News & Politics

The Blogger Beat: The Capitol Fashionista

This week, we talk fashion do’s and don’ts with Janice, the self-proclaimed Capitol Fashionista.

Janice, the Capitol Fashionista. Photograph by Chris Leaman

Fashion blogger Janice—who prefers to keep her last name off the Internet—started her site last year. It wasn’t her first foray into blogging; she’d been maintaining a bridal blog for three years. “I would discover some amazing fashion finds that didn’t really fit in with my bridal posts, so I decided to start the Capitol Fashionista,” she says.

Fashion has been a longtime passion for Janice: “When I was in high school, my dad told me that if I wanted to be cute, I had to get a job because he was not going to subsidize my clothes and shoes habit.” She got a job at a thrift store, where she found designer clothes at a fraction of the retail price. Janice says she was a particularly well-dressed high-schooler.

On Capitol Fashionista, Janice writes about everything from local and international designers to upcoming fashion events to her own sartorial wish list. On Mondays, she posts her Fab Vintage Finds feature, in which she spotlights vintage clothing and accessories and includes links for where to buy them.

We caught up with this Washington native to get her best advice on accessorizing, her favorite spring-fashion trend, and, of course, her biggest fashion pet peeve. Read on for her answers.

Five words to describe your style:
“Classic, modern, sophisticated, innovative, and daring. I say daring because I’m known for my 4½-inch heels that you’re sure to find me donning everyday.”

Five words to describe style in Washington:

“Stagnant and predictable—but I want to change that image.”

Number of items in your closet:

“Oh, my—you want me to count? I can tell you that I have about 200 pairs of shoes.”

Total cost of the outfit you’re wearing right now—including shoes:
“My dress is from Anthropologie and cost $98. My shoes are Penny Loves Kenny and cost $99.99 (on sale). My oversize gray sweater I got from a vendor at Crystal Couture on sale for $49.99. My too-fab gray tights are by Emilio Cavallini, which I scored at T.J. Maxx for $12.99. And my gray belt was around eight bucks at Forever 21. So that’s approximately $269.”

Three basics every woman should have in her closet:
“I think that every woman should own a great pair of black pumps, crisp white shirts (collared and tees), and a very sturdy but stylish handbag.”

Best way to accessorize an outfit:
“With jewelry. You can have on a plain black dress, but adding the right necklace and bracelets can really take that look up a notch. I love buying chunky jewelry. My new addiction is finding recycled jewelry made from a hodgepodge of jewelry pieces. Shoes are also a quick way to take your work outfit from day to night; make sure to invest in good shoes.”

Spring fashion trend you’re most excited about:
“I’m totally loving the military look. I’m on the hunt for the perfect vintage military jacket. I hope to discover it an obscure place.”

Biggest fashion pet peeve:

“Uggs. Enough said.”

One piece of advice for the fashionably inept:

“Women need to stop obsessing over the size on the tag—it’s not about that. It’s about choosing clothes that fit well. If you’re not updating your wardrobe because you’re not the size that you want to be, you’re doing yourself a big disservice.”  

Favorite boutique for a splurge:
“Believe it or not, I will spend a fortune in a thrift store. I love vintage clothes. I scour thrift stores for fab little gems.”

Where you go for a bargain:
“I consider myself to be the queen of Internet shopping. My friends ask me to find items on sale because they know I’ll hunt them down and find them. I will tell you that the my best bargain ever was winning an auction on eBay for a pair of gray python snakeskin sandals by J. Crew that retailed for over $500 and that I got for $99. I was beside myself with glee.”

Fashion magazine you most look forward to every month:
“Marie Claire. I love it because not only is it about fashion (thanks to Nina Garcia’s hiring) but I get to learn about what other women are doing around the world. I feel connected to them.”

The most money you’ve ever spent on an article of clothing:
“It would have to be the almost $500 that I spent on a Coach bag.”

Finish this sentence: “I never leave home without my . . . ”
“. . . big-ass purse. I feel lost without my oversize handbags because I carry a rack of stuff around every day. I’m one of those folks who want to be prepared for anything.”

Favorite local fashion blog besides your own:
“Since I am the founder of the DC Fashion Syndicate, which is a group of some of the most amazing fashion bloggers in DC, I will pass on this question. Just know that we are all dedicated to changing DC’s fashion image.”

Next week, we talk to Chinoiserie Chic blogger Beth Connolly about Asian-inspired home design—how to pull it off, where to get Asian decor, and even how to make it yourself. Check back on Wednesday for the interview!

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