Friday Favorites with Kara Manos

I met Kara, the blogger behind Politics of Pretty, at a lunch a few years ago.  Her energy and vibrancy is contagious and she is a true "girls girl."  Kara is the woman I go to when I have a question about a new product or need a make-up suggestions and read her word of wisdom daily!

1)   Fashion: Describe your look:

My go-to designer is Rebecca Taylor. I would say her collections are the most similar to my style aesthetic. I fell in love with her fall/winter 2012 collection last season at Fashion Week. It’s the darker version of her usually sweet floral-y bohemian designs. I would describe my look as a mix between bohemian and polished chic. My style is always evolving but I know that I like my clothes to be comfortable and for my outfit to look effortless.  Aside from skinny jeans and a couple of classic little black dresses, my closet consists of comfy sweaters, loose casual dresses, jackets and fun print blouses. My other favorite brands and designers include Elizabeth & James, Joie, Theory and Free People. I’m also a huge handbag type of girl. Clutches, cross body’s, satchels, totes, you name it and chances are I have it… in three different colors.  I love Michael Kors’ line of handbags since they are quality but reasonably priced and I covet my one and only Marc by Marc Jacobs summer cross body bag.

2)   Fitness: What is your daily fitness routine?

What is “fitness?” [Laughs] Kidding! Kind of… Back in the day, my fitness routine was dancing. I tend to stick to things that keep my moving rather than just going to the gym and using different cardio machines. I tend to get bored easily. I know I need to exercise but I think it’s the thought that I need to rather than want to. Which is a good reason why I need to change my perspective on that!

3)   Culture: What is the best event you’ve attended (White House Dinner, Fashion Week, Olympics)

I would say the best event I’ve attended so far was The Kennedy Center Honors last December. I was on the red carpet interviewing the honorees (Meryl Streep, Yo Yo Ma, Neil Diamond, etc.) and other celebrities (Sarah Jessica Parker, Anne Hathaway, Elmo) and it was a great opportunity for my career. I really enjoyed getting “glammed up” before. I purchased an off-the-rack Phoebe emerald-green gown from Neiman Marcus and I borrowed a pair of long black gloves. My sister did my hair and makeup and my look was definitely some old-time glamour. When I arrived at the Kennedy Center, there were fans and spectators outside taking photos of me (it must’ve been the dress). Watching the show itself was also incredible and seeing the live performances. Historically, this is a big annual event in D.C. and it’s something I’ll never forget.

I also love attending New York Fashion Week every season. This past September was my fifth season attending the shows. It feels like just yesterday I was a newbie. For the past two seasons, I’ve been covering backstage beauty for my blog and other online publications. The energy backstage is contagious. Between the models, celebrities, makeup artists and hairstylists, and a bevy of beauty products, it’s packed but it’s real and I love it.

4)   Culinary: Favorite restaurant and why?

I grew up dining at the Pines of Rome in Bethesda, so that would have to be my go-to restaurant. It’s nothing fancy and it’s been around for years but I love a good glass of red wine and an order of the white pizza. I don’t like to cook (I hope my boyfriend doesn’t see this but I guess he’s figured it out by now) but I love to eat. I guess you could say I’m just impatient and I’d much rather eat it before I bother preparing it (if that’s even possible). It’s like grocery shopping. I’m always hungry when I go to the grocery store!

5)   Wildcard: One piece of advice that has helped you get to where you are today.

I’m sure I didn’t just hear this from one person but I’ve always lived by the advice that you can’t sit and wait for an opportunity come your way. I’ve always considered myself as an individual that’s worked hard to get where they are and it wasn’t because of luck, a good connection or money. It was because I put myself out there and pushed for an opportunity that may or may not have been available to me… but I still pushed for it. I love this quote by Anthony J. D’Angelo: “In order to succeed you must fail, so that you know what not to do the next time.” Lately that’s been a quote on my mind given my career circumstances. When I think that I’ve failed at something, I remind myself of all the other amazing things I’ve accomplished and those successes always outweigh the failures.

Spring Trends have Sprung

A few weeks back, Neiman Marcus invited a handful of Media Mavens to view their Spring Collections.  Being a true girly girl, I always enjoy my get together with girlfriends for brunch, but this brunch was different... it included shoes, clothes and accessories that were sure to fly off the racks this Spring. What better way to kick off the first day of Spring than with a visual online runway of what's hot this season?

  1. Pinks.  The burgundy and bordeaux from Fall is replaced by all shades of pink. Think magenta, bright pink, light pink, fuchsia, coral.
  2. Patterned pants.  Leopard, floral and snake-skin, oh my! Fancy pants are the way to go!
  3. The Clutch: On the New York Fashion Week runways, models strutted their stuff carrying clutches and handbags.  The difference this season lies in the way in which the handbag is carried, which is clutch style, not tossed over the shoulder.
  4. Silver shoes: Silver wedge or strappy sandal, Neiman's tells us "all over metallic makes a statement, a single detail makes it modern."
  5. Prints: Prints are not only for pants! Floral is front and center this season, but so are graphic prints.  And Ken Downing says "At Neiman Marcus, the animal never dies."  This spring/summer 2012, the print is zebra!
  6. Dramatic Earrings: Even in jeans, earrings can make your outfit pop.  Think BIG!
  7. Tribal: More Aborigines and African and less Santa Fe, this trend is everywhere from pants (fancy pants!) to dresses.
  8. Yellow: A difficult color to wear for some skin tones, yellow is the new neutral.  Find the tone that works best with your skin tone and wear it with blue, red, green, white... the choices are endless!
  9. Sports Influence: Velor tracksuits and yoga pants not included.  Think of it as more one item that has sporty influence, like a duffel shaped bag, and less about looking like you just walked out of the gym.
  10. The Spring Face: Brows: keep them groomed ladies, they frame your face!



The excitement was endless and there was chatter about the pieces that were drool worthy.  The one everyone agreed on? The Alexander McQueen clutch.  Weighing approximately 5 pounds, it looked fabulous on every single one of the ladies well-groomed and manicured fingers.