It's not unusual to see a seriously stylish woman cruising the streets of D.C. these days. But, what is unusual? To spy a perfectly put-together gal cruising at high speed on a tricked-out road bike. That's exactly what local muse Pari Ashgari does — at least when she's not criss-crossing the globe for her gig as a healthcare consultant.
The Logan Circle resident (and talented shutterbug) first caught our eye with her killer style — a blend of tough, rock 'n' roll edge, and exotic, worldly mystique. But then we learned she's also a pro at scooping up insanely covetable pieces from the likes of Ann Demeulemeester and Rick Owens, and she kills it at her day job, too. And we were obsessed. Click through to meet Ashgari and get an eyeful of her four favorite looks. Brains, beauty, and a bike? Check, check, and check.
Photographed by Sebastian Marin
Describe your personal style in a few words.
"It depends on my mood that day — it can range anywhere from bohemian with a touch of glam to indie-rocker chic to ultra femme..."
Pari wears a Zara blazer, BB Dakota top, vintage pants she bought in the Marais, and Dolce Vita heels.
What are your favorite current pieces in your closet?
"One of my black leather jackets, which is the best Rick Owens design knockoff I've seen (it's by BCBG). I've also been having a love affair with this black-and-white patterned L.A.M.B jacket. I have a few embellished Haute Hippie dresses that I'm obsessed with — while they're not practical for everyday wear, it makes me happy to see the metallic beauties hanging in the closet! I also love my three pairs of black waxed skinny jeans, which have become part of my daily uniform over the last couple of years, paired with flowy gray Helmut Lang tanks and tees."
Necklace from TJ Maxx.
Are there any brands you're currently loving?
"I love Rick Owens, Helmut Lang (a long-time favorite), Haute Hippie, Elizabeth & James, Cecilia de Bucourt, and Marchesa — I dream of living in those dresses!"
A sneak peek at Pari's immaculately organized jewelry collection.
Noir Jewelry bracelets.
Where do you like to shop in D.C.? What about physical stores/neighborhoods elsewhere?
"Admittedly, I don't shop in D.C. as much as I do online or in NYC/L.A./abroad, but when I do, I'll go to AllSaints, Bloomingdale's (which surprisingly has a decent selection of some great labels, like Sandro, Maje, Helmut Lang, DVF, and Milly), Neiman Marcus, Cusp, rag & bone, and Redeem on 14th Street. I'm also a sucker for Zara, and pretty excited about the new Massimo Dutti store in Georgetown!
Elsewhere, I shop quite a bit on the Lower East Side and Nolita in NYC; West Hollywood (Melrose) and Venice in L.A.; and the Marais in Paris, with its amazing vintage stores and local French labels. And, although I'm not a big fan of Dubai as a city, I must admit it's a shopaholic's paradise!"
Pari wears a faux-fur scarf from Nordstrom, BCBG jacket, Rick Owens sweater, Ann Demeulemeester dress (worn as a skirt), and boots she scored in Amsterdam.
Any favorite online sources?
"I'm a sucker for all the sample sale sites (Gilt, HauteLook, etc.), but also love Revolve, Farfetch, Singer 22, and ASOS."
We're obsessing over Pari's raw-amethyst cocktail ring.
If there was a signature Pari look, how would you describe it?
"Effortless chic — but comfortable! — usually involving a pair of dark skinny jeans, a loose, flowy top, and a big statement necklace and ring."
How long have you lived in D.C.? What effect, if any, has the city had on your style?
"I've been in D.C. off and on (mostly on) for nearly 10 years! It's hard to say what effect it's had on my style, since I'm constantly traveling. I used to have so much fun experimenting with fashion and different looks! I never felt like I was 'dressed up,' but I guess for D.C. standards, I used to dress up more than most girls here! Nowadays, I feel like a bit of a nomad, so when I am in town, I tend to dress down and stick to a uniform of sorts — the easy, comfortable skinny jeans and flowy top look with a chunky scarf and boots or flats."
Pari wears a Heed blazer, Topshop sequin top, ASOS skirt, and sandals from Amsterdam.
How do you think personal style differs in D.C. than in other cities?
"I think D.C. catches on to the trends a bit later than other cities that are more fashion-conscious, like NYC, L.A., or Paris. Nearly every D.C. import I know complains that people dress way too conservatively here than in other big cities, but I think the fashion landscape is rapidly changing. I rarely used to do double-takes at street style when I would walk around the city, but now I frequently find myself stopping girls to ask what they're wearing! People are definitely stepping up their style these days — just walk around 14th Street or U Street and you'll notice things are changing for the better!"
This lady knows her cocktail baubles — she scooped this beauty on Gilt Groupe.
Do you have a fashion philosophy?
"My philosophy is to wear things that not only make you feel beautiful, but also flatter your figure. This doesn't mean that clothes have to be fitted, [just] nicely tailored to your body. I also think you should avoid 'what was I thinking' pieces — not every trend is worth following, and I think a lot of today's styles are heavily influenced by elements from the '90s that really shouldn't be revisited."
We've seen you biking around town in heels, looking fabulous — how do you do it? Any secrets to biking in style?
"I used to do it out of necessity! My bike is my main mode of transportation, and I was never a fan of walking or biking in flats and carrying my heels in my bag, so I just bike in whatever I happen to be wearing out, even if that's a sequined dress and heels. Also, my brakes have been out on my bike for years, so the heels are actually my primary means of braking — my feet hit the ground much quicker in heels than in flats! The secret is to be very careful getting on and off your bike so you don't expose too much or get your heels caught in the pedals!"
Pari wears a scarf from Biscotte boutique in the Marais, Surface to Air leather jacket, Zadig & Voltaire coated jeans, Gucci sunglasses, and Manolo Blahnik pumps.
Who are some of your style role models? Anywhere you particularly like to look for inspiration?
"I am obsessed with Rachel Zoe. I simply think she can do no wrong with her big movie-star shades, glamorous waves, luxurious textures, and statement jewelry. I don't follow many blogs, but I should really get into more of them. However, I do love The Man Repeller
, Face Hunter
, and Street Peeper
If you could go on a shopping spree to get your wardrobe ready for spring, what would you buy?
"Definitely more bags! I recently did a massive closet cleanout (I tend to do two annual spring cleanings) and donated most of my vintage bags to a local women's charity. I would also invest in more brightly-colored flowing silk skirts and Equipment blouses."
ASOS necklace, Swarovski earrings, and Helmut Lang top.