I live by Nina Garcia’s words, and I quote: “Fashion is expensive. Style is not.” True. This is how I look at magazines. Browse, check the articles for fashion tips, look at the trendiest clothes worn by models (Oh, how lucky they are!), read who are they wearing, then faint just by looking at the price tags. No, not really faint, just have my jaw drop, check for any drools and feel sad for not having the moolah to buy them all.

But who said I can’t steal their looks? I have got just one word for you: Ukay. Sure, sure, they’re thrifted, they’ve been worn, they’re dirty and it’s hard to find a dress or a top or something that’ll knock people off their feet. They’re all true, except of course for the last one. If you’ve got the eye, the style and the patience to check out through racks and racks of unsightly clothes, then you are going to end up with more than a pair of pants and a cute dress that everybody will love. Believe me; I always end up getting compliments from people about my thrifted clothes.

In fact, my sister and I sell clothes online and we all get them on thrift stores, and they always, always sell like hotcakes some buyers are actually fighting over who’s going to get what. Okay, if I did get your attention, maybe now you’re asking, what do I do to still have style shopping in ukay? Don’t ask me, I’m no fashion guru, but I do have some few tips on my pocket that may help you out.

First, you need of course to have the style. If you don’t, then I really can’t help you out. I don’t really care what look you like or want to rock, but there will always be something in there that you would like. Patience, of course is still a virtue. With tons and tons of clothes, you really should bring a whole lot of it because you are going to see hundreds of clothes that are of no use to you. Don’t be sad though, once you see something that is really cool and really fab for a low, low price, then believe you me, your eyes will literally pop out of their socket!

Now if you are able to find one that you like, check for any holes or missing buttons and stains. You’re lucky if there isn’t any, if there are, check if you can do something about it. One good tip from my mom: for lingering stains, boil some water and soak the clothes in it, the stains will be much easier to remove, it works! However, if you really like it despite the stains or holes, it’s up to you if you’re going to buy the item. I suggest though to just leave it, you are looking for an item that is trendy and will ultimately look like an item off Mango or Topshop, right?

Speaking of designer clothes, boy, sometimes you are just going to be lucky if you’ll get a top or a skirt that is in a good condition with a Zara, Victoria’s Secret or a Givenchy tag in them! Isn’t that just awesome? So scour all the hangers as much as you can! For inspiration: my sister and I found a Micheal Kors LBD (that’s little black dress to you!) for a whopping P40. Believe it or not!

Third, wear something comfy. You’ll be checking racks after racks, not going to a party. So wear your most comfortable clothes, I suggest tank tops and a pair of shorts so you can easily slip on the clothes if you want you see if they fit you just right. Simple clothes are the best way to go too, because you can haggle much more if you don’t look like a movie star! Ha ha!

This brings me to my last and most important tip: know how to haggle. I can’t stress this enough, it is recession after all, but who says you can’t look like a million dollars under a hundred bucks? So work on your charms to Ate and Kuya, and they can give you the clothes at lower price. Remember, the more you buy, the more you can haggle! Now you’re ready, the best places to go to are Anonas area, Quiapo, Avenida and along Espana. They have the best clothes at cheaper prices! So what are you waiting for? Shop, shop, shop!

P.S. I will try to post more ukay buying and haggling tips. Will also try to post some of the fab finds we’ve got and prices as well for inspiration that you don’t need to go broke to look good. 🙂


Sample lang: white laced bodycon dress –  P50; black Nine West flats – P500; chain bag – kinuha kay lola. :))) Hahaha.