Vanessa Chan week of outfits

“I used to try on a million things and then not go anywhere because I felt like nothing looked good,” says best-selling novelist Vanessa Chan. “Now I take a long time to get ready because I have so many great options.” Here, the author of The Storm We Made (which came out in January) shares her five favorite looks…

Vanessa Chan Week of Outfits

Dress: Eloquii. Jacket: Forever 21, similar. Shoes: Sam Edelman. Sunglasses: Free People.

“I’m a big person and fairly tall, so I’ve spent my whole life standing out physically. I reached a point in adulthood where I figured, if I cannot blend in, I’ll wear colorful things that are designed to stand out. When it comes to how I’d define my style, the short answer is: not hiding.”

Jacket: Eloquii. Bodysuit: Eloquii, similar. Pants: Cider. Belt: similar. Bag: Min & Mon. Shoes: Sam Edelman, similar. Custom earrings: “A friend had these custom made for me, but the Etsy shop isn’t active anymore.”

“One day, my auntie in Malaysia realized I was wearing fake earrings. She was like, ‘You’re 22, why are your ears not pierced?!’ The answer was, I was afraid! If she hadn’t forced me, I probably still wouldn’t have them pierced.”

Vanessa Chan Week of Outfits

“I feel like I have two different jobs. When I’m writing a novel, I’m like a cave troll wearing a hideous blue bathrobe from Target. I do not want to see anyone. But then, on my book tour, I dressed up, shook hands, kissed babies, and sold my book. I love hiding in the dark writing, but it’s also fun to hang out with humans IRL.”

Vanessa Chan Week of Outfits

Top: Anthropologie, similar. Pants: Cider. Shoes: Amazon, similar. Jacket: Eloquii.

“I don’t agree with the principles of fast fashion, but it’s hard to find extended sizes anywhere else. I struggle with trying to be sustainable while also not walking around naked! When it comes to supporting small businesses, a lot of boutiques don’t carry clothes in my sizes. And even if they do, they usually don’t have much of a selection. It can be demoralizing.”

Vanessa Chan week of outfits

“Putting together an outfit is like writing a good sentence. I don’t follow rules — I just make sure it feels good to me.”

Vanessa Chan week of outfits

Jacket: Eloquii, similar. Crop top: Forever 21, similar. Pants: Eloquii, similar. Chain belt: Walmart, similar. Earrings: Design Archives Emporium. Shoes: Embassy London. Jade pendant: Family heirloom. Sunglasses: Free People, similar.

“My grandma inspired my novel, and I wear a jade pendant that she passed down to me. Jade is protective. If you fall and it breaks, you’re supposed to throw it away. It protected you – you didn’t die – but now it’s done.”

Vanessa Chan week of outfits

“We’re supposed to show off the parts of our bodies that society has deemed acceptable and hide the rest. But it’s exhausting to live like that. I’ve been deemed to have nice calves but less nice arms. So, do I now have to spend my whole life trying to figure out how to cover my arms?! At this point in my life, I am perfectly happy to wear whatever makes me happy.”

Suit: Eloquii, pants and jacket. Shoes: Embassy London. Sunglasses: Free People, similar. Jade pendant: family heirloom.

Eloquii has long been my ride or die. They make clothes that fit my body well. I wore this set on Good Morning America when they chose my book for their book club.”

Vanessa Chan Week of Outfits

Thanks so much for sharing your wardrobe, Vanessa!

P.S. More women share their weeks of outfits with Bridgerton-inspired dresses and plus-sized maternity pieces.

(Photos by Julia Robbs for Cup of Jo.)

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