What I Wear to Work: “The Hill’s” Amie Parnes and Elise Viebeck

How two reporters—one who favors whimsy and color, the other whose look is “aggressively understated”—nail a polished style both onscreen and at the White House.

Who: Amie Parnes, 35, and Elise Viebeck, 25
White House correspondent and staff writer, The Hill newspaper

What Amie does: “I cover the White House, which means lots of briefing room time, some travel with the President, working behind a computer on stories, and a heck of a lot of waiting around for things to happen. I’m also currently wrapping up work on a book, which means I’m reading edits late into the evening.”

What Elise does: “I write about health-care issues for our paper and talk on television about politics. Lately, my work has focused almost exclusively on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act—what a rich topic. You can find me most days seeking out lawmakers on Capitol Hill or contributing to our policy blog, Healthwatch.”

Amie’s work style: “There’s really no such thing as dressing down at the White House, but I do try to add a little whimsical touch to each outfit or wear a piece or an accessory that really stands out. I grew up in Miami and lived in New York, so my wardrobe is less ‘traditional DC’ and more reflective of my roots. When I’m working on the book, my wardrobe runs the gamut from Kate Spade or Trina Turk dresses (for interviews) to comfy Lululemon hoodies and capris (for writing time at home).”

Elise’s work style: “Aggressively understated. I embrace the idea of a uniform, and mine is defined by classic, masculine-inspired pieces in black, navy, and white. If there’s anything I try to get right, it is cut.”

Out in the Field

Amie: “Respect for the institution aside, you never know whom you
might run into at the big house, even the President himself (which,
believe it or not, has happened once or twice.) I usually wear dresses
like this one paired with bold heels and a statement necklace because
it’s classic yet modern.” What she’s wearing: Susana Monaco dress from Cusp, collar necklace from Anthropologie, and peep-toe wedges by DGM.

Elise: “Covering Capitol Hill has a physical dimension I never expected. You’re often jogging after lawmakers or coming in and out of drafty buildings. This outfit is warm and comfortable, and lends itself to movement. The leather bag goes back six years with me and is falling apart from loving use.” What she’s wearing: AllSaints cashmere sweater dress, men’s Missoni scarf, Nordstrom tights, Pied Juste wedges, Kate Spade stud earrings, heirloom necklace, and vintage leather tote.

TV Appearance

Elise: “This Rag & Bone blouse
is my favorite piece of all. The detailing is exquisite, and it works
well for television since it runs down from the shoulder to the wrist.
The rest of the outfit assumes I’m going to a late dinner or event after
a nighttime hit. The Saint Laurent clutch was a recent gift, and I
can’t stop carrying it.” What she’s wearing: Rag and Bone silk blouse, J.Crew cropped pants,
Cole Haan peep-toe pumps, vintage stud earrings, vintage chain link
necklace, and Saint Laurent clutch.

Amie: “My appearances on the
tube have made me embrace bold colors and jewel tones, something my
closet had been missing for years. And while viewers only see a fraction
of what I’m wearing, it’s nice to get properly dressed for the
occasion.” What she’s wearing: Kate Spade dress, Kate Spade suede ankle
boots, Kendra Scott earrings, and bracelet stack by Aqua from

Casual Friday

Elise: “I live in versions of
this outfit. The proportions work well for me, and the whole thing is
comfortable without being too casual. I love the way a good blazer can
make even the most basic outfit feel finished. This one has very serious
bald eagles on the buttons.” What she’s wearing: Vintage
Stanley Blacker wool blazer, Maeve navy button-down with “E” initial,
Madewell jeans, Ralph Lauren slingbacks, vintage snake clutch, and
heirloom necklace.

Amie: “On the days I’m not at the White
House and I’m working in the newsroom, I like to be a little bolder with
my wardrobe. I’ve always loved jeans, but lately I’m all about printed
pants. I usually pair them with a jacket and an accessory that pops as
well as a fun pair of shoes, like these oxfords. They’re functional and a
fun alternative to standard flats—not to mention cute with dresses and
skirts! Bonus: This kind of outfit plays well in the evening if I’m
meeting friends after work.” What she’s wearing: Soft Joie
snakeskin-print pants, Joie tank top, Tabitha marigold swing jacket from
Anthropologie, Johnston & Murphy oxfords, tie beaded necklace from
Cusp, silver shark tooth necklace by Heist, and watch by Baume &

The Details

All photographs by Andrew Propp. Makeup by Johny Saade and hair by Clementine Croissant, both courtesy of Isabelle’s Okyo Salon.

you or someone you know deserves a chance in the What I Wear to Work
spotlight? E-mail mthomas@washingtonian.com with pictures and a job
description for consideration.

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