The Great Debate: Style Or Comfort?

Leave it up to a multi-hyphenate to show us how he reconciles seemingly disparate entities in life.

BY EDITORS | Apr 23, 2016 | Fashion

Photography by @garbagelapsap | Polyester coat, cotton and polyester hoodie, cotton T-shirt, cotton and spandex jogger cargo pants, all by UNIQLO.

Dennis Ng
Investor, coffee app start-up boss and philanthropist

After almost a decade in the investment banking and finance industry, Dennis Ng wanted to do more than chase the buck.  Instead of getting all existential, he plunged instead into the twin arenas of entrepreneurship and charity.

Entrepreneurship, he says, is a way for him to achieve “self-growth beyond the Excel Sheet.” His app, Coffee Break, is set to hit the market this month (April). “It’s basically a prepaid subscription for coffee, where you enjoy cheaper coffee, whilst supporting your local coffee establishments”. With a similar business model in New York, he’s hoping this takes off amongst the caffeine-driven crowd.

His other cause which he co-founded, Project REACH, works with various pharmaceutical companies and distributes their unused medication and vaccines to the underprivileged in Singapore. “It’s win-win for all parties,” he says.

Dennis applies the same ‘win-win’ philosophy to his style, “I firmly believe that you don’t necessarily have to sacrifice comfort for style.” 

Photography by @garbagelapsap | Cotton T-shirt, cotton and spandex jogger pants, all by UNIQLO.

What’s your style like?
I love the aspect of layers, but in this hot weather and me being constantly on-the-go, that’s not always an option, so I’d opt instead for a polished and clean style. Even though I am a suit guy, I don’t always feel the need to be in a suit to be considered well-dressed.

Do you think local men prize comfort over style, or vice versa?
I think it’s tough for Singaporean guys to cultivate a cool sartorial style without considering the hot weather but with UNIQLO’s light choice of fabric in their jogger pants, it does makes styling a breeze – pun fully intended.

How can one dress stylish while remaining comfortable?
One way to reconcile fashion with practicality is to play up details in your clothes, the play of fit, texture and so on – they all make a huge difference. You should also look for versatile yet comfortable basics to play around, like UNIQLO’s cotton tees or even jogger pants that are experiencing an uptrend. I really like that they go well with whatever kicks you have.

Photography by @garbagelapsap | Cotton stand collar shirt, cotton T-shirt, cotton jogger pants, all by UNIQLO.

What do you think of this whole ‘athleisure’ trend?
I’m always running around, so this (trend) is right up my alley, being able to transit from networking sessions to golf course ranges to the gym in a go. I love that jogger pants are ‘in’ now, as I can get away with them almost anywhere and remain in comfort.

Who is your style icon?
Pharrell Williams. He can rock the casual street style as well as he does a suit.
Hats, shorts, sneakers and suits…that’s my kind of look.

You’re quite the busy man. What’s gets you through the stress of having so many things on your plate?
Having a clear mind and a strong support system of family and friends helps a lot.  Also, a 14-year-old kid in India once told me: “You shouldn’t aspire to be a man of success, but a man of value,” and that stuck with me and has been a driving philosophy ever since.

When we say ‘comfort’, what comes to your mind?
A hot shower [laughs]. But seriously, simple pleasures such as a good laugh with friends or long Sunday sleep-ins does it for me.

Styling by Eugene Lim | Grooming by Alex T using Guerlain and Kevin Murphy Stylist assisted by Mhd Alif

Special feature by UNIQLO.