After life had thrown us into a whirlpool of “WTF is happening”, we’re glad to be out of hiatus (for now) with a new rampa article!
Armed with our ring lights, Julia’s attic, some cellophane, a random chair, and lots of caffeine, we’ve brewed yet another excuse to dress up.
This time, we’re showcasing revamped, repurposed, and reborn pieces that we’ve been able to swipe from the wardrobes of our families. As retro is back with a vengeance in a sweater vest, we think it’s definitely safe to say that old is the new new (Benito, 2021).
Diving through other people’s closets is one type of retail therapy that can’t hurt our pockets. We’re gonna come out and say it right from the get go: clothes are just our type of heirlooms. Plus, when you live in a house full of your family members, it’s inevitable that their clothes mysteriously happen to appear in your wardrobes—sometimes by accident, many times by design (sorry, not sorry).
Buckle up, because your fave gagitas have prepped for a wild ride!
DRESS TO IMPRESS
Fun Fact: this is part of a dress ensemble, it was originally a cover up with the stiffest shoulder pads I’ve ever seen. I have the dress hidden away in my closet (altered to have a shorter, more fun hem of course 😉).
I grew up fascinated with this brown crepe fabric. I would see my grandmother, who I fondly call mommy, wear this at least every other weekend. I’m quite surprised it has withstood use long enough for me to “inherit” the piece.
Of course, when it finally changed hands, it needed a new lease on life, aka my own hubadera spin on things.
I’m usually not one for dresses, but as you may have seen in our thrifted-clothes article, I have a penchant for old-timey looking pieces. This modest dress may need to be taken in (and hiked up, as the Leo in me knows not of dresses that go below my knees), but I’m just so in love with the Peter Pan collar and tropophobia-inducing pattern that I know I’m going to be keeping this for a long, long time.
Cue: will.i.am’s I Got It From My Momma! If we’re pointing fingers at the main influence of my quirky—dare I even say, eccentric—style, hands down I’ll be shoving you into my mother’s direction. She has always had a distinct sense of style and affinity for making statements but in a put-together, classy way.
While this may be just one of the dresses that survived her great purge (aka Spring Cleaning), it is by far my definite favorite. It’s no mystery why when you have a piece that just screams CLASSIC: an A-line silhouette, the pockets, the versatility of use, and the fabric.
Mixed together with flared sleeves, white boots, a scarf-turned-headband, and some cool ala-Audrey Hepburn sunnies, girl I’m ready for disco fever whenever you are!
Mesh is something I’ve been obsessed with since 2019, so color me surprised when I saw this chic mesh cover-up in lola’s old stuff! Never thought you were one to be a hubadera, La, but I love it –– is she where that trait came from? While it’s too late to ask her, I love this piece so much more because it shows me a side to my grandmother that I don’t usually see.
In my memories, she’s always been the epitome of high class. Gorgeous dresses, jewelry 24/7, hair colored and groomed to perfection—that’s my lola! With this piece, I get to see a little bit of a daring side that I may have not known she had.
You’d better believe I’m wearing this with a bralette every chance I can get!
WONG KAR WAI
I am a sucker for coats, jackets, and outerwear. Unfortunately, the impyerno-level heat of our beautiful Philippines can’t seem to comprehend that. No matter. As my mother would say “Tiis ganda, hija,” (Bare it for beauty.) It’s why this beaut ended up in my hands.
I don’t know the rhyme, reason, or story of where this beautiful brocade outerwear came from or how it got into my mommy’s hands, but I’m living for it 🔥. The lightweight silk, the standard Mandarin buttons, the length, the Chinese collar—every inch screams like a set costume for a Cantonese film and I’m here for it!
A little Jazz magic (couldn’t be helped) for higher slits plus an adieu to the shoulder pads goodbye, and I was born ready to strut this amazing steal from my mommy’s closet—come hell or high water (or baked-potato heat).
Truth be told, when my sister told me that we were going to go through lola’s old clothes, I was fully prepared for a mountain of typical Marks and Spencer floral blouses. While I was partially correct, I was also so surprised to find a plethora of pieces that were 100% my style (no offense, Lolas of Marks and Spencer).
The cellophane (did we mention we shot this using cellophane on PHONE?) did wash the color out, but this piece is an adorable multi-color striped button-down with vintage-style shoulder pads: perfect for wearing both closed and open!
Jazz and I tried to fully embody the vintage vibe with a headscarf courtesy of one of her shopping trips on Shopee to top it all off.
My grandmother’s not short on her stories of traveling with my grandfather, jet setting here and there, and meeting dignitaries and diplomats. So it comes to be of little surprise to find this tucked away in the attic (by extension, her closet)—a modern Hanbok set gifted to my grandmother during one of her many trips to South Korea.
The moment I saw the jegori (top) and chima (skirt) hanging at the back of her closet, I immediately knew how it would fit into my own overflowing wardrobe (an understatement). I set a trip to my trusty mananahi and we were sorted out. All the original embroidery was kept for the sanctity of its meanings. I kept most of the original elements of the Hanbok as intended by original design but had been transfigured for a more updated look and better fit to my petite frame.
I love using the jegori as a cropped jacket for windier days or even as its own top (paired with denim jeans or a skirt, ugh cute)!
Alas, another piece I’ve been trying to siphon into my own closet for years! This Chanel-esque tweed blazer gives me all the opulence I want to feel, sans the wild excavation into my savings. My sister and I aren’t the same size, so this is definitely a little looser than a blazer should be, but I think it’s part of the charm.
Scrunch up the sleeves and put it on top of a—say it with me, now—bralette and you’re golden! It’s one of the items I pull out when I’m scheduled for a Zoom meeting and I want to look a little less like I’m secretly just wearing pambahay bottoms and a little more mamahalin than usual.
My dad has *the* most clothes I have ever seen. All I’m going to say is that he can wear a new outfit for the whole year without repeating. Let that sink in, friendships.
If there’s one thing I love, though, about my dad’s fashion madness, it’s his meticulous penchant and eye for quality. It’s why I’ve hoarded (and arbored) so many of his work pants. I love how soft the fabrics are while the fall and structure still stand XX years later—a true testament to his care for his clothes plus the money he invests in them.
These cool linen pants are my go-to comfy trousers for slouchy but sophisticated fashion-insider chic because they can go from 9-to-5 or Saturday morning brunch with just the right top.
I’m a proud owner of a couple more of my dad’s office/work trousers (all retro-fitted for me of course). Although, now that he’s seen the new life I’ve breathed into them, I think he wants most of them back 🤔.
I’ve been stealing things from my sister since the dawn of time, from clothes to makeup to skincare. However, this one was always one of my favorites to yoink (yes, I’ve taken this multiple times. Sorry, ‘te).
This sleeveless knitted piece was at its heyday when my sister was still working an office job. In hindsight, that seems so long ago now that she’s a fully-fledged business woman of multiple ventures AND a diving instructor at the same time, but that’s besides the point. However long it may have lived in these closets, I loved and still love to put it on top of casual ‘fits just to add some extra flair.
If you’ve been following us for a while, you’d know we love layers, but layers in the Philippines do not love us. This piece, however, cuts out the sadness of being unable to don coats in the tropics by being sleeveless!
If that subheading doesn’t say something about me, I don’t know what does. ½ charot (only because my mother says that about me most days 😜). Another one from my mother’s closet that survived her great purge, this skirt is one that highlights my best asset: my waist.
Fishing this out from the back of my mother’s closet reminded me that every girl needs a maxi pencil skirt to pair with her fave bikini top or bralette for hot-girl-summer chic or just the usual classy, hubadera elegance. It strikes just the perfect balance with a skin-baring top. But also, who would ever pass on the chance to have a skirt that could be the highest waist you’ve ever owned? This quirky little one isn’t about to say no to that!
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: I’m a really lazy dresser. Anything that can be put on top of just a bra and shorts is immediately my go-to. So, when I chanced upon this ginormous blazer I found in the recesses of the extra closet in my room (my family kind of just stores old stuff in there), I immediately thought of turning it into a dress.
So, I did.
From a blazer to an off-shoulder mini dress belted off for shape, this piece is my favorite in terms of transformation. Pairing it off with some fun sunnies (shoutout to @queerkyph on Insta), nude shorts—not flashing anyone today!—and some knee-high socks really brought together that “I don’t care whose it is; I’m still wearing it” vibe that I am completely enamored with.
These came to my hands after a fashion ayuda from one of my maternal aunts. It’s intended for bigger sizes, but the oversized sweater-dress look just speaks to me.
The fabric is deceptively heavy, but for the weight of it (and the brand logo emblazoned on it in crystals), it is surprisingly very breathable. The voluminous amount of fabric does dwarf the more petite gagitas that wear it, concealing any curves or assets that we could’ve flaunted. Although somewhat shapeless, it is not without its charms, especially when we’re channeling our inner tweedle-dum, tweedle-dee—with matching leather platforms to boot!
Make way darlings, because Gucci’s ballsacks will definitely be back with more kalat (soon!)—so keep on slaying safe.
A 24-year-old writer, producer, and stylist who’s got the starry-eyes of a shopaholic with an irrefutable love-hate relationship with carbs and wine.
A 25-year-old writer with an obsession for beauty and an ineffable love for all things sharp—from cacti to hedgehogs to intense winged liner.