After reading Scott Schuman’s The Sartorialist, I told my dearie that it had completely revolutionised my perspective on fashion. So, the following exchange ensued…
Jasmine: So, what does fashion mean to you?
Me: Ummm… just putting on what fits and what’s cheap.
Jasmine [horrified look]: Honey, that’s not fashion, that’s just clothing. (claps at her brilliance, as always)
So, in honour of her ‘brilliance’ and sartorial flair (Ong, 2009) and as an attempt to impress upon her that I can distinguish ‘clothing’ and ‘fashion’, here are my 5 favourite date outfits:
1. GG5 painterly dress
Striking. Artistic. Abstract.
Delightful blue and orange brush-strokes streak across this cream-coloured outfit, drawing your attention immediately to her. I love the golden zipper behind, which my dearie claims can even be worn on the front. One of her little creative touches to enhance an already very outstanding outfit.
(Jasmine says: The vivid watercolour hues of this dress first caught my eye when I was out shopping with my cousin Steffy. It looked like Monet on acid! I also like putting my own spin on clothing- wearing the zip in front makes the dress seem longer and thus more work-appropriate, and wearing it unzipped is perfect for buffets!)
2. Topshop Floral Dress.
First worn when we went on one of our earliest dates at Fort Canning for a picnic. Next at my staff dinner where the theme was Ha-Ha-Havaianas.
My dearie gets numerous compliments when she wears that outfit. Marie requested a photo with her when she saw her in that dress on the ITE fieldtrip. My colleague commented that she looked extremely stunning in that dress. I thought so too!
It always brings much joy to me to see her in floral dresses. The dress, coupled with her cheerful demeanour, makes it seem like spring has arrived.
(Jasmine: I had no idea that Andrew would like this dress so much! I just bought it on a whim when hanging out with Pei and Mills because I didn’t have anything like it in my wardrobe, and because it was a combination of all my favourite things- flowers, an oversized bow (see back detail) and the colour pink.)
3. Fringy Black Dress
Bought at a bargain from JB, with our dates in mind. The first DDD (designated date dress) that my dear ever bought. This is a dress with such energy and vibrancy, in spite of its dark hue. Although my watch strap got trapped several times in the ‘fringe’ of the dress, I still enjoyed watching my dearie groove to the music at Timbre in that dress. Yum (I meant the shitake duck pizza at Timbre)
(Jasmine says: Since I began teaching, I have passed on several cute dresses that don’t make the cut (pun intended) because they are too short or too revealing for work. However, my mum and cousin had been nagging me to spend a little more on dresses to wear when out with Andrew, so last week I haggled, bargained and purchased my very first DDD. Mum gave this 1920s-style flapper dress her stamp of approval!)
4. Purple dress
For want of a better term, that shall be what it’s called. Or it could also be nicknamed ‘The Dress I will always remember’.
It was the outfit my dearie wore the first time we went out as a class, beyond the compounds of NIE and not on a school-day. Although it wasn’t elaborately designed like the above-mentioned outfits, the modern simplicity of it left an unforgettable impression on me. The shade of purple was not too striking, nor too boring – just the perfect shade. That’s just like my dearie – always dressing stylishly yet managing to make it look effortless. (Of course, it helped that she praised my outfit that day too. Heh.)
(Jasmine says: At that point, Andrew and I were just friends, though he had asked me to give him a makeover. I still maintain that he looked so smart that evening largely because he had taken my advice! The only thing was that he had tucked his shirttails in! Three days ago we went back to Timbre and he wore the same striped shirt, with the cuffs rolled up just right, and the shirt tucked out this time… He’s come a long way :P)
5. Her belts
I know this is not an outfit per se (and thank God it isn’t), but I’m so amazed at how a dress can be transformed by just a simple belt and the way it is worn. I was particularly impressed by the thin, leather belt that she wore when she first met my parents. It subtly altered her otherwise very relaxed outfit into something very snug, highlighting her waist.
Other belts I love include one studded with multiple buttons (which she wore with the polka dot dress for my cell group member’s wedding) and a woven vintage rope belt.
(Jasmine says: While there are many nuances and necessities of fashion that men may never get (case in point: “But why do you need so many shoes?”), Andrew has surprised me with how much he’s learning about fashion. When we were ushering at Edwin and Diana’s wedding, I caught him staring thoughtfully at the dress of a wedding guest.
“Would that look good on you, dear?” He asked, then answered his own question, “Nah, I think the draping would overwhelm you.”
My response: “Wow… you sound like me!”)