In my group, Facebook has given this month’s Member of the Month, Annie Tui, a rising star badge. Annie is a new member but she has jumped into the mix with both feet making it feel like she has been around much longer. It’s hard to miss Annie with her striking silver hair and the fabulous outfits she posts.
As I continue to get to know Annie as a group member, I thought it would be nice to get to know her too by featuring her. Check out her answers below.
Location: Washington, D.C.
Q: What do you like most about being a member of Bridgette’s Facebook Group?
A: I think this group is fun, interactive, and friendly! I enjoy being able to connect with others interested in fashion and style.
Q: The biggest benefits you have received from being a Group member
A: I love crowdsourcing! I enjoy getting opinions on outfits and getting assistance when I’m stuck in an accessorizing quandary. I have benefited, not only from the opinions and suggestions of Bridgette and the group members but just the supportive virtual love and high fives as well.
Q: What would you tell women who haven’t joined the Group yet?
A: Did I mention that this is a great group of fun and supportive people?!
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I would describe my style as sophisticated with a swirl of romance and just a smidge of edge. I have always had to be mindful of working with many different cultural and religious backgrounds, so my attire tends to be more conservative (shoulders covered by a third piece, no short skirts, etc). For a while, my attire had become a boring uniform of dark suit, pop of color blouse, or scarf. I have worked to add more feminine touches like a ruffle of softer material, and more color!
A: I honed my sense of style out of necessity when I was working overseas. I needed to make a small wardrobe work hard to adapt to a wide variety of events and social occasions. I leveraged solid basic pieces and added accessories to give it punch. I almost always pair a top and slacks with either a cardigan or blazer – both for style and because I’m always cold! I am also a photographer so I think I discovered my sense of style from behind the lens watching others. My eye naturally gravitated towards colors, shapes, and lines. I then started working with what mother nature gave me and found which of those styles worked both with my body and felt like they complimented my personality as well.
Q: What advice do you have for others trying to find their style?
A: I think when you are really in touch with who you are and how you want to represent yourself, it makes it easier to make choices that represent your most authentic self. If you are truly at a loss, go shopping with a trusted friend and pull clothes for one another. It can be eye-opening to see yourself the way others see you!
Q: What fashion issues are you currently struggling with?
A: I am floating between two sizes right now so I have to check size charts every time I buy pants (my eternal problem). On a deeper level, I am beginning to struggle with my desire to afford to be able to follow trends and enjoy fashion, while being mindful of the issues that fast fashion creates. I am interested in making more clothing choices with sustainability in mind, but I am just in baby steps of exploring what this would mean for me.
Q: What are the most versatile items you have in your closet?
A: Blazers, cardigans, and scarves. They are my perfect trifecta of items that I wear as my third piece. These three items shake up my basic wardrobe and allow me to make several different looks from the same basics. Speaking of accessories, my go-to accessory that hopefully will be out of style soon is face masks. I have a bowl by the door that has over 50 masks in it. I should be able to find a mask to coordinate with any outfit!
A: I didn’t dress with confidence. As I became a mother I didn’t think it mattered how I dressed and I put everyone before myself. When I gained weight I dressed as if I wanted to hide myself. I never thought about how much our clothes say about us before we ever get a chance to say hello. I wish I could go back and tell myself that it’s okay to spend on myself from time to time and nothing looks as good on a person as confidence!
Q: Is there a fashion purchase you made that you found more useful than you thought it would be?
A: I recently purchased a fuchsia blazer. I didn’t think I would wear it often but I find it goes with so much in my closet.
Q: What about a fashion purchase that you thought would solve all your problems, but didn’t?
A: Spanx?! Stirrup pants?! I don’t think I have ever thought any ONE thing would solve my problems, fashion or otherwise. I have jumped on some fashion trends that I thought I could rock only to find out I was mistaken. Most recently I was attracted to a bright floral Gucci dress selling for the incredibly affordable price of $3800. I found a remarkably similar dress for only $38 and was quite proud of myself until my daughters said I looked like Mrs. Frizzle from the Magic School Bus!
Q: How do you envision yourself when you look your best?
A: Sophisticated, confident, feminine, with a touch of sass.
Q: What are your biggest fashion goals for the year?
A: When the pandemic first started, I had time to do some self-reflection and had a time of real personal growth. I feel my inner changes are manifesting themselves externally through cutting my hair short and embracing my grey. This has been liberating and empowering. I want to continue to add pieces to my wardrobe that can complement this edgier hairstyle and freer sense of being. I have worked towards that goal by adding faux leather pants, skirts, and a jacket, along with a python print shirt and booties. It’s a work in progress.
Q: What is the best fashion advice you ever received?
A: I was asked how I wanted to be perceived by others. I generated 4-5 descriptors and I was told to keep those words in mind when shopping in the store or in my closet! Years later I now find most of my clothes are “speaking the same language”. Other nuggets of wisdom have been that everything in my closet should be able to be worn 5 different ways. Another oldie but a goodie is “Love it madly, Need it badly, or don’t buy it!”
Q: The first thing you take off when you get home?
A: Ha! I take everything off and jump into pjs when I get home!!
Q: Favorite color(s) to wear
A: I love bright pops of color such as fuchsia, royal blue, emerald green, deep purple, red, black, and white.
A: When I was overseas I liked to shop at Nordstrom’s because they had good sales and their customer service was incredible. I love Ann Taylor sales. Typically though, I read magazines or articles on current fashion trends and then google images to find similar items.
Q: What makes you happiest?
A: I am happiest when connected to nature. Whether that is my hands buried in the earth in my flower garden, hiking through the forest, or watching the sunrise over the ocean. If I could do those things with my face behind a camera lens and my family beside me, it would be perfection. When I cannot be doing those things, I am happiest when I am helping others become the best versions of themselves.
Q: What inspires you?
A: I am inspired by regular everyday people that work hard and yet still find a way to give back to their community. It takes all of us as a global community to create real change, but that change starts one person and one heart at a time!
Q: Use One Word to Describe Your Style
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