You Shouldn’t Have To Sacrifice Comfort Over Style

Street-style's Garbagelapsap—photographer Nicholas Ng—hits the streets to show us just how versatile Uniqlo's new Relaxed Ankle Pants are.

BY Janie Cai | Mar 9, 2017 | Advertorial

Photographs by Kai. Grooming by Larry Yeo.


A self-taught photographer, Ng founded his own street style site— Garbagelapsap—in 2010. Since then, he’s risen to prominence for his ability to capture natural style on the street in visually stunning compositions, which has led to commissions by Esquire, ELLE and GQ, along with collaborations with international brands. A savvy dresser who believes in the transformative touch of the right coat or the right pair of shoes, the right fit for Ng is paramount. For him, knowing just when to pare down is as important, if not more so, than knowing when to load up on the accessories.


Long-sleeved button-collar shirt, Dry Light Weight jacket, Relaxed Ankle Pants and socks, all by UNIQLO. Sunglasses, tie and shoes, model’s own.


For this first look, Ng keeps his cool in a suited option even in the midday heat, with Uniqlo’s technical fabric Dry Light Weight jacket and Relaxed Ankle pants. Thin yet with just the right amount of structure to give it shape, the Dry Technology material used for both the jacket and the trousers ensures that sweat dries quickly, keeping the wearer cool and comfortable, even when the sun's out. Paired with a pair of more formal leather monkstraps, the look ratchets up the elegance without missing a step.


What made you first pick up the camera to document stylish people on the street? 
I started documenting street style first in Malaysia, then Asia. I have always thought that people who are from South East Asia and who live in the region, are very stylish. There are a lot of sites that document the style influence from Europe but not so many that do so for this area. Therefore, I decided to start one.


Long-sleeved button-collar shirt, Dry Light Weight jacket, Relaxed Ankle Pants and cotton socks, all by UNIQLO. Shoes, model’s own.


What makes you decide when to click the shutter?
There are a lot of factors but it all boils down to CHARACTER. It’s important that the people I shoot wear their clothes, instead of letting the clothes wear them. They have to be comfortable in what they are wearing and this translates to a certain confidence, or swagger, that makes the look truly their own.

What, for you, makes for good style, or a good picture? Or are the two completely different things?
These are two completely different things, there are a lot of people that are very stylish but very camera-shy and they might not want to be shot, so if you take a picture of them you might end up with them looking really uncomfortable. So even though they have a great sense of style, it might not be captured in the final image. I always try to put people at ease. When I’m shooting individuals I usually ask them first and respect their privacy if they would rather not be shot.


Blocktech Parka, Pocketable Parka, Dry EX crew neck short-sleeved T-shirt and Relaxed Ankle Pants, all by UNIQLO. Sneakers, model’s own.


With athleisure being a big part of the style canon now it’s not a surprise that the same pair of Relaxed Ankle trousers, this time in black instead of navy, fits right at home in a more sportive outfit. For this look, Ng layers a workout-friendly T-shirt with a light-weight travel hoodie and tops off the look with a parka. A pair of designer sneakers also ups the ante on his sports-to-street outfit.


We often hear that it’s hard to dress up in Singapore because of the heat and humidity, but you've somehow managed to pull off layers consistently (the team at Esquire can attest to Nicholas coming in a bomber jacket, a trench, an overcoat and a knit top at various times during the month, no matter the weather), any tips for layering successfully?
We all know how cold in the mall and office can get some time, and if you are always found yourself in these environments, there’s no reason not to layer. Personally, I have no problem layering Uniqlo’s quick-dry pieces as these especially are perfect for the admittedly hot and humid weather outdoors in Singapore. They have great basics, which means that I can layer a T-shirt under a shirt and then throw over a jacket to complete the look when I’m headed for meetings.


Blocktech Parka, Pocketable Parka, Dry EX crew neck short-sleeved T-shirt and Relaxed Ankle Pants, all by UNIQLO. Sneakers, model’s own.


You’re also an avid jet-setter and have covered fashion week street style in cities as diverse as Tokyo, Florence, Milan, and Seoul. What do you wear when you are covering fashion week?
Street Style photographers run around a lot. Unlike the editors, we have to stand outside the show venues most of the time waiting for the fashion crowd to show up, and the weather can be very unpredictable, especially if you are covering the men’s shows at the height of winter and summer. I’ll always have field jacket and a pair of cargo pants with me when I am covering fashion week. I can’t stress how important it is to have comfortable, functional clothing when you running around a lot. That said, it’s also important to ensure you still look smart, which is why I’m a fan of the Uniqlo trousers that I’m wearing now—they are extremely comfortable and they also go with everything else in my packed wardrobe, making packing for fashion week that much easier, and lighter.


MA-1 Blouson jacket, Washed Striped Boat Neck long-sleeved T-shirt, Relaxed Ankle Pants, all by UNIQLO.  Open Collar short-sleeved shirt and canvas sneakers, both by Uniqlo U.


The same cut in a different fabric and colour makes for a whole different look, one that aces the weekend vibe. Here Ng pairs a classic striped T-shirt in breathable cotton, under this season’s on-trend camp-collared shirt. The olive green Relaxed Ankle Pants gives the overall look a touch of colour and is the perfect foil for the canvas sneakers Ng sports.


You already own three pairs of these relaxed ankle trousers from Uniqlo. What is it about them that made you feel that you had to get multiple pairs at one go?
When I pick a pair of trousers, is always about how it makes me feel when I put it on. The way these pants are cut means that they fit me perfectly. These are almost as good as tailored pants and the extensive range means that have all the basic colours I need. I currently own the army green pair, the navy and the white cotton pair. I tried the technical fabric model that just launched and for the shoot, we paired it with both a formal suit look and a sports-inspired look and both turned out great. I might just have to get a pair of those too (laughs).


Relaxed Ankle Pants, by UNIQLO. Canvas sneakers, by Uniqlo U.


Do you feel that your clothes have to keep up with your varied lifestyle?
Yes, you wear the clothes. Not the other way around, no way!

What’s next for @garbagelapsap?
I will continue to take street style photos around the world. I’ve also developed a keen interest in documenting fashion shows backstage and taking portraits too, so stay tuned.


Washed Striped Boat Neck long-sleeved T-shirt by UNIQLO. Open Collar short-sleeved shirt by Uniqlo U. Sunglasses, model’s own.


Special feature by Uniqlo.