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!

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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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WzifAtP1Q3STSRViElgW_11-005_bd75669a-3f0d-41c4-bdf4-04024a1b45a4
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…

(OUTFIT POST) The Girl with the Blue Manolos

Am actually extremely nervous about posting this as for those who know me, I DO NOT DO outfit posts.  I just cannot seem to do it right.  A camera is put in front of me and I became the klutz, with the facial spasms.  Also to be honest, I have always been concerned about how fat I looked on pictures.  However 2015 is a new year and I need to break out of my comfort zone.  I was lucky enough to have scored the talents of Bryant (@bryantlives – check this boo out since going to the London College of Fashion, he is going from strength to strength and I am incredibly fortunate and proud to call him friend.)  Fingers crossed for this current shoot as the last shoot he tried with me, apparently I looked HORRIBLE that he could not edit any to give me some.  I had a horrid expression on ALL the pictures.  (I hung my head in shame….was I really THAT MEAN looking?).  It brings back painful Facehunter memories too.

Anyway, Bryant gave me confidence that he would get some pics for me and assured me with his new camera and his newly learnt skills, I would have some usable pics.  I took my mother and Edowan  as distraction.  Not sure how wise that decision was as the old adage “To not work with children or animals.”

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Edowan – the cliche of not working with animals.

I chose as one of the outfits to shoot my favourite trend currently: culottes.  As I wrote in a previous post, they are not the hideous monstrosities that were in the 80s/90s.  Though with my being a print addict, I might buy some of the originals!!

The current version of the culotte provides an easy alternative to skirts and smart trousers.  I chose for this outfit post, a pair of grey woollen flared culottes from Carin Wester.  I paired with a classic blue silk shirt from the HK success story of 2015 GRANA.  And because of the vivd blue of my shirt, I had an excuse to bring out my MANOLOS.  They are bright blue and not very practical but I love them and they add a bit of fun to the outfit.  Wear flats to make it more work/day appropriate.  Dress up even more by adding accessories.

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Edowan decided not to coopertate

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I love the pop of colour the shoes and shirt makes to the neutral culottes.

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Eodwan on guard…

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Need to Practice the Walking Business

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This shot shows how two simple things such as a bright blouse and heels can really make the outfit pop but not be inappropriate for work attire.

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Edowan and I need to work on our poses

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“Come of Edowan!”

I kept the accessories simple, I chose some dark metal rings from RebekkaRebekka and Maria Black jewellery and the pouch is from Baum und Pferdgarten which were kindly lent to me by Vein.

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Yes it was my sneak peak pic but I love the contrast between the clay colour wall and my outfit.

Finally….some detail shots of THOSE SHOES…and Edowan of course.

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Eodwan was not impressed by the Manolos

LESSONS LEARNT ABOUT WEARING THESE CULOTTES:

I love these Carin Wester culottes but if you are not careful they can make you look very large in the waist and bum area.  Make sure they fit right and keep the clothing simple. Make sure the hem line for the culottes are above the ankle and show the ankle off.  It was considered scandalous a few centuries ago!  As a larger woman, avoid pairing with the culottes with a baggy jumper or a neoprene big sweatshirt which are popular at the moment.  Trust me, you will look like a blimp with a triangle on your bottom!  If you have the stomach for it, a simple crisp cropped top would look fab with these culottes.

Oh and excuse the make up, I did it myself.  For those who want to know, I wore “Heroine” by Mac Cosmetics.  They just launched a new version which is matt and limited edition matching lipliner are currently available.  So go get some now.

A BIG THANK YOU to Bryant for being patient and taking my pics… check out his amazing work http://www.bryantlives.com.  And thank you Vein as always for lending me accessories and support.

So where to buy?

Everything apart from my Manolos and my Shirt are from:

Vein (address: Shop 301-302, Lee Gardens One, 33 Hysan Avenue, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong telephone:2528-4988)

Vein on the Yard (address:2 St Francis Yard, Wan Chai, Hong Kong telephone 2804-1038)

website: http://www.bvein.com

My Manolos were bought second hand but you can join the GRANA movement but buying a shirt from them at:

Grana: (www.grana.com)

THAT Metallic Leather Skirt…M&S

For about four months since I clapped eyes on the S/S13 M&S pictures on Pinterest, I have been drooling over a metallic blue leather skirt.  Yes, you heard right…metallic, blue, leather and M&S.  This season, M&S has really been pushing the fashion button on their offerings.  As Cilla would say, it IS a lorra lorra skirt (translation lorra=lot of).  I wish I could be like the leggy model who wore it with a floral top, statement necklace, floral clutch and bright red shoes.  However, in reality, unless you work in fashion or the media, you could not wear this look during the day unless you want your office to question whether you did the walk of shame that day.

 

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THAT leather skirt worn with floral top and red heels (M&S Pinterest)

I have seen this skirt featured in publications such as Grazia (UK), Marie Claire UK and Company.  So imagine my devastation when I missed the skirt’s first appearance online and finding it had sold out in my size.  Thank the M&S Gods though that M&S HK saved the day as they have brought the skirt into HK M&S stores a few months after it was launched in the UK.  I am loving the new lease of life that M&S HK is experiencing.  I had been missing some of the more fashion forward items that the UK M&S were offering so was glad that the HK M&S buyers were taking advantage of some of the great pieces currently on offer.  Us ladies in HK do love our fashion!

I have to admit that there have been some mixed reviews about the colour not being as pictured and described.  I disagree, it is exactly the colour that was in the pictures.  The only difference (and for me it is a bonus) is that the skirt is less shiny or holographic as pictured.  For a curvy lady like me, less shininess around my hips and stomach is a blessing.  The price is high, around HK$2000 which for M&S, is quite high.  However, it is made of quality leather and with the classic pencil skirt shape, it can be worn for many years to come.  It really is about mixing and matching.

So how did I wear it for the first time?  I was wearing it during the day and then going to evening events so had to keep it simple.  If I went too OTT, I think I would have looked like a bedazzled quality street wrapper (not a good look!)  I chose a simple cream silk short-sleeve blouse with a collar and my pale pink (2 seasons past) M&S heels.  I tried to keep the palette neutral and kept accessories to a minimum.  The skirt was the focal piece.  I will do a proper outfit post soon but here is an instagram picture of the look:

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Keeping it Simple…

The skirt is available in M&S HK stores.

Flagship Store in TST:

Units 320A & 351-360, Ocean Centre
Harbour City
Tsimshatsui