A child’s wardrobe for grownups

text by Jackie.Keee.L

I didn’t know how I should start talking about myself and how I dress, because I never really give it much thought. Not in a verbal way, anyway. But now I’ve sat down and started to write about my style, I have come to a conclusion that my style is centre around the idea of childhood.

all photos courtesy of the author.

I would describe my style as somewhere between childlike and childish.

I would describe my style as somewhere between childlike and childish. Cute and playful things tend to catch my eyes, and children’s fashion is always cute. I do buy children’s clothing when they fit, along with lots of children’s bags and other accessories. They have many toy-like features and details, and I find them fun! I have loads of clothes that look the same if not examined carefully, and I mean loads. I like collecting tops with big and frilly collars, as well as high-waisted dresses. I stockpile tights but own no trousers. I’m constantly on the lookout for the next addition to my collection. Each score will in turn inspire new combinations and looks.

I love collecting things that look as if they’ve come out of a story book to decorate the house into a mini-museum of curios that I can be a part of.

Much of my inspiration comes from toys. I love collecting toys, especially dolls. As I said, I love cute things, so most of my dolls are babies. I like plastic and plastic-y dolls. Plastic makes them feel cheap, toy-like and meant to be played with, instead of collecting dust on a shelf. That’s what I like about them. Even when shopping for vintage accessories, I usually go for the cheap and plastic ones. I guess that’s what they call kitsch. I like things that are imperfect. A little mark here and there gives it character and stories. That’s why I love collecting unwanted stuff from charity shops, markets and online. Little saucers, bowls, candleholders or just decorative pieces in general. I’ve also amassed heaps of laces and fabrics over the years that I picked up randomly from these places. Sometimes I collect little things like toys and whatnot, before turning them into earrings or chokers when I feel particularly inspired. I love collecting things that look as if they’ve come out of a story book to decorate the house into a mini-museum of curios that I can be a part of.


That’s more or less the reason I dress the way I do. Blending in with my collection is always an aim. But the mix and match thing mostly came from early influences from Japanese magazines, websites about their street style from the turn of the century. I really appreciate the attention to detail in those snapshots. They often have close-ups of small details or accessories that represent of the personal character and style the most. Those details really bring the essence of the outfit to the reader, with a personal touch. That, in a way, taught me to add little things that say me when I’m putting together an outfit. It means toys and toy-like accessories in my case. From those websites and magazines I’ve also developed an admiration for the Lolita and fairy-kei styles when I was a teenager. The ways Lolita girls look like dolls and fairy-kei incorporates toys as accessories definitely informed me of what I can do with fashion. I would say I’ve internalised a lot of their aesthetics, although I don’t dress in Lolita or fairy-kei styles proper. At the same time, I also noticed that I look right in the child-like dresses. Perhaps it’s because my body looks like a child’s still, with almost no waist lol. I don’t know if that’s one of the reasons why I pay attention to this particular style, but it does help me complete the look.

I love going out and taking pictures when my outfit matches the background. I often look for places that’s fit for fairy tales to take place in. I love parks for their mystics as slices of nature in an urban space. Plus the sunlight is perfect for photos outdoors when the weather is fine. However, I don’t really enjoy climbing hills or crowded places (unless it’s a funfair). One thing I’d check out first when travelling is whether they have a toy or doll museum. Local natural history museums also rank high on my list. That’s because I sometimes seek that cabinet of curiosity vibe for my more gothic tendencies. Other places I that interest me include vintage or antique shops. The shop owners often dress the shops and windows up according to their own tastes, and that’s always something special. When I need a picture taken but am not going out, my trusty toy collection is the perfect backdrop for me to showcase my outfits. For in those moments I’m a child in the playroom, my natural habitat.

Cantonese girl living in London. Graduated from Central Saint Martins, Jackie studied Character Animation but has great love for fashion. She sells vintage clothing and little jewelry that she mades herself. On some days she draws things.
you can visit Jackie here.

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