Fashion and luxury have been a part of my life since the beginning of my work life. I’ve always been fascinated by the transformative power of wearing the right garments, accessories and styling. This little passion of mine became more than just a hobby when I ended up becoming a fashion blogger in a rather distant past life when “blogger” was still a thing. I started writing about fashion, attending fashion-related events, meeting and interviewing people working in the industry. By chance, my blogging gig has landed me features in magazines, newspapers and one live TV interview. It was an unforgettable experience. What I learned about branding, marketing, style and luxury has stayed with me and became the foundation of my unique blend of working skillset, design style and professional image. (I get “you don’t look like a programmer” a lot.)

As I grew through life, my consumption of luxury goods increased with the gradual increase of my disposable income. Unconsciously, this consumption habit turned into some kind of a “conquest game” – there is always something better, more luxurious, more desirable on my shopping list. When you want to have “nicer” things in life, naturally, you gotta work harder to make more disposable income, right? So a vicious cycle of “earning” and “spending” started around this time period. Looking back, it is almost like a twisted version of “work hard, play hard” belief.

The unfortunate passing of my grandmother triggered a number of wake-up calls in me, including my view on the kind of lifestyle I want and what’s important in my life. Maybe my maturing with age also played a large part in this. Or maybe, it was my better understanding of how luxury brands work, how luxury goods are really made and which brand is good in what product types. I started to desire less in terms of luxury goods and developed a more minimal consumption habit, which can be summarised into these points:

1. I can still love, appreciate, learn more of, discuss about luxury goods, but it doesn’t mean I need to buy more of them.
2. Spend on luxury that will make a difference in how your body feels and experiences (e.g. wearing really good underwear is really more comfortable. I can attest to that)
3. Ask yourself: Are you buying for better comfort or for “wealth signalling”? You don’t need to showcase your wealth (well, not that I’m wealthy) by wearing luxury logos. There is no “image” to keep up to.
4. “The greatest luxury is being free” – When you have no desire to convey your wealth to others or to satisfy your own ego, then only you’ll be mentally relieved, free and happy. Don’t “lock” yourself in a specific “lifestyle”.
5. “True luxury is being able to own your time – to be able to take a walk, sit on your porch, read the paper, not take the call, not be compelled by obligation” – Between having free time and sacrificing time to earn more money, choose free time. The vicious cycle of “earning” and “spending” is endless.

I’m now taking a step further by letting go of more (if not all) less functional luxury possession that I’ve been holding on to, replacing them with quality alternatives (if necessary). On the other hand, I realised I’m spending more on buying books now 😂 In 2023, I’ll be taking a step back from consumption in general.

Having less possession, and the absence of imaginary shopping list do give me a newfound “freedom”.