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Expert Series: Meet Dressing The Woman and unlock your authentic personal style

Expert Series: Meet Dressing The Woman and unlock your authentic personal style

In this Expert series, meet Nic & Deb, the founders of multi service styling brand Dressing The Woman. They'll be sharing more about themselves, what "Dressing The Women" is all about, and giving us the best styling tips for this summer and the seasons ahead! So exciting to learn more about them and their way of styling.

Nic was born and raised in the U.S.; she spent the early years of her career in San Francisco, working in advertising and then in the retail and tech industries.
She and her husband both had fulfilling corporate careers back in the US, but they shared the dream of living and working outside of the US at some point in their lives. They agreed that whoever got the opportunity offered to go abroad first would mean that the other spouse would have to quit his or her career and start over. And in 2015, that opportunity came via her husband’s job, which brought them to Hong Kong. After taking some time to settle in and network in Hong Kong, Nic then joined HSBC as head of Digital Channel for several years.

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Deb was born in Hong Kong and raised in Canada. Her background is in the classical performing arts. She went to school in New York for musical theatre and dance and started her career as a stage actor there. She then moved into acting in film and television, also in North America. She also has a culinary background and a passion for food, having worked as a private chef and caterer. She came (back) to Hong Kong on a leap of faith, her partner and I were looking to make a life change and we always knew HK was a place of opportunity. Shortly after coming to HK, her 2 passions collided, and she became a TV chef and presenter for Asian Food Network. (An English language cable channel broadcast Asia-wide.)
Nic and Deb met in 2016 when Deb was the MC of a festival called Taste of Hong Kong. A few other mutual friends introduced them at the festival, and the rest is history!
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How we started Dressing The Woman:

During the pandemic, Nic started an IG page called Dressing The Woman to share Outfit of the Day content, mostly as a creative outlet to balance the corporate life she was leading. Several months later, during one of their night’s out, Nic and Deb realized their common and powerful connection to personal style and decided to join forces to launch a style coaching business off of the IG page. It was quite seamless and easy to start given their shared values and vision for what they wanted to bring to the world through style.

What does style and fashion mean to you?

Style and fashion gives you a visual tool to tell the world who you are. It’s another method of storytelling that can convey what you value, where you’ve been and who you are becoming. We love that a person with authentic personal style has the power to communicate all that and more as they move through the world.

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Please share more about your styling method from within and what the Kibbe system is?

The Kibbe Method is a system of classification developed by style industry leader David Kibbe in the 1980s. It features 5 distinct “Essence Types” with sub-types, making up a total of 13 essences that fall on a spectrum of Yin and Yang. Identifying a person’s Kibbe essence means considering both their tangible and intangible traits, such as their bone structure and bodily frame, (angular, lush, athletic, delicate) and their overall energy (refined, bubbly, intense, relaxed, sensual, etc.) Each Kibbe essence type has corresponding style principles that amplify and highlight a person’s unique essence. There’s also education on types of clothing that may hide or fight certain essences.

We connect with this system because it provides a vocabulary to what people often already see and feel, and when you’re able to articulate quite literally ‘who you are’ you develop a better understanding of yourself, and how you uniquely take up space in the world; from there you’ll be able to choose your clothing from a place of intent and empowerment.

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Why is personal style important? 

If you view appearance and style as a direct extension of who you are, a harmony of inside and out— it will impact your outlook on life. Think of what a simple swipe of lipstick and a fresh haircut will do for someone’s confidence. When someone is in clothing that feels like “them” – their energy changes, they shine. When someone accepts and celebrates their authentic self, it reverberates outward and inspires others to embrace themselves too.

 What does sustainable fashion mean to you?

We believe sustainable fashion means dressing and acquiring with intention -- which means knowing yourself so well that you make confident and meaningful choices about what to bring in to your wardrobe. When you dress for what harmonizes authentically with who you are, you won’t be drawn as much to momentary trends. You’ll instead be drawn to pieces that are an embodiment of your essence (those pieces that you instinctively reach for again and again), which will live in your wardrobe for years.

Shop the best women sustainable fashion and women linen dresses online in Hong Kong and Singapore.Can styling help you to be a more conscious consumer and have a more sustainable wardrobe? 

Yes, “styling” is the art of the detail and knowing how to make intentional tweaks to what you are wearing to make it your own or to impart a desired feeling. So when you see someone who has a cool outfit on, pay attention to the details first versus the actual item to see what you like about it. Is it how it’s accessorised? Is it how they’ve rolled a cuff, or how they’ve paired a certain type of shoe with the trouser? Oftentimes, you can breathe new life in to your existing wardrobe by just making some small tweaks to how you put together your pieces.   

We actually don’t call out or link specific designers or pieces in our content when we do a “what we wore” reel – because it’s more about the details of why something works that we are showing versus what are the actual brands/items. We don’t really want to encourage buying a specific piece – but rather have our clients understand what they are responding to in the feeling of the look and how to bring that to their own wardrobe.

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 What are your pro tips for improving your style? 

Understand and embrace your tangible and intangible assets and truly own them! And then understand what style principles bring out and enhance those assets. Are you more in harmony with silhouettes that are tailored versus relaxed. Do you come to life with sharpness and angles, or are you more in harmony with softness and organic details. Great style exudes authenticity and confidence, so the more you work on the inner understanding, the more you will shine outwardly.

 What are must-haves and big no’s for a stylish wardrobe? 

Must haves: A white button down shirt, but pay attention to the details. Length, fit (i.e.: darted to the body versus oversized), collar shape, sleeve shape and cuff, etc. make a big difference in if a shirt is harmonious to your essence or not. The white shirt is also the perfect canvas for showcasing your jewellery, where you can really express your personal style.

 Nos: Anything that feels like it fights other pieces in your wardrobe. If it’s a challenge when you try to put it in to a real-life outfit, it’s probably not something that’s harmonious to you.

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What fashion pieces would you suggest to invest? 

Handbags and Jewellery. We also love to think about your investment pieces as having a story of their own. How did each of these pieces come to be a part of your wardrobe? Did you find that handbag in a vintage shop while travelling? Did you buy yourself that watch when you got a promotion? Those stories also become part of your authentic style.

 

I loved the Expert series and learned a lot about the Kibbe system and styling tips. Check out Dressing the Woman for more info and their services, and follow them on IG for quick tips.

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