It hasn’t been long since I got back from my 3 week vacation in the US, and I’m already itching to fly out again. There are still so many things I want to see in this world, and I feel like *now*, especially with my 25th birthday coming up this weekend, is the perfect time to satisfy my intense wanderlust.
My recent trip, however, was quite a challenge. My long haul packing skills have turned rusty over the years! It’s so easy to fly in and out of Asia nowadays, and with all these affordable, short haul flights, you can wear different outfits without having to re-use a single item, especially if your trip is only about 3-5 days.
It all becomes complicated when you need to pack 3 weeks worth of clothes for varying degrees of cold weather (lowest was -3 C, highest was about 23 C), and still have enough space in your luggage for any additional purchases along the way. And don’t forget - flights from Manila to the US can take so long. I recently saw someone change to pajamas inside the plane. Can’t blame him. I’d do it too, in an ideal world where I’m even less self-conscious than I already am.
I managed to do some laundry halfway through the trip, and had to pat myself on the back when I realized I packed the right stuff! Mixing and matching is key, but it’s what kind of items you bring with you that makes all the difference in the world.
Mango is one of those no-fail brands that always offers chic closet staples. You can style these items for both warm Manila weather (as in the outfits below) and real autumn and winter abroad (just throw in black boots, tights and a coat)!
Button-downs are a must. It’s not even optional! You can still wear them on their own while the temperature is tolerable, but they are the best first layers when it comes to cold weather layering.
Dark pants are non-negotiable too. I made the mistake of wearing pastel blue, almost white pants once. Random coffee shop guy spilled his coffee and I got some of it on my pants. Besides the exasperating lack of apology on his end, I had to put up with the stains (which took me about 30 minutes in the bathroom trying to get them as light as possible) the whole day! Never again.
I am partial to skinny pants, but for long haul flights, I prefer more loose-fitting clothes! If you’re going to be stuck in a plane for 16+ hours, comfortable clothes are everything.
Deliberately matched my outfit with this luggage that I got as a gift recently. My usual carry-on luggage (I bring my laptop with me everywhere, or else I die) is slightly bigger than this one but not as cute! Yes to a cuter one please!
Sweaters are essential when traveling. I brought sweaters in varying thickness, and they all did a great job at keeping me warm. I always layer a button-down shirt under, which makes using the sweaters more than once a little less gross, lol.
This particular one is great because it’s not too thick for our weather. I matched it with a sexy pencil skirt (that slit!) for a more Manila-appropriate look.
I also bring at least one blazer with me when I travel because not only does it do a good job at keeping me warm, it can automatically make an outfit look dressier than it actually is. Even the plainest tees can look super chic with a classic blazer.
They also usually come with pockets. And you can never have enough pockets when you’re traveling.
After watching the Gin no Saji anime, I found myself more fascinated towards animals I would often just overlook. I never thought pigs were cute until I saw Hachiken’s pet Butadon. Aki’s fascination for horses was also quite contagious, and I could see why with how they depicted horses in the series. (Aki’s great grandma was the cutest in the whole series though!)
As a tribute of sorts, I wore a horse print top and a horse print skirt! These are separate items that coincidentally complemented each other, and with matching top and bottom craze going on, I guess this just proves that “sets” don’t have to be the exact same print. If anything, the same theme (horses) and color scheme (pastels) can do.
Also, with every wash, my hair seems to change color! Red really does wash out easily! Definitely have to go for a whole head retouch next month before I leave the country again!
Finally getting to post about this after weeks of desperate battles with myself - it was so hard to keep quiet about something as exciting as this! It has actually been months since Romwe contacted me to do a design collaboration with them, and it was a real honor to be chosen. The previous blogger they worked with was Lua P. of Le Happy, who has a *huge* following compared to poor little me! Her collection really reflected her edgy, rocker style, and honestly, it made me a bit pressured to come up with pieces that perfectly described my own sense of style. I’ve often mentioned in my 2013 entries how I’ve been undergoing a transition with my style, and how my taste in fashion now isn’t entirely the same as when I first started documenting my outfits some 3-4 years ago.
The design process was quite tedious as I had to turn in some sketches and ideas while I was in Japan, but for the most part, I think my being there played a huge role in figuring out the concept of my collaboration items.
At this point, I can finally say with confidence that my fundamental goal for fashion has always been “to dress up in order to blend in”, contrary to popular belief that I’m doing it to stand out. In Japan, I’m definitely not the most stylish person (I mean, I’m far from it), but their fashion and culture has influenced me so much to the point that being able to blend in the streets of Tokyo (while wearing my personal style) became my ultimate wish early on in my life. Now, wearing the same outfits in a totally different context (case in point, here in Manila) might warrant me some awkward glances in this lifetime (and I don’t even have outrageous style), though I’m too caught up living my life as a citizen of the world to even bother.
Speaking of Japanese fashion, if you’ve noticed, I’ve long graduated from teeny bopper Popteen/Seventeen fashion and have been leaning towards more onee styles that are more girly, classic and minimalist. For this collaboration, I was inspired to modify simple designs in the style I’ve been adapting recently - clean, chic and sophisticated, but still youthful with a hint of cute!
The yellow, blue and white color scheme was inspired by spring/summer themes such as the bright blue sky, as well as white and yellow daisies. I really wanted to create items that I’d personally wear and that wouldn’t be difficult for ordinary people to pair with their existing wardrobe. Nothing is complicated here, just the way I like my clothes. These aren’t anything special but I hope you guys like the whole collection!
This dress is my favorite of the bunch! It’s simple but it works, and the loose, shift silhouette makes it so comfy. It’s an “eat-all-you-can” dress which doesn’t require you to be immensely conscious of your body while you’re wearing it.
The main point of this dress is the scalloped hem. I am obsessed with anything that is scalloped right now, and this couldn’t have arrived at a better time. The quest for the perfect scalloped dress is now ever, because I finally got to design myself one!
This design is a combination of both the cut-out trend and the bold ruffle trend this spring/summer. It’s in white so it can be easily paired with any bottom.
Main point of this top is the big ruffle details on the sleeves. Reminds me a bit of angel wings!
More cut-outs! This was meant to show off sexy collarbones while keeping it conservative with the long sleeves and high neck. Also in classic white so it’s easy to pair with anything!
And again, the quest for the perfect scalloped lapel blazer is over because I got to design one for myself. Super love the unique scalloped lapel which is quite difficult to find anywhere else. It’s also cut in a boyfriend blazer kind of way so it’s very comfortable. So comfortable I don’t want to take it off at the end of the day.
And lastly, the perfect summer dress! I wish I could make more variations of this in the future, but this will do for now. It’s in my favorite blue color, and I made sure this was going to have vertical stripes for a slimming, elongating effect. It’s also empire-cut so it flatters body types like mine with no curves.
Main point is the off-shoulder design that is ideal for hot and humid Manila weather. It could even be a good one-piece to bring to the beach!
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Because collaborations are always a good thing, here’s a Trissey exclusive brought to you by my talented BFF Crissey. She made illustrations of cute girls wearing variations of the Tricia x Romwe collaboration items. I couldn’t be happier with the results!
Semi-summer dressing. Can you see the effort? I’ve always mentioned that summer is my least favorite season and that it is really not my element to spend all my time at the beach, but that doesn’t stop me from wearing bright and colorful, strictly no-black outfits such as this one! Couldn’t help but throw in a powder blue blazer though, as I can never, ever get over any form of outerwear, especially if it’s in my favorite color.
It’s raining as I type this, and I’m overjoyed that summer is officially over. It’s time to bring out all my knits again!
These exotic floral prints from Mango say “Aloha!” And so does my boyfriend, RG, who debuts in a proper blog post for the first time (and maybe the last). He’s not one to be in front of the camera - in fact, he is the one who helps me take most of my outdoor outfit photos when he has time off work. Being the behind-the-scenes person that he usually is, I’m quite happy that I succeeded into dragging him to do this with me after 2+ years of being together (with a little force, of course)
(on me: top, dress and heels from Mango; on RG: shirt and shorts from H.E. by Mango)
He puts my feet on the ground (me being the overly idealistic one between the two of us) and often gives me a reality check about life, especially if I seem too caught up with myself and the small world I move around in. I’ve much to thank him for, really. Most are intangible lessons that have helped me become a better person throughout the years.
Most of the time, I tease him about my biggest contribution to his life - fashion tips and how to properly style himself. He would turn all cheesy and tell me that I too have taught him a lot of intangible lessons, but I would jokingly bring the conversation back to how his appearance has improved ever since he met me, lol
To be fair, he has always had a subtle style of his own - classic and clean, and often times hovering over safe and conservative with not-so-bold earthy colors in styles that do not ever go out of style.
Last week, we dropped by the Mango and H.E. by Mango stores and became absolutely smitten by all the “adventurer chic” items from their newest collection! Browns, greens and blues are totally his element, while mine are floral prints (this time, exotic ones) and printed bottoms.
Given the weather we’ve been having, we opted for items that let our legs breathe. I layered a tropical print ruffled dress over a chiffon shirt in the cutest coral color, and paired them with blush-toned strappy heels. RG wore a classic checkered button-down and brown shorts in a color that could make Indiana Jones proud.
We normally don’t go all-out matchy matchy (especially since on a normal day, RG would never put as much priority on fashion than I would), but we do like subtle similarities now and then as it really is quite fun. We played with the same reds and greens to get that appearance of coherence even if we chose totally different patterns.
Couple fashion doesn’t necessarily be the cliche type that requires two people wearing the same exact item of clothing. You can play with colors and patterns and still get that “couple” effect.
(on me: top, blazer, pants and heels from Mango; on RG: button-down, pants and jacket from H.E. by Mango)
European-style adventurer chic for indoors when light jackets are totally acceptable. The key items here are colored pants for men and printed bottoms for women - they can make such wonderful summer statements without going too over the top.
RG’s green pants? I honestly wish it came in my size too. I love how it’s not the usual blue, black or brown, and how it’s definitely a friendly, subdued color for guys who’d never dare to wear bright red, apple green or electric blue trousers in their lifetime. I talked him into trying it out, and he was quite surprised how it all worked out in the end, with the right kind of styling, given his skin tone and comfort zone!
The ones that I am wearing are loose pants that are so comfortable, I can probably sleep in them! <3
Paired the pants with a denim shirt that is all sorts of adorable, and a black and white blazer that I can use with other black and white stuff as it’s also a trend this spring/summer.
It’s going to take a lot of effort for me to drag my boyfriend into doing this regularly with me, but I still commend him being so open to trying out a day in my life. In the meantime, while he says he can never get used to this, he takes wonderful pictures and writes interesting stories here.
Thanks to Tracy Monsod for taking our photos.
Seasons and trends will come and go, but neutral colors in classic shapes, and sleek straight lines will never go out of style. I’ve always been a firm believer of investing in timeless pieces that you can use 5 to 10 years down the line, and lucky for us, there are brands that cater to just these!
One of them is ESPRIT, which I have often adored for their simple yet city-ready advertisements featuring top models like Gisele Bundchen, Erin Wasson, and now Dree Hemingway and Liu Wen. On a geeky perspective, the minimalist and fuss-free way that their pictures are usually shot comes very close to home! On a style perspective, everything that ESPRIT offers has a certain kind of modern yet laidback elegance to them that is so easy to style. So easy that you don’t need a lot of accessories to achieve that perfect, modern city girl look that is appropriate for all ages.
Here are four outfits that I styled using some items from their recent collection. Arranged from lightest to heaviest for all kinds of weather conditions.
(ESPRIT top, pants and bag) Hype this look on Lookbook here.
Print pretty. Oh, I know — this look is typical Tricia. Plain button downs with printed bottoms make for a fun and chic look that can be dressed up or dressed down depending on the items you style them with. Wearing this outfit with flats would scream Parisian chic.
(ESPRIT top, cardigan and bag) Hype this look on Lookbook here.
Sweet sophisticate. One of the reasons why I deliberately chose these colors to play with is because they are no-brainers when it comes to dressing from day to night. This look is quite appropriate for a lunch out with friends or even an after-work girls’ night out over drinks.
(ESPRIT top, blazer and bag) Hype this look on Lookbook here.
Too cool for school! Two tone everything is all the rage, and this blazer trumps everything else in my closet right now. Pair with short shorts to balance the weight out.
(ESPRIT top, jacket, skirt and bag)
Fashion front row. Here’s something for cooler days! Who needs a lot of bling when you can layer these fabulous pieces on top of each other and still be able to create something that’s fashion-editor-worthy? For this one I was inspired by Michael Kors, Tommy Hilfiger, Rag & Bone, and Thom Browne which are only among the few that utilized houndstooth for their recent collections.
Photos by Rg Gabunada
(Motel Rocks dress, Topshop blazer, Freedom heels, Forever 21 belt, Balenciaga bag, Lannel Boutique MAC Russian Red lipstick) Hype this look on Lookbook here. Thanks Kristin for helping me out with these pics!
Recently I’ve been keeping a lot of my older clothes out of my closet because I suddenly couldn’t help looking at them anymore. It’s extremely hard for me to let go of my clothes, especially the ones that were my favorite at some point. However, my age is getting the best of me and now I feel like I have to start looking more grown up, and let go of that teeny bopper girl that used to post so many cutesy things on her deviantART back in 2006. Fast forward to 2013 and I swear my tastes have changed so immensely that I never thought I could even pull something like this off in a million years. I have not exposed my chest in a looong time, lol. I love my high neck and collared tops and dresses too much.
Well, to be honest, I am still not completely comfortable taking the more mature route all the way, but I think it’s nice that I’m trying out new things. I admit that I’m in a very in-between stage in my life now where I have absolutely no idea what to do anymore, but at least it’s doing my personal style some good by going all confused and making me dare myself to get out of my comfort zone. As to where this will take me, I still have no idea! But hopefully I can transition to a sleeker style as the year passes.
Then I’ll get bored with it and start wearing my ruffly pink socks and ribbons again… The cycle never ends!