Style Summer with Fashion Centere at Pentagon City

Photos by Elizabeth of District of Chic

Shop My Look: 

Dress | Forever21

Shoes | Forever 21 

Earrings | Sugarfix by BaubleBar(similar)

Growing up in Fairfax, VA, we actually had a lot of options when it came to shopping malls. Springfield Mall was the “ghetto mall”, so we steered clear of that, Fair Oaks was just “okay”, Tysons was a madhouse, but Pentagon City Mall — now called Fashion Centere at Pentagon City — had it all. Some of my earliest shopping memories are from this mall, and my mom always took my brother and I to Johnny Rocket’s on the lower level as a treat for coming with her.

The mall has gone through many changes, including adding a Shake Shack, Matchbox, and Sugar Factory as dining options, introducing new retailers, and renovating their food court, but the mall’s cleanliness, fan-favorite anchor stores (hi, Nordstrom!), and overall attention to detail and style have remained the same. Since I’ve always loved the mall, I jumped at the chance to attend their Style Summer: Influencer Mixer event last night.

The event was held at the beautiful Matchbox space, where we got to sample their house wines and select appetizers and mix and mingle with some of the mall’s best retailers and learn about the mall’s Summer Ready event on June 30. The Summer Ready event will be at the mall from 1 – 5 pm and allow shoppers to learn about the season’s latest beauty, clothing, and accessory trends through fashion displays, pop-up makeover stations, and more. There will be a variety of sample giveaways from brands like Aveda, L’Occitane, LUSH, New York & Company, Superdry, and more, and if you spend $150 or more at any store, you’ll receive a complimentary beach tote filled with summer essentials.

Read on for some of the highlights of the Summer Ready that we got to experience firsthand at the event last night!

Nordstrom: swing in to the beloved department store for their Summer Beauty Event where you can earn a free gift with purchase. Make sure to check out the new BECCA X Chrissy Teigen beauty glow palette and download the Nordstrom app to scan products and get consumer reviews immediately at your fingertips.

Calzedonia:the newly opened European swimwear shop is the only swim-exclusive retailer in the mall, so you know the ladies there know what they’re talking about! Stop in for suits of all cuts — we loved the numbers they displayed at the event.

Coach: the luxury leather handbag company is debuting two new bags this Friday and we got a sneak peek (which I shared on IG stories!). My favorite was the Rouge — the bag was made for the traveler on the go and lets you wear the bag three different ways

Garrett Popcorn: swing into the Chicago-founded popcorn shop to refuel after all that shopping cardio. Pro tip: repurpose Garrett’s colorful copper tins (featured in my pics above!) to store your makeup brushes or even children’s toys around the house!

Intimissi: also new to the mall, the Italian lingerie shop is a much-welcomed alternative to Victoria’s Secret. Since it’s European, the sizing tends to run a bit smaller, which is perfect for girls like me who aren’t as blessed up top! I’ll definitely be stopping in for a custom fitting.

Kate Spade: did you know that the iconic handbag brand is sister companies with Coach? I’m not going to lie, it pulled at my heartstrings to see the beautiful Kate Spade products displayed after the sad news last week, but I know Kate would want us to keep wearing her fun and flirty products with a smile on her face. The new flamingo collection is peak Kate Spade and embodies everything the cheerful brand is about.

Tumi: the luxury leather luggage company is back, but it’s getting a makeover. While Tumi typically conjures up images of masculine leather bags, the brand is drawing inspiration from women on the go and adding in special touches like additional storage and softer leather hues.

L’Occtaine: summer is the perfect time to revamp your skin routine and L’Occtaine’s new moisture-focused line is the perfect way to make sure your face is hydrated in DC’s hot weather months. Stop by the store to test your skin’s hydration and take home some tips from the skincare pros  

Star Spangled Sweater

Every weekend should be a long weekend, amirite?

We had a fairly low-key Memorial Day weekend that mostly revolved around eating all of the things (dinner with one of my besties and her husband at Filomena and brunch with another BFF at Sospeso), and rounded out the weekend with a trip to the movies.

I got us MoviePasses about two months ago and we have been LOVING them! We can walk to three movie theaters from our apartment so we try to go every other weekend. We saw Beast last weekend and Disobedience today — highly recommend Beast if you’re into psychological thrillers (I couldn’t sleep for two nights after seeing it), but Disobedience kind of made me want to fall asleep in the theater. If you’re a fan of moviegoing but haven’t looked into MoviePass yet, you definitely should. You pay a flat fee and get to see unlimited movies all year! We got ours on sale for $90 each, so it’s a pretty good deal if you go to the movies at least once a month.

Since it was a bit chillier today, and movie theaters tend to crank the AC, I opted for one of my favorite combos — jean shorts and a sweater. The fact that this star print sweater fit Memorial Day made it even better. Side note, thank you to those who have served and who continue to serve to protect our freedom and keep our country safe. I got this sweater from a new (to me) online retailer Vici, and am constantly finding things I love on their site! You get 20% off on your first order or can use code WEEKEND20 for 20% off if you’re a repeat shopper! My sweater is currently out of stock, but you can sign up for pre-order when it comes back in stock.

Shop My Look: 

Sweater | Vici

Shorts | Levi’s

Shoes | Converse

Striped Jumpsuit Scandal

If you follow me on social media, you know that Gerald and I just got back from our favorite place, WaterColor/Seaside, Florida. It was our third time vacationing in the beach town, thanks to his extremely generous aunt who owns a condo in the WaterColor community! (More on our full trip to come in a later blog post.)

I got this blue and white jumpsuit in one of my favorite boutiques to visit in the town, Shop DejaVu, and of course had to wear it out the day I got it. (Not going to lie, I wore it to The Pearl in Rosemary Beach because I knew it would look good with their striped decor!)

I got so many questions on where to purchase this jumpsuit, so I decided to bump up my posting schedule and spent about 40 minutes scouring the internet to find the link to it. I like visiting DejaVu because it’s an independent boutique and I always find great pieces there, but I was a little surprised to see that they had significantly marked their prices up when I visited this year. After trying this jumpsuit on, I figured it was good quality and purchased it at the price of $76. I was in the mood to splurge — we were on vacay after all — and thought it was a really cute piece.

After trying to find the jumpsuit to link for you guys, you’ll never believe where I stumbled upon it, and for the price tag it came with. I don’t usually get irrationally upset about clothing purchases, but I found THE EXACT SAME JUMPSUIT AT FOREVER 21 for literally $48. And, it comes in two colors. To be perfectly transparent, I feel a little played by the boutique, but at least I got some good Instagram photos out of it?

You can shop it here in white and here in red.

I still can’t believe that the boutique and Forever 21 are selling the same items, but hey — maybe it just means Forever is stepping up their game.

5 Favorite Spring Beauty Essentials + Teeth Whitening Giveaway

DSC05758DSC05772DSC05752DSC05745DSC05773

Let me start this by acknowledging that I am no beauty blogger. I’ve been using the majority of my makeup brands and products since high school, but lately I’ve enjoyed experimenting with a few new things! I’ve come to really love a few products, and I’m also giving one of them away for free!

Smile Brilliant: I’ve been using these teeth whitening kits for a little over a year, and they have really changed my smile. I usually ramp up my whitening during the springtime because I love the way white teeth look with a tan, and I’m definitely trying to make my smile look its best for our upcoming engagement photos! You can see my whitening before and after photos and a full review here.

GIVEAWAY:Enter here to win your own Smile Brilliant whitening kit! If you already have a kit and need some more gels, use code districtdamsel20 for 20% off!

Jade Roller: you’ve likely seen these pretty contraptions all over your Instagram feed this season. I partnered with TwentyPrime to review my own and I have to say I love it. I like to keep mine in the fridge and roll it over my face either over a face mask or while moisturizing. It feels amazing on your face at the end of the day and also helps with reducing inflammation. I have really bad allergies and this has definitely help deflate some of the puffiness that comes with them in the spring!

John Frieda Lightening Spray: fun fact, I’ve never actually dyed my hair before. I’ve been using this “adult version of Sun In” since my roomie in college turned me on it and I love the natural highlights it gives me! I just spray on damp hair prior to blow drying for instant lightening, or spritz in my hair before going to the pool.

IT Brow Pencil: alright, this isn’t seasonal, but this brow powder is so good I had to include it. The power is light and isn’t too intense, and I love the spoolie that’s on the other end — perfect for helping shape your brows. It only comes in one color, but you can make it work for any hair coloring!

Seche Dry Fast Top Coat: my nails take a beating in the spring and summer due to open toe shoes and going in the pool, but this top coat is amazing. At $10, it seems a little pricey, but it’s so worth it. It helps my nail polish last for up to 5 days! It also gives them a really nice shine.

Shop My Look

Shorts | Levi’s

Top | Loft 

Sandals | Sam Edelman 

Smitten Boutique Salon Experience

DSC05739DSC05725DSC05738DSC05732DSC05708_2DSC05709DSC05710DSC05711_2DSC05713DSC05714DSC05716

This weekend, I had the opportunity to visit Smitten Boutique Salon in Arlington, VA for a cut and style and it was an amazing experience. The salon is woman-owned and the founders have put so much thought into creating an amazing experience for their clients! From the second I walked into the salon, I felt right at home, the team was so friendly and welcoming. The design of the space is adorable — there’s inspirational quotes on the walls, beautiful potted plants, and special details like a neon statement sign and exposed brick throughout the salon. Smitten also uses exclusively Bumble + bumble products, so all of the items that went into my hair were top notch.

My stylist for the cut was Tiffany and she was fantastic. She’s got absolutely gorgeous long locks herself and was so friendly and bubbly throughout the appointment, even though I was her last client for the night. I’ve been trying to grow my hair out ever since I did a ten inch crop in 2016, and I’ve always struggled with stylists who chop too much off of my hair but Tiffany did exactly what I requested — just enough to get the dead ends off. She also added some layers to create movement and used a great texturizing spray that gave me serious volume. After the cut, Tiffany created gorgeous soft waves for me — I wish my hair could look like this every day! I can honestly say it’s the best blowout and style I’ve ever had. I’m even looking into having the salon do the hair for my wedding because I loved it so much!

Thank you, Tiffany and Smitten for such a wonderful experience, I’m so happy with my cut and style!

Shop My Look: 

Jean Jacket | Vintage Levi’s (similar)

(Fun fact, this jacket is my little brother’s from Kindergarten! It’s a little boy’s large!)  

Belt | Kohl’s (similar) 

Jumpsuit | Forever 21 

Shoes | Forever 21 

Rent The Runway | Pros & Cons

DSC05625DSC05633DSC05643DSC05628DSC05631DSC05645Whenever I wear a dress from Rent The Runway I get a ton of questions about it, so I figured I’d cave and write a post about it. (You can view one of my previous rentals here!) I wore this pretty appliquéd number to my blogger friend turned bestie Caroline’s (The Caro Love) wedding and I have to admit, I did get compliments all night on it!

Caro’s wedding was at the Mayflower with the ceremony at Saint John’s in Georgetown and it was such a fun night full of love, laughter, and happy tears. I’m so excited for you and Kendo, Caro! If you’ve never walked through the lobby of the Mayflower, do it — it’s an absolutely stunning hotel.

Now, onto the post. Rent The Runway is a bit of a catch 22. On one hand, you get to wear a gorgeous designer dress that you probably never would have purchased, on the other, you could have bought a dress off ASOS or LuLu’s for the price you rented the dress for. I think it’s really fun to treat yourself to a rental for a special occasion, but I do see that it isn’t always the most economical choice!

Read on for the pros and cons of using the rental service.

PROS

  • You get to wear a fancy, expensive dress you likely couldn’t afford at full price
  • You can easily browse their online selection by filtering by occasion, color, length, or all three!
  • You don’t have to worry about dry cleaning it — the rental fee takes care of that
  • You won’t be caught wearing the same outfit twice
  • You can experiment with a style that might be out of your comfort zone without having to keep it
  • You can try on dresses in-store at one of their locations, as well as ship your dress to the store so you can swap it out when you pick it up if it doesn’t fit
  • You also get to order two different sizes for your order, which helps taking the guessing out of online shopping!
  • There are a ton of candid reviews for each dress, featuring women of all different shapes and sizes — and they’re usually all spot on

CONS

  • You’re paying for a dress for just a one-time use, and the rentals can get a little pricey, especially once they tack on the additional $10 rental fee
  • Lines at the Georgetown store can be incredibly long — when I picked up this dress there was a 25 minute wait to try on so I just took it home, hoping it would fit
  • Your dress choice might never make it to you — I had reserved a different dress back in January for Caro’s wedding, and a week before it was supposed to arrive they told me they no longer had it, so I had to scramble to pick a last-minute option, luckily the one I wore worked out!
  • I’ve heard some mixed reviews about this one, but while the dresses are clean when you get them, they aren’t always in dry-cleaned shape because they’re shipped to you. I’ve received dresses that needed to be pressed and this particular dress had a mesh hoop under the lace skirt that was nearly impossible to straighten out and bothered me all night (to be fair, the reviews did mention this!)
  • You must go to a UPS store or Dropbox to return it. If you have a car, this likely isn’t an issue, but in the city it’s a bit harder to navigate to specific postal providers and dropping it in USPS box around the corner would have been much more convenient than lugging it halfway around the city

All in all, Rent the Runway is a fun experience and I think everyone should try it at least once! Shop my dress and accessories below.

Dress | Slate + Willow Lace Dress

Heels | LuLu’s

Bag | Rebecca Minkoff 

48 Hours in Scottsdale, AZ

Last weekend was a western whirlwind — Gerald and I jetted off to Scottsdale, AZ for his childhood friend’s wedding and were only in town for about 48 hours!

I’d never been to a desert before and I literally could not wrap my head around how cool the cacti were. It also didn’t hurt that there was a Mexican restaurant at every corner! While there were a lot of things I wanted to do in the town, we were limited with our downtime due to the wedding festivities so we had to plan accordingly. Side note: the Baer / Erickson wedding was one of the most fun and gorgeous weddings I’ve ever been to — the photos speak for themselves!

Since we were there for such a short time, we tried to make the most of it and do things we both wanted to do in the city. Trust me — if he had it his way, Gerald would have been golfing the whole time on the stunning courses, but he did the right thing and chose to hang with me instead ;). That being said, it’s definitely a golf destination so bring your clubs and book a tee time if you’re in the area for a few days.

We stayed in Old Town at the Marriott Suites, and it was the perfect hub for both easily exploring the town on foot and hailing ride shares for other destinations. The hotel was able to check us into our rooms when we arrived at 10:15 am on Friday, so they will forever have a gold star in my book. They also greeted us with water bottles each night we returned from wedding festivities, which we definitely needed. The hotel has a nice pool and we logged a few hours there to try and bring some life to our winter complexions, and while I know you shouldn’t spend your time in a new city lounging, it was a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle.

One of the best things about Scottsdale is that it has the “Old Town” area, where there are about two miles packed with walkable bars, shops, and restaurants, but it’s a quick 15 – 20 minute drive to the mountains. Read on for how we spent our time in the western town!

Hike the Gateway Loop: We knew we wanted to go on a hike to get some exercise in, as well as take in the beautiful views, so I chose the Gateway Loop trail — a 4.3 mile hike at the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. I’m not a big hiker, so this was the perfect trail for a novice that still let us take in the nature. One of my favorite things was that since the trail was a loop, we had different views going up and down the mountain. We also heard great things about hiking Camelback, although it’s a bit more challenging.

Eat All The Mexican Food: We only had two meals outside of the wedding dinners and we opted for Mexican restaurants for both of them. We hit up Loco Patron for happy hour drinks and a plethora of apps on Friday night and stopped into Salty Senorita for lunch on Saturday. The best part about the Scottsdale restaurant scene is that almost everything is open-air, so you don’t feel like you’re missing out on the warm weather by being inside!

Hit The Bars: Admittedly, I was more glasses in than I should have been when we went out after the welcome party, but we managed to make it to Bevvy with the anticipation of stopping into Dierks Bently’s bar after, but the pizza place across the street called our name and we headed back to the hotel after the late-night carb fest.

Stroll Around The Scottsdale Shops: While many of the retailers in the town are super touristy, we stopped into a couple of cute boutiques and grabbed a coffee at Cartel Coffee Lab. Pro tip, stick to the shops around 5th Ave — they leaned more towards boho and local boutiques than the standard cowboy boots and bolos stores!

Spring Selects

IMG_5318 THIS

IMG_5330.jpg

IMG_5314

I’ve got spring fever, both in terms of needing warm weather and the fact that I can’t stop shopping for the season. I’m so ready to transition my closest from sweaters to sundresses, and our trip to Arizona this weekend is just fueling the fire! I walked into Forever 21 this week attempting to find a cocktail dress that pairs well with cowboy boots for the wedding we’re attending in AZ (southern wedding, y’all! I can’t wait) , and the cashier asked me if I was going on vacation somewhere soon because I basically walked out with a spring wardrobe.

In the meantime, I’m wearing transitional pieces like the long sleeve dress I’m pictured in above—could anyone else use a spray tan? Anyways, I’m linking some pieces I’m coveting until the seasons officially turn, as well as the items I’ve already bought in my spring fever frenzy.

 

501 Levi Shorts: these are my favorite shorts ever, I own them in light wash denim and in black! I swear they mold to your body and are the perfect length

Polka Dot Skater Dress: I love a good print dress and an open back, so this dress hit my shopping cart as soon as I saw it

White Knot Tee: I know this is such a basic item, but I know I’m going to wear it to pieces this summer! I’m already envisioning it with my cutoffs and hightop Converse for a Nats game, and maybe even dressed up with ripped jeans and strappy heeled sandals

 

Palm Print Set: This set almost gives the illusion of a romper, and it will be so easy to mix and match these pieces with other items in my closet

Banana Print Wrap Dress: How freaking cute is this? I didn’t even try it on before I bought it and was so happy it fit. I am literally filled with joy at the thought of wearing this!

WISH LIST

 

Off The Shoulder Print Dress: I love a good palm print, and the long sleeves are perfect for the nights where it’s still a little chilly out

Red Floral Jumpsuit: I am literally resisting the urge to put this in my cart at this moment because this is so freaking cute.

Smocked Waist Dress: Bell sleeves and a fun print, could I ask for more?

 

 

Twist Back Sweater

DSC05429DSC05443DSC05424DSC05441DSC05437

The first day of spring is just around the corner, but it seems like the weather in DC is not playing along. I don’t know about you, but I am so over this cold wind. The only good news about the cold weather is that it’s still appropriate to share my favorite sweater with you! I shot this look back in Aspen in January and wasn’t in love with the photos, but once I realized that this seater was on sale for $30 (50% off!!!) I had to share. (See a recap of my Aspen trip here!)

I love a top that’s business in the front and party in the back, and this sweater certainly delivers. I’ve worn it multiple times since I got it in January, and know I’ll be pairing it with jean shorts in early spring. The model on the site is pictured wearing it backwards, so the twist is in the front — not sure if that’s really my style, but I think it’s a cool look! This sweater also comes in a reddish pink and used to come in yellow and blue stripes but it’s not listed online, but chances are you could still find it in-store if that’s more your combo! You know I love a good deal off the Urban Outfitters sale rack.

I think I’m going to have to snag another color for myself, and maybe even give it a try wearing it backwards! For reference, I’m wearing an XS and it does stretch out throughout the day, giving an off-the-shoulder effect which I still do love!

Bonus, my Sorel boots that you guys have been loving all season are 30% off!

Shop My Look: 

Sweater | Urban Outfitters 

Jeans | TopShop 

Boots | Sorel 

International Women’s Day With thredUP

DSC05587DSC05588DSC05595DSC05605

Now more than ever, International Women’s Day is a big deal. I’m thrilled that I’m in living in an era where women support and empower each other and I hope that if I ever have a daughter that this movement stays just as strong.

Last year, I celebrated International Women’s Day with a post about locally and woman-owned small businesses in the district. (Read the post here.) This year, I’m partnering with thredUP to help share the news about latest campaign in support of the holiday. If you aren’t familiar with the online shop, it’s Enter an online fashion resale site that functions as a thrift shop and a spot to sell your gently used clothes. You can either order a “closet clean out bag” and send in your own, gently used clothes, or shop their amazing selection of majorly discounted items. Major bonus, if the company doesn’t want to purchase your used items, they donate them to charity! You can read about my experience working with thredUP in detail here.

On Thursday, the brand is releasing a list of their top 30 suppliers—which includes all types of women, everyone from stay-at-home moms to actresses to businesses executives. You’ll be able to exclusively shop from their closets and the best part is that ALL proceeds go to Girls IncThe non-profit empowers young women, helping them obtain a high school education, vision career paths, and develop leadership skills. 

You all know I’m a a big advocate of shopping for a cause, and I can’t wait to see what thredUP has pulled together from these fabulous women!

Shop My Look: 

Jacket | thredUP

Jeans | TopShop

Top | Vestique 

Booties | Steve Madden