Andrea Rinaldi On How to Dress Up Any Outfit

This Chevy Chase mom knows how to mix name-brand splurges with designer steals.

Photograph by Jeff Elkins

“Fashion makes me feel alive,” says Andrea Rinaldi, a New Jersey native, wife, and mother of two whose Chevy Chase closet could rival that of any socialite. “What woman doesn’t like to look and feel amazing?” True—but most women aren’t able to shop at boutiques with names like Dior, Chanel, Valentino, and Hermès.

“Coco Chanel once said, ‘A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous,’ ” says Rinaldi, who is married to dentist Peter Rinaldi. While she admits to indulging in splurges, one thing she isn’t buying is the notion that great looks can coexist only with big price tags. “You can dress up any outfit with a fantastic bag, gorgeous shoes, and a bunch of pearls. DC is a classy town—you need the pearls.”

Asked what she’d save if she had three minutes before her closet exploded, Rinaldi goes with some basics (“my white V-neck Hanes T-shirts and my Frame denim”) and some not-so-basics (“my Hermès Evelyne PM cross-body bag, my Dolce & Gabbana pantsuit, and all of my cashmere”).

What we admire about Renaldi is her complete ownership of her showy style. “Anyone can be fashionable in Washington,” she says. “It just takes the right ensemble.”

This article appears in our March 2015 issue of Washingtonian.