Welcome to Outfit Anatomy, a feature series that is all about personal style and comprehensive outfit breakdowns. In it, we ask contributors to tell us the stories behind each item that constitutes their carefully curated ensemble, from the sentimental value and monetary cost to how and why they obtained it.
In this edition, we have Qi Wen, the founder of Qwerky Colour, a homegrown business that specializes in non-damaging, semi-permanent hair dyes. She breaks down the outfit she wore for a photoshoot she did for Playhood, a unisex fashion label from Singapore.
While my hair is usually the center of attention, I’m keeping my outfit firmly in the spotlight for this feature. I have always been passionate about all things beauty — be it fashion, hair, or makeup. As I love experimenting with different styles, colors, and silhouettes, I can’t really define my personal style. All I know is that I like wearing outfits that make me feel good and I don’t like repeating them. When I was younger, I used to repeat my outfits. But after I stopped doing so, I found that it actually helped me hone my creativity.
For this outfit, I wanted to exude a preppy vibe à la Gossip Girl. I was lucky enough to receive the Playhood’s Apple Green Lily Knit Vest for their Instagram feature of me and I wanted it to be the star of the show. This piece went well with my hairstyle and it really brought out the green streaks in my hair; I used 12AM Semi Permanent Conditioning Colour for my fringe, which has since faded, and Iris Semi Permanent Conditioning Colour for the rest of my hair. To add some visual interest to the overall look, I decided to layer the vest with a white long-sleeved button-up top that I got from TaoBao.
Since I’m quite petite, I wanted to balance out the outfit by wearing a short skirt that flatters my figure and makes me look taller. I also got this skirt from TaoBao and it’s my favorite tennis skirt because it literally goes with anything and fits my body so well. One of my main concerns with tennis skirts is that they are really short on the back but I managed to find one that had a slightly longer cut.
I finished the look with a beaded necklace that I made — my boyfriend has a matching one — and some long white socks to match the most vintage-inspired pair of heels that I owned (also from TaoBao). I love wearing long socks with short bottoms because I think that they make my legs look slimmer. I bought the Mary Janes because I thought I would need work-appropriate footwear after graduation. That didn’t happen because of Covid and also because I quit my full-time job to run Qwerky Colour after lockdown — but that’s a story for another time.
Overall, this outfit costs less than $100 (if I had to purchase the vest). Regardless, you can always get a similar look by swapping the items out for pieces that you already own. You don’t have to spend a lot to look like a million bucks, just own the fit with confidence and strut your stuff!
- Vest: Sponsored by local brand Playhood
- Necklace: Handmade
- Long-sleeved top in white: TaoBao
- Tennis skirt: TaoBao
- Patent Mary Janes in red: TaoBao
As told to Sherryl Cheong