Saturday, June 7, 2014

I have been ducking under the radar to regain some sense of tranquility within. I have not been this happy since I laid my eyes on the real Brandon Boyd, and/or held the hand-stitched handles of my new Balenciaga bag.

I am too happy someone please call Pharrell!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

A job that allows me to dress up and run in heels everyday without rendering my college education futile? POSSIBLE.

Monday, March 31, 2014

A certain shade of green

The tunic is the undisputed hero in summer dressing with its versatility stretching as a stand-alone piece or as a beach cover up. It is also your saving grace in a highly bipolar weather -- with its light fabric apt for a warm weather, and its coverage that makes it equally fitting for cooler weather.
One of the best features of tunics, is they come in different levels of intricate detailing -- from jewel embellishments to elaborate details. A surprising element that contributed to the rise of tunics, is crochet. Crochet is not always synonymous to frighteningly tacky, especially when it complements a bare article of clothing. Quite frankly, it's the crochet detailing that drew me to this piece, or the fact that I mistook it for an intricately-crafted lace. Tunics come in awkward lengths which may not work in my favor. To work through this flaw, tunics are ideally worn over tights or short-shorts.
I wore my old pair of crochet culottes with tulle overlay and made minor adjustments to turn it into the perfect crochet trim shorts to wear underneath. (and by minor adjustments, I meant 4 safety pins to tuck the tulle inside the lining). 
I have to say, regardless of sucky lighting conditions, the tunic shines through. Let me take you a few months back for when I was lusting/dayrdreaming/obsessing over this piece. This tunic became an instant addition to my wishlist the moment I saw it on Sabo Skirt. I also came across this photo of my favorite K-dash doll Kourtney, rocking the white version which only intensified my desire to own this piece. 
Photo from: Daily Mail UK
I was slated to purchase the mint version from Sabo Skirt because it looks more divine and this color is elusive in the local market. Due to the long priority list of items I want to order form Sabo Skirt, (and its steep price tag of AUD 58 certainly didn't help) they ran out of stocks before I can even save up for it. Frankly, it's a lot more than what I can dole out for a piece of top. 
Exhibit A. Runaway Tunic AUD $58 from Sabo Skirt

My obsession with Australian brands doesn't stop with Roxy and Sabo Skirt. Its resemblance with UK high street fashion, close proximity to the Philippines and chic summer vibe make it extra appealing. Shipments arrive relatively faster too and takes only half the time for goods from North America to arrive. Hah! Beat that!

After an intensive hunt, I pooled a list of all Australian online brands of the same style genre as Sabo Skirt. Doppelgängers of this highly-coveted tunic turned up in my search too.  Apparently, this design is not a Sabo Skirt exclusive.

Exhibit B. Crochet daisy top which retails for AUD $58 from Xenia 
Exhibit C. Janine crochet top which retails for AUD $59 from PepperMayo

I discovered PepperMayo while I was browsing through Sabo Skirt tweets. Their website has an ongoing, massive sale and on the very first page lies THIS perfect tunic. I was 48hrs late from purchasing this at a dirt-cheap price of AUD $20 after further reductions, but AUD $25 isn't too bad at all if you ask me. Yes, Bergdorf Princess, I think I'd like to have my 'bargain queen' tiara back thank you very much! Just my luck, I didn't have to go through hell of choosing between the white or mint because the white isn't part of the sale selection. Happy to say I found yet another cheaper alternative for one highly-coveted item and saved a total of AUD 33 (Approx. Php 1,400).

So now let's talk about my latest discovery. Ready for another fashion obsessive post? Well, ready or not, here it is!

When I was browsing through PepperMayo's products, I couldn't quite comprehend if I was a) ecstatic with their familiar feminist designs, or b) utterly disappointed in Sabo Skirt because now they don't seem as original as they tout to be. About half the designs in PepperMayo can be seen in Sabo Skirt's collections, only they have slightly different prints for the designs in question. 
To make the most of the cost of shipping and to hush the pain of having to wait for a package, I usually order no less than 2 items. I ordered a bandage crop top in pink and the mint tunic. Read all about my verdict below:

Design: The originality of their designs raises few questions on my part. There's no denying the strong resemblance with Sabo Skirt from playsuits, to bottoms, to dresses. The prints seem generic too but of course, I only have Sabo Skirt to compare with because they have always been transparent with their hand-painted prints.

The tunic is obviously outsourced as backed by the ubiquity of the item (as seen on at least 3 Australian online stores). Unfortunately for me, I found the crop top I bought from another Australian brand, which partly concludes that they do not have a lot of exclusive, original designs to offer.

BUT make no mistake about it, they have a wide selection of not just garments and shoes, but also accessories and cosmetics. Needless to say, they offer the convenience of a one-stop-shop without compromising style. They carry menswear too!

Quality: The tunic is made from quality cotton fabric and the crochet detail is also made of thick crochet threads. The crop top is made of thick elastic fabric (Think Herve!) with hidden zip at the back - looks good if you ask me.

Price: Their price premium is more expensive, with an average of AUD 50 per regular-priced item. Their sale selection is also relatively expensive, with discounts of only 20-40% off. Prepare to splurge (on an average--) AUD 35 per sale item, which is more expensive than a Sabo Skirt sale item.

Packaging: If like me you get giddy at the sight of cute packaging, then Peppermayo will not disappoint. The clothes are packed in a recyclable drawstring bag and the best part is- the clothes are not creased and neatly folded! Brownie points! Okay I have to say, Sabo Skirt failed me in this criterion.

Shipping: Shipping is, well yes, more expensive than Sabo Skirt at AUD $14 per package. What I really dislike about their shipping method is, at AUD $14, the customer is unable to track the item. This I will never understand because most Australian online stores use AUS Post which ships in conjunction with the local postage system, in our case PhilPost. Sabo Skirt charges AUD $10 per international package and the customer can track the item AS soon as it has been cleared by customs.

Customer service: Impeccable!

Verdict: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Ta-ta bitches!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Tees'n things I love about you

Tees'n things I hate LOVE about you.
Pun intended.

I am all for supporting the local fashion industry, having been an active online shopper since 2006. If anything, I am not a fan of the waiting period since provincial deliveries would take a few days to complete. From where I am from, boutiques are few and far in between - at least those that meet my sartorial standards; so a boutique that carries fashionable pieces and is in close proximity to my house is a definite go-to!

I first came across Tees and Things a few years back when I saw their store in Paseo de Sta. Rosa. I remember dragging my mom and sisters inside to try out their moccasins. Few years after, they opened a branch in Calamba which is along the alternate route when going to Los Banos from Manila. Their window display will leave you smitten and trust me when I say it's only a preview of what they have in store. (and a good representation at that!)

Check out my finds: (All photos from Tees and Things instagram page)

Sheer white floral button down which instantly reminded me of the JW Anderson men's shirt

Chartreuse full skirt which I have been on a massive hunt for!

Without seeing the two pieces together, I knew they were tailored for each other. The ensemble looks divine and has a little Carolina Herrera vibe going on, don't you think? It was another serendipitous finding because sometimes, your best compass is your gut feel.

So if you are around the UPLB area and you need to get your fashion fix, make sure to include Tees and Things in your must-shop list. They carry an assortment of affordable accessories, casual wear, formal dresses, footwear, bags and more!

Check out Tees and Things on Instagram.

PS. If you still did not get it the second time around, today's pop culture reference goes to one of the best chick flicks in history, 10 Things I Hate About You.

I tried, I tried. At least unlike SOME, I don't blatantly copy another brand name and adopt it as my own. OOPS. Not to mention recycling phrases/expressions without tracing the origin. Let me guess, you're going to use surf the crimson wave next. You're welcome. 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The back up bridesmaid

There is no such thing as witnessing too many milestones, all in less than 12 hours. I had a wonderful opportunity to witness a wedding, a 50th birthday *surprise* party, a sweet sixteen and still push for a 'girls night out' in its most literal sense. I obviously hyperextended my energy.

I was a mere spectator at my boss' wedding, and a tad overdress at that! But I must say I blended in pretty well with the motif and was jokingly referred to as a back-up bridesmaid. You can't expect anything less from someone notoriously overdressed on a regular basis so I took it to the max with this sleek number.
Miss Selfridge maxi dress | Stradivarius t-strap sandals | YSL Le Sixieme chain purse

Very-millenium prom is how I like to call dresses of such silhouette. It's flowy yet snug in all the right places. The very simple design makes the sweeping back cut out detail all the more interesting. And this is my attempt to try new things:

1. I opted for a simple up-do (thanks to my sister and her donut bun maker)
2. I wore a plain and simple dress

Both of which I rarely do/practice since I'm always going for the kill. Just like how I always say it: go for the kill, go for the jugular! 
I can't apologize for boring you with my blog entries, which appear to be the extended versions of oh-I-love-this-dress-read-all-about-it-in-3-paragraphs-full and while I have not steered my blog in a completely new direction, I think I'm lowering my anchor here for a while. 
Don't mind if I do. 
Golden. Cupcakes fit for a 50th birthday party.
I had 5 cupcakes too many.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Big O

This is my talk about the big O -- and no, you dirty dirrrty person, not that O! This is probably Aunt Rose doing the talking while I'm reduced as the mouthpiece to PMS. I am suddenly finding reason in lashing out over the simplest, pettiest things you can think of.

Let's get on it, originality, right! I hope Ben&Jerry's sues your ass. You were never your own person -- you steal elements from others and make them your own. Shame on you.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Read and be damned

All there is.

Currently addicted to Backbite, Peppermayo and belly button rings. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Crop it like it's haute!

Exploiting the season while midriffs are still basking in its skin-is-in moment. Crop tops sure came a long way since the Spice Girls glory days circa 1990 and now they come in all form of shapes and sizes - ruffled, bandeaus, bustier cut, etc. - to suit any body type.

I've had my eyes on the cross over bustier style since Balenciaga gave birth to it and as far as "inspired pieces" go, I think Sabo Skirt was the first to commercially mass produce this design. It's one of those pieces tucked in the priority section of my closet for half a year now but couldn't muster the courage to wear them out since it is particularly tricky to find the perfect undergarment for this. 
Blazers are not strictly for 9-5 dressing and soon you'll be rocking them from 5-9, too! The short suit trend (co-ordinates) came sweeping the runways faster before you can say 'Androgynous'. The key to sartorial perfection is choosing the right silhouette for your body. My wide, manly shoulders turned out to be an excuse to wear oversized blazers (okay, I'm down to size 4, straddling between Small and Medium and Medium is obviously big on me boohoo). The bottom is the tricky part because they ran out of sizes and I had to settle for a size 4 (small) but turns out, it falls perfectly on my 'true' waist and it doesn't pose a serious risk to my recently-yanked-out-and-still-recovering belly button piercing. 
Neo Mex shorts, blazer, Link Top, waterfalls necklace all from Sabo Skirt | Yves Saint Laurent Le Sixieme chain bag | Stradivarius studded t-strap sandals
Ta-da! Don't be intimidated. While a short suit looks effortlessly formal (read: Power Dressing) by default, how you style it will ultimately set you apart from the next girl.
  • Printed Matter - Plain blazers are timeless but printed ones can be recycled just as much. Printed coordinates can be worn together or recycled with other articles of clothing when worn as separates! Printed shorts can be worn with chiffon blouses and the printed blazer can go with dresses or plain bottoms. 
  • Inner wear as outer wear - What you wear inside your blazer makes a world of difference. High waist bottoms and cropped-anything are match made in sartorial heaven. If you've been itching to wear crop tops but you're a little uncomfortable showing too much skin, this is the perfect outfit to wear it with! Besides, I don't think this trend was made for a real, serious, 9-5 business setting anyway (it is office inspired--at the very least). It's about crossing over some pieces of your office wardrobe to your Socials wardrobe. 
    • And this is the part where I interrupt to reiterate the importance of balance in dressing. It is okay to show some skin. The blazer balances everything out. 
  • The perfect shoes - Strappy sandals are the perfect choice for casual power dressing. It makes the short suit a little less formal and more relaxed. I went with a teal-colored footwear to complement the prints of my outfit.
  • Ana on chains - If eyebrows can make or break your make-up, accessories are equally powerful to do the same. I went with a silver tone waterfall necklace as the statement piece (which doubles as a cover up to my chest area). Brilliant, huh?



Friday, January 24, 2014

There's no greater high than being on air

I spent nearly 3 years in college as a volunteer student broadcaster for the premiere college radio in the country, DZLB-FM 97.4. I thought I'd retire the 'jock thing' by age 20, but an opportunity unexpectedly came knocking in and I knew right then and there it was worth the risks of answering.

My college friend Nikko invited me (along with my best friend Kams) to be on his morning show in 99.5 PlayFM. Nikko and I broadcasted in college together for a 2-hour music countdown program, which is the closing program every week. 

Rusty as I was, I found myself sitting comfortably in the booth after more than 3 years of non-radio activity. It was like rekindling an old romance; recalling my infatuation with broadcasting is bittersweet. For one, I know it is something I want but I have other commitments that cannot be undone at this stage. 

For now my little stint on national radio will continue to be a part of this year's highlights, among a few others :) I can't thank Nikko enough for giving me a chance to live my dream even if it was just for 3 hours. It made the stressful commute, missed class and everything in between so fucking worth it!

So nope, video did not kill the radio star. Priority did. Kidding

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Sweepstake 'Ana'

Nine days into 2014, I was rendering overtime work, totally minding my own business when I mindlessly checked my personal email out of habit. Just like my initial reaction to when I read the Topshop Unlock Your Wardrobe email last year, I thought it was just one of those spam messages:

It was one gruesome Thursday (which by the way is the longest day of my week with a 3-hour class sandwiched between working hours) so I initially blanked out and had to take a moment to absorb what was happening. I FUCKING WON THE WISHLIST SWEEPSTAKES! MISS SELFRIDGE -- That's Topshop's fancier, dressier and flashier sister. Anything Topshop or Topshop/Arcadia group-affiliate, I'm an instant convert. The email lost me in the product name overload so I had to recall my picks from a selection of 12 items from the lot. 

Contest Mechanics: From a selection of 12 items, the participant must create her own wishlist with 4 items and submit the wishlist online. It was that easy.

I'm easily blinded by stylish and fancy pieces so I was drawn to the Snow Fairy dress with beaded bodice. The jewel neck skater dress came in close second because of the classic silhouette and neck embellishment. I selected the shoes to pair each dress because I have serious issues with pairing. If I get stand out piece, I'm gonna have to get something to match it with. To be honest, it NEVER crossed my mind that my wishlist would be chosen because I already won the Topshop contest last year. :) 

See my honest lack of thought? Had I know, I would have chosen a more casual selection I can wear at work or school on most days. But no regrets, I am absolutely obsessed with these pieces.

Last Wednesday, I had to leave for Manila straight after work to meet my best friend (entry to follow). I had to take a quick detour to Greenbelt to claim my winnings. I was reeling with anxiety considering the complaints raised by the other two winners (one received the wrong sizes for 3 out of 4 items; the other had to bring home a substitute to one item; the other winner,I am not so sure of because only the three of us were looped in the email communication). In my head I knew I was doomed for something bad.

I would say lady luck was on my side that day. Seeing the items individually wrapped in white Japanese papers and neatly tucked into separate bags made me so giddy. This may have been a far cry from the other branch, which I heard stowed all prizes in one bag. The supervisor warmly welcomed and congratulated me while my IDs were being verified et voila! Three shoppingbagsfull:


Look # 1. Edgy Kate Middleton

Look # 2. Winter Fairy

This was just the start of a string of good news this month. Isn't it absolutely amazing how good news can easily turn a bad day upside down?

I would like to thank RSSI, Miss Selfridge and Schmuzter for this loot :) And Thank you God for always walking with me. 

PS. 'Sweepstake Annie' is a movie. Yup, you're welcome. 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

(Sabo) Skirting the Issue

Nobody does summer dressing better than Sabo Skirt - that I can assure you. While their pieces are mostly not for the faint of heart, there will always be something for every taste. 10 articles of clothing, 4 parcels and 1 magic plastic a-blazing, I am not done professing my unwavering obsession for this brand.
Despite the voluminous delivery backlogs at my local customs, my package miraculously turned up in my doorstep within the 10 business-day delivery period. (Per Sabo Skirt policy, international delivery takes 5-15 business days) 

Nothing says therapy like retail therapy :)

Friday, January 17, 2014

If you liked it then you should have put a ring on it

Belly button piercing and life lessons

I've hurdled through countless body issues with my cutesy belly button piercing for the last 7 weeks and picked up some lessons along the way.

1. This IS the true test of patience, I'm telling you. Granted a belly button piercing takes forever to heal, it's sure to keep you on the edge for a while! And while you think you are immune to any form of infection because you are highly sanitary, trust me, you wouldn't know infection til it slaps you on the face.

Reasons why you need patience, and I mean lots of it:

  • You have to let your body heal the piercing naturally, you can't have it any other way. You have to completely eliminate, if not minimize, contact with any substance -- from sweat to soap, etc., except for clean water (with a pinch of sea salt).
  • You can't give up on the after-care triple-S. Yes, you will be sea salt-soaking for a few months. Sea salt is the ONLY recommended solution for cleaning. This should be coarse/fine and non-iodized. (and now, we're not talking about a regular, table salt here).
  • Those dangly cute belly button rings are a long way to go. Think 3 to 4 months before you can safely have them changed. Considering it doesn't get infected, you should be fine. 
  • The healing process is a tug-o-war. One day it looks fine and the next, it's lymphing. (and this is how it's going to be for the next few months)
2. Embrace change. Getting your navel pierced calls for a slight change in routine. 
  • For the last 20 plus years I've been sleeping on my stomach. On the first night after getting pierced, I only slept for two hours. Took me a while before I got used to sleeping on my back because practically, I don't have much choice. 
  • Having a new belly button piercing limits your choice of clothing. 
    • You can't wear anything tight-fitting, 
    • Button-downs can snag on the jewellery, 
    • Jeans can give you frontal muffin while seating which tends to push the jewellery upwards
    • High-waist anything can kill you (seriously, just imagine the pain of having a waist band tightly wrapped around your navel area) 

3. Live a little. This is trial and error. Just because it worked for someone else, doesn't mean it's going to be the same for you. Let me walk you through the hazards and normal reactions:

  • Initial stages - the piercing is prone to infection which can cause severe lymphing, bleeding and then scabbing
  • Interim - allergic reaction to temporary jewellery, migration (movement from original pierced area -- totes normal)
  • Final healing - REJECTION. DUN DUN DUNNNNN
It's a long way to go and sometimes it keeps you from enjoying/appreciating :) LIVE IN THE FUCKEN MOMENT.