Local Style: Susan Nixon of Rue Washington DC

Rue Washington D.C.

Say hello to a little more style on the Hill. Rue Washington DC is (officially) here, giving you access to the District’s “must” list. In honor of our debut in the nation’s capital, we sat down with our ever-so-chic D.C. Director of Brand Partnerships (and British transplant) Susan Nixon, to talk D.C.’s varied style transformation, what to wear to an interview on Capitol Hill, where to get the best margaritas in town, and the night she met the President.

Rue La La: Describe D.C.’s style.
Susan: Eclectic. The city is made up of people from all over the world – I’m a transplant myself. There truly is no single style that represents this powerful city, but one style twist over the recent years has been the evolution of the “power dress” in the corporate and political worlds of Washington. Women have shifted from pantsuits to wearing fashion-forward clothing with fabulous shoes and great bags. I love where D.C.’s fashion is right now.

Rue La La: You’ve lived in D.C. for 28 years – what inspires your personal style?
Susan: My fashion style is usually influenced by my mood, but also by my lifestyle. I’m an equestrian, so I’m drawn to tailored, equestrian-inspired jackets and boots.

Rue La La: What’s on your fall shopping list and where in town will you be searching for it?
Susan: Rich-colored cashmere sweaters and leather boots are a must for fall in D.C. I typically start my search on the streets of Georgetown, where I invariably find something at Wink and Hu’s Shoes. Then, of course, there are the shopping meccas at Chevy Chase and the Galleria in Tyson’s Corner.

Rue La La: As former Publisher of Capitol File magazine, you’ve hosted your fair share of White House Correspondents’ Dinner festivities. Describe some of your favorite ensembles that you’ve donned.
Susan: My favorite was a spectacular vintage Valentino gown. And then in another pinch-me moment I wore a complete set of on-loan Cartier jewelry. To have the red boxes delivered to my home with bangles, a necklace, and earrings was an extraordinarily memorable style experience. That night, I slept in Cartier, woke up the next morning in Cartier, and looked great with jeans and a T-shirt while wearing Cartier to brunch that Sunday. Truly a Cinderella weekend.

Rue La La: D.C. is known for its Capitol style. What’s a fool-proof outfit for an interview on the Hill?
Susan: This would be an opportunity to shine with style that doesn’t scream. Focus on the details, beautiful lines, great fabrics, and spectacular accessories that make you feel cool, confident, and on your game.

Rue La La: When people move to the area, what are the first things you tell them to do?
Susan: Drive to the monuments at night. I tell them to stand on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial and look out over the tidal basin toward the Washington Monument. Simply breathtaking.

Rue La La: What are some can’t-miss local secrets our Members have to know about?
Susan: Go to Oyamel Cocina Mexicana and meet Joe the Mixologist for the best margarita in town, then have the chicken tortilla. Or Michel by Michel Richard at the Ritz-Carlton in Tyson’s Corner, Virginia, for French food, such as eggplant soup, beef tartare, and their fantastic steak frites!

Rue La La: Tell us about a moment that made you say, “That’s so D.C.”
Susan: I hosted a book party for Jenna Bush, and we had a surprise visit from her father, President George W. Bush. As I was standing with him on the rooftop of the Hay-Adams Hotel (the best view in the city without question) and looking at the White House, he said, “Wow, it’s a great view from here. I don’t get out much.” Only in D.C. would that happen.

July 29, 2011