Summer style inspiration: movies we grew up with

Just wanted to include a link to brighten your day. Design Sponge, one of the best fashion blogs around in my opinion, does a segment called “Living In” where they showcase classic movies and fashions inspired by them. The movies are wonderful and the “inspired by” fashions are even more so. I obviously covet the idea. Here are some summer movies and links:

Living In: The Parent Trap

 

Living In: 16 Candles

 

 Living In: Stand By Me

Oh, such good movies, such good fashion. It’s this stuff that makes me love the summer, even in the DC crazy crazy heat. Click on the headers for more photos, it’s worth it!

Judging the Hat-tastic Royal Ascot 2010

So I was going to write on something DC related, I really was. However, as I was checking gofugyourself.com, my go-to blog for judging celebrity outfits, I happened upon the AMAZINGNESS that was the Royal Ascot.   

The Royal Ascot is a horse race. It occurred this past weekend. But no readers, it is not just any horse race, it is THE snootiest of snooty horse races. Yes, of course it’s British. The Queen was in attendance, the photos show absolutely no minorities, and the dress code for the invite-only “Royal Enclosure” area is as follows:   

Her Majesty’s Representative wishes to point out that only formal day dress with a hat or substantial fascinator will be acceptable. Off the shoulder, halter neck, spaghetti straps and dresses with a strap of less than one inch and miniskirts are considered unsuitable. Gentlemen are required to wear either black or grey morning dress, including a waistcoat, with a top hat.    

A goddamn top hat. You couldn’t MAKE this up. Oh? And what is a substantial fascinator you ask? Not sure, but I am assuming it is something like THIS:   

1) Life is like a box of HAT

 

 YES, that was worn. Along with these 7 others to be judged for the title of Grand Hat Supreme. And they are….   

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I challenge you, hipster Seersucker Social

self-described "alt-retro socialites" socializing

How? HOW is it so easy to predict these things? Honestly, if someone played a word association game for “fancy hipster garden party” here is what I would have come up with: vintage bicycle, ironic mustache, suspenders, snifter, fancy hats, faux fur. As a test, I also asked ironcityspy his opinion, to which he replied “the Great Gatsby.” Or as we know it, the 2010 DC Dandies and Quaintrelles’ Seersucker Social:

(photos courtesy of DCist)

The Dandies and Quaintrelles is a DC fashion club and the event was this past weekend. Sigh. So much…TRY. Look, I am not saying some of these people don’t look awesome. I mean, who doesn’t admire this commitment? But there is something about the concept: the trendy faux-antique photos from last year’s tweed ride, the finger sandwiches, the croquet, the ray bans, the fact that half of DC owns seersucker for serious, that makes it so… predictable.

The Decemberists would be proud

Afterwards, I half expect them all to ride their tandem bicycles to a food truck, take some vintage-contemporary juxtaposition photos with said truck, and ultimately end up at the Gibson laughing over fancy cocktails.

So with that in mind, my DC fashion avant-guard: I challenge you.

DCspy, the man in black

I challenge you to surprise me. That’s it. Muster your fashion-forwardness and come up with a costume party I could never predict through word association. If you succeed, I will give credit where credit is due and be less curmudgeonly towards your hipster-sensibilities. If you do not, throwback costumes, bicycles and PBR remain fair game.

Good luck, you princes of Maine, you kings of New England. I will be watching.

Sincerely,

DCspy

Trends that need to disappear: Fancy Jumpsuits

So as I am sitting in Jakarta, i.e. one of the few places in the world where I could actually make it rain (seriously, the exchange rate is like 9000 Rupiah to the dollar), I started thinking about money. More specifically, all the clothes I would buy if I actually HAD money. Then I naturally started thinking about all the horrid things celebrities buy even though they DO have money. One item on that stupid trend train?  The fancy jumpsuit:

Oh jesus god the fancy jumpsuit. Fancy jumpsuits are one of those trends that come along, like high waisted tapered pants, JUICY ass-pants, harem pants, and no pants (i.e. leggings as pants), that I cannot understand. They are universally unflattering, encourage el camel-toe, and, though they come in different shapes and sizes, all end up looking either like superhero costumes, fancy pajamas, the wardrobe of Dynasty or a combination of the three. They are also guaranteed to be completely out of style in 6 months, which means they are only for those who can afford to light money on fire.

People. You are young. You have wonderful figures. Just slice the jumpsuit into a top and pants, make sure each is flattering, and we are in business. Do it for the rest of us who live vicariously through your millions. Please. For the children.

A lovely 14th Street vintage furniture roundup

GoodWood via apartmenttherapy.com

Morning DC friends. So, for some reason traveling abroad always leaves me coveting vintage furniture. It’s just something about the worn wood, mix of local and colonial influences, the allure of the impulse buy that leaves me needing that 1800s Indonesian ottoman. Is it really antique? Don’t know. Don’t care really. I just imagine a Dutch explorer sitting on it in some ungodly hot tropical place, exporting local culture while importing Christianity and smallpox, and think how perfectly it would look beside all the little books in my studio.

So yes, with antiques on my mind, I present the U Street antique store roundup. As I mentioned in my Ruff and Ready post, U Street is a vintage furniture haven where you can purchase affordable things that are not Mary Todd Lincoln colonial style or Louis XIV imperial style or a zillion dollars. The stores are also within walking distance of one another. There are 3 main stores (photos after the jump!):

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Legendary Beast and a love of vintage

I have a soft spot in my heart for costume jewelry. I really do. Bold necklaces, clip on earrings, statement pieces that people like Rita Hayworth could wear the living hell out of, like this:

Sigh. If only I looked like that. Because you see, although I love costume jewelry, I rarely wear it. I know, I should carpe my style or whatnot, but it’s just that my head is SO small and spherical. I’m serious. It’s literally like a PERFECT sphere. A tennis ball. So when you put a massive necklace on the neck of a tennis ball, it looks ridiculous.

(Oh, and for those of you that say “no SPY, Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s had a small head and wore that massive necklace.” Look. The smallness of the head was balanced by the height of the hair and we all know I’m not going to beehive it and go to Cosi. It’s not halloween)

However, at Legendary Beast on U Street I felt at ease trying on ridiculous things. Part of it was the $8.50 bin, which was front, center and easily accessible. Part of it was the massive amount of inventory, which reminded me of my mom’s/ grandmother’s jewelry box times 5000, like this:

And part of it, a large part of it in fact, was the owner. Anne Fox, who owns Legendary Beast, was previously the longstanding owner of Meeps, the Adams Morgan vintage stronghold before she moved on to jewelry. Fox has a wonderfully dry wit, knows her vintage pieces inside and out, and leaves you to browse as you please. It’s overall very relaxing, as the hunt should be.

Legendary Beast is only open from 12-5 on the weekends, including Friday, so such limited hours should attract hipsters. It’s mostly pre-WWII pieces, with a lot of inventory coming from the rust belt days of Ohio and Western Pennsylvania, places near and dear to my heart. For the mens you have cufflinks and apartment odds and ends, many of which are spiritual in nature. However, in all honesty, this is place for the womens. And it is a wonderful place indeed. Visit.

Legendary Beast, 1520 U St NW 2nd FLOOR, DC 20009, 202-797-1234

Best of DC winners and some DCspy opinions

Ok kids. The Best of DC results are in. Now, last time some DC results were in (i.e. my James Beard post), I thought I would get all bloggery and say “hey readers, let me know your thoughts!!” You know, because that’s what blogs do.

Yeah. You all failed. Basically, none of you commented except for empire state elitist who did not comment on the restaurants at all and instead talked about how much DC food sucks. Way to snark up the comments section.  ANYWAYS, learning from my mistakes, I have highlighted some of the Best of DC winners, MY thoughts, and could effing care less if you comment. take THAT…

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I went to Ruff & Ready and all I got was this ottoman and this rash

First, let me say that I love Ruff & Ready. I have a TV stand, lamp, pictures and other things from there. However, Ruff & Ready is not for everyone, and I have been abandoned there many times by friends who can’t handle its charm. Well, I think it’s charm.

Ruff and Ready is a hipster’s dream. It is only open on the weekends. It is technically antique but has the stacked inventory of a thrift store. All prices end in the number 7 and the owner doesn’t know why, its just tradition. It’s not super cheap, but they will bargain with you. It is one of those perfect places that locals have known about for ages and new residents need to know about immediately. Some pictures:

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This Thursday! Free Samples & Extended Shopping Hours on 14th Street!

This Thursday, March 18th: MidCity restaurants are partnering with local shops to provide a taste of some of the city’s best dining! Come sample the fantastic shopping and enjoy free samples from the following restaurants:Cafe Saint Ex, Cork Wine Bar, Marvin, Ulah Bistro, Nellies, Local 16 and Policy! Free samples are delicious and the vintage shops I blogged about are open late! You should go! Details here.

Lithics by Treasury and other (anti-cupcake) updates

SO. I was browsing around Treasury the other day and loved this little ring I saw. After talking to the Treasury folks, I found out the ring was part of Lithics, Treasury’s own new line of rings made from vintage casts, shown here:

Lithics by Treasury (I was eyeing the third one)

Treasury rescued the little ring molds. They were set to be melted down for scrap metal when Treasury took them. Yes. Scrap metal. Could you imagine? Anyways, this is the best shopping situation possible. You buy something pretty (ring) and in doing so are saving something that would have been wasted. Win-win. Its recycling in its easiest form. Which is, at its heart, what vintage is anyways. They run between $85-110, which isn’t cheap, but would be way marked up elsewhere (looking at you NYC). Buy them.

OH. Update #2. Sources tell me “Best of DC” has a best cupcake category. Now, I am not telling you to ban it (as maybe all the losers will get disheartened and start baking other things), but if you just “forgot to vote” or “accidentally commented that the cupcake market is saturated” I wouldn’t be upset.  Throwing it out there.