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The Hill Life: 50 Most Beautiful

Today, The Hill newspaper released their list of the 50 Most Beautiful people on Capitol Hill.  And as usual, Hill staffers from every office and every party got right to work ogling the chosen few and judging for themselves.  

Every year, I like to post a 50 Most Beautiful people critique, not of their looks (that would be cruel), but of what each is wearing.  After all, you may be stuck with that nose or those ears, but you can always change your shirt. So let’s get started, shall we?

In the coveted one position, we have Amy Cheng.  While I adore the yellow dress in the first photo, I have to wonder why she opted for a costume change?  

In the first-runner up position (also known as the Belle special), we have Grace Johnson wearing a red dress with black blazer.  While the cut of the dress and the cut of the jacket are both lovely, I wish this color combination would die a horrible death.  Black and red together looks harsh, costumey and a bit reminiscent of a bordello.  It is my absolute least favorite pairing.

The first man on the last is Tim Torres, and boy, does he need twenty minutes at Saks with Carson Kressley.  

While I appreciate the brightly-colored shirt, the black skinny tie is atrocious.  The shirt is wrinkled beyond all recognition.  The outline of his undershirt is clearly visible.  And if you’re going to wear a tie, you MUST button your top button.  Failure to do so makes you look like a man who stumbled home from a night of debauchery and not a professional on your way to work.  

Jenna Gibson, Zach Mallowe, Kalinda Stephenson, and Carla Coley all earn a gold star.  They were well-chosen, well-tailored and well-worn.  In fact, they all looked so good, I was temporarily concerned that I would have no one else to judge…and then I saw number 10.

Kate Bolduan is an attractive woman with the well-coiffed hair that one would expect to find on a TV personality.  But what the hell is she wearing?  

I spent a good fifteen minutes trying to ascertain the origins of this shiny, wrinkled mystery fabric.  Is it acetate?  Is it leather?  And then it hit me: black Hefty trash bag.  It was so obvious.  

Kate was clearly caught up in some kind of Project Runway challenge where the designer was asked to make a look out of a used industrial garbage bag, so he decided to make an unflattering, heavy car coat.  

Kate, if you’re reading this, you are too lovely to be wearing that.  So pull a Heidi Klum and bid that awful thing Auf Wiedersehen.

I pressed on assuming that I had seen the worst of the fahsion choices.  But alas, number 12, Mandi Critchfield snatched Kate’s Worst Dressed trophy and claimed it for her own.  

A Star Wars t-shirt?  She wore a Star Wars t-shirt with her suit?!?

(Bang head here. Repeatedly. Commence praying that she only wore the tee for the photoshoot and changed after.  Otherwise, I’d think she was under the mind control of a Sith Lord.  What other explanation could there be for wearing a Star Wars t-shirt to work?)  

After Mandi, I flipped through until I found number 16, Dena Craig. 

Dena’s skin is so lovely and glowing that I can hardly believe she’s 42 (?!?! Girl, what are you using? Do tell.).  But spaghetti straps?  She wore spaghetti straps to work?  I’m just going to close my eyes, and hope that there was a cardigan or a blazer involved at some point.

I then proceeded through some well-dressed but not particularly memorable folks, until I got to Amelia Wang

While her suit is nice and the belt is interesting, Amelia is afflicted with a Monotone Malady.  This is my name for when a person’s tanned skin and dyed hair are nearly identical tones (aka. Lohan-itis).  

The cure? In Amelia’s case, she needs significantly less red in her hair.  A warmer brown with blonde highlights would really help.  Or she can go the other way, and stop wearing bronzer or spray tanning.  Luckily, whichever solution she chooses, the problem is easily remedied.

Number 22, Tiffany Williams looked lovely in her sheath dress (a popular choice this year).  But if I could offer one suggestion, it would be to try a smaller earring.  The size of the pearl (?) stud is so large it looks like it’s eating her earlobe.

Number 24, Megan Howard is wearing royal blue so well I expect a run on cobalt dresses.  Good choice, girl.

Also falling into the fabulously-bright dress category is number 36, Jaymi Light.  Her raspberry sheath is fantastic. 

Number 39, Macy Sukut‘s white blazer is appropriate for work, but not when mixed with an aqua, v-neck t-shirt.  First off, I subscribe to the wild theory that traditional t-shirts should not be worn with business suits.   Secondly, aqua and white is for the beach not the boardroom.  Try a gray or navy blouse instead.  

Moving along through a cadre of fairly basic outfits, I finally stopped on number 47, Christine Martin.  Humidity can be hell on a hairdo, but Christine’s from Florida, she should be old hat at dealing with it.  However, her poofy-crowned, half up-half down hairstyle would suggest otherwise.  Pretty girl, lackluster hairdo.

Number 48, Jacqueline Ferko, is also in royal blue but her accessories are cause for a re-style.  Simply put, if you’re going to wear a dress with a strong neckline, particularly an asymmetric one like this, don’t screw it up with a necklace.  And if you’re going to wear a modern dress, leave the pearls at home.   

In fact, a lot of women in the 50MB were sporting pearls with varying levels of success.  I’m not entirely sure how pearls became a staple of the Capitol Hill wardrobe, but they are not nearly as versatile as some women think.  And in Jacqueline’s case, they are adding a huge dose of prim to a bold, modern sheath that is anything but.  

There were a lot of lovely dresses and well-worn suits on the selectees.  A definite, and welcome, change from my first 50MB critique in 2009, when I decimated dozens of poorly dressed and poorly coiffed staffers.  In fact, the change was so evident, that I’m beginning to wonder if this little one horse blog of mine is finally starting to make an impact.  I sure hope so.


    leave a comment

  1. renee says:

    the thing that struck me the most was the horrible photography.

    July 27, 2011/Reply
  2. Lindsey says:

    Belle, do you know how is this list determined? Is it a self-nomination?

    July 27, 2011/Reply
  3. CMF says:

    …Apparently there is only 1 blonde woman in D.C. Personally, I was relieved to see Ferko- mis-worn necklace or not.

    July 27, 2011/Reply
  4. Govvie says:

    I would want to crawl under a blanket and hide in bed for a week if I were profiled in this. Many of the ensembles are stunning, though!

    July 27, 2011/Reply
  5. Meg says:

    Ohh, how I look forward to this each year! And Belle, it is great that you point out the god and the bad – the guys and girls with style should definitely get props!

    July 27, 2011/Reply
  6. C says:

    Why is the second-listed also known as the “Belle special,” what am I missing? (I'm refusing to acknowledge that as “second place” or any other ranking system. That takes an already ridiculous and embarrassingly inappropriate title to a whole new level of ludicrous.)

    July 27, 2011/Reply
  7. Meg says:

    amen to the cobalt dress. this city needs more color!

    July 27, 2011/Reply
  8. M says:

    Annoying how almost everyone except the members are under 35. No creativity.

    July 27, 2011/Reply
  9. ~M says:

    Fishbowl combined all the best quotes. Some are pretty funny!

    July 28, 2011/Reply
  10. Belle says:

    C- I was first runner up in seven beauty pageants. That's right, seven. My Dad calls second place the Belle Special.

    July 28, 2011/Reply
  11. Belle says:

    Lindsey- People are nominated. Some probably nominate themselves. Then The Hill calls you and asks you to come for a photo. If you pass the cut, they interview you. And then they rank you.

    Some people turn it down, like Rep Noem who refused to be interviewed.

    July 28, 2011/Reply
  12. Lindsey says:

    Thanks Belle for the background on the nomination process!

    Great post as well. After reading last year, I was looking forward to knowing what you thought of the “top 50”.

    July 28, 2011/Reply
  13. Charleigh says:

    Thanks for this post Belle. These “Hill Life” posts are what keep me reading your blog. I love all the fashion tips/tricks/Polyvore posts, but there aren't too many DC blogs that get into the, well… living of D.C. The who's who, and what's what etc.

    D.C. is a small town masked as a big city. People like you make sure that mask stays off.

    July 28, 2011/Reply
  14. Laura says:

    The Star Wars t-shirt and ensemble is horrendous.

    July 28, 2011/Reply
  15. jack says:

    what a waste of time and effort. talking about clothes of staffers???????

    July 30, 2011/Reply
  16. Tessa says:

    I'm coveting Amy Cheng's dress. Any idea who made it or where you can buy it? Thanks!

    July 30, 2011/Reply
  17. Belle says:

    I love drive by commenters who swing by to tell me what a waste of time my blog is. Why even bother to leave the comment at all? Isn't that a waste of your time and your effort?

    July 31, 2011/Reply