Style is one factor in Fashion that helped to create icons. It is something innate in us that excludes us from the rest. To be stylish is not to buy everything you want. If you want to be someone worthy to be an ‘icon’, first, you must know yourself.
For the past three years of my life as a fashion savvy, I’ve learned a lot of things in style and shopping. I’ll be sharing with you ALL my style tips and Fashion secrets to guide you in your way become that person you always wanted to be. :) So before you fit in your tight - hugging mini dress or platformed pumps, mind to ask these questions to yourself first:
"Why am I dressing up?" — Are you dressing up to fit in your circle? or Are you dressing up for a guy? You must put in your mind that you are dressing up for yourself not for everyone else. Yourself has to your first admirer and lover before others. Step out of your closet when you are in your most confident self. Why? because for someone to be worthy of attention, she has to have that extra special something — in her walk, in her eyes, in her smirk, in her demeanor — and I guess you already know what’s that magic word.
"Where am I going" — This is the most important of all the questions that you have to ask yourself before deciding on what to wear. “Where am I going?” Just always be conscious if you’re going out at day or night, the people whom are you gonna be dealing with, and how are you going to get to that place you intend to. As much as your wallet can afford you, take the cab.
"For whom I’ll be dressing up?" — We all want attention. We all want to be noticed. But aside from stealing the show, you must always put in your mind that you deserve respect. I’m sure you don’t want an overnight guy. To avoid this, you must be conscious on what you are wearing and on how large the portion of your skin you are revealing. You don’t need to show a lot of yourself to be attractive.
Baring your arms or legs at the same time is a no-no. If you do want to be stylish and worthy of respect, try to cover your skin a bit. If you are bearing your arms, do not show a lot of your legs, and vise versa. Since teenage girls nowadays are falling to this idea of beauty, its getting harder and harder to determine who we really are. If your friends are baring everything to be vogue, try showing some skin one at a time. Look who’s gonna stand out in your posse.
"What do I have?" — Most of us have this misconception that we cannot be fashionable because we don’t have that much clothes. The trick there? You must have the classics: A white tank top/crisp white shirt, A tailored blazer (FYI: Tailored means it has to have a lining), perfect fitting trousers (for your body type), black pumps, and and a sturdy bag. With this, you can shop for more add-ons to add more spice in your building closet.
"What’s your budget?" — It’s important to know how much money you have in order for you to have that shopping extravaganza. Shopping requires discipline. To know more, here are my shopping guidelines:
1. DO NOT MAKE A SHOPPING LIST — Trust me, you won’t be able to follow that list 100%. Instead of making one, try making a “Wish list”. With that, you will be able to manage more the things that’s keeping you up all day and night. There can be times that you are opting for that studded bag and you came across with a bold-colored-yellow shift dress ala 'Gossip Girl', perfect with a pair of stockings and your favorite ankle boots. And you’re feeling New York City just by then. So what did you do? Yes, I bought the dress and forget about the bag. Haha :)
2. EAT A PIECE OF CHOCOLATE BEFORE YOU SHOP — I do this whenever I’m depressed and I’m about to shop. Chocolates have this special something in it that makes your neurons up, resulting to emotional shift. So by the time your foot enter in your favorite boutique, you’ll be in the mood for shopping.
3. DO NOT BUY SOMETHING CUTE — You heard it right. Do not buy something cute, instead, buy something great, worthy of every peso you’re willing to spend. Think of the store and the pieces they’re offering you. Does the price equate to the quality state of the garment? Personally, I don’t feel shopping in stores with
unironed clothes. Why? because I don’t even know if those stores realize how much money their customers are willing to pay for their goods. They should know.
4. DO NOT BE TRIGGERED BY YOUR FRIENDS — There are times when we shop with our friends, our energy is at its hiatus and our emotions are overflowing that we forget to listen to our hearts. "Do you really want it?", "Do you really need it now?" It’s good to have friends with you when you shop, but choose only those who really know you, and what Fashion really is.
5. THINK OF THE VERSATILITY OF THE PIECE — Think of every single detail of the piece you are buying and consider the pieces you already have. Does it compliments your wardrobe? Then you should buy it. But if you don’t really want it, leave it.
6. DO NOT BUY IT BECAUSE YOU WANT IT. BUY IT BECAUSE YOU REALLY WANT IT AND YOU ARE CRAZY ABOUT IT — It’s my favorite mantra. It’s also the reason why I started building up my closet later after I started shopping for my style. I never bought something that is not special, that’s why I consider every piece in my closet, a treasure.
7. DO NOT FORGET THE BASICS — The basics/classics may not be really special because of its simplicity. No prints, no embellishments, but these are actually the pieces that will keep your closet alive. If you can’t spend too much on them, buy them on sale to optimize your budget.
8. GO CRAZY, ONLY DURING SALE PERIOD — It’s the only time when I can get every piece that I ‘feel’ and not really ‘want’. Follow your favorite stores on their social networking pages. Months before the sale, prepare your budget and your wishlist. During sale period, come on the opening time of the store and grab everything you ‘feel’ like wearing. Go crazy, but do not forget the right fit. Sometimes you can be really overwhelmed by the fact that it’s on sale that you forget that it’s a bit tight or a bit long. Have the right mindset on sale, and go crazy! If you are having second-thought of a piece, ask the store’s sale assistants to have them reserved for you and come back the other day.
9. BE NICE TO EVERYONE INSIDE THE STORE — As much as possible, smile. Do not be mad at the sales lady if the garment you wish is out of stock. You can ask him/her to have it checked on the other stores. In some stores, they will get your contact number to update you with the availability of the garment. Be nice to them because remember, they are in the store the whole day, greeting every anonymous people coming in their store and are willing to serve any customer. They deserve a smile, don’t they? :)
10. BUY ACCESSORIES — Accessories can change the vibe of your look. If you are going to be crazy on something, go crazy on accessories. For me, I always love statement pieces. I prefer Filipino jewellery maker Ken Samudio’s Matthew & Melka (You can check out their Facebook Page) & Mango Touch.
11. DO NOT BUY SOMETHING BECAUSE EVERYONE ELSE IS WEARING IT — It’s good to wear trendy items sometimes, but not all the time. You are born to be an icon not a copycat. You must stand out not blend in.
12. DO NOT BUY IN THAT STORE JUST BECAUSE YOUR FRIENDS ARE BUYING THEIR STUFF THERE — Consider your budget. Can you afford the store’s goods? Does it fit your style? and, Do they have great quality pieces? Do not fall into that bandwagon of being “one of them”. Remember, what matters at the end of the day is you, and how you really feel about yourself.
13. DO NOT BE ASHAMED TO VISIT THRIFT STORES — There were actually times when I can’t afford even a Bench. So what I did was, I rummaged for every thrift store in the Metro and found some really great pieces that I can keep in my ‘treasure’s chest’. Of course, to shop there you must have a good taste, and good taste can’t be acquired. For you master the art of shopping both in high end boutiques and cheap thrift store, you must first be able to learn the science of good garments. There are actually a lot of thrift stores in Cubao, Quezon City but there are my top picks:
a.) Fashion De Lite (In font of PureGold) - Don’t shop there on heels. They offer a lot of garments. I mean, A LOT. Opting for boots? It’s a one way stop. The store is also air-conditioned so you don’t have to worry about the heat and shoving.
b.) Kabunyan Thrift Shop (in front of Gateway Mall, along Aurora Boulevard) — They have great pieces there. Inside the store are other specialty stores that offer original DVDs, VCDs and CDs of your choice, stuff toys and books. The secret? (There’s this store inside Kabunyan that offers authentic bags like Gianfranco Ferre and Vivienne Westwood, neckties from Versace & Yves Saint Laurent, French dolls and other some thrift stuff from the store owner’s trips.
c.) Passerby (Along Edsa, near the MRT - Cubao Station Overpass) — No need to worry about the pollution along EDSA because it’s air conditioned, plus their selected handbags and shoes from Gucci and Prada, and their selections on boots and pumps.
(There are also thrift stores along Farmer’s Plaza. When you went to Passerby, turn left, infront of Jollibee. The stores are just across Fashion De Lite, STI(? if I’m not mistaken) and Chowking. On the right side of the street is the Farmer’s Plaza and Araneta Coliseum.)
When you go thrift shopping, consider always the quality of the piece you are buying. Do not just grab everything.
14. ALWAYS THINK OF THE MONEY YOU ARE SPENDING — Think of how your parents worked hard for the money you are spending to shop for things that will flatter you. With that, always consider everything that I’ve said to optimize your budget. Every peso counts, so never settle for less, or something cute.
Remember, at the end of it all, what really matters is you, and how you feel about yourself. Happy Shopping! :)