Category Archives: Fashion

Playing Dress Up with The Lady General

 

201409 The Lady General cheongsam

[SPONSORED POST*] I am terribly picky when it comes to fashion, and that’s not because I’m a clotheshorse or a fashionista. In fact, I’m the total opposite. I can’t quite carry off the latest trends, and am far from willing to plonk large sums of money on a wardrobe of clothes that would make Anna Wintour beam with pride. For casual days out, I ONLY go for baggy and loose and shapeless and cooling outfits, which is why I’m mostly sloppy on days when I don’t have to dress up. Unfortunately, the body-hugging thing seems to be all the rage these few years and oh my, I end up having to purchase pieces that are two sizes up just because I am not comfortable and know that I don’t look good in fitting clothes. For smart casual or formal days, I prefer to go for well-cut pieces that hide the flaws which I’d like to think have been hidden pretty well, especially these two years after I became a mother. I mean, I was a whale for 9 months and pushed a baby out of that pelvis. I don’t feel that great when everything jiggles more than before I was pregnant, so I’ve resorted to a little trickery on the eye with cleverly cut outfits. 201409 The Lady General cheongsam 2

It is, however, incredibly difficult to find pieces that give me that much-needed boost. More often than not, I walk out of shops feeling frustrated over the lack of suitable sizes or cuts. The pretty clothes only come in small sizes that I can’t zip up, or in cuts that only flatter Heidi Klum (bareback, crop top, low cut, too short, OMG). I’ve also encountered one too many sales assistants who threw me are-you-sure-you-can-wear-that glances whenever they see me browse the racks with a baby strapped onto me. Yes, that’s the mummy-stereotype we are talking about here. GAH. After many failed attempts to spruce up my wardrobe over the past few years, believe it or not, I have practically stopped shopping for clothes.

For half a year now, I’ve been feeling a little frumpy. I put on some weight and can’t fit into my old clothes without looking like a stuffed dumpling. Whilst I’m not oversized, I knew I needed clothes in a new size, what with some gatherings coming up. I didn’t want to show up in clothes that are zipped up halfway; that would be such an eyesore. So I scouted for a while before chancing upon The Lady General. All I can say is, WHAT A GODSEND.

201409 The Lady General cheongsam 4The Lady General carries beautifully designed, and well-cut modern cheongsams to flatter all shapes and sizes. Unlike many boutiques that churn out one skin-tight cheongsam after another, The Lady General offers three styles to cater to our whims and fancies. Fit and Flare which is generously cut at the hips (MY ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE because I have a very generously-sized pelvis too), Column styles which are wonderful at hiding the tummy whilst still giving some room at the hips, in addition to the Classic Fit (as the term suggests, in the style of a classic cheongsam).

I am wearing the Jia cheongsam in size M, which is cut in the Fit and Flare style. It has a full skirt that hides my child-bearing hips (I’m not trying to boast, but I can’t tell I have a generous bottom in this dress!). I did send the cheongsam to be altered at the waist but even after taking the waist in, the skirt still skims over my hips nicely. The sky blue stripes are cleverly orientated to instantly slim one down (I rarely take a full-frontal shot because that’s the most unflattering angle, but it wasn’t a problem in this dress), and the skirt reveals a beautiful blush-pink lining when one twirls (I tried to capture the blush peeking out from under by twirling around and taking a selfie, but the most highly skilled selfie expert AND octopus would be stumped, so check out the photos on the listing for Jia to have a look at that gorgeous lining). I can’t capture the pink coming through the blue layer on the outside, but trust me on this, you’d see this in real life and you will fall in love with the pink-hued blue! The seersucker cotton is perfectly lightweight and cooling for a substantial, full-skirted, high-neck dress such as this, and I feel absolutely comfortable in it. The full skirt comes in a good length, and lets me run after my toddler without compromising my modesty. WIN-WIN-WIN!

There are a few ways to wear this dress, of course. You can wear it alone, with a nice pair of flats of heels, or belt it up with a tan-coloured one like what I did in the photos for a more neutral take. I thought a fun way of jazzing up the cheongsam would be to pair it with a red belt with cute pumps, but I don’t have the said accessories in such strong hues, so I couldn’t try that out. I reckon that it would look very cute, and slightly retro!

I’m lusting after a few other designs too, the Kyoto Cheongsam in Clouds (which is sadly out of stock) and Hui and Mi (in neutral tones). Every design comes in a very limited quantity (so the chances of you bumping into someone wearing the same thing are pretty slim) and I would urge you to like their page on Facebook to stay updated on their collection before everything gets sold out!

*I was gifted a Jia cheongsam for the review. No monetary gift was received. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and written according to my experience in using the products. Sponsors have been notified that I am not obliged to write a review upon receipt of sponsored items, should I find the products unsuitable.

You can now shop online at The Lady General!

We Need Some Lovin': Holster Up Your Pretty Feet

201302 We Need Some Lovin'

As a mother, I am always on the lookout for quality clothes, toys, books, foods and other knick-knacks for my daughter; ‘I Have My Eye On‘ is a collection of these finds.

Growing up is a tough act but parenting is hard work too; I believe that mummies and daddies need some lovin’! Whilst I am not busting my budget on the little one, I like to sniff out things that make our new routines a little easier, or sometimes, just a little prettier.

In this series ‘We Need Some Lovin’‘, I share some of my favourite things for us big people.

201303 Holster

[SPONSORED POST*] My feet are the bane of my existence. Really. I hate them because they are too fleshy, too wide, too ugly with too high an arch. I often find it difficult to shop for shoes without ending up with blistered feet and a self-esteem severely punctured by insensitive remarks from sales assistants on how fat my feet are. So pardon me if I don’t get that, oooh-look-at-my-Louboutins-Manolos-and-Jimmy Choos obsession with pretty shoes! Sour grapes? Yes, VERY sour indeed.

Ever since I was pregnant, the sensible woman in me chose comfort over style for my footwear. I wear a tonne of ugly shoes, right down to ah-pek (Hokkien for old man) sandals. For more than a year now, I chose to live in a world where I think that nobody looks at my feet, and that world was pretty…until I get that ‘waaah, your feet are very fleshy’ remark from yet another sales assistant.

I was recently gifted two pairs of Holster shoes by the good people at Not Too Big. I reckon someone must have noticed how wretched and tired-looking my ah-pek sandals were. Truth be told, I was a little hesitant about receiving these shoes. I am not one to write about something that I wouldn’t recommend. The Holster shoes are annoyingly pretty, so much so that I was convinced they would make my poor feet suffer a thousand deaths just for donning them, as with other equally good-looking shoes. But then, they are jellies. They have been raved about for the comfort and ease of cleaning. And they are *sigh* very sparkly. A girl’s got to do what she’s gotta do.

I took a huge leap of faith and put them on everywhere I went. I could be going downstairs for a walk in the park where sparkly, strappy shoes are taboo. I could be going to the mall. I could be running across the road. I could be doing all of the above with a 7.5kg baby strapped to my body and a diaper bag hanging off my right shoulder. I could be doing that for hours and hours on end. And I was blown away by the Holster jellies. No blisters, no pain, no aches, and lots of compliments from strangers, family and friends alike on how beautiful my shoes are! I have the Swarovski Masquerade Wedge in Champagne (pictured above), which goes with just about any outfit, including the formal cheongsam that I wore for Lunar New Year (for those who have seen it on Instagram). I was also gifted the Swarovski Masquerade Jelly (flat) in Marina, which adds a brilliant pop of blue to whatever casual drab I’m wearing. After more than a month of running about in my Holster shoes, I’m ready to retire my ah-pek sandals and other tattered, smelly flats I have in my arsenal of mum-sy footwear!

All thanks to the generous people at Not Too Big!

*I was gifted two pairs of Holster sandals to review. No monetary gift was received. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and written according to my experience in using the products. Sponsors have been notified that I am not obliged to write a review upon receipt of sponsored items, should I find the products unsuitable.

Holster is stocked at:

Not Too Big
582 Orchard Road
#02-06/07 Forum The Shopping Mall
Singapore 238884

Photo published and reformatted in poster form with permission from: Not Too Big/Holster

We Need Some Lovin': Organise in Style with Anorak


201302 We Need Some Lovin'

As a mother, I am always on the lookout for quality clothes, toys, books, foods and other knick-knacks for my daughter; ‘I Have My Eye On‘ is a collection of these finds.

Growing up is a tough act but parenting is hard work too; I believe that mummies and daddies need some lovin’! Whilst I am not busting my budget on the little one, I like to sniff out things that make our new routines a little easier, or sometimes, just a little prettier.

In this series ‘We Need Some Lovin’‘, I share some of my favourite things for us big people.

Most aspects of motherhood evoke that warm, fuzzy feeling that money can’t buy. BUT, there is one thing that really, really gets on my nerves. I hate to wear mum-sy nursing clothes, and carry mum-sy bags. There, I said it. I may not be quite the WOAH-HO-hot-mama fashionista, but I have taken to wearing my regular clothes and working breastfeeding around it. It’s not easy, but I’d rather be a contortionist (nursing mothers will know the kind of manoeuvres I am talking about) than be dressed in shapeless rags in garish floral prints and nauseating colours.

But the problem that is mum-sy bags was a tricky one to tackle. Before becoming a mother, I hardly splurged on anything but I did have a weakness for bags. Yes, I like my designer totes and invested in three that have seen me through casual outings and formal soirees. Of course, none of these were appropriate for (or could afford) the wear and tear that diaper bags so often suffer from. I declared a diaper bag emergency after failing to find one that didn’t make me cross-eyed with kaleidoscopic graphics.

My very generous sister and mother then surprised me with a simple, black diaper bag from Kate Spade, one that I love very much but is a tad heavy for lone excursions with my daughter. I have since been toting a black Longchamp, which is infinitely lighter and equally forgiving on M, should he help me with the bag (yes, I am one who loathes handing my girly bags to the man). The Longchamp is unfortunately a nightmare to rummage through without a bag insert. My keys and purse were often lost in the big black hole of diapers, wipes and baby clothes. I resorted to using good ol’ Ziploc bags to store baby stuff and while it worked fairly well, it was far from a stylish option.

201302 Anorak Toiletries Bag

Then I stepped into Not Too Big a family store at Forum that carries cult labels for daddies, mummies and kids alike, and my life was all good-looking again. The Anorak range of lifestyle goods, including towels, serving ware, baby changing bags and toiletry bags, was too handsome to ignore. I couldn’t resist getting a Kissing Stags medium toiletry bag to keep my purse, keys, lip balm and other womanly what-have-you’s, and a Kissing Robins large toiletry bag to contain my daughter’s spare set of clothes for poopy accidents, diapers, wipes and tissue. These waterproof bags are easy-to-clean, hardy, and oh, did I mention how gorgeous the bold, yet minimalistic, animal prints are? I am head over heels in love with these bags (you may have caught me showing one off on my Instagram (pleasure_monger) profile), and I am delighted to be able to organise my life in style again!

Now…I am just plotting to get my hands on more stuff from Anorak at Not Too Big…shhhhh, don’t tell the husband! He is currently under the impression that I am only at Forum to ‘window shop’…


Anorak is stocked at:

Not Too Big
582 Orchard Road
#02-06/07 Forum The Shopping Mall
Singapore 238884

Christmas Wish List Guest Post on MsGlitzy.com!

When my high school classmate, MsGlitzy, asked me to contribute a Christmas Wish List guest post on her blog, I jumped up from the couch and said YES! It is after all something that I have always wanted to write about, but for some reason, I haven’t quite gotten round to doing it on my own blog. Recipes and overenthusiastic ramblings about food and only food seem to constantly get in the way, and I do apologise if I have strayed somewhat from the lifestyle-related content that I started out with, can’t help myself around food, can I? =p

Now, just a little bit on my classmate. MsGlitzy writes at and runs a very successful and prolific lifestyle blog over at MsGlitzy.com. Unlike my very rudimentary-looking blog, her glossy pages are glistening with the hottest tales of fashion, beauty trends and tips, food expeditions as well as fun things you should be looking out for in Singapore and beyond! Ever since she started writing, I have come to read her blog for a very comprehensive take on everything that I need to know as a person who is also interested in fun, food and fashion! So if you like the same things as I do, do pop over and say hello to MsGlitzy, if you haven’t already! MsGlitzy also does videos for some of these topics, now that is something you should also keep a lookout for! Whilst you are at it, don’t forget to check out my guest post on my Christmas Wish List (any generous Santa or Santarina out there, please show yourself….) and comment away! Let MsGlitzy and me know if you are looking out for the same/similar items this year, and what YOUR Christmas Wish List is, if you want!

Happy Christmas to all of you, just three days to go! Have a lovely festive weekend!

Outfits: Playing Dre$$ Up

We’ve been going out an awful lot for nice dinners and I’m running out of ideas on what to wear! I have an embarrassing stash of mouldy clothes that look like they belong to the 90’s. As I have been spending more on holidays, bags (my weakness…) and good food, I can’t bear to part with more moolah on clothes. Besides, I’m always uninspired when I go shopping for clothes. Something that looks nice on the mannequin always looks disastrous on me. Something that looks plain on the rack might be perfect, but I never seem to have the eye to pick it out. I often find myself wandering through stores, running my fingers through the racks, and leaving with nothing. On good days, I leave with an accessory or two. As such, I really hate shopping for clothes. If you’ve been following my outfit posts, I’ve resorted to online shopping on blogshops instead, with the help of my sister. Clothes from some of these blogshops are cheap and of reasonable quality; they look quite trendy (or at least not old-fashioned), and even if the season has passed, the affordable prices mean that you won’t feel the pinch when they go out of style. I also tend to go for safer pieces that suit my very safe and boring look, so I stretch my dollar for a couple of seasons.

I’ve resorted to sifting through my old stash of clothes for M’s birthday dinner at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal. I like jackets very much (well, aside from the fact that they are necessary in windy London, they hide those arms and frame the body – gee I’m talking like those arms and body are not mine…go figure, pun intended), so I paired a Love, Bonito shoulder-padded black jacket (less than S$30) with a sheer dress (also less than S$30) from the same line. The dress is very comfortable and easy to wear, even when I’m stuffing myself with food. It has a black sheer layer that peeks through to a dusty pink inner layer (colour of dress in photo on the left is more true to reality, I do apologise for the poor quality pics, I took them in different places with different lighting), which makes it look a little girlish on its own. As I prefer a more grown-up look when it comes to dresses, throwing on a jacket that suits my frame helps to add a more womanly touch to my appearance.

It wasn’t very cold that night, so I bared my legs and put on some really comfortable black patent heels from Pazzion (about S$50?). I didn’t want to go overboard with accessories, so a vintage-looking pair of black and gold earrings from Warehouse (only £2!) sufficed. Since the dress had a pink undertone, I thought it was nice to pull the look together with a nude-and-gold clutch from River Island that I bought for £36. When I was outdoors, I threw on a black coat from H&M which was a steal at only £29.90 during a sale.

I thought the outfit looked quite decent for what it’s literally worth. It was too comfortable, which can only be a good thing. We have more fancy dinners coming up, so I’m hoping to be able to pull more fashion (cheap) rabbits out of my hat with whatever’s swimming in my dingy wardrobe!

Now, perhaps you could teach me a trick or two. If you’ve pulled off a pocket-friendly look for dinners or nice nights out, or for when you just felt like playing dress up, I’m inviting you to share it with me and my readers on your blog. Simply write the entry up, name it ‘Outfits: Playing Dre$$ Up’, and link your entry back to mine. Leave a comment here, telling me that you did so and I’ll update my entry with the links to your entries, so everyone can sneak a peek at your $tyle!

Starting with these ladies…..can’t wait to read their entries!

Miss Ene and The Boy (Pretty in bold colours! Come take a peek at her dress here, which is perfect for summer!)

Yannisms (Eclectic and fun – come check out her chic style here!)

Scribbles and Snapshots (All decked in spring/summer colours – I’m loving the fresh take on dressing up for wedding dinners. Come check out her style here!)

Faerie Land (Read all about her fresh Stepford wife look here, just in time for Spring!)

Wild Rocketing (I like that she’s put together a few outfits with key pieces in one of my favourite colours! Check out her style here!)

Heaven In A Wild Flower

Lady J’s Musings (Colours ahoy! Very very colour-pop chic!)

A Dollop of Me (She jazzes up her little black dress with statement accessories – come sneak a peek!! Here’s another version of her get-up too.)

A reader who has come by to join in the fun!

Miss Pretz

Check out my other fashion posts!

What’s In My Bag

I’ve been tagged! by Miss Ene to do a little show-and-tell on What’s In My Bag? (check hers out on that link!!). What better time to do this than on a fine Sunday afternoon, when my living room is choking with testosterone shaking its manly fist at the Arsenal vs Liverpool game? Being completely exhausted by gym this morning and cooking for the whole afternoon, I am in no mood to join the boys for the game. I decided to make a retreat into my little girly space and let you take a peek into my What’s In My Bag-ful of stuff.

So here it is ladies, my trash.

I do bring a shitload of stuff when I move around and it differs, depending on whether it’s for work or leisure, and whether I’m packing it in with the rest of London in the tube, or being ferried around by M dearest. I’m showing you most of the usual stuff that I have in my bag, sans the boring work pass, pens, used tissue with snot still in it, yada yada. Whatever it is, my bag almost always weighs a tonne. *shows off shoulder muscles*

I have a couple of bags that I like to carry, also depending on whether I’m using it for work or leisure. For fun times, my current favourite is the dirty blue Mulberry-inspired bag that my sister bought for me from a blog shop (can’t remember which shop it is…). It’s slightly slouchy, has a great wash, hangs right, and takes on plenty of my stuff with gusto. I can even pop my DSLR in it, together with all the other junk.

Money, keys and my phone are the most important bits in my bag. I alternate between two wallets – a Kate Spade one from my family, and a Chanel one that was an impulsive buy from Paris. I don’t have many cards in UK, so either of these is enough to contain my stuff. In fact, I seem to accumulate more receipts than anything else. My keys are kept together on a keyring that I bought from Taipei more than 2 years ago; it has short forms of our names embossed on the ‘leather’ tag. My iPhone4 is nestled in a really lovely, hardy case that M bought for me last Christmas; I cannot do without my phone but I abuse it quite a bit, so having a case like that helps. I have also taken to bringing the iPod that my brother gave me to work so I can listen to some angsty music if I need to shut the world out. The sunnies from Charles & Keith are a new addition to my bag as the sun has recently decided to grace spring with its presence. I can’t tell you how much I love the purple tint and grey frame of these shades.

As social calls might come abruptly, I have taken to bringing some makeup around – my Shiseido foundation compact and eyebrow/eyeliner palette, as well as Palmer’s Dark Chocolate and Peppermint lip butter are staples. Sometimes, if I know that I have plans that evening, I’ll bring my M.A.C eyeshadow palette, Chanel lipstick and Clé de Peau concealor. These are great for covering up dark circles/blemishes, and brightening up my face after a long day at work.

I haven’t taken a photo of the other boring stuff I usually bring – my ugly umbrella for the unpredictable weather in London and a black pouch of essentials like tissue, paracetamol and antiacids (I get headaches and gastric problems more than anything else), and the monthly stuff that ladies need. Oh and of course, being an overenthusiastic food freak, if I am going out for meals, I’d bring my DSLR or my LX3 to annoy fellow diners too.

So there you go, the skeletons in my closet. What are yours? Write ‘em up and link it back to this entry so we can all snoop around in your bags!

By the way, some fabulous ladies have also spilled their guts on their equally fabulous bag contents. If you send me your links, I’ll put them up here too!

Read all my beauty reviews here.

Check out my other fashion posts!

 

Fundraising for Japan – A Success, And Yes, We Have A Winner!

Thanks to your generous donations, The Pleasure Monger’s fundraising event for Japan was a success! We may have fell short of the £2000 target, but we did raise a whopping £1510, which amounts to 76% of our target! To be honest, I wasn’t sure if anyone would donate when I organised this, but a number of you did; the funds that we’ve raised together are so much more than I could ever give on my own. I’m grateful for your support and I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart.

The fundraising page that I’ve set up on JustGiving will run till 2016, so please continue to drop a pound or two to help the victims of the earthquake in Japan. I’m sure everyone knows that the people in Japan are still suffering from the aftermath. For people like us who can’t be there to deliver aid, we can help in other ways. Yesterday evening, I was just thinking how wonderful it would be if everyone who stops by this blog could give a pound or spare some change; we could very well raise £20000 in a month! And then we have other bloggers who are trying their best to raise funds (read the updates at the bottom of this post for more details on how you can get involved), bloggers who are way more popular, prolific and well-known than I am, and if every reader of theirs give a pound for every post they read, they could raise so much more. That £1 makes such little difference to us, but for the victims, every penny counts and the success of the fundraiser thus far proves that we can pool our resources together and make a HUGE difference. So please continue to give, within your means, to any of the avenues that are most accessible to you.

Now, let’s realise the promise I made. When I organised the fundraiser, I said that I would pledge a USD100 Amazon gift card to one lucky donor so long as he/she donates before 31 March 2011 (GMT2359h). So today, I used the random integer generator on random.org to pick a winner and the gift card goes to…….

SHIRLEY!

I’ll be in touch in the next few minutes with an Amazon email containing the gift card. Congratulations and thank you for your donation!

xx