How to Hem Your Pants Like A Tailor

Thirteen-year-old me grabbed a pair of scissors and hacked a pair of shorts that were way too ugly. My mom feared the moment I cut across layers of denim. Though I was no pro, I acted like one. Countless sewing lessons later, I still am learning how to do it like a tailor.

Through the years, I’ve always cut my pants across the leg by either folding it and cutting across the legs or using a ruler to draw, then cut. While both methods were my go-tos for quick fixes, I realized that sometimes, the symmetry wasn’t right. To get the hems even, my grandma used this one trick from her book that I will show you on my Reel:

Miaou Raven Cargo Pant: https://rvlv.me/Ze5Oty

How to Alter Your Sweatpants

Sorry I’ve been off the grid here, but rest assured I’ve been keeping myself busy!

Lately, I’ve been reconnecting with my sewing machine and it’s the one thing that has been keeping me busy apart from dates, endless bingeing of Love is Blind, playdates with Chili, lunches with friends and family time.

In case you didn’t know, I learned how to sew when I was 16, but didn’t really get back into it until 2017! I took sewing classes for a few years until covid hit in 2020. Rather than let it slip from my grasp, I’ve taken up some time to sew. Though I have yet to learn how to make clothes on my own, I’ve been quietly reworking ’em.

Purchased on December 2021, I was swooning over Miaou’s low rise Dita sweatpants, which feature cute O rings and a bootcut silhouette. However, they were too big on me as I have narrow hips. Even though I’m a size XS/S, the cuts of Miaou tend to run big at the hips since it’s cut for those who have wider hips.

Check out my Reel on how I altered it!

Miaou Dita Pants: https://rvlv.me/Ucvsdo

Grunge, But Make It Grown

It wasn’t a phase. Twelve years after lurking through Tumblr and hiding behind my laptop scrolling through weekly Rookie Mag posts on the daily in high school, Grunge Michy is back!

When I first tried out the grunge trend, I was all about hiding my curves as I felt shy about my body. Rather than going the Kurt Cobain route, I wanted to copy Courtney Love’s style with the slip dresses, babydoll silhouettes and Mary-Jane shoes. However, I grew to like the striped shirts, distressed jeans, Docs and messy hair that embodied the grunge spirit. Though fashion at that time was still heavily gendered, grunge was uniquely unisexy as the shapes and aesthetic were purely utilitarian, not fashion.

If there was one book that got me invested in grunge, it’s Michael Lavine’s Grunge, which explained the visual origins of the style as an offshoot of punk in the ’80s. Published in the era of street style, Lavine’s book made me realize that grunge had a strong chokehold for being gender neutral.

Though I haven’t been dressing grungy for the past couple of years, I guess my high school self was ready to come out when I went out for a family lunch last weekend:

Most pieces are vintage, but you can cop the look with these links below:

Sweater dupe:

AllSaints Lou Sparkle Sweater – https://rvlv.me/e7ZxYt

Top dupes:

LaQuan Smith Bustier – https://rvlv.me/NVAKQ9

Superdown Ashleigh Cami Bodysuit – https://rvlv.me/i51xtP

Jeans dupes/exact:

EB Denim Lace Up Jeans – https://rvlv.me/lLFCaB

AFRM Sylar Jeans – https://rvlv.me/BD92eN

Boots dupe:

Dr. Martens 1460 Vegan Metallic Boots – https://www.zalora.sg/dr-martens-dr-martens-1460-vegan-silver-chrome-paint-metallic-grey-1620358.html

Revolve Picks: Lunar New Year Outfit Ideas

Happy New Year!

I have to admit the start of the month was kinda bumpy, but a lil miracle dropped into my inbox by the grace of God: an e-mail asking me to be a brand ambassador for Revolve!

As a Revolve fan and customer, I’ve shopped with them for years. Their service was something I really count on and I still do count on them for: speedy delivery, easy returns, shopping in SGD and of course, free shipping for anything over USD $100! Their curated selections have grown with me as much as I’ve evolved as a person every year. As brand ambassador, I curate items for you to buy. In turn, I earn cash and/or store credit! To kick off this series, I present you my top picks for Lunar New Year!

For anyone who doesn’t know the Lunar New Year, it’s a tradition among the Chinese (like myself) when the new year begins with the start of the first new moon. There’s a lot of stories surrounding the origins, which you can happily Google at your own rate, but what I love so much about the Lunar New Year is that you get an excuse to dress up for 3 days! Not only do you get to dress up, you also get days off of work (if you’re in Singapore, Hong Kong and China)! It’s like Christmas where you spend days visiting your family and neighbors as per tradition.

If you need any help with what to wear, here are my top LNY outfit ideas:

Continue reading “Revolve Picks: Lunar New Year Outfit Ideas”

21 Things I Learned in 2021

I’m 2 years shy of being 30, but I feel that this year has been the year of growth for me. I find that when you’re getting older, you have no choice but to grow up and learn from mistakes. Sometimes, it’s easy to repeat mistakes without aware that you’re repeating it. On top of that, I realized that I have a tendency to cling on to unhealthy mindsets I’ve developed when I was in my early 20s, which I thought was once OK. Through these changes, I also find that this year has raised a lot of self-realizations that has called me to start levelling myself up.

While staying at home has been a choice for one and a half years, I decided to take some time out of being in Singapore and escape the confines of my room. By traveling through four different countries, it was a month long trip that brought me to start thinking of new beginnings and see that there is more to life than I previously thought!

While I am just as human as you, I am no role model as I don’t want to set myself up to be “perfect”. Instead, what I aim to do is to aspire to inspire you to start thinking about what you can do to enrich your life with these little pearls of wisdom. No matter how old we get, it is never too late to still keep on learning. ❤

Continue reading “21 Things I Learned in 2021”

Reddy Or Not: Would You Try 2021’s Hottest Hair Color?

Hotter than hell, but oh so chic, red hair is really having a moment this year. The Queen’s Gambit may single-handedly be responsible for this revival, but red’s been proven to be THE shade as seen on yours truly and Gigi Hadid, who credits the TV show for pushing her to go red. Heck, she even looked amazing with red hair at the Met Gala! Though natural redheads don’t have to do too much work to maintain their shade, being a ginger is a whole other story!

Sometime last year, I tried out a filter and I chose red. A friend told me that red looked good on me. Flash forward to Christmas 2020, I was given a box dye by Revlon’s Singapore PR team that contained a reddish tinge of purple that turned my hair into a cute shade of chocolate raspberry. Though the box dye was great at the beginning, I didn’t like how it aged badly and while being a brunette was cute, I felt like I needed to do something else.

Eons ago, one of my friends sent me an article about dyeing hair without bleach. Inspired by the article, I felt like it was time to treat myself to a birthday present. It was the first time I booked a dye job in six years.

Being a redhead was truly a liberation. It made me feel rock ‘n roll, fierce and extra sexy. I wore more neutrals, a pop of color and tapped into my inner Lizzie McGuire. I felt like I was my own Bratz doll, dressing however I wanted to no matter the occasion. Since we’re still in a pandemic, being a redhead was my only form of escape from a series of semi-lockdowns.

A month later, my hair dye faded. I had to mix conditioner with a tub of pink dye to maintain the color. While it did a good job at making my hair look fresh, the color couldn’t last. I realized that my hair faded into two different tones of red: orange at the top and purple at the bottom. It was not a good look. I had to use filters to fix the shade of my hair just so it looked more “fresh”.

With two months of root grown out by August, I felt like I needed a quick fix. I went to see another colorist, CK at Yann Beyrie, who told me that the bottom of my hair needed to be lightened to match the top half of my hair. Her brushwork was as fine as an Old Master.

Her work, compared to the other colorist’s, lasted me longer. As much as I enjoy being a redhead, you can’t really wash your hair everyday or swim. I had to spend a longer time in the shower since I needed at least 10 minutes to let color depositing conditioner sink into my hair. Then, I put in Oribe’s Power Drops Color Preservation Booster into my hair and blow dry it. No matter how many times I put on conditioner, color preserving serum and heat protectant spray into my hair, my hair became really dried, sticky and fried. Heck, even finding color despoiting conditioner was a challenge as the conditoiner hue was a blue-based pink red, which didn’t really match with my hair. *sigh*

No matter how glamorous being a redhead looked, it required SO MUCH maintenance! Instead of letting myself suffer with sticky tangled ends and stark roots, I decided that it was time to change it up.

Being a redhead was one hell of a trip. There’s no other experience like it. Even though trying out a crimson shade made me glow, I was sad to part it. While bits of it are inside the highlights, it popped well against a milk chocolate base and black roots. Going back to brunette was the most financially sensible choice, but what for I cough up hundresds of dollars to dye my hair, THEN dye it back to black? (Been there done that myself at the behest of my parents when I was in college!) Now, I think that a nice transition shade like brown is all it takes to gently grow out the hair.

If there’s one lesson I’ve learned from being a redhead, it’s to keep on pushing yourself to try new things out of your comfort zone and have fun with it! I will never want to discourage any of you from feeling like you can’t try out red, BUT I still think that if you must take a risk, you need to be reddy for it (pun intended), know the pros/cons and go along with it. Just buy the ticket and take the ride.

#HOTGIRLSUFFER: IS Emo Officially Back?

Move over, Hot Girl Summer. It’s been a year since COVID started and countries are trying to get back to normal, but the fear, angst and moodiness of 2020 still lingers. While some of us are able to travel to different parts of the globe, quarantining is still a standard and vaccines are slowly rolling out in APAC whereas they’re readily available in the States for everyone to party there like it’s 2019. With some of us going through the second wave (yuck!), we’re still confining ourselves to the same four walls of our bedrooms, working from home and blasting Spotify at full volume. Making up for the dearth of concerts, nothing feels more alive than the sound of guitars injecting raw venom into our brains, ready to make us scream and whip our hair back and forth.

Though the 10s were dominated by EDM, pop and hip hop, being stuck in the pandemic gave us no choice but to listen to sad music. By default, it was the sounds of the ’00s calling us back to tap into our teenage angst. Way before MGK, Willow Smith and Olivia Rodrigo invaded our Spotifys, Emo Night was up and running long after the demise of the genre. Heck, *I* went to Emo Night and covered it on Vice Asia. Strangely, the article was out the month COVID was first reported to the world. If there was one thing that helped me to survive the horrors of 2020, it was Spotify, where I bumped my Fall Out Boy, Taking Back Sunday, My Chemical Romance, Motion City Soundtrack and as of recently with the second lockdown, Paramore. Convos with friends and sending memes about emo’s revival made me realize that emo was never really dead. It was in hibernation. It was waiting for the next generation to tap into its angst and indeed it did! Now that it’s in full swing again, let’s welcome the season of Hot Girl Suffer.

Coined by my cousin, Hot Girl Suffer is the chaotic twin of Hot Girl Summer. Moodier, saltier and sassier, Hot Girl Suffer is emo to the core. Though moody isn’t the vibe for the summer, you can still be in bikinis and rock your ass out to the entire Tickets to My Downfall at the beach, then cry along to “The Only Exception” in your bedroom while you’re scrolling through Depop for old Paramore merch or rewatching Jennifer’s Body. Weatherproof for the seasons, emo is just as seasonless as your tried and true Chucks. Just as you’re about to go on Spotify to blast pop punk classics, let’s introduce you to the Hot Girl Suffer starter pack:

Continue reading “#HOTGIRLSUFFER: IS Emo Officially Back?”

I Did A Self-Care Marathon And It was Worth It

Dating your skincare is equivalent to running laps on the tracks or swimming laps across the pool. Trying out product after product is like going on a date every few days. Just like finding a partner, your skin also has standards, too. Sensitive, yet oily, my skin has mainly been a blessing save for a few flaws. While I can handle makeup, I’ve had a harder time finding the right skincare as products have been a hit or miss. Just like the Olympics, every skincare product performs differently no matter how many times an esteemed publication or an influencer calls it “the best”.

Despite flogging skincare products on my Instagram and being given skincare products, I do the best I can to believe in my products as I’m constantly in the process of searching “the one” for my skin. However, I’ve had to outgrow some products as some of the ones I’ve used in the past were not compatible with Singapore weather or not working on my skin anymore as my texture has changed. If there was one product I have a hard time sticking to, it’s face masks.

Always on the hunt for THE perfect mask, there were some that REALLY did wonders for me and there were some that made me break out like crazy. Even for the ones that did perform well on me, I hated the fact that I had to pay a LOT of money for shipment given that I don’t live in the States anymore. Also, I loathe having to put in extra effort at finding a mask I really love as it requires me to travel outside of Singapore to get one. But what I don’t slip up on is having to include one in my skincare ritual. Day or night, I like to add on a layer of mask to prep my skin for moisturizer and serums. Adding on a layer of mask helps a TON to ensure that I can get my skin treated to be rid of maskne and/or receive hydration. Thankfully, LAPCOS has me covered as their PR team sent me a big box of masks to try.

Although I used to believe that masks were strictly for my face, I found out that it’s also important to mask up in different parts of your body. As I Goldilocks my way through the package, my face and body can only take in what it can absorb. Catch my verdict on which masks win gold!

Continue reading “I Did A Self-Care Marathon And It was Worth It”

Unmasked: An Aspie Coming Out Story

Hi! I know this seems awkward, but let me introduce the REAL me. For years, I always wanted you to perceive me as “normal”. I always yearned to be seen, heard and have my blog be a space for you to validate my existence. I invited you to my world, where I openly expressed my interests in all things fashion, beauty, health, travel and pop culture, plus stuff I’ve learned in life. I looked like any other girl, I wrote like your everyday girl, yet I never shared a side of myself where I could have a space to share who I really am behind the keyboard on this blog.

Nine years ago, I started blogging in high school. I tried to be the fashion blogger you craved to see, but I was shy to share about myself. Though I had what it took to dress, my style was in its early formative years and I was trying to find what worked for me. I thought I could be like any other fashion blogger in the day, but I was not as quirky nor was I edgy enough to win fans. Given that I changed my style when I moved to LA for college, I had to put blogging on a rest as I ran out of ideas on how to present myself.

Embarrassed at my lack of expertise, I started blogging again. This time, I was ready to launch myself as *the* blogger my teen self wanted to be in NYC. Fashion, beauty and lifestyle were the things that attracted me and I felt that it was about time that I shared my interests. It was so great to meet other girls who were just as stylish and confident, but there was something that held me back: I was hiding a BIG secret.

That big secret was my Asperger’s, a condition under the autism spectrum I’ve been diagnosed with when I was a baby. From delayed speech to having to build my social skills from ground zero, it was an extremely challenging time for me throughout my childhood and adolescence. I never told anyone that I had it despite being listed in my class roster for my teachers, who saw it written in black and white under my photo every year. I desperately longed to be normal, but it was hard for me to express myself verbally. Since fashion magazines were within a shelf’s reach at the library, I had to hide myself through fashion. Looking at photos of celebrity style and editorials from Teen Vogue and Seventeen saved me. My hardcover copy of Style A to Zoe, plus reading Who What Wear and Rookie helped me feel less alone when searching for style inspiration. Playing virtual dress up on Polyvore helped me to create an alter ego and hide behind the screen. Fashion helped me find a voice so no one could talk badly about me; however, I had been bullied for dressing on-trend until high school, where I was named best dressed for the yearbook. Yet, no one knew that I had Asperger’s.

In college, it was the same story. Being around new people and a new environment was strange and depressing. Being away from the people I knew sucked. Having to make new friends from scratch scared the shit outta me. I had to see a therapist by my side to help me adjust. Although I did have an Aspie roommate in freshman year, I still felt alone in my struggle to make friends on campus as I was shy. I built a wall through a persona to mask my insecurity with who I was. I outed my condition to the student newspaper just to get myself to be more at peace with this condition, but I still was not at peace with accepting it as I thought that I’d merely outgrow it as a child. Going into my early 20s was a complicated time for me as there were a lot of things I had to outgrow, readjust and adapt. I almost considered dropping out of college because I was unhappy with myself. Thankfully, being a radio host on campus brought me to meet a new community of young creatives that inspired me to come out of my shell slowly and push me out of my comfort zone. But, I still never really told anyone face-to-face about my deep dark secret despite landing internships and networking my way through the music scene. Like Princess Fiona, I didn’t want anyone to find out that I carried a secret “curse” (a.k.a. Asperger’s).

If there was one thing that I felt improved my condition, it was a blood and allergy test done by a doctor who specialized in autism. By revealing that I had a gluten, egg and dairy allergy, I realized that I wasn’t eating right for my body as it can’t process the proteins from those allergens (this link doesn’t say eggs as an allergen for autistics FYI). By going allergen-free, it’s been greatly beneficial with less brain fog and higher levels of energy in order to concentrate at school as how I ate related to my ability to process learning new info in class. Given that I had my tests done in LA, having access to GF and DF menus at restaurants and on campus was something that helped me to have less food anxiety. When I didn’t get those things, I got terrible anxiety over the fear of passing out as I literally crashed and/or got stomach upsets and bloating after eating high doses of gluten and dairy, then blame myself for eating the “wrong foods”. On top of that, I did IV cleanses and pushed myself to go vegan and GF to improve my health. Luckily, I was able to go vegan and GF on most days. But if I had no choice and there were no substitutes, I had to counteract the allergens with a probiotic to eat beforehand so I could digest my food. Thankfully, having a diversity of alternatives in the States helped me to survive eating out. However, coming back to Asia was a hurdle as some restaurants were inflexible to accommodate my dietary needs and/or didn’t offer alternatives. In Asia, allergens aren’t seen as life or death situation whereas in America, it’s taken more seriously. It was hard for me to unwrap the LA mentality of going GF/DF as I had to disclose my food sensitivities to friends anytime we ate out. I’m thankful that I have friends who understood my dietary needs, but it brought me into a hiccup while traveling abroad as there were a few who mistook my dietary needs/restrictions as complaints. It brought me to realize that I’ve let my Asperger’s fully unfold in action as Aspies like myself like to express their particular needs and demand to have them. I had zero intention to upset anyone, yet it was a rude awakening that not everyone could tolerate me for choosing myself over pleasing them and/or understand my needs as I never shared the motives behind my dietary discomforts. The same issue popped up on dates as I purposely picked restaurants that had GF/DF options as I wanted to eat food that could accommodate my condition. Then, I asked the guys if there were any food allergens as I didn’t want them to feel pressured into eating things that they weren’t comfortable with as it happened to me before (not in date settings though). I could’ve told everyone about my Asperger’s and how that was linked to my diet, but again, I felt embarrassed.

As a result of being raised in a people-pleasing society that emphasizes likability and politeness, I fit into neither categories as I don’t aspire to be liked and I prefer to be honest about myself even if that might unintentionally upset people. Asking to be liked is an exhausting task I’m currently outgrowing. Having to bend myself backwards and sugarcoating my discomforts just to go along with everyone cost me the chance to be honest with myself to others. Being more confident with speaking up about my discomforts is something I’m currently working on as I realized that I don’t have to please people by staying silent or be afraid of being perceived as “difficult” for speaking up. Though the fear of “troubling” people is still in me, I’m currently working on unlearning this mindset as owning my truth and asserting myself isn’t a trouble to others. Having to mask my truth just to appear “normal” is costing me my peace and that’s something I feel guilty of as I have always valued authenticity and it’s something I’ve been preaching to you. It might seem “selfish”, but being honest with who I am is the most selfless thing I’ve ever done. My outlook has cost quantity “friends”, but what I receive in return are quality friends whom God greatly blesses me with. You, my dear reader, have been a blessing as you’ve seen me grow throughout the years and I am grateful for the fact that you’re here to allow me to share my struggles about Asperger’s. 😀

Sharing my story on my first podcast interview with Something Private is an opportunity that I am honored to have and appearing on a podcast is something that’s been on my bucket list! Although I did talk about Asperger’s in Elle Singapore, Galore, and Vice Asia, I have never been able to share more intimate parts of my life with you. It has truly helped me to come to terms with accepting it after years of not being at peace with my own identity as an Aspie. Being open with my truth in such a public way to you is the best thing I’ve ever done as I hope to offer you comfort, love and a reminder that you aren’t alone in your struggles as we are all humans. I hope that my choice to live and own my truth confidently will inspire you to live your life, too. ❤

xoxo

Michy

P.S. I hope you enjoy the podcast as much as I do!

27 Things I learned at 27

Twenty-seven is a scary number. It’s that awkward stage when you’re not yet 30, but you’re still hanging on to the youth of your early 20s. It’s also that age when you’re trying to get yourself together. You either sink or swim.

While most of us dream of living life, there are sadly, a handful of icons who died far too young from the dark forces that consumed them whether it’s drug overdoses or freak accidents. While such unfortunate events are unintentional, The 27 Club is a one way trip without a return ticket. Joining the club is the last thing I ever want to do.

Though the siren call of living like Jim Morrison is a knock away, the flip side is that you can find stability and success. Or perhaps a renewed creative energy that leads you to produce your best work. While everyone of us finds directions either at this age, a little earlier or later, I feel that our journey is uniquely different from each other and that’s OK.

Standing in front of the crossroads isn’t easy, but being at 27, you don’t feel it until you are there. While my 28th birthday is a week away, I don’t ever want you to feel scared about the prospects of turning 27 because the fear of joining the Club is real.

Here are the top 27 things I’ve learned at 27:

Continue reading “27 Things I learned at 27”