fashion, personal style

On Being Different

red pants with sheer top, shaggy faux fur coat


Perching on a fire escape of a Manhattan building has probably always been a fantasy of mine. When I lived in Singapore, I would watch all these movies filmed in New York, and it seemed you had to have at least one fire escape scene or it wasn’t a legit New York City movie. Is that a weird fantasy to have? Perhaps… Or maybe it’s just a literal representation of my desire to ‘escape’?


One of the reasons I chose to move to New York was because I have always felt a little at odds with most of the people I grew up with in Singapore. One of my best friends calls me quirky. My siblings, being a little more blunt, just tell me I’m weird. I was always the black sheep of the family, and the one in school who made friends easily but never fit in with any group. If you’re old enough, you’ll remember this song/game from Sesame Street (to those too young and missed out on the amazingly educational Sesame Street, here’s a Youtube link):

“Three of these kids belong together,

three of these kids are kind of the same.

But one of these kids is doing his own thing,

now it’s time to play our game.”

I suppose I was that one kid who was always doing her own thing. And I figured, if there was that one city full of people doing their own thing, it would be grand, ol’ inimitable New York, New York.


But before you start thinking weird like “make hats out of tin foil” weird or “host tea parties for fairies” weird, let me just caveat this – I’m normal. I just have slightly more atypical inclinations. For example, I  am amused by things like my dog’s butt. Or I’d rather go gardening on a first date than meet in a bar for a drink. Or my idiosyncratic difference from other’s, like, I hate loud typing but like the sound of a marker pen squeaking. Or my strange food choices, like, putting honey and marmite on toast. But when it comes to fashion, I think being a little different is not a bad thing because it gives me a unique sense of style. Don’t ask me what that is, though. I’ve been asked many times and I can’t quite put a finger on it. I suppose I just like to be a little unexpected and dress the same way I like my home decor – a mix of genres but everything in balance.


“Elle n’est pas folle, elle est différente.”

“She’s not crazy, she’s different” – Sonia Rykiel



When I was working as a fashion editor for a women’s magazine, one of my regular columns was called “Wardrobe Remix”. It addressed the problem a lot of women have – having a closet full of clothes but yet “nothing to wear” – and involved me going to a reader’s home and helping her style a week’s worth of outfits from her existing clothes. I’d rummage through her clothing, whip out a few items, hold them up against her, and would often get the comment, “Oh! I never thought of wearing that top/dress/skirt that way!” Style is sometimes just a new way of looking at things; and seeing things differently sometimes creates a new style.


Through experience, I’ve come to realise that you if pick up an item of clothing in a shop and can’t think what you own that would go with it, just put it back on the rack. ‘Cos chances are you’ll wear it once, or never at all, and it will just sit in the back of your wardrobe nesting dust bunnies. But if you see something and immediately think – yes! this would go awesome with XYZ – then you’ve got a winner.


I was shopping at the Frankie store in the Lower East Side and these deconstructed red pants caught my eye. I’ve been buying a lot of sheer tops recently and I knew that these pants would be perfect with them. I like the idea of mixing things up. A sheer top with figure-hugging skinny pants is sexy but too ‘done’. These pants have just the right amount of edgy-smart-casual. Plus, I’m in love with the color! For its first run, I’m pairing it with a sheer mesh bodysuit, bustier top, black boots and emerald green shaggy faux fur. I don’t know why, somehow it feels like it’s an outfit that belongs on a rooftop fire escape. Or maybe that’s just me being weird again… Anyhow, hope you like it 🙂


P.S.  And if you’d like to see me styling these pants a different way, please do let me know in the comments below!


Outfit: Mesh bodysuit, Lioness. Black bustier, Three Floor. Red pants, Frankie. Black boots, Tani NYC. Shaggy coat, Etsy. Hat, H&M.

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