The ritual of dressing has taken many forms over the last year and a half. First, the titillating excitement of, well, anything goes. Then, the free rein of emboldened experimentation. Finally, the inevitable waning gusto, interspersed only by the occasional burst of energy or inspiration. As we navigate the unnerving fog of life mid-pandemic, our clothes have all but silently been brought along with us—always necessary, sometimes forgotten, and if we’re lucky, timely reminders of joy.
To model, producer and freelance host, Nadia Kishlan, clothes have been a nudge towards self solicitude and care. “Dressing up is my way of being compassionate to myself despite all the uncertainty that’s going on around us,” she shares. In her arsenal? A conscious selection of items acquired over the past three years—a period Kishlan has actively dedicated to implementing sustainable fashion habits.
Freelance content creator, Kellie Tan, describes the rediscovery of her vestiary as going through a treasure trove of sorts, uncovering buried yet loved pieces such as her Flying Tiger Copenhagen tote bags and a cherry red thrifted Dickies shirt. And for personal shopper, Xin Yao, it is as simple as just feeling good. “It is like decorating yourself and your life both in a material and spiritual way,” she adds.
As we continue to manoeuvre the heightened alert of phase 2, Kishlan, Tan and Yao let us in on getting dressed through uncertain times and the pieces that have brought them comfort and joy.
Big Bud Press trousers
“When I first saw these on Big Bud Press’ Instagram page, I think I actually screamed. I call them my “dream trousers” because they’re everything I’ve ever wanted. They’ve got deep pockets, gold hardware, a high waist, a slightly wide straight leg as well as a rainbow floral print. It also brings me joy to support a brand with such a diverse size selection (XXS – 7XL).”
Thrifted Dickies shirt
“This is a gem I found in Osaka, hidden in a small thrift store along Orange Street. I hadn’t had much luck with thrift shopping during my trip, so finding this was like striking gold. It’s got just the right amount of slouch, the quality’s top notch and red’s my favourite colour—what’s not to love?”
“I’ve been a fan of Marimekko’s colour combination and prints for a long time—they’re always timeless and vibrant. I adore their collaborations with Uniqlo because they’re more accessible and affordable. And these jeans by ASOS are one of my best sale finds to date. They’re the perfect shade of pink and they fit me like a glove.”
Tan’s style ethos
“I make sure I feel good in everything I put on my body. I deserve no less.”
Bottega Veneta puddle boots
“These have been my most worn pair of shoes for the past year and a half. They’re extremely soft, rubbery and comfortable and the platform also gives me additional height. It’s an essential item to have while travelling between Singapore and Shanghai as it rains a lot in both cities. I love it so much that I bought the same pair in green.”
Omitir Concept box tote
“Omitir Concept is a local brand selling mainly hand-crafted leather goods. This box bag has everything I need. Its large make with multiple pockets fits all my necessities and is a great travel bag. Styling-wise, it’s simply cool. I can easily match it with a lot of outfits.”
Random Identities dress
“This dress is the first item I got from Random Identities and I instantly became a fan. It’s a mix of tech wear and tailoring with a twist of sexy.”
Yao’s style ethos
“My style ethos will always be to look fashionable without trying too hard.”
“I found this comfy number during one of CLOOP’s clothes swap events. It’s one of those outfits you can just pop on for days when you feel like you just can’t deal.”
Hara the Label flare trousers
“This Hara the Label piece is another item of clothing I wear often. It’s ultra soft and I adore the ethos behind the label and thrive off the positive energy they spread on their Instagram.”
Handmade panther necklace
“This precious neck ‘pet’ of mine was discovered while on my travels around Mexico. I bought it in a family-run pottery factory while on a tour visiting all the artisan spots in Oaxaca. It’s made from Barro Negro, literally translated to ‘black mud’ pottery.”
Kishlan’s style ethos
“Your self-worth is not contingent on the validation from others, so dress for yourself and nobody else.”