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wonders never cease

Nancy and Beth and Megan and Stephanie

Our pals Megan Mullally and Stephanie Hunt, AKA Nancy and Beth, have a knack for combining their jaw dropping vocal talents, their razor sharp comedy chops and their wickedly mischievous love of flying in the face of societal norms. While they could probably put their abundance of talents to work saving the planet and eradicating evil, for now they have settled for creating a charming and hilarious show and delightfully pleasing new LP. We plan to be front and center for the show Monday night at U St Music Hall, and you can bet that we'll be going home with a copy of the new LP, hot off the presses. We suggest that you all join us, unless, of course, you don't enjoy having fun. If our testimony to their awesomeness isn't enough for the fun-loving but skeptical among you, have a gander at this first video from the album. See for yourselves, these babes rock.

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Let’s Get Whimiscal

Whimsical, slightly anachronistic, purely ornamental.

Serious times call for frivolous indulgences. My recommendation: a glorious spring hat. Sometimes beautiful and elegant, sometimes outrageous and disruptive, sometimes all of the above; hats are minor indulgences (relative to a fine meal, even, not to mention sports cars and island vacations) that can be a personal statement, a celebration of style, a nod to history, a gesture of respect. 

Spring hats, in particular, are like fresh blossoms emerging after a long dark winter. They are emphatically hopeful.

Over these past winter months, I found choosing spring hats for the shop to be a lovely escape from the serious issues of the day. I hope you'll come by and tour the collection. Perhaps you can stop by this weekend for our annual "Champagne & Chapeaux" celebration? It's also my 22nd anniversary here in this Dupont location -- time to celebrate all around.

And, whatever you do, be sure to be frivolous.

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A Day Without A Woman

MARCH: what an appropriate month to celebrate Women's History. For decades, women have proudly, peacefully marched to bring about meaningful change in society. As people throughout the world observe A Day Without A Woman on March 8th, we will stand proudly with our fellow women-owned businesses in support of economic and gender justice. We will keep our doors wide open, wear RED, and welcome shoppers with red berets and Hot Button Issues buttons (on us!) to celebrate WOMEN.

But, we shall also persist: Women's Rights are Human Rights, 365 days a year.

(ADRIANA GALLO)

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Countdown to Magic

This will be magical: "The DC Public Library Foundation is set to release a compilation album featuring several luminaries of the DC music scene entitled ALB’s Rock the Stacks. The release will come in both vinyl and digital format. The Foundation will host a local music festival and release party at the MLK Library on February 24, 2017. The proceeds of the album and all events surrounding it will go to the DC Public Library Foundation. ALB’s Rock the Stacks came together in memory of Annie Lou Berman, an essential member of the DC creative community and board member of the DC Public Library Foundation, who succumbed to cancer earlier this year.

Some of Berman’s favorite bands have donated recordings to the project while others collaborated to make fresh recordings in the state-of-the-art Martin Luther King Jr Memorial Library recording studios. Some of the bands and musicians appearing on the album includeThievery Corporation, Deathfix, Fort Knox Five, Shortstack and Small Doses. The release party will feature many of the bands on the album, including Elmapi, Furniteur, Warm Sun and The ALB Allstars (a supergroup of members appearing on Rock the Stacks).

The project is being headed by a committee that includes Anna Fuhrman (Proper Topper),Brendan Canty (Fugazi, Deathfix), Jim Thomson (Gwar), Ben Gilligan (musician and restaurateur), Vida Russell and Jerry Busher (Deathfix, French Toast) as well as members of the library and Berman’s family members, including husband MJ Berman, sister Johanna Howe and cousin Kevin Bayly.

“That MLK library has taken on the mantle of preserving our local music is perfect,” says Brendan Canty, former Fugazi drummer and current member of the band Deathfix. “Not only are they the epicenter of DC, but they are free and open to the public, giving us truly democratic access so that we the people can enjoy music devoid of commercial context,” continues Canty.

The vinyl version of the album, which has 14 mostly original tracks, is being produced by local vinyl pressing company, Furnace, located in Fairfax, Virginia. A digital download of ALB’s Rock the Stacks will also be available and will include additional songs. More information can be found here."

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I Shop Local Because ...

We are all about local: we love our beautiful city (so much that we think it needs to be our State!), we love our neighborhood, we love our local makers and designers and creative community. We especially love that our loyal customers have chosen to support our local business (for 26+ years now!). We'd like to inspire others to join the Local Love train, so join us this holiday season for events celebrating our favorite makers, and tell us: why do you shop local?

 

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Pink October Rolls into November

We've been telling you a lot lately about our PROPER IN PINK campaign: 20% of all DCProper and pink fascinator sales are going to the Lombardi Cancer Center's Breast Health Center at Medstar Georgetown Hospital. We're continuing that effort through November. One reason for our increased focus this year: breast cancer just became more personal. Here goes ...

On a Sunday in August, as I was trying to decide whether to venture into my steambath of a garden, I crossed my arms. The ordinary moment changed as I brushed up against a strange lump.

I spent the evening waffling between concern and certainty that it was nothing. But on Monday, the appointments, tests, surgeries and infusions that have populated the past two months began. It was breast cancer. With the support of an incredible community of friends, staff, and a great medical team, surgery is done, chemo is underway, and radiation will come along in springtime.

I was reluctant to talk much about all of this at first, not wanting to call too much attention to myself and my family, whom I trusted would help me face this capably. They have.

As time has passed, though, I've been amazed and awed by the number of people who have generously shared their time, experiences, cooking talents, and love. It is simultaneously shocking and comforting that so many friends have been through this themselves, and that EVERYONE has a friend, a relative, a colleague who has had breast cancer.  It is a huge, non-exclusive club.

We all honor the new members with our help and our voices.

By talking about what's going on with me and my family right now, I hope to keep paying forward the love and advice that's been shared with us. And, in the lemonade from lemons department, I am happy that this provides an opportunity to hone my knowledge about chemo headwear. I've advised customers about these choices for many years, but, now, as I lose my hair, I am learning things I was just flat wrong about, and things I wish I'd known to share.

I'll be featuring my favorite headwear picks and recommendations -- as well as my fails -- here on the blog. I also have some cozy chemo wear inspiration, gifts that friends going through chemo would like, and ideas for caregivers, too. Stay tuned!

Please feel free to share with anyone you think might need it, and please know how much your support and love can help someone walking this path. It is immeasurably better with a little help from your friends.

- Anna
anna (@) propertopper.com

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wonders never cease