The Game Plan


Fashion-Focused Events to Keep on Your Radar

Posted by Editorial / Thursday, September 18th, 2014

by Danielle Harvey



Photo Courtesy of Spice Candy DC

Photo Courtesy of Spicy Candy DC



District Closets at Secondi

Join local style bloggers Spicy Candy DC and PR firm Neuprofile on September 20 from 5-8p.m. for an exclusive shopping event. Held at Secondi, guests can enjoy mimosas while browsing the store and also shopping other local bloggers such as The Fashionably Broke and My Fair Vanity to name a few. Attendees also can experience a braiding station and cat eye makeup tutorials while listening to the latest music. For more details, check out the website.


Sofio’s New Store Location

Saturday September 20 Sofio’s Custom Clothiers is hosting an event to celebrate their new store location at 8150 Leesburg Pike near Tyson’s Corner. Guests can expect cocktails and even a scotch tasting at the event beginning at 7p.m. One unique surprise is that attendees can also have a complimentary shoe shine during the night. For more information on the store and event, visit their website.


Fashionista’s Night Out

Who doesn’t love a good excuse to shop the latest fall styles before everyone else? Undeniable Boutique is hosting their annual Fashionista’s Night Out on Tuesday September 23 from 6-9p.m.This year’s theme is all about celebrating fashion throughout the decades. There will be a live DJ and giveaways during the event. Also, this year you’ll have the chance to be part of Undeniable Boutique’s fall 2014 lookbook with help from local stylist Kelley Kirchberg of Divine Style DC. Don’t forget to RSVP and visit their website for more details.


Mint Nail Lounge Grand Opening

Natural nail and spa services are the focus for Mint Nail Lounge. Saturday September 27 is the grand opening of the lounge beginning at 9a.m. The event will include swag bags and raffles among other bonuses such as getting one free manicure for each pedicure purchase for a limited time. Located in the Mosaic District in Fairfax, check out the other products and services you can expect from Mint Nail Lounge.


Fall’s Most Stylish Investment

Posted by Editorial / Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

By Danielle Harvey

Layering for fall isn’t a new concept. However, as hemlines continue to get longer, this season the vest has also updated its shape. By now, you’re ready for those humid days to be a thing of the past. You’ve seen all of the September issues of fashion magazines hit newsstands and temperatures are slowly dropping. So what’s missing? The answer is probably hanging in your closet. It’s that perfect item to give your outfit something extra while also being practical: the vest. From trendy options such as fur and moto styles to more classic pieces, this is one investment you should make. Below are the three reasons why you just can’t go wrong.


Add Color to a Black and White Palette

Whether you’re into bright moto styles or more traditional autumnal hues, adding some color to a black and white ensemble adds excitement to an otherwise basic outfit. This is also an easy way to wear the piece for drinks with friends or while running errands.

BCBGMAXAZRIA Vest- Julien Moto Long, $448. Photo Courtesy of Bloomingdales

BCBGMAXAZRIA Vest- Julien Moto Long, $448. Photo Courtesy of Bloomingdale’s



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5 Things You’ll be Wearing Next Year

Posted by Editorial / Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

While we are all planning out our first day of fall outfits, the fashion industry is already planning for spring. This past week designers sent collections down runways—built like everything from suburban homes to music festivals—that will dictate the trends for the coming season. Sarah and Michelle from Fifty-Two Thursdays have put together the top five trends from their favorite shows:

“There were so many amazing shows and breathtaking looks that we are still in awe over, it was hard to pick our favorite looks. We narrowed it down with our top five standout trends which were bold prints and colors, florals, menswear-inspired pieces, all white ensembles, and looks with a western influence including tons of lace and ruffles.”

  • A floral gown from the Dennis Basso Spring/Summer 2015 collection. / Photo courtesy of Fifty-Two Thursdays.

  • An airy western-inspired look from the Jay Godfrey S/S '15 collection. / Photo courtesy of Fifty-Two Thursdays.

  • A flirty all-white ensemble from Taoray Wang S/S '15. / Photo courtesy of Fifty-Two Thursdays.

  • A bright, butterfly printed gown from Lie Sangbong S/S '15. / Photo courtesy of Fifty-Two Thursdays.

  • A sleek, menswear inspired suit from Zimmermann S/S '15./ Photo courtesy of Fifty-Two Thursdays.

Take 5 Boutique

Posted by Editorial / Monday, September 15th, 2014

Take 5 Boutique.

Photos by Mollie Tobias.

Destination: Centered in the urban chic Mosaic District in Fairfax, Take 5 surrounds itself by modern designs, candor beauty and essential shops. The husband-and-wife-owned boutique is a refreshing addition to the growing district that is a need-to-know shopping center.

Take 5 Boutique

Photos by Mollie Tobias.

Atmosphere: The store mimics the style of a SoHo gallery with pale walls, a glossy wooden floor and abstract art hanging from the walls. Racks of clothes are neatly organized around the perimeter, leaving room for easy browsing and a hard-to-miss fuchsia ottoman that is the centerpiece of the store. Walking into Take 5 you leave NoVA behind, and enter a world with complimentary espresso, high fashion and art.

Bread and Butter: The clothes at Take 5 are chic, handcrafted pieces that come straight from the runways. “We all have one or two hundred items in our wardrobe, but there’s only one or two pieces that we are absolutely obsessed with. Everything you see at Take 5 are those one or two pieces,” says co-owner Mahir Iskander. The store is filled with unique pieces including blouses, skirts, dresses and accessories created by European designers.

Sweet Surprises: Co-owner Sakina Iskander has designed a unique clothing line dedicated for women who have undergone a double mastectomy; the clothes are designed to fit better in the chest, creating a flattering piece that is elegant and feminine. The line is inspired by Iskander’s grandmother who passed away from breast cancer. It is due to come out Spring 2015.

Fiercest Fan: Ladies who embody a delicate balance of cosmopolitan, European and Washingtonian style, and are looking to make a statement with their clothes.

Blows to the Budget: Prices in the store run from $100-$5,000, ranging from small accessories to by-appointment gowns. -Helen Ray

Destination:  Take 5 Boutique, 2910 District Ave., Suite 155, Fairfax

(September 2014)

A Survivor’s Guide to Shopping a Designer Collaboration

Posted by Editorial / Friday, September 12th, 2014

By Cate Jensen

The long wait is almost over for the Joseph Altuzarra x Target collection with it’s release this coming Sunday, September 14. As our hands are poised above our keyboards ready to order or car keys in hand prepared to head to the closest Target location but before you hit submit on that order and slide your credit card to complete purchase, think about how you can get the most of these designer collaborations. Such partnerships have been a hit in the public in the past. From Missoni for Target to Versace for H&M and who can forget Issac Mizrahi for Target collection, one of the first to start it all? In all the frenzy – some tips are needed on how to shop smart.


Altuzarra for Target Look 7

Courtesy of Altuzarra for Target collection

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Maximize Your Mini Bag’s Style in 3 Ways

Posted by Editorial / Thursday, September 11th, 2014

By Danielle Harvey

When thinking about what investment pieces to buy each season, many people are looking for transitional staples that can be worn with almost anything. Accessories are the best bet for those who want to stay on trend without buying a whole new wardrobe.  In seasons past, the oversized bag or statement necklaces were the go-to for fashion fanatics. Some of us are ready for a change so take a cue from the runways and street style experts and invest in the mini bag. Here are three looks for any stylish situation where the mini bag is anything but insignificant.


The Casual Look

Photo Courtesy of dd-harvey/

Photo Courtesy of dd-harvey/

Shop this look: Mini Bag, Sweater, Shoes and Jeans

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Keeping Up with Kim

Posted by Editorial / Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Fashion designer Kim Elleen

Photo by Erick Gibson.


Fashion designer Kim Elleen showcases her fall collection and spills details on balancing two careers, while facing the challenges of producing locally.

In this area many women are multi-taskers, but very few can juggle two full-time, equally challenging careers and remain as chic, seemingly well-rested and good-natured as Kim Elleen. By day, she is the chief Washington reporter and columnist for the Boston Herald churning out daily political content for the newspaper. By night, she creates custom ready-to-wear pieces in her Arlington studio for her namesake label. “I do have insomnia so that comes in handy,” she divulges. “Sometimes I will wake up in the middle of the night with a design idea, I’ll drape some fabric that I got or return some emails—at least I get a jump on the next day.”

As the daughter of a seamstress, Elleen began officially designing four years ago when she grew tired of ill-fitting, off-the-rack pieces and seeing the same It dress on multiple women at events. Now she creates mostly dresses (“because it’s a whole outfit on the go”) in her signature mix of prints, colors and comfortable fabrics tailored for busy women that range between $150 and $300.

The affordable price point is a benefit of designing in the area, although the sourcing of the fabrics still proves to be a challenge. “The prints I design myself and I do it through a company that’s based in North Carolina (Spoonflower) because I can’t find a place locally that’s affordable and easy. If there were such a place here, I would love to give them the business opportunity,” she says. Despite her growing clientele, don’t hold your breath for a department store takeover. This is one designer you will have to keep on speed dial as she remains committed to delivering affordable custom couture on a one-on-one basis. –Angela Bobo

Boston Herald reporter and Fashion designer Kim Elleen

Photo by Erick Gibson.

(September 2014)

4 Transitional Shoes for Any Season

Posted by Editorial / Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Sam Edelman Okalo Heel


By Cate Jensen

This ankle strap heel is just what you need for those first few days back at work after your flip-flop filled vacations. Although part of Edelman’s summer collection, the black and cognac brown colorblock makes them not only fashionable but versatile. A perfect pair to wear in the office or after the clock hits 5 p.m.

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September’s Sales & News

Posted by Editorial / Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Old Town Boutique District

Photo courtesy of Old Town Boutique District

Be 100% Bloomingdale’s
Beginning September 10, nationwide Bloomingdale’s store locations will launch an exclusive ‘100% Bloomingdales’ collection made up of over 1,000 new styles designed by 100 of the world’s top designers in ready-to-wear, beauty, accessories and more. The collection will be celebrated with a variety of in-store events and deals on launch date.

It’s a Scavenger Hunt
Explore Alexandria September 18-20 for Old Town Boutique District’s Annual Scavenger Hunt. The first 200 that pre-register will receive a complimentary OTBD tote bag. Completed “passports” will be eligible for a drawing of a grand prize and be able to submit for a drawing at their favorite boutique to win a gift certificate or merchandise.

For A Limited Time
Obsessed with ABC’s hit series “Scandal”? This month shoppers get to bring home the show’s unique fashions due to a collaboration by actress Kerry Washington, costume designer Lyn Paolo and Elliot Staples, head of design from The Limited, with a 42-piece collection inspired by the style of “Scandal’”s protagonist, Olivia Pope. The collection hits stores the end of September.

Get Your NOVA25
It is time to find your perfect fit. For September only, Numari will give $25 off exclusively to NoVA Mag readers until September 30. Numari is designed around the idea that standard sized clothing doesn’t (and shouldn’t) be one size fits all. Insert “NOVA25” in the discount code redeem your discount.

Day & Night
Start September fresh face forward with Clarin’s new ‘Super Restorative Facial Day and Night Cream’ available starting September 1 in Nordstrom locations nationwide. Shop for the cream at the Skin Spa at the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City Nordstrom location. -Christina Marino

For more fashion and beauty posts, visit the SWAG blog.

(September 2014)

Upcoming Events in NoVA

Posted by Editorial / Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Photo Courtesy of Paige Novick


By Danielle Harvey

Jewelry designer Paige Novick is showcasing her collection of fine jewelry at Saks Fifth Avenue in Chevy Chase, Maryland on September 11-12 from 10 a.m-5 p.m. The informal atmosphere is great for browsing the new pieces. Known for her trendy yet timeless designs, she’ll also be featuring her jewelry collection Phyne by Paige Novick. If you’re looking for that special piece or finishing touch for an outfit that you can’t wait to wear, be sure to view her collections before you go.

Who doesn’t love a good scavenger hunt? If that sounds like you, head over to Old Town Alexandria for their 7th Annual Old Town Boutique District Scavenger Hunt on September 18-20. Attendees have the option of pre-registering for the event from September 5-15, which makes the first 200 participants eligible for a Baggu tote bag, printed passport and promotional packet. Stores participating in this event include The Shoe Hive, Hysteria and lou lou Boutique to name a few. Participants in the scavenger hunt also have the opportunity to win prizes and up to $3,500 in gift certificates by completing their passports from visiting each store. Hours vary depending on each retailer, so check out the event website to learn more.

The beauty retailer Bluemercury, Inc. is coming up on 15 years in the business. To celebrate they are offering complimentary makeovers, mini-facials and treatment in-stores and you can visit each of the three locations in Virginia including Alexandria, Arlington and Fairfax. Stop by on September 13 from 10 a.m-7 p.m. In addition to hosting the in-store parties, the company is also giving attendees the chance to see their 15th Anniversary Best Sellers Collection. So visit their website for more details about the company or to browse products.

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