A Look At ‘First Lady’ Jane Ittogi’s Style: 6 Fashion Inspo To Kope From Mrs Tharman - 8days Skip to main content



A Look At ‘First Lady’ Jane Ittogi’s Style: 6 Fashion Inspo To Kope From Mrs Tharman

Bright colours. Lots of bright colours. Also, bell sleeves.
A Look At ‘First Lady’ Jane Ittogi’s Style: 6 Fashion Inspo To Kope From Mrs Tharman
Photo: CNA, TODAY, Tharman Shanmugaratnam/Instagram, and Mothership

Over the years, the wives of political leaders all over the world have gotten a lot of attention for their personal style — from Hilary Clinton’s pantsuits to Michelle Obama’s love for bold prints.

With Tharman Shanmugaratnam just voted in as the ninth president of Singapore, this makes former lawyer Jane Ittogi, 69, our new ‘First Lady’, and she has certainly already been exhibiting a distinct style of her own.

While we don’t exactly think she’ll be starting a samfu-slash-kebaya trend, perhaps her vibrant wardrobe choices will inspire some folks to give their usually monochromatic pieces a break.

#1 Lots of bright, coordinated colours

There’s literally rarely a dull moment when it comes to Jane’s wardrobe. She is almost always spotted in bright, eye-catching tones that you can spot from a mile away — which certainly comes in handy when you’re trying to stand out in a large crowd during walkabouts and other major events.

Not only that, she’s big on colour coordination too, often matching her top to her bottom and sometimes even with her accessories. We imagine opening her closet is like opening a bag of Skittles and being greeted by fun and vibrant hues all over the place.

#2 A mix of different cultures

If you asked someone to name a particular culture that influenced Jane’s style, you’d very likely get a range of different answers, and the thing is, most of them would probably be right.

Like a delectable fruit salad or Instagram-worthy cocktail, her ensembles are often a very tasteful and subtle blend of different cultural influences, from the mandarin collar of a cheongsam to the elegant flow of a kebaya, culminating in a sort of more relaxed Peranakan-esque aesthetic, minus the intricate floral embroidery (although she does sport patterns from time to time).

Jane’s also demonstrated her knack for using a scarf to completely change the look of an outfit — in the image above, we see her draping the scarf diagonally across her body to almost resemble the sash on a sari, and below, she fashions it into a sort of obi belt, instantly transforming her dress into a kimono, a nod to her Japanese heritage.

#3 Long bell sleeves

If there’s one detail you’d find without fail in every single one of Jane’s outfits, it’s the long bell sleeve, which starts a little narrower at the shoulders before expanding dramatically into a flared mass of fabric that will make you feel like an ethereal elf from The Lord of the Rings but may be a bit fussy when it comes to washing your hands.

Jokes aside, these sleeves contribute a lot to forming Jane’s stylishly laidback trademark silhouette. They also look super comfortable and protect her skin from the sun. What’s not to love?

#4 Comfort & versatility are key

Speaking of comfort, one impressive thing about Jane’s outfits is that they’re so endlessly wearable and versatile, she can literally wear them anywhere. And we mean anywhere.

Whether she’s mingling with the lunch crowd at a neighbourhood hawker centre, gracing an event as the guest of honour, or rubbing shoulders with the political elite at a formal function, the Jane Ittogi Look — as more or less summarised above — stays as consistent as ever. She just switches between pants and skirts depending on where she’s going.

In fact, her usual style is so adaptable that she was able to dress like her usual self during a trip to Sungei Buloh, flowy long sleeves and all. Now that is dedication to one’s aesthetic.

#5 Simple bags

Now, we don’t doubt Jane’s got some fancy designer arm candy at home, but for her public appearances, she much prefers toting something that’s far more down-to-earth than something from a tai tai’s favourite European luxury brand.

One of her favourites appears to be this small and plain yellow crossbody, which we’ve noticed her slinging on a number of occasions. The size seems just right for her phone, wallet, various knick-knacks like tissues and lipstick, and whatever else the wife of a presidential candidate — and now actual president — might need.

Sometimes, we’ll also see her steer away from solids and go for a pouch with an organic pattern, such as this one below, which looks like it could’ve been hand-sewn by a talented artisan out of recycled batik. Then again, as an active contributor to the local art scene, such an accessory choice probably shouldn’t really come as a surprise.

We admit we were a little shook when we saw her with this rather uncharacteristically structured purse in a recent video on her husband’s IG, but the crossbody design and bright colour are still very much her.

#6 Hair up, bangs down

Last but not least, the Jane Ittogi Look would not be complete without the proverbial cherry on the literal top, her signature hairstyle. Just as Princess Leia has her buns and Anna Wintour has her perpetual bob, Mrs Tharman has her wispy bangs, with the rest of her locks pinned up or tied into a ponytail.

Not only is it neat and fuss-free, the fringe also keeps her looking youthful. It’s a win-win situation all around.

Photos: Tharman Shanmugaratnam/Instagram, CNA, TODAY, 8world



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