The Crazy Rich Asians trilogy is often regarded as the Asian version of Gossip Girl, as both storylines revolve around the "scandalous lives of the elite." While that's true, it's safe to say that the latter takes a more juicy, guilty pleasure approach, while the first is a satire that pokes fun at the ridiculousness of it all.
The difference between the two is evident in every aspect, from the character arcs to the dialogues — even in how they portray fashion moments. With Crazy Rich Asians, we were not just introduced to the lives of Asia's crazy rich but also to the things that they spent money on. We may have laughed at and have been amused by their extravagant purchases, but along the way, we've also picked up some practical, priceless style advice. Here are some.
Pair Luxury Items With Thrift Finds
This style advice is from Astrid "The Goddess", who is described as having chic and unique style. Although she definitely has a penchant for haute couture, she's not one to snob thrifting. While many of her peers are dressed from head-to-toe designer items, she played around with vintage items and thrift purchases. For instance, she paired a vintage YSL Le Smoking jacket with a three-dollar Batik shorts bought from a random beach vendor.
It's Acceptable To Be An Outfit Repeater
Another important piece of fashion advice from Astrid: it's totally acceptable to be an outfit repeater. Astrid wears the same cobalt blue Gaultier dress to every wedding she attends so as to not outshine the bride. And yet, the guests still give her lots of compliments each time as if they haven't seen it before. Proves that people don't remember the dress as much as the woman wearing it.
Dress According To Your Goal
When we dress up, we pick clothes that reflect our personality and style. And when going to events, we take note of dress codes. But what's important of all is to dress according to our goal. What do you hope to achieve with the way you dress? This is the fashion lesson that we can learn from Kitty Pong. Sure, she succeeded in marrying her way into Asia's elite, but her newfound money means nothing to the old-guards who see her as nothing but a gold-digger. So in the second book, we see her ditching her avant-garde ensembles and dressing in conservative pieces as she tries her best to impress Hong Kong society.
Know When To Splurge And Save
One of the comedic themes in the book is how characters splurge lavishly on luxury fashion items but are penny-pinchers when it comes to necessities like groceries, cabs and hotel rooms. It may seem silly at first, but if you think about it, being thrifty but indulging from time to time is just a virtue that's ingrained in Asian culture. We're sure that if there's a discount coupon for an Alaïa dress, we'll use it.
You can have the most exquisite CHANEL bag (as most characters in the book do) but bragging about it makes you look cheap. Colette's downfall was caused by her public outrage directed at Rachel wherein she bragged about how she paid for their Paris trip and her fashion items among others. The whole thing was recorded and uploaded to the Internet. Right after that, Colette lost her endorsement contract. So the takeaway is to stay discreet and humble because you can't earn respect with money alone.
(Cover photo from: @strandbookstore)
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