Calculating D.I.N.K

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  1. Monthly payment on matching “His and Her” 2015 Range Rover SuperChargeds
  2. 18K white gold Cartier Love bracelet set with 2 diamonds
  3. One pair Christian Louboutin “So Kate Booty” in Python 
  4. Two nights, mid week, standard room, The St. Regis Aspen Resort, Aspen, CO
  5. 89 J.Crew perfect fit tank tops
  6. Saturday night coursed dinner for 10 at the Inn at Little Washington (excludes tip, taxes and gratuity)
  7. Four Hermes 36 x 36 silk twill scarfs
  8. Twenty-five year supply of Cibu Sticky Rice Pomade (111 tubs) 
  9. Mortgage payment, 4BR, 5BT, 3860 SF new construction in Dallas, TX
  10. 129 bottles of Mumms 

or

One month of daycare for my two children, Falls Church, VA

Good thing I paired down my wardrobe. 

Today’s outfit was an “Ish I woke up at 8:15AM!” fashion moment. Still managed to get out the door relatively on time because it’s pretty easy to pull it together when you only have three dozen-ish items in your closet. 

BTW: DINK means Double Income No Kids

Outfit details: Rite Aid Foster Grant aviator shades due to lost Chloe Havana (2015); LouLou scarf (2014); Tart Collections dress (2014); Kate Spade wedge sandals (2014); Stella & Dot Waverly Petite cross body bag; David Yurman Classic cable bracelet (2006); Stella & Dot Coral Cay earrings

Let It Go

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Perhaps the omission was a gift from the universe, easing our family’s transition through a late winter cold snap: For several months my toddler forgot to sing the theme song from Frozen. In early April, however; The Frozen Song re-emerged as a thematic element in our collaborative bedtime story. In summary: AJ hosts an egg hunt and all of his cousins are invited (”All of them, Mommy!”). There is a custom Play Doh decorated surprise egg hidden for each cousin. Anna’s egg is wrapped in a tutu and when she opens it a real ballerina dances out (these are big eggs). Caroline’s egg is decorated as an egg and when she cracks it open, baby Ashby is trapped inside and AJ rescues her. Finally, Isabelle opens her egg, emblazoned with a glittering crown, and out jumps Princess Elsa, singing “Let it Go, Let it Go, Let it Go...” At this point he falls asleep softly singing the only words anyone really knows from that song.

Yesterday the nurse at the doctor’s office needed to confirm my last name. “Is it Mapp or Bressan?” After a very pregnant pause I responded “Bressan.” I have been married for nearly six years but man was it hard to let that one go. We cling to things, don’t we? Maiden names, college scrapbooks, dog eared copies of Judy Blume’s Blubber, a $175 silk Joie blouse that never actually looks good on - they all tell a story about who we are, or were. But where is the line between identity and junk?

That evening I enjoyed a glass of champagne with a chic friend to celebrate her newly acquired American citizenship. Thinking back on the last name conversation I asked if the ceremony sparked any sort of identity crisis. “Not at all,” she replied. “I retain both my Swiss and Italian passports.”  Leave it to Ada to be a triple citizen of the world. After a moment she added, “It was kind of hard for my Dad, though.”

Today’s outfit wasn’t quite as inspiring as the pink magnolia letting go of her petals in the background. Looking to the indigo top and flats to elevate grey base layers and an overcast spring morning. 

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Outfit details: Salvatore Ferragamo silk twill scarf (2009); J. Crew ruffle trench (2008); South Moon Under indigo hi low t-shirt (2012); Banana Republic ruched grey jersey skirt (2015); Steve Madden Kstudd indigo studded flats (2012); Stella & Dot Rebel pendant necklace (2014)

On the Wagon

Project 333 has helped me curb the urge to shop compulsively. Proudly, I am 14 days clean. I still peruse the 9 PM Gilt.com sales while waiting for my toddler to fall the eff asleep; the difference is that I choose not to indulge. It’s an empty high, anyway. Almost never does an impulse purchase emerge as the link that connects my entire wardrobe. Little things trip me up, though. It’s easy to delay the purchase of $495 Loeffler Randall tassel sandals; but damn you indigo Ikat print scarf, with your $45 allure of outfit completion and on-trend pop of color. Just a nip, she says. A sweet little sip of accessorize.

In the face of an upcoming tropical vacation, I rationalized my summer clothes hoping to find an excuse to shop. What I found, however; was three pairs of white jeans, four barely used and extremely versatile beach wraps; a floppy straw hat and a straw fedora; two pairs of J. Crew chino shorts that fit and FIVE pairs of J.Crew leather thong sandals. Truth be told, I did purchase two new bathing suits. Give me a break! I just had a baby and itty bitty string bikini season is over.

A rainy day is so suitable for draping gray layers. Comfort clothes, if you will. Also an example of an outfit I own in 24 variations. 

Outfit details: Design History gray open front cardigan (2014); Gap Body black t-shirt (2014); Banana Republic gray ruched skirt (2015); DKNY tights (2014); Nine West Heartset Wedge Knee High Boots (2014); Striped scarf from Posh, Charlottesville, VA (2010); Red tassel pendant from a boutique in Charleston, SC.

The Marketer and the Muse

Yesterday I went to New York City for a business meeting with Cibu Celebrity Stylist Sharon So. Sharon So is super cool. Even her name is cool: “Sharon So.” So what? You fill in the blank.

Every inch a platform artist, Sharon’s look is on point. Hair and makeup flawless – always; apparel is that rocker edgy situation that you’d find on an off duty model with a mean streak.

Though toned down, her outfit yesterday was no disappointment: Draped asymmetrical cardigan, paneled leggings, leather corset and sharp (yet sensible) over-the-knee flat boots. The monochromatic gray ensemble was set off by a brilliant blue saddle bag and those nerdy chic thick black glasses that only the chic can pull off without looking like an actual nerd.

Sharon and I have been travelling together since Cibu was born; over the past 13 years my personal style has evolved under her influence. But it only took one mishap (a bi-color mullet in 2005) for me to realize that while Sharon’s personal style is inspiring, it wasn’t my style to imitate. Sharon makes me cooler by osmosis.

So that is my explanation as to why the outfit I selected for a day trip to NYC, fashion capital of the world, was so deliberately DC. I dress in deference to the coolest person in the room.

Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of Sharon’s entire outfit, but this shot captures the edgy vibe she emanates 

Sharon on stage and in her element

Outfit details: Hermes Eperon d'Or Remix silk maxi twilly scarf (birthday gift from Matt, 2014); Citrine pendant on gold chain (birthday gift from Matt, 2010) Stella & Dot Norah Chandelier earrings (2014); JCrew ruffle trench (2008); Theory white knit sweater (belonged to my original muse, my beloved Aunt Catherine, 2015); layered over JCrew silk camisole (2015); JCrew Minnie Pants (2013); Loeffler Randall Tamsin Haircalf pumps (2004)

Surprise Inside

My toddler can’t read so I don’t know how he found the “Surprise Egg” YouTube network. The premise is simple: Faceless adult hands crack apart plastic eggs to reveal tiny licensed treats. With great ceremony the anonymous fingers rip open a shiny foil parcel. A wee Minecraft horse tumbles out. Sometimes the creepy hands unearth a nutritious packet of Hello Kitty sugar candies or a Lego Spiderman Mini Figurine. How delightful! I think. Another adorable plastic nightmare to clog the corners my home. After each 3 - 5 minute video its  “Another one mommy, another one!” And I oblige because I like quiet.

Yesterday I received a promising e-blast from J.Crew. Considerate gal that she is, J.Crew wrote to remind me that SPRINGSALE earns 30% off all orders. Won’t you just take a peak? Oh OK. My eager fingers scan the responsive-for-mobile product pages and land on the surprise inside: Ribbed racer back tank top. Select Color. Gray, white and black, please? Only $29.50 each (plus 30% OFF!). A steal, a deal, a downright GIFT from the tank top goddess. Another one!  Another gray, white and black tank top to clog the corners of my closet.

Reason prevailed. It would be wrong to lead you astray, dear reader, on our journey to minimalist nirvana. I defied the tank tops’ sweet siren song and instead took this picture of her would-be sisters.

Outfit Details: Hermes horse bit scarf (2007); JCrew ruffle trench (2008); Rachel Pally striped tunic (2014) on top of BCBG Layering Tank Dress (2014); DKNY tights (2014); Nine West Heartset Wedge Knee High Boots (2014); Loeffler Randall Industry Bag (2014); Stella & Dot Rebel Pendant (2014)

Kid Stuff

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This morning my toddler found his dog eared Oriental Trading catalog in the trash can. Full meltdown: “My stuff Mommy! Daddy threw away my stuff!” (Full disclosure: it was Mommy who threw away his “stuff” but I am not going to argue semantics with a 3 YO.) We removed his stuff from the trash, he stopped crying and ran outside to play in the ashes of his charred Christmas tree. I threw the catalog away again. 

Earlier this year we listed our home for rent. For four tedious weeks I kept it Pintrest perfect. Accessorized the coffee table with art and fashion books, even. Everyone who came through commented on how lovely it was, unique and so well decorated. “What a great yard!” they said. The toddler in me repelled – these bozos are picturing themselves in MY HOME, MY KITCHEN, MY GARDEN. My possessive emotions were so palatable I entertained staying. Moments later the actual toddler returned, trashed 1200 SF in 12 minutes and I was emotionally mature again. My kingdom for a playroom. 

I did an admirable job of narrowing my closet down to practically nothing but there are still several items to reconcile. What am I afraid of? If I truly need the J.Crew graphic tee that says “Cheers!” in 11 languages, I can grab it from the storage box. 

Letting go of our stuff is scary. What if there is nothing left? 

As AJ would say: “That’s silly, Mommy!”

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Details: Stella & Dot Nora Chandelier Earrings (2014); TJ Maxx No Name black knit turtleneck (2013); Gap denim jacket (2002 - no seriously); tangerine cashmere scarf, origins unknown (2012)
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Details: Coach purple tassel cross-body (2012); Steve Madden cheetah flats (2011); J.Crew Minnie pants (2013)
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For 12 easy payments of $2650, all of this could be yours.
Top photo in front of our new home, which is right next door

Project 333 - Minimalism is in

Putting outfits together and looking put together is very important to me. For 35 years shopping for clothes and accessories was my favorite pastime. Now I have a toddler and an infant, a full time job and own a small (but charming!) house. All of this translates to no time, minimal storage and considerably less discretionary income. Recently I transitioned out of my post natal wardrobe and became very frustrated. I spend too much money on too many clothes that I don’t love. 

Last week on Pinterest I unearthed this image and was flooded with emotion. How simple, how chic, how inspiring! A quick search for “minimalist wardrobe” led me to Project 333. Simply put, Project 333 is an exercise in reduction. Reduce your wardrobe to 33 items and wear only those 33 items for 3 months. 

With spring coming and finally down to a dress size that includes zippered pants, I was moved to pair down my belongings to 33 items that fit and bring me joy. I will tailor the official Project 333 rules to suit my comfort level: the 33 items I selected are business casual separates mostly worn to work. My 33 items do not include shoes and accessories because these items add flair to my mostly basic wardrobe and without access to them it would not be a plausible fashion experiment. However, I did reduce the accessories and shoes I will rotate into this capsule collection. For example, I have five Hermes scarves. Hermes scarves are my signature accessory. I will only be using two for this project. The others will be stored for the Summer collection. Thinking about Project 333 as curating a seasonal “collection” of my own clothes gets me very excited. 

Spring 2015 Capsule Collection

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Store, Consign or Donate Collection

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Outfit Day 1

Marc by Marc Jacobs dress

JCrew trench

Seychelles ballet flats