News & Politics

Ten Well Dressed Women: Marisa Ramirez de Arellano

Ten well-dressed women share their fashion advice, their favorite places to shop—and their fashion disasters.

Photograph by Matthew Worden

Marisa Ramírez de Arellano

Architect and chief operating officer, Hispanic Heritage Foundation

How would you describe your style?

Unfussy. I like a clean look. I’m petite and try not to wear a lot of frills.

Where do you like to shop?

Saks Fifth Avenue has a good petites department. I also go to Neiman Marcus and Circle Boutique on 14th Street, Northwest, in DC.

What do you splurge on?

I bought a Giorgio Armani suit on a trip to Italy. It was a splurge, but it never goes out of style.

What was your worst fashion disaster?

Years ago, I flew to San Francisco for an important meeting wearing jeans and a sweater. Of course, the suitcase containing my carefully selected clothes—I wanted to make an impression—was lost en route. I had to decide between being late for the meeting in order to go shopping or just wearing what I had on. I went shopping.

What’s the best fashion advice you’ve ever received?

I favor simple lines and uncluttered looks. As an architect, I found the best advice was Mies van der Rohe’s aphorism: Less is more. It works for fashion as well as it does for architectural design.


Want to nominate a local woman for next year's best-dressed list? Send suggestions to Leslie Milk at