Meet D.C.'s Newest Blogger & Scope Her Vintage-Loaded Closet

If you've been in D.C. for much time at all, then you know we're lucky to live in a wildly diverse metropolis — people from all over the world call our fair city home, whether it's just for a short stint with an embassy or a long-term gig with an NGO. It's one of the things we love best about this town, really.
So, we were pretty psyched to meet new-in-town blogger Cheralee Lyle of Lyle Style — we first spotted her at our launch party back in November, and have been following her stylish escapades ever since. With quirky accessories (she makes amazing flower crowns by hand!) and a covetable closet full of vintage, Cheralee won us over fully with her lilting South African accent and sweet disposition. The full-time student (and freelance stylist) welcomed us into her adorable Northwest D.C. digs, where we admired her DIY skills and affinity for pre-loved baubles. Click through to see four of her favorite looks and get the dish from this round-the-world transplant.
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The 22-year-old fashion marketing and retail management student arrived in D.C. five months ago after living in London for two years. She's originally from Cape Town, South Africa.

How long have you been blogging for your current site, Lyle Style?
"I started my blog about two years ago. It began as an online portfolio for my creative projects and fashion styling work, but it has since grown into a lovely little place where I can share my photo diaries, style inspiration, and travel experiences. It is also a place to connect with friends, other creatives, and fashion lovers across the world. I don’t take myself too seriously as a blogger, but am very grateful that people like to read what I write."


Photographed by Sebastian Marin
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Describe your fashion sense in a few words.
"This is always a tough one for me. I guess it's sort of a handsome prettiness; I subconsciously mix menswear items with soft feminine pieces. My style is also a bit like a runaway Stepford Wife. I love a black leather biker jacket with a frothy, '50s A-line dress." 

Forever21 necklace.


Photographed by Sebastian Marin
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What inspires your style?
"I grew up on movie sets, as my parents are in the film industry. I loved watching the actresses going into the wardrobe department as themselves and coming out in character. I was enamored with the glorious long racks of costumes and fascinated with the idea that you can be whoever you want to be, with the clothes you wear. Fashion and costume history through the ages greatly inspire me, as well as my most beloved movie characters."

Who are your biggest influences in terms of your personal style?
"The costume designer Edith Head is my biggest influence, for her own personal style and her beautiful designs that my favorite actresses wore in my favorite films: Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief and Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face and Roman Holiday."

Whistles striped top, TopShop leather jacket, vintage palazzo pants, handmade flower headband, vintage belt, Woolworth's platform heels.


Photographed by Sebastian Marin
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Cheralee in her light-filled living room, overlooking Rock Creek Park.

H&M sweater, vintage blouse, vintage skirt, Jessica Simpson platform Mary Jane heels.


Photographed by Sebastian Marin
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What do you think of the fashion scene in D.C.?
"I absolutely love the style here in D.C. I knew nothing about the fashion scene here when I arrived, but after saying hello to some local style bloggers, I was exposed to the friendly and stylish women of D.C. I have never experienced such a positive and encouraging community of women. And everyone here has such fun personal styles; these girls know how to dress up!"

Mint Collection ring, ASOS watch.


Photographed by Sebastian Marin
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What are your favorite pieces in your closet?
"My favorite pieces are my vintage treasures and thrift-store finds. Every piece has a story. A new favorite is this dreamy cream and silver brocade dress my boyfriend's grandmother gave to me recently. The design and craftsmanship are just incredible. I can’t wait to wear it somewhere special."

Tell us a bit about your vintage collection.
"My vintage collection is so special to me. I can remember exactly where I got each piece; they each have a unique story.
My overflowing closet came in handy when I started working as a stylist. I love styling and putting together a look — I think up a character for each shoot. I also run a small business called The Mint Collection, which is a line of handpicked vintage clothing and handmade jewelry."


Photographed by Sebastian Marin
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We love a girl who can pull off leather, a top knot, and studious-chic frames.

Vintage blouse, H&M skirt and tights, Bamboo platform booties.


Photographed by Sebastian Marin
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Any fashion disasters you can tell us about?
"I try not to regret any fashion phase I went through. But I do look back on some pictures of my time in London and cringe at the amount of studs, black lace, and acid-wash denim. You would think I lived there in the late '80s!"

ASOS cocktail ring, ASOS clutch, Omega watch.


Photographed by Sebastian Marin
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What pieces are you shopping for now?
"Getting ready for springtime, I am looking out for some charming sea-inspired items. I really want some new nautical prints, a coral-encrusted statement necklace, or a seahorse ring. And I need the Chanel seafoam green nail polish to complete the look."

Oliver Peoples glasses.


Photographed by Sebastian Marin
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Cheralee salvaged this mid-century dresser off the street and painted the drawers a fresh shade of mint green.

Vintage sequin blouse, Banana Republic oxford shirt, H&M skirt and tights, Country Road booties.


Photographed by Sebastian Marin
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What spring trends are you most excited about?
"I adore all the pastel colors coming out. I am going to try colorblocking with a few shades, without looking like a vanilla-mint-strawberry ice cream cone. But if I do, that’s okay, too."


Photographed by Sebastian Marin
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If you could make just any fashion splurge, what would it be?
"Hmmm, it would probably be one of those oversized white lace anglaise Louis Vuitton collars, a printed bodysuit or skirt from the Prada Spring 2012 range, and a Birkin bag in black, while we are at it!"


Photographed by Sebastian Marin
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