Blogger of the Month: Grace Liang

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You know those types of people who light up a room the instant they walk into it? Grace Liang, a fashion blogger and teacher born and raised in China and now living in Troy, Michigan, does just that. Her fashion blog Color and Grace shines right off your screen and into your heart, not only because of her ever-evolving style, but her personal story as well. While she shares a lot of her life with her readers, she also promotes the importance of self-love and finding out who you are. At 41 years old (I know, can you believe it?!), Liang is taking on the fashion world with a fire inside her heart by sharing her authentic self, being bright in color, and creating her own personal grace.

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Cliché: What inspires you to create content on Color and Grace?
Grace Liang: That is a very good question! If you had asked me this question three months ago, I probably wouldn’t have had a clear answer. Back then, I just posted my outfit of the day along with some story from my past. It was kind of like my personal journey back then. But when my blog hit the four-month mark in April, I felt it needed to be more original and on a more professional level. So I had the brilliant idea (if I do say so myself!) of following different daily themes. This would allow me to branch out and focus on a variety of fashion topics.

The first theme is called “Fashion 101.” Here is where I demo how to use color and create different styles. I get inspiration from fashion magazines and websites and my sister bloggers, but honestly, I intentionally try to avoid being influenced too much by the fashion world. I know myself; the more I look, the more I try to be like someone else, and that means I’m not being me. And who needs that? There are already so many similar fashion blogs and bloggers out there, but there is only one Color and Grace. I need to keep the originality.

“They Got It Right” is where I give a shoutout to those fellow bloggers who caught my eye that week. Some people say fashion blogging is dying, but I say it is growing into a more professional industry. I like to think that if I can help build this industry, even just a little bit, it will benefit everybody.

“Fashion Gossip” is where I share the latest fashion news, compare different fashion views between East and West, and share some thoughts and experiences about fashion blogging.

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What do you believe is the key to feeling confident in what you’re wearing?
You really have to know yourself. What colors, styles, and cuts look best on you? The colors you love may not love you! The hot trends that are right on target on others may miss the mark on you. How can you know yourself, you ask? It takes time, and you have to keep an open mind. Try everything: take notes and document the hits AND misses by taking selfies with all kinds of different colors, styles, and cuts of clothes. You’ll be able to see what works for you and why. When it’s right and you know it, the confidence will be there.

How would you describe your personal style?
I am a 41-year-old petite woman, but I don’t limit myself because I am over 40 or have a very small frame. I love to try all kinds of different styles and trends. I would have to say my core elements are always elegance, sophistication, class, and colorful fun! I can’t live without color and am way past the all-black phase.

If you could give our readers one tip to channeling their personal style, what would it be?
Keep an open mind! Most people fall into these two categories: One, they are trying to find out or create who they are; or two, they think they know who they are and stop trying new things. Treat fashion just like you treat your life. Keep trying new things and try your best. Trends come and go, but every year there are some new twists or new shades of colors. Give these new things a chance. You can never be sure until you try it first!

_DSC6510Scenario time! You’re back in college and are running from class to class trying to finish everything up before work. What outfit do you wear that can easily transition from casual to professional wear?
For summer, I will pick an over-the-knee fitted and flared dress since it flatters every body type. For the class to class dash, I’m wearing a pair of comfy booties or sandals. I’ve also got my favorite denim jacket because the A/C is always too strong, especially in that chemistry lab! Transitioning to work, I will just slip off the footwear and slide into some sleek pumps. Unless it’s casual Friday, I’ll also ditch the denim jacket and grab my tailored blazer.

Do you have any fashion idols?
I am Chinese and China didn’t really have any fashion industry until the early ‘80s, so when I grew up there wasn’t much fashion influence for me at all. Later, I was exposed to different fashion cultures, but like I mentioned before, I don’t like to lock myself in, so I don’t really have any fashion idols. But I do like the American styles of the ‘60s and ‘70s.

What are some of your go-to items in your wardrobe and makeup bag?
For summer, my wardrobe go-to item will be a pair of tailored shorts. I can wear it with a graphic tee to dress down or a blouse and blazer to dress up. In my makeup bag, it must be my SPF 50+ BB cushion cream. It is so light and breathable, but still gives me the strong coverage and protection from sun I need.

What are some stores or online retailers where you find the best discounts and bargains? Do share!
I’ve been a red tag shopper for years and am proud of it! I love it when I can find a great off-season piece with an unbeatable price that still looks great for the new season. I try to stay within my monthly budget, so I focus on well-made and classy pieces. For the trendy things, I just go to a few favorite stores to get my bargains! I have a golden rule when I go shopping: I don’t buy things just because it is a GREAT DEAL. I am very picky, and before I check out, I will rate everything from 1-10. If it’s not a 10, then I will not buy it. Below are a few stores that are my best friends:

Nordstrom Rack: I’ve found lots of shoes, designer jeans, and handbags there. I usually score some trendy pieces in their junior area as well.

Lord & Taylor outlets: This store usually has really good prices for off-season collections on labels like Free People, DKNY, Ralph Lauren, and CK. They have a very good shoe department as well.

Neiman Marcus Last Call: Designer handbags and sunglasses. I scored several cashmere sweaters there for only $20 a piece last month.

Saks Off 5th Avenue: Makeup (I found the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair line at about 20% cheaper than the regular store), designer handbags, and sunglasses. I got my Dior sunnies there for only $80 with all my discounts and a gift card they sent me. I also scored a Valentino handbag for less than $300.

_DSC6009Let’s face it. We all have that one lipstick, eyeliner, or bronzer we cannot live without. What’s yours and why?
Mine is “Morange” from MAC. It is an orange/red lipstick that has the magical power to make my skin look more even, fresh, and young.

What do you hope to create and spread on Color and Grace?
I want my readers to believe that anybody can be their fashion best at any age and on any budget, and I want to help give them the skills to pull it off. Women can do amazing things and do them every day. We graduate from college, raise families, and hold down jobs just as well as, and often better than, our male counterparts. I truly believe the old saying that “there are no ugly women, only lazy ones.” To me, this means that you need to make time to make yourself happy.

To keep in the know about all things on Color and Grace, head on over to http://colorandgrace.com. Be sure to follow Liang as well through her many social media networks listed on her site—we sure are following!

Read more Fashion posts on ClicheMag.com

Blogger of the Month: Grace Liang “Blogger Spotlight” originally appeared in Cliché Magazine’s Aug/Sept 2015 issue.
Photo Credit to http://colorandgrace.com

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