Thursday, June 28, 2007

A final goodbye to the Blairs

So they weren't the most fashionable sextet in the history of political families, but I think this was a nice way to go out. Leaving their London home for the last time, the Blairs looked put together - though what in the hell is Cherie wearing?!? Is it that cold in England in June that you need a full-length raincoat? (With matching fuchsia shoes!) I do have to say, the boys clean up nicely, and when did Nicky get GQ hot? (He's old enough now that I can say that. I wonder if he plays with Harry? They're about the same age...) Anyways, this is just a posting to say goodbye.

– AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis

Introducing the new British first lady

British women often get stereotyped as being unattractive, and while there are so many Brits who are gorgeous, I do have to say the fashions of the new Prime Minister's wife are no better than her predecessor.

While I understand the choice of red and white for Sarah Brown due to her gorgeous light auburn hair, what I don't understand is why she would do such an injustice to her body by wearing either of these frocks (I just had to get the word in!).

While belts are good to accentuate the waist, the pockets and large loops on the cream suit below just add width where it is not needed. Plus, this picture doesn't show it, but there is a front slit! At right I have to give her mad prop for wearing bright red, 3+-inch stiletto peep-toe slingbacks, but the rest of the outfit is so matronly. Very Chico's-esque.

– AP Photos/Matt Dunham and Martin Rickett/PA, respectively

Dressing for African heat

I don't have too much to say about this mother-daughter fashion duo on their trip to Africa - though I wish it didn't look like the first lady was picking her nose. Overall, both have proven to be very thoughtful fashionistas. My only comment on these ensembles is the fabric choice. I understand Laura's choice of linen (or so it seems), though she's a bit wrinkly, as she's in Africa in June...but I am not sure about Jenna's choice of silk for the summer heat. Maybe Senegal isn't as hot and swampy as D.C.? Cute color though.

– AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam

Just trying to make that
next campaign finance goal...

"No matter what your summer activities may include, I'm sure you'll want to stand out as a John McCain supporter." – From a McCain e-mail selling polo shirts emblazoned with McCain's name and logo.

It's a deal: one polo for $100 or two polos for $150! To buy the polo, you're outta luck - it's not on the Web site yet, but you can get a McCain hoodie for $100, click here...

To read a humorous Wonkette posting about it, click here...

Dressing Michelle Obama

I just love finding out where pols have their duds made. That's why today's WWD feature on Chicago designer Maria Pinto, who dresses potential-first lady Michelle Obama, was so interesting. Obama dresses so young and chic, while staying within the bounds of conservative Washington, just like her husband. If somehow they make it into the White House, I think there could be a big change in D.C. style. Plus those little kids are just too cute!

To read the article you need an account, so if you do, click here...

– AP Photo/Ed Reinke from 2004

Project Beltway offers a look at
why there's no particular D.C. style

I finally had a chance today to catch up with some of my favorite blogs and was so excited when I came across all this great fodder on Project Beltway!

In response to some comments about Bush's Croc incident, Rachel had some pretty interesting incite into D.C. fashion and its influences.

DC is a town pretty much consumed with running the country, not with discussing breakthrough design or celebrating the trendsetting/unconventionally dressed. ... What I find most heartening and interesting part of doing this blog is observing the sheer fact that people’s attitudes about fashion are changing. ...

... I find it truly inspiring whenever I stumble across someone in town with a look far from the K or M Street-beaten path, and it happens more than you’d think. ... It’s just one of those weird repressed-fashion-lover problems to uniquely specific to DC, and it’s at once annoying and totally interesting if you really like Washington. ...

... I think Washington is a town full of style-starved closet fashionistas: The high-powered Republican staffer who has his proscribed khaki-and-oxford costume but reads The Sartorialist and dabbles in vintage on the weekends….the Georgetown-darling partygirl who wears pretty dresses to parties but dreams of pulling off Kate Moss’s rumply, effortless chic or of channeling even a smidge of Dita Von Teese’s dramatic pinup-girl-come-to-life-aesthetic. ...
To read the entire posting (without all of the ellipses...), click here...


Also, check out Rachel's comments in a Hill story earlier this week about the scary "fashions" of summer interns (the story wasn't so great, but it was redeemed by these terrific and eloquent quotes):
Naïveté can be troublesome. “Interns across the city face a sartorial conundrum when they land, in all of their flip-flopped glory, on the steps of the U.S. Capitol,” said Rachel Cothran, who writes a fashion blog, . “It makes sense that these young women haven’t yet stocked their closets with weeks’ worth of professional and stylish clothes; however, there is no excuse for showing up to work in too-tight poly-blend black pants. This is Longworth, not Lotus.” ...

... Cothran, the fashion blogger, added, “Interns always tend to look either too casual, too slutty, or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, too old. Some words of advice: Structured jackets and what my mom likes to call ‘little sweaters’ are your best friends.”
To read the entire article, click here...


And finally, it a wonderful interview with Mariessa Terrell and Christine Brooks Cropper, who together recently created the WDC Fashion Council and who I have met and they are fantastic women:
PROJECT BELTWAY: Is Washington a fashionable city?

WDC FASHION COUNCIL GALS: WDC is growing to be a fashionable city. We have all of the ingrediants, strong economy, diverse populace, strong real estate market and a interesting mix of local fashion retail that is expanding every day. Even Capital Hill is changing! Take a stroll around the Rayburn building and see for yourself!
To read that, click here...

It comes in other colors, too!

Thanks to reader Kristine ( who tipped me off that Hil's got that jacket horrid blue textured jacket in pinkish-coral, too. So, I thought an investigation was in order. Thus I turned to my trusted friends at AP archives only to find she has not only worn the pink version - of the same exact jacket, texture and all - in the past two weeks, but she has a VERY similar one in yellowish-mustard (we'll call it golden) and a shiny coral-colored one she wore recently, as well! When something is that bad, it can only get better when bought in bulk!

Pictures in compilation were mainly from a trip to Iowa she made earlier this month - maybe that's where she picked them all up? I'll try making a call to the Hillary camp today and see if I can get anyone to talk to me.

After posting this, I noticed that the colors of Hil's three lookalike jackets are very close the the dots on the site's design...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Textured jacket makes it to Wonkette

So my pictorial timeline of Hillary's scary blue textured jacket made it on to Wonkette (my site's made it twice and counting!). As of this posting, 44 people have commented on it - not that anyone would ever put a comment on my site, but whatever. I love some of the observations, plus I found out she's wearing the same jacket on the cover of the current Fortune magazine, too:

  • One commenter called it, "Hil's 'lectric blue U-Haul moving-blanket quilted material schmatte" and another, "Electric Blue Flak Jacket"
  • "It says, 'Look, I'm not stylish. I'm not rich. I'm just one of you. I shop at K-Mart' "
  • "I mean, it is just a 'stylish old lady' jacket, and she doesn't really have the body (even though she has the $$$) for couture. I am more offended by what the average teen wears, so I am just glad she doesn't have 'JUICY' written across her ass."
  • "Does Hillary employ an irrepressible, irreverent Austrian novitiate as her seamstress? I suspect there's a pissed off naval officer looking for his curtains as we speak. The hills are alive ..."
  • "Looks like she shops at the same place as Kim Jong-Il."
  • "I like to think of her as the Quilted Quicker Picker Upper."
  • "The color is very nice (including with her coloring - not always easy for the pasty white chics), and the texture wouldn't be so awful if it were done some other way. It would still be way too 'Chicos' however, at least for somebody purportedly appealing to the youth. But the primary problem, as the blogger deftly points out, is the fit. Honey, men have been getting their stuff tailored for generations (some very badly, I'll admit). Laura always looks so nice because she gets her stuff made for her. If somebody made this for you, fire them. If not, get thee to a haberdasher - PRONTO."
To read Wonkette's comments, click here...

Monday, June 25, 2007

Seriously, she wore it AGAIN!

This in now three times in less than eight days - and counting! What is her fascination with this particularly horrid suit jacket?

For the last two bad interpretations, click here and here...

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks to Democrats in North Little Rock, Ark., Saturday

– AP Photo/Danny Johnston

If you can own it, do it

Again, not really on topic, but I guess it could be tied to politics if you remember this incident. Thanks to the boys over at Yeas & Neas for staying on their fashion game.

Celebrity chef Mario Batali dined at Ceviche in Silver Spring on Thursday ... clad in bright-yellow socks and orange Crocs.
I know it's his signature look, but I thought it was just a publicity thing on the show and book covers, not in real life. I guess if you're on your feet all day you can get away with it?

To read about what he ordered and who he was with, click here....

Designer shoes, discounts and giving to charity: What could be better?

From Daily Candy today (OK, I know it's a stretch for politics, but it's two good causes - helping people and helping your closet.):

... SimplySoles’s shoe recycling program is a win-win that even you can get on board with.

Rules of the game:
1. Shop for shoes you love (Tory Burch, Bettye Muller, Missoni) on the SimplySoles website.
2. Order said shoes (you can even get two sizes at once if you’re unsure of the fit).
3. Mail in any pair of preworn, closed-toe shoes (as long as they’re still suitable for a professional setting) and save 10 percent on your order.

Your donation to SimplySoles goes to Suited for Change, which provides professional attire for women transitioning from homeless shelters, jail, and rehab programs into the workforce — so a lot of other people win, too. And you can’t beat that.

Available online at

Lobbyists, Congresswomen
donate back-closet rejects

Surprisingly, I found this great fashion piece filed under K Street Files, but Roll Call has informed me that Nancy Pelosi (who I saw tonight wearing a very nice white pantsuit to the Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game - she's not so lucky, the Grand Ol' Party won) is quite the fan of Armani. I was told this is common knowledge, but somehow it wasn't to me. Anyway, be kind, donate some nice clothes - and see the next post if you have extra shoes lying around.

In Fashion. It's that time of year again. Lobbyists, looking to polish their oft-tarnished image, are planning to donate their used duds to charities that provide clothing to the unemployed.

The American League of Lobbyists' Capitol PurSuit clothing drive is this Wednesday in the Rayburn House Office Building foyer, and the organizers said that Armani-suit-enthusiast Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Reps. Wally Herger (R-Calif.) and Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.) all are expected to attend a noon press conference. ALL is also collecting clothes from Hill staffers. ...

... The clothes ... "go to nonprofit organizations that help less fortunate people get back into society and into the workforce." ...
To read the entire item you'll need a pricey Roll Call subscription...

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Condi's Shaggy dancin'

So everyone is giving Condi a hard time because of the YouTube video showing her head bop to the music of Shaggy. I am going to give her "mad props" (I know, I'm white and this isn't the '90s...) because of her amazing suit-color choice. She has such a wonderful sense of style that she way-too-often hides in conservative duds because of her job (and because the media gives her a hard time about it!)

Here's a photo I snagged from i2_am_a_worshipper on Flicker. You can't see much of the outfit, but AP didn't capture this one.

To see the YouTube video, in which she looks like she's having a good time, and read Wonkette's off-color remarks and my contribution to the running commentary, click here...

The Who's Who of D.C. bachelors (and bachelorettes)

Capitol File's annual Little Black Book edition (out momentarily) names D.C.'s hottest 99 single guys and gals. So Miss. Shenanigan wondered: Which Hillers made the cut?

Lee Brenner, for one. He's CNN's senior editorial producer for "Late Edition With Wolf Blitzer" and received the "well mannered," "hot on the Hill," "party animal" and "brainiac" icons.

Sen. George Voinovich's chief of staff, Phil Park, is ready to roll: He's a "bon vivant," a "brainiac," "Mr. Right" and a "networker."

Rep. Mary Bono - a Capitol File contributor - made the list, along with - yawn - former Rep. Harold Ford Jr.

"Social peacock" Hill reporter Jackie Kucinich is on there, along with Quinn & Gillespie's Ashley Prime. So is Cynthia Scherer, the director of sales and marketing for the Fairmont Hotel on M Street.

Charlie Palmer's sommelier Nadine Brown and Sarah Obenour, an event designer for Haute on the Hill, make the list. And keep your eye out for a "bon vivant," "party animal," "high maintenance" guy on K Street. That's Steven B. Sobhani, the founding director of the Great American Condom Campaign. That in itself should be an icon.

None of these folks received a "womanizer" icon or a "great beauty" icon, but there is some charm in being a party-animal brainiac.
Though many of these are not "hot," they are all just fabulous and amazing people. The party tonight should be a blast.

To read the entire column, click here...

It's finally here, Seersucker Thursday

I mean they look atrocious, but I just LOVE Seersucker Thursday.
The guys actually pulled it off quite well; but the women... black stockings??? Overall, it looked like a lot of fun and you have to give props to Trent Lott for making it happen.

From left, Sens. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., Ben Nelson, D-Neb., Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, Trent Lott, R-Miss., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., John Warner, R-Va., Susan Collins, R-Maine, Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, and Norm Coleman, R-Minn.

From left, Sens. John Warner, R-Va., Elizabeth Dole, R-NC, Gordon Smith, R-Ore., Ben Nelson, D-Neb., Kit Bond, R-Mo, Mitch McConnell, R-Mo., Susan Collins, R-Maine, Trent Lott, R-Miss., Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, and Arlen Specter, R-Pa.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, who is probably the only one who actually look fabulous (and quite cool) in this Southern fashion staple.

– AP Photos/Lauren Victoria Burke

Should suits, ties be mandatory
during excruciating D.C. summers?

A comment to the day's weather report on caught my fashion eye. :

Anyone hazard a guess on whether we could get any Code Red or worse air quality next week? NRECA makes us wear standard/formal business attire for at least the period June 25-27/28 because our Board of Directors is in town for the Summer Board Meeting. To be frank, it's my opinion that business casual be MANDATORY during any spell of Code Red (unhealthy) or worse air quality. I plan to wear my tie during Code Orange, but if it hits Code Red, I plan on going business casual - and taking leave if need be!
And Ana B's later response:
I remember the days when there was no business casual, you wore a suit and tie or dress and hose whether it was 35F or 95F, smoggy or not. Why should the air quality dictate what you wear?
To read the entire, pretty boring dialog, click here...

She just needed a break
from those three-inchers

Maybe it's just seems like there has been an influx as of late because of the summer lull, but there have been a lot of cause-celebs in the capital. Yesterday, as Reliable Source reported today, Maria Menounos (you know, Jules from "One Tree Hill" or better known as a "Today" show correspondent) caused a fashionable laugh while on the Hill:

Hey, Isn't That ... Maria Menounos bending down to slip off her three-inch strappy beige open-toed pumps before walking through a Rayburn Building metal detector - which, actually, she didn't have to do (only at airports), but it sure seemed to tickle those Capitol Police officers. ...
The always-chic actress was in D.C. lobbying for diabetes awareness. To read the entire column, click here...

Or more importantly, to see a bunch of shots of Menounos being totally fabulous, click here... The little thumbnail above isn't from yesterday, but I thought she looked cute.


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A cheers is in order

D.C. Pleats got its first nod on Wonkette today (thanks must go out to Project Beltway for the content). Here's to many more to come!

To see the nod for real, click here... To see what inspired it all, click here...

Boxer shows she's human (and chic!)

After realizing she's still clutching her clutch, California Sen. Barbara Boxer tosses her purse to a staffer prior to speaking at a news conference on energy efficiency on Capitol Hill.

– AP Photo/Susan Walsh

She wore it again!

She just wore this atrocity a couple days ago. See my feelings about this here...

Dem Presidential frontrunner Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton throws her arms up as she is introduced at rally in support of the Employees Free Choice Act on Capitol Hill in Washington.

– AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

A Capitol Hill Jewel

How adorable is she? This is what cause-celebs should wear when they're on the Hill. All too often we see the Hollywood types, who dress so well on the red carpet, don conservative wares while at the Capitol. Why is that? Why not show up the dull, frumpy Congresswomen and maybe give them some style ideas?

Singer-songwriter Jewel testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Ways and Means subcommittee on income security and family support hearing on disconnected and disadvantaged youth. The Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter is the ambassador to Virgin Unite, a charitable arm of Virgin.

– Compilation of photos by Roll Call/Tom Williams and AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson

Staffers debate which party is uglier

Oh you silly Republican boys... how much time do you really have on your hands? This is not really "fashion" and it's totally horrible, but kind of funny nonetheless. I am not going to reprint the image because, well, it's not worth calling too much attention to it, but check it out for yourself. From Wonkette:

Today on The Capitolist — the new anonymous message board only accessible through official congressional computers — we learn what Hill staffers think about beauty and politics:

"I’m just saying that for the most part, Democrats tend to be uglier or ugly people tend to identify more with Democrats. (Classic chicken-egg scenario). Probably because ugly people are usually always pissed off and spiteful of people who are successful and attractive and thus try to destroy them by taxing them to death. ..."
There are some ridiculous comments on the discussion board following the posting. To read the whole thing, click here...
– The Capitolist via Wonkette

Power suited: Atlantic Monthly
publisher dishes on DC style

I was so excited to read this Q&A I came across on Project Beltway. Elizabeth Baker Keffer exemplifies Washington chic at its best and her answers are witty and insightful. (Though why do people keep giving style-cred to Nancy Pelosi?) Here's a few of my favorite questions/answers:

PROJECT BELTWAY: Fashion isn’t a word most would associate with Washington, but at the same time, looking a certain way can be very important here. How do clothes play a role in Washington’s particular brand of power?
KEFFER: People tend to assess the individual first based on intelligence and position in life versus appearance, and there are plenty of powerful women in this town who don’t lead with fashion and are still thought of as being in the inner circle. It is much more what you do and who you know, what experiences you’ve accumulated, then it is about leading with looks. I think in a way that ends up making women’s fashion here somewhat more understated and somewhat more classy.

PB: What about women on the Hill?
K: I think having someone like Nancy Pelosi noted for her clothing and appearance is great. A lot of people have reacted negatively to that…that she shouldn’t focus on such things and that people don’t reference a male member of Congress’ dress as one of the leading elements of their persona. I think it’s great that people are applauding her for bringing style to Washington and to Congress and that she feels comfortable doing that, that it doesn’t threaten her power, it’s just part of who she is.

PB: What about Condi’s boots? She got a lot of flack for that.
K: She did and I think she got too much flack! I actually wish she would feel free to dress in a less conservative fashion. I think she has tended to be conservative and has toned things down and all the comments on the boots didn’t help that at all. I think she has a natural sense of style but she tends to veer towards the more conservative look…the safer look.

PB: You’re one of the top executives at Atlantic Media. How do you dress to play that role without sacrificing style?
K: ... I tend to try to dress in a way where I feel like I stand out as an individual. I want to always look put together and polished in a way where my clothing supports the fact that I have a senior position, that I’ve been successful in my career without, again, overshadowing whatever message it is that I’m trying to share when I’m out at an event or a lunch or a dinner. I also tend to try to dress in a way where I can go from a breakfast to a set of in-office meetings to a reception in the evening and a dinner after that. So I’ll often wear dresses or a pantsuit. ... I like to have things that look smart, look different…I don’t often wear just a plain black pantsuit. I favor pieces that travel well and are easy and if I wear something basic, the I’ll often try to have nicer accessories: scarves, jewelry and the rest to stand out against the neutral palette.

To read the entire interview, click here...
– Project Beltway

Friday, June 15, 2007

Shadegg's No Sheer Sucker

I really hate that I'm crediting her, but sometimes she hits it (I said sometimes...).

Is Rep. John Shadegg (R-Ariz.) thumbing his nose at a longstanding Senate summer tradition?

The natty dresser was recently overheard ribbing a staffer for wearing his best Matlock suit. "You know why they are called seersucker, don't you?" Shadegg said with a grin. "Sears makes 'em and suckers buy 'em."

But in Washington, seersucker suits are not just a way to beat the city's oppressive summer heat. Since the mid-1990s, Senate lawmakers have observed "Seersucker Thursday" by wearing their best lightweight cotton, stripy suits.

The holiday was founded by then-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) "to show the Senate could have fun, and it's a little favor from down South, in a way, to beat the heat from up here in D.C.," Lott spokesman Nick Simpson told us.

So suckers don't wear them?

"No," the monosyllabic Simpson said, quite definitively. No Sears, either? "No." Simpson bought his at Oxford, just FYI. ...

... One Hill staffer sniped about Shadegg: "So he doesn't likes stripes, I guess I could understand if it was his fellow Arizonan Rick Renzi, who may soon be wearing stripes of his own supplied by federal tailors," the staffer said, referring to Renzi's current land-deal troubles.

This year's Seersucker Thursday is just around the corner, on June 21.
I am not one for seersucker as an everyday menswear fashion, but I do happen to love tradition. It's fun seeing that photo op every year in which the Congressmen all look so Southern chic - and I think it's quite charming. It brings a lighter side to Congress. It's like hearing about the bets made about home-state sports teams and the wacky wagers. It brings life to stiff politicos. Just take a peek above at how comfortable and cool Sen. Rick Santorum looked (I know, he never looks cool...) on last year's Seersucker Thursday.

Elton's a leader? I just like his glasses...

I don't like to admit that I actually read her column, but occasionally Schroeder comes up with something good. I realize this is a bit old, but again, I was really busy this week.

Elton John blew into town Monday eve to accept his Service to America Leadership Award from the National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation. The flamboyant dresser put on his best red satin pants and tux jacket to accept his honor at the National Building Museum with every TV biz bigwig in the house. Also visible: the safety pin in the corner of his glasses.
From, I guess Elton told the audience, whom he didn't play for:
"This is a chance to make up for behavior I deeply regretted … I’m like the whore that goes around and rattles people’s wallets."

– Courtesy of

What a Croc contest!

Bill Press of "The Bill Press Show" (creative!) posted a pic of President Bush wearing a pair of Crocs - you know those terribly-ugly-but- everyone-claims-they're- soooo-comfortable plastic clogs - and is asking for creative captions. He's gotten what seems like more than a hundred.

Here are some of my favorite so far:

  • "Funding the Iraq War has taken it’s toll on the President’s wardrobe allowance.”
  • "Having just eluded the fashion police, Dubya vows never to take fashion tips from Condi Rice again.”
  • "Well, uh, Laura ain’t caught up on the laundry yet.”
  • "I have these socks so everyone can tell I’m the Prezedent.”
  • "With these Crocs and socks, I’ll bet ya didn’t even notice my Barney hat…did ya? Heh, heh, heh…”
  • "These are my INTELLIGENCE shoes…see the leaks?”
  • "Breaking News: Cheap watch maker Timex to join with cheap shoe maker Crocs in major joint advertising campaign. This planned media surge will promote the exciting new “Presidential Business Casual” look. After the break… Walmart introducing new presidential seal undershorts and matching socks line!”
To see all of the posts or to post your own, click here...

– Courtesy of (must I say it?) Anne Schroeder/

Huckabee doesn't own "provocative"

I know I'm a couple days late on this one, but it's still funny nonetheless.

"I think a person's hair, arms, shoulders, legs are an appropriate display of who they are. I want people to be attracted to me because they find me interesting, not because I'm wearing something ... well, I doubt I own anything provocative."

– ­ Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee in this month's Marie Claire

– AP Photo/Elise Amendola

I'm joining in on the Obama-tie love

pulled out the fade-away, blend-in tie. Love it!

– AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain

Why do people call Hillary a fashion icon?

We know it's your favorite pose, Hillary, and yet again, we agree with you, "What are you thinking?"

Why do people constantly say Sen. Clinton is a fashion icon. So she made pantsuits popular again. Is that a good thing? In my opinion, except for on very select occasions, she looks matronly and frumpy. She very rarely flatters her body, and I would say she has a good figure, and the colors she chooses are oftentimes so drab.

Today, the Democratic presidential hopeful addressed a crowd at Dartmouth College and woops, she did it again. This blue is OK, but I totally don't understand the French cuffs or the Mandarin-style collar. The worst part? The texture. What is that? It kind of makes me a little seasick to look at it. She's at a college, wouldn't you think she'd choose something a little more youthful? And this jacket hits her at all the wrong places, making her look more hippy than she clearly is. Three buttons and darts are a bad idea, Hill.

– AP Photo/Toby Talbot

Laura's graduation into the real world

First lady Laura Bush looked summery and elegant this morning as she addressed sixth-grade students graduating from the Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School in D.C. The clean-cut, simple-for-her cream suit teamed nicely with the school's royal purple. Her necklace was the perfect accessory to finish off the polished look. The whole ensemble was understated yet fresh - a nice turn around from her trip to Europe. It's nice to have you back in the real world, Laura.

Jenna was supposed to make the trip uptown with her (the first daughter taught at the school for 18 months following college.) I haven't seen any photos of her, but I'd be interested.

– AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Sorry for the delay, but we're back

OK, I am totally sorry for being so behind. I was thinking of y'all the whole time, I just was pretty busy. I'll have a bunch of postings for you today and throughout the weekend to catch up a bit.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Euro trip: The weekend's best and worst

The Good

The Ehhh

And the What-Were-You-Thinking

Friday, June 8, 2007

And yet another AP photo...

It's just that kind of day.

Though this isn't fashion, I thought it was fashionable - going green that is. It a very beautiful, artistic shot of the solar panels on the roof Al Gore's Nashville manse. Gore, the environmental activist that he is, has been criticized as of late because eco groups thought his house wasn't energy efficient - citing electric bills that were far more than the typical Nashville home. Utility records showed the Gore family paid an average monthly electric bill of about $1,200 last year for its 10,000-square-foot home (and that doesn't seem too outrageous in my opinion for Southern living). Gore said today that renovations are nearly complete to make it a model "green" home complete with solar panels for electricity, but also solar fans.

– AP Photo/Paul J. Levy

Trying to wear the commonman's wardrobe

So I'm in an AP photo-scanning mood....

Presidential hopeful John McCain, R-Ariz., spoke this morning to a bunch of townies in Pella, Iowa, in hopes of grabbing the attention of some early primary voters. Beyond the fact that I am disgusted (people actually left the house knowing they were going to meet a senator wearing torn jeans, shorts, flip-flops, tank tops etc.), I am kind of amused with McCain's dress-down attire. Appealing to the vets in the audience, the GOPer is wearing a Navy cap - which seems disrespectful to wear while publicly speaking. He also donned a blue gingham shirt (fashion-forward!), blah windbreaker and khakis while trying to pull together that down-on-the-farm, not-trying-to-be-preppy-but-that's-impossible look.

– AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

Jefferson did something right!

I saw this picture on AP and had to laugh a little. It's a shot of Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., who earlier this week was indicted for bribery and corruption, arriving at federal court this morning.Why I found it slightly amusing is the "others unidentified" according to AP are his Dr. wife and probably one of his five daughters (I assume from the hand-holding) and they both look stunning! I guess Jefferson did one thing right in his years, married that woman and allowed her to make the family's fashion decisions.

The daughters are all amazingly well accomplished: Jamila, a graduate of Harvard College and Law School, is a practicing attorney; Jalila, also a graduate of Harvard College and Law School is a practicing attorney and a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives; Jelani, the third graduate of Harvard College and Law School, is a law clerk with U.S. District Judge Fallon in New Orleans; Nailah is a graduate of Boston University and a graduate student at Emerson College in Boston; and Akilah is a student at Brown University.

– AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

Good versus evil, Day 5

As the Summit came to a close and the Bushes headed out of Germany and into Poland, Laura had a bad day - at least fashionwise.

The first look, as she was boarding Air Force One, had some much potential when I first saw the blazer. Then, of course, I saw a couple full-body shots and was appalled. The pants clearly didn't fit her (see example A) and the shoes (example b, inset) were completely inappropriate for anything but a summer beach party. Oh Laura...

Look two, after she got into Poland and was posing for cameras, was the photo equivalent to good versus evil. Laura, in her black pantsuit and flats!, looked like the polar opposite of Polish first wife Maria Kaczynski, in her uber-chic, off-white suit with amazing detailing and a terrific pair of beige pumps. The only thing the two seem to have in common is the same taste in dogs! The Russian presidential pooch, Titus, sure looks a lot like both Barney and Miss Beazley, who are all very good examples of classic, regal pets.

– AP Photos/Jens Meyer and Gerald Herbert, respectively

Thursday, June 7, 2007

First ladies dressing, Day 4

Wow, they clean up well!

The first ladies (and gentleman) of the G8 Summit leadership looked pretty good while posing for the cameras. I really love Cherie Blair, who seems to be channeling Jackie O with her clean lines, classic bag and flipped shoulder-length hair. Her neighbor, Margarida Sousa Uva, shines with a chic, youthful but classy look. Her mod skirt is light and flowy and matches perfectly with a very simple fitted white jacket. Truthfully, the only two spouses I think could have done a little better are Flavia Franzoni Prodi - who has all the Italian designers in the world she could have fill her wardrobe - whose pink scarf is the only redeeming factor of her grandma-ish suit and Mr. Joachim Sauer who could have pulled out a full suit instead of this blah blazer.

For a quick reference to see who I'm talking about: Left to right, Laureen Harper wife of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Russia's First Lady Ludmila Putina, the wife of Italian Prime Minister Romana Prodi, Flavia Franzoni Prodi, U.S. First Lady Laura Bush, the husband of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Joachim Sauer, Cherie Blair, wife of British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Margarida Sousa Uva, wife of EU Commission President Jose Manue Barroso and Akie Abe, wife of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pose for a group picture during the program for the partners of the G8 leaders at 'Burg Schlitz' a palace in the village Hohen Demnzi about 62 miles southeast of Heiligendamm on Thursday.

– AP Photo/Markus Schreiber

New first lady is a true French beauty

I came across this interesting and witty insight into international political fashion on one of my favorite blogs, A Serious job Is No Excuse. I'd like to think this is the type of thing I'd write about on this blog, but have never really thought to venture out into foreign heads.

... I came across these snaps of Cécilia Sarkozy, the wife of newly-elected French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, at his inauguration last month.

All along I'd been told President Sarkozy's socialist challenger, Ms. Ségolène Royale, was the hot one to watch on the French political scene, but after being only mildly impressed with her "scandalous" bikini photoshoot and then of course completely dissuaded once she failed to secure a win in the runoff election, I now turn my attention instead to the fickle-icious comings and goings of the extraordinarily well-dressed and self-absorbed beauty, Miss Cécilia.

She may be a lithe 5'10" former model who only sort-of dabbled academically in a little of this and a little of that; she may have allowed France's most powerful man to follow through on his now well-known plan - a plan he concocted while in attendance of his future wife's first wedding - to woo her out of those pesky 'til-death-do-us-part-etc.-etc. vows; and she may be the woman who instead of ending her sagging second marriage to one of France's most high profile politicians takes up with yet another man in a very much out-in-the-open affair that includes vacations to Cannes and New York and frequent hand-holding alfresco lunches in Paris.

Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

The sophistcated, figure-flattering style, the thin ankles, the good haircut, the genuine smile and alluring feminine wiles - it looks like Hillary might have found her perfect complement. ...
OK, well I definitely don't agree with that last line - Hillary's style is not nearly as impecable as Sarkozy's and she could never even try to pull off that gorgeous knee-length, cap-sleeve dress. To read the entire entry, click here...

Suiting men for summer's heat

The Politico delivered a fun (though poorly written) piece on men's fashions and grooming for the sweltering, muggy days of Washington in a piece entitled, "Guys, are you suited for a D.C. summer?" (I put in the title because I really like how suited was used as a double entendre.) Here's a a good bit of it:

... "We went through a real period of men who stopped wearing suits and ties to work, and now that whole trend has reversed. They're back to dressing again," said Craig Fox of Wm. Fox & Co. on G Street Northwest.

Fox says seersuckers aren't the only option for air-conditioning-minded Hillers, because the Southern standard is rarely Kentucky Derby dapper - more like old-fashioned ice cream salesman chic.

Khaki suits made with a silk and linen blend - something light and breathable - are acceptable substitutes, said Fox. (His aren't cheap - around $1,000 - but there are less expensive options out there.) Linen suits should be relegated to cruise ships or celebrity weddings on the beach.

"Washington is a city of blue and gray suits," said Fox, who observed that style comes from the top down. In the early '80s, some of his regulars wanted to wear brown - like President Reagan did. "Now it's enough for me to say they're wearing suits again," he said.

Lauren Rothman, of fashion consulting firm Styleauteur, suggests custom suits with "side vents" - vertical slits on the right and left sides - with patterned lining for flair.

Plus, "sea-foam mint is the new pink this season," said Rothman. It might sound scary, but if a man can pull off pink, he's got to be able to pull off light green.

A no-no in the heat, Rothman said, is casual khakis. Banana Republic has plenty of other options, with a seemingly endless supply of flat-front cuffless pants (perfect for guys seeking the illusion of increased height and reduced pounds) for the coming season. And please resist every urge to flip your polo shirt collar.

"We're seeing a lot more higher-end fashion stores for men like in Tyson's Corner and Georgetown. We're just the cherry on top," said Matthew Caraballo of the Grooming Lounge.

Lobbyists, lawmakers and other "spotlight" men call the Lounge home for an hour or two during the week. ... During the summer months, the Lounge does about 10 to 20 back waxes a day, so in terms of sheer numbers, you have to assume that some members of Congress are having their own "40-Year-Old Virgin" moment in the back rooms. ...

... "Also, it was universally agreed by everyone interviewed that back hair for anyone younger than your grandpa has gone the way of the unibrow and ear hair - it's gotta go, dude," The Washington Post reported recently. ...

... All this advice could fall on ears deafened by too many of the Hill's familiar old standards. "You'll still see the guys with the blue suits and red ties," Caraballo said of the District's lack of diversity, but with a little work, we can effect some real change, people, "one man at a time."
Men, heed the advice! I've seen too many males on the Hill in the past couple weeks wearing totally inappropriate attire. To read the entire piece, click here...

– Façonnable Contrast Stripe Classic Dress Shirt ($135) at

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Buttoned down, at a $2,150 starting price

In the category of "that's a hell-of-a-lot-of money," the shirt JFK wore to his inauguration on Jan. 20, 1961, just went up for auction on eBay - for a cool starting price of $2,150. The nine-day live auction is expected to bring in thousands - with 10 percent going to the Special Olympics - as this is one of the few remaining Kennedy piece still available in private collections.

The white button-down shirt was custom-made in London for Kennedy, who was probably the most fashionable man to have lived in the White House - known to have changed clothes as often as fives times a day. The shirt is still missing a button that popped off nearly 50 years ago.

To bid, or just watch the proceedings, click here...

Laura watch, Day 3

For all the amazingly positive things she did yesterday, Laura went barreling downhill while in Germany today. Her two outfits were completely inappropriate for both her position as first lady (she needs to represent!) and for the situation she was in.

The first, a poop-brown pantsuit with a leopard-print camisole (you read it right). That's really all I need to say, right? This oh-so-wrong ensemble was worn as she made a speech promoting America at a German public library and then on a tour of the Schwerin Palace museum. For such cultural events, maybe you'd think to leave the animal print at home? Maybe not... I do have to give at least a couple points for her jewelry. The woman is pretty decent about bringing together outfits with good accessories. She had on a beautiful gold-toned, single-strand beaded/pearl? necklace with matching earrings. If you need to classy up leopard, I guess that's the way to do it.

The second was to meet the German Chancellor Angela Merkel (yes, it's a woman!) and her husband for diplomatic talks (aka dinner and photo ops). What a mess! The first lady - wearing what appeared to be a mother-of-the-bride all-white suit - was totally shown up by madame chancellor. The only thing she has going for her is that she has on a terrific pair of nude-colored slingbacks (yep, she did it again. And as a total aside, I love skin-colored heels as they give the appearance of longer, slimmer legs.) Merkel had on a very nice camel-colored, double-breasted blazer and simple black slacks. She looked comfortable and very presentable.

What's in store for the rest of the week? Keep checking back.

– AP Photos/Markus Schreiber and Oliver Multhaup, respectively

As reported just about everywhere today, Vanity Fair's July cover story is a Bono creation in which he got together 20 of his "friends" who all have made some strides in helping the situation in Africa, had them photographed individually by Annie Leibovitz, and Photoshopped them together to make 20 different collectors covers. The only reason I'm really listing this here - besides the fact I like to think of VF as a fashionably political mag - is that I noticed everyone wore black, white or red (aka the RED campaign colors) for the shoot ... except for Barack Obama. The Illinois Senator was the only one to stand out wearing a non-neutral, his signature baby blue.

To read an interesting piece about how the U2 frontman worked with Karl Rove to convince Dubya to do the cover, click here...

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

The Bushes take Europe, Day 2

Day 2 for Laura was such an amazing improvement! So far today (and that'll probably be it for costume changes), she has sported two beautiful outfits that are respectable, classic and chic - and funny enough, both jackets had flipped-up collars. (We saw both military-inspired and flipped collars in recent collections by Oscar de la Renta, the first lady's favorite designer.)

The first, which she wore while meeting with Czech first lady Livia Klausova, touring Prague's Castle gardens and totally showing up her counterpart, was a very simple fitted cream jacket worn with black pants and a single strand of pearls. It was elegant but not overstated. As for Klausova, though I don't care for her long suit jacket or floral scarf, both her three-strand necklace and embellished clutch are gorgeous.

The second, which she wore as her travel outfit leaving the Czech Republic on her way to the G8 summit in Germany, was a military-style suit - like yesterday's disaster - but fit her perfectly. The jacket was cinched in at the waist and totally accentuated her figure, and the skirt has just a little slit in the front making it modern and young (while age appropriate). Just to show that she's a real woman, a fantastic moment came when she had to fix her slingback which came off while climbing the stairs onto Air Force One. I just love that she's actually wearing slingbacks! (and that Bushy just stands there watching her fix it...)

– AP Photos/CTK, Michal Krumphanzl and Michal Kamaryt, respectively

Puckering up Ted Kennedy

As Sen. Kennedy, D-Mass., departs the Capitol following a news conference on immigration reform we see some puckering action. Time for a new suit Eddy! Just in case you didn't know, when you can hardly close just one of the buttons and that looks as though it's going to pop at any moment, it means your suit doesn't fit.

– AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Gore helps Benetton's "signature socially responsible fashion"

WWD reported today that the ex-Veep will speak about his favorite topic - global warming - on behalf of Benetton's fashionable fight:

Benetton's creative think tank, Fabrica, has brought its traveling multimedia exhibit to Milan's Triennale and is calling on Al Gore to help commemorate the occasion in its signature socially responsible fashion. The former vice president and presidential candidate will give a speech on global warming and the environment at the contemporary art museum on June 14. "Fabrica: Les Yeux Ouverts," inaugurated last year in Paris as part of Benetton's 40th-anniversary celebrations, opens today in Milan and runs through July 15. The exhibit, which examines issues such as multiculturalism, poverty and war, will move on to Palermo's Sant'Anna museum in August and Shanghai's Bund 18 in the fall.
The pic is courtesy of Benetton and is a shot of the exhibit in Milan. That was the whole piece, but to see it on WDD, click here...