Author: Sheela Goh

The Fab 40s Get Shorty

Shorts for work? Oh goodness!! Scandalous!!   Fashion has always been my favourite form of escapism.  Reading, writing, dancing, sketching.  They all come a close second.  But fashion.  Fashion has, is, and will always be the tabernacle upon which I worship.  Religiously.  Since I was 6 years old to be precise.  Since I caught sight of my very first Issey Miyake piece.  And then laid my hands upon a coffee table book cataloguing what goes into the creation of a collection, courtesy of the god known as Bruce Oldfield (shamefacedly I confess to pinching this from the British Council library).  From then on, I was fairly obsessed with all things style and fashion-related.  Mostly European, primarily British the likes of Zandra Rhodes, Jasper Conran, Vivienne Westwood, Arabella Pollen, Philip Treacy. Life in Kuching was a bit of a bubble. A complete style bore.  Yawn. Far and away from the fashion world or cultural meccas like Paris, New York, Milan, London or Tokyo.  I used to think of it as a fashion wasteland.  And it is …

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The Fab 40s Shirt Up

Sprucing up the shirtdress. Making it fancy, schmancy, but still wearable.   I struggled with this month’s theme, shirtdresses.  I truly did, Dee.  Can’t lie.  And I don’t even know why that was so because I used to wear them.  All the time.  Perhaps the operative words, “used to” were a telling means to explain my conundrum.  Conversely, my mental block made no sense whatsoever given (1) the frequency with which shirtdresses had permeated my wardrobe in the past; and (2) their undeniable mega “slay” factor. In my 20s, I practically lived in shirtdresses all the work week long.  Mostly in jersey so I didn’t have to iron them and mainly in blacks or browns.  Yes, I spent over three decades decked out primarily in black, channeling Mama Rei and bringing out The Crow in me.  As such, one would think I would’ve had an easy peasy time pulling together a look based on a button-down garment but that was not the case, my friends. T I M E T O S H I R …

The Fab 40s & Our Soles

Give a woman the right pair of heels. Then sit back, and watch her conquer the world.   Amen, sista. I never thought I’d ever credit something so insightful to Ms Monroe GRIN insightful and evergreen with a dose of such unexpected humour. But it’s so true, yes? The perfect shoe design equipped with an equally perfect heel height makes for taking the most empowered of strides, figuratively as well as metaphorically.  As Michael always tells me, I am my sexiest when I’m feeling comfortable.  After all, comfort begets confidence, and confidence is the consequent vessel to sire a sense of power, a sense of empowerment.  A sense of f*ck you, self doubt, not today. T H E P O W E R O F A G O O D S H O E I’ll be the first to admit to being somewhat obsessed with shoes, I mean, I think the whole world knows that by now so it truly doesn’t behoove the situation for me to even pretend that 99% of my outfits are …

The Fab 40s & Our Style Icons

Our muses. Sources of sartorial inspiration.   It’s my birthday today. The last time I’d written something on the blog on my birthday was three years ago, in 2016.  When I was talking about the wearability of animal prints and how we should all embrace its highly visual power with open arms.  What a tizzy the past few years have been, to say the least, but we’re not focusing on that today.  No, my friend, today, in honour of my birthday, I’m going to talk about the one person who has played such a vital part in not only igniting my love for clothes but who has also wielded such influence over how I look at style and fashion. Denise Huxtable. I’ll readily (and ever so happily) admit that I’ve had a ginormous fashion crush on Denise Huxtable since the sitcom I’d rather not name first aired in 1984.  The second eldest child who was free-spirited and rebellious with an eccentric sense of style which, I feel, can be best defined as wholly committed. Whether …

The Fab 40s Pair Florals With Plaid

Pattern mixing galore. Pairing seemingly disparate motifs.   I’ve come a long way from being petrified of the mere mention of prints. There was a time when putting even a speck of red into an all Black garment meant utter chaos and disruption, let alone introducing anything remotely non solid into my outfit.   Even on those rare occasions when I was neither in Ebony nor Ivory, I would still pick one single block of colour to showcase.  I mean, I was perfectly comfortable with shine and glitz and colour on hair and/or lips (or on my feet) but somehow, on the body, it was just. not. me.  Then. When I began my foray into the world of patterns, I (naturally) began with my beloved B&W. Cautiously, ever so cautiously, I ventured into two prints.  Just two.  Subtle ones.  Nothing too clashing, same family (or same colour story).  I even achieved one allover print.  Or does that not count because it’s, ahem, black with white? 2016 and half of 2017 were very colourless.  From every …

Denim Dreams

Denim, Denim, Wherefore art thou?   Do you belong in the workplace? These days, that’d be an emphatic affirmative, I’m certain.  Regardless of the nature of what you do, and the environment of your workplace.  Be it on a daily basis or as part of Casual Friday attire, denim definitely has a place in your working wardrobe.  And isn’t that a lovely thing?  Yes, even for someone like me who discovered blue jeans very late in life (hey, I’m making up for lost time as we speak, case in point, this post). And so, when Debbie and I began chatting about working together (the last time, it was a trifecta of velvet goodness), we decided on good ole jeans. As is often the case, my mind immediately leapt to several points of irony. Once upon a time (4 years ago, to be precise), I posted an anti-denim project (with Ann) which, soon enough, paved the way for denim to be seen here but conservatively, i.e., heels.  That, in turn, opened the door for this sighting …

The Fab 40s Meet Lord Animal & Lady Neon

Staying grounded. How does one do that these days?   A shared insight on one of Deb’s Instagram posts sparked an entire conversation around the topic of grounded.  Staying grounded.  How we strive to attain it in this mad, mad world.  What it means to each of us which, by the way, has had me pondering.  What does staying grounded even mean to me?  I know I use the phrase on occasion.  I’ve heard it spoken around me many a time and am (always) guilty of nodding my head in acquiescence without once asking the one who mouthed those words, what staying grounded really meant to them. Are we talking about being spiritually grounded?  You know, all that warm, fuzzy feeling around the campfire (can you tell I’m a bit of a cynic?)?  Or being emotionally grounded (levelheaded, humble)?  Or are speaking in terms of experience, education, knowledge?  Lord.  So much to soak in. Today, I choose to focus on living a grounded life, staying in touch with my emotions and thoughts, and, well, being …

The Fab 40s Do The Decade

40s, 50s, 60s? Which One Spells You?   Lately my mind has been preoccupied with the concept of courage.  Daring to do things I normally wouldn’t because I’d be too afraid.  Be it something as rudimentary as swapping signature red for a softer pink on the lips, or walking up to a complete stranger at an event and saying, “Hello!! I’m Sheela, what’s your name?”. Admittedly, accompanying that heady rush of adrenaline (aka bravado) is an equally powerful sense of nausea and wanting to throw up but still, courage and being courageous have been taking over my heart, mind and spirit these days. The courage to speak my mind when I feel my needs are not being met or when I believe my opinions are not being heard.  Courage to reach out and ask for something I know I deserve and am fully capable of helping it realise its full potential.  And no longer allowing society to dictate whether I can or cannot based on some unfathomable parameters.  Most of all, the courage to recognise …

Extra(ordinary)

Now I’m ready, To be extraordinary.   Question. What do you do to turn the ordinary little things into extraordinary amazing things?  By that I don’t mean something divine or perched upon a lofty pedestal.  What I mean is that we need to take the time to see within the ordinary, its capacity to be a precious thing.  Something utterly extraordinary.  A gift. Steering away from telling ourselves to strive for extraordinary lives.  That we can only be happy, only feel fulfilled if we lead extraordinary lives for while that might seem aspirational (admirable perhaps), it can also be rather lofty and fraught with unrealistic idealism.  All of which could very well be the path to setting ourselves up for disappointment. Instead, we should be seeking to find the joy and marvel in living an ordinary, normal life.  Once we do that, the most mundane of things (nondescript even) will pulsate and come alive with magic and wonder.  The extraordinary will happen on its own then. Take for instance the act of baking. With Thanksgiving …

The Fab 40s Enter An Apocalyptic Age

When it’s the end of the world, Would you fight or would you flee?   So when one thinks of the word, “Apocalypse“, images of destruction and bloody battles often come to mind.  Is it little wonder then that many of us, myself included, regularly miss that part wherein an apocalypse is also a revelation?  A discovery, and typically, of knowledge?  A vision of heavenly secrets which aims to make sense of earthly circumstances? For the purposes of this blog post though, I would hazard a safe bet that Shelbee meant for apocalypse to be a revelation about the end of the world. Doomsday, I’m guessing you could call it. G O O D V S E V I L A major confrontation between light and dark, destined to change the course of history. Depending on which belief system you subscribe to, some anticipate that post the apocalypse, the world will be shattered into particles and cease to exist while others predict that a brand new one will resurface anew and fertile. Whether you think …