My fashion in Brisbane – or my Brisbane style – is my own experience of changing my style from a rather ‘conservative’ culture to an ‘eccentric’ lifestyle. You would be surprised as it is not that much different as many of you might think….

My fashion is changing along with the culture

I come from Vietnamese culture where the dressing is the way to communicate to people or sometimes it is a way to promote yourself.

Most people would judge you by the way you dress. In other words, the way you dress symbolises who you are. People look at you to judge whether you are a successful person, a well-educated person, high social position, or the opposite.

I used to be a business owner with two fashion stores, so the way I dressed was so important as my style also presented for my business.

I learned and improved my style over time and also kept in mind the cultural factors… but tried not to stress myself. So, the way I dressed depended on the occasion.

Living in Brisbane, I have changed my style a bit to adapt to Brisbane’s weather and lifestyle.

You might wonder what is Brisbane style?

In my opinion, Brisbane has a warm climate, so people here tend to dress casually and comfortably but also more individually and eccentrically. I see people dress in more light and colourful clothes than the way people dress in Vietnam.

How have I changed in my style?

Brisbane Street style – My casual outfits.

Firstly, I change the way I dress with my street style. I can easily express myself through fashion without worrying about other people’s opinions of casual outfits. Therefore, I dress more for myself than for others and add more colours to my wardrobe than before.

Casual Styles in sport shoes
more colourful outfits with flat shoes

I wear flat shoes more often than high heels.

As you might already know, we don’t really have footpaths and motorbikes are our daily commute in Vietnam.

People don’t really walk much in most big cities. I mean, myself, I hardly walked anywhere when I was in Vietnam. I used a motorbike all the time even for a very short distance.

Whereas, it is the opposite for me in Brisbane. I often walk to the station, to work, or to university. As a result, I have added more flat shoes and sneakers to my wardrobe.

The new shoes and sneakers need to be complementary items to my existing clothes. Because I also believe I have to play my part in protecting the environment, I use long-lasting fashion pieces as one of the ways to eliminate waste.

As my wardrobe’s theme is blue, I added a new pair of dark blue sneakers

Office outfits in Brisbane – My work style

The second change that I have made is the office outfits. One of my favourite places is Queen Street in the Brisbane CDB. I love to sit outside on Queen Street as I can enjoy seeing people in their beautiful office styles during the week.

In my opinion, the main difference between Vietnam and Brisbane is that here people dress up to express themselves rather than flatter others. Especially the mature-aged women.

I don’t think I have changed much in my office style because I still dress up for others when I am at work.

Although I work in a high-end fashion business, the business does not have any code of dress. However, I think the way I dress would also affect the business appearance. When I am at work I dress in an elegant style, or dress to mutually express the nature of the business. For example, I wear clothes from the designers where the business either is their stockist for those designer(s) or sells their products.

Kokomarina shirt dress was sold in the store
Oops! Wrong one 😅 I am wearing ‘Ao Dai’ – Vietnamese traditional dress
Yep, this is the correct outfit – Elemente Clemente – one of the labels in the store.

Well, I used to feel annoyed with the idea that I had to dress to impress others. Now, I choose to do it because I can see the value of my culture in styling – ‘think for others’. It is not bad at all if I know how to balance it. Right?