My 1st Thrift Shopping (Ukay-Ukay) Escapade [Part 2]

Hooray for ME! It’s my 5th Post! πŸ™‚ I’m sure there’s still a long way to go but I consider this as an achievement already. haha! So here it goes.. Part 2 of my 1st Thrift Shopping (Ukay-Ukay) Escapade will be a bit different because around 75% of this entry will be devoted to pictures! I’ve decided to show you guys the clothes that I bought!

Since I really enjoyed my Baguio Ukay Experience, I wanted to try thrift shopping here in the Metro. Because when we went there, I wasn’t able to buy anything using my own money. (Remember, my sister was the one who paid for my Zara shoes! Which also explains why my 1st Ukay experience has 2 parts.) Going back, I was excited to shop for clothes at the nearest Ukay-Ukay, then I realized something. I don’t know where to go thrift shopping! Which was why I took the time to research about Ukay shops and all the details that I needed to be familiar with. For instance, where were they located? how do I get there? what should I bring with me? what to expect? and other stuff that seemed relevant. Then I came across a blog which had information about Thrift stores located at the South. I found out that Starmall Alabang was considered to be a one-stop-ukay-shop because it houses around 8 thrift stores! This was very convenient for me because it will only take me around 30-45 mins to get there, depending on the traffic. They also have another branch in Las Pinas which has an Ukay store inside and another in front of the mall.

It was on the 4th week of January when I finally decided that I was ready (mentally, physically and financially) to head out and give Starmall Alabang and Las Pinas a visit! I pictured what I wanted to buy and I was determined to buy something that would bring life to my closet. I have a lot of white, black and grays in there and I wanted to keep an eye on clothes that has this Spring/Summer vibe.

When I arrived at Starmall Alabang, most of the thrift shops were on SALE! (meaning there wasn’t a NEW ARRIVAL sign and some clothes were sold at 3 for Php 100/US$ 2.30). Lucky me! πŸ™‚ I was able to shop in almost all of the stores. I decided to go to their other branch in Las Pinas but the shop there wasn’t on sale. It was kinda’ pricey for second-hand clothes but they didn’t look used so I still bought a few. The thrift shop in front of the Las Pinas branch was on sale (Php 50/US$ 1.10 each) but I didn’t find anything that I liked so I just went home. I felt so happy and very satisfied with the items that I bought that day and had a feeling that this wouldn’t be my last Ukay trip. I knew that my feet would “itch” for another Ukay adventure but I’ll tell you guys all about that in another post.

Here are some snapshots of the clothes that I bought that day. Enjoy!

a plain gray top (Php 40/US$ 0.90)

printed tank top (Php 60/ US$ 1.40)

This next one was kinda pricey but I like the fabric used to make this! Super smooth.. It’s similar to those of H&M and Forever 21!

flowy printed sleeveless top (Php 120/ US$ 2.80)

elephant dress shirt (Php 60/US$ 1.40)

This next one is FUN to wear! I feel like a walking Optical Illusion! Haha! But I still like it, I think it’s pretty COOL! πŸ™‚

optical illusion tank top (Php 70/US$ 1.60)

G2000 Black Blazer (Php 250/US$ 5.80)

This pink one was a great buy because it still had its tag on. This means it hasn’t been worn. I still need to buy a big button for this because it doesn’t have one. πŸ™‚

Pink Blazer (Php 250/US$ 5.80) I bought this with a tag still on it!

I’ve been looking for a black sling bag with an attitude, and I’m glad I found this baby!

studded black sling bag (Php 150/US$ 3.50)

I got these from Starmall Las Pinas. And as I mentioned above, the store had the NEW ARRIVAL sign on their windows which explains why they’re kinda’ pricey!

vertical striped button-down top (Php 150/US$ 3.50)

I bought this dress for my sister, Honey. I just remembered her when I saw this, so I bought it!

colorful artsy dress w/ pockets (Php 250/US$ 5.80)

I still have around 5 more clothes to show you but I had them altered to fit me perfectly. I haven’t picked them up yet so I’ll just post them in another entry! I know your thinking they’re not really screaming “SPRING/SUMMER” because most of them are black, white and gray again. I did fail on my 1st attempt but I was able to buy some on my second Ukay trip. I will show you those soon!

That’s it for now, I need to sleep so that I could wake up early for the SWAP MEET 3-Day Flea Market tomorrow. I’m super excited! I promise to take pictures and write all about it when I get home. Hope you enjoyed reading this entry. Til’ my next post! God Bless! πŸ™‚

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My 1st Thrift Shopping (Ukay-Ukay) Escapade [Part 1]

Hooray! It’s been my 4th consecutive post since I started my blog here at WordPress. πŸ™‚ I know! I can’t believe it either! Haha! And the good thing about this is that I’m kinda’ getting used to it. Ok, as promised, this blog is all about my 1st Thrift Shopping (Ukay-Ukay) Escapade [Part 1]! This is just the 1st part because it’s going to be quite a narrative (with pictures, of course!) and I promise not to leave out the great details!

***

It was December 2011 (yes, it’s only been less than 2 months), my family decided to spend Christmas in Baguio. It was the first time for my family to spend Christmas away from home. But i think Baguio City was a great choice for a first! And if you’re not aware, Baguio has been considered to be the Ukay-Ukay Capital of the Philippines! Ironically, I wasn’t aware of this when we went there so I wasn’t all excited about the thrift shopping experience, I was more thrilled about how cold the weather would be in comparison here in the Metro. (Segue: I prefer to freeze to death rather than be burnt to ashes!)

So anyway, one evening we decided to try thrift shopping at Session Road. Apparently it was a street filled with numerous vendors selling both brand new and second-hand clothing, shoes, bags and toys. And with great number of items for sale, comes great number of people as well! Haha! πŸ™‚

got these pictures from the internet

But what really got me overwhelmed were the prices written in bold marker ink: Php 10, Php 15 and Php 20! (That’s around US$ 0.20 – 0.50!) “Seriously?? These clothes are being sold for that small amount of money?! How could they earn a profit out of that?!” I said to myself while scanning the place in search for a great find. I didn’t really see anything that I like though. But my younger sister was determined to find a pair of vintage looking shoes. And guess what she saw amidst the low lighted street? She saw these good-looking pair of heeled Oxford’s. Wait, that didn’t sound right, I researched the net and came across with the politically correct term: “Blucher” with heels.

You could see the minor wear-and-tear, but it was still a great find. She tried them on, but it was too big for her size (she was a size 6 and this was a 7). I guess it wasn’t really meant for her. Man, she was disappointed! And being the one person with the biggest shoe size in my family (excluding my dad, of course!), I was a size 7! πŸ™‚ I tried them on and they fit perfectly. They were sold for Php 300 (around US$ 7) but i tried to haggle and got them for only Php 250 (US$ 5.80 )! Felt bad for my little sis though. But she still bought them for me because she didn’t get me anything for Christmas. Sweet! πŸ™‚

So after searching for a few more great finds, we decided to head back to where we were lodging and showed our folks what we bought. I headed upstairs to examine the shoes and I found out something even more interesting about them. They were branded, and not just any brand…

Yes, you got that right! Zara TRF Heel Blucher to be exact! πŸ™‚ A pair of Brand New Zara TRF Heel Blucher would cost you around Php 2200 (US$ 50)! And paying around 11% of that amount for a slightly used pair would certainly be considered a great buy! I have to thank my little sister for this one. If it wasn’t for her, i wouldn’t have them in the first place! πŸ™‚ Thanks Jam!

(From L-R) Ate Honey, Jam, Me*, Mom, J-Bee, Che & Dad

Baguio was a great place to spend Christmas, but maybe this year, my family and I would celebrate the holidays the traditional way. Coz’ everybody knows that there’s just no place like HOME!

But if ever you get a chance to visit Baguio City, try visiting the famous thrift shopping locations and night markets. You might be surprised of what’s in store for you there! Watch out for the sequel of my 1st Thrift Shopping (Ukay-Ukay) Experience. The setting would no longer be in Baguio because it would already be here in the Metro (Alabang and Las Pinas). I still consider this to be part of my 1st Ukay-Ukay Escapade! Hope you guys enjoyed reading. Til’ my next post! God Bless! πŸ™‚

Take me with you: February [Part 1]

I know I was supposed to post an entry about my 1st ever thrift shopping adventure but instead I want to share 2 events that I’m really looking forward to this month of February. No, it’s not Valentine’s Day, don’t … Continue reading

Thrift Shopping in the Philippines

As promised, here is my first official blog entry! I’ve decided to write something about what I’m currently addicted to: THRIFT SHOPPING or commonly known as Ukay-Ukay here in the Philippines. For those who are not familiar with the term, i was able to search the internet for its meaning. I got this from www.theukayqueen.com:

“It was derived from the Visayan term β€œhalukay” which means the act of digging. Ukay-Ukay shopping is like treasure hunting, but instead of looking for treasure, you are literally digging from the piles of clothes which are mostly vintage and of high value. The ukay shopping phenomena all started in Baguio. Ukay stores sprouted like mushrooms which later became one of the must-visit places in Baguio.

According to hearsay, it’s origin started way back in the 80s. Due to the frequency of calamities happening in our country, a certain humanitarian group called the Salvation Army used to ship second-hand garments and other goods as forms of help to the Filipino victims. As the goods piled up, business-minded people decided to buy them at a very low-cost and sell them to the public. Thus, ukay-ukay business was born.”

Well, some thrift shops are more presentable now than before because you won’t need to dig in piles of clothing anymore. Most of the thrift shops that I’ve visited have their clothes hanged and neatly arranged according to the type of clothing as you can see in the picture below.


Ukay-Ukay shops have a wide variety of products from bags, shoes and clothes. Some would also sell collectibles, jewelry and furniture but I’m not interested in buying those as of the moment. I’m more focused in buying clothes at very affordable prices. If you’re lucky enough, some Ukay-Ukay shops price their garments for as low as Php 20 (US$ 0.50) up to Php250 (US$5-6). But when you see a sign that says “NEW ARRIVAL” posted on their window, this means that the store has just opened newly arrived boxes filled with clothes, shoes and bags. They tend to price them higher than the usual because most of the items would have better quality than the ones on sale. The cheapest would be Php 120 (US$ 2.80) and the price can go as high as Php 380 (US$ 8-9). And don’t get me started with the authentic (?) branded bags such as Louis Vuitton, Prada, Guess and alike. They cost thousands even if its inside a Thrift Shop.

So here’s a tip that I’d like to share with you guys, whenever you decide to visit an Ukay-Ukay store (here in the Philippines, coz’ i don’t know how things work in other countries) and you see the “NEW ARRIVAL” sign on their window, don’t turn your back and leave. You might as well look around and see if you find something that you like. If you do find something and you find the price too steep for something that has already been used, leave it and visit the store again after 2 weeks. If you’re lucky, it might still be there and chances are, it’s already discounted. Hooray! πŸ™‚ But if not, maybe it wasn’t meant for you anyway.

Another thing to keep in mind when visiting a Thrift Shop is that it doesn’t smell as decent as shopping malls.Β  They have a distinct smell which is, to be frank, unpleasant. Maybe it’s because of the dust or the smell of newly opened boxes filled with second-hand shoes and clothes. Well, that’s what i think. But this doesn’t stop me from searching the numerous racks of clothes in search for vintage treasures. πŸ™‚

So to make things easier for all of us, I found a website which has enumerated some tips and guidelines for you guys who plan to go treasure hunting soon! I got this from www.spot.ph

12 Step Battle Plan

1. Research. Master the trends before embarking on your battle, so you can keep an eye out for certain colors, prints, cuts and fabrics and ignore what’s blah. But also keep in mind that classics never go out of style.

2. Dress down and dress tight. No dressing room? No problem. Wear something you can slip on and off without exposing yourself. Layer an oversized tank over a tight one, and wear leggings and sneakers so you can try on the clothes on the spot.

3. Look poor. Seeing that the customer is well-dressed, salespeople can hike up the price pronto. Look casual and discreetβ€”β€œmost ukays are in dodgy locations so it’s best to blend with the crowd. (don’t wear jewelry)

4. Bring barya (loose change). You can’t exactly haggle if you’re carrying money in Php500 and Php1000 denominations.

5. Haggle-frock. Haggle for half the price and meet halfway with the seller. Accumulate purchases and ask for additional items for free. (I personally need to work on this!)

6. Ditch the handbag. Go hands-freeβ€”β€œan oversized sling bag is perfect. Not only can you put your other purchases inside but it also lets you scour the racks with ease.

7. Be greedy. Never put an item down unless you’re sure you aren’t going to get it. Remember that these pieces are one of a kind and that another customer may be eyeing your choices and is just waiting for you to put it back. (I’ve experienced this, good thing it wasn’t my size anyway)

8. Caveat emptor: It’s understood that once you purchase something, you take everything that comes with it: stains, smells and snags. So, check the underarm areas. If it’s overly stained, dump it. Underarms are very sensitive parts and stains only mean that the previous owner did sweat on it profusely and the bacteria from it will never go away.

9. Discriminate: Stay away from bathing suits, (and undergarments! PLEASE!) always wear socks for shoes and always check for holes and stains.

10. Before you buy: Ask: Am I just caught up in the thrill of the low price? Do really I love it? Will I actually wear it? If the answer is no, then it’s just a waste of money.

11. Before you say bye: Tell the store you’ll be back soon and that particular branch is your favorite bargain depot. Befriend that staff and get the number so they’ll alert you for the next batch of new arrivals or even better, you get first dibs on the biggest sales.

12. After you buy: Rinse clothing in vinegar (known to eliminate germs) and wash it off. Another option is to slightly boil it to kill bacteria. Research on fabric care and handling so you don’t ruin your most-coveted bargain discovery! (I don’t rinse mine with vinegar, just slightly boil them and wash them twice. Last is to iron the sensitive parts.)

Found this cool pic while searching for tips (very concise and direct to the point)

Some additional tips:

Always eat before you embark on your journey or at least bring something to munch on. It’s hard to shop if you don’t have the energy! Bring water so you won’t have to buy when you get thirsty and alcohol to sanitize your hands after shopping. πŸ™‚

I guess that’s about it! I’ve been really inspired to share as much info as i can. Watch out for my next post about my 1st Ukay-Ukay escapade and my great finds. πŸ™‚ Til’ my next post! God Bless!

What’s it all about?

Some would say that i just created a blog because i have nothing else to do or in simple terms I’m just BORED! I just think that it’s about time i contribute something useful to the internet. I admit that i do have a lot of spare time for i am still in the stage of looking for a stable job. SO…. why not spend my precious time in writing (or in this case, typing) useful information on the simple things that I’m passionate about instead of having a 24/7 movie marathon! πŸ™‚

“What is this blog all about anyway?”, you might ask. For starters, I’m certainly not an expert in fashion. I’ll leave my college friend, Christine in charge of that, you could visit her shop by the way:

www.christineangelashop.multiply.com

But I’ve been quite, no not quite, A LOT interested in Thrift Shops here in the Metro in search for great bargains on clothes, shoes and bags. I’ve even had my 1st Thrift Shop Escapade just recently. This i promise to write about within the week. I also promise to post about thrift stores I’ve visited, Thrift shopping tips and even pictures of my favorite ukay finds. Well, i was inspired to go thrift shopping by the one and only ukay queen: Ms. Pat Dela Torre. You could visit her site: www.theukayqueen.com and find out more about her passion.

Ms. Pat Dela Torre

Another possible entry would be about everyone’s favorite: FOOD! The people close to me would agree that i have a thing for food, especially the kind that satisfies my sweet tooth. I’m into baking and very soon I plan to venture into the culinary side of the kitchen. I’ll be sharing my previous creations, present addictions and great palette-satisfying finds. Here’s a picture of one my creations. Cookie Monster Chocolate Cupcake with Vanilla Buttercream! YUM! If it’s not too much to ask, you could LIKE my facebook page:

www.facebook.com/blissfultemptations

photo by Nico Torres

So i guess that sums up what i plan to post in the coming weeks, months and hopefully the coming year. Hope you guys would drop by every now and then, you might learn a thing or two from my experiences. That’s it for now. God Bless! πŸ™‚