The Work Pants

Years ago, I’ve established a work look for myself, which derives from pure laziness. Conceptually it’s quite simple, navy suiting with a white shirt. Sounds easy to find? It isn’t.
It’s kinda of like looking for the perfect ‘Little Black Dress’. It takes YEARS.

I have a million ideas about what a perfect work outfit would have to be like; and I have seen thousands of great work outfit, but I always get stuck on the pants. I know what I want out of a jacket, not saying that’s an easy task but I’ve hunted that down already. Pants, however, is more difficult. Thing is, it took me a looooonnnnggg time to find out what my preferred shape for pant is. I always thought wide leg that cover your feet makes you look so much longer and taller. Like this one here:

miroslava-duma-stockholm-streetstyle

Source via Pinterest

But let’s be honest, not all of us are fashion icons and sit front rows at fashion shows; so that means I probably can’t pull this look off as well as Miroslava. On top of that, I wear heels at work, but change to flats for my journey home. You only need to be walking home in the rain with wide leg pants ONCE to know it’s not always convenient and flattering.

How do you decide on something if it’s flattering or not?

Do you ever catch yourself in the reflection from a shop window, and think: ‘Holy sh*t! I look good!’ Then you turn around and look for someone to high5 and validate your new found confidence and realised no one gives?

Well, point of the story is to show that’s usually how I decide how I look in something. Let me make it clear that I don’t usually wear outrageous stuff and prance in front of shop windows just to make a decision on an outfit. I know I really don’t have any scientific references to this, but I think our brain doesn’t immediately register our reflection in the shop window as a true reflection of ourselves, so our immediate reaction to the reflection can be considered as the most genuine reaction.

So what do I want out of my the go-to of work pants? The if I really wanted to I can put a tee on with the pants and go for smart casual pants. To ensure I get absolutely what I want every time, I know I have a few requirements:

1. Must go well with construction boots, flats and heels
2. Can easily match with other shapes or types of clothing
3. Must not be too fitting to allow room for a big lunch
4. Must make legs look longer!!!!!

So this is how my perfect Work Look would look like:

The Work LookStella McCartney Velez Trouser £340.00 {Selfridges & Co}

A tailored jacket that sits JUST above the hip, and tapered pants ending at ankle length. Believe it or not, tapered pants at ankle length suits quite a number of body shapes. I find that it really can go with a variety of tops or shoes. It’s season and weather friendly.

While not everyone (me) has pockets deep enough to purchase those Velez Trousers above, there are so many options out there with similar style. I purchased mine from Zara few summers ago, and to this day I still think it’s my fail safe outfit. No regrets.

If you have never tried these shapes before, I must urge you to try these as soon as possible. It’s something that I’ve recommended to my own mother who is 3 size larger than me, who also would like to elongate her short and round frame.

work pants

1. Slacks $29.95 {H&M}; 2. Stitch Cigarette Trousers £22.00 {Topshop}; 3. Slim Pencil Pant $99.95 {Seed Heritage}
4. Sateen Full Length $99.95 {Witchery}; 5. Dannie Pant $127.90 {J.Crew}; 6. Double Cloth Pant $129.00 {Country Road}

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DIY Wishlist

DIY wishlistI love DIYs. I’m pretty sure half the blogs I’ve bookmarked are due to their DIY blog posts.
Honestly, I could DIY pretty much everything as long as it’s not too hard. Well, boys and girls, I found some pretty awesome items for you and I to try out this weekend, and guess what, they look totally do-able.

Clear your weekend guys, these are the ones to try!

Concrete Paperweight via Design Sponge

Flower Soap via Free People Blog

Ombre Plant Pot via Carnets Parisiens

Liebster Award

Liebster Award

Sometimes I wonder how do the professional bloggers find materials to write, and how do they share something personal without sounding obnoxious or over share? At times, I would be desperate to post something yet not being able to write anything. Since I made the pledge to post things weekly, I’ve been jotting down all the posts that I could create, and yet I still struggle to write sometimes.Thankfully, the Liebster Award encourages bloggers to write more & share some of their favs. Here are some of the rules:

1.You must answer 11 questions given to you by the person who nominated you
2. You must list 11 random/fun facts about yourself
3. You must pick 11 nominees with under 200 followers to answer your questions.
4. You cannot nominate the person who nominated you.
5. You must let the person you’ve nominated know that they’ve been nominated.

Here are the eleven questions asked by Berlinstorm who nominated me:

Who was your favourite teacher in school and why?

I honestly don’t know. In the last year of my high school, EVERY SINGLE teacher were supportive and inspiring. I cannot name just one because they all went above and beyond what they required to, in order to help us do well in the university entrance exam. NOT because they were forced, NOT because we asked them to but simply because they believed in us.

What is your proudest moment in life so far?

When I completed a particular painting.

What is you next move/step in life?

This is a hard question. Mostly because it really makes me reevaluate my own ‘plan’. I never think about the big plan with a specific move in mind, mostly because I try to be prepared and seize an opportunity when it presents itself.

I’d say my big goal in life is to one day live in a warehouse conversion with large windows and enormous paintings. So I’d work towards that.

What are your guilty pleasures?

I don’t have any guilty pleasures.I used to think listening to Miley Cyrus or Justin Bieber was a guilty pleasure because they were hated by others; but then I realised that music is subjective, I shouldn’t let other people’s opinion of music dictate my choice.

When do you realise that you were an “adult”

Err….haven’t yet. I’m only 29.

Where is your “happy” place or favorite place to visit?

Any antique stores. One where it’s a LARRRRGE warehouse space. Or an art gallery with a large body of work.

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be and why?

If I could live anywhere, it would still be Sydney. The more I travel, the more I’m convinced it’s the best place to LIVE. You could work and play in other cities, but there is no better place to grow old and spend time with your loved ones in.

What can’t you live without?

Apart from the necessities, I’d say chocolate.

What is your ultimate life goal?

Live & convert a warehouse into a home.

What do you wish you could do if you had more time?

I’d play more piano, paint more, read more, dance more.

If you could go back in time what era would you live in and why?

I wouldn’t go anywhere. This is the BEST time.

I live in an era where I receive proper education, and as a middle class gets to eat fine food, while travelling to exotic places and see things before it gets destroyed by mankind.

11 Random/Fun facts:

(Everyone have a bunch of things that they can’t do, but I’m going to highlight some of my better qualities by telling you things that I CAN do and the things that I love!)

I can play the piano

I think baking is an art as well a science; so I love recipes that are really specific, like: ‘Add the flour, fold 15 times.’; not ‘Add the flour. Don’t over mix, but don’t under mix either.’

My favourite men’s cologne is Ralph Lauren Safari

There is only one Hercule Poirot, and he is played by David Suchet

I love antique market

I don’t do this often, but I love living alone

I love the feeling of stepping out on winter day, that is so cold it feels like my nose is about to fall off

If I’m ever so fortunate as to have kids and I get a choice, I’d like just one girl

If I can have any dog, I’d pick Welsh Corgis

I have 2 guinea pigs

If I have LOTS of money and I can do whatever I like, I would like to build a school in rural China

My nominees:

geekskin.wordpress.com

shopparama.wordpress.com

extraordinaryspace.wordpress.com

www.happyeverafterbride.com

www.tinkerphotography.com

roseaki.wordpress.com

My really deep and insightful questions are:

What is your biggest fear? Not phobia, fear.

If you could be an expert in one useless subject, what would it be?

If you have to leave your children one thing from your home right now, what would it be?

If the 17 year old version of yourself asked you for one advice, what would you give him/her?

What can’t you live without?

What is your life goal?

What is the best quality that you possess?

If you have a chance to speak to one dignitary for 1 hour, who would you choose to speak to?

What would your last question for that dignitary be?

What do you wish you could do if you had more time?

If you have to compact your life into one backpack, what would you put into it?

Happy Hump Day!

Happy Hump Day!

 

This weekend I’ll be going down to Melbourne again; although it’s not my first time, I always find myself wanting to improve on the way I pack the essentials.

I find that I can almost compromise on the gear, that is, I can bring one less shirt, or one less jacket; there seems no way of getting around bringing the cleansers, the toners, the moisturisers, the eye cream, the serums, the makeup, the makeup remover….oh and there is all his stuff. So I thought I’d recommend the two things I’ve used and now find myself not being able to live without.

Girls: Perfume Sticks {A+R}

Atomisers are not exactly the newest thing, but these are simple too beautiful not to mention. I know Sephora actually sells roller ball perfume, but they may not have YOUR scent, so these sophisticated looking perfume sticks should keep you looking and smelling great.

Boys: Muji Travel Bottles {MUJI}

Since American Psycho, men are no longer limiting their grooming essentials to simple razor and soap; they too, have discovered that looking sharp will require more tools & help. These wonderful travel bottles will ensure no disruption to their grooming routine.

Wedding: The Dress

The Dress

For almost all brides, one of the most important detail for your wedding day is the wedding dress. Let me give you a heads up, my dress doesn’t look anything like these.

Part 1: The Decision

At the beginning of the search, I was determined to buy a dress over the internet for a mere $250, probably made in China but I wasn’t too fussed. I’ve seen a friend who’s ordered a dress over the internet for her wedding, for less than that amount and it looked stunning. So I thought, maybe I can do the same?

The reason it looked stunning due to the thousands of layers, so it didn’t matter if it wasn’t great quality fabric because it was the train and the layers that was stunning. Down side of that? She had to get the bodice altered a big time because ordering it on the internet is NEVER fitting.

So after MONTHS, my mother who was a professional tailor decided that she won’t allow her only daughter to get married in $250 dress ordered online. So begins the second part of the journey.

Part 2: The Making

I knew exactly how I wanted it: It would have a structured bodice and very sheer lace top that covers my collar bone. The bottom half closely follow the lines of my hip before flaring out from just above my knee.

Wedding Dress

The original dress that inspired mine does not have the sheer lace, so it was a strapless dress. I’ve always been uncomfortable with wearing a strapless dress, mostly because I’m really skinny and believe it or not, I think I look even skinnier in a wedding dress. So I knew I had to have something that covers my collar bones.

modern simple wedding dress

We had a lot of difficulty in deciding what’s the best way for the lace to cover my shoulders. We tried it being under the bodice, but realised it would crease at very odd locations just above the bust. To give it a smooth look, we decided that the lace will have to cover the entire top bodice.

We used the most exquisite fabric & lace bought from Saigon Fabrics. They have a great range of wedding fabrics if you decided to custom make the dress.

modern wedding dress button detail

The most excruciating process (most likely for my mum), was to create the the buttons for the back of my dress. Each button was individually created then sewn on!!!

modern simple wedding dress

I couldn’t believe that my mum wrapped each buttons individually. On top of that, she did that within a week!!!!

wedding dress

Come wedding day, the difficult task of buttoning up was then up to my bridesmaids. (Thanks girls!)

Honestly, apart from those details, there really wasn’t much more to my dress. And here’s what it looks like overall.

little bennet wedding dress
At one point, we played with different lengths of the train. Since we decided not to make the bottom half of the dress too large, we felt we had to make it up with a train. More importantly, it helped the dress to sit much better on the floor.

Also, I would like to point out that trains of a white wedding gown get sooooo dirty. (I’m pretty sure it was dirty by the time I started taking photos with the family, which is right after the ceremony.)

Not sure how other people overcome this problem, but it obviously wasn’t a concern for me, but I can remember the first time I looked towards the back of my dress, I thought: “Oh somebody gotta bleach that sh*t.” It was positively a shade of dark grey.

Part 3: The details

But I had bigger things to worry about, like my expanding stomach. I don’t mean the “pregnant” kind of expanding, but my stomach expands extremely quickly after a meal. Sure I could exercise, tone up and get in shape for my wedding, but who’s got time for that stuff before a wedding. So I asked my mum to make me a peplum as a bandaid solution.

It was GREAT! I loved it. So much I’m pretty sure I’ll wear it with just about anything. Right before the reception started, I took off the veil and added this little peplum and it changed the mood for me completely.

peplum on wedding dress

 

wedding dress museum of contemporary art sydney wedding

Sure I could have included in the earlier part as well, but I decided I wanted a long silhouette for the ceremony (hence the long veil that you can see in the very last image of this post); and a more playful silhouette for the reception. For me, the added peplum definitely made me want to party.

 

Believe it or not, I found my wedding shoes from a factory outlet. On possibly the FIRST hour of the Ferragamo factory outlet opened (obviously the shoes were destined for me), I happened to be there and purchase this little gem. A number of people were surprised that I chose to wear flats but I have two good reasons:

1. My partner’s not tall and;
2. It’s sooooo comfortable.

wedding shoes

Sure, my ass would’ve looked better had I worn heels, but my feet would have been crying from pain.

Since the very beginning I wanted everything to be ‘me’. You might think that is not a hard thing to do, but when faced with so many choices and pretty things, I was so close to choosing other designs because I find them all so beautiful. So I would have gone with an all lace wedding dress, and a pair of Jimmy Choo, with possibly colourful invite I found online; but I stuck to my gut with everything I chose. Sure some things I compromised, but nothing that mattered a great deal to me.

One thing I’m really proud of is that every detail of the wedding – especially the wedding dress – has been crafted exactly how I imagined. This would not have been possible without my mother.

To give you an idea of how incredible she it, we bought the fabric just 2 WEEKS before the actual wedding, and trust me, even the shop assistant was shocked and VERY worried when they found out my wedding was 2 weeks away. But she always delivers.

I feel so blessed and fortunate to have a mother who is a seamstress who dedicated 2 full weeks to the making of my wedding dress. More importantly, thank you for the support and your perseverance when you knew I didn’t have it. Thank you for all the things you said, and thank you for the things you didn’t say.

All the photos you’ve seen in this post have been taken by the dream husband-wife team: Tinker Photography. Only after having my own wedding that I realised the talented two captured those candid moments that was lost in the crowd. Like when my bridesmaid was busy fixing my dress and veil RIGHT before the ceremony. Or when we were taking our version of the Oscar Selfie. Or when one of my best friend was ducking from the bouquet as another male friend advantageously catches the bouquet…before handing it to the nearest girl…then walking away quietly.

Taking photos of people is difficult; you never know what YOU will do. Tinker Photography captured the most amazing candid shots that we will surely love to laugh at in a decade or two. And THAT is what you want from your wedding photography.

Thanks guys for being such a fantastic photographers, but thank you for just being such awesome friends!

wedding gown bridesmaids dress

*All the photos in this post were taken by Tinker Photography.*

Stylish Home

Before I got married, one of the things I really wanted to try was to live by myself for a reasonable period of time and decorate my own place. Sadly, it’s one of those things that I don’t think I’ll ever get to do.

So once in a while, I dream about how I would decorate and what I would do. And this place, gets it so right for all the places, makes me want to throw everything out and do it all again.

Bed End

Bed

bedside

Is it me or did they change the mirror to a painting between the 3 pictures above?

I love the combination of black, white & gold in the entry below. I think it’s a perfect combination of masculinity and femininity. I tend to like masculine furniture paired with feminine accessories, and by feminine accessories I mean GOLD!!!

 

Stylish home Entry

I love large abstract paintings in dinning areas. It could completely change the mood of an otherwise boring and utility focused room. In the dining room below,  the painting on the right perfectly juxtaposes with the exposed brick wall on the left.

kitchen

Living Room3

Look at the chair! Look at the vase! And the green & gold table in the background!!!! Oh I could die.

Living Room

Living Room 2Source

 

Beauty: Life beyond 30

Finally at 29, I’m starting to get this whole skin care thing. Up until now, I always lumped the skin care routine with general hygiene, so I wouldn’t think about how a product keeps my skin looking youthful but more about how it keeps it clean.

Just around my birthday, I found an image of Catherine Walsh looking amazing:

Catherine Walsh

 

I have no idea how old she is, but this is how I want to look at her age. Elegant & graceful. Naturally, I started digging around for interviews with C Walsh to find out more about her beauty routine and eventually ended going through some of the old articles and websites I’ve bookmarked. Annnnnd as I started digging around, I was sidetracked to Jennifer Beals. Remember Flash Dance? Okay, I’m not going to show you a comparison photo of her because we can all google that. Let me tell you that December 2013 (this year), J Beals will be turning 50. Got that? Now let me show you a photo of her taken when she’s 49:

 

Jessica BealsSource

Oh. My. God. I want to look like that at 31 and this is what she looks like at 49!!!!!!???????!!!!!!

Of course, I went searching for just what kind of magic juice she’s been drinking. And found this:

Ever Deep

 

Ever Deep is an anti-aging product / program that transforms the science behind the water retention and cell regeneration in algae, into a bottle of cleanser.

Sad thing is, the product doesn’t seem to ship to Australia so I have no way of trying this out. If someone happens to find this product in Australia, please please please let me know!

Now, onto my new idol Catherine Walsh. I really recommend you read through this article as it gives you a good summary of the products that she uses. But one thing that I realised not just from the article, but also the interview with Miroslava by Garance Dore (who uses baby soap to clean her face in the morning), is that beauty at older age doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, it isn’t. Take care of your skin and the rest will take care of itself.

catherine walshSource

 

I looooove the idea of uncomplicating a skin care routine. Seriously, there are so many ridiculous products out there and I don’t even know who to listen to. And it’s definitely comforting that people do use baby soap and Cetaphil to wash their face and still look great.

Please let me know if you have any tips or recommendations because I honestly don’t think I can try every product in the shops before finding “The One”. Maybe chocolate, definitely NOT skin care products.