by January 25, 2013 at 10:00 am 1 Comment


Open Source Fashion DC participants. (Courtesy Open Source Fashion DC)

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

Networking Group Proving DC Is A Fashion City

With all the excitement of inauguration, fashionistas and fashionistos all over the city were prepping for gala balls, political networking and, of course, the cold weather. While we are on the subject, let me just say that Michelle Obama’s Thom Browne silk coat was to DIE for, as was her Jason Wu red ball gown. If her fashion choices for the start of her husband’s second Presidential term are any indicators of how the next four years will be, we are off to a fabulous start.

But it wasn’t just the political year that started off this past week. Open Source Fashion DC, a new networking group dedicated to DC fashion had its first official meeting, bringing together fashion retailers, designers and bloggers.

DC is the first city outside of New York to hold a chapter. Started here by one of Open Source Fashion’s original organizers, Pavan Bahl, and local entrepreneur, Cameron Neal (co-founder of A-Moet), the first event (held in U Street NW’s Affinity Lab) was an in person interview with Refinery29 DC’s editor Holly Thomas. Thomas gave insightful answers to questions from the new Open Source members, discussing DC fashion, Refinery29’s role in the city and her own retail venture, the vintage pop up Butler + Claypool. Check out some photos from the event.

The group is open to anyone who has a retail business, is a designer or has a fashion dedicated blog. If you fit this criteria and are interested in joining, check out the OS Fashion DC page.

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by January 4, 2013 at 10:00 am 0

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


Why Not on U street NW. (Dafna Steinberg)

Happy New Year all… hope everyone had a stylishly good time on New Year’s Eve (I know I did!).

With a new year comes new promises we make to ourselves. “I will lose those 20 pounds I always said I would.” “I will take that class I always said I would take.” “I’m going to run a marathon!” Yet, with these new promises, one thing never seems to be on anyone’s resolutions list: Fashion.

It should be. Better style can help make for a better year. It can also be a great reward for all those long hours you promised yourself you would be spending at the gym. So to help you out, dear readers, I have come up with a list of style resolutions for you.

More Color

One of my biggest pet peeves (and as I’ve mentioned before, there are many) when it comes to styling or helping people finds clothes that work for them is the phrase “I don’t really wear colors.” First off, it’s a pretty silly statement. Of course you wear colors. Black, white, beige and brown ARE colors.

What you mean to say is “I don’t wear INTERESTING colors. Only boring ones.” If you open your closet and the only difference in color is the shade of black, you need to go out to some stores and spice it up a bit. This does not mean you have to run out and buy everything in hot pink. Start off small.

Try adding a colorful scarf or tie. Then work your way up to a sweater or shirt. When you feel comfortable enough with that, try coordinating colors. If you feel nervous about clashing colors, ask a sales person to help you next time you’re in the store. That’s why they are there.

Better Fits

I am directing this specifically to the male readers, though ladies can pay mind to this as well. Guys…remember when everyone was making fun of Paul Ryan because his suits looked like they were hand me downs out of Mitt Romney’s closet? Yeah, don’t be Paul Ryan. The man was the poster boy for P90X, but you never would have known it based on his suits.

It’s 2013. Zoot Suits are out (unless you are really into vintage and swing music). If you buy a suit off the rack, take it to a tailor and have it fitted properly. For one, it makes you look more serious at your job. Two, it makes you more attractive to the opposite (or same) sex. There is nothing like a well-fitted suit on a man that causes one’s head to turn and take notice.

Quality, Not Quantity

Stop. Buying. Clothes. At. H&M. Or even worse, Forever 21.  At least stop buying ALL your clothes there. Yes, they have trendy clothes for cheap prices. But you are getting what you pay for and that cute skirt will have a hole in it within two months. If you are out of college and have a professional job, you should invest more into your clothes. They will make you feel better about yourself. I promise you.

Support local area boutiques. There are a number in Borderstan that pride themselves on having unique clothes in LIMITED quantities. That adorable t-shirt you bought on the sale rack at J. Crew? It’s your favorite. And the favorite of the 2,000 other people that bought it as well. Spend a little more and stand out from the crowd. If you are concerned about saving money in difficult economic times, keep in mind… small boutiques have sales too!

Investing in Self Image

There is one idea that connects all of these resolutions together and it is belief in self image. If you are making resolutions to lose weight, try that new Paleo diet, or work out more, you obviously want to feel better about yourself by taking pride in your self image. This should apply to your closet as well. I realize in these tough economic times, spending money on clothes seems frivolous.

But believe me, if you are already putting so much effort into making yourself look better, having the clothes to match will only accentuate the hard work you have put in. You will look as great as you feel and that, dear Borderstanis, is worth more than the price on the price tag.

Stay tuned for another edition of Dafna’s fashion.

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by December 14, 2012 at 10:00 am 0

From Dafna Steinberg and Josh Siegel. Follow Dafna @AlizaySteinberg; email her at dafna[AT] Email Josh at josh[AT]

Big news, Borderstan! Dafna’s Fashion Fridays is now on video! That’s right, tune in here for short videos about what people are wearing, what shops are selling and, above all, what’s in style in DC!
Two weeks ago, I went out (with my trusty and wonderful camera man, Josh) to ask Borderstanians what excites them about winter fashion. Here what they had to say below!


[vimeo width=”580″ height=”350″][/vimeo]


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by November 30, 2012 at 10:00 am 1,000 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.

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by October 19, 2012 at 1:00 pm 0



The DC Flea Month Long Extravaganza is currently taking place at Montserrat House (2016 9th Street NW). (Dafna Steinberg)

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

Let me start off this column with a shameless plug: I am running and working at the DC Flea Month Long Extravaganza, which is currently taking place at Montserrat House (2016 9th Street NW).

A couple weeks back, we did an event with ThirstDC, a great group that “aims to create and foster thought leaders” through social events and talks. Our joint event, Style X Swag, allowed guests to come in, hear talks about fashion and then be styled themselves. One of the speakers, local fashion enthusiast and bow tie maker, Eliot Payne talked about how so many people don’t try something different in their style because they think “Oh, I couldn’t pull that off.”

He touched on one of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to people and fashion. As a shop owner and person who loves helping people find cool clothes, it is really is frustrating to hear someone look at an item of clothing, love it but then refuse to try it on. All because they feel they wouldn’t be able to wear it or they would be judged for it. You will never know if you don’t try it on!

Now I’m not saying that if you are a person who wears suits or khakis and polo shirts normally, you should suddenly don a cat suit with an inflatable inner tube skirt (that is a hard look to pull off…believe me I’ve tried). I am simply suggesting that people should step out of their comfort zones with fashion. What you may think may not work for you may actually be a staple piece in your wardrobe.

So in other words:

  • If you are shopping and see something you like, but aren’t really sure that it will work for you… just try it on. You don’t have to pay for a moment in the dressing room.
  • Be open to suggestions. Sometimes sales people or stylists know you better than you think, so if they suggest something outside your comfort zone, be bold and try it on.
  • Go through your closet and try to find new and interesting outfits you would never have thought to wear. A plaid shirt with a striped sweater can look better than you think.

If you want to come visit DC Flea, we are open Thursday-Saturday 12-8 pm and Sunday 11 am – 6 pm. Stop in and get styled!

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by September 7, 2012 at 10:00 am 0

Borderstan welcomes new contributor Dafna Steinberg who will be writing about Fashion in the streets of Borderstan. Email her at dafna[AT]


Dafna Steinberg. (Luis Gomez Photos)

As far back as I can remember, I have always been obsessed with fashion. Photos of me as a child reveal a little girl who loved adorably creative outfits. As a teen, I even toyed with the idea of becoming a fashion designer. As an adult, my clothing is one of the main ways I express myself.

Which is why when Borderstan asked if I would like to write a column for them, I jumped at the chance. Spend time writing about on of my obsessions? Yes, please!

So, style-lovers, here are some things you can expect to see in future posts:

  • On the Street Fashion Shots
    • See photos of fashionable Borderstan locals.
    • Read interviews and stories with some of the area’s most fashionable residents.
    • Learn about some of the area’s established and new retail stores. See some of the great new items they have selected for the different seasons.
    • Find out what’s going on, fashion-wise, in the neighborhood.
  • Featured fashionistas
  • Local retail store write ups and season updates
  • News and events

You might be saying to yourself “Aren’t there already a number of DC fashion blogs?” Well, yes, there are. However, this one is dedicated specifically to Borderstan and the people who live and work in this neighborhood.

Why? Because there is more to DC fashion than Georgetown and style doesn’t only come in a size 2.

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by August 28, 2012 at 5:00 pm 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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