Friday, 29 August 2014

Reliving Minimalism (or Laziness?)




One fine morning, everything was fresh. It was like one of those mornings you see in unrealistic shows whereby you wake up feeling like you're going to conquer the world successfully. The doves saccharinely chirped and the grass smelt fresher than it has ever been. The sun was bright - not glaring - and the weather was cool (I was actually still in my air conditioned bedroom, lol). I thought to myself: "This has got to be a great day!" I washed up whilst pretended that I was in X Factor. As I got myself cleaned and stood in front of my closet, I pondered: "Maybe I should wear my tartan shirt. Hmmm.. Great idea!" Yet, I stared intently for a close ten minutes. When it hit fifteen, that is when I found myself stuck in that particular abyss of "I have nothing to wear" statement. I thought I'd managed to surmount that synonymously and harmoniously made sentence. But instead, the only thing I could surmount was ironically, by adding two additional words. It was: "Oh god, I have nothing to wear."

But then I took a deep look at that orange tartan shirt, and then glanced at that polka dotted rouge pajamas trousers. They look like a perfect mix of a smartly concocted delicious Cosmopolitan. 'Voilà!', I exclaimed ingeniously. I buttoned up the shirt and slide the pants up your hips. There I was, standing in the outfit I've just creatively envisioned five minutes ago (ten, if you include stepping out of the shower). The mirror reflected the sartorially artistic part of me. But I was just not feeling it today. I felt more Vodka on the Rocks than Cosmo. I stripped out of them and reverted back to the minimalistic combo that is widely acceptable and immaculately perfected. The white t-shirt and denim jeans.

I know, I was actually stuck in this perennial state of chasm a couple of months ago (thought it was Superga instead of sandals) and even came clean to further deliberate and decide on a couple outfit ideas for the subsequent week. I guess it did happen for that week, and then it reverted back to the old outfit.

So what went wrong? Was it because of the irrefutable fact that I was extremely (and perpetually) lazy? Or was it simply because I was reliving minimalism? I couldn't admit defeat and let 'creativity' triumph over me - it would be a blatant lie - because I knew that a tartan shirt and a polka dotted pajama trousers was simply more than what any individual would deem as reprehensibly innovative. I looked around me, and I had an epiphany. For a few weeks, I have been scrolling through social media platforms (think Instagram) and the Explore page led me to further explore others with similar dress code. I couldn't help but wonder: Was conforming my denouement?

Can this be what people call 'dress down days'? In retrospect, I read an article from a particular local magazine which argued about dress down in flip flops slowly diffused into and subsequently found itself permanent residence in our local style. I thought that article was cleverly articulated, well composed, minus the fact that I was actually wearing strappy buckled sandals instead of Havaianas. In comparison to Instagram, actually most people are wearing what you call 'sliders' instead. Could our society have actually turn apathetically idle or did we deliberately slide on sliders and put on whites and jeans to compose what we now call chic?

I confess. I was actually involved in a shoot for my friend's project and I thought putting on something basic would be comfortable and easy. But honestly, isn't the 'basic chic' having too many occurrences till it becomes overly obnoxious? Yes or no?

H&M sunglasses, Feist Heist martyr t-shirt, Zara distressed jeans, Zara sandals, Monki cross body bag

Images by Mr Big

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Sean Seyfried Guides: Prepping for Fall


There's something I like about fall. It's capacity of coolness is at its perfect equilibrium, you can dress anything you desire from shorts to skirts to pullovers to fur coats and yet not feel like you have just completed a triathlon nor overly icy. Yes, spring might happen to be in the same category too. But there's just this unique factor that induced me to favouring fall over spring. Was it the two key factors that are widely adored: pumpkins and fallen amber leaves? Or was it the reemergence of gingerbread latte from Starbucks?

It's actually none. Perhaps I'd appreciate the fallen leaves if we didn't have to rake our lawns and then break our lawns (backs). And I'd prefer a cup of toffee nut latte anytime over gingerbread. So what is it then? Just yesterday I had a discussion with a friend of mine. The topic was: 'What makes your drive to leaving the country so intent?' My answer was: I've always wanted to do the Fsquared. Fall Fashion.

My friend's answer: To get the hell out of the heat. (Such a Miranda answer)

Just the previous post I mentioned about dressing up for pseudo fall. This time round, to my (not so much of an) amazement, it still isn't quite fall yet. But we are definitely in the mood to shop for fall. I mean who isn't? Aren't you??

Below are three fall outfits I've cogitated with I particularly adored. This is what you do when you live in a country without the four seasons. Oh, and do you happen to remember the guide to shopping on Shopbop? Use it over here too, it's really effective.




The first look: Who could've left the pullovers? Pullovers are the highlight of fall! I was thinking that this Zara maroon pullover would go so well with this True Religion cigarette jeans when you just slightly tuck it in at the front. Sling or clutch this Rebecca Minkoff mini mac (literally a fall colour and I'm loving it) and TGIF (toes go in first, in case you forgot its acronym) into these Zara booties. Top it off with some Rag & Bone wide brim fedora. How do you like me now?

Stuck in the middle shows a H&M Studio faux fur coat (secretly dying and actually crying in both tears of joy and sadness because it's so gorgeous yet doing so much harm to my bank account) that I think would really go well with this Zara grey jumpsuit, either worn or tied at the waist. Show off your inner classiness with these Manolo Blahnik suede pumps and an Olympia Le Tan novel clutch. I can literally imagine myself in this outfit. Powerful, and immaculate.

Too dull? Still having that spring fling? Thinking that you could use a little bit more colours? Well, you could use a fall oversized faux shearling jacket from Tibi and reuse your summer Alice + Olivia rose skirt. Florals for spring? More like Fall(en) florals. Pun intended. Think you could use a little coverage for your legs from the chills? These H&M Studio '14 booties will do you justice. If you'd like, you can wear the jacket as a shirt itself. If not, try this T by Alexander Wang slub t-shirt aka the used and abused white t-shirt as an underdog. Not to forget that you actually need a bag, so sling up this 3.1 Phillip Lim mini pashli and you are good to go.

How's that doing to your bank balance?

Images from shopbop.com, all over the web and style.com

Friday, 22 August 2014

The Summer-Fall Trench




As we hit August, we inevitably inaugurate fall. We all crave for that cooler climate to inadvertently arrive, especially if you happen to be residing in a country that lack of the four seasons (which three coincidentally are co-related to the word 'cool'). We'd wish, desire and maybe even beg for the summer heat to dissipate and the howling winds to slowly and subtly carress our dewy complexions. We'd also hope that we could lackadaisically put on our denim cut-offs and floral broad shorts just to realize that summer is actually gone and our legs are getting the chills, and we'd put on pants and exchange strappy heels for high cut knee length booties. We'd also be able to happily obtain that few minutes of joy in life and gladly stow away our shavers (with the exception if you're getting your pants off at any point of time during the day, I would suggest not to hibernate that shaver).

But sadly, their arrival are usually later than what we intentionally expect, so those aforementioned concupiscences remains as ambitions we lust for and never really happen in August. And instead of pulling up those newly DIY-ed embellished jeans and oversized knitwear you'd purchased on impulse during the last few sample sales, you'd find yourself still parading in those denim cut-offs. You asked yourself this: "Why couldn't I dress something more stereotypically inclined towards the supposed ongoing season?"

Hold your thought, it's still possible. You're still on the right track.

What you'll need to do is to place your pullovers and pants back into your closets. Then, either rake your closet for the trench coat you bought during your last spring to summer interval, otherwise, you could opt for the next best alternative aka this Nina Ricci polyamide trench over at Shopbop because I'd be extremely magnanimous and save you the trouble for finding one. Lol, jk. Please be reminded that you should go for a lightweight trench, otherwise you might just die in one before even stepping your Manolo Blahniks out of your apartment.

I wasn't joking about the part where I'm extremely magnanimous though. Lol, jk.

However, there's still this fine print that states: "Beware, product might induce heat stroke." which you could never ever find on the product labels. So this might induce the crown question; Am I sartorially superficial till the extent that I would conform towards the notion: beauty before comfort? Or am I simply just being ridiculously impatient to welcome the approximate arctic autumn? I'd once came into a minor symposium which argued about beauty vs comfort, and I fell into the middle portion of the Venn Diagram. To be honest, who doesn't usually slant towards the beauty portion? Are we on the topic of geeks? If every single woman performing propriety out there who dresses up just to emulate man (occasionally men) getters, aren't we all swallowing up what we spat about others; beauty before comfort? Then, are the repellers portraying non-beauty? No, because we all dress up to feel good about ourselves and to channel that inner beauty we'd believe to be our key component to survival but often claimed or labelled as 'socially awkward'.

Yet, I'd still firmly ingrain myself to believe that I'd sometimes fall into the middle portion (other times, towards the beauty aspect). I wouldn't be plunging into that trench coat if the sun was blazing.

Despite seemingly apparent that I have an obvious Malibu tan that I got during that beach party last month in those above pictures, but in actual fact, I don't. I got my lycocell trench coat from H&M sale last two weeks (yay!) and I'd decided do head back to my 'basic chic' ways but this time round, I did some merchant deals and traded my denim cut-offs for a white chino shorts. Since it's autumn but still being conducted under summer weather, I took the opportunity to still slip on my leather granny sandals.

So how do I look? But the important question remains: Did I actually break out in sweat?

H&M Conscious trench coat, Feist white t-shirt, Uniqlo white shorts, Zara sandals and 3.1 Phillip Lim clutch that screams 'OMG!!!!'

Images done by Mr Big

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Borrowed Aggressively Taken From the Man




My aforesaid title make it sound as though I'm not a man.

To reduce the confusion with regards to my title and at the same time, draw close comparison to what I'd further illustrate about below, I'll give you guys the general idea of it. In fact, I'll tell you guys what it is about. Shirts. That's it. I know, it is such a succinct idea/garment yet it got itself (more like I got itself) into a messy state. This is what happened that left me cogitate this post:

I had a conversation with this girl I met at an event when I threw her this random question (probably it wasn't that random because I saw a couple of guys and girls wearing shirts): "Men's or women's shirt?"

Her reply was rather succinct: "Women's. Firstly because I'm a woman and secondly, their shirts accentuate your body!"

"Isn't that rather bias?" I retorted.

Was her first remark rather bias? Or was it rather conservative for her to believe that women could only wear shirts solely from their department and men could only put on a smart or casual shirt from the men's section? Has our society further develop gender prejudice into the specific segregation of clothing? If not so, then was it just the normality that guys are to shop at mens and ladies are restricted to ladies section in order to prevent, or minimize those eye darts filled of judgement and opinion made by sales assistants and not to forget, keep society happy as well? I do believe that some women look fabulous in a man's pants and some men look dashing in a hat labelled 'woman's'.

Is she right or is she bias?

"How am I bias?", she then retorted my retortion.

"You're showing favouritism to women's just because you're one," I replied calmly, trying to realise that I was one step closer to making enemies than friends.

"Then what about you?"

"Men's shirt definitely."

"You're equally bias too!"

I took a sip of the champagne I was clutching on my right hand. Was she right? Am I taking a stand for the unjustified men's shirts or am I simply too overly obsessed with them? I shouldn't have used definitely, I often spew out words I'd eventually regret. Now I'm putting the blame on my words. But I was pretty positive and sanely sober that I remarked that three words, 'Men's shirts definitely', without believing that I made this stand because I am, de facto, a guy.

I smiled and I left in order to prevent further embarrassment and awkwardness for either of us.

But why men's shirts? I have tons of shirts from the ladies (apparently that girl was right, shirts from Zara Woman do have that streamlined cut to emphasise that makes you look, or perhaps actually literally make you slimmer) but why do I still stand firm with my opinion? Below are a few answers I determined as to why I'd plant my feet on the ground and still adorning myself in a men's shirt:

1) You can eat as much as you desired since your boyfriend's shirt blatantly states that it is 'boyfriend', hence having the same conception as oversized and therefore stuffing your face with that extra slices of cheesy pizza wouldn't make any difference since your bloated belly wouldn't be exposed.

2) Since it's still summer, you'll want to dress yourself up in something loose, something less body hugging; in case you'd burst out in extra perspiration (you'd wish to avoid this but aww man!) because you feel constrain in those relatively tight fitting shirts from the women's.

3) They're actually (and surprisingly) much reasonably cheaper than women's. If you're on a tight budget and still want to look fashionable, then why not??

Convincing enough? I believe so, because I'm rather brainwashed by my own propaganda. Lol, jk. But seriously, if you'd decide that men's shirt do reap more satisfaction than harm and that my persuasion to join the 'Men's Shirt Club' worked, below are a few options for you to choose.


From left to right: 3.1 Phillip Lim fisherman shirtMSGM marbled shirt, Band of Outsiders split collar shirt and Gitman Vintage leaf printed shirt (All via Eastdane)

If you're wondering where mine's from, it's Zara. Come on, pick one and join the club!

Zara tartan x paisley patchwork shirt, Topman denim cutoffs, Proenza Schouler clutch, Ego & Greed leopard shoes.

Image credits Mr Big

Friday, 15 August 2014

It's Blazin'!




When it comes to blazers, there is a fine line between business and casual. Often when the line is crossed, we usually wind up in a hodgepodge we'd like to dodge. Who wants to appear in a financial meeting adorned in a Thom Browne pastel whale suit and who chooses to emulate a law intern in Condé Nast? I believe everyone - or perhaps most of us who aren't a part of a comedy show - would like to avoid this nasty situation, unless you really like to get fired.

And in fashion, we definitely do not wish to transpire as law or business interns. In fact, we'd love to be in a Thom Browne suit. We'd adore and even kill to be in one. So what drives us so enthused (sometimes with unwanted homicidal intent) to put on suits when it has been internationally and prehistorically known as a formal formal (double emphasised, so not to be mistaken with casual formal) dress code? Is it its evolution? Or is it its subtle chicness we could achieve when worn with the right cut? If we factor out the blacks, greys, whites and navies from the array of suits out there in the market or in tailor shops, we would find ourselves thrown with a whole ton of suits we'd like to wear when we are virgin fashion interns. And if you'd find yourself stuck with the aforementioned four colour schemes - often black - because you are simply not strategically resourceful enough to scout for the perfect multi-coloured tartan suit or any other excuse you'd like to insert here, perhaps I'd relieve some of your stress and introduce a high-waisted wide leg pants to replace your original bottom.

But can we often keep up with the 'Match It' game?

There'll definitely be a time whereby our wallets dry up and our suits being continuously used and abused. You'll have to choose rent over man-suiting. Tommy Ton or the Sartorialist might not even bother searching for you in the sea of colours adorned in the latest fashion. You start to keep your suit in the closet and then what, let it turn old, then mouldy and eventually pulling it out and self-label it as 'vintage'? Or can we, skillfully filter out the two piece suit and fully exploit the pants? Since we're on this topic, what about the blazer?

When menswear slowly and progressively traipsed into women's ready to wear, there was just this aura of poise and confidence channeled out when the models strutted down adorned in blazers. I believe that blazers implies feminism. Really strong feminism. It allows her to carry herself well, elevate her confidence (not to forget the court heels too) and not to forget those crazy huge shoulder pads that not only satisfy her sartorially but also intelligently. Also, woman also triumph in terms of having the ability to make use of both gender closets because no one would judge no one when they do so! That's like a plus point on a plus point!

Nevertheless, blazers have been a huge part of me (even though it doesn't seem that way but in reality, it is) and I still firmly believe that those shoulder pads are the ones that play a huge part in changing one's look. Without them, the whole look would collapse. But with shoulder pads in built to bequeath the blazer that structured formal look and at the same time, be patched in black and white houndstooth print combination, could we still solitarily divide such blazers into two separate entities as aforementioned: business or casual? If shoulder padded and printed blazers are spontaneously ubiquitous all over fast fashion now, I couldn't help but wonder: Do we often walk on that fine line?

Because I know I'd always do.

Topman houndstooth blazer, COS used and abused white t-shirt, Topman shorts, Zara minaudière, Superga sneakers

Image credits Imran