Cover Nancy wears Marni jacket, Emporia Armani blouse, Dries Van Noten skirt, Stuart Weitzman heels and Papally earrings, all Nancy's own; crystal ear cuff by Fendi

We trace socialite Nancy Ong’s fashion evolution with her daughter Sonia Ong

From a mono-brand lover to a master of classic dressing, society stalwart Nancy Ong is always turned out in one elegant ensemble after another. Her daughter Sonia, founder of Singapore Wellness Association, shares her mother's style secrets: 


“I feel somewhat responsible for cultivating my mum’s love for fashion. When she first started using the internet years back, I introduced her to luxury fashion news portal, Even when I stopped visiting the website, she stayed on to keep herself updated on the latest trends and the hottest designers, and she would change her look accordingly.

(Related: Steal Her Style: Nancy Ong


"These days, her style has evolved. She enjoys looking at the effortless dressing of French women, and emulating their preference for simple silhouettes without the need for too many accessories. It’s like how Nicolas Ghesquière used to design for Balenciaga, Phoebe Philo for Céline and Alber Elbaz for Lanvin.

One good thing about my mum is that she’s not a hoarder; she’s almost like the Marie Kondo of fashion. Some of us, myself included, think that fashion trends will come back. But to her, if it’s old and passe, it’s out." 

"When she found out that she was receiving the Most Stylish Woman award, she couldn’t believe it. She said to me, ‘There are many other ladies in society who dress better than I do, with their beautiful dresses, sparkling jewellery and outstanding accessories. I, on the other hand, am the quiet one who prefers simplicity in my outfits.’"


But I know she’s honoured to receive the accolade, and she always puts in a lot of effort whenever she dresses up. She tells me that getting the proportions right is paramount. The person has to wear the clothes, not let the clothes wear them. Regardless of body size or shape, so long as you get the fit and proportions right, everyone can look good. That’s probably the best piece of fashion advice that I got from her.”