Tips and Tricks for Things: DIY Bracelet Holder in Less than a Minute

My cardinal rule for practical shopping is to make sure that you never buy something you already have. One of the best ways to do this is to keep mental inventory of clothes/accessories/shoes you already own. That way, you know exactly what you have at any given point in time. You will want to make sure that your things are 1. organized and 2. visible. If they’re organized but invisible you aren’t likely to remember them when you’re about to buy something remarkably similar at the store.

I’ve previously written about some tips to store make-up, necklaces, and small trinkets, but  bracelets in particular can be cumbersome because of their size. To store them safely, I simply grouped like-sized bracelets together and slipped them over old rolled-up magazines. The great thing is that the magazines are solid and stand on their own. They also mold directly to the shape of the bracelets so you don’t have to worry about them slipping off. You can use different magazines per color group for maximum order.

These cost nothing if you have old magazines lying around at home, and takes only a few seconds to roll up just so.

Go-to Holiday Festive: Little Blue Dress

Most of my December entries have been about dressing for festive Christmas parties at work. Once out of office, rules are immediately relaxed, so one can break out cute party dresses, extra-large accessories, and so on. My favorite go-to dress for daytime events is this little blue dress, purchased for Php350 at a Greenhills tiangge. The sleeveless navy blue dress features tiny polka dots with a white floral trim, a full a-line skirt, and a cinched waist. There’s a lot going on with the dress, so I chose low-heeled camel sandals to balance out all the blue.

For a small pop of color, I like bright accessories, like this tiny London bus pendant on a short chain. Long, flowing wavy hair and deep wine-colored lips help to polish the look. To make it more casual for daytime, blend the edges of the lipstick after applying so the make-up doesn’t look too overly precise, as this will stiffen the overall effect.

Happy new year everyone! 

Tip: Easy to dress up or down, the little blue dress in any shade is a great alternative to black.

Two Looks, One Outfit: Blazer of Glory

Today I specifically needed an outfit that would look polished at the office, and relaxed enough for dinner with a friend. For situations like these, I like to build the entire outfit around a single office-worthy garment that can be removed after work to blend in with a more casual environment. In this case, this no-nonsense navy jacket with a fitted, tailored silhouette and sleek lapels anchors an otherwise casual ensemble for a solid day at the office. After work, I simply took off the blazer and showed off a more grown-up take on a jeans-and-t-shirt combination; as is usually the case, accessories, hair and make-up are key. Because the blazer serves as a structured anchor to the overall look, it’s possible to have fun with the rest of the pieces, like this old white v-neck and soft, stretchy gray pants. Keep Reading

Rinse, Wear and Repeat With Pride: My Prized Navy A-Line Skirt

Given my obsession with skirts, it’s easy to guess that my closet is teeming with them. Actually, I only have a few key pieces in classic shapes that I rinse, wear and repeat with pride. One alternative to the beloved black pencil skirt is an A-line shape in a basic but more unexpected color, like navy.

I consider this deep blue skirt from Plains & Prints to be one of the most wearable, versatile and comfortable garments in my closet. The navy color is easy on the eyes and is less severe than black; at the same time, it’s just as easy to pair with virtually any color or texture, for either full-on corporate looks (look 1) or more casual ensembles (look 2, look 3, or look 4). Keep Reading

Tips and Tricks for Things: Trinket Tray

Continuing my series on using affordable kitchen/home products to organize accessories and cosmetics to maximize your wardrobe and shopping needs, here’s one idea on how to attractively display small trinkets and rings without having to purchase an overpriced jewelry box or tray.

This beautiful jewelry box from Modcloth (buy here for $31.99), for example, is too gorgeous for words–but it will also burn a gorgeous hole in your pocket.  Keep Reading

Tips and Tricks for Things: Necklace Holder

The best and worst thing about shopping is that we are forever convinced that we need something: “I need the perfect pair of black pumps”, “I’ve really got to stock up on basics again”, “Tim Gunn says I need a trench coat!”. This is great when we’re celebrating a promotion or about to get a raise, but sometimes it’s easy to forget that we’ve probably already got what we need; it’s just lying around at the back of our closets gathering dust. They need to be brought to the surface.

I tried to test this theory on necklaces, my one addiction. I am forever looking for unique pieces to add to my modest collection, always believing that I only have a few (try twenty), wearing only the ones at the top of the pile, the rest lost in the cacophonous cavern of tangled chains, buried under socks and tights, or saved for a special occasion, then promptly misplaced.

Below, my simple two-step plan to curb my necklace-buying addiction and maximize what I already had in my closet

1. Determine your bottleneck.

Bottleneck: according to, “the place or stage in a process in which progress is impeded”. What’s keeping you from using everything you have multiple tmes? What is triggering the “I don’t have this yet, let’s go out and get it!” reflex in  your head?

For me, it was a lack of visibility. Out of sight, out of mind. When you only have five minutes to pick out a necklace at 6:30 in the morning, who would want to choose an accessory out of this mess?

Other bottlenecks you may experience: overdependence on a single type of item (i.e. thirty little black dresses), overabundance of trendy items which are hardly worn/used, stocking up on things that don’t fit your lifestyle (i.e. does your day job really entail wearing a different cocktail dress every day?).

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