D.C.’s DIY, Thrift and Fashion Queen

A connoisseur of many artistic outlets, it’s tough to define Refinery 29’s Holly Thomas, but creative is a good start.

A connoisseur of many artistic outlets, it’s tough to define Refinery 29’s Holly Thomas, but creative is a good start.

By Kayla Franson

Photo by Erick Gibson

Holly Thomas, D.C. editor of Refinery 29, had an early start in fashion; as a child, she cut her socks to make tube dresses for her Barbies. Yet she went on to graduate from George Washington University in photojournalism, planning to photograph the world for National Geographic. Again plans changed when she was hired by The Washington Post, where she wrote her way through its lifestyle sections before starting at Refinery29 and opening the vintage shop Butler & Claypool.

Shopping and fashion research are focal points in Thomas’ everyday tasks these days, but surprisingly she could virtually stay away from contemporary shopping altogether.

“It’s just too overwhelming,” she says, “and not everything is really great quality, and prices seem much higher than they should be. I’m more into digging and looking for that one really special thing versus looking through 50 versions of a pair of leggings.”

Years of scouring thrift stores and estate sales have left Thomas with a rich collection of vintage, displayed in her front room between succulents in DIY vases and antique postcard arrangements—downtime projects. The style icon makes jewelry and refinishes furniture during rare spare moments.

“If you really love something and you really want to make it work, then you just hustle all the time.”

 Click to enlarge photo

Photo by Erick Gibson (Click to enlarge)

Each month get behind the scenes and find out what everyday life is really like for local VIPs.

 

(February 2013)

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