Last Wednesday, I was tapped as a speaker for @Work: Style Your Success Panel Series, put together by LinkedIn, J.Crew, and WeWork.
The intention behind the series is to have inspiring professionals talk about their definition of success and what they’re in it for—basically, what motivates these professionals to wake up and willingly deal with the hustle every day?
Of course, there was zero hesitation on my part about joining the panel. If my blog name doesn’t clue you in, well, I have to say, The Ambitionista is all about redefining style and success for women—which is a perfect fit for the panel series. But before I was the Blogger-in-Chief at The Ambitionista, I was a high powered banker slaving away in the corner office of a company in Tokyo.
In between analyzing numbers and crunching data, I would look up from my work to watch Tokyo’s most fashionable individuals strolling outside of my window. And I can tell you that despite all outward appearances of being ‘successful’, I knew I was just going through the motions and the thought that this could be all that I did for the next 10 years, was unbearable.
So I made that decision—after a lot of research and preparation – I resigned from my high-profile job and toppled back to square one, this time as a fashion writer. It was hard, of course, but no success ever comes without its challenges and risks. I had to take writing classes, cut down on expenses and network like crazy. Nearly a decade later, it all paid off. And suffice it to say that, even if I don’t hold that corner office in Tokyo anymore, I feel immensely successful in what I do. The thing is, a recent study from LinkedIn shows that success isn’t synonymous with sitting pretty in the corner office anymore. Professionals now have other standards for success: there’s having a flexible schedule as opposed to a high salary, having multiple skill sets as opposed to one professional title, and moonlighting on top of a 9 to 5 job, to name some key motivators. And often, the ability to connect and give back to one’s community is also seen as a key barometer to success.
The takeaway is, people are equating success to a position where they’re truly happy and inspired to perform at their best.
So if people are setting out to carve their own definition of success, then it’s a better time now more than ever for you to take the reins. Here are some key things to keep in mind so you can set yourself up for success.
Ask yourself, what do you really want? Don’t ask your parents, your friends, or your partner for an answer—because that would be making it their goal, and not yours. Figure out what YOU want, and do it.
Capitalize on the things you are talented or knowledgeable at, and own your flaws—everybody has them. Best thing you can do is to look for ways to continuously improve yourself.
It’s incredibly valuable to have people who will carry you through those days when nothing is going right—and there will be many of those!
Success should not be measured in dollars and cents. Appreciate the journey, failures included. Make the best out of the time with your partner, family, or close friends. And don’t forget to give back in some small way—maybe volunteer at a soup kitchen or be vocal about a cause you believe in. All these keep lives in check. Because ultimately, everyone can agree—happiness and fulfillment is a form of success.
If this sounds something you’re interested in, join the conversation by sounding off on social about what you’re in it for—and don’t forget to use the hashtags #InItTogether and #StyleYourSuccess.
I’d like to thank LinkedIn for sponsoring this post, and thank you to LinkedIn, J.Crew and WeWork for putting together such a game-changing panel series.
I was speaking with Saeed Jabar, who cut his teeth working with Gary Vaynerchuck and now is the Executive Director with Inclusion.org.
The #StyleYourSuccess event was held at J.Crew’s 5th Avenue store. Aren’t these earrings beautiful?
On my right – the effervescent moderator Ashley Levey – Consumer Editorial Marketing Lead at Linkedin.
In the midst of an exhausting and sleepless New York Fashion Week, Tadashi Shoji’s SS 2018 collection was definitely a breath of fresh air. I’ve always known Tadashi Shoji for regal evening dresses meant for the red carpet but this time around, he treated the audience to a collection that can get one California dreamin’.
Influenced by the laid-back West Coast, Tadashi Shoji rolled out playful and delicate dresses made for the free-spirited gal. Frankly speaking, they look like dresses I would love to kick my work stilettos off for and slip into for a vacation. Maybe I would leave my desk for these dresses…who knows!
The flowy silhouettes are gorgeous, to say the least. They’re the kind of dresses that bring some swinging action down the street, if not a shoreline.
Gemstone and golden colors dominated the collection, painted across frocks in beach umbrella-inspired stripes, jacquard florals, and luxurious lace work. Living in Los Angeles, I have to say that Southern California’s colors and textures influence my wardrobe and bring it the life it needs. It’s never tiring to draw inspiration from So-Cal. Always vibrant, never drab.
For the show, I wore Tadashi Shoji’s Bazile Tea-Length Dress and it is as breathable and flowy as it looks—I may or may not have twirled in this dress a little too much. Love that it can go from the office to a night out, too. Styled with a coat, boots, bold pink clutch and sunnies and I was good to go.
West Coast Represent! And wearing Tadashi Shoji.
Some other details—Louis Vuitton envelope clutch and Durrah Jewelry “Spring” rings.
Another gorgeous Tadashi Shoji number is this Camila Tea-Length Dress, which I wore to the Bazaar Icons party. Love this. The lace trimmings and sheer fabric look like it’s a lot of work to wear but I was able to move and mingle around just comfortably—thanks to the jersey lining underneath.
Arriving at the #BazaarIcons party.
Put on red ankle-strap heels for an extra chic finish.
Glam rock chick essentials: Tadashi Shoji Camilla Tea-Length dress and snazzy electric guitars in the background.
Posing with Natalie Lim Suarez (of Natalie Off Duty) and Jessica Wang (Not Jess Fashion)
Jared Leto still managed to look better than me and my pretty get-up though, LOL.
Here’s to the next NYFW.
When my dear friend Catherine asked me if I wanted to join her #BridgingTheGap campaign, I was intrigued. You see—my birthday is coming up really soon and even though for me age is a non-issue, I realize that for a lot of women and brands, it is.
This is something that I had the pleasure of talking about with Lee Woodruff, a journalist whose wise words I could listen to all day. Lee is the co-founder of Bob Woodruff Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting injured men and women in service. The idea for the foundation emerged after her husband, television journalist Bob Woodruff, sustained a brain injury while covering a war in Iraq.
Lee is my partner for #BridgingTheGap – and I am delighted to feature her on TheAmbitionista.com.
Clearly, she has seen and been through a lot. Still, she demonstrates an easy confidence that would never have made you guess her back story.
On top of that, Lee is a New York Times bestselling author of three books. Three! I need lessons from this incredible lady!
Source: News OK
As someone who’s got a very keen sense of herself, Lee doesn’t like to be put in a box at all. Then again, when you’re someone who plays multiple roles: writer, speaker, media trainer, co-founder, mother, and wife, it is hard to sum yourself up in one number or inaccurate stereotype.
Personally, I’m in awe of all that Lee has accomplished. How does she do it all? I mean, I’m right here, trying to put my life together, running off to appointments and events, but also stalking cats on Instagram in between…!
Lee likes to joke about her sartorial choices. Her outfits are pretty much what she would have worn a decade ago, except now, she wears more tailored and classy versions. But to tell you the truth, I think she’s more comfortable in her own skin than anyone else I’ve ever met. And style is always about what feels cozy and true to your tastes—not necessarily what’s on trend.
Which brings us to Lee’s favorite wardrobe pieces: denim and long sleeves. Being in her fierce 50’s, she claims that “her arms are not as toned no matter how hard she works out”, so longer sleeves are preferred. I know a lot of women share this sentiment, and frankly speaking, it’s not just women in midlife. I come from a more conservative background and in a lot of situations, more coverage is needed. So designers—pretty please design more gorgeous clothes with sleeves!
Finding common ground like this is exactly what made Lee and I realize how designers have sort of boxed us into rigid categories, age, size, and ethnicity included. But just because women are past the age of 40 doesn’t really mean they’re not as fashion-conscious anymore.
Everyone has style—it’s just a matter of providing more options.
PS: If you want to see who else is part of #BridgingTheGap – head over to Catherine’s blog
This is a guest blog post by Katie William
Summer is finally drawing to a close. It’s about time for what many consider to be the year’s coziest and most inviting season – when the weather cools off but creature comforts emerge, and we all settle into a sort of pre-holiday season contentment. Or at least, that’s how I think of it! I also always love to see the fall styles emerging in look books and on internet blogs. There’s just a little more that can be done with styles for the cooler seasons, so it’s nice to see what’s new with each coming year.
I could never get to tall the exciting looks we’re seeing for 2017, but here are a few trends to watch for.
Fringe is the kind of trend that circles back around now and then. Indeed, it was just a few years ago that during the spring one style site noted that celebrities were binging on fringe– and perhaps that’s what’s brought this fun little clothing quirk back around for the fall of 2017. Sometimes it takes a little time for a celebrity or runway style to truly trickle down to more mainstream stores and outlets. At any rate, on dresses, jackets, skirts, and most anything else you’d like, fringe is in this season. It’s always a nice way to strike a carefree look without losing any sense of elegance.
This might be my favorite trend in five years. Unfortunately it’s a little bit difficult to discuss because it appears to cover a huge range of looks, but suffice it to say bedroom-inspired fashion (at least, the appropriate kind) is making its way to the streets this autumn. That can mean silky-looking, matching top-and-bottom sets, open blouses tied by sashes, and even robe-like coats for cooler days. Pajamas basically exist to keep us comfortable, and using pajama inspiration for everyday looks extends that comfort to entire days out of the house.
That’s right! We may expect to revisit 2016, when a certain politician named Hillary Clinton popularized the pantsuit in ways we never really could have predicted. Let us not forget, Clinton was once thought of as such a shoe-in for the presidency that bookmakers announced her as the next Commander-in-Chief, and many of her followers delighted in imitating her signature fashion sense. Now, several fashion blogs and even Marie Claire have highlighted the possible emergence of pantsuits during the fall season – though we’re mostly seeing slightly more stylish and less businesslike versions of the attire.
This isn’t my term, but it’s a hard trend to describe in a way, so I’m borrowing it from Glamour’s rundown of six fall fashion trends to shop. The idea is basically to present an autumn-inspired version of the light and playful floral patterns we so often see in the spring. This means darker tones and, as they put it, a “moody” overall look, though you don’t want to go so far as to be glum. Some of the looks there, including dresses with dimmer coloring and little bright spots of blossoms, display the idea perfectly.
I’ll finish up with a trend that sounds a little bit bland on the surface. Even the name itself is dull: plaid. But plaids in autumn tones are always comforting in their own way, and the pattern can go on most any article of clothing you like. Plaid tops, skirts, and sweaters in particular have been on display in fall look books, and you might also consider combining this look with the aforementioned PJ trend. Does it get much cozier-looking than that?
I have always hated multi-step fussiness when it comes to skincare.
So when the good folks at La Prairie recently sent me some products to try and told me that its a multi-functional wonder I got excited. Introducing the the La Prairie Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Transforming Cream SPF 30, which is an Awesome 3-in-1 Product:
It’s an oil-free product that has SPF 30 sun protection, moisturizes and brightens. It comes with an adorable brush that helps you put it on easily (although I have to say I’ve always liked using my fingers and find that using my digits gives the same result.)
The product comes in a very luxurious bottle and feels absolutely great on my face. And best of all I save so much time – all I need to do is put on some mascara, blusher and lipstick and I’m ready for the door!
If you find that your skin is a bit on the oily side like mine, brushing on some powder before heading out the door and throughout the door would help get the shine monster at bay.
I am wearing the La Prairie Transforming 3-in-1 tinted moisturizer on my face.
My dress is by Worth New York.
It’s that time of the year that’s not too hot nor too cold- Spring – Summer 2016 is finally here! And what better way to celebrate the season than to bask under the sun in the hottest trends there is– a definite favorite for a busy girl like me: RESORT WEAR. Wanderlust is never a crime and I can’t wait to get my hands on these perfect vacation outfits.
Dress, Shoes & Bag by Thomas Wylde
As featured on CVLUX Magazine
Having a signature look is what defines you, It represents your own personal style and It is the best start for your fun style journey.
Being unique doesn’t mean you have to be bold and different in every way. Unique means that you’ll be able to stand out, let’s put it this way you’re at a tea party and when you entered the room a lady from the corner table is also wearing the same turquoise skirt that you have on. How do you stand out girl?
Make sure that whatever clothes you’re going to buy fits you perfectly, it hugs your body on right places
Consider the fabric and texture, find clothes that will flow and accentuate your features
Accessorize! Accessorize! To help the outfit stand out find the right accessories to match your dress, but remember less is more. Too much component can make you look like a chandelier.
Make up, it is not required to wear it every day or whenever you go out even a natural look can be your signature, you just have to check your face and skin, pamper yourself once in a while to freshen up and to wake up your inner glow. If ever you have to put on make-up, yes definitely it is fine but then again ladies LESS IS MORE you wouldn’t want to look like a clown or even a zombie with those beauty products that you put on, the key is find your asset, if it is your eyes, focus on making them pop up, if it is your lips make that as a highlight on your face.
This beautiful tea time garden setting was taken at The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur
Photography by Mandy Aileen | Gorgeous Pink Gown Designed by FIZIWOO
Makeup by Anna Sherie