What It Means to be Fashionable

Is one really considered fashionable if she can only pull off one style? 

My thoughts one rainy morning when I couldn’t be bothered to go up to the gym and instead, decided to do a mini fashion montage with the clothes in my now slimmed-down wardrobe. With summer long gone—along with ruffles, off-the-shoulder and embroidery with it (in my rotation, at least)—I’ve been craving for a refresh via tonal looks and a bit of coords that I still need to stock up on. I was feeling extra inspired and came up with a couple of looks I can wear for future events, night outs or trips to the grocery because this Tita no longer does the clubbing/bar hopping circuit and needs to have a creative fashion outlet from time to time, no?

Then I thought of one of my fashion heroes, Leandra Medine of Man Repeller, who can wear a garbage bag, be barefoot and still look cool. Her style is not at all along the lines of mine, yet I applaud her inventive approach to pairing prints, silhouettes and fabrics that no one would dare think of attempting otherwise. If you’ve ever chanced upon her blog, you’ll find it highly entertaining, smart, informative with a dash of sarcastic honesty that only she has mastered. I’m late in the game but I’m glad I took the time to get to know it beyond her IG posts and monthly phone wallpapers that I eagerly wait for. It’s like her brain is a mash-up of ice cream and ketchup, weird and interesting at the same time, like when you imagine how strawberry ice cream would look good with tomato ketchup in an outfit, color wise. Yup, tonal.

I scoured through the web to find #ootds of Leandra that I can relate to, wear even, and found these. Call me crazy but this sort of activity relaxes me so I hope you enjoy it just as much. Even get inspired to try some yourself!

So going back to my question, the answer is yes. Finding your own personal style, no matter how redundant it may look to others, is fashionable. Maybe not in Leandra levels (because she is far and few in between) but it’s YOU. Perhaps my parting comment on this debate is, once you’ve felt that you’ve reached saturation point in wearing ruffles, it’s time to evolve into something new, fresh and current.

For me, it’s going monochromatic, until I find the urge to wear my off-shoulder tops once again, maybe layered over a button down shirt this time.

Liza’s #ilardelizaprintaday

I LOVE looking at beautiful fashion images that evoke joy and inspiration, in case you haven’t noticed my daily IG posts of people’s #OOTDs, stunning fabric, textures and accessories. When I chanced upon Liza Ilarde’s IG and #ilardelizaprintaday photos, I did a happy dance in my head and immediately thought of making a whole blog post about it just because. I didn’t meet the fashion veteran until recently at a shoot for Seek The Uniq and took the chance to ask her permission to repost my favorites. She agreed and one morning, I literally had her photos for breakfast, scanning through all 502 of them to come up with my own curated images. I think only a fashion lover would go through these lengths and screenshot, crop and layout just for the heck of it but I enjoyed every minute.

I also got to pick Liza’s brain on her love of prints and picked up some tips on how you can rock it like a pro. Happy viewing!

How did your print a day series come about?

When I first joined Instagram in 2012, I just posted what everyone else was posting—food, pets, travel, and, of course, my outfit of the day. In other words, I just copied haha.. The collages seemed to be the best way to show your ootd and it appealed to me, so I decided to make that my standard. But to make it distinctly my own, I made my daily print a signature feature.

Your style is so different from the usual Pinay. How would you describe it? Who were/are your biggest influences?

I don’t really know how to describe it, but people have called my style quirky, eclectic, and original. Growing up, my style influences were fashion magazines, rock stars, and Betty & Veronica.

A lot of readers ask how to wear print on print. What are your tips? Do’s and Dont’s? (re-published from Seek The Uniq)

One has to have to have an eye for mixing prints—I guess I have it! If you don’t and would like to experiment, there are general rules to keep in mind:

  • Choose prints that have the same scale and a similar color palette.
  • Keep it to two prints at a time (although three is not uncommon for me).
  • Your shoes and bag should pick up a color from the print; or to be safe, make it a neutral shade.
  • Simple accessories work best to avoid looking overly decorated.
  • A streamlined silhouette makes the prints be the focus of your outfit, so avoid details like ruffles, ruching, anything with too much volume.
  • As a start, try to pair a linear print (stripes, plaid) with something fluid (florals, leopard).

Can you share your process on how you get dressed every morning?

I don’t have one! I rarely ever plan my outfit the night before. I go by the day’s activities, my mood, and if I’m feeling fat. So, yes, I will try on like 10 outfits, only to go back to the first one!

What’s your favorite print of all time? And why?

The Unikko print by Marimekko. It just makes me happy.

How do you not run out of prints to wear given your constant #ootd shots?

Well, aside from shopping for new clothes, I always bring out old printed pieces, some of which I’ve had since the 80s! That would be considered vintage! (Not to mention, hoarding)

I love that you repeat clothes and style it differently each time. What’s the key/keys to maximizing what you have?

When I repeat prints, I wear them for different occasions. So I can style, let’s say, a printed skirt with sneakers and a T-shirt for day; then for a cocktail event, with heels and a sequin jacket. Also, I make sure that when I repeat, I’m going to be with a different crowd!

What’s your advice to ladies who want to try wearing something out of the box but are hesitant?

The great thing about fashion is if you wear it today and you hate it, you can always wear something else tomorrow! So don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things. Fashion is supposed to be fun!

 

 

Ethel

Ethel first caught my eye at the Life & Style event a few weeks ago. She was the first person I shot for the blog and I immediately thought, this girl has style. The quiet, intelligent fashionista-type who marches to the beat of her own drum sans noise and pomp. I had no idea who she was or what she did but how she presented herself stayed with me enough for me to seek her out. Little did I know, seeking was an understatement! I drove 15 kms back and forth to her house one morning for the feature and right off the bat, I knew my instincts didn’t fail me. Ethel, despite her tall frame, is a gentle, “old soul” in her own words. She’s a couple of years younger than me yet it felt like we were in the same plane; conversing with her was easy and relaxing, a lot like her personal style. Ethel owns and designs for Style Me Little, an online specialty boutique for babies and kids. “We belong to the want category when it comes to children’s products.” Her designs are playful, kitschy, girly and fun—an outlet for her more adventurous side, quite a stretch from her sartorial. “I like kids to dress like kids. So I make clothes that they can have fun in and wear while they can. I’m not a fan of dressing kids up like grown-ups.” I totally agree as there’s plenty of time for that.

Here’s Ethel jumping out of her comfort zone. Driving the 15 kms was worth it.

What she does Entrepreneur / Business Owner of Style Me Little and The Body Spa & Waxing Lounge.

Personal style My style is always classic, relaxed and clean but I do like to accessorize and update with the current trend if I know it will suit me.  I also like to add feminine touches or a pop of color if I find my outfit a little boring.

On the importance of appearance I really do make an effort everyday to look presentable even if I’m just bringing the kids to school. But looking good to me means not just the clothes I wear but taking good care of my skin, my health, and putting on decent everyday make up.

Her days be like My days are spent bringing and picking up my kids to school then work, errands and meetings are done while they are in school.  My weekends are really spent with my family.  We usually eat out, watch a movie or have lunch with my parents and siblings. I don’t have a particular hobby but if I have spare time, you’ll always find me in my kitchen baking something healthy for the husband and kids to enjoy for the week.

Favorite designers and fashion haunts I’m a fan of the local ones like Filip+Inna and I like the featured brand Kaayo from the SOS event last weekend.  Someday, I’ll get to own a piece from them.  I don’t really keep up with designers both local and international but I have a few that I admire like Vania Romoff and Michael Cinco. 
I mostly shop online now.  I love local brands/shops like Unif0rm, Christiana Manila, Weave and Offbeat Alley.  I loved to wear accessories a lot when I was younger but stopped wearing big ones when I had kids.  There’s a lot of great accessories designers in IG now, I’m inspired to build a collection again! When I do errands at the mall, that’s the only time I check out my favorite brands like Zara, Mango & H&M.  I get my basics at Uniqlo and I love the jeans at Promod.  Thankfully, I’ve learned to stop hoarding clothes.  I  I just overhauled my closet recently and finally packed away all the clothes I don’t wear anymore.  I only kept what I know I will wear.  It made dressing up every morning a lot easier!

Top 5 closet staples 

Oversized Polos
Midi or Maxi Dress
Knit Top/Sweaters
Skirt or Cropped Pants

Celebrity crush  I like Jessica Alba’s relaxed, mom-chic style.

Online surfing I follow a lot of interior design-related accounts and travel.  Most of the time, I browse online for business and get inspiration.

Reading material I used to read a lot of the local fashion and interior design magazines during my 20s.  Now, I just spend time browsing thru my IG feed for inspiration or read articles online.

Current uniform My wardrobe has evolved a lot!  It’s more organized now in the sense that I know I can mix and match a lot of the clothes I have.  I used to own pieces that are nice by itself but I don’t really know where or how to pair it. Surprisingly, I own far less pairs of shoes now.

It was only 2-3 years ago when I finally embraced uniform dressing.  Before that, my wardrobe and outfits felt very “random” or spontaneous to me.  Then lately, I realized that as much as I love the convenience of uniform dressing, it felt very uninspired to me. After I cleaned up my closet, I noticed my clothes are all neutrals now (black, white, gray and beige).  I’m in the process of updating my wardrobe with more “fun” pieces that reflect my aesthetic and to spice up my basics. For a time, I believed in uniform dressing…I thought I could live with it for the next few years because it’s just so convenient especially when there’s a million things going through your head and choosing an outfit is the least of your worries. But after awhile, I felt I needed to inject more of my personality into what I wear.  I think I’m somewhere in between now—I like to keep and stick to basics that fits well but I’m working on adding more fun pieces to my wardrobe like a statement jewelry or a unique top.

Dress, Offbeat Alley; Shoes, Aldo; Clutch, Tory Burch.

Earrings, Seek The Uniq; cameo charm necklace, a handmade gift from her best friend.

Top, Uniqlo; Skirt, Uniqlo; Jacket, Gap; Shoes, Toms.

Glasses, Ivory and black, Owndays, tortoishell, Prada, cat’s eye, Tom Ford, aviators, RayBan.

Jumpsuit, Uniqlo; Jacket, Una Rosa; Shoes, Cole Haan.

Earrings, Seek the Uniq (left) and Merriam Batara (right).

Top, Mango; pants, H&M; Shoes, Annie & Lori.

Earrings, both Lily Jewelry.

Necklace from Merriam Batara.

Top, Offbeat Alley; Tanktop, Thread 365; Skirt, Promod; Shoes, H&M.

Her kids’ gallery wall. “We’re not allowed to take this down.” Cute!

Alisha, the family dog makes a cameo. Top, Offbeat Alley; Pants, Uniqlo; Shoes, Dune London.