Jessica's Post: Fashion 9 to 5 DC Street Style

Jul 13, 2010

This is Jessica’s post submission.  Prospective interns were told to write a post that they would like to replicate in future on the site.  Let me know what you think in the comments.

Meet Kate F., a 24-year-old summer law clerk in the Hall of States building and law student at the Vanderbilt University. Kate is by far the most stylish person in our office this summer. Her brightly colored statement pieces, sequined tops under uniform blazers, and pristine accessories add dimension to our largely grey-suited office.

She was kind enough to offer some insight into her phenomenal style as well as how to beat the summer heat. She asks you do just one thing: lose the fedoras!

How would you describe your style?

“Fusion; borrowing from a bit of everything. I have a fashion for every mood or activity, and I have a firm belief that detailing is essential. It’s what turns clothing into art.  

I’m very flashy.  In the cooler months I skew a little bit more to rockstar vibe, with leather jackets and fur and bondage-inspired platform heels and glitz; in the summer that relaxes into a sort of boho, surfer-inspired vibe, with unique accents I’ve gotten on trips to an island or Morocco.   I love an allover sequin look – except on blazers – see below! I tend to wear a lot of minis.  Unexpected details are a must: I am a huge fan of backless pieces for this reason, like a lot of Mara Hoffman’s pieces for the past few and upcoming seasons.  And color.  Lots of color.”

Do you have a fashion icon you admire?

“Rachel Bilson. Coco Chanel.” 

Who’s your favorite designer?

“Alexander Mcqueen, who is a visionary, Alice + Olivia, Marc Jacobs, Tibi; Tory Burch; J Brand for jeans; Theory for work; Linea Pelle for bags; 12th St. by Cynthia Vincent for shoes and tops; and Free People is an inexpensive line who’s designs always come across as one of a kind and whimsical.”

What clothing store do you find yourself in the most?

“ online – I do most of my shopping online – and in person, Bloomingdales. Also, Intermix and Net-A-Porter.”

What’s the one fashion faux pas that drives you nuts?

“Fedoras.  And I love sequins on almost anything, but I have drawn the line at all over black sequin blazers.  Get it together, you’re not Liza Minnelli.”

Are you a trend follower or do you break the rules?

“I write them.”

What are some of the investment pieces in your wardrobe that you’ve spent big money on?

“Jeans, jeans, jeans. Bandage dresses by Herve Lerger. A great LBD, or twelve. And Mike + Chris makes the greatest leather jackets I have ever laid hands on. And boots, boots, boots.”

Where do you find bargains for your non-investment pieces?

“ sale section; and Madewell knows how to borrow from high-end designers without imitating to the extreme.”

What’s your secret to looking so fresh in the summer heat?

“Wear a sleeveless sateen or linen dress in a bright color for outdoors and bring a blazer for indoors. Remember big sunglasses; “everything is better with heels;” lipgloss; and drink lots of water. Let’s be honest though, this is washington in the summertime.  Bonus point: know that heat goes from sticky to sultry after 7 pm with a cocktail on a rooftop deck and good company.  ahhhh.”


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  1. Elle says:

    Love the idea of adding street style to the blog, but fewer, more pointed questions would make it more user friendly. Like what was the last clothing purchase she made? What was the inspiration/thought process behind what she’s currently wearing? etc.

  2. Daisy says:

    I didn’t get a sense of her as a writer or what her perspective is, as Kate F. supplied the content.

  3. Bree says:

    I think a breakdown of the specific outfit would be interesting to read. Since she’s a lawclerk, is she stylish and shopping on a budget? – or is she wearing expensive investment pieces…. etc etc and I’m dying to know where the necklace came from.

  4. Mary says:

    I agree with Elle I love the idea of street style, but you want something more pithy and to the point if it’s one individual’s style.

    On other blogs I like street style features when they do multiple photos that fit in a theme. I guess it’s kind of like the 10th Commandment but with real girls and not really about the 3 price tiers.

    OK, now I have to go back to work…

  5. mominheels says:

    I actually really like Kate F.’s style and attitude!

  6. Liz says:

    Choosing a lady in a black dress, black heels and big necklace as a person to highlight for their fashion doesn’t seem that inspired to me. Why not pick someone with a little creativity and uniqueness to spotlight?

  7. LT says:

    I actually like Kate F. better than the intern candidate. The questions weren’t insightful, but I found myself eager to see what Kate had to say.

  8. Angela says:

    Sorority chic. Too cocky and seems like while she might be trendy, she’s not at all unique.

  9. Belle says:

    Okay Ladies, we’re getting a little mean. I just had to delete a comment that was way out of bounds so let’s keep it a bit more cordial.

  10. AL says:

    To echo those above: While it’s a nice interview, this doesn’t get any sense of the intern that you’re hiring, only of Kate’s fashion sense. I also don’t think this particular person she is interviewing is geared toward the price point that you’ve geared the blog towards. Belle, you’ve made a point on your blog to give attire for all price points; this particular interview is all about the extreme, high fashion end. As a Capitol Hill staffer, I wouldn’t be able to afford the wardrobe of the person she interviewed. And let’s be honest, is not an intern or Cap Hill staffer’s price point – you always point that out in your 10th Commandment posts, where most often the entries are for elected officials.

  11. A says:

    Not impressed by Kate’s answers – they just left me with one thought. How does she afford Herve Lerger? I don’t want to read about some girl who I’m assuming still lives off an allowance. May be completely wrong but that’s the impression I got.

    ANYWAYS – back to Jessica. Great idea – bad candidate. As a blog reader for 2+ years I want to read about things I can relate to. Hence why the 10th Commandment (and it’s price points) is the most exciting part of my morning. You have to think about the reader and how everything can be protrayed. Or you don’t have to care haha but around here that’s not the best option 🙂

  12. Belle says:

    Hey, don’t knock people who still get allowances…or as we call it in my family…a small housing stipend… 😉

    But I get what you’re saying. Herve certainly isn’t in my price point either, even on Gilt.

  13. Sarah says:

    Soo. . . comments. . . I would say more pics. Do a three-four pic spread of a “theme” or “trend” that you see in the DC area. Great idea to bring in street culture. Big fan of the idea. I have no interest in any of the questions. Will not read. . . only have time to grasp quick tidbits and photos, photos, photos. Great initial post, with a bit of re-tailoring, I def. would enjoy.

  14. A says:

    Hahah nice Belle. Just want to clarify though when I said “Great idea – bad candidate” I meant the person being interviewed, not Jessica.

    Good luck with the rest of your decision making! I have a feeling it’s going to be tough.

  15. Abern says:

    I’m sure this interviewee is certainly stylish, but right from the get go I was a little bored with the blue on the black and black. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this black work shift outfit on 100+ women in DC… why would I want to consider her as a style icon of sorts? I also wish the interviewer’s questions would have been a little more inspired.

  16. e says:

    Fake bake much?? And ditto about the black dress/black peep toes/statement necklace. Nice, but not impressive.

  17. DB says:

    I have to agree with a few of the statements made above. I feel like the questions weren’t insightful and didn’t really have me jumping to read the rest of the interview. I also agree that the candidate could easily use her newfound love for photography by documenting what it is exactly that makes Kate the most fashionable woman in the office.

  18. Megan R. says:

    This being her audition for the blog, Jessica should have put her best foot forward to show us her originality and her writing style. Instead she picked out someone wearing a black dress, black peep toes and a statement necklace, and asked her a bunch of dull, open-ended questions. We have no sense from this post that Jessica is either an interesting writer or an original thinker, and I therefore would have no interest in hearing anything else she has to say. Thumbs down on this one, Belle.

  19. Belle says:

    I don’t know if I feel comfortable skewering the girl who volunteered to be a street style subject. If you think her outfit was a little plain to be chosen, that’s fine. But tearing her up for tanning is a bit over the line in my opinion. She was probably just helping out a co-worker.

  20. S says:

    She is a great writer and she writes about what we all come here for – fashion. She is SUPPOSED to write about fashion gals – not herself, her favorite color or her pets. Leave it to Belle to check out her personality and resume, as she is the one who is hiring her. Our job is to comment on her posts – and I felt her answers were refreshing, trendy and helpful.

  21. Melissa says:

    My thoughts on this were “too long, didn’t read”. Maybe it’s just my attention span, but when I look at a fashion and style blog and I see a single picture and a bunch of text, I stop reading and flick to the next blog.

    Like others have said, I think it’s a great idea – I’d love to see more street style posts, but perhaps changed around a bit. Find a stylish DCer and break down the outfit, then perhaps find similar pieces in other price points?

    Also, like others, I didn’t get a sense of Jessica, only Kate. So, honestly, I didn’t hate it but I wasn’t impressed. It was instantly forgettable, and I doubt that’s what you’re looking for, for the blog.

  22. Kate F says:

    Hey all, Kate F. here.

    First of all, Bree, I just wanted to say on Jessica’s behalf that we were working on a fairly strict time restraint and, as luck would have it, I had to leave on an overnight business trip to some hearings right after this photo was taken, so I had to pack very, very lightly – that meant an understated, single-piece shift that I could pair with accessories to make three different outfits for evening and daytime, casual and formal. So unfortunately Jessica had to work with what i was able to give her – which, after all, is part of what this blog is about, isn’t it? Trying to satiate a passion for expressing our sense of style under the constraints of high-pressure jobs that sometimes force us to work with less than we would like.

    I also want to apologize for my price-point-ignorant answers. I didn’t really understand when I answer these that was the name of the game here, or naturally I would have tailored my answers a bit differently. To that end I say, for those few who might still be unaware, that Gilt Groupe, ideeli, Rue La La, Hautelook, RentTheRunway, and other designer sale sites are every girl’s – and several guys’ – dream come true when it comes to fashion on a budget. As for basics, J Crew, Banana, and Loehmann’s are great. And TARGET now has a great line of work dresses with tailored details and pretty patterns that look like something you’d find at Bloomingdales, for only $30. (The Merona collections, in particular)

    Another trick I use is, when shopping online, if you find something you love outside your price range, put it in your shopping cart — and leave it there. Come back in a week or two, and often, the item will have been reduced to some degree, perhaps within a range that you can now afford.

    @Bree: the necklace is by Lee Angel, who makes gorgeous pieces – a bit pricey for this site, I suppose, but I got this one 75% off on Rue La La, and they frequently run sales on that designer.

    Hopefully that was a bit more helpful for this group. Stay cool, CapStylers.


    PS. I still don’t like Fedoras.

  23. Hae says:

    There is something disjointed about the title’s wording and organization that lacks flow. (Maybe it’s just me.) I’m excited about the idea of a DC Street Style type post, but I didn’t think Jessica’s post with Kate accomplished what I had in mind when reading the title. I didn’t get any sense of “DC-ness” to Kate’s answers. I would like to see more “insider information” regarding where a person gets great bargains locally, or maybe opinions regarding trends she loves and hates that are specific to DC. I would have even been entertained by some tidbit about “worst item ever seen on a metro commute,” or something of that nature. I love the idea of following a trend through several individuals on the street, and asking them their opinions on it. I am writing this post after Kate F. was able to respond to some of the concerns, so I am glad to know that she buys all of those expensive items off of Ruelala, Gilt Groupe, and the like. Otherwise, I would have been bitterly jealous that I could not have gone to law school her way… swathed in designer clothing I could not afford. ESPECIALLY, if that was a Herve Leger bandage dress.

    Kate F. – Keep rockin’ those sequined tops under those blazers!! Ditto on the fedoras. 🙂

  24. Taryn says:

    I’m sorry, i LOVE the O.C. but Rachel Bilson is NOT a fashion icon.

  25. Jh says:

    Definitely love the street style (idea, not execution) over food posts, but what do I know? I <3 fedoras.

  26. Kelsey says:

    Great idea. Poor follow through. However, out of the posts that I’ve seen so far I think this has thre greatest potential for longeivity and captivation of the reader. It’s likely we’d start seeing people purposefully trying to get on the blog!

  27. fky says:

    Let’s face it, Kate F. is straight-up GORGEOUS. She could be wearing a potato sack and it’d still turn heads in this town.

  28. ag says:

    LOOOOVE! She’s amazing/

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