Redefining “Practical”


It’s a word I hear too often here in DC, specifically when it comes to clothing and self expression. “That’s not practical, why would you buy that drape-y jacket?” “That color isn’t practical, pick a more natural hair color.” “That height isn’t practical, you should buy a lower heel.” You get the point. Since when has “practical” become so dull? Does something need to be classified as “impractical” for it to be fun to look at?

DC fashion is often too “practical” for my taste–too safe, too influenced by conservative suits and politics. Living in DC, I’ve noticed that Prep tends to be the norm, the “practical.” Prep may not be the norm of your hometown, but still, since when has there been a norm to fashion? Something that’s inventive and daring is always more interesting than something that’s safe. When I say daring, I don’t mean scantily clad or revealing, I simply mean not part of the norm, not considered practical by most.

My fellow DC style enthusiasts and fellow style bloggers make their efforts with every post to influence the women of our nation’s capital to be more inventive with their wardrobe. I applaud all of you! I love each of your individual styles, and wish more women everywhere were daring enough to express themselves through their clothing.

Regardless of where you live: DC, Rhode Island, Michigan, Nebraska–don’t be afraid to express your style to the fullest. Its an expression of YOU not of the “norm” you live in. ENJOY dressing yourself in the morning. And remember:

Practical ≠ Boring

Fall Beauty Trend: Wine Lips (How-to)

Of the many Fall beauty trends on display, I’m most excited for the dark lip look and all of its variations. After stalking the different looks, I narrowed down my favorite and headed to Sephora to get the low down on how to recreate it. I opted for the Gucci variation: an ombré lip with the darkest wine around the lips fading to a lighter red-wine on the pout (see: center photo above). That way, I am able to achieve the other looks with the lip liner and lipstick I bought for this combined look. To start creating this look, slough off any dry, peeling skin from lips with a warm wash cloth or a toothbrush. Apply a thin layer of lip balm to soften lips and ease cracks. Have a fresh face as your canvas:

Using the lip liner and a steady hand, trace the defining line of your lips, being careful not to veer over onto your skin. Fill in about 1/3 of your lips with the liner (both top and bottom).

  1. Using your finger or a cotton swap blend the dark line inward toward your mouth (on top and bottom lip) to create the gradual fading effect.
  2. Apply the lighter wine lipstick to the center of your lower lip and upper lip over the “gradual fading” section and blend outward. Once your lips are drenched in color, make sure there is not a distinct line across your lips–a sign that you needed to blend more in step 2. As your last step, clean up around the edges for any remaining product that may have smeared.


The other variations are just as eye-catching: if you’d rather go for a glossy blackberry pout or a maroon stained pucker, be prepared to stand out.

photo via

Fall Fashion Wish List

I do this every season: flip through Bazaar and W to peruse all of the designer duds, knowing I will never afford them on a college budget. I make 2 shopping lists: an “ideal world” list and a “reality check” list. Each contains styles I want to try during the season, but one are the designer versions (“Ideal”) and the other, more affordable brands’ versions (“Real”). Here are my 2 for this Fall, enjoy:

Ranging from Michael Kors, All Saints, Burberry, and Belle by Sigerson Morrison to Céline, Alexander McQueen, Tom Ford, and Giuseppe Zanotti…a girl can dream, right?


With items from ASOS, Top Shop, and Mango, the final touches are Doc Marten combat boots, TOMS, and a trip to Sephora. Much to my dismay, this is much more realistic.

What Fall items do you ladies have your sights set on?

Creating Your Perfect Vanity

I’m writing about this because it never occurred to me that all women don’t do this…and too many friends have complimented my bedroom for me to feel comfortable not commenting on this.

My mantra in life is There is beauty in everything, let me help you see that. That alone kinda tells you that I value beauty and beautiful things; I seek out, consume, write about, photograph, wear, create, read about, gift to others and adorn myself with beautiful things. That being said, what woman doesn’t love and appreciate beautiful things?

Back to the matter at hand…

Is the space that you make yourself beautiful—your vanity—itself a pretty space? Does it reflect you and your style? Do you enjoy doing your makeup and getting ready in this space, or does it feel monotonous and routine? I ask because these are my spaces:

I thoroughly enjoy getting ready because each space is pleasing to the eye but still simple and organized while reflecting my personal style–a lot is crammed into these small spaces. It’s not your space until you add a few personal touches. I have a fascination with Native American culture, nature, and feathers; you see two dreamcatchers, feathers, bowls and dishes made of natural woods and stones, a jewelry stand in the shape of a tree branch, an art print of a tattooed woman with antlers–you know this is my space because it reflects a lot of me.

Having a decorated vanity is not for everyone–some prefer completely cleared surfaces while others prefer just to have the essentials displayed with no decor. I particularly like adding my personal flare to a space. It’s relatively easy to do, but it’s best built over time allowing you to curate your items from wherever whenever you please. My items are a range: jewelry stand from Urban Outfitters, catch-all dishes from Crate & Barrel, candles from Whole Foods & Anthropologie, art print bought on, large dreamcatcher custom-made from an artist on Etsy, I bought the small dreamcatcher on a trip to Taos, New Mexico…and those are just the items from my bureau! I always try to incorporate sentimental items with organizational items and the quirky “Julia, only you would have that” items to make each of my spaces unique.

A note on why I do it: I love to have open space and cleared surfaces; a room feels much cleaner, airier, and my eye doesn’t get distracted and drawn to the clutter. I know that’s not too realistic, so I strive for a happy medium between cleared surfaces and clutter: my organized decor approach. Enough to feel lived-in while still being neat and tidy to avoid the cluttered feel. A tidy space allows me to focus more on the things I need to do–cutting down on the clutter prevents me from getting too distracted.

  • I just believe in the motivational aspect to it:
  • who wants to be making themselves pretty if their space to do it isn’t pretty?

Oh, and…

…Because it’s okay to be a little vain sometimes

Wise Words: Lauren Hutton + NYFW Wrap Up

Fashion is what you’re offered four times a year by designers. And style is what you choose.” —Lauren Hutton

New York Fashion Week wrapped up yesterday, and what better time to reveal the fashions that caught my eye. Saying that I have a unique taste in clothing is an understatement. I gravitate towards the dark, the utilitarian, the avant garde, the structured, the studded & the spiked. A few of my favorite designers include Jason Wu, Helmut Lang, rag & bone, Prabal Gurung, Victoria Beckham, The Row, Donna Karan, and BCBG–they consistently wow me season after season. After this Spring show, I have a few others to add to my list: Charlotte Ronson, Tess Giberson, Derek Lam, Kimberly Ovitz, and Rachel Comey. Here are my favorite looks for the trends I spotted. [Hover your mouse over the photos to view the designers, Click to see enlarged photos]



High Contrast

LWD’s: Little White Dresses

Personal Picks

For the readers who have a more feminine feel to their style, these are the most feminine looks that I could conjure up within my aesthetic realm:


Chiffon + Tulle


Fairytale Princess

Check out my #NYFW Pinterest Board for over 475+ more Runway photos!


Banner Photo via, Runway Photos via