street style: john thorsen

You know that feeling when you first meet someone and you’re immediately at ease, comfortable, yourself around them, and then you think about it and realize maybe it’s because you’ve met them somewhere, sometime before and you just know you have a lot in common? Or maybe it’s the infectious smile, good looks, incredible talent, stellar personality, beautiful wife, and charming family that makes you want to think you’ve seen this person before. Well, that’s how John Thorsen and I met (sort of—we crossed paths as tot neighbors in the late 80s, not to have them cross again until we were both in ours 20s).



John is the middle brother and Executive Vice President of family-owned Thorsen Construction, an incredibly talented General Contractor that is three generations and 40 years old and focuses on luxury and historic remodeling and homebuilding in Alexandria and beyond. They deliver top-notch service and creativity and high-end design.

Most owners want their contractors in and out of their lives and just want to end on a happy, positive note—but not Thorsen clients. Every client I’ve ever known that has worked with them wants to find another project to get them back into their home. (A very true story: John and his brothers are so incredibly nice that on the last project they finished in an area we frequent, I had a local sandwich shop owner tell me how disappointed she was to see them wrap up the project because she was going to miss seeing them in the store!)


When John’s not working, he is out and about in Old Town and Del Ray with his lovely wife and incredible family. His style is unparalleled by other young 30-something men. He’s got this pulled-together—but I didn’t try too hard—polished look. And he always, always has on a great pair of shoes. We thought this, on top of his fantastic personality, was more than reason enough to feature him in today’s Street Style!

How do you spend your time? I spend most of my free time hanging out with my wife, Kelly, and our chocolate lab puppy, Camo.
Neighborhood? Del Ray
How long have you lived in Alexandria? 8 years
What is your hometown? Warrenton, Virginia
What brought you to Alexandria? Our main office is in Alexandria and as a young guy straight out of college, Warrenton wasn’t exactly the best place to network and meet people, ha. I also had many good friends in Alexandria that I had kept in touch with from my early days at St. Mary’s Elementary.
What would surprise people about you? I’m a very good arm wrestler
You’re a superhero: what’s your superpower? As generic as it sounds: flying. Essentially, the ability to get to and from places all over the world in minutes.
Favorite cocktail: In the fall/winter, Blantons on ice. Spring/summer, Nathan’s jalapeno margarita at the Sushi Bar in Del Ray.
Last book read or movie seen: Last book read was “Seven Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness” by Eric Metaxas. I also just finished the New Testament all the way through. My last movie was “Aloha” — so random and I do not recommend.
Guilty Pleasure: Selena Gomez
Phrase you overuse: “How much?” ha
Facebook or Instagram: Instagram 100%. Follow us! @thorsen_construction
Latest binge watch: Homeland. I realize that’s so 2012 but we never watch TV series and just recently stumbled upon this one.
Bucket list travel destination: Italy
If you could only have one for the rest of your life: wine or coffee? Coffee

Define your style in three words or less: Simple comfort
The go-to piece in your wardrobe: navy Stubbs & Wootton slippers
Favorite trend ever: Tight jeans, white tees, and slick hair – think Outsiders and Grease
Favorite current trend: Short shorts. Although I’ve been doing this for a long time, I’m glad the people who used to make fun of me now think I’m cool.
Beauty product you can’t live without: L’anza molding paste
Favorite fragrance: Wall Street by Bond No. 9
Heels of flats: Flats?


Favorite room in your home: TV room in the basement
Antiques, modern, or a mix: More transitional than antique, but I do love unexpected touches of modern.
Last item you bought for you house: A new toilet for our basement bathroom
Next planned purchase: A new house! And I’m sure a lot of other purchases that go with that.
Favorite way to entertain: Outdoors. Grill something tasty with fantastic wine, good music, and great friends.
Clutter-free or well-lived in? Very clutter free. You would never know we had a lab puppy if you came to our house. I hate having too many things on counters, too.
Wallpaper? In general, I don’t like. I do think it works well in small rooms like a powder room.

Your go-to work-out: Boxing
Most fun way to exercise: Basketball
Group exercise or solo: Group. I need someone pushing me
Fitness goal: Have more 10,000 step days! I need to walk more. It’s tough when you’re glued to the office all day
Haven’t yet, but might be willing to try with coaching/encouragement: Yoga
Proudest fitness moment: Running a mile under 5 minutes in high school.

Favorite spot in Alexandria: This is like asking who your favorite child is. I’d have to go with Taqueria el Poblano.
Last purchase in Alexandria: My last substantial purchase in Alexandria was Christmas gifts for everyone in our family at lululemon.
Best coffee/ happy hour/ date night spot: Misha’s / Virtue / Hank’s Oyster Bar
Favorite charity: ACT for Alexandria
Favorite annual Alexandria event: Art on the Avenue

Photography by Sarah Marcella Photography

  • The latest from Britt
Born, raised, and bred in Alexandria, VA, Britt Patterson is a true product of the great state of Virginia. Britt attended Waynewood Elementary (Class of ’96), Carl Sandburg Middle School (Class of ’98) , and West Potomac High School (Class of ’02), she then went on to attend Virginia Tech (go Hokies!) where she majored in Business Marketing and Minored in Real Estate. Britt “officially” joined the family business as a licensed Realtor in 2008 after two years of working the political fundraising field and prides herself on her Alexandria real estate knowledge, alongside her integrity, loyalty, and professionalism as an agent and Vice President for the family business.

The Patterson Group is one of the most experienced and trusted real estate teams in the area, serving Alexandria, VA for over thirty years. We offer professional, hardworking, detailed and friendly service and a large network of contacts and resources accrued over our many years in Alexandria real estate. Comprised of seven Alexandria locals, six of whom are licensed realtors and three of whom are accredited staging professionals, The Patterson Group is passionate and knowledgeable about Alexandria, VA and here for all of your Northern VA real estate needs. Allow us to help you find your home here and discover all that the Alexandria lifestyle has to offer.

400 South Washington Street
Alexandria, VA 22314


1 Comment

  1. Avatar Jacky Sher Raker says:

    Stubbs and Wootton are a best kept secret style must for men! Must be my father’s influence, whose go to favorites are the leopard, velvet martini and the orange suede. So good looking!

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