31 August 2010



Nina's One Hundred - D


26. Denim Jacket
Check! Mine's Levi's.

Currently, I'm on the lookout for a denim shirt.
Photo: WhoWhatWear

27. Diamond Studs

28. Driving Shoe
None yet. I have a fear of driving. So if I do get a pair it'll be used more for walking, hehe.

28 August 2010



Nina's One Hundred - C


14. Cable-Knit Sweater
Check! I've got brown, gray, oatmeal. They're perfect for the office where it's often sub-zero! (The network's airconditioning system is mainly for the machines, not us, hehe.)

Nina's Tips
Weekend casual: Find an over sized oatmeal version with skinny jeans tucked into harness boots.

Supremely Sophisticated: Wear a white fitted cable-knit with white pants and a camel coat thrown on top.

Thoroughly Modern: Seek out a cashmere dress version and pair with a belt and a boot.

Prep School Chic: Stay true to its roots and wear a J. Crew version with chinos and moccasins

15. Caftan
Check! Mine's more of tunics. Love how comfy they could be!
I've used them as swimsuit cover-up, I've paired them with shorts and jeans.

What's in a name...

Caftan: Turkish origin. A long cloak, with or without sleeves. Usually long and voluminous; most often made from linen or silk.

Djellaba: Egyptian/Arab origin. A long, flowing robe, traditionally worn by men in the Middle East.

Tunic: Greco-Roman origin. A simple, slip-on garment. Usually knee-length but can be shorter (especially the modern tunic top).

16. Camel Coat
None yet

17. Cape
None yet.

Nina: There is a reason Superman and Dracula are such big fans. It is the perfect way to add drama, hides a multitude of flaws, and is a great option to pair with an evening dress.

18. Cashmere Sweater
Wishing for one.

19. Charm Bracelet
Wish I could wear my bracelets everyday...

See my Coin Charms blog entry, July 2010.

20. Clutch
Check! Mine's gold, a cheap find.

The idea of the clutch purse originated in the Victorian era, when proper ladies carried small, decorative bags in order to store their handkerchiefs and smelling salts. It wasn't until WW2 that the clutch became a mainstream fashion staple. Because of the rationing during the war, everything had to be downsized and the clutch became the bag of choice. When the rationing ended, women refused to let go of the clutch, and it is now an essential item in every chic woman's wardrobe.

21. Cocktail Ring

See my Put A Ring On It blog entry, June 2010.

Fun Fact: The term "cocktail ring" emerged during Prohibition, when women would wear large, bold rings to illegal cocktail parties. A woman would flit her hand around, drawing attention to the bauble, to let you know that not only was she drinking illegally, she was doing it in style.

22. Converse
Check! Mine's blue. I never thought I'd buy a pair. But since hubby swears by its comfort, I got me one. Haven't worn mine though. I'll probably bring it to our Beijing trip. I'll climb The Great Wall in them. =)

Fun Fact: Converse High-Tops are also called Chuck Taylors, because in 1918, a high-school basketball star, Chuck Taylor, began wearing them. He later promoted and lent his name to the sneakers.

23. Cosmetics Bag

A peek inside mine: Chapstick, gel eye liner, nude lipstick, red lipstick, mascara, comb, compact, alcohol spray, safety pins, nail cutter, nail file, hair pins, hair elastics, tissue, gum.

24. Cowboy Boots

25. Cuff
None yet. Tried one last week. If it's still there when I go back, then Da-Darna ako!



Nina's One Hundred - B


5. Ballet Flats
They're my foot wear of choice. Because they're comfortable, ladylike, versatile (can go with jeans and dresses). I currently have ten pairs (five in black, two in red, one silver, one gold, one brown). And I'm dreaming of owning a pair of the French classic Repetto. Heard it's worth the price tag -- prices start at 150 Euros (around Php10,000).

Repettos are on my "Must Buy" list if and when we get to travel to Paris.

Classic Black

In denim

Mary Janes

Nina: Before she was an actress, a sex kitten, and a fashion icon, Brigitte Bardot was a trained ballet dancer. She was also a loyal and devoted fan of Repetto pointe shoes. When Bardot signed on to be in Roger Vadim's 1956 film, And God Created Woman, she asked Rose Repetto to make her a pair of flats to wear during the now legendary mambo scene. Mme Repetto created a pair of crimson flats for Bardot, which the actress instantly adored. When the film debuted, Bardot and the ballet flats became overnight sensations. Then, a year later, when Hepburn donned her own pair for her dancing scene in Funny Face, the shoes once again flew from the silver screen to the streets.

Confession: In my 20s, I was the stilettos-all-day-every-day girl.But things changed when I turned 30 -- comfort became my priority. I still wear heels but whenever I do, I make sure I have flats to alternate them with. =)

6. Bangles
Loads from Little India, Singapore. And from the Chatuchak Market, Bangkok.
Got gold ones from my Dad. And some more cheapies from tiangges, department stores, H&M and Forever 21.

7. Belts
Because a waist is a terrible thing to waste! - Anonymous

8. Bikini
Mine's red.

9. BlackBerry
Pass. I'm not techy. I'm fine with my Nokia cellphone.

10. Black Opaque Tights
If I could, I'd wear them every day because they do elongate your legs! But I can't since I live in a tropical country. I get to wear my tights when traveling to cooler regions, like China.

Nina's Obsession: Wolford. The black tights with the most opaque / matte combination -- no skin showing through, no splotchiness, no shine. (I want one!)

11. Blazer

Me in Hong Kong

12. Boyfriend Cardigan
Black. Navy. Gray. Red.

13. Brooch
But I get to wear them very rarely, mostly to formal events.


"I hope that you remember the tenet I set down in my first book, The Little Black Book of Style: Style is a deeply personal expression of who you are, and every time you dress, you are asserting a part of yourself. Remember this as you read this book, as you think of what your own One Hundred will be." -- Nina Garcia, 'The One Hundred'

Nina's One Hundred is listed alphabetically.


1. A-Line Dress
I have two. Both black. One sleeveless, the other one with short sleeves.

2. Animal Print
None yet.
I'm considering the Zara ballet flats. But I'm not yet "in love".

3. Ankle Bootie
None yet.
I tried a khaki pair from F21 earlier. But I'm not sure if they're me.
Maybe they won't be part of My One Hundred.

4. Aviators
Don't want to spend on the Ray-Ban, settled for MNG's.

Hubby and Me at the Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

26 August 2010


I have another silly (but fun!) personal project: A 30-Day Dress Up for Work Challenge. I plan to wear dresses for thirty straight working days. I've done five, twenty-five days to go. (Of course, I'm allowed to repeat clothes!)

I enjoy being in dresses, it's among my simple joys. Aside from being easy to wear, you just slip into them, they reflect my "pa-girl" style. Every day is Date Day for me! So I don't have to wait for "special" occasions to wear one. Also, the personal challenge makes waking up for work a little more fun! Try it!


Day1: Aug 23
Blue dress with giant ruffle accent, a HK find
Gray boyfriend cardigan, Basics
Gray wedge, Schu

Day2: Aug 24
Black eyelet dress, Celine
Black ballet flats, Zara

Day3: Aug 25
Black & white floral dress, Celine
Red boyfriend cardigan, Basics
Black ballet flats, Zara

I've posted this dress months back, see my Singapore Spring Festival blog entry, May2010

Day4: Aug 26
Khaki safari dress, Zara
Brown wedge, CMG

I've posted this dress in my Salute to Military Fashion blog entry, Aug2010

Day5: Aug 27
Denim dress, Celine
Brown flats, Zara

But remember, of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important. -- Janet Lane

So smile!

18 August 2010



From Fashionista.Com

Even if you’ve never done a sketch or sewn a button, you can have a career in fashion. Being a designer is obviously one of the most visible roles you can have in the industry, but talent and skill are required (don’t tell that to all the reality starlets trying launching clothing lines).

It’s a huge industry and there are a multitude of jobs available; you can find one to suit your temperament and talents. Here are a few suggestions and ideas for getting started (and keep in mind this is more of an overview than a comprehensive list):

Fashion Merchandising/Sales and Marketing: This is where design and business intersect. Designers ultimately need to get their product to the market. Merchandisers track and monitor fashion trends and consumer trends. A head for numbers and a ton of creativity are non-negotiable.

There are many options that fall under the “Merchandising” umbrella. Retail management is one. Lauren thinks this is an under-appreciated career path. You can make really decent money and get firsthand knowledge of a multitude of brands, marketing strategies, and how to manage people.

Buying is another route. This will require some years of experience on a retail floor and as a buyer’s assistant. I have a friend who started out selling shoes at Nordstorm in college and is now a jewelry buyer for them. Find a niche you love and learn everything about it.

Have an artsy, creative mind? Advertising, either on the corporate or retail side, might be for you. Advertising, in this age of quick media consumption, is the juggernaut that never stops. You can work at a corporate level (think of all the different brands that Gap and Limited Inc. own) or the retail level. (How does Macy’s move all those cosmetics?)

There are several fashion schools that offer Fashion Merchandising degrees–FIT in NYC is one–but a general business degree, retail experience, and carefully chosen internships can set you on the right path.

Production Management: This is front line of fashion. Production managers are responsible for getting textiles and clothing made at the manufacturing level. They work with suppliers and retailers to make sure a quality production.

This field has potential to be an exciting and challenging. This weekend the New York Times reported about a growing movement towards “zero waste” production, where very little material goes unused. It’s a design as well as manufacturing challenge.

Everyone is interested in the magic formula of getting clothes produced cheaply but with a certain level of quality. The green movement is showing no signs of stopping, which adds another layer of challenge.

The decisions made at the production level can have long-reaching economic implications. The movement to keep these production in the US–like the grassroots efforts to sustain NYC’s Garment Center–is huge now.

Some fashion schools offer Production Management as a degree option. The job requires some business training and you should have a fascination with how things are made.

Visual Presentation/Styling: These are two separate though potentially overlapping professions. As far as styling, I don’t think I can articulate it any better than Sally Lyndley has just done. With the celebrity status of stylists like Rachel Zoe, it’s definitely a profession that is on the rise in terms of visibility. A degree isn’t totally necessary, but again, having some understanding of numbers, business, and communications is essential. And internships and networking are probably more important in styling than in the other professions.

Simon Doonan is, of course, the godfather (or fairy godmother) of visual presentation. Are you theatrical? Good with props? Creative? Welcome to your new career. Store windows are only one of many options for visual presentation. Museum exhibits, fashion shows, and showrooms all use this technique. The FIT degree description characterizes the profession perfectly: “They are storytellers in three dimensions, creating environments that inspire, inform, and persuade.” There are specialty degrees at art and fashion schools specifically for visual presentation.

Public Relations: PR is the middle man between a product and a retailer or consumer. PR reps are in charge of keeping a brand’s image squeaky clean and making sure people are talking about it. Their job is to make a brand seem appealing. A charming and friendly personality is an absolute must in this field. I adore most PR reps I’ve met because they seem absolutely and genuinely enthusiastic about their clients. It’s infectious, which is exactly the reaction you want to elicit. A degree in communications, marketing, or business–along with the all-important internships–will get you there.

Fashion Journalist: Love to write and love fashion? The opportunities to report and weigh in on what’s happening in the world of fashion have never been greater. Magazines are expanding their online presence and hiring bloggers to report up-to-the minute news. You can also write for e-commerce sites, PR firms, or trade publications.

But first and foremost you need to be a good writer. Consider a journalism or creative writing program, but at the very least take writing courses. I can tell you firsthand that the feedback you get from instructors is invaluable and can really up your game.

Write constantly. Blog for EVERYONE. Get clips however you can. Prove that you know the industry. You’ll need research and interviewing skills and you’ll need to network. Another thing I’ve learned is that the more “experts” you know in the industry, the easier your job of reporting will be.

Still unsure of which direction to take? Here are some easy things to do: Work in retail. Read industry publications–spring for a WWD subscription. Know the players in the industry. Read all the magazines and blogs. Shop! See what’s in the stores. Notice how online retailers market and sell things. Maybe something will inspire you.

Now go get yourself a career.


I wonder if I'm related (even just a bit) to National Artist for Literature Jose Garcia Villa...

Related or not, Chuvaness made me want to check out Freeway's JGV collection...


Pauline Juan's Editor's Note -- "Shopping 101" -- for Preview's August 2010 issue was all about shopping in Taipei. How timely! Hubby and I were just there for my bday weekend.

For every one else wondering how's the shopping, hear it from a pro...

"Now I'm the kind of traveler who likes to shop (no surprise there!) and one of the first things on my agenda is to seek out the young designers and the tiangge. Though i do enjoy my time at museums, galleries, and the like, I'm really more curious about pop culture, and, yes, shopping is a part of that. Imagine my disappointment when after combing through the night market (Shilin) and the wholesale market (Wufenpu), I came away with no fabulous finds. That fact, for some reason, rankled my pride. Taipei's street markets were packed with cheap t-shirts and hot pants, and still I asked myself how I could not find anything to buy. There was, after all, a Harper's Bazaar Taiwan -- surely, there was a thriving local designer scene in the country."

But everything changed after she met Claire, who spoke perfect English and was selling clothing made from graphically-patterned African cotton.

"Claire's little store was the only one I enjoyed visiting in Ximending, but meeting her resulted in a visit to Zhongshan, which is a posher area of Taipei and peppered with little designer boutiques, along with the flagships of Gucci and Louis Vuitton on the main shopping avenue. Weaving our way in the streets behind the former US ambassador's residence, we found and fell head-over-heels in love with the clothes of Taiwanese designer Stephen Dou, whose aesthetic was sharp, modern and minimal, tailored yet still feminine. I guess you can tell I finally had my shopping fix. Further down the road, we found a pop-up store of past-seasons designer clothes and shoes slashed 70% off...I can't wait to go back to Taipei."

Days after the Preview issue came out, local designer Rajo Laurel tweeted that he now wants to visit Taipei, thanks to Pauline's article.

14 August 2010


Here's one of the items I got from our recent trip to Taipei, an Alexa Chung Mulberry-inspired bag from the local store Net...

It's been getting a lot of compliments! =)
Too bad I didn't consider M's brilliant idea: I should have bought a lot for selling in Manila! Hmmm...

The Alexa: USD950 to USD1600
My look for less is only NTD990 (less than USD30).

Alexa Chung with the Mulberry bag named after her...

08 August 2010


Military-inspired fashion has been in vogue for quite some time now...

The army green-brown-black palette has been on constant display...

Preview's August 2010 issue featured utilitarian fashion (Attention!)...

In honor of the trend (which is not so new, really),
here are some items from my closet...

Basic Tee, Terranova
(Can you see the styling possibilities?)

Khaki Shirt Dress, Zara

Army Green Shirt Dress, Zara
(Yes, when I really like something, I buy it in two or more colors, LOL!)

Poncho from Net
(a purchase from our recent Taipei trip)


Jennifer Aniston was voted Best-Dressed Traveler by In Style

I wonder if she travels with a stylist and hair & make-up artist every time?
Or was she just born fab? =)

Now, for some travel tips from the pros, here are the celebrity travel must-haves according to the site:

1) Neutral trench - Got one.

2) Worn-in jeans - Check! But I really don't enjoy wearing denim when flying. Cotton's my preferred material.

3) Maxidress - Check! But I'm afraid I'll be sweeping all of the airport's dirt with a long dress.

4) Leather jacket - Still saving up for one.

5) Colorful scarf - Check!

6) Striped top - Check!

7) Bright flats - Check! Red.

8) Oversize tote - Check!

Even if I wear these to our next flight, I won't look anywhere near those stars, hehe. But since I'm living by Nina's rule -- Be your own muse! -- I'll continue to try passing through every airport with flying (fashion) colors. *wink*

07 August 2010


My List:

1) A black leather carry-on

2) Black tights
It's all about comfort.

3) Black ballet flats or my black UGG-like boots
I want something I can easily slip in and out of at the airport.

4) Sleeping mask
Can't sleep without it. I also have one at home.
I consider this my "security blanket."

5) Shades

6) My red scarf cum poncho cum blanket
A brilliant creation of RC, sold for only Php150 (approx USD3).

7) A boyfriend-style cardigan
I easily feel cold. I bring everything that can help keep me warm.

8) My camera

9) My cellphone
Hubby installed a WorldMate application on it.
This mobile travel service is a winner -- clocks, currency, weather center, world map, etc.

10) My passport (of course)
Mine has a pink leather cover. So arte!

11) A book or magazine

12) A tiny tube of moisturizer
Flying dries the skin.

13) My I-pod Nano

What's on your list?


The forecast said it'd be rainy during my birthday trip to Taipei. So I was geared for a wet weekend (trench coat, scarves, boots). But the whole time we were there, it was very sunny, too hot actually (35-37C)! Good thing I consider layering whenever I pack for our travels. I can simply add on or take off layers, depending on the weather.

At the Taiwan Chinese Orchestra
Wearing my fave LBD from Zara

At the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Garden
Wearing my MNG check shirt, linen shorts, ballet flats

At the Ximen MRT Station, where we start each day
Wearing my H&M tank, Zara shades
Not in picture: cuffed black cotton pants
Super pawis!

06 August 2010


Here's what I wore when I turned 34 last week...

The white eyelet A-line dress & white wedges made me feel like a blooming bride!

Goofing around with my "groom".
At work: program pictorial, at the Network's Studio 1.

Someone said I look 24. If happiness is a choice then I choose to believe her! LOL