My Obsession with Pomelo is Getting Out of Hand

What happens when a serial impulsive buyer is left to her own devices?

With the pandemic rendering me helplessly stuck within endless cycles of existential crises (yes, plural), there’s little to do within the confines of my home but to scroll through my phone and find something to give me just that hit of dopamine my deprived brain has been looking for.

If you haven’t guessed already, I’m a serial impulsive shopper, which doesn’t help my case when it comes to quarantine boredom. Mix those two together and you’ve got yourself a gagita that can’t stop ordering clothes online despite the fact that she has nowhere to go–for now. But, until the fateful day that I do, in fact, have plans to go out, you better believe that I’d want to be dressed to impress, hence the premature shopping. At least, that’s what I like to tell myself before clicking “Checkout”.

With ZALORA as the main culprit to my impulses–plus their monthly budol-inducing sales–the call for retail therapy has never been so strong. The brand Pomelo, in particular, has become one of the most defining brands within my closet as of late, so much so that I forget which ones aren’t from Pomelo in the first place.

Luckily, my 2021 purchases are still as bright as day in my memory. Just as they bring joy to me, I wanted to showcase my gastadora tendencies with you as well to maybe bring you the same feeling getting budol-ed by sales–then proceeding to take a mini photoshoot by myself in my bedroom–gives me: a moment of pure, unabashed bliss.

Disclaimer: if you were thinking this was a sponsored post (asa pa ‘ko), let me clear the air. As much as I’d love to be sponsored by Pomelo, these pieces were all bought with my own hard-earned money because I thought they were–and are–definitely worth the treat. When I say Pomelo has me by my metaphorical balls, I mean it. Plus, if I’m going down, I’m taking you guys down with me.

Check, Please

I’ve always been a sucker for checkered pants. There’s just something about its eye-catching nature that calls to me. Perhaps stemming from an obsession with all things plaid back in high school, my love for this pattern has to cease. I love this pair of pants in particular because it’s brighter, livelier, and highly reminiscent of pajamas–but like outdoor pajamas. Pambahaycore chic, if you will.

Lines, Lines, Lines

Crop tops are everything to me. Regular t-shirts? We don’t know her in this house. It must. Be. Cropped. I don’t know when my Leo heart crossed the line of being bored with regular t-shirts and opting for more belly-out pieces, but if I can wear a crop top, I will. With this piece, what drew me to it was the trendy line detailing and the knotted center–makes for the perfect IBTC top, IMO.

Lilac Mini Dress

Little Lilac

Everyone needs their little black dress, right? But what happens when you already have one? Get one in pastel! Duh. I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before, but lilac is one of my favorite colors (followed closely by neon green and teal, but that’s beside the point). This dainty mini dress is the epitome of adorable yet classic, mildly sexy yet pabebe. New date night dress? Check.

Beige Checked Cropped Blazer

Stay Blazing

A cropped blazer? Yes, please. If I could have this blazer in a complete range of ROYBGV colors, I would die a happy corporate slave. It puts a cute little touch to professionalism, giving you the freedom to dress up a regular old pair of jeans or go for a smarter look with some slacks. Plus, wearing it over a bralette–my favorite thing to do with any open garment–is just so easy yet so chic that it’s a no-brainer for Zoom meetings that call for having your video camera on. Just keep the button closed, darling. 

Patchwork It, B*tch

Surprise, surprise: another crop top. In my defense though, look how cute this is! That’s it. That’s the statement. Jokes aside, its patchwork design with its mini puffed sleeves and boob-enhancing cut makes for the perfect summery top that makes even itty bittiest of titties look like they’re doing their best. Pair it with shorts, jeans, leather pants–you name it. Its pop of color does wonders for any ol’ pair of neutral bottoms.

Do the Splits

As I mentioned, I have a penchant for checked pieces, so color me ecstatic when I chanced upon this gorgeous two-tone, split-style pair of trousers. Not only are there two different hues of tan on each leg, but one leg has a gorgeous check design that I couldn’t resist. I’ve also been experimenting with my sense of style as of late, so this unique pair was something I could not miss out on.

Nude Pink Scallop Skirt

Skrrt, Skrrt

With a closet generally filled with lazy-girl denim shorts, I thought adding a cute little skirt to the mix would help brighten up my wardrobe. I love the scallop hemline and its high waist–perfect for looking put together at the office or hoe-ing it out with a bralette as per usual. Its lilac hue makes it easy to pair with any neutrals in your closet, making it a must-have for whatever occasion may come. Date night? Office attire? Smart casual events? Check, check, and check.

To Tye Dye For

This dress? With the open back? With the waist slits? With the balloon sleeves? Come on. My would-rather-be-naked-24/7 Leo self couldn’t resist adding to my cart. Big bonus: it’s so comfortable and soft that I wouldn’t be against having it as one of my many outfit changes at my funeral. Oh yes, I’m not dying in one outfit, thank you.

Long-Sleeve White Dress

Off-White All Night 

No, not the brand. This off-white dress is a little more covered up than I’m used to, but I couldn’t resist the puffy sleeves. The criss-crossed tie design on the sleeves also piqued my interest, and as I’ve never owned a dress like this before, I thought I’d give it a go. Guess I know what I’m wearing to my next formal event–or another date, perhaps? It is a tad warm though, being of heavier nature than the rest of my purchases, but its cottagecore prairie-girl aesthetic was much too fab to pass up.

And there you have it! My lovely little haul from Pomelo that I hope got you raring to shop as well. Plus, my own mini photoshoot to satiate my endless vanity. Could you blame me when the clothes look so damn good, though? 

Anyway, as usual, slay safe, babes.

GRANDMA APPROVES: Pieces Your Grandchildren Will Love

Because grandma knows best.

It feels like it was just yesterday when Bianca Mascenon and I were driving to Pasig for a shoot (of many). Between the early morning traffic, our brain cells trying to wake up, coffee (on my part), and the low hum of K-Pop or ‘90s RnB in the background, our usual chatter took a turn towards one (again, of many) of our favorite topics: FASHION. To be more precise, clothes, brand-building, and the hunt for the perfect tailor.

I can’t accurately tell you how we got there, but I can tell for sure that it involved one of us griping about ill-fitting clothes, being in-between sizes, our version of perfect clothes not existing, and having to look for a good mananahi who just gets us.

Since that fateful drive, wheels had begun turning and through some divine providence—stars and planets aligning, the Universe giving its blessing—Bianca is debuting her first lineup of timeless pieces with her grandma.

This grandmother-granddaughter duo grounds their ethos in high-quality craftsmanship made with the finest materials for comfort and longevity. No, really—your grandchildren will thank you for bequeathing these pieces to them.

With Bianca at the brand’s helm, I can guarantee you that her Virgo-perfectionist eye for detail will not even let one loose thread hang out of place.

If you need more convincing, here’s a quick peek at the debut pieces from Grandma Approves:


The white tee to end all white tees. The Bosom Baby Tee has a classic baby tee cut that hugs you in all the right places. An embroidered playful Grandma Approves logo emblazons the under bust. Wear it with anything and everything, anywhere and everywhere.


Level up your wardrobe essentials with this long silhouette. It’s hard to pin down which aspect of design is my fave but Bianca’s right: the devil’s in the details! Check out the matte-brushed gold buttons, the contrast-lined pockets, the curved pockets. Each particular detail pulls it in all together to create a gorgeous piece that could be worn as a blazer OR a dress 💫


Named after Bianca’s grandfather this asymmetrical, block-colored piece is an ode to alter egos and 1980s Latin America. I can’t help but ooh-and-ahh over the duchess charmeuse silk that just flows. This versatile piece is ready to take you from day ‘fit to night chic in a snap.


Peek a boob! As a hubadera, I’ve got my eye on this piece. We’re living for that beautiful winged collar that works perfectly with the meticulously draped cowl neck. The gorgeous and well-thought-of placement of the embroidered logo has me swooning. And those exaggeratedly long ties for a nipped waist? Babe, I’ve already checked it out while writing this.

So grateful to have been privy to the process, even more honored to be part of the journey (the trust is real 🥺👉🏼👈🏼). Congratulations and let the champagne (or her fave tinto de verano) flow for my fave Bianca Mascenon and her Grandma Approves baby.

In true lola fashion: hija head on over to and check out their new lineup of finely-crafted clothing.

Slay safely in them loves 😉 We know you will.

PS. Check out their Instagram too!

✨ jazz

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.

Greta’s Junk Shop: The Cutest Junk We Put in Our Trunk

We’ve got our shopping goggles trained on Greta’s Junkshop for all the cutest and well-curated finds we could ask for!

With the holidays looming in and our wallets at the ready to be emptied out in the spirit of Christmas, we’ve been on the lookout for the cutest new local brands and businesses to get our holiday shopping done quick and easy from the comforts of our little bed nests. While the economy is still weaning off of its quarantine crutches (albeit in a excruciatingly haggard and clutch manner) and COVID cases still prevalent left and right, we’ve foregone the annual rat race to the malls and turned our shopping goggles towards online stores for safer (and infinitely more convenient) gift-getting. Plus, supporting small, local businesses always puts a smile on our gastadora faces–especially when the wares are oh-so cute!

That’s why we’ve decided to let y’all know about this new store we’ve fallen in love with: Greta’s Junkshop! Now, those that may know Julia would probably have heard of the lovely woman who runs this shop before; Gretchen Gatan (known to her cousin as Greta, hence the name) was her boss turned dear friend, mentor, meme supplier, and chismis dealer all in one. To say Julia owed a great deal of her self-growth to Gretchen is a grave understatement, as those who have read our article on the ex-bosses that have changed our lives for the better may have already known. 

Aside from showing our ceaseless support for our friends and local business (two birds in one stone, yay!), we wanted to be able to also shed a little spotlight all the people behind the products and why our hearts–and wallets–adore them so much. In today’s spotlight, we’ve asked the beauty blogger, editorial writer, influencer, entrepreneur, and girl boss herself to let us into how her shop came to be. Maybe you’ll be just as inspired as we are to start your own biz!

So we’re letting Gretchen take the screen to give you an insider access to who’s been supplying the cutest junk in our trunk!

Who is Gretchen Gatan?

I’m a writer and editor based in Metro Manila, and the blogger behind Greta’s Junkyard. Greta’s Junkyard actually started as a Tumblr back in 2009. At that time, it was mostly a dump of fandom-related or emo posts. Haha! Greta isn’t actually my real name, but more of a nickname that my cousins and friends used to tease me. And then Junkyard—because it was literally a dumpsite of my thoughts and feelings! The logo, which shows a little kid inside a trash can, was randomly drawn by my best friend when we were in high school. And it just felt so perfect to use for my brand—because it captures who I am as a quirky introvert who loves to write about her favorite things.

In 2013, right after I graduated from college where I majored in Creative Writing, I ended up working for a digital marketing agency as my first job. I wasn’t able to write as much as I used to, and so my boyfriend (now husband) built what is now, so I could still write about my favorite things on the side—just on a bigger and better platform. And that’s basically how Greta’s Junkyard started!

What is Greta’s Junk Shop?

Greta’s Junk Shop was something I already had in the pipeline as early as 2016. In fact, the e-commerce section was ready (thanks to my boyfriend-turned-husband who also built it). But at that time, I didn’t have enough capital nor did I have a clear direction for the shop. I thought about starting my own beauty brand—but didn’t think I could pull it off. Then I considered self-publishing my own short stories and novels, and selling them on the shop—but I wasn’t emotionally ready to put my work out there. And so plans for the shop just stayed under the “Parked Projects” list of my personal Trello board.

When the pandemic forced the country to go on lockdown, and I was furloughed from my latest full-time job, it put things into perspective for me. I knew it was a huge risk letting go of a fixed income, but I decided to resign anyway and focus on the passion projects I had parked instead—which included Greta’s Junk Shop!

The ideas just kept coming as I was putting the plan together. Similar to how I started Greta’s Junkyard, which was writing about topics close to my heart, I wanted to sell items that I know I would love and use. I stuck to three categories: Fashion and Accessories, Home and Lifestyle, and Pet Fashion and Care. If you visit every product page, you’ll find a quick backstory on how the item is an extension of who I am. And because the blog was celebrating its 7th anniversary last September 2020, I thought it was the perfect time to launch Greta’s Junk Shop: a curation of my favorite things!

Inside the Junk Shop

How do you curate the items for sale?

I would research on different local suppliers and get in touch with the ones that fit my brand. Every time I see something, I think to myself, “Is this something that I myself would want to have?” And that’s how I make the decisions when it comes to curating and selling items in the shop!

Why did you want to start selling these things?

I’ve always been an avid fan of online shopping ever since I got into the e-commerce industry in 2014. I know and understand the giddy feeling of finding something unique and affordable with good quality—and I wanted to replicate this experience for my readers and customers. I used to always joke that shopping online is just your past self buying a gift for your future self, which explains why every package from Greta’s Junk Shop is prepared like a gift using sustainable materials.

Do you have inspiration when it comes to the things you sell?

I find my inspiration in the things and people I love. For example—all items under Pet Fashion and Care are inspired by my fur babies, Booboo and Bellatrix. The floral house clothes were inspired by the dresses that my grandmother started making for me during the quarantine to keep herself productive. The sports bras—because I saw how the lockdown encouraged my sister and cousins to keep themselves physically fit and healthy by working out everyday. And the pajamas? Because I love wearing pajamas all day, everyday! So yeah—all items really do have a backstory behind them.

When your dogs are more stylish than you are
Literally nothing makes us more enticed to exercise than cute equipment
Duster but make it tres chic
What else can we expect in the future?

I plan to continue looking for and supporting local suppliers. I intend to keep growing my portfolio of products under the three categories—especially as I’m entering different chapters of my life. Maybe someday, I can have a category for Baby Fashion and Care! And hopefully, when I’m ready, I can finally self-publish my short stories and novels, and make them available on Greta’s Junk Shop.

Our Cute Junk

If you’ve ventured inside her store already, you’d already see just how adorably curated these finds are. From workout wear to pajamas to fluffy slippers to cute polos for your own little fur baby, this shop definitely lets you get some useful and aesthetically pleasing items all while having a peek into Gretchen’s personality. Just take a look at the “Never Too Cold for Iced Coffee Shirt”–big mood. Getting our hands on some of the cutest junk from her shop brings us such happiness that these thoughtfully curated finds already have a special place in our closets! 😍

Penelope Pajama Sets

Whether you’re doing socially distanced slumber parties, working from home, or simply contemplating your nth existential crisis of the day, loungewear is undoubtedly the unforeseen trend of 2020. With that, we’re hopping on the bandwagon of living in our very own sets of loungewear!

The Penelope Pajama Sets definitely has us switching out our usual oversized ratty tees for something much cuter! Our match-y sets are the definition of ultimate comfort, so we’re sorry (not sorry) that you’ll have to pry out our cold dead bodies from these PJs. 🌼 They’re literally so comfortable we’ve now declared them as our new second skin.

With cute orange hues are very relaxing for the eyes, coupled with the floral line art that are just 100% aesthetically pretty, it makes for super cute gifts for all the girls in your life–your sister, your best friend, your mom, your S/O, or even for yourself (because we all know you deserve some TLC)!

Pauline Yoga Sports Bra

Even before the pandemic hit us early this year, our number one motivation to get us moving has always been the excuse of being able to purchase and wear cute sports ‘fits. Our go to workout ‘fits are usually yoga pants and sports bra! So color us extremely kilig when we were able to add these super comfy, stretchy, and versatile sports bras to each of our growing collections of sportswear. These are obviously the best of excuses to get off our asses to work out and look cute!

Peep these baby “trainees” in action featuring our new workout staple! (Hello, we’re open to being scouted, char!)

Pineapple Jewelry Tray

We all have our go-to jewelries and precious trinkets that really are just our ride-or-die. These could be gifts from loved ones, heirloom pieces, or even cute self-care gifts from your favorite IG shop! So it just makes the most logical sense that they are kept in an easily accessible trinket tray so you don’t have to go fishing for them in your baul of treasures. Also, what an added bonus it is if you’re a bit clumsy like us and are always loosing a couple small things here and there! Keeping track of your tiny trinkets and treasures is made easy with this lovely tray!

This locally-made wooden tray deserves the fanfare as it serves both form and function with this adorable pineapple shape!

Clawed by Ming Press-On Nails

While we didn’t get this from the store as we ordered our set from the very, very talented Ming herself (follow @clawed_byming and you’ll be dying for 10 sets yourself, we swear), we were pleasantly surprised that Greta’s Junkshop housed these on her site as well!

I live for nails that poke my eye out but with dainty clouds and sparkles
Whimsical and dreamy is my default, only fitting that the nails match the b*tch

We’ve posted them on our page before, but in the event that showing them to you again would be the budol sign you need to add to cart, then here you go sis! You won’t be disappointed. These sturdy, beautifully hand-painted gems are EVERYTHING, especially if you need a little reminder on what kind of irreplaceable bad b*tch you really are.

Now, it is only fitting that, as your friendly neighborhood enablers, we cheer you on as you browse and shop for the cutest junk at Greta’s Junkshop. BUT WAIT! There’s more! As a super cute and merry little gift to you, our lovely readers, Gretchen has graciously provided a discount code exclusive for Talk Tayo readers and followers. Hop on over to Greta’s Junkshop and addu-to-carteu 🛒 to get P150 off on your first purchase (for a minimum spend of P1,000). Use code TALKTAYO when you check out your goodies 🛍!

Happy shopping and merry hols babes 🥰 Remember to slay safe always!

✨ jazz

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.

💋 julia

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.

Recreating Iconic Outfits to Celebrate FRIENDS 26th Anniversary

The One With The Iconic Outfits. ☕️

Could we be bigger fans? We know!

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 26 years since one of the most beloved (albeit controversial) sitcom shows first aired. It’s been such an enthralling experience to watch all ten iconic seasons, rewatch it, and then rewatch it yet again as we grow through our various phases of life–all while loving it the same way we did the first time. Kung may forever man, we’re sure it’s with Friends. Charot!

We’ve honestly been keeping it on loop since we first sat down to watch it all those years ago, most times as a pleasant background noise to fill the room with its unique sense of comfort and familiarity. Its had quite the impact on many aspects of our lives–from it’s witty humor to its snappy one-liners to its relatable showcase of life experiences and character troupes. While we do admit that many jokes in Friends definitely did not age well, we simply cannot deny how it basically created its own era in the 90s, solidifying itself as a classic amongst our peers.

Obviously, being the kikay gals that we are, one of the biggest influences the show has had on us were the classic styles and trends. They 👏 served 👏 and 👏 slayed in every episode, every season, every time! Whether you’re a die-hard fan or just passing by, you can’t deny that Friends had lent a hand in shaping many of our wardrobes, influencing our style decisions on more than one occasion.

Being in our twenties, the distinctive theme song now seems to be our own life’s soundtrack (how apt 🙃). So even if our job’s a joke, we’re broke, and it feels like we’re stuck in second gear, we’ve come out to celebrate this year’s anniversary of Friends by rounding up a few of our favorite ‘fits from the show and recreating them.

Check them out below! 🛋

Chandler Bing has been such a loveable bean since the pilot episode, resonating within us the sarcasm that complements his misunderstood personality. Something we all relate heavily with. This outfit from Season 2 (The One With Five Steaks and An Eggplant) is such peak casual 90s style that anyone can wear it–regardless of gender and era! Hello? It’s been more than two decades and we’re still sporting this on our days off.

And why not? It’s so versatile and easy to wear, whether you’re popping into your fave local version of Central Perk or running grocery errands, throwing on some cuffed straight cut jeans and a comfy oversized shirt is easy as 1-2-3!

This recreated outfit is Jazz’s go-to when she’s off doing menial things–but in style. This is also honestly reminiscent of her dad’s and titos’ style during their university heydays–with the white sneakers, cuffed up jeans, and rolled up tees, as they strolled into campus feeling like the hottest boys on the street. 😎

Bow down to the resident kween of 90s fashion: Rachel Karen Green. Undoubtedly, she obviously wore the sartorial crown for our favorite sitcom barkada with her never ending trendy and au courant wardrobe. It’s definitely no surprise that Rachel’s outfits are still relevant and easy to draw fashionable inspiration from, even 26 years down the road.

Whether you’re chasing down a monkey through New York or heading to SM Mall of Asia, there’s no way in hell that this look wouldn’t turn heads. While Rachel’s wardrobe is an endless well of incredible looks that we could only dream of owning, we love this outfit in particular for its vintage yet classic appeal that would give schoolgirls a run for their money. With styles reminiscent of Cher from Clueless (another one of our all-time favorite style icons), how could we possibly ignore the call of a gorgeous plaid skirt paired with knee high socks?

Rachel may be getting coffee while the love of her life is off with someone else (eh, same naman tbh), but at least she knew she was doing it très chic! Rachel is definitely the 90s OG queen of style, and the crop-tied button down is but one of her many blessings that we have been living for since seeing the show and upon accepting that button downs as a versatile wardrobe staple.

This particular outfit of Rachel reminds us how important a button down is in anyone’s style rotation. Whether we’re going on a coffee run or turning up to work for the day or running errands, a short sleeved button down can be easily dressed up or dressed down. Throw on some chunky oxford shoes and you’ve got yourself giving off the vibe that we raided a vintage baùl (aka our parents’) with this take on a retro knotted top.

Julia is, without a doubt, the biggest sucker for leather that we know of. When asked to do this shoot, she raised two pairs of leather pants in utter excitement, overjoyed with the thought of finally being able to wear such heat-inducing bottoms regardless of the fact that the Philippine heat would (and had) enveloped her legs in a layer of sweat akin to Ross‘ iconic yet pitiful leather situation. Who could forget his feeble cries for help in his date’s bathroom as he smacks his own head with a fistful of powder? We would never forget. As one of the most memorable comedic moments of the series, we just couldn’t let this article pass without paying tribute (condolences to your pants, Ross)!

Rachel’s the go-to style icon for working out how to make overalls stylish and relevant all the dang time. Her character evolution from spoiled little rich girl to an independent woman of the city had seeped in and evolved her style as well. This was perfectly showcased when she finally resolved herself to return the engagement ring from Barry, finally closing that chapter of her life. While her offbeat coats and dripping-in-dollars ensembles from her previous life have us swooning, we’re two girls who know how to dial down the fashion and lounge back in something more casual and practical.

Overalls are such a practical ‘fit that it’s basically one whole ensemble on its own. The challenge of a dungaree or an overall is styling it so that we’re looking less corn field farmer chic and more relaxed and casual feel. TBH, Rachel’s also partly why at least 30% of Jazz’s wardrobe is made up of overalls. Could you blame a girl?

How YOU doin’? Ever since the pilot episode of this series, Joey Tribbiani has been rocking it out in gorgeous leather jackets and slicked back hair, reminiscent of a 90s James Dean (not the porn star) that had all of us swooning all the way down to the floor. While he has been seen donning a leather jacket on multiple occasions, this look in particular stuck to us for the ridiculousness that the episode it was in presented: Joey hiring a twin to be able to pass for a scientific study for cash yet failing miserably, delivering instead the iconic line in the most hilariously distraught yell, “Pizza! We. Like. PIZZA!”

Although we did make minor tweaks by trading pants in for a mini skirt to add more dimension (aka legs) to an outfit drowned in black, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to layer up a turtleneck under a sleek leather jacket to live our Danny Zuko-esque fantasies. We even added a purse–just a little call-back to Joey’s perfectly stylish man-purse (don’t listen to Chandler; boys can have bags, too!).

This casual but cool ensemble of ripped mom jeans and red tank top is an iconic outfit donned by Monica Geller has us obsessed. This outfit made its appearance during The One With The Flashback where Monica meets Chandler’s future roommate Joey. During the early seasons of the show, Monica’s go-to ensemble usually consists of mom jeans to showcase her cool but put-together style while obviously countering her usual intense personality.

We’re constantly taking cues and drawing inspiration from this hit 90s sitcom show in terms of style and fashion that this iconic outfit was so easy to put together and pull from Jazz’s closet (because she had it handy).

Who could ever let this iconic Friends moment go down the drain? Epic humor and petty fights is what we all live for, so it was such a no-brainer that we would be recreating Joey’s overly layered ensemble–donning all of Chandler’s clothes to piss him off for stealing his chair. Would we do it to each other in the name of spite? Damn right, we would.

We honestly could not stop laughing as we wiggled into the layers that we borrowed from our brothers, fighting the giggles very hard to take these photos and then some. This is just another prime example of what kalokohan we get up to when left alone together for more than five seconds.

If you loved the looks, we’d love to hear back from you! Or, if ever you’d like to recreate a Friends look with us, hit us up on the comments section or slide into our DMs over on Instagram.

As usual: slay safe, stay cute, loves! 😘

✨ jazz

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.

💋 julia

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.

Thrifty & Nifty: Clothes We Got on Instagram

Tipsy, thrifty, and thriving. We’re breathing new life to these amazing IG finds 🥂

This quarantine has brought a rise to many things, online shops being the most prevalent. But aside from the sudden influx of “hm?” and “dm-ed you” that now exists, this pandemic has brought about another big and notable change by paving the way clear for the rise of sustainable fashion. With clothing stores dropping left and right, the fashion industry has been shaken to its very core; now promoting quality and longevity in the place of fast fashion–something the both of us are incredibly excited about! Because of this, thrift pages and lovely Internet-dwellers that are looking to de-clutter while making a quick buck have been thriving. Needless to say, we’re LIVING for it.

As lovers of beauty and style, it’s always great to see the industry make turns for the better. To do what we can on that end, we’ve turned our shopping-goggles towards pre-loved fashion. There is no shame in giving new futures to clothes born in the past, and so we’ve recently been cultivating clean fashion habits.

There are so many out there in the world just waiting for us to find, but here are some pieces that we’ve collected over time and wouldn’t trade in for the world:

sporting spice


I’ve always loved typically “plain” things with a tiny bit of off-center detail–a.k.a this exact jacket. Its striking pink detailing, golden arrows down the sleeves, and high collar against what could’ve been just a typical sports jacket makes it easily one of my favorite things to throw on when I couldn’t be bothered with thinking of something to wear, simply because of how effortlessly charming it looks. To say I was the sporty type would be to lie straight to your faces (unless walking down a flight of stairs to the water dispenser is counted as a sport?), but I can appreciate the athleisure appeal this jacket brings to the table. While donning it may make you feel ready and qualified enough to start your own Rocky-esque training sequence to “Eye of the Tiger”, don’t think you can’t wear this kind of jacket with anything else. It looks great with denim, with skirts, with shorts–wear it with anything and you’re golden.

To say I’m a veteran at spotting thrifted deals is a grave overstatement, as my world into secondhand shopping was actually opened up by this very piece! Not a bad item to pop my pre-loved-clothes-hoarding cherry, don’t you think? Being such, I hold it near and dear to my heart–in part because of its overall style and sentimental value, but more so because of the fact that I am, on most occasions, too incredibly lazy to think of elaborate outfits on a regular day and inevitably reach for this one without question. It’s just that easy to wear, breathable in the Philippine heat, and comfortable, too. Why wouldn’t I love it?

rework it


I have one word for your loves: Jacquemus. If you don’t know who or what that is, you are missing out exponentially and you should get on Google to find out. If you know what I’m talking about, then, doesn’t this give you the vibes that patter along the lines of iconic Pre-Fall 2020 Jacquemus collection set in beautiful wheat field production design of the SS 2021 collection?

As 1/2 of the self-proclaimed sartorially frustrated beans behind this blog, I’ve long been an advocate of reworking existing clothes. I love the possibility of making something yours way past its trend life and original design. I’ve countless of them from my family baùl already stored in my wardrobe. This beautiful find was breathed a whole new life into this reworked two-piece set. Upon spotting it on my feed, I had to add it to my ‘drobe.

The hubadera in me was immediately enamored with the tie-back bralette. The cropped long sleeved button down is perfectly multifunctional as a cover up or on its own as a top. I profess my love for many a high waisted bottoms, so pairing this with my sky-high-waisted linen pants is a dream ensemble. It’s perfect for the beach or a stroll through the weekend market even.

playing in my lingerie


Ooh-la-la! Whoever said you couldn’t wear lingerie outside of the bedroom? I rarely every buy something as daring as this, but 2020 has really turned me into the confident, skin-showing Leo that I am now–not even mad at it, TBH. This sexy lacy bodysuit is so gorgeous I’d wear it all day if it were socially acceptable (walking your dog in lingerie, anyone?), but alas this is not that kind of world. Boo.

What’s so appealing to me about it, aside from its obviously well-made and aesthetically pleasing peek-a-boo lace and thigh-high cut, is how well it looks when tucking it into jeans as a sexy top. Just, ya know, maybe not to the office or you WILL be called in by HR. Alternatively, I could always just show off my newfound confidence sans the pants just to take selfies in my bedroom. Don’t lie to me; we all do it!

It’s material is pretty thin (duh; it’s supposed to be) but it doesn’t feel flimsy one bit. It’s not uncomfortable anywhere, even if the thong cut really does leave so very little to the imagination that one wonders why fabric is even there in the first place. Am I in love with it? Damn right, I am. Fair warning though: its high thigh cut makes it extra risque, especially for those a little shy around the lady-bits–but we all crave a little danger once in a while don’t we?

Also, to be fair, this isn’t thrifted, but it was too darn cute not to include!

draw the line


Disclaimer: this is the only item on my list that isn’t actually thrifted. But nonetheless, this item deserves a spot on this list of our favorite sartorial buys from Instagram.

Photos of this line art print on the classic button down first went viral sometime between late 2018 to early 2019. As one who is full of quirks and equally quirky choices, I was immediately smitten. Unfortunately, it hadn’t made its way around yet and no one had it on stock—that is until Instagram got wind of my searches and hit me with an ad for a shop that had it.

Line art is one of the fundamental basics of standard illustrations, making it a beautiful addition to the classic white button down. I love wearing this button down anywhere and everywhere—whether I’m heading off to work, paired with work apropos trousers or a cute A-line skirt, or I’m heading out for simple brunch with the girls, completing the ensemble with cute denim cutoffs or linen shorts.

My only problem with this gem is that I have to physically stop myself from using it over and over again like a uniform. LOL!

lola chic


When I saw this dress online, I instantly fell in love. The color, the cut, the print, the hem–just look how adorable it is! Those that frequent Instagram shops would understand the anxiety of crossing your fingers so tight while hoping no one else out-bids you by the end of the night; luckily for me (and unluckily for everyone that missed out–ha, suckers) I was kindly bestowed this extraordinary beaut. Its vibrancy is something my wardrobe is so sorely missing; I just knew I couldn’t let anyone get their grubby hands on it!

Its short length is perfect for lowkey hoes like me that love to show off some legs–you gotta be proud of what you got, am I right? Plus, its adorable rounded hem adds just the right about of peeking playfulness that allows the mind to wander just enough without bordering on raunchy. Alexa, cue “Legs” by Hagibis, please. Thanks.

I love styling this so much with knee high socks and school girl shoes–perfect for nailing that youthful yet not-too-adolescent-that-you’d-get-arrested-for-flirting-with-her chic! The white collar and cuffs are gorgeous accents, a lovely contrast against the playful print that brings the marriage of classic eccentricity into one piece with ease.

I always joke to Jazz and call this my “lola” dress because of how old-timey it looks, but don’t be fooled! It’s so easy to pull off no matter what decade it is.

the second star to the right


Growing up in an all-girls Catholic school, I was victim to ruffles and pleats and the “conservative” dress code of the olden days. So imagine my bewildered surprise when I spotted this on my feed, up for sale, c/o Kenn, the beautiful soul behind the @closetsteal_! I was immediately sold on it’s pretty bishop sleeves with a smocked detailing on the cuff and the floral embroidery. The peter pan collar honest-to-goodness ties the whole piece together, lending it a very soft and classic vintage 1940s vibe.

Honestly, I was half horrified and half besotted with the piece right away; horrified because of all the war flashbacks of sitting through Mass in the sweltering heat in my starchy gala uniform—complete with stockings and the required layers (iykyk). The besotted half of my sartorial soul obviously won—I mean, LOOK HOW DAINTY AND PRETTY I PAINT!

I love how it fits perfectly and ends just on my mid-thigh, perfect for tucking in or leaving out. I am partial to styling this tucked into high-waisted shorts or trousers, depending if I’ll be dressing up for work or simply going for the casual cute look for some errands, polishing it off with cute sandals—whether chunky or strappy.

This piece definitely goes down in my wardrobe as gala uniform chic.

staying in cool


As a self-proclaimed weirdo (I’m weird; I don’t fit in–brownie points for whoever gets who I’m making fun of) I’m a sucker for asymmetry. When I saw this on my feed, I knew I just needed to have it. The cuffs–the glorious, unexpectedly over-sized cuffs–sold me immediately. It was the pièce de résistance to my impulsive shopping habits, so here we are. I always try to regret it, and yet the call of affordable (and très chic while we’re at it) fashion overrules all self-control. Should I laugh? Should I cry? I have no idea, but I can do both and look incredible in this shirt while we’re at it–everyone wins! I think.

The sleeves, over-stitching, minimal text print, and everything else that was sewn into this magnificent article of clothing just ooze such a nonchalant cool that brings me the bite of bizarre that I’ve been desperately trying to fill my band tee-filled wardrobe with. Its black over-stitching is the sartorial cherry on top of this unorthodox blouse; the sheer amount of character in this piece alone makes it a standout no matter what you pair with it, but offers a subtle class that never comes off as overwhelming when paired with louder pieces.

Though, I will admit that I’m partial to donning it with something a tiny bit bawdy (surprise, surprise) just to balance out how refined its sleek white fabric is–fishnets, you think? That was a trick question. It’s always a yes to fishnets.

hao you like that


If you’ve read my style intro, it’s safe for me to claim that 30% of my ‘drobe consists solely of rompers and overalls. This is because they satisfy my perpetual need for effortless comfort. So honestly, what better way to achieve that than rolling through the day in a bomb-ass overall.

Story time regarding this piece: I’ve had my eye on this piece the moment Florice released the teaser for the collection this was a part of. I was unfortunately too slow in bidding for it and it went home to another fellow bidder. BUT, a couple days after grieving its slip from my grasp (because we grieve for missed opportunities in this house), the original buyer DM-ed to offer me the item at the same price she bought it as it was not a perfect fit for her. Kismet? I’d like to think so. The universe heard me grieving and decided to take pity on me.

I’m such a huge sucker for drop crotch details, and the contrast print of the line art was just my The8 dreams coming to life. True to my laid back sartorial soul, I usually style this with a bralette (thanks to the sweltering heat of the PH), if I can get away with it, and rotating through cool sneakers or my white Birks. I love accessorizing this with a handy but classy scrunchie on the wrist and maybe topping it off with my leatherette bucket hat.

If fellow Carats could see this, I hope you’d be proud with my sartorial ode to Xiu Minghao of Seventeen.

striped sweater all the time


Complete the sentence: “The best time to wear a striped sweater is _?” If you said “all the time”, then congratulations! Not that you win anything, but hey, at least I know we can be friends! Spongebob and memes brings people together, after all. But, in all seriousness, this green and pink pastel-y sweater is mad cute–something I’d seriously wear on a constant basis if the sweltering oven that is the Philippines wasn’t the biggest inconvenience to the sweater-loving-layer-longing people of the world–myself included, obviously.

Still, on days where my armpits can graciously bask in some air-conditioning, this would be on the top of my “what should I wear today?” list. I adore this tucked into linen pants, but it looks just as cute in a flowing mini skirt or high waist jeans too. It can get a bit warm if you stay outside–what doesn’t in this country really?–for too long, but it’s wearable Islander-wise for the most part. It’s a yes for me!

bringin’ sexy back

Cue Justin Timberlake’s iconic track as you read this.

I grew up with the notion that special occasions, even as simple as a reunion or Sunday family dinner, always calls for something special to wear. Feeling special and fancy, I realized later on, didn’t have to be as expensive as the bubbly I’d love to be sipping on. So when I was scouring the depths of Instagram shops for a dress that I could wear both on the daily and for special occasions, imagine hearts for eyes when I spotted this!

It is perfectly dainty with its flowy mini dress structure and the sweet bow that rests delightfully on the curve of the lower back. It’s the epitome of business in the front, party in the back with its sweet conservative neckline but stunning low back. I dress this piece up usually with dangling silver earrings, a bold lip, and cute strappy sandals.

kimono she didn’t


As I said, I’m a lazy human being. Anything that can be topped over a bralette and shorts is literally already a win for me. So, when Jazz and I stumbled across this store selling kimonos, you better believe how fast I typed “mine”. What drew me to this, aside from the fact that kimonos are just generally in-style at any point of the year, was the tiny subtle details. It’s mostly black, yes, but the stripes are actually a subtle emerald that gleams just a tad when you really look at it. It has a unique detached-looking arm-stitch that I found incredibly intriguing–kind of like a Frankenstein of kimonos, but make it fashion.

The fit is also to die for. It’s loose, breezy, and literally my favorite thing to wear when I know I have errands to run and don’t want to run the risk of sweating up a storm. The length is also quite flattering, as it ends with around the derriere. Unlike longer, calf-length kimonos (which I still adore and would stab myself in the foot to acquire), this one may be easier to pair around and travel with. While I do love the effect of capes billowing in the wind, I do like that this doesn’t frump up much when sitting or gets snagged on unsuspecting bushes.

If it hasn’t been obvious already, I’m big on simplicity, so I appreciate how easy this is to wear with just a tank top and jeans while still looking like you’ve put thought into your look. I do have to say though that if you plan on buying a kimono (well, this is technically a haori), you need to be pretty careful with it or the sleeves deflate, losing its uniquely kimono-esque flare.

cheers, my dears


There’s no pain in a little champagne, darling. Trust us on that. This little nugget of advice spills over to fashion, obviously.

I hate having to turn up to last minute events frustrated at the lack of versatility of my wardrobe colors. A neutral palette is the color wheel of my life as it’s easy to wear and easy to bring to most occasions. This little champagne crepe organza number is a prime example. This elegant piece curated by Danielle from @viel.mnl is equal parts simple, with it’s no-fuss structure, and equal parts fancy with that beautiful off shoulder detailing. It’s a breeze to wear and easily adjustable with the self-tie straps on the shoulders.

While the pandemic’s got me all cooped up at home for now, I can’t wait to wear this out and about for dinners and nights out once all the chaos is over and done with and the dust has settled once more.

tell me where it skirts


Tight high-waisted skirts? Sign me up for sure! I love this skirt so much, partially because it was actually a freebie given to me by the very, very kind owner of this shop (along with my regular purchases, of course), but also because I rarely every find long skirts that I actually like. Because of the high waistline, I find it to be incredibly flattering, giving my body a little help in shaping up the booty area–a blessing to the curvaceously challenged individuals like myself.

Because I’m obviously not the bustiest or bootylicious woman, garments like these really do wonders in giving me more self-confidence in my look. Aside from the cut and fit, I’m also helplessly in love with the army green color that matches most of my wardrobe (it consisting primarily of black, white, or denim). You can dress it up or down as you please because it’s versatile enough to handle whatever you want to throw on top–bralette, t-shirt, blouse, leather jacket; the list goes on and on.

I also love the zippers on either side of the front of the skirt; while they are incredibly useless, as female pockets apparently only exist for the sake of existing, I do think they add a nice edgy feel to an otherwise plain skirt.

love me in rose


I have a handful of things maxi. A very select handful. I’m a tiny human, the butt of most short jokes from my group of friends, and so I try to steer away from maxi skirts and dresses as they tend to drown and dwarf me. Be that as it may, I make certain exceptions when the maxi item is drop dead gorge and a must have addition to my wardrobe.

My hubadera soul will usually opt for a cool bralette to offset the amount of fabric making up the bottom. Alternately, I also love pairing this beautiful skirt with a short sleeve/sleeveless white button down tied at the waist for a very casual look. If it were colder, a long sleeved turtleneck is also something I would reach for. This is such a versatile piece that I could step out in a range of footwear—from chic boots to casual sandals.

Watch me living it up in full fashown on my next grocery run. Peep it under my required PPE at the next doctor’s appointment. It really is a la vie en rose with such a gorgeous sartorial piece.

coat of the day


How we’re constantly whining and wishing this country’s climate and weather was amenable to coats and sweaters and layers. Because honestly? We’d rock them all the damn time. We’d also have a never-ending rotation of coats to die for. Hands down. No contest, bub.

Hunting for a good winter coat is tiresome and annoying in a country that’s only got two seasons going: hot and wet. This snappy winter overcoat was going to be my first line of defense against South Korean winter—had Miss ‘Rona not decided to be a b*tch and dragged on to ruin my plans for later this year. (Yes, I’m pouting behind the screen). So this little gem of a pièce de rèsistence is unfortunately taking a back seat in my closet until the dust settles and we’re free to literally and metaphorically fly once again.

There is so much to love about this navy double breasted coat: from the single vent on the back to the gorgeous contrast embroidery that sports the phrase “goddess of new clothes in winter”. Ugh. I have one word: YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAS!

unica mija


While this isn’t clothes per se, we wanted to include this shop because it was one of the many, many shops that the both us started sending to each other over Instagram and saying, “Bilhin mo na. Bili din ako, tapos share tayo shipping fee.” Though these pieces in specific are not the latest that this store offers, as we bought them well over a year ago, their style still withstands the test of time. With Bohemian vintage themes for both pairs, they’re no-brainers when looking for something to add to an outfit to give it a little spice.

Loved our looks? Wanna share with us a store you think we’d inevitably wait with bated breath at each new collection? Let us know in the comments or drop us a DM over on our Instagram! We’d LOVE to find new (well, old but new) things to add to our collection (and maybe share with you again another time)!

Slay safe; stay cute, loves. 😘

✨ jazz

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.

💋 julia

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.

Whispers from the Wardrobe: Practical Tips on Cleaning Up Well

Looking good and spending a lot of money isn’t necessarily synonymous! Here are some handy tips I learned from my family on cleaning up well without draining my wallet.

At our core, my family and I are very simple people, and though we still love to enjoy the finer things in life, we elect to spend our money on trips, relaxation, and gastronomic experiences rather than clothes.  Nonetheless, in the 23 years I’ve lived on this Earth, I’ve picked up a couple of tricks from the people I hold closest to me that have aided in keeping me grounded and trimming down my closet expenses without risking the term ‘shabby’.

Now, while a person’s sense of fashion is entirely their own and I have absolutely no intention of swaying yours, I do hope you find something useful in this list to help you as much as it helped me. 

Grooming is absolutely everything

This is something both of my lolas always made sure of and their key to looking good no matter what: simple clothing, good grooming

The main difference between wearing cheap clothes and looking cheap lies entirely on how well you present yourself. It wouldn’t matter how expensive your clothes are. There’s nothing that degrades an entire look more than appearing unkempt. As my sister says, dressing casually doesn’t excuse you for looking sloppy. Doing your brows, putting on some powder, and swiping a bit of lipstick on never hurt anyone. And please brush your hair, lest my grandmothers come back from beyond the grave to haunt you.

Bank on basics, but stay excited.

As a family that looks for longevity rather than trend, basics and normcore chic is our lifeblood. However, that doesn’t mean you should be boring. Having a good amount of basics is perfect for mixing and matching without being overly conspicuous that you’re wearing the same thing all the time, so I like mixing in key items in my closet that get me giddy when I throw them on, like a fun printed crop top or checkered pants or an oversized Korean-style jacket. 

I remember a time when I was shopping with my mother. She found this adorable white tee with really cheery, colorful print and as soon as she saw it, she lit up and knew she had to have it; whenever she’d wear it out on the weekend, she’d feel like more of a fun person. That is the kind of joy your closet should evoke from you, and if it doesn’t, then maybe it’s time for a refresh.

Treat buying clothes as a long-term investment.

This is something I discuss often with my mother, and while she scoffs at me with her Economics degree every time I say the word “investment”, I stand by it. Good clothes should be able last you years, and while it may be tempting to slip into the impulsive snares of fast fashion, it might be good to take a step back before handing over that credit card. Would you be able to wear that style for at least a couple of years? Is the material sturdy enough to withstand the wear and tear? Is it free from time-dependent references that are sure to become obscure after one use? Trends come and go, so you might as well put your money in things that you won’t cringe at when Facebook’s Timehop kicks in. I’m looking at you, unflattering denim bermuda shorts.

Comfort is key. People can see when you’re uncomfortable. 

You know how you can just tell when someone stops feeling good in the heels they’re in? Yeah, that applies to the rest of your clothes, too. Daring to be out of the box with your fashion is all well and good, but if it stifles your comfort so much that you physically have to pretend you’re okay, then please just let it go–for your sake and the sake of prowling, judgmental eyes (sorry). Comfort helps boost your confidence, so don’t let it take the back seat!

If you can only have two pairs of heels, make sure you get them in black and nude. 

I used to laugh at my mom for getting the exact same pair of kitten heels in black and nude, but looking back at it now, I actually see the appeal. Everyone needs a favorite pair of classic heels, and everyone needs them in exactly those colors–two birds with one stone! Having black heels is honestly common sense at this point, but don’t neglect the nude; because they blend into your skin, nude heels help give the illusion of elongated legs–perfect for us vertically challenged Asians–and are incredibly versatile shoes that work well for both casual and formal events.

If you don’t want to be judged, never wear open-toed shoes without having a pedicure first. 

Just because feet aren’t the very first things you see shouldn’t mean that you can neglect them! I have been traumatized one time too many by the look of disgust on my sister’s face as I wore sandals out of the house with my overgrown nails, half-chipped polish, and unsightly cuticles. Never again. And NEVER to a formal event; you are not an uncouth monster. Remember: your nails are an extension of your outfit.

Being thrifty is a good thing, but that doesn’t mean you should buy bad clothes. 

My mother is notorious for falling into the discount trap. I’ve watched her buy sandals on sale despite having a superfluous amount at home or try to convince herself to like sale item clothes just because the deal was too good to pass up. That isn’t to say that I think sales are bad–I love sales as much as the next person–but if the most attractive part of the garment is its price and not its quality, then maybe you don’t need it.

For god’s sake, learn your own silhouette.

I’ve lamented the fact that I can never have a fuller bosom or wider hips for ages, but one thing about growing up in a household with vastly different body shapes has taught me that there really isn’t a one-size-fits-all when it comes to making clothes work for you. My sister is more apple shaped, my mother is more of an inverted triangle, and I am more boxy. Learning how to create the illusion of a more shapely physique, longer legs, and thinner waists all come differently to each of us, so there’s no point trying to replicate something that works for someone else when it doesn’t help you.  

I won’t be getting in too deep with other body shapes, but if you’re rectangular like me (i.e your shoulders, bust, and hips aren’t far apart in measurements), you have to find ways to cheat that waist. You can try pants with a higher waistband to help bring the attention to the length of your legs, or those with wide legs to fill out your hips. Dresses that cinch around the waist and flare out are also great for creating shape, as well as strategic cut-outs and smart color blocking. Fake it ‘til you make it, baby!

One is never over-dressed or underdressed in a little black dress.

This is self-explanatory, but Coco Chanel was absolutely right when she said it. Every girl needs one in her closet and trust me, you will always find use for it.

If you can’t see all your clothes when you open your closet, you’re going to need to Marie Kondo that sh*t out. 

After all, how often would you reach for something that you don’t remember is there? A useful tip my mom taught me was to remember the last time you wore that article of clothing. If it’s been more than three months and you haven’t thought of it one bit, then it’s safe to say that you won’t miss it when it’s gone. Learn to let go, girl. 

Own a small purse. 

If you’re like my mom and you like carrying your entire house in your purse, I urge you to attempt a smaller bag. More often than not, we tend to carry things that we don’t really need just in case an occasion would call for it, and when it comes to fishing things out of that monstrous bag, it takes more than a few moments of wildly flailing our hand around to finally find it. Smaller bags not only cut that process out, but are also easier on the back (which is necessary, if you have scoliosis like I do) and often come in wider arrays of designs. 

Of course, that’s not to say that you should ditch the big bag entirely. It’s good to have different sizes for different occasions, but for days where you’re just off to the supermarket or going to have coffee with friends, do you really need all that stuff weighing your shoulder down? 

Always have stain remover on hand!

My sister found this magical thing in Japan once that highly resembles correction fluid, and it has changed my life. While it isn’t something I’m proud of, I’m not exactly the neatest eater; having this (or the more accessible Tide marker) tucked inside my purse was a godsend for the days I slurp up ramen and accidentally drip some of the soup on my shirt. Not a good look, darling.

Never underestimate the power of accessories. 

Need to zhuzh up a simple outfit? Accessories. My Lola Tindeng had been known to sport gorgeous, glittering accessories at all times, from formal events to simple potluck dinners in her condo to her hospital bed–with good reason! Accessories are a sure-fire way to elevate even the most basic t-shirt and jeans combo, so it’s always nice to accent your looks with a little somethin’ somethin’–even a simple gold necklace and studded earrings can have a big impact on your overall look. Just be sure to match it to what you’re wearing! While I personally prefer gold for everything, if you needed to choose between gold and silver, it’s good to remember that warmer tones look best with gold, while cooler tones complement silver

Rings are also something my sister and I fawn over. If you aren’t like her and don’t have a husband to give you a giant diamond ring (ugh), a large statement ring or a series of dainty stackable rings are also great ways to add personality. 

Also, please, please own a belt, damn it! I remember stubbornly refusing to accept that I needed a belt other than my old, worn clasp belt from high school and sorely regretting it when my jeans started slipping and I had no other choice but to look horrendous. A good rule of thumb is to have at least these two: a classic leather belt, and a skinny belt you can use for daintier looks or for cinching dresses.

Save your best designer sunglasses for the city. 

My family loves sunglasses, and while it would look great flaunting your favorite designer pair at any given moment, it’s good to have more than one. Aside from adding variety into your wardrobe, this also makes sure you don’t wreck the expensive one prematurely. We like owning what we call the “disposable pair” for lesser occasions, a.k.a the pair you like but wouldn’t cry over if it fell into the ocean or was accidentally rolled over at the beach.

Get to know a good tailor. 

Being a dressmaker, Lola Tindeng greatly emphasized the need for clothes to fit well. If buying off the rack doesn’t hug your body the way you want it to but you can’t get over the style, don’t think that all is lost. Tailors exist for a reason, and when you find one you like, do not let him/her out of your sight.

When in doubt, shirt-dress it out. 

This one’s my mom’s favorite because it’s easy to put together, comfortable to wear, and can be dressed up or down with accessories!

Do not, I repeat, do NOT be stingy with your intimates. 

Your underwear is the most essential part of your closet, as it dictates both comfort and hygiene. They also help shape the way your clothes cling to you, so why settle for frumpy, misshapen granny panties when you can get quality, form-hugging pairs that’ll last you years? If you’re above the age of twelve, ditch the cheap 5-packs (or, at least, save them for shark week) and move on to greener pastures. Trust me, you’ll feel much more confident in more ~mature~ styles and you won’t have them wearing down on you after a year or so. 

Stop settling for ill-fitting bras. 

Not only will it make you infinitely more comfortable, but it’ll look much more polished too. If there’s a gap between the pad and your breast, if your boobs are spilling over to and fro, or if your band isn’t sitting horizontally on your torso, then it’s the wrong size. 

If you have itty bitties like us, this rule definitely still applies. There’s nothing that makes me feel more awkward about myself than the infamous bra-to-shirt Grand Canyon, and while I wish I had a fuller chest, there are a lot of ways to look stunning regardless. Jazz has a wonderfully helpful article on styling and how to embrace your smaller cup size, so read it here if you’re interested!

Learn to treasure your sewing kit.

Did you ever go to your lola’s house and reach for that signature tin of cookies and opened it to find a sewing kit? Did you also scoff and wonder why you needed so many dang colors of thread and wished it were cookies instead? Yeah, girl, me too. I don’t know if it’s early adulthood talking and I may just be getting older, but my perception of the sewing kit has changed so drastically that I’ve come to wish for my own little tin can of sewing materials. For small fixes and easy length adjustments that don’t really need the trip to a tailor, these will do you a lot of good. 

Having a portable one in your purse will also save your skin. I remember the time I had to attend an event and ripped my dress quite unattractively up the back (I had added a little weight on the derriere from a family trip and tried to deny it), and never was I ever as grateful for a complimentary hotel sewing kit as I was that day. Be grateful for your Home Economics class, children. Be grateful.

Hopefully, these small nuggets of wisdom I picked up from my family help you in some way. If there’s anything your ancestors have imparted on you that has made an impact on how you dress, let’s chat in comments! We’d love to read them.

And do watch out for Jazz’s article on the insightful tips on grooming and personal care coming out next week! 

Until next time!

💋 julia

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.

Dressing for the Itty Bitty Titty Committee

A sartorial rundown of the perks we get as ladies with small boobs but big dreams.

Hands up, if you’re a member of IBTC!

Like all girls, we were supposed to grow and bloom out of the awkward stages that puberty hit us with when that chapter of our lives came to a close. Acne should’ve faded, hips should have widened, and breasts should have developed—should being the operative word. Imagine my despair when I was in the throes of university life and I still felt that I looked like I had the chest of a prepubescent boy.

I used to tirelessly wait for my “boobs to grow in” as I am constantly the butt of jokes in the décolletage department—precisely because I barely have any. So to all my sisters who’ve been struggling or who have struggled with their cup size, you are definitely not alone! 

I’ve grown to accept and even love the smallness of the boobage that Mother Nature has bestowed upon me and I am very thankful for the fact that the benefits of being a member of the IBTC definitely outweigh the cons: no underboob sweat, no trouble finding bra sizes, and no need to wear a bra without feeling self conscious about people noticing.

Thanks to my IBTC membership, I’ve barely run into any issues in the sartorial category—definitely my favorite perk!

Just a quick and friendly reminder to note that this is not a “big vs small” debate. All breasts are beautiful—whatever size they come in.

Scroll on to my favorite ways on how I’ve learned to dress with my itty bitty titties.

Without the big boobs interfering with sizing, fit around the bust area has been a breeze and I honestly have very minimal problems risking my girls from spilling out from various necklines or low cut tops and ensembles. Feel secure tucking in that plunging neckline into high waisted pants without having to worry about taping or looking too risqué. Pop on a variety of lengths for necklaces to polish off your look. 

You can try to unbutton as many buttons you feel comfortable with and not risk a peek-a-boo. An unbuttoned blouse is easy breezy when you don’t have to compete with your own cleavage.

If you’re feeling a bit more on the conservative side, high necklines enhance the illusion that you’ve got more going on than in actuality—all the while being able to steer clear of the uniboob. Halter necklines also accentuate your body, maintaining a sexy air of mystery at the same time as a little tasteful sideboob never hurt anyone.

That tiny chest you’ve been despairing at in the mirror? Girl, that’s your sartorial canvas! You have the enviable option to pile on layers that bustier girls don’t have as it tends to result in looking bulky and frumpy on top for them. Layering is such a fantastic way to show off your style prowess and add an avant-garde flair to your lewks

Sis, you may still be feeling a bit self-conscious about your flat chest but you are blessed with such a beautiful body that you can draw eyes to your more favored assets if you so wished.

Personally, I am all for the high waisted anything trend as I am lucky enough to have a cinched waist (and my hips flaring out). Cinching your waist with a belt, especially if your waist is smaller than your boobs, is always a great way to create the illusion of a fuller bust. You can also try booty popping jeans or skirts to accentuate that fine butt you’ve been working out. A fun skirt with frills or patterns is also a great way to draw the eye away from your chest.

Not having to deal with bras is one less effort that you would need to deal with. Going braless is such a divine perk to having small boobs that you can go down various routes in the clothing department without risking a Janet Jackson.

Business in the front, party in the back with no bra needed? You can count me in! Flirty backs and unexpected cutouts are such a fun way to go, especially in the sweltering heat of Manila where we’re constantly reaching for clothing with minimal fabric that would save us from heatstroke.

Didn’t anyone tell you? Bras are made to be seen. It’s actually why they’re so expensive. Don’t be afraid to wear bras as tops—as long as they don’t obviously look like a bra. If you’re feeling a bit demure but still want to tease, you can tastefully flash a little of your favorite bra.

You could throw on a chic blazer on top of a swanky bra, and everyone would be none the wiser when it’s paired with playful high waisted pants. Definitely très chic!

The bralette trend is also heaven sent. They are adorable, sexy, highly comfy, and you can pair them with anything and everything. Being able to wear these babies without having to worry about comfort or support is über sexy. Pair a lacy bralette underneath sheer tops for a playful look or let it live its best life by utilizing it as a crop top!

You can feel free but safe with the knowledge that you aren’t revealing too much. It’s very classy!

Love yourself and your girls, sis. They’re made exactly for you and you alone.

If I’ve successfully convinced you that small boobs equate to big perks, then let us know in the comments below or you can tell us about how you’ve been dressing your itty bitty titties—we’d love to hear all about it!

Much love ‘til next time, and remember: small boobs, big dreams. With that, I’m leaving you with a little something something from legendary Miss Sandra Oh:

Let’s roll call, Jazz

A style spotlight on Jazz, our author who’s gaga for clothes, champagne, and dancing…among other things.

Hey stranger, fancy seeing you here!

This little intro to who we are was definitely both exciting and daunting to create—mainly because I didn’t realize how much self-meditation it would entail to learn more about who I am based on my aesthetic.

Though I have honestly come such a long way from my more timid and shier, younger days—having grown up performing—it is still more often that I will wait for people to initiate contact or conversation before I reveal my more extroverted side. So this is me, being an extrovert, making the first move, and drawing you into a conversation about my personal style.

I’m telling you now that I’ve flipped through tons of articles and editorials  just to figure out what made them all click together like some sort of crime investigation board in my head—a moodboard of everything that visually screams who the hell I am. I’ve come to conclude that personal style is an ever evolving beast that can’t be pinned and scrutinized in one glance.

Many people that personally know me are aware that I’m a very transparent person who just usually says what I think and feel at the moment and I find it interesting that it directly translates to my sartorial aesthetic value of genuinity and elevated chill-ness. Given that, you’d often can tell what I’m feeling based on what I’ve decided to wear for the day. It’s honestly not really one specific thing or another—so if I really had to give my style a labeled definition, it would be that my personal style is a very cool and effortless minimalism, with a dash of hubadera and statements.

LET’S SET MY HAPPY SCENE. If you sat with me for a day, we’d have a very late brunch after lunch filled with mimosas and fruits and pastries, hunkered down in a quaint cafe somewhere. As the breeze huffs, the mildest scent of cotton, sesame, and baby soap wafts through the air—I’m not one for complicated and fussy scents, not really caring for citrus if I’m not eating it. When the day begins to fold into night is my favorite time because of the softness of muted golden hour sunshine—the painless and heatless type of sun that I often crave to bathe in. When I’d finally let the night take over, I definitely want nothing more than bubble baths with a side of champagne or tinto de verano coupled with a book or a feel-good film rolling. Ugh, I’m grinning ear to ear just thinking about it.

THAT PARISIENNE AESTHETIC. Whatever you do, please do not limit yourself to the images of dainty dresses, mariniere tops, and baguettes; it’s definitely much more than that! From its neutral tones with bold pops of color to the overall “anti it girl” feel that it screams, I am so terribly fascinated with how effortlessly put together Parisiennes are and how much they value comfortability  without ever sacrificing style. It’s entrancing to have je ne sais quoi imbibed into one’s closet and still looking amazing. There’s honestly something so attractive and easy with just a white button down and cuffed up jeans that I find myself automatically grabbing for the combo whenever I’m headed out. This directly translates to how I usually decide to do my face as well, never leaving the house without opting for winged black eyeliner, natural brows, and a swipe of either lipstick—always a toss between, vino, nude, or bold red—or gloss. 

*If you want to know more about this style,I definitely reco How To Be Parisian Wherever You Are (Berest, Diwan, de Maigret,  Mas) and Dress Like A Parisian (Alöis Guinut).

STATEMENT POPS. Though I prize an understated (la discretion), effortless (la nonchalance) elegance (l’élégance), I am definitely not one to shy away from other influences and styles—particularly since Hallyu was such a big influence on my consumption of media. The 3rd generation of K-Pop idols have paved a more relaxed look for stage outfits that I get so excited to cop with my own spin. Mixing up trends is just something fun to do, especially when a blend that I’m able to achieve translates to fun outfits that still resonate with my personality. Patterned kimonos and silk robes are such a staple in my closet precisely because they off-set the neutral palette that I usually wear as well as are my go-to cover ups given how breathable the fabrics are in the unparalleled heat of this country. I also always make sure to bring or wear a statement piece—be it a bag, jewelry, or done something special with my makeup—to tie together my looks. So you might see me with a full black ensemble underneath a pleather fire truck red coat or in a striped linen blazer set with ginormous locally handmade earrings (that screams maharlika) and chunky white shoes. You never know really.


EFFORTLESS. Having been a dancer for quite a while now, I like the simplistic ease of just wearing what I feel but with a certain refinement. Also, I’m very conscious about my lines and what would make my body type look great and long, what would show off my best features and whatnot because it’s ultimately what’s going to be able to make me feel good as I go throughout my day

With that, I definitely value the freedom of motion and of skin especially with the heat constantly blazing down on us in Manila where the temptation to wear minimal fabric is a never-ending argument with the more conservative individuals of our society—aka my dad. To minimize the risk of looking like an unsavory girl, I tend to style my hubadera (skin revealing) pieces with items that can lend a cover up or are inherently more conservative (like jeans) to strike a well balanced look; which always makes me reach for my white sneakers (my wardrobe go-to) as it goes well for everything and doesn’t give me the hardest time running around to do errands or something to do for work.

My mother’s motto makes it to the forefront of my mind now that I think about it and everything makes sense: look presentable every time you go out, you never know who you’re seeing—but don’t let them know that you’ve made an effort

Julia and I honestly didn’t think this little introduction would reach this long. If you’ve made it all the way down here, then give yourself a pat on the back! I hope that I kind of made sense to you and you can visualize more of who I am—we are definitely not strangers at this point.

We’d definitely love to see you back here when we’ve got more things for you to find and enjoy (fingers crossed)!

✨ jazz

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.

But first, introductions: Julia

Get to know one of our authors: Julia, our cacti-hoarding, hedgehog-owning lover of makeup and gorey anime!

Being the anxiety-ridden introvert that I am, I have always been daunted by the task of describing myself. Each time I’ve been asked, I’d have trouble coming up with anything to say, as if my mind empties completely every time a spotlight hits me. And even if I did manage to find the words, there would be a voice in the back of my head that would berate me for being bland and uninteresting. 

Through the years, I tried to force myself through my own discomfort, and while I still have some ways to go, I take pride in the fact that I’ve shed a lot of the shits that I would’ve given as the quivering prepubescent girl that I was, so unwilling to open herself up. That growth, as well as my love for the written word, is partially why I was drawn to this joint venture—to find a new means of breaking myself in even further and hesitating less about putting myself out into the world. 

Though the thought of talking into the void that is the Internet is still unnerving to me, I genuinely hope that some of my ramblings may find you at least a little bit entertained. So, without further unnecessary build up, here’s a peek at who I am and how I style myself.

Of stories and daydreams

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved to think up stories. I’d imagine animals, both real and fantastical, floating all around me as I walked. I’d imagine scenarios in my head as I watched scenery pass by through the car window. As I grew, I came to realize, however, that my favorite stories were often those that were just a tiny bit odd, and so I begun to write that way—a teenage grim reaper collecting souls in a Chryssler, a world of bizarre dreams ruled by bored Bogeymen, a strange student accidentally undergoing a summoning. 

Of course, these were stories I’d drafted and kept for only my own indulgence, but this love for darker themes had definitely seeped through to the books and anime and films that I hold dear to me.  I enjoyed things that appeared more grim, things that had a drier, more sarcastic sense of humor, and things with a subtle tongue-in-cheek tonality that was just a little more off-putting than it should be.

Looking back at it now, I suppose it makes a lot of sense with how my ideal aesthetic for life was born. I enjoyed things with a hint of darkness, and it carried on to most aspects of my life. For example, if you knew me back in high school and came upon my Tumblr, then you’d know for a fact that I love the appeal of disposable cameras more than any other style there is. I remembered a time where my Tumblr was mostly reblogs of other people’s disposables, even if I had no idea who they were or what the context was; all I knew was that I loved how they looked—high contrast, deep shadows, harsh flash, and a hazy glaze that made any memory look that much more picturesque. 

Something about it also seemed so genuine to me, so commonplace, so minimally touched yet so filled with character. This thought process is also why I have a mild obsession with Winona Ryder, our favorite cigarette-guzzling actress from classic cult-hit films like Beetlejuice (1988) or Girl, Interrupted (1999). I find that even the very air around her exudes this kind of effortlessly cool energy, especially during the 90’s with her bolstering of the relaxed yet iconic trend of androgyny chic. It’s precisely this aspect that I feel encapsulates the kind of person I want to be—understated and unassuming, dark and muted, yet with its own distinctive traits that bring intrigue to those with interest.

Of denim and leather

That said, my sense of style would naturally follow a similar line of thinking. To say it simply, I love subtly, but with a twist. 

I’ve been finding my ideal style drifting towards the calm, yet less conventional; think items that are not so outlandish that they become difficult to pair, but are decorated enough to draw the eyes in. I’ve been obsessed with things like mesh sleeves and printed tops and unorthodox pants, but, through my perusal of accessible stores, I have been having a hard time either coming to terms with the prices of similar street style items or finding more affordable pieces that exude the same unique feel. My fondness for soft-pedalled peculiarity is definitely a tricky style to perfect, especially when I haven’t even the faintest idea of where to start, but it’s where I know my future will lead me. 

As I lament the fact that I haven’t fully achieved my ideal wardrobe, you’ll probably still catch me clad in either of my two favorite and indispensable pieces: a trusty pair of five-year-old ripped jeans and a leather jacket that is much too impractical to wear in the Philippine heat but I bring along anyway. It’s still a very, very long journey into the world of off-center apparel, but I bask in the knowledge that I’ve slowly graduated from my teenage wardrobe of endless black band tees and a beat up pair of classic white Chuck Taylors (which I still wear to this day, but don’t judge me for it) into a more diverse set of clothes.

Even so, my style is still very much relaxed. I think the main reason for it is because I’m generally very simple when it comes to clothes, and I tend not to shop unless I definitely need to. Even then, I would always hesitate, wondering obsessively if I could wear it over and over again for the course of at least the next three years. If I deemed that I could, only then would I have bought it. 

Now, I have never and will never claim to be a fashionista, as I tend to cycle through the same five outfits without realizing it, but I do love to admire clothes. If I had my way and a much deeper wallet, then I’d love to spend it on more statement items, but alas, life was not that kind. If I could, I’d definitely buy items with louder details, like coats with gorgeous painted prints or denim jackets with neon tags coiled through them—articles that bring a little extra pizzazz to the more muted items underneath. I love clothes particularly with a tiny bit more personality than normal, giving them the ability to elevate an otherwise simple outfit into something that tells you that you didn’t even have to try to look stylish; you just are.

I will admit, though, that my obsession with K-Pop in the latter half of the past decade had played a big part in how I spiraled into the world of newer, more interesting styles. A lot of Korean fashion, especially their street wear, made me open up my sartorial horizons, giving me the drive to go after more courageous styles. It also greatly influenced how I like to do my makeup, from peachier tones and my newfound love for all things shimmery, though I haven’t quite let go of how much I adore a big, dramatic cat eye. 

There’s a lot more I could be saying, but I’ve just looked over the size of what I’ve already written and thought, “Sis, this needs to stop at some point.” Truth be told, when Jazz and I discussed writing our respective introductions, we only envisioned writing snippets. Maybe a few paragraphs, but definitely not anything of this length. If you’ve made it this far, I’d like to give you my thanks—for bearing with my stream of consciousness and learning a little more about me on your own volition.

I hope you stick around when we write up some more things, and hopefully our growth in both ourselves and our styles will bring a smile to your face. Or, at least, have you blow slightly more air out through your nostrils in amusement. 

See you soon!

💋 julia

A 23-year-old writer and content associate with an obsession for beauty and an ineffable love for all things sharp–from cacti to hedgehogs to intense winged liner.