sleeves are good

October 22, 2009

In Jakarta, I had a few hours to spare in between meetings. I did a mental calculation on transportation and time, and somehow managed to squeeze in visits to 3 shopping malls.

2 were opposite each other; Grand Indonesia and Plaza Indonesia. All I had to do was cross the main road, which was pretty tricky due to the lack of pedestrian traffic lights. The excitement got to me, and I fell! In the middle of the road. Thank god there were no cars and there was a guard helping me up. “Saya nggak apa-apa. Saya nggak apa-apa” I said to the kind guard, still trying to flip my hair as if it was cool to fall. Feeling embarrassed, I shrugged it off, put on my Loubies again and pretended that never happened as I sashayed (limped) my way to the mall.

Whatever pain quickly went away when I saw shops, anyway, so everything was good then. Surprisingly, I only felt pain on my feet as soon as I got back home. Women’s bodies work in mysterious ways.

Anyway, I remembered what my dad warned me before I ran off to the shops with his credit card.

Only buy things made by Jakarta designers. There’s no point buying things you can get in KL.”

So, I went to Juicy Couture. (They’re not an Indonesian brand?! I had no idea!)

I tried on a gorgeous grey silk dress with slighly puffy sleeves and a black floral design. I was admiring it in the fitting room when I saw the price tag. There were too many digits as it was in Indonesian Rupiah. So I took out my calculator and did the conversion. OMG. RM 2000?!!! For a dress I would probably wear once?!! Crazy.

Even though Dad wouldn’t know Juicy is not from Jakarta, I could not justify buying a simple dress that cost that much. I don’t even wear dresses very often!

So, I bought a Biyan top. An authentic Indonesian designer, box ticked with a Daddy-approved stamp!


I just love the silky material and the delicate design at the collar. The top is simple, understated and classic. I love it!


But I wouldn’t say it’s the easiest thing to wear.

The top erm…didn’t come with sleeves.

They only poked 2 holes at the front for your arms to hang loose like this…


You can’t be very flexible or do very loud and rough hand gestures in this top. You can’t lift your arms up too high or bring them to the back, in fear of tearing the lush material. Hands on hips are a big no-no. Think “RIPPPP!”.

You can only move around with arms by your side, eat gracefully with fork and spoon, and the occasional scratch-nose moments. Talk about being dainty and feminine!! This top is by itself, a crash course on softness and elegance. Or how to be a robot, whichever way you want to see it.

I guess some people call it fashion or style. I guess it’s OK to embrace new styles of doing or wearing things. As long as it doesn’t bother you or make you (or others) uncomfortable, then there’s no harm in trying. And there’s no point buying designer clothes if it’s just the same as any other clothes everywhere else.

I obviously love this top, despite it not providing sleeves for my arms to breathe. I wouldn’t have bought it if I didn’t love it! But I realised how much I appreciate sleeves. Hehe. Sleeves are good.