Dr. Martens


Daniel Wellington

Arissa is known for her monochromatic style, which she often amps up even further with punk-inspired elements. Her lace-up leather heels are right up her alley, but with a simple jacket thrown on, her outfit passes for office-appropriate without losing any of her spunk. Arissa has been keeping herself busy of late; we have a chat to find out what she’s got her hands full since we last saw her (here).


Q1. How do you try to personalise your outfit, or find some way of making it look different from the usual office crowd?

For one, I don’t do the blouse-and-skirt combo, and I never wear court shoes. At least, that’s what I imagine lawyers or paralegals would wear. I like injecting unusual (often non-conservative) elements like spikes, leathers and studs into my outfits. Thankfully, I work in an environment where the dress code isn’t strict.

Q2. We think that little things can make or break an outfit. What do you personally look for when it comes to shoes and accessories?

I think the devil’s in the details. I’m always looking for a unique cut. The shoes I wear have to elongate my legs without hurting too much after a few hours.

Q3. What are some of the items in your wardrobe or on your dresser that you can’t live without?

Accessories. I love my necklaces from local jewellery designer, Mandy Wu. They make the entire outfit pop, and people always compliment on how good they look. You should see the look on their faces when I declare that it was designed by a Singaporean. We do have talents in Singapore!


Q4. Do you believe in routine or spontaneity, both at work and off work? How so?

I believe it’s a balance of both. Work can’t be too routine or it’ll be boring — at the same time, it can’t be too extemporaneous or it will be too hard to plan ahead. I view play as the same.

Q5. We often hear people say: don’t work hard, work smart. Have you found any way of working differently? 

Most of the time, my work is cyclical. Although I write about different things each month, the groundwork is more or less the same. It’s human tendency to develop pattern recognition and it’s all about discerning the things you need to do in order to preempt what you need to do next. Sometimes, all we need to do is to take a step back to see the big picture.

Q6. Could you tell us about what you’re working on right now, or a personal project that you would love to undertake?

I have a natural love for learning and consuming information. Just two weeks ago, I went for a food styling/photography workshop. I want to learn Copperplate script, carpentry, leather working…basically anything that allows me to create something. I have a background in fashion design and I’d love to design a small capsule collection some time soon.


Q7. What do you do when you’re simply having a terrible day at work? Or how do you personally cope/deal with stress from work?

I’m terrible at handling stress, and I often develop a headache when work piles up. Thankfully, I have really great colleagues — their positivity and wisdom rub off on me. It’s great when you have people who can offer advice when you need it the most.

Q8. What’s the one thing you think you should be doing more of, or that you wish you had more time to be doing?

I wish I could have more me-time. I would love a day (or two) where I could just relax somewhere and not do anything. Time is a luxury!

Q9. Who is your all-time favourite musician or band? Or the artist that you’re currently into at the moment?

I don’t have a favourite band or musician, but I think Lady Gaga is exceptionally talented. She’s proven that she’s a great performer and composer, but her recent tribute to The Sound of Music at the Oscars really showed off her vocal talent.

Q10. In light of the Dr. Martens #standforsomething campaign, what’s the one thing you stand for? What do you personally believe in, be it at work, or in life? 

I believe in the freedom of expression. I often express myself through the clothes I wear and I loved it when I could wear the most outrageous things in Japan with no one batting an eyelid.

This is a Shentonista project for Dr. Martens Singapore.

For more on Dr. Martens, visit their Facebook here and their website here.

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