This post is sponsored by Nordstrom. Shop the Anniversary Sale: Next Season on Sale Now. Prices go up August 1.
It gives me great pleasure to introduce my absolutely fabulous 39 year old client and friend, Bei-Jing, who is exceptional in many ways. Bei-Jing holds a Director position at Microsoft and is an engineer by profession. She works full time in a technical environment and frequently travels all over the globe. She also has three beautiful small children, so over the weekend she’s a busy Mum on the go. She is inspirational to say the least.
With a very demanding job and little voices to attend to at home, Bei-Jing has NO spare time. She is able to shop once or twice a season and that’s it. There is little room for error and no time to ponder about returning. We have to make the right decisions the first time round. She relies very heavily on me to make sure that she purchases the right wardrobe items that make her feel spunky, dramatic, powerful and comfortable each day. When Be-Jing lived in China for a while, she even organized time to shop together when business trips took her back to Seattle. That’s how totally in-sync we are about her style and how to evolve it each season.
Microsoft is an ultra casual and male dominated work environment. But this does not stop Bei-Jing from batting for Team Dressy, Team High Contrast, Team Heels and Team Skirt. I can assure you that people take her very seriously in a skirt. She holds a senior position at the company and has proved her worth over and over again. She is extremely confident and capable and that shines through no matter what she wears. In fact, people at Microsoft look forward to seeing what Bei-Jing wears each day, and she has become known as quite the fashionista.
As for many Seattleites, the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is an exciting kick start for Bei-Jing’s Autumn and Winter wardrobe. This year I’m going to take you through some of the items that we chose when we pre-selectected a few weeks ago. Interestingly, Bei-Jing is 5ft 2, but seldom shops in the petites department. Occasionally we have jeans and dresses hemmed, and purchase the odd top in petites, but for the rest it’s regular sized merchandise all the way. Somehow, the proportions in regular fit better.
When Bei-Jing and I de-briefed for a few minutes before pre-selections, she said: “I want that black leather skirt, Angie! But what do I wear with it?”. I replied, “I had my eye on that skirt for you too and it’s easy. Match it up with a soft blouse or sweater and pumps to create a textural contrast. No leather boots, unless they are short booties and preferably in suede”. And here we see the lovely Bei-Jing in a Classiques Entier ‘Brenna’ Lambskin Leather Skirt with an on trend polka dot Pleione Tie Front Sheer Print Blouse. We layered a black camisole under the blouse to prevent grinning, and finished off the look with a broad black belt and red patent Mary Janes. For accessories, all we needed was diamond stud earrings. Bei-Jing also bats for Team Wear and wore this outfit to work a few days after preselections.
It’s obvious that Bei-jing has a very bold style, which is why she adores animal print and quirky accessories. We recently retired a well-used animal print coat from her wardrobe, which made the GUESS Leopard Print Faux Fur Coat the perfect replacement. We both jumped for joy when we found this item because it was so very perfect. Cozy, comfy, warm, retro and theatrical. I can’t think of a better home for this item because I know she’ll wear it with everything. I encouraged Bei-Jing to get the Classiques Entier Cowl Neck Sweater, which she’s wearing under the coat. It’s a flattering basic that will become a wardrobe workhorse. To give the item more punch, we added Cara Accessories Peacock Long Statement Pendant Necklace. Bei-Jing had her eye on it when she received the NAS catalogue and we weren’t going home without it.
With her own straight leg jeans, we finished off the ensemble with the Seychelles ‘Clue’ Bootie because it picked up the colour of the coat. The heels are pretty casual and Bei-Jing doesn’t need to walk around a lot during a work day, so they make a great addition to her wardrobe. Plus the idea of having light coloured Autumn booties makes for a nice change.
I always have to remember that Bei-Jing doesn’t like anything that fights with her bust line. As she puts it, “my boobs need to breathe!”. Enter the Alice + Olivia Wool & Cashmere Sweater, which is very unique in design. It wraps around the neck a few times while the front pieces gently drape like a scarf. All it needs is a layering top and some comfy bottoms and you’re good to go.
Bei-Jing knows I have fussy feet and am very particular about my footwear, which has to go the distance AND look fabulous. When she heard that I bought the black Aquatalia by Marvin K ‘Undy’ Weatherproof Woven Shaft Boot, she had to have them too. As I mentioned last week, they are the best boots at this years sale, being completely weatherproof, impeccably made, super tailored and very comfortable. For wet and cold Seattle, this is a no-brainer item. Bei-Jing can wear them to work with jeans, skirts and dresses, but she can also wear them when mucking about with the kids over the weekend. She even joked that she could sleep in them, they are that comfortable.
I seldom try to limit the number of cover-ups my Seattle clients purchase because of the weather. Same goes for boots and knitwear. We never seem to have enough of them. I had pictured Bei-Jing in the Bebe Wool Blend Bouclé Jacket as soon as I saw it. But although she loved the colour, it was not love at first sight for Bei-Jing. I suggested that she try it on anyway because the cut was hip and her bust line would feel comfortable. Plus it was different to anything that she had, and she could wear it casually over the weekends too. She was smitten as soon as she popped it on. It’s cozy with interesting sleeves and deep pockets — a good thing for a Mum on the go.
Bei-Jing is into wearing necklaces and cocktail rings almost every day. Bracelets tend to bother her when she works at her computer so they are a no go. Kate Spade New York’s Emerald Cut Ring stole her heart because she loves blue. I personally really like combining blues with black and cream so that was the main motivation for this outfit. The bright cocktail ring adds a little fun to the look and makes Bei-Jing smile when she captures a glimpse of it during the day.
I have been working with the gorgeous Bei-Jing for years, season after season, and she is one of my earliest clients. Our closet reviews and shops are fast moving and no-nonsense because time is of the essence. But we also have busloads of fun together, trying new trends and colours while deciding whether we are too old to wear them! There is a lot to admire about Bei-Jing that runs much deeper than fashion and style. But from that point of view, what I appreciate and admire the most is how she bulldozes her environmental norm and enjoys every second of it. Bei-Jing is no stereotypically clothed engineer working in the Tech Industry with three kids at home. She is a highly intelligent and vibrant lady who enjoys expressing herself through her bold and fun style. And I am honoured to be helping her with her wardrobe. Thank you Bei-Jing for being an incredible client and a stylish role model.
Bei-Jing’s NAS items:
- Classiques Entier ‘Brenna’ Lambskin Leather Skirt
- Pleione Tie Front Sheer Print Blouse
- GUESS Leopard Print Faux Fur Coat
- Classiques Entier Cowl Neck Sweater
- Cara Accessories Peacock Long Statement Pendant Necklace
- Alice + Olivia Wool & Cashmere Sweater
- Aquatalia by Marvin K ‘Undy’ Weatherproof Woven Shaft Boot
- Bebe Wool Blend Bouclé Jacket
- Kate Spade New York’s Emerald Cut Ring