Photo: Plaza Singapura
When it comes to your personal style, it’s often hard to work out ‘who you are’ and how best to represent yourself - particularly given the variety of occasions life throws your way. Whilst you know what you like (big earrings, muted colours for instance) you don’t necessarily always know how best to create a styled outfit, or even what suits your body frame.
That’s why we’re here with some helping hands and ensemble advice to get you well on your way to owning your own style. The idea is to make your wardrobe work harder in the style stakes, so you don’t have to.
Therefore we’ve crafted some easy tips and hacks on what to do (and not to do) to help you always look your best.
All clothes below are available at Plaza Singapura shopping mall, Orchard Road.
Layering is a great way to take pieces and stamp your own personality on them. It’s also an easy method to ensure you don’t look like everyone else. When layering, consider the occasion and the weather as determining factors on what you layer - given our hot weather, you can’t really choose multiple thick items for example.
Crop tops are great to wear under pinafores, dungarees or jumpsuits because they’re light to wear and finish high up the midriff, avoiding any heated moments. As a rule, if layering tops under another piece, choose cotton fabric as that will allow your skin to breathe easier and less likely to sweat even if it’s long in length.
For outerwear - don’t pick heavy trench coats, puffer jackets or bomber jackets when you know you’ll be venturing outside. Keep these for air-con venues only. Also always try pick outerwear with a light lining or no lining at all. Summer dresses over skinny jeans is always a win for the layered look - especially if you team with some pointed toe heels. If the dress is printed, keep the denim plain and dark.
Pick pieces that can double up
This is great option for those who don’t like to shop / don’t want to always spend a lot of money or want to maintain their capsule closet. If you pick items that can be worn a variety of ways, not only does it save money and wardrobe space, once again it delivers a very personal touch to your outfits.
For example, tops can that can be unbuttoned and re-buttoned in a different way are a good pick, as are jackets that are reversible. Long shirts can be worn as shirt-dresses alone or tucked into pants for an easy office look. Cardigans can be worn open as the outer layer or you can button them up and wear as a top as an under layer. Or these days, pretty underwear can be worn as outerwear - for example a lace bodice or corset can be worn under high waisted mom jeans for a very cool chic look. If you get a few key items that you can switch around to suit your mood and attire occasion, you’ll find styling yourself that much easier in the mornings.
Buy staples that transcend seasons
It’s easy to get swept up in fast fashion’s ever changing seasons and trends, and whilst a wardrobe refresh is always a good idea, you should also invest in staples that you’ll always be able to wear from month to month, year in year out. When we say key staples we don’t necessarily mean very expensive designer clothing either - staples can be cheap too. They just might need to be replaced sooner that’s all.
If you need a helping hand, below is a list of what we’d suggest are core key pieces to have in some form or another:
1/ Basic cotton t-shirt: Black and white options.
2/ Pair of denim well fitted jeans (the cut is entirely up to you, although skinny has become the classic norm now).
3/ White shirt.
5/ The LBD - little black dress for evening attire.
6/ Skirt - pencil for work and skater / A-line for work and off-duty.
7/ Maxi dress.
8/ Culottes - if in doubt, can pick dark block colour.
9/ Tailored two-piece suit.
10/ Slip on mules.
11/ Pair of high heels.
12/ Ankle boots.
13/ Flat sandals.
Mix 'n' Match
Whilst it’s easy to always veer towards black, grey or a colour you know suits you, these days fashion is so expressive and free you can afford to start to play around with colours, prints and fabrics. From clashing prints to candy colours to bold brights - try and push yourself at mixing and matching pieces you’d not usually pair together.
For colour choices, head back to the days of art class in school and check out the colour wheel. If you pick any colour that is opposite each other on the wheel, they’ll compliment each other! Purples and yellows (think lilac and lemon yellow) work wonders, as do blues and oranges. You can experiment with the shades and variants of the colour, as long as you choose opposing colours you’ll be fine.
For mixing and matching prints, if you’re bold and brave you can take any print of any colours and work together. Weirdly, the more they clash the better they look. If you’re not ready for that, then start by choosing different prints but with similar colour palette. For example, striped monochrome tailored pants and a floral monochrome blouse fits this style.
If in doubt, add accessories. The right necklace, handbag or hat can take an outfit from 7/10 to 10/10 in the style stakes. Don’t go too overboard but do formulate your OOTD by factoring in accessories that work well with your clothing and give your overall ensemble a very strong theme and statement look.
A general rule of thumb (but feel free to break it should you so desire) is don’t pick a huge statement necklace and huge statement earrings - it’s one or the other. If you’re layering necklaces, opt for dainty chains and try mixing yellow, white and rose gold tones for a boho look. If you like minimalist jewellery, you can add more bracelets or multiple earrings to create more of a style statement but keep the delicate edge.
For bags and shoes, matching colours really pulls the look together and gives more of a styled finish. So if it’s red loafers or pumps, pick a bag that is the same shade red. Bags will always help dictate the theme of your look so don’t choose a rucksack if you’re going for a ‘feminine and floaty’ work OOTD, instead pick a tote or shoulder bag.
Always rock whatever you wear with confidence. There’s nothing you can’t pull off if you own it and smile your way through your sartorial choices. Even if you made a mistake or you’re super uncomfortable but can’t return home to change - just act like it was intentional and everyone else will believe it to be. A smile and a touch of sass is the cherry on your styling cake.
For more content, go check out our Her World Style Awards 2018.