In this series, Faces of Rosslyn, we profile members of our community. These interesting and inspiring individuals make up the fabric of our vibrant neighborhood. We are glad to have them! Want us to profile you or someone you know in Rosslyn? Contact us!
Balance + contrast
Meet fashion blogger and Rosslyn employee Julien Garman
By Mary Dallao
As you might imagine, fashion and lifestyle blogger Julien Garman knows a thing or two about how to pull together an outfit. More than 13,000 people follow her on Instagram, where she models her favorite looks and shares her thoughts on how to build a great wardrobe and where to go in the D.C. area for stylish and affordable new threads. Her key piece of advice for the fashionably challenged?
"Remember that fashion is all about balance and contrast," she says. "So, if I had tight jeans I'd pair them with a looser top, or if I had a tighter top, I'd wear a big pair of trousers. When you have that balance it evens everything out."
Garman, who describes her aesthetic as "classic meets minimalist meets romantic," says she also has a few informal rules she follows when choosing clothing for herself:
- It has to be comfortable.
- It has to be flattering.
- It has to feel nice on her skin.
She loves shopping, but finds the amount of choice in big department stores overwhelming and prefers smaller, curated stores. She likes consignment shopping, and is partial to thredUP, Vestiaire Collective and Current Boutique. Sophie Blake in the Mosaic District is her go-to spot for jewelry, and she also shops online at Lynn Louisa. Her closet is streamlined: She would rather have a handful of good-quality pieces that she really likes than an overabundance of stuff. A few years ago, she read Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and ended up getting rid of three-fourths of her wardrobe.
So how did this friendly and down-to-earth marketing professional for Lincoln Property Company become a well-regarded trend-setter in her spare time? Surprisingly, there's no dramatic story to her social media success. When she started her job in Rosslyn five years ago, she began taking the commuter bus from her home in Purcellville. Wanting to be productive during her hour-long ride, she decided to start a blog. Her dad's a photographer, and she's always liked taking pictures and following fashion bloggers, so she settled on fashion as her topic. Smart—because just like that, a long commute became something she leveraged in pursuit of her creative goals.
"Blogging has helped me connect with so many other women who are ambitious but also very, very kind," she says. "They've become my best friends, and that's been an unexpected benefit of doing this."
Itsjulien.com really took off in 2014 when she began collaborating with professional photographers. And then, she worked with stylist Nadine Matar to change her look and her hair. It was a dramatic transformation, and it helped her get noticed. Posting consistently has also helped.
Today, Garman's fun little side project is booming: Businesses frequently contact her asking her to try their clothing and products. She also works with third-party companies like The8App, Tidal Labs and Takumi, which help connect influencers and brands. Collaborating with them, she's been able to work with brands like Calvin Klein, Random House Books, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Clarins, Nespresso and more.
Since she's in Rosslyn all day during the week, many of Garman's Instagram photos feature the neighborhood in the background (see shots of Rosslyn in the photo gallery below). She's often out and about shooting during her lunch hour. A favorite spot is Freedom Park.
"It's Virginia's answer to the New York High Line," she says. "You can get such a great view of the city in this little oasis."
Garman also frequents several Rosslyn businesses and restaurants during the day. She loves the newly-opened Compass Coffee and Central Coffee, which serves Ceremony Coffee, a brand she really likes that's roasted in Annapolis. She goes to Barley Mac for happy hour and likes lunching at The Little Beet. Her hidden neighborhood gem? Fresh Chop Chop.
"It has a mom-and-pop feel to it and I love it," she says. "I get the strawberry and banana smoothie and add spinach and peanut butter to it. That's what I've been craving and it's delicious."
Speaking of craving, at the time of her interview with us, Garman was 38 weeks pregnant, but still somehow managed to look fashionable and elegant in a flowing white cotton maternity dress. After talking with her, you sense that her style is as much about attitude as it is about knowing what skirt goes with which blouse or what belt to pair with which jacket. She's upbeat, positive and completely comfortable with herself. No wonder more than 13,000 people follow her on Instagram and value her advice.
To check out Julien's latest, visit her website or follow her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.
Photo at top by Lauren Louise Photography. Photos in gallery below by Lauren Louise Photography and Erin Krespan.