From Fox Deatry. Email him at fox[AT]borderstan.com.
Take out your breeches, petticoats and buckled shoes – DC fashion week is A comin’! Yes, from September 17 to the 23rd, the nation’s capital will be girding its loins, Washingtonians will be bursting out their ‘OHs’ and ‘AHs,’ and some tourists gawking around Georgetown will continue to be confused from the real models featured on the shops’ window displays.
While First Ladies are often dressed to the nines and Secretary of States donned avant-garde brooches and wrapped their turkey necks with Hermès scarves, fashion for day-to-day citizens in this District is bleak. Supply, of course, can be the reason as the clothing shipment from New York or Los Angeles may have been lost in the mail or stamped return to sender.
However, there’s more to this. DC has good designers. The problem is that those who move to this city can’t exchange those Brooks Brothers and Ann Taylor suits, ties and pearls for something we call vogue even for a Friday night out. And when they do, it just turns into a hot mess. Here are some friendly fashion rules:
1.Don’t Be A Catalog Queen
Just because it looks pretty and glossy on the Versace catalog, doesn’t mean it’s wearable. Besides, these store catalogs are made to be ostentatious and wearing them in public doesn’t just make you a fashion misfit, but it also labels you a freak. In other words, use catalogs as guidelines instead of copy machines. Use them to know what color palettes and designs are in. And if I see one more person walking on K Street, looking like something I saw on a J Crew catalog, I will roll my eyeballs until they fall into my glasses while heaving a sigh of relief that you have finally progressed out of the Sears Catalog.
2. Don’t Start A Trend
DC is not Los Angeles or New York City where someone can wear a bejeweled potato sack, call it designer and rock it with some Christian Louboutins. This city has a flair for conservatism and its citizens — with the exception of foreign embassy staffers — will not appreciate it if you are seen walking around 14th Street in a sequined boa, a wool Miu Miu peacoat, and hot pink Jimmy Choos.
I know your lobbyist or Hill job requires bland suits, spit-shined oxfords, your Hush Puppies you can’t seem to part away from, and the Michelle Bachmann QVC pearl necklace collection. This shouldn’t be the reason that your fashion taste should be dreary and non-existent. A popping scarf, a skinny tie, conversational cufflinks, a fitted shirt, and modest stilettos can turn you from a coy newbie to a taking-charge bitch of the Beltway.
4. Support Local Businesses
No, you didn’t build it! The dilapidated, rusty, cornfield, western and upstate town you came from built your fashion sense. It was influenced by watching one too many episodes of those skanky Kardarshians, by your trips to the local Wal-Mart or by your sibling’s hand-me-downs. Now that you’re independent and living in the District, it is your Constitutional duty to provide stimulus to small businesses by shopping at local boutiques. It doesn’t just give you a sense of what’s in style in your new stomping grounds; it can lead to lasting relationships. In the Borderstan district, check out Passport Boutique.