Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Borrowing from the Boyfriend

I have found a new, untapped source of hip clothes and I can get everything for free! Yup, you probably already guessed where it is: my boyfriend's closet. I discovered this hidden treasure when I visited his hometown last August. The goal was to see if we could bring anything home to our new apartment. I ended up ransacking his closet, and taking home more stuff for me than him. His closet was a gold mine of oversized button-down shirts that could be worn on lazy days when you don't want to think about what to wear. 

Me in action. Can you tell I'm excited?      

The first item that caught my eye was a forest green shirt that instantly brought the utilitarian/military trend to mind. It's a great color, bordering on neutral, yet it looks up-to-date.

It went with the accessories I was wearing that day.

When the boyfriend asked how I would wear them seeing that they were several sizes too big, I replied, "All you need is a belt!" I've always said that belts can do magic on clothes. A waist cinching one is the key to giving loose clothes a shapelier silhouette. 

Tada! Final outfit: Leggings, Topshop. Aviators, Rayban. Necklace, Urban Behavior. Bag, Charles and Keith (bought in Manila). Belt, Shapes (bought in Manila too!).  Leopard-print booties, gojane.com.

I've also worn another of his shirts during the summer, this time a soft, deliberately faded short sleeved button-down from Urban Behavior. I think this shirt is still part of his current wardrobe so I literally stole it from his closet! I rolled up the sleeves, cinched it with my favorite vintage brown belt, and paired it with denim shorts. I accessorized with a lace scarf, and woven sandals paired with floral socks.

The background matches my vintage/hipster/collegiate look! Men's shirt, Urban Behavior. Shorts, bought at FIT outdoor fair, $5. Scarf, Topshop, sale at $5. Necklace, Dorothy Perkins. Belt, thrifted in Baguio ukay. Bag, bought at FIT outdoor fair. Socks, H&M, about $6. Sandals, Aeorosoles, bought on sale at $20.

I've also borrowed my boyfriend's sweaters, cardigans, neckties and suspenders. Tell me, have you nabbed anything from your boyfriend/brother/dad/friend and how did you wear it?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Seeing Red

Ever since seeing Rag and Bone's Spring 2011 red-laced platform shoes over at www.refinery29.com, I've had red shoelaces on my mind.

I saw a red-laced brown hiker boot at Urban Outfitters (they don't have it online now but they still have the black and blue version online) at about the same time and it made me realize it's going to be a trend. Not a big one perhaps, but a mini trend nonetheless.

I bought a pair of red laces at the Jewish shoe shop near the Marcy subway station and made my own version.

Shoes before the "makeover"

Tada! Final outfit. Heattech Turtlneck, Uniqlo, about $20; oversized hoodie, SM Surplus, about Php300; cargo vest, Old Navy, about $30; denim shorts, bought at the FIT outdoor market, $5; thermal tights, Marks and Spencer, about Php700; ankle boots, from www.urbanog.com, $32.50; necklace, Accessorize, about Php650; vintage bag, FIT outdoor market, $5.

Since the laces were too short, I deliberately left them untied. I like how it looks.

Product shot

 I wore this to school a few months ago when the temperature started dropping. I bought the hoodie at the Surplus Shop in SM Makati with now Cosmopolitan fashion editor Happy Lopez during one of our pullouts. It's actually a men's hoodie but I bought it nonetheless. She convinced me to get them in anticipation of the cold weather in NY. I'm happy I did! They keep me warm when I'm at home, and it's super duper comfy. This is the first time I wore them out of the house!

Did you like my layering attempt? Coming from a tropical country, I never really liked layering much but I think I'm beginning to get the hang of it. Last winter, I was terrible at combining fashion and function. My mantra was, "bahala na maging chaka, basta di ginawin!" (The heck with fashion, I just want to be warm!). Now, however, I've had a bit of practice. Let's see how I fare this winter!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Lanvin for H&M

I can't wait this for this collection to hit the stores but I don't know if I'll actually fight to death with other shoppers just to be able to get my hands on these pieces. I also don't know if I'll be willing to spend $249 on a dress but it IS Lanvin after all and Alber Elbaz is a genius! If there is one designer dress I want to own, it definitely has to come from the hands of this man. What I will probably pick up are the accessories. I'm a sucker for big, bold baubles. Now these, I would gouge out eyes for haha!

Here are my lust-worthy picks from the collection. Photos courtesy of www.nymag.com.

I like the ruffle detail on this dress. Dress: $199; Belt worn as necklace: $19.95; Leather gloves: $49.95 Bracelet: $29.95; Brooch: $19.95; Necklace worn as belt: $29.95; Shoes: $99; Sunglasses: $19.95.

The color pops just right! Dress: $199; Earrings: $19.95; Belt worn as bracelet: $19.95; Sunglasses: $19.95.  

The $249 dress, but one of my favorites in the collection. I adore the necklace too! Dress: $249; Bag: $49.95; Shoes: $99; Earrings: $19.95; Sunglasses: $19.95.

A classic tuxedo jacket is a must in any wardrobe (too bad I still don't have one!) T-shirt: $39.95; Blazer (styled with pin from men's tuxedo jacket): $99; Skirt: $99; Shoes: $99; Pink necklace: $39.95; Sunglasses: $19.95.

Yes I'm going through a men's clothing phase. I want his shirt, bowtie, and shoes! They're definitely more affordable than the women's pieces. Shirt: $59.95; Bowtie: $29.95; Tuxedo (only pants shown): $299 for pants and jacket; Shoes: $79.95; Sunglasses: $19.95.

A better view of the metallic lace-ups. Coat: $149; Blazer: $149; Shirt: $49.95; Bowtie: $29.95; Pants: $59.95; Cap: $19.95; Shoes: $79.95.

This jacket might even be better than the women's version. More streamlined and understated. And the shoes, the shoes! Wonder if I can find a pair that fits me! Tuxedo (only jacket shown): $299 for pants and jacket; Vest: $49.95; Shirt: $49.95; Bowtie: $29.95; Pants: $59.95; Shoes: $79.95.

View the entire collection here. It will drop in select H&M stores on November 20.

How about you, what are your top picks?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sister Act

Two weeks ago, I received a Fedex package that had me all excited. No, it wasn't an online order (I'm on a strict budget these days), but something better!
Fringe Fevah!

Houndstooth for my neck

The piece up close

I am happy to have the pleasure of introducing you to Vanina Dy's gorgeous handmade accessories. My sister Vanina, or Nina as she is known to her friends, is one of the most talented and creative people I know. Back in high school, Nina would make the most beautifully gift-wrapped presents out of brown paper and twine that nobody wanted to open because they were so pretty. At Christmas, her friends eagerly anticipate their presents, not just because of what's inside, but because they can't wait to see her next work of art. Lately, she's been using her clever hands to make fashion pieces (hooray for me!).  When ripped and shredded clothes became the trend, she immediately made me a couple of intricately distressed tanks that were such a hit with my friends. She's also been hard at work making statement neck-pieces that I love wearing, because they're unique, eye-catching and most importantly, a labor of love. Most of what she makes is one-of-a-kind, making them doubly special and highly covetable.

Latticework detailing on this necklace makes it look like it's part of the tank I'm wearing. Made by my sister last year.

She also made the top I wore to last year's Cosmo Bachelor Bash (that's me with friends Nicole B and Marcie). It's so delicate, I have to be careful washing it or it might disintegrate!
I don't even know if she's actually selling at the moment, but knowing my sister, she'd be more than happy to create a piece for you! Email her at vaninady@yahoo.com and show her some loooove!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Fashion's Night Out

Hello friends! As you all probably know, New York is in the thick of Fashion Week, with designers showcasing their Spring/Summer 2011 collections. Last night, the city also came out in full force to celebrate Fashion's Night Out, dubbed as "the biggest fashion party in history." Designers and shops staged shows, celebrity meet-and-greets, parties, and free food and drinks with the common objective of getting people to shop, shop and shop!

Anna Wintour and Grace Coddington dolls at Barney's New York

All I wanted to do was see the Olsen twins and Victoria Beckham in Bergdorf Goodman, but by the time the boyfriend and I headed out, it was too late to do anything! My friends Karla and Happy informed me that it would have been an impossible mission anyway, the line going inside was loooong and Bergdorf's was so packed, they had to stop letting people in.

A live burlesque show at the window display of Reem Acra

Because it was my first FNO, I wanted to dress up to celebrate such a momentous event. I decided to wear a gold sequined dress (one of my first purchases in NY) that I had never worn before. I got it at a thrift store called Vise Versa recommended to me by my fab former roommates Jay and Dante for $25. Now this dress is too big, but because it was so glam, I had to get it.

I like how it imitates leopard print!

I always say that a belt is sometimes all you need to turn something frumpy to fabulous. I used a wide black belt to cinch the dress, then tugged out the top part in a "blouse-y" ( can i just say this term is very high-school haha) style that also shortened the length of the dress. I finished it off with black tights, buckled peep-toe booties, a faux leather jacket, black scarf and my military earrings.

Before belting

After belting (excuse the messy hair!)

While walking along Fifth Avenue, I got stopped by a little girl who wanted to interview me on my outfit! She came up to me, stuck out her hand and said, "Hi I'm Melanie!" LOL, she was adorable! I had no idea who she was, but after doing some cyber sleuthing, I think I have figured out who she is: Melanie Zilo, a seven-year old from Boca Raton whose mom is Hayat Ammouri, a fashion journalist. Read all about her here.
Like a true fashion reporter, she asked me who I was wearing

The complete outfit. Dress, Vise Versa; jacket, Dorothy Perkins, shoes, Sinta by Aira Franco; scarf, bought in the fashion district for $15; tights by DKNY; earrings, bought from a street vendor

These passers-by must have thought they were seeing a celeb haha!

Even though I didn't get to see any celebs, I had my five minutes in the spotlight! Truth be told, I was just happy to be out with my man, seeing people dressed to the nines, and relishing the crisp, chilly air of New York. I (heart) New York indeed.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sidewalk Steals

When I moved to New York, I thought I would never be able to shop cheap. No more SM Department Store! No more Landmark! But, as you can see in this blog, that has not stopped me from hunting high and low for bargains. Most of you who have been to this city know that sidewalks are rife with vendors hawking all kinds of stuff. Yet the ones you see in Manhattan are not the best there is (a lot of the stuff they sell you can find in Chinatown). Venture out into the boroughs and the hipper neighborhoods and you'll find treasures that won't break the bank. The sellers are an eclectic mix. Some are budding designers, some buy wholesale to sell retail, while others are just regular folks looking to discard old stuff and free up space in their closets and apartments.

Fake LV anyone? (Photo courtesy of Robert China at http://www.nychinatown.org/canal2.html)

I am lucky to be living in Williamsburg, the so-called "hipster" neighborhood. I love it here because everyone has their own individual "je ne sais quoi" style. But what I really love is when these stylish hipsters decide to sell their clothes and accessories because the pickings are fabulous! Check out this gorgeous beaded dress I got for $7 at Bedford Avenue. This dress was barely used, or maybe even never worn, judging from the quality.

This picture does not do this dress justice! Bad lighting!

I wore it today to a friend's despedida party, and to the last MoMA PS1 Warm Up party for the summer.

Earrings, $10 from Funk Your Junk (Ottawa, Canada); Dress, $7; Sandals, $7, gojane.com; Cuff, about $6, Rustan's; Bag, $8, from the Thursday open market at FIT.

My friend Mariel also scored a beautiful necklace made from oversized clear plastic and gold beads from a Bedford vendor.

And I scored this gorgeous vintage handbag from another lady who had stationed herself near the subway station with her wares on a blanket. She was also selling 100% skinny wool ties (I got one for the boofra), and told me that they were rescued from a house that had burned down, and that "they did not come from a dead person." Hahahaha!

Handbag, $18. Don't you just love the detail?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Let's Shop For Rain Boots!

My good friend Mariel, of NY Minute Now recently got me a gig as a blogger for The Style Glossy, a cool new site on fashion and beauty targeted for readers specifically in Manila, Singapore and Malaysia. My first assignment was to write about how to shop for rain boots. Now, I have to confess, I've never really owned a pair until I moved to New York, where a pair is essential if you want to go anywhere during a heavy snowfall. Researching this particular topic was actually very interesting, and I hope you find my tips useful. Special thanks to Em Somera and Esel de Sagun, who were my resource persons. They distribute Plueys in the Philippines so they definitely know a thing or two about shopping for rainboots! Read my blog here (make sure to scroll down the page to view my post).

Of course I couldn't do all that research without coming across several styles that I covet! Top on my list is this chic wedge from Hunter. I like it's sleek look, and how it almost looks like a trendy shoe more than a rain boot!

Hunter Andora boot

I also like this lace-up style from Hunter. It's a bit on the chunky side but the details set it apart from a regular wellie, which is what I love about it.

Hunter Lace boot

As you can see, I'm not a big fan of colorful wellies. I prefer to stick to plain black so I don't have to worry about what to match them with. But the vintage-inspired print on this pair of Plueys (the work of Marceline Smith, a Scottish designer) is absolutely adorable! I can imagine wearing them on a nice spring day with a white cotton eyelet dress.

Plueys Sew Cute

I have to say though, the most sophisticated would be this equestrian-styled boot from Aigle. As I would say in Filipino, it's very sosyal!

Aigle RBoot


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Trend Shopping: Military Earrings

Last Sunday, on the way to the "Brooklyn loves Michael Jackson" fete in Prospect Park (an open field, free-for-all dance and sing-along party organized by Spike Lee to celebrate the King of Pop's birthday), I spotted a guy on the sidewalk selling unique handmade accessories made out of reinvented Majorica pearls and military patches. I immediately zoomed in on these trendy earrings and had to get them since they were such a good buy at $10.

Aren't they unique?

Mr. Vendor (I forgot to ask his name!) also had a gorgeous multistrand long pearl necklace which he had decorated with the same military patches, but at $40, I couldn't afford them!

You can glimpse the pearl necklace on the far right of the table

I wore the earrings yesterday on my first day at school, with a nautical/Frenchie-inspired outfit. I got several compliments on the earrings, so it was indeed a worthy purchase! 

 H&M top, Funk Your Junk belt (got it in Ottawa, Canada), vintage Polo Ralph Lauren linen pants (a hand-me-down!), Alice+Olivia for Payless oxford-style flats.

If you decide to seek out Mr. Vendor, take the Q train to Prospect Park and exit towards Ocean Avenue.

Just look for the pot-bellied man with a single dangling earring in his right ear!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Boots, boots, boots!

When I was fashion editor, Google was my friend whenever I needed a crash course on the new trends for each season. I know, I know, I should be subscribing to all these fashion magazines, fashion blogs, and online sites, and reading WWD religiously. If I plan to spend an hour online though, I almost always end up spending half a day glued to my seat, and  most of that time is spent in that vortex that is Facebook. So I have long figured that I am not likely to get anything productive done if I trawl through these fashion resources daily.

So when I wanted to find out what the shoe trends will be for the upcoming Fall season, I just Googled "Fall/Winter 2010 shoe trends." The styles that have been catching my eye are inspired by hiking, military and ski boots. They're either buckled or laced-up, and some are lined with a warm material, whether it's a ribbed knit or shearling. I think the lining is what attracts me most - anything that'll keep my feet warm during the freezing cold is a fashion do! They'll also go really well with my winter wardrobe, which sees me mostly in pants, but even if I do wear a dress, they'll still go fabulously!

Chloe boots from Net-A-Porter. Love the rich suede look and the wearable wedge!
Alexander Mc Queen, also at Net-A-Porter. The buckles and shearling lining are to die for but I might also die tripping in such extremely high heels!
My favorite! These boots caught my eye right away when I saw the Burberry runway show. Photo also from Net-A Porter.

Of course lusting on a budget means I have to shop smart. I found a similar style at Urban Original (for the past few days, I have been obsessed with this site! Obsessed!) It's cute but with a heel height of five inches, it's way too much for someone who pounds concrete every single day.
Anne Michelle booties for only $30.90 at Urban Original
I did not want to shop, and I have been holding myself back but when I found out that their summer sale was extended (25% off everything!) I succumbed to temptation. I ended up buying the following pairs:

Suede thigh-high boots, $27.90; leopard booties, $25.90; unlaced ankle boots, $32.50.   

The suede and unlaced flat boots will be perfect for walking around, but I had to get the leopard booties as a nod to the animal print that is all the rage this season. 

And because I had to have my hiking booties, I also got this pair from Go Jane, since it was out of stock already in Urban Original:

Lace-up lug-soled boots $27.50 from Go Jane
Whew! That's a lot of shoes and there are still more, more, more that I want to buy! More on that in the next post!

How about you? What fall footwear are you dying to own?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Friday's Outfit

My good friend Happy David recently celebrated her one year of living here in the Big Apple with a potluck dinner. I had to dress up of course, I will exploit any reason to dress up haha! Here is what I wore to the party:

Photo by the boofra, whom I have already commissioned to take all my "style" photos

I have already worn this outfit twice and within weeks of each other, which means I really, really like it! The top is from Urban Behavior, bandeau bra from SM Department Store (about Php 150 or $3.50, skinny cargo pants with zippered hem from Almost Famous but bought in Strawberry ($30), lace-up platforms from Parisian by SM Department Store (bought for only Php1,299 or roughly $29), four-layered pink gem bracelet from Forever 21 ($7), white leather wrap-around bracelet with studs, a gift from my friend Nikki), mixed in with a single elastic rhinestone bracelet, part of a set bought in Landmark (Php 150 or $3.50). Oh and aviators by Ray-Ban (free from a press event) and bag from Mango (bought years ago, I have forgotten the price!).

I love anything sequined!
I am loving the top from Urban Behavior, which I bought in Canada for the amazingly low price of $5!!! It's cropped and loose, which makes it perfect for the summer, but it'll also make a good layering piece when the cold weather starts. And though it's sequined, the hue is still very neutral so it's easily wearable during the day. And the deep armholes make it very sexy, so you can let a pretty bra peek out without looking too outrageous.

I'm thinking of what to wear with it next, but haven't decided yet so watch out for its next appearance!

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