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

Head Case

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This weekend I unearthed hundreds of vintage pictures. You know the kind we used to take on a camera that housed a film roll, which you then removed and dropped off at CVS to develop and pick up one week later? I scanned through these relics pictures contemplating two decades of fashion choices. From Gangsta Chic to Raver 1.0, Miss Steeple Chase to Bebe Goes to Vegas, mine was a vast and varied trend trajectory.

I have always prided myself on possessing a definitive personal style but my fashion moments seemed disconnected.  Unnerved, I looked closer, willing a pattern to emerge. And there it was, right on top of my head. Be it a bucket hat or a bandanna, beret or backwards visor, the only thing more prevalent than the one arm on hip pose was my enthusiasm for headwear.  

Why the obsession with headdress? I pondered this. Does it convey status? Nobility? Class distinction? Nope. Simply put, I find the head the perfect place to put an accessory. Makes you look. Plus a jaunty hat has an attitude that just resonates with me.

Twenty years later, only the quality of my scarf selection has changed. I’ve upgraded the bedazzled JLo-era bandanna for a collection of Hermes twill but the attitude remains. As they say, you can take the girl out of Norfolk but you can’t take the Naughty out of the girl.

Today’s outfit reflects my 2015 style – a settled, comfortable and colorful aesthetic, accented by a baby. Of course I had to throw on a gypsy wrap for good measure.

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Outfit details: Hermes scarf as headband (2008); Girls Day Out raw amethyst pendant, Charlottesville Farm Market (2015); J.Crew cardigan (2014); Tart Collections top (2014); J.Crew #2 Pencil Skirt (2012); Renvy by Gilt.com sandals (2014). On Ashby: Baby Gap onsie and bubble shorts

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Raver 1.0 in fairy wings, candy necklaces and a glitter crown, 1997

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Sporty spice goes to beach week in a Ralph Lauren bucket hat, 1997

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Naughty by Norfolk in a classic gangsta bandanna and Tommy zip neck, 1999

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Miss Bebe in a beret, 2001

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Steeplechase vibes at Gold Cup, 2006

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Etsy rosettes and a Cibu pin at Washington Life’s Young & the Guest List Party, 2009

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)

Dress Code Violation

There is a sartorial movement afoot that celebrates “uniform dressing.” This is the idea that the very fashionable curate their wardrobes around a signature ensemble or silhouette. Much like Project 333 or related minimalist fashion experiments, the theory is that the fashion enlightened instinctively cull through excess, pare down options to what works for them and stick to it. 

Think about it, fashion royalty wear uniforms: Anna Wintour is well oiled in her banged bob, oversize frames and a-line dresses. Kate Moss prefers slim pants, killer heels and a sharply cut jacket. You’ll be hard pressed to find Carolina Herrera in anything but a crisp white button down, black skirt and those enviable tennis calves.

I suffered in an actual uniform for eight stifling years at St. Pius X Elementary School. High school was spent in violation of Norfolk Catholic’s covered leg and knee skirt policy. I am convinced that my childhood acquiescence to dress code is the root of my adult binge shopping addiction. Arrested fashion development!

Alas, I am a grown up now. I recognize and respect order. Perhaps it’s because my house lacks order and it is my nature to rebel the status quo. Regardless, my outfit today has a school boy vibe and the adult in me thinks it’s very fashionable.

Details: Kiton navy blue double breasted blazer (2010, check out the link - I scored this FREE at the Greater Washington DC Clothing Swap); Ann Taylor Loft Tunic Softened Button Down Shirt (2014); French Connection gray crewneck sweater (snatched from sister Emily 2015); Joes Jeans 29 Ankle Cargo pant (2010); Halogen nude open toe booties (2015); Cashmere tangerine scarf, origins unknown (2012); Stella and Dot Rebel Pendant (2014); Stella and Dot Norah Chandelier Earrings (2014);  YSL Muse handbag (2008)

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)
Spring 2015 Core Capsule Wardrobe  by  jennmapp     After much deliberation my master 33 piece Spring 2015 core wardrobe is complete. There are caveats to this capsule that you must note. March is notorious for rapid cycle weather patterns. As the forecast improves, some items will be swapped for seasonal-appropriate replacements. Like great art, Facebook app updates and noncommittal ex-boyfriends, this relationship is a work in progress. You may spot a tank or pant that is not on the master list. I will share the sub collections at a later date. Each is sparsely populated, containing shoes and accessories, seasonal replacements, licensed sports apparel and backup dupes of the master collection (the baby spit up struggle is real, ya’ll).   Happy Spring and Go Hoos!       Details: White + Warren cashmere beanie (2012);  Joie Hooded Military jacket  (2014);  Gap 1969 Deconstructed Western Denim shirt  (2015);  Hooded UVa long sleeve tee shirt , gift from Matt, Mincers, Charlottesville, Va (2015);  AG “Stevie” ankle jeans  (2013);  Hunter Boots , gift from sister Emily (2013)     Details:  David Yurman Cable Classics hoop earrings  (2013);  Tiffany & Co. Elsa Peretti Tear Drop necklace  (2001);  David Yurman Color Classics Bangles with Black Onyx  (2013);  David Yurman Cable Classics Bracelet with Titanium and 14K Gold  (2006);  David Yurman Petite Albion Ring with Hematine and Diamonds  (2006);  Loeffler Randall Industry Bag  (2014)

Spring 2015 Core Capsule Wardrobe by jennmapp 

After much deliberation my master 33 piece Spring 2015 core wardrobe is complete. There are caveats to this capsule that you must note. March is notorious for rapid cycle weather patterns. As the forecast improves, some items will be swapped for seasonal-appropriate replacements. Like great art, Facebook app updates and noncommittal ex-boyfriends, this relationship is a work in progress. You may spot a tank or pant that is not on the master list. I will share the sub collections at a later date. Each is sparsely populated, containing shoes and accessories, seasonal replacements, licensed sports apparel and backup dupes of the master collection (the baby spit up struggle is real, ya’ll).

Happy Spring and Go Hoos!

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Details: White + Warren cashmere beanie (2012); Joie Hooded Military jacket (2014); Gap 1969 Deconstructed Western Denim shirt (2015); Hooded UVa long sleeve tee shirt, gift from Matt, Mincers, Charlottesville, Va (2015); AG “Stevie” ankle jeans (2013); Hunter Boots, gift from sister Emily (2013)
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Details: David Yurman Cable Classics hoop earrings (2013); Tiffany & Co. Elsa Peretti Tear Drop necklace (2001); David Yurman Color Classics Bangles with Black Onyx (2013); David Yurman Cable Classics Bracelet with Titanium and 14K Gold (2006); David Yurman Petite Albion Ring with Hematine and Diamonds (2006); Loeffler Randall Industry Bag (2014)

Switch Fix

Yesterday I was late to work. Again. I won’t bore you with details but its really hard to get out of my house in the morning. I zipped into my spot (in front of Potbelly’s), exited the car and trotted right down the parking lot. 

BING! Text Message. 9:25AM Lisa R.: Jenn you just walked by RC :30*, which started at 9AM.” 

*RC:30 is a monthly company wide meeting in PotBelly’s. Lisa R. is my boss 

Dammit! My head fumbled over excuses. As I was clearly called out - in front of most of the the company - I opted not to reply. So that’s how yesterday started. 

It doesn’t take much to derail a morning, does it? Can’t find matching shoes, no time to make lunch, toddler demands milkshake for breakfast, snarky barista adds WAY TOO MUCH half and half to a watery iced americano - it all adds up to a shitty mood. That’s no way to start a day. 

After wallowing in self pity over getting caught, my office sage Kristin reminded me that the key to happiness is perspective. I could choose to let my morning ruin my day or I could choose to make better choices tomorrow. So that’s what I did (Kristin is very convincing). Last night I went to yoga at 8, made my lunch before bed and pre-selected a smart little outfit from my edited closet. And then I was up, once an hour, all night, nursing the baby. 

However sleep deprived, I was prepared for the morning. I acknowledged my fatigue, strapped the baby and the toddler in their car seats and hit the Starbucks drive thru at 6:45AM. When we got back home I took a shower, pumped while finishing hair and make up, slipped into my smart little outfit, grabbed my lunch out of the fridge, promptly spilled 80% of the pumped milk and decided not to cry over it. 

Switched up my pictures, too. Natural morning light is a real mood lifter and my new photographer is super cute.

Oh! I got to work at 9:04AM.

Details: Hermes silk twill scarf; Chloe Havanna sunglasses; Gorjana spike earrings; floating citrine necklace (birthday gift from Matt, 2010); Gap chambray shirt; Gap red puffer vest

Details: Matt Bernson Wildfox anke bootie; Joes Jeans fatigue skinny cargo 

Details: Tassle pendant from boutique in Charleston SC; Loeffler Randall Industry Bag; engagement ring from Andrew Mitton Jewelers, Charlottesville, VA

New photographer and coordinating husband, Matt, wearing North Face Thermoball jacket and Washington Nationals visor

Signature Style

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Part of the appeal of Project 333 is the opportunity to save money. The goal is to edit your belongings down to a seasonal collection of coordinating items that play well together. Arguably, you save money because you are shopping your own closet and you save time because your choices are limited.  Leave it to me to spend money executing a minimalist lifestyle change. 

You see what happened was… the process of curating a three month wardrobe revealed gaps in the coordination matrix. There was no black and white striped t-shirt, no nude go-with-everything stacked healed sandal, no gray ruched mini skirt - obviously items necessary TO TIE IT ALL TOGETHER. Not to worry, gaping fashion holes were filled, online, while nursing at 4:14AM. World’s best shopping conditions. 

As soon as I tapped the order confirmation button the familiar nervous/guilty anticipation set in: In 3 - 5 business days all of my problems would be solved by J Crew. This very feeling is the dragon that I am attempting to shake. Even as I type this her fiery breath is whispering that I need just one more thing to complete the perfect spring capsule – black nude flats. A good quality pair by Loeffler Randall. But I haven’t pushed ADD TO BAG. Yet. 

Dragon lady is graciously quiet on the jewelry and scarf front. These signature items, mostly special gifts from Matt, didn’t require deliberation because they bring me joy. 

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Jewelry: From left, David Yurman, Tiffany & Co, Stella & Dot, Kendra Scott, Gorjana, model’s own

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 Hermes Scarfs: From bottom, Red Horse Bits 2007; Purple Love Birds 2009

Day 2 Outfit Credits

Top: Tart Collections (2014 Gilt.com)

Cardigan: JCrew (2010 stolen from sister Emily)

Pants: JCrew Minnie (2013)

Shoes: Christian Louboutin Simple 85s (2007)

Bag: Loeffler Randall Industry Bag (2014 gift from sister Emily)

Scarf: Posh Boutique, Charlottesville, VA (2010)

Jewelry: David Yurman (2006 - 2013)

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