Fashion in our Capitol

Indianapolis Wardrobe Stylist in Washington DCTo my husband, who lived and worked in Washington, DC, for 10 years, he sees “fashion” and “our Capitol” as very incongruent terms. Washington DC professionals are the least “trendy” and exude tradition and professionalism. For an Indianapolis Wardrobe Stylist who loves to see people in ensembles, conservative work outfits, and elegant pieces, it was heaven. It was also apparent to me how far we have come from the way we “used” to dress at work. For most that is a welcome change. I do relate to this attitude. Who hasn’t gotten up on a “work at home” day and stayed in comfy leggings and fleece all day?

How an Indianapolis Wardrobe Stylist Sees Fashion in Every City

Anyway, back to the matter at hand. When I visit a city I have been to in a while, I take note of the styles and the people wearing them. Of course, Washington, is a place rich with loads of professionals rushing about, doing their important work on the Hill. As an Indianapolis Wardrobe Stylist, I was privileged to spend an entire day there, meeting legislators, attending hearings, and being a guest at the “Hoosier Huddle” a weekly reception at the Capitol for Hoosier visitors to meet our senators. (Here is one of the honorable House members, Representative Jim Baird. He wanted to know what we thought of the TikTok bill.)

As expected, the fashions I saw in the city were very conservative, in professional colors and shapes. For men, I did see suits of various colors beyond the traditional navy in light grey, light blue, and khaki (but the weather is much warmer now than here in Indiana.) In hearings, I noticed men were wearing ties — this is not a surprise since Congress recently reinstated their dress code (thank you everyone), so the traditional look remains. One change, however, was the type of shoes I saw staff and members of Congress wearing — they were not so much the traditional oxfords/loafers but a hybrid fashion sneaker like the one here:

Outside, etc., men were not wearing ties with their suits. This is a similar look I saw all over London last year when I was in the business area of the city. Unlike London, however, I did not see even one pink dress shirt on a man.

Women continued the theme of conservative dress with s few up-to-date variations. I didn’t always see women wearing a blazer; although there were a large number of those. I did see some slip skirts in a jewel or neutral tone, worn with a jacket or dress blouse, some button-up. I liked this twist on a skirt that I often see as somewhat limiting. I did see the typical sheath; a particular cute one was black tweed, cream trim with gold buttons. The wearer was brunette and had her hair in a sleek ponytail and paired the look with a flat loafer, pointy-toe and patient leather. I loved this look, as an Indianapolis Wardrobe Stylist. The gal was probably under 30, so she wore a shorter hemline, about 2-3 inches above the knee. It looked perfect, professional, yet effortless.

Keep it sassy, Indy.

Beth Divine, MA, AICI-CIC
Personal Stylist and Indianapolis Wardrobe Stylist