Let us play mythbuster right now and set it straight: Not all clothes from the ukay-ukay are flea-ridden and constellated with holes. In fact, thrift shops in the Philippines are actually treasure troves. If you wander around ukays anywhere from Anonas, Baguio, Tagaytay, Makati, Cavite, Olongapo, Cubao, and many more, you're sure to score at least a bagful of exciting finds! Oh, not to mention those incurably addicting curated thrift shops all over Instagram. Seriously, thrifting is a top tier activity for the sartorially minded!
The second myth we'll be debunking today is that ukay-ukay clothes always look cheap. That's not the case either. Thrift huntresses like Shaira Luna and Chelsea Valencia have shown that vintage and secondhand lewks can be just as chic and put-together as brand new ones. And, you'll be surprised to know that pieces you get from the ukay might even be of better quality than fast fashion pieces; it's not uncommon for the ukay gods to bless you with a designer find!
Ready to jump onboard? Check out these styling tricks that'll help you make your ukay-ukay outfits look expensive!
1. Iron your clothes and remove the lint.
Clothes that are not well-kept will look cheap. A thrifted button-down will instantly look more sophisticated if it's pristinely steamed or ironed, and cleared of lint and hairs. Keep it crisp and neat!
2. Be strategic about layering textures.
You can find anything in an ukay-ukay: tailored blazers, linen palazzo pants, snakeskin skirts, tweed jackets, organza coverups, and furry hoodies. Anything! After bagging an exciting selection, plan an outfit around mixing different textures and fabrics. Doing this creates depth and interest. Think Molly Goddard's Fall 2021 collection with those tulle confections paired with wintery knits. So eye-catching and unique!
But for those with more muted tastes, don't feel pressured to don tulle or fur; you can opt for more subtle textures like denim, silk, and tweed. Oh, and texture doesn't just mean fabric. Visual textures include prints and embellishments, too.
3. Layer garments of differing lengths and cuts.
Let's now pay attention to the shapes of the clothes. Break through a sloppy, monotonous look by daring to stack different styles. For a more baroque version of Mimiyuuuh's 'fit here, check out the Spring 2021 collection by Simone Rocha.
4. Adorn yourself with jewelry.
Think a reworked top + beige trouser doesn't sing loud enough? Accessorize to the gods! BTW: You can thrift jewelry, too.
5. Pick a bold shoe.
We're still not over the bitingly bright chrome platforms from Valentino's Spring 2021 Couture collection that made even the most neutral looks shine— literally. Audacious shoes can totally carry an outfit. You can wear the plainest oversized shirt and still look luxe if you wear it with colorful or funkily-shaped shoes.