The Game Plan


Give Yourself a Little Artspiration

Posted by Editorial / Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

By Cate Jensen

What better way to help rejuvenate your mind in the new year than with a little sprucing up of your home with bright colors, pop art and graphic patterns. I am not sure about you, but with long days of work, commutes that make me want to move to the countryside and figuring out how to fit all that needs to be done into 24 hours — I want to come home to a space that inspires me. So here are some ideas to get you started on giving your home a bit of “artspiration.”

Artspiration Piece

Photo courtesy of

From ’60s-inspired art to colorful clocks and extravagant, playful throw pillows — over the top isn’t a phrase that comes to mind with these pieces of home decor. Represent a little bit of home with a “Virginia is for Lovers” print, or create your own with the help of, a site that takes your own snapshots to transform your memories into art

Item details: Reyes Wall Mirror, Virginia is for Lovers Dictionary Print, Audrey with Warhol Painting by Ashley Longshore, CB2 Neon Prism Print Pillow, West Elm Linework Table Lamp, Rabbit Fur Bisous Throw, Trina Turk Rug, Jonathan Adler Ampersand Resin Paperweight, Butterflies Wall Clock by Society6, Custom Photo Art Print by Minted

January’s Best in Beauty

Posted by Editorial / Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

Make this winter wicked with these five beauty selections.Angela Bobo

Best Beauty products

Photo by Mike Ramm.

1. G.M. Collin Anti-Aging Instant Radiance Eye Patches
Pull these out when it seems like your under-eye baggage has multiplied. In just 20 minutes, the cooling patches magically de-puff swollen eyes and brighten dark circles with a unique pearl powder formula. / $50

2. Edward Bess Black Sea Hair Hero
Created by haircare guru Edward Bess, this do-it-all cream can be applied to wet or dry hair to blow-dry, tame frizz and sculpt curls. Plus, the beachy scent is a welcome bonus during this drab weather. / $38

3.Suki® exfoliate Foaming Cleanser
Most sugar scrubs are either too rough or leave behind an oily residue. These face and body exfoliants foam up like typical washes while still maintaining the sugar’s texture to effectively remove dry, dead skin. / Suki® Exfoliate Cleanser,  $32.95; Body Cleanser, $34.95

4. L’Oreal Voluminous Original Mascara in Black
With the sheer volume of options available, it can be a task finding the perfect mascara. Take a note from the normcore trend and head back to the basics with this budget drugstore staple. / $5.89

5. Smith & Cult Nailed Lacquer in Dirty Baby and Lo-fi
With a gel-like consistency, fashion-forward shades and a five-free formula this line is a nail polish lover’s dream come true. Plus, how pretty are those bottles? / $18 each

(January 2015)


Duchess M

Posted by Editorial / Monday, January 19th, 2015

 Duchess M in Old Town Alexandria

Photo by Mollie Tobias.

Destination: Located right in the hustle and bustle of Old Town Alexandria, Duchess M is a perfect new addition to one of Northern Virginia’s ultimate shopping spots.

Duchess M in Old Town Alexandria

Photo by Mollie Tobias.

Atmosphere: This business is a family affair. Owner Susie Pollard Freimanis and her mother Mary Pollard, for whom the shop was named, work side by side. You can even occasionally find her two daughters running around the store, which is no surprise considering the boutique’s bright and feminine aura. A customer would never know that this shopping destination used to once be a beauty salon.

Bread and Butter: For having just opened this past October, Duchess M already has a strong identity. Freimanis describes the store’s strong suit as being able to go from “daytime to evening.” From a strong designer collection of Nanette Lepore, Trina Turk and Ted Baker to 7 for All Mankind denim and a table filled with luxury fur scarves by Linda Richards, customers get the quality they pay for. Anyone can come out of this boutique with a chic look for the winter.

Sweet Surprises: Although Duchess M carries mostly name brand items, Freimanis will make “specific edited buys” of a label. Therefore while it might be a name you recognize, it won’t necessarily be an item you have seen elsewhere—for instance, a shopping mall.

Fiercest Fan: With Duchess M only being a few months old, it does not quite have one concise customer yet, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t fans. “It is a diverse mix [of customers] especially because Old Town is such a traditional environment. We wanted to make sure we had things my friends would like, but my mom would like as well,” Freimanis says.

Blows to Budget: A customer can find warm ponchos and tops for just around $45, mid-range Ella Moss sweaters and blouses in the $100 range. A designer dress might be upwards of $500.
Cate Jensen

Destination: 805 King St., Alexandria; 571-982-3118

(January 2015)

5 Nail Polishes To Liven Up Winter

Posted by Editorial / Monday, January 19th, 2015

By Cate Jensen

While summer has the rep for getting the brighter and perhaps more lively nail colors of all the seasons – there is a certain sweet spot for the darker shades of winter. Perhaps it is because our wardrobe consists of mostly neutrals, i.e. black, gray, an occasional olive green; we prefer more moody shades when it comes to our polish preferences. Every woman needs a solid red lacquer in her repertoire, along with a basic, but beautiful, nude. On nights when you are feeling more ostentatious don’t be afraid to try a bold purple. What ever color you choose, brightening up your winter look is a simple swipe away. 



Angela’s Fashion Picks for January

Posted by Editorial / Friday, January 16th, 2015

Our fashion and beauty writer shares her monthly wishlist.Angela Bobo


  • The Reversible Transport Tote, Update your weekend bag with the Madewell’s classic transport tote in an on-trend metallic hue. Flip it inside out and wear it as a practical work bag Monday through Friday. / $188; Photo courtesy of

  • Long Fur Vest, Winter layering requires skill, but throwing a faux fur vest over any outfit is a no-brainer. This white and gray blend can be worn over almost anything. / $99.90; Photo courtesy of

  • Zara Faux Leather Leggings with Seam at the Knee in Mink, Give your black leather leggings a break and swap in a tailored pair in a chic mink color; layer under tunics and pair with heeled booties for a polished cold weather look. / $59.90; Photo courtesy of

  • Piperlime Collection Gold-Dipped Sweater, A classic black sweater with an unexpected twist; the gold ombre lends an elegant vibe to the casual staple. / $98; Photo courtesy of

  • Kate Spade Saturday Leather Oxfords in Black/Peacock, Add a menswear vibe to your cozy sweater dresses and flirty skirts with a pair of leather oxfords. The peacock color complements well with the cream and navy pieces in your closet. / $160; Photo courtesy of Kate Spade.



(January 2015)

3 Outfits for Your Monday Off

Posted by Editorial / Friday, January 16th, 2015

By Angela Bobo

Whether you are spending MLK Day volunteering, catching up on the countless shows piling up in your DVR, or indulging in retail therapy, style-wise a holiday that falls on a Monday is always a good time for comfort and embracing a much-needed break from the usual work wear.  While some will be taking the day to reflect and serve others, we know that it is also a time for hard-working people to relax—no matter what your holiday plans are, use these outfits as a guide to stay stylish throughout the day.

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

While the majority of the day will be spent indoors, you refuse to miss a day of sales at your favorite local boutiques. Quickly venture outdoors while remaining comfy yet presentable in a sleek t-shirt and sweats with a graphic black and white palette.

Jacket, Shirt, Pants, Scarf, Sneakers

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

It is important to look respectable when out volunteering, but since you will be doing a range of tasks throughout the day you will need the ability to move freely. All black always looks chic, while a chunky turtleneck, flat boots and hands-free bag remain functional on-the-go.

Turtleneck, Jeans, Boots, Jacket, Backpack

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Finally you can catch up on the shows that everyone is talking about. Order some take-out and begin binge-watching in color-coordinated casual separates. Don’t skimp on your beauty regimen–use this free time to get in a quick facial with lasting benefits.

Hoodie, Sweats, Slippers, Blanket, Jar Mask, Sheet Mask

Sales to Shop This Three-Day Weekend

Posted by Editorial / Thursday, January 15th, 2015

By Cate Jensen


Photo courtesy of Thomas8047/

In case you aren’t sure how to spend your holiday weekend in Northern Virginia, here are are few tips for the shopping-hungry to get your started. From in-store to online or even at the area’s premier outlets – there is a little something for everyone.

ALLSAINTS: 50 percent off all sale items, in stores and online.

Express: $25 off of every $75 you spend in-store and online, now through January 19.

European Country Living is offering 25-75 percent off on select items through January 19.

H&M: Buy one get one free for kids’ basics through January 21.

Kate Spade New York: (at Leesburg Corner Premium Outlets): 40 percent off entire purchase and an additional 20 percent off clearance items, January 14-19.

New Balance (at Leesburg Corner Premium Outlets): 20 percent off select styles, January 15 – 20.

Under Armour (at Leesburg Corner Premium Outlet): Semi Annual Sale along with 20 percent off clearance.

J. Crew: 40 percent off final sales items in-store and online, select items at 50 percent off through January 18.

Neiman Marcus: $50 off any regular-priced purchase of $200 or more through January 16, online only.

Nordstrom: Select coats, 50 percent off at Tyson’s corner location. See store for more details. Ends Sunday, January 18.

Pottery Barn: 60 percent off Warehouse Clearance Event through January 21.

Topshop: Extra 30 percent off sale through January 20.

Victoria’s Secret: Free shipping on orders of $100 through January 21.

West Elm: 20 percent off bedding, excludes clearance, ends Sunday January 18.

William Sonoma: Now through January 19, shop 20 percent off clearance items.

Shopping Simplified:

Posted by Editorial / Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

Photo courtesy of

Fashion is always changing and that’s the beauty of it. is keeping up with those changes by giving readers all the resources to become their own style mavens. The site offers more than just photos of the latest trends among celebrities and models though. In addition to having access to fashionable outfits, readers also can stream videos featuring their favorite style setters. Magazines feature celebrity looks all the time, but those images don’t always provide details on where to find each item. The Influence recognized this problem and decided to give readers a solution. From the western trend to sporty-chic looks, style inspiration is by no means in short supply. Readers also have the opportunity to shop exclusive products made just for the site. Look no further than The Influence for a daily dose of style.  –Danielle Harvey

(January 2015)

How to Winter-Proof Your Skin, Hair and Makeup Routines

Posted by Editorial / Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

By Cate Jensen

When cold weather hits, it can be hard on both your commute to work as well as your beauty routines. Winter means dry skin, chapped lips, cracked skin on hands and feet due to the lack of moisture in the air since we spend most of the day indoors with heat on blast. In order to prevent our bodies from going into a shock from Mother Nature’s least favorite season– check out our round-up of the top YouTube tutorials to find a few tips on how to pretend it is still a balmy 72 degrees outside.

Read the rest of this entry »

Fit For Fashion

Posted by Editorial / Monday, January 12th, 2015

The new year always starts the same: health goals and resolutions that seem to disappear by the time February shows up with its blustering winds and depressing cold weather. True fashionistas know that summer bodies are made in the winter and nothing is worse than trying on your crop tops only to find that they don’t fit. We reached out to some of the area’s top bloggers to show you the best way to get into shape in time to wear your favorite spring trends.–Angela Bobo

Fashion Fitwear: Michelle Marcinowski, Fifty-Two Thursdays

Photos courtesy of Elliott O’Donovan (Marcinowski); Bosch Studios (Barre Studio); Miguelina (Crop Top).

Michelle Marcinowski, Fifty-Two Thursdays

Q: How are fashion and fitness related?
Fashion and fitness are closely intertwined and go hand in hand to create confidence and boost self-esteem. When I work out and feel comfortable with my body, I don’t want to hide what I’ve accomplished.  

Q: What is your favorite way to get fit in the area?
I was introduced to barre class about a year ago thanks to my friend, instructor and owner of Xtend Barre Old Town, Natalie Strahorn. I have yet to find anything that tops barre classes, and the studio is just too easy to get to from work or home. It has added that element of fun that my routine was missing. Her classes are still challenging and focus on neglected muscle groups that my typical work outs don’t hit.

Q: What item of clothing motivates you to workout?
I am traveling to Peru this March and wanted an updated, cute new piece for the trip. I just recently purchased this crop top from Miguelina to wear as a cover-up or just with shorts. It’s adorable, but very cropped, so I got to keep at it.

Q: Fashion or fitness goals for 2015?
My goal for 2015 is to be consistent. I need to work most on my consistency with my workout routines and my eating habits to live a healthier and more productive new year.


Fashion Fitwear: Natalie Pinto, The Fashionably Broke

Photos courtesy of Free People (Bra); Natalie Pinto.

Natalie Pinto, The Fashionably Broke

Q: How are fashion and fitness related to you?
I think that fashion and fitness really go hand-in-hand. I believe that fashion, as well as fitness, is all about looking good, and feeling good and that’s what we strongly focus on here at The Fashionably Broke; inspiring women everywhere to look good and feel good, at any cost. Fashion and fitness are also strongly related to me because nothing gets me more motivated to go to the gym than cute, new gym clothes or sneakers.  

Q: What is your favorite way to get fit in the area?
The D.C.-Metro area is full of trails that can take you anywhere. I really discovered that this summer when my boyfriend and I took up bike riding. It’s been a great way to see the area that we live in up close and personal, as well as get in a good, healthy workout and spend some quality time together, which is always a bonus. I’ve also really enjoyed taking Zumba classes at my local (Ballston) Gold’s Gym as well as Pure Barre in Clarendon.

Q: What item of clothing motivates you to workout?
I’m all about the shoes, so I love buying new sneakers to wear both inside and outside of the gym. A new pair can get me to work out almost immediately. Once I have my six-pack, you can guarantee that I’ll be the girl riding my bike in a sports bra and no shirt next summer.

Q: Fashion or fitness goals for 2015?
As I’ve gotten older, and taken on office jobs which require a lot of sitting at a desk during the day, my body started to change and it was hard for me to accept. I began buying and wearing a lot more loose-fitting clothes. Now that I’ve started to embrace my new body, and revamped my fitness routine to go along with it, one of my biggest goals for the new year is to wear more of the fitted pieces that I used to love so much. I’d also like to sign up for a long distance bike ride. 


Fashion fitwear: Sarah Phillips, Fifty-Two Thursdays

Photos courtesy of Elliott O’Donovan of Elliott O’Donovan Photography (Phillips); Intermix (Crop Top).

Sarah Phillips, Fifty-Two Thursdays

Q: How are fashion and fitness related? 
I believe your body truly is your best accessory and have found that my involvement in fashion has been a huge motivator for me to stay in shape. Whether I am wearing a bikini on the beach or working out in my favorite fitness gear by Vimmia, to me, nothing is more fashionable than feeling confident in my own skin. So I work hard in the gym to obtain that.

Fashion Fitwear: Sarah Phillips, Fifty-Two Thursdays

Photos courtesy of Elliott O’Donovan of Elliott O’Donovan Photography.

Q: What is your favorite way to get fit in the area?
My fitness and health are extremely important to me so I am usually in the gym at least four to five days per week. I recently joined CrossFit South Arlington and have become completely addicted. I love CrossFit because each class is different and I am consistently challenged by the coaches and the friendly competition between athletes. I have always been a regular at the gym, but since I added CrossFit to my regimen I have seen a major improvement in my muscle tone and overall strength.    

Q: What item of clothing motivates you to workout?
Bikinis and the new crop top I recently purchased from Intermix. It shows off my stomach, so before I wear it I make sure to do a few extra planks.

Q: Fashion or fitness goals for 2015?
My goals are to stay motivated and to keep my workouts consistent in the new year. I would love to stick with CrossFit and eventually enter a competition by the end of 2015.


Fashion fitwear: Meaghan Moynahan, District Sparkle.

Photo courtesy of Meaghan Moynahan.

Meaghan Moynahan, District Sparkle

Q: How are fashion and fitness related?
Trends are fun to experiment with, but I tend to live in clothing that I feel my best in, whether that’s leather pants and a comfy oversized sweater, or a shift dress and pumps. I’ve curated a closet of pieces that reflect my personality and my personal style. Part of feeling my best in my favorite pieces is feeling my best about what’s going on underneath those threads. They say that the ultimate beauty starts within, and similarly, I believe the ultimate outfit starts with what’s underneath.

Q: What is your favorite way to get fit in the area?
I recently started training with Taylor Simpson of I Like My Fitness Taylored. She’s an inspiration both personally and professionally and I dig her overall drive to just get after life. She tailors my workouts to fit around my 9-5 blog schedule and events during the week, and has a customized meal plan that’s not only helped make me a healthier version of myself, but helped me learn why it’s important to eat the new way that I do.

Q: What item of clothing motivates you to workout?
This might sound weird but funky sports bras help motivate me. I feel like I can see the main areas that I want to see the most progress on when I ditch the workout tops. Fun colors and prints on sports bras have proven to be a little motivator. I’d love to try the crop top trend with cigarette leg pants at some point.

Q: Fashion or fitness goals for 2015?
I’m gearing up for Fashion Week in February. And while it’s important to sartorially prepare for the week, for me, it’s really important to be physically prepared, as well—in the sense of being able to throw 20-hour days in heels at your body and be able to handle that for a handful of days in a row and properly fitting into all of those outfits.

Fashion fitwear: Monica Lavinia, Spicy Candy D.C. Fitness Contributor

Photo courtesy of Tammy Preston of A Loyal Love(Lavinia); Courtesy of Nike Running (Bridge Runners).

Monica Lavinia, Spicy Candy D.C. Fitness Contributor

Q: How are fashion and fitness related to you?
My background and experience is in fashion, my passion is to sweat each day. I run, train and live in sportswear so I make sure it can transcend from the yoga studio to a coffee date to even a night out. Working out will never go out of style. My stylistic approach has embraced sportswear and [I] find that tights are the new denim in my closet.

Q: What is your favorite way to get fit in the area?
To run the city. Whether it be a solo long run or a group run, I always find the city inviting, fresh and inspiring. Add a Pilates class to work on my core, then a hot yoga class in the evening to relax the muscles and clear the mind. Day made.

Q: What item of clothing motivates you to workout?
New running shoes always get me on the road. Recently [I] purchased the Nike Lunarglide 6 [running shoes], that are weatherproof and reflect in the dark. As always I love accessorizing, so I add my innovative luxury tech Nike Fuel Band & GPS Watch.
Q: Fashion or fitness goals for 2015?  
To empower, exude and elevate health and style by sweating every day and looking stylish [while doing it].

(January 2015)

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