Cropped Collar Top: Zara | White Skirt: Mango (same as here) | Studded Ankle Heels: Charles & Keith | Bag: Givenchy | Necklace: Bend Accessories | Watch: Rolex | Bangle: Hermes
When I was wee, there would be special occasions when our teachers in school would request students to come in “semi-formal attire” for God-knows-what-reason. Every single opportunity and without fail, I would alway come in a crisp white polo button down and tapered slacks thus, starting my love-affair with Ralph Lauren polos at the tender age of 8 at the height of preppy fashion. At some point, I outgrew polos in general and moved on to bigger things… and by bigger, I mean the likes of elephant pants but let’s save that story for some other time.
When college rolled in, my penchant for crisp collars were resuscitated along with this Promdi (prom-di-province) notion that I had to maintain a very sweet demeanor so as not to scare sheltered Manileños away. I would pair a textured Oleg Cassini button down with skinny jeans and Tods loafers or opt for my silk Lanvin button down with khaki shorts and Keds sneakers–I played every inch the part of a picture perfect WASPy Catholic school girl from some far-flung province for a good year at least before I turned mean and lean.
It’s not to say I gave up collared shirts fully when I gradually showed my mean side. Quite the contrary because every Mean Girl needs a collared top. I say need because it’s a do or die thing. On an aesthetic standpoint, collared tops are flattering in such a way that they hide parts of your neck to amp the modesty angle but sexy enough to reveal a hint of collarbone, but more than that, collars exude subtle earnestness that make people respect and take you seriously.
Living in a society where most people still equate fashion as somewhat shallow, it’s important to drill on the fact that fashion can be complementary to your capabilities and can in fact, help translate your state-of-being. Collared shirts are like canvases, you can style it in any way you want in order for it to match a certain style. Just because collared shirts are staples for serious suckers (SSS) doesn’t mean you can’t inject a little bit of creativity into it. Personally, I experiment with my collared tops by getting different textures, prints, and cuts; I especially like how this cropped pink top seems very typical from the head to the ribcage, and then surprise–the fabric ends there!
There are so many ways for you to experiment–put a vest on top of it, put a ribbon around or a statement necklace to add a bit of drama, or just wear it as it is in all its glory. The great part of the deal is that it’s something you can wear to work (except for maybe the cropped version but I make do with what I want so as long as I can get away with it). As is in life, there is nothing too serious for you not to show your creative side and there isn’t anything too serious that you can’t poke fun of.
People have been asking me recently where I’ve had my hair done. Since early this year, I’ve been having my roots freshened up by Matrix Professional (but I still get my quarterly haircuts at Franck Provost). It’s not a Salon per se but a Salon brand so whichever Salon you go to, simply ask for the Matrix line. For my hair color, this is a mix of Brown 7G and Wonderlight G–I usually don’t want to go too light during the Fall season but instead of dyeing my hair dark as usual, I’ve decided to retain a lighter hue. I’m such a huge fan of Matrix and I can’t help but gush about this engagement. See the teaser video I have for the brand here: