Fashion and Style

My Style Collective

Hi guys!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted something a little bit more casual and fun (god have you read those #personals posts?!).

Anyways, I really want to reconnect with my readers, as I’m glad to announce that I now have over 60 of you guys subscribed and over a hundred posts here in the little-blog-that-I-can’t-believe-could.

Well, if you’re one who loves taking #OOTDs, this one’s for you.

Growing up plump (and proud of it!), I usually try my very best to look and feel confident and be in-the-know of the hottest and latest fashion trends here in the country and abroad.

I have this love of fashion that I can’t really translate sartorially, but for sure, I can talk about endlessly. I’ve been spending quite some time reading a lot about fashion, on designers, on latest trends in the runways, on make-up, shoes and all things glam and fabulous.

I have a knack for fashion jargon and it really feels great to try some of the fashion tips I’ve read about and check if they can really amp up my fashion game.

However, let me tell you, I have a bookish fashion knowledge. I honestly can’t do my make up, can’t walk womanly in heels and I never do my hair. But I see to it that in little ways I can sneak in my fashion knowledge. 😉

For sure, if someone asks me what my style is, I wouldn’t know what to say.

Preppy? Not so much.

Dressy? Perhaps, on occasion.

Experimental? I doubt it.

Laid-back? For sure.

Despite all this, after all the time I’ve spent reading all things fashion, I can say that I swear by a tip or two, which are:

First: Work with what you have. 

Second: Always be confident in your skin. 

Third: Comfort and style is the way to go! 

Living in a tropical country all my life, I got used to always being in shorts and a whole bunch of shirts.

On casual lunch-outs that doesn’t involve going to church or whatsoever, my go-to outfit consists of a nice shirt (sometimes a blouse if I feel like wearing one), a good pair of denim shorts, a nice, comfy pair of shoes (before I used to swear by doll shoes or flats, but now, Chuck Taylors, platform sneakers, Sperry Top-siders, and Birkenstocks are quite my thing), and a roomy sling or shoulder bag.

Top: Forever 21; Shorts: American Eagle Outfitters; Shoes: Sperry Top-siders

Top: Cache-Cache; Shorts: Aeropostale
Sperry Top-siders
Faux Snakeskin Leather Platform Slip-Ons/Sneakers from Shoebox
Custom-made Birkenstock-inspired slippers from The Heel Project Manila

Same goes whenever I have to run some errands, watch a movie, or just hang out with friends and family on a nice weekend. Sometimes though, I muster enough “courage” to wear a dress on a casual day. It’s comfy, breezy and adds a girly-girl vibe to my outfit.

My Chucks and Movie Tickets #classic
Shirt Dress: Forever 21; Shoes: Converse Chuck Taylors

Extra tip: A nice shirt, sturdy denim shorts, a super comfy pair of shoes and an overall sling bag also works for travel outfits, since it makes walking and touring very hassle-free. But if your destination has a cold climate, amp up your style game by wearing a stylish jacket and cover-ups to keep you warm and fuzzy.

Shades: Sunnies by Charlie; Vintage All-Black Varsity Jacket; Hanging Top: Forever 21; Black Pants: Giordano

When I have to go to church or follow a dress code as crucial as the one implemented in my school, I resort to blouse-y tops, skinny jeans and a good pair of shoes.

Sometimes, when choosing which pair to throw on, I usually choose the comfy ones to commute or drive in; Chucks and the platform sneakers are a no-brainer, since they give edge and spunk to any outfit.

Same goes for my choice of jeans. We all know that commuting in Manila is no easy feat, and mobility is key to surviving cramped trains, wild trike rides and some jeep hustling. Some great denim brands I love are Levi’s (#classic), Forever 21, Uniqlo, and local favorites like Penshoppe and Bench.

Hanging Top: Forever 21; Jogger Pants: Penshoppe Denimlab; Slip-ons: Shoebox

When I just like to “feel myself,” I turn to some outfit inspirations, mostly from curvy girls like Kim and Khloe Kardashian and Ashley Graham, and some top bloggers here in the country like Kryz and Laureen Uy, as well as classic celebrities like Kris Aquino, to name a few.

The Kardashians’ body-hugging silhouette always gets me, because it really celebrates my #curves. They make jeans paired with heels look way too easy, and what I love about them most is that they mix high-fashion pieces with more affordable ones, creating outfit combinations that are really achievable.

My Take on Kim Kardashian’s Style: Satin Tiger Graphic Blouse; Forever 21 Low-waist Skinny Jeans; Matthews Leopard-Print, Pointy-toe Flats

Ashley Graham’s style is more high-fashion because she’s one of my favorite plus-size models, but what I love about her most is that she really owns every outfit, as she champions the cause for women to love the skin they’re in, something I’ve struggled to accept whilst growing up.

Blazer and Dress; both Forever 21
Dress: Forever 21; Nude Peep Toe Heels: Esprit; Casio Watch

Kryz and Laureen Uy’s versatility and sartorial experiments makes me want to dare to stand out, because they can pull off anything and they are living proof that sometimes, accessories are the best parts of one’s ensemble.

Meanwhile, as far-fledged as it may seem, Kris Aquino surely is a classic for me. Whether she is in her full sartorial glory (courtesy of top stylist Liz Uy), or if she is reviewing hip food places for her TV show, Kris Aquino never fails to make high-end look so chic, down-to-earth and laid back.

An attempt to mimic Ms. Kris Aquino: My top from Comme des Garçons (that I spotted in an export overrun store)

Despite being a fashion-worshipper, I swear my wallet is the complete opposite. I don’t really have a fashion fund, because most of the time, my clothes are either bought in or handed down to me by my mom (What better way to score classics?), and some are gifts.

But whenever I shop, I make sure that though they’re branded, they’re worth every buck. And when they’re not branded, I make sure that their durability and timelessness will surely make my spending guilt-free.

Most of the time, I turn to Forever 21, Uniqlo, and H&M whenever I need some fast-fashion treatment. But whenever I find myself short of my fashion fund, I turn to export overruns. I swear these places are heavenly!

They sell branded clothes at very affordable prices, and you get to support locally-made textile. Some of these stores sell Zara, Bershka, American Eagle, Aeropostale, Topshop, Terranova, Comme des Garçons and even Nike!

Besides the big fast-fashion brands and heaps of export overruns, I also turn to garage sales. Lately, I’ve scored some good leather bags, the likes of Esprit, Fossil, Ines de la Fressange and some fine Italian leather goods.

It feels really great to have unlimited fashion choices at very affordable prices indeed.

For workouts, I usually throw on whatever’s comfy and durable, usually leggings, a good sweatshirt, and a shirt. Top that off with a gore-text cap and my trusty pair of Merrell All-Terrain shoes (in pink, of course).

Columbia Gore-Tex Cap; Deuter Backpack; Tek-Gear Dri-Fit Shirt; Forever 21 Leggings; Merrell All-Terrain Shoes
In an attempt to mimic Khloe Kardashian’s Outfit… (courtesy of The Daily Mail) 
Shades by Sunnies by Charlie; Sweatshirt by Puma; Forever 21 Leggings; Merrell All-Terrain Shoes; (worn inside: Adidas Climacool Sports Bra)

However, it’s not everyday that I get to wear the gems I have in my closet, but whenever I do, I make the most out of it. Whether it’s for a formal function, for going out, or just to lounge, feeling good in whatever you’re wearing is something that all of us can do, dressed up or not.

We can look to style pegs and fashion inspiration, but working with what we have is surely the way to go.

You don’t need to have all-new, all-expensive clothing always, because whatever fits the bill best can certainly be your ticket to best-dressed, especially when you know how to #workit. 

Always remember that however you describe your style reflects your confidence, your composure and your attitude for the world to see.

I really hope I’ve been able to share some of my life’s sartorial quirks with you, and hopefully, we’ll be able to share these more with each other in the near future.

I wish you guys all the best, and I appreciate your support so much.

‘Til the next,

-Marla 🙂


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