Vanda Fine Clothing's Simply Shiok Series


I love food and menswear. Going out to a nice dinner while dressed up? Sounds like a good evening. But dressing up in clothes with food on them? Hasn't crossed my mind (unless I haven't done laundry, in which case that ramen stained t-shirt might get a second wind).

Food inspired clothing was never on my radar (except for that kid wearing a pizza flat cap). But all this changed six months ago when Vanda Fine Clothing released their Simply Shiok series. Mashing up food and menswear, Simply Shiok is a collection of five food inspired menswear pocket squares that Vanda Fine Clothing created in collaboration with textile designer Angeline Oei of A.oei studio. The series was released to celebrate Vanda's fifth year anniversary as well as the introduction of the Singapore word, "shiok", to the Oxford dictionary, which means "very enjoyable."

Without a doubt, these squares are very shiok. Out of the collection, I knew I had to get the dim sum square. Featuring shades of cream, lovely duck egg blue and yellows, the square looks right at home in almost any jacket.

Plus, I love dim sum.

If I had to choose one meal to eat for the rest of my life, dim sum would sit at the top of the list. The variety of dishes and flavors served on endless carts never ceases to amaze me, which is why I feel dim sum's literal translation, "touch your heart" (點心), is so apt.

My love affair for dim sum began at an early age. When I was a kid, my family would travel to San Francisco twice a month to visit my uncle and grandma who lived in the Outer Sunset. Every Sunday, before we went back home, we would wake up early and head for 飲茶 (pronounced yum cha, which literally translates into “drink tea” and refers to going out for dim sum.)

Traditionally, my family starts off with all the essentials such as 蝦餃 (ha gow), 燒賣 (shu mai), and 叉燒包 (cha siu baos). But after that, anything's game. If a cart comes by with something new and interesting such as curried fish balls or lotus roots, we’ll grab it and go on a shared adventure together.

Mad props to Diana and Gerald for not only finding  a clever and stylish way to wear food, but also a fun, whimsical way to connect to meals that are culturally significant.

Now if you excuse me, these galic chive dumplings are calling my name. 唔該!