She counts Dior, Emilia Wickstead and Valentino among her favourite brands, so you can probably picture Astrie Sunindar-Ratner’s style. The founder of A – The Etiquette Consultancy and #HerWorldTribe member loves her romantic and feminine outfits that are elegant, refined and chic.
“I experimented with some fashion trends in my youth, but I don’t think I ever went over-the-top crazy. I have always leaned towards a classic, timeless style, and I have a good understanding of what looks good on me,” says the 40-year-old. One way she has fun with fashion is by playing with seasonal colours, but always in her classic style.
“My parents taught me everything I know about style. My late father had incredible taste. Although he was short, he knew what looked good on him and how to accentuate his best features. He taught me the importance of self- awareness, to accept oneself and how to be comfortable in your own skin no matter what. My mother taught me that it’s all about quality over quantity, and that looking polished and put-together is a must,” she shares.
Having a positive influence on others is something Astrie is passionate about, as she loves to share her love for good manners with others, especially children. She launched her etiquette consultancy in 2020 and is currently working on a book on Javanese etiquette. “I am who I am today because of my upbringing, and I want to share with the world the beautiful traditions and customs of Java, where I’m originally from.
“One of the benefits of learning etiquette is that it gives you more confidence, and nothing makes me happier than hearing my clients say they love themselves more because they feel more comfortable in their own skin,” she adds.
As an etiquette consultant, Astrie has a simple rule when it comes to dressing up for events. “Keep it to one or two statement accessories depending on the event and time of day. You want to shine from within, and your accessories should complement you, not the other way around,” she says.
And you should never outshine the host. “Always look presentable! Even if the host says casual, I still make sure to come looking put-together as a show of respect but, of course, it’s important not to overdo it.”
Before Covid-19, Astrie often travelled to Jakarta, Tokyo and London on business trips, and her favourite brick-and-mortar stores include The Papilion, Tomorrowland and Selfridges. She always keeps her looks simple but classy – think silk blouses, tailored pants, smart blazers, cashmere cardigans and statement jewellery.
“Edit your looks every day. Mix and match to see how the whole look comes together. This way, you will never overpack and you will always look put- together,” she shares.
Since she’s been spending more time in Singapore, Astrie has developed a self-care routine that involves listening to the Calm app first thing in the morning, then having a glass of water with lemon while writing in her gratitude journal, followed by a morning walk with her dog Nemo and a one-hour Pilates session.
Her bedtime ritual involves playing music in the background with her favourite essential oil diffusing, while taking a hot shower. “I always put on my Santa Maria Novella body oil right after I get out of the shower, then I do my face massage. It doesn’t take long, but I feel so calm afterwards.
“I’m a big believer in self-love because I think that when we take the time to love ourselves every day, even if it’s just for five minutes, we can have a better day and be kinder to others. I was once chronically depressed, and it took me so many years to get to where I am today. It’s still a work in progress, but I feel less guilty about many things now, and I don’t focus so much on what other people think of me. I’m proud that I can let things go.”
5 fashion essentials in Astrie’s wardrobe
1. White shirt
“It is a must because it can easily take you from day to night, and everyone looks good in a crisp white shirt.”
2. Suit set
“I feel so powerful when I walk into a meeting with a gorgeous, well-fitted suit. My current favourite is from P Johnson Femme.”
3. Pencil skirt
“J Crew Collection has the most flattering, versatile and elegant ones.”
4. White tee
“Like the white shirt, this is a must. A beautiful white tee – like the ones from Re/Done Hanes – with jeans, a skirt, pants or ballgown skirt is the ultimate way to look effortlessly chic.”
5. White jeans
“I have a little obsession with white jeans. A beautiful pair from Current Elliott, J Brand or Zara can make you look so elegant.”