Georgetown in Plaid

Pllaid-in-Georgetown Even though it’s summer, it seems that the hazy, hot and humid days have hit us much earlier than normal. But that didn’t stop me from donning my summer casual to head to the Washingtonian’s Best of Washington Party. Before heading to the Building Museum, I thought it might be nice to venture to the other side of town and do a walk through Georgetown. BlueDoor Old muscats “What’s behind the door.” you might ask. Well I never found out but what I did find was some interesting tidbits of Georgetown. Like this fence at 28th and P. The fence, known as Daws fence, is made of old musket barrels from 1848 and allegedly used during the Mexican War.
Rising2 Or these steps leading up from Poplar Street. Some of these cute meticulously maintained houses are only about 600 square feet. Small in nature but still grand.  Details shoes For the Best of Washington party, I wanted something festive and fun. Lately, I’ve been loving the Black Fleece Collection from Brooks Brothers. The Georgetown location is the only store that carries these pieces in the area. Nothing says festive than a coral plaid blazer in linen perfectly paired with blue gray linen slacks. The coral pattern plaid is also available as slacks but I prefer only the jacket. It was statement enough. Finishing off my look is a knit grey tie, a neat change from a silk one, white lapel flow and Daddy Flat loafers by Christian Louboutin. Surprise! Men can wear red bottoms too!
Sprinkles Coverboy Cupcake Party or no party, no trip to Georgetown is complete without a trip to Sprinkles. So naturally, I made a detour to great gobble up one of those delectable treats. You know you have it bad if someone asks your favorite flavor and you answer, “All of them.” I think I’d make an excellent spokesman! Black-Fleece Crossing-Wiscosin3 It’s okay to stand out in a crowd, just be yourself. And sometimes, add some splash!

A Suit in the Summer

Walking in CityCenterDC In DC it seems that we leap from winter right into summer. Spring barely makes an appearance before giving into the hazy, hot and humid days of summer. And once the summer heat is in full force being outside can be pretty unpleasant.
IMG_5711 Fortunately, if you’re up early enough, you can still enjoy a little outside time before the scorching sun gets to work. For those who love being outside, grab a coffee, read the paper and/or plan your day. It’s a great way to start your day and not too long ago, I had the opportunity to do just that. By the fountain Walking by the fountain I was up early and ventured over to CityCenterDC in downtown Washington. Between the new popular restaurants and trendy luxury shopping, there is a wonderful courtyard with outdoor seating complete with a lovely water fountain that was ideal for taking a moment before a hectic workweek. There was something about watching the fountain and listening to its water pound as it hit the ground that was really relaxing. seated with tote As the temperature began to rise and watching the occasional dog run into the fountain to eagerly lap up water for a bit of relief, it became apparent that all good things must come to an end. It was going to be a hot one and soon. On very hot days, tailored looks can be hard to pull off and stay cool while still looking dapper. By moving wall Shoes and socks

For my early more excursion, here are a few simple tips I try to follow as I dressed for my day. Consider these as you reach for that jacket and tie during the summer months. IMG_6028

  1. Wear an undershirt. It sounds counterintuitive to add layers when its hot but a cotton t-shirt can actually help you stay cool in summer just like it adds a bit of insulation in the winter. In addition, if you get sweaty it can absorb some of the moisture and protect your clothes from the wetness. IMG_5992
  2. Choose lightweight fabrics.  Not all suits are meant to be worn year round. Cotton and linen are the perfect go to materials but don’t be afraid to wear wool. There are some great lightweight wools that work nicely as it gets hot. I chose this light brown suit from Hugo Boss. While it’s a bit darker than the traditional tan suit, it’s a great color for this season.  IMG_6000
  3. Stay away from dark colors. Darker colors absorb heat. Often, we tend to go directly from an air-conditioned house right to an air-conditioned office where it’s constantly cool. As a result, we ignore the conditions outside. If any part of your day is going to be spent outside, opt for lighter colors. I’ve been a fan of pink this season so I opted for a mini patterned tie from Ferragamo and paired it with a matching pink pocket square along with a white lapel flower pin. I even have a hint of pink in my socks for some added fun. A dark tie such as navy would also work well with this suit and if you’re going to wear darker colors let it be in your accent pieces. IMG_5852
  4. Carry a handkerchief. For many the thought of carrying around something in your pocket after you’ve blown your nose is unappealing. However, it’s a small price to pay especially if you find yourself somewhere without access to tissues or napkins and it’s 100% better than using your sleeve. In addition, if you do find yourself in a bit of a sweat, it’s handy and available item right at your disposal.

To finish my look, I have on cap-toe brown lace ups, again by Ferragamo and I’ve ditched by black briefcase in favor of this cheeky tote by Burberry. All of these labels are available in the shops of CityCenterDC.

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The Prepster in Crystal City

Standing2 Crystal City has come long a way in the past few years. Once known for its underground and the ability to reach all destinations without stepping outside (it boasted a grocery, post office and many other amenities), this nearby neighbor of Washington is becoming a vibrant place to be. IMG_6150 Seated-in-Crystal-City Gone is the ugly human “habitrail”, the covered bridge, used to cross Crystal Drive, and in its place a much-improved streetscape and new restaurants to entice people to spend some time in this little town. In addition to these changes, the city has now offers a host of events such as the Taste of Wine and Jazz, Crystal City 5Ks in April, outdoor movie screenings and a vibrant farmer’s market every Tuesday throughout the summer to lure visitors outside and enjoy what the city has to offer. Overlook Standing One of Crystal City’s major draws is the Crystal City Waterpark. It is a favorite local destination for prom, wedding and special event photographs. Naturally, I found a beautiful spring day to showcase one of my new looks. On-the-path details When putting together my looks, I tend to choose from a variety of labels. In that way I’m never too matchy matchy however I was drawn to this combination from Black Fleece by Brook’s Brothers. Brooks Brothers has a reputation of being too classic or too preppy but I like the edge that comes with the Black Fleece line. Pant-details Standing-by-fountain In 2007, Brooks Brother’s launched the Black Fleece line with Thome Brown to “explore a fashion-forward perspective on classic American style.” I think the plaid linen trousers make a bold statement and are great for this time of year. While the same pattern is also available as a blazer for a complete tailored look, I think that would be a bit much. Vest Tote Instead of the matching blazer, I’m wearing a cotton-line mesh sweater vest. The vest has the similar muted pattern of the pants and I love the combination together. I think there are still a few days before it’s too humid to wear it. For shoes, I snapped up these black and white spectators. They are fun and work well with this combination. Lastly, ditch the briefcase opt for a tote. If you update your clothes, your bag needs an update as well. I think I’ve unleashed my urban prepster!
Seated

Off to Venice

Venice bridge

Venice is beautiful during the spring and was an ideal setting to snap a few photos as I took a walking tour of this exciting city. As a popular tourist destination, it’s best to explore the city early in the morning before the crowds stream in or late in the evening after they’ve left for the night.

Venice by the dock Venice - chillin Naturally, I hit the major attractions, first stopping in St. Mark’s Square to tour Doge’s Palace as well as the exquisite St. Mark’s Basilica. As a lover of modern art and a dog lover, The Peggy Guggenheim Museum was not to be missed. The museum has some fine pieces and Ms. Guggenheim is buried here along with her dogs. And what’s a visit to the city without stepping over the Bridge of Sighs or marveling how the gondolas navigate Venice through its series of canals? All must-dos, when visiting Venice.

Outside Doge's Palace

 

At the Guggenheim While the famous attractions are amazing and beautiful, one of the best ways to enjoy the city is to stay off the beaten path. Venice is comprised of 117 islands formed by 177 bridges and connected by 409 bridges. It’s difficult to get lost and you can still see some wonderful sights, discover unique architecture and sample delectable cuisine from lesser known restaurants.

Venice Bridge 2 Venice as backdrop For an all day excursion of exploring the city, comfort was the key. While it was certainly warm enough for shorts and a t-shirt, when visiting Venice it’s important to remember that many of the churches including St. Mark’s Basilica have dress codes. Shorts and tank tops are generally forbidden. So with that in mind and wanting to have a little Italian flair, I chose to pay homage to the gondoliers by sporting a nautical striped top by Ralph Lauren Black Label over white flat front Gucci pants. Hook rope bracelet from Universal Gear and Daniel Wellington watch helped to stick with my nautical theme. Knowing I was walking all day, white sneakers by Prada finished off my look. Venice Seated
Daniel Wellington Although I enjoyed touring the city, I wasn’t going to leave without doing some shopping. A little retail therapy is always on the agenda when traveling. Of course I popped in to some of the more famous named boutiques such as Prada, Gucci,  Zenga and Hugo Boss. Many of the luxury brands are well represented but I also hit some little Italian stores that had some really terrific merchandise as well.
Venice Bridge 3

After a day a full day of touring the city and shopping for some Italian bargains (I did picked up some fantastic shirts for myself as well as a beautiful leather purse for my mother), stopping to grab a spritz before dinner was a nice way to wind down the afternoon. Venice shoppping Venice after shopping

Six Days in Slovenia

Archway of Textile Museum during six days in Slovenia

Clothing Details: Long sleeve navy polo – Vince, Geometric print trousers – Michael Kors, Sneakers – Prada

I spent six days in Slovenia. I didn’t know what to expect this first trip to Slovenia but I can tell you it is a joy to behold. From picturesque country sides, magnificent castles and churches to its sprawling modern capital, Slovenia is the hidden jewel of Europe. Spending nearly a week in the country, I traveled from wine country to the capital, Ljubljana and enjoyed everything this beautiful former Yugoslavin Republic had to offer.

View Tower landscape during six days in Slovenia After flying into Venice, it was a nice van ride to the wine region of Brda. One of my travel tricks was to stick to one color scheme for ease of packing and to give me more outfit choices. For this trip, I opted for hues of blues, blacks and whites. Fortunately for me 70% of Slovenia’s wine is white so I wasn’t to worried about staining my clothing and the wine from sparkling to red was fantastic. Haystack visit during six days in Slovenia

Haystack look during six days in Slovenia

Clothing Details: Lightweight knit navy sweater – Armani, Striped white cotton trousers – Ralph Lauren Polo , Slip-ons – Gucci

With Slovenia’s wine country so close to Italy, there is quite a similarity to Italy’s terrain, which makes it ripe for some outstanding wine as well as fantastic fruits. While I was there, cherries were abundant and quite delicious. Touring the countryside it’s amazing to see thriving wineries that not only provide outstanding wines but also offer elegant meals and cozy accommodations overlooking the vineyards such as Hiša Štekar.

Natural Stone Bridge during six days in Slovenia But wine isn’t the only attraction the country had to offer and with only six days in Slovenia, I tried to see everything. Visiting castles (or manors as the locals called them because they were not fortified),  gazing at the natural stone bridge  or wandering around the quaint little towns such as St. Martin, you get the feeling that you’ve stepped off a page of a fairy tale. It’s that lovely. And I did live like a king, while staying in the Hotel Gredič, a transformed castle. Breadmaking during six days in Slovenia Slovenia is proud of its history and encourages visitors take an active part in learning about it. At the Technical Museum, I was hands on in making bread using traditional methods, learned about the history of printing and celebrated the incredible car collection of President Josef Tito. There’s even a museum dedicated to hayracks, which are called kozolecs in Slovenian. The museum has transformed a series of these structures, originally used for drying and storing hay, into a meeting and event space. Lounging during six days in Slovenia  I wanted my travel looks to be cool and casual yet not give off the tacky tourist look. Since it was spring, slim fit polos, lightweight slacks and sweaters where the ideal clothing choice for days of touring, wining and dining. Espadrilles and slip-on sneakers were comfortable for traipsing around the country. A light waterproof jacket guarded off the evening chill and served as great protection against the light rain.  Looking smart in a beautiful country is always a wise choice. 

A visit to Lake Bled during six days in Slovenia  One of the most iconic locations of Slovenia is Lake Bled with a giant castle on a cliff along with a church in the middle of the lake. Not only is it a romantic destination, there’s plenty of outdoor activities to savor the idyllic location.

Dragon during six days in Slovenia The capital of Ljubljana is a modern bustling metropolis but still complete with its old world charm including a castle and the dragon as the city’s symbol. Boutique hotels such as the Vander, daily open air markets and charming outdoor restaurants and cafes go a long way to support the mayor’s claim for Ljubljana as “the most beautiful city in the world.”

Wearing Gucci during six days in Slovenia

Clothing Details: Sheer black & off-white shirt – Gucci, Off-white linen trouses – Armani, Navy espadrilles – Salvatore Ferragamo

My travel to Slovenia was quite easy and an experience of a lifetime. For more information about planning your own trip, contact Luxury Slovenia. Enjoy at least six days in Slovenia.

It's time for wine during six days in Slovenia

Clothing Details: Lightweight waterproof jacket – Gucci