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