From The Straits Times    |

Photo: Instagram/sqwhat

Despite being an A-lister celebrity and reportedly one of the highest-paid actresses currently, Lin Li-hui, who goes by her stage name Shu Qi, is surprisingly normal.

The Hong Kong-based Taiwanese actress does not shy away from revealing snippets of her life through her Instagram and Weibo accounts, and has no qualms sharing everything from skin allergies to dinners with fellow celebs (that’s normal right?) to bad-hair-no-makeup days and little grievances such as her husband (who is Hong Kong actor-director Stephen Fung, by the way) not giving her any attention.

The couple, who first met on set in 1998 gay romance film Bishonen, got married in a secretive low-key wedding in 2016, which was reported to have taken place at the Bouzov Castle in Czech Republic with fewer than 20 people in attendance. Her wedding gown of choice? A H&M dress she had gotten two years ago.

But beyond her humble and frugal ways, it’s undeniable that Shu Qi is absolutely stunning. Besides her radiant complexion and sexy lips (which had earned her the accolade of Sexiest Lips in a 2008 survey by E! Entertainment, beating out competitors such as Angelina Jolie), the actress has an amazing sense of style. She swings from girlish charm to sophisticated goddess with ease, as seen in her myriad of ensembles.

We’ve scoured through her Instagram for 10 style tips you can easily pick up from her. Now we just have to fake sensual lips with some lip gloss and liner.

1. Throw a hat on it

Even a knock-out like Shu Qi is a mere mortal like us, and suffers from bad hair days too. Her solution? Throw a cap on it. Scroll through the actress’ Instagram and you can find that her cover of choice consists of snapbacks, baker boy caps and mid-brim hats, which makes sense because they help balance her angular facial features. Whatever style of headwear you choose to don though, make sure to pick one that flatters your face shape.

Get: Corduroy nautical cap, $39.90 from Zara

Nautical caps, also known as baker boy hats, are a dressy option compared to the snapback that Shu Qi wore in her photo. You can wear it on off-days with T-shirt and jeans or for work and social occassions with a crisp suit.

2. Own statement jewellery? Flaunt it


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If you didn’t know, Shu Qi is an ambassador for Italian fine jewellery label Bvlgari, which explains why she’s often spotted wearing them. Her favourite, it seems, is the iconic Serpenti bracelet, which she’s coyly showing off in this photo. If you have a set of stunning statement jewellery in your wardrobe, why not proudly flaunt them?

Note how Shu Qi places the bracelet as the centrepiece while the earrings, ring and necklace are more delicate and serve a more complementary purpose. Pair the bling with a simple and minimalist outfit to go bold without looking OTT.

Completedworks Angry Intellectuals ceramic, gold vermeil and topaz earrings, US$377.16 (S$495.47) from Net-a-Porter

Chunky, statement jewellery can still look classy and elegant. Take this Completedworks earrings for example. White and yellow gold is an enduring colour pairing and its unique yet clean silhouette makes it a great conversation starter.

3. Match the tones

起 Have a great day ❤️

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While Shu Qi looks nothing short of resplendent in this picture, we need to give a shoutout to the masterful styling that led to this ensemble. Not only does the warm gold jewellery complement her skin tone and make her look like a breath of fresh air, we love how it complements the hardware accents in her cream white tuxedo dress too. The overall look comes across as simple but holistic, and the actress looks radiant and sunny.

Nura Reef stacking ring, $155 from Monica Vinader

People with warm skin tones flatter yellow gold while cool tone skin tones favour silver and white gold. Rose gold, on the other hand, flatters all skin tones and will look good on anyone. Moreover, this Monica Vinader ring can be easily slipped into your outfit either on its own or stacked with multiple pieces.


4. Back to school chic

Coming soooooooooooooooon

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Shirts aren’t the only thing you can appropriate from your man’s wardrobe. Dressed in a simple white shirt and black skirt, Shu Qi probably took the tie from hubby Stephen Fung and made it her own. The result? A geekish yet adorable ensemble that shaves years off your age. So grab a tie from your man’s closet and use it as an accessory by tying a loose knot to channel Gossip Girl chic.

Chakra 032, US$320 (S$453) from Gentle Monster

Another way to score the geek chic look is to don a pair of glasses. We suggest taking it a step further by going with these angular Gentle Monster cat-eye sunnies that are fitted with 100 per cent UV protected lenses to shield your peepers from the sun.

5. Cool in black

昨晚長這樣 #宝格丽欢筵享宴#

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An LBD is a failsafe way to look polished and put together. But as Shu Qi proves, it doesn’t have to look boring; you just have to select pieces with unique silhouettes and designs. Here, she shows off her clavicles with an off-shoulder number that is accented by a statement Bvlgari necklace, but what we really love is the cape-like details of the dress that really sets it apart from other LBDs.

Take a leaf from her book and go for designs with bias cuts, asymmetric hems and unusual placements of ruffles and lace when you’re getting your next LBD.

Veronica Beard ruched stretch-cotton poplin midi dress, US$498.11 (S$705.14) from Net-a-Porter

Don’t let the ruching scare you off. Together with the button placement, it was crafted masterfully to complement the feminine silhouette of the body-hugging dress. Moreover, it was made with lightweight cotton-poplin so it wears great for Singapore’s weather.

6. Family knows best 


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Being a warm-toned woman, colours such as red, coral and orange look good on Shu Qi. And she obviously knows it too — just look at this outfit where she’s all decked out in an array of warm-toned apparel. Despite her tailored and structured outfit, as accorded by her cigarette trousers, boxy trench coat and towering stilettos, her look remains dynamic and dimensional. Why?

She layers slightly different tones from the same family of colours — ie. pinkish trousers juxtaposed against a deeper orange trench and finished with pumpkin orange heels — so the look doesn’t look staid. This is another way to style a monochromatic look, if you are daring enough.

Emilia Wickstead point-toe gingham-jacquard twill slingback pumps, $900 from MatchesFashion

We can’t guess what are your favourite colours that you wear most frequently so it is difficult to recommend a shopping pick based on this point. However, for those who loves whites, blacks and greys, these gingham-patterned slingback pumps are for you.

7. Don’t be afraid to try colours

Scroll through her pictures and you’ll find that green is not a colour that Shu Qi wears often, if at all. And being part of the cool-toned family, green is not a colour that is immediately flattering to her skin tone. But the stylish maven went for it with this viridescent outfit — and it works — because it incorporates shades of yellow in the mix, which invariably makes the green tones lean towards the warm spectrum. That’s the beauty of printed outfits and another consideration when picking up a shade that seemingly doesn’t work for you.

Versace jungle-print pleated midi skirt, $1,655 from MatchesFashion

We knew we had to stick to the green theme when we saw this Versace pleated skirt. If the print looks familiar to you, that’s because it is the same iconic pattern that Jennifer Lopez wore to the Grammy Awards that led to the creation of Google Images. Wear this with the matching top or pare it down with a plain shirt.

8. Keep it printed

風好大 天好冷 腳好寒 #智族GQ MOTY年度人物#

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Co-ords can be a fuss-free yet stylish way to pull together an ensemble. While it’s easier to go with monochromatic shades, try being adventurous by going with a set that has prints, such as this yellow checkered pantsuit that Shu Qi is sporting. She matched the cheery outfit with a blush pink top and a pair of shades of the same hue — a smart move, because the pastel colour is gentler and creates less contrast against the pantsuit.

The result: A softer, more pleasing ensemble. This principle works when you’re wearing bold solid coloured pantsuits and other co-ords as well (such as a flaming red pantsuit, for example).

Giuliva Heritage Collection houndstooth linen short-sleeved jacket and The Altea houndstooth linen trousers, $1,805 and $925 from MatchesFashion

Bored of the usual suit sets you find in the market? Head to Giuliva Heritage Collection for the refreshing co-ord pantsuit. We love the interpretation of the traditional menswear attire by the luxury Italian label and the irreverence of the short-sleeved jacket.

9. Not all heroes wear capes


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Shu Qi looked equal parts sporty and chic by throwing on a blazer like a cape instead of wearing it the regular way. Not only does laying a blazer atop your shoulders give you a boxier look (which she juxtaposed with an A-line ensemble), this silhouette also makes your vibe less formal and more carefree. In fact, it’s a great way of introducing a wind-in-the-hair look with minimal effort.

Double-breasted blazer, $59.90 from Mango

We deliberately chose this statement fuchsia blazer because it would look great juxtaposed against the sea of neutral-coloured shirts and outfits you sport for work.  You could also get the matching trousers for a killer pantsuit combo.

10. Casual, but chic


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No weekend plans? That isn’t an excuse to not be your usual stylish self. Shu Qi went with a relaxed chic vibe by wearing an oversized jumper over some simple jeans with a cap, but the most important thing here is her smart use of the principles of the colour wheel. She juxtaposed two complementary colours of yellow and purple to add both visual interest and pops of colour to her outfit. Simple and effective.

Isabel Marant Étoile Drussell striped mohair-blend sweater, US$385.36 (S$545.53) from Net-a-Porter

The wrong oversized jumper can quickly make you look slouchy and sloppy – not a look you want to achieve. This multi-coloured design reads both casual and unbothered while showing that you gave two thoughts about your purchases and styling.