Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Our Girl Crush List

It seems like a pretty good time to be a woman over 35!

First, we have Amal Alamuddin, i.e. the future Mrs. George Clooney, i.e. the Second-Best Long Brown Hair in the United Kingdom.

I have a feeling she is the kind of woman who always walks around looking like this, but she definitely caught on early to the fact that, post-engagement, she is always going to be photographed, so she prepares accordingly. Gigabytes of server space have already been used to wax on about how obviously smart and together she is, and to celebrate the fact that George Clooney - George Clooney!! - is not marrying some vacant 23 year-old actress. Amal, good for you. We anticipate many YBMMF appearances in the future.

Even more Gigabytes have been devoted to evidence that Angelina Jolie is a very beautiful and stylish woman. Obviously. However, this event really caught my eye:

William Hague, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt

That's UK Foreign Secretary William Hague on the left; the two of them chaired the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict; she also worked to develop a UN Protocol on the subject. I believe I speak for all people who do this for a living when I say that developing a protocol and hosting a FOUR DAY meeting are some of the most tedious-yet-important parts of diplomacy. Plenty of stars appear make a perfunctory trip to some third-world country, get photographed playing with a kid, and consider their philanthropic box checked. Not so for Angelina. She clearly has found an issue she deeply cares about and devotes a lot of time to it. Even more broadly, she now strikes me as the type of woman who has picked her priorities: family, work, and UN issues, and focuses almost exclusively on them. When is the last time you saw a story about her vacationing on a yacht, or buying something ridiculously expensive, or getting into a fight at a bar? She doesn't have time for that crap. That's something that all women - even though we don't have the bone structure, the bucks, or the Brad - can get behind.

And finally, to the most powerful of the three, National Security Advisor Samantha Power.

Smart? Check. Successful? Check? By all accounts, a generally nice and normal person? Check. I particularly admire her openness about balancing work and family, and her willingness to show that side of her, imperfect as it may be (as it is for all of us). She doesn't seem to have a need to shriek "everything is perfect!" through gritted teeth. An inspiration to all of the working moms out there!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Afghan Presidential Election: Either Way, Dapper Wins!

As Afghans go to the polls in a runoff election to determine Hamid Karzai's successor, this much is certain: the next Afghan president will carry on Karzai's legacy of being one of the world's best-dressed leaders. Rivals Abdullah Abdullah (the Afghan politician so stylish they named him twice) and Ashraf Ghani both understand how to rock a tribal/western mix. Let's go to the tap.


Yep, that is a neck scarf, with some sort of cool tie. And a white jacket. And that's not all.

We have your plaid jacket, with a well-selected tie/shirt combo....

Your Nehru jacket, and a pose in front of a portrait of Massoud...

And a circa-2001 portrait. I think I speak for a lot of ladies when I say: no wonder we supported the Northern Alliance.

Now, Dr. Ghani. It's hard to select favorites - his looks can be broken down into three distinct categories.

1) The Vest

2) The Scarf

3) The Vest-Scarf Combo

He definitely has a more distinctly South-Central Asian look than Abdullah, which makes sense, given his need to overcome the fact that he lived in the West for far longer (and went to Columbia).

Either way, hats (or turbans) off to both - and I look forward to seeing either man's wardrobe choices on a world stage.

Friday, June 6, 2014

D-Day Commemorations: This Is How to Do It

I can't imagine the work that went in to planning the 70-year commemoration of D-Day, which featured no fewer than 19 heads of states and monarchs. Far from a major city. Outdoors. Flanked by what appear to be thousands of veterans and spectators.  Just the thought of coordinating all of the helicopter landings and security details raises my blood pressure.

But, given the orgy of amazing photos coming out of this event, it's totally worth it. The past and the future of Europe's leadership blend really nicely at this one (Queen Elizabeth, I should note, is actually a WWII veteran).

Excited: A female decorated war veteran appeared thrilled to meet President Obama face to face at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer

Do you think she thought in 1945, that 70 years later she would be meeting the U.S. president while someone took a picture of her with something called an iPhone? Nonetheless, it's sweet how thrilled she is. A lot of my favorite photos from today are of veterans mingling with POTUS and others and participating in the ceremonies.

Gathering: State leaders gather for lunch on Friday at Chateau De Benouville on Friday. Obama and Putin, who have not yet met on the trip, are both in attendance

I know it's impossible to avoid smushing them all together for an awkward group photo, but man, think of all the collective time spent chit-chatting while waiting for Putin not to look Photoshopped in. And then giving up. I'm really glad Queen Elizabeth and Queen Margrethe (who, btw, are related) are in there to break up the black-suited bloc; Queen Maxima was there too, (not in the group photo, I believe, because she is not technically a head of state), and looked absolutely lovely, which she always does, because, hello, she's originally Argentine, and they know what works for them.

Kidding around: President Obama has a laugh with Queen Maxima of e Netherlands at the international D-Day commemoration ceremony in Ouistreham, France

Yeah, she is totally who I would talk to in order to feel less awkward among some of the other folks at this party.

Meeting: Putin is pictured in his first meeting with Ukraine president-elect Petro Poroshenko since the election. They chatted with Germany's Angela Merkel following the photograph on Friday

Cough, cough. For the billionth time in 2014, let me say "we are all so lucky to have Angela Merkel." She is not leaving Poroshenko alone with Putin yet some adult supervision. Also, this photo got me wondering about which language people used all day. I think she and Putin are the only folks present who aren't really comfortable in English, and that's Putin's interpreter on the far right. So Poroshenko probably has a 30-second jump on what he's saying as she waits for it to be translated into German. The same interpreter is on duty when he chats with Obama in other photos, so color me impressed: simultaneous interpretation into one language is really, really difficult, but to work in two is seriously impressive.

Oh, and, of course:

Warm: The Duchess of Cambridge beams as she chats to a veteran at a tea party in Arromanches

Thursday, May 22, 2014

In Honor of the Unofficial Start of Summer

Dear Christine Lagarde,

I have no doubt you are an amazing, interesting, smart, funny woman. Really. And, since you are French, I also bet you read interesting books, eat responsibly, and speak with an appropriate volume at all times, even though you now live in America.

However, we need to talk.

There are two possible explanation for why you are suddenly the same color as John Boehner, and thus just one step away from getting made fun of by the President of the United States for your not-so-subtle orange hue. The first is that your favorite thing about America is our wide selection of self-tanners, which, I must admit, have some a long way from the ones that used to automatically turn your palms orange and smelled like Sun-In. The other explanation is that your admittedly athletic lifestyle has actually exposed you to this much sun - but I find it hard to believe, given that you have a super-serious desk job.

The next time you head to CVS or the tanning salon for your fix: STOP! You are a beautiful woman! Your clothes are great! You don't need this

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Latest Twist in the Ukraine Crisis: Kitschottiere Postponed!

Among the many sad stories to come out of Ukraine today: events have gotten so serious that they have allegedly postponed the wedding of boxer/politician Vladimir Kitschko and Nashville (admit it, you've watched it too) star Hayden Panettiere. They both seem like nice people, and she gave a good speech at the height of the Maidan frenzy back in December - but the thing I like most about them is the fact that he is, not kidding, at least twice her size. Look!

And she is probably wearing serious heels underneath that dress too. If I ever meet them in person, I will have to make an effort to restrain from squealing "you guys are SO cute" in some wildly inappropriate setting. We applaud their political sensitivity, and wish them the best.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Nerd Prom: If You Pay Someone to Be Your Date, Is That Okay?

Now, we are big, big fans of the White House Correspondents' Dinner, and the glitz it lends to our otherwise salmon-pants-and-Toms-loving capitol. And I love the glimpse of an actual, outside-the-Beltway celebrity at this event, as long as that is a celebrity who a) has demonstrated an interest in public policy or b) is in a show in which he/she demonstrates an interest in public policy.

Exhibit A:

Julia Louis-Dreyfus is pictured. | Getty Images

Yes. I hope Gary is carrying the Leviathan and making sure she doesn't mix her meds with too much booze and then sleep with her ex-husband.

But then there are those who don't meet the categories outlined above. Those who are less likely to appear at a Congressional hearing on Darfur, or vaccines, or...anything. I give you:

 Jason Binn and Sofia Vergara are pictured. | Getty

Don't get me wrong: she's funny, and she has awesome hair, and I can't believe she has a teenage son. And it wouldn't strike me as odd, except she was at the SAME DINNER last year.

This is a woman who said in 2013: "I would be lying to you if I didn't say the success of it. For me, it has allowed me to do the things I always wanted -- my endorsements."

Is she really on hand to advocate for more federal funding for tree pollen allergies? Or for additional wells to be built in the Central African Republic? Or to speak up for military victims of sexual abuse? I somehow doubt it.

So, this leaves me with just one question: HOW MUCH ARE THEY PAYING HER? AND WHY? 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Beijing Beautiful

U.S Ambassador to China Gary Locke has a secret weapon at home, and her name is Mona.  Mona Locke, recently featured in Vogue Magazine as the "Toast of Beijing", certainly steps out in style.  She has quite a following in Beijing, patronizes local designers, and has been out and about, demonstrating her public speaking prowess and intellect.  Mona has a background as a TV reporter, and has the poise to prove it.  Mona, we thank you for setting an awesome example of how spouses (both men and women) bring so much to the diplomatic table!

Mona Locke New U.S. Ambassador to China, Gary Locke and his wife Mona (R) address the media in the courtyard of their residence on August 14, 2011 in Beijing, China. The former U.S. Secretary of Commerce becomes the first Chinese American to be appointed as U.S. Ambassador to China. During the news briefing, the U.S. Ambassador to China stated that Beijing and Washington should work together to promote a greater understanding between the two nations.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Synchronized Swimming: My New Favorite Sport

I've been trying to sneak a peek at synchronized swimming during the day, but stupid work keeps interfering. Luckily, file "gawking at bizarre swimming outfits" in the drawer of "things the Internet is good for." Behold:

synchronized swimming

Canada is rocking a soccer theme. Those hats: not something I would wear.


That is all.

Sunday, July 29, 2012


My husband: "what the (*&^@ is that in Ryan Lochte's mouth?"
Me: OBVIOUSLY, that is a stars and stripes grill.

On the ladder that leads to my sartorial heart, I think he climbs another rung.

US swimmer Ryan Lochte poses on the podium with the gold medal after winning the men's 400m individual medley swimming event at the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 28, 2012 in London.

Awkward Olympic Uniform Modeling

I totally fell asleep before the athletes marched around during the Opening Ceremonies, but that's what the Internet is good for: letting my pick out the worst two days later and make fun of them.

First up, China: Olympic athletes, or flight attendants?

Seriously, I think these guys served me plov on a China Southern flight once. except that really tall guy. Also, I'm not sure it's really that funny to have your uniforms modeled by only gymnasts and basketball players - everyone looks weird.

Next up, Russia, which is generally okay, except:

Yep, those are official team Russia belly bags. This is not 1992. (Ed. note: sorry Mom! Yours is awesome.)

Hay, que chiste es esto?


These girls are really pretty, right? And yet, all I see is a) stupid flowers, b) satin and c) horrible scarf torture.

Finally, to end on a positive note, here is Team GB:

I felt there was an overuse of blazers this year (not that I don't overuse them myself, but it was hard to tell one blazer-clad team from another). Stella McCartney saves the day! They are, after all, athletes, and they sweat, and it's cold in the UK. This is my gold medalist!

Swim Away...Quickly

Ann Romney. Sigh. Did you buy this thinking "that would be PERFECT for the 400IM finals at the London Olympics?" I sincerely hope not.

Friday, July 27, 2012

It's On!

Most people consider the Opening Ceremony the beginning of Olympic excitement. Yeah, whatever: the COCKTAIL PARTY I WOULD MOST LIKE TO BE INVITED TO, EVER is kicking if off for me. If Prince Harry is involved, we go to ALL CAPS.

Let's get this started.

First of all, kudos to U.S Amb. Susman for getting in a lot of the photos. That's him on the left. Let's start with the photo we're always waiting for:

I'm actually a little Meh on both of these looks, despite the fact that Duchess Kate is one of the few ladies who can pull of pale blue satin and not look fat - and I put myself at my senior prom in the latter category. Then again, on TV at the actual ceremony, it looks a little severe - this isn't a wedding!

No, the real beauty of this party, hosted by the Queen, was that it was apparently for all heads of state who happened to be in town for the Games. And that let to some random-ass photos!

Here is Princess Beatrice with the Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Omurbek Babanov & Rita Birbaeva. What are they talking about? (Her: "so, in your country, do you wear the hat all the time?) Babanov was wise to wear the hat - he also is in a lot of photos.

(Ed. note: ceremonies have begun. Meredith Viera just described something as "the voice of an angel coming from a nine-year-old boy." It's going to be a long 17 days.)

And, finally, my favorite:

Basking in the glow that is Prince Harry is President of Gabon Ali Bongo Ondimba and his wife Sylvia. (Sylvia: nice dress!) I happen to know that President Bongo has met several members of my family. Meaning I have only two degrees of separate to Prince Harry!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

He's Got the Lochte

The ladies of YBMMF are big fans of Ryan long as he doesn't talk. (Seriously, have you heard this guy talk? It's not pretty.) Therefore, we admire his business sense in marketing these bad boys on his web site, a place where you can also buy the official Ryan Lochte workout video OMGOMGOMG!

White Lochte “All American Reezy Jeah” novelty glasses

As we are over age 25, we did not know what either "Reezy" or "Jeah" meant. Luckily, I have a 21-year-old intern, who patiently explained this to us. "Jeah" means "really good." Okay. And Ryan is apparently a fan of Young Jeezy, so likes to be known as "Reezy."

That explanation made me feel about 70 years old. To make myself feel younger, I went to the Wu-Tang name generator, which is my generation's Reezy/Jeezy, whatever. And my name? Drunken Bastard.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Ralph Would Have Lost Project Runway

A lot of people have been giving Ralph Lauren flak for the recently unveiled Team USA uniforms for London.

Ralph Lauren / Associated Press
Aside from the widely discussion hatred of berets and the unnecessarily oversize Polo logo (although what could be more American?), our first exclamation was a groan, about that skirt length. Ralph: most ladies who qualified for the Olympics have calves. That's not a bad thing. But do you really think this girl is going to feel her best in that? Not a flattering look.

Sixteen(ish) Days of Glory

It's been quite a hiatus around here. Between the getting married, having babies, moving, working and Nordstrom sample sale shopping, the ladies of YBMMF haven't exactly given it their all in the last year. Nothing screams "comeback," however, like the Olympics. There are too many existential questions out their that we need to answer:

- who will have the worst uniforms?
- how many men can we not feel bad objectifying because they have pictures like that on their official websites?
- most importantly, what will Kate Middleton, Pippa, Victoria Beckham, Michelle Obama and others wearing?

 Consider us the Anthony Ervin of blogs - we're back, bitches, we can do this in our sleep, we're gonna win more gold medal, and then probably retire to a quiet life of getting more tattoos and playing the guitar.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Qadaffi's Qondi Qrush

I'm not much of a looter myself, but I think I would enjoy picking through the rubble of Qaddafi's palace. The big news today is that Qaddafi, who had previously expressed a soft spot for Condi Rice, had a photo album of pictures of her in his room. She must be seriously creeped out. Here's a shot of it:

That doesn't look like the kind of thing we give as a gift, so I'm guessing someone in Libya made that for him. Yep, yuck.

Meanwhile, the "distinctive fur" the NY Times mentioned is probably this lovely hat:

He wore it in February, and he clearly did some Jersey Shore-worthy fist pumping in it. I'm not gonna lie: I would totally wear that.

I am quite disappointed at the lack of Qaddafi loot for sale on eBay. Attention, rebels TNC forces: people would pay a lot for this (I actually yelled this at the TV as I watched someone walk away with it on Al Jazeera). Yeah yeah, stand on it a while longer, but then get it on eBay!

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Vanity Fair's annual best-dressed list is out, and we congratulate YBMMF faves Sheikha Mozah and Princess Kate on their well-deserved inclusion. However, we were struck by the inclusion of the Duchess of Alba, a current obsession of ours, but not necessarily in a best-dressed way.

Yes, it's true that the easiest reaction to her is "what happened to her face?" However, her Wikipedia page alone is amazing, for the following reasons:
- she is related to both Winston Churchill and Goya;
- her six children all have unbelievably long names, and most either have their own paternity questions or have produced children that do;
- her current boyfriend is 24 years her junior (you go!) and she is allegedly giving her children their inheritances early in order to get them to BUTT OUT AND LET HER HAVE FUN WITH A CUTE YOUNG GUY AND NOT ALWAYS TALK ABOUT THE MONEY.
- she allegedly has so many titles that Queen Elizabeth would have to bow to HER.

So, she's probably pretty fun. And the clothes? The clothes are, as they say, loco.

Yeah, loco. However, she's 86 and not wearing orthopedic shoes and/or mom jeans (she's probably never even seen them), and I would actually consider wearing those flats. I'm not sure if it's best-dressed, but I kind of dig it.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thawing relations? Maybe. Stone cold fox? Definitely!

In keeping with the praise directed at India's Foreign Minister (who indeed is quite dapper), I'd like to draw your attention to the other side of Kashmir and specifically, to Pakistan's chic, Birkin-toting, Cavalli-donning new Foreign Minister, Hina Rabbani Khar. She's 34 (which makes me wonder where I wandered off the path, as I'm 31 and not close to being the Foreign Minister of anything), fashion-forward, and getting the job done. Khar is a U-Mass grad in Hospitality Management, which probably does have some strong parallels to her current gig in terms of soothing ruffled feathers.

Khar was applauded in India for her fashion, and even called "Pakistan's newest WMD". She's got a long, uphill slog with India-Pakistan tensions always at a near-boil, but she's got the right foot (covered by the right shoe) forward. Check out the photos, including one with the late U.S. diplomat superstar, Richard Holbrooke. What do you think about her style?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Shout-Out: S.M. Krishna

Even though I've seen S.M. Krishna, the Indian Foreign Minister, in a lot of pictures, it just dawned on my today how dapper he is. I think it was this series of photos, in which he appears to be genuinely having a good time. He also is, as usual, rocking the Nehru jacket, which would look silly on a lot of people - but not this guy.

Cute, right? The number of photos in which she is wearing that expression make me think he is a charming guy.

He rocks variations of this suit a lot, and I like them all.

He also pulls off the vest look, which I do give South Asian men credit for wearing successfully.

But this is definitely my favorite shot of him. It also reminds you that a) he is short and b) they are tall.

Can you believe the guy is 79? And that he went to Southern Methodist University? And that Pervez Musharaf also has Dallas ties? I hope they don't run into each other at Neiman Marcus one day - awkward!