shop locally, make friends

I do my best to shop locally. Bookstores. Farmers Markets. Boutiques. Sure, I order some items online. Amazon does frequently save me time and money. But I like browsing. And I like people. (Mostly).

If I didn’t shop locally, I wouldn’t have met Sarah from Kiskadee or Christen from The Shoe Hive. These two wonderful women initially came into my life via outfit/shoe crises, then not long after became true friends. We share stories, laughter, and taste in footwear. And while I’m thinking of it, we are long overdue for dinner.

Last week, Sarah busted me leaving Mind the Mat (where I do my yoga teacher training) without coming in to say hi to her while she worked. I went into her store in my sweaty hot yoga gear. She sold me a pair of boots (on sale) and asked if she could profile me as one of her favorite people to dress.

I was honored.

who’s that girl: chelsea henderson

By the way, you don’t have to live in the DC Metro area to benefit from Alexandria Stylebook. This daily offering does highlight the wares of its consortium of members but also provides good style, life, and home advice.

Wherever you live and love, shop locally and make friends. It’s much more satisfying than getting a cardboard box from Amazon. And not only will some amazing people potentially come into your life, but you’ll support small business too.


summer woes

I want to love summer. Pool time. Beach season. Easy breezy attitudes. Dry rosés and barbecue.

But the truth is, I hate it. Summer is stifling when it’s hot and humid and you have a professional dress code to adhere to Monday thru Friday. The pool is nice, but with kids it isn’t always relaxing. When was the last time I went to the beach? The answer would be Hawaii. In December.
Easy breezy? Congress is in high dysfunction mode and summer camp is harder to prep kids for than school.

But one of the factors I hate most is my summer casual wardrobe. I don’t find shorts to be very flattering. It’s hard to find summery dresses that fall between too girly and too soccer mommy. And I hate every pair of sandals on the market.

Which is odd because you know I love shoes. I have tried and tried to find acceptable summer footwear. I can’t do flat sandals, but I don’t always want a heel on the weekends or super hot days. Please no ankle cuffs. (I don’t like to look shackled, though I do like how gladiators look on other women.) Flip flops should be reserved for the pool and/or beach. Flatforms are out of the question.

(As my friend Hillary tweeted yesterday: “I don’t care if Coco Chanel came down from the heavens and told me to get flatforms, I will never ever (ever) buy them.”)

But I haven’t given up yet. I’m hopeful that my “friends I haven’t met yet” at the Shoe Hive can help rescue me. In the need for some retail therapy this sticky, concussed (still) day, I ordered a pair of sandals (pewter, simple, low wedge) from them that just might hit the mark.

And if they do, then please, someone host a BBQ. I promise to bring good wine.

Hive on the Hill

There are no fashionable women’s shoe stores on Capitol Hill unless you want to make the trek to Union Station, and who shops at Union Station except passersby and Hill staffers on their lunch break?

That all changes for one brief and shining weekend (as in, this weekend) when the Old Town based boutique, the Shoe Hive, comes to Tabula Rasa on Barack’s Row.

Beginning tonight from 7:00-9:00 with a cocktail reception hosted by my favorite Alisons, DC Celine and Wardrobe Oxygen, and running regular hours through the weekend, all sorts of wonderfulness will be available. From shoes to handbags to jewelry and other accessories, they promise to have something for everybody. Need gifts? Walk away from Amazon Prime for one night to support a local small business. Looking for the perfect holiday shoe? Maybe you will find it here. While I have never actually shopped the Hive since I usually make my big shoe purchases from SimplySoles, I’m impressed by the photos I’ve seen on Twitter and Facebook of not only new arrivals in their actual store, but the goodies they are busy unpacking on this side of the river. And they are super responsive on social media, which feels like good customer service to me.

Who knows? Since I already indicated to the Hive-ess that my feet take a size 8, maybe I will find a happy birthday to me present.