MY WARDROBE

Vintage treasure trove

Ms Sybil Teo tries not to spend more than $100 on a fashion item.
Ms Sybil Teo tries not to spend more than $100 on a fashion item. PHOTOS: SEAH KWANG PENG, SIBYL TEO

Student Sibyl Teo says there are gems to be found in vintage and discount items. By Alyssa Woo

Q & A

SIBYL TEO, 22, REAL ESTATE UNDERGRADUATE AT NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE, WORKS PART-TIME AT CAT CAFE NEKO NO NIWA AT BOAT QUAY

How would you describe your sense of style?

Quirky and loud. I consider dressing up as an outlet - there's a sense of freedom in choosing what I want to wear and how colourful I want to be.

I take inspiration from Harajuku streetwear and mix it with vintage clothing.

Which are your go-to brands?

As I enjoy different things, it's hard to pinpoint a go-to brand. I will buy it if it appeals to me and if it is within my budget. I try not to spend more than $100 on an item.

Who are your style icons?

Lady Gaga - she made me realise that I do not need to conform and sparked my love for 1980s Versace as she wore a lot of leather and Versace motif pieces when she debuted.

This encouraged me to construct a look that is unique and personal.

I also look up to Hirari Ikeda, a Japanese fashion icon known for her edgy style and yarn-braided hair, who similarly works hard to coordinate a style that is truly hers.

My orca bag (photo 1) and cookie monster pants (photo 2) were inspired by her.

What are your favourite pieces?

My vintage Versace shirt (photo 3), which I bought on eBay for almost $200; and my Kenzo skirt (photo 4), which I found in Shimokitazawa in Tokyo for $100. Its original price was more than $300.

I also love my Tokyo Bopper shoes (photo 5). I wear them only on special occasions or if I'm feeling particularly low.

What is your weakness when it comes to shopping?

I cannot help myself when it comes to Hawaiian floral prints (photo 6), oversized clothing and especially socks.

It's a happy and casual look and is easy to match. It is also suitable for Singapore's tropical weather.

What is your favourite splurge piece?

My Comme des Garcons bright pink tricot dress (photo 7) that I bought for about $200 at a Club 21 bazaar. Its usual price was $800.

It screams comfort and crazy. I like clothes that do not hug my body.

Is there a purchase you have regretted?

I'm still a student, so my budget does not allow for regrets.

What is your most recent fashion purchase?

A yellow-brown kimono jacket from Forever21 (photo 8), which was on sale for less than $20.

I like that it has a plain design, which allows me to accessorise it with pins and badges.

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

Always go through the sale section first.

I also want to encourage everyone to buy vintage items as there's a treasure trove waiting to be unlocked.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 22, 2015, with the headline 'Vintage treasure trove'. Print Edition | Subscribe