Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Dress like a boss - Hemlines

My mother is a Boss. With a capital B.

She has the type of disarming charm and elegance that make people immediately drawn to her. In a time and industry where men jealously guard their pants, my mother sweeps in, gives orders, fixes situations and pays the bills; all in her beautiful, impeccably tied saree and glossed lips. 

One of the best pieces of advice Mum has given me over the years:

If you dress like a boss, people will treat you like the boss. If you want to be treated like a secretary, then go ahead. Wear that skirt you’re holding.

Over the years that I have been in the corporate world, as a staff and as one half of what my parents call “succession planning”, I have come to realize and painfully admit, that once again, my mother gets to shake her head and laugh at my unsuccessful resistance of her ideas.

Anyone who has had the pleasure/misfortune to shop with me will tell you that I am obsessed with what hemlines works for what occasion. And that I am a firm believer of the concept of the Boss Hemline.

Current and Future Bosses have a rule. Nothing too high above the knee.
Whatever walk of life you're in, you're initially judged on appearance. A short hemline says a lot about you. Socialization is such that we generally tend to associate short hemlines with being young or being scandalous. Thus, your choice of outfit, in an initial first impression setting, is a reflection of your work attitude. A playful or even scandalous hemline is going distract everyone from the real reason you’re there.
Let’s do a simple test:

Who would you rather trust your money with? Simple :)
Honestly speaking, I am expecting some backlash from this post. In this time and age of "freedom", here I am talking openly about how everyone does in fact judge you by what you wear. Most so if you are a lady. And I (/that annoying voice that sounds uncannily like my mother) am telling you to cover up. 
Ladies have spent a good part of our existence trying to shatter the glass ceiling that men have consciously or sub-consciously, simultaneously been trying to reinforce. Silly that we are still fighting this battle. We are just as good as men. In fact even better. We shower and we multi-task. 
Should have wore pants sweety ;)
But to me it boils down to two distinctive things. 
1. Culture & 2. Presentation
General belief is that the more open a culture you have been socialized in, the more comfortable you are with the presence of skin. Currently, in my Malaysian Muslim dominated environment, it makes no sense to me to wear a short skirt to a business meeting. It only makes the male decision makers incredibly judgmental and uncomfortable. And based on experience, men do not function well under pressure. ;)
Now please understand that I am not saying you have to dress like a man to get work done. All I am saying is: Bosses dress to impress. But that only lasts for the first few seconds. The only way to make a great lasting impression is to show them your greatest asset. 
Your brain. Jeez, get your mind out of the gutter!
So next time, Try this simple trick:
Put your index fingers and thumbs together to form a circle. Place your fingers on your knee cap. Any hemline that is below, inside or just touching your fingers is a Boss Hem. Anything that is much longer may look dowdy depending on the cut and style, and too high is too short. 
Go on then. Time to be a Boss. 

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Stop second guessing yourself.

Credits to Sonia Derian for her highly inspiring post in 

Good things and bad things come out of getting hurt. Good things like..... okay I'll get back to you on that one. But bad things? Yea, I've got an alphabetical list in my pocket. I carry it around just in case someone asks.

Recently the one thing I have realized I can't seem to shake off from the whole drama of getting put out like yesterdays trash is the new gift of self doubt I have acquired.  Now for those of you who do not know me, self doubt is a new thing in my life. A parting gift of some sort from my ex. Bugger always knew how to make an impression.

I find myself slightly less confident with my. In the past, my intuition was all I needed. Now I wait and see. I find it hard to trust myself to trust something or someone else. After all, the person I thought would never lie to me, did. And thus, I am left in a world where I wonder how good my judgment actually is.

But I am a fighter.

Reading and talking to people has made me realize that even the most seemingly confident people around me struggle with second guessing themselves. I guess I've been one of those "cocky (or stupid)" ones that do not feel like she needs to second guess. I'll take it as it comes, has always been one of my mantras. One day at a time.

So these are some ways I am dealing/overcoming this new gift which I cannot return.

1.  Trust.
Making a decision sometimes forces you to grow in areas where you’re not comfortable. When you second guess yourself it’s usually because of that discomfort. But it’s important to remember that change happens incrementally. Even if you’re not seeing an obvious positive result yet, it might be coming. And your broader intentions led you there for that reason.
2. Choose a new thought.
Stop entertaining the idea of having made a wrong decision. There is no power in that. Instead, know that things are working out for your good and that you are learning and growing while you find your bearings.
3. Assess what you’re learning.
Because we are always in a state of flux, there may very well be things you will do differently the next time. Ask yourself, if I had to do it over, what would I do differently? And then congratulate yourself because this is how new behavior is born! You can’t learn if you’re not playing the game.

4. Get comfortable with mistakes.
There is such a thing as grace. Time gives us an opportunity to fix all sorts of things we think we may have screwed up. There is power in simply letting things go and deciding to re-evaluate them at a future date.
Ask yourself “What if I did make a wrong decision? Is it okay for me to have made a mistake?” And then let it go. Getting comfortable with making mistakes could have entirely been the lesson! But we are always making the best decisions we have access to at the moment.

5. Finally, go easy on yourself.
Like a friend of mine likes to say, “Life is a hard hat zone. We are always under construction”.
You are not who you were yesterday and you are not who you will be tomorrow. So, make peace with that. Life is full of second chances. We are always in a state of evolution.
In learning how to walk, you had to crawl first, and maybe you wobbled and skinned your knees a few times. But eventually, you found your bearings and trusted your stability. As tiny as you were, you were able to stand straight and put one foot in front of the other as you moved forward.
Not so far off from what it’s like as an adult.

Credits to Sonia Derian.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Get Fit in 2013. Step 1 - Yogurt Cups

I have this nasty habit of hitting the snooze button a few times in the morning. I should actually be waking up at 6.15am like my optimistic self promises each night before but I don't and I rush around to get everything in order before leaving the house at 7.20am sharp. Leaving mere minutes later will allow me to experience the wrath of the "Subang Jaya Summit Traffic Lights + Policeman"; both of which, I have decided, hate me. The feelings are mutual.

One of the things I intend to do this year (2013) is get my bikini body back! Every time I check myself out in the mirror (we all do it!) I am starting to see less Halle Berry and more Snooki. Not a great ego booster.

I get to my office at 7.45am each day and drink one peppermint tea. Then, I successfully starve my body until lunch each day. Not a great way to handle my health huh? Also, on a more important note, hunger pangs makes me the boss from hell. 

So this is my brilliant plan. Yogurt cups!! I bought 10 re-usable plastic cups from Giant (Cost me RM 3.49). Next I rummaged my mother's larder and fridge to find all kinds of yummy ingredients (Cost: FREE! Who doesn't love family) But just in case you do not live with family you can extort, fruits, nuts and yogurt are fairly cheap items available in local supermarkets or pasar malam. 

Simply put the ingredients into each cup and filled the rest with yogurt! (Note: Tie crispy ingredients separately until you are ready to consume. Soggy things are yuck). Simple!! And it took me exactly 15 mins to make 10 cups!! (For mum as well).

So I am set for the week! Wake up in the morning (after hitting snooze; New quota: max 2 times), get dressed, grab a cup and go! I am hoping this will keep me happier this week!

The five flavours for this batch:
1) Oats, raisins, flax seed, honey, cornflakes
2) Banana, pineapple, flax seed, honey
3) Strawberry jam, raisins, almonds, flax seed 
4) Peanut butter, corn flakes
5) Grapes, pineapple, honey.

This is a great website of a list of combinations for those OCD/creatively challenged/lazy to think people. You know who you are.

Lets make this happen !!

Thursday, 10 January 2013


Oh my goodness! I took this random test:

It just told me that I am a borderline hipster. Seriously. 51%. I didn't realize I looked anything like this. 

Its been a while since I wrote anything fashion-like and of course once in a while the Bimbo in me needs a little breathing space :).

I am  secretly in love with hipsters. Generally I think it is the attitude that makes them so desirable to me. The whole "Screw the world, I am who I am?" Take note of the question mark. No secrets there. According to the internet, most hipsters have particularly high amounts of self loathing and self importance but you know what, who doesn't? Which teenager/ adult  is/was not obsessed with themselves?

The only difference I see is that now, society sticks a label on it. Good and bad. Bad because we have to put up with it. Because now more people think its okay to be snooty with their views because "I'm a hipster, bitch!". Good because at least now all these tortured souls have something to be. They fit in. 

The whole hipster thing really seems quite convenient to me. I speaking to a friend yesterday who was discussing some troubles he had growing up and feeling like he didn't really quite fit in. This lead to a fear of rejection by his peers and so he focused all his energy into fitting in. Have you ever tried diverting a river with a pile of rocks? It overflows and causes more damage.

So yea, What/who are hipsters? This is Urban Dictionary's definition of a hipster:


Hipsters are a subculture of men and women typically in their 20's and 30's that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter.

Although "hipsterism" is really a state of mind,it is also often intertwined with distinct fashion sensibilities. Hipsters reject the culturally-ignorant attitudes of mainstream consumers, and are often be seen wearing vintage and thrift store inspired fashions, tight-fitting jeans, old-school sneakers, and sometimes thick rimmed glasses.

Both hipster men and womensometimes sport similar androgynous hair styles that include combinations of messy shag cuts and asymmetric side-swept bangs. Such styles are often associated with the work of creative stylists at urban salons, and are usually too "edgy" for the culturally-sheltered mainstream consumer.

For more in case you have decided that that is your path, check this hilarious link out: Its got some hilarious takes on hipster attitude, personality,  and everything else. 

So this is my take on it: LONG LIFE HIPSTERS!!!! Now excuse me as I put on my thick rimmed purple glasses ;) I need to live up to my 51%. 

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Ask why.

Remember those times when your mum use to groan and wonder how that one fierce night of passion brought  her a seriously annoying, insistently questioning, constantly- ticking time bomb

Yeap I'm talking about you. 

Okay, put the guns down. ;) I'm only talking about your constant habit of asking WHY? WHY? WHY? when you were five (plus a few hundred other things but lets not get into all that just yet ;)

Think about it for a second. As you grow older, you start knowing more things (or at least pretending you do) and generally people grow out of the habit of asking why. 

So try this; sit down and ask yourself:

Why do you do what you do? Why? DO YOU even know anymore? 

The older we get the more we forget to ask why. And we forget to ask the very question to the most important person in our lives. Ourselves. When we were 5, we asked our parents because they were our source of knowledge (before Google came along ;) and we asked them because we felt we could trust them. Trust them to know the answers and to tell us the truth. 

How many of us can say the same about ourselves? Do you trust yourself to know what you are doing with your life this instant? 

What I have come to realize is that the older we get, the more complicated out lives get. The bills, the assignments, the kids, the mortgage, the job etc etc.... and we begin to forget or even fear asking WHY? "Because we need to get food on the table" doesn't quite sound like your childhood dream does it?

So the more roles we begin to play in our lives (we originally start out with a handful :daughter+sister+ friend and move onto a few dozen at the same time :daughter, sister, friend, mother, partner, business lady, pet owner, soccer mum, aunt, in law etc etc)  and we stop asking why.

What we do start asking instead is HOW.  

How do I get this project done?
How do I make enough for my rent?
How do I make him/her love me more?
How do I make my kid happier?
How do I make myself thinner?

But think about it. Whats the point in all of this if you don't know where you are headed? I'm not talking about the whole "save the world" stuff here. I just mean plain simple : Why am I doing this? Why am I in this job? Why am I spending my life doing this right now?

And the answer could be as simple as : I love the tons money it gives me. But at least, if that truly is the honest answer, you can then relax and look at ways of enjoying your end result. Splurge the money or save the money. Whatever, at least you know WHY. 

Or if your answer is, I'm doing this so can pay off my Student Loan then embrace it. Embrace the process of paying off those crappy loans. At least in the end, you know you were well aware of your reasons for that crappy job! and you are less likely to drown your sorrows in chocolate and rum the next time your boss messes with you because you know YOU ARE ON A MISSION!! 

So go ahead then! Just for a minute, Ask yourself, WHY?