Monday, June 22, 2009

The Art of Mismatching

Let us introduce a bit on Janet, our beloved out-going, happy buyer of soak republic :) very nice of her that she is willing to write up some precious tips to share and show how she can play around with her favorite pieces from us! If you like how Janet can be so spontaneous with her fashion sense and that attitude that will not worry you about going over-the-top. Here you go girl. A round of applause -

a little background on being vain... I remember being a fussy-pot in the dressing department when I was only ten or so – of course, compare that to today's urban & privileged little girls, being a vain pot at ten years of age is nothing. I remember in vivid memories how I would plan what blouse to go with what skirt and sandals before I make a trip out with my dad for a stroll in the mall (whatever version of shopping malls I could get my hands on back then in little Taiping town).

All through teenage years I strife to be stylish in my own ways with my limited resources (wardrobe, knowledge & finance) and it's only in recent years I feel that I have somewhat, relax my own 'fashion rules' a little. Having spent so many hours of my life thinking about looking stylish, I have compiled some lists of ideas and pictures on dressing.

The Art of Mismatching

Personally, I always have the most fun mismatching an outfit for a look that is hard to copy. It's hard for others to copy because unless everyone else has the exact accessories, the look is uniquely yours to keep. There are many levels of mismatching...

example 1: mismatching styles of accessories.
I created a feminine podka-dot tube dress with an ethnic necklace,
longer ornament chain, and to complete the outfit I wore clogs.
Mismatching belts for one outfit to create a new outfit!

example 2: mismatch with the wrong cardigan. Pair an outfit with an
unpredictable jacket or cardi to brand the look your own. I paired this purple cocktail dress with a laid back but fitted cotton cardigan. Experiment with a few options to get the satisfied result.

example 3: Mixing genres. Mix the east and the west elements together fusion look. This is an easy one and also I'd say it is rather safe too, we seen Kebaya tops being worn with blue jeans, haven't we? So have fun oriental or ethnic pieces mix with everyday skirts or jeans; or pair up your batik sarong with a sultry tube...the possibilities are endless, enjoy!

DIY and Rock-N-Roll!
Trust me, the satisfaction derived from modifying your existing wardrobe is no less greater than coming home from the mall with bag full of new clothes. This is especially rewarding when you turn a pile of to-be-throwout old clothes into something different that you can't wait to put on and parade round town.

The DIY ideas:
Cutting Edge: update with a pair of scissors. Change the design of your old tees which you are bored with with a few snip here and there. Start by looking at the tee and ask yourself why are you bored with it?
Wish it's a little more low cut? Hate those three quarter sleeves? Well, cut them off and see. The natural `free hand' cut with a pair of scissors will give the garment an edgy casual look, it's a fantastic way to immediately `dress down' any item that look too dressy for its own good, eg. you feel uncomfortable wearing a fully-sequined blouse to go out, try this method to make it look dress BUT chic-casual.
Safety pins: Instant-down-sizer. Keep a collection of normal safety pins AND fancy ones, in various sizes to work as both decorative item and a functional safety pin, for that fancy blouse that you think it's showing too much cleavage, try pinning the sides from the inside of blouse to tighten it. I learned this one from a model I met at work previously: tighten a tank top or a singlet's waist by using a safety pin, pin the back of the top from the inside, at waistline area. Use a fancy one you can tell people you reinvented the tank. Hemming up is the way. Grown sick of your outdated 90s Lycra long evening dress? Bring the dress to the shop and alter it into a mini dress. Or turn that sloppy working pants into a fitted tailored shorts to pair with high heels.

Renewal tricks:
~ Bored of a garment? Try too keep the item tuck in a twist, ie. Create wrinkles on it, take it out again after a
month and you might juts like the wrinkled look – works on certain kind of material only, so experiment away!
~ Your tube tops have gone too loose? If the top is a thin material kind, try use it as a belt - push the tube
top down to your waist level and secure the look with a thin belt.
~ Lost one of your favourite vintage earrings? Use the one left as a brooch, on suitable jackets, dresses, tops,
mind the material of the clothes.
~ Spice up an old garment by designing a new look for it by adding accessories such as sequins, lace, beads,
tassels, ribbons and etc.
~ Your favourite shirts/blouse/tee got stained/colored? Sew sequins or beads in matching colors to the item,
the beads will make the mistakes less noticeable and your old items will now stand out in a crowd!
~ Tie or sew ribbon bows to the sleeves of your boring sleeveless tops.
Instant “Glamourizer”
Want to add a touch of bling or glamour in our otherwise rather down to earth everyday wardrobe? Not everyone of us get the excuse to dress up to nines every weekend to attend parties and cocktails so why not create our very own little moment of glamour in our everyday-wear? When asked by a friend who was packing for a three-week-long honeymoon, what to pack so that she could travel in comfortable clothes and still be stylish, I compiled this what I call,the 'Instant Glamourizers' list – items that can spark up, smart up your casual and down to earth looks.

Janet's Instant Glamourizers
~ Jewelled or accessorized Japanese slippers or sandals
~ Cargo pants in luxurious fabric, comfy and glamourous
~ Little jewelled hats
~ Chunky & fancy accessories: large vintage earrings, big ethnic necklaces, big rings...etc
~ High fashion handbags
~ Evening cardigans with rhine stones, beads, sequins, in satin or silk fabric
~ Red lips!!
~ Wicked attitude & lots of confidence

Instant Glamourizers are for:

~ Going from day to night look
~ Leaving back stage to main stage, to transform from anonymous crew to the look-at-me crew
~ Emergencies: out shopping for groceries and have to rush to a full-watt party,
~ Anytime low key glamour, when it's adjusted well of the glam-volume, it's classy and low profile.
Keep one or two pieces of these items in your car for those emergency call for wardrobe change for a last minute party or cocktail. The idea is to invest in some `stand-alone' accessories that will go well with your normal wardrobe. So there you go, have fun with improvisation!

Friday, June 19, 2009

An Angel Contest - Grand Winner!

Congratulations to Trish! Grand winner by 145 out of 273 votes :)
we pay our respect to her.

* signs of respect *

We feel so thankful that, we have you guys supporting this humble event of soak republic :) Cheers!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

An Angel' Story Contest: week four

1st story:
Name: Toong Mun Ee
Gender: Female
Title: Angel with a heart of gold

To most people, the angels in their lives are those whom they know of. However in my case, the angel with the purest of hearts is one who do not exist in my life. That angel is one that I have only read of but I can’t stop admiring her sincere heart.

My story begins now.

Does this picture break your heart? This puppy was not sitting there posing for a picture. This puppy was one of the dogs thrown to Pulau Ketam by irresponsible people who still do not think that it is wrong to abandon them there. The person whom I call angel is the one who initiated the rescue of the dogs thrown at Pulau Ketam. This angel is Miss Sabrina Yeap.

Many do not realize how heart breaking the conditions of these dogs until one actually looks at these photos. How can one possibly think that dogs can survive here? The only way to curb the increasing numbers of strays is by neutering them. This is where they are left. Many who tried to leave the island by swimming either ended up drowning or had to turn back as they could not reach any further.

This is where the dogs are left. The little island is very remote and poisonous snakes are everywhere on this island. Those who were not prepared will become the victims of the snakes. The dogs are left with no food nor water. The starving animals resorted to cannibalism. They ate the carcasses of the fellow castaways who didn't survive. There is no way anyone could have survived this island without any food. Mud was everywhere and if one steps on the island, they will be swallowed in by the mud.

This island was so remote that people rarely go there. No one was willing to help without a payment. Sabrina and her team from furry friend farm had to rent a boat RM200 just to get to the island. What they saw was beyond imaginations.

This is Sabrina whispering words of prayer. The dogs really need help. And Sabrina and her team alone are not enough. More than half of the dogs abandoned there is already dead. The dogs that have been saved so far are too afraid of humans and are starved till they are left with a bag of bones.

Their mission was able to save several dogs from the hell island. Many more are still there. It was not an easy task at all to search for the dogs in a mangrove populated island where mud would swallow you in every step you take. Below is the picture of Sabrina saving one of the poor dogs.

Sabrina is one true angel who helped these dogs who have no voice of their own. She deserves to be the angel in everyone’s heart. These dogs have been thrown into this island of hell for two weeks. It’s about time the world hears about their sufferings.

More updates on Sabrina’s mission to rescue the dogs can be accessed at :

2nd story:
Name: Trish
Gender: Female
Title: Angel story

Sitting on the garden floor ,I looked down at the scratch on my knee and tears began forming at my eyes. “ What happened?” he asked. I looked high up to meet his face and bit my bottom lip to keep from crying. “You fell down? It’s okay” he said, smile wrinkles forming on his face.”Come on, we’ll go inside and I’ll give you some ice cream and tell you a story,which kind would you like to hear?”, he held his hand to me. I took his hand and pulled myself up, “ Animals and jungle” I mumbled,sniffing. “ Animals and the jungle,that’s my favourite also, okay, So once upon a time in the jungle of Africa...”

A few years later

“ Wow he’s real pretty” I said, my eyes widening in amazement. I brought my face close to the window of display glass,taking in the sight of the little hamster with grey fur and a black line through his back.He looked at me, “ Do you like it?” he asked. I nodded,never taking my eyes off it. “You like it? Then I’ll get him for you, you can get a cage and give him a name, you’re first real pet.”, he said. I looked up from the display glass guiltily. “ Mum says I can’t get a pet. She said i’m too little and won’t take care of it and it might gets hungry and run away and she says we got no space in the house”. I replied with a frown. “ Oh is that so? Tell mum that it won’t run away because we picked the smartest hamster that knows how to find it’s way home.And if there’s no space in the house,then your house is too small and you should build a bigger one.” he said with a laugh. “ Really? So i can get it?” I asked excitedly. “Of course you can! We’ll just build you a bigger house” he replied still laughing. “ Oh thank you thank you!”, I hugged his legs, where I reached up to. “I love you the most and you’re the best in the whole wide worlds”.

10 years later.

We walked along the dock and I looped my hand through his to steady his walk, he needed someone to help him walk now. He didn’t like sitting for too long and the others were still chatting away in the restaurant. A lull of wind blew and he closed his eyes to enjoy it, I smiled at this. “ So what do you wanna do now?”, I asked him. “ Nothing just wait for the old ladies to stop talking then we can go,but I have a good story to tell you about gorillas and kangaroos”, he said, smile wrinkles showing , they had grown more prominent throughout the years making him look more jovial. “Okay”, I smiled and he began with his story. He hadn’t been well for the past week , so I flew up to see him although I having my finals in a week,I cringed slightly wondering how I was going to cram studying to catch up.He stopped his story midway and turned to me. “ You know, I’m glad you flew down.I haven’t seen you in almost 5 months” he said earnestly. “I’m glad too, were you starting to miss me?” I asked teasingly. “ Of course.How can I not miss my favourite? This is my favourite one” he patted my hand.
“ Okay, I smiled, I still want to know the end of the story, so what happens next?” and he continued.

A year later

I closed my eyes to hear the silence. The serenity of my surrounding. I opened them at the sound of footsteps, an old lady knelt by a headstone a few feet away from me saying a silent prayer.I looked at my hands and gently folded the letter I wrote for him, I kissed it gently and placed it on top of his headstone. A tear escaped my eye and I wiped it away quickly. No he wouldn’t like to see me crying,he never liked seeing me sad. I gazed up to look at the sky and smiled. He was my angel. I knew he was watching me, like he always has been and always will be.

Dear grandpa,
Can’t wait to hear more of your stories
Love you
your favourite