It was a dress worth lusting over -- a red silk jersey sheath with material beautifully draped in back, simple yet stunning. But with a closet already too full, I had no business spending $423 on a Laila Azhar cocktail dress I didn't need.

It was a dress worth lusting over-- a red silk jersey sheath with material beautifully draped in back, simple yet stunning. But with a closet already too full, I had no business spending $423 on a Laila Azhar cocktail dress I didn't need.

Still, on the occasional drop-in to Rowe, I ogled.

Until recently, that is, when I noticed the dress was gone. Sick as it may be, this thought actually ran through my mind: I will totally bum if I ever see the woman who bought that dress wearing it.

Then, I learned who is wearing it: American Idol's newest judge.

Kara DioGuardi apparently has a friend who lives in Columbus. The friend apparently brought DioGuardi into Rowe, an upscale Short North boutique. And DioGuardi apparently liked my dress.

This is according to Rowe owner Maren Roth, who is understandably excited about having her goods showcased on one of TV's most popular shows (DioGuardi wore said sheath during Hollywood week).

A tiny part of me is heartbroken that the dress didn't stick around long enough to go on sale and end up in my closet. But the part of me that loves our city is proud.

Who needs Rodeo Drive? We have High Street.

We also have Easton Town Center and Polaris Fashion Place, German Village and Westerville. We have highly sought chains like Tiffany & Co. and Saks Fifth Avenue, along with one-of-a-kind treasure troves like Hayley Gallery in New Albany and Rue de Lily in Powell.

Beyond that, our city boasts exceptional arts venues and delicious eateries, thriving nightlife and family-friendly parks.

But let none of that overshadow this: Columbus has women who are as friendly as they are successful, as down-to-earth as they are intelligent, as giving as they are powerful.

As a reporter for The Columbus Dispatch, I have had the privilege of interviewing them -- from a heartbroken war widow to a young medical student whose fiance disappeared to full-of-fire entrepreneurs.
Now, those are the women-- the ones like you-- who Capital Style wants to celebrate.

We aim to be your guide for all things fashionable, to introduce you to phenomenal Central Ohio neighbors, to encourage wellness. We will offer ideas for party-throwing and pictures of party-going. We hope to inspire you, whether it's to start a book club, donate time or spend $9 on an I-deserve-it bar of soap.

We'll do it quarterly in this magazine, and every day on our website. Capital-Style.com will offer fresh stories on everything from trends to trendsetters, and will be the go-to guide for charity causes. We'll give the goods on salivating sales and the dish on who's who.

Many of us have had that Pretty Woman-ish moment-- right?-- when we've walked into a store, a kid's ball game, or wherever and had someone give us the judgmental once-over. You know-- that snotty, better-than-you snarl?

That's not who we want to be.

We want to be the girlfriend beside you who grabs your hand, smiles and reminds you how fabulous you are. Because we are the ladies of Columbus. And there's nothing else we'd rather be.