Style

A Week of Outfits: Alexis Cheung

A Week of Outfits: Alexis Cheung

As a flip-flop-wearing teenager in Hawaii, freelance writer Alexis Cheung would pore over fashion magazines, daydreaming about what she’d wear in a climate with four distinct seasons. Now, after living in New York for eight years, her style has evolved into something more urban, but it still has the laid-back feeling of her home state. Here, she shows us five fun outfits and reveals her bargain shopping tips…

A Week of Outfits: Alexis Cheung

Denim jacket: Topshop. Top: Apiece Apart, similar. Pants: Caron Callahan. Shoes: Maryam Nassir Zadeh.

“My style is pretty minimal, and I’m always going through my closet and editing things down. I love the idea of owning just a few things that I wear all the time. My dad always had the same methodical morning routine and outfit. He wore oxford shirts, which was unusual in Hawaii. I always thought it was a little boring, but as I’ve gotten older, I think having a uniform is the ultimate expression of yourself. I’m most drawn to trousers and monochromatic outfits. I will say, though, if you wear all white, invest in some OxiClean. I just spilled coffee on these white pants! I think anyone can pull off all-white outfits, as long as they know how to clean them.”

A Week of Outfits: Alexis Cheung

Shirt: Elizabeth Suzann. Leather skirt: Thrifted, similar. Sweatshirt: Fruit of the Loom. Shoes: Maryam Nassir Zadeh.

“I try to never pay full price — I get lot of things at sample sales. I’ll usually find out about them on Racked or Instagram, and I go alone. I’ve heard horror stories about people clambering over each other for a pair of shoes at sample sales but in my experience everyone is always really friendly. I guess solidarity comes easily when you’re basically naked and changing in front of other women! Before I buy something, even if it’s 90 percent off, I make sure I truly love it and I remind myself that it still costs money. I’ll make a mental inventory of everything I could pair it with. These shoes were from a sample sale. A strap was missing from one of them but the shop girls kindly let me switch it out for a different one. If you look closely, you’ll see the strap doesn’t quite match the shoe’s color.”

A Week of Outfits: Alexis Cheung

Dress: Uniqlo x Lemaireh, similar. Boots: Everlane.

“I always strive for a casualness that is rooted in my Hawaiian upbringing. I didn’t even own a pair of close-toed shoes before I moved to New York. Wearing heels was just not practical or a part of the Hawaiian dress code. I still don’t have that many pairs of shoes — probably fewer than 10 — and you’ll never see me in crazy uncomfortable heels. I love wandering around New York and being anonymous sometimes, so I only buy shoes that I can walk in comfortably for a long time. These boots are my highest.”

A Week of Outfits: Alexis Cheung

Blazer: Vintage, similar. Linen shirt: Madewell, similar. Jeans: Levi’s 501. Sneakers: Converse.

“I am obsessed with blazers, which I think started when I stole my mom’s tuxedo jacket in high school. When I go thrifting I always look for cashmere sweaters and blazers. The key is to get them a bit oversized; I like things to be a little slouchy, never too done. If I’m wearing a more body-conscious dress, I’ll balance it out with an oversized blazer. My best friend rolls her eyes anytime I ask if I should wear a blazer because I’m always wearing one. Funnily enough, she and I often show up wearing the same look — if not the exact same item of clothing — completely unplanned. It’s nice; my style has always been about dressing like women I’d like to be, and the fact that that’s my friends more and more is really sweet.”

A Week of Outfits: Alexis Cheung

Overlay jumpsuit: Up Down Across. Bandana: Madewell. Bag: Clare V. Shoes: Everlane.

“I love jumpsuits because they’re so easy. It’s like a base layer that you can dress up or down, plus it’s an all-day outfit. You can wear one to work with flat shoes and then quickly change into heels. I stick with simpler jumpsuits, which let me have more freedom with accessories. I love scarves. When my grandma passed away she left a ton of scarves, and I’ve always used them. I don’t wear a lot of color, but scarves are an easy way to add color to an outfit without being super bold.”

Thank you so much, Alexis! Your style is awesome.

P.S. More outfits we’d love to copy including a color enthusiast and a chic tomboy.

(Photos by Christine Han for Cup of Jo. Interview by Megan Cahn.)

  1. Ali says...

    Ummmmmm I am so horrified – I have been writing ‘pour over’ instead of ‘pore over’ my entire life! How embarassing! ;)

    Lovely outfits x

    • I just read this, and was surprised it was pore over. Now I am equally horrified. :)

  2. Jill says...

    She’s gorgeous and stylish. I love it. Jo, may I make a request? Could you feature some people of varying weights in this series? As a plump chica, I would have trouble pulling off a lot of the looks featured in the uniforms. I’d love more ideas of things that would suit me. I also can’t wear jeans to work! Help!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      for sure, thank you, jill!

  3. Thank you for this post, AND the one about what you like about yourself. This blog is wonderful <3 <3 <3 Norwegian love headed your way

  4. Callie says...

    I admire her style and her attitude. Cup of Jo always does such a great job with featuring thoughtful, women-positive women! Loved her comment about how she aspires to dress like women she’d like to be, including her friends. I feel the same!

  5. Lisa says...

    The white pants in the second outfit are Jesse Kamm.

  6. Her style is completely up my alley!

  7. bianca says...

    <3 <3

  8. Rachel says...

    I am obsessed with that pillow on her couch. Where could that be from!?

  9. Caitlin says...

    I think she has really cute, easy style, but as someone who works in fashion for an independent label, the ““I try to never pay full price — I get lot of things at sample sales.” makes me wince a little bit. If you want to support cool indie designers, like Caron Callahan and ApieceApart, paying full price, or almost keeps these designers in business. Sample sales generally just cover cost, not the work done by the designers/team. ANYWAY, I know most people are not thinking about this when they shop (I too like to buy things on sale!), but I don’t think it is something you should brag about. If you want high quality/design, you should expect to pay for it…

    • Emily says...

      Agreed!

    • meli says...

      I don’t think that is true…If there is no samples sales, I would not be able to afford some clothes and even on sales, some are way too expensive. Is it better not to buy them at all and not making them known by wearing them? I understand and agree with the idea of “supporting these young designers/businesses” but I think this is their strategy to organise these sales, it’s free publicity. I know because i organized them during an internship for a small brand.
      Anyway I hope you are not bothered by my comment, just a though that i had :) Love her style, so effortless but always elegant!

    • Caitlin says...

      Meli, I totally understand what you’re saying, and I think a lot of people would not have access to these brands if they didn’t have sample sales. The brand I work for has an annual sample sale and we know people save up to come to it and we truly appreciate that. At the same time we have people that come and spend a lot at the sample sale who clearly can afford to pay full price and feel like that is what the clothes are actually worth (it isn’t). My comment was mainly about “I try to never pay full price”, which I think people need to realize is not helpful to our economy, or the designers they want to support. If we didn’t have the customers who pay full price, we wouldn’t be in business.

    • I feel like it’s really important not to shut down someone because they shop sample sales. There are a ton of people that CAN afford designers without sales and those people do not keep up with sample sales and they do not seek to find sales at all.
      I understand what you are saying with this, but Alexis is 100% in the right to expose her sale shopping. I appreciate her saying what she did, also she is wearing AND IDENTIFYING the brand. She is doing it right.

  10. I adore her style! She looks casual, effortless, and natural. This series is probably my favourite, never stop making these kind of posts!

    thetearoomsblog.wordpress.com

  11. I love the part about spilling coffee on her pants!
    I’m a spilly mess and one day hope to wear white. It always looks so good!

  12. Lisa says...

    Love it! I totally agree about having a smaller wardrobe where you wear the clothes all the time and basically have a uniform. I had this when pregnant – I bought very few outfits (it’s only a few months) and tried to only buy things I loved. I don’t think I’ve ever been better dressed and I was so happy getting dressed every day, because it was clothing that I loved

  13. Juliana says...

    I would love to see more on uniform dressing and capsule wardrobes – It’s something I’m striving for and would love some inspiration! x

  14. I love how minimal her style is. My favorite look is the all white look with the denim jacket! I love a denim jacket because you can dress them up for work, too. This look is perfect for the weekend!

    Keshia
    http://www.queenlifeblog.com

  15. Sasha says...

    Ordered those boots from everlane. More comfortable shoe recommendations (I am on my feet, teaching during the day), please! Also, I really like this feature as a complement to beauty uniform. Maybe you can do a week of outfits for some of the past beauty uniform posts.

    • Mel Keaney says...

      Check out Kork-Ease! Such great styles and I could walk for miles in their booties!

    • Brigitte says...

      Blundstones!

    • Katie says...

      I shelled out for the Dansko “Lucille” booties and they are worth every penny. And I think they’re cute, to boot! I’ve started seeing a lot of women my age (early 30’s) wearing them. There’s a reason nurses and doctors wear Danskos!

  16. Danielle says...

    These photos are all taken on my block or down the street! So fun to recognize the locations!

  17. i love the simplicity of her style- she looks effortless. the MNZ sandal are pretty dang good as well!

    xoxo brittany
    http://www.notablob.com/

  18. Laura C. says...

    “As I’ve gotten older, I think having a uniform is the ultimate expression of yourself”–> I TOTALLY AGREE. This fall I just want to go out and get some grey cozy sweaters and comfy ankle boots. I don’t mind if I look the same everyday.

  19. Jane says...

    Would love to see more features on edited wardrobes like Alexis’ – especially “capsule” wardrobes. and “uniform” dressing.

  20. Sam says...

    Her style is so great (dying over look #2) and I’m glad to see some of her items were thrifted or from ethical clothing companies. I would love to see a post on how to shop ethically/sweatshop free. I also have a renewed drive to go thrifting this weekend :)

  21. Cynthia says...

    She looks elegant, yet comfortable. I love scarves because they can really pull an outfit together.

  22. “I think having a uniform is the ultimate expression of yourself.” I completely agree! This has been my favorite installment of the series so far. Every look is incredible and still relatable, plus her thoughts on personal style are a breath of fresh air.

    I’m not usually one to comment frequently on blogs, but lately I’ve been so moved by the content here that commenting has become the norm. So thank you!

  23. Martha says...

    I’ve been eyeing those Babo shoes forever… Think I may finally have to pull the trigger!

  24. Ellen says...

    Thanks for posting on not one but two awesome Asian American women in one week !

  25. Yes! And she looks great. Just goes to prove that you don’t have to spend loads and that it is always best to be simple.

  26. Cec says...

    Ok one thing I don’t get: I keep hearing that jumpsuits are so easy and comfortable, etc. While they are nice to look at, aren’t they the most impractical piece of clothing when you go to the bathroom? Seriously, am I missing something? ;-)

    • kathy says...

      totally true. i have 2 and love to wear them and then basically have to get naked in the bathroom.

    • Ellen says...

      Yes, they are easy breezy until you are naked and vulnerable in the bathroom. For that reason, I tend to wear a close fitting camisole when I wear a jumpsuit ;)

    • wear a silk camisole (or a regular tank – but the silk ones are my favorite!) under your jumpsuit – then when you have to go to the bathroom you don’t feel like you are getting naked!

  27. The outfits are really pretty and her overall vibe and personality are amazing!

  28. I have a very similar, minimal style. It makes my life easier and it also makes me feel casually elegant! But I’ve never invested in white pieces because I’ve been nervous about what happens when I spill. But you make me believe in myself a little more. To the OxiClean isle!

  29. Her style is AWESOME. And works in California 100%.

  30. Jenn says...

    I love this series so much! Wonderful to see real women with interesting personal style like this. Please keep ’em coming!

  31. Katie says...

    Hah! I went to a sample sale last year and went into one of the curtained areas to try something on because nobody was around, then it suddenly got busy and one of the people working showed a guy into the changing area. He and I kinda looked at each other and were like “whatever” and both tried on our jeans. Modesty can’t stand in the way of a good deal!

    #sensibleshoesforever

  32. Leilani says...

    Yay! It’s so nice to see someone who looks like me (fellow Hawaiian!) She has fantastic style, thanks for the really lovely interview & inspiration.

  33. Christy says...

    What a natural beauty. I love her casual style.