Fashionable Life: Wardrobe Oxygen

by Laura

Personal style blogger Alison Gary rocks it in black and white, peplum, studs and ankle booties.

By Laura Wainman

The blogger behind Wardrobe Oxygen combined four of our trends from the November issue to create a feminine outfit, with an edgy touch. (Photo courtesy of Alison Gary)

In our November issue, we featured a hand-picked guide to the runway’s top 10 trends (p. 54-57), including black and white, studs, peplum, metallic brocade, capes, leather accents, herringbone, ankle boots, motorcycle jackets and military-inspired ware. Now, we have sought out the area’s top fashion bloggers to showcase their takes on the trends. Tune in each Tuesday for the next several weeks to see trendy outfits created by Washington’s finest-dressed and exclusive interviews with the women behind the blogs.

In 2005, Alison Gary was traveling often for work, visiting clients every few weeks. But when a client she had only seen once a month greeted her as “the lady in the cream suit,” she realized she had worn the same outfit to the same client twice, and needed a system to keep track of what she was wearing. Enter Wardrobe Oxygen, Gary’s popular Washington style blog that helps women of all sizes and ages learn what works for their bodies.What started as a personal project grew into a tool to show that personal style can always be achieved. Now Gary sees her blog as a voice for women over 30, who still care about fashion but need to balance that passion with family responsibilities and work.

“I realized there were a few basics every woman should have in her wardrobe, no matter her style or size, and I wanted to share what I had learned through personal experience,” said Gary.

Gary sees a revolution occurring in the fashion industry right now, thanks to personal style blogs, and she is thrilled to be a part of it.

“Style blogs are showing that you don’t have to be the size, shape and age of a model to love fashion and look great in it. It forces designers to create for more than just 15-year-old, six-foot, size 0 models, because they are seeing there are plenty of women over 30 who still love fashion, and deserve to to have fashion that we can look fabulous in,” says Gary.

We love the confidence, spunk and pep that radiates from Wardrobe Oxygen, not to mention the killer workwear inspiration (we die for this outfit). Oh, and did we mention she combined four of the trends from our November trend report, and manages to strike the perfect balance between classic and trendy? We recently chatted with the woman behind the blog, to pick her brain on the best trends, how she creates her stylish outfits day in and day out and why her mom is her fashion icon.

Alison chose a black and white color scheme, to ensure that the accents looked purposeful and not like she was piling on trends. (Photo courtesy of Alison Gary)

Washington Life: Describe your style in five words or less:
Alison Gary: Modern classic with trendy accents

WL: Where do you get your fashion inspiration?
AG: Fellow bloggers, particularly design blogs. I am more inspired by how decorators pair fabrics and colors to bring a room together than a collection lookbook. Oh, and my mom. She understands her figure, loves colors and accessories. I inherited a lot of her passion for fashion.

WL: If you could have chosen to live in another fashion decade, which one would you chose?
AG: My hair wishes it was still the 70s and early 80s, since it always parts in the middle. If I was 10 years older I would have been able to embrace the trends I really love like the grunge look and the big hair.

Alison balances girly shapes with edgy fabrics. (Photo courtesy of Alison Gary)

WL: What is the most versatile item in your wardrobe?
AG: I have a dress that I bought from Target shortly after my daughter was born. It is a three-quarter sleeved black shift dress with a boatneck. It has gotten more miles than anything else I own. I can wear it with knee high boots, tights and a scarf and run out the door or dress it up with heels. The length of the sleeves and the fabric make it wearable year-round. It is my not-so-little black dress, and I am so glad it’s in my closet.

WL: Five Washington winter must-haves:
AG: A warm water-resistant coat with a hood, a pair of knee high boots that you can spray down with protectant, a pashmina which can be used as a scarf, a wrap if your office is cold or even a blanket on a plane, a pair of boots with good grip that will handle the snow, salt and black ice and a pair of really thick tights (Spanx and DKNY have great options).

WL: Is there one accessory you are really loving at the moment?
AG: A couple inches up the wrist of bangles and bracelets, all in one metal. I am loving gold ones this season, from hammered cuffs to smooth

WL: Top item you are coveting:
AG: I really want a leather biker jacket in an unexpected color, like hunter green or oxblood.

WL: What is your favorite neighborhood for shopping?
AG: Georgetown, hands down. I could spend all weekend there.

WL: Biggest fashion pet peeve:
AG: People embrace trends blindly without thinking about how they work with their personal style. You can spot a copycat a mile away.

WL: Trend you fully embrace:
AG: I could dress head to toe in leather.

Alison says this skirt from Halogen is her new favorite piece. "I love that it's cut like a traditional schoolgirl kilt, but is made out of tough leather." (Photo courtesy of Alison Gary)

WL: Trend you’d like to banish forever:
AG: The blogger bun. It is convenient, but it has had its moment in the sun, and it is time to retire it.

WL: Finish this sentence: “I never leave home without my…”
AG: Rayban aviators

And now let’s play would you rather wear…

WL: A leather jacket or boyfriend blazer?
AG: Leather jacket

WL: Heels or Flats?
AG: Heels

WL: Red lipstick or black eyeliner?
AG: Red lipstick

WL: An oversized watch or spiked bracelet?
AG: Oversized watch

WL: Faux or fur?
AG: Faux

WL: Ankle booties or over the knee boots?
AG: Ankle booties

WL: A Chanel bag or Louboutin pumps?
AG: Chanel bag

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