As strong independent ladies making our marks in the CBD, we get our fair share of flak now and then, from our mother-in-laws; senior colleagues at work and then the general population of Singapore who love to shit on our appearance. Yes, it seems like most people automatically link up OL fashion to being BORING. In our defence, if we’re expected to look presentable, if not hot, in 30 minutes tops, it only makes righteous sense that we reach for the easiest co-ord or the blandest dress that says—I tried, and yes I’m female, now stop staring.
Granted, the OL fashion has been all-too predictable—from faddish peplums faux pas that hide the lunch babies to restrictive all-up-in-my-grill pencil skirts. Pencil skirts are the worst, because not only are they unimaginative and devoid of femininity they force the wearer to sit ramrod straight the entire day, limiting movement.
It is high time to open up a conversation about sprucing up our wardrobes.
High-neck tops with a good quality midi skirt
Want to elevate your femininity? Swap the severe pencil skirt with a beautifully turned-out long-ish skirt, that is both timeless and also comfortable. While you’re at it, grab one in a bold, in-your-face statement colour. Think jewelled green, brick red or mustard yellow, specifically no shrinking violet or unnecessary pastels. You can even go for skirts that have soft patterns like polka dots, stripes and tiny crisp flowers. Depending entirely on the look you’re gunning for, the outfit can be streamlined with a black skirt and a white top, but we suggest that you minimise the blacks if its all about playing up the femininity. Anyway, with the right top, this look will take you from flirty day chic to sophisticated girly-girl by night.
I am OL watch me….wear power pants
There’s a certain je nai sais quois about a woman wearing the pants… Pants are a veritable form of power dressing, and big ups if the said pants are high-waisted and nestling nicely at the slimmest girth of your midriff. There is a reason why the Kardashians favour high-waisted shtuff because, pants, visually lengthen the legs, pad on some non-existent hips; and those with a fuller figure find that these pants will hug your beautiful swells tighter than your boyfriend will. It’s a win all-around.
So bring on this streamlined outfit that is all at once flattering, brisk and channels a no-nonsense attitude. For an “elevated” no nonsense attitude, I recommend a crisp Oxford shirt. For a ladies-night get-up, pair it with a well-fitted (preferably) sequinned top. Finish the look with pumps or some strappy heels, both of which channel put-togetherness. No sneakers for this one!
Anything but polyester top, plus preferably textured
Polyester is disgusting, although it is also an inevitable evil in the fast fashion industry. It is the ultimate blogshop material and it feels cheap, doesn’t hold up well in the wash, the worst ones wrinkle and they come in god-awful colours. I could go on but you get the gist. Consider this for a second, not only do they look ugly on everyone, they’re now found to be causing irreversible destruction to the planet, especially with each wash. Hundreds of thousands of fibres fall off from synthetic garments in a typical wash, apparently, contributing to microplastic pollution.
Although not an eco-warrior or a tree-hugger, this is one material we should all try our best to avoid, if not for aesthetic reasons, think about the planet. May I then suggest, heavier-hanging silks and linen, structured garments embellished by embroidery and beads or a cute fringe top?