My Wardrobe

Sold on sales

Fast-rising Channel 8 actress Hong Ling has an eye for bargains

Actress Hong Ling, 23, was born to a Singaporean-Chinese father and a Thai mother.

The bachelorette is a fast-rising name in Mediacorp's Channel 8 station, starring most notably in the long-running drama 118, which ended its second season last week. She will next appear in 118 Reunion, which will premiere on Jan 8 at 9pm on Channel 8.

How would you describe your style?

Simple and classic. I like black. In the past, I loved bright colours because they are younger and more fun, but in the last few months, I've toned it down - except for my hair.

I'm trying to look more mature and womanly so that people will see a different side of me. I think I've been looking too much like a little girl. I'm also hoping for roles that are different and more mature.

When did your interest in fashion start?

I used to think I looked really good in clothes, but now, looking back at my old photos, I looked super ugly. I would wear slippers, shorts and T-shirts to the polytechnic, I was really very sloppy.

Hong Ling has a simple and classic style and likes black.
Hong Ling has a simple and classic style and likes black. PHOTOS: DIOS VINCOY JR FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

After I entered the industry and observed the celebrities at press conferences and awards ceremonies, I realised I should probably pay more attention to what I wore, so I tried to copy them a little.

I also started following social media personalities like Tammy Tay and Jamie Chua. And now, people have started recognising me in the streets, so I feel I should be more careful about what I wear.

Who are your favourite designers and what are your go-to brands?

Nothing too specific when it comes to clothes. If I go shopping and I think something fits my style, I'll buy it.

For me, it's more about dressing for my body shape. I think the top half of me looks slimmer than the bottom, so I go for tighter tops, and dresses and skirts that are looser.

As for accessories, I've always loved Chanel.

Who are your style icons?

I love American singer-actress Selena Gomez. I think all her outfits are very strong. She looks very feminine, but not older than her age.

What are your favourite pieces in your wardrobe?

A Maison Margiela dress (photo 1) that my hairstylist gave me in August for my birthday. I haven't worn it because I'm saving it for a press conference or event.

Then there's a long shirt-dress from Hardy Hardy (photo 2) that I like to wear as an outer piece - it floats in the wind when I walk and I love the Swarovski crystal details. I love bling.

There's also a Bershka raincoat (photo 3) I bought online; a Balenciaga bracelet (photo 4) that suits my skin tone; and a pair of very comfortable Steve Madden heels (photo 5) I got for half-price at last year's Christmas sales.

What are your weaknesses when it comes to shopping?

Anything on sale. Like the skirt I'm wearing now - I bought it at H&M for only $20 on sale. As long as there's a sale, I'm there.

What is your favourite splurge piece?

A Chanel bag (photo 6) I bought for about $4,000.

I used all my savings to buy it three years ago, so it's very precious to me. I use it all the time.

Is there a purchase you have regretted?

A white maxi dress I bought at MDS two years ago that has a long gauze skirt. I thought I could wear it to events, but I've never worn it even once - it's too dramatic. I'm afraid to wear it. Maybe I could shorten the skirt.

There's another lacy skirt that I have never worn. I love buying floaty things because they look feminine, but I end up never wearing them.

What is your most recent fashion purchase?

A black-and-white striped knit off-shoulder top that was on sale at Factorie.

The original price was $29.95 and I got it for $9.95.

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

Measure and understand your body so that you can choose clothes that suit you better.

I regularly measure my chest, waist and hips.

I've also done research on my body shape.

I'm pear-shaped and I learnt that I should wear high-waisted clothes so that my waist looks smaller and my legs longer.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 05, 2017, with the headline 'Sold on sales'. Print Edition | Subscribe