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We often think of our clothes as things, as possessions separate from ourselves when in reality, they act as a second skin. Your personal style can help you befriend your body and manage your moods, meaning that your choice of outfit can have a profound effect on how you feel. So, to celebrate the power of clothing to help you lean into who you truly are the FiP team have started a new series called #mysecondskin where we’ll be speaking to people from all walks of life about the role that their wardrobe plays in their everyday life. For our eighth instalment, we’re speaking to Senior Creative at ASOS, Jess Cheng.

Jess Cheng

Jess is an incredibly talented creative and art director based in London. Originally from Toronto, she now works at ASOS as a Senior Creative. Just like Jess’s bio reads “based on a true story”, she loves to share aspects of her life over at @thejesscheng, capturing moments on film or creating reels with her pals in her spare time. Although the main focus of her gram lies in showcasing her latest fashion pieces, from elevated basics to hot pink satin skirts, she has her audience hooked.

Here’s what Jess had to say when we asked her about her relationship with her own clothing: 

1. How do your clothes make you feel?

When I’m out wearing a good outfit? Confident, in-control, and self-actualised – in the best case scenario. The clothes I wear are something I have total control of, and I always try to dress to make me feel my best.

2. What is your most treasured item, that brings you joy?

I don’t tie much sentimental value to my items, and my wardrobe is always evolving. I do own a gigantic fluffy pink hat that I don’t see myself getting rid of anytime soon.

3. Do you believe your clothes are political/ define you in any way?

One hundred percent. The way you visually present yourself is an instant signifier of your identity, without having to say anything. In the past there was a standard ‘uniform’ people were expected to wear to different occasions (e.g. a suit to work, a white dress on your wedding day), but society nowadays is a lot more accepting of self-expression.

Without getting too deep into the semiotics of fashion, I let certain influences and inspirations shape what I like to wear. My style is quite accessible and practical for use. I do enjoy tapping into trends and changing up my look, and I think that also reflects in my personality as well. I don’t like subtlety or elegance, I gravitate towards bright colours and interesting cuts. 

4. Has Covid-19 changed your relationship with your clothes?

I’ve always leaned into a comfortable and casual aesthetic, and Covid was just an excuse to add more interesting joggers and sweat sets to my wardrobe! Sneakers over heels, any day!

I want to diversify my wardrobe with some more standout pieces with texture or pattern. I want to get my hands on a vintage LV multicoloured bag or a Charlotte Knowles top.

Shakaila Forbes-Bell

Author Shakaila Forbes-Bell

Shakaila Forbes-Bell is a Fashion Psychologist and writer who has been featured in Marie Claire UK, i-D, Who What Wear, All Walks Beyond the Catwalk, Fashion Bomb Daily, The Voice Newspaper, Gal-Dem, Black Matters US and more.

More posts by Shakaila Forbes-Bell

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