Thursday, September 18, 2014

Style Inspiration: Diane G., New York

I am so excited to share that I am starting a new section here in the blog, called Style Inspiration.

I often talk about my personal style philosophies here at MFO, but I figured, it would be infinitely more interesting to feature stylish girls and how they found their personal style. Finding our own style is a process, and I hope that this series will not only teach us a thing or ten about how to put together an outfit and where to shop, but also to discover how to dress according to our taste, budget and lifestyle.

I am starting off the series with my friend Diane, who I met in New York many years ago. I've always loved Diane's classic, effortless style, both for work and on weekends. With more casual dress codes for work, many have forgotten what corporate dressing should be like, and I find that there's plenty of inspiration to learn from Diane, who expertly balances feminine & chic with sharp and work-appropriate when it comes to business dressing. For more on how to dress for work, read this Business Insider article too!

What is a day in your life like? How do you spend your weekends?

On most weekdays, I wake up at 6 am. Hit the gym to do a spinning or cardio class. I go back home and get ready while Adrian follows me around.

I'm very focused when I'm at work and typically get home in time for dinner. I feed Adrian, bathe him, play a little, read to him and put him to sleep.

Dwayne and I have Friday every week set for our "date night", simple dinner, happy hour with friends.
Diane and her husband Dwayne

On most weekends, we are completely yaya-free. During the spring and summer, if we are not out of town, we typically spend our weekends in Central Park.

a shot of Poet's Walk at Central Park, from Diane's Instagram account

We go to brunch, have playdates, and invite friends and family over on occasion. We try to make the most out of our weekends and do a lot of day trips.

How would you best describe your style? Why does it work for you? 

Very simple and classic I guess. I usually don't like to spend too much time thinking about what I'm going to wear so I keep my wardrobe very simple.

I know the cuts and silhouettes that suit me and I am most comfortable in dark, neutral shades. I definitely accessorize to make an outfit look and feel a little different, whether with a statement necklace, a pretty belt, dramatic earrings (but still work appropriate) or a great pair of shoes.

It works for me because I am comfortable and confident in whatever I'm wearing and I minimize the risk of putting on an outfit that I don't love because I just keep the ones that I know works and makes me look and feel good about myself.

I really believe that what you wear is a way of expressing yourself so you need to make sure that you are projecting the image you want to project. Since I work in a male-dominated industry, I am always conscious about dressing appropriately and making sure I look sharp and ready to get down to business but I still love to dress up and I refuse to wear a suit everyday so i find ways to play around with my little black dress and still show my style and personality.

I do some travel for work and I do I need outfits that work from day-to-night. Keeping a simple wardrobe with outfits that I can wear in meetings and still wear out to an event or dinner work best for me.

How has your style evolved and how did you know you've finally found your trademark style? 

I used to like being adventurous with colors and prints. I still have a few pieces in my wardrobe that are probably a little more "out there" for me but through the years I've built a wardrobe with key pieces I wear year in and year out.

Sometimes if I find a really good piece, I buy it in various colors, which ends up being just dark, black, or nudes. Not really sure when I found my trademark style but I've noticed that I don't make purchases I regret as often as I used to before.

These days I just get items that I know for sure I will put to good use and don't end up just using once and storing.

What are your wardrobe essentials?

Little black dress (I have too many), a nice fitting white T-shirt and polo shirt, black, navy, khaki, gray blazer, and pencil skirts in the same colors.

Diane in a work appropriate jacket that also "works" on weekend trips

I love my chambrays and also can't live without my jeans, flats for the weekends, and trusty pumps for work.

Where do you shop? 

Anthropologie, American Apparel, Pookie and Sebastian, Zara, Urban Outfitters, Uniqlo, H&M, J.Crew, Banana Republic.

Best style advice you've ever received and what advice would you give to those who want to nail her own personal style? 

Trends fade. Wear what you personally feel most comfortable and confident in.

What would your advice be to someone who wants to build her closet but is on a budget?

Start with a few essential pieces (essential would depend on what you do, what industry you're in) and make sure to invest in good quality pieces that you can wear for while.

Incidentally, Diane's love for out of town trips on weekends has prompted her and her husband Dwayne to put up the weekend travel site,, which equips users with information, tips and tools tailored for weekend travel by helping them explore activities, places, and events within their local area.

For you dear readers based in New York or the East Coast, Discoverue is something you'd want to learn more about!

Where did the inspiration for Discoverue come from?

The idea of Discoverue came about when I was still working in finance.

I was really devoted to my job and my schedule was impossible to plan around. Dwayne and I would book trips ahead of time but end up canceling them since something always came up at work. It was so frustrating that we gave up planning trips.

Then unexpectedly, a weekend would come and I find myself free. Dwayne and I would want to go somewhere but found it difficult to find options.

We were certain there were a number of interesting things to do and places to explore close by but had little clue where to look. That's why we started Discoverue.

What makes Discoverue special?

Discoverue presents users with options based on real time prices and availability from our partners Expedia,, and

We only show trip options that are rated 3.5 stars or higher by Trip Advisor, further saving users time spent on research and the trip planning processs. Users can filter by distance, budget, what they're in the mood for.

We also curate and feature original content on weekend trip ideas.

Is it NY-centric?

We are launching the NYC edition first and have plans to expand to other Northeast U.S. cities.

For more on Discoverue, visit

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