Finding the right dress can be a challenge, but Visal Sam—owner of Visette Boutique (Capitol Hill, 307 E Pike St.; 206.579.5180), which specializes in dresses for all occasions—believes there’s one out there for every woman. A Cambodian refugee who moved to Seattle when she was 9, Sam developed a love for dressing up early.
“My mom was a seamstress, so she always had the Vogue patterns. I would look at the patterns and look at the photos and think, ‘This is so amazing,’” she recalls.
Her professional path led her to government and corporate positions (she still works as a commodity broker), but fashion—and matching people with the right clothing—has remained Sam’s first love.
TO THE NINES
Visette features a carefully curated collection of clothing from international designers in select silhouettes and colors that reflect Sam’s love of vibrant hues—yet she also appreciates the timelessness of black in her own wardrobe. “You can never have enough black dresses,” she says. She prefers dresses in asymmetrical styles, pairing them, by occasion, with a posh shoe from her collection: flats for brunch, pumps for the office and strappy heels for dinner out on the town.
How you dress matters, says Sam. “The way you dress, people look at you differently.” As a well-traveled professional, Sam’s look has been described as “regal” by strangers stopping her on the street. Even in jeans, she aims for elegance, noting that dressing up can be a sign of respect, both for yourself and for others.
WHAT’S IN STORE
This season, Visette Boutique will add more items from Seattle designers to its racks. Look for dresses by Tom Ordonio and Suk Chai’s brand, Schai, as well as bags by Kate S. Mensah (to go with all those dresses). “I want to empower local designers and help them succeed,” says Sam, who looks forward to dressing up Seattleites.