After two months of isolation at home, have your clothes been collecting dust at home? If you’re as eager as us to dress up, then you would have your outfits planned for your cautious first outings in phase 2 of Singapore’s reopening. But before you paint the down red, be sure to familiarise yourself with what you can and cannot do.
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We asked seven local creatives what they plan to do first thing after phase two of the lifting of the circuit breaker, and what clothes they will be blowing dust off for the occasion and wearing with their masks, of course.
These days, it doesn’t take much to get ready for the day. I take my five-year-old daughter to school, do a grocery run and zip home to make a simple lunch for my husband and me.
Then I work (as programme leader of the Diploma in Creative Direction for Fashion course at Lasalle College of the Arts), practise my deejaying, do a spot of gardening on my balcony or work on my art. After picking my daughter up and settling dinner and her bedtime, I bust out a bottle of Merlot and Netflix the night away with my husband.
I can’t wait to have dinner and drinks with my friends – I have missed them dearly. I’m dying to go back to my favourite bar, Intermission Bar at The Projector in Beach Road.
When the circuit breaker fully lifts, I need to get my club night DayDream Nation – a monthly indie rock night at Intermission Bar – going again. Throughout the whole isolation period, I’ve felt a deep yearning to DJ and dance the night away. I’ve not felt this way since I was a teenager!
My Molly Goddard dress (about $400) will be the perfect stepping-out dress – it totally says, ‘I’m so happy all this is over!’ A friend of mine copped this for me at the (annual) Club21 sale.
As a mum who does school runs, I’ve been living in my sneaks; this pair is from Vans.
My takeaway this circuit breaker: That it wasn’t actually that painful to cook proper meals every day for my family, keep my plants alive and slow down.
I’m a homebody so I eased into the circuit breaker pretty comfortably. I already know I’m going to miss it the moment it’s over.
Because of the nature of my job, no two days are identical. I could be filming myself in the kitchen, glued to Excel calculating the nutritional breakdown of recipes, or hosting virtual events.
I still dress up at home because it puts me in a good mood. Currently, I’m wearing a T-shirt that says ‘Croissant’.
I’ve missed human interaction, so I most look forward to seeing friends and loved ones. It may not be so soon till I do this, but I look forward to going for a drink at a bar with a few close friends, probably No Sleep Club (in Keong Saik Road) – I’ve been meaning to check it out.
It sounds crazy, but I miss being in trousers. They’re one of the few items I’ve not worn at home for obvious reasons.
This pair of wrap pants (about $100) is from Matter and my bracelets and rings (about $100 each) – which I’ve missed dearly – are from Ashepa. Both Matter and Ashepa are local brands that champion ethical and sustainable fashion, and I absolutely love them.
The crop top ($30), which I bought during my university days, is from H&M.
My time during the circuit breaker took an absolute turn from my usual life. I wake up and take my mornings slow.
Since my projects are all on hold, I turned to all the usual things I do for fun: painting, photography, studying topics I was always interested in – like psychology and sociology – and watching documentaries.
I’m most looking forward to dining in and not having to do takeaways any more. I also miss the kopitiam, beach, libraries and museums (read also “6 Free And Fun Ways To Get Your Virtual Culture Fix“).
I have not worn this dress (which I bought for $30 on sale) from H&M in years – the circuit breaker has unearthed some old belongings.
It would be nice to don it again, probably not to the kopitiam – don’t wish to give the elderly a shock – so ideally to an art show.
The shoes I am wearing were bought on a discount too – $25 – at a year-end sale.
In this time, I learnt that there is an end to everything: good times, pain, boring times will all end. I watched A Year In Space (2015, a documentary series on Netflix about two astronauts who spent a year in space) during the circuit breaker and it changed my perspective on the situation.
I’ve definitely had a lot more ‘me time’, and have been getting back to hobbies I hadn’t had time for the past few years due to work, like pottery and cooking. I started off as a food blogger sharing my recipes five years ago, before crossing over to photography.
When I cook, I also document the cooking process to share with my followers on Instagram (@xlbcr), and shoot the end product when it’s done. Not forgetting – I work out at home at least three times a week to stay healthy, considering how much food I cook and eat.
In phase two, I’m looking forward to getting a good cup of coffee at my favorite coffee places like Glasshouse (in Chijmes), Homeground Coffee Roasters (in Joo Chiat Road) and Lucid (in Lavender). And I’m definitely in need of a good massage at Natureland.
Comfort and versatility are the most important for me when it comes to choosing outfits – which is why I find the brand COS very suited to my style: COS grey sweatshirt ($120), COS off-white trousers ($150), and COS brown leather sandals ($160).
Even though as creatives, we are not expected to be in formal wear, sometimes when we meet clients, we still have to be presentable.
Once the circuit breaker fully lifts, I’m going to hit the bespoke bars – places like Atlas Bar (in Parkview Square) for the ambience, and Almost Famous Craft Beer Bar (in Chijmes). Basically, chill activities at places that are not so crowded, where we can just enjoy the presence of people over a drink, and cheers to ourselves for overcoming the toughest period yet.
Since the circuit breaker started, I have been consistent with my workouts and running. I try to fit them in after dinner and usually manage a run of anywhere between 5km and 30km.
Otherwise, a typical day for me working for Arts House Limited consists of brainstorming sessions, internal meetings and catch-up sessions with our media friends.
My stay-home style has been running shorts and a baggy T-shirt. For important meetings, I make it a point to look semi prim and proper with a white-collar shirt and casual running shorts (that no one can see).
I’ve missed the gym a lot, so going back and lifting proper weights will be my priority in phase two. But ultimately, you’ll have to drag me away from the Civic District and the arts.
Nothing can replace the feeling of being part of an immersive live performance or exhibition, so that would be the first thing I’d like to do when the circuit breaker fully lifts.
When that happens, I’ll be donning a white slim-fit Oxford shirt from Uniqlo ($29.90), a pair of navy chinos from Giordano ($19) and my white canvas shoes from Muji ($32.90).
While this look is somewhat simple, it is comfortable and extremely versatile – I can always add a blazer for a formal look.
I’ve been working from home, so I treat it like any other day when I would go to work – except work is now in the living room, and getting ready entails just doing my brows, putting on sunscreen and lipstick. Some days, I wear foundation too.
I feel it’s important to set boundaries, and a simple act of getting ready helps set the tone for the work day.
After work, I try to do a small workout at home before settling in to watch TV. I like clothes that are fuss-free, comfortable and cool, but that also lift my spirits. So it’s airy maxi dresses or kaftans, palazzo pants, and some loungewear from Uniqlo thrown into the mix.
The first thing I want to do is get a manicure and pedicure! And a facial.
It’s also my husband’s birthday a few days into phase two, so we’re definitely going out for a nice Spanish dinner. I bought this pair of white pants from Zara ($59.90) right before the circuit breaker was announced and haven’t had a chance to wear them.
Everything else – & Other Stories top, Nine West shoes, H&M earrings and vintage Chanel bag – is ages old, so I don’t recall the prices.
I didn’t do any online shopping during the circuit breaker. I try to buy classic pieces that I will be able to wear year after year, so it was easy to pull this together.
On weekdays, my work day starts at 9.30am and ends at 8pm if there is no overtime. As a junior art director, I help with digital marketing strategy and designing visual elements for marketing campaigns.
I’ll always go out to get lunch – mostly Sichuan cuisine because I’m Sichuanese.
Lately, I’ve been trying to write a screenplay – a story about a Chinese kid who was adopted by a middle-class African-American couple who work in China. I work on that from 10pm till late, after which it’s time for skincare and online shopping before bed.
I’ve been shopping on End, Nike, Taobao and a few independent online stores during the circuit breaker.
I would start planning my first outfit back in office, but right now, there’s no fixed date to go back yet. So the first thing I want to do is go on a date (with someone I’m seeing). We’ll be having a picnic, probably at Marina Barrage.
For that, I’ll wear a Uniqlo U Airism white T-shirt ($19.90) and my Muji Xinjiang cotton Oxford square-cut white shirt ($39) – the difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures in Singapore makes me really uncomfortable, so I like having layers.
It is difficult to explain the comfort that wearing socks with slippers – North Face Nuptse Slippers ($69.90) – brings me. My advice is to try it for yourself. I’ll pair them with Levi’s 501 Original shrink-to-fit jeans ($110) and silver accessories to look more polished.
I want to get a tattoo on the back of my neck once tattoo parlours open. And of course, once we can travel again, I can’t wait to hug my mum and sister, who live in China.
This article was first published in The Straits Times.