Slowed Down

How would you personally describe your sense of style?
I think a lot of my style influence comes from my mother and her “era” which is the ‘80s to ‘90s. Growing up, I received a lot of secondhand clothing from my family and relatives as I was one of the youngest. I’ve always had this habit of picking from someone else’s “trash” and giving it a new lease of life in my wardrobe. This pair of pants, which are hand-me-downs from my mother, is an example of that.

Your favourite corner at home is:
Definitely my bed—it’s where I am the most comfortable and where I rest.

A habit you picked up during Circuit Breaker is:
Learning to set aside time for creative projects every weekend, because I feel it’s good for my mental health and happiness. Every Sunday, I will choose to do something creative—be it journalling, styling new outfits, upcycling old clothes or filming fashion videos. Allocating this time has forced me to take a break from my work, be present and focus on myself. This habit of just creating something on the weekend has in turn positively influenced my work (design & digital marketing), and allowed the creative juices to flow more freely during work days. 

While we wait till we can travel again, what’s one of the top places to explore on your list?
I really want to go back to Japan and to the US. These two places have an extremely strong vintage and thrifting culture that I have not explored extensively enough yet. Just thinking about it gets me so excited!

What’s something you discovered about yourself during this period?
That as an extrovert, I can still thrive during quarantine! If you told me last year, that I had to go three months without meeting friends, colleagues, and family, I’d probably deem that as utterly impossible. The trick is to make an effort to stay socially connected, while remaining physically distant. Thank God for technology!

The most difficult part about working from home is:
Probably having work life balance! When the office and the place I rest is literally in the same room, sometimes it’s difficult to create that separation of “okay, now it’s time to work” and “okay, now it’s rest time.” Something that helps in finding balance is having a dedicated workspace, schedule, and a to-do list.

If you could introduce a new law in society, what would it be?
Placing a clothes recycling bin in every household. Instead of throwing away old clothes in the trash, everyone has to separate unwanted clothing into this bin which will then get donated to thrift stores or the less fortunate. This way, we’ll waste a lot less!

Is there a show you often find yourself rewatching?
Avatar: The Last Airbender is one of my favourites (the animated version, not the horrible movie)! A lot of the themes brought up in it still run true today. Yes, it’s a show meant for kids, but it’s complex, emotional, teaches valuable lessons about life, and the characters reflect many aspects of society, all while having beautiful animation.

You’re very passionate about sustainable fashion—share with us a little more about how everyone can start to be more sustainable.
Being sustainable starts small, but we have to make a conscious effort. We’re part of the social media generation: we want to present our life as a highlight reel, which includes not repeating outfits as a sign of “wealth” or “success.” As a result, people buy a lot more clothes than they need, and most of the time from fast fashion brands as they are the most affordable and accessible. To be sustainable, we can start by just evaluating our purchases and only buying what we need. This helps reduce the strain of waste on the environment and creates a more sustainable lifestyle. Aim to not buy at all, buy secondhand, or to swap clothes.

You’re a regular at the thrift stores: tell us your top three tips for someone who’s new to the thrifting world!
1) Always have what you want to buy in mind before heading into the thrift store. If not, it’s very easy to be overwhelmed with the sheer amount of clothes!
2) You can tell if something is high quality by looking at the weight of the fabric, buttons, zippers and other details. A high quality item will probably last through more wears and live a longer life in your wardrobe.
3) If you want to know if something is vintage, look at the tags. Vintage items usually have embroidered tags, stating its specific size (unless the item was tailored). Only fast fashion items are “free size”!

Nicole is featured as part of our ongoing #ShentonistaScreenstyle series, where Shentonistas are shot in the comfort of their own homes. All pictures featured here have been taken by Nicole herself.

Know anyone you’d like to nominate for our #ShentonistaScreenstyle feature? Get in touch with us 🙂 

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