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.