Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sunday Thoughts

"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it."
- Roald Dahl

Finding Sunday inspiration by going through my favorite fashion blogs and having an urge of resurrecting mine all of a sudden. I read the quote above while going through a set of beautiful outfit shots by the Marina Bay Sands by one a Singaporean blogger. It's such a great reminder to find magic in the smallest things, especially because it's so easy to fall into the blandness of ordinary routine with work and all. 

I spent the day lounging in bed mulling over a new found dilemma - the content of my Instagram. Most of my friends would know how dedicated I am to my Instagram account, but now I've decided to take it to a whole new level. I want a certain kind of theme and quality to my posts. Above are just some of my most recent posts, though it still in its transition phase.

Second dilemma is how to actively keep up with my blog again, cause when things get busy blogging is always the first one to go. Anyway, cutting this short since tomorrow calls for an early start! Good night!

Love, Paola

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Working Girl: The Corporate Chronicles Part 2

My corporate chronicles is back! As usual, I failed yet again with my resolution to blog weekly especially since the past week was composed of having cough and colds and rainy days. Although I think I had a change of heart recently, suddenly the rain makes me feel a little bit bettercompared to when I used to hate it so much back then. Things really does change eventually. Right now, work is feeling more and more like a routine in a good sense - I feel more at home day by day while learning and getting exposure at the same time. I wonder what other changes are bound to happen soon.

Playing with Nude
This outfit gave me instant height! As I'm not really tall, I like playing around with different shapes of clothing to accent parts of the body the gives the illusion of height. The side lining of these slack accentuates length combined with its high waist cut. Plus wearing nude heels instantly gives of additional height since it elongates your legs because of its color.

Mango Top | Miss Selfridge Slacks | Forever 21 Blazer | Michael Kors Tote | Aldo Pumps
Trying To Be Donna
Donna from Suits is one of my life pegs (Can she and Harvey get together now please!!!!!). I'm a big fan of the show and with every episode I wished that I had even just a part of her guts and awesomeness! Sadly, the closest I can be to being her is just by dressing the part, lol. When it comes to real corporate outfits, Suits characters are the true master! 

Mango Top and Skirt | Longchamp Bag | Call It Spring Heels
One of my goals when it comes to dressing up for the office is to look mature. Honestly all my life, I've been receiving comments that I look so mch younger than my age (I mean, a security guard even thought that I was just 12!). And though I think I'd appreaciate those compliments 10 years from now, right now I just want to look mature and a big part of my "project maturity" goal comes from the way I dress. But there are days when I can't help but go back to my innate personal style - a-line skirts, pastel colors complete with an all around sweetheart image! 

Mango Top and Skirt | Michael Kors Tote | Aldo Heels | Debenhams Belt

Love, Paola xx

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Working Girl: The Corporate Chronicles Part 1

Something new on the blog today - corporate wear! Back in college, I told myself a countless of times to never succumb to the monochromatic, lifeless, no brainer office wear, regardless of its comfort and practicality. Yes, there are times when I question my better judgement on why I torture myself in 4 inches of high heels, especially when it rains or when we decide to have lunch out and crossing the street in 15 seconds becomes a real challenge. But I believe that external factors greatly affect internal reactions. When you surround yourself with happy people, you eventually become a happy person too. Likewise, when you dress well and feel good about yourself, you project radiance and confidence. Every morning, I look forward to dressing up for work. I'm on my third week already and it's been smooth sailing so far. Although, I'm currently feeling a bit under the weather because of a couple of stints under the rain and a few cups of chocolate chip ice cream so tomorrow, I'll make sure to dress up even nicer than usual to make up for this sore throat! 

 This is what I wore during my first day in the office (we had to spend 3 days in the plant wearing just smart casual) so I chose something that slightly more on the traditional corporate wear. Coincidentally, this top was the same one I wore during my final interview before I got hired and some of those who saw me asked, "Were you the girl in red that time?" Proof that outfits help you become remembered! 

Mango Top | Zara Pencil Skirt | Michael Kors Bag | Call It Spring Stilettos
 I've worn this outfit a couple of times already for previous interviews and its probably my most favorite! It's chic and stylish yet formal at the same time. Its playful but also projects a certain respectable personality. This is my go to outfit when I want to make the right first impression, hence I wore this during my first dealer visit.

Zara Top | Promod Skirt | Longchamp Bag | Call It Spring Stilletos
Wearing one of a kind pieces such as this sheer floral midi skirt is sure to fish out some compliments in one way or another. I got a few ones for this bright and happy outfit. I decided to make other elements plain and simple with my white button down and silver matching bag, shoes and accessories to balance the playfulness of the entire look.

Mango Buttondown | Topshop Midi Skirt | Tory Burch Bag | Topshop Stilettos

Love, Paola xx

Monday, July 14, 2014

Nothing To Wear

As I have mentioned in one of my previous posts, my style is currently in transition. Maybe it is something that comes with age (lol how old do I sound?), but I think one's personal style eventually reaches a point wherein it is craving for evolution. In another previous post, I talked about the sale season which is timely in this kind of stage. For the past months, I've been stocking up on office outfits which are appropriate but still fashionably me in one way or another. Thinking of office outfits are becoming more and more effortless now that I do it so often. The struggle comes when I have to dress casually. Lately, whenever I have to be in casual clothes, I find myself staring at my closet for a good five minutes, and then another five to try on one outfit, reject it and stare at my closet again. It's universally a girl's problem to think you have nothing to wear when you have a closet full of clothes staring right back at you. 

More often than not, I find myself in denim shorts plus loose shirts or fitted patterned skirts plus plain tops. To put it simply, I have been leaning on dressing simply these past days. Gone are the days when I would have the energy to pair a printed top and a printed bottom. Right now, I'd rather be streamlined and put together. The skirt I'm wearing in these set of photos is a denim pencil skirt and it's a shame that it's not very clear due to the lighting. Backtracking this blog would show me in lots and lots of printed, a-line skirts. But then I just woke one day feeling like those pieces of clothing make me feel like I'm 14. Fashion-wise, this may be just a phase or I really do find it in me to dress more maturely but either way, transition and evolution is a fun thing, as it pave the way for interesting discoveries and a wide array of possibilities! 
Mango Crop top | Debenhams Denim pencil skirt | Marc by March Jacobs Tote | Tops Necklace | Call it Spring Flats

Friday, July 4, 2014

The Smart Girl Guide's To Sale Season

It's sale season once again!!!! It's been going on for the past two weeks now and more and more brands are putting on that big, red, four letter word banner on their display windows and offering last season's merchandise at discounted prices. Like most girls, I have a love-hate relationship with sale season. As much as it is pure joy to find that piece of clothing you've been eyeing for a long time at a lower price, it requires self discipline. Over time, I've developed a technique on how to not be an impulsive buyer. Whenever I'd see a piece of clothing I'd like, I'd try to think of three pieces in my closet that would match it. If it's a top, I'd think of at least three bottoms I that I can pair it with. That way, you get to maximize it's full potential. During sales, I've developed further decision making techniques. Shopping is more methodical than you think (at least for me). So for this post, I wanna share my own smart guide for sale season.
 First things first, there are two stages to sale season (three for other brands). First stage is during the start of the season when it says that items are up to 50% off. Second stage is when the items are at 70% off (other brands start at 30% off). There are also other brands who doesn't use percentages. They start at announcing "sale", then move to "further reductions" then to "further, further reductions." This mostly true to RSSI brands such as Topshop, Miss Selfridge, Warehouse, etc. Pretty analytical, huh?

I personally prefer going in during the first day of the sale. My first technique is to get everything I've been eyeing and fit them all. Once I'm done, the decision making starts. I first filter the pile to "want" and "really want". During the first stage of the sale season, most items are not yet priced that low. I prioritize my really want pile first. My want pile are reserved for when the further reductions come. Then I go check my really want pile where they are displayed in the store. When there are still a lot of stocks available in my size, I transfer it to my want pile. When there are no sizes left or the stocks are few, it goes straight to the cashier. Fitting all the clothes during the first day means that when further reduction starts, I won't have to go through the entire store again. I'd just go to one section and get my size. It saves time and effort, plus it's naturally crazy during sales, but when further reduction starts, things can disappear in just a blink of an eye.
 My second technique is knowing what branch to visit first. Although it is one brand, most of its merchandise varies in its branches. Some lines are only available at specific branches. During the first day of the Zara sale, I visited the one in Greenbelt and it was crazyyyy! Going inside was like stepping into a dystopian society with hungry, aggressive female leads. Plus my size was always the first one to go so it was a hopeless case. I decided to try my luck at the Glorietta branch and I was so surprised at how peaceful it was! This branch was also so much bigger so they have more collections and more items on sale. So even though I like visiting all accessible branches, I make sure to prioritize which branch to visit first. Now that I've thought about it, it's kind of tedious process. I list down in my mind all the accessible branches then do a "really want"/"want" filter per branch, per brand. And seriously, how brands are on sale right now??? But hey, all for the love of shopping, right?

Coincidentally, all the items I'm wearing in this post I got on sale. I got the top during the first stage of Mango sale (they're on 70% off now by the way!) at their BGC branch. I personally think that that's their best branch since it's quite big and not many people know about it so stocks are not that limited. My pants are from Promod and I got them a few seasons back at 70% off. I also got my heels a few months back which were on 50% off. So you see, shopping when done right, is an art! Haha!

However, to every plan there is a flaw. And the flaw in this one is that there is no guarantee that during the second stage of sale season, my "want" pile would still be on stock seeing as how competition is very stiff (lol). So during further reductions, when I go to my "want" section and I don't see it there or my size is no longer available, I just make a mental note and say "Oh well, not meant to be!".

And yes, even during shopping, I believe in destiny.
Mango Top | Promod Pants | Dune Platform heels | Michael Kors tote 

Love, Paola

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Past, Present, Future

I spent this afternoon back in DLSU for some pre employment requirements and boy, do I miss Taft life. I've read this quote on Tumblr a few years back, "Everything is magic until it becomes a routine." And so far, in every aspect of my life, it has been proven true. Being a college student a few months ago seemed like the most ordinary thing for three years. It was a routine, going to school Mondays to Thursdays, meeting my professors, the usual where-to-eat-lunch dilemma, the hassle enlistment process at the end of  every term, doing research in the library, being so happy that Friday means no classes... and the list goes on. Now that I'm out of that lifestyle, no matter how excited I am to be a working girl (in 5 days no less!!!), I realized I  kinda miss my university days too. 

I remember a particular conversation with friend once when we were in our sophomore year in high school. Between our freshmen and sophomore year, our high school implemented an improved grading system (which means higher passing rate). She tells me how much she misses our freshmen year, how it seemed so easy and how we used to be carefree. Then another conversation comes to mind, this one was overheard from two senior girls I saw during our Frosh orientation in La Salle. The other girl looks at us, a long line of Froshies, then goes, "I'd give anything to be a Frosh again." It seems like a part of us will always be stuck in the past.

I am a creature of habit. As boring as it sounds, I find comfort in routine. But I have always been future oriented. I'm always looking forward. When I was in grade school, I looked forward to entering high school, then I looked forward to having the freedom of a college student then I looked forward to being part of the corporate world. However, there's also this part of me who keeps on looking back, who keeps on imaging how easy and simple and different things used to be. It's kind of a paradox, really. Nostalgia hits me once in a while, I like remembering how things were and how much things have changed. But then I know that the best days are yet to come so I always look ahead. Being wistful yet expectant balances things out for me. One lesson I'd love to learn soon is how to completely stay in the present - to not look back and not look ahead but completely immerse myself in the moment. 
Stradivarius Top | Cache Cache Skirt | Clothes for the Goddess Denim Polo | Call It Spring flats | Panda hat from Baguio |

Love, Paola

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

On Transition, Applications and Resignation

*Warning: Very lengthy post
Let me start by saying that while dressing up this morning, I had a somewhat shallow yet impactful epiphany - my personal style is transition. Since it's something that came to me a few hours ago, I haven't had the time to over analyse its full meaning yet so let me get back on that soon. 
Right now, I'd like to talk about the real world instead, in all its vagueness and complications and how it's like to be part of it for the past 4 months. As everyone might know, I graduated last February. Then I started working last April.. then I resigned last May. And now this coming July, I'll be working again. I mean I'm pretty sure that that was a normal cycle in everyone's career but it's supposed to happen in a longer time frame right? As for me, it all happened in less than 5 months. To avoid your inaccurate judgement, let me tell you my story.

Upon graduation, I knew I wanted to be in the retail industry, my love for fashion being a major factor. So I targeted one of the biggest retail corporation in the Philippines. To be part of that company was my major goal that I kept on obsessing over it for quite awhile. But then I had to explore other opportunities too, but I kept it pretty limited to  the marketing of luxury brands particularly cosmetics, real estate and automotive industry. I knew what I wanted (and what I didn't want - FMCG and banking).  

Fast forward to March, I got a job offer from one car company. I was pretty psyched to get my first ever job offer but was hesitant since I was waiting for the result of my application with my dream retail company. Then 2 days after, the retail company offered me a position too (however it was a position in merchandising, not marketing). I remember being so elated having 2 job offers. In the end though, I took a big, surprising leap and ended up choosing the car company and forgoing my dream job because at that time, the position and other benefits seemed to be a better choice. Though more or less, it was an impulsive decision. 

Five days into that first job, I already wanted to resign. Not because I couldn't handle it, but because the terms of employment were violated - from the agreed position/job description, compensation to working hours. I remember wanting to cry out of frustration since I thought I knew what I was getting into. I wanted to resign after a week but I hate quitting. I hate the thought of giving up on a job, and my first one no less. I didn't want to be that fresh grad who was no match to what the corporate world has to offer.

But after a month, I decided to leave. I knew I might regret it one way or another but I just don't think there's room for growth and exposure there for me. For the record though, I don't blame the company. It was more of a misunderstanding, they were at fault on some areas but I also had a share of my mistakes. It was by far my biggest decision this 2014, and although it was liberating, I was greatly disappointed in myself. I'm so grateful that I have the best support system. My family kept on reminding me that it was okay and it's not my fault. My friends kept telling me that it was perfectly valid and that they would do the same if they were in my position.

Some might say I'm a deluded little fresh grad. I'm very idealistic. My thoughts on after college life was tinted with chick flick ideas. I thought that it was possible to land a dream job on my first try. I hoped for a boss liked Gray Murray who would give me a Birkin ala Jane By Design. I know what I want and I was half expecting a Devil Wears Prada meet Carrie Diaries sort of scenario. I was picky and impatient and I thought that graduating from one of the top universities was enough. Well, it isn't. A good educational background is as important as your passion and dedication.

In 2 weeks, I will be starting on my first job (I call my previous job my semi first job). I'm quite anxious and excited but I take comfort in the fact that this time, at least it feels right.  
H&M Sweater | Forever 21 Skirt | Michael Kors Bag | Aldo Flats | Tops Necklace 

Love, Paola

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Bad Hair and a Good Outfit

This set of outfit photos are officially my last from our US trip last February. Very fitting since today, it's exactly a month since we were back in Manila (plus its throwback Thursday too!). Funny how it all seems not too long ago but also seems like everything was a while back! I miss my clingy cousins already :( Didn't think it was possible to get this attached in just a span of two weeks. But enough of the drama, I plan on saving that on my next post! Haha! Anyway, this was taken right before we fly back to LA. I was having a major bad hair day so I made up for it with my outfit. This was pretty dressy for a plain ride but once I made up my mind on a particular outfit, I just have to wear it (I have no other options too, since we packed just enough clothes for San Francisco). I love all the elements present here - the patterned sheer midi skirt, the brocade printed top and the stripes belt. All are individually busy pieces already but just seems to go so well with each other! 

Love, Paola