Avant Garb: Merlot Mode

By Elizabeth Massing

One way to get through the winter is with a little wine…which is just what I found at a recent women’s networking event when I ran into Ali & Becky. Both of these lovely ladies were rocking burgundy velvet jumpsuits. Of course, I had to get a shot of them together.

Ali (Left) said her jumpsuit is from Free People – as is her choker – a brand that fits her self-described style – “a mix of classic and feminine with a touch of bohemian. I tend to gravitate towards quality pieces that I know I’ll keep in my closet forever. I love different textures and am a sucker for anything flowy. Being in the event industry, I am always on the search for that perfect jumpsuit. They’re comfy, effortless and make you look like you tried harder than you actually did.” Ali has a point. The jumpsuits both look polished, high-end, and perfect for an evening event; a comfortable essential that leaves you looking elegant and modern. Becky (Right) found her jumpsuit at Express, suiting her style that’s “classic with a modern twist.” While Ali’s jumpsuit is flowy and loose fitting, Becky’s is form fitting, working to accentuate her curves. Because she’s sporting a strapless sweetheart neck line, it’s perfect that she chose to pair this with a looser necklace. The gold helps to elevate the look and turn it into an evening ready ensemble.
Becky polished off her look with dangly, fringed earrings from Francesca’s…
…and a pair of open-toed black strappy heels with ankle ties from Nordstrom.
Speaking of shoes, Ali’s silver Steve Maddens are worth a closer look!
Next, I ran into Franchon or “Franny.” Franny was rocking a look that screamed diva. The first thing that caught my attention was her mink stole. She said this piece is vintage; a gift from her godfather, Miroy. Her black top with bell sleeves and black slacks are both from H&M – a great store for staple pieces like these. “I appreciate that you guys thought I was fly that night that was a low-key night for me. I thrift, create my own, buy [both] low and high-end. I just mix it up,” she told me.
Her silver metallic pumps – which she picked up in Canada – were a steal, even though they totally look high-end. Franny does some incredibly unique work as a boxing stylist! To learn more, take a look at her Instagram account @thehhdezearned.
Elizabeth Massing drinks in the season's style with one of its hot hues...
FOUND – This week, I’d like to shine the spotlight on an incredible organization doing amazing work – Art with a Heart. This organization uses art as a vehicle to improve the lives of children all over the city through art education and fun projects that help beautify Baltimore. In addition, they also offer workforce development to young adults. And they do all of this through art!
If you ever get a chance to visit their space inside of Mill No. 1 off of Falls Road, then you have to check out some of the jewelry they have there. It is all for sale, and all totally unique pieces made – by hand – by the students. It’s affordable…a lot of the rings start around $15.
I can totally get behind this! As a lover of art and a huge believer in its value, I am so happy to see this organization doing such important work throughout our city of Baltimore!
Elizabeth Massing

One look at Elizabeth Massing and you see her fabulous sense of style and artistic self-expression. She combines old and new, classic and trendy, luxurious items and vintage steals.  “Fashion and what you wear should be a statement of who you are and how you feel. You shouldn’t be scared to take risks. It should be fun and make you feel good, no matter your budget or fashion experience,” she says. For Elizabeth, fashion is a way to tell her story.  “I like my stories full of fun and excitement, history and romance, and - from time to time - a little drama. Bold fabrics give me a thrill. Couture makes me swoon. Daring pairings are a magnetic force I cannot overcome,” says this B-more native. Elizabeth also loves to see the “stories” other people tell, which may come from her work in publishing and media as HR Director for The Agora Companies, where - she says - creativity and originality is always encouraged. Now, she’ll be relaying some of those stories to us in her column, “The Haute Find.”  “It’s about finding style on the street, in homes, and out-and-about. It’s an adventure looking for textures, fabrics, and how people add layers of details and interest to their wardrobe.” So, ramp it up, Baltimore. Maybe Elizabeth will be “telling” your story!