Star2 Monthly Challenge: #Project31 update

Theres supposed to be five pairs of shoes, but one was in the car when this photo was taken.

We are down to our final week of #Project31 and I can honestly say that I can’t wait to end it.

For the past month (from Oct 7 till Nov 6) the Fashion & Beauty desk has been doing the Star2 Monthly Challenge.

Called #Project31, it was about curating our wardrobe into 31 pieces for a whole month.

The project was inspired by Project 333 and with its tagline “Simple is the new black,” the idea was to live with only 33 items for three months.

For me, this was supposed to be relatively easy as my personal style tends to consist of bottoms, tops and outerwears/jackets. Throw in a few pieces for formal and nightime events and I’m done.

It also helps that my wardrobe is predominantly black, with a dose of neutrals and an occasional pop of colour.

I am an accessories junkie, and I always maintain that your wardrobe can be pared down to the basics; what makes it stand out are your accessories.

I started the challenge feeling rather blase as I didn’t think I would have any problems unlike perhaps Nasa and Nadine who wear bright colours, patterns and prints, so coordinating a minimal wardrobe would be more of a challenge to them.

Of course, all of this was before a deluge of invitations to events and parties started coming in. The thing with my job is that while we do get an occasional “save the date” a month ahead, we also get invites a minimum of one to two weeks prior, so we don’t really get much advance notice. Ok, actually I am just terrible at keeping track of multiple events.

And for some reason, everyone decided to have events this month.

A selection of Dzireena's accessories during the challenge.
A selection of Dzireena's accessories during the challenge.

My senior editor Ann Marie sent me a message at the beginning of the challenge saying, “How challenging can it be having 31 items for 31 days? Don’t you think it should be fewer?”

This was while I was busy sorting out my wardrobe so cue hysterics and return messages: “I have six pairs of shoes and five bags, and I haven’t even gotten to my rings, necklaces and bracelets/cuffs yet.”

By the middle of the challenge, I am waving my right hand at her face during a business lunch, “Look at me! I have only one ring on this hand! Do you know how much stress I am under right now?”

William gets the same treatment when he reminds me of some events which I haven’t RSVP-ed to. I give him the evil eye across my desk: “I am closing pages! Closing pages!”

Oh, you have no idea what it’s like to carry the same handbang FOUR DAYS IN A WEEK! Yes, I know, I said I picked five, but you must understand, one is an everyday tote in black, one is a medium bag in beige, one is a black with silver hardware for evening, another black on black (in case I am wearing gold accessories) and then there’s the weekend bag. The struggle is real.

“First world problems,” says Ann Marie. No, these are fashion editor problems.

Theres supposed to be five pairs of shoes, but one was in the car when this photo was taken.
There's supposed to be five pairs of shoes, but one was in the car when this photo was taken.

The climax came when an invitation for a formal dinner came in. I can’t even remember if I have anything formal among my piddly 31 items, deducting five bags, six shoes and 14 accessories.

To add on to the headache, a Deepavali event. How do I go from a Deepavali event to a formal event?

I still hadn’t found a solution, but the weather decided to help me out by making me come down with flu, fever and cough. Obviously I couldn’t go, right?


The next time someone talks to me about my glamorous job, I shall tell them of the time when two hours before a formal dinner, I took my meds, found an outfit and made it just in time.

I didn’t look sick either (the power of Korean skincare products and Tom Ford red lipstick). I didn’t make it to a Deepavali function (held on the same evening); I am very sorry, I was on the verge of collapse.

But you all can see how “amazing” I look in the one and only OOTD I am putting in this page, because I am standing next to an Aston Martin DB9.

And what outfit am I wearing? This comes under my two essential Muslimah outfits (an abaya and a kaftan). It’s an embossed croc black kaftan with gold chain detailing from Hidaya International.

So there you go. That’s my last major event for the month and I am so ready to say hello to the rest of my wardrobe.

Want to join our challenge? To participate,  answer the following question: What are your five key pieces? Then send us photos of three looks from these five key pieces.

The three best entries will win a prize from luxury leather brand Braun Buffel. Email Closing date for entries is Nov 8.


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