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I’ve had my fair share of whose-life-is-this? moments in Singapore, but this weekend was particularly bougie.

Saturday night S and I went to the Ford Supermodel of the World competition at the Ritz to support a Brazilian girlfriend of ours (2nd photo below in stripes) who fitted all the models for the swimsuit competition.  All week, S and I had been affectionately referring to the event as the “skinny bitches” party, but it turns out it didn’t feel much different from my daily life in Asia, except the girls were taller.

On Sunday a British girlfriend of mine (above in red) chartered a yacht for her 30th birthday party. Actually, I was shocked by how ridiculously affordable it was relative for what one would pay to do the same in the States.

It was all a ton of fun! We sailed out to some small islands, swam to the beach, and had a BBQ on board to celebrate A’s 30th.

It’s all a bit surreal for this nerdy research assistant from the South, who spends most of her days wearing heavy reading glasses in front of spreadsheets of obesity data.

Somebody remind me again why I decided it was a good idea to leave all this and become an impoverished graduate student…

Let’s have a moment of brutal honesty, shall we?

I’m speaking as a woman raised in the west when I tell you that it’s incredibly frustrating to be a strong, independent and powerful woman in Southeast Asia. My frustration stems from a bevy of reasons, but it is never more salient than when I’m trying to shop for clothes. (I emphasize the word trying).

For the time being, let’s forget about frustrations with difference in sizes, body types and/or curves.

Today I’d prefer to rant about how I find it insulting to look at women dressing like children. When I walk into a store for women, I don’t want to try on foo-foo frills, lace, ribbons, bows or ballerina skirts. And for Pete’s sake – enough with the frilly white socks.

Ladies, if you dress like little girls, you can expect to be treated like girls. And frankly, I don’t want to see you in the professional sphere, where I’m trying to earn some respect in a world where women are still paid substantially less than a man, and are virtually nonexistent in the highest levels of management. Women of Southeast Asia, the little kitties on your sweater aren’t helping.

Furthermore, will wearing cutesie dresses and hello kitty earrings and sailor costume-esque dresses find you a quality man? NO. It will find you a pedophile or a chauvinistic fool. And in the meantime, it undermines the rest of your fellow sisters who are trying to be classy and beautiful women who are respected for their intellect, their accomplishments, and their vibrant personalities.

Whether we like it or not, our clothes send a message about ourselves to the rest of the world. And if I’m on the MRT in the morning and I can’t tell if you’re the boss, if you’re going to work for the boss, or if the boss is your daddy, then the message is clear: we have a real problem on our hands.

So put away the butterfly belt.  You can be feminine and sexy without dressing like a 5 year old. It’s perverted and you’re doing your sisters a disservice.

People in Stockholm are so fashionable (and tall, and blond, and ridiculously good-looking). But if you want to try and blend-in you should wear stripes. We’ve been playing Where’s Waldo (where’s Sven?) all week..

Tim’s “rolled pants” have generated much debate amongst our little circle of RAs.  To roll, or not to roll – that’s the question.  Apparently it’s a growing trend.  I say “apparently” because I know little-to-nothing about men’s fashion.  Come to think of it, I know little about fashion in general – but that’s a topic for another day..

The Sartorialist explains the cuffed-pants phenomenon in this article.

It naturally followed that Tim and J-man decided to have a little roll-off after our weekly Chinatown-Durian lunch last week.  (Ok ok, we may have egged them on..)

Here’s a picture of Tim rockin’ the pant’s cuff like the a Sartorialist model:

Unfortunately, J-man doesn’t pull it off quite as eloquently.  Economists…

Can we take a poll?  Who wears it best? Try not to let my Goofy comparison bias your response.

February 2020
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