As if Lee Vang’s five kids didn’t keep her busy enough, the single Rochester mom has been running an in-home daycare for more than 10 years.
“Managing my own business, being a mother, and volunteering my time with Family Child Care, Inc. (second year as president and eight years in different positions), I rarely have a moment for myself,” she says. But when she is able to find a bit of spare time, Lee shares that it’s spent in style. “When I am not working, I take the opportunity to dress up and put on a bold lip color.”
Outside of running a business, creating memories with her children, and caring for her succulents, Lee says she enjoys dabbling in cooking, interior design, photography, karaoke, hiking, paddle boarding and travel.
How would you classify your style today?
It’s a little mix of chic, casual elegance and evening wear.
How has this evolved over the years?
In the past, I would wear sweatpants and oversized T-shirts – I know, boring. I used to be insecure about my body and negatively get in my head by telling myself that I look ridiculous, afraid of rejection and judgments. That’s not the case anymore.
Has the pandemic had any effect on the way you dress?
Yes, I found myself in a low place during the pandemic and fashion has given me self-worth. It pushed me to try different styles at home which helped me grow to love my body the way it is and build self-love and confidence.
How have you honed that confidence?
Letting go of my self-doubt and reminding myself that life is now, and I get to look great and feel great while living. Fashion is a great way to express myself. On days where I don’t feel my best, the clothes I wear can make me feel better, so it kind of acts like an armor. Dressing how I want to feel is a great way to express the state of mind I seek.
What does a typical day of work attire look like for you?
When I am working during the day with children (eight to 12 of them at a time), I dress in casual clothing/athletic wear for comfort and flexibility.
Best (clothing/shoe/accessory) purchase you’ve ever made and what made it so great?
I have these amazing stilettos shoes that are my go-to. Surprisingly, they are comfortable, stylish and sexy.
Do you own any family heirlooms or particularly sentimental items?
Yes, I have some traditional Hmong clothes passed down from my mother, which I will pass down to my daughter.
Whose style do you admire and why?
It’s not really someone in particular, but I get my inspiration from friends, Instagram, celebrities, designers and TV shows.
My favorite colors are persimmon, coral, and turquoise – they complement my complexion really well. For pattern, I really like houndstooth pattern.
How do accessories play a role in your get-ready routine?
It’s a huge part. A pair of sunglasses, hat or even handbag can really make a statement. You can change an entire outfit with a cute hair style or accessory.
What is an item that serves double-duty for you?
My casual dresses. I love that they make me feel both comfortable and beautiful at the same time, and they remind me of the beach.
If you could only keep five clothing items you own, what would you choose?
My black stilettos and simple black dress, a colorful blouse, houndstooth jacket, and my faux leather pants.
Items you think every Minnesota woman should have in her wardrobe?
Cardigans are a must, and a cute pair of ankle boots that can be used for both warmth and fashion.
Be yourself and just go for it. Tomorrow is never promised, so express yourself through fashion, be confident and authentic, and have fun.
Do you know someone who has unique style? Send nominations to email@example.com with "Your Style" in the subject line.