Summer is in full swing and I'm sure that if you could leave the house in your swimsuit you would, pretending that you're off to a tropical getaway. Can't really blame you; with skies this clear and blue, all I ever want is to be by the water---beach or pool, I'll take it!
What's the next best thing to not being by the shore? Looking cute while traversing the concrete jungle, of course! We made it easier for you to beat the heat by extending your summer wardrobe beyond the season and into your air-conditioned offices, staple restos and malls, even towards the cooler months.
We took four summer pieces and styled them for the city so you won't have to worry about limiting them to your next holiday and more importantly, maximize the cost per wear. You're welcome!
The Pinyon bow cropped top looks cute on it's own, no doubt.
...but layer it over a striped tee and it becomes a vest of sorts, totally appropriate for the office or a weekend trip to Tagaytay.
Don't be afraid to do stripes x 3! When it's in neutral tones like black and white all over, the red becomes the statement shade. Keep accessories on the neutral side too, to make the total look cohesive.
The Mazatlan off-shoulder dress in eyelet with a neon pink print is practically a summer uniform. It's a no-brainer putting this on in the morning plus it's super flattering on any body type!
We made it cool-clime appropriate by layering a chambray polo shirt underneath to complement the minimal print. Finish off with wedge espadrilles and you're ready to take it to a weekend soiree in your al fresco bar of choice.
We buttoned the shirt all the way to keep it looking neat and polished. Roll up the sleeves up to the elbows so it doesn't overwhelm the whole look.
The Toszek deconstructed halter top is a modern take on the sleeveless button down. While it looks great on it's own, I think it works brilliantly as a layering piece.
The top (here in wine) is a chic alternative to a vest, perfect for the office when worn over a shoulder-baring cotton top and wide-legged pants. Add heeled slides and enter the boardroom like a boss!
You can opt to layer it over a long sleeved tee if this is deemed too casual or wear a print that goes with the rich crimson shade like small florals or paisley.
We all know a jumpsuit is the easiest way to look polished in the heat and this Bozcow linen pair spells summer like no other!
We found a way for you to wear your swimsuit in the city by pairing it with the jumpsuit sans the top! It's way chicer than regular pants and by tying the sleeves around your waist, it's even on-trend!
Top off the look with statement earrings in navy to keep with the color theme.
Enjoy the rest of your summer!
She lends her signature layering skills to the Scarlett one shoulder top and goes the edgy boardroom route, appropriate for work in the creative field.
"What's your vice?", I ask Michelle Lao when she said she didn't drink, after Mikka offered her some chardonnay. At the STU HQ, Happy Hour is a regular event as much as a state of mind, no matter the time of day. She didn't skip a beat and said, "shopping!" It was no surprise; everyday wear for Michelle is always a major effort, albeit pulling it off so effortlessly. It's her innate personal style that trumps over the fashion therefore she wears the clothes and not the other way around. As a consultant for the high end imported brands at Suyen Corp. and co-owner of shoe accessory Fringy, it's a natural progression and both are jobs she takes seriously and tackles with gusto, in the most interesting ensembles you'll only see during fashion week abroad.
We were naturally curious on how she'd style STU's latest goods, putting her own spin on the classic and boho pieces, truly making it her own. There was an informal panel at the shoot and every outfit change was met with a "where would you wear that?" Amused, Michelle gets in on the joke and would say "to the grocery!" or "at the office!"
Any which way, it works splendidly for us.
Michelle is quite the accessory hoarder especially brooches, earrings and bangles.
This very summery and vibrant floral wrap skirt is tempered with a nautical-themed jacket and sporty mesh bandeau, giving it a preppy/athleisure twist. She keeps the look polished with wrap around pumps and an unusual leather clutch.
The Sidi embroidered mini dress is worn as a top, layered over classic stripes and matched with neutral drop crotch pants to anchor the busy upper half.
When doing print on print, it's imperative to keep it in the same color family so it remains cohesive.
Another floral wrap skirt, this time in cool shades of white and blue is kept casual with a cheeky t-shirt and embellished sandals.
Mixing dressy earrings with a tee is super fresh!
The Asuna platform abaca espadrilles from Wataru gets the ladylike treatment, worn with two kinds of gingham in different sizes. The red, white and blue palette makes for a perfect combo with the black platforms.
The Vana sweetheart neckline off shoulder top may be top of mind for more dressy occasions but it works wonderfully for casual days, too. Layered with a simple cotton tank, it's fit for a weekend fiesta out of town, especially this summer.
These are the new edition Fringys featuring a wider width and more...fringe! Follow them in IG @fringyph.
Have a colorful summer, seekers!
A denim button down is the perfect pairing for the vibrant Calasetta maxi skirt if you're more of a casual girl and prefer a picnic date outdoors over fine dining.
For some women, being stylish comes naturally. The saying that you are born with style embedded in your being couldn't ring more true. I've seen it in person and it may not be in the same shape or form for everyone, you'll know it when you see it. From the time I met Rissa Mananquil Trillo over a decade ago, she's had It. In her own words, her style is "a fusion of the clean, timeless, and the unexpected."
Rissa is forever polished, down to the shade of her lipstick and hairstyle but not in a boring, predictable way. Her style is attainable and approachable but it's really in the way she wears the clothes that makes it special. The former model turned beauty brand founder still slays to this day, even after three kids and wearing many hats. "As a mom, wife, columnist, and entrepreneur running Happy Skin, I gravitate towards quality fashion pieces that also multi-task and work as hard as I do. Hardworking yet beautiful clothes are a must. I go for effortless yet interesting pieces I can wear many times and multiple ways. When you have a wardrobe that works well you spend less time choosing and caring for your clothes, and focus instead on more important matters, like family and things you are passionate about."
On her inspiration when dressing up, she credits travel as one of her biggest influences, taking in as much as she can wherever she goes. Her hubby Paolo also pushes her to explore different things, may it be good wine or cultural landmarks to further expand her mind and creativity.
Who is the STU woman for Rissa? "She's a global woman whose style has been influenced by different cultures, but is also deep-rooted in being Filipino. My biggest fashion advice to my girls would be to wear an ensemble that's comfortable enough for the wearer to forget about it but fabulous enough to be remembered by those who see it."
We visited Rissa at home one afternoon to play dress up in various date outfits just in time for Valentine's. Each item she styled from the shop gave us the fashion feels---every look was so on-point and chic! Scroll down and see what she came up with and be inspired to dress however you want to celebrate the day of hearts. xoxo!
Choose a darker denim wash to anchor the equally bright skirt.
Rissa demos print on print action with these zebra slides.
The Sancti one-shoulder top is as versatile as it is unique! You can easily dress it up or down depending on your mood and the occasion.
Rissa pairs the top with leggings and a mesh skirt for an avant garde take. I say wear this on a night of dinner and clubbing after (if that's your jam).
The El Conde playsuit is perfect for a brunch date and she dresses it up with embellished heels and a playful structured bag.
We all fell in love with her Zacarias 1925 bag!
The Androgyne 040 tassled hem pants is given a modern twist with a structured, minimalist top and giraffe print pumps. Wear this for cocktails in your favorite hotel bar.
Playing with proportions paying off in the most amazing way.
We love the drama of this Androgyne 033 Back embroidered silk jacket that's actually super versatile.
Rissa gives it her signature minimalist, structured spin and paired it with light-colored slacks and snakeskin pumps to add contrast. She uses a brightly colored bag as her statement piece. For those who love a good Michelin star resto, this is the outfit to wear.
Surprise detail that got us excited: the glitter heel!
The Chinandega textured jersey maxi is quite the dramatic piece and doesn't need much else but a statement earring and metallic shoes. If you happen to attend a wedding on V-Day, this dress is for you. Entertaining at home? Swap the heels with flat sandals.
A closer look at those danglers that complemented the dress like it was MFEO. That's meant for each other :)
Have a romantic Valentine's, seekers!
The true pursuit of beauty is more than skin deep. A tube of lipstick, a jar of cream, or a bottle of fragrance creates the landscape – but it is YOU that defines it. First and foremost, you need to have a sound mind, body, and spirit.
After almost 4 years of seeking the best beauty finds, I was ecstatic when we launched our Movement Category. This closes the gap for a more holistic approach to beauty. The adage of "feeling good to look good" has never been more true... I found my center through yoga, and it is my wish that you find what works for you too.
Beauty & Wellness Purveyor, Vanessa Santos finds zen in the black mesh Amaya Performance Tank.
The key is balance. Wellness = Beauty.
We’ve sought a selection of mindful pieces that will (hopefully) inspire you to get moving with us…
Love & Madness Body Suits can go from the studio to a sexy night out.
Made from 100% recycled water bottles, Vichara Project Leggings are perfect for the Eco-conscious shopper.
Atsui Perfomance Tanks have built in sports bras, designed for ultimate support and style.
Having the right tools on hand are just as important to help you exercise safely and efficiently:
Sweaty Band Headbands keep your hair in place without pinching.
Avene Thermal Spray soothes blotchy skin and is a quick hydration during a workout.
Take your journey from beyond the studio with our selection of wraps and cover ups:
Hanuman Multi Way Cardigans are billowy soft and flatter any shape. Discover how to wear each style in different ways.
Toss on the Hana Cover Up and off you go.
The Miho Sleeveless Hoodie is perfect for Manila's unpredictable weather.
The Chiyoko Mesh Hoodie is amazingly airy and light as a feather.
For those who are too busy to attend a class, find your center with these mindfulness tools on the go:
Lovetuner Necklaces are hip accessories yes, but they are also meditation tools that bring peace and calm.
Urban Happiness Healing Oils bring instant relief and come in travel size tins to pop into your purse.
If you have never tried yoga or are looking for a new home base, we have special packages from Yoga+ Express Legazpi now up for seeking.
Their head teacher (and one of my gurus) Karen Demot, shares what yoga means to her: “I practice and I feel free from the complexities and drama of life. As I look inwards, I realize how simple it is to be myself. Although it is usually challenging, I remind myself that my actions have ripple effects I may not ever know. So I practice. Peeling away layers to bring out my truest self, living to uplift myself and others.”
Karen finds her flow in Hanuman's Graceful Motion leggings.
Whatever path you choose, making time for health and wellness is the best gift to yourself. May your life be filled with beautiful love and light. Namaste!
Your Purveyor of Beauty & Wellness,
Still undecided on what to wear for this season’s festivities? Well, you’re in for a treat! We put together four fabulous looks using pieces from our recent collections, just for you.
For a Holiday Bash with Your Clique
Choose one of the season’s best colors—like red—and build your look on that. You can try our red ruffled Calabria skirt, which is a fun piece you can party in. Pair it with a neutral top like the Greolieres, which features ties on either sides for a hint of sexiness. Accessorize with the Hopper necklace, Chandigarh Banjara clutch, gold heels, and you’re good to go.
For Christmas Day
This day calls for a celebration, so glam it up with prints and textures! We matched our blue Sanlucar one shoulder top with the Karakorum printed midi for a graphic feast. Ease on the mix of volumes by wearing sleek, nude pumps with this look.
For a Holiday Trip
Spending the holidays in an island far, far away? Pack the Rosalind maillot with you and transform it from swimwear to something you can lounge in. Wear it with the Ifrane linen wrap pants, which is another versatile piece you can play with. Carry a roomy tote like the Balqash Suzani for storing all your trip essentials in. Accessorize and protect your hair with the colorful Azuay scarf, and don’t forget your trusty pair of sunnies!
For the New Year’s Eve Countdown
Welcome 2017 with a unique, party-ready outfit that will make heads turn! Try the Rizo, our fresh spin to the much coveted off-the-shoulder silhouette. Show off those toned gams and wear it with the Timi tie side mini, and finish off your look with our festive Nagpur Banjara clutch. If you feel like your décolletage is too bare, you can always turn to the Hopper necklace to adorn your look.
Take inspiration from these holiday-ready looks and seek the pieces before they disappear! Have fun styling your STU pieces and don’t forget to tag us on Instagram with the hashtags, #seeksoughtfound and #seektheuniq.
CIC Mikka Padua and I at a recent party with friends.
Christmas can be the best of times…and the worst of times. The flurry of parties, eating, shopping, getting glammed up, and one too many cocktails are fun but exhausting.
Here are some ideas to get you back in the game, once the (Christmas) dust has settled:
Prancing around in heels are more painful that we’d care to admit. Soothe those calves with a foot massage and a cooling leg gel. Make this break work double time with a home facial too.
A Netflix marathon plus a good 8-10 hours of sleep is just what the doctor ordered. Dreamland is where your mind and body restores its balance.
Once you’ve regained some strength, its time to get those endorphins flowing. Get off that couch and hit the gym, salute the sun, spin... anything that gets you back on your feet.
Slim & Trim. STAT.
Burn those calories with tried and tested creams. Sorry, these aren’t Christmas miracles of any sort. But combined with some restraint and exercise (see idea number 2), you WILL see faster results.
Nothing will help your recover faster than some salt in your hair and sand in your toes.
If all else fails, retail therapy always works like a charm. After shopping for those you love, its time to treat yourself to some TLC.
December is almost over. Good luck. Godspeed. And let's rock the holidays away!
Your Purveyor of Beauty & Wellness,
Imagine having breakfast here everyday. Heavenly!
My husband and I spent our 1st wedding anniversary in Baguio last week. The place is close to our hearts as we got married there and every trip, we try to take the unfamiliar route gastronomic-wise. Our friend Vicky Tinio of Mama's Table, where we had our reception, suggested we try her friend's bed and breakfast / private dining place Le Coq Bleu. The owner Chantal and her husband Boi prepare homemade French meals in their charming home, complete with a welcoming committee of adorable French poodles and a very friendly Rottweiler! Upon entering their abode, I immediately thought it was a very STU location filled with rustic decor, vintage china, mismatched furniture and an overall cozy ambiance. I could've stayed there for hours drinking wine and listening to the variety of birds singing by the window. We spent a few hours listening to Chantal's stories in between delicious bites of Boi's amazing osso bucco and her signature moussaka, while I secretly daydreamed about the simple life and serenity of residing in such a whimsical place. Suffice to say, we left with our tummies and hearts full, thankful for the afternoon that was. Here are snippets of that lovely day.
Started the meal with a hearty pumpkin soup and vino we brought from home.
Our host Chantal and her very sociable French poodles Juno and Zeus.
Hestia, the Rott wanted in on the action too!
The doggies probably sensed this scrumptious osso bucco!
...and Carlo's moussaka!
Their home was a feast for the senses. Each nook and cranny was filled with lovely trinkets.
The second floor bedroom is part of their B&B, as are the meals. Whatever they eat, they serve to their guests. Just don't ask for bacon with your eggs, the French don't do that. Haha!
Hubby is a happy camper!
We love Le Coq Bleu!
You can find Le Coq Bleu on Airbnb. The house is actually green, not blue! They are also in Waze. Meals are pre-ordered a week in advance so ask for the menu and ponder on what yummy dish to have.
Until my next STU-themed find, chin chin!
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