POPSUGAR: What’s one word you’d use to describe your personal style today?
Deepti Vempati: Evolving.
PS: How does your Indian heritage influence your personal style? How has that influence changed over the years?
DV: When I was younger I would run from wearing or being seen in Indian attire because I was afraid it would bring attention to myself. I very much hid behind comfortability and wanted to blend in. Over the years, as my confidence has grown, I now seek to wear bold pieces that help me stand out, which in turn has increased my self-esteem. I love the fusion of Western clothing with Indian accents and accessories.
PS: When did your personal style begin to take form?
DV: My personal style really began when my habits and practices aligned with my thoughts and feelings. When I felt good about myself after taking years to work on finally loving myself, that’s when I had the confidence to make bold choices and really put myself out there with how I dressed. There was a time in my life I would look in the mirror and have self-hatred. When I put in the work to finally change the way I saw myself, I gained so much freedom with my style.
PS: Your book talks a lot about facing societal standards. How have societal standards affected your style and how you express yourself?
DV: Growing up I thought I had to always dress how my peers were dressing and I would be so afraid to make unique choices when it came to personal style but now, I like to push the standards and understand that every body shape and style should be curated to each individual person.
PS: What trends, colors, or pieces are you leaving in 2022?
DV: I’m leaving behind the idea that fashion has to have some sort of structure. I’ve always had the mindset that outfits have to match but I want to push the boundaries of adding color into my style, whether that be through blazers, accessories, or purses and shoes.
I am learning to add more color and pattern with a monochrome outfit by adding a blazer that pops, using pieces like the DKNY Two Tone Single Button Blazer or the Calvin Klein Ruched Sleeve One Button Blazer in a Port color.
PS: What pieces of clothing are you looking to incorporate into your closet this year? How do they align with your personal style?
DV: I love wearing power suits because they make me feel confident. This Le Suit skirt suit is perfect for interview days. I like to go with a neutral color that still pops and I can accessorize to add a feminine touch.
I do appearances and speak at conferences, so my clothing for those occasions have always been corporate and professional, but based on the event I like to change my style. For example, this Tahari ASL skirt suit in a bold color, like red or wild berry, mixes femininity and makes a powerful statement all in one outfit. I would pair this with a cobalt blue Madden Girl True Rhinestone Bow Evening Dress Sandal. This adds a pop of color and some style to a simple skirt suit.
PS: How does your personal style influence your home decor?
DV: My personal style is very simple with a “less is more” mentality, which is why I like to keep my home very airy, light, and decluttered. My apartment is full of white and gray furniture with pops of color and I like to add comfy throws that add some brightness to the space, like using the UGG Euphoria Plush Reversible Faux Fur Throw as an accent piece on the couch or bed. I always have a candle lit in the apartment and my favorite is the Jill & Ally collection. The Peace & Quiet Crystal Candle is calming and has an amethyst crystal within the wax.
PS: How does your personal style reflect your now famous quote, “I choose myself?”
DV: We wake up everyday and have a choice: are [you] going to live for society and others around you or are you going to live your life for you? I choose every single day to try to be authentic, unique, and different, and that’s our superpower. We achieve those things through self-expression in fashion and with personal style. Clothes, accessories, shoes, and our homes are representations of our inner self-worth, our identity, and our self-care. These important aspects shape the quality of our life and, for that reason, I choose me and my personal taste above all else.