HELLO TREND LOVER: THIS FALL LET’S GET LOUD IN LEOPARD PRINT

Where would I go dressed like this?

Enjoying a Sunday family brunch in a fancy restaurant or just an any-day-of-the-week-lunch with my fabulous girlfriends. By pairing the skirt with a tailored black blazer I can use this outfit even as a bold work wear. I would simply make sure that the rest of the outfit is kept simple, for instance by swapping the red patent leather shoes with a pair of classic black pumps or with black ankle boots (a great option for those ladies working in the creative industry) and the kimono recrafted pochette from My Moniko with a black tote.

Where would I not go dressed like this?

I would not visit a zoo or a safari park wearing animal print clothes. I happened to read an interesting article a while ago about the change of behavior of some animals in cases of humans wearing animal prints. Some will be frightened and escape. Not too bad of a thing being taken for a real leopard, but I would definitely avoid wearing zebra stripes and get too close to a lion or a tiger ☺

Who could wear this outfit?

If you aren’t afraid of boasting a full booty, a skin-tight shiny leopard print skirt is one of the best choices you can make. As for the tailored blazer, I am guessing you own one. If not, allow me to remind you that this is a stylish, must have piece you will wear time and again. Not sure which is your style? A wardrobe editing session with a stylist will not only give you knowledge about what to keep and what to toss from your current wardrobe, but also what are the pieces you should invest in, based on your figure, personality, lifestyle, age and budget.

The add-ons: Accessorizing a leopard print with a few bright spots of red and gold is a fabulous idea, but one needs to know when to stop. Match your red shoes with a red lipstick! A red nail polish is classy: keep it! A little red in the handbag is fab too, but let’s not take it too far by adding a belt, a scarf and a poodle with a red collar to the combo ☺ (of course exception is made for sausage dogs with red collars)

A little thought about the colours: We see the experts mixing prints and patterns and playing with texture all the time and we love the way they do it, don’t we? You know what? It is not that difficult after all. For this look I picked two different prints that share a couple of colours (leopard print skirt and kimono recrafted bag). This is one way of mixing prints and patterns. For more inspiration you can check Pinterest. You will find tons of suggestions.

How did I feel while wearing it? I felt bold and dynamic like a graceful big cat.

Any compliments? ‘Hey, I like your style!’ I promise you, ladies, somebody around me said the sacred words every woman loves hearing 😉

Little curiosity: The leopard print skirt was originally a skin-tight, shiny leopard print dress, which I was hardly wearing. I always believed in the versatility of skirts, but that’s me, because I love playing with outfits and a skirt gives me way more options than a dress. To prove you the eternality of the animal print I will put a date on it. I snapped the leopard print dress in a cute hidden boutique in Florence back in the early 2000s ☺ So let’s roar together this season ladies! Every self-respecting-brand is offering a variety of skirts, dresses, jackets and accessories in a leopard print this season. What is on your animal-print-wish-list this season?  I am going hunting for a pair of leopard heels! There is something bold out there for every body shape, lifestyle and budget! Go find yours and unlock that wild sexiness and femininity you own!

Boracay Shopping Hopping: the 8 best places to buy stylish clothes, accessories and gifts

As I woman, I always look for something stylish, unique, of great quality, that I will wear and the people around me will go ‘wow’. I use the same concept while shopping for clients or visiting new places. Finding a hidden gem in a city like Hong Kong, packed with hundreds of thousands of shops and showrooms or a tiny new store in an island that I know like my pockets…the feeling of instant gratification is the same. In this blog post I want to share with you my favourite selection of shops in Boracay, but before that… I want you to relax on a sunbed in the best hotel of the island, Discovery Shores Boracay (click here to become one of the thousands readers of my tripadvisor review). Now feel the ocean breeze, the tireless sun caressing your skin, sip from a glass of chilled white wine and enjoy the stunning sunset while joyful Filipinos take long walks on the beach and amazed tourists seal the romantic moment with their cameras.

Feel the moment! Now you are tuned. Happy Shopping!

Credits for this wonderful video go to Jesse from Jees Studios. Reliable, quick, professional and creative. Thanks Jesse!

I will begin with THE GENERAL STORE at the Coast Hotel, located at Station 2 Beachfront. One of the relatively newly opened stores in the island, The General Store deserves a big shout out as it offers a tasteful collection of products, all crafted by skillful Filipino artisans. It is guaranteed that a chic globetrotter will be able to find a stylish accessory for herself or for a loved one here. Whether you are looking for a new piece of swimwear, a cute and practical resort beach tote, a beautifully printed beach towel, a funky piece of crochet jewelry, or some natural skincare products, make sure you pay the General store a visit. You will thank me later.

My favourite pics? A Basi towel, pretty and practical at the same time, this tropical product is a sarong on the outside and a towel on the inside. Stay dry and cozy will showing some style 😉 Price 1580 PHP

And, a…beach bag! I have been looking for a chic beach bag for very long time…I finally found it just the way it was pictured in my head. Roomy enough to contain all your beach essentials, with a zipper so you do not spill them, long handles so you can even carry it as a crossbody if you need your hands free for a selfie 😉 in a neutral colour that will not clash with any of your colourful beach looks… What more do you want from a beach bag? Reasonable price? Gotcha! Can be yours for 1530 PHP

 

Store location: Station 2 Beachfornt

THE BAMBOO SHADES STORE

Here is my number 2: THE BAMBOO SHADES STORE. As the name suggests, this retailer offers bamboo polarized eyewear in a variety of shapes and colours. You can choose between a pure bamboo frame or a style with bamboo handles only. The polarised lenses of most of the shades have uv 400 protection. Filipinos just proved to the world that bamboo is not only for pandas, scaffoldings and outdoor lounges….My favourite? A pair of mirror shades in yellow with polarised lenses and bamboo handles. Mine for 999 pesos. I just added more buzz in the sunglasses drawer. Prices start from 799 PHP. Check them out while strolling at D’mall Boracay.

Store location: Station 2 D’Mall, Boracay

LAWISWIS

At number 3 in my list comes LAWISWIS with their selection of natural and organic skin care products. This tiny store at D’mall Boracay has been around for 15 years…long enough to proof the quality of their products. I have been buying from them for 10 years…natural sun blocks, after sun lotions, mosquito repellents, facial masks and scrubs, vegetable soaps, essential oils and even toothpastes. And if you are cocconutty like me, i am sure you will love their virgin coconut oil. Stock up before you leave the island as you can use this multitasker for all your beauty needs.

My favourite? You know the answer 😉 Did I not just mention that I am cocconutty? I stocked up with 2 liters of the precious liquid as I use it to prepare my own shower gel, body lotion as well as sun block…all natural. Click on the link if you want to spy on the recipes I use for my favourite sun block and many more coconut oil based products.

Store location: Station 2 D’Mall, Boracay

 

ISLAND SOUVENIRS

At Number 4 comes THE ISLAND SOUVENIRS. T-shirt lovers, look no further. Are you going after excellent quality? Funky, vibrant design? Affordable price? A personalised tee? All of the above? Whether you are browsing for yourself or for your bestie’s toddler, a tee from this retailer is one of the best ways to remember the beautiful tropical island of Boracay or to bring just a tiny bit of its spirit to someone special. Prices start from 199 PHP.

My favourite? Hm, hard one…anything with tropical fishes, sunsets and divers 😉

Store location: Station 2 D’Mall, Boracay

ISLAND GIRL

At number five of my list comes ISLAND GIRL. Almost every piece in this colourful, jazzy store is either a best seller or…sold out. Get your gift list ready before you hit it. Get your wish list ready too. Fancy an embroidered clutch? How about a tote with a fun quote? Their products are mainly made of natural materials such as pandan, rattan, beads and shell and are handcrafted by local artisans. Trade your flip flops with a pair of their sockies sandals, hand-crocheted and handmade, your feet will definitely get the spotlight!

My favourite: All the Raffia embroidered envelope clutches. Price: 995 PHP
And a cute beaded wallet as a gift for my niece. Price: 395 PHP

 

 

Store location:

Island Girl Store, D’Mall Phase 4, Boracay
A Piece of Green Store, D’Mall Phase 2
Island Girl Store @ Azalea Resort Boracay, Station 2
The General Store @ The Coast Boracay, Station 2
Regalo Boutique, Shangri-la

HAVAJANAS

Needless to say that HAVAJANAS MONOBRAND STORE is also in my list. Their flip-flops are the most popular in the world, with 200 million pairs being sold every year. Now this is what I call a global brand and a never dying trend and all the members of my family are stubborn ambassadors of their footwear. Even our sausage dog, Vittorio loves Havajanas for…snack 😉

My favourites: Slim havajanas in a solid colour. The beautiful prints do not work well for me as my beach looks are generally vibrant and colourful and in this case more will be just …too much. Gear your baby with a new pair by spending 949 PHP or find your soul havajana. Prices fro adults start from 899 PHP.

Store locations:

Station 2 D’Mall, Boracay
Havaianas – All Flip-Flops by the Beach Station 1, Boracay Island
Regalo Boutique Shangri-la’s Boracay Resort and Spa

D’AMOUR

Another veteran of D’Mall Avenue, D’AMOUR has been around for over 10 years, offering sophisticated seashell handbags. This family run business is yet another one of my favourite shopping spots on the island. Prepare to be asked the ‘where did you get that’ question when you carry their beautifully crafted bags. And, be generous, buy one for your best friend too 🙂

My favourite: A shell bag with ring. It could be mine for 2300 PHP, but I had to let go. Reason? I bought a similar from D’amour last year. Now loving shopping definitely does not mean keep buying the same thing all over again. Don’t you agree?

Store location: Station 2 D’Mall, Boracay

NOTHING BUT H2O

Last but not least in my selection of favourite shopping spots in Boracay comes NOTHING BUT H2O. If you do not compromise with your style at the beach, make sure you upgrade your bikini drawer with a new piece from this retailer. Not only they offer the most in vogue selection of bikinis and one-piece swimsuits for the ladies, but they also have a wide selection of funky swimwear for men and kids, luxury resort wear, beach blankets, shoes, sunscreen and even stunning temporary tattoos for the most adventurous beach chicas out there.

My favourite: A turquoise bikini for 10280 PHP. Ouch! I know. But great quality and design come with a great price tag too ☺ You can always buy just a beach blanket for 2495 PHP or add a little sparkle and shine to your beach looks by buying a set of temporary tattoos from Flash Tattoos for 1495 PHP. I promise you will feel like a diva.

Store location: Station 2 D’Mall, Boracay

Was this Stylish Shopping Hopping Experience interesting? Share your thoughts below 😉

Colour obsession: The Olive, the Burgundy and the Red Hot

Where would I go dressed like this? To a dinner or a cocktail party, at the theater, the ballet, or the opera. I would also reach for this outfit if I am on the look for a ‘festive attire’. Why not using it at a first date too? It would clearly show femininity and style personality without revealing too much of a cleavage, biceps or hips 😉 Isn’t it more playful and sexy to actually leave something to the imagination?

Where would I not go dressed like this? I would not wear this outfit to a job interview but I am still keen to consider it if I am working in a creative field such as design or media and invited to a business dinner.

Who could wear this outfit? When giving advice about who can wear a certain outfit, image consultants take into consideration many elements of the clothes and accessories involved in the look. We consider the pattern, the harmony of the colours, the neckline, the sleeves, the hemline… Although the floral prints never go out of style, they are not everyone’s best pattern. For instance a straight shift dress is one of the best styles for a woman with a rectangle body shape, but not the floral print…Good news on their way about the neckline, the hemline and the sleeves length. The crew neckline suits most women and a hemline right above the knee is quite universal too. Hm, sleeves length… I know about women rejecting so many otherwise great tops because of sleeve length. No woman on earth wants her sleeves to end at the most unflattering, wider point of her arm….Then why not considering a dress or a top with ¾ sleeves? They would hide the flop and show your beautiful bracelets and/or watch. The Style weights and measures ordinance is not easy. I totally get it. It gets confusing and you are probably wondering how does a ‘rectangular’ or an ‘invertedtriangular’ woman look ☺ Certainly the most simple and rewarding way to find out what is your body shape, style personality, best colours and ultimately what clothes are the most flattering on you is by booking a Style Makeover with a Personal Stylist, followed by a Wardrobe Editing session.

The add-ons: It could be risky to create a combo out of a floral dress and a patterned clutch, but if you get the right one, it’s instant gratification. “I’ve always thought of accessories as the exclamation point of a woman’s outfit” said Mickael Kors. My exclamation marks here are the burgundy booties, the polka dot clutch and a pair of chandelier earrings!!!

A little thought about the colours: Christmas is approaching and we will all start thinking in red, green, gold, but are red and green easy to put together in an outfit? You might find it challenging, but if olive green is amongst your best greens, you will not go wrong by pairing it with burgundy accessories. Earthy and rich, khaki is a chic and versatile colour that goes well with almost every other shade, including burgundy.

How did I feel while wearing it? All that red and burgundy in and out made me feel spicy 😉

Any compliments? Compliments do not always arrive in their physical, verbal form. They are in the eyes of your beloved ones or in the appreciative smiles of your friends. And, sometimes this is all we need to get uplifted.

Little curiosity: I got the rich burgundy suede booties at a sale a few months ago. This was the only pair of shoes I loved and the only one in my …size. Bonus: favourite colour. Can a girl get any luckier?

STYLE IT THREE WAYS: THE CHECKED PANTS

Today’s focus is on the checked pants. Casual and comfortable, you might be surprised to find out that they are versatile too. You will unfailingly add interest in your wardrobe with a pair of plaid pants, but remember to think of at least three ways to wear them or you will soon end up bored of reaching out over and over again for the same combo.

Whilst in today’s suggestions you will see three completely different ways to wear a pair of checked pants, let me share a little trick of mine. I actually used the same logic for all three looks: selecting a top in one of the main colors from the plaid pattern.

The checked pants are great for women who need to highlight their hips and bottom, focusing the attention below the waist, as in the case of the inverted triangle, the rectangle or the neat hourglass body shape. The length and the style of the top will also depend on the body shape as well as on the style personality.

Here is my #1: THE COZY LOOK FOR A SUNDAY MORNING…MINDFULLNESS CLASS

This idea is a winner for those of you who prefer casual styling and hate a cluttered look. Trousers worn with flat shoes translates in maximum comfort and practicality, but you still need some accessories to complete the look. In a canvas-like- combination, I opted for a long necklace as a statement piece. If you have a waist, a belt in the same shade as your necklace is a beautiful add on (great for hourglass body shapes, not ideal for rectangles). I know that many women are confused about their body shapes and proportions and what are the best clothing lines and accessories to wear. Booking a Style Makeover with a personal stylist will help you gain all the knowledge you need in order to always look fabulous! I am here to help you with your style dilemmas 😉

#2: THE CHIC LOOK FOR A DAY FILLED WITH MEETINGS

If you want to blow in and make your friends, business partners or competitors feel envious of your striking appearance, this one is for you. Tunics are one of the most versatile wardrobe pieces you can own and one can really get creative with an interesting tunic. In this look, not only the long chiffon tunic with side slits reveals and complements the pants, but it also makes a statement. What’s more, it is comfortable to wear. This look is ideal for tall women.

The perfect accessory for long-bodied women as myself is a wide, statement belt. Remember to accessorize with an unusual necklace too.

#3: THE ‘MEETING-WITH-A-CLIENT-FOR-A-STYLE-MAKEOVER’ SOPHISTICATED LOOK

This is naughty! So naughty that on a Friday afternoon of a hundred years ago, I would most certainly have ended up in prison. Fast forward in 2017, as a modern, emancipated woman, I can use all my imagination to play with outfits. For this outfit I needed go no further than to my husband’s closet 😉 I love the roominess of his shirts. Ok, there is quite a lot of space for big shoulders, but this creates a relaxed look over a female body and I did feel like I had more freedom compared to when I am wearing my own tailor made shirts. As for the accessories…what better way to cut the mannish look than a long pearl necklace and a belt with an interesting buckle? Playful and sexy! Isn’t it?

COLOUR OBSESSION: THE PATTERNED SILK BLAZER! A CHALLENGE OR A STAPLE?

Where would I go dressed like this?
At a style event paired with a fancy skirt and some bold jewels. At a casual lunch meeting matched with a cigarette pant in a solid colour. Out celebrating a wedding anniversary in a fancy place, why not with a little dress underneath. Browsing a shopping bazaar by dressing down the glossy outerwear with a pair of jeans and sneakers. The long desired silk blazer became unexpectedly one of my wardrobe staples.

Where would I not go dressed like this?
A silk blazer does not like extremes such as formal business meetings or activities with children. Business functions require more conservative wardrobe choices and a patterned silk blazer is anything but conservative. Going somewhere, actually anywhere with young kids normally involves carrying extra handbags, shopping bags, toys, snacks, pizza and ice cream gobbling, ice skating, dealing with fighting siblings, mopping up tears. Things can escalate and get messy in a blink of an eye and a mother needs proper armor, not a delicate blazer with slit sleeves.

Who could wear it?
If your top half appears to be smaller than the bottom you will want to bring the attention to the upper part of your body. Trust me! You will bring A LOT OF ATTENTION there with a detailed, patterned, vibrant jacket like this. Just make sure that it ends either above or below the widest point of your hips and bottom. Is it even necessary to mention that a woman with hourglass body shape would look great in it? If your bottom half seems smaller than your top half, you can still wear a patterned silk blazer, perhaps with a revered collar and by choosing your best design amongst stripes, checks, geometrics, squiggles and spots. A Style Consultation would give you all the knowledge you need for a flattering, functional wardrobe and a smarter shopping attitude.

The add-ons: This blazer is tremendously dramatic on its own, but somehow it looks stunning with bold golden jewels. The gorgeous slit sleeves are such a show off and I usually wear the blazer with a Cavalli bangle and an oversized snake ring; a golden clutch adds glamour too. Complete your sexy look with a pair of killer heels or dress it a bit down with your best-loved sneakers.

A little thought about the colours:
Imagine I never showed you the pictures of the silk blazer. Now close your eyes and keep reading ☺. Can’t do that? Me neither, but I can visualize snorkeling in the shallow coral reefs of the Caribbean atolls escorted by angel, butterfly and surgeon fishes. This is how I feel when I put on my silk blazer. Bonus: I never ever came face to face with a shark or with a lionfish. Want to learn how to navigate in your best colours with confidence? A Full Colour Analysis is the right thing for you.

How did I feel while wearing it? Whenever I want to feel glamorous, striking, unusual, I reach for my silk jacket. Instant gratification!

Any compliments? I remember visiting a shopping event in Hong Kong and being stopped by every other woman. They all asked the same questions:” Is this a Cavalli blazer?” and “Where did you get it from?”

Little curiosity: I got the fabric years ago during a visit in Shenzhen without knowing what I would use it for. I loved the colours, the pattern, the lustrous texture. I admit it! I am patient! A dreamer too! I love the feeling of achieving something after I waited and dreamed about it for quite a while. The design? My tasteful mama found it while browsing some fashion magazines.

STYLE IT THREE WAYS: HOW TO STYLE A CLASSIC WHITE SHIRT

Hello Style Lovers! I am starting a regular column in my blog called STYLE IT THREE WAYS. Once a month I will focus on one piece of garment and recreate three different outfits with it. Why three? Simply because I believe in the statement that every time we shop we must think of at least three ways to incorporate the piece we are buying in our current wardrobe. Make it a rule! And, with my suggestions, you will soon understand how…easy it could be.

Today’s central player is one of my absolute best-loved MUST HAVES, the CLASSIC WHITE SHIRT. Uma Thurman wore it iconically in Pulp Fiction. Sharon Stone broke all of the fashion rules when she paired her husband’s with a Vera Wang skirt at the 1998 Oscars.
This is a staple. A perfectly tailored white shirt evokes an air of cool sophistication. Fitted waist, straight waist, crisp, relaxed. The choice here is about body type, but even more about lifestyle. Where and how to wear it? Under a suit, tucked into jeans, tied at the waist over a bikini? Figure out which cut and material make the most sense for you. If you opt for a fitted one, keep in mind that it should skim your body, with no gapping at the bust or pulling across the shoulders, and you should be able to move your arms across comfortably.
Yes, you can pair a classic white shirt with your dark denim jeans, your black skirt or a blazer. Put it under a sleeveless black dress! And, because it is so versatile, I could not stop at only three versions. In fact, I am going to style it in 6 different ways based on the different style personalities out there.

Let me begin with those of you who choose over anything else a timeless, neat and elegant look: the CLASSIC LADIES. Always well turned out and elegant, you would not opt for a daring colour combination or a mix of contrasting textures, nor did I in the classic look. I used two wardrobe basics, a pair of gingham cigarette pants and my favourite black pumps. Vittorio loved the look. How about you?

Let’s see what happens if we add a couple of interesting accessories. How about a long green gemstone necklace and a checkered fedora hat? Here is my suggestion for those of you who enjoy their clothes and absolutely love accessories, sometimes spending more on bags and shoes that on an outfit itself: the CITY CHIC ladies. Will I surprise anyone if I said that I fall into this group?

A sneaker/ballerina addicted, an easy-care, non-iron, no-fuss lover? You are a NATURAL! We know that feeling comfortable in your clothes is the most important factor for you. Let’s try a relaxed look with your boyfriend’s jeans, a pair of fabulous dressy sneakers and a cross body bag.

Feeling ROMANTIC? Pair your crispy white shirt with a long silk skirt and ballet flats. Want more romance? Add a flowery patterned chiffon scarf and a loving sausage dog. All set for a night out! Ok, leave the dog in!

Ah, the DRAMATIC! Ladies, it’s not about the Ouch! It’s more about the WOW! The dramatic girl needs WOW pieces. Wherever she goes, she makes sure she will be noticed. Think of Katy Perry or Selena Williams. From time to time I love striking outfits too. What is more striking than a burgundy leather skirt with a deep side slit? All dressed up with yellow gold accessories and leopard print heels and handbag. Meoooo? Nope. Rooooaaarrrr!!!

My last suggestion is for those ladies who were born CREATIVE like Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj. Every piece of this look screams uniqueness and adds interest, from the black flared leather skirt and the unusual idea of wearing a vivid chiffon top over a crisp white shirt, to the camel suede boots and a black ascot cap, a statement pair of heart shaped blue earrings and a watch in the same shade. It’s all on her and no one can stop the CREATIVE lady from going out dressed like this. What? Yes, she does!

Not sure what is your Style Personality? You will find out that and much more during a Style Consultation or a Style Makeover. Remember! Booking a session with a Personal Stylist is one of the best ways to invest in yourself!