06 July 2015

High Quality

Claudia, Student, Dress from Tangs Studio, Bag from Play No More, Bangle from her mother.

Claudia may be young, but seems to have seen and experimented enough to know what makes or breaks an outfit. “My outfits are rather simple, but I always try to add something unpredictable or a pop of colour to my look, like a pair of bejewelled shorts, a plain white tee with a slit at the back, gladiator sandals, or a fringed bag,” she says. “No-nos for me are skimpy, revealing clothes like really short shorts that leave your butt cheeks hanging out, or a top that reveals too much cleavage.” Her advice for dressing up would be to dress comfortably and according to your body. “When you feel comfortable, you exude confidence, and you will look good in anything. And always wear a nice pair of shoes — give a girl the right pair of shoes and she can conquer the world!” A clear fan of fashion, Claudia jokes that the only cardio exercise she gets is shopping. She does go on grocery shopping trips with her family, however, as family bonding time. “I find it a bit hard to juggle school, family, and friends now that I have more assignments to do,” she says. “Beyond grocery shopping, I try to eat with my family as much as I can. As for friends, we text each other and always try to be there for one another. If time permits, we will go shopping, catch a movie and have some good food (such as mee pok, sambal stingray, Mala hotpot, wanton noodles, and braised pork — yum!). We are all very busy, but we still try to make time for each other. Quality time over quantity time, right?” Claudia’s learnt not to let anything get the better of her at school. “Just do your best, and never let anyone stop you,” she says. “Always be kind.”

05 July 2015

SHENTONISTA Looks — Headgear

Featuring (top to bottom, left to right): Taneesha, Zafirah, Colin, Olivia, Bella, Marlene

Another stylish way to beat the heat? Consider some accessories – for your head, to be specific. Hats and headgear used to draw stares, but as they become more and more common, they're great for adding that little final touch to any outfit. They come in such a variety of styles, and are affordable and practical for all the sunshine we get, year-round. Whether you want to look dandy in a fedora; chic in a floppy, oversized hat; offbeat in a bucket hat; or just classy in a headscarf, there's something for everyone.

04 July 2015

In The Jungle

Rachel, Copywriter & Part-time Floral Stylist, Pantsuit & Shoes from Topshop, Earrings from Thailand.

We were pleasantly surprised to bump into Rachel again in the middle of the CBD, not knowing that her agency had recently moved. It has been working to her advantage so far, however; she gets to do yoga almost every day and is “happy to report” that it has helped her to leave her grouses at the mat. “I try not to let work get to me because I think we shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously,” she says. “I believe that being unhappy and annoyed in a trying situation helps nobody and the attitude with which you face up to and sort out the problems is one simple way to make your life and that of those around you much easier.” The one thing she wishes she could change about her office, however, is the open-plan workspace, which she finds to be highly disruptive. “I think a good environment should have spaces for individuals to concentrate on their work alone when they want to, and ample communal areas for groups to gather so that ideas and thoughts can converge. A good pantry is underrated in many offices — feed your staff well and I am pretty sure you will see the difference.” Evidently, Rachel also turns to food to help her through some rough days. “I basically get hungry every two hours much to the horror and amusement of my friends,” she says. “If I have a bad day at work, I will always try to wolf down a good meal because good food makes everything better, especially if it is in the company of people you love.” Although she studied account servicing in university, Rachel says she stumbled into advertising after an internship at an agency, and quickly realised that she would much rather work in a creative field. She also applies this creativity to the small floral styling business she runs on the side. Quite the busy bee, Rachel still manages to look stylish and composed, but she says sometimes even she gets overwhelmed. “I recently had to do an all-nighter for a pitch and I thought I would be able to get a quick shower at the gym before the rest of the office came in, but the list of things to complete just kept growing. Before I knew it, everybody was in and I was still at my desk morosely typing away in my pyjamas and dishevelled hair,” she says. “I only managed to get rid of the Neanderthal look at 4pm but not before I got a lot of sympathetic coffee, tea and cakes from my appalled colleagues.”

03 July 2015

In Black & White

Risa, Shipping, Top from ZARA, Bag from Stella McCartney, Watch from Michael Kors

Risa loves penguins, so much so that she says if she wasn’t working in shipping, she’d have liked to become a professional penguin feeder/cuddler. “I’m a penguin fanatic. It’s not something I should tell the world, but all my friends know about it and are supportive of my sickness, especially my man.” Nonetheless, she’s enjoying her work as she says it allows her to travel to places she’s never been to and explore different cultures and cities. The downside of her work, she says, is that “shipping never sleeps”, and sometimes her evenings are dedicated to work. “No complaints, though. I knew what I was getting into, and it’s not so bad when you can pair work with beer and snacks.” Despite her consuming work schedule, Risa always makes time for the important people in her life. “My best friend is my twin sister, so I always make time for her; in fact, I think we spend too much time together,” she says. “I used to find it hard to make time for my friends but when everyone makes an effort, it’s easier to commit to meeting up once a week and when we do get together, it’s the best feeling because I have the best girlfriends in the world.” We caught Risa on one of her dress-down Fridays; when the occasion calls, such as client meetings, she’d put in a little more effort with a classy, smart dress. “I’m also a big fan of jumpsuits, and I pair them with high heels.” One of the things she doesn’t quite get are party dresses as workwear. “Some of them have holes in parts of the dress that are fairly inappropriate for work. Keep that for the weekends! Another pet peeve would be when women wear tight dresses/skirts and you can see the outline of their grandma panties. Less is definitely more at work — keep it simple.” The weekends are meant for relaxing, however. “Nothing more than a pair of shorts, a tank top, and my Converse sneakers,” she says. “If I'm not out and about getting my favourite dumplings, porridge buffets and steamboats, then I’m at home on the couch watching cooking shows with my handsome man.” Something random related to her love of food? “I can never get enough of soup and can also burp on command!”

02 July 2015

Live Curious

Richelle, Banking, Top from In Good Company, Necklace from 3pm, Bag from Rabeanco.

Richelle knows better than to try to force a fashion trend into a work outfit. “Sometimes the trending fashion styles may not look professional enough for the office, so don't try to wear them to work,” she says. “Instead, wear classic styles or colours, and personalise with a smart jacket or outerwear and accessories. I personally use accessories like necklaces, rings or belts to jazz up an outfit. Having a dress code doesn't mean you have to compromise on style.” She certainly practices what she preaches, and we especially love her necklace that’s immediately striking, but not your typical, glittery neckpiece. When it comes to work, Richelle has some other words of advice. “Take on every challenge thrown to you, and always keep an open mind when it comes to learning. There’s always something to learn from every person around you at work, so treat them with respect regardless.” She makes sure to always make time for life outside of work, however, be it for exercising, or spending time with friends or family. “Sometimes you just have to put work down, relax a little, and then continue again later. If you're gonna be working for another 40 more years, you gotta learn to take it slowly!” Some of her favourite activities outside of work are yoga, and cooking. “I'm an active yogi, and a budding baker/cook. I practise yoga at least twice to thrice a week, and am always on the lookout for new recipes to experiment with at home. I find it immensely satisfying when friends and family love what I whip up!” It seems like Richelle’s always looking for something new, and she says she believes in living curiously. “Go out there and do things you've never done, experience things you've never tried, and go to places you've always wanted to,” she says. “And every day, try to be the best version of yourself.”

01 July 2015

Fast & Slow

Zafirah, Accounts Executive, Shirt & Jacket from H&M, Necklace from Cheap Monday.

Comfort is a key word for Zafirah — it’s how she describes her style, and says that’s all she thinks about if she’s going to be out for 9-10 hours a day. “I like loose, comfortable clothing. I don’t feel like myself when I try to dress up in skirts or dresses — I’d end up buying something to change into in the middle of the day,” she says. “So, to not dent my bank account any further, I don’t step out of my house if I’m not comfortable in what I’m wearing.” Perhaps it’s all about being able to be active and on-the-go for Zafirah  who loves running. “It's the one thing that I really need in my routine. I wake up at around 4am every morning, go for a nice slow run, and get ready for work. Running definitely makes me feel grounded.” And while she laments that she used to be able to clock in more kilometres when she was still studying, she finds work to be satisfying, especially when everything falls into place. “I have this tiny bit of an obsessive-compulsive disorder, so I love it when everything is in order!” she says. As an accountant, Zafirah admits that work can get a bit repetitive at times, but she says when that happens, it's time to make use of her annual leave. Work takes up most of her week — she says she isn’t much of a “hanging-out type of person”. “I only really venture out to meet up with my friends either on Friday night or Saturday. Sunday is strictly for hibernation.” In contrast to her early-morning runs, Zafirah seems content with living the slow life, and says she would like to be a tai-tai (a rich housewife) if she could. “I really think I would very much excel in napping and pigging out all day long.” On the side, Zafirah runs a blog that she started a while ago. “It’s mainly about my pet peeves, except that I wrote it from the perspective of an ant.” She believes that karma is always lurking, and the one thing she’d like to tell everyone would be: “Throw that litter in the bin, please!”

30 June 2015

Surf's Up

Juliana, Marketing & Communications, Dress from Club Monaco, Watch from EST, Shoes from Steve Madden.

Juliana works in marketing and communications, and deals with different fashion brands on a day-to-day basis; despite this — or maybe, because of this — she says she doesn’t enjoy shopping. “I do buy things, but there's no such thing as leisure shopping for me,” she says. “When I walk in the mall or visit a store, my brain will naturally pick out things that are relevant to my job. People find it hard to understand.” Nonetheless, Juliana has no problems looking fashionably professional and office-appropriate; it helps that her industry doesn’t have a corporate dress code. “I don’t have a specific style, it’s more of a mix and match and it really depends on my mood and what my plan or schedule is like for the day,” she says. “I prefer quality over quantity, and I tend to buy classic, investment pieces.” At work, Juliana relishes the fact that the nature of her job is ever moving and changing. “It’s fast-paced, so there's never really a dull moment. There's always room for creativity, relationship-building, learning and growing, both in a professional and personal sense.” If she wasn’t in her current line of work, Juliana says she might have gone into the finance industry (“hopefully, earning big bucks to finance the finer things in life”) but it seems like if she had a choice, however, she’d like to spend her days out on the water. “I'm a big lover of the sun and the sea; it's a combination that’s irresistible to me. I'd take time off from work if anyone were to ask me out for wakeboarding on a weekday!” The quieter side of Juliana also likes time alone, or with loved ones. “In my free time, I like to stay home and daydream!” she laughs. “It's a luxury to switch my brain off and not talk to anyone. If not, then I'll most likely be spending time with my friends or family over a hearty meal or drinks. I always believe that if someone or something matters and is important, you will make time. So, it’s really not about having time — it’s about making time.” She leaves us with some words of advice that are applicable to both work and life. “Stay humble and remember your roots. Passion and commitment are what keep you going. Follow your heart, but take your brain with you.”