Spring is the perfect time to “spring clean” your wardrobe. In this video, I’m suggesting new ways to style up your wardrobe using colour, print, accessories and show you how to pair these pieces with your existing wardrobe to refresh your spring style :)
Let us help you get your wardrobe into shape for Spring. All you need to do is to LIKE and tag 3 friends to this post on Facebook or Instagram for a chance to win this Wardrobe Planner to help you organise and refresh your wardrobe. We'll be picking 3 winners every week for the month of March. Help us spread the word!
This giveaway is only applicable to those residing in Singapore. Giveaway ends 28 March 2018 6pm. Winners will be notified 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th March on B&M's Facebook and Instagram. B&M reserves the rights to withdraw the giveaway or change the terms and conditions without prior notice.
Check-out the Wardrobe Planner here:
Glad to have met a few of our VIPs and social media followings. Watch this space for our next Styling Sessions. Cheers, Elsie
Hi all, if you want some style advice to put together that special outfit whether it’s for CNY or for Valentine’s, Elsie will be at our Tanjong Pagar store on Sat 10th Feb from 2-5pm to do FREE mini ½ hour personal style sessions. As time slots are limited, and we do want to keep each group small so that you get personalized attention, do PM us to register your interest and to book your session now. Registration is on a first come first serve basis. Looking forward to share our style stories with you! Find our stores here: http://bit.ly/BnM_locations.
Elsie is a fashion entrepreneur who resides in Singapore. She’s been in the fashion business for more than 2 decades, in a variety of roles as a mass-market merchandiser, a luxury brand manager, a fashion buyer, before fulfilling her life-long dream of running her own fashion business. She passionately believes that style is a skill that can be honed and cultivated. To that end, she teaches women how to create and curate a stylish-authentic wardrobe that gives them the confidence to shine and show up as THE BEST VERSION of themselves everyday.
Refresh your festive style this Chinese New Year! In this video, Elsie shares some of our last minute fashion edits, specially curated so that you will look effortlessly stylish for the festivities!
Elsie share's her favourite SS2018 trends for B&M as we prepare for our first 2018 fashion buy.
Here's a handy shopping refresher for those of us who are searching for CNY new clothes.
Elsie shares some smart style ideals to help you add sparkle and shine to your outfits this holiday season.
Hello December, and hello to our online friends. Apologies for neglecting our website recently – it’s been eons since we posted anything substantial on our blog, but if you’ve been following our daily updates on Instagram and Facebook, you’ll know that we’ve been incredibly busy closing and opening shops this last few months. In fact, at some point this year, we were so overwhelmed by the challenges of the business, we seriously contemplated calling it a day and sailing off into the sunset for an extended siesta and some fancy margaritas.
Instead, after much soul searching, discussions with our team, friends and families, we decided to forge ahead and use the opportunity to re-look at our business, everything from the inside out. Questions like “Why do we run our business this way?”, “Why did we buy this?”, “Why didn’t we buy that?”, “Why pick the more expensive options?”, “Why not just sell online?” (that will cut overheads substantially!) Well, before we could forge forward with determination and gusto and motivate our team, we needed to convince ourselves that this is really what we wanted to do. That the dream is as real as the people going for it.
Once our hearts were settled and united, it was all hands-on deck, full steam ahead! We had no Plan B. It was all or nothing at all for us. I mean, life is short, why bother to do things in half measures? Anyways, energy is contagious. As we handed over our keys for our Income at Raffles shop, I was holding back tears and the landlord(!?) consoled me, saying this is not the end. Thank you! We went through an insane season of renovations and if we had a lesser team, we would have fallen flat on our faces – probably more than once or twice! Even our suppliers thought we were crazy to push through new production at such volume and speed and so close to year end!
As we opened One Raffles Place and Tanjong Pagar Centre, we feel a new buzz - the dawn of a new beginning is here for Butterflies & Marigolds, and we are immensely grateful we got here. Clique as it may be, we have to say that we wouldn’t have made it without you. Thank you for sharing our fashion journey with us. We are Butterflies & Marigolds, we will bloom where we’re planted and fly with brave wings.
Blessed Christmas to all!
Sneak Preview of our New Collection:
Like what you see? PM us to place your order now.
Visit us at B1-23 Tanjong Pagar Centre and #04-18 One Raffles Place :)
Elsie shows you different variations to the classic white shirt and the how to wear the different styles to suit your body type.
LAST DAYS OF MOVING OUT SALE
We're leaving #02-09 Income@Raffles on 31 Oct 2017.
Come shop with us at our new locations:
#04-18 One Raffles Place. 1 Raffles Place. (OPENING 1 NOV 2017)
#B1-23 Tanjong Pagar Center. 1 Wallich Street. (OPENING MID NOV 2017)
Elsie tells us the reasons she included this black skinny trousers in the collection and why it is an essential item in every women's wardrobe!
Elsie shows us some of the latest fashion trends in AW2017 - tweeds and pleats.
Last Thursday, we were pleased to have been one of the fashion boutiques invited to contribute some of our pieces for MBLM’s first ever Style Capsule Workshop. They invited style influencer Savina Chai to pick suitable items from shops within the mall and show customers how to put them together to create stylish outfits. Of course, we wrangled for free tickets to attend the workshop (we’re gluttons for style tips – so that we can pass them onto you!! File that under job hazard). MBLM’s management were kind enough to extend their invitation for our VIPS to attend the event without the official minimum spending required!
So, here’s some post event coverage, including door gifts, refreshments from Cedele! We had a fun time catching up with everyone, thank you MBLM for organising everything, we’re sure there was lots to do behind the scenes to have a successful event!
Thank you MBLM and Savina Chai, for an enlightening evening!
Ladies, if you couldn’t make it for the event, don’t worry about it! Here are some of our pieces that were featured. If you like any of these, do message us and we’ll do our best to reserve it for you!
Cheers and have a lovely month of May!
I know it’s been a while since we posted, that’s because we had our fingers in too many pies! We had family visiting from abroad, we had our new collection designs to be confirmed and shipped (while writing this blog we are actually booking our next work trip already …) and mostly satisfying this month, we had run a “DRESS FOR GOOD” campaign to raise awareness for the Star Shelter and collected pre-loved dresses for Dress4U, which is thrift shop that is run by volunteers of the SCWO (Singapore Counsel of Women’s Organisation).
We’ve stretched and learned so much through this experience, and while I do post a little something everyday on Instagram (@butterfliesandmarigolds) and Facebook, I thought its only fitting that before the month ends, I should update our followers so that you know what’s been going down with us.
Where do I start… well, I’ll be honest and start by saying that while we were planning our April schedules, I didn’t intend to work so fervently for a “charity drive”, that wasn’t our primary objective. We just wanted to do something “good” for Good Friday – involve our staff, customers, suppliers, landlords … everybody basically, to publicise “doing good” instead of the usual “sale” or “promotion” every excuse we get to cash in on public holidays.
That said, when we started to brainstorm about what “good” to do, Star Shelter came up. We did some legwork and found their cause of giving women suffering from family violence and abuse a temporary refuge resonated with us, we knew we wanted to help further their cause. Here I am teaching about detoxing our wardrobes, how we should learn to dress ourselves happy, then discovering that there are women in Singapore who hide in their closets to avoid getting beaten by their spouses, or women who pack what’s left of their wardrobes into a tiny handcarry, ready to run if their husbands get drunk and violent again, but who have no place to go to ready broke my heart and propelled me to push our Good Friday “Dress for Good” campaign to be so much more than a “marketing’’ event.
Sometimes in urban Singapore, in our busy-ness to keep up with our jobs, our families, our friends or our lives plain & simple (not that any of these ever are!!), it’s so easy to overlook the needs of the silent and less fortunate in our midst. I’m not pointing fingers, God knows I was blissfully unaware of these women until we started planning for a Good Friday event about a month ago! But now that my eyes are opened and I’m aware, I can no longer pretend to be unaware! So April became the month of “now that you know, what are you going to do about it?”
Well… we roped in Audrey Hepburn! As in we took a screenshot of one of her most fabulous poses of all time from the classic movie Funny Face and used her to canvas for everybody to “Dress for Good” and “Make a Fashion Statement”. I’m sure that Ms. Hepburn would approve, as she herself was also an avid giver and championed supporting women issues. We decided that we’ll give a $10 B&M voucher to all who would walk into our shops and contribute 2 pre-loved dresses of their own. Then with everything that we collected, we delivered them all to New4U.
Promotion mechanics and logistics aside, after all the research we did about the Star Shelter, and after multiple visits to the New4U thrift shop, chatting with the enthusiastic volunteers and even the shoppers who patronise New4U, we really wanted to run a good campaign. I’m happy to report that everyone, from family, friends, staff, customers, suppliers, and even landlords pulled their weight and donated, contributed, carried bags of clothes (although technically we only asked for dresses) to our shops – some didn’t even want our vouchers as they just wanted to give, while others came more than once, because they wanted to give some more! Some wrote to us to extend our collection dateline because they couldn’t come in time! How could we say no to that?
So yes, it took more time, more effort, disrupted our shop sales a little, and for those couple of weeks, we were driving bags of clothes from our shops to SCWO whenever our shops got too cluttered to free up space for our girls to do business. It was well worth it, this little discomfort is nothing, compared to the difficulties the women at Star Shelter are facing.
Now that the donation drive is over, we truly want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has helped or contributed in anyway. We are truly humbled by your generosity. What will May bring? I don’t know. But what I do know is that, here at B&M, we’re happy that we had our hands and hearts filled, spending our April - Dressing for Good.
Let's start by defining what qualifies as an embellishment. An embellishment is a decorative detail or feature added to something to make it more attractive. When it pertains to fashion, examples of embellishments include: embroideries, sequins, rhinestones, buttons, zippers, studs, ribbons, ruffles, and any other decorative details that are added to make our outfits more attractive.
Embellishments are a big trend for Spring 2017, however, while we are inclined to give embellishments a try when dressing up for an evening outing, most of us are cautious about wearing this trend to the office because we don’t want to “over-embellish” ourselves and end up looking like an out-of-season Christmas tree. Hence, I thought I’ll share a few ideas how to wear embellishments to work confidently without crossing the OTT line.
When in Doubt, Start with Accessories
If you’re just dipping your toes into the embellishment trend, don’t feel pressured to go “ALL OUT”. Try adding a fun scarf as a collar, an interesting brooch on your trusted black jacket, a cute bag with embellishment details eg: embroidery or sequins to your go-to-work outfit. Embellishments do not have to be dramatic for them to be impactful, but they can go a long way to help personalize your style.
Use a Dark Base
If like me, you value timeless style over seasonal fads and you intend to keep your embellished pieces for more than one season, I suggest that you invest in embellished pieces in darker base colours eg: black, grey and navy. These are much easier to mix and match with wardrobe staples, eg: an embellished blouse or top when paired with a sleek jacket, slim trousers and heels, will instantly be office-friendly. Or pair an embellished cardigan with a neutral camisole and a pencil skirt to shine confidently at work.
Don’t Do the Matchy Matchy
When it comes to embellishments, do not wear matching sets together. In fact, I’d rather you not buy the set. So if you like the jacket with the embroidery and stitching detail, get that, but you don’t have to get the matching trousers and skirt as well.
Or if you like the statement necklace don’t invest in the matching earrings and cocktail ring too. It's far better to wear that one special embellished item and keep the rest of the outfit clean and simple, so that the ONE embellishment has lots of room to shine rather than to overcrowd your outfit with variations of the same theme. Less is more, period.
Casual Fridays Don’t have to be Boring
In creative office environments, denim is the norm. Even if yours is not a creative office space, most workplaces these days allow for casual Fridays. Don’t make it an excuse to allow your style to slip a few notches, why not up the ante with a denim jacket with personalised playful pins, sequins or embroideries? Just skip other jewelry so you're not attracting too much attention.
Ground Embellishment with Casual Pairings
Neutralize a too-fancy top, with classic black trousers and ballet flats. Throw on a blazer during the day to keep it semi-covered and slip it off, and put on a sexy pair of heels once happy hour starts.
Here's a video I did about embellishments. Watch it for more practical ideas and tips to wear the embellishment trend for Spring 2017 with confidence and style!
Write and let me know in the comments below which tips you tried or better yet, send us photos of your embellished outfits!
Go forth and shine!
Spring is usually the season when we tidy our homes, clean out our wardrobes, give away the kid’s toys & books, that’s why we say “Spring Clean” or “Spring Cleaning”. I don’t recall anybody say they are doing a “Summer Clean” or “Autumn Clean”.
When we are discussing ideas for styling and marketing themes for our business, we decided to go with some friendly and encouraging: “Start as you mean to go on…” I think when it comes to our wardrobes, many of us are reluctant to “let go” of pieces that have been in there for so long, because we feel:
1. Guilt - the item was expensive? It was a gift?
2. Fear - what if after I gave it away, I find myself needing it for a special occasion?
3. False hope - when I lose/gain 2kg, I’ll be able to fit into them again!
When we repeatedly tell ourselves, these stories, our wardrobes never get thoroughly cleansed as we’ve left behind lots of “exceptions” that will continue to be space fillers. Yet there may be lots of “gaps” left to be filled where our style in concerned, even though our wardrobes are packed to the max!
It was Albert Einstein that said: “Its Insanity to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result”. Hence for this Spring, we’ve intentionally based our collection on timeless classics and effortlessly chic pieces that you can work into your existing wardrobe with ease to support and update the pieces you already have!
We’ve deliberately stayed away from show-stopper pieces, drama-mama fanfare since we know you already have those ones hanging in your closet. What most of us need are dependable pieces that we can rely on to update our style and make us feel fabulous everyday – when we go to work, when we fetch our kids, when we do errands about town or when we meet our girlfriends for coffee, you know - when we do LIFE!
That’s why this blog is slightly delayed as we had to get our Spring Collection into our shops before we can show you our curated collections. Anyways, we’re back and here is a sneak preview of our favourite Spring 2017 pieces from Butterflies & Marigolds. Enjoy!!
Have a great week ahead and remember to shine!
PS: If you’re struggling with cleaning out your wardrobe and would like to learn more, how you can edit a wardrobe that works for you, I’ve created a fabulous A-Z Wardrobe online course that will certainly help you clear the clutter and get your happy back when you get dress everyday. CLICK HERE to check up the details and sign up, because every women deserves to shine with grace, gladness & style!
Recently, I was honoured to be invited on “The Tao of Self Confidence” talk show by Sheena Yap Chan and just a few weeks ago, the episode I was on was aired.
Here's some back story, before I share the podcast. I didn’t go searching for publicity on a talkshow. In fact, for those of you that know me, you know that I’m a relatively "do-my-own-thing" kind of gal. I do have a wacky side that comes through when I’m teaching my style and wardrobe courses (I’m super passionate about helping women get their style mojo back), or when I’m doing personal styling, and sometimes I burst into song (loudly) when I’m stressed and have challenges I need to work through. Mostly, I’m not a sanguine or a gregarious personality.
So when Sheena approached me, I was equal parts surprised/excited and apprehensive. In the end, I decided to give it a go, because I wanted to do something I’ve never done before, because Sheena was genuine in her asking, because I checked out her site and it was legit, because it was a genuine opportunity to share my views on confidence with other wonderful people on the same journey as me, because growth never emerged from staying within my comfort zones… for all those reasons and then some, I decided to give it a go.
The regrets started coming fast and furious the minute I said yes! The fear was paralysing and at some point bordering irrational. Weird thoughts like “what if people didn’t like the sound of my voice?" Self doubt like “she’s done this podcast thousands of times over, what do I have that is so special to bring to the table?” It’s a live podcast, there are no re-takes, what if people think I’m boring, what if I did the worst podcast ever as I've never done one and its not something you get to practice!
To compensate for my fears, I prepared and prepared and worked and reworked from the list of “potential” questions and listened to Sheena's previous podcast guests (all of whom are fabulous in their respective fields, and I felt even tinier than before I started listening).
Fast forward to the day of the podcast, I was a giant ball of nervous energy (shhhh: if you listen to the podcast, you'll hear the nervous laughter!!) As Sheena Skyped me and we chatted for a few minutes before going live, she told me that she was in the Philippines visiting her family and so her "Tech support and equipment” was not her usual standard, but she was pushing forward anyway. Strangely enough that calmed me down. I saw how another woman was showing up and doing her thing, even though not everything was “up to par” and a switch turned on inside me. I can do this. We’ll get through it, Everything will be alright, we’ll live through it, we’ll learn we’ll be fine.
Honestly the tech meltdown happened 3 times before we finally managed to get the show on the road, but it was worth it. We felt so accomplished, we said our goodbyes and we moved on. Will our paths ever collide again, I don’t know, but I am glad that for those few minutes we had with each other, we both chose to show up and do our best to help each other on the journey.
So CLICK to listen to the podcast and tell me your thoughts in the comments below, would love to hear from you.
We’re still in the midst of the 15 days of Lunar New Year, so Gong Xi Fa Cai!! I hope you had a wonderful time visiting family and friends, and enjoyed all the LNY delicacies.
This Chinese New Year season, as our family went about our reunion dinners and visitations, I’m reminded of this age-old principle of sowing and reaping. As I sat and chatted about old times with my aunties, uncles, cousins, as I carried grandnieces and took countless wefies with various sides of the extended families, I realised how blessed we are as a family - our parents, our grandparents had laboured to keep the family ties strong. Every new year as we exchanged stories of days gone by (some would call them old grandmother stories), I’ve learnt to appreciate that these stories were weaved with real people in them! It’s not Korean drama or reality TV. Its real life!!
These last few days, as we poured over old photographs filled with beehive hairstyles and can-can skirts, as we laughed over the bad fashion mistakes of our youth - we had lots of fun reminiscing the old days. As family sagas get retold, the essence of family togetherness gets filtered into our DNA and that’s something I’ve come to look forward to every Chinese New Year.
Instead of simply going through the motion of reunion dinners silently with family members who are practically strangers in our day-to-day lives, why not try to piece the family tree together? Who married whom, who are their kids, whose grandparents left their home country (China, India, Taiwan, Malaysia) to come to Singapore – or whose families have migrated where and why. Play the six degrees of separation game and you’ll discover that we’re all not that different after all ;)
This year was especially heart-warming for us because this year, we decided to host our family party even though we had no helper. Firstly, let me qualify that I am not a party animal. We do 2 parties a year, one for Christmas and one for Chinese New Year for our close friends and relatives, so that everyone has a relaxing time catching up with each other over home-cooked food. Generally, its free and easy and the turnout varies between lunch till dinner, about 50 –100 guests.
I pondered long and hard about doing the party this year because without a capable helper, cooking for 100pax is no mean feat and not something we’ve attempted before and catering is not an option –period. The family supported the decision and so we trudged forward. 3 generations cooking together for the first time in the kitchen, we went on countless trips to the wet markets and supermarkets.
Though in the end, we managed to hire a helper, she would have been lost if not for the support of my friends who didn’t just come for the party but showed up with food, drinks and even their helpers to help. Everyone was so supportive, thoughtful and understanding, I was floored by all the love and understanding that I received. I thought I was giving, in actual fact, I received so much more than I gave. It was the most disorganised party I’ve ever done (we ran out of rice and wine!!) but it was the one party I’ll remember for the rest of my life!
At the end of the party as my god-daughter was leaving, she showed me a delicate bracelet she was wearing and that really made my day. It was the first present I gave her, when she was one month old - a charm bracelet with butterflies and marigolds – the emblems of our business which we registered as Butterflies & Marigolds Pte Ltd the year she was born. She’s kept it safe all this while, waiting for the day she’s able wear it – and wear it well, she did.
It has been my privilege to sow into the lives of my friends and families, and they into mine. I pray that we’ll always be able and willing to continue to do the same for a long long time. But this year, I want to say that the pleasure of reaping a bountiful harvest from seeds sown a long time ago, is overflowing in my heart and too precious to put into words.
Have a fabulous February, friends ;)
PS: next year, I’ll start planning my CNY menu earlier!!