My husband is a bit of a hoarder — uh, I mean “collector.” It was one of those things I didn’t realize until we were married. When we moved from Nashville to Alexandria after being married for just 3 months I had to pack and unpack his junk — um, I mean “collections.” The collections include but are not limited to, ticket stubs, stadium tumblers, baseball cards, coins, stamps, sporting programs, state maps from rest stops (can’t make that one up) and anything related to the University of Tennessee.
The only things I find worth collecting are things I can wear.
This outfit reminded me of that because it represents one of my favorite collections, jackets, and one I am working on, jewelry by Steven Vaubel.
Vaubel jewelry is all handmade in New York 18kt gold vermeil in green or yellow gold. Every piece is a statement and never goes out of style.
Recently my next door neighbor shop, Hysteria, started carrying SMYTHE, another one of my favorite lines. They are great investment pieces that never go out of style. I wear the ones from this year as much as the ones I bought 5 years ago (that doesn’t mean I don’t need updates, if you’re reading this, honey.)
Nobody loves pink and Valentines Day more than my daughter. My husband and I use to cross the river to Your Nation’s Capital to go to dinner exactly twice a year: Valentine’s Day and our wedding anniversary. Now he takes our daughter out on a date for Valentine’s Day and I get left dateless. She gets dressed to the 9s, and usually in something pink. She gets a big bouquet of flowers, her favorite candy, reservations for a white table cloth, 4-course dinner. My husband wears a coat and tie — not his normal ad agency attire — and makes sure the whole night is a production, and a crash course on gentility and etiquette to boot. Our daughter looks forward to it for weeks, and has already started quizzing her dad to make sure he orders her flowers in time. Some people have asked me if I get upset that he doesn’t take me out for the big day, which always surprises. Truth is, it only makes me love him more. When my daughter’s much older and on a big date with some boy I’m sure I’ll want to strangle, that guy will have an awfully big standard to meet as a gentleman — and if that makes me miss a dozen Valentine’s Day dates, that’s fine by me.
So the New Year’s Resolution is not going so well — the yoga pants have crept back into the daily attire and are taking over like kudzu. But it’s not too late to salvage the season, so I’m back in the saddle. We’ve had a mild winter in Northern Virginia and so it’s been easy to let those great winter clothes take a back seat — but I’m now determined to get them in rotation before it warms up and I’m dying to put on bright silks and florals and great patent leather shoes. Speaking of those, I’m bringing back a favorite designer this spring, Siegerson Morrison. We’ll have some darling patent leather flats from the Belle by Siegerson line — so there’s something to anticipate!
In 2005 my friends and I at Hysteria started a little something called the Alexandria Warehouse Sale. There were seven stores that signed up and we had no idea what to expect. It was a hit from the start. We knew we had found a good idea when women were lined up in the cold and dark waiting on the doors to open that first year. My husband volunteered to work for security (he thinks that makes him beefcake) and the first year he was stunned to see a customer change clothes to try on a dress in front of strangers! What a woman will do for a bargain!
The crowds have grown, the number of stores has grown, and now eight years and 13 more stores later, it’s the most anticipated bargain shopping event of the year in the DC area. We’ve moved to a larger location with parking, a Metro station, and room for inside (warm) waiting. We control access to a limited number of shoppers at a time so no one has to wrestle for a handbag, brooch, or perfect kitten heel.
Stores like Treat, Mint Condition, Red Barn Mercantile, Apple Seed, Zoe Boutique, LaCuisine (check ’em out!) and others discount items from 60 to 80 percent for one day of shopping madness. You won’t find these prices on this designer merchandise any other place or any other day of the year. It’s the perfect girls-day-out.
This year we have been fortunate to get some great press attention for the event. This morning a group of us appeared on Fox 5 and this Friday at the 11 o’clock hour I will be on WRC in Washington, NBC-4.
Wear something comfortable and come out this Saturday. Though, I’ll warn you up front that Fashion Washington will be there taking pictures…so you might not want to disrobe for the masses, lest you end up famous.