Tag Archives: Essie Says

Essie Says: Suit Yourself

Bathing suit shopping season has begun, and as you plan for your summer holiday, stores are stocking up on all kinds of cute suits. From the South of France to South Beach, we’ve chosen four swimsuits that will suit your destinations. This week, Essie says that there’s no better way to kick-start your pre-summer workout than having a gorgeous bathing suit hanging on your bathroom door, just waiting for Memorial Day.

South of France
Milly – Chain-print bandeau bikini top + bottom
top: $105 bottom: $105

milly chain-print

Essie Says: Keeping it Short and Sweet

This season there is certainly no shortage of shorts. From high-waisted hot pants to denim boy-shorts, we have seen a variety of lengths, patterns, and cuts in a range of price points. Far from the Daisy Dukes of the 80’s and 90’s, this season’s shorts come in fabrics and styles that are appropriate for almost any body-type or occasion. May fashion magazines are all featuring the turned-up cuff look coupled with blazers and slouchy tops (take a look for yourself at Barnes and Noble’s if you don’t believe us!). This week, Essie says its time for Bethesdans to give the short trend a leg-up!

Essie Says: Let’s Get Digital

On our morning stroll down Woodmont, we realized that Bethesdans are quite a tech savvy bunch, with pedestrians juggling at least one iPhone or Blackberry along with their morning Starbucks. The fashion world has embraced the digital age also, with live-streaming fashion shows and style bloggers sitting in the front row to report on SS’10. So is it to anyone’s surprise that digital prints are hitting the shops faster than Wi-Fi?  Prints-wise, the usual suspects have been pushing florals this season, to which we quote the wise Ms. Miranda Priestly: “Florals, for spring? Groundbreaking.” This week, Essie says: be bold and reach for the new digital prints!

There’s nothing like a silk jumpsuite, and these colors are just too appetizing to pass up!

Halston Heritage Short Silk Jumpsuite – $375

Halston Heritage Short Silk Jumpsuite

Essie Says: Single Shoulder – Twice as Nice

We hope everyone is having a fashionable Friday, despite the wind and rain. What better to brighten up a gloomy week day than a few toga-inspired tops and dresses? This week, Essie says that a bare shoulder is your best accessory, so stock up on single shouldered attire that will keep you cool and chic in the warmer weeks ahead.

Stella McCartney – Fall 2010 – Style.com

Stella McCartney

Milly – One Shoulder Ruffle Dress – $356

Tired of wearing the same styles to summer weddings? We say ditch the sweetheart neckline and be bold with a ruffly one-shoulder dress!

One shoulder ruffle dress

Sugary and Sweet: Pair this girly dress with nude mary-janes, and play up this season’s fun florals by adding a pink flower cocktail ring.

Funky and Fun: Rock out this seemingly demure dress with a thick leather belt with silver and gold studs; match the rock n’ roll feel with a pair of studded strappy heels.

Channel your inner Grecian godess with a beautifully draped toga-top; the brightly patterened silk will compliment your pre-Summer tan.

Robbi & Nikki – Silk One-Shoulder Blouse – $92

silk one-shoulder blouse

Daytime: Wear to an outdoor BBQ with a pair of this season’s up-scale cargos and Jackie-O sunglasses.   

Nightime: Pair with with dark skinny jeans, Stuart Weitzman Airforce heels, and a stack of asymetrical lucite bangles for cocktails at Redwood.

Stuart Weitzman “Airforce” Sandals – $395

Airforce Sandals

Stay strong through the Spring showers, and remember to shop for the weather you want, not the weather you have – enjoy!



Essie Says: Bring in the Army and Unload the Cargo

This season, we are seeing a return of the army and cargo look everywhere! Straight leg cargo pants can be spotted at Luna, cargo capris are on display at National Jean Company and military inspired pieces, from jewelry to dresses, are popping up in stores all around Bethesda. However, our dressing room correspondents report that even the trendiest Bethesdans are expressing cargo-concerns. Given cargo’s less-than-stellar fashion past (i.e. Union Bay circa 1993), it’s no suprise that shoppers are wary of appearing sloppy and unshapely, or worse, like they are “trying too hard.” But, unlike the Travis Birkenstockesque baggy pants of the nineties, modern cargo can be worn with ease and sophistication. This week, Essie says that it’s time to embrace the infantry!  We have found four utilitarian essentials that prove that cargo has come into its own.

1. J. Crew – Hand Painted Military Jacket – $158

hand painted military jacket

How to balance feminine with masculine:
Layer this funky military jacket with a silk or light cotton shirt with feminine detailing (as seen in picture). Choose ruffles around the collar or down the front and go for colors in neutrals or pastels; the femininity of the shirt will counter the roughness of the military jacket. To avoid losing too much shape, pair the top with fitted straight leg jeans, cuffed around the ankles, and a pair of thick strapped sandals with a wooden heel.

2. Vintage Havana – Super Washed Capris – $78

super washed capris

How to look casual cool without looking disheveled:
Many worry that cargo pants should only be worn by stick-skinny celebrities and prepubescent teens, but we disagree! Making this look work for your body type is all about the balancing act. Women who weigh more than an Olsen twin will need to offset the slouchiness of the pants with a form-fitting top. Pair yours with a simple racerback tank for day-wear, or dress them up with a minimalistic silky top and a double stranded thin gold belt.

3. Theory – Mettie Silk-Blend Shirt Dress – $320

mettie silk-blend shirt dress

How to move this look beyond street-wear:
If you are still unconvinced about cargos, then opt for a less-weighty version of the military look. This light-weight silk-blend dress is sophisticated enough to wear into the office or for a romantic dinner date with your significant other. Wear it to work with snakeskin pumps, a simple gold drop necklace and a sports watch. For a romantic dinner date, swap out the pumps for brown peep-toe ankle booties, emphasize your waist with an elegant python-print belt, and layer the wrist with chunky lucite bracelets.

Burberry Prorsum – Perspex and Glass Ring – $175

perspex and glass ring

This statement ring will rock out any of the outfits above; we just couldn’t leave it out! The reflective green-tinted glass will echo off the military greens of each look.

Have fun. Be daring. Soldier on.



Essie Says: Pretty in Prints

Although flowers are still buried under the last bit of snow, you can still feast your eyes on the colorful and fun patterns popping up in every boutique around town. Spring 2010 prints range from tribal to floral to ikat, and are available at any price range from DVF dresses at Urban Chic to vintage scarves at Mustard Seed. Essie says don’t be intimidated by prints this year, embrace them! This week, we have found three ways to incorporate prints into your everyday wear.

1. Tibi – Floral Brocade dress – $355

If you are feeling a bit nervous about adding a sudden splash of color to your attire, start with baby steps, like this perfectly muted floral dress.

Floral Brocade Dress

How to wear:
Prep Princess: Layer this dress with a simple black blazer, sheer black tights and patent t-strap heels.
Rocker Chic: Throw on a bomber with a pair of suede slouchy ankle boots.
Feminine Beauty: Drape a silvery white shawl and pair with grey peep toes.

Tibi dresses in similar prints can be found at Urban Chic, lower priced printed dresses by Trina Turk and Karlie can be found at Luna.

2. Tory Burch – Kara Tunic – $325

Want a twist on the traditional floral? Then indulge in this spring’s hot Ikat print. Ikat is not just for bohos and trendsetters anymore. Muted and less “trippy” Ikats are now available in stores, and can be worn while stylishly strolling along Bethesda Ave or even to the office.

Kara Tunic

How to wear:
Street-wear: Pair this with straight-leg green cargo pants and gladiator style wedges.
Office-wear: Tuck this pretty blouse into a black pencil skirt, belted with a woven leather belt, and classic black pumps.

TuNix – Bali…or Bust – $170 (Sale: $99)

Now introducing Bethesda’s own, TuNix! This tunic comes in different lengths to suite various body types.

Bali ... Or Bust

How to wear:
Shorter versions can be worn with dark bootcut denim and cowboy boots. The longer length can be paired with the oh-so-comfy leggings and python printed flats. Pattern on pattern, you can do it!

3. Sassanova – Gwyneth Leopard print pony hair flat – $98

If adding prints to your wardrobe is too much shock to the system, you can at least sport the trend on your feet. Worn by a variety of style icons, from Jackie O. to Gwen Stefani to Carey Mulligan, Leopard print flats can find a place in any woman”s wardrobe.

Gwyneth Leopard print pony hair flat

How to wear:
The First Lady: Dress with J Brand ankle length denim (straight or cuffed), and navy bateau neck knit shirt.
The Rock Diva: Wear with distressed black skinnies and a red and white striped one-shoulder tank.
The Oscar Nominee: Pair with a girly A-line dress belted at the waist with a thick caramel colored leather belt.



Essie Says is a weekly fashion column written by a local style savant.