August 19, 2014
Arissa Ha

…but you’ll want to buy them anyway cause they’re awesome. 

Summer means basking in the sun with a glass of Pina Colada but if you decide to don any one these awesome swimsuits, make sure you slather plenty of sunscreen.

chromat-pentagram-suit

Chromat Pentagram Suit
Chromat has gotten plenty of attention with celebrities like Iggy Azalea and Nikki Minaj donning their signature caged creations. We love the Pentagram Suit, which would really look great underneath blazer and pants for a night out or  on its own by the pool.

Chromat Pentagram Suit ,US$288 from Chromat.

one-teaspoon-swim

One Teaspoon Eagles Shadow Bikini Set
The One Teaspoon Eagles Shadow Bikini Set looks pretty weird with a keyhole right in the center. It could pass off as a really cute bralet though. 

One Teaspoon Eagles Shadow Bikini Set, AU$64.50 from One Teaspoon. 

nastygal-caged-chaos

Nasty Gal Caged Chaos Swimsuit
If you actually forget to to pack sunscreen along when you plan to wear this Nasty Gal Chaos Swimsuit, it would spell the end of shoulder-baring days at least until Christmas. The lattice design looks makes a great statement at the beach but this is one swimsuit that is you wouldn’t want to be caught in the sun without protection in.

Nasty Gal Caged Chaos Swimsuit ,US$98 from Nasty Gal.

agenprovocatuer

Agent Provocateur Shelby metallic-trimmed bikini
Agent Provocateur is known for its sexy (and often expensive) lingerie and this strappy poolside number proves that they can do swimwear too but the bedroom doesn’t harbour as much dangerous UV rays so do yourself a favour and apply sunscreen.

Agent Provocateur Shelby metallic-trimmed bikini, US$490, from net-a-porter.

herve-leger

Herve Leger Skyler Hardware-Embellished One-Piece Swimsuit
I’ve loved their designs ever since Herve Leger started their swimwear line in Spring 2009 and to be honest, who doesn’t like figure hugging bandages that makes your boobs look bigger? This Herve Leger Skyler Hardware-Embellished One-Piece Swimsuit is a sure win and it will be a staple in your swimwear wardrobe for years to come. Unfortunately, they don’t come cheap either but that’s the price you pay for something that’s classic. 

Herve Leger Skyler Hardware-Embellished One-Piece Swimsuit, US$790, from Herve Leger.

Which one’s your favourite? Let us know in the comments below. 

November 23, 2011
Arissa Ha

I’ve been procrastinating on this post for a long time only because this will be a very tedious post to write. I’ll try and keep instructions as simple as possible but do understand that there will be some difficulty especially for readers who don’t understand Mandarin.

In order to shop on taobao effectively, you will first need to know that taobao is somewhat like eBay. The seller creates listings in which you will be able to order an item. Most sellers on taobao carry items in bulk unlike eBay where most of them carry only one item.

There aren’t regular payment options like credit card/Paypal on taobao which is why there are many buying/shopping services site that offer to buy on taobao for a small fee. We use Peeka as they are easy to use. Peeka also has an advantage over the rest as they calculate economy shipping based on volume and not weight (note that this is for Singapore only).

Basically this tutorial will teach you:

  • How to search for an item on taobao.
  • Ordering the item via Peeka.
  • Paying for the item using Peeka.

How to search for the item you want on taobao.

When you arrive on taobao you will be greeted with a scary wall of gibberish (especially when you don’t read mandarin).

The main thing you need to worry about at this point of time is the search field.

Enter your search terms (eg. Ann Demeulemeester) into the search field and hit the search button. I have mentioned previously that some of the listings do have the brands listed in english and it shouldn’t be that much of a problem trying to find something from a specific brand. The problem comes in when you need to find something specific like shoes, bags, blazers or pants.

Continuing on using Ann Demeulemeester as an example, here is the results page that we get after hitting the search button.

The results page will display a list of items that coincide with your search terms, however if the item that you are searching for is very generic or has a high number of search results, you might want to narrow your search down. The area highlighted in blue are the subcategories that are listed within the search results.

At this moment we have:

  1. 女鞋 (women’s shoes)
  2. 女装 (women’s wear)
  3. 其他 (others)

Within the blue boxes are subcategories of women’s shoes, women’s wear and others.

There are a few things you need to know before buying on taobao and they are pretty similar to buying on eBay.

Seller rating

Sellers on taobao are graded according to the symbol beside their seller name.

There are hearts, diamonds, crowns and gold crowns graded in that order and there can be 1-5 of them. For example, a seller with one diamond has better seller ratings than a seller with 5 hearts. Generally, I only buy from sellers with diamonds and above.

Photos

It is important that you pick sellers that have pictures of the actual products especially when it is a replica of a brand item where pictures of it are easily accessible online. The seller will usually state that it is “实图” which means that it is pictures of the actual product as opposed to pictures found on the internet. Sometimes, several listings from different sellers can have similar pictures which I believe are provided by the same manufacturer.

User feedback

If you read Mandarin, there is the bonus option of being able to read the individual feedback that is left for the items. They may provide information on whether the sizing runs big or small or if the quality of the item is good.

Now that you have selected an item, click on it to be directed to the item listing’s page.

Anatomy of a listing

There are several things we need to take note of before proceeding with an order on Peeka.sg. Below is an example of how an average listing looks like.

  1. URL of the listing. This will have to be input into the order form on Peeka.
  2. Seller name and rating. The seller has a rating symbol of one diamond. It should be safe to purchase from them
  3. Item name
  4. 价格 (Price)
  5. 促销 (Discount/Offer) There are time-based discounts on taobao which is similar to eBay. The brackets states the time in which the offer expires.
  6. 尺码 (Size)
  7. 颜色分类 (Colour)

Now that you have all the information you need, the biggest hurdle is over. It’s time to head on over to Peeka to proceed with your order.

If you haven’t signed up for an account on Peeka, you should do so. The site is in english so it is easy to navigate. Once you have signed up for an account, click on “New Order” on your dashboard to start a new order.

Your order ID is as stated, just select your delivery type and if you would like to include shipping insurance to your order. Dawn had the wisdom to click on it the first time we had ordered, one of our items came damaged and we received a new item because we bought insurance. Click on “next”.

Enter the URL of the item which you want to buy and click on “next”. Peeka will fetch the necessary information.

You will be able to see most of the item information including price and shipping from the seller to Peeka’s China receiving centre. Do note that Peeka will fetch the highest price that is listed and if the item is on discount, you will need to correct the amount. You will need to enter the colour and size on your own as well.

To proceed, click on “add to order”. Once the listing is available on your Peeka order page, there will be an automated calculation at the bottom stating the subtotal, exchange rate, handling fee, tax , insurance and deposit amount required and total amount.

In order for Peeka to proceed with your order, they will need a deposit amount from you. Payment can be via bank transfers for Singaporeans or residents with a Singaporean bank account. They also accept Paypal on occasions but you will need to email Peeka regarding the fees that may be involved for using Paypal.

Once the deposit has been paid, Peeka will order the items on your behalf. You will receive email updates on the ordering of the items or when the item is out of stock. You are still able to add items to the order until all the items in the order has reached the China receiving centre or if your deposit amount falls below 80% of the total amount.

Peeka will send another email for final quotation which includes shipment charges when all your items have been received at the China receiving centre. You will then be required to pay that amount before the item is shipped to Singapore.

The staff from Peeka are very helpful and I am constantly impressed by how efficient they are in answering my queries. Do note that they do operate regular office hours and do deliveries themselves instead of using Singpost. Before I receive any flak, I’d like to state that we are not in any way affiliated with Peeka or taobao and are not paid for this. We would just like to recommend a good service. We have used Peeka a few times to order from taobao and are very pleased with their services.

If there are further inquiries regarding Peeka, there’s a helpful FAQ located on their website. They can also be reached using email or phone.

Helpful Keywords for shopping on taobao.

Clothing styles:

  • 欧美 – European / American style. What you see in street snaps and blogs, mostly.
  • 英伦 – English style – lots of tweed, plaid, penny loafers and school inspired blazers.
  • 日韩 – Korean / Japanese style. Tends to be frillier and girlier.
  • 日韩剧 Clothing inspired by what actors in Korean / Japanese drama wore.

Shoes

  • 男鞋 – mens shoes
  • 女鞋 – womens shoes

Heel type for shoes

  • 坡跟 – wedges
  • 防水台 – platform
  • 高跟 – heels
  • If you want platform wedges, simply combine both to form 防水台坡跟

Types of shoes

  • 单鞋 – pumps / sandals
  • 凉鞋 – sandals
  • 平底鞋 – flats
  • 靴子 – boots

Types of material used

  • 真皮 – real leather
  • 人造革/PU – fake leather
  • 亮皮 – patent leather
  • 蕾丝 – lace

Different Brands

  • 亚历山大王 – Alexander Wang
  • 亚历山大麦昆 – Alexander McQueen

Colours

  • 黑色 – Black
  • 白色 – White
  • 灰色 – Grey
  • 红色 – Red
  • 蓝色 – Blue
  • 绿色 – Green
  • 黄色 – Yellow
  • 紫色 – Purple

We hope that you’ve enjoyed this tutorial. Happy shopping on Peeka and taobao!

 

 

 

September 16, 2011
Arissa Ha

If there’s one thing I love more than Fashion, it’s Travel. Nothing beats the ability to sample food, culture and sights other than the ones we’re used to.

At one point of time a couple years back, I was visiting London so much that I couldn’t keep track. One of the places that really stood out was Borough market although I haven’t had the chance to blog about it.

This place is not quite like any place that I’ll ever see in Singapore. They sell food yes, but these grocers are quite possibly the gathering of the best that London has to offer. I got to sample red wine cheese (true story), eat freshly shucked oysters and drink coffee which I could clearly distinguish the taste between the coffee and the milk.

Tourists like myself are in for a visual feast with their produce proudly laid out.

I was so overwhelmed in Neal’s Yard Dairy. The variety of cheeses here had me in the shop for quite a while to pick some cheeses to buy for a party that I was going to that weekend. I settled on a Apleby’s double Gloucester.

I LOVE fresh oysters. This guy shucks my oysters fresh, I think he found our accents intriguing and asked us where we were from. Nice chap.

It doesn’t get any fresher than this unless you catch your own oysters and shuck them yourself.

Brindisa BBQ chorizo sausages. The ingredients are so simple but so so good. I always made sure that I have one when I’m here.

If you’re making your way there, do note that Borough Market is only open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays! You can expect a huge crowd here on Saturdays from 10am onwards. I think you could Google for more information regarding how to get there and the operating hours. I would recommend just taking the Northern line to London Bridge and walking there.

September 5, 2011
Arissa Ha

This guide serves as a handy guide to shopping for the stuff that we would consider to be “monoxious”. Of course there are probably other places that you could shop at that is not limited to the stuff that we are going to feature but if you want to shop for the stuff that we would shop for, this is probably the guide you will need.

Stuff you need to know:

  • There are places that you can bargain and places you can’t. You can’t expect to bargain in a designer outlet but if they are places like Argyle Centre or random camera stores, PLEASE bargain or you will be ripped off horribly.
  • Most of them speak Cantonese, Mandarin and English, try and go with a local friend or someone who speaks Cantonese if you intend to bargain.

This is were we would go to:

Argyle Centre: Take the MTR (the subway in Hong Kong) to Mongkok station, Exit D2. This mall is rather messy and you are encouraged to bargain here. The pieces are mostly cheap and they cater to the younger crowd. A pair of shorts costs about HKD39-60?

The type of clothes they carry here vary from season to season, they have quite a couple of shoe stores that sells reasonably priced heels and wedges. Right now it seems like a mish-mash of Liz Lisa-type clothes and lots of flatforms. Not exactly my type of stuff but I managed to get a decent number of stockings and also some accessories here.

H&M: Quite a number of branches here in Hong Kong but I went to the one near Central Station. I was in the San Francisco H&M right before I was in Hong Kong and I was surprised at how updated the Hong Kong one is when comparing the product timeline when I was in the H&M Singapore Showroom.

The store is always crowded. Tried to get help regarding the sizing on a certain piece that I was interested in to no avail. I don’t have a good impression of Hong Kong service staff, I am hoping someone can prove me wrong on this.

Bought the entire store (almost). Enough said.

Horizon Plaza: Outlet mall in Ap Lei Chau.( 2 Lee Wing Street, Ap Lei Chau, Aberdeen) It is pretty inaccessible cause there is no MTR stations there. I took a cab from Admiralty station and it costs about HKD90-100. It’s cheaper when you share it among a few people.

The warehouse exterior makes the whole place look pretty meh but I would suppose there are hidden gems that you have to look out for.

Most of the floor space is dedicated to furniture stores but most of the clothing outlet stores are concentrated on the 5th, 19th, 22nd, 25th and 27th floor.

You can expect cult stores that carry brands like Vivienne Westwood, Bluemarine, Moschino and the like. There is a Lane Crawford outlet store (which is the equivalent of Barney’s or Saks in Hong Kong) which carries designer labels. I managed to get myself  pair of Rick Owens when I was there. I also spotted past season shoes like Givenchy, Alexander McQueen, Lanvin and Alexander Wang (omg Constance boots and mummy boots from A/W’10) when I was there.

The key draw for me to go back is the I.T Outlet store on the 5th floor. They carry several avant garde designer labels like Ann Demeulemeester, Comme des garcons, Maison Martin Margiela, Gareth Pugh, Rick Owens and so on.

I spotted a pair of Jeffrey Campbell Ohne Titel Knockoffs at less than half the price I got it for. There were shoes. Many shoes. There was the MMM nail heel boots that I would’ve bought if not for my fat thighs.

You can also take a look at the shoes that I bought from Horizon Plaza ✚here✚.

There is also a Space (Prada, Miu miu) outlet nearby, if you take a cab, the cabbie would most likely know.

Other honorable mentions:

Ice House Street: I wasn’t able to make it there but there are plenty of awesome boutiques there like Gareth Pugh, Ann Demeulemeester and Rick Owens.

July 6, 2011
Dawn Poh

I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now..using one basic item in several different coordinates. Wardrobe basics to me are items I can wear with almost everything, whether I dress up or down. Two of my fashion essentials this summer is a tight jersey skirt and a camisole, so I thought I’d feature them in four different outfits!

Jersey mini skirt and camisole are both from H&M

✖ Topshop Blouse | ✖ Forever 21 Booties | ✖ H&M socks

This is an outfit I’d wear out for a casual meal with friends, or on a date. The diaphanous blouse is perfect for the hot weather we’ve been experiencing. Pair it with a simple clutch and you are good to go.

✖ Femme X sweater | ✖ Forever 21 Rosary | ✖ Forever 21 mary janes

You can roll the socks down for a more toned-down look. But toned-down isn’t really my thing, so… Anyway, this is something I’d wear to parties (the kind with alcohol, not the kind with cakes and parents present.) I’ve neglected to take pictures of bags, but this would go with my knuckle duster clutch bag.

✖ m)phosis cardigan | ✖ Forever 21 bustier | ✖ m)phosis mesh leggings |
✖ Shoes from Far East Plaza

I’ve had this bustier for a while now, but I never really found an occasion to wear it often. I think it goes pretty well with the skirt, though! Pair it with mesh leggings although you could leave your legs bare as well. I think I will probably wear it sans leggings to get inebriated.

✖ Shirt from H&M | ✖ Leggings from Bangkok | ✖ Heels from Malaysia

A slightly more casual outfit. Probably great for shopping or for running errands! You can ditch the leggings for a sexier look as well.

I hope this post is interesting. If you have any wardrobe basics you’d like to see us feature in a similar post, please do not hesitate to tell us?

What are your wardrobe basics?

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