Diva on a Dime – 5 Tips for the Trendy OL (Office Lady)


NB: This is not an advertorial – merely a piece for sharing purposes.

As young working females, we have a lot at stake on the fashion front.

We need to be pretty, stylish, work-appropriate and comfortable. Oh yes, and pocket-friendly as well. I feel your pain  – I have two closets bursting at its (metophoric) seams and I still don’t know what to wear to work at times. What’s worse, my work place requires me to dress professionally (read: boring) and modestly.

So what does a girl like me do? Play dress up in my curtains? Of course, I need to find ways around my problem.

For this post, I was inspired by the now-defunct TV Mobile tv show “Diva on a Dime”, a Canadian (?) show about how to make women beautiful at “a fraction of the cost” (yes, I totally remembered the catchphrase of the 2 gay hosts). I’m not claiming to be an expert on Fashion, just sharing what I feel can be useful to working women out there.

Tip #1: Know your style and your body shape  before building your wardrobe accordingly.


Yes, I know it sounds really generic but I truly believe that you need to know your style before you can make a difference in how you look. For instance, I have a colleague who favours simplicity and classic styles that wouldn’t go wrong. Thus, she opts to inject style by trying colours as compared to quirky, current-season styles. In this way, her fashion style is true to her personality.

For me, when I first started work, I was into feminine pretty dresses. Now, I opt for pants alongside a feminine top, usually of light fabrics like chiffon and satin or classic shift dresses. Another staple in my work dress style is the blouse-tucked into a high waisted skirt. I know my pet body flaw is my tummy so the light tops would draw attention away from the offensive area. By tucking in my blouse, I create a leaner waist-line and of course, I swear by body sculpting undergarments.

Now, I stock up on these essentials as compared to frittering my money on everything that I fancy. What I discovered, G2000 cigarette pants are awesome work pants – good fit, easy to iron (oh so important) and incredibly versatile.

Shift dress from Dorothy Perkins – Stylish and appropriate.

 Tip #2: Shoes matters – women are made to wear heels. Embrace them.

I swear by DMK heels – at an average cost of SGD$39.90, they are possibly a girl’s best option when you don’t have the budget to buy the likes of Pazzion, Pedder Red and Ninewest.

This baby would elongate those pins of yours instantly (DMK Online)

Platform heels are the way to go high (DMK Online)

 Heck, you can always change your heels to a pair of comfy flats at work. I personally keep a pair of Havainanas at work.

Tip #3: Invest in a good bag

I used to love bargain bin deals for bags – cheap and (somewhat) disposable. One particular incident stuck in my mind – my bag literally gave way at its seams at Plaza Singapura and I had to hold my bag like my life depended on it and hunt for a replacement.

Now, if I believed in investments then, I would have been spared of the pain and embarrasment.

Coach and Kate Spade are good starts to the luxury purchase department. Psst: Piece of advice: Buy them cheap from outlet stores (I got an awesome deal from Coach HK) or from websites like loves-coach.blogspot.com.

Gorgeous Coach Gallery Embossed Patent Leather Tote from loves-coach.blogspot.com

 Tip #4: Keep yourself updated with the fashion trends, but do it your way.

Case Study #1: For the Fall/Winter collection of Japanese brands like Liz Lisa, the way to go is nordic prints.

Nordic prints - Taken from ilikeitlikethat-reckless.blogspot.com

But seriously, how would a OL do the full Nordic print thingy and be cost efficient? Wear it in June and pretend it’s snowing out there? Well, what I would advise is to be keep abreast with the trends through accessories.

Since the print automatically looks wintry, it will make sense to use it as a layering garment. Instead of wrapping warm in the office with the plain black shawl that has served you well for the past 5 years, opt for something fashion forward.

You can wrap up in style in this Nordic scarf

Or, if you are working in a really liberal environment, you can go for Nordic leggings.

Printed leggings go best with a muted outfit - you don't want to stand out for the wrong reasons.

Case Study #2: Furry legwarmers hit the Fall runways , thanks to  Chanel, Valentino and Fendi. However, unless you have the pins of Giselle, the strut of Kate and the looks of Agyness all rolled into one, chances are you will look like a woolly mamoth.

Do not look like a woolly mamoth. They are never going to be wearable fashion.

Tip #5: You can mix patterns and fabrics and still look chic.

Secretly adore polka dots but fear looking like Mary Poppins?

A chic polka dotty silhouette from Tory Burch - Taken from workchic.com

Fabulous workwear need not be plain. You can always try to mix and match and come up with stunning outcomes. Start small with one item that is atypical and match it with your existing clothes.

Stripes on a beautifully draped skirt - fashion need not be rocket science. Taken from amandakeenan.com

Hope that these tips will help to make your work closet a lot more interesting in 2011.  


One response »

  1. hello, this post is really useful man! interesting read indeed!!
    i hope our readers will like this as much as me!!
    hearts, fen

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