Wednesday, January 21, 2015

National Hat Day

Who knew that there is a National Hat Day??? *insert girl raising hands emoji* I mean seriously, it was celebrated last January 15 and as usual I was late to find out about it. I’ve been meaning to blog about this look for long now (having worn around September) but I couldn’t find any perfect introduction. Yeah, I’m like that. So here’s the opportunity. Ha!

So I’ve always proclaimed myself a shoe-lover. I would often brag having about 50 pairs or something. But when we had our house renovated 2 years ago which meant a bigger room for me and learning about organizing hacks using a hat/bag stand, I didn’t realize that I’ve amassed quite a collection of hats. Yay! Proof: this IG post.

Having a fedora is simply a sign of being a fashion blogger and therefore I must have it. Nah, I’ve had it since way back – a trip to Boracay around 2009 especially but I just had to give mine to a scuba diving friend who asked for it two years ago. Okay fine, I fancy him then. Lol. I got myself a new one last year because you just simply couldn’t deny the chic points of this good topper. Like in this look below, can you imagine it without that decorative accessory in my head? Come on concentrate….squint, squint… Haha! It’s not the same right? It's one of those looks where I would really feel incomplete without it. And that’s the power of a hat for you.

Since I don’t know how to end this post, should I just say “Happy National Hats Day!?” Haha! :D

Hat: Cotton On
Vest: Mango
Dress: The Ramp
Shoes: Aldo

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The It-Poncho

Don’t get me wrong, I’m super happy with my cape. But I just couldn’t resist giving this poncho a go especially if I blogged about it. Capes and ponchos belong to the same family (let's not forget the cloak too!). Some websites differentiate the two by their shape. Capes come in circles while ponchos are rectangular. For me, they offer the same restrictions I mentioned in this same hyperlinked post above but the ponchos have this “hovering” or worn-over feature that makes it more bearable. What?!?! Lol.

So what makes up an It-poncho? It’s when Burberry makes their special monogrammed pieces for their fashionistas. Naturally, OP has it but EP wore it best for me. Click here for reference.

This budget-friendly version of mine is a close replica of Burberry’s reversible blanket poncho that is made of wool and cashmere and check-patterned. The delivery took time but it was well worth-it. Especially when Topshop (yes, the legit IG account with 3M followers!!!) noticed how I styled it and mentioned of a chance of being featured in their gallery!!! Oh my gosh, just the mere fact of being noticed is already one thing I would be over the moon if the feature becomes a reality. Oh wow!!!

Hat: Unbranded
Poncho: Choies
Skirt: Topshop
Shoes: Mango

Here's another styling revealing the front look. :) The color-blocking quality of this poncho is really perfect for mix and match! I really love it. Add to that the fact that it makes me feel like an It-girl. Haha! :P

Hat: Unbranded
Poncho: Choies
Jeans: Mango
Shoes: H&M

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Them Thigh Highs

Late news but as a style/fashion blogger I feel a bit compelled to write something about this fashion giant and its recent opening in our country (their 55th!) – H&M.

I had my first experience about 5 years ago. I was in HK and much eager to see this retail brand that one of my favorite lifestyle bloggers is raving about. It was January, end of season sale and let’s just say it didn’t take minutes for me to love the shop upon entering. Lol! My very first treasured purchase is a pair of snakeskin cutout booties for just 100 HKD. I call them my “hooker shoes” and I wore ‘em to an event here.

I had my hesitations when this Swedish company announced their opening here. H&M visit is always a highlight of my travel abroad (lol!). I cherish those spring in my steps when I finally reach a mall that has their store. And them opening a branch in the mall where I go to during weekends would only mean bankruptcy for me. Lol.

But I guess all that changed when I found these thigh highs in the shop last month. I’ve been ogling these babies since late of 2013 and could only ooh and aah over the style mavens wearing them. As a shoelover, I was completely hopeless that I’d find anything like this here in our country but there they were displayed in my size at H&M Makati. Yay! What can I say? It was definitely meant to be. Lol.

I’ve worn it a couple of times and even performed a Latin track in them. Oh my. Click here. Dress over pants trend is the new louche layering for 2015 and this is somehow a preview of that look. Not sure if I’ll completely try it though. We’ll see.

Top: Unbranded
Skirt: Maldita
Shoes: H&M
Watch: Guess
Necklace: Zara

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

2in1: Monday Blues

If Monday were shoes, they’d be crocs.”

I’m so happy that Olivia Palermo and I share the same view about crocs. She said she wouldn’t try it. “It’s never going to happen” . Oh I can just feel the shudder at that last sentence.  You see this is the reason why she is my style icon. It’s not like I have to emulate her POV or something. These things just come out to "us" naturally. :P But I’m not here to talk about crocs. Rather, it’s about sharing how bad I feel for Monday and all its ugly quotes. It’s not Monday’s fault isn’t it?

A lot has been said about Mondays and about needing a day between the two-day weekend. But I feel that if this thought would escape the hypothetical realm, meaning that we’d have a 3-day weekend, I don’t think we’d give up the thought of TGIFs (since we love it so much) that the governments would have to arrange for the third day to be Monday isn’t it? So what’s my point? Nothing. Hahaha!

I’m not here to preach about finding a work you love and all that jazz but I just want to share my tricks when it comes to Mondays. What I do is think of a really pulled together outfit for the start of the workweek and that alone sort of motivates me already. In fact, I feel like I’m always best dressed on the first day and the other days can just be blah. Haha. Well you can adapt the same thinking too and see how it goes? After all, nothing can make us more motivated and focused when we’re dressed up smartly and sharply for work. There was an actual study about this case and it is called “enclothed cognition”. Click here if interested.

"Clothes may not make the man but they do hold a strange power over their wearers."

So to literally translate those Monday blues, here’s a gallery of my recent blue-inspired corporate styles. Enjoy. J

Sunnies: Ray Ban
Blazer: Mango
Top: Dorothy Perkins
Skirt: Miss Selfridge
Shoes: Dorothy Perkins
Watch: Mango

Sunnies: Ray Ban
Top: Penshoppe
Skirt: Dorothy Perkins
Bag; Unbranded
Shoes: Dorothy Perkins

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Sheer & Hosiery

Not really proud of this but I think I’m a huge fashion rule-breaker especially at work. You’ve seen me rock lots of cropped tops in the past (with blazer cover-up of course or a really high-waist bottoms) and though I don’t have great legs, I’m not one to shy away from mini skirts. Of course it’s pretty understandable why these are not allowed at work and can even be explicitly defined in the handbook but there’s a particular type of clothing that is I believe is in gray area when it comes to appropriateness at work. I’m talking about a sheer fabric.

You see I’ve seen credible style guides preach about sheer being a big no-no at work but I have a different take on this. I love sheer fabric for the fact that perfume smells even stronger when sprayed on them. Don’t you agree? For me, sheer is okay as long as you have additional covering underneath.

Some say that women purposefully wear it to give a sneak peek of their lingerie but to me this isn’t the case because uhmmm, I don’t have great lingeries for display. Lol! Granted, it’s an aspect of my wardrobe that needs an upgrade perhaps but it’s just that I can’t see the point when it is hidden.

So if it’s true that sheer and minis are a big NO NO at work, then this ensemble just qualifies for a - as Rachel Zoe would call it- MAJ ground for warning. But perhaps the tube top underneath and the hosiery made it a bit acceptable as per company standards. =P

Sunnies: Flea market in Osaka
Top: Tomato
Bag: Charles & Keith
Skirt: Topshop
Hosiery: Dorothy Perkins
Shoes: Marks & Spencer

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

History of LBD

Business Insider once released a survey about the things that make women physically attractive to men. One of them is wearing red. But during the Victorian era, did you know that wearing black dresses have never stopped anyone from getting men? It's actually somehow an advertisement for finding a husband.

The article where I got this topic from (a writeup just in time for a museum’s exhibit on black dresses that is ongoing now) inspired me to read the novel Gone with the Wind. The said novel has a fair amount of hand-wringing about the funeral mores of the polite society. In the bible, I’d often read about wearing sackcloth and ashes to symbolize mourning. But during the 18th century, the widows are required to wear a sable (black clothing) for two years following the death of their husbands. But it isn't that simple. There is a certain required material (crepe) for the black dress and rules on how it should be worn. Hence it was referred to in the novel as “severely restrictive” social requirements.

While we do know that the purpose of the all-black fashion regime is to bereave the dead, the same source also insinuated that wearing black for a widow also sends a subliminal message to men that (1) she’s had a sexual history and that (2) she’s romantically available.  Say what? This really came as a surprising twist to me.

In a totally different article I read though about the role of black in fashion history, there was somehow a line that supports this idea. To quote, “Unmarried girls feared the merry widow, who could move unchaperoned through society.” How so?

Wearing black then means standing out from the other over-the-top gowns of the period and puts the center of attention on the wearer. "As a woman of sexual experience without marital constraints, [a woman in a black dress] was often imagined as a potential threat to the social order." And those connotations extend further to different works of literature like Anna Karenina and even caused quite a scandal when Princess Diana wore one.

Today, this trusty fashion staple that saves us from I-don't-have-anything-to-wear moments is now associated to chic and sophistication thanks to its patron Saint Coco Chanel. Haha! But whoa, who would’ve thought that this thing we fondly call LBD or Little Black Dress would have such a history? I really found this story very fascinating and educational. J

Now you know the history, check out how I wore my LBDs recently. J 

Top: Warehouse
Dress: Mango
Shoes: Marks & Spencer
Sunnies: Flea market in Osaka

Sunnies: Flea market in Hanoi
Dress: Mango
Bag: Charles & Keith
Shoes: Marks & Spencer

Dress: Warehouse
Shoes: Dorothy Perkins
Necklace: Unbranded
Sunnies: Flea market in Osaka

Dress: Forever21
Shoes: Lewre
Bag: Charles & Keith
Sunnies: Flea market in Osaka

Monday, January 5, 2015

Minnie Mouse

We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming to give way to this fun and quirky #ootd last week. =P

Polka dots. Only recently did I find out that wearing polka dots on NYE is something unique to the Philippines. I mean, all this time I thought it is being done all around the world or at the very least shared with some other cultures. I was pretty sure earlier it had some Chinese origins. Lol. And my research just verified to me that other countries have their unique ways of ringing in the new year too. So to my foreign readers, wearing something with a round print according to the tradition signifies prosperity. This also includes serving round-shaped fruits and foods at the table since the circle shape is associated to coins and wealth.

Well, a different outfit was chosen for NYE as seen here. But I thought maybe it wasn't late to wear it 2 days after? Though I was pretty sure it's already past January 1 for the last country to welcome the new year by then. Haha! And to add some fun, I used this Minnie headband I got from years back. Hmm, I wonder what that headband is supposed to mean for 2015? A whole lotta fun new year? Well, I definitely hope so. =)

Headwear: Unbranded
Dress: Elle
Shoes: Topshop
Bag: Jatujak Market

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Coords: Stripes on Stripes

You know a trend is here to stay when you see Billboard’s Woman Of The Year Taylor Swift rock it in countless ways. Which trend am I talking about? Of course, the matching set.  It didn’t take me further research on the origin of this trend. In my other lifestyle blog, I learned that this trend has been on since early Feb 2013 as seen in my post here – whereupon two months later I was able to surprisingly come up with my own here (albeit admitting in the earlier post that the trend is daunting, hahaha!).

But mine was more of subdued print and work-appropriate. In last year’s summer/ spring runway though, the trend grew in full bloom to include different prints and textures. Again, you might think that because of late blogging this post feels like a trend review. But what do you know? Designers have continued to create clever knit matching sets to rally on this trend in the fall and winter season and they're already seen sported by some celebs like Rihanna. So somehow this post has a bit of a “current” feel to it. :P

For this 2 in 1 post (how very apt), I picked two looks from the third installment of the same topic here. I would like again to reiterate that mine feels more like coordinating separates. What’s the diff? Well, in my case they weren’t really purchased in sets. They just “magically” coordinated themselves as soon as I started digging my wardrobe for different pieces. Haha! And again, if you think of a soundtrack for this discovery, this line from a love song never felt more appropriate,

“Who’d have thought? This is how the pieces fit?"


Top: Unbranded 
Skirt: Unbranded 
Coat: Maldita
Shoes: Marks & Spencer
Sunnies: Flea market in Osaka

Blazer: H&M
Top: Forever21
Skirt: Unbranded
Shoes: Marks & Spencer
Sunnies: Flea market in Osaka

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Ray of Sunshine

Let’s talk about resolutions. I mean, style resolutions. Riiiggghhht. Do you ever have one for 2015? I mean, assuming that you’re reading this because you’re a style enthusiast. :) None? Well, how about this suggestion? Trying on a different color that you haven’t before. Good one right? *wink* And since Pantone had declared that the official color of the year is Marsala, let’s talk about the color yellow. Hahaha!

True. I’ve had some yellows in my wardrobe before but when I saw this dress early last year (again, a late post), it’s like a breath of fresh air, a ray of sunshine and also a lightbulb moment! Haha. Why? Because all of a sudden, there was this realization that I’ve never had a yellow dress before. I mean, for as long as I can remember. And I don’t know why I was eliminating it entirely from my style when it actually blends well with my skin tone.

So to end this, I encourage you dear readers to try this style trick. Come on, you can use a bit of experimenting on this. Who knows what certain color might suit you? It could be Marsala. It’s a pretty interesting color too you know? *wink* :)

Necklace: Apartment8 Clothing
Dress: Apartment8 Clothing
Clutch: Accessorize
Watch: Mango
Shoes: Marks & Spencer

Friday, January 2, 2015

Acid Wash

Fridays. They should be reserved for fun dressing you know. Relaxed and casual. Or “cool biz” as the Japanese would call it - something I learned when I started teaching Business English to them (it’s my part-time job). Trivia: Cool biz means for them “no suit”. But I digress, fun dressing for me on the last day of the workweek sometimes mean injecting colors.

This acid wash top is something I’ve been borrowing from time to time from my brother. Haha. It is a great “base palette” for colorblocking as I’ve paired it with a watercolor skirt too before. I reserved this for a Mockingjay move night with a friend. In the toilet though, after the movie, I realized with utter mortification that I was unconsciously sporting the Katniss Everdeen braid. I mean, I love the character and JLaw of course but I didn’t want everyone to think I’m copying the heroine’s hairstyle on the day of movie viewing itself. That is just so uncool for me you know. =P Just for fun, I agreed to my friend’s request to take a photo side by side with the movie poster (lol) but not posting it EVER. =D

Top: Topman (my brother's)
Skirt: Topshop
Clutch: Primadonna
Shoes: Zalora

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Labour Day Whiteout

White after Labour Day in the US has long been considered a fashion faux-pas. Ever wondered where did this fashion rule come from?

No white after September 1 rule according to my research, had to do with millionaires snobbery in the US in the late 1800s or early 1900s. The super-rich people that ruled the society after the Civil War then created fashion rules (there were dozens of ‘em) to determine the legitimate “old money” rich from the vulgar “new ones”. So they know who to ignore when a girl shows up in the opera or something. Cruel! So, one of these rules happened to be the no white after September restricting the white clothing to summer season, weddings or resort wear. So there's your gist.

In a true rule-breaker fashion, I wore this exactly at September 1.  Late post I know. =P Anyway, that rule has long been ignored in the fashion world and I find it ridiculous. You can also find a lot of winter wonderland fashion blog posts in white on white ensemble. Ain’t nothing fresher than wearing white on a winter setting, don’t you think? Haha!

Sunnies: Ray Ban
Top: Zara
Trousers: Mango
Shoes: Dumond
Clutch: Mango
Necklace: Zara