Allstate Foundation and Washington fight financial abuse

Financial abuse — a form of domestic abuse which often includes a spouse or partner restricting access to their counterpart’s credit or spending their money once a victim leaves — occurs in 98 percent of abusive relationships, according to U.S. News and World ReportBut Kerry Washington and the Allstate Foundation are trying to stop financial abuse in its tracks while also helping victims.

According to the Huffington Post, the Scandal star is partnering with Allstate Foundation Purple Purse to not only raise awareness of financial abuse, but to also promote women’s financial independence and provide the “tools they need to free themselves from abusive partners.”

While Washington told the Huffington Post at the United State of Women summit last week that she had never previously heard of financial abuse, she now recognizes the severity of the issue. “It’s … the No. 1 reason why women don’t leave domestic violence, and the No. 1 reason why even when they leave, they go back, because they don’t have the financial empowerment or wherewithal to stand on their own, to be truly free,” she said.

Because of this, Washington said it’s important to give women the tools they need to escape such a situation. “Learning that financial abuse is such a huge component in why women stay, it just feels like, oh, we can give this concrete tool, this very tangible tool for women to be able to take care of themselves, save their lives, save their families, and transform their communities.”

To help women in financially abusive situations, Allstate Foundation Purple Purse “gives women small loans to be able to buy a car and get away, and it teaches domestic violence survivors how they can repair their credit, save for a home, or start a small business,” according to the Huffington Post, and to date, they’ve invested over $50 million in resources and helped 800,000 women escape from situations of domestic violence.

Vicky Dinges, vice president of Allstate Foundation, recounted a tale of one woman that the organization helped — a mother of six who saved $5 at a time to remove her family from the abusive situation.

“She knew the only way she could hide the money where her abuser wouldn’t find it is in the applicator of a tampon,” said Dinges, according to the Huffington Post. “For two years [she saved] $5 every week. At the end of those two years she was able to get her family out safe.”

To learn more about financial abuse, the initiative or about how you can get involved, click here.


She Leads, You Follow: NAACP Image Awards Edition

The Pasadena Civic Auditorium was filled to capacity on Feb. 5 when television, film and music’s best and brightest came to celebrate Hollywood’s efforts to create a more diverse landscape at the 47th NAACP Image Awards. With awards going to the likes of Empire‘s Taraji P. Henson for Outstanding Actress in a drama and Queen Latifah for her role in Bessie, the awards were a must-see event.

But while some were honored for their outstanding performances and groundbreaking influences on the entertainment industry, many deserve honors for their impeccable red carpet fashion.

Scandal’s Kerry Washington was the definition of elegance in a black and white Victoria Beckham number, complete with a plunging neckline and a hint of sparkle, says ELLE. Washington completed her look with a box clutch, minimal jewelry and a neat updo.

Following suit in an equally stunning all-white ensemble was partner in Shondaland Viola Davis. The How to Get Away With Murder star walked the red carpet in a white tank-style gown with silver beading outlining her frame. Adding even more sparkle to her luxurious look was EFFY jewelry, says ELLE

Gabrielle Union decided to provide some contrast in a black tulle gown. The mermaid gown featured a dramatic skirt and an illusion top with a V-neckline and lace appliqué. Union topped off her look with a piecey updo, dewey makeup and a statement ring.

Although these leading ladies are dressed for a night of celebrating Hollywood’s most talented, there are several things that we can take away from their looks to apply to the way we dress every day:

  1. White on – Washington and Davis both wore white gowns, but they were far from boring. While Washington’s ensemble feature asymmetrical folding at the bust and a band of beading at the waist, Davis’ all-white look was framed in silver beading. These little details not only look visually appealing, they also help to create shape in the garment. For example, the band of sparkles at Washington’s waist creates a focal point in her outfit, making her waist appear even narrower than it is. The beading on the sides of Davis’ gown starts at the shoulder, widens around the bust, narrows at the waist to define her waistline, and widens slightly again at the hips, all to create a perfect hourglass silhouette. While these may just look like fun details, they are actually quite useful; so when you are shopping for anything from a dress to a top to a skirt, look for details such as panels, seaming or even embellishments that act in a similar way. The best place to start would be to look for garments that accentuate your waist, which could be done through a seam, a peplum or even a sheer panel across your midsection — all of these are tiny details that make a big difference.
  2. Go deep – Both Union and Washington wore gowns with deep necklines, and they have a great reason to do so: a more open neckline not only draws attention to your face, but it can also elongate your neck (which makes you look taller overall). Union’s V-neck actually helps to deemphasize a larger bust since the neckline is angled out toward her shoulder; this gives more width to her shoulder while slightly narrowing her bust and creating a slimmer waistline. Washington’s more rectangular neckline acts as a fabric frame for her face, acting as a pointing device to direct our attention from the band of sparkles at her waist straight up to her naturally beautiful face. Wearing a more open neckline has obvious benefits; whether its in the form of a fancy gown, a cocktail dress or a casual top, V-necks can make you appear long and lean while also directing our attention to your pretty smile.


Take Her Look [For Less]

The cold weather of Park City, Utah couldn’t turn down the heat of Scandal star Kerry Washington’s Sundance Film Festival look.

On Jan. 23, Washington made an appearance at the premiere of HBO’s Confirmation on the third day of the festival, wearing a black leather top by Ji Oh, a white faux-wrap skirt by Tibi and thigh-high Stuart Weitzman boots. She completed her look with a bit of bling, wearing Jennifer Mayer rings, according to the actress’ Instagram account.

Washington’s Sundance ensemble seems pretty easy to replicate, but its price is not as easy as we hoped — her Tibi skirt alone costs $425 from Nordstrom. While her designer-laden outfit is sophisticated and just a tad bit sexy, we’ve found all the pieces necessary to create a look-alike ensemble that is just as stunning for under $200. Read on for the results!

First on our shopping list was a faux leather top, and we found the perfect tank for the job in the form of the Faux Leather Crop Top from Forever21. This faux-leather cropped number will deliver a similar look to Washington’s top for only $17.90.

faux leather crop top

The Faux Leather Crop Top, found on

A white wrap skirt will form the second part of our three-pronged look, and the Textured Wrap Front Midi Skirt from Missguided offers the perfect alternative to Washington’s expensive Tibi number. Although this skirt has a closer-fitting silhouette than Washington’s more A-line skirt, this option from Missguided delivers a sexy front slit reminiscent of Washington’s style, and it does so for a mere $17.

textured wrap front skirt

The Textured Wrap Front Mini Skirt, found on

Completing our look for less are gorgeous over-the-knee boots courtesy of DSW. The Unisa Saranaa Over the Knee Boots offer a gorgeous faux-suede over a heeled construction, making these the perfect boots to replicate Washington’s Stuart Weitzman pair. These, however, will only set you back $79.95.

Unisa Saranaa OTK Boots

The Unisa Saranaa Over the Knee Boots, found on

While Washington’s Tibi skirt alone costs a whopping $425, our look for less totals $114.55. With all the money you saved, you deserve to go out and buy some jewelry to add to your new look!

Happy Shopping!

Take Her Look [For Less]

Show-business magazine Variety and their sister publication Women’s Wear Daily held a launch party on Thursday, Nov. 19 at Smashbox Studios in Culver City, California for their latest media venture, Stylemakers, a publication in which fashion and entertainment meet. And keeping true to their new magazine, all the hottest stylemakers of Hollywood showed up to mark the occasion in high style.

One such stylemaker was Kerry Washington, who wore a striped crop top and midi skirt combo by Saloni, InStyle reports. Capping off her look were chevron Nicholas Kirkwood pumps and jewelry by Anita Ko.

Although we love Washington’s striped style, we can’t say we are thrilled about it’s price. Her pumps alone, the Nicholas Kirkwood Women’s Monochrome Chevron Pointed Pump, originally retailed for $790, although they are currently on sale for $158 on LN-CC. We think you don’t have to pay high prices to achieve a high-fashion look, so we set out to recreate her entire look for less than the sale price of her pumps — that is, less than $158. Read on for the results!

Leave it to Lulu’s to present us with the perfect two-piece dress in the form of the Telephone Lines Black and Ivory Striped Two-Piece Dress to recreate Washington’s Saloni look. Mimicking the wrapped bodice style of Washington’s top, this two-piece style also features a full skirt reminiscent of her midi style. And the best part — this dress will only set you back $49.

lulus lovely black and ivory

The Telephone Lines Black and Ivory Striped Two-Piece Dress, found on

Chevron pumps will complete our look for less, and the Chevron Pointed Toe Pumps from Charlotte Russe will do just the trick. Done in a similar pointed-toe style, these chevron printed pumps will easily pass for Washington’s pumps, but they certainly don’t cost as much — these pumps cost an easy $16.99.

charlotte russe zigzag shoe

The Chevron Pointed Toe Pumps, found on

Kerry Washington’s Nicholas Kirkwood heels alone may cost a sale price of $158, but our entire look for less will only set you back $65.99 — yes, you read that right. Just add your favorite jewelry, you’ll have taken Washington’s look for MUCH less!

Happy Shopping!

She Leads, You Follow: Baby2Baby Gala Edition

The most stylish moms of Los Angeles took to the red carpet on Nov. 14 for the annual Baby2Baby Gala in Los Angeles, California. Benefitting the non-profit Baby2Baby, which was started by Kelly Sawyer Patricof and Norah Weinstein, the gala seeks to bring awareness to the organization’s mission of helping to “supply families in need with essentials for children up to ages 12.” And this year’s gala was not only charitable, but also incredibly fashionable.

Catching our eye in a pale pink number was Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, who walked the red carpet in a short blush dress with a beaded bodice. She paired her pocket-accented frock with grey suede pointed-toe pumps.

Adding a much-need pop of color to the gala’s red carpet was Jenna Dewan-Tatum, who rocked a bright emerald green gown with a thigh-high slit and rhinestone embellishments. She completed her stylish ensemble with a pair of white pointed-toe pumps, and perhaps her best accessory yet — her handsome husband Channing Tatum.

Wrapping up our favorite gala looks was Scandal star Kerry Washington, who floated down the red carpet in a black semi-sheer tulle ballgown. Breaking up the sea of tulle were light pink floral appliqués that cascaded down the bodice of the dress and into the skirt.

Although these stylish moms are dressed up for a gala affair, there are certain things from their looks that we can apply to the way we dress every day:

  1. Discrete pockets – Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s pale pink frock is proof that pockets have a place in formalwear: the skirt of her dress has side pockets sewn into the pleating of the skirt, making them well-camouflaged and discrete. Although pockets can sometimes be bulky, pockets like these actually fall right into the garment’s natural construction, making them unobtrusive and barely perceptible. Pockets in dresses and skirts are becoming increasingly popular, so if you want to try them out, look for pieces that incorporate the pockets in a way that won’t add volume to your lower half; that is, find pockets that are creatively concealed via pleats (like Huntington-Whiteley’s dress) or sewn into the side seams of the garment.
  2. Colors are complementary — Jenna Dewan-Tatum’s bright green gown perfectly complements her rich skin tone; that’s because the dress is done in what’s called a jewel tone, or colors of gemstones that are universally flattering to all skin tones. Buying garments of any kind in colors like emerald, amethyst, ruby or citrine will automatically enhance the natural richness in your skin tone and give you a glowing appearance.
  3. Appliqués are enhancing — Kerry Washington’s appliqué-embellished gown shows us the power of details in an outfit. Not only do these appliqués add visual interest to her look while breaking up her all-black ensemble, these floral details also accentuate her waist and hips since they are mostly concentrated in the center of the gown. Using embellishments like appliqués to your advantage will not only make your outfits more interesting, they will also enhance your shape when done in a way similar to Washington’s dress. Concentrating embellishments near your neckline can direct attention to your face, while appliqués at the shoulder and hip can create the illusion of a balanced, hourglass silhouette.

Take Her Look [For Less]

On Sept. 26, New York City played host to the Global Citizen Festival, which served to bring awareness to issues such as hunger, healthcare and education that affect people around the world. Musical performances from acts such as Coldplay and Beyoncé added to the festival, and so did some of the fashion from celebrities in attendance.

One of our favorite looks came courtesy of Kerry Washington, who attended the festival in what InStyle reports is a black and white lace-up Balenciaga dress, which she paired with a black clutch, grey pumps and Eva Fehren jewelry. Washington capped off her look with a pop of color in the form a slick of orange lipstick.

Although we love the Scandal star’s black and white ensemble, we wish we could say the same about its price. According to The Daily Mail, her dress is part of the yet-to-be-released Balenciaga’s Resort 2016 collection, but similar strapless styles from the current collection start at $1,695 at Net-A-Porter. We love her look, but we think that you don’t have to spend like a star to look like one. That’s why we set out to recreate her entire look for under $100. Read on for the results!

Because Washington’s frock is so unique, we had to opt for a dress similar only in color palette and construction — and that’s where the Color Block Mesh Asymmetrical Dress from Charlotte Russe comes in. Its black and white color block style invokes Washington’s Balenciaga number, but it isn’t even close in terms of price, on sale for a mere $9.99.

The Color Block Mesh Asymmetrical Dress, found on

The Color Block Mesh Asymmetrical Dress, found on

To mimic Washington’s textured clutch, we chose the Urban Expressions Reilly Clutch from DSW. Featuring a tonal faux snakeskin leather, this clutch can easily pass for Washington’s clutch, but will only set you back $29.95.

The Urban Expressions Reilly Clutch, found on

The Urban Expressions Reilly Clutch, found on

The Audrey Brooke Sloane Pumps complete our look our less, with their perforated toe box reminiscent of the texture on Washington’s charcoal grey pumps. This gorgeous suede heel will elevate your look to the next level for only $59.95.

The Audrey Brooke Sloane Pump, found on

The Audrey Brooke Sloane Pump, found on

Kerry Washington’s Balenciaga dress for the Global Citizen Festival costs an estimated $1,695, but our look for less will give you a similar look for only $99.89. Swipe a bright orange lipstick on your lips and you’ll have taken Washington’s entire look for less.

Happy Shopping!