Archive for April, 2010

Charleston Cinco de Mayo Festival

Posted in 1 with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 22, 2010 by Lowcountry Boil

The fifth annual Charleston Cinco de Mayo Festival will take place on Saturday, May 1st, at the Visitors Center Bus Terminal in downtown Charleston from 7p.m. to 11p.m. The celebration will feature Orquesta Mayor, DJ Luigi Bravo of Latin Groove, (R)evolution:Genesis, Latin Groove Kids, Professional Salsa Dance Performances and a Salsa Dance Competition. A portion of the proceeds from the event will benefit Roper Saint Francis.

Tickets: $8 online, $10 at the door with Kids 12 and under get in FREE.  Food and drink are sold separately. Cash only.  www.charlestoncinco.com

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A City Girl’s Crash Course to Spring Fashion in the South

Posted in 1 with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 19, 2010 by Lowcountry Boil

Written by Allison Ealey for Ask Miss A. Reprinted with permission.

If there’s anything I’m in need of, it’s fashion advice. I’ll be the first to admit that I barely know how to dress myself, and it’s taken many years, bold friends, and countless fashion magazines to bring me somewhere near the vicinity of the fashion pulse. It’s no surprise to most that after being a self-proclaimed “City Girl” my whole life, I feel comfortable in all black, year round, and feel the sexiest in a perfect-fitting power suit (skirt and heels, no pants for me!). Even with my mother, who wears denim so much that we began to wonder if she moonlights as a lumberjack, I dislike wearing pants of any sort, and end up finding the one outfit that works, sticking to it as much as possible.

There are often jokes that DC is where fashion goes to die, but for me, it helped it come alive. After finally learning how to dress myself (and my body shape) while in London, the shift to DC complimented that by teaching me how to dress as an adult, and a working adult at that. With suits, button-ups, or dresses and pumps during the week, the weekends offered similar fashion options in terms of dress code. No one checked diligently for shoe choices at the door of night clubs like in London, but taking cabs everywhere permitted either dressy sandals or a killer heel on a Saturday night out. No sooner did I become used to dressing in DC did I move to the South, where dressing couldn’t feel more different if I moved into a Dr. Seuss novel. The Southern perception of Belles in pearls is still very much alive, and warmer weather calls for color, something I was scared of, to say the least.

So, in order to give my new life in Charleston (and my Southern husband-to-be a reason to stop telling me that I dress like the  “Angel of Doom”), I sought expert help, from the lovely Miss Jenny Nelson, of Love Me Again clothing. Perhaps ambitious of me to attempt to understand Southern and vintage fashions at the same time, I was quick to learn that Jenny was the perfect fashion expert for me to consult.

A native of South Carolina and the Charleston area, Jenny lived in Chicago until 4 ½ years ago, where she owned a vintage boutique. Always having an affinity for her home state, Jenny moved back, and last summer, began Love Me Again clothing, a mobile clothing boutique in a fabulous pink ice cream truck. However, on February 26th, Jenny opened up a permanent shop in downtown Charleston, encouraging all Charlestonians to “Recycle Your Style”. It was this shop at the corner of Coming and Morris that I visited, to get my crash course in Southern dress from Jenny herself, and vintage jewelry expert, Miss Hollie Wood.

Upon arriving in the newly-opened space, the hot pink paint, retro furniture, and collection of vintage jewelry adorned the walls, and warm smiles and friendly faces greeted me at the door. Jenny and Hollie were sweet, down-to-earth, and seemed to forgive my “straight-from-work and doused-in-rain” appearance. While some fashionistas intimidate, Jenny and Hollie couldn’t have been nicer. They looked stylish, effortless, and possessed the wherewithal to don outfits I could never dream of, no less pull off.  They immediately welcomed me in, and eagerly answered my questions.

My first question “So, if you were to give me a ‘Charleston makeover’, where would you start? No surprise to me, color was their first suggestion. “Add color to your wardrobe; get some sundresses and a good pair of gladiator sandals. Pair them with vintage jewels and a good pair of sunglasses”. It seemed easy enough. And for someone that walks the delicate line between function and fashion, sandals and sundresses sound like a girl’s dream. Next, I had to ask about my signature color… “Can I wear black year-round in Charleston, like I could in the ‘big city’?” Instead of enforcing

Southern fashion law, Jenny explained that as time went on, I would find myself moving more naturally from black. “It’s always in fashion to wear something you’re comfortable in, but Charleston is more carefree and more playful, and fashion follows suit. “

One thing that always irked me in DC was male fashion… well, to be more specific “Southern” male fashion. I love, and in fact miss living in a place where suits are so common, Barney Stinson would shed a proud, bromantic tear. It was springtime when I had an issue with the way men in DC dressed. Never having lived in the old South, I had a sick fascination with seersucker, croakies, and boat shoes.  I thought that most of those items should be worn on a dock near a boat, or by Colonel Sanders. Bow ties were something altogether different, which I hoped would fade with Tucker Carlson’s career, but alas. As soon as spring weather hit, so did the seersucker, head to toe, as if the Kentucky Derby were every day.  I didn’t like it, nor understand it, and constantly campaigned against it. (I joke of God’s sense of humor, now that I am marrying a bow-tie clad, seersucker enthusiast who is never far from his boat shoes and fish shirts, but that’s a whole other post in itself). So, I had to ask the expert “What are your opinions on Charleston men’s fashion?” Jenny pointed out some of the great sides of Charleston fashion, ones that hadn’t even crossed my mind. She highly approved of the “Shabby Surfer” look, of men dressing like individuals, not necessarily dressing to impress, but to make basic pieces look good. (Though she had to admit, Croakies weren’t quite her favorite men’s accessory). I also asked about the dreaded Seersucker, to which she responded: “One classic piece of crisp, clean seersucker can look great on a guy, especially when the rest of his style indicates that he may not necessarily wear it all the time”(Hear that, SPC?). I pictured a seersucker jacket with a well-fitting pair of jeans, or with a clean button-down shirt, but not the head-to-toe getup that’s so common on Capitol Hill. Another tip for DC men that’s worth note, when I asked Jenny which Charleston fashion trend she would dump, she responded with “Critter pants and monograms”.  Monograms are somewhat of a great Southern mystery that I’ll investigate some other time, but I think that critter pants rather explain themselves. I can’t take a man seriously when he wears a clown suit, nor can I when he wears critter pants.

Men’s fashion pointers aside, I still felt lost in a sea of Southern fashion, so I simply asked “Any other tips for a Charleston rookie?” “Ditch the heels!” she responded. With cobblestone streets and unpredictable rainstorms, practical shoes are a must. Also, “Don’t let the old Southern mentality dictate your dress”. While attending Southern spring weddings, light colors with pearls were my go-to, but it was refreshing to know that I could attempt to be Southern, while still being me. Finally, she said “Pieces are versatile here, especially from season-to-season. You may have a cute sweater that you wear in the winter time that you can throw over a swimsuit and wear to the beach in the summer time”.

If there’s anything a city-girl can appreciate, its comfort and versatility. I was beginning to appreciate Charleston more and more each day. Now that the weather has warmed up, I’ve purchased some white sundresses, and look forward to pairing them with my gladiator sandals, and black platform heels (you can take a girl out of the city, right?). I’ve been energized by all that Jenny and Hollie had to say, and after bonding over fashion that turned to what felt like conversation among friends. I feel good knowing that even if I do adapt some Southern fashion habits, I can always take my city trends to Love Me Again clothing, and give them life all over again.

Get to Know the Nightlife Scene in the Carolinas

Posted in 1 with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 7, 2010 by Lowcountry Boil

CarolinaNightlife.com is the one-stop, online nightlife resource guide for Charleston and the Carolinas. Throughout the region, over 80,000 unique visitors utilize Carolina Nightlife to find out which bars, clubs, restaurants, and events are the most popular each night. In addition, Carolina Nightlife provides useful information including food & drink specials, hours of operation, directions, and on-location photo albums.

As more people continue to flock to the Carolinas, there become more opportunities for leisure and entertainment. Carolina Nightlife continues to accommodate to the growing nightlife scene by providing a diverse range of resources. Regardless of individual tastes, local “nightlifers” can find the plenty of information to plan an exciting night out with CarolinaNightlife.com.

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