A Dash of Style to Office Wear

A Dash of Style to Office Wear
Looking professional doesn’t mean you have to dress boring. Get tips from these stylish public officers, as well as stylist Sheh and makeup artist Rina Sim, on how to dress smart and stand out, whether you’re out meeting the public or working overseas.

A Dash of Style to Office Wear

A Dash of Style to Office WearMr Lin Kuantai is wearing a shirt, trousers and cardigan by Uniqlo and shoes by Pedro.


Mr Lin Kuantai
Senior Manager (Arts Education)
Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth

Give an instant facelift to any outfit by layering with light-coloured outerwear, just as stylist Sheh has done for Mr Lin. A colourful cardigan can brighten up a typical day in the office, while a blazer spiffs up your look for presentations or meetings with the bosses.

For Mr Lin, who enjoys experimenting with geometric prints or colours such as mustard, the trick is to “space out wearing those shirts with unique colours or distinct prints so that people have more time to ‘forget’.”


If you want to look taller, wearing pointed shoes would help, says Sheh, adding that this applies to both sexes.



Ms Sheriza Faisal
Senior Executive (Communications Design)
PS21 Office, Public Service Division

The bottom line to looking good is ensuring that your clothes fit well, stresses Sheh. The proof is in how polished Ms Sheriza looks in fitted basics, like this navy blue blazer and grey pencil-cut trousers he picked for her. When she heads out to speak to members of the public or do field work, Ms Sheriza often dresses in pastel colours that make her look more approachable. Sheh cautions against matching pastels with black – try light grey instead so that the contrast is less jarring. Ms Sheriza adds a personal touch to her outfits with handmade accessories such as clay necklaces. The crafty designer also fashions her headscarves out of shawls from high street brands such as Zara, Uniqlo and Desigual.


For a more professional look, keep things natural and simple – avoid smokey eyes, for instance, and stick to earth tones, suggests makeup artist Rina. Have good skin? Rina recommends replacing foundation with tinted moisturiser, which feels lighter – good for when you’re heading outdoors.

A Dash of Style to Office WearMs Sheriza Faisal is wearing a blouse by Uniqlo; jacket, scarf, trousers and heels by Banana Republic.


A Dash of Style to Office WearMr Goh Keng Phang is wearing a shirt by Uniqlo; pullover, tie, jacket and pants by Banana Republic and shoes by Pedro.


Mr Goh Keng Phang
Senior Assistant Director (Emerging Markets Division)
Ministry of Trade and Industry

While a suit is a safe choice for business trips, Sheh suggests throwing on a pullover for a refreshing look. Donning a khaki bomber jacket for cold weather is another way to stand out, since most people would just go for black, he adds. For his frequent work trips to South Asia, Turkey and the Middle East, Mr Goh packs several matching ties, cufflinks and watches to vary his look on different days. “As a junior officer, I also take care not to be overdressed relative to my bosses – I avoid dark shades for shirts and accessories that are too loud,” he says. A magnetic Singapore flag pin on Mr Goh’s jacket adds an interesting element to draw the eye and completes his outfit.


Mr Goh’s colleague, Ms Sarah Soon, travels often to ASEAN countries for work. She recommends packing fabrics that do not crease easily, such as polyester, which “is not only convenient, but will also keep you looking polished”.



Ms Tiffany Tan
Manager (Corporate Communications)
People’s Association (PA)

Ms Tan, who co-designed the PA corporate T-shirt, often has to wear it at public events. To give her practical outfit an interesting twist, she sometimes pairs the functional polo T-shirt with two-tone trousers (khaki green in the front and blue on the back). She shows off her bubbly personality with rings, matching nail colours and shoes with eye-catching designs, such as flats with wings unfurling at the heels. Here, Sheh shows Ms Tan how high heels can give a casual look an elegant twist. To look fresh, simply pull the fringe away from the face, as Rina has done for Ms Tan. Nail a youthful look and beat the heat by tying long hair up in a high ponytail or a messy bun, adds Rina.


Ms Tan shares that her stylish male colleagues accessorise with leather wristbands or quirky spectacle frames. Sheh suggests wearing interesting sneakers to make uniforms a little more fun – choose colours and designs that reflect your personality.

A Dash of Style to Office WearMs Tiffany Tan is wearing heels by Pedro. Her PA T-shirt’s collar placket shows fabric patterns representative of multi-racial Singapore.


A Dash of Style to Office WearMr Shaun Goh is wearing a pullover, shirt, trousers and belt by Banana Republic and shoes by Pedro.


Mr Shaun Goh
Lecturer (General Education), Singapore Polytechnic

Mr Goh, a former part-time model, prefers wearing comfortable yet stylish pieces from high street fashion brands, such as Zara or Topman, which his students are familiar with. He often wears youthful prints like this chequered shirt that Sheh has picked for him.

While bright colours can make you look friendlier, be careful not to overdo it or you might look like you’re trying too hard. Adding a dash of colour – check out the red piping on Mr Goh’s shoes – is enough to liven up an outfit, says Sheh.


Taking young ones out for field trips doesn’t mean having to resort to dri-FIT T-shirts to keep cool. Primary school teacher Chan Shu Hui often pairs lightweight, sleeveless tops with trousers to stay comfy while keeping up with her energetic young charges.

The difference between a man of sense and a fop is that the fop values himself upon his dress; and the man of sense laughs at it, at the same time he knows he must not neglect it. – Lord Chesterfield, statesman
    May 1, 2015
    Tay Qiao Wei
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