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KC Ellis connects donors to socially conscious projects with a smile—and while rocking boho-chic separates. By Sarah Zlotnick

Who: KC Ellis Sledd, 26
Champion for customer bliss, GlobalGiving

What I do: GlobalGiving is an online platform connecting donors with little earth-changing projects all over the world, and I’m responsible for making sure our donors have a “blissful” experience on our site from start to finish. It’s a lot of customer service, but my favorite part is developing relationships with our donors.

My work style: Our office has virtually no dress code—it’s not uncommon to see people in shorts and flip-flops—and it’s nice to have that freedom. I love simple, effortless pieces like white tees, silk blouses, tailored trousers, and midi skirts.

“Fancy Mondays”

Since our office is typically so casual, we decided on “fancy Mondays” instead of casual Fridays. All the tech guys wear ties and jackets, and they always look so nice. I had to step up my game! This is definitely a fancy Monday outfit—the bright colors are a perfect way to wake up after a lazy weekend.

J.Crew blouse and skirt, and Tory Burch pumps (not pictured).

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Posted at 09:40 AM/ET, 09/12/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
The FAA’s Kimmie Nguyen is a case study in creative color at the office. By Sarah Zlotnick

Name: Kimmie H. Nguyen, 24
Program analyst at the Federal Aviation Administration

What I do: As part of the Department of Transportation, the FAA oversees all commercial air flights in the US. We have about 35,000 employees, and they all have to adhere to certain training programs within a specialized curriculum. That’s where my team comes in! I support the Curriculum Managers and the Training Manager of the Acquisition Training Group, which covers all the courses FAA employees must take for certification in their career track.

My work style: I am the opposite of your typical work drone—you won’t find any dress suits, boxy blazers, gray suit skirts, or work slacks in my closet! The FAA has such a laid-back, organic, and simple environment, I can be a bit more adventurous with my color and texture choices.

Visiting My Home Company

My company has a younger feel than my client site, but it’s still conservative. Mixing textures like lace and tweed is a youthful touch, but pants and a substantial sleeveless top keep everything office-appropriate. It’s important for me to balance being respectful with remaining true to my out-there personality. 

Urban Outfitters lace tank, Asos tweed trousers, Hego ballet flats, Jerome Dreyfuss bag, and C. Wonder scooter charm necklace. 

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Posted at 09:30 AM/ET, 09/05/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
Nonprofiter-turned-weekend-bruncher Cori Sue Morris schools us in work-to-play ensembles. By Sarah Zlotnick

Name: Cori Sue Morris, 26
Communications manager at an Arlington nonprofit, cofounder of Bitches Who Brunch

What she does: By day, I’m the one-woman communications department for my company. I write and disseminate the weekly and monthly newsletters, press releases, blog posts, and social media feeds. I also handle marketing and cross-promotion. By night/weekend, I’m the HBIC (Head Bitch in Charge), along with my partner, Becca, at Bitches Who Brunch, one of DC’s top lifestyle websites. We’ve reviewed more than 200 restaurant brunches since our inception in March 2010, and also cover events and fashion—hence the need for plenty of work-to-play ensembles.

Describe your work style: My professional style is like my personality—feminine, tailored, and bright. I’m a true type-A personality, and my style is also is also very matchy, thought-out, and put-together. I love bright colors, pink, nautical inspiration, belts, and bracelets—gotta have a good arm party. 

Dressing in a Pinch

This is definitely the outfit I would put on if I was in a rush or just wanted to be comfortable. I own J.Crew’s mini pants in three colors—they are comfy yet cute, and don’t wrinkle or stretch out. Ankle pants are great because they show off your shoes and don’t get wet or drag on the ground in Washington’s often inclement weather.

Michael Kors silk blouse, J.Crew Minnie pants, J.Crew belt, Tory Burch flats, and Marc Jacobs handbag.

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Posted at 11:40 AM/ET, 08/29/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
Maria sticks to arty, elegant pieces and plenty of vibrant colors. By Sarah Zlotnick

Who: Maria Belen Vizcaino, 28
Special events coordinator, the Phillips Collection

What she does: The special events director and I plan and execute every internal event at the Phillips—that includes everything from exhibit opening receptions with donors to Phillips After 5. I’ve also assisted with our annual gala and its after-party.

Describe your work style: A mix of classic and edgy. I love men’s fashion, and I love wearing slacks and dressy pants, but I also enjoy embracing my girly side with form-fitting skirts and A-line dresses. My go-to is a nice pair of black pants with a bright top, a graphic tee, or a nice crisp button-down. I am greatly influenced by the art I see every day, but I would be lying if I didn’t say I’ve always loved fashion and expressing myself through my clothes.

Exhibit Opening

This dress makes me feel very girly and classic. The color is amazing.

J.Crew dress and belt, and BCBG pumps.

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Posted at 11:55 AM/ET, 08/22/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
DC’s favorite party throwers show off in paint-spattered platforms, bold red lips, and plenty of skinny jeans. A pizza costume may or may not be involved. By Sarah Zlotnick

Who: The entire staff of BYT Media, a lifestyle website/event production company that “speaks to a young DC demographic raised on the Internet and obsessed with arts and entertainment” (managing editor Logan Donaldson’s words). Names and titles for the rest of the group follow below.

Around the Office

Stephanie: I wore a J.Crew swimsuit under black jeans and denim shirt, to represent the casual-office-to-pool-party transition. (It’s always important to be ready.) 

Logan: I show up in jeans and a T-shirt but bring a blazer in case there’s a business-casual event after hours.

Svetlana: This is my trusted Ann Taylor Loft jumpsuit—add lipstick and you’re ready for an event/tasting/show after work.

Cale: I chose a pizza costume and a Casio calculator watch for on-the-fly office pizza delivery tip calculations.

Shauna: Around the office I love to showcase my shoe collection, but I keep the rest of my wardrobe pretty tame.

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Posted at 10:30 AM/ET, 08/08/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
Those shoes! That hair! The Source’s Rikka Johnson welcomes visiting celebs and DC’s biggest movers and shakers with elegance and edge.
By Sarah Zlotnick

Who: Rikka Johnson, 32
General manager, Wolfgang Puck’s the Source 

What she does: I manage the staff, the restaurant and its guests, and the finances at the Source, Wolfgang Puck’s pan-Asian restaurant located on the bottom floor of the Newseum. I love my job—I easily eat better than anyone else in Washington, as I am also the unofficial guinea pig for chef Scott Drewno.

Describe your work style: With Wolfgang, there’s definitely a value placed on style and on always looking and feeling your best. At the restaurant, you never know who’s going to walk through the doors, so I’m frequently in suits. My go-to color is black due to its functionality—no matter what I’ve tried, soy sauce and red wine don’t wear well on colored pieces.

Dressed-Up Day at the Restaurant

The Source is in the Newseum, so I naturally have an attachment to newspapers. This dress is a gorgeous silk version of all the news that’s fit to print.

Oscar de la Renta dress, vintage onyx necklace, and Valentino heels.

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Posted at 03:15 PM/ET, 08/01/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
Welcome to the first (and hopefully not last) athlete edition of this column. By Sarah Zlotnick

Who: Arina Rodionova, 22
A Russian-born tennis player for the Washington Kastles, currently ranked number 372 in singles and number 128 in doubles

What she does: Lots of practicing! I typically practice, eat, and sometimes sleep. I love being on the Kastles, it is fun being part of a team—much different than in a tournament—and this is a great team to be on. One of the best parts of being a tennis player is traveling the world and meeting lots of interesting people. I get to travel to different countries and try their food, see their culture—and the shopping is also pretty good!

Describe your work style: I am my own fashion icon—I wear what I like. It’s a lot of athletic or sporty wear, lots of shorts or [tennis] skirts and tennis shirts. EleVen by Venus Williams [Williams is a teammate of Rodionova’s on the Washington Kastles] is a good brand.

At Practice

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Posted at 11:40 AM/ET, 07/25/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
Her fresh styling tricks are great for freshly graduated first-time professionals. By Sarah Zlotnick

Who: Dominique Vu, 23
Editor/producer of the Washington Post’s DC Scout

What she does: DC Scout is the Washington Post’s twice-weekly newsletter focused on shopping, deals, events, and beauty and style tips. I handle everything from writing and managing social media to producing content and designing creative for the newsletter. I also seek out and coordinate sponsorships and partnerships for DC Scout with fashion events and stores around town.

Describe your work style: Sophisticated and trendy. I like to mix business-casual looks with more of-the-moment pieces. I consider myself quite short, so fun high heels are my go-to for adding a bit of pizzazz to any and all office outfits. Statement necklaces and fun bracelets can also turn a basic outfit from drab to fab.

Typical Day at the Office

I think blazers take an outfit I’d normally wear to go shopping or run errands from casual to work-appropriate. It’s a great way to feel comfortable and trendy but still covered up at the office.

Banana Republic seersucker blazer, Forever 21 tank, Nordstrom skirt, Sam Edelman wedges, Cole Haan bag, and jewelry from Forever 21 and Lord & Taylor.

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Posted at 02:15 PM/ET, 07/18/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
Get ready—this might just be the only What I Wear to Work to ever feature jorts. By Sarah Zlotnick

Who: Shannon Marie Cusello, 29
Salon manager, Immortal Beloved, costume shop assistant, Catholic University

What she does: As the unofficial hostess of hair salon Immortal Beloved, I am the first and last person our clients interact with. I keep our team and appointments running smoothly, and I also manage all of our social media, salon events, and in-salon education. When I’m working on a show [Cusello freelances as a costume assistance for various theaters and universities], I will leave the salon as soon as we close on Saturday evening and live in the theater for the rest of the weekend, sewing, cutting, dyeing, and styling costumes and wigs.

Describe your work style: Vintage MGM musical meets rock-and-roll glam meets bohemian New Englander. I love feeling like I can run off at any time and join a troupe of vaudevillian tap dancers, or be the road manager for a band’s summer tour, or go take up residence in a lakeside artists colony in the Hudson Valley. I am really lucky to work in two different industries in which creativity and self-expression is celebrated. I go outside of the box with my own hairstyles, and it’s so fun to encourage our clients to push their own boundaries a little further. I’ve gone from a jet-black pixie cut to my current flame-hued tresses.

Meetings and Interviews

When I’m meeting with product reps or interviewing potential apprentices, I like to look sharp and colorful to command attention. These dainty heels, a basic shell, and a bold-colored pant make me feel extra put-together, but the gold leather bow and dangly necklaces add a little glam touch.

J.Crew shell top, Urban Outfitters jeans, Nine West shoes, and coral necklace and bow barrette by CiaoNina.

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Posted at 03:05 PM/ET, 07/11/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
Slipping between nightlife and fashion clients, Dannia Hakki sports glam basics, global jewelry, and one seriously enviable head of hair.
By Sarah Zlotnick

Who: Dannia Hakki, 27
Cofounder and principal, MoKi Media 

What she does: With more than 25 DC-based clients in the nightlife, restaurant, hotel, fashion, charity, beauty, and design industries, MoKi Media has a lot on its plate. I started the Georgetown-based PR agency with my business partner, Sherry Moeller, in 2009, and we are constantly finding clever ways to create buzz surrounding the businesses we work with. I specialize in the nightlife, beauty, and fashion divisions of the agency. On any given night, I’ll be sliding through the crowds at Lost Society, One Lounge, Eden, Public Bar, and other go-to Washington hotspots. And when I’m not at my desk frantically hitting my keyboard to send out that VIP invite, pitch, or opening press release, I’m standing next to my talented photographer, Dave Phillipich, at one of my venues making sure he gets our money shot. 

Describe your work style: With clients in the hospitality and fashion industries, I’m able to dress a bit more risqué than the average Washington public relations specialist. My outfits need to take me from a day at the office to a night on the town, so I stick with business-slinky ensembles that stand out in a room. I’m not too big on funky jewelry, and I like to keep it simple. Anyone who knows me would say my hair is my favorite accessory. 

At the Office

The office atmosphere at MoKi Media is casual. I’m a simple girl when it comes to my tops, so my jeans and pants can get a bit wild. I wear a lot of black and white, so a chic pair of red pumps comes in handy.

Theory top, BDG jeans from Urban Outfitters, Dolce & Gabanna shoes, vintage Prada bag, and Adia Kibur bracelets.

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Posted at 10:40 AM/ET, 06/27/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()