Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Flirty Business

Freshionable's online boutique offers stylish workwear


Your worst nightmare finally came true.

You and two other coworkers pulled a Brenda and Kelly by wearing the same blouse. Sure, you laughed about being "twinsies." Posed for a Facebook photo. Then you spent the rest of the day contemplating an emergency run to the mall.

  Cao-Wu's pick: Izavel Emilie button-down shirt, $205.

Which is really how you got into this mess in the first place. So...

Turn to your computer instead and log onto Freshionable, a virtual marketplace for stylish workwear run by new Honolulu resident Jenny Cao-Wu, a Harvard graduate who lived that exact moment while working a strategy consulting job in Boston.

Forget mass-produced pieces. The 25-year-old stocks her shop with local designers like Allison Izu, UMEE, 19th & Whimsy, and H&K Handbags. She also travels, scours the Internet, and follows online runway shows to bring in emerging independent mainland labels like Dallas-based Izavel, lauded for elevating classic silhouettes with modern twists and impeccable tailoring - think a printed, origami-style pleated vest with baby blue sash, or a razor sharp button-down with slashed sleeves.

The site is shoppable by occasion (work, formal, day to night and casual) with a budget-friendly section for items under $100 and a spring lookbook touting fully styled Monday-Friday ensembles. A separate page allows you to search by state, though the list encompasses designers past and present (our suggestion: mark the ones with items currently on sale for easy browsing).

We can't think of a better way to mix business with pleasure.

Shop Freshionable here. Meet Cao-Wu and get day-to-night styling tips at the VersaStyle Fashion & Styling Event, Sunday, April 28, 2-6 p.m. at Collins & 8th, 560 Pensacola St., Suite 105. Bring used paper shopping bags for Dress for Success Honolulu to score 10 percent off select items from Andy South, Allison Izu, UMEE, 19th & Whimsy, and more. Click here for details.

Posted on Wednesday, April 17, 2013 in Permalink

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About Lei Chic

Lei Chic is a daily email and shopping blog that plugs you into Hawaii's newest and hottest boutiques, designers, trends, spas and salons, and more. You'll also discover all the cool events, dinners and sales happening around town in our Weekend Picks every Thursday. With Lei Chic, you'll get the inside scoop on what everyone will be talking about tomorrow – in your inbox today.

Lei Chic associate editor Natalie Schack has been a cultural anthropology student,museum worker bee and dabbler in graphic design. When she isn't scouting new fashion, compiling to-do lists or crafting puns, Natalie spends her free time dreaming up elaborate picnic ideas; "researching" via YouTube tutorials, blogs and Instagram; and dusting off her pith helmet for the next adventure life throws her way.

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