Seen On The Street
Describe your professional style. What kind of “look” do you like to project?
Instead of aiming to project a certain “look”, one’s aura says more about a person than anything else. The inner projection of self shows in one’s external look and style. That said, my professional style and the way I look tend to be similar, though it has changed drastically over the years; nowadays, I focus on being responsible and conscientious. But my personal style is slightly different: I like to be adventurous, positive, kind and loving. That combination is what makes my look unique.
How has your New York style fared in Hong Kong? Do women dress differently there?
Leaving New York and coming back to visit made me appreciate that great city more, and I’ve realized that a big part of what I miss is New York fashion. The way women dress in New York has more freedom — their clothes are colorful, fun and sexy, yet professional. Once they take off their professional attire, let’s say a jacket, they are wearing nightlifeready clothing inside, (maybe) a pretty cocktail dress. It’s a bit more formal in Asia — style in Hong Kong is influenced by the U.K., where black, dark blue and gray are very common for professionals.
What are some of your favorite pieces to wear to work, especially for fall?
Tights and knee-high boots (have to stay warm!).
You get your suits tailor-made in Hong Kong. Tell us a bit about that process — it’s such a glamorous alternative compared with buying off-the-rack!
Hong Kong tailors are known as some of the best in the world. They are precise, fast, and, for bespoke suits, betterpriced. I thought the only time I’d get something tailor-made was for my wedding, but then I thought, ‘Why not get something I wear five days a week fitted to my exact size?’ The bespoke suits are comfortable and, best of all, made for one’s figure. That’s important for creating the most professional look.
You travel a lot. What are some key items in your bag?
Ah — bug spray…? I get bitten a lot wherever I go! Sadly, all I need is my iPhone — I can read, learn a new language, go running, take an amazing picture, and create a cooking recipe. When traveling, what more does anyone need?
What style advice do you have for women starting out in finance?
How should they carry themselves? When I started out as a receptionist, I didn’t have a lot of money to buy nice clothes. In hindsight, I wish I’d bought one good inexpensive suit and wore it every day instead of spending it on other things, especially with the little I had. When you’re starting out, it doesn’t matter what your position is, what matters is projecting who you are on the inside.
The best investment today is a handbag beginning and upwards of $10k (to the most expensive $432K).
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