• Alyssa Chen

Less is More, More is Chic

Updated: May 9

Last week in Hong Kong landmark, there was an exhibition to pay tribute to a 95-year-old lady, Iris Apfel, and her fashion collection.


Iris Apfel doesn’t have professional background in the fashion industry at all. Being a businesswoman specializing in interior design, she takes fashion as a hobbit. She buys clothes and accessories in her business trip with her husband, creates her own infamous big-statement style- chunky jewelries, oversize sunglasses, dazzling colors. One of her famous saying is “More is more, and less is a bore.”

More is Chic Now


What triggers me the most is that, under the influence of ever-stylist Coco Chanel from the last century, I believe that “less is more” has become a doctrine at the stage when most of us are still exploring and building our personal fashion and taste. Nowadays, however, the rising of the individualism among the millennials and of social media requests more. Statement with personality seems better appreciated- the stronger, bigger, quirkier, the better- and which could thus win one more followers on social media.


In this sense, layering or multiplying becomes an easy tactic to reach this purpose. Wearing a dress over a shirt, a pair of pant under a skirt are nothing new. Some designers become popular through the fun adding-up elements and hence the success enables them to increase retail prices season by season.



Not only clothes. Stacking up rings, necklaces and bracelets have been already there for quite many years.



The trend also becomes more prominent in the way of wearing earrings in the recent seasons. It is no more the identity of being a punk to have multiple piercings. The truth is, with a good arrangement of the earrings, the style could look elegant and powerful at the same time.



Know Your Style- Be Experimental but Don’t be Fashion Victim


It is no harm to be experimental in the fashion world- just like what Iris Apfel has still been trying at her 90s. However, I strongly believe that, in order to make this “MORE” works and, meanwhile, avoid being a fashion victim, knowing your style should still comes first. One has to always respect who you are, take it as the “base” and add one or two key elements as the highlight to the look.


Then how to start as a amateur??


To me, accessory is easier to start with. Even wearing plain outfits, good mix-and-match with accessories can easily stand one out. Among all, pearl is my most favorite accessory for styling. It serves as a magic wane to light up all styles- working alone, it’s very elegant and feminine. With any other materials, it creates a magical harmonious contrast. For example, with leather and chunky chain, it delivers a sweet rock/rebellion character. A ring marrying big pearl and thick metal presents a kind of power with softness and elegance. Big pearl can make a dazzling statement while small pearl gives sophisticated touch. Charming with character!



Practice makes perfection. The same to the styling. If at the age of the 90s, Iris Apfel never gives up exploring the alternative styling possibilities, why should we?!


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