The Reluctant Stylista

About a month ago when I resigned from full-time work, my cousin Naomi insisted we go out shopping on a weekday.  She was in the same boat as I am, and wanted to take advantage of the fact that we could hit the mall while the rest of the shopping populace were still slaving away at their offices.  We dubbed such trips as our “Liberation Day”.

So, seeing that my sister was nearing her own last day at work, we dragged her along during one of these trips and I thought to bring them to Mega Mall and see Forever 21.  I was there the morning it opened to the public, and while it was unexpectedly chaotic, once inside, I could see what the fuss was all about.  You could easily see clothes that were like Topshop, Mango, Zara and Promod for a less expensive price.  And it was huge.  It took over the space that Cinderella used to have there.


Forever 21 - first day

That fateful first day


That first day, I was shocked that so many people were lined up outside, and there were major security going on (I thought they looked like bouncers).  There were many students there–and I overheard them talking numerous times–who had cut classes just to check out the store.  There were probably more than a handful office workers in there, too, who probably made use of their 15-minute morning breaks.  I know some people who actually filed vacation leaves.  I was there at 10AM sharp, as I didn’t catch Forever 21′s tweet that they’d be opening at 9AM, 1 hour earlier than the mall supposedly.  Still, I was hardly near the frontlines.  And all I wanted was just to buy this pair of shoes!  They didn’t even have my size when I got there.  Anyhow, you’ve probably all read about the chaos in many other fashion blogs a month ago, so I’ll spare you the horrendous pics I took of the long lines outside.

With its immense popularity here, though, not to mention its affordable prices that rivals SM Department store finds, my friend Camy and I wondered if just about everyone will be dressed head to toe in Forever 21.  It will take major styling skills to look different from the rest of the herd.  Thankfully, Forever 21 has a pretty quick turnover of stocks.  2 weeks after my first visit, I could hardly recognize the clothes there.  I can’t remember seeing this one, for example:

Forever 21 - floral dress Forever 21 - floral dress

I’m in a very girly, romantic, flowery mood nowadays, which is why I’m always eyeing dresses.  And lacy things like this skirt:

Forver 21 - lace skirt

If you’re curious, I didn’t leave with either of them.  I ended up buying a white lace skirt that I just picked up from a rack and didn’t even try on.

Forever 21

And this one…was the outfit I came with. Haha!  The skirt was from a previous ukay jaunt.

My sister and cousin ended up buying a few things in Forever 21, but the former claimed she was unimpressed with the selection of clothes there.  I suppose we just have very different tastes, and high street as well as lots of layering, which you can do with almost everything in that store, appeal to me.  What my sister did have fun with, was when I dragged her along my Quiapo-Cubao trip for accessories and ukay-ukay.

I usually buy my stuff from Wellmanson’s, Quiapo.  It’s located at Villalobos street, adjacent Quiapo church.  It was my sister’s first time there, and she was overwhelmed with the numerous, cheap and pretty abubots there.  Pardon the crappy pics taken with my Palm TREO:


Looking over the rows of jewelry




I’m the bangles person, really. I hoard Wellmanson’s bangles. But I just made my sister pose there. Haha!

Some of the things I bought:


In a store where you can buy a lot of the most interesting accessories for under P50, this is very expensive. Except for a necklace watch I bought, this was the costliest item in my basket.  But I couldn’t resist, it was so pretty and would go well with the other feminine, romantic junk I’ve accumulated recently.

A lot of cute earrings that I hardly wear because I’m not an earrings person anymore, really…but I couldn’t help it, they were so cute!  Friends would think they were fitting of me, too, since anything that involves food and eating, I’m the first person they think of.



A cute, bronze, vintage bike pair of earrings.  I want to go back and buy the other designs.  I remember seeing headphones, a radio and an electric guitar.



I always go to Cubao after Quiapo.  After stuffing our face at Ma Mon Luk, Quiapo, we rode the LRT to hop off Farmer’s Market, through Gateway Mall, and finally, getting to Fashion DeLite–the ukay of choice for that day.  My overall haul: 4 skirts, 3 earrings, 1 bracelet, 4 necklaces and 2 rings.


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