Abbey Brandon takes a bold stance near Nationals Park wearing a Rag & Bone blazer and Christian Louboutin pumps.
Wearing a periwinkle Sabo Skirt dress and toting a highlighter-pink Milly bag, Abbey Brandon twirls for a friend who snaps pictures of her for DistrictDressUp.com. As founder and editor of the personal style blog, the 24-year-old Brandon has found big success in recent months with this simple formula: dress up in various designer pieces, then document the curated look online in words and photos.
Shooting on location in Washington neighborhoods such as Adams Morgan and the DC Navy Yard, she marries Louboutin pumps with Helmut Lang blazers and Rag & Bone pants to create looks that are both put-together and pretty. Brandon, who was raised outside of New Orleans, remembers fondly picking out her first-day-of-school looks in high school.
She came to DC to search for a job after graduating from Loyola University New Orleans, and found that her interest in fashion expanded while she figured out what to wear in a new, professional city—day-to-night, from interviews to cocktail hours. “I wanted to make sure that what I was wearing [fit into a professional office setting] as well as with the events I was going to,” she says. “I became interested in fashion blogging when I needed answers to those questions.”
In September 2011, she started sharing what she learned via her blog, and her audience began to grow. Today, DistrictDressUp.com earns more than 35,000 page views per month from readers in more than 150 countries and 3,800 cities. Brandon also engages with thousands of readers via social media sites such as Pinterest and Instagram. “Being in a professional environment, seeing what others are wearing, [and] going to a lot of events gave me knowledge,” says Brandon, who works by day as a press assistant for the Bipartisan Policy Center. “I want to share the looks I created… and hopefully that will inspire others to pull together something similar.”
Though her outfits are a draw—her preferred ensemble is skinny black pants and ankle boots with a blazer and silk shirt—her followers tune in for more than just style tips, since her posts are set in scenic spots around DC. Brandon is committed to scouting locations to give context to the color, shape, and style of the outfits she features. “I think what I enjoy doing with my blog is really capturing the clothing [and also] the city,” she explains, noting that the Jefferson Memorial is one of her favorite locales.
And though the process steals a fair amount of her free time—a single photo session can take two to four hours, not to mention the scouting she does after work and on weekends—she enjoys the effort. “You have to wear something, why not make it look good and put together? Allow yourself to have fun,” she explains. “Great style is balancing a look that represents who you are [and] who you can be.”