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You’ll Wear that Dress ONE time – Bridal Gowns

9 Jan

Calling all brides – DC Bridal Sample Sale

It’s here–the event you engaged ladies have been waiting for is here! January 7th-13th, Chevy Chase Bridal (5300 Wisconsin Ave. NW) will hold its Semi-Annual Sample Sale. Receive up to 80% off dozens of sample gowns from Justin Alexander, Romona Keveza, Simone Carvalli and many more!

Ladies, if you have no idea, gowns can cost in the thousands of dollars. I was personally there when a friend of mine spent $1500 on a dress. A dress. Now yes, it is THEE dress, but it’s a dress. You’ll wear it TWICE if you’re lucky – once for pictures before the wedding and then the day of. And let me tell you that every dollar counts in a wedding budget. That $1500 or at least part of it, could have been spent on another element that you really wanted but wasn’t part of the budget (for me, it was the chocolate fountain.)

So let me share another Soulcialite tip. Please ladies, if you have the good sense, and especially if you DON’T have the budget, consider a Sample Sale for your one time wear gown.

Now personally, I participated in the Filene’s Running of the Brides for my Bridal Gown. It was a fantastic experience. So much so that I encouraged my best friend and a co-worker to go and they both found their gowns too.

My point: while it may be one of the most important elements of your wedding (aside from the pesky love thing) you will wear your bridal gown one time, two times TOPS (if you take engagement photos). You can save a nice chunk of change by looking at Sample sales or participating in the Running of the Brides, where you can buy a gown that would have normally been outside of your price range.

Now Carrying: I start the year with Michael Kors

5 Jan

A few weeks ago, I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I had purchased a brand new tote bag from one of my favorite Soulcialite friendly sites and I waited nearly two weeks to break it out. Well, let me tell you, I was robbing myself. Because when I finally got around to using the bag, I fell in love with this  Michael Kors Jacquard Tote.

Stylish, Functional Michael Kors Jacquard Tote

I used it to travel back to South Carolina for the holiday and I have to admit that I LOVE how incredibly spacious, not to mention stylish this bag is. Notice the hanging MK symbol in a weighty gold.

This bag was so big and spacious, it carried all of my electronic devices (ipod, camera, cell phone) along with books for the trip without being too bulky.

The bag has also been incredibly stylish with a variety of wardrobes- office wear or casual. It caught the eye of several, including my grocery store check out girl. Take it anywhere. It fits nicely on your shoulder or in your arm crease.

The website where I bought this fabulous new handbag to add to my Collection is accepting new members. If you want one, simply click here.

Happy Shopping!

Soulcialites, what bags are you rocking to start the year? Send your pics!

Soulcialite Series| Product Review: Body Wrap Shapewear

3 Jan

PRODUCT: The BodyWrap Shapewear Bra Slip with underwire that I purchased from

Soulcialite Product Review: Body Wrap Shapewear

Bodyshapers (no matter the brand) have become required wear for any woman concerned with making sure she looks absolutely flawless when she steps out in her finest.

Last night, I wore this bodyshaper (left) under my gown for the DC Mayoral Gala. And this particular product, FAILED terribly.

Now, luckily, the sins of this product were not visible to fellow celebrants. But it was evident to me every time I got up to dance.

But let’s back up. The product, which I purchased in a size Large (and if you know me, you should know I don’t need a large anything – except a handbag) was IMPOSSIBLE to get on. It’s neat in that the shoulder straps are removable, but that’s about it in the cool feature department.

I have to admit, I got it at a great price on {For other shopping on ideeli, join using this link: }

But I’ve gotten better wear and use from a product handed down to me from my Mother. More proof that they don’t make things like they used to.

I don’t think these products are made for people like me, with a few curves. The product was 1) difficult to put on 2) did not stay in place when I was wearing it and 3) was just as difficult to take off  as it was to put on.

So, in summary  Body Wrap Shapewear may have kept my stomach flat in my gown, but was much too uncomfortable !

Ladies, what products work well for you? Do you like Spanx, or do you rely on another brand?  Share your details and any funny stories.


1 Nov
Hermes Birkin Purse.

Image via Wikipedia

I came home yesterday with an unending desire to write a blog post about handbags. After all, you see the name of the blog, but you have no idea what I really mean. I mean, when I say, “I love handbags,” I really mean it. I would go barefoot in a pair of old jeans and a t-shirt with a FLY bag!

I’ve never counted how many bags I have. But it’s quality not quantity right? I love big ones, little ones, ones that carry a lot, and those that keep my small things close. I like designer, I like vintage, I like something that you’ve never seen before, but you really want to know where I got it.

Bags carry my life. Not just the stuff I’m lugging around. My handbag is an extension of my mood and a peek into my style philosophy for the day.

Ladies, what are your handbag guilty pleasures? Have you counted how many bags you have in your closet? What designers blow your mind (and your wallet) ?

What’s your handbag philosophy? Hell In A Handbag would like you to be a part of the “Eye Spy” Series featuring fly handbags on the street – everyday ladies share their handbags.

Send a picture and your name to TheOriginalNajeema at {gmail} with a description of your handbag.

Halloween Hijinks: Tips for Choosing A Kickass Halloween Costume

8 Oct

Who are you going to be for Halloween?

Pop Culture Influences Costume Choices

Yes, it’s that time! If you’re smart, you’re probably already thinking about your Halloween costume. Depending on where you party, nurses and mere Superheros don’t quite cut it. People go IN. Don’t wait til the last minute, plan now and be the best lil pop culture reference at the party.  Be sure to consult Facebook pictures for what people did last year and not #fail with a passé costume.

I stopped by my favorite little costume shop in Southeast DC last month and it got me thinking about All Hallows Eve, which is more like a fashion show than a Horror show. I failed horribly at my last attempt at a Halloween costume. If I’m gonna do it this year, I had to put some thought into it.

Costumes are expensive people. That’s why I encourage you to work within your own closet versus going out and investing too much in a “once in a year” (possibly one time only) outfit. But if you’re going to purchase a costume tho- GO BIG! In visiting Backstage, I saw a sexy Avatar costume consisting of a blue leotard complete with a tail.  Cost: $80 bucks. No thanks, I’ll pass.

Movies, News, & Pop Culture continue to be a popular source for Halloween costumes. This year, I predict that twitter will give more fodder for costume seekers – particularly users who follow the hijinks of “twitter celebs.”

Celebs with physical stunts are easier to replicate think about makeup and/or accessories that might be needed. How would you replicate the acne on Chippy D (Montana Fishburne’s) hindparts? Just asking.

Wigs are simple. If you’re a tall girl, throw one on with a tight dress and some big rings and turn yourself into Wendy Williams.  Practice your stance and don’t forget the beef jerky. Oh, and stuff your bra if necessary.

While he’s a good candidate – being Mel Gibson for Halloween would be hard. What would you do? – Run around yelling at people ?!?! Consult a recent mug shot to get the right look.


Crazy Mel - Photo Credit: TMZ


Gents, forgo the store bought costumes for a suit in your closet and get your boys together to recreate a scene from Takers.

Ladies, choose a character from For Colored Girls, get your crew together and practice a monologue or two.

Other pop culture references I expect to be hot this Halloween are…

Nikki Minaj:  Nikki’s given us so many looks that it wouldn’t be difficult to come up with something.


Photo Credit:


Fantasia: Think hospital gown, short wig, messy makeup.

Lady Gaga, which should be simple. See Nikki Minaj above.

Kat Stacks, hated, but go for it.

Janelle Monae: She gives you a uniform, get with it.

Guys, I haven’t forgotten about you. Think –

Rick Ross – for big belly brothers. With a beard and gold chains.

Trey Songz – for slim dude with a hat and a suit.

LilDuval: with an Adidas suit on, or a onesie, if you can find it.


Lil Duval's Twitter background pic


And for couples who can’t seem to do anything without one another, dress up with these ‘young in love’ examples. Swizz Beats & Alicia Keys, Carmelo Anthony & Lala, or Tip and Tiny < now that’s scary!

After Halloween, I’d really love to see your pictures! If you pulled off one of these looks, or got some inspiration from this post. Send ’em to me via email: TheOriginalNajeema {at Gmail}