Sidewalk Style: Tête à Tête

We couldn’t resist these two ladies’ delectable hats and unique sense of style. They chatted with us at Thursday’s launch party for the Web site Ready Set DC at the new Longview Gallery space.

Natalie Strasser, 24 (left), Power Tots gymnastics instructor and Glass House DC blogger.
Mundy Spears, 26, actress with Washington Shakespeare Company, dance instructor, and singer/writer for the band Youngs Modulus.

On Natalie: Diesel pants, Max Studio shirt, Dooney & Bourke vintage briefcase, Plymouth hat—all from thrift stores. Her shoes are from Nine West, and the necklace was an aunt’s find during missionary trips in Africa in the ’50s and ’60s.
On Mundy: Shirt from a vintage store in New York, jeans from Forever 21 (“I get cheap jeans so I can paint, and dye them with bleach”), a Salvation Army bowler hat, and boots from Cutesy Girl.

So you two just met earlier tonight? Was it the clothes?
Natalie: “She was standing with a mutual friend, and I think I knew we’d click immediately, because she was wearing a hat, and I could tell right away she wasn’t afraid to experiment with fashion.”
Mundy: “Yes, her fresh lid made me think she’d be an interesting and fun person.”

How would you describe your style?
Natalie: “I dress myself based on what I’m feeling and on the event that I’m attending. Art and music events rock because you can be more daring. Generally, I’d describe my style as emotional art. I’m expressing myself without words by choosing what clothing I dress myself in. I like being bold, and it’s extremely easy in DC.”
Mundy: “If David Bowie and Cyndi Lauper had a child that listened to a lot of Joy Division, that child would dress like me.”

Where do you shop?
Natalie: “I shop locally, mainly at thrift stores in the area. I like to do alterations—it’s fun and economical. The $5 bin at Junction Vintage on U Street has some killer finds. There’s just something about finding a unique piece at a thrift store that has caused me to stop shopping at other stores. But I do love the boutiques Proper Topper, Redeem, and Miss Pixie’s.”
Mundy: “I mainly get stuff from thrift stores and make it my own by cutting it up or dying it bright colors. I love Cutesy Girl because they have a lot of designer stuff marked down. And Nasty Gal is my guilty pleasure—all ’80s vintage.”

What inspires you, style-wise?
Natalie: “I’m inspired by the risks that other artists take, whether in fashion, music, or art—it’s even more refreshing if they’re locals. Also, Tim Burton, Art Deco, old black-and-white photographs.”
Mundy: “Old ’80s movies and music videos like Teen Witch and Weird Science. I love me some Kelly LeBrock. Anytime someone seems confused about my style, I tell them, ‘Go watch Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo,’ and I’ll make more sense to you.”

What’s on your winter wish list?
Natalie: “A vintage Art Deco cocktail set, fancy Sunday hats, and snow!”
Mundy: “Neon leggings and a new gray motorcycle jacket.”

Rachel says:

If you’re having trouble meeting someone—be it a new friend or potential love interest—here’s a sartorial suggestion: Rock a hat. It shows that you’re fun and don’t take things too seriously, and you instantly have something to talk about other than the standard what-do-you-do and where-are-you-from bits. For real impact, go for something bold such as this veiled fuchsia number.

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