A Guide to Individual Style: Sophia Chong
Singaporeans aren’t generally known to be the best dressers and it’s fairly common knowledge that t-shirts, shorts, jeans and flip flops are the 4 main staples of a local wardrobe.
But as with the ever-changing nature of fashion, sartorial tides have turned on local shores. A growing number of Singaporeans have shed the local “uniform” in exchange for more chic and trendy styles—frequently inspired and sourced from the platitudes on social media. There are still though, the few who march to the beat of their own drum.
In this series, we shine a light on local fashionistas who aren’t afraid to go against trends, take a risk and embrace their individuality. From funky and pop glam looks to androgynous minimalist chic, here is an insight into their wardrobe and how their style represents who they are as a person.
This week, we have Sophia Chong, Founder of The Juice Market.
Sophia describes The Juice Market (TJM) as her outlet where she translates her ideas, inspirations and fashion obsessions into a “marketplace” for all. It’s unconventional, it’s playful, it’s sexy, it’s bold and it’s definitely for those who live for the weekend. Sophia is what one would describe as a walking clothes hanger, and she makes her own clothes look effortless on TJM.
“I’ve been experimenting with different outfits since I was about 18. I would describe my style as edgy, versatile and comfortable. Comfort is extremely important to me because it affects my confidence, and confidence plays a big part in my style.
If I’m going to an event or an important dinner, I’d go for a more playful approach. I love to accessorise, so I’d usually throw on a headgear, chunky gold/silver chains and a statement belt. Right now, I’m pretty obsessed with fishnet stockings and military hats.
If I’m meeting a bunch of close friends, I tend to keep it simple and comfortable, but not sloppy like a basic slip dress with an embroidered denim dress with sneakers and a small cross body bag. When I’m at work, I would usually wear a maxi dress, jogger pants or even denim shorts with an oversized band t-shirt.”
“A flattering pair of jeans, a statement jacket, and LOTS of basic tops are my wardrobe staples. I draw inspirations from everywhere! I travel a lot so I am exposed to many different cultures which inspire me to include different elements into my style.
I love how Western countries are more liberal with their dressing, but I also love how people from the East are dressed so intricately with an eye for detailing. At the moment, I’m obsessed with mandarin buttons on western printed bomber jackets—it’s fun! To me, Chi Chi Von Tang is the perfect example of East meets West.
I also love a clash of styles; I once saw a construction lady in China wearing a supreme cap with a one-piece construction site suit. People from all walks of life, music, films, and diverse cultures inspire me. Oh, and I love going to vintage stores when I’m overseas too.
My style inspiration is definitely Bella Hadid! I’m so into her street style and she pulls it off so well.”
“Most of TJM pieces are sourced overseas. However, JUICESEA, our swimwear line is our own creation. I’ve created my own designs a few times, and I have plans to design my own clothing line in the near future.
Launching JUICESEA back in 2011 was a life-changing event for me. At that time, nobody was designing and selling swimwear online. Moreover, I wanted to step out of the 2-piece bikini norm and a monokini, to me, was bolder and in a way—sexier. I didn’t think it would be a hit, and it was sold out within an hour. That opened a lot of doors for me.
Another milestone (of mine), would be getting my first and current office space because it kinda “forced” me to run it like a professional business instead of a blogshop. I’m extremely glad I took that step, and since then, TJM has grown and expanded. I’ve learnt a great deal from running a business.”
“I do have my fair share of fashion faux pas. There was once I had a crazy “Maggi Mee” perm and thought that a pink leopard print top would suit my new hairstyle. I looked like I stepped out of a Getai performance, and decided to walk on the streets of Orchard Road. Why didn’t any of my friends tell me that I looked horrible?!
People normally think I look unapproachable and I attribute that partially to my dressing sometimes. Some people would also brand me as a material girl from my Instagram profile, but having a well-put together outfit doesn’t necessarily mean that it has to be expensive or branded.
I try to find the best buys from vintage or thrift stores when I’m overseas. Sometimes a beautiful dress could cost me $10! At the end of the day, it’s about how you put an outfit together tastefully.”
Images Credits: Sophia Chong