentials only — leave the change of shoes, hairbrush and random stuff that you usually schlep around at home, you don’t need it tonight!

Look pretty out there for party season, Borderstan! What styles are YOU loving for holiday and New Years parties??

by December 12, 2011 at 10:20 am 2,420 3 Comments


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?

by May 23, 2011 at 9:00 am 1,209 0

Borderstan, Current Boutique, Logan Circle, 14th Street NW

Current Boutique  has opened at 1809 14th Street NW in the space formerly occupied by go mama go! They also have stores in Old Town Alexandria and Clarendon Arlington. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Tom Hay. Questions for Tom? Send him an email. You can follow him on Twitter@Tomonswann.

No, the Rapture Did Not Happen

No one on the Borderstan team has been reported missing so far. Despite lots of anticipation, the Rapture did not happen on May 21, 2011 at 6pm as some predicted. So yes, you do have to go back to work to pay for all the drinking you did Friday night. About the only cataclysmic event that happened over the weekend was the eruption of a volcano in Iceland. So far this one doesn’t look like it will interrupt air travel over Europe to the extent the eruption last year did.

More Retail on 14th Street in Logan Circle

It didn’t take long for D.C. fashionistas to find Current Boutique’s newest location at 1809 14th Street, NW — during a visit Saturday afternoon the store was crowded with shoppers. The new store joins two other locations in Old Town and Clarendon in offering name brand clothing and accessories sold on consignment as well as new clothing and accessories. Current Boutique took over the space occupied by Go Mama Go which closed at end of March. Welcome to the neighborhood!

Metro Closures Memorial Day Weekend

If you are not beach-bound for the Memorial Day weekend and have any plans to take Metro you better check the WMATA website for details on station closures and single-tracking scheduled over the three days. The closures will affect service on Blue and Orange line trains between Federal Center SW to Minnesota Ave/Benning Road and the four stations between — Capitol South, Eastern Market, Potomac Ave and Stadium-Armory Metrorail stations — will be closed. In addition, there will be some single-tracking of Red line trains at various points in the system.


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