Over the last 3 years, I started experimenting with clothes and colour. I used to just wear black and shirts and boots or sneakers all the time because it was too difficult. It didn’t help that I worked at a job that didn’t allow me to be as flamboyant. I felt like respectable = plain and boring.
I am short and stubby. At 5′, I used to wear UK22 at my biggest. I still have problems finding clothes in the local shops, so I don’t bother anymore. I visit local fleas and craft markets to buy accessories though! Asia is great for cheap plasticky things too. Mostly, I love online shopping and thrifting overseas. I also have wonderful friends like Ryd who buys me clothes from the UK!
Even though I’m gainfully employed, I have a conservative budget for clothes, shoes, bags and accessories. I’d rather spend on other things and I am saving up to buy a flat. I think buying designer items and copying runway looks are considered CHEATING! I love off-season clothes which I pick up at sales, I don’t mind wearing 2nd hand and I absolutely love it when people ask me when I get my stuff from!
Here are some of my style philosophies and I hope you take away something from this rant and rave exercise.
1. Age is just a number.
People get too caught up in trying to “act their age” and I was guilty of that in my late teens and early 20s. I couldn’t wait to be an adult and I didn’t know what that meant, so I tried to look “mature”. I ended up looking like an old lady. Most times, accompanied by too much make-up!
2. Never underestimate the power of key pieces that can be used on multiple occasions.
I’d wear this outfit to a traditional wedding or a more conservative social function. It’s pretty, colourful and practical. Some traditional Asian events actually require you to sit on the floor – the leggings are good for that.
I actually wore this whilst at work – running around in the hot sun. This chiffon jacket is very light and airy so it didn’t matter. It was smart and practical!
This is my lazy person outfit. Jeans and a top. With the jacket, it felt like I made a little more effort. There was a pop of colour too! There were some gold/yellow in the print of the vintage top, so the mustard yellow of the jacket complemented the entire look.
I love this chiffon jacket – it’s some poor quality, cheap-ass one-size thing I got at FAR EAST PLAZA. I can barely fit my shoulders and I always leave it flapping open.
3. Enjoy colour!
People say stupid things about how only skinnies can wear coloured leggings. Who cares?! And a pop of colour is always welcomed to brighten the day. If you’re afraid, just pick 1 colour and go around it. If there’s a nice blue in your main outfit, accessorize with blue stuff and wear different shades of it – even your shoes or bag!
I wore black for the longest time and that was only because I was under the impression that black is a slimming colour. Darling, the only thing that is slimming is exercise and diet. Even if you’re in black all the time, people can tell that you’re still fat. Might as well enjoy colour!
4. Don’t wear the same outfit in the exact same way all the time.
I’d like to think the 1st look is chic, the 2nd is fun/creative/funky and the 3rd is “ok let’s go meet your grandmother”.
5. Forget what it’s SUPPOSED to look like and ignore the sizing.
It’s leopard prints, polyester and SHOULDER PADS. Take it out from the 80s and put your own spin on it!
Very often I find clothes I like that are a little too small here and there. I don’t care as long as it fits my budget, I can wear it how I want comfortably. It doesn’t always have to be like how it appears in the lookbook.
6. Accessories can do wonders even if you insist on wearing “slimming” black!
This is actually a black sleeveless top that my friend Shu gave me. It was too long (remember, I’m only 5′ tall) so I’ve been wearing it as a short dress. A plain black outfit is so great for accessorizing! Belts, necklaces, brooches etc
7. Dressing comfortably does not mean dressing sloppily.
When it comes to travelling, the first thing that comes to mind is dressing for comfort (especially the flight). Too cold in the plane? Too hot when you get off? Uncomfortable seats? Walking shoes. Flat shoes need not be ugly. Jeans are great but leggings are better! Bring a cardigan on the flight and remove them if you arrive at a hotter climate.
Not just for travelling. You can dress comfortably without looking sloppy! On my days off when I don’t think, I go straight for my 3/4 black leggings and a tank dress ( I have at least 5 different ones). Stretchy clothes are great! I’ve seen the errors of my ways!
I work in Music and I always get asked “What is your favourite band?”. My answer – the ELASTIC WAIST BAND!
8. Wear what you want because people come in all shapes and sizes. Flatter your moods, flatter yourself.
I’m invariably always the shortest (I stopped growing when I was 11… except sideways) and my friends come in all shapes and sizes. These are my SPARTY pals and we’re a motley bunch. But I think we’re all beautiful!!