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From the looks of her blog, Pacific Avenue, Darah Gabrielle has adapted to West Coast life. The Southern girl —born and raised in Atlanta— moved to San Francisco to attend law school at Hastings, and easily nailed California casual. Skinny jeans? Check. Requisite San Francisco scarf? Done. Perfectly-polished nails holding a hand-stamped coffee cup? Obvi. A corporate attorney by day, Darah's blog is her creative outlet in her free time; a way to unwind when she comes home from work. Luckily, she balances work and blogging as well she balances classic and trendy styles.
You're an attorney by day, but your outfits on your blog are casual. How does your office style differ?
My work style is much more dressed up and polished than my blog style. My office wear pretty much consists of crepe trousers, d'orsay heels and blazers. I own an obscene amount of these items in different colors. My secret to being comfy in the office is these amazing J.Crew crepe sweatpants I found. When I wear them in black, pair them with heels and a blazer and wear a blouse that covers the elastic waistband, no one would ever guess I'm wearing sweatpants (at least none of my co-workers were able to tell). Even though my blog outfits have been pretty casual so far, I am starting to put more work wear on the blog and feeling out the response.
What do your co-workers think about your blog?
Not that many of my co-workers know I have a blog. I try to keep my blog life and law firm life separate and not let the blog become a distraction at the office. Though the handful of people at my office who do know about the blog reacted positively when I told them about it.
Which is harder? Lawyering or blogging?
Lawyering is definitely more challenging than blogging, but I actually like it more than blogging. I love how creative blogging is and that it gives me a space to explore and share my love of fashion, but corporate law is so fast-paced and I love the excitement of that. I learn so much every day working on deals. But I will say that people often underestimate how much work fashion blogging really is and how difficult it is to turn a blog into a cash flow positive business. As pretty as blogging looks from the outside, it involves a lot more than figuring out how to pull off red lipstick and documenting macaron consumption on Instagram.
What was your most popular blog post?
Definitely my wedding photo posts! I got married just a few months ago. I think that the post would have been even more popular if I had been allowed to put my cats in the wedding as ring bearer and flower girl.
Tell us something about yourself we would have never guessed.
The only thing I can cook (besides mac and cheese) is grits, but I do it damn well. My specialty is garlic truffle cheese grits. I lived in the south for 22 years and was forced to learn how to make grits when I moved to San Francisco since they aren't a standard menu item out here.
How would you describe your sartorial personality and which Bay Area store best matches it?
Right now, I am finding myself drawn to clothing that has clean lines and is easy to move in. I also love neutrals. My new favorite store is the Rag & Bone store that recently opened near me on Fillmore. They have the best denim, booties and hats. And the store is a neutral lover's dream.
Who's your favorite designer? Favorite local designer?
I have a different favorite designer for every type of clothing and accessory, but right now J.Mendel is at the top of my list because I am always in awe of their gowns. They are stunning and draped to perfection. My favorite local designer is Lan Jaenicke; I love the clean lines and minimalist aesthetic.
If you had to sacrifice one, what would it be: lipstick, mascara or brow pencil/gel?
I'll say brow pencil since I rarely use it. I would never sacrifice my mascara or lipstick!
What's your favorite thing about living in San Francisco?
Can I say everything? Or can I have a top six? The laid back vibe (so different than the south!), the entrepreneurial culture, the weather, the views, the architecture and the proximity to wine country and Big Sur.
In five years I hope to be [fill in the blank] …
General counsel of Chanel! If that doesn't work out, then killing it as a fifth year associate at my firm and continuing to grow my blog and work with brands I love.
Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that Darah moved to San Francisco this year after attending law school at Emory University. It has been updated to reflect that she moved to San Francisco to attend law school at Hastings.