Exploring Washington DC

Strong and Stylish

Red “Make America Great Again” hats were an interesting contrast to the “Black Lives Matter” T- shirts (both) being sold out of giant duffle bags on the sidewalks across the city.

As I hustled around Washington DC this past (unusually cold and rainy!) week with 27 8th Grade Charlestonian young people it occurred to me what an exciting time it is to be a young person in America.

We celebrated, debated, and furthered our understanding of our Nation’s history all in an effort to individually and collectively define our interpretation(s) of the American Dream.

Here are some style inspirations I had along the way.

***DC Style Inspiration***

1. National Gallery of Art

This piece of contemporary art can be found in the National Gallery of Art. Dendroid created by Roxy Paine was particularly interesting to my students.   It is massive and reminds me of the Charlie Brown Christmas special with the aluminum Christmas Trees for sale. I love the contradistinction of this industrial metal “tree” among the others.
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Image result for silver maxi dress outfit

A fun mix that works together because it is unexpected.  I love the simplicity of a white button up shirt, with this long flowing foiled skirt, undone hair, sneakers and sunglasses add something fresh to the classic.

  • NOVICA Cultured Freshwater Pearl .925 Sterling Silver Cocktail Ring, 'Caldera'Here, here and here are some silver skirts with high impact.  Here are some classic white chucks to ground the look.  Add some mirrored silver on silver shades like these or these, and you can make a day of it!

Related imageA cream Grecian dress is
simple and pretty. Add something special with a shining pop of contrast by  incorporating a metallic belt and you have quickly gone from simple to chic.Happy Rose Flower Girl's Dress Party Dresses Juniors Long Bridesmaid Dress Ivory Cream 10

Here is the dress pictured to the right, and here is the classic long V-neck draped ivory dress to the left.

 Sleek Gold Mirror Belt By Fling Fashions

Here is a mirrored gold belt, here is a rose gold belt, and here an additional gold option.

2. The statue below of Frances Elizabeth Caroline Willard was given by the State of Illinois to be displayed in the National Statuary Hall.  Frances Willard was an activist in the Temperance and Suffrage Movements, and was an advocate for access for women to higher education.

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Nevertheless She Persisted Large Canvas Tote Bag

Need a stylish way to carry your books, snacks, or unexpected style finds?  Use this stylish handmade tote that reads, “Never the less she persisted.”
Image result for poofy sleeve jumpsuitOld meets new in these casual looks that embrace turn of the century fashion.

Here,  and here are some similar cream blouses. Here is the barely pink version below.

Here , here and here  LILYSILK Women's 100% Silk Blouse Long Poet Sleeve Tie Collar Ladies Shirt 22 Momme Pure Charmeuse Silk Light Pink Size XLare

some white options.  Pair with your favorite blue or black denim.

If you are a woman that must wear black, here  is an additional dark version, and here is a nude and black option (Pictured below as a mini dress.)

Elan Women's Boho Chiffon and Lace Tunic Dress (Small)Keep you hair and jewelry understated so not to compete with an overstated collar.

Add some semi matte wine colored lipstick, especially if white tends to washout your skin tone. Three of my favorites are Nars (Shangai Express, Morocco, or Scarlett Empress)

NARS Semi-Matte Lipstick, Shanghai Express

Try various shades and textures with a mixture silk, lace, leather and cotton for an interesting take on a classic.  Add this Chloe statement cocktail ring ( pictured below) to a well manicured Chloe Darcey Gold Cocktail Brass Swarovski Pearl Ringclean, or classic red nail to finish the look.

Image result for high neck ruffle tie long dress

Here is the shirt in the picture to the left.

HereHere , and here are some skirts that add some formality as an alternative to denim.

Here is a short leather skirt if you like to accentuate your legs and are looking to add some texture and warmth.

A fabulous white clutch will add some interest, and a place to store your blotting sheets and lipstick.  Here is the champagne colored clutch (pictured below).

Clocolor Satin Beading Handmade Clutch Purse Evening Handbags Collection Louise Beaded Sequined Evening Bag

Clocolor Satin Beading Handmade Clutch Purse Evening Handbags Collection Louise Beaded Sequined Evening Bag

Clocolor Satin Beading Handmade Clutch Purse Evening Handbags Collection Louise Beaded Sequined Evening Bag

My Girls: Lucretia, Elizabeth Cady, and Susan B.

I tried to talk my sister, whose last name is Light, into naming her daughter Lucretia. (She went with Audrey.) Then I tried talking a best friend, whose last name is Loveridge into naming her daughter Lucretia. (She went with Lorelei.)  I just can’t help but love this woman, and this name!

Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony worked tirelessly to win women in America the right to vote. These woman are a symbols of strength, progress, and determination.

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Image result for womens beige headwrapIt is difficult to find a small hairband, or accessory without the added sparkle created by rhinestones and other glitz.  You may consider a trip to your nearest fabric store to peruse the lace and ribbon sections.  You will find a variety of shades, widths, and patterns from which to choose.

Not feeling crafty?  Here, here and here are some demure and delicate hair pieces.

759SHOP 1pc Lady women girls Elegent Lace Elastic Hair head band hoop accessory tie hairbands headbands turban

Need a little touch of something extra? Here and here are some more”Cha-Chi” versions. (As my Grandmother used to call rhinestones, sequins, and all things with a little too much man-made sparkle.)

Looking forward to a little Lucretia of your own? Baishitop Paternity Mom and Baby Girls Headband, Rhinestone Bead Retro Lace Hairband Here is a matching baby and Mama version, just for fun!

Image result for feminist t shirtAdelaide Johnson depicted these women sitting upright, proud and strong. Please notice, they are not riding along with vacuous smiles.

Here is a way to avoid the awkward and annoying moment when suddenly someone (Usually a man) rips me from my thoughts, undoubtedly thinking he is so charming and important that he should suggest that I smile for absolutely no reason at all.

Who are you, and why is the position my face any of your concern?   Now you can let them know that you are not the woman to approach with this one liner with this  T-Shirt, and this racer-back that says it for you.  Of course with the assumption that they have surveyed your chest prior to their unsolicited request.

3. The National Museum for African-American History and Culture

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The power suit was an is one way to demand respect (without saying a word).  A play on masculinity, power, and confidence will no doubt attract admiration.

Image result for womens power suit

If you tend to shy from bold bright hues, go with white. I recommend visiting antique vintage clothing stores to create your own power suit story.

Here is a fresh take on this look, a black jumpsuit with a white tuxedo collar with a wide leg (Pictured at right). Women's Black White Tuxedo Collar Lapel V Neck Wide Leg Pant Suit Work Jumpsuit (Large)Think Katherine Hepburn. Image result for Katharine Hepburn suitMy Grandmother Elizabeth was a dead ringer, and affectionately nicknamed “Katie” by her favorite Uncle Aubrey due to this likeness).

Feeling bright and bold, go with an unexpected color that is sure to turn heads. Here is a sunny yellow version (Pictured below to the right.)  If you need to add some punch try adding a colorful blazer such as this pink or this Coral Poppy colored version (below).

Lark & Ro Women's Wrap Jacket, Vivid Poppy, 6
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African-American Museum of History and Culture

Pearls, pins, white gloves, and hats were part of many women’s accessory must haves, especially when going to church, and/or celebrating other momentous occasions.

Chunky platform sandals here in mirrored gold (Also in silver), and here in pink suede (Also in nude),

Platform Ankle Strap High Heel - Peep Toe Sandal Pump - Formal Chunky Dress Heel - Tutu by J. Adams

 

Before walking out the door my mom would often put two different shoes on.  One would be a usual navy or tan or black with, lets say, a hot red dress.  On the other would be a matching (red) pump.  She would say, “Is this too much?” and usually she would opt for the black or tan. J Crew Annette Calf Hair Peep-Toe Heels Size 8.5 Style# 67274 Romantic Pink New Every now and then she would go for the color.  These shoes are, as Nancy would say, “Way too much,” but I adore them! They are pink calf hair and leopard kitten heels, what else can be said?

So many amazing conversations over the last few days in DC.  So much hope for the future, and so much STYLE!

Yesterday we were back at school in Charleston for the 8th grade “Bridging Ceremony.”  A particularly introspective young man found me in the morning and shared that he was trying to “Keep his vibe all day.” We set an intention to “Cut the lines” (as he stated) of any negative vibes.  I can’t wait to see how he (and all of our young people) choose to contribute to our world.

I hope you are feeling inspired and hopeful.

Sending Love to you and yours,

EJ

 

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