The Unintentional Uniform


Follow my blog with Bloglovin

When I returned back to work in January this year, my body was unwilling, my mind was pretty much blank, and I struggled to recall the route to my studio.

Yes, my 2016 holiday break was much needed.
No, I was not dRunNnKk.

Anyway, I suppose it‚Äôs a little strange to be writing about what had happened in January today‚ÄĒafter all, we‚Äôre already a week into the second quarter of the year. But I had to because:

Can you believe this‚ÄĒI‚Äôm struggling to decide what to wear to work now and this didn‚Äôt happen during the start of the year (where I was at my¬†most unwilling to get out of hibernation).¬†Mind you, I haven’t a¬†huge closet or a massive¬†amount of clothes; it’s tiny!

But then it hits me:

I had been repeatedly wearing the same few outfits due to my sheer inability to be bothered to think about what to wear.

In other words: I was lazy :-)

During the start of the year, our weather was slightly jumbled up and I found myself favouring monochromatic silk camisoles, high-waisted blue mom jeans, cashmere pullovers and wool cardigans over everything else that I had in my closet. The sheer child-like joy of wearing only my favourites unknowingly turned into my uniform for the next 2 months!

It was really quite a fantastic moment for me because it meant that I could constantly hit the snooze button before parkour-ing out of my warm bed at the very last minute, and still get to work on time‚ÄĒall while being wonderfully dressed!

Of course, the ease of wearing something without such fuss during my busy mornings wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t made the effort to curate a portion of my wardrobe in the first place.

My mornings’ are busy¬†because I make it a¬†priority to have¬†breakfast, watch a little educational YouTube videos (The School of Life¬†is my favourite!), scroll¬†through Pinterest to start the day,¬†and I have to spend ~20 mins preparing my work-lunch everyday.


Left to Right: ASOS Farleigh slim mom¬†jeans in blue¬†/¬†Floti¬†clay bead¬†/¬†Grana silk camisole in white¬†/¬†Everlane¬†silk camisole in grey, navy and black¬†/ Mango’s ribbed jumper¬†in off-white¬†/¬†Grana cashmere boyfriend crew neck jumper in black¬†/¬†Uniqlo √ó Ines de la Fressange’s cashmere cardigan in black¬†/¬†Uniqlo men’s merino wool cardigan (this belongs to my dad!) / MUJI¬†aluminium clothes hangers

The above was all I wore in rotation. It’s hard to believe it, isn’t it? And while it’s little, it makes me feel extremely pleased and satisfied just looking at how uncluttered and visually pleasing my wardrobe is.

This organisation all happened some time towards¬†the last quarter of 2016 when I was unconsciously doing an extensive reading about clothing‚ÄĒthe style, trends, manufacturing issues, environmental impacts, etc. Through the perspective of these writers, environmentalist and fashion editors,¬†I found myself formulating questions about what I was wearing and attempted¬†to be as specific¬†as possible.

Are these clothing made of natural, breathable fibres?
Eczema is such a pain. Also, fidgeting around in itchy clothing is quite unflattering! Today, I tend to favour cotton, linen, silk, cashmere and wool.

Do these clothing have a funny smell‚ÄĒespecially after a long day of wear?
I realised that polyester and acrylic knit don’t go well with my natural deodorant and even when I’m using aluminium-based¬†deodorant, they still¬†emit¬†a funny smell on me!

Do these clothing feel good against my sensitive skin?
Again: Eczema is such a pain. Thankfully, it’s quite contained now and only flares up when I’m stressed or eating things that I shouldn’t (like soya and cocoa)!

Do these clothing flatter my body shape?
Mirrors aren’t the best at showing you the truth‚ÄĒthe image you see of yourself is slightly altered due to the lighting¬†and¬†the position/angle that¬†it is placed upon.

I’m not entirely sure if the following makes sense but in any case, here we go:¬†it’s best to either¬†take¬†a photo of what you’re wearing and then evaluate it through that¬†medium, or, look at your reflection (at a distance) through¬†reflective glasses/plastic‚ÄĒthe slight blurry effect still allows you to see how your outfit¬†truly look altogether, instead of pinpointing what you look like in them (in other words, you are being critical of the outfit on your body shape first).

Do I feel good wearing these clothing?
This is probably more important than the above body-shape question;¬†even if the item¬†flatters my body shape, as long as it makes me feel uncomfortable (e.g.: too short, too tight, etc.), I won’t buy it!

Are the colours, cutting and fabric suitable for my real lifestyle?
I walk 20 minutes¬†(from my apartment¬†to the train station, and then from the train station to my studio), 5 times a week. It isn’t a lot, compared to other people in the other parts of the world, but it is very hot and humid where I stay! I¬†also work close to¬†10 hours a day in a studio with 2 naughty cats!

Do I truly like these clothing or am I just following a fast-fashion trend?
I’m so grateful for the return of mom jeans (other names: old school Levi 501s, Levi wedgie fit jeans¬†and¬†high-waisted tapered legs jeans) as they are¬†the most flattering jean¬†silhouette for my frame,¬†so that’s something I hope will continue to be readily available even when I’m 50 years old!¬†Also, as long as there’s a single¬†thing that I do not like on the clothing (e.g.: I hate exposed zippers), hard as it is, I will simply¬†have to do without it!

Will these clothing still hold up well after all the laundering?
I do all of my washing by hand (it’s a great exercise for toning your arms!) but I still machine¬†tumble-dry them in a delicates-bag before sunning them in the open.

Despite the world’s view on fashion as something frivolous, it actually isn’t;¬†what we wear has a huge¬†impact¬†on¬†our overall confidence¬†and it sets us up on how we would be feeling for the rest of the day. If you’re wearing something that you’ve to constantly adjust or if it itches, then you’re not going to feel very much at ease for the whole day. This trickles down and will affect your performance for the day!

It’s interesting to note that because of this uniform dressing, it helped me discover some of the following things that I needed, things that I like and things that I hate to do when preparing an outfit for work.

Need: One unfussy black leather belt

Like: Unfussy clothing / Neutral colours / Red for shoes / Camisoles / Long sleeves / Boat neck

Hate: Ironing shirts / De-pilling wool jumpers / Shirts with collars / Pure white clothes / Tee-shirts

Looking through the list above,¬†I was also pleasantly¬†surprised to discover that I didn‚Äôt have a huge list of needs! Granted, it’s only been 4 months so far, but I do believe that¬†this goes to show how we tend to muddle our needs and wants all the time.

Although, 5 years on, I still want that camel-shade Céline box bag. Some day!

Mind you though‚ÄĒall the¬†hard work of curating a¬†wardrobe will go to waste if we aren‚Äôt thoughtful about what we are purchasing and bringing back into our home‚ÄĒit really goes both ways!


Silk and Wool goes hand in hand in erratic weathers!

But… we are¬†probably wondering about the same thing:

If this uniform dressing was such a success for the first 2 months of 2017, why stop?

Unfortunately, I haven’t got a positive answer for this.

I suppose just as I had unconsciously picked the usual suspects to wear for the first 2 months, I must have realised it sometime in March that, while these repeated items were my favourites and I felt super comfortable in these luxurious fabrics, I wanted a bit more variety in my outfits.

As it is, my work life already has a routine and now my dressing too?! I wanted a challenge (aka: I was kinda bored and was being utterly¬†annoying here) but nothing was working out because¬†for¬†the pieces of garments that I still love but do not wear,¬†it’s all because the¬†colour scheme seem out of place in my wardrobe¬†and are quite hard to match with the rest of the items.

I suppose¬†that’s where the “I have nothing to wear!” situation started.

Was the uniform dressing not meant for me?
I don’t think so; I’ve applied uniform dressing for my home wear since 2014. As I wash my clothes every evening, I’ve only got 3 sets of lounge wear on rotation and I’m perfectly fine with them. Yet for reasons unknown, I never thought to do it¬†for my work wear.

Perhaps I just haven’t mastered the art of curating my work clothes just yet.
Perhaps so. Many people say that the easiest place in your life to start decluttering is the wardrobe. But¬†that’s actually the hardest and¬†this is¬†why I could only attempt¬†a partial wardrobe curation.

Growing up, my parents had¬†instilled in our¬†family¬†that we mustn’t waste because it earning money isn’t easy. So whenever we wanted to buy something, we had to justify it‚ÄĒwas the item’s price tag worth the money we earned through the number of hours we had to worked for?

If yes: Buy it.
If no: Leave it.

So for most parts of my life, apart from the rare¬†occasional dresses my mother made for me when she had the time and extra cash, I wore mostly hand-me downs because they were still in great conditions (i.e.: sturdy breathable materials, colours were still bright, age appropriate, etc.). Because of such observation and habits, it was drilled in my head that if the item is still¬†in good condition, do not¬†dispose¬†it‚ÄĒuse it, until its dying days.

I suppose you could say I felt some level of guilt.
Admittedly, it took me a while to dispose some¬†garments that no longer fits me and/or my lifestyle. Initially,¬†I thought it was because I was being a sentimental old bean, but looking at the above, I was just unwilling to part with the clothing‚ÄĒbecause of the money that was spent on it, because¬†it’s a form of goodwill onto me, because they are still in great wearable conditions, because I shouldn’t waste, because [insert any other reasons here], because…

I didn’t know how to say “No” to hand-me downs.
I didn’t know how to say “No” to clothes that really didn’t work well for me, no matter how pretty or great the fabrics are.

Letting go of still-good clothing was just never in my system, and so the cycle continues. I felt that disposing these still-good items (i.e.: through recycling bins, donations or selling away) was quite painful because it was akin to flushing money down the drain.

But it’s still money¬†lost when I’m not willing to wear it and it just sits in my closet unloved, isn’t it?


But it’s¬†2017 now and a change is necessary if I don’t want to go through this whole nonsense of having nothing to wear again in the morning.

So yes: I ought to stop feeling guilty, start letting go and pick up where I had left off and continue to¬†curate my wardrobe. In short,¬†have my fashion-life sorted once and for all‚ÄĒI really do need all the sleep I can squeeze in¬†for all the gruelling work that’s coming my way soon!

Here’s what I’m going to do:

  1. Separate clothing into 2 sections: Studio (work) and Off-duty (play)
    • If the items could work for both section, then put it to the off-duty section first; it’s better to have lesser things to look at at the start of the morning (especially on Mondays)
  2. Further separate the 2 sections into another 2 sections: Love and Unloved
  3. In the Love pile, select only the natural, breathable fabrics to keep (if possible)!
    • For the ones that are¬†synthetic but still serve a purpose, keep them till a¬†good quality replacement can be located!
  4. Quickly dispose the Unloved pile through recycling bins, donation groups, or selling them off

Well, it’s always easier said than done, and it might take me a while, but here goes nothing!

Wish me luck!


If any of you are keen on the silk, cashmere and any other beautiful fabric pieces from Grana (they ship to most countries!), here’s a 10% off for all you new-comers¬†to get started! Hurray!

I will probably do a silk camisole review comparison between Grana and Everlane, so do keep a lookout for that!


Favourites: February 2017

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Ah, February‚ÄĒa relatively short month of¬†28 days for year 2017 and only 20 working weekdays, with cold night-walks back home (which is strange for a country with no 4 seasons and lies so close to the equator).

Ironically, compared to January, the shorter the month, the more time I had to spend on self reflections and so for this second month of the year, I managed to have slightly more favourite items to share. I’m afraid there¬†aren’t any¬†more than last month, but there’s a bit more variety this time around!


Bridget Jones’s Baby
Whenever a film has instalments, nothing could ever beat the first movie¬†and¬†I would agree with that‚ÄĒexcept maybe because I’m such a sucker for happy endings (yay to Darcy and Jones!) and spiffier outfits¬†(seriously, thank our¬†fucking¬†stars there weren’t anymore of those ill-fitting loose¬†blazers and unflattering¬†bobbly¬†outfits), I very much prefer this 3rd¬†movie.¬†Of¬†course good old Jones is¬†still fucking clumsy but this time round, she appeared somewhat charming (I had no idea that that was even possible).¬†But perhaps the most important of all: that mood during¬†that night scene with Darcy after the christening with¬†that¬†accompanying¬†background music¬†was probably all it needed to seal the deal (well, it is¬†Colin Firth after all).

Unfortunately, British films tends to bring out a portion of the British side of me (i.e.: potty-mouth), and although I know that we are in a day and age where nobody blinks an eye towards expressive vulgarities, still, I am sorry about this.


MUJI¬†ÁĄ°ŚćįŤČĮŚďĀ¬†nail polish, Beige
Because of my inability to have steady hands and my busy schedules, I don’t enjoy painting my nails very much.¬†But I also hate looking at unpolished toenails while wearing¬†open-toe heels, so¬†I usually paint my nails¬†in a skin tone shade¬†(rendering my feet like that of a scary mannequin) because I realise this makes¬†mistakes less detectable.

I’ve tried quite a lot of nude-shade nail polishes: Dior, Revlon, OPI, Essie… but there’s always this¬†twinge of purple and grey undertones on them when viewed from certain lightings and angles, and it renders¬†my feet¬†like the undead!¬†However, this particular polish has¬†a hint of pink undertone instead, which is very nice! While it’s not very opaque, one single coat is usually good enough for me‚ÄĒif I able to fully concentrate: that is,¬†sticking to¬†my twice a month (before bed) nails painting schedule; no rush, no mistakes!


Metal spoon for lunch
I’ve had this since¬†2009 and it was from my holiday in Thailand¬†with my friends. I had used¬†one during my nightly dinner (a small couple-run street side beef ball noodle stall) and I had loved how it was made of stainless steel¬†and just so adorably small‚ÄĒmost of these¬†spoons are usually quite large and are made of ceramic, which meant that it was not travel friendly.

Anyway, I ended up getting one for myself before the trip was over¬†and I’m so glad I did. It can be a little screechy¬†when¬†used against my metal lunch box, but it’s okay because¬†my headphones are often blasting some TV shows¬†and I don’t always join my colleagues for lunch (I prefer home-cooked food).

I¬†Will¬†Go to You like the first Snow‚ÄĒOST Guardian: The Lonely &¬†Great God
I’ve read music for about 20 years and because of that,¬†I’m quite sensitive (aka: picky) when it comes to film/drama soundtracks. But I guess because of this¬†education, my view of music is a little¬†old school¬†(especially when it comes to¬†OST)‚ÄĒI prefer a¬†melody¬†to¬†match its lyrics, which is pretty rare in today’s context‚ÄĒmusicians¬†often want the juxtaposition because it’s a representation of¬†unpredictability, rebelliousness and¬†excitement.

So imagine my surprise when this particular soundtrack, in spite of it being sung in a foreign language, managed to summarise the drama¬†succinctly‚ÄĒevoking the bittersweet feeling of longing, loneliness and love‚ÄĒproving just how powerful this music arrangement has been; it broke the lyrical boundaries and made the listener feel the¬†unspoken. Well done!


Paris to Go: Why I Don’t Wear Vegan Leather
Anyone who’s interested in fashion¬†has probably watched the 2015 documentary film,¬†The True Cost, and while it did great at¬†exploring the impact of fashion on people and the planet, something was not addressed¬†in¬†the film: Vegan-leather fashion products. With¬†vegetarian¬†and vegan-ism growing to¬†become¬†a popular lifestyle choice today, it makes sense that¬†many people feel driven to become one‚ÄĒfor¬†the better¬†of the animals¬†and our environment… right?

Nope; Ariana’s provocatively titled¬†article begs to differ: by shedding¬†insightful¬†light on¬†what vegan leather really is, how the manufacturing process happens and the environment impacts it has to our Earth,¬†the conclusion is that¬†vegan-leather is actually far worse than leather products. Of course, it’s crucial¬†to remember that there’s nothing on this earth that we do that will have zero negative environmental and animal impacts. Instead, it’s just a matter of¬†how much¬†of such¬†impact will we¬†create?


Fifi Lapin charms + necklace = Fifi Lapin charm Necklace!
About 2 years ago, I bought some of these Fifi Lapin charms for myself and a couple of my best friends. I used to wear them individually but 1. it was quite a hassle fix the charms onto the necklace and 2. I never knew which one to wear!

So earlier in the month, I decided to crack out my toolbox and had¬†them attached altogether on a single chain¬†(an idea that¬†came from seeing¬†charm bracelets). Now, on days when I’m wearing simple¬†cashmere jumpers from Grana, Topshop jeans and a bit of Lucas Papaw as my lip balm, I’ll spiff up¬†my outfit with this and I think the overall look is pretty charming (pun intended!).


I’ve come to realise that doing these favourite posts takes a little bit to get used to¬†because¬†I’ve to make it a point not to write too much‚ÄĒelse it’ll just become a BA dissertation!

Do you have any favourites for the month of February? I’ll love to know about it so please do share it with me!

Favourites: January 2017

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

It’s been a month since I’ve written here! A couple of my weekends in February were burned on an out-of-the-job-scope work (I had a last minute column to write), had lots of Spring cleaning to do, and without knowing,¬†time just zipped passed us all‚ÄĒwe are now in the second week of March! Can you believe that we are almost done with the first¬†quarter of the year? Yikes.

As I mentioned in my last¬†post, since January this year, I’ve embarked on¬†a¬†10-months of no spending journey and so far, I’ve been pretty¬†good at sticking to the plan. Of course, I’ll be lying if I said this wasn’t a¬†difficult challenge‚ÄĒwe are living in quite a materialistic-dominated world after all, and there will always be something that we desire to own immediately and I am no different.

So how did I conquer this?

I suppose other than constantly reminding yourself¬†on your¬†purpose of doing this challenge¬†(are you: getting out of a debt,¬†saving for a holiday, saving for the future, et cetera), one of the other things that¬†I did to prevent¬†myself from being tempted to¬†spend was to take a step back at the end of every week and reflect on what I had enjoyed‚ÄĒusing and/or doing.

Of course, it was hardly¬†surprising¬†that this action helped¬†me better appreciate the things that I currently own (hence this post’s title). But as someone who is quite a sentimental fool, this self reflection ended up helping me to decide what are the¬†things that I shouldn’t be hoarding any longer and I was pleasantly taken aback at my ability to let them go¬†easily now.

So without further ado, here are some of my favourites in January!


The Body Shop muslin cloth
This isn’t the first time I’ve heard of a muslin cloth. It’s quite a handy piece of fabric because of its multiple¬†uses‚ÄĒfrom making dresses out of it, to becoming cheap green screens in film, and even as a diaper to help toddlers wean of wearing diapers altogether (that’s what my mother did for me). But perhaps the best use of it all: for your face.If your skin is a combination of sensitivity and spottiness, then this might be something you should try! The muslin cloth made cleaning more thorough and I don’t experience as much clogging or breakouts¬†like I once did (damn you puberty!). Every evening, I’ll pair this with my¬†Neutrogena Deep Clean Cleanser^¬†and I do find that it’s very helpful in getting rid of those pesky little¬†surface bumps. Of course, there are also other brands that makes muslin cloths but I find that size from¬†The Body Shop¬†is the most ideal for our face.


ROOTOTE canvas tote bag of Mount Fuji
Unfortunately, this design¬†was specifically made and sold only in¬†Japan,¬†and¬†I bought this late last year, at¬†the¬†Tokyo Haneda Airport‚ÄĒafter running back and forth through the duty free shops, trying to decide if it¬†was worth getting! And yes it was worth my money because, aside from the clever incorporation of¬†¬†Mount Fuji (can you see it?),¬†it’s huge! I’ve been using it ever since for almost everything possible‚ÄĒfrom bringing all my travelling outerwear¬†to be washed at one of those coin-operated¬†Laundromats (I don’t own dryers at home), to using it for work because it is large enough for me to put my lunch in.¬†Best of all, it has a¬†hidden¬†exterior pocket that’s¬†large enough to fit in¬†my house keys and transport card‚ÄĒnow I¬†don’t have to dig around the main compartment for these small objects like a lunatic!


Japan Flag Mug^
It’s a bit strange to say this, but this is actually the first mug that I’ve ever purchased on my own and only because (a) I love the wide mouth of it because it’s perfect for dipping in biscuits and I’m actually excited to drink water out of it, and (b) the incorporation of¬†Japan’s flag is actually one of the cleverest designs¬†that I’ve seen, compared to the other countries.


Well, I suppose that’s the end of this post;¬†I wish I had a film, book or music to include but I¬†couldn’t really recall any. I think I might have some for February’s Favourites (which I should¬†be posting next week!) so I’ll see you then!

Meanwhile, I’m curious to know what were¬†some of your favourites in January?¬†Well, if you remember of course‚ÄĒthis was a pretty late post after all!