Chic Mums

Tete-a-tete with the versatile Sereni Linggi

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She’s a mother of two, an RYT 500 Traditional Yoga Instructor, a mall manager and co-founder of Sereni & Shentel – the homegrown brand for lux hair accessories.

With all these responsibilities on her shoulders  Sereni Linggi still manages to exude positive energy and appear lively and super stylish no matter where she’s seen. Indeed she is an inspiration.

In this Question & Answer session, Sereni reveals her OOTD (Outfit of the Day) choices and how her children motivate her. She also shares some fashion tips and her best advice on parenting.

Q: We adore how you always look so pulled together. Tell us about your personal style and who are your influences?

A: My mantra every morning when I’m picking an outfit is: ‘try not to look like a tai tai aunty please.’ I’m terrified of looking like an extra from the Phua Chu Kang  series. These days I live in my white Muji slip-on sneakers or if I am feeling a little dressy I will wear a pair of mules.

I’m generally quite minimal in terms of style, which is the polar opposite of my brand, Sereni & Shentel. Sometimes, I shock the world by wearing a crazy print by Roa Skye but as a whole, I like the ‘undone look’ vibe. I aspire to be Eva Chen and Aimee Song but always end up looking like a tragic Asian J.Lo wannabe!

Sereni & her husband – she wears a Roa Skye dress, Bowerhaus earrings and a Penan Women Project clutch.

Q: Who are your favourite designers right now?

A: I usually wear two brands: Roa Skye for colour and COS for basics. I love Johanna Ortiz too – she understands what women want with the right amount of sexiness. Unfortunately, I can’t afford her pieces but she is definitely on my fashion wish list for when I win the lottery.

Q: You managed to pull off some chic maternity looks while sporting your bump(s)! What were some of your go-to brands during your pregnancy?

A: COS. Their pieces work during and post pregnancy. I still use a lot of COS right now and can’t walk pass a their store without buying something. When I was pregnant I didn’t wear any maternity labels. I never tried to hide my belly and believe me it was H-U-G-E for both pregnancies.

Q: What are the most treasured things in your wardrobe and why?

A: My late mum’s vintage bags and her Nyonya kebayas. They remind me of her and are classic pieces which I can hand down to my daughters.


On Sereni’s fashion wish list: Bowerhaus ‘Castaway’ necklace

Q: Name the top three things on your fashion wish list now?

A: Fake hair extensions, a Bowerhaus ‘Castaway’ necklace, and a pair of African print slip-on sneakers with a hidden platform that I can’t find but exists in my head.

Q: Could you share some key styling tips for mummies out there?

A: On a bad hair day, wear a Sereni & Shentel turban to add instant chicness to your outfit. Don’t wear white around your kids or when you’re eating laksa. Apart from that, there are no rules. Actually, wear whatever you want; life is short (laughs)!

Q: If you could host a dream dinner party, who would be on your guest list?

A: The head of wardrobe for Universal Studios, the cast of Little Britain, and Shentel.

Sereni and her BFF Shentel

Q: What are some beauty tips you swear by?

A: I wear sunscreen everyday and swear by Dermalogica products. I’ve been using the brand for 20 years. I try not to overload my skin by keeping it simple through cleansing and moisturising. No face masks or serums. I don’t even use eye cream even though I probably should!

I’m not concerned with ageing, it’s a part of life. The best tips I can give when it comes to beauty is to sleep well, eat fresh and organic as much as you can, do yoga, and laugh lots. 

Q: You have two lovely daughters, Calla and Skye. Tell us what have you learned from raising them?

A: My daughters are three and five-years-old respectively but they act like they are 60. They are confident in their life and style choices. They have taught me to be more patient and more accepting of situations.


Halloween 2017: Sereni and her daughters about to go trick-o-treatin’!

Q: How did you encourage your children to enjoy a healthy diet?

A: I rarely take my kids out to eat and I never buy junk food for them. They have never been to any fast food chains. It’s easy; don’t bring junk back and they won’t have access to it. If they have them at parties then at least they only have it occasionally and not all the time.

Q: Top three places for a fun day out with your children in your hometown, Kuching, Sarawak.

A: Wonderboom at Green Heights Mall, Cove 55, and Lima Tujoh on China Street.

Q: You’re such a fit mum! What’s your secret?

A: Eat fresh as much as you can and prepare your own meals. I don’t really enjoy eating out as there’s too much salt and monosodium glutamate (MSG) in most food. Personally, I don’t think I’m fit but teaching yoga, working full time, and taking care of the family does keep me active.   

Q: What is your best advice for new mums?

A: Do introduce solids at six months (no earlier than that) and feed your little one healthy fresh foods at the earliest stage. Make sure your kids drink plenty of water and stick to a routine as much as you can.

There’s nothing worse than a hungry and tired child. Put them to bed early so that they have plenty of rest and you have time for yourself to wind down.


Credits: Photos are courtesy of Sereni Linggi

Amanda is a freelance writer, aspiring businesswoman, and mother of one. She's a proud Sarawakian who hails from Kuching. Apart from writing, she loves mixing natural body scrubs and foot soaks with her business partner for their small business, Suravont.

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