The Game Plan


Fashion Myths Ruled Out

Posted by Editorial / Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Photo courtesy of helenvray/

By Helen Ray

Getting dressed is similar to a game, where obtaining the perfect look involves a strategic method to get to the goal in mind. Like any other game, there are rules in the world of fashion that help govern what fashion savvy people decide to wear. While some rules set standards— like what’s appropriate for a night out verses an interview, others, like not wearing white after Labor Day, just seem outdated and silly. Since fashion is ever evolving, there’s no need to stick by the same rules our grandmother’s did, so here are a few fashion rules that we love to break. 

You shouldn’t mix metals

This rule claims that when layering accessories you must stick to one metal. Not only is this rule hard to follow but it’s unnecessary—your gold studs do not clash with your silver flats. In fact, intentionally mixing metals is stylish because it adds texture and glam to any outfit.

You can’t wear athletic shoes with a non-athletic outfit

No longer does wearing athletic wear in public mean you have to be going to or coming back from the gym. Pairing athletic sneakers with a skirt or dress is a style that is fresh, feminine and functional. 

Horizontal stripes make you look bigger

This rule has managed to resonate with women young and old for generations. But stripes are a wardrobe necessity; they look great when pairing with patterns and are seen on the runways season after season. Some stripes can even make you look thinner.  If you’re hesitant about wearing horizontal stripes try wearing thinner stripes and either tucking the shirt in or adding a belt to a dress to accentuate your waistline.

You can’t wear black with navy

Just because two neutrals look similar to each other doesn’t mean can’t be worn together. Black and navy together creates a look that is sleek and sophisticated and is a color combo that when you finally decide to dawn, isn’t as daring as our grandmother’s would lead us to believe.

Shorts are only for the summer

Sure, shorts are perfectly functional and trendy in the summer, but they can also be a chic piece to wear all year long, and let’s face it, pleated wool shorts were not made for August. By choosing the right materials and laying shorts with thick stockings and boots you can create a warm and versatile winter look. 

You can’t wear white at someone else’s wedding

With summer being prime time wedding season it seems unfair to rule out one of the season’s hottest colors. In reality, there is little a person can wear to a wedding that would take away from the showcased couple—especially when one is sporting a couture gown. Jazz up a little white dress at a wedding with funky accessories and unique patterns if you feel the need to exaggerate your separation from the bride. 

Summer & Sidewalk Sales spring into August

Posted by Editorial / Monday, July 28th, 2014

Northern Virginia sales and news.

Photo courtesy of Zoom Team/

Middleburg Sidewalk Sale
The town of Middleburg will be hosting its eighth annual sidewalk sale August 1-3. At the event, a majority of the town’s stores come together to fill up two blocks worth of sales. Expect to find participants ranging from clothing stores to repair stores and business services.

Lou Lou Day Charity Event
Lou Lou Boutique will be hosting its third annual charity event on August 2. This year the store has chosen to help raise money for Dress for Success. The theme for the event is “It’s the Little Things” focusing on how little things like accessories can be easily overlooked, but they help bring extra flare to an outfit that will make a lasting impression. To participate with the event stop by any of their locations for the store wide sale of buy one get one half off and at the end of the event Lou Lou will donate 15 percent of the proceeds to Dress for Success.

Alexandria Sidewalk Sale
The annual sale will take place in Old Town Alexandria on August 9-10. Over 50 small businesses will participate offering promotions and sales. Look forward to markdowns up to 80 percent off on the summer’s trends from participating boutiques.

Pentagon City Mall Tax Free Weekend
Load up on fall necessities tax free at Pentagon City Mall from August 1- 3. The 2014 Tax Free Weekend allows shoppers to buy without state tax for school supplies each worth $20 or less and qualifying apparel pieces worth $100 or less. -Helen Ray 

(August 2014)

What to Wear: Winery with the Girls

Posted by Editorial / Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

By Christina Marino

You get a chance to get out of the house for the day (or the weekend if you’re lucky) and head to the winery with your favorite gal-pals. You obviously have to look your best since you’ll be taking an ample amount of pictures – but what to wear? Here are four fun looks that are perfect no matter what winery you’re going to and are sure to be picture-perfect. Looking for a winery? Check out our Best of NoVA 2014: Winery.

All White Affair

photo courtesy of

When making a dramatic statement follow with this summers hottest trend of all-white with neutral accent colors. This maxi is sure to look fabulous against the beautiful greenery backdrop – and a glass of vino in your hand.

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Best in Beauty

Posted by Editorial / Monday, July 21st, 2014

Spice up your summer with these five beauty must-haves—Angela Bobo


  • Sonia Kashuk Undetectable Foundation Stick. While most foundation sticks are thick like concealers, this is refreshingly lightweight and perfect for a barely-there makeup look on muggy days. The sheer consistency is similar to a bb cream, but the stick form allows it to be easily transported and applied on-the-go. / $10.99; Photo by Mike Ramm.

  • Davines Su Hair Protective Conditioning Sun Milk. From the brand’s new line designed to protect against the stress of summer sun and salty beachwater, this multi-purpose lotion uses vitamin rich malt extract as a daily moisturizer to tame frizz on dry hair or as a leave-in conditioner and detangler on damp hair. / $28; Photo courtesy of Davines.

  • Laura Mercier Crème de Pistache Scrub.The key to that summer glow is smooth and moisturized skin. Instead of loading on heavy creams after the shower, scrub skin with this sweet scented cleansing cream that removes dead skin cells with pistachio shells and vitamins A and E. / $50; Photo courtesy of Bloomingdales.

  • Deborah Lippmann Nail Color in Video Killed the Radio Star.Described as “bombdiggity blue,” this high-shine crème lacquer is a welcome break from the usual seasonal pinks and pastels. Inspired by the fashion and energy of the ‘80s, this shade is a part of the limited-edition summer 2014 collection. / $18; Photo by Mike Ramm.

  • Jane Cosmetics ph Adjusting Stain Gloss in Berry. The ‘90s redux has come full circle this year with the rebranding of the popular makeup company Jane Cosmetics. This stain takes one-of-a-kind to a new level with pH adjusting pigments that create a custom color based on each individual’s body chemistry. / $7; Photo courtesy of Ulta.


(July 2014)

The Fall Collections Are On Sale – For A Limited Time at Nordstrom

Posted by Editorial / Thursday, July 17th, 2014

By Christina Marino

image courtesy of


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Spicy Candy x South Moon Under Collaborate on Summer Lookbook

Posted by Editorial / Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

By Christina Marino


South Moon Under and Spicy Candy come together.

Photo by Julien Garman.

Do you love flipping through the latest lookbooks from your favorite brands? These local bloggers have just the thing you need. Carlis Sanchez and Katya Ananieva, co-founders of SpicyCandyDC, are collaborating with their favorite brands and locations around the metropolitan area to create lookbooks just for their readers. This summer they’re mixing things up and rather then the traditional weekly style postings they are featuring a monthly lookbook.

The concept and styling are created by the bloggers themselves and the looks are pulled from their favorite brand of the month and shot at local hot spots. This month for July they featured a spread at the Winery at the Grange in Haymarket dressed in South Moon Under maxi dresses for a blend of rural country with summer chic. 

Also featured on the blog are outfit inspirations, healthy lifestyle tips, and District Closets – a new concept created by Sanchez covering the closets of fashionable people around the area that will be live on the site soon.

Get updates on when their August lookbook will be out and other style finds on their blog at Also, check out their photographer, Julien Garman, at for more on the artist behind the lens.

South Moon Under and Spicy Candy come together.

Photo by Julien Garman.

South Moon Under and Spicy Candy collaborate for Summer fashion.

Photo by Julien Garman.

South Moon Under and Spicy Candy collaborate for Summer fashion.

Photo by Julien Garman.

Trend Report: All About the Pout

Posted by Editorial / Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Without the addition of a little something special, even the most perfectly planned outfit can fall flat. A simple swipe of lipstick offers an easy pick-me-up, but with the overload of shades available it can be hard to sort through the masses to find the top choices.

Luckily we have tested and selected the top four picks in the season’s hottest hues to kick these stylish summer outfits into high gear.  –Angela Bobo


  • A bold pink lip is nothing groundbreaking for the summer, but this magenta-hued formula glides on like a lightweight gel and dries with a fresh soft matte finish. Treat your lipstick like an accessory and incorporate it into an outfit by matching it with similar colors and tempering the bright look with a nude shoe.


    From top: Pim+Larkin A-line Tank, $59; Photo courtesy of Milly Mini Skirt, $225; Photo courtesy of Delman Open-Toe Wedges, $378; Photo courtesy of Jacobs Lovemarc Matte Lip Gel in Gossip, $30; Photo courtesy of

  • Bright orange lips were a major trend on the 2014 spring/summer runways and this gloss has a pink undertone that flatters many different complexions. Try an unexpected pairing by mixing the striking shade with a soft, ladylike pastel dress. Tie the look together with a printed pump and multi-jeweled earrings with a similar pop of color.


    From top: Kate Spade New York Cluster Earrings, $68; Photo courtesy of Winsome Welcome Dress $147.99; Photo courtesy of Aquazarra Positano Snakeskin Pumps, $880; Photo courtesy of’oreal Colour Riche Extraordinaire Lip Color 202 in Coral Encore, $9.99; Photo courtesy of

  • Complement a fresh, bare face with a soft, rosy lip color. Go for a comfortable T-shirt and shorts combination, while remaining chic with metallic and striped accents. Swap your heels for gilded slip-on sneakers if you are aiming for a sportier vibe.


    From top: Lurex Slouch Tee by Unique, $120; Photo courtesy of Panacea Double Row Beaded Bracelet with Tassel, $24; Photo courtesy of Seersucker short, $58; Photo courtesy of COACH Lexey Block Heel, $198; Photo courtesy of Colorburst Matte Balm in Elusive #205, $6.49; Photo courtesy of

  • Dubbed the “perfect red” by beauty blogs and magazines across the world, very few shades hold up to this cult favorite lipstick. Pair the classic shade with an equally classic black-and-white gingham print in a sleek shape. Keep the look modern with a geometric-hemmed matching set and playful flats.


    From top: Textured Gingham Shell Top, $68; Photo courtesy of Contrast Gingham Wrap Skirt, $72; Photo courtesy of Kate Spade New York Pointed Toe Racer Flats in D’Orsay, $268; Photo courtesy of MAC Ruby Woo, $16; Photo courtesy of

(July 2014)

Keep Your Cool: Jeans and Tanks Re-purposed

Posted by Editorial / Monday, July 14th, 2014

By Helen Ray

You know the heat is too much when you wake up and it’s already 90 degrees. You want to dress trendy but you know more then likely you’re just going to end up feeling sweaty and wanting to hide away in the air conditioning. You’re wondering ‘what’s the point in dressing up’? So, you opt for a classic look– something that’s comfortable, familiar and appropriate for multiple occasions. We’re talking about the good ole jeans and tank look. And yes, we love our jeans and tanks, but just because we’re opting for a simpler outfit doesn’t mean it has to be boring. To help inspire your heated mornings we’ve put together four looks you can keep your cool in, while being comfortable and still feeling fabulous. 

Leather tank and white jeans

Photo courtesy of helen-ray/

Leather tank, white jeans, red flats, necklace and bag

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Plan out the Rest of July with These Fun Happenings

Posted by Editorial / Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Photo courtesy of Justin Alexander Bridal

Bloomingdale’s and Clinique will introduce the ‘Smart Custom-Repair Serum‘ on July 15. In the hot days of summer our skin undergoes some serious damage, the serum targets both  the surface and beneath the skin to better attack those problem spots. The benefit of it’s double penetration is that it targets the source of uneven skin tone, dark spots, lines, wrinkles and more. Pricing starts as low as $59 and is available at your local Bloomingdale’s.

Heading to Haymarket for some wedding dress shopping? Make sure to stop by Blush Bridal Boutique as they host an exclusive trunk show unveiling Justin Alexander‘s Spring 2015 line from July 25 – 27. Meet with trained bridal consultants and have a chance to inquire about any styling tips from the acclaimed designer for the line, Jose Dias,  who will be in the boutique July 25-26 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and July 27 from 12-4 p.m. Any brides making purchases at the event will receive a special gift valued at $150. Set up your appointment today for this limited time opportunity. 

It is a season for giving at The Nest Egg in Fairfax - a retailer for home furnishings and decorative accents will be donating a portion of upholstered furniture purchase orders with LEE Industries during the month of July to Journey 4 A Cure in Ashburn. LEE Industries, a North Carolina based furniture manufacturer, launched a new initiative in January 2014 ‘LEE L♥ves America – Giving Back‘ to promote supporting businesses in local communities. For more information check out their website dedicated to help support the movement.

Keep your eye out for a different type of red-and-white stripes when heading to Old Town Alexandria where a ‘Where’s Waldo’ event hosted by Hooray for Books! will be held along with 25 participating local businesses until July 31. To participate in the search for Waldo print out the ‘Find Waldo Passport‘ or visit Hooray for Books! to get one. The first 125 people to get their passport stamped or signed 10 or more times can win a prize at Hooray for Books! Those that get 20 or more can enter in a grand prize drawing where the winner will be announced at the ‘Where’s Waldo Party‘ at Hooray for Books! on July 31 at 6 p.m. 

Putting Her Best Foot Forward

Posted by Editorial / Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

The Shoe Hive’s Christen Green forgoes colorful footwear for a summer of neutrals and proves that no career path is linear.

The Shoe Hive’s Christen Green

Photo by Mollie Tobias.

If there’s one thing immediately apparent about Christen Green—from her pink tipped hair to her Stuart Weitzman clad feet—it’s that the girl’s got style. A trait that aptly suits her new role as assistant buyer and manager at Old Town Alexandria staple The Shoe Hive. Although Green is no stranger to NoVA, having spent the past couple of years lending her social media marketing services to small businesses in the area. “Alexandria has been very good to me. In a small way I felt that I was able to give back to them.”

Despite the gratification of owning her own business before 30 [Green is 28], she decided to close Social Shop Media earlier this year. “It was hard to give that up, but even in my short career thus far I recognize that no career path is linear.” Things came full circle when Green’s very first client Elisabeth Todd, owner of The Shoe Hive, offered her a chance to become a buyer for the store. “Who doesn’t want to be surrounded by beautiful shoes and accessories? It’s kind of like every girl’s candy store.”

Balancing managing, buying and marketing for the store leaves Green with a full plate, but also the satisfaction of knowing that she is making a difference in customers’ lives, a point driven home by a recent experience selecting shoes for a woman that wanted the perfect fit for her backyard wedding. “Twenty years from now she probably won’t remember me or my name, but I helped in that decision and that is kind of cool.” Cool? Yes. Although, once you meet Green, she’s definitely memorable. -Angela Bobo


The Shoe Hive in Old Town Alexandria.

Photo by Mollie Tobias.

(July 2014)


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