My Wardrobe: Q&A

Quirky touch for pizzazz

Clothes with interesting silhouettes attract Lai Shanru (above).
Clothes with interesting silhouettes attract Lai Shanru (above).ST PHOTOS: ALICIA CHAN

Entrepreneur Lai Shanru enjoys pairing chic outfits with interesting accessories

Lai Shanru, 27, single, Singaporean co-founder of online cashback shopping platform ShopBack.sg

How would you describe your style?

I would say laidback chic, but I occasionally enjoy jazzing up my outfit with a quirky touch, such as a statement necklace or shoes, to keep things interesting.

When did your interest in fashion start?

It started when I entered Singapore Management University and no longer needed to wear a uniform. There was so much more room to express myself.

Who are your favourite designers?

I do not stick to any specific designer or brand as my taste is varied.

But I love Australian labels such as Finders Keepers and C/meo Collective, as well as London-based label Self-Portrait, because of the interesting silhouettes and gorgeous materials used.

Do you have any style icons?

American socialite Olivia Palermo and Australian Nicole Warne of style website Garypeppergirl.com.

They always look effortlessly polished and can pull off a multitude of styles, be it classic, casual or glamorous.

What are the favourite pieces in your wardrobe?

A psychedelic vintage-print dress (photo 1) by London designer John Zack; a pair of blue jacquard cropped pants (photo 2) that looks good with almost anything; and a pair of River Island purple-gold suede heels (photo 3) that instantly spruces up any outfit.

Do you have any weaknesses when it comes to shopping?

Stand-out pieces that have a unique touch, such as an asymmetrical structure and an uncommon blend of textures. And shoes.

What is your favourite splurge piece?

A Givenchy Antigona handbag (below) I rewarded myself with after my first few years of work.

It has a unique stitch detailing unlike most Antigonas, which are quite plain.

I do not usually spend a lot, but I fell in love with this bag because of its shape and detailing. It cost $2,400.

Clothes with interesting silhouettes attract Lai Shanru (above).

Is there a purchase you have regretted?

Many, as I used to make impulse buys when I was younger.

I bought a pair of flats that cut me so badly on the first few wears that I have never worn them since.

What is your most recent fashion purchase?

A pair of black leather sandals (below) from Asos.com that are super comfy and affordable at $25.

Clothes with interesting silhouettes attract Lai Shanru (above).

What is the best shopping or style advice you live by?

You do not have to spend a bomb to look good. I usually spend $30 to $50 for a piece of clothing.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 17, 2015, with the headline 'Quirky touch for pizzazz'. Print Edition | Subscribe