This is a personal weblog. The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer. My opinions are subject to change. I reserve the right to argue with myself later on down the line when I've learned a lesson or two.
Anonymous asked: First of all, your blog is great! I'm new to DC and in my short time span here have already had some "interesting" encounters with the DC man. Any tips for the dating scene, or perhaps just suggestions for some of your favorite haunts in the District?
Oh man, it’s been years since I lived in DC (three, it’s been three years) so I don’t feel particularly adept at advising you… especially since I left that city as fast as I could get a job offer.
Anyway, my favorite thing about DC is the pseudo-intellectualism that consumes the culture like the whole city is just one big library complex. Indoor voices, everyone. Given that J. Crew chic is the movement there, it’s fitting that my favorite place to make connections would be coffee shops, and DC has some great ones… now what the hell were they called?
Right, Busboys and Poets. Tryst. Counter Culture Coffeeshop. Open City. Obviously I was a strong red-liner.
And then, I mean, nighttime obviously concert halls. The Black Cat, 9:30 Club, DAR Hall, DC9, U St Music Hall.. the cool thing about shows in DC is that everyone plays there but for some reason, you can almost always get tickets. Cruise the listings on Black Cat and other venues and get a preview of any great bands coming through. I’ve never seen so many concerts as I did in DC. That’s also where I made the most new friends.
I don’t know what’s hip anymore. I still use the word hip.
Of note, the advertising industry is a juggernaut of things-that-are-lousy, so when a company that’s contracted to create a TV commercial can not only sell the product, but get an important message across, that speaks volumes about the creatives that sold in the campaign, and the brand managers who believed in the message. Is the end game still to sell units? Of course it is. But if it happens to spread a great message? Then that’s an opportunity not lost.
I’m gonna need you to stay in one Friday night and carbo load on spaghetti to get ready for the kind of marathon day that is required to build a flexible and comprehensive work wardrobe. I love being able to execute the looks I find beautiful, but I don’t have a Ralph Lauren budget. I don’t even have a Gap budget. And sorry, but one $90 sweater is not worth sacrificing the amount of sauce I usually require on any piece of food. Too frequently ketchup, coffee, and ink make appearances on my clothes because I can’t seem to live within the constraints of a functioning adult, so I operate on low-cost clothes. But if you want to buy cheap and look respectable, there’s more to it than finding deals. Here are some tips that I have found helpful when trying to create a wardrobe that’s business casual and opportunity ready:
1. Have a colour palette. I’m not saying whip out your Sherwin-Williams tabs, but know the angle you want. I love to wear big-bam-bright colors, and those colors pair well. Are you a earthen tones kind of chick? Maybe you love the animal print look. Either way, try to keep it in the same family. It will make your pieces go further.
2. Accessories make a brand new outfit…and accessories are way cheaper than clothes. Picture a simple navy shift dress. Pair it with tan pumps, a bright green/gold bauble necklace, a cream cardigan, gold bangles, and a red lip. Now picture the same navy shift dress with cream knit tights, brown riding boots, an army green cargo jacket and a forest green blue gold brown pashmina with a warm rose lip. Or even with a leopard print cardy and red heels. The possibilities! Charming Charlie’s is a great place to build out your repertoire of accessories. Look at this necklace in dark grey.Gorgeous and classy for $15? I’ll take it!
3. One of my favorite secrets of fashion in New York City was right at Astor Place – nationally known, completely affordable, and not one of my friends shopped there: K-Mart. Places like K-Mart, Sears, and Wal-Mart are treasure troves of unexpected pieces. Check out this dress:
It’s $17! For work, you can wear it as is, with a blazer, with a cardigan, with a chunky sweater over it, with a turtleneck under it for a little Love Actually vibe. That’s five ways to wear one dress, and that’s not including all the switch ups with shoes and accessories. This is where having a general colour palette you stick to will come in handy.
4. For respect, make sure your clothes fit properly… because you’ll get respect by being confident, and you can only be confident when you’re not constantly pulling at your hemline. Show pride in the way you dress yourself. It’s the first thing people see and it should convey the attributes that are important at your company and within your role. I’m a project manager for an ad firm, so it pays for me to look carefully curated with pep in my step and a splash of creativity… because that’s exactly how I do my job.
Anonymous asked: So I've been hovering around this idea of writing publicly (though pseudonymously) for the better part of a year now, taking what I typically capture in sporadic tweets, a notebook, or my head and putting it out there in a longer, polished form for the world to see. As someone who's done just that, what's your best advice for me to finally jump from this helicopter I now feel stuck in? Thank you kindly, Leap of Faith
Longer does not mean good and polished does not mean better. Write what moves you in the format that inspires you.
The more you care about your audience, the less you can care about the work. I know because it’s a struggle.
Anonymous asked: What are you getting your man for Christmas? I need ideas!
Honey bear, that’s top secret and by email only.
Actually, since everyone (save my grandmother) reads this blog, I can’t tell you until the 26th what I got anyone. But I will say this: it involved a lot of Joann Fabrics, knives, scissors, and a shit ton of glue.