30 July 2015

Sweet Suede

Christine, Media, Top from Taobao, Skirt from Topshop.

Christine loves her Fridays, which is why she appears to be in a buoyant mood today. “I usually have an at-my-desk karaoke session every Friday evening. I blast some music — ranging from  old school Chinese songs to Billboard Top 100 — and start singing and rapping. Sometimes I even force my colleagues to sing or rap with me!” It’s her way of winding down after a hectic work week, which she says often involves working 10 to 12 hour work days. “At a certain point, you just got to tell yourself, that's enough for today,” she says. “Go home, have a beer with a friend, get some online retail therapy. There will always be too much work!” Christine says that although she kind of accidentally fell into this job, she’s loving the challenges that it presents. Despite it being overwhelming at times, she loves the sense of achievement she gets when she helps to achieve a client’s goals. It’s also great that she gets to enjoy a fairly casual dress code, which helps in her versatile and experimental sense of style. “I like this spring's bohemian chic and ever minimalist Scandinavian styles. Sometimes when I am curious whether I can carry off certain styles, I simply just buy items off Taobao to try since it's cheap.” She makes sure that she feels comfortable in whatever she’s wearing, however. “When you are comfortable, your brains will have better resources to think about at work rather than being occupied with how tight your jeans are, how short your skirt is, or how sheer your top is.” A fan of DIY, she enjoys making things from scratch or making little changes to her old clothes, and often looks for tutorials online. This sense of curiosity is something she advises everyone to apply to their work lives as well. “Never stop being curious. Keep learning. When you are curious, you probe more and start being proactive than reactive. That's a value most employers will appreciate.”

29 July 2015

Freshly Cut

Joan, Pharmaceutical, Pants from Womb, Bag from Banana Republic, Watch from Amsterdam. 

We spotted Joan just moments after she got herself a fresh new look at the hair salon, sporting shorter, darker locks for something a bit more low-maintenance. She says her style isn’t very feminine, and veers towards the avant garde and eclectic. “I think my style is quite random at times,” she says. “I would say it’s quite unexpected. I wouldn’t wear a long dress, though, it’s too girly. Nothing too tight or revealing either.” She offsets her tie-waist culottes with a plain black t-shirt and sensible, low-heeled pumps, creating an altogether easy-going, relaxed look that’s still office-appropriate, and perhaps that’s why Joan never has any trouble with the office dress code. She also seems to have no problem with balancing her work and life, saying that it she finds it important to prioritize and be focused on completing her work on time. In the office, Joan offers some simple advice. “Listen more and talk less,” she says. “Be nice and accommodating.”  

28 July 2015

All Dolled Up

Nobelle, Student, Dress from The Fifth Label, Headphones from Wearhouse, Watch from Cartier, Wallet from MCM.

Nobelle looks slightly different from the first time we met her, switching up her edgier, slate-grey look for this summer-appropriate sundress and sandals. “I love playing around with different pieces and looks to see what I can pull off, so I don't have a particular ‘style’,” she says. “My wardrobe's also not restricted to any single look. If anything, I lean towards neutrals and am usually dressed head to toe in monochromatic shades.” She usually stays away from overly bright colours, she says, because she feels that they can be too overwhelming for professional contexts. “I like keeping it chic, smart and casual, so keeping to neutral colours, well-fitted clothes with clean and neat cuts work for me.” Perhaps Nobelle’s love of dressing up and experimenting stems from her childhood love of Barbie dolls. “It's quite embarrassing, but I absolutely adore Barbie dolls. I played with them daily when I was younger, and collected special edition dolls for their pretty dresses! I think I have at least 30 of them at home.” Nobelle is still studying, and says she might go on to do her Masters and get a PhD in the future to become an academia or lecturer, although she says she would love to work in business development or in the creative industry. On the side, she also runs her own food blog, and while she used to be quite sporty (“I bowled for nearly a decade, was a sprinter for 4 years, and did MMA for 2, then college and other commitments stepped in”), she’s currently just “studying, eating, and trying to manage (her) expanding waistline.” Nobelle says she’s trying to be a little more relaxed and taking each day as it comes. “I figured that planning too far ahead just adds to the stress, and makes me a little less optimistic than I'd like to be. Besides, not all of us end up where we initially planned to,” she says. “Right now, staying happy and being a better person is more important to me.”

Nobelle was the winner of our online voting contest for our Browhaus x Shentonista #BrowHunt.

27 July 2015


Soma, Finance, Dress from Forever 21, Bag from Modcloth.

We’ve photographed Soma before, and it seems we can always count on her to be stylishly dressed. Her secret? “I always believe in dressing up for yourself, and not overthinking,” she says. “It’s all about adding a bit of myself into every outfit, and most importantly, having fun with what I wear.” Soma says she doesn’t have a fixed style and tends to be more adventurous, trying new things every time, but her staples include basic white linen tees, crew neck black tees, and statement skirts. These staples help her to put outfits together when she’s a “walking zombie” on weekdays, waking up at 6AM to get ready for work, but it’s all made better by her favourite part of her job — her colleagues. “We’re all so different and the idea of having all these unique individuals in one room is truly beautiful. One thing we all have in common is our love for food!” To balance it out, Soma heads to the gym on alternate days and Saturdays. “You could say I am running away from my stress!” Soma’s dream workspace would be one filled with Pinterest-worthy mood boards on white walls, in addition to a giant vending machine that hosts that best chocolates and drinks from the best cafes in town. On the side, Soma also finds time to document her sartorial adventures on her fashion blog, which she’s been running for quite some time now. Perhaps she’s working towards her dream of becoming a fashion stylist or buyer, and she keeps this quote close to her heart: “If you have a dream, go for it. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something.”

26 July 2015

SHENTONISTA Looks — Bohemia

Featuring (top to bottom, left to right): Dahlia, Sharan, Shanice, Yun, Ash, Ann

In essence, a bohemian is defined as "a socially unconventional person", one who defies the rules and forges his or her own path. When applied to style, it's a look that is definitely distinct and unique. There's also something especially pleasant about spotting a bohemian style in the supposedly-straightlaced central business district. Whether it's a hint of paisley, earthy hues, lace-up flat sandals, or loose-fit silhouettes, why not take a leaf from these free-spirited individuals and incorporate something into your outfit to lift your spirits as well?

25 July 2015

A Different Cut

Fei Fei, Finance, Vest from Topshop, Pants from Uniqlo, Shoes from China.

It’s not often that we see a lady wearing a vest and pants to work, so Fei Fei definitely stood out in the crowd. She says that her typical look usually includes a cap, however. “There are more than 20 caps in my wardrobe. I think that a cap can make you instantly look more fashionable.” She stays away from wearing too many colours to work, as a basic rule. “Clothes should be appropriate for the circumstances. Personally, I always choose clothes based on my body shape. And one should be brave to try different styles in order to find the most suitable one.” Fei Fei likes that her work is relevant to her interests, and is planning to go for further studies in the future. Besides that, she’s also thinking of taking part-time courses in interior design, and informs us — in all seriousness — that she would like to be a motor mechanic. “All my friends were surprised when I told them that! But ultimately, you should find a job that meets your interests, and that you are good at. Make sure you have done enough research on the employee before making the final decision.” Beyond her interests in interior design and mechanics, Fei Fei is a sports enthusiast and spends her weekends playing badminton and squash. It seems she’s simply open to new experiences and would like to constantly learn and better herself. After all, she says, “Nothing is a big deal, except death.”

24 July 2015

Her Own Spin

Si Qi, Banking, Top & Skirt from Zara, Necklace from Europe, Wallet from Celine.

With all her poise, it’s no surprise to us that Si Qi loves ballet, and still manages to find the time to dance at least three times a week. She says that the key to finding a good balance in life lies in prioritising and setting time aside to pursue a passion. “That is honestly the shortcut to happiness. That, and being focused and deeply committed at every point, so time is always well-spent — whether efficiently, to get work done, or on quality moments for myself or with others.” Si Qi loves the people she works with, the interaction with her clients, and the knowledge that she is able to gain a certain level of trust to keep her clients happy. She does admit that tighter regulations mean that she has more paperwork and stringent procedures to go through, but overall, she’s happy with where she is. “As long as you're constantly learning a lot, you're in a good place,” she says, and goes on to advise: “Be proactive with making it known what you want, the worst you can get is a “no”.” Perhaps being a ballet-lover also inspires her style as well; Si Qi says she attempts to maintain a more “timeless classic elegance”. “I prefer leaning towards being more understated,” she says. “I really enjoy dressing up for work, it’s one thing that keeps me pumped in the morning. I wouldn’t wear anything that cuts too high above the knees — I personally do not find that work-appropriate.” If she wasn’t working in banking, Si Qi says she would like to do something related to her love for dance. “The grace and beauty from the most basic of postures and effortless elegance really appeal to me,” she explains. “I dream of owning a little ballet school, giving out peonies galore round the front!” Grace seems to be one of Si Qi’s recurring ideals, and she leaves us with her personal philosophy: “Be kind, and always have fire in your soul and grace in your heart.”