“Virginia is for History Lovers.”
“Virginia is for Lovers.”
Now, how about this state slogan: “Virginia is for Fashion Lovers”?
Virginia—and more specifically the Washington, D.C. area—is a developing fashion hotbed. Previously marked for commuters in pantsuits and clunky sneakers, D.C. has developed a new style. While adhering to its Southern-belle-meets-East-Coast-prep roots, Capitol Hill’s style now has a little European flair and millennial daring in the mix.
To keep up with this style evolution, the historic neighborhood of Georgetown has outgrown its “Exorcist staircase” infamy and is now a veritable shopping haven for locals and visitors. Meanwhile the town’s style-blogger community—including Memorandum, Style Within Reach and A Lacey Perspective, to name just a few—have led the charge in updating the city’s fashion rep.
Add to the list of rising local bloggers Alicia Chew. In 2011, Chew moved to D.C. from Baltimore, Maryland, launching her self-titled blog as a way to document the District’s hot spots and her take on personal style. Like the city’s fashion evolution, Chew’s weekday look has grown to feature predominantly timeless silhouettes in youthful, sprightly fabrics: modest knee-length shift dresses in pixelated floral prints; A-line skirts with laser-cut overlays; and cropped tweed moto jackets. Come Saturday and Sunday, Chew’s style does a 180. Her off-duty wardrobe includes off-the-shoulder blouses, worn-in boyfriend jeans and eyelet-detailed shorts.
So where is she going in all these elegantly easy-going ensembles? We caught up with Chew to learn her favorite D.C. hangouts for locals and visitors alike.
What influences your style?
Traveling. It's always nice to leave town and see how other people in other parts of the country dress! I was super inspired by my recent trip to California to add some boho pieces to my wardrobe
Does living in Washington, D.C. influence your fashion choices?
I definitely think that living in D.C. has influenced me to choose more polished pieces. I love classic silhouettes, but I’ll play with different colors and prints to give my look a bit of edge.
Who are your style icons?
I absolutely love Lupita Nyong'o. This girl can rock colors and prints like no one else! She definitely inspires me to inject a few crazy hues into my closet.
What is the best style advice you’ve ever received?
"Dress for the job you want, not the job you have." I work in a business-casual environment, and it's pretty easy to start dressing sloppy at work when my co-workers come in wearing T-shirts and jeans. I always look to the VP of the company and what she's wearing - it inspires me to come into the office looking a little more polished, even though I'm in a casual setting.
What are you reading right now?
I'm reading Tina Fey's book, Bossypants. It's a great way to stay inspired and kick butt as a lady!
What is on your playlist?
I'm loving Toro y Moi's latest album [What For?]. “Say That” has been on repeat for the past few weeks!
What is your favorite local restaurant?
This is such a difficult question for me, but I love [French-German brasserie] Lyon Hall in Arlington. It's within walking distance of my apartment and is always amazing!
What are your must-see landmarks and cultural institutions in Washington, D.C.?
1. National Mall. It’s downtown, and the most touristy place in the city, but it's worth it. I highly suggest going at night. It's not as crowded and the monuments are stunning when they're lit up!
2. The neighborhood of Georgetown has amazing shopping and great restaurants.
3. Meridian Hill Park [in Columbia Heights] is probably my favorite park in the city. Not super crowded, and sometimes on the weekend there's live music.
Fast & Furious Fashion Quiz
Bikini or one-piece?
Neutral or red lip?
Bodycon or boyfriend?
Skinnies or flares?
Night out or in?
Sweet or savory?
Savory (I have NO sweet tooth whatsoever!)
Beach or pool?
Wine or cocktail?
Why did you choose the Vince Camuto Freshi Heels?
I love how versatile this black lace-up heel is! These shoes are also incredibly comfortable as well. I have narrow feet, so finding a good pair of heels is a major challenge for me, but I can tighten these as much as possible so they stay secure around my foot. These babies can be worn anywhere from brunch to cocktail parties to a night out on the town.