Candy's Style Survival Guide

5, 4, 3, 2, 1... the "Goodbye, Uniform!" countdown ensues as summer heats up, and what better way to jumpstart it than by revamping your wardrobe?
by Lora Gahol   |  May 5, 2010
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While dressing up in your fave outfit-not to mention out of your boring old uniform-promises to be a blast, and while you're pretty confident you can pull off donning a sack with that lithe physique you've jogged your way into, there is no reason to throw your style sensibilities out the window. You wouldn't want to look back at your Facebook photos 10 years from now and cringe, would you? Give your closet a good once-over, keep an open mind, break a couple of rules (not all!), or better yet, make your own!

  1. Classic Chick
    Your Shopping Philosophy: Will I be able to wear this 10 years from now?"
    Your Style File: You have more plain white shirts than Mango, Kamiseta, and Bayo have in stock. You live in basics like jeans and solid-colored tops, have a collection of ballerina flats that can make any prima ballerina envious, and define "accessorizing" as "putting on Grandma's pearls." ANTM on ETC bores you to death—then again, your TV's only on during your Audrey Hepburn movie marathons.
    Fashion Emergency! You consider your black turtleneck-and-capris get-up tasteful and timeless. Some people think it's too safe and boring. You want to stand out at your next soirée, but would rather be a wallflower than be caught dead in last season's trendy threads. What's a girl with a bad case of trend-o-phobia to do?
    Makeover 911: You don't need those ripped jeans or that bondage skirt to look "NOW." All you really need to update your look are a few eye-catching accessories (give those pearls a rest) to add a dose of attitude to your basic pieces. Chandelier earrings, a chunky neckpiece, a man's watch, or a whimsical charm bracelet can turn jeans-and-a-tee from blah to wow! Not into jewelry? Try an embellished belt, a unique bag, or even some colorful sandals—interesting but never tacky!

  2. Gothic Femme
    Your Shopping Philosophy: "Look like you're fronting a screamo band."
    Your Style File: Elle Woods, you're not! The only place you'd wear pink is on your hair to highlight your new mohawk. Black is the only (non)color to paint your wardrobe with. Besides, wearing brights and pastels are only acceptable before you learn how to read. You wear silver, though—on your ears, navel, nose! Pearls and hoops? Nah! Chains, leather, and spikes are more your thing.
    Fashion Emergency! Bet Lola's getting on your case about wearing all that black to church, and Mom's stocking up on alcohol and Betadine in case you develop infections from all the extra holes punched onto your body. Now Ate's very dressy debut is coming up, and "Project: Exorcism" is threatening to begin. This version's Linda Blair: YOU.
    Makeover 911: While your everyday loose black shirt and trousers work for you when you have your jam sessions with the band, some occasions will inevitably call for a little womanly polish. Ditch the Addams Family-inspired get-ups temporarily, and allow your (very) pierced ears some room to breathe with just one stud on each. Okay, so you're not comfortable in bright yellows and sweet lilacs. Hit a compromise with the essential little black dress, but pin a pretty heirloom brooch for accent. Don't think you can pull off being girly? Try acting like a lady, and believe you have the "poised" gene within—just like the rest of the female population. Then watch the grace follow naturally.

  3. Trendy Lady
    Your Shopping Philosophy: "If it's so last season, it's so not me!"
    Your Style File: When peasant blouses were all the rage, your closet resembled a scene right out of The Little House on the Prairie. When minis hit the racks at TopShop, you did 50 extra lunges everyday to fit into one. There are countless pairs of platforms from the Spice Girls era sitting in your shoe closet—but you stopped wearing them when pointy mules suddenly became the "in" thing.
    Fashion Emergency! Two words: Fashion Victim. Bad clothes happen to good people all the time. You may love the attention you get from people as they gasp at your new threads. But the real question is, are they amazed at how you wear your clothes, or are they just noticing that your clothes are starting to wear you?
    Makeover 911: Embracing change is not a bad thing, unless you consider your wardrobe the perfect testimonial to it. Adopting trends is a good way of defining your style, but allowing them to take over your good taste can have the fashion police chasing after you! Don't be a trend sponge. Choose pieces that work well with your body type, your budget, and the items you already have in your wardrobe. Don't do a trend overkill by donning only your most current finds from head to toe! Why don't you try that kimono top with your trusty old dark denims to inject some Oriental flavor into your look?

  4. Designer Girl
    Your Shopping Philosophy: "Good quality always costs more than a thousand bucks."
    Your Style File: Your typical "uniform:" Balmain blazer, Alexander Wang top, 7 for Mankind jeans, Prada slip-ons, Balenciaga purse, and a Technomarine watch. Your outfits are characterized by the huge logos your pieces scream, and you have absolutely nothing in your walk-in from bazaars, thrift shops, or the lowly tiangge! Your last purchase was a Louis Vuitton Stephen Sprouse Neverfull you begged Dad for, and your ultimate fashion dream is to own your own Hermés Kelly someday (or maybe inherit Mom's!).
    Fashion Emergency! Admit it. Your heart breaks a little when you realize the amount you spent for your Gucci sunglasses equals the food budget of an entire barangay. Your clothing style really isn't the issue here; your spending habits are. Give your wallet (and Dad's Visa) a break-your frequent Greenbelt 4 store raids are bound to be draining its contents faster than your allowance can afford.
    Makeover 911: High-end labels, without a doubt, guarantee excellent quality and workmanship with every piece. Realize though, that there is life after Italian fashion houses—you'd be surprised at the great finds waiting to be unearthed at a local department store or even at an ukay-ukay! Think about it: Is it really worth being on the waiting list for a P10,000 shirt when you can find its less pricey clone at Shopwise? Remember that fashion can be bought, but style never comes with a price tag—however exorbitant it may be.

  5. Sexy Sistah
    Your Shopping Philosophy: "Will Lady GaGa wear this?"
    Your Style File: Your closet is particularly roomy—not because you don't own too many clothes, but because the ones you do own are so tiny they don't take up much space. You honestly think your kuya's eyes temporarily popping out of their sockets is the best compliment, even if he practically prays over you before you step out of the house in your backless halter and a pair of shorts that's almost as small as your undies! Your boyfriend has been an extraordinary gentleman lately, offering his jacket every time you go out on a date. Is it him, or is it the bandeau that shows more of you than it should?
    Fashion Emergency! Remember the time that guy chased you down for an autograph because he was convinced you were a cover girl for a men's magazine? ‘Nuff said.
    Makeover 911: Know what's sexier than showing skin? Mystery, that's what! When it comes to dressing up, there are times when what you keep hidden matters more than what's out there for the world to see. Most guys think a soft sweater and snug jeans can be a whole lot sexier than a tube top and a micromini. But if you must bare a little, do it in good taste. Proud of your arms? Flaunt them in a tank top, but throw on some wide-leg trousers. Got long legs? Go ahead and pull on a short skirt, but pair it with a classic short-sleeved tennis polo to balance things out.
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Lora Gahol
Contributing Writer
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