Tag Archives: essie

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: Earth Day

Ladies of Bethesda,

To honor the 40th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22nd, we urge you to pull together an environmentally friendly and socially concious outfit. Thanks to Stella McCartney and a sleuth of designers who have made eco-wear upscale and chic, mainstream brands are beginning to follow suit. As usual, we’re happy to provide tips and ideas on how to be sassy and stylish while making Mother Earth proud. This week, Essie says to stock up on organic wear, and to attend one of the local Earth Day events:

Brookside Gardens – All day festival (April 18)

“The Last Boat Out” – Chesapeake Bay Documentary – Hard Times Cafe (April 21)

Music & Kite Festival – Quiet Waters Park (April 24)

C&C CaliforniaOrganic Collection

Known for their comfy T’s and cotton dresses, C&C California was one of the first major brands to launch an organic collection. With temperatures on the rise, a breathable cotton tank is the way to go. We love trying out unconventional color combinations (navy and coral is a personal favorite).

Organic Collection

J Brand - Green Label

Pair these 100% organic cotton J Brands with your layered C&C tanks for a relaxed afternoon stroll, or try a pastel T with dark bootcut denim for a preppier feel.

J Brand

TOMS - Gold Glitter – $54

Add some funk to your Earth Day wear with TOMS collection glittered slip-ons. Each pair bought provides free shoes for a child in need. These socially responsible treasures will go with boyfriend jeans, skinnies or crops.


Big Buddha BagsJessica Bag

These of-the-moment slouchy bags come in a variety of styles, ranging from punky to sophisticated. They feel and even smell like leather, but are 100% vegan! With no animal products or testing whatsoever, you can be cruelty-free without sacrificing style. Pick up a studded hobo or a Valentino look-alike to top off your Earth Day ensemble.

Jessica Bag

Speaking of Earth Day, there’s no better way to reduce your carbon footprint than shopping at local boutiques. There’s just no reason to drive to Tysons Corner when Bethesda Lane is within strolling distance: think global and shop local, girls!


Essie Says: Maximize Your Style

After two days of super hot temperatures, it was lovely to step outside this morning to more Spring-like weather. If you’re unsure what to buy for the highs and lows of Spring, Essie says pick up a maxi dress! These long, draped dresses are a great way to embrace the changing season in style.

T-Bags – Strapless Long Dress – $216 (Shopbop)

strapless long dress

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: Spring Cocktail

While out strolling in the lovely Spring weather this week, we noticed that pretty Spring cocktail dresses are on display in nearly every shop window in Montgomery County. A staple of American sportswear, the cocktail dress became popular during the Great Depression, when fashion designers marketed the look as “day-into-evening” wear that could be accessorized to suit almost any occasion. The Spring 2010 cocktail dress follows this tradition of versatility, with trendsetters like Rachel Bilson and Kate Hudson pairing theirs with boots and bomber jackets during daylight hours. From semi-formal to streetwear-able, Essie says that Spring is the season to celebrate the adaptability of the cocktail dress! This week, we have showcased this look for five springtime events:

1. Cherry Blossom Festival (NCBF, March 27 – April 11)

Who can resist the feast of colors in blood orange reds and turquoise blues in this dress! Could there be a more appropriate way to celebrate the explosion of pinks and fuschias at the Cherry Blossom Festival?

Diane von Furstenberg – Paradis Dress – $385

Paradis Dress

Accessorize with:
For warmer weather: Pair with red espadrilles, gold bangles, and a light cardigan in cream.
For cooler climates: Pair with a knee length trench and grey patent leather flats.

2. Family Gathering (Vernal Equinox – March 20, Passover – March 29, Easter – April 4)

Sunday brunches with the family and afternoon tea with sisters become a popular event as the the temperature arrives at the perfect 64 degrees and sunny. This dress can be worn for a religious service as well as a lazy afternoon on the patios of Le Pain Quotidien.

DKNY – Garden Print Tank Dress – $295

Garden Print Tank Dress

Accessorize with:
For dressier events: Couple this dress with a cropped sports coat with gold buttons, nude round-toe pumps, and a simple long gold necklace.
For casual events: Wear with peep toe ankle boots in black and a stack of leather wraparound bracelets.

3. Charity Event (Dine For Humanity, April 9)

Spring’s philanthropic galas and charity dinners provide the perfect opportunity to shop for a cause.

Ralph Lauren – Silk Dupioni Dress – $198

Silk Dupioni Dress

Accessorize with:
Statement colors like this lucious red require minimal accessories: Wear with a bundle of layered pearls and a pair of black peep toes.

4. Bachelorette Party (All Spring long)

Wedding Season officially kicks off on May 29, which means now is the time to celebrate Bachelorettehood. Whether you’re enjoying bottle service at Lotus Lounge or throwing back with the girls at Strike Bethesda, ruffles and shine are always appropriate for a girls night out.

Haute Hippie – Sequin Tulle Cocktail Dress – $995

Sequin Tulle Cocktail Dress

Accessorize with:
Dress to dance with Alexis Bittar lucite bangles, wavy beach hair, and your highest pair of metallic stillettos.

5. Gallery Hop (Bethesda Arts Walk, March 12 and April 9)

Nothing compliments good weather better than good art. This breezy, avant-garde dress would be perfect for exploring the Debi Sacks exhibit at Marin-Price.

Tibi – Calla Lilly V Neck Dress – $368

Calla Lilly V Neck Dress

Accessorize with:
Gallery nights require optimal comfort and style: Pair this silk-screened dress with gladiator sandals and a Tory Buch’s leather world charm neclace, and finish with a cocktail-style mood ring.

Now, is it cocktail hour yet?



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

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.

Essie Says: Sail through Spring Break in Style

Just when we thought spring was in the air with beautiful near fifty-degree weather last weekend, the windchill quickly brought us back to the reality of Bethesda’s harshest winter in years.  That is why many Bethesdans are jetting off to warmer climates for a week-long getaway.  Spring Break provides a perfect opportunity to get a head start on your spring shopping while it’s still chilly.  Essie says nautical is the way to go for resort wear this year.

InspirationChloe Resort 2010 -Style.com

Essie Chloe Resort 2010

In St. Bart’s: Pair your nautical stripes with distressed denim shorts on your way to the Hotel Isle de France pool or throw on linen pants with nude strappy Louboutins and Ray-Bans for a drink at the Carl Gustav.

Bloomingdales.com - Striped Dolman sleeve top – $58

Essie Striped Dolman sleeve top

**Similar styles can be found at Urban Chic and National Jean Company.

No need to kill your feet poolside; remember, they’re on vacay too.  Espadrille flats provide the perfect blend of comfort and style for all your lounging needs.

Anthropologie.com – Beach Umbrella Espadrilles – $68

Beach Umbrella Espadrilles

As for your beach tresses, Essie spotted the perfect vacation braid strolling down the Alexander Wang SS ’10 runway.  Rachel McAdams also sported this look at the 2010 Golden Globes.

Essie Alexander Wang

With a modern braid, nautical top, distressed white shorts and espadrilles, you’re ready soak up the sun in style.  Just don’t forget to come back home with the perfect souvenir – a golden tan!



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

Essie Says: Pretty Things from Winter to Spring

It seems as if every Bethesdan is suffering from an extreme case of winter fatigue these days.  It’s that awkward time of year when you have no need for another cashmere sweater, but are still reluctant to splurge on a spring dress that will only languish in your closet during the chilly weeks ahead.  After scouring local boutiques and our favorite internet haunts, Essie says that these three transitional items will brighten up winter wear now while keeping you on trend in the coming season.

Genetic Denim – The Shane/Cigarette in Finn (or in Zinc) -$176

Genetic Denim

These jeans are dark enough for now but lightweight enough for later:

Now: Tucked into boots paired with long grandfather cardigan.
Later: Paired with espadrilles and James Perse T.

PinkMascara.com – Tolani Oblong Paisley Scarf – $105.00


Flowy and brightly patterned scarves are a year-round essential.

Now: Add a splash of color to your office neutrals by wrapping a floral scarf over a standard shift dress.
Later: Throw it on to dress-up a simple white tank and soft linen pants.

**For similar styles that won’t break the bank, we found super-cute scarves at Lou Lou boutique on Bethesda Lane for $28-38

Norstrom.com – Cara Couture Leather Wrap Bracelet – $28

Cara Couture Leather Wrap Bracelet

Wrap bracelets are all the rage after the run-away success of Chan Luu wraparounds.  These wrapped cuffs come in seven color combinations.

Now: Layer colors to add zing to an all black outfit.
Later:  Pair with white pants and a bright blouse for a Memorial Day barbecue.

Everyone have a bright Friday!



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