When it comes to owning the evening, our own D.C. Editor, Holly Thomas, knows how to turn the entire District into her late-night plaything. Yes, she always keeps it comfortable — but she never scrimps on style (in Washington, people only respect demonstrations of power, after all). To learn how our Holly does it, scan down for a strong dose of on-the-town-ensemble intel.
"For me, getting dressed to go out is all about setting a mood and deciding which part of my personality I want to project. Do I want to bring out the rock-'n'-roll badass? The relaxed-cool vibe of an M.O.D.? Or some Bianca Jagger-esque glam? Music definitely plays a roll in the process, too. Whenever I'm lacking in outfit inspiration, I'll shuffle around my playlists until I find something that gets me going, whether it's Niki and the Dove, Robyn, The Black Keys, or Fleetwood Mac.
"Head-to-toe black might seem like a fashion-industry cliche, but there are ways to pull it off so you don't look like you're doing PR for the event you're attending. First, play with texture — this lace jacket is actually a vintage nightshirt, but I love the fact that it adds a subtle pattern to break up the monochromatic palette. Second, experiment with silhouette. This dress is ancient, but I can't part with it because the full skirt — with a crinoline! — makes it so perfect for last-minute fancy occasions. (It's Luella Bartley for Target — how's that for old-school?) The embellished clutch is a prize piece I found at Goodwill and bought for my vintage shop, Butler + Claypool.
"My shoes have to be comfortable for a night out — nothing ruins a night faster than a blister. I bought these Dolce Vita wedges new at Bloomingdale's (a splurge at the time), but they've paid me back tenfold. For jewelry, I always opt for a few pieces with a lot of impact. In this case, that means three chunky cocktail rings — two from Australia and one from Italy, so they're very dear to me — and a pair of carved feather earrings from my boyfriend. Wearing a few pieces that have personal significance makes me feel more like myself, no matter how dressed up (or down) I might be."