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: 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)

Culottes Are Still Here…And They Are Cooler Than The First Time Round…

Culottes were the go to “IT” item for girls to wear in the 80s, 90s.  Generally above the knee in loose flower material (usually in a very bright pattern).

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Culottes were short in those days…

A classic teenage girl ensemble would include some ill-fitting culottes and the ubiquitous hat.  Do  you remember the TV show “Blossom”  well, her wardrobe probably contained a few pairs of culottes.

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Young Blossom from the then hit TV was a Culottes Princess

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Interesting floral or graphic prints were commonly accompanied by a vast colour wheel of colour!

Culottes NOW…

This version of the culotte is surprisingly easy to wear.  Here are some quick tips:

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  1. Keep things neutral.

Go for simple silhouettes and neutrals such as black, navy, white or grey.  Keeping it simple helps to keep it easy to wear with your tops but also gives versatility meaning that you can dress it up for more formal occasions or dress them down for casual outings.  Neutrals also means that you can make it work appropriate and have it as an alternative to suit trousers or skirts.  Wear with heels and a smart shirt or even a jacket.  Wearing it with open toed sandals or sneakers and a slouchy sweatshirt or sweater keeps it casual.

Heels makes this office appropriate or even as an evening outfit option.

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Culottes – A trend that is versatile.

2. Material Choice is Key

Unless you are a model or tall and with slender physique, culottes made in fabrics such as stiff satin or leather can be hard to wear.  Though providing a very strong statement look, it is not an easy look to pull off.

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Materials such as leather though striking can be hard to pull off.

Materials such as jersey, cotton mix, silk, wool or even denim are great options for the culotte.  For the culottes which are less wide legged, suiting materials are great and makes it a very suitable work alternative.

For summer months, go for lighter fabrics or even pleats if you are brave enough.

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Add a cropped top for the perfect summer look.

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Cropped tops, light fabrics and colours makes the culottes a perfect summer staple.

4. Proportions are Important

To keep the culottes modern and not an 80s/90s throwback, keep them below the knee.  Ankle to mid-calf are super flattering.

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Below the Knee is the optimum length.

MY PICKS:

I have found some great affordable culottes in a variety of styles.  Check out sites such as ASOS and Zalora.  Also Monki have a great denim pair which will not break the bank at under 300HKD.

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However if you want to spend some extra money, check out some of the Scandinavian brands such as Dagmar or Carin Wester which you can get from a store in Vein (one of my favourite stores in HK)

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Carin Wester

Where to Shop:

ASOS (www.asos.com)

Zalora (www.zalora.com.hk)

Monki (address: Shop L1/29-31, Langham Place, 8 Argyle Street, Mongkok, Hong Kong telephone: 3585-8026

website: www.monki.com/; www.facebook.com/monki.hk)

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

And here is a sneak peak of how I wear the new version of culottes…outfit post to be out soon!354A6577

What is Normcore? I like to call it Normancore!

What is Normcore? I like to call it Normancore!
Hello Polyvore…It has been a while…
Yes, I know the trend and phrase “Normcore” has been around for a while and YES I am a bit behind the trend for writing this post about it now…  Well after reading the Wanderlister’s awesome article about Gap’s current advertising campaign in Asia to try and convince  the Chinese that it is not all about the bling bling but about the simplicity and quietness of norm core (apparently according to the Urban Dictionary it is “desire to fit in” or “the fear of standing out”).  In a society which is all about designer branding and thick gold chains (have you seen a Chinese bride?), it would be interesting to see how ex-COS Rebekka Bay’s vision for Gap translates into success here in HK.
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Normcore a la GAP… (photos from Gap and via the Wanderlister)
As a vintage lover, the norm core trend originally had me perplexed as throw me a garish floral print in a jumpsuit or maxi skirt and I am a happy bunny.  How was this girl (who deliberately buys versace esque print shirts) fit in with the cool kids wearing this normcore thingy?  Yes, I used the word thingy…it is a word in my lexicon ok?
But then that lightbulb moment happened, as I reflected on my recent brand loves and purchases and realised subconsciously I was actually doing the normcore trend…A HA!  Yes, by slowly following scandi brands such as Won Hundred, Humanoid, Baum ind Pfundgarten, Filippa K etc…I was actually doing this whole normcore trend.  I have to admit, I love the comfort of the simple flats and the slouchy sweatshirts and t-shirt dresses…for me it was not necessarily a fashion choice but more a lazy oaf choice (shameful yes I know but I never really did consider myself a fashion blogger.”
Also, I am loving new HK online brand GRANA which has simple silk shirts and the softest cotton t-shirts on sale.  Also currently loving ecochic website’s A Boy Named Sue’s slouchy plain cotton sweatshirts.
So yes, inadvertently I am a normcore follower but deep down if you still offer me a loud garish print, my heart still belongs to the print…
On a final note, I would like to add that I prefer the term “Normancore” which was coined by Grazia to describe the normcore trend…I cannot directly quote the actual description (goddamn you cats for losing my copy of Grazia…yes I am using my cats as an excuse) but it goes something like this… “Imagine Norman from Accounts at a staff party…he is quiet and blends into the background…that is normcore or rather NORMANCORE”.
Now for all those people who work in accounting and accounts (I actually have friends who do) and the random Normans who may read this article…I apologise for any offence taken.  This really is just another random musing by myself and just a little bit of fun and anyway GRAZIA USED NORMANCORE FIRST!
Below is a list of the items I selected on Polyvore…sorry bit rusty as it has been a while…

Filippa K white shirt
$215 – nelly.de

Humanoid brown coat
farfetch.com

Y A S blue coat
$255 – houseoffraser.co.uk

Filippa K super skinny jeans
$195 – zalando.co.uk

Filippa K black shoes
$250 – gravitypope.com

Won Hundred camo shoes
thedreslyn.com