What Singapore’s society ladies are wearing right now: Timeless, sustainable fashion
Comfortable basics and athletic wear are trending, but so are bodycon dresses to flaunt that gym bod. CNA Luxury speaks to five fashionistas to find out how the pandemic has influenced their sartorial choices.
When countries started locking down in March, sales of loungewear and tracksuits hit the roof. Even when restrictions started to ease in May, shorts, jumpsuits, intimates and slippers were among the most frequently sold out items, according to retail data platform StyleSage, which tracks inventory levels at fashion stores worldwide.
Judging from social media posts these past months, it’s a similar story for Singapore’s social set, who have been mostly donning athleisure staples or casual, relaxed pieces.
But it’s not game over for skin-tight, form-fitting occasion dresses yet. With dining in restaurants allowed in Phase 2, society ladies have been seen in town with their besties, some togged out in bodycon dresses and/or fitted tops. Evidently, while comfort and versatility are still key, personal style has not gone to the baggy pits. CNA Luxury speaks to five fashionistas to find out how the pandemic has influenced their sartorial choices.
CHLOE NG, LAW STUDENT
“I’ve adopted a more practical and relaxed dress style in the past few months so I bought a lot of sweaters and comfy pants online. That’s been my go-to look. [It’s either that] or tees with denim jeans. Sweaters and hoodies are so easy to mix and match. For instance, I can wear a workout outfit and once I’m done with the exercise, I’ll just wear my sweater over it and it’s a whole new look.
One thing I’ve been shopping for a lot lately is pyjamas, especially the silk kind, and revamping my sleeping outfits. For accessories I’ve been getting more chokers and basic tennis bracelets.
I love mixing and matching different clothing and I don’t like sticking to one type of silhouette. How I dress really depends on my mood that day and what the occasion is. I’ve been leaning more to relaxed silhouettes but it’s nice to change it up once in a while. Dressing up makes a person feel good, especially if you’ve been working out – it’s nice to flaunt your form after hours of hard work in the gym. Sometimes I go for a tight-fitting top and a loose bottom or vice versa.
Louis Vuitton is still my favourite brand; it was the first shop I went to after the circuit breaker ended. I love the iconic monogram, the timeless bags, and how classic and amazingly creative their menswear and womenswear are. Their style constantly evolves to what people want at the moment.”
“Dressing up makes a person feel good, especially if you’ve been working out – it’s nice to flaunt your form after hours of hard work in the gym.”
DANA CHEONG, GYROTONIC AND GYROKINESIS TRAINER
“My preference for casual chic fashion remains broadly unchanged, with the exception of a slight change in fabric choice. Hand-washable pieces are my top picks now as soap and water are the most effective against the coronavirus.
My favourite combinations are cropped tops paired with long trousers, cargo pants, skinny jeans or short or long flowy skirts. I’ll add accessories such as an Apple watch or a cap or bucket hat.
I would still wear bodycon dresses. Fashion is a form of self-expression, so to the extent my personality, identity, and mood remain unchanged, my fashion sense has naturally remained unaffected.
The fashion brands that are close to my heart include Dior, Fendi, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Missoni. The joy of wearing creations from these brands is more than just fashion. Over the years, I have built special relationships with these fashion houses. I’m happy to do my part to support them in a difficult time like this.”
“Hand-washable pieces are my top picks now as soap and water are the most effective against the coronavirus.”
JESSICACINDY HARTONO, FOUNDER AND CREATIVE DIRECTOR, JESSICACINDY
“I’m buying more comfortable and timeless pieces that transcend trends now, and am also more conscious about the sustainability of each item. I should be able to maximise its usage with a different styling.
My current favourite apparel combination is shirt and pants, as I can switch up looks effortlessly with simple tweaks like pushing up my sleeves, buttoning up or tucking in. Accessory-wise, I like pieces in gold tones, and will vary the size depending on my mood or the occasion.
I generally favour a more relaxed silhouette but I do enjoy a form-fitted look occasionally. I like to play with layering, such as overlaying something slack over a form-fitted piece for some definition. Regardless of what I wear, it is important that it feels comfortable and reflects my mood and personality, while allowing me to work efficiently and get through the day.
I love brands like Hermes, Loewe and Bottega Veneta for their quality leather pieces in timeless, understated designs. For clothing in general, I don’t focus too much on the brand but more on the quality and sustainability of the product. At the same time, I also like pieces from Max Mara for their sleek looks. A recent favourite is (sustainable material collective) Pangaia for their innovation.”
“I’m buying more comfortable and timeless pieces that transcend trends now, and am also more conscious about the sustainability of each item.”
SERENE CHUA, PRIVATE BANKER AND CO-FOUNDER OF WOLF BURGERS AND CARVERS & CO
“Instead of buying more work clothes, I’ve been buying more cocktail dresses for relaxed lunches and dinners. It makes me look forward to a nice meal outside with family and friends, and reminds me of the simple joys in life, like being able to eat and spend time with loved ones.
I’m still wearing more fitted silhouettes as it has always been my style. I have also been purchasing jewellery as it is timeless and an expression of self. I like being creative in accessorising my outfits, be it for work or play.
My current favourites are: For jewellery, Tiffany’s T1; Cartier’s Love and Van Cleef & Arpels’ Perlee couleurs collections; for fashion, Dolce & Gabbana, Dior, Giuseppe Di Morabito.
I have also bought more workout gear, such as those from Lululemon, Adidas and Nike. During the pandemic, I started running more often. My weekly routine involves two HIIT routines and two runs of five to nine kilometres. The exercise keeps me mentally & physically fit.”
“Instead of buying more work clothes, I’ve been buying more cocktail dresses for relaxed lunches and dinners. It makes me look forward to a nice meal outside with family and friends.”
TAN MIN-LI, LAWYER AND ENTREPRENEUR
“As there are far fewer opportunities to socialise, my fashion-buying habits have changed from being-occasion driven to buying with an emphasis on longevity. I am not buying into trends so much as investing more in pieces that will last beyond the pandemic.
My favourite pieces are my Dior romper, which I wear everywhere; my Gucci Ultrapace trainers and a Louis Vuitton Cloud soft trunk that I just acquired.
I still slip into slinky dresses because I feel the need to maintain a certain discipline in my diet and exercise regimen and prevent myself from going down the enticing slippery slope of forgiving lounge wear and Netflix.
My favourite brands remain largely the same – Dior, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Balmain – but I'm buying more classic and signature pieces from these designers.”
“I am not buying into trends so much as investing more in pieces that will last beyond the pandemic.”