Dawa Lhatsamtsang: The Financial Analyst
Cubicle Chic found a kindred spirit in Dawa! Not only does she work in the corporate world like yours truly (she’s in finance), but she enjoys experimenting with colors and styles in her work wardrobe, too. If Cubicle Chic ever needed a third stylish lady, Dawa would be the perfect fit!
Dawa brought along two of her favorite outfits to share with us because sometimes it’s nearly impossible to decide which of your looks ranks the highest. We all had a fabulous time snapping photos around the East Village and discussing the pros and cons of the workplace and commuting in New York City. Conclusion? Sometimes you get caught up in the gloomy and cynical side of things, but you have to keep everything in perspective and maintain your positive attitude. Plus, wearing a colorful blouse or cute heels to work can absolutely be mood boosters!
What defines your personal style?
My style is classic – I usually go for smarts cuts and fits. But every once in a while I like to change things up and will go away from my comfort zone. However, I always like to feel comfortable in anything I wear. Anything that looks simple and easy is where I put my money.
What do you love about the looks that you wore for the “What’s Your Cubicle Chic?” shoot?
I wore a green DVF wrap dress (don’t know the name of the dress because I snagged it at a sample sale), and for the second look I wore a burnt orange shirt with beautiful bowtie details and a beige skirt. I love the versatility of my DVF dress – I can wear it for an occasion, from shopping to dinner to a night out. It is fun and feminine! The orange shirt was also picked up at a sale, this time at J.Crew. I love the color of the shirt and it’s especially apt for summer! The color makes you look fresh and bright. The popular image people have is that women in finance can only wear gray, brown, blue or black (basically muted neutrals). This is true to a certain extent, but also false. I think women in finance wear clothes that span the entire color spectrum, especially during the summer! One of my favorite sightings was a woman at work wearing a hot red summer dress with a cinched waistline. It was all “va va voom!” but did not look inappropriate at all.
Do you have any signature or favorite go-to items you couldn’t live without?
A black dress from Zara! A black dress is like a blank canvas. It can be paired with any color! When I am in a rush, I usually wear my black dress and reach for the nearest cardigan without stopping to think of the color combo.
Where do you get your style inspiration?
I do not consider myself a fashionable person. I don’t follow trends. What I really look for in an ensemble is how the colors mix and match. I think part of my obsession with color has to do with my Tibetan upbringing. I grew up in small Tibetan Refugee Community in Northern India. Until my late teens, married Tibetan women in my town only wore the Tibetan Chuba (a Tibetan style kimono minus all the frills would be the closest comparison) paired usually with a blouse. I grew up watching my mother meticulously pair her blouse with her chuba. She always looked great! These women did not have a choice in silhouette, but capitalized on colors and always looked great. So I have always admired women with a great sense of color.
Have you ever made a fashion faux-pas that you now regret?
Yes! Too many to count. A lot of attempts at wow-inducing fashion gone wrong. I once wore a dark green silk dress with black tights and a neon green wedge peep toe. Black tights with a peep toe is fashion suicide on its own, but matching the dark green dress with a different shade of green shoe was absolutely horrific. I guess I was channeling a leprechaun??!
What’s the best part of living, working and integrating your style into your life in NYC?
The best part about living in NYC is that you have access to a lot of shopping options. The city has plenty of discount clothing stores which are perfect for a bargain shopper like myself. In addition, there are always a lot of shopping events happening in the city. The DVF sample sale is a riot! If you are in the mood to splurge, you have Barney’s and Bergdorf’s. You’ll never see me there! I also get my DailyCandy emails that give an update on sales and shopping events in the city. I also love the city because it almost encourages you to be more experimental with your clothes. I get that sense that there is no one judging you, however, a serious wardrobe malfunction obviously attracts a lot of furtive glances.
What’s the most difficult part?
The commute to work can be pretty ugly in the morning. There is a high chance your starchy white shirt will get dirty.
Any style tips for aspiring financial analysts?
A dash of color can be an instant mood booster!
How does being female in a male-dominated industry affect your sense of style?
I don’t think being a female in finance particularly affects my sense of style. Just being a professional, I think you have to honor some work fashion protocols which can be broadly applied across all professions. Fashion dictum at work – less is more, perhaps?