What’s ‘DC’s uniform’? How to elevate your style

While D.C. has a reputation for being a transient city, there’s one aspect of the city that has remained relatively the same: its fashion scene.

Laura Gregory, co-founder and stylist for ACCESS | Style, told WTOP that District fashion doesn’t change, “because we live in an area that is heavily populated by government workers, federal workers, government contractors — where there is almost this D.C. uniform that you have to wear for work.”

Drew Sez, co-founder and stylist for ACCESS | Style, described the D.C. look as more “conservative,” akin to the catologs of Ann Taylor, Banana Republic and J. Crew.

Allyson Burkhardt, founder of Let’s Get Dressed! Image & Style Services, said those in the D.C. area are more “pragmatic” in their focus to “get it right.”

Current trends and ways to elevate your D.C. uniform

There are some trends and some looks that aren’t for everyone. With the help of Gregory and Sez from ACCESS | Style and Burkhardt from Let’s Get Dressed!, clients get to learn how to give an extra adventurous oomph to their looks while remaining true to their personal style.

Gregory said women’s fashion has historically embraced tighter, more form-fitting clothes like crop tops and denim shorts, but the current trend is leaning more toward oversized, relaxed fits. Jumpsuits are also reemerging, according to Burkhardt.

To add a more playful touch to your wardrobe, a pop of color can go a long way. Burkhardt looked to Pantone’s Color of The Year, Viva Magenta 18-750, as a worthy source of inspiration for those looking to add some extra flair to their wardrobe.

“It is an inspiring and invigorating color,” she said.

Burkhardt said that women nowadays are willing to be more daring and provocative with cut-out-style dresses and shirts.

For men’s fashion, Sez said there is a movement away from microprint and allover print button-ups. Instead, accents of embroidery are appearing more often on polo shirts and other menswear.

Ballet flats are also having their moment, but Gregory said, “Ballet flats never go out of style.”

Even so, there are more daring colors and patterns being brought to the shoe style. For men, leather shoes, such as fisherman mules, are being seen more often, Sez said.

For personal recommendations on how to stay aware of current and upcoming fashion trends, reach out to Gregory and Sez at ACCESS | Style and Burkhardt at Let’s Get Dressed! Image & Style Services.

Michelle Goldchain

Michelle Goldchain’s reporting has focused primarily on the D.C. area, previously working as Editor of Curbed DC for Vox Media and Audience Growth & Engagement Editor for Washington City Paper. She is the author of “D.C. by Metro: A History & Guide.” She also reports for 'Artsplained' on YouTube.

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