I repeat clothes, and why you should too.

My green neoprene Zara dress gifted by my sister has gone through several reiterations, time zones and climate. It even became a dust gatherer at the Alhambra (middle).

(Somewhat) myth: Fashion people don’t repeat clothes. This is half-truth, because although there are a lot who don’t based on their never ending IG posts of one fabulous outfit after another i.e Giovanna Battaglia or Anna Dello Russo, timelines have proven otherwise. If you dig into the depths of the internet like I did for this article, you will find culprits, including the inimitable Anna Wintour wearing the same open toe Manolos custom made for her since the 1990s. So who are we to question this more than ever relevant frequent use of a garment, where going green extends to the frivolous world of fashion.

I’ve had my share of favorite outfits that I wore to shreds at every given point in my life, graduating from star closet status to lowly sleepwear. The perfect grey t-shirt that I wore with printed leggings back in the 90’s that got my classmates talking about how I was wearing the same outfit again (?!). The shrunken baby aqua blue Lacoste piqué shirt that I paired with everything (long skirts, jeans, minis) during my magazine days. I edited my closet a few months ago and took out about 60% of its contents, leaving me with items I loved to rotate and based on my #ootd posts, did I ever! From trips to events, Sundays in the suburbs and meetings, I put my beloved pieces to the test and realized that 1. In fairness, I did try to style them differently each time and 2. I would pose the same way unknowingly. Ha!

I used to have an issue about repeating outfits when we were required to wear one fierce fashion look after another, specially during fashion week. It’s both a blessing and a curse to someone working in fashion, and mind you, this was even before social media. I cannot imagine how editors deal with that issue nowadays. Now that I’m back in the industry albeit assuming other roles—telling people how to dress for what occasion for one—I am more comfortable than ever to do repeats and in fact accept it as a challenge to make a garment look new and fresh once again. (What I’m trying to wrap my head around however is embracing a uniform. I’m not quite ready to let go of my fashion moods as it’s way too much fun playing dress up).

So if you’re feeling boring sartorially and getting conscious over photos of yourself wearing the same cowl neck top, don’t fret! Do the environment and the IG fashion community a favor and get imaginative. Scour street style feeds of people you admire, look through websites of brands you resonate with, go with your gut feel. It’s way more fun and cerebral to style a piece more than once, take it with you to travels, weddings, reunions, weekends until it falls apart. By then you’ve maximised the cost per wear of that piece, and THAT is way, way cooler than buying the season’s It garment year after year.

Tips on how and which pieces to keep in rotation:

  1. Classic pieces such as black pants, chambray, white polo shirts, cotton tees. These make a good canvas for more adventurous styling via accessories or layers.
  2. Prints like stripes, gingham and florals are easy to pair with your more tame pieces.
  3. Solid colors like emerald, maroon or black with some detail go with most shades and keep it more interesting.
  4. Collect monochromatic or coordinated pieces for a cool, modern twist in dressing. You’ll get more mileage out of styling separates.
  5. Keep a variety— dresses, tops, pants and skirts so you’re never left feeling mundane.

My overlap Monki checkered pants, also from my sis, worn two ways: print on print and as coordinate, a trend I’m nuts about nowadays.

A local, inexpensive off the shoulder top (because I refuse to pay for trendy pieces) in light denim can work as a classic button down, styled with equally classic pieces.

Zara stripe pants that are comfy, roomy and quite the statement piece when worn with a sleeveless button down or a one-piece bathing suit (that helped me beat the HK heat).

My checkered Seek the Uniq dress worn the first time on our anniversary last year (left) to a recent hotel staycation (right). That was probably the 22nd time I wore it and incidentally, flipped my hair the same way.

My Uniqlo black pants that has gone to more places than I can think of and still going strong! From Baguio to Japan, same weather, different styling.

Here are some celebs caught wearing their favorites. To be honest, I love that they do it. Makes them more like you and me and not immune to fashion exhaustion.

Queen Anna in the same outfit in more than one occasion, down to the accessories. To be fair, it’s such a stunning dress why wouldn’t she?

More of the Queen sporting the same garments just styled differently every time. Spot her favorite Manolos…

Jessica Alba wearing the hot ticket sweatshirt by Philip Lim x Target collab at work and play.

(The real) Queen Rania in the exact same ensemble save for her hairstyle. Why mess with something that works?

L.C. being the practical California girl she is, even her tops are of the same cut. And red pants are a MUST HAVE in every woman’s closet.

Kim K. West doesn’t shy away from repeats. I wouldn’t either if the jumpsuit is this breezy.

Princess Kate, mother of recycling outfits, in one of my personal favorites that can also be worn separately in a myriad of ways. I’m not a fan of all her looks but the fact that she’s confident enough to do this makes her a #girlboss in my book.

Tin

Tee, Mango; skirt, Soleo Manila; shoes, Maison Margiela; book, “New York through a Fashion Eye” by Megan Hess.

Spending most of the week working in a mall is a dream job for any fashion lover and Tin Coqueiro is living it. The fashionable, hardworking mom of two’s daily outfits is akin to a mini fashion show, the sort of styling I used to see day in and day out during my magazine days. No stiff dark suits for this GM, her office attire consists of bright colors, ruffled skirts and trendy tops. A ray of sunshine in an otherwise very corporate environment. Tin admits it can get dangerous being exposed to new arrivals every week as “a lot of accidental shopping happens”, she gaily shares. It’s amazing how she can have five or more meetings in a day and still look fresh and cheerful to boot. Twelve hour days don’t faze her and multi-tasker that she is, manages to squeeze in some me time at pole dancing classes twice a week. I loved seeing Tin relaxed and more of herself outside the office for our early morning shoot. She granted us a bright, cheerful smile (not her usual) when we asked her to walk and twirl right in the middle of the street! Trooper that she is, she took it all in stride. Here’s fashion girl Tin for you.

Photographed by Cholo Dela Vega

What she does AVP & General Manager – Rockwell Land Corporation

Personal style I find it hard to really pin down my style as it changes every so often, but if I were to sum them all up it would be – Polished Eclectic (I just made that up :D). It’s a combination of chic, modern, fun with unexpected edge.

Her days be like I’m a workaholic, or rather, I love what I’m doing, so I spend most days of the week at work, which is also my playground. But twice a week, I make time for myself and take pole dancing classes. On weekends, it’s all about my family and relaxing. We bring the kids out or if we’re lazy, we just stay home, watch Netflix and order pizza.

Favorite designers and shopping haunts Some of my favorite brands are Seek the Uniq, Rajo! Store, Harlan + Holden, C/MEO Collective, J. Crew, Zara. For accessories, I just love Kate Spade. I shop where I work, which is Power Plant Mall. It’s so convenient (but deadly at times). I do a lot of online shopping as well. I like discovering new brands both locally and abroad.

Top 5 closet staples My closet is FULL of skirts and dresses! But I guess my Top 5 would be: Printed or textured pencil skirt, ruffle skirt, statement tee, a blazer, a shift dress

Celebrity crush I’d want to live the life and look like Amal Clooney for a day! That’s my definition of an iconic and powerful woman. She can conquer the world and wear colors effortlessly at the same time and it just amazes me.

Online surfing For reading: BOF, WSJ, Forbes, Huffington Post, NY Times, Monocle, The Cool Hunter, The Culture Trip, Retail in Asia, Inside Retail

For online (window) shopping/browsing: Seek the Uniq, Amazon US, Nordstrom, Anthropologie, J. Crew, Outnet, Mango, Moda Operandi, Net a porter, Shopbop, Free People, Kate Spade

Reading material I recently got introduced to Fast Company magazine and loved it; I enjoy Monocle and I like fashion magazines like Vogue or Harpers Bazaar. But it’s home magazines that I ultimately love like Elle Décor or House Beautiful.

Current uniform There are certain silhouettes and cuts that I’m drawn to, like pencil cut skirts or wide leg pants. I like tucking in loose tops or wearing dresses as tops.

On appearance and why it matters It’s important to feel good about yourself, be inspired and be fearless in expressing yourself because in the process, you end up looking good because of your ability to carry your style with confidence.

Top, Seek the Uniq; shorts, Zara; leather belt, Mango; bag, Valentino; shoes, Calvin Klein.

Long Sleeved Polo Shirt, Mango; cropped Top: Seek the Uniq; jeans, American Eagle; sneakers, Kate Spade.

Camisole, Topshop; embroidered skirt, Seek the Uniq; rattan sling bag, The Penny Worth Shop; shoes, Sam Edelman; earrings, Seek The Uniq.

Dress worn as a top, Etincelle; faux leather skirt, Zara; shoes, Chanel; clutch, Ken Samudio.

Top and pants, Seek the Uniq; bag, Wenya.ph; shoes, Maison Margiela.

Joyce

Showing off her superpowers: an incredibly creative mind that makes the most covetable & one-of-a-kind accessories.

The first thing I noticed upon entering Joyce’s spacious apartment was the music. Blasting on hidden surround speakers was Cocteau Twins, a band from the 80’s that I love with a distinct following; so distinct, that most people don’t know of them so hearing their song at that moment gave me the jitters of the good kind. I was with a kindred spirit. Her home is a lot to take in: it’s maximalist, colorful yet cozy, peppered with ornaments and trinkets from travels, heavily inspired by far flung exotic destinations. You knew artists lived there and for Cholo and I, it was a feast for the senses. And treated to a feast we were when her husband Petteri stuffed us with an Indian spread of soup, samosas and sweets for a “light” snack. All this happened even before a single shot was taken!

“Shopping to me is a whimsical habit. I never do planned, serious shopping. Accidental shopping happens on my way to my showroom!”, Joyce shares when I ask about her sartorial strategy. It shows in her choice of outfits, given SOS guidelines. One moment she is rockstar, then sports a sleek athleisure ensemble (to cope with her growing kids’ preferences) and turns into Stepford Wife “for my husband because he is old-fashioned”, she shares with a laugh. I enjoyed every transformation and naturally asked for a sample performance when she whips out her Marshall. She used to be in a rock band, played in the now defunct music sanctum Club Dredd but nowadays only performs for herself. “My compositions are not bad!”, Joyce brags and I fully believe her, but she refuses to play it for public consumption…not just yet.

Joyce is candid about her preferences— be it about fashion, music, food or philosophy and doesn’t seem to take herself too seriously which is refreshing and cool. Her designs paint a picture of strength, commanding presence and solid structure that can stand the test of time and trends. Her transparent personality shines through the metals and stones she molds together and this is what makes them truly unique and special.

Now, we just have to wait for that first solo album. Hopefully she doesn’t keep us waiting too long.

Visit Joyce Makitalo showroom at 1401 BSA Tower 108 Legazpi st. (across the Greenbelt 5 driveway)

Photographed by Cholo Dela Vega

 

What she does Jewelry designer and painter

 Personal style Always very hard to describe! It’s all about surprising myself, I guess. Sometimes I like channeling eras, sometimes it’s about combining vintage pieces with modern ones. I love combining colors and discovering unpredictable matches that work.
On appearance and why it matters On a scale of 1-10, I want to look good for myself, so 10! I put mascara on at bedtime.

Her days be like I made two weekends for myself. Wednesdays are spent bringing my kids to their school in Sta. Rosa and driving over to Tagaytay to sketch and plan what’s next with the jewelry. Weekends are spent at home with the family.

Favorite designers and shopping haunts 

I collect vintage Chanel and am a big fan of Coco’s story. I love the history aspect of Chanel.

Ever since Alexander McQueen passed away, I haven’t really gotten excited about fashion, but then Alessandro Michele came to Gucci and I’m in love again 🙂 The aesthetic is very Wes Anderson, quirky and fun.

I go to Vania Romoff (whose studio is neighbours with my showroom) for special pieces, she’s my go-to designer. I feel like Baroness Schraeder every time I wear her! Im also a fan of Ken Samudio, Maco Custodio, Martin Bautista, Joel Escober, RAJO!, etc. We have so much local talent, it’s crazy.

I shop online, Zara, Marc Jacobs (fun!), Seek the Uniq, Topshop, Adora, +AC632 and Aranaz.

Top 5 closet staples Navy double-breasted jackets (I have too many, actually), embroidered lantern-sleeved tops, brocade dresses, snug but structured black pants, and pairs of jeans which look like they’ve been violated by elephants.

Celebrity crush (who you want to be for a day) An Angelina Jolie / Margot Tenenbaum crossbreed

Online surfing Vogue and The Sartorialist

Reading material US Vogue, Vanity fair and British Vogue follow. I always grab a copy of Porter when in Europe.

Current uniform For work days, navy everything, with vintage military pins and tiny silk scarves (I love tailored military coats, especially the double-breasted kind) and for weekends, a handmade, colorful tribal jacket with tattered denim shorts.

Dress, Marc Jacobs; pants and sandals, Zara.

Her collection of local woven totes and purses.

Bet you didn’t know Joyce has an alter ego rockstar persona. She composes and performs only for and with herself.

Sweater, mini skirt and booties, all Zara.

Guitar, Marshall GAP.

Chanel for life!

Dress, River Island; heels, Zara; pearl necklace with charms, vintage.

Chunky, bold cuffs from India and Afghanistan are the icing to her outfits.

A boho girl through and through.

Embroidered lantern-sleeve top, Nine; denim shorts, American Eagle; lace-up gladiators, Topshop.

Firebird track jacket, Adidas; brown leather skirt, Zara; sneakers, Converse shroud.

Crystal wands for well-being of the mind, body and soul.

Tulle vest, Joel Escober; jeans, Zara.