Posted on January 14 2019
Welcome to the first installment of Project|Style - a blog series that documents workwear styles and tips from different women. This is a first version of the template, so drop us a note with what you think of it and what else you want to know! We've got a great lineup of women over the next few weeks. Stay tuned!
First up, is our Founder & CEO, Quynh. Enjoy!
🖤 Project 925 Team
Note: Photo placeholder for you early readers. I'll replace this when I get a professional looking photo.
What is your '925'?
Founder & CEO of Project 925. In my former life, I was a management consultant at Bain & Company and Accenture.
What is your work dress code?
Currently, TBD, but I’ll focus on business casual since that’s what I spent a majority of my professional career in.
Where do you get your daily dose of happiness?
Home. I have an amazing husband, Vince, and a cuddly one-eyed cat-dog, Asher, who make me feel like I live in bubble of love.
Workwear Style Tips
What is your personal style?
Experimental. I don’t commit to one look and have an appreciation for all styles, so I’ll go from normcore in mom jeans to edgy rocker wannabe in a leather jacket. It really depends on my mood and the vibe I want/need to give.
How do you adapt it for the workplace?
In the past, a lot of my workwear choices were based on the vibe I thought I needed to give. To elaborate, I’m a 5’2” asian female and I look very young for my age, especially when I don’t wear makeup, which I don’t like nor have the energy to put on. I still get asked if I’m in high school and I’m in my early 30’s. So, I stuck with the uniform (slacks, button downs, conservative blouses, cardigans) because I didn’t have the confidence to break away from the mold, especially before I had built credibility with clients. I’m not saying that’s required, but for me personally, dressing safe helped me develop some confidence in those settings because I knew that what I was wearing was not distracting from what I was doing. As I built more credibility and self-confidence, I started introducing more of my personal style and felt even more confident in my own skin. I didn’t completely go off the edge and wear ripped jeans and vintage rocker T’s, but I started wearing blazers with non-traditional silhouettes, skinnier pants, and black booties with an edgier heel or platform. I chose workbags that weren’t the traditional tote and splurged on a great Rebecca Minkoff workbag with subtle "rocker" studs.
What do you look for in workwear?
(1) It has to feel like me - I stopped buying things that I thought I needed to wear vs. wanted to wear. There are too many appropriate options out there to settle.
(2) It has to be easy to care for - As much as I tell myself I’ll send it to the dry cleaner or iron it, I won’t. I have bags full of pieces to dry-clean and a closet full of amazing blouses I need to iron. I wear none of them.
What workwear pieces would you invest in?
Coats. My mom bought me my first work coat from DKNY when I started my first job out of college. It was a classic black wool coat with a detachable hood and a high collar. I remember hesitating quite a bit because it was around $150 (on sale) but still very expensive in my eyes for one piece of clothing. I still wear that coat today and it's held up through many harsh winters (we're talking Chicago harsh). Every season, I'll pick up a "fun" coat that's a little more trendy - but I always have that staple for obvious sentimental and functional reasons.
What workwear pieces do you change up more frequently?
Blouses and dresses.
What’s your #1 tip for looking and feeling good when you are exhausted or have little time to get ready?
Wear a blazer. For some reason, the structure and collar of a blazer makes me feel so polished, even if I’m running on fumes.
What is your favorite trend right now and how do you make it work appropriate?
Animal prints. This trend comes and goes and I’ve fallen for it every time. You can make it work appropriate a couple of different ways - (1) in the details like the A-line Dress with Animal Print (2) in a neutral tone (3) on a blouse underneath a blazer or sweater.
What’s your favorite Project 925 piece?
Loose V-Neck. What can I say? It goes with everything, has a silky shine, and doesn't require ironing. Tuck it in or leave it out, pair it with skirts or pants, under a blazer or on its own.