Dressing up for work in the hot season

Clothes make the man, so said American author Mark Twain. Today this is especially true at the work place. The way we dress has an impact on the people we meet professionally or socially, which in turn affects how they perceive and react to us. When meeting a new client or the boss, being assessed based on appearance is inevitable. After all like a book, everything begins with looking at the cover. So, it is important to look presentable at work.

Those working in the office can enjoy the comfort of air-conditioning, and the prospect of looking crisp and polished in those long-sleeved corporate clothes. But if you have to spend some time outdoors, take public transport or cycle, or walk to an appointment, then it’s a different story. Beads of perspiration will trickle down your forehead and body. Things can get a little sticky.

Natural lightweight fabrics like cotton or linen are our best friends for our weather. As it is difficult to ascertain how heat-friendly a particular piece of garment is when trying it on in the air-conditioned fitting room, be sure to check the garment tag or ask the retail assistant about the material. The garment should feel light-weight in your hands. Avoid synthetic and clingy materials. The less that a fabric adheres to your skin, the more comfortable it will be. A problem with full-linen fabrics is that they wrinkle easily, so you may want to go for cotton blends or silk-linen blends.

Choose light neutral colours like white, tan and light grey. These are corporate-friendly colours but more importantly, they absorb less heat compared to darker colours. If you are prone to sweat patches, avoid pastels and marl grey. Prints will help to camouflage the patches. Simple floral or geometric designs are the way to go. If all else fails, a short-sleeved cardigan or long scarf for the ladies and a waist coat or lightweight blazer for the men can save you from some stares.

Cotton T-shirts are comfortable for the heat, and the good news is, they aren’t only good for casual Fridays. A suitable T-shirt for work should be form-fitting and it should be plain or have a simple design. For the ladies, wide-leg pants and long skirts are in fashion now, and they will go well with the T-shirt for a smart-casual work outfit. Add a scarf or an eye-catching accessory to glam it up. The men can layer your T-shirt with a lightweight cardigan or blazer rolled up at the elbows for the suave business-casual look often spotted in Korean dramas.

Don’t neglect your feet. Heat escapes the body through your feet and head. So, make sure you dress to allow the heat to flow through. Leather is classy but traps heat. Consider loafers which are available in a wide variety of materials. Linen or silk-cotton socks will keep your feet reasonably cool and comfy. For the ladies, open-toe pumps and sandals are the obvious choices. If you don’t wish to show your toes, wear skin-coloured ballerina socks.

– This article first appeared in a lifestyle magazine.
Picture from Pixabay


Shopping anywhere, anytime, with technology

If there’s one other major impact that technology has on our lifestyle, it is certainly in the way we go about with our purchases. Today, instead of making a trip to the shopping malls or even to the eateries or outlets, just let the fingers do all the walking.

Be it on the computer, ipad or a handphone, consumers can pick up just about anything they want online. So, if you visit the shopping malls and see a noticeable drop in human traffic, it isn’t necessarily because business is bad. It’s just that many shoppers have taken another route to tap on the convenience of shopping. A survey done by PayPal and market research firm lpsos in 2015 found that 69 per cent of online shoppers in Singapore made Eurchases both locally and overseas. The online expenditure y Singapore consumers is expected to grow 55 per cent from 2014 to 2017. Another study by Temasek and Google released in May 2016 showed that the e-commerce market here is expected to be worth $7.46 billion by 2025.

Take the fashion stores for example, many reputable brands and departmental stores have their own online shopping platform. The popularity of e-commerce has also driven budding entrepreneurs to set up online retail shops, also known as e-tailers, carrying generous selections of top- sellers from various brands. These shops will ship internationally, sometimes for free or a flat fee if you hit a certain amount of expenses at check-out.

Go on-line and browse these fashionable shops catering to men and women, sometimes children too, that ship to Singapore.

Macy’s, one of the popular US’s departmental stores, sells an impressive variety of wearables for all ages on top of its lifestyle products. Aside from some mainstream brands, it features a large portfolio of private brands with products that are exclusively sold in its stores.

Opening Ceremony, based in the US, is well known for its unconventional and quirky designs. Occasionally, it also collaborates with big-name designers to create limited-edition capsule collections.

Selfridges is touted as London’s Greatest Store, and has also done consistently well to be recognized as Best Department Store in the World by the Intercontinental Group of Department Stores in consecutive years. Its liberal selection of products, from clothes to jewellery to gadgets and more, will keep you entertained for days.

Colette is a cult store in Paris among hipsters, artists and fashionistas, known for bringing design, art, culture and fashion together in its three-level concept store. Colette collaborates with influential creatives around the world to co-create products, which can be found on its online store.

Stylebop, based in Germany, features the works of over 250 designers, including big names like Valentino, Fendi, Balmain and McQueen, just to name a few. Its fashion editorials under the Inspiration section would be highly beneficial to those who need a little help with deciding what goes in their wardrobes.

In Singapore, there’s a whole host of stores lined up at Orchard Road which also offer their fashion merchandise online, such as Tangs, Robinsons, Metro, Isetan and Takashimaya. With Foodpanda,GrabFood and other delivery services by fast food chains like McDonalds, Pizza Hut, KFC and many more, consumers are spoilt for choice. Then there are e-tailers that cater specifically to Singapore-based customers, like and Lazada. And it’s not just for clothes. If your car needs special parts that are not carried by the motor garages here, you can order online, parts for all makes of cars from the US and Europe. Just make sure you give them the correct make and model of your car, and the year of manufacture.

Many websites are user-friendly and some will even quote comparison prices between the normal and after sale discounts, in Singapore dollars. Common payment methods include credit card, debit card and Paypal.


Read the stores’ policies carefully; certain policies like free shipping and returns may not apply to all countries
Know your measurements, check the size charts. Size labels are not always universal!
Due to differences in screen calibration, be prepared for minor colour differences.
Know what other customers are saying by checking reviews and the shops’ social media accounts
Pool orders with friends to get that minimum amount required for free shipping
Budget! We tend to be more free with money when paying online versus paying with cash.

Happy shopping!

– This article first appeared in a lifestyle magazine.

Picture from Unsplash