Cool for School

By Eve Wee-Ang 2023-02-23 16:48:58

I have always wanted to feature a guy for this column and was elated when this name, Jonathan Ong, lauded for his sartorial taste, kept popping up on my radar. True to his reputation, in our Zoom interview, the high schooler wore a baggy Frank Ocean Blonde tee adorned with a single strand pearl necklace, stacks of rings, bracelets, and a mop of curls as he gushed excitedly about his passions: music, style, and art.



Most guys are content with simply having clothes on their backs. So are we born with a sense of style or can taste be nurtured? For teen Jonathan, 15, whose dad is from Malaysia and mom is from Taiwan, he thinks it is the latter for him. His watershed style moment came when he asked himself, “What am I doing?” during the pandemic year of 2020. And just like that, he started peeling away the layers and working on revealing his true self unapologetically. This meant diving deep into his first love of making hip hop music as an independent artist (Spotify: yxngkai), which launched him into building a wardrobe of rapper-inspired style.



Jonathan’s Tips:

Be yourself

Who’s to say that pearls and permed tresses are for ladies only? Be confident, “Keep rockin’ and they will stop talkin’.”

Color match

Decide on your standout piece - it could be a pair of sneakers or a statement tee. Next, neutralize everything else with brown, beige, white or black. Finally, pimp out your outfit with your favorite accessories.


Photos by Mavindu


Teen in Focus:

For Grade 10 student, Jonathan Ong, returning to campus this fall feels bittersweet after surviving lockdown, home-based learning, and an extended summer break. But this also means a renewed vigor to do well in school and to continue pushing boundaries in his music and sense of style. For now, he is digging the Y2K aesthetic and streetwear vibe. That’s Gen Z’s codeword for baggy graphic tees, and jeans that go down to the ankles with piles of jewelry.