Intern Search: Meet Rachel

Jul 14, 2010

Day two of the Intern Search posts–one this morning, one this afternoon–but before we get started there are two things that I would like to say.  

1) I know I can be snarky (and occasionally I cross the line), but calling people names and using curse words is not acceptable.  If we can’t relocate the happy medium, I’ll drag my Mother (Mrs. B) in here to regulate.  And believe me when I say that that woman could shame a pious priest into feeling badly about his behavior.  So let’s keep the criticism constructive, or else you’re going to be experiencing a good old fashion Southern Guilt Trip.  

2) To all the contributors, know that I am taking these comments into consideration, but since it’s entirely possible (in fact, it’s damn near assured) that all of you will have a few detractors, know that comments will not be the deciding factor.  I adore all of my readers (even my hater ;-), but this blog is still my baby, and I will be deciding which Nanny is qualified to care for her.  

As for the tone of some of the comments, Welcome to the Internet.  It tends to get a little warm in here at times, and you need to be able to take the criticism with the adoration.  Not always easy to do, but vital to your survival inside the “series of tubes.”  (Yes, that was a Ted Stevens joke.)

Now that that’s done…let’s meet Rachel…

Name(Pseudonym): Rachel  

Age: 19 years old 

Hometown: Charlottesville, Virginia  

Profession/Major: Political Science and Public Policy major at The George Washington University  

Style Icon: I know this may sound cliché but my style icon is my grandmother. The woman is the epitome of chic and has been in the fashion industry for years. As a child I loved going through her closet to find all her beautiful and unique pieces. One of my favorites is the “down” puffer jacket she made entirely of pampers diapers (it’s amazing, if I end up blogging here I’ll take a picture of it and post it).  

Blog and/or Twitter Handle: I have a twitter account but I rarely use it- my handle is rgutauskas.  

Any special skills (Photoshop, CSS, etc.): I have a working knowledge of Photoshop, am starting to learn how to use a DSLR camera, and can format websites in HTML.  

Favorite Designer: While my taste in designers changes, the one who I continually like season after season is Elie Tahari. While it’s completely out of my price range I still love to look at his clothes every season and find more reasonably priced items that are similar in style.  

Favorite Retail Line: A store I have been shopping at more and more recently is Club Monaco. It’s the perfect mix of fresh, fun pieces that are still work-appropriate and sophisticated. I also like that they don’t sell their pieces online (late-night impulse shopper Rachel might disagree…)—there’s something refreshing about being able to view the new collection online but actually having to go into the store to purchase the items.  

Favorite Piece in Your Wardrobe: One of my most recent purchases was a pair of Cole Haan Air Carma peep-toe pumps in nude (the shoes themselves are nude with a black embellishment at the toe area). While my style choices may change from season to season and year to year, I can see these shoes staying with me for years to come. The combination of the nude and black make the shoes professional and match almost anything in my closet while the peep-toe makes them less matronly on my feet. In addition to being adorable, the shoes are amazingly comfortable (never thought comfortable would be a word I would use to describe 3 inch heels)!  

Piece You are Currently Coveting: Do I have chose just one? If I absolutely had to choose one item I’m coveting it would be Elie Tahari’s Jillie Tunic Dress. The combination of the carefree tunic with the beautiful blue and white print makes this dress irresistible.  

Elie Tahari Jillie Tunic (ShopBop, $298)

Favorite Beauty/Skincare Product: While my daily choice of shampoo varies, the one constant in my hair-care routine is Aveda’s Hang Straight Straightening Lotion. My hair is naturally straight so the straightening part isn’t important to me—I use it because it does an amazing job at smoothing my hair and protecting it from those pesky bouts of frizz. I slather a little on right before I blow dry and my hair looks ready to face the swamp that DC has become these past few weeks.  

It’s Friday night. Your phone rings. It’s Anna Wintour and she wants to take you to dinner.  Quick, what do you wear?  Assuming we were going to a nice restaurant (it’s Anna Wintour of course) I’d more than likely wear my Betsey Johnson “Evening Martini Dress”. It’s fun and unique but still nice enough to wear out to dinner with a fabulous woman on a Friday night 

In 200 words or less, tell us how you can contribute a fresh perspective to Capitol Hill Style.

      I think I am well suited to bring a fresh prospect to CHS because of my unique take on fashion and style. As I grew up in Virginia I felt conflicted between the ideal of a “southern belle” that I saw on the girls around me and my New Yorker, fashion-forward mother and grandmother. Yet, after high school I moved to DC and it was in my freshman year of college that I truly began to come into my own and develop a sense of style that was uniquely my own–a mix of southern flair and New York sensibility.

      I am extremely excited about the opportunity to blog for Capitol Hill Style and want to bring my enthusiasm to a variety of new posts. My ideas for the blog include the following: a weekly posting of fashion combined with some recipes or entertaining tips since I love hosting people at my apartment and think the CHS readers would appreciate the combination of culinary and style advice. Also, I would like to start blogging about men’s fashion since there are male readers of CHS and I certainly have men in my life who could use some fashion advice.  

In 140 characters, tell us why you want this internship.

      I would relish in the opportunity to blog for Capitol Hill Style because it is so different from anything that I have ever done before. While fashion has been part of my life for years I have never seriously written about it, and am excited about the prospect about being able to constructively contribute to a fashion blog based in the city I love and call my home. I hope that my input to the blog can include a fresh, collegiate take on fashion and with any luck work towards ending the incorrect adage that DC is the “Hollywood for ugly people”. I think blogging for Belle at CHS would allow me to develop and share my love of style and fashion with a group of loyal readers like myself. I sincerely hope that you enjoy my sample blog post! 


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  1. Dr. Jean Grey says:

    I like her. She has a good mix of style that’s suitable for the blog. BUT… and I know this might sound weird since you advertised this spot as an “intern” position. I’m assuming most of your readers are professional-ish women. So would it really make sense to have a 19-year old student posting here? And, I’m dying to know how she scored a pair of Cole Haan Airs on a student budget….let’s keep it realz people. Ideally, I’d like to read someone who does have to dress professionally every day since the reason I read this blog is because I want help and ideas with that.

  2. Jenna says:

    I think Rachel sounds awesome! Since she’s 19, I’m assuming she’s an intern and has to dress nicely for work (and can I say what an absolute breath of fresh air it is to read about an intern’s style and feel like she doesn’t come into the office in last night’s clubbing outfit!?!). She sounds really enthusiastic and like she has a lot of really great ideas for CHS! Plus, I think NY fashion meets southern belle is a great style for the DC area. Love!

  3. jen says:

    I agree w/ Dr. Grey. I wouldn’t hate it if she were chosen. There’s a lot of “twee” in the items she’s chosen here (bows, ruffles, etc), so I’m not sure that her voice would really speak to me the same way the tone of the rest of the blog does.

  4. Alice says:

    200 words v. 140 characters…

  5. e says:

    um….140 characters…….

  6. Bonnie says:

    Rachel, unlike Jessica, seems to have a unique sense of style that would be a good addition to this blog.

  7. B says:

    I think she could be lots of fun! Yes, she’s an intern, and yes she’s younger, but what better than a fresh new perspective on things?!

  8. Mary says:

    The tunic, the girly dress, Club Monaco, and the Modcloth dress in the next post — I just don’t see these pieces coherently fitting into one girl’s wardrobe. This makes me think that Rachel hasn’t yet developed her own personal style and isn’t quite ready for this.

    On affording the pumps, I think it can actually be somewhat easier to afford clothes in college than in entry-level or near entry-level DC work, that was certainly the case for me. In college you can spend extra cash on clothes and dinners out and don’t have to think about rent and bills and daily transportation and funding your IRA on $35,00 a year, so a college student could easily have the same or more play money at the end of the day. That’s always been my problem with the 10th Commandment, I think most “Hill Staffers” are really shopping at the “Unpaid Intern” level.

  9. Belle says:

    Let’s just say that the way you guys feel about Lilly Pulitzer from yesterday, is how I feel about Betsey Johnston. Also, the bow over the breasts…not feeling that. But I did like the tunic dress.

  10. D says:

    Agreed, the bow-over-boobs dress is not good, but generally her southern belle meets NYC sensibility sums up DC culture, does it not? We’re where the south meets the NE corridor and our fashion, food and culture all reflect that.

    As for her age, give the kid a shot.

  11. Sensibility says:

    I think Rachel is perfect. Her mix of southern belle roots mixed with a NYC influence makes her a perfect embodiment of what style in DC means. She obviously knows what shes talking about here, and a younger less jaded opinion always makes for an interesting and innovative blogger. Go with her for sure.

  12. S says:

    That Betsy Johnson dress is cheesy and doesn’t belong on anyone over the age of 12. Plus she may have a great sense of style, but didn’t demonstrate it (merely describing it doesn’t count). All I see are a few dresses… I would like to see her put together an actual outfit.

  13. Allison says:

    Rachel comes across as eloquent and well thought through. Her application has considerably more effort that the earlier one, which reflects that she would take the position more seriously.

    Unfortunately, I don’t think her style is right for the blog. That dress for dinner with Anna Wintour? It reflects her young age, it has bows and straps and Betsey Johnson. I wore a similar dress to a sorority formal in college. I don’t mean any harm, I just agree that her style is not developed and mature enough for this position.

  14. Natalie says:

    I personally am not a fan of the bow dress, but she was asked about her wardrobe and at 19, I think that dress is perfect – fun and young without being too casual. I also agree with the southern belle meets NY style sentiment. It’s a perfect way to describe DC because everyone can relate – liberals, conservatives and those who aren’t political. I also find it interesting how seriously everyone is taking the role of an intern. The blog already appeals to “hill staffers”, adding a younger (“intern”) perspective would allow for more diversity and more opinions – not bring an end to our fav blog.

    As for her age – I think if we give her a change, she’ll impress us.

  15. DB says:

    As an intern and avid reader of this blog, I can honestly say that I can’t afford pretty much anything mentioned on this blog, but instead use it as a style guide and wish list. I think it would be a wonderful addition to reach out to the younger audience, because I’m sure that it’s more significant than one would think. And one intern isn’t going to change the entire mood of the blog anyway.

    As for affording the shoes, stores like DSW go a long way.

  16. Stephanie says:

    I think Mary had it exactly right when she said that it appears that Rachel is still working out her own style. Which is exactly what you’re supposed to do when you’re in college, so there’s nothing wrong with that (I mean, Tavi is a rarity–most people develop their sense of style into their early 20s!)–but it does mean that she probably isn’t the best choice for this blog. I’d have a very hard time taking seriously anything written by someone with such a scattered sense of style. Eclectic is one thing (see the Glamourai, for example), but there’s at least some cohesion there.

    I also caught the 140 words, rather than 140 characters, thing. And honestly, it bugged a little. Details are important.

    As for affording the Cole Haan shoes, I just assumed she got them on sale. I’ve gotten pairs for under $100 before.

    Finally, this sentence terrified me: “One of my favorites is the “down” puffer jacket she made entirely of pampers diapers (it’s amazing, if I end up blogging here I’ll take a picture of it and post it).” I do NO want to see a diaper coat. Ever.

  17. e says:

    stephanie – the diaper coat freaked me out too. that is just not ok.

  18. cia says:

    Honestly, she seems nice but her writing style makes her sound like she’s answering essay questions on a test. Fashion aside, I don’t like her writing — too awkward.

  19. A says:

    Agree with CIA… this felt way too much like a written essay than a blog. Sweet girl and nice answers – but doesn’t possess the underlying attitude that makes caphillstyle so much fun. The thing I noticed the most about this entry compared to the other’s is “I”… I this, I that… way too much of a narrative.

  20. Jh says:

    Yeah, not curious about the diaper jacket either. Also, agree that you need to be exposed to the life of day in and day out professional (or business casual) dressing as opposed to 2-3 months during the summer then 9 months of college. What about the many challenges of dressing (and commuting) professionally during the winter?? She doesn’t have the proper experience, and it’s not her fault. I didn’t care for any of her selections although I do love Club Monaco.

  21. Jh says:

    Also, why do people feel the need to introduce the topic of food into a fashion or design blog? It seems like every other blog I read posts entries on cooking/entertaining. As one of many fashionistas who uses their kitchen cabinets for clothing storage, this doesn’t interest me and I like the fact that CHS is different. I like that she’s thinking about ideas and things that would be new, but I don’t see that being a hit.

  22. Hae says:

    While I think that Rachel took the effort to construct a well-written post, I agree with the folks who mentioned that it was more like answering an essay exam versus the magazine-style writing that CHS normally offers. I would be interested to see the clothing items and ensembles she posts, because I do like some of her style. However, I would not be inclined to put my full faith and trust into a 19-year old’s fashion advice. I disagreed with her outfit pick for a meeting with Anna Wintour. While I might wear this dress to a happy hour or a casual get-together, I don’t think it’s appropriate for an event with an elite fashion professional.

    While I think she would bring a different perspective to CHS than Belle’s, I don’t think that it would necessarily be one that provides the level of sophistication and wit we are accustomed to when we sit down daily to read Belle’s posts.

  23. Meg says:

    Ugh, a rich GWU kid? Also, she can’t follow directions; look at her answer to the last question.

  24. CS says:

    I agree with the above comments.
    1.) Seems sweet, but a little too young for the blog– she hasn’t really established her style. I love bow headbands but Modcloth and Betsey Johnson dresses are way to kitschy for me.
    2.) College students are often still on their parents dime and don’t know how to budget a great wardrobe on real-life salaries.
    3.) She can’t follow directions.
    4.) Elie Tahari kind of bores me….

  25. Ash says:

    I’m a fan of Elie Tahari, but that Betsey Johnson dress looks like cheap lingerie. To echo waht other posters have said, she seems too young to have really established her sense of style.

  26. j says:

    1. When asked for 140 characters, she gave us 140 words. This tells us two things: she’s long-winded as hell and she doesn’t read instructions thoroughly. Granted, the instructions thing isn’t too crucial in terms of blogging, but being long-winded certainly is. Don’t use 20 words when 2 will do.

    2. I agree with the poster who said that Rachel, as a college student, is probably still operating on her parents’ money (hence the Nike Airs). Of course, it isn’t totally fair of us to be making the assumption that she isn’t making her own money, but it seems more likely that she is a “rich GWU student.”

    3. Again, she’s a college student, which means that she’s spending a lot of time in classrooms and on the GWU campus for the majority of the year. Since CHS is supposedly geared towards working women (and men) in DC, and especially for those who are working in politics/government, I don’t see how a 19 year-old college student could supply the best input here.

  27. Norwegianette says:

    I want her to start blogging just so I can see the diaper puffer jacket.

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