Regional Style Guide: Washington, D.C.

Dress like the Movers and Shakers from the District!
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This week on Regional Style Guide, we decided to hit up our nation's capital, Washington D.C. (In case you missed them, see our past posts on Milwaukee style, Dallas style, Myrtle Beach style, and Santa Fe style.) Although most people view this region as strictly politics, D.C. is so much more. The District is filled with history, museums, art, parks, food trucks, pop-up bookstores, tech startups, and much more.

D.C. mirrors the energy of big cities like NYC or L.A., but on a smaller scale. The crowds here are fast paced and made up of local movers, shakers, and hustlers who have little time to strike up a conversation with tourist.

Most locals aren't natives; they weren’t born and raised in the District. They moved to D.C. intrigued by the capital’s career opportunities, education, and culture. Therefore, there isn’t a general dynamic of southern or northern influences but an interesting blend of both. 

If you're visiting D.C. in the Spring, you won't be able to miss the iconic Cherry Blossoms which can be seen in small clusters around the National Mall, but to see the majority of blossoms you'll need to walk the Tidal Basin Loop Trail to the shoreline of East Potomac Park.

So now that we know a little about the District's geography and beauty, let's take a look at the Washingtonians' style!

Day Out in the City

When Washingtonians have a free day, the whole city becomes their playground! Luckily, D.C. is filled with free things to do since the locals are spending a fortune to live there. You will need more than one free day to check out the Smithsonian’s 17 museums that are completely free to the public.

Other free activities include: Visit the D.C. Zoo, admire The Washington Monument and National Mall, tour the U.S. Capitol or the White House, read in the Library of Congress, stroll the United States Botanical Gardens, walk Dupont Circle’s First Friday Art Trail, or hit up a seasonal festival.

With this many things to do, you need a casual outfit to paint the town red in. Local fashion duo and BFFs, Sarah and Michelle of Fifty Two Thursdays, play up their casual game in classic white skinny jeans that hit just above the ankle, utility jackets, comfy sweaters, and shoes made for walking. 

Get Inspired by Sarah & Michelle 

This outfit is all about versatile and classic Spring pieces! While the white skinny jeans, silky lavender sweater, olive green utility jacket, neutral tote, cat-eyed sunnies, and suede pastel pink converse all look polished together, each piece can be worn with countless of other outfits. Top of this look off with sleek matte black nail polish to look cool and collected trolling through Washington, D.C.

Products: Jeans - Forever 21; Sweater - American Eagle; Anorak - Macy's; Purse - Nordstrom Rack; Sunglasses - Urban Outfitters; Travel Mug - Keep Cup; Nail Polish - Amazon; Shoes - Nike

What I love about Sarah & Michelle’s outfits is that while all these items look great together, the individual pieces are so versatile and can be paired in a combination of hundreds of other looks.

Although all these clothing items and accessories are solid colors, they feel much more dynamic since they incorporate different textures and tones. The silky lavender sweater from American Eagle Outfitters and suede converse with gold accents give an element of glam to a very casual outfit.

One thing I’ve also noticed about D.C. Fashion Instagrammers is that you can always find at least 5 pictures of them posing with a cup of joe. This is because while coffee is a staple in the American diet, in D.C it has a culture all its own.

I’ve included a reusable coffee travel mug in this look as a reminder to waste less and reuse more. Plus, reusable mugs look better than their paper/styrofoam counterparts.

Flirty & Feminine

Like I said, Coffee Culture in D.C. is strong and Deborah from Coffee, Prose, & Pretty Clothes understands this well! Her blog features weekly Coffee Chat posts that give her readers interesting links to articles to read while enjoying their Hazelnut Latte or Iced Americano (like a shorter version of Colleges Fashion’s Hautelinks).

I especially love how Deborah’s blog evolved from her need of an updated wardrobe after graduating college and getting her first job in Washington working on a political campaign.

Deborah notes her blog inspiration as follows:

“I realized that my closet full of college t-shirts, ill-fitting jeans, and ratty backpacks was just not going to cut it in the real world and I embarked on my journey towards adult closet-hood and chronicled my adventures and outfit mishaps here on this blog.”

Not only is her mission extremely relatable, her outfits look polished and expensive despite being affordable. Her exact blouse and skirt are easy to find on the J.Crew Factory and Asos websites. 

Get Inspired by Deborah

Washington Look 3 (1)

Products: Blouse - J.Crew Factory; Skirt - Asos; Necklace - Forever 21; Heels - Lulus; Purse - Kohls 

Deborah’s combination of a gingham button-down and scallop hemmed skirt is an unexpected combo that pairs well together. Take note that Deborah doesn’t wear many accessories, but opts for embellished pieces like her gold studded heels to add a flare to her look.

What You Can Learn from D.C. Fashion Bloggers

When you think of fashion bloggers/Instagrammers, you probably picture these ladies with an endless supply of clothing at their disposal. In actuality, they re-wear the same pieces in several outfits from year to year.

For instance, Deborah can be seen in her studded heels over and over again. Sometimes, she’ll even post a new picture of the exact same outfit she’s worn during an earlier time.

This can seem surprising since fast-fashion marketing is the embodiment of Kate Sanders from Lizzie Mcguire pointing out the horror of being an “Outfit Repeater”. That’s why I love seeing influencers challenge the throwaway culture of the industry.

D.C. fashion influencers also tend to buy more classic and versatile pieces that will stand the test of time rather than sport seasonal trendy pieces.That’s why if you’re looking for capsule wardrobe inspiration, I would definitely suggest researching looks from D.C. fashion bloggers.

What Do You Think?

What do you think about the District’s style? Is it more or less similar to your own? What is your opinion about repeating outfits? We love to hear from our readers so comment below and don’t forget to name a region you want to see covered as a Regional Style Guide.

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