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We’re getting a little bit Valentine’s Day crazy over here @ BYT. It’s ok-it happens. So, in the spirit of it all we decided to do a style story on this holiday, but with a little twist: instead of just picking up some clothes around town and throwing them on some model and calling it romantic (not that there’s anything wrong with that) we decided to crowd source and invited some of our favorite AND colorful characters around DC to share their REAL fool-proof date outfit (and what REAL date they’d wear it to) with us. Writers, law students, non-profitters, artists, designers, State Department wonks – it is a nice cross section of everything that:

a. makes DC great and b. makes dating in DC never boring.


Photos by Jeffrey Martin

Malaka Gharib

Malaka is the founder of The Runcible Spoon, a locally-distributed food zine that captures the “pleasure of eating food” across the District.


• Shoes – My teenage sisters chose it for me on a trip to Doha, Qatar. They said my shoes were too “granny” and I needed something “chic”
• Skirt – Urban Outfitters Sale; Shirt – Forever 21
• Watch, earrings, classy shiny things – Gifts from my mother
• Belt – My roommate’s closet
• Necklace – French Connection (it’s broken!)
• Bow – Forever 21
* SIDE NOTE: Lipstick is very important on a date. I like this bright one.

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Date: Mama Ayesha’s for okra and lamb stew, baklava and tea. Walk across the bridge to Soussi in Adams Morgan for grape and mint sheesha and drinks.

Erin Derge & Kristen Swenson

Erin and Kristen are co-owners of one of our favorite DC boutiques, Ginger Root Design.



Erin’s Outfit:
• JewelryJennifer Jeremias & Metal Musings
• Necklace – Vintage from Treasury
• Top & SkirtGinger Root Design
• Cowboy Boots – Vintage



Erin’s Date: Just discovered that Estadio has my fave beer from MN – (Surly Bender!); So I’d start there, then either check out a movie at the Lincoln, or wander up to Columbia Heights and get pupusas then hit up Red Derby for combos. And if possible – I’d love to find an old school arcade and play some ski ball.

Kristin’s Outfit:

• Skirt – Vintage
• Vest & Tie – Ginger Root Design
• Earrings – Metal Musings
• ShoesCaramel Boutique on U Street



Kristin’s Date: I like to be dressy all the time, so I could easily go somewhere casual or fancy. For casual I would love to go bowling (which I’m bad at, but laughter is good!), and then get amazing greasy food after. For fancy, I would love to go somewhere to sample a ton of really amazing cheeses, then head to an art museum, and finish off walking around by the monuments.

Greta Warren

Greta is a communications officer at Alliance Francaise de Washington.


Outfit: Lumber Jane chic! It’s the thermally sexy look that drives the burly bearded boys batshit crazy. Sturdy sorel boots ground the look while proving its practicality. Fleece lined jeans keep those gams nice and toasty. A light pink corset brings a feminine element to a typically masculine profession. The traditional plaid is a non-negotiable and the blaze orange fingernails ensure that hunters won’t mistake you for a bashful doe.




Date: Find the nearest forest outside the beltway. Picnics, poetry and passion set the scene on this woodsy date and as many northerners know, only the cream of the crop brings the classiest of the Valentine’s day beverages on their date. No February 14th would be complete without Allen’s Coffee Brandy! (fun fact: the gallon variety is the #1 selling liquor in Maine)

Cassidy Karakorn

Cassidy is the associate marketing director at the Human Rights Campaign and a DJ.


• Zac Posen Top
• Alexander Wang Skirt
• Calvin Klein Heels
• Burberry Trench
• Vespa Helment
• Veuve Champagne Bag


Date: Spontaneous Vespa ride at night. Dressed to go anywhere the night takes us. Champagne on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

Mitchell London

Mitchell is currently studying law at Georgetown University. (He also writes about music for BYT and is an all-around winner at life-ed)


Outfit: Where I got this look: I’m pretty sure that I got every item in this look – down to the socks – in a Jos. A. Bank “Buy 1 tie and 1 shirt, get 2 ties, 2 shirts, 2 suits, 2 shoes, 2 sport coats, 2 socks, and 2 dates with Saved By The Bell/ 90210 star Tiffany Amber Theissen” sale (for $1, you can trade in the date with Tiffany for some collar stays – highly recommended). The ole “1+1 = 14” sale. Happens twice a month. If you’ve ever bought anything from that store, you get 10 emails about it every day.


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Date: What I might do on this date: This look is evergreen. It works for anything, but it works for some things better than others. Things it works well for: a meal that’s nice but not too nice, wedding ceremonies that you’re not a part of, dress-up-as-your-parents parties. Things it works less well for: hiking at any altitude above 8000 ft, combat sports, dates with Tiffany Amber Theissen.

Andrew Bucket

Andrew is a part of the colorful food truck Indian cuisine-serving food truck, Fojol Bros, the editor at the The Folly, and a man about town.


Outfit: I’m wearing vintage shoes, vintage jacket by Alexanders from Rock it Again, vintage shirt and clip-on bow tie stolen from Josef Palermo, H&M jeans, sunglasses by KISS from Paris, bag is from the Andy Warhol museum in Pittsburgh.



Date: My ideal date is to take a city bus without knowing where its going, and get off once we feel good and lost. The whole time we are telling jokes and stories about our past lives. Maybe we could find a park and drink illegally, then once it gets dark out, we’ll wander to Dupont (because you can get anywhere in DC in twenty minutes), and sit at the fountain, we’ll keep talking in lower and lower voices until we are whispering.

Ashley May

Ashley is a makeup artist by day but when the night falls, she can be found behind the bar taking AND giving orders at either Velvet Lounge or American Ice Co.


• Skirt – Catherine Malandrino
• Top – Anthropologie
• Shoes – Christian Louboutin
• Earrings – Chanel
• iPhone cover – Rebecca Minkoff
• Lipstick – NARS Heat Wave (IT’S IMPORTANT)

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Date: I’ve been bunned up with my man for 5 years so we’ve done a lot of traditional date stuff, and next week we will be at San Francisco Beer Week over Valentine’s Day so I will be too far off my tree for romance. It’s hard to think of ideas. If we were going to be in DC I think I’d want a great dinner at Palena or Proof, then maybe we could go knock off some mailboxes or something. YES. We could egg our friends’ houses around Columbia Heights too. Definitely. Time to spice things up. Oh, and I am really hoping this happens for me this year.



Gabrielle Williams

Gabrielle works at the State Department.


• Dress – Rachel Palley (got it at a shop on Abbott Kinney in Venice Beach)
• Ring – YSL
• Tortoise Cuff – Asos
• Bracelet – Cartier

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Date: I plan on wearing this dress on Valentine’s Day. My date will take place on a plane and then the beach, once I land I guess. My boyfriend and I are headed to Brazil for a little while. This dress is perfect for a plane ride cuz its incredibly comfortable and blanket-like. Its perfect for Valentine’s day because I feel sassy-like in it… My boyfriend likes the sass.

Chris Burns

Chris is a DJ and producer in the District.


Outfit: Nehru suit tailored by Jaggi & Co., Kolkata, India. Sunglasses by Stunners of the Month. Seeking a fellow wise partner for mutual conscience enhancement.

Date: Oysters & champagne at Oceanaire, before loge seats at NSO. Followed by an evening out at Fuego.


Joe Conran

Joe is a senior government relations associate at the Association of American Medical Colleges.


Outfit: Brook Brothers navy blue pants, gray H&M shirt, Land’s End tie, vintage corduroy jacket, Wolverine 1883 boots, Casio G-Shock


Pick one:
a) Dinner at Cafe la Ruche → Drinks at Churchkey
b) Dinner at Marvin → Cocktails at the Gibson/Dancing at U Street Music Hall
c) Dinner and drinks at Jack Rose → Dancing at Cafe L’enfant

Sheldon Scott

Sheldon is an actor, storyteller, writer and a monologist in the District. He also keeps Marvin and Blackbyrd running smoothly.


• Wool sweater vest/scar – Vandalist from Redeem (14th)
• Drop crotch pants – Rio, edited by Brian Evans (DC)
• Recycled yarn long sleeve tee – Spain
• Leather boots – Buenos Aires



Date: I am all about endurance dating so my outfits are designed to be walk-of-shame friendly. Dinner at Source, tea on the floor at undisclosed tea house, cocktails and dancing at the Delta, Thomas Jefferson memorial, Chinese at Full Kee, “sleep” then fruit loops and Golden Girls.