Nia Velis can’t pick a fashion icon who her inspires her the most. Rather, she can’t pick just one.
“First, there’s Coco Channel,” she says. “I have learned a lot about simplicity and elegance in fashion from her. Second, Rihanna—I love how she pushes the edge of fashion and plays with different colors, textures, and prints all in a classy, modern, and feminine way.”
Both women inspire the 31-year-old’s sense of style, which she describes as feminine with a touch of glam and elegance. “My goal is to make inexpensive clothing items look as classy and fashionable as possible,” Velis says.
Born in Great Britain and raised in Zambia, Velis came to the US at age 16, and her family settled in Rockville. She now lives in Germantown and works as a tenant service coordinator at a commercial real estate company during the day, documenting her favorite style tips on her “Style By Nia V” blog and Instagram by night.
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What I’m wearing in this photo
Top (Forever 21); skirt (Necessary Clothing); heels (GoJane.com); purse (DSW).
Interview or big meeting outfit
Velis always wears a jacket for big meetings and interviews and prefers to look more professional than business casual in these settings. “I do, however, include my personal style by the jewelry pieces I wear,” she says. “As Diane Von Furstenberg says, jewelry is like the perfect spice.” Her personal style also includes red lipstick and heels. “Nothing screams fashion like a red lip and stylish heels.”
Favorite place to shop in town
Tysons Galleria in McLean
Favorite fashion trend
Off-the-shoulder tops and dresses. “They are such a feminine style and perfect for the summer months,” Velis says.
Least favorite fashion trend
“I wouldn’t say I have one. There is beauty in all fashion styles. It’s a matter of being creative and adding your own twist to make it work.”
Best fashion bargain you’ve found in DC
“The cutest off-the-shoulder Calvin Klein sweater dress from Clarksburg Premium Outlets.”
Favorite style advice
“Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman” – Coco Channel.