On Personal Style

Okay, a disclaimer: I am by no means a fashionable person nor am I a fashion blogger. HAHA. I got a request from one of my readers if I could talk about my personal style on the blog, and I realized it’s a nice break from the usual ~feels~ posts (lol) I do here. I have to admit though, I really dress up more when I travel, so that’s something I’ll cover more in this post.

A little backstory: growing up, I liked browsing fashion magazines (I even dabbled into fashion illustration for awhile!) but I was super insecure of my body (still am zzz), so I didn’t really invest in my personal style. I would read books about fashion but never learn to apply them to my own style. I think in hindsight, as I reached my early twenties, my friends influenced me to dress accordingly (my best friend Kristin would take me shopping and help me sort out things that would fit my body type and general ~aesthetic~ when it comes to clothing) and I would go on window shopping dates with my “big sister” and good friend Koko (who is a Uniqlo x Zara loyalist and converted me into one too). Long story short, I’m here at a place now where I can honestly say I know what I want when it comes to dressing up and am more knowledgeable now on which types of clothing to invest in. *bow* 

So today, I’m sharing some rules I live by when it comes to dressing up—for work, for travels, and of course, for myself.

(Winter in Eastern Europe, 2017. I was in a grey + red phase for half of the trip, lol)

Dress according to season

I travel mostly during the springtime and wintertime, so I’ve learned to invest in proper outfits for these seasons. Spring and autumn temperature are relatively similar so I reuse my clothes in these seasons, while summer is a no-brainer: whatever I use for daily wear in Manila is suitable for sun season. For winter, I stock up on thermal wear (Ultra Warm heat tech from Uniqlo is a life saver!), sweaters (mostly in neutral colors) and bottoms (jeans and tights). I also have a selection of blazers and jackets (lol who am I kidding I have 2 blazers and 2 coats, that’s it) that I wear for my trips, depending on where and when I’m going. #priorities

(The camel-colored coat is from GU, aka my first coat investment ever! Obviously my favorite.)

Pro tip: If you have friends or family with the same size as you, borrow! It’ll save you, promise. Also, so you won’t have the same coats on all your pictures. HAHA

Where I get my travel pieces: GU (holy grail), Uniqlo, Mango, Zara

Dress for a purpose

As someone who juggles her work-life in a very blurry way (lol), I invest my fashion spending mostly on key pieces that I know will be versatile for both work and personal endeavours. Recently I’ve been into buying dresses and jumpsuits since these can work as event outfits (signings, appearances, etc) and can also be worn in social gatherings (girls’ night out, family affairs, etc).

Where I get my key pieces: Editor’s Market (in Singapore), Zalora (this is a gold mine I promise), Uniqlo, H&M

Dress according to color scheme

Okay, for some odd reason, I end up usually matching with my environment when I’m traveling (case in point: photos above!). Regardless of that, though, my outfits now are based on color schemes because it’s the most efficient way for me to create a look. I guess it’s also because my work as an artist requires color assignments, and I’ve been able to adapt that to my ~style~ in the process.

My go-to color combinations:

  • Red, blue, and white (think airmail/French aesthetic)
  • Black, white, and grey (neutrals forever!)
  • Mustard, rust orange, pine green, brown (earth tones, like the ones above)


Dress according to your mood

Feeling preppy? Feeling beachy? You can always build around an outfit depending on your mood.

(My vintage inspired outfit for my 25th birthday)

(I love my stripes & plaids. Recently, I’ve also been loving below the knee skirts & dresses…very preppy/librarian feels!)

Fun fact: A big factor for my fascination with films is the wardrobe. My favorites? Zooey Deschanel from (500) Days of Summer and Keira Knightley from Begin Again! I’m also loving Alicia Silverstone in Clueless because I love schoolgirl-inspired looks (also this is my peg for my upcoming schooling in NYC. Hahaha)

(Fun fact: I’m wearing the same shirt in different colors! Wearing the Uniqlo U shirt because I love how soft the cloth is. #notsponsored lol)

Dress effortlessly

Ever since reading up on Steve Jobs’ “work uniform” principle, I’ve grown accustomed to wearing the same clothes over and over again—especially on weekdays when I work from home or run errands in the middle of the day. I’m all about plain colored (or striped) tees, shorts (in summer!), long skirts or cropped leggings pants—and just finish with a pair of sandals and my go-to Madewell bag. That’s just about it. If I feel like dressing up more, I’ll probably sneak in a patterned top/bottom or tie a scarf around my neck to complete the look.

I used to be super indecisive when it comes to picking out what to wear in a day but now that my schedule is busier than usual, I find that maintaining a few pieces help keep my options limited—giving me more time to do other important things (because I used to spend an hour deciding on outfits, omg).

Where I get my uniforms: UNIQLO. Through and through. Also GU when I’m shopping in Japan. But mostly Uniqlo and yes, I am a fan of their regular sales on weekends because there is a Uniqlo branch near my house. Lol. Also, SM GTW (Girls Teens Wear) in SM Department Stores (you’d be surprised they have a lot of good finds there!)

Et cetera

Shoes. I wear sandals 70% of the time, but I also have a pair of Nikes that I’ve recently acquired (my Stan Smiths survived a good 3 years) for my trips. I wear knee-length brown boots when I travel in the wintertime, and low-cut black boots for spring and autumn.

Accessories. I’ve been investing selectively on these because I’m not such a big jewelry wearer. I only have 1 watch (Daniel Wellington), and my recent favorite accessory is a scarf, which I usually tie on my neck.

Bags. I only either use a backpack or body bag, then I add in a tote when I do some shopping. My backpack is Kanken (I also have an Anello one which I use for work here in Manila) and my body bag is Madewell; two of my biggest “fashion investments”. The Madewell one is memorable because ABC is engraved on the front part, and we went back thrice to get that bag in New York (LOL). 😛

Anyway, that’s it for my personal style post! Hope you enjoyed reading…it’s not every day I actually go through my closet and talk about these things. Hahaha.

Always be creating,

Abbey 🙂

Speaking of personal style, I’m letting go of some of my clothes and fashion pieces this July 8 at the Guijo Garage Sale. Poster below:

RSVP here, and follow us on Instagram for more details. See you then!