Kimono Chronicles

Kimonos are the unsung heroes of boho dressing.

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Rare sightings of amazing kimonos are like actual sightings of rare pokemon, you spend all the ultra balls (and maybe even your only master ball) to try to catch ’em. (and yes, I hope you could relate to the reference. Don’t disappoint me, internet.)

Interestingly, there is an abundance of kimonos – fringed and not – but only about 5% are worth the purchase. I chanced upon this kimono online while browsing H&M’s site and had it shipped to me and I’ve been lugging it around ever since.

I’m turning a year older in a week and I’ve decided not to think of my style in terms of labels or certain parameters but just wear whatever it is I’m drawn to and like. This look just happens to be on the boho side of the spectrum especially with these new sandals from Tres that I absolutely love. High ankle straps usually make my legs seem shorter but the straps are just thin enough to negate that. I also saw a random Balinese (or is it Thai? Cambodian?) inspired spot to shoot in that seemed perfect for this look. Everything kind of falls into place for one’s birthday, no?

I cannot wait.

Dress, FOREVER21 | Kimono, H&M | Sandals, TRES SHOES | Sunglasses, JENNYFER

Holy Skull + A Bloggers United Giveaway Treat

See you at the next Bloggers United? Tickets and some shopping certificates on me.

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For a brand called Holy Skull, my photos in collaboration with photographer Elisa Aquino turned out to be anything but edgy. Flowers, pinks, and a whole lot of saccharine made their way into our shots. One piece swimsuits usually run the risk of being too modest or outdated style-wise, but swimwear label Holy Skull’s prints always keep things interesting – whether via Ariel- the Little Mermaid- being eaten by a shark, paisley skulls or Star Wars. I really enjoyed the one-piece swimsuit break. The truth is it’s difficult to breathe normally in a two-piece bikini. It’s like you always have to suck in and inhale half the oxygen of the earth. And you’re bound to eat at some point so that makes things even trickier. As I’ve learned the hard way, abs don’t grow overnight. Nor do they show up in three months with a side of burgers and fries. It takes hard work and dedication and I have neither.

Anyway, let’s talk about something less depressing: actual clothes. Bloggers United 9, the bi-annual bazaar us bloggers do where we sell some pre-loved pieces, is around the corner and I’d like to invite you to drop by and shop our items for the cheapest of prices on June 6 at Whitespace Manila. Even I like buying from other bloggers’ booths and I’ve already shopped the closets of so many other blogger friends. Trust me, bloggers have the best wardrobes and you won’t leave empty-handed.

I am giving away 20 free passes – 2 passes each to 10 lucky people AND I’m throwing in GCs from Jennyfer (worth Php1000) and Debenhams (worth Php1000) to one lucky winner. You can join via Twitter or via Instagram. My mechanics get easier the longer we do this giveaway thing so I promise you this won’t take long.

Instagram:

1. Follow @alyssalapid on Instagram 

2. On my BU Individual poster to be posted on Instagram (sample below), let me know why you wanna go, what you wanna buy or what you want to ask me if there is any (answer any or all, up to you, really).

3. Tag your plus one in your comment and have your plus one follow my @alyssalapid account as well.

On Twitter:

1. Follow @alyssalapid.

2. Tweet this blog post’s link and use the hashtag #BU9XSmart and what you want to shop.

Note: No flooding, please. One tweet is enough.

See you there!

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Party Like A Rock Star

New decree: wear whatever makes you feel like a rockstar. Or Beyonce.

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It’s a hard knock life, really. The kids of Annie had it right. Traffic sucks, work is draining (don’t tell my boss I said that) and it’s just tough to hear bad news on a daily, even hourly, basis.

Though I don’t do it as often as I should because I work mobile, am a freelancer and therefore spend my days typing away in my pajamas (I know, it doesn’t seem so tough after all), I do think every once in a while we owe it to ourselves to dress like rock stars. Falsely implied by my title, I don’t mean drinking ’til the morning light but feeling like a rock star on the inside. It sounds cheesy, I know, but I just saw Pitch Perfect 2 for the second time and am still uplifted by Flashlight.

Back to rock stars – if dressing like a literal one with an oversized hat, a leopard print item and a furry vest makes you feel like throwing confetti and party poppers, then do it. If it’s a sequined Bulls jersey a la Beyonce, you can go for that too and don’t forget to tell me where to get one. (The number of pop culture references in this blog post is making me proud of my social media-induced knowledge.)

I shot this look for Menina Step, a brand of flats making its debut on May 30 in Powerplant, Rockwell all the way from Spain. I usually stray from ballet flats because the promise of comfort is never met and I end up with blisters on my ankles. Luckily, I really do like this brand style- and comfort-wise and can’t wait to hoard more pairs than my closet (or mom) can handle. Shoutout to Suiteblanco – a label of the same point of origin, how fitting – for an equally comfortable vest. I could literally hug my (faux) furry self all day.

The vest calls for 24/7 AC but I’m willing to up my electricity consumption on my special days when I want to feel great. Remember this new decree: wear what makes you feel like a rock star. Or Beyonce. Everybody wants to feel like Beyonce.

Photos by Karlo Torio 

Vest and denim jeans, SUITEBLANCO | Flats, MENINA STEP

Meet You At The Arcade

Tell me, who doesn’t love the land of Mario Kart and air hockey?

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Had I not been about 97% self-aware, this velvet kimono purchase would’ve gone to waste like half of the items in my closet. Luckily, I know it always turns out for the best when I’m extremely drawn to certain pieces and, not to brag, but I also know how to make everything cost-effective or, at least, minimize cost-per-wear to make sure my cash-out is justified in my constantly calculating head.

Fast forward months later and this velvet kimono from Topshop has seen a whole lot of cities and gotten an enviable amount of airtime. So much so that I’ve been refusing to blog about it for the longest time lest we bump into each other and you judge me for an abysmal second. But now I’m coming clean because I trust you and also because I took some fun snaps at a small arcade recently using my new favorite toy – a disposable camera. It’s been a while since I used one so it was a little tricky with each click ensuing crossed fingers that the shots develop okay.

I evidently have to master my open-mouth pose because it’s always either an okay hit or an epic miss. Nevermind, I had fun trying to shoot both hoops and zombies. Games are always so rewarding.

MAC Is Beauty

Let’s talk makeup.

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Fashionphiles in the country are more beauty conscious than ever. While fashion trends are easy to commit to, sometimes purchasing makeup requires a little more justification. Clothes are affordable, used for a measly number of hours in a day and can be layered under mounds of fabric the moment you feel the slightest bit uncomfortable like bumping into someone with the exact same look. Loud trends and statement pieces are actually easily justified – an investment for going out, for parties or special dates. As rare as those occasions may be, there’s always that option of pushing garments to the back of your closet and dusting them off when needed.

Makeup on the other hand is a little trickier. It’s not everyday you get to wear orange lipstick or copper eyeliner (although I don’t see why not). Aside from the shelf life being pretty short, I think makeup can make girls as conscious as much as it can make them confident. An inappropriate beauty comment by an uninformed dude (it usually comes from them, no?) and a woman can spend the rest of the day in shame burying the made-up face she left the house feeling 100% confident in.

I personally love makeup. The feeling of popping open a new tube of lipstick is unparalleled. I spend late nights trying on new purchases and figuring out how best to use them. Aside from the shallow rush, I especially enjoy having an arsenal of hues and tools to use at my disposal when I need to impress, convince, play nice and sometimes even intimidate. Given that I wear black about 82% of the time, makeup is my first line of defense in self-expression and stepping out into this harsh, harsh world.

Makeup has been part of my life early on with me sneaking my nose in the contents of my mom’s kit. My curiosity was sated as I was allowed clear lipgloss and balms, and sometimes, a pop of blush growing up. Inevitably, after years of barely-there products, I fell in love with the boldest of colors post-puberty. Green eyeliner was my absolute favorite using it everyday in my last couple years in college.

Unfortunately, the line I liked was discontinued and I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect emeralds, teals and amethysts since. Finally, after years of beauty trials and, consequently, errors, I finally came across the perfect eyeliner selection.

MAC Philippines launched its MAC IS BEAUTY line yesterday at the Glorietta Activity Center and I kid you not when I say I’ve finally found my match – about 16 of them actually. The collection is a full range of cosmetics from 12 lipstick shades, 4 lip glass hues, powders, mascara, nail polish, pencil liners and my absolute new favorites the set of 16 fluid liners – colored gel liners in the rainbow hue of your dreams from teal all the way to glittery copper (see below). The event set design in a bubble gum shade of pink was but an Instagrammable bonus.

The collection does not shy away from color and offers a quick step to glamorize anyone who needs a little pick-me-up or a confidence boost. Power swipes are just as effective as power stances and a bold red lip is as captivating as a well-fitting pantsuit. Let’s stave off the nudes for now and embrace the bold and the beautiful within us. And if some jerk says otherwise, laugh it off and keep at it.

Remember: #MacIsBeauty and so are you.
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Tomboy Style

Taking a step out of my feminine comfort zone and quite literally into the men’s section.

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Saturday dressing equates to heels and bodycons for some, but for me it’s a day of dressing down and slipping into the comfiest of pieces. Usually on the feminine end of the spectrum, I figured I’d take my boyfriend shorts – a recent impulse buy – out for a spin. It feels so liberating being able to walk around in the most casual of pieces without having to fit into the fashion blogger dressing stereotype nor having to worry about a certain set of butt cheeks hanging out. The daily pressure to dress up gets to me too and I often find myself wallowing in a bed full of clothes that don’t seem to look right easily making my morning routine about twice as long.

I probably won’t turn into a full-on androgynous dresser anytime soon though. Frills, flounce and all things “pretty” still resonate most. Still, these boyfriend shorts from Penshoppe are a pretty decent place to start.  Even this bucket hat is from the brand’s men’s section.

But, hey, nobody’s keeping track.

Top, PROUDRACE | Shorts and hat, PENSHOPPE | Mules, ASOS

T Minus 4 Decades

So happy the 70s are making a comeback. Now I’m just waiting for the perfect flared denims that aren’t a foot too long.

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’70s silhouettes have always been lacking in my wardrobe. Flared jeans are amazing and have been on my radar since I started dancing to Britney Spears circa I’m A Slave For You. Unfortunately, US sizes are a little too long for my petite frame. I’m 5’2″. 5’3″ on a good day. It wasn’t until recently, thanks to trickled down trends from the likes of Chloe and Louis Vuitton S/S ’15, that the 70s are making an ubiquitous, not to mention more affordable, comeback via fast fashion.

I previously had to scour old clothes from the depths of my mother’s closet (not always easy) just to get silhouettes I wanted that weren’t commercially available. Now it’s so much easier to find pieces that actually fit – like this A-line denim skirt. For a decade so maximalist in terms of quantity (how many necklaces can one physically pile on without getting neck pains?), I really appreciate the era’s style and silhouettes – loose, flowy, with hemlines moving away from the body – just the way I like my clothes.

Still on the hunt for the perfect flared denims though that aren’t half-a-foot too long. If you find one please let me know. My wardrobe will be eternally grateful.

Top, ASOS | Skirt, ZARA

Photos by Rhea Bue