updated 16 Apr 2012, 04:19
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Alicia Pan’s got style savvy
by Esther Au Yong

CULTIVATING your own style is important when it comes to fashion and what you buy, but it’s not easy.

Still, it can be done without busting your bank account – all you need is some creativity and inspiration.

Singer Alicia Pan, 24, an up-and-coming songstress with a big voice and sexy moves, knows this better than anyone.

In the past, she’s taken to the stage in (wait for it) a $10 dress and said it was a smash hit, both onstage and off.

“It’s all about the way you carry yourself and how comfortable you are in your own skin. If you love yourself internally, it shows externally,” said Pan, who wore high-street brands like Asos for the my paper shoot, and whose hair was styled by Mr Michael Lim from Kimrobinson.

She said that, while some people think she should wear sexy, slinky dresses as befitting an R&B diva, she’s actually happiest in loud pieces.

The singer-songwriter explained: “I’ve always believed that I should dress in what brings out my personality. I don’t wear clothes or an accessory just because they are the trend of the moment.

“Ultimately, I like to feel comfortable when performing. I prefer loud pieces. So, I usually try to avoid black or white and go for something loud or with prints – clothes that you can spot from miles away.”

And, fortunately for her bank balance, she gets many of her pieces, both for work and play, during the Great Singapore Sale (GSS).

“While I do not mark my calendar and plan my schedule around the GSS in order to grab items before they’re gone, I do like to keep a lookout for good buys.

“I’m a big shoe fan, so I’m looking forward to getting some nice discounted ones this year,” said the singer.

Deals that Pan managed to score at previous GSSes include a gorgeous evening gown that was slashed from $500 to $120.

“There was also another time when I got a pair of diamante stilettoes for 50 per cent off the original price. I have worn them at several of my performances and they look fabulous on stage.

“I’ve also managed to snag a few cocktail dresses and sun dresses for about 40 to 50 per cent off,” the singer recalled.

Pan burst onto the Singapore music scene with her first public performance in 2002, and has gone on to enjoy some success locally and regionally, most notably in Taiwan.

She moved to Taipei at the age of 20 when she was one of three artists handpicked to be part of an Asian version of the music video for Breaking Free, a hit song popularised by the Disney Channel movie High School Musical.

However, after three years there, Pan decided to return home in May last year.

She has been performing at corporate shows and was also featured in the recent Audi Fashion Festival. Pan also performs a regular acoustic pop-and-rock set at Timbre@Old School every Friday night.

Besides focusing on her career, Pan is also juggling studies at Singapore Institute Of Management and teaching yoga.

So, how does she make the most of her wardrobe?

“Playing around with what you have is key. For example, spicing up a plain tank top with over-the-top accessories such as beads, loud earrings, brooches and so on, is one way to make the most of what you have,” she said.

Her tip for tackling the GSS is to shop during a weekday.

“Massive crowds stress me out big-time,” she said.

Pan’s biggest tip for GSS shoppers? Watch your budget, as it’s easy to spend lots of cash on little things that don’t seem to cost a lot, but add up.

“It might be best to leave your credit card at home. Set aside a budget for your spending and stick to it,” she said.

For more my paper stories click here.

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