Some of us work on the hill but we really don't. We are fly by visitors. In one office and then off to the next. Like a traveling salesmen, if you didn't bring it in your bag, your going to go without it for the day. Yes, you know who I am talking to. . . And dressing for work isn't as easy anymore. . .
Consider . . .
1. The right footwear
I walk a ridiculous amount. Some days, I really believe I walk miles. Think about as much walking as your average mailman. Consequently, those beautiful high heels, they are often left unloved in my closet. This was a sad evolution - going from heels to flats, but I couldn't take all that strutting instead of speed walking. I tried lots of flats and realized I need to be wearing sneakers. . . .
Hush, Hush, it it didn't come to that. Close, but no, I didn't succumb to being someone in sneakers in work attire. I found Naturalizers .
This is the brand that reminds me of my Grandmother. Not exactly where I was thinking when I thought to purchase footwear. However, out of the 100+ pair of shoes in their inventory, maybe one or two of the flats look fun. You just need to pay attention for that one or two pairs. The shoes feel fantastic. They are cushioned at the heel with rubber on the bottom and come in wide toe boxes. I can and have walked for days in them. They aren't clunky and if you find a pair with some basic colors (tan, black, blue) they pretty much go with everything.
2. Wear a dress.
It is in the triple digits in DC on most days. Add the humidity and you are going to feel like you are walking in an oven. You need all the easy, breeze you can find. Try something light, cotton, and in a light color. You want it to be able to possibly dry naturally when you head in and out of the air conditioning. Dresses always look a little bit more formal than pants or shorts, so that also helps if you not sure where you are going to end up.
3. The less make up the better
Some folks feel naked without make up. I understand your dilemma. The problem is walking in and out of the hot to the air conditioning makes it hard for your make up to look fresh. Those staffers who stay still most of the day in one temperature have the advantage;) I usually wear just a little concealer and a bronzer. I love the Clinque bronzer.
As for the rest of my face, maybe just a little bit of Josie Maran Color stick, which is great for adding a hint of color without looking overdone.
I usually have a Clinque Chubby Stick somewhere in my purse. Its amazing what a little color on the lips and cheeks can do after a day of walking.
4. Something to freshen up
I carry these wipes in almost every bag I own. No matter how hot, sweaty, icky I feel, this wipes can change the day. I love them. You can buy them at Target. They don't overdry and they are amazing at taking off mascara and eye makeup. I usually will also have at least one tucked into a little baggie somewhere in my purse. A clean face and quick comb of your hair can have you looking like new when you are feeling like your ready to call it a day. . .
5. Obviously, sunglasses
I don't need to explain this.
6. Mini Umbrella
It is going to rain at some point. And when it does, it will be sheets of rain. The humidity literally hangs in the air here. Every couple of days we get a heavy rains it seems. I always have a little mini umbrella tucked every pocketbook I own. Pick a color that is fashionable, but not to just girls. (Yes, I'm talking to you the pink umbrella holder with the lipstick kisses all over it) You want to make sure if you are walking with someone (i.e. a man) he doesn't have to politely decline to either hold it for you or borrow it.
There are not water fountains everywhere in the House/Senate buildings. I have learned this lesson so many times. You run around all morning and realize you have had not even a sip of water. You should make effort to always have a full bottle before you even think of stepping on the hill.
8. The office pocket guide
Yes, you have google. You can google any member's office and find their phone number, room, district. . . Normally, I would not encourage regressive behavior (paper over technology) but the little pocket guides (they are sold in the Dirksen gift shop) are incredibly quick and easy. I never leave home without mine.
9. The purse
Here is the dilemma. You need a big purse. The purse will be your de facto briefcase and your purse. Sure, you can schelp around both, but by the end of the day you will feel like a harried bag lady. The dilemma is finding a purse that is exactly the right size, not to big and not to small. We are human, if you gave me a suitcase I would fill it with things I thought I needed for the day. If you get one that is to small, it will be counterproductive and you will end up carrying everything in your hands. I suggest a nice tan leather purse that goes with everything. Yes, I know you envision yourself wearing a matching purse every morning but realistically you just need something that you can grab and go. It will bring you through the seasons and won't show the dirt as much seasonal color like white.