Right, so I’m not really in a position to advise people on what to wear – except when it comes to my last job as a personal stylist and the fact that I’ve gone through many unfortunate phases in my life. As the designated clothes horse in the office, this has sort of become my thing though.

Anyway, so let’s walk through curating a personal style – courtesy of the kind folk at /r/femalefashionadvice (if you don’t identify as female, this series works for you too).

I’m of the opinion that the Konmari Method and capsule wardrobes aren’t my thing. I mean, I do a lot of different things in this line of work, so I can’t really limit my wardrobe to a set number of pieces per season. Also, Malaysia doesn’t have seasons in the traditional sense of the word. However, I’m also not particularly trend-driven – I’m pretty boring.

Making your wardrobe work for you means figuring out a) your lifestyle, b) your likes, and c) your body type. You need a wardrobe that is not only comfortable and flatters your body, but is functional. Form and function can coexist, something I wish I learned 5 years ago when I wore spindly stiletto heels every day of the week.

I’ve learned three major things over the last couple of years, and that’s influenced how I shop for things and what my personal aesthetic looks like these days:

  1. I don’t want to think about it. I value sleep over everything since I barely sleep as an insomniac. Those four hours of uninterrupted sleep are important.
  2. Colour is overrated. Back to ‘not thinking about it’. I don’t want to worry about prints or colour and what clashes or mixes well. Also, I’ve had some pretty eccentric hair colours in the past and neutrals look good with everything. I’d rather experiment with makeup.
  3. It has to look good. I’m never going to be a sweats and hoodie kind of person. I hate leaving my house without makeup. So, effortless cool – something like that. I can pretty much take any top and any bottom out of my closet and there’s a 99% chance it’ll match up and make something cohesive.

So, when it comes to curating your personal style – you think about your body proportions first. Do you want to emphasise certain features? Downplay something you don’t like? That’s a pretty good indicator to the cut and fit of your clothes.

Then you can get to the fun part: what you like. When you look at fashion magazines, things on the Internet, or fall into the black hole that is creating a Pinterest board – you’ll eventually be able to see a theme in what you post most often. Example: I like wearing neutrals, but I also lean heavily towards the whole swooshy jacket/vampire protagonist/post-apocalyptic antihero thing. I can’t wear a trench coat in Malaysia, but a girl can dream.

It’s only after that, you go into lifestyle. If you worked at a 9-5 business formal-type job, you can’t really get away with bright prints or anything too out there. Similarly, someone who worked with kids wouldn’t want to wear anything they’d be afraid to ruin (paint stains are terrible to get out of satin). If you were on your feet the whole time, you can’t wear super high heels – unless you’re really comfortable in them. You’ve gotta make your clothes work for you.

In summary:

– Did you watch the latest Underworld movie? Fashion: on point, plot line: failed, imho.

– What’s your style?

– Does anyone else take inspiration from video games?