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What I Wore to Pastis DC

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Alison Gary of Wardrobe Oxygen at Pastis DC. She is standing outside the restaurant in the Union Market District, in a shiny navy pantsuit, a silver bag in her hand. She has one hand in her pocket and she is smiling at the camera.

There's a new restaurant in the Union Market District in Washington, D.C., and the name may sound familiar to some who have dined in the Big Apple (or watched Sex and the City). Pastis, the French Restaurant in New York City's Meatpacking District, has opened a second Pastis here in DC. I went to dinner there recently; here's what I wore to Pastis DC.

What I Wore to Pastis DC

I would have been perfectly at home at Pastis DC wearing a blazer over a shell or blouse with jeans and boots or a pair of flats. Many of the guests at the restaurant that evening clearly came straight from work and wearing office-friendly ensembles for business casual environments. Many were rocking refined denim with sweaters and blouses.

Alison Gary, a petite size 14/16 woman over 40, is standing outside of Pastis DC in front of the outdoor dining area. She is in a navy satin double breasted pantsuit from Ann Taylor and is holding a shiny STAUD Moon bag in her hand. It is night and the sidewalk is damp from a recent rain.

However, I love an opportunity to dress up. Going out, for me, is a celebration, and I dress the part. I do not mind being dressed up more than most at an event, but I found what I wore to Pastis DC not so dressed up I stood out in a crowd.

four women over 40 taking a mirror selfie in the entrance of Pastis DC. They are hugging each other; two are smiling and two are making kissy faces. They are fashionably dressed, it is evening.

I went to dinner with three of my dear friends who are also in the fashion/style/influencer realm. My friends Sylvia, who is a personal stylist; Elizabeth, who is an O.G. D.C. fashion blogger and Instagrammer; and Dani, who is a well-known fashion influencer and creative. I knew we'd all be using the evening as a chance to have fun with fashion. Sylvia and Elizabeth wore blazers and heels; Dani and I wore dressy pantsuits.

Alison Gary of Wardrobe Oxygen walking past the outdoor seating of Pastis DC in the Union Market District.

This past spring, I got a tan satin pantsuit from Ann Taylor and wear it all the time. I just wore it earlier this year for my birthday dinner and know I'll wear it often through 2024. When I saw Ann Taylor offered a similar pantsuit this past holiday season, I had to get it in navy. Unlike my tan suit, the pants for this navy suit are a pull-on elasticized style.

For reference, the blazer is XL petite and the pants are L petite. I find with Ann Taylor suiting, I am usually a 16 petite, occasionally sizing down to 14 petite for pants that are unlined or stretchy.

the bar and menu at Pastis DC

While Ann Taylor doesn't have a version of this suit right now, the retailer's Fluid Crepe and Crepe has similar drape and I think an even more versatile fabric that can go from boardroom to cocktail party with a change of shoes and accessories. This black belted blazer and matching wide leg trousers are calling my name to style with silver platform heels and sparkly earrings, or a pair of white sneakers and my favorite breton top for day.

a chrome STAUD moon bag and a crystal-encrusted black crescent bag on the bar at Pastis DC with a cocktail in front called the Eiffel Sour
My birthday bag with my friend Sylvia's bag. Sylvia is the queen of high/low shopping and this bag is from Amazon. I cannot find the exact one but here is a link to a similar one on Amazon. The cocktail is the “Eiffel Sour” at Pastis DC.

I bought myself this chrome handbag from STAUD for my birthday and wanted an excuse to style it. I thought it looked really fierce against the indigo matte satin, but I wasn't immediately sure which shoes to wear. On a spring day, I would rock my chrome heels from Aerosoles, but it was a cold and rainy night. I decided to wear my black Naturalizer wedge booties, which I have owned for a while and recommended quite often.

I didn't want to wear a blouse; I like wearing suits with just a seamless molded cup bra or corset. I wore this bra in black, but to keep the jacket from bowing open while sitting at the restaurant, I strategically placed some safety pins inside, keeping in line with the drape and folds of the jacket, just holding them secure. I pinned from the inside all the way to the bottom layer of the top lapel, so it wasn't visible at any time.

An over-40 woman with dark curly hair sitting at the bar at Pastis DC. She is waring a navy double breasted pantsuit and is holding a silver chrome STAUD moon bag. She is smiling at the camera, it is evening and dimly lit in the restaurant

I bought this chunky link necklace from Jenny Bird several years ago. I love Jenny Bird, but the brand is not made for bigger bodies. None of the rings go over a size 7 and this necklace is a bit too short for comfort. I have a chunky necklace extender; I looped it so it was like another link and added it in back for the length I preferred.

Since I had so much statement with the necklace, I kept my makeup and earrings simple. I had these pave hoops in my ears, and makeup was a no-makeup-makeup look with a bit extra highlighter (love this one from Westman Atelier) and along my lash line, I used some of this liquid liner from Urban Decay. I did add a silver and sodalite ring I bought this summer in Salem.

a table at Pastis DC loaded with appetizers including tuna tartare, calamari, pierogies, and artichokes
If you go, don't be afraid to ask the staff what they recommend. We never would have ordered the pierogies otherwise, and they were divine!

This suit is machine washable; I have already washed it twice and with a bit of steaming it comes out like new. It's soft and flexible so I don't feel like a stuffed sausage or stiff when snuggled into a banquette with three friends and our winter coats. Because the shine is subtle, it didn't look over the top even when we headed to a bar after dinner for a cocktail and to continue our conversation.

Alison Gary of Wardrobe Oxygen at Pastis DC. She is standing outside the restaurant in the Union Market District, in a shiny navy pantsuit, a silver bag in her hand. She has one hand in her pocket and she is smiling at the camera.

I've worn this suit with sneakers and a Breton top, I've worn the blazer alone with jeans and a graphic t-shirt. I got a cashmere mock-neck sweater in the same color (Ann Taylor is great about multiple separates in the same exact shade) and wore them together for a relaxed luxe look this holiday. I tried the suit with my chartreuse sheer crewneck and loved the look, but it didn't feel right for dinner at Pastis DC but I plan to rock it in the future.

Alison Gary of Wardrobe Oxygen standing in front of the restaurant Pastis in the Union Market district of Washington DC. She is wearing a navy satin pantsuit. One hand is in her hair, the other is holding a silver chrome STAUD moon bag. She is laughing.

You don't need black and simple to be versatile. And you don't need to adhere to some dated style rules to look chic as a grown-ass woman. Fashion is so fluid and fun these days, it's a perfect time to play with what you wear. Style things in a new manner, combine things you'd never expect, add one thing that doesn't quite match, and dress for comfort and joy. You deserve it!

And as a fun throwback, here's when I went to NYFW in 2020 and during that trip, I dined at Pastis NYC! That time I wore a cashmere shell and hot pink wide-leg trousers, a look I'd still rock today at both Pastis locations!

A woman with curly hair wearing a plaid blazer holds a green fur coat over her shoulder on a city street.

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  1. You look fantastic in that suit and what a fun time to rock it. Crazy coincidence? I don’t know Dani IRL, just her Insta (which is a great follow). But I ran into her when she was on a shoot one time at the Wharf. I pretty embarrassingly fangirled.

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