Incredible Women. Incredible Fashion. Every Day.

Art of Style

Get dressed with Vanessa Hong

Since launching her visually compelling style and travel guide, The Haute Pursuit, in 2010, podcast host and influencer Vanessa Hong has been at the forefront of fashion-forward cool. Here’s how to master her unique brand of minimalism with an edge


Every day is an occasion

“I don’t believe in special occasions, so I mix pieces all the time. It’s really more of a modern approach to dressing. When I was growing up, my mom would only wear her diamonds when she was going somewhere special, but I love the idea of mixing high and low. I’m never fully dressed without jewelry and I always wear some iteration of a hoop earring – even when I’m going to a yoga class or doing something casual. It’s a very subtle finishing touch. I also love a heavy chain necklace – always layered with something a little more delicate.”

A hint of statement gold jewelry is a Vanessa Hong signature
Whether it’s a love-at-first-sight coat or focal-point jacket, outerwear is key to Hong’s wardrobe

Embrace menswear

“I really love wearing men’s clothing. When I’m in New York, I live in a uniform of leather pants, T-shirts, blazers, boots and really good knits. If I’m wearing a T-shirt and jeans during the day, I can just slip on an oversized blazer and add a pair of heels and I’m good to go for the evening. A blazer switches things up real fast.”

Hong sees fashion as a form of self-expression and self-love

Experiment with eveningwear

“I love wearing something more masculine for parties, too. Often, I’ll wear a full suit, usually in a mellow yellow or all-white – who doesn’t love an all-white suit? When I want to look more feminine, I always go for a slip dress in a very simple ’90s style to show off my tan and the jewelry I’m wearing.”

Invest in quality pieces

“Any time we make more conscious decisions, it’s an act of shopping more sustainably. When you buy something that’s high quality, you don’t need to buy it so often – the investment definitely pays off over time. Living in New York, I’ve really come to appreciate a great cashmere sweater; it’s something you may pay a little more for, but it’s going to last you season after season.”

Look to Asian designers for inspiration

“Earlier this year I released a podcast called Vanessa Wants To Know, and this season was dedicated to Asian excellence. It was a way for me to celebrate my community and give back to the designers who inspire me, such as Phillip Lim and Tommy Ton. Phillip makes such beautiful clothes for women and what he’s doing in terms of moving his brand towards sustainability is such an inspirational thing. Tommy Ton’s line Deveaux has incredible, classic pieces. They’re not gender-specific, so you can shop from the men’s or women’s department, and he makes a sensational slip dress. Peter Do is someone I’ve been watching forever. I love his clothes – they fit so well. And I’ve always loved what Rejina Pyo creates – her pieces are so whimsical. Korean brand We11done does amazing vegan leather jackets and tops, too.”

Peter Do is a favorite of the Haute Pursuit founder

Celebrate yourself

“I’ve been raised to be a very independent person. When my mum did really well at work, she would buy herself a beautiful pair of shoes. She taught me that you don’t need to wait for someone to do that for you – get all those beautiful things for yourself!”

Hong isn’t afraid to experiment to create a strong individual style

Be fearless

“I don’t have style icons per se – I love people-watching here in New York, or in Paris, or in any city I go to; that’s my greatest inspiration. When it comes to discovering your style, so much of it is just living and learning. Developing your own voice in every aspect of life is so important. As women we’re too hard on ourselves, and if you’re too scared to experiment you’re never going to figure out what your style is.”

The people featured in this story are not associated with NET-A-PORTER and do not endorse it or the products shown