Wedding Guest Outfits…

As you get to a certain stage in your life; the people you went to school and university with, work with, socialise with and your family; well they all start getting married.  Obviously, I am happy for them but there is a sinking feeling in that petty little piece of me that says “Oh gosh…what will I wear?”  Also, if you are one of the lucky ones and receive a lot of wedding invites then the next question is “How many outfits do I need?”

Be like HRH Duchess of Cambridge and recycle your wardrobe.  That dress that you bought for one special occasion can be worn to another celebration.  All you need and this sounds so simple – rework the accessories that you wear with it.  This includes jewellery, shoes, handbags and how you style your hair and make up.  You can get plenty of wear out of that core investment piece.

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HRH Duchess of Cambridge shows how it is done

I had a recent opportunity to work with a HK based brand called The House of Folklore and one of the pieces that they had was a clutch that came in two different colours.  We thought as wedding season was coming, why not do a piece about how simply changing a clutch could change up an outfit.

In this case, I chose one of my go to dresses for pretty much any occasion (from first dates to working at PR events)  which in this case would be a wedding reception of a colleague.  These, I tend to go a bit more low key so the navy wrap dress from HK label WhattheFrock?.  Navy is a great alternative to black.  The cap sleeves makes sure you are covered and also for me, the wrap dress means that with fluctuating body sizes, the dress can still be worn.

Hair in this case was left simple and loose however, though we did not have time in this shoot, I would look at even just putting my hair up in a pony tail or a chignon.  If it was an outdoor wedding especially with the clear version of the clutch I would even look at wearing a fascinator.

Here is the look with the pink version of the Flutter Clutch.

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And here is a shot of the same outfit with the clear version of the clutch:

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Outfit Post: A simple black and white dress…

If you know me…you know I LOVE colour.  So this post is a bit of a different one for me as I am showcasing basically a black and white dress.  It is also a more feminine look than I really go for with a high neckline and an A-line skirt.  The dress was from Marks & Spencer and was paired with a pair of mules also from Marks.  I was lucky that the lovely Sabrina Sikora pushed me into wearing mules (I always looked at them with an eye brow raised) and well they were peep toe too which makes me go EEK even more (I have to keep a decent pedicure on those tootsies).  However, they ARE super comfortable and pretty much went with every outfit I had during the summer of 2015.  Also a heel that you can walk around in in HK?  SOLD.  Thankfully Marks & Spencer have reproduced them this Spring 2016.  They obviously know a good thing when they see it.  Shame though that they did not reproduce the navy version (gutted I didn’t get those last year).  For other options on the mule shape…check out Australian brand SENSO (they ship to HK!) from closed toe, open toe to various shades of animal print (cue heart emojis at this point).

 

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Senso Mules…

The dress I am wearing in this outfit post is from Summer 2015 for Marks & Spencer.  However the shape is classic and super flattering for most silhouettes.  For curvy girls like me, a nipped in waist helps give you a nice shape and though sleeveless, it is easy to cover up your bingo wings with a little cardigan (or just own the said bingo wings like I do).  I have found local brand WHAT THE FROCK?  to be a great affordable option.  No pattern but coming in a multitude of colours which adds personality to your outfit!

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What the Frock ‘French’ Dress in Pink

I have heard from a professional matchmaker that such a dress like this is perfect for a first date.  It is feminine, fashionable (without being too fashion aka scary) and has scope via the colour and the accessories you add to it to make it your own personal style.

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So there you go…dresses that do not have crazy prints can be a good thing…

Thanks as always to Bryant for making me look semi decent in photos, that boy is a miracle worker and super talented.

 

OUTFIT POST: COBALT COORDS…

Cobalt – a chemical element with the atomic number of 27 or  a cool blue colour.  Strangely enough though, this colour like its name evokes energy, movement… electricity.  Even warmth.  In fashion, the colour has been around for a while and for us Oriental ladies it is a great shade to wear.  Actually scratch that … for any lady to wear.  I have not seen one lady wearing cobalt who does not look good and hey its definitely more interesting than wearing a black dress.  The colour just seems to brighten the complexion so for us sallow complexion ladies…(like me it is a blessing).

As I am in an adventurous mode, I stepped away from the safe zone of a LCD (little cobalt dress…I have a gorgeous one from local label What the Frock? but wanted to push it and show the current trend of matchy matchy tops and bottoms.  I found a great pants and tops set from Marks & Spencer (warning the trousers are stretchy but can be very tight fitting!!) A word of warning here, check out the size above your normal size just in case as it might be a better fit.  No camel toe please!

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COBALT COORDS…  This makes for a great change from a cobalt dress or even a trouser suit.  The top is smart enough and the trousers are sleek enough to look professional for work….

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Excited for New Work Wear Options!!  Go Bold Go Blue Go Cobalt!

Another word of warning, with slim fitting trousers such as these and in such a bright colour, make sure you do not have the bottoms too long for you.  Ideally they should skim the ankles or just cover the ankles otherwise you have a lot of material in excess and fold ups do not help maintain the silhouette!

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Does my BUM look big?  Simple accessories such as these sleek heels and my MISCHA black and white tote adds structure and balance to such a loud colourful piece…

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With a top like this…do not do what I did, forget to tie the belt and pay attention to it.  This is definitely a DON’T shot as you can see that the belt half tied makes an otherwise polished look look sloppy…

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My intention was to keep hair and accessories sleek to counterbalance my colourful clothing and also keep it work appropriate.

My hair (as you might have noticed) recently got cut and I have been wearing it curly.  However, for this shoot, I thought it would be nice to see how my new cut styles up when straightened.  I tried out the new GHD Platinum and they are awesome.  Hair was shiny and also easy to straighten.  Check them out (though they are pricey at around HK$2,500 per pop but much better than ruining your hair with cheaper imitations as my friend says…hair you wear with you every day!).  My bucket bag is from local favourite MISCHA and it really is a great city bag.  I put pretty much everything in it!!  I grabbed it in the warehouse sales but check out her current offerings to get something just as good.)

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This MISCH Bucket Bag has been a perfect city bag…

Unfortunately or well fortunately for me, I got these awesome sleek heels from Badgley Mischka at a garage sale but here is a pair from Pedro Garcia’s Fall 2015 collection which would be a great alternative.

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Pedro Garcia Heels from Fall 2015 collection.  Check here for stockists.

And one final thing…the COBALT COORDS!!  Yes they are from Marks & Spencer and you can get them in store or go online.

A big THANK YOU to Marks & Spencer for the outfit and of course to my boo Bryant Lee for the photographs. http://www.bryantleee.com!

OUTFIT POST: THE Little Black…Jumpsuit

OK, my slightly silly mind goes down the gutter as I think of the acronym for this outfit post… the LBJ?  Yes, I went there.  Hey it is Friday, and we need a little romp (romper geddit?) for the weekend!  I know, yes I am being silly.  But all puns and smuttiness aside, the little black jumpsuit is a great alternative to the traditional little black dress (LBD) which is usually an essential in any woman’s wardrobe.

Once again, thanks to Reiss and Niin and my boo Bryant Lee for the help in getting this outfit post together.

I have to admit that I love a good jumpsuit but I usually tend to go for vintage with a pattern (I have a few loud florals, a rhinestone speckled one and a…gasp LEOPARD print one).  So when the Reiss ladies suggested a sleek lace topped black jumpsuit, I was a little hesitant.  It seemed to be a bit too a) fitted b) plain.  However, putting it on, I was surprised.  It was really flattering on the waist, the lace gave it an elegant touch and the fit made it ultra modern.  Added with Niin accessories and my vintage 1980s Valentino heels and a last minute addition of the hat…I was ready to go out and party! Unfortunately, I had nowhere to go.

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This Fitted Jumpsuit from Reiss really pushed me out of my comfort zone…

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My Billy Jean/Michael Jackson moment…Smooth Criminal anyone?

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I was super shocked at how small my waist looked…

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The vintage Valentino heels and Reiss Hat add a quirky touch…which you know I love…

The jumpsuit is like a little black dress, it is the perfect foil for accessories.  Once again I was wearing some awesome jewelry from Niin (http://niinstyle.com) which included a super sleek yet fun minaudière (it really is a masterpiece).

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Rio Shell Clutch fron Niin

Also I wore these amazing vintage Valentino heels with a rose detail which I bought from local vintage heaven Bang Bang 70s.  You know when you have a magical moment?  Well, I totally had a Cinderella moment with these heels…when they fitted me, I had to have them.  Also a nude pointed toe heel is super flattering and helps to lengthen my stubby legs!

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These Valentino heels…dreamy.  Choose a nude heel to break up the black and help lengthen your legs.

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The Nudist (in Nude!) by Stuart Weitzman worn by Jennifer Lopez, Miranda Kerr and other A-List stars is a perfect alternative…

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Amazing accessories from Niin add elegance but also texture to the Little Black Jumpsuit…

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Hair was in a simple ponytail and make up really focused on my lips.  Once again using a great orange red for a modern touch.  Once again MAC cosmetics come to the rescue with fun lipsticks…I am currently lusting after “Dangerous”…the name sounds fun right?

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Lusting after “Dangerous” Lipstick by MAC.

I am also wary of foundations (too many white ghost faced photos in my history) that I am loving the BB or CC creams with the concealer palette also from MAC.  I was initially scared stiff of the concealer palette as it looked extra complicated but actually when you have to mix up shades, it gives you more options of shading (yes shading!).  I am also loving the Lightful C range from MAC and have been using the tinted cream with SPF 30 (so good for your sun awareness and for me sheer laziness!)

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My current make up favorites…great products from MAC.

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Feeling Super Shy..Yes Me!

So go to a store and try the Manola jumpsuit or go online.  Trust me it is worth trying a black jumpsuit to give the twist on the classic little black dress.

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Manola Black Jumpsuit from Reiss.

For more shopping info click back on my previous posts (sports luxe) and (palm trees).

OUTFIT POST: My version of “Sports Luxe”…

Ok, if I look up “Sports Luxe” in a fashion dictionary, I would totally be told off because this outfit post does not really reflect the true sports luxe items i.e. shorts, expensive yet not practical sports shoes, visor etc.

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So when I google “SPORTS LUXE” this is what I come up with…

However, this is MY version of sports luxe because of the key item in the outfit post which is the sweatshirt style top I borrowed from Reiss Fall/Winter 2015 collection.  However the material is chiffon yet has a sporty graphic pattern with ribbed collar and cuffs.  So there you go so there I am defiant and saying this is my homage to sports luxe yet still with my twist of being colourful and wearable.

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This Reiss Top is the Key Item for My Version of Sports Luxe…

It really is not my style to go casual unless I go complete slob like (you really do not want to hang around my neighbourhood at those times and yes I have had those times when I have bumped into people I know wearing some horrendous tracksuit bottoms or awful T-shirt and skirt/shorts combo.)  So sports luxe was always going to be a hard trend for me to completely pull off.

As you might have already guessed, I like mixing things up.  I also like to try outfits which I think could work for a woman my age and also be appropriate as work wear.  Reiss has always been a great brand to go to for modern professional work wear though I do think that the cutting can be a bit more slim fit than a brand such as Marks & Spencer.  However, hey a label is a label so as long as it fits me and I love how it looks than a size label is just a number.  It is hard and I still fall victim to it but seriously leave the size label issues aside if you can.  If the clothing fits and makes you feel good then buy it, love it and wear it.

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Turning Japanese…with a little bow…how nostalgic (oh and my shoes look so pretty…)

I usually HATE body con (usually because most come as a dress form and it makes me look like a hooker as my boobs spill out) but this skirt also from Reiss was different.  It actually felt comfortable (a very important point for me) but also somehow flattered my lumps and bumps.  I have always been self aware of my lower half (rather chunky unfortunately) but this skirt which is like a pencil skirt version of a tube skirt with the right supporting banding is actually really flattering.  Also being a pencil skirt length makes it super appropriate for my age as well as being a possible item for any professional woman (was going to use working here but then thought people might get the wrong idea…working…geddit?)  Yes, I realize my sense of humour really does suck.

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The Body Con Pencil Skirt is surprisingly flattering…

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See?  Skirt makes me look relatively slim and I have to add a quirky touch with the hat!!!

So yes, the hat was a last minute pull and I think really added a quirky vintage touch to my outfit.  It is actually also from Reiss.

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I am totally in LOVE with this hat…

Make sure that your shoes are heels as to give you extra height and lengthen your legs.  I loved these black suede shoes with the great wooden and gold metal heels.  Not only are they practical but they look and feel a lot more expensive than they really are.  (Remember Reiss in the UK is still “high street”.)

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Heels are a Necessity…

So yes I love my accessories and this is what would theoretically make my outfit be able to transition from day to night.  I was lucky enough to borrow the floral clutch from KOTUR and the super girliness   of the bag is a nice contrast to the graphic lines and bold colour of the clothing.  Also the cocktail style rings (which I have used in previous posts) are simple but special enough to be day and night appropriate.  Well in my world they do.  I think keeping the stones both white and gold metalwork keeps it not so messy looking.

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Yes I am holding a FLORAL clutch…super GIRLY!

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I LOVE my ACCESSORIES…(KOTUR clutch, Niin Rings, Vintage Masai Mixed Metal Bracelets & Fairley Zodiac Bangle from the9thMusehk)

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Accessories CLOSE UP…

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Loving how versatile my short hair is…

Hair and make up still very simple.  Hair tied back with a piece at the front to face frame and also simple black liner and a pop of colour on the lips.

So there you go… can I get away with calling it sports luxe?  😛

THE DETAILS:

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ALL FROM REISS (the skirt is currently on SALE)  I went to the Reiss HK flagship store in IFC:

SHOP 1098A
PODIUM LEVEL ONE, IFC MALL
8 FINANCE STREET CENTRAL
HONG KONG

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RINGS FROM NIIN (http://niinstyle.com):
200 Hollywood Road
Shop E, (entrance on Pound Lane)

Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

Fairley Zodiac Bangle12/F, Unit 1204,
One Lyndhurst Tower,
No.1 Lyndhurst Terrace,
Central, Hong Kong

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“MORELEY FLOWERS CLUTCH” From KOTUR (www.koturltd.com):

KOTUR SOGO TST
Shop G-13B, G/F.,
SOGO TST, Sheraton Hotel Shopping Centre,
20 Nathan Road
Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon

 Photos by my darling Bryant Lee (www.bryantleee.com)

OUTFIT POST: COLOUR AND PRINT CLASH – It’s OK for work wear (IMHO)

When I was younger…Just joking I will not start with that….

So where was I?   Firstly, thank you again to the talented Bryant Lee for this second outfit post shooting.  He called this the “professional look” so I apologise for some truly cheesy poses where I try to copy boss lady/corporate poses and head shots.  (Yes a bit cringeworthy) but the intentions were pure…the idea was to show you can be feminine, wear colour and print (with a bit of intentional clashing) and still be work appropriate.

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Would You Trust Your Finances to THIS FACE?  (No answers please…)

It is so easy to stick to dark grey, blacks and if you are lucky navy for your work wardrobe palette.  Yes it is the safe route to go and to be honest you can not go THAT wrong (do not make me eat my words!) with suits and shift dresses in those colours.  However, a question…would it not make you start your day with a smile on your face if you could add some colour to your work outfit?   Now, do not get me wrong, there are times when colour and patterns may not be appropriate.  I am not recommending lawyers to go and get a lipstick red suit or powder blue one and rock it to attend a serious High Court proceeding.  There are certain protocols and traditions that even this colour and pattern obsessive respects.

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I Feel Lady Like Yet Office Appropriate … The colours and prints also make me happy…

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Fit, Silhouette and Proportions Are KEY…

As I get older, I truly have learnt to embrace colour and print…I am lucky I guess that in my current role, I do not have to be so traditional in my workwear.  However, I believe any professional woman can add a little bit of print and/or colour to their wardrobe and still be taken seriously.  (Looking back, though I love it, my purple trouser suit might have been a bit too much of a throwback to Prince but hey you live and learn…right?)

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Just so you get a rough idea…but it was more fitted OK?

Anyway, if I was going to give any advice (and this is just from my own personal observations, mistakes and experiences and should not be considered to be gospel because HEY I am not an EXPERT!); then here is what I would say.

1)  Silhouette and Fit ARE IMPORTANT

If you are going to go for a loud colour and/or print (do it be adventurous!) then make sure the fit of the garments is right.  With anything that is ahem eye catching, if it is badly fitted you will just look like a hot (and not in a good way) scruffy colourful printed mess.  Stick to a streamlined silhouette (this kind of goes with the fit hence why I have put them together) and for example go for a pencil skirt (always a safe silhouette as can be super chic and lady like) or fitted trousers.  Too baggy trousers unless you are a supermodel, will make you look unpolished and is more suitable for casual outfits.  Though the neoprene skirt has a drape in my outfit post, it is still a pencil skirt silhouette so keeps it looking polished (hopefully) and professional.

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My serious face….?  This Marks & Spencer Limited Collection Skirt has a drape front but is still a pencil skirt silhouette and the orangey red is so on trend at the moment…

2)  Invest in Prints…

I cannot remember where I read it (if I remember I will edit and add the link) but fashion editors are right that you should spend a bit more if you are going to go for a print.  This Doll Memories printed silk blouse (http://www.doll-memories.com) is may be a tiny bit on the pricier side of my price range but you definitely are getting your money’s worth.  The print (whimsical cosmetics print) is detailed and crisp and clear on the silk.  The colour of the blouse is bright and consistent.  Not to be a snob, but printed clothing that is at a lower price range really can look cheap and would not probably pass muster for work.  Also it can look a little junior as well.

3) Keep Everything Else Simple…

With your clothing doing all the talking, keep accessories simple.  I focused on my wrists and fingers (accessories same as previous post) and kept it to one metal scheme…gold.  I avoided adding too much jewelry as it can just be a bit too much.  My hair is kept back in a pony tail and make up is quite simple.  A small cat’s eye and well I love my lip colour so an almost matching orangey red lipstick from MAC (matching to my skirt) are all that is needed.

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4)  Proportions

If you are going to play the colour and print game, then definitely pay attention to the proportions.  Simply put in my case I made sure that my skirt goes slightly below the knee and also rolling my sleeves up emphasises the skinniest part of my arm aka my wrists.

5)  HEELS HELP…

Something about a great pair of heels does complete an outfit.  Now do not go crazy and add glitter, bows or unwalkable heels (ideally not open toe either…strangely enough I find it really not professional looking even if your toes are beautifully pedicured.)  I was lucky that Voltage PR gave me this amazing pair of paint splattered snakeskin pump heels from Andrew Kayla.  They added a really nice contrast to my outfit and are actually quite comfortable.  The heel is not super high and the pointed toe helps to elongate my legs and make my ankles look relatively slim… A BIG YES in my book….

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Anyway…have fun…experiment and you WILL find the right mix…