Why Aging Rocks

I feel like a 20 year old trapped in a 30ish year old body. I know I’ve changed and (hopefully) matured over time, and I’d like to think of myself as a better person today than I was the day/month/year before, but all the same sometimes I forget my age! The activities I enjoy, the kinds of clothes I want to wear and the places I want to see are all still the same in my mind, so I can’t always spot the difference between 20 year old Me and present Me. Well… except, that is, for the physical ‘signs’ of aging: some discomfort with sky-high heels that I used to run flights of stairs with, slower metabolism, weaker knees (and it has nothing to do with seeing a handsome guy), lower alcohol tolerance, and so on.

There are days I wish I could turn back the clock, but you know what? There are more days where I don’t, because ‘aging’ comes with so many perks.   Read this list and see if you agree!

  1. Knowing what you want. This is, for me, the very best thing about getting older. It is now very clear exactly what you want in all the different areas of your life, and that knowledge allows you to choose more carefully where and with whom you spend your time. This maturity also empowers you to stand your ground according to what you believe in, and know that your friends and family love and accept you anyway, even if your viewpoints differ from theirs.
  2. Having a level of financial freedom. After having worked your butt off for what feels like an eternity, the reward is reaching a certain level of financial freedom. I’m still not rich by any stretch of the imagination, but at least I now have the flexibility to make adjustments in order to afford the things I want to spend on. Gone are the days of asking your parents for cash to buy stuff, and you sure as heck won’t need a husband to give you your loot either. There’s nothing like having your own hard earned moolah.
  3. Independence. With age comes independence. You can live on your own, learn to cook and prepare your own food, manage your utilities, change a lightbulb (or maybe even a tire), decorate your place, resolve a crisis, and pretty much feel capable to do whatever you need. This is the part where you really do have a choice as to how to live your life and what you get to do for the rest of it.  independent
  4. Confidence. I think this is the sexiest part about getting older—the love and respect you gain for yourself. You can enter a room and not feel insecure, because you know your worth and have honed a level of expertise and mastery in whatever area you’ve practiced. You don’t try too hard to fit in, nor need to compete because you’ve accepted you can’t be everything to everyone. What other people think of you does not concern you as much, and you don’t need to please others or just blindly join any bandwagon that rolls around. Basically this confidence allows you to love yourself, flaws and all.  redlipstick
  5. Gratitude.  When you look back on your younger days and realize all the things that could’ve gone wrong, all the scrapes you managed to get out of, all the challenges you have gotten through, all the people whose lives you’ve touched (and vice versa) I’m sure you feel a profound sense of gratitude and some pride too. After all, you’ve made it this far in one piece, you’ve managed to fend for yourself and reach certain milestones, you’ve come so far from where you started—regardless of what your issues are today, what’s not to be grateful for?
  6. Improved Style. I must say that almost all the ladies I know look so much better now than they did many years ago. I guess it’s because getting older also means that after years of experimentation, you now have a better idea of what styles look good on you, what you’re comfortable wearing, and how to execute the way you want to look. That makes a huge difference in one’s appearance.
  7. More Meaningful Relationships. Another awesome thing about years coming to pass is knowing who’s really got your back, and knowing/choosing who you really care about. If in your twenties it was important to build a network, explore, make lots of new friends, and run in certain circles, now it’s all about cultivating the relationships that bring out the best in you, and prioritizing that over shallow social commitments. This gives you a level of assurance and footing that you are surrounded with the right people, with true friends, and that’s worth a whole lot more than simply being popular.  friendship
  8. Being Happy. You know how when you were younger, happiness was dependent on ‘shallower’ things like having things, toys and gadgets, fitting in to a certain crowd or being with a certain person? When you get older, happiness means so much more—it means love and acceptance of yourself and of others, it means contentment, peace of mind, appreciation of the simplest little things. And that means, in turn, that happiness is far more real today than it ever was before, because it all starts with you.  happy


What are your favorite things about getting older? Email me at muskwie@yahoo.com , and follow @thekikaydiaries on Instagram for lots of Kikay updates!


Ready, Jetset, Go

Travel has never been as in demand as it is today. With all these new apps that make looking for great deals on flights, hotel accommodations and restaurants a breeze, not to mention conveniences like Airbnb and Uber, plus the extra lure of social media…yup, everyone is off to someplace all the time.   I can’t begin to describe the benefits of seeing a new country, meeting some of its locals, eating their food, hanging out at their hotspots, listening to their language and music. It’s like a dose of magic, every single time. But travel comes with its own set of hassles too. There’s airport security, damaged/lost luggage, screaming children on board, and so on. The last thing you need is to have packed incorrectly, too. So here’s a list of all the things you need to acquire for flawless looks, all year long:

Cold Weather:

  1. Winter coat- You need a nice, thick winter coat in a neutral color like black, Beige, Gray or Maroon. Yes, of course you can wear those lightweight goose down jackets if you want to look like a marshmallow in your photos, but that’s up to you. In my opinion, there is nothing more elegant than an impeccably fit wool coat, worn with boots and your favorite bag.


    Wine not?

  2. Beanie- I know this isn’t a flattering look for everyone, but you will not survive winter (or even autum) without a beanie. Your tropical body is going to shrivel up and catch a cold, thereby ruining your vacation. Choose a legit thick wool beanie that matches with most of the clothes you’re taking with you.


    It’s not going to look funny when it’s zero degrees out

  3. Gloves– My mom used to tell me a story if the little match girl, and it was so tragic that I’ve always brought gloves with me whenever I travel, just in case. Knit is nice, but leather is extra sleek. They even look fabulous on their own, sitting next to your purse and sunglasses.


    Very Duchess Kate

  4. Knit scarf- When it’s cold, always keep your neck covered. Silk, floral scarves look nice in the spring, but get a wool /cable knit scarf for autumn or winter. And learn how to put them on stylishly too, not just hanging around your neck. When the weather gets warmer around midday, you can take the scarf off and just layer on as needed.


    I adore knit scarves!  

  5. Thermal wear- Somehow, the cold manages to seep through your outerwear and into your bones, and feeling cold equates to feeling miserable. Wear a long sleeved thermal top and thermal leggings under your clothes and you’ll feel nice and toasty all day long.
  6. Boots- I know all about how great athleisure looks, and how much more comfortable sneakers are for travel—but c’mon, you gotta admit a pair of tight, knee high boots makes everything sexier. Suede is ok, leather is best. Get boots in black or dark brown. Ankle boots are having a moment, but knee high is a classic, and will keep your legs warm.


    So. Totally. Fabulous.

  7. Leather jacket- Ah, the look of a real leather jacket. I had to emphasize real because those synthetic ones fall apart after a few uses and you end up leaving embarrassing trails of peeling faux leather everywhere. Wear your leather jacket with jeans or black leggings, boots or sneakers—you’ll look cool no matter what you do.
  8. Sneakers– Ok fine, when the boots become too painful to walk around in, sneakers are the next best option as long as you have thermal socks. In my opinion there are only 3 drool worthy ones—Nike Flyknit, Adidas NMD, and Stan Smith.   You can have your own favorites, as long as they are comfy!


    Stan Smiths at winter, digging it

  9. Neutrals– Yeah, don’t take your entire closet with you even if you are tempted to do so. It’s not fun lugging several heavy suitcases around Europe. Stick to neutral clothes you can wear multiple times on the trip, and mix and match. Bring clothes in wrinkle free fabrics, and choose your most reliable favorites—now is not the time to break in a new outfit that might be uncomfortable.
  10. Trench coat- What’s a spring or autumn without a classic beige trench coat? Choose one of high quality that you’ll get to wear for years and years to come.


    Karlie Kloss in a Burberry trench


Warm weather:

  1. Swimsuit– This is pretty much all you need for a resort getaway. Pick swimsuits that flatter your figure and stick to that style. And please, don’t swim in anything else. As in, no t-shirts in the pool. And rash guards are for the actual sea/surfing or watersports, so don’t wear them to the pool either.


    Red hot in a red maillot

  2. Sarong– You need to own at least one beautiful sarong that can be worn different ways—as a drapey bottom for your swimsuit, or a dress. Kaftans are optional, sarongs are a must.
  3. Wide floppy hat– How else are you going to keep the sun from turning your face into a raisin while you’re out parading on the beach?  dnd
  4. Hollywood shades– Here’s a trick for keeping them on even while swimming: tie them to your ears with a rubber band. They’ll stay secure while you float away on your inflatable flamingo, sipping a pinacolada and waving at your admirers.
  5. Flowy dresses– For post swimming lounging, comfortable flowy dresses or floral rompers are the outfits of choice.


    A fresh take on banana leaves

  6. Strappy sandals– The usual flipflops are cute, but take the glam up a notch by wearing strappy rubber sandals from Ipanema or Grendha instead. Not only are they unbelievably comfy, they’re also gorgeous.


    I can’t live without these sandals

  7. Bronzer– The glutathione white look does not belong at the beach. You must glow like the goddess that you are! And for that, you’ll need tanning oil (do not skip the sunblock though) and lots of bronzer. You think J. Lo ever wanted to look like Snow White?


General stuff:

  1. Passport/document holder– I can’t even remember traveling without a passport holder and document pouch. It keeps everything organized, from boarding passes and whatever, plus it looks really good. Plus points if your passport holder is monogrammed or personalized, on genuine leather.


    Kate Spade

  2. Multi currency wallet– This helps a lot too. On one side you have your pesos, on the other, the local currency of your destination. There can even be a third zipper for the ‘in between currency’, like US dollars.   A coin purse comes in handy too so you can keep all the coins there and use them for taxi change, metro rides and other small purchases.


    For an OC girl like me!

  3. Carry on bag– I know it’s easier to just pack everything into the large suitcase, but you really do need a carry on, cabin friendly bag that has some toiletries, a change of clothing, your travel documents and other essentials juuuust in case they misplace your checked-in luggage. Plus points if your carry-on is part of a luggage set- that means you are fabulous. Oh, and use a combination padlock at all times.


    Bric’s Luggage Set


To all you globe-trotters, jet-setters, wanderlust-ers or whatever you want you call yourselves these days, have a great trip!

For Career Girls

It was my dad’s dream, not mine, for me to be a ‘career girl’.  I think the main motivation for me to enter the corporate world right after college was to earn my own money to buy clothes and bags and go on trips with.  It’s been a long time since I started working, but I still remember clearly how demanding the magnitude of the shift was, not just on that first job but on every single change in role I’ve taken since.   Before I knew it, a bunch of years have passed and I have turned out to be, as much as I hate to admit it, a bona fide career girl. I don’t know exactly when all this adulting happened, but since I like to flatter myself and think I’ve actually been successful at this, I’ve made a list that might be able to help women reading this cope and thrive at work, whatever stage you are at.

  1. Grin and bear it. It’s not going to be easy when you start, and honestly it never will be. All that stuff about ‘love what you do and you’ll never have to work a day in your life’? Yeah, that’s not always the case.   You will need to start at the bottom, and that means, despite your Latin honors, top notch schools and whatever other accolades you’ve received in your scholastic years, you will do many menial, administrative tasks that you thought you were too good for. It is not a waste of talent. These things will teach you patience, humility, and will help you appreciate the work of others. Do your work to the best of your ability, no matter what task was given to you—but keep an eye out for opportunities to improve processes, and don’t be shy to share your bright ideas. Ideally you will earn more and more meaningful responsibilities and do less and less non-value adding stuff over time.  hustle
  2. Think.  It is not enough to robotically do all the tasks given to you, like simply crossing out a checklist as quickly as you can. You were hired to think. When you are given an assignment, be curious enough to fully understand it. Read about it. Talk to people about it. Be critical enough to ask questions that will help you, like what the overall objective is and why it is important, how this project can be sustained, etc. Get other people’s opinions and insights. Involve others. In other words—the goal is not necessarily to be fast and efficient, it is more important to be effective.  robot-cartoon
  3. Use your strengths. Not all the roles you will ever perform will fit to a T with all your talents and abilities, but find a way to weave these into your work. In this fluid, ever changing world, there will be lots of opportunities to do so. For example, your role is in finance but you also love to write. Is there a way to summarize financial reports into a digital digest that will be easy for executives from other functions to appreciate? Volunteer to do it! Yes, it is extra work but it is also an opportunity for you to put your strengths to good use, and hopefully will shape the course of your current and future roles.
  4. Be authentic. There are so many books that have been written to use tactics to manipulate others into liking you, buying your products, believing what you say, or doing what you want them to do. Are these techniques effective? Maybe some are, and maybe for a while. But people are generally not stupid and can read through the intentions of others. What I’ve learned over time is that everyone responds so much better to those who are authentic and honest. Take the time to get to know your workmates and build a good foundation. If you are in a leadership position, treat your team as human beings with real feelings and fears and motivations. Be honest about what you think about things, whether or not others agree with you, but at the same time be willing to consider opinions that do not match your own. No need to be a star. No need to show off. No need to kiss ass. No nonsense. All genuine. And if you ever find yourself in a place where you need to do all of these things just to get ahead—get out of there fast.  plastics
  5. Be willing to go the extra mile. There will be times when the work required of you will go well beyond what you signed up for. Stop whining and consider it a good thing, because an expanded scope, higher volume or more complex work are indicators that your leader thinks you can do more. If you show you can consistently handle it, you will eventually move up. Or, let’s say in a scenario where the work required of you is too easy and you find yourself with lots of free time, volunteer to help others out, and grab opportunities to work with new people from mixed departments. You never know what you’ll find.  500
  6. Keep learning. Learning should be intrinsic to what you do. There are so many different ways to learn that there is no excuse to remain stagnant. Of course there are workshops and specific trainings, but if you are pressed for time and budget to do these, then do research instead. Read articles. Observe others (they call this shadowing).   Talk to coaches and mentors. Understand new concepts, even those not directly related to what you are doing right now. Carve out time to consult your boss about areas for improvement. Yes, you are so busy with work—just like everyone else. But at meetings or even informal conversations, a person who takes the time to learn will show up far differently from one who does not.
  7. Find a mentor. Jack Ma said one of the first things you need to do is find a good leader. I have been very lucky in that respect, but I know that not everybody is happy with the bosses they encounter. So perhaps it is more important to find a mentor you can learn from.   A mentor is someone more senior who has a higher level of expertise (preferably not your boss) that can help you navigate your own journey through advice, personal experience, etc.  yoda
  8. Be a problem solver. Instead of running to your boss for every single problem needing a decision or a solution, come up with your own options and recommendations instead. By the time you present the situation to anyone, you would have already analyzed it and given them options, which show depth and effort instead of simply waiting for instructions.
  9. Develop others. When you become a leader, it stops being about you and it becomes all about your team. How can you develop others to be better than you at what you do? If you unselfishly teach, take the time to explain, delegate important tasks, trust and empower them to make decisions, you will be rewarded with a fully functioning, highly performing, and highly engaged team. That also allows you to focus on more strategic matters, or possibly prepare for a new role.
  10. Listen.  Possibly the most important thing you can do in the workplace is to listen. Before prescribing solutions, products, services or programs, find out what your customers need first (whether these are external or internal customers). Listen to their stories and see things from their perspective. Listen to your leaders and understand what they expect from you. Listen to your colleagues at meetings more than you speak. Do not be in a hurry to make a point or appear all-knowing. If you practice listening more and more, you will be able to better anticipate what people need, and by the time you open your mouth to make a recommendation, it will be far more solid than whatever your initial thought was.  listen


I encourage all of you Kikay working women to push forward and break whatever glass ceilings still exist in the world.   It’s time!

Wardrobe Resolutions

Ok ladies, January is over and February always goes by in a flash. How are you doing on your New Year’s Resolutions for 2018? I’m willing to bet you’ve broken about half of them (yeah, no carbs no sugar…what was I even thinking?), and haven’t even started on the other half.

Well, there’s still 11 months left this year and there’s no time like the present to be a little better than you were yesterday. So I came up with a list of wardrobe resolutions that can help make our lives a bit more interesting and our days a lot more colorful. Here it is—hope you decide do this with me!

  1. I will revamp my work look. That means avoiding the dreary black and gray, ‘safe’, ‘boring’ office outfits. Whoever told you that you can’t or shouldn’t wear vibrant colors in a corporate setting? Imagine how much brighter you’ll look in florals, pastels, a solid purple dress, or even in all white with an eye-catching accessory or silk scarf. Experiment with different styles as well instead of the usual plain Janes of work clothes. If you want to stand out, dress like you mean it baby!


    Miranda Kerr looking annoyingly perfect while visiting the Vogue office

  2. I will add ‘oomph’ to my nights out. Yes, the little black dress always works but c’mon…give it a little more effort and range, no matter what your age. Use attractive accessories and a fabulous purse, or a rockin pair of heels. Wear red lipstick even if you’re having a low-key dinner. Be up for anything, and life will reward you with the most amazing adventures.


    Take a cue from lady of the moment Meghan Markle!

  3. I will look great in the winter. As in—I will find a way to travel to some cold country just so I can wear my coat, wool scarf, cashmere sweater, leather gloves and glamorous boots. That’s one thing I really look forward to, experiencing 4 seasons and the attire that comes with it.

    Olivia Palermo seen wearing a green coat and white turtleneck dress in Brooklyn,New York

    If only we could all look as fab as Olivia Palermo in the winter

  4. I will look cute at the gym. Even if you’re just going to work out and grit your teeth through those crunches, it doesn’t mean you can’t look good. With the emergence of such fashionable workout clothes from our best-loved brands, it’s almost enough to motivate someone to work out every single day! (Take note I said almost). It’s true though—you’ll look forward to spending more time at the gym, yoga studio or spinning club if you actually dress up for it instead of using ratty old t-shirts and boring leggings.


    Yeah if I had Kendall Jenner’s bod I’d go out in my gym clothes too

  5. I will stay true to my personal style. Don’t force on outfits that don’t suit you and the kind of lifestyle you have, just because it’s what you see in the magazines. That way, you’ll always feel comfortable in your own skin and confident in your individuality.
  6. I will know my body type. By now, you know what cuts and styles look good on your frame—what types of necklines, what types of sleeves, the length of the skirt, the cut of the pants, and, for Goodness’ sake, the correct size of clothing to wear! Use all that information and build a wardrobe exclusively meant to make you look only your very best every time you step out of the house!

    body shapes

    Which one are you?

  7. I will not wear too many trends at the same time. It is 2018 and you know what fashion roadkill means. Usually, elegance means simplicity, classic lines and pieces, with a personal twist. What it is not is trying to copy celebrities, TV stars , or passing yourself off as an ‘influencer’ of sorts, wearing all kinds of tacky branded stuff all at once.
  8. I will dress up for the airport. You never know when you’ll be upgraded to first class darling, so be prepared. Do not wear a track suit, slippers, or generally look like you just rolled out bed, unkempt hair and all. Traveling is a privilege—look the part.

    victoria beckham

    Here’s Victoria Beckham at LAX with an actual BABY.  Now that’s #goals!

  9. I will personify resort chic. Yes, the beach is a great place to let loose and wear comfortable clothing, but hey—that doesn’t mean ripped up cut-offs and tacky tie-dyed T-shirts are automatically acceptable. Upgrade your resort chic look into light, breezy dresses, maillots, printed playsuits, silk cover ups, a wide brimmed straw hat, and fabulous sunnies. And don’t forget the sunscreen!


    Ushering in the summer with Rosie Huntington-Whiteley

  10. I will ‘own it’ this year. Make a declaration that this is the year you are going to put yourself first. No more putting up with negative, toxic people and situations – nothing but good vibes and well-being. Therefore, if it means you need a little more time and effort to take care of yourself, get some pampering, upgrade your wardrobe, give yourself the treats you undoubtedly deserve, then so be it. You are unique, special, irreplaceable–a veritable goddess. Make sure you believe it and own it.


If you’re asking me, 2018 with its superblue blood moon is looking superfine already.   Prepare for all the wonderful surprises coming your way!

In With The New

We talked about ‘Out with the Old’—or what not to wear in 2018—in last week’s Kikay. It’s tough to prune things out of your life, right? But just like spring cleaning, it is ultimately for the best. Look on the bright side! Since all that space has now been cleared out in your closet, there’s room for the wonderful things coming your way.  I’ve checked out the spring fashion shows and here are the trends that we can expect (and start hunting for) very soon.   Prepare to fall in love with these 2018 Spring must-haves:

  1. All White and Lavender. When the rest of the world finally thaws out after this bitter winter, the colors we’ll see a lot of are all white errthing, and lavender, which has replaced last year’s millennium pink. I couldn’t be happier at this turn of events, because wearing all white from head to toe always makes people look crisp, chic and fresh, and lavender (or lilac) is one of the most flattering of all the pastels. Check out styles from Zimmerman, Michael Kors, Proenza Schouler or Roland Mouret from NYFW Spring 2018.


    Love this look from Zimmerman 2018

  2. lavender

    Luscious lavender from the Roland Mouret runway

    Bold florals, Black and White Polka Dots, Plaid, Art. Florals always show up in the spring, but this year we’re expecting bigger and bolder versions. As in huge red cabbage roses level of floral. Google the images from Marni, Fendi and Dolce and Gabbana Spring 2018 shows and you’ll see what I mean. Polka dots are back too, especially in black and white. Plaid continues to be popular, and pop art/cartoon prints are all the rage as well.


    Flower power from Marni


    And here’s another from Fendi

  3. Ruching and Fringe. Goodbye ruffles, hello ruching! This is good news for us because the ruching can be used like a more comfortable corset to conceal problematic tummies, bellies, and hips, and still look ultra feminine. Examples abound from Tory Burch and Tom Ford Spring 2018. Fringe is going to be big as well, from bags to tshirts to hemlines—and you gotta admit it’s fun to twirl around like a roaring 20s girl and watch the fringes add a swing to your step.


    Gigi Hadid rockin the ruching at Tom Ford

  4. Square Neckline. Let’s try something different from the usual V or scoop neck and go for square necklines this time. It’s especially flattering for rounder faces because it creates a contrast, and is equally seductive as its more common peers, in a Renaissance, Reign series sort of way.   This neckline was spotted at Rodarte, Christian Dior and Carolina Herrera.


    It’s hip to be square at Carolina Herrera

  5. Dark Denim. Thank Goodness! We can bid adieu to the light acid wash and vintage distressed denims, and go back to being classy and fabulous in dark denims. This applies to jeans, denim dresses, and skirts.


    Super fab dark denim at Mugler

  6. Extras- Transparency, Feathers. They’re called ‘extras’ for a reason, because you’re not supposed to go overboard on these trends. We’re seeing a lot of transparency—sheer skirts and palazzos showcasing toned legs a la Fendi, clear plastic Jimmy Choos, etc. A sprinkling of feathers too, just to add life to drab outfits.


    The Sheerness of You at Fendi

  7. 90’s Oblong Eyewear. So those round shades from the early 90s are about to be replaced by the sleek oblong X-girl styles that were so popular in the late 90s and early 2000s. My advice? Get cheap ones since the trends keep changing every few months, but keep your classic aviators and Hollywood shades classy. The advantage of using cheap ones—you can wear them to the beach, in the pool, and wherever the heck you want all spring and summer long.


    From Elle.com- a rundown of the best X-girl shades (though these are NOT the cheap kind)

  8. Tailoring- Double breasted. This cut first blew up all over the place in the fall but is still super chic for spring. Go for plaid or all white double-breasted pantsuits or suit dresses to bring the power back to power dressing!


    What spring looks like at Dolce and Gabbana

  9. The Fanny pack. I never, ever thought this would happen…but yes, the fanny pack, otherwise known as the belt bag, is sooo back. And check out the designer twist to them! This is definitely the ‘it’ accessory of the year.  My drool-worthy favorites are from Balenciaga, Gucci and Rochas.


    Only Gucci can make a fanny pack look this good!

  10. Fabulous Footwear.  Hello again to the strappy, sexy stilettos and marabou slides!  It’s time to celebrate spring with festive feet, in the most eye-catching colors imaginable.  Check out these choices from Harper’s Bazaar:

    Eenie, meenie, minee…

    Here’s to lots more amazing things (besides fashion) coming our way in 2018!

Out With The Old

Fashion trends, when they’re hot off the runways of New York, Paris or Milan, are awesome. It’s fun to see either something totally new and different, or a genius, fresh twist on something we’ve seen before. Suddenly it’s all we can think of wearing or getting our paws on.  No night out, fancy date, or social event seems as fabulous unless you can appear in whatever Kendall/Kylie/Gigi/Kaia was wearing on IG.

However, when trends hit the mainstream, they become accessible to literally Everybody, so much so that knock-offs from China are flooding market stalls everywhere from Greenhills to Quiapo (trust me, I’ve seen them). Then these knock-offs are purchased by online sellers and boutique owners, and pretty soon you’ll see the designer duds you busted your behind to pay for parading down the street, worn by everyone and their mothers. That means you need to do yourself a favor and try not to be caught dead still wearing these things. Take a deep breath, thank the item for the good times it brought you, and safely tuck it away, or donate it somewhere coz you’ve moved on, baby girl.  Just like your last relationship, right?

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t care if an item is from last season, last year or last decade- as long as it is original and uncommon, and something that enhances your appearance and personality. Never go for run of the mill fads–let’s leave them along with the last of the dwindling fireworks of 2017 and look forward to better things.

Here are the top items of the things that have got to go this 2017:

  1. Cold shoulder and off shoulder blouses– Ok, it’s been 3 years. Can we perhaps try wearing something else now? Something sleeker, simpler, less poufy, less ruffly? I’m all for femininity, but you gotta admit the Chiquita Banana look just isn’t cutting it anymore.


    Jourdan Dunn looking as ‘meh’ as her blouse

  2. Ruffle skirts– Same goes for these. Striped, gingham or plain cloth draped into these ridiculous ruffle skirts. It was fun for a while, especially when worn with a plain white T-shirt and white sneakers, but yeah we’re over these too.


    This look has got to go

  3. Tassel and over the top dangling earrings– Once again with the Caribbean feels. Fresh, tropical, colorful, and so totally dated to Summer 2017. Look around you—everyone is still wearing them (and that’s not a good thing)! Give your poor earlobes a break and switch back to real jewels, por favor.


    If I see another pair of tassel earrings I’m going to scream

  4. Super ripped jeans– Cringe cringe and triple cringe. I must admit I gave this trend a real whirl, I practically lived in my ripped-on-the-knee distressed jeans for a few months. They’re comfy and casual. But it’s time to stop pretending I’m part of Zoolander’s ‘Derelicte’ squad and start wearing my classic, dark rinse pair of skinny jeans that can go from day to night again.


    What were we thinking?

  5. Fake logo tees– Have you seen those white T-shirts with the Dolce and Gabbana logo and embroidered sequin flowers and stuff on them? Yeah?   Or the black tee with the Gucci logo and graffiti? Darling, the original ones cost over Php 20K. So unless you really have the moolah to splurge that amount of money on a trendy white T-shirt, don’t ever consider wearing the fake version. In fact, the sad part is, even if you DO have the original, it’s been copied so extensively that everyone’s going to think you bought it in some back alley in Shenzen.


    Yes I’m referring to this  shirt and other logo tees

  6. Scarf used as headband– Yes, I know we island people love to say that summer lasts forever. But uhmm… it doesn’t. And neither does the appeal of these little scarves that we’ve been tying on our heads all year. Functional and fun, but once again- very seasonal. Remember the headband trend that Blair Waldorf made popular on Gossip Girl seasons 1 and 2? And how ridiculous she looked still wearing them when she went to university? Yup, it’s exactly like that. Certain things, we must outgrow.


    Eeek!  Get that thing away!

  7. Chokers– Black leather or lace chokers were all the rage in the 90s, and along with the whole 90s comeback these past couple of years they were an interesting wardrobe addition, but that’s enough. We can’t relive the glory days of Liv Tyler and Winona Ryder any longer.


    Fun while it lasted

  8. Bomber Jackets– I did love this, especially the satin and embroidered version, but it’s just been made in every conceivable material and print that it’s become so common. I don’t think this trend will last much longer. Hang on to your jacket for a literal rainy day, but don’t count on it as a fashion statement.


    Yeah, that was a good run…

  9. Denim Overalls– Not sure I understand how this piece wormed its way back into our closets as it does not really look good on anyone.   If you actually bought one (bless your optimistic soul), keep it for wearing around the house when there’s home improvement work to do, or maybe when you’re walking your dog down the street, but nothing else.



  10. The Valentino Rockstud and the YSL Tribute- Yes, I really said that. And it does kinda hurt to utter these words, because I loved both these shoe styles so very, very much. But they’ve both had their run for yearssss, and sometimes, things we love just have to die—especially when there are horrible look-alike versions being sold in department stores and ‘tiangges’ everywhere. They’ve lost their appeal completely and make you look so basic that it won’t even matter what you wear them with. Time for a cool change, chicas.  rockstud


So that rounds out my list of the Top 10 Trends that we can’t take with us to 2018. But the memories? For sure.  Here’s to an even more amazing year, in fashion and in everything else.  Happy New Year, kikays!



The No Impact Project

It’s easy to think you’re going to save the world when you’re young…nothing is too big nor too impossible to dream up. But then, sooner or later, real life gets in the way and suddenly you’re inundated with chores, work, children and everything else. By then, ‘saving the world’ sounds like a farfetched battlecry, something best left to government officials, lawmakers, environment groups or large corporations. We feel the effects of climate change, we get alarmed, we pray for safety and deliverance, but in the same breath we shrug our shoulders and tell ourselves there’s really nothing we can do about it.

There are now 7.5 billion people on the planet as of August 2017, and while individually, we probably wouldn’t be able to make a dent—anything done collectively can make a difference.   It’s funny how, as a society, we can get totally caught up with something for the sake of entertainment (like, say, Game of Thrones), and yet be totally blasé about matters affecting our own survival. And speaking of Game of Thrones, you know how the premise is they’re all so busy scheming against each other and waging wars to realize that the real war is with the Whitewalkers threatening humankind? Well, it’s exactly the same here—we are so busy with politics, business, entertainment and mush that we’re completely ignoring environmental issues that could mean our complete annihilation.

I’ve recently learned about the No Impact Project (http://noimpactproject.org/experiment/) from my friend and colleague Dave Devilles of Aboitiz.  It’s a lifestyle change initiative that results in decreasing your carbon consumption, which in turn lessens the greenhouse effect that causes global warming. Patterned after this, corporations (like Aboitiz, in this example), has taken its cue to run this program inside the organization to compound its effect. Here’s what it looks like:


Week 1: Wellness

  1. Substitute one meal a day for a vegetarian meal. I know what you’re thinking- how is eating vegetarian better for the environment? Well, raising animals for food produces more greenhouse gas emissions than all of the cars, planes, and other forms of transportation combined. Aside from the methane from the belching, farting cattle, there’s also the gases released from the manure that they produce, the oil burned taking their carcasses to markets thousands of miles away, the electricity needed to keep the meat cool, the gas used to cook it, the energy needed to plough and harvest the fields that grow the crops that the animals eat, even pumping the water that the cattle need…all of that adds up. So if we can all collectively consume less meat (or no meat, for others), then that’s a form of helping save the planet.



  2. Go for a 20 minute walk (instead of driving or commuting). Traffic is so bad these days it’s almost mind blowing. So instead of hopping into your car or cab for pretty short distances, why don’t we walk there instead? Not only is it good for you to get some exercise from this sedentary office chair-dinner chair-couch-bed kind of lifestyle, it also reduces your gasoline consumption and the carbon monoxide emissions from these vehicles.
  3. Avoid carbonated drinks. Guess what- even drinking your favorite soda has environmental ramifications. There’s the genetically modified sweetener it uses, the plastic bottles, glass bottles or aluminum cans that gets accumulated as waste (because they don’t decompose), and the energy cost of the manufacturing, distribution and even refrigeration of the drink. So the next time you get thirsty, just drink water. Your skin and general health will improve too!


    Where do you think these go?


Week 2: Energy (added on to Week 1)

  1. Share a ride or take a bike to work. Aside from walking to short distances (#2), if you are going somewhere that’s not accessible by foot, then at least devise a means to do a carpool instead or use a non-fuel mode of transportation like a bicycle. Car pooling to work (or school) is a great way to make friends while lessening the number of vehicles on the road. And biking, aside from conserving space, is another way to get fit and incorporate exercise into your daily routine.


    Spot the difference:  60 bikes vs 60 cars vs 1 bus

  2. Go off-grid: These days a charging outlet is like an oasis in the desert—we’re either charging our phones, computers, tablets, cameras or whatever else. All of this is using up so much energy, not to mention polluting our brains and affecting our relationships. So try, once a day, to turn off all your devices for at least an hour. That doesn’t count the time you spend sleeping! And with this digital break, take the time to have real conversations with people and spend quality time with those who matter.  zombie
  3. Keep the AC at 25C: Are you aware that every time you turn on your AC and for every adjustment you make to lower the thermostat, the world outside gets a little warmer because of increased use of nonrenewable energy? So try to make do without airconditioning, especially during cool rainy days. And if you can’t live without it, then at least set the temperature to 25 degrees celsius—that will mean decreased energy use, and a lower electricity bill (therefore more money for makeup), while fighting global warming!


Week 3: Water (added on to Weeks 1 and 2)

  1. Bring your own tumbler to work. Stop using up paper or plastic cups, or buying individual bottles of mineral water! Bring a cute tumbler instead and take it around with you to make sure you stay hydrated throughout the day, while minimizing container waste. You can take the same tumbler when you go to coffee shops like Starbucks or Coffee Bean and also save on the paper cups you would’ve used.


    Good job, Starbucks!  And they’re so pretty too. ❤

  2. Shorten your shower to 5 minutes. Take shorter, more efficient showers. There really is no reason to keep the water running while you’re shampooing your hair or soaping up, so please think of all the drought-stricken places in the world and how lucky we are in comparison next time you turn on the faucet . Same goes for brushing your teeth—use a glass instead of keeping the tap on.


    She reportedly takes 5-minute military style showers.  Way to go, Jennifer!

  3. Recycle water at home. Since it’s the rainy season, keep containers out to catch rainfall, which you can use for chores like washing the car, cleaning out dirty aircon filters, or watering plants during dry days.


Week 4: Anti – Waste (added on to Weeks 1, 2 and 3)

  1. Do batch printing. First of all ask yourself if you really need a printout of that file. Meetings and presentations can be done with digital files instead of printouts that people are just going to toss out anyway afterwards. Now, if you really must print stuff, try to cluster all the printing so that you’ll only use the printer at most once in a day.   Then if you have any misprints, save the paper for notes. Pretty soon you’ll have enough scratch paper to create an entire notepad, instead of using up fresh sheets of paper or another notebook.
  2. Don’t waste food. Only order what you can completely consume, and be conservative with our intake. For instance, ask restaurants to give you a half serving of rice instead of the full cup. It is the saddest thing to watch them throw away extra food and unfinished rice when there are so many people out there starving. If you do have leftovers, take it home with you to consume another time—I don’t care if it’s considered baduy to be carrying a takeout bag, at least you aren’t wasting precious food.  food
  3. Use an eco bag. Make it a habit to carry a small foldable eco bag in case you end up purchasing something within the day, so you won’t need any of the shop’s plastic bags or paper bags. You’d be surprised how much you can accumulate just by buying knickknacks for your place, basic groceries or toiletries.  ecobag


All of these are small, simple things to for anyone to do, but considering a scale of thousands of employees, or hundreds of members of an organization, or even just a smaller bunch of people in villages, families or circles of friends, this is a lot.   We can promote wellness, reduce carbon footprint, improve resource efficiency, minimize the greenhouse effect—and guess what, we can even save the world.