Living with Elizabeth Little: Angela Tam finds joy in beautiful things

We begin and end our photo shoot with long-time Elizabeth Little customer, Angela Tam, with a peek into her closet — a veritable treasure trove of prints, colours, and quirky accessories.  

Angela is such an enthusiastic collector of the well-made and eclectic in life, that she cheekily tells us there are handbags under her bed, and clothes bought months ago still unworn in her wardrobe. Still, she knows every item she has, and can even describe the outfits she envisions wearing one day. It is clear how much joy she finds in dressing up. As she says several times to us, “I just love beautiful things. Things that are artisan-made with attention to detail, things that aren’t common — these are the things that make me happy.” 

Angela describes herself as a “cheerful and fun-loving person that enjoys shopping and appreciating beautiful stuff.” She also loves to travel with friends — as we find out in our time with her, she celebrated her birthday with what she calls her “Hawaii Five-O” birthday trip (spoiler: the trip did not take place in Hawaii) and recently returned from Hong Kong and Bangkok. 

In between her many jokes and funny anecdotes, Angela shows us the power of accessorising, and even reveals the secret to her ever youthful skin! 

Angela wears her own Hannah Dress, her first ever Elizabeth Little order!

“I first found out about Elizabeth Little through Boutique Fairs. At that time, I was helping out at a different brand, but I saw this long line of Japanese customers and kept wondering what they were queuing for! Then I saw the clothes and understood. That’s how I got this dress.”

I used to be an impulsive shopper and buy many clothes. There are still many new clothes that are brand new which I have not worn. Now that I’m older, I prefer quality over quantity. I realised I don’t need so many things, so I don’t buy into fads or fast fashion anymore. 

I love beautiful things, especially accessories. I try not to buy common pieces — I always go for anything artisan or hand made. When I was in London, I once saw this very beautiful skirt, but it was so expensive. Then the guy told me it was handmade, and my friend, said, ‘Angie, I know you are going to buy this.’ And in the end, I did buy it! Because I appreciate people who use their hands to create. 

Angela wears her favourite Kate Dress, which she owns in multiple prints.

“I’ve loved colourful things since I was young. My mum and I love prints — every time we see beautiful prints, we get happy. I love bright colours. My favourite colour is fuchsia pink, then yellow. Funnily enough though, I look best in black.”

Always a fan of colour, Angela pairs her Kate Dress with an orange handbag from Italy via Reebonz, and leather flats from Commune Wear.

“I prefer wearing sleeveless clothing; I seldom wear long sleeves. Skirt length is also very important to me because I’m bottom-heavy. I like skirts that are below the knee — if Elizabeth Little has a design that is above the knee, I will definitely customise it to have it below the knee. That’s one thing good about Elizabeth Little — Eileen can always tailor make the design to suit me.”

Angela wears her own Ariel Dress in a print she chose, which later inspired the official launch of this dress. 

“Fit and cut are very important to me. If I like a dress but it looks awful on my body, I would never go for it. I don’t like clothes that don’t make me feel confident. Same with colours — I don’t wear purple and lilac because the colour has never resonated with me. I also prefer shopping in person. When I buy clothes online, it looks great in photos but doesn’t have the same feel on me. I always try to try clothes in person, even with brands I often buy from like Elizabeth Little. 

Two years ago, I tried on this dress style in the Elizabeth Little store, but I wanted it done in a different fabric and picked this one. Eileen told me, ‘OK, just for you!’ even though she hadn’t even launched the fabric yet, and made it exclusively for me. But all of Eileen’s other customers saw it and told her they liked it too! That’s why Eileen launched the dress officially in this print after she made it for me.”  

Angela pairs her Ariel Dress with a pink leather bag from Italy via Reebonz.

For my birthday, I visited Paris and London and went to see the House of Liberty. Everything was so beautiful, but so expensive — and so I only bought a handkerchief and a measuring tape. 🤣 

Angela wears her own Arles Top and Vienna Skirt in Quinn paired with a recently acquired handbag from Hong Kong and shoes from Stuart Weitzman.

“I like matching sets because they are so easy to wear. You never have to think about how to pair things, and the outfit always looks stylish.”

Shoes from Stuart Weitzman, which Angela bought in Paris to celebrate her 50th birthday.

“I went to Korea and everyone told me to buy a cushion foundation for good skin, but I never used it. I believe in taking care of your skin first. What’s my approach? OK, first, you have to stay happy. I really believe in that. Diet and genes are also very important — I’m very blessed my parents gave me good genes, and I’m Cantonese, so I drink homemade soup every day. But most importantly, you must wear sunblock! Every day!”

Angela wears the Alice Dress in Berry Joy, an Elizabeth Little exclusive print designed in collaboration with Liberty London. The sneakers are from VEJA and the handbag is her own design.

“This dress was a die-die-must-own design. I bought it because the print is exclusive to Elizabeth Little. I bought the matching mask also. I love the peter pan collar; I have always loved this design since I was a child, but it’s so hard finding a good peter pan collar in adult clothes! I also love the shape of this dress — it’s slightly flared but doesn’t look so wide. I prefer clothing that is roomy and airy, where I feel like I have more space to move. I look very gentle, but actually, I’m quite chor lor (uncouth), hahaha!”

Angela designs one-of-a-kind handbags that are a culmination of her love for whimsical prints and pattern-mixing. In response to Eileen saying she rarely accessorises her outfits, Angela exclaimed, “Cannot!!!”  

Many thanks to the bubbly Angela for sharing such hearty laughs with us. Those in the Elizabeth Little community may find Angela a familiar face — because she loves prints as much as us, she has also helped us out at pop-ups! 


Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published