Today we venture to the nation’s capital to meet Lauren and Van, the DC residents behind the style blog Necessary & Proper. Whether it’s Van’s preppy looks or Lauren’s take on classic you’ll be sure to find plenty of inspiration from their blog. While they both live in DC now, Lauren is originally from the Great Lakes, proving great style isn’t confined to just the East Coast and the Southeast. Get to know a little bit more about the duo below.
Great Lakes Prep: Why did you start a blog?
Necessary & Proper: We’re both in the legal field, which can often be a little stiff. A friend introduced us, knowing that we had both dabbled in fashion blogging in the past, and thought we might be able to collaborate on something. After a few drinks, that something became Necessary & Proper. The writing, photography, styling, and design that goes into our blog has provided the perfect creative outlet for us both. We also felt that this was an unfulfilled niche in Washington, D.C.–a city not (yet) known for inventive dressing–and the serene beauty of the city is a great foil for our outfits.
GLP: Where are you from?
Lauren: Raised in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Van: Raised in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
GLP: What do you do outside of your blog?
Lauren: I actually have another blog called Pretty Polished (prettypolishedblog.wordpress.com) that I write with one of my best friends, Whitney. I also enjoy running and playing with Summer (our golden retriever!).
Van: I collect things (mostly through late night eBay binges). I love vintage Hermès objects, sterling barware, and as of late I’ve been on a Bethlehem Steel memorabilia kick. Reminds me of home. I also love entertaining. I’ve been known to throw a mean brunch, thanks to my dad’s pancake recipe–a closely guarded family secret.
GLP: How would you describe your style?
Lauren: I think my style changes a lot! Sometimes I feel like incorporating trends more heavily. Right now, however, I am definitely in a “classic” phase, which has been working well for the blog. I’ve found quite a bit of cross over from the blog to my day-to-day life–I get inspired by what we put together on N&P all of the time. Updated classics are really in right now.
Van: I’m a dyed-in-the-wool preppy. I was weaned on khaki and Patagonia. Though my style has gone through some phases–there was an unfortunate all-black Prada Sport phase in 2000 that thankfully blew over–I would say my style is classic American, garnished with an Italian twist. I’ll throw on a tailored navy blazer, well-worn jeans, and an Oxford shirt, but punch it up with a vibrant silk pocket square or colored driving mocs.
GLP: Who are your style icons?
Lauren: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, for being an American (fashion) icon; Marlene Dietrich, for her ability to rock menswear in a feminine fashion; Lauren Bacall, for her effortless outfit composition; Lauren Santo Domingo, for her original spin on classic.
Van: My dad–I’ve definitely adopted his notion that clothes should be mended rather than discarded. If you buy quality at the outset and care for it properly, you’ll spend less money replacing it down the road. Alan Flusser is up there–his book “Dressing the Man” sets forth the rules–and you’ve got to know ’em in order to break ’em. As far as celebs go, Ryan Gosling has really been killing it on the red carpet, and you can’t beat Tom Ford–that man has a vision.
GLP: What advice would you give anyone looking to start a blog?
Lauren: It’s more work than you would guess – but it is so fun. Just pick something you are passionate about and the rest will flow from there. Write frequently and try to use original content whether its journalism, photography, graphic design – make it your own.
Van: There’s always room for a new voice. I think that’s one of the most amazing things about the Internet–the barrier to publish is low, so just about anyone can make a name for themselves with the right attitude and a good eye for their audience. Just remember quality over quantity–and original content is key.
GLP: Bow tie or neck tie?
Lauren: For me, neither; for you boys – bow tie! But not all of the time!
Van: I love bow ties–and they’ve been getting a lot of play lately–but I flip-flop. There’s a place for each.