High School Throwback

My high school batch in St. Theresa’s recently celebrated a milestone reunion/ anniversary—I won’t say how many years it’s been since we graduated because you will then be able to deduce my age, but suffice it to say it was a big deal. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to join my friends and visit our dear old campus because of other pressing commitments, but seeing everyone’s photos on Facebook made me feel sentimental all of a sudden. It all came flooding back—memories of high school friendships, notes we used to pass around in class, barkada beach trips, crushes and cheesy swoon-worthy moments, prom night drama, cheering at Intramurals and all that great stuff.   It was the best of times, when the world lay right in front of us, waiting to be explored and discovered. Those were the days when we could literally become anybody we wanted to be moving forward, when we had endless choices and countless possibilities. Then the choices started, and with every choice we took, certain doors closed, and others opened. To all my batchmates—I hope you are all happy, healthy and content. I hope you’ve all been able to squeeze the juice out of life, and continue to do so with every day we’ve been blessed with. I hope you’ve been able to make some of your most treasured dreams come true, and I hope many more wonderful surprises are waiting just around the corner for you.  Because to me, you will always be the same fresh-faced, bright eyed girls who could do anything they put their minds to.

Anyway, so being kikay as I am, while walking down memory lane I also started to remember all my favorite outfits from those days that are now making a huge comeback. Oh if only high school could last forever! Well girls– even if we can’t be sweet sixteen for life, we can at least take bits of our awesome teenage years by incorporating elements of it in our wardrobes today. Here are some of my favorites:

  1. High waist jeans and shorts- The good news here is, if you’re slim and you know it you can wear your high waist bottoms with a cropped or fitted top, while if you want to conceal certain problem areas, this trend looks great with oversize tops as well. So yes, high waisted bottoms can be universally flattering as long as you pick out the right style and size for you. Make sure the waistband isn’t too tight, or you’ll have an awful muffin top.

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    Emily Ratajkowski rockin high waist jeans

  2. Mules and kitten heels– These were the definitive footwear of the late 90s and early 2000s, and are apparently all the rage again. Mules look great with either wide leg or cigarette pants, and kitten heels are especially flattering worn with knee length pencil skirts and slip dresses. And both are way more comfy than stilettos, so indulge away!

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    Embroidered Gucci mules

  3. Small shades– Those glamorous oversize shades you love so much have to hibernate for a while because smaller lenses are the edgy way to go– whether round or oval ones, colored or metallic ones. Cat shaped lenses are super chic as well.

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    Remember these????

  4. Sling bag– Nearly every bag being sold these days have a sling attached to them, and I can’t see how we survived without them before. So pratical to keep your arms and hands free to move and scroll your phone with! Pick a ‘just right’ size that’s large enough to stuff your things in, but small enough to still be considered stylish.

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    Prada sling bags, I love!

  5. Heavy fringe– Let’s take a page from our European gal pals and try out a heavy fringe for once. It immediately draws attention to your eyes (so get ready to amp up the eye makeup), and somehow just adds 1000 sophistication points to your look.   What’s even more fun is if you created a sexy new persona to go with the bangs and ask yourself—what would a sassy, sophisticated version of me do today?

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    Selena Gomez with full bangs

  6. Fitted top– Yes, those ribbed tops that show off every carb you consumed in the last 2 days aren’t going anywhere for now. So suck it in and enjoy. These look good with wide leg pants and A-line skirts- very Liv Tyler.

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    Eternal muse Liv Tyler

  7. Logo/Statement tee– You know those classic logo tees (like the Guess triangle) that were so popular back then? Yeah, they’re back. And so are statement T-shirts. If you want to look young(er), find one and wear them with millennial white sneakers.

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    That unmistakable Guess triangle…

  8. Jumpers– Who knew overalls would make a comeback? And spaghetti strap or apron style dresses worn over fitted shirts? Well, I’m loving it because the look reminds me of my favorite Friends character—Rachel. Just counting the days till her famous hairstyle comes back in full force as well.

    Jumper

    Rachel in her element

  9. Leather sandals– Whether flat or platform style, these comfy leather sandals are having a moment, and are perfect weekend wear (as alternative to above mentioned sneakers, of course). They look great with the rest of the 90s/2000s ensemble, and are especially cute in white or camel shades.

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    What about these??  Looks familar, eh?

  10. A line skirts– One of my favorite styles from high school are these button down A line skirts or the swirl variety. They’re flattering for pear shapes because they accentuate the waist and hide the hips, and are a bit more forgiving on the thighs as well. Just please make sure you wear boyleg underwear for this, ok?

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    Alexa Chung in an A line mini

  11. Slip dresses– Kate Moss, is that you? I can’t think of anything more versatile than the spaghetti strap, knee length slip dress. Wear with a denim jacket or over a fitted tee for a more casual look, or on its own for date night. Do you remember how this looked on us back then, with hair slicked back or up in a clamp, and kitten heels?

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    Signature Kate Moss style

  12. Denim or Varsity jacket– Perfect for the rainy weather in town these last few months. Both jackets look great with black leggings and sneakers (for a youthful, athleisure outfit), or over a dress for a campus crush throwback. Hmm, now where did I put my ex-boyfriend’s varsity jacket…

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    Coach Autumn Winter Collection.  Gorge!!!

 

So there’s my top dozen, write me at muskwie@yahoo.com or tag me on FB or IG for your picks!

 

To my lovely Theresian batchmates, see you again in 5 years (and hopefully a lot more before then), and to all you 90s and Y2K babies out there, a toast to the good times.

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Summer Essentials

In case you missed it, summer is in full swing and everything is burning up–it is that hot!!! School’s out, work people are on vacation mode, and the annual party called summer in the Philippines is definitely raging this year. Don’t miss out on these must-haves to keep you looking fabulous all season long:

  1. agnes b. Lunettes– This très chic French fashion brand first opened its doors in 1975, and now has more than a hundred stores all over the world. It’s known for classic apparel, accessories, watches, jewelry, and eyewear. A couple of weeks ago, the eye care center Ideal Vision launched the very first line of agnes b. eyewear made available in the Philippines, and the whole collection is delightful! The styles are timeless and elegant, whether for glasses or sunglasses, but come with a fresh twist, like colored or striped frames, mirrorized lenses, and flattering shapes—all embodying the brand’s free spirited vibe.   I think I just found a new favorite! Check them out at select Ideal Vision branches soon. Visit idealvisioncenter.com.ph. and like or follow Ideal Vision Center on Facebook and Instagram for all updates.

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    Fresh frames by agnes b.

  2. Tipsy Pops– I tried one of these and after that first taste I Just. Could. Not. Stop! Such an awesome idea to create these yummy alcoholic popsicles perfect for any summer bash. They come in all your favorite flavors too: Piñacolada, Kalamansi Margarita, Mango Rum, Strawberry Daiquiri, Orange Arancello, Seabreeze, Bloody Sunset, and Tropical Tequila Sunrise! You can order a party stash by emailing tipsypops2015@gmail.com, or swing by Cebu’s number one weekend market Sugbo Mercado IT Park for your fix. Check out their Facebook page at facebook.com/lickmoderately.

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    You know you want this…

  3. The chic one piece– Yes, those itsy bitsy bikinis will never go out of style, but if you want to amp up the ante on the fashion front this year, go for a sexy one piece instead. Whether it’s the side cut-out variety, the lace up neckline, or the sideboob-baring type, you’ll surely sizzle like the sun. Check out styles at Cotton On, Forever 21, or the many online shops available and rock it like you mean it at the beach!

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    A Cotton On one piece– bet you’ve never seen denim look this good!

  4. Metallic tattoos– Move over, henna, and don’t even get me started on those ridiculous flower crowns. The coolest body adornments to wear this season are of the metallic kind, on smooth, bronzed skin setting off resort chic dresses and lace up sandals.   The easiest way is via stick on metallic/glitter tattoos, or even better, try out metallic body paint with a friend! Now who’s a gleaming goddess?  2da069525e2b251eb6d1ad470dd58ca1
  5. Inflatables– We went crazy for them last year, and we’re definitely still crazy for them this year! Buy your giant rainbow unicorn, swan, winged horse, donut or slice of pizza and float away to summer bliss. A word of caution: it’s better to use these babies in the pool instead of the sea, it’s kinda hard to get back to shore against the current on a giant inflatable creature, unless you tie it down.

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    Take your new pet unicorn to the beach!

  6. Yellow– Literally the color of summer (and Coldplay), and what a heyday it’s having right now! Make sure to add a splash of lemon yellow to your wardrobe this season, whether via a bright yellow top worn with denims or whites, or a skirt/shorts, a bag, or a pair of gorgeous yellow heels. Trust me, it’s impossible not to be happy wearing such a vibrant color, and more smiles will be headed your way.

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    Loving this butter yellow top from Stradivarius

  7. Crop tops– As the temperature gets hotter, the tops grow smaller. So I hope you did all your crunches, core work and everything you possibly could to get a flat tummy (and abs, perhaps?) in time for summer…because since 90’s fashion is so back, we are seeing blouses shrink to Britney Spears 1997 levels filling up all the fashion racks. Wear with high waisted jeans/shorts, or drawstring-waist skirts.

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    Tiny tops to wear on endless summer nights

So there’s my lucky seven for the summer. Now all you need is some sun, sea, sand, and an awesome Spotify playlist, and you’re all set to have the best season ever. Have fun, kikays!

2017 Trend Report

Hello fashionistas! While I am personally a big fan of classic wardrobe staples that never go out of style, let’s face it—once in a while, our closets need a bit of a boost to stay current. It’s been a while since I’ve been out shopping (life gets in the way like that), but I finally had time to browse the net for fashion updates and look around in stores, and what I found was quite surprising. The trends of today are completely different from my normal style! Was I going around looking like a certified Tita stuck in a time warp all this time?! So here’s my roundup of what’s fresh for 2017.   Get your hands on them stat, and you’ll pass for a millennial.

  1. Greenery– Let’s start with this. Pantone’s 2017 color of the year is called ‘greenery’. And no, it is not the rich forest green you would expect. It actually reminds me of a vegetable, and I am not thrilled about that, but we could all use a zing of color in our lives. Check your instagram feed- if all you’ve been wearing lately is boring, basic black, it’s time to take action. Wear this color with white, dove gray, or beige as its neutral base.  pantone-color-of-the-year-2017-greenery-15-0343
  2. Embroidery– Well what do you know? My grandmother’s embroidered items are now all the rage, cropping up on lace tops, striped polos, and even on bags, jackets and shoes! You don’t need to be all decked out in needlework to be considered stylish, so just pick one or two items for a quick wardrobe refresher. My favorites are the embroidered button down shirts at Zara, and the black lace tops and shoulder bags with embroidered flowers at Stradivarius.

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    Zara embroidered shirt

  3. Matte, nude lips– As far as makeup goes, the big revolution has been in lipsticks, with hordes of women stocking up on matte, all-day-long brands like Colourpop, Kylie, and Nyx. Nude is the color of choice, ranging from the barely-there tans, to brick, to deep brown.

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    Well hello there Kylie.

  4. Chokers– If you’re a child of the 90s, you would remember this trend. Well, the black chokers are back in full force baby! You can use the stretchy nylon ones that look like a lace tattoo on your neck, or a simple long black leather cord tied up stylishly. Obviously, this looks good with a V neckline or button down shirt.  choker
  5. Straight, center part hair– Time to say goodbye to sexy beach waves and take out your hair straightening iron, ladies! Part your hair in the middle a la Liv Tyler in Empire Records or Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner of today, and better suck in those cheeks or contour them well so as to create an oval shaped face.

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    Mila Kunis rockin the ‘do

  6. Cropped, ribbed tops– Also taken from the 90s book, tops are getting smaller and smaller. Look for the ribbed, stretchy variety and wear with anything from pencil skirts to cropped wide pants. I am crossing my fingers you’ve been doing your ab work all this time, because it looks like this trend will be around for a while!

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    Gigi or Kendall- who wore it better?

  7. Sneakers– I do not know how this happened, but somehow it has become acceptable for sneakers to be worn as actual shoes, and even be considered stylish. In fact, as a lazy bombshell, I do not understand this whole athleisure trend at all, but c’est la vie. So yes, white sneakers (first popularized by Adidas Stan Smiths), those things called Yeezys, NMDs, metallic slip-ons, Nike flyknits—you need these in your life right now.

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    Adidas NMDs

  8. Colored lenses– Not contact lenses, silly. Sunglasses! The rounder, more geometric, or more colorful, the better. Never mind if it makes you look a bit like Willy Wonka, the point is they’re quirky and cute, and can add a pop of life to an otherwise dull outfit. I’m currently lusting over the Dior SoReal, which is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Awesome design.

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    Want!  Need!

  9. Flare jeans– It was bound to happen. Our skinny jeans and jeggings have to be set aside, because the flare is back. Wear with one of the aforementioned tiny tops and chunky sandals, and you’re good to go.

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    Ugh I hate you Miranda Kerr!!

  10. Zip up varsity jacket– The collegiate varsity jacket has generated a lot of interest in recent months, with popular brands coming up with silk, floral and embroidered varieties. You have to admit, while it again invokes the anti-glam ‘athleisure’ feel, it is both comfy and cool.   This is one trend I very much approve of.

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    Another hit by Zara

  11. Shoulder bag– Whether it’s a drawstring bucket bag or a mini, a shoulder sling bag is your accessory du jour at present. Isn’t it awesome to finally have your hands free to chat with friends and boylets on Viber or Whatsapp without having to lug those dreadful oversize slouchy bags on your arm? The only other alternative is the mini backpack, like the Prada one from the 90s. I’m not sure how legit a 30 something year old would look wearing a backpack, but whatever. That’s beside the point.

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    Got this at Stradivarius- what a steal!

  12. Pleats– And to round up this dainty dozen, I’m hearing my mom’s voice screeching ‘electric pleats!!!’ when she saw a pleated skirt hanging in a store. The ideal length for this is mid-calf, or palazzo style, and it looks good with (again) cropped and tiny tops. Very classy, ladylike, and polished.

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    Swish!

Here’s to looking good all day, every day! Cheers, chicas. Till our next catch up.

Fashion in Film

I love movies and I love fashion. So when these two collide, the result to me is truly an exhilarating experience. There used to be a time (before Google and cellphones) where, as an 8 year old girl, I’d hit the pause button on the VCD just to draw the outfits of the characters, then I’d color it and describe them to my mom in great detail so that she could have the seamstress make me something similar. If that’s not an obsession, I don’t know what is! Anyway, looking back, I realize I’ve been living my life as though it’s one big movie, complete with script, costume, and soundtrack—perhaps you can think of your own iconic movies that influenced how you dressed over the years, but here’s a list of favorites (in random order):

  1. Clueless. When Alicia Silverstone and her sidekick Stacey Dash showed up to school in those plaid skirt suits, my jaw dropped in awe and envy. That set the tone for the rest of the film, including the red Azzedine Alaia minidress that she wears in the movie poster, lots of A line skirts, cardigans and knee high stockings, even their P.E. attire was the bomb! This movie totally rocked 90s fashion and some expressions like ‘Whatever’ and ‘As if’ are still used today. It’s now been 21 years since Clueless, and since 90s are all the rage, it should be time for a viewing party!

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  2. Funny Face, Roman Holiday, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. These three Audrey Hepburn films are so fashionably on point that you can wear any of the outfits today and still look stylish. In Funny Face, she wears a sophisticated pink cropped blouse with a white column skirt, and an elegant red strapless gown. In Roman Holiday, it’s the white polo and midi skirt with lace-up sandals that steals the show. In Breakfast at Tiffany’s—who could forget the classic Givenchy little black dress from the opening credits or her hot pink party dress? Just watching these movies is enough to educate women on style, timelessness, and the importance of dressing the part.
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    The Devil Wears Prada. To witness Anne Hathaway’s transformation throughout this film is so rewarding. I must have watched this more than 5 times and I still feel giddy! She went from slouchy sweaters to Chanel tweed blazers and thigh high leather boots, that classic ivory trench coat and beret, the brown belted dress, the black lace gown and red lipstick, the chunky Chanel charm necklace—heck, even all of Meryl Streep’s outfits as well as Emily Blunt’s was drool worthy from start to finish! The wardrobe room of that movie is truly my version of heaven.

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    I Die!!!!

  4. Sex and the City 1 and 2. What we loved the most about the TV series, was, of course, the fashion. So of course, the expectation for the movies to deliver the same trademark fabulousness was sky high, and these two did not disappoint. Much of the first movie revolved around Carrie’s wedding, and the girls’ outfits- an incredible Vivienne Westwood number for the bride and beautiful Zac Posen gowns in black, red and blue for the bridesmaids- are just about as iconic as you can get. Then the girls go through a whole delectable fashion year together, from summer in Mexico, the fall fashion shows, and the sapphire Manolo Blahnik shoe that launched a gazillion knock-offs. In the second movie, the level of fashion fantasy goes up even higher as the foursome take on Abu Dhabi. Oh, the floaty maxidresses at the desert safari! Carrie’s Dior t-shirt and lavender ball skirt at the market! I can’t even begin to detail all the rest- suffice it to say, watch both movies and learn.SATC2

     

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  5. The Dressmaker. Say what? I’ve never heard of this movie until I saw it on the inflight menu on a 13-hour trip. Suffice it to say I wasn’t just pleasantly surprised when I watched it—I was floored! In the movie, Kate Winslet plays a genius designer and seamstress in the 1950s who completely transforms people into fashion plates in her hometown (located in the middle of nowhere). Such glamorous gowns and day dresses reminiscent of the screen sirens of the golden age! This is a definite must-see for all the fashion fans.

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  6. The Great Gatsby (both the 1974 and 2013 versions).   Since the story is all about the excesses of the roaring twenties and early thirties, it follows that fashion is an important element in the film. Mia Farrow of 1974 wears a slinky silver gown and chic headpiece for the bash, while in the later version, Carey Mulligan wears a glittery gold gown and a bejeweled headband. For the daytime scenes, Mia Farrow wears a pretty white lace dress and hat, while Carey Mulligan flirts with lavender ruffles. What a face-off! I can’t decide who won!

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  7. Rear Window. Grace Kelly knocks the ball out of the park in every single scene of this movie—it’s no wonder costume designer Edith Head has received a total of 8 Oscars. Plus this is a Hitchcock, so there is absolutely no excuse for not having seen it. Perhaps the most famous dresses in the movie are the black fitted V-neck bodice with full white tulle skirt, the white halter with apple green pencil skirt, and the white silk gown with a floaty chiffon shawl…it’s enough to cause massive hyperventilation whenever she appears on screen. Well, as we know, the girl snagged a real prince!

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  8. The Other Woman. This is not a classic nor is it a huge box office hit, but all of Cameron Diaz’s outfits in this movie are on point for the modern woman of today. White blazer with black cigarette pants, knee length pencil skirts, lots of chic office dresses, a lemon yellow sundress, LBDs. Nothing earth shattering, but she manages to look consistently classy, polished, and amazing. Then again, with legs like hers….

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  9. Atonement.  There is only one dress in this movie that really jumps out at you, but does it ever! It’s a vintage emerald green silk backless gown so gorgeous that you can’t focus on Keira Knightley’s face (or anything else for that matter) as she moves around in it. Recently voted on an online poll of Time magazine as the best film costume of all time, that says enough.

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    That.  Green.  Dress.

 

Honorable Mention:  How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days  

 

What are your favorite outfits on film? Share them with me! Cheers to one of the joys of being a girl.

Trend Alert

It’s officially the first day of summer in the US and several countries in Europe.   That means, of course, that store racks are about to get a total overhaul of new loot for us to lust over! It’s a lucky thing that considering the monsoon season is upon us, it remains warm enough in the Philippines to follow the latest trends.

I’ve never really considered myself a trendy person—my wardrobe remains pretty much the same year in and year out in terms of basics—but it’s also important to do some seasonal updates in order to remain current.   A blouse here, a pair of trousers there, a statement shoe perhaps, and you should be good to go. Be on the lookout for these items and incorporate them into your outfits in the next 3 months:

  1. Off-shoulder and drop-shoulder tops– They’re everywhere! Whether via billowy blouses and ruffles, or tight and cropped, the common theme is the exposure of the shoulders and collarbones. Thank goodness puffed sleeves aren’t part of the equation (yet), or I’d really think we are in a time warp. I love this look, it’s both feminine and sophisticated. You can wear them with anything too, from trousers to shorts, skirts to jeans.

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    Olivia Palermo slayin’ again

  2. Cropped wideleg pants– This cut looks relaxed and quite chic. It also looks great whether you’re tall or petite. Just make sure you wear it with a small fitted top, nothing oversized in order to balance out the proportions. White is a good, fresh choice for this.

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    Kendall Jenner looking oh so fresh

  3. Block heels– Say sayonara for the meantime to your pencil-thin stilettos, because it looks like the block heels are here to stay. Not quite as chunky as I remember them from the 90s, but still. That should be a relief for your poor feet, tired of teetering precariously with such little support.

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    Aquazzura nudes

  4. White t-shirt and summer dress– Oh, how I loved this back in my tween years. A plain white T-shirt worn under a spaghetti strap floral sundress, whether short or long. 90s kids, do you still remember this? Extra chick points if you wear this whole ensemble with a pair of Doc Martens boots.

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    Oh hello, 90’s Drew Barrymore!

  5. Long skirts/palazzo pants– Yes, you can breathe easy because the bandage dress and supertight micromini trends from a few years back are definitely over. Hemlines are long and forgiving these days, via long or midi skirts and wideleg palazzo pants. Pencil skirts are still on point, as long as they are on the knee.

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    Amal is perfection head to toe!

  6. Lace up sandals and tops– If you haven’t gotten your hands on a pair of lace-up flats or sandals yet, you must have been living under a rock or something. These babies are all the rage, giving sort of a hybrid ballerina/gladiator vibe. Recently, tops and dresses are also featuring deep v-neck lace-ups– very sexy indeed.

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    Jimmy Choos… I die!

  7. Knit crop tops– Here’s another major blast from the past. High neck, tiny little knit tops that show a flash of tummy. Not exactly for the faint of heart, but if you’ve got abs and a small waistline, by all means flaunt it!

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    Ugh Taytay I hate you but I love you…

  8. Overalls and jumpsuits– Ok sorry but I will not be caught dead in denim overalls, unless I’m painting the walls of my room or something. Nevertheless, overalls are ‘in’, and have been sort of reinvented too. If you want to wear this trend, choose the non-denim variety, or opt for a jumpsuit instead. They also come in wideleg and cropped styles.

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    Alessandra Ambrosio in overalls… hmm I think I’ll reconsider…

  9. The usual supects- Every summer, know the drill: stripes, florals, checks and ginghams will be about and about. So the usual suspects are back this year, but given a bit of a bohemian flavor. Embroidery is very, very in demand this season too. Celebrate being a girl, eh?

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    The Gucci Dionysus bag– cue drooling now!

  10. The half bun– In terms of how to do your hair, change things up a bit and wear it in a half bun (also known as ‘hun’). It’s simple, just tie your hair in a half ponytail then twist the upper portion up in a bun, securing with elastic and hair pins. Young, fresh and current. Isn’t that what we all aspire for?

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    Riri’s half bun- peg!

 

That rounds up our top ten for the season! Have a blast, fellow kikays. Don’t let the rain get in the way of living a colorful life.

The H&M Conscious Collection

In the news the other day, it was reported that the heat index experienced in the country hit 52 degrees. That’s worse than a raging fever or a heated bikram yoga studio. And yes, while we whine about the discomfort and rush to the nearest air-conditioned room available while drinking copious amounts of ice water, there are serious implications to climate change that we shouldn’t be able to brush off so nonchalantly.  It is not for a lack of communication, because I’m pretty sure we’ve all heard the warnings and feel the signs of impending disaster. But we are all too ‘busy’ to actually do anything about it…busy driving to work, busy pounding away at our computers, consuming electricity, busy running businesses, busy earning the means to provide for our families. ‘It is only when the last tree has been cut down and the last fish has been harvested from the ocean that we will realize, we cannot eat money.’, says a quote I saw recently. If we want to live in a sustainable world, we’re going to have to take extra steps to change our lifestyles and habits. Of course you know the drill- Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Plant trees, conserve water, work to lessen your carbon footprint, and choose products that are good for the environment.

It is always good news to hear about major brands doing their share for the environment. H&M, one of my favorite clothing brands, is a great example. Sustainable development is at the heart of their operations, and affects how they select raw materials for products and how the items are produced. They use efficient lighting in their stores to conserve energy, and work with suppliers to help reduce CO2 emissions as well. How amazing is that?

This year, H&M has launched its ‘H&M Conscious’ collection which is a product of their collaboration with the Musee des Arts Decoratifs located in the Palais de Louvre in Paris. Inspired by the world-renowned museum’s archives, the line consists of glamorous modern red carpet pieces infused with a delicate charm, nostalgic aesthetic and historical legacy. From dreamy, floaty maxi dresses that make you swoon, to glamorous satin palazzos, sweet peaches-and-cream blouses, lace skirts, beaded shift dresses, and even a coat made out of PET bottles, every piece in the collection is drool-worthy and is a wonderful addition to any modern lady’s wardrobe. The clothes and accessories use new innovative materials such as beads and rhinestones made from recycled glass and Denimite, a material made from recycled worn-out denim.  1156_102_sRGB_300_low.png

 

Parisian Art Director, style maven and sustainability champion, Julia Restoin Roitfeld, is the face of the campaign. “I am honoured to be the ambassador of such a unique project. I think that the idea of creating a collection inspired by the history of art and fashion is fantastic. Especially since it is made with innovative and sustainable materials which are the future of fashion” says Julia. Known for her distinctive, personal sense of style, Julia is the embodiment of effortless, conscious and modern cool.

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What’s not to love about this brand? It’s admirable how they advocate a better fashion future- one where fashion not only makes people look good, but do good as well. ‘At H&M we have set the challenge of making fashion sustainable and sustainability fashionable. We want to help people express their personality and feel proud of what they wear, and ultimately we want the future generations to enjoy fashion the way they do now.’ says Dan Mejia, H&M Philippines Head of Communication and Press.

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The H&M Conscious Collection was launched last April 7 and hopefully you can still catch some of the pieces at one of their 180 stores globally.

Here are more photos of my favorites!

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I’d also like to invite everyone reading this to participate in and promote world recycling week from April 18-24! Every little bit you do goes a long way.

Here’s to our future!

The New Office Attire

Back in college, there was a prescribed ‘work attire’ we had to follow whenever we made presentations in class: A dark skirt suit, with a collared button-down blouse underneath the blazer, sheer hosiery, closed black pumps, and understated accessories limited to a watch and pearls. Then I went to work for a bank, and the same office attire was required.   Even for job interviews, that was also the standard get-up expected.

Today the rules have changed quite a lot, and we’ve found that office attire can still look polished, sophisticated and professional without necessarily being too rigid. Here are some essential items you can infuse into your wardrobe for better variety rather than the regular librarian look:

  1. Tailored sleeveless dress– Sleeveless?! In the office?! That would have been unheard of in another time. But now we are spoiled for choice and there are several acceptable options. What is important is to balance the look. If you are wearing a sleeveless dress, make sure the length is on the knee (never above), the cut is tailored and the neckline high (no low V neck or anything cleavage-baring), and the fabric is of high quality. Wear the dress with high heeled closed pumps. Another very chic alternative to the dress is a long sleeveless blazer, worn with cigarette pants. And speaking of…

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    Gorgeous chartreuse dress by Ann Taylor

  2. Cigarette pants– Who knew pants could look this good on a lady? Upgrade from plain old trousers to flattering, fitted cigarette pants cropped right above the ankle. They make your legs look longer and show off great shoes. If you want to be even more fashion-forward, you can also switch to wide leg pants, also cropped above the ankle. This looks good in a high-waist variety, worn with a top that just skims the waistband. Wow, did you just step out of a Vogue photoshoot?

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    The only cigarettes I’ll ever endorse

  3. Feminine blouses– Gone are the days when you could only wear a blazer or long sleeved polo shirt to work. Blouses are happily welcome at the office, and add a dash of femininity to an otherwise ‘severe’ environment. Try a white or beige butterfly sleeve or drape blouse with a black pencil skirt, or a wraparound blouse with pants. Fabrics can range from chiffon, jersey to silk.

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    Drape blouse by Helmut Lang

  4. Introduce color and print– You really don’t need to wear too much black or gray at work. Use different colors and print for a more vibrant look! You can pair a bold color with a neutral, or try white and pastels during the summer. Prints are fun too, except when worn in excess (like leopard print from head to toe will make you look like roadkill). The idea is to stand out instead of blending in with the walls, while not exactly looking like a billboard on Times Square. Get it?

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    DVF printed wrapdress

  5. Bold accessories– A beautiful gold cuff, or a chunky necklace may be just what you need to go from drab to fab at work. If you’re going to use an eye catching accessory though, make sure your clothes are on the understated side (plain colors, no print) so as not to look like a walking Christmas tree. And try to avoid dangling earrings, those are reserved for nights out, not to hypnotize your boss with.

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    Tiffany & Co. Elsa Peretti Bone Cuff

  6. Day to night outfits– Another practical invention is to go from day to night flawlessly. These days, whatever you wear to the office, as long as it’s chic and stylish, is good enough to wear to dinner or cocktails—except you might just need to switch from a big leather tote to a clutch, or from conservative closed pumps to strappy stilettos. You’ll also just need a quick makeup upgrade (smoky eyes and heavy mascara, some contouring or a bold red lip) suitable for the evening.

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    A perfect example!

  7. Fabulous footwear– I once had an officemate who received a memo for wearing pink shoes in the office. I’m not kidding!   Whereas today, we can take our pick from a plethora of footwear to wear with our chic new office outfits without HR batting an eyelash. So yes, go ahead and wear them stacked heels, the strappy stilettos, the sky high heels, the peeptoes, the open toe booties… they are all fair game. There are, of course, those that are still no-nos, such as sneakers, flat sandals, slip-ons and thongs (focus on shoes, not undies, people!). Loafers are sort of a gray area, it depends how relaxed your office attire policies are. And please, in the Philippines, no boots!

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    Loubies to lust for

  8. Bare legs– I have not worn stockings in a very long time and thank Goodness for that!   It is now perfectly fine to sport bare legs to the office, as long as they are well groomed. Get waxed every couple of weeks, moisturize so they won’t look dry and flaky, and don’t show off too much of them via thigh high slits or micro mini skirts…unless you want people to think you have a sideline profession.

 

That said, some classics will never go out of style. The suit is still the most ‘powerful’ office outfit you can wear, the high heeled pumps (in beige or black) will always be the most useful pair of shoes you have in your closet, and a pair of pearl earrings are still the safest and most elegant jewelry you can wear for daytime. Invest in these, add on the rest, and you’ll be good to go for years to come.  lips