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Hit refresh on your style: be fashionable in 2019


Up your fashion game this year by refreshing your wardrobe and refining your personal style. We speak with tastemakers Angus Lui, fashion director at Esquire magazine, and Sarah Fung, founder of HULA, the online marketplace for pre-owned designer clothes. They share their tips on effortlessly stylish looks and the latest trends.

1. Be a fashion copycat
Before restocking your wardrobe, find looks that you like. There are plenty of fashion sites online, but our experts take a different tack. Lui checks out current street style because it’s more practical for everyday wear. As for Fung: “I’m mostly inspired by my stylish friends.”

2. Sporty or hippie, with a lot of luxe
Perhaps you just want to be on-trend. Lui says luxury street style is everywhere right now. “It is all sport-inspired clothing now, such as skateboarding or hip-hop style. Also fashionable are oversized cuttings, high waists, and 70s-style big logos and patterns.”

“This winter, colours are very rich and include scarlet, emerald, teal and gold,” says Fung. “I am loving the luxe-hippie look. Fabrics are textural, such as opulent velvets, corduroy and silks that are embroidered, fringed, feathered and lined with faux fur.”

3. Get your clothes tailored
Throwing out unworn pieces is wasteful, you could instead make existing items work better for you. One way is to get a tailor to revamp your clothes. “A good tailor is very important,” says Lui. “Figure out what cuttings look good on you and alter your clothes immediately.”

Another way to renew what you already have is to mix and match differently based on trends. For this season, Fung advises to wear a midi dress or a kaftan belted over wide-leg pants, or a fitted roll-neck jumper under a strappy maxi dress.

4. Invest in quality
Each wardrobe should have some versatile, classic pieces that can stand the test of time. Examples from Lui include white sneakers, cashmere sweaters, slim-cut blue jeans and a black tailored blazer. Fung says women should invest in a good-quality white T-shirt, an off-white button-down shirt, black leather trousers, a black blazer, a tweed jacket, high-waisted jeans and a roll-neck jumper to layer dresses over.

Fast fashion is temptingly cheap, but it is more worthwhile to buy quality pieces that use good materials and high craftsmanship. “Fast fashion doesn’t retain its value – in fact the value depreciates as soon as it leaves the shop floor!” says Fung.

5. Wear basics (with a red lip)
Stylish doesn’t have to mean spending a lot of money. Fung’s suggestions for simple yet stylish looks for women include a belt over a blazer or jumper; or a white T-shirt with corduroy or velvet trousers. “Both looks won’t break the bank and will make you look effortlessly chic. And a bright red lipstick instantly makes you look fashionable and fresh, even if worn with a simple white T-shirt and jeans.”

Lui says a few colours and patterns go a long way. “A nice baby blue long coat can easily match your existing wardrobe.”

6. Turn heads in the office
To stay fashionable at work, Lui suggests that men wear colourful, preppy jumpers with a suit, because it’s easy to increase the level of formality by changing into a shirt and tie. Another stylish office look is a full trouser suit in tweed or a bold colour, says Fung, “for that ultimate head-to-toe look that will make heads turn”.

7. Beat the air-con
To survive freezing office temperatures, “the right fabrics are the key”, says Lui. “Try a nice pair of flannel trousers and cashmere sweaters.”

Fung says blazers are the answer to looking professional under multiple layers. “Staple Hong Kong office wear isn’t complete without a few blazers you can alternate on a weekly basis. Some days it can be so cold, you never actually end up taking it off.” 

8. Sell unworn clothes online
Even the fashion world is preaching sustainable practice now. There are numerous charities and donation boxes that collect used clothes. But online sites and apps make it easy to resell clothing online. “Sometimes it is nice to know the person paid for your item will love and cherish it as much as you did,” says Fung. “You can monetise your wardrobe where you can and resell any designer items on a website like HULA.”

For more style ideas, check out the office makeover we gave to two Taikoo Place professionals

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