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.
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.
A 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.
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.
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.”
Old meets new in these casual looks that embrace turn of the century fashion.
some white options. Pair with your favorite blue or black denim.
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)
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 clean, or classic red nail to finish the look.
Here is the shirt in the picture to the left.
Here is a short leather skirt if you like to accentuate your legs and are looking to add some texture and warmth.
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.
It 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.
Looking forward to a little Lucretia of your own? Here is a matching baby and Mama version, just for fun!
Adelaide 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.
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.
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). Think Katherine Hepburn. My 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).
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.
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. 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,