The Lafayette

We couldn’t help but notice that InStyle  Magazine loves Cobalt  - almost as much as we do



We think our cobalt Lafayette Dress will become your summer uniform. It’s covered enough for the office, but you’ll be grateful for the sleeveless silhouette during the dog days of summer. And the color is flattering on all skin tones.


The Lafayette Dress

 Planned as a quiet place of respite for the President of the United States, Lafayette Square instead became a crossroads of history, as generations of residents and visitors congregated and strolled through its manicured grounds. Like the multifaceted park for which it’s named, our Lafayette Dress is versatile enough to transport you from the corner office to a private dinner in style. It is your essential, go-to dress on a Monday morning when you want to start the week on a strong note.

With a slight, open bateau neckline, the Lafayette has a fitted bodice falling straight to the knee. Add a fitted cardigan or jacket in white or black, your best pumps in nude or black, and minimalism has never been so chic.


Shell: 63% Polyester, 33% Rayon, 4% Spandex, Lining: 100% Rayon

Dry Clean Only


(note to all you KU fans – yep, it’s Jayhawk blue. Put a red scarf or handbag with it, and you’re ready to Rock Chalk)

Available at Julia Farr


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Spring 2014 The Decatur Dress

It’s been a loooooong winter, but the end is near!

Cherry Blossoms

Daffodils and flowering trees are in full bloom, and, if you’re like us, you’re ready to spend more time outside dressed in fresh, clean designs.

Julie and I are so excited to debut Julia Farr Collection’s Spring 2014.  Inspired by the colors, tones and textures of Julie’s childhood beach with its infinite sea, infinite sky and infinite possibilities, the Julia Farr Collection for Spring offers both professional and occasion appropriate designs to meet all your needs throughout this season of weddings, pool parties, corporate retreats, farmer’s markets and vacations.

We begin with our Decatur Dress:


 The Decatur Dress

For more than 180 years, the most important names in politics, business and society have gathered at the Decatur House to celebrate and mingle in the shadow of the White House. The polished elegance of our Decatur Dress makes it the ideal piece for all of life’s celebrations, large and small.

With elbow length sleeves, a moderate v-neckline and length to the knee, this beautiful silk dupioni dress is perfect for a Mother of the Bride at a Spring wedding, a cocktail reception at a stately manor, or a garden party on a sunny, May day. Wear with long layers of crystals or pearls, or a choker at the neck and your ever-essential nude pumps.


100% Silk

Dry Clean Only




Available at Julia Farr

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In and Out Like a Lion

On the beach this morning with Mom and fabulous dragon

On the beach Sunday morning with Mom and a fabulous dragon

Dear Ann, 

I flew from 80 degrees sunny Naples, Florida today at noon after a nice morning walk on the beach with my Mom (with this awesome sand dragon-what commitment!) to a cold, cloudy, rainy Washington, DC.  And as we approached home from the airport, the driving rain turned into snow.  Not just wistful, can-hardly-see-it-snow but tumbling fat flakes that came down with purpose, covering the lawns and cars for several hours.  By the time I ran out to get dinner tonight, I was back to the heavy coat and boots with my head wrapped in a scarf.  On the 30th of March. And there was no question when I unpacked my Spring/Summer clothes that they wouldn’t go straight back to storage.  Forever, I think.

And right on the pulse of this hot-cold, sun-snow dilemma, I have to hand it to my favorite fashion and lifestyle blog Refinery 29 for posting an article on what to wear as the weather and your wardrobe are both in full transition in its 20 Transition Outfits that Don’t Look Crazy – At All.   I thought they nailed a few looks well, the rest were too Spring-y for what we are facing here, even if it does warm up this week. The potential is still there, you know that after a 70-degree cherry blossomed day in the sun, that the heavens could open again in a cold, harsh way just to keep us on our toes. Nevertheless, if it is not snowing and just chilly, I thought these looks were basically very good ones.

Look by Akris

Akris: Soft Spring pastel with black ensemble softening to the neutral boot


The robe coat by Ayr

The robe coat by Ayr – So Chic!

Madewell top and jeans. Casual and perfectly transitional.

Madewell top and jeans. Casual and perfectly transitional.

The key to transition from Winter to Spring is to eliminate all the very heavy pieces and faux furs you may have accumulated from October through March and introduce into your everyday look, a silk blouse or light cashmere sweater with Spring colors to lighten up the darks and the heavy fabrics.  Lose the black pants you’ve worn to death and bring out your indispensable pencil skirt in any color or your lightweight black pencil pants.  Keep your streamlined top coat nearby to give polish and warmth but – and this a is big BUT – try to move away from the heavy boots to pumps as April progresses. If it is freezing and snowing — forget all of my commentary and put on your arctic snow clothes.

Just my preliminary thoughts as I absorb the new climate and think about my toes in the sand just hours ago.  I fear the lamb has spent the month in Caribbean and needs to get the next flight out to make its 4/1 debut.


Photos courtesy of Akris, Ayr and Madewell.

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Spring Break


Dear Ann,

I know you’ve just landed from your Surf and Turf Spring Break with days at the beach and days on the slopes and am guessing it was wonderful.  I am one day into a week in Naples, FL and could not be any happier. I can’t remember a time when the words both “Spring” and “Break” have meant so much to me.  A week ago in DC, we were shoveling another 6 inches of snow on St. Patrick’s Day.  I found myself digging deep into my closet to find green snow-wear that could transition from snowy streets to an Irish bar.  And now, finally the sun and warmth.

I was so disoriented with the winter blues when packing to get here, I arrived and unpacked several tops that go back to apparently no bottoms, dresses without shoes and belts that serve no purpose.  Effective packing is a skill and gift, and although I can do it for others with clarity and precision, it is not something I can do for myself.  It is like a Sunday morning brunch buffet — too many choices.  And my imagination runs wild with all the possible things that I could do in one week away — and, as you can imagine,  I want to be prepared for whatever comes up.  So with my suitcase ripping at the seams, I have arrived with a complete mish-mash of summer clothes. And yet, I’m very happy.

Before I left, Spring collections hit the floor at Julia Farr. As much as I love the Fall collections as an anchor to our very existence, Spring colors really speak to my spirit. Every color of blue — pale blue, indigo, navy, cobalt and turquoise dominate, with blood orange pops all over the place. The crisp whites are like exclamation marks disbursed among the bright colors and the florals are both wild and romantically soft.  Winter was sleepy quiet at the store, but the very promise of Spring has brought people out of their homes and into my shop, looking for all their Spring event dresses to daily professional wardrobing to I-just-need-something-besides-snowboots-to-put-on.  Even where there aren’t temps in the 70s or 80s, we all need a break and we all need Spring.

(Since you’ve noticed I’m not the best correspondent, so I’m writing you once a week on Mondays with whatever hits me: mostly my musings about the past week in life and in fashion. Hope this works for you!)


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Fisherman’s Sweater


Another Polar Vortex? Seriously? I’m trying not to complain about the cold, because the complaints are getting as tiresome as the unrelenting frigid temperatures, so I’ll focus instead on how to battle it with something cozy and warm to help me get out the door in the morning.

The big sweater has seen a resurgence this winter (added bonus: it camouflages layers of clothes or that extra layer of winter flab), especially the fisherman’s sweater – a sweater typified by its chunky knit cable patterns.

From Elle Magazine: They show a range of sweaters from everyone from J.Crew (cashmere and silk $648) to Top Shop (Cotton $110) to Joe Fresh (wool blend $49).


The Fisherman’s sweater doesn’t always have to be in a neutral ecru. I like the pop of color in this warm coral from The Row.


But, I think Celine does it best: making the baggy sweater look au courant with a flouncy skirt and booties.


Stay warm!


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Ugly Shoes


Why are all running shoes ugly? The silhouettes themselves are pretty standard, thick rubber sole, mesh and canvas uppers, but the colors these days! Yuck.


I am an ugly runner (gasping for air, limping along sadly), I need cute shoes. The loud colors also emphasize my long foot in comparison to my short body (as you can see, I’ve thought about this A LOT – probably because I’m always staring at my feet when I run, hoping not to trip. As I said before, I am an ugly runner). And, what clothes match these shoes? All black? All white? All NEON?

brooksyellowThe above shoes are Glycerin 11 from Brooks. I have to wear them, because they support my ridiculously high arches, and they are the best running shoes I have ever had, but they aren’t helping me look pretty out there.


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From Dior - a cobalt blue so pure, it smacks you upside the head. The boldness of the color accentuates the simplicity of the dress.

ylpcobaltPrettier than a sunny, Spring day. Julie, are you considering having cobalt make a debut into your lovely, NEUTRAL wardrobe? — Ann

Ann – Great photo! Dior nailed the head-to-toe column of color. As you know, I’ve done an about-face on the color blue in the past few years. What once seemed cold to me now seems both calm and serene and strong and steadfast. Cobalt blue is a huge winner in wardrobing as the vibrant, clear color lights up eyes and makes a statement without telling the whole story. This look is perfection – minimal yet dynamic all at the same time.  Yes, cobalt blue for Spring ’14.


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