Purveyors of the Uniq tagged "Staying In with STU" | Seek The Uniq

Purveyors of the Uniq

Dressing Down the Trento

I hope by now, you've grown accustomed to dressing up for the indoors and cherishing it. If you've already started wearing more of your festive pieces, then you have leveled up. Haha! But then again, there is absolutely nothing wrong if you still reach for your sweats or loose tees for comfort.

The question is, can you really wear your fancy clothes even at home? Well, why not! I say, just have fun and find creativity in styling yourself whether for that Zoom meeting or brunch with your family. My fancy choice? The vibrant, one shoulder Trento frock, which I dressed down in four ways for days at home.

Rugged Resort

My version of "resort wear" featuring the colorful Trento dress 

It's still technically summer, so I thought of an easy look to wear if I were by the beach or at a resort. Sun protection is a must so I chose a hat—like the Solano visor—that would serve its purpose while complementing my look. The dress is already a statement in itself so accessorizing with just the visor would do. I finished off with my trusty Birkenstock sandals to break the femininity just a tad bit. 

Good 'ol Birks never fail

Now, where to take this look while we're all anticipating that beach trip? Gardening, reading by the porch, or painting at the terrace, perhaps?

 Pop of Denim

Your white sneakers have been sitting around in your closet for too long. Time to wear them again!

Don't you just miss wearing closed shoes? I know I do! For this look, time to take out those white sneakers that have been hiding in your closet for months. Tie a denim jacket around your waist for an urban feel.

Another wardrobe staple needed for this look: a denim jacket!

Keep the sleeve folded for a more relaxed look. You can also save this for your next movie date or out-of-town trip.

Boho Roots

Care for a feminine yet boho look?

Taking inspiration from Seek the Uniq's roots, I went boho for this getup. I cinched my waist with a braided leather belt and fixed the dress' top part as if it were a blouson. Then, I wore my Lucine leather sandals—one of my fave STU finds that go with almost anything—to complete the look.  

Seek the Lusine leather sandals here

As for accessories, gold hoops or drop metal earrings are best. Choose a hairstyle that would be in theme, like a messy, side braid or loose waves. Heading out for a grocery run or meal take-out? Don't forget your saddle or sling bag!

Pants Out

Won't ever get tired of this combo

Here at STU, we'll always be fans of the dress-over-pants look because this styling hack can easily transform your outfit from chic to modern chic. I chose this cropped, "vintage" STU pair because I love how it highlights the colors of the dress. The Suzano or Limeira pants could also be your alternatives. 

Accessorize your look and treat yourself to a necklace (or two) here

Since the outfit is already color-packed, I went for a neutral pair of mules to balance it out. You can accessorize with a long, chain pendant necklace to keep things minimal.  

Your fancy fashion pieces—like the Trento—deserve to be worn and enjoyed, even while we're still #quarantined. By dressing them down or mixing and matching them with your other clothes, you are actually giving them more mileage. After all: your style, your rules. Just have fun with fashion!

Hang in there, Seekers! Hope we're keeping you inspired.

Cheers,
Nasia

Relaxed Dressing with the Elva Pants

Have you been enjoying dressing up—like you're going out—lately? I hope so! While I do recommend experimenting with your clothing pieces even at home, it won't hurt to take a breather and go for easy, relaxed dressing too. Mind you, outfits under this category need not be shabby and ho-hum; you can still look put together. 

The striped Elva cropped pants are a great alternative to your go-to casuals such as denim shorts, sweats, and leggings. They come in a roomy silhouette and are cut from lightweight cotton, which makes for comfort and ease of movement. Not only are they perfect for the (extreme) summer weather, but also for serving relaxed, snazzy lewks. Ahead, four ways on how to style the Elva at home.

Tomboy Chic

Eyes on the Elva pants

Time to borrow from the boys! Steal your dad/husband/brother/boyfriend's printed button-down, or pick something similar—Hawaiian shirts could work well too!—that you already own for copping a dandy look. Roll up the sleeves to mimic a muscle shirt, then finish off by knotting the front part. Feel like popping up your collar? Go ahead!

Finish off this look with a knotted shirt

Choose a warm hued top to complement the red stripes on the pants. Also, fold the pants' waistband to keep the focus on your shirt's knotted detail.

Basics on Reverse

Black tops for the win

My favorite part about these pants? They have such a unique shape that you can style whichever way you want to. For this look, I wore them higher to create a paper bag waist detail and paired them with the Malango bodysuit. I wore the latter backwards for a sleeker, more sophisticated ensemble, perfect for wine night with the girlfriends over Zoom.

Wearing the Malango bodysuit on reverse

When in doubt, go back to your basics and find a way to wear them differently. I chose black because one can never go wrong with it and for sure, we all have a ton of black pieces in our closets. Am I right or am I right? Haha!

Print Party

Utilizing separates with the Cosenza 

I love a good print on print, and werking it on the Elva is one way of applying this fun styling hack. The more prints, the merrier! Why? Because the stripes will actually give off the illusion of toning down your top's print (in this case, the lemons). Because of the pants' lengthening properties, this print on print look would suit most body types, especially pear shaped ladies. 

Are you up for a print on print lewk?

I wore the top from the Cosenza set that features a soft, cowl neckline for subtle femininity. This outfit is also about playing with textures and shapes, which is definitely far from boring. Make this your next date night look at home!  

Modern Minimalist

Restyling the crisp, white button-down shirt

Inspired by a modern minimalist look, I decided to use another versatile piece from my closet: a crisp, white button-down shirt. To make it more comfortable to wear against the warm weather, I converted it into a one-shoulder top. I wore it backwards asymmetrically, secured it by buttoning it up, and tying the unworn sleeve across my back. Don't worry, this doesn't need to look perfect.

What (home) activity would you wear this to? 

Fold one side and scrunch it up to create a three-quarter sleeve look. Put your hair up or style it on one side to balance off this textured garb. If loose on loose is your thing like me, try this semi all-white ensemble!

Definitely feeling relaxed in the Elva pants

Ah, the joys of dressing for indoors! There are no rules and you can be as relaxed as possible without sacrificing style, of course. Wearing easy, unique pieces like the Elva is just one way of getting creative with your outfits.

Hope this helps in planning out your looks for the coming days!  

Cheers to dressing up,
Nasia

Styling My Fave STU Pieces on My Mom (at Home)

In commemoration of Mother's Day, I share with you photos from this hot (literally!) and fun afternoon of playing dress up with my Mom in STU pieces, no less. My Mommy Nona is a fashionista herself so she was happily game (mind you, she's not camera-shy! Haha!) to don casual yet comfy looks at home. Like you, I have a ton of favorites from the brand but I chose pieces that would not only fit her well, but also suit her style!

Meet my model, my dearest Mom!

 

Sporty Casual for Outdoors (But Not Really) in the Breastee

Cooling down in the Neon Island x Mikka Padua Breastee 

Who doesn't love a good graphic tee? It goes with most items in our closet and we can easily reach for it on "nothing to wear" days. If you're feeling a bit sporty, wear it with a pair of joggers or even relaxed ankle pants. Pair with easy slip-ons or your go-to sneakers for some walking—or hanging out—in your garage, garden, or driveway. Finish off with a sun visor for sun protection and as a cool accessory too!

Mommy getting her Vitamin D

My mom likes her outfits colorful so working with a neutral palette was a breath of fresh air. I made sure to have her wear some jewelry because on normal days, she doesn't leave the house without piling them on. Haha! On wearing this tee, I usually fold the sleeves but I resisted doing that on my Mom because that's not her jive. What I did though, was tuck in the shirt to highlight her waist and balance off her long torso.

My Mom loves fashion too!

 

Loungewear Take on the Androgyne Kimono Top

Loose silhouettes can work on any frame. It's all about balance!

I love loose, masculine tops so this kimono top from STU's Androgyne collection is undoubtedly a favorite. With the summer heat getting intense by the day, I'd rather go for breezy clothes than fitted ones—that was the premise for this look. To create a loungewear-inspired outfit, don't be afraid to go for a loose on loose silhouette. It's key for comfort in this chic yet practical look to, well, lounge around the house, do some gardening, or work on your laptop.

Check out STU's Androgyne collection here  

To inject some color and bring out its mixed prints, I chose a maroon pair of wide-leg pants to go with the kimono top. My mom is petite so in order not to "drown" her frame, I made her wear tan weave wedges for added height. To give it a wanderlust edge, I added the Safari Buri Fedora and minimal jewelry.  

Is it just me or are all mothers green thumbs? 

 

Safari Style in the Varkaus Dress

The queen of the house in a Varkaus dress from one of STU's previous collections

I recently watched Mogambo, a 1953 classic film featuring Hollywood icons, Clark Gable, Ava Gardner, and Grace Kelly. I was so inspired by their safari ensembles that it became my peg for this look. The Varkaus in linen served as the perfect dress for styling my Mom à la Linda Nordley (Grace Kelly). I also love this dress for its timelessness and versatility—you can pare it down with sneakers, or jazz it up with boots and a thick belt!

Who styled our home? My Mom, of course!

This getup could work for date nights at home, wine session with your girlfriends over Zoom or, (for moms) as your Mother's Day lewk! To accessorize, I tied a printed scarf around my Mom's neck, and finished off her look with leather slides. I sticked to a neutral palette to keep up with the safari vibe, where distracting colors are a no-no. I agreed to have her hair up to keep things neat and show a bit of her neck. 

I did not ask her to pose like that. That's all her!

No one said your house clothes need to look shabby or boring. Wear your fave clothing pieces (better if they're from STU! *wink wink*) and shake things up to still look stylish while indoors. While you're at it, why not style your mom or a family member as a fun activity? It's a great way of bonding and also an opportunity for editing your closets!

Happy Mother's Day to my Mom, your mom, and all the moms out there! We are lost without you. Thank you for everything that you do for us!

Stay inspired and stay safe!

Cheers,
Nasia

P.S. Treat your Mom on her special day! Seek STU's Mother's Day Edit here.

How to Create Your WFH Space

I learned as a child that your environment highly affects your mood and the way you think. I did not take it seriously until I realized how not only my cluttered bed—I had books, my school bag, and some other knick-knacks by the edge—made me sleep uncomfortably, but also triggered stress. That was also the turning point of avoiding my bed as a study (now, work) area, as much as possible. 

By now, most of us—if not all—have already settled into our work spaces at home. Whether existing, revamped, or new, this is where we get our creative juices flowing—mine is an existing one with a few tweaks. While I may not be an interior expert, I've found ways to create a conducive area that works for me. Maybe these tips could help you too?

Find Your Spot

Look for an area in your home where lighting is good, you'll feel comfy, and there are no distractions. I CANNOT write when it's noisy or there's music, so I have to be isolated in a room—isolated in isolation, what are the odds? Haha! Whether indoors or outside (veranda, backyard, balcony, etc.), make sure to choose a spot that will improve your work flow. Choose well, because we have two more weeks in Quarantine!

Have a Desk

I cannot stress how important it is to have a desk for your work space. This will train your mind that you are "off to work" even in the confines of your own home. Choosing a comfy, well leveled chair to go with it also helps. No beds, please!

Tidy Up

My desk is small so I make sure I only see what I will use. I keep my planner, pens, power bank, laptop charger, stapler, etc. in my drawer and take them out only when needed. This helps in keeping my area clutter-free. Make sure to also wipe your desk (and basics) with a cloth and disinfectant spray, at least once a week.

Decorate Your Space 

Your space should most definitely reflect your personality. Display things that mean the most to you or inspire you—they could be anything from art pieces and photos, to succulents and mementos. I wanted to display my fashion work and something from my childhood, so I framed a photo from one of the editorials I styled, and practice sketches from high school. I also put a desk calendar (from my friend), because who doesn't want to see what date it is already? Haha! Also, it reminds me of my faith.

On the other corner, I have dried flowers—they're actually part of the bouquet I got from my engagement—in a small vase, candles; and a crucifix and medallion for protection and prayer time. I matched the color of the vase with the frames to tie everything together—I went for a black and white theme with pops of color. I also think a coaster is a must, especially when you're drinking (iced coffee for me!) while working. So lucky to have found this gem on a trip to Taiwan last year—skulls are my fave!

Get creative and make your space not only lovely to look at, but also styled in a way that's very you. But then again, remember to keep it tidy and clutter-free. 

Have Wellness Essentials on Hand

Aside from the aforementioned iced coffee, I always make sure to have my water tumbler with me. Let's face it, when we get so into our deadlines and tasks, we forget to drink water! Keeping ourselves hydrated is key to our well-being, especially now that it's summer. So yes, always have water with you on your desk!

Essential oils aren't called such for nothing. Having them within reach are good for unexpected headaches and that extra boost. I also have a hand cream ready, what with all the hand washing—not to mention the house chores, too—we do nowadays! Haha. Let's keep our hands always clean and moisturized, shall we?

Having our own WFH space not only motivates us to do our tasks, but also allows us to look forward to better days back in our offices, studios, etc. By building your ideal work environment, you are embracing productivity, creativity, and assignments finished in no time.

Enjoy creating your personal WFH space and thank you for #StayingInWithSTU.

Stay safe and stay inspired,
Nasia

Books Worth Seeking: To Inspire While Staying In

Given the times that we are in, sometimes it's best to just go on a literary escape and seek inspiration. I'm already on my third book and it feels odd because pre-ECQ, I'm usually scrambling for time just to finish whatever I'm reading given my erratic schedule. While I'm usually drawn to reading fashion books, I still give fiction, classics, memoirs, self-help ones, etc. some leeway. It really is tough to play favorites, but let me share with you four of my picks that you can enjoy reading while at home. 

The New Garconne: How to Be a Modern Gentlewoman by Navaz Batliwalla

Prone to dry lips this summer? No worries! Have the Lucas Papaw Ointment by your bedside table and apply, as you get lost in your book. Don't forget to hydrate too!

Just by reading the book's title, I can already relate to it; and this is the reason why I bought it. You see, I am not your typical girly-girl and this goes beyond my fashion choices. Written by London-based Fashion Editor, Navaz Batliwalla, this book features interviews of modern, independent women traversing through life and their careers—in style. Take a peek inside their apartments/studios/offices, know about their greatest influences, and learn a thing or two on how they achieved success. No two women are alike, but they all share “the duality of old meets new, luxury meets utility, masculine meets feminine” in their personal styles. 

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Light a scented candle as you build a calm, relaxing environment while you read. Seek our candles here

Who hasn't fallen in love with this classic? I believe this book addresses love without you having to cringe on cheesiness. Set in the early 19th century, this book by Jane Austen is a novel of manners on how marriage, decorum, wealth, and social status were depicted in English society. The story highlights the relevance of marrying for love and not for wealth or social status, in spite of the pressures during that time. I am smitten by the novel's female protagonist, Elizabeth Bennet—a clever, strong-willed young woman who goes against the grain regardless of what society expects her to be. She meets Mr. Darcy, her love interest, wherein judgment gets the best of her. 

Love Style Life by Garance Doré

Protect your specs—when you keep them after hours of reading—with a fun, printed pouch like the Kadi. Apply your chosen oil/s to further de-stress! 

I think I've read this thrice or four times already! I just love how the author, Garance Doré, speaks to me in ways that make me reflect on my own experiences, dreams, and finding my personal style. Aside from sharing her life story, she also features inspiring women who have influenced her as an artist. Her candid approach on narrating her journey is mixed with her chic illustrations and distinct photography. Sorry, but this book will make you miss traveling too! 

Influence by Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen 

Why not setup a diffuser for a more inviting ambience as you read? Seek room fragrances here

This book is special not only because it was written by my childhood idols, but also it was gifted to me by my sister (she knew how much I loved the Olsens). Since retiring from acting, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have become more private with their personal lives that's why reading this book allows you to get a glimpse of it and well, their influences. Here, they showcase a myriad of never-before-seen photos of beautiful people, places, fashion, events, and their most treasured pieces; accompanied by interviews of the world's most celebrated tastemakers including Karl Lagerfeld and John Galliano, among others. Crossing my fingers that they release another book in the near future!

I know that you just can't go out and buy a book, but in case you have any of these already and had time hold you back from perusing it, now is the opportunity to actually read and get carried away by it. On the other hand, you can always search for these titles and purchase or download an e-book online at Amazon, Apple Books, Kobo, etc. Hope you'll love these books as much as I do!

Stay safe and happy reading!

Off to finishing my book,
Nasia

Easy Cold Brew Coffee to Enjoy at Home

Man, I can't believe we're already entering the 4th week of ECQ! Anyway, let's keep ourselves entertained or busy, shall we? With that, let me share with you my latest coffee hack: DIY cold brew using a French press. 

Pre-ECQ I was still well-stocked with my own stash of specialty coffee beans. Come third week, my jar of beans was almost empty (a problem for a coffeeholic like me!). Then, an aha moment came and I realized that my dad still had ground coffee from our Baguio trip last January. He only uses it when he wants to brew coffee; otherwise, he's happy with instant coffee. Haha!

Because I want my coffee cold or iced, I thought of trying to make my own cold brew. If I'm not mistaken, my dad bought a Benguet blend in a dark roast, so it's perfect for it. Dark roast beans make a bold flavored cold brew, and we want to go for that! There are other ways to make cold brew, but the easiest (and most accessible) for me was to make it using a French press, which I'm pretty sure most of us have at home.

What I like about cold brew is the smooth, nutty, chocolatey taste you get because of the flavor notes extracted from the beans. Also, it's perfect for those who are acidic because it has less acidity than regular brewed coffee.

What You'll Need

Ground coffee or coffee beans (dark roast)
French press
Measuring cup
Filtered water
Wooden spoon or any spoon
Mason jar (for the concentrate)
Ice cubes
Glass
Milk

Making the Cold Brew Concentrate


Get your ground coffee and put 1 cup in your French press. If you have coffee beans, grind them into a coarse grind. A coarse grind is ideal because you wouldn't want a cloudy or muddy concentrate. 

Next, add 2 cups of water and stir with a spoon until the grounds are thoroughly soaked. I'm using a 1:2 ratio: 1 cup of grounds to 2 cups of water. This is simply because my French press can only hold 2 cups. Haha! You may adjust depending on the size of your French press.

After stirring, air it out for about 2 minutes then cover. Remember to keep the plunger up. Leave it at room temperature for 12-24 hours. Patience is a virtue, and it will be worth the coffee. Promise!

The next day, slowly press the plunger down to separate the coffee grounds. If you have the right grind size, you can skip straining and simply pour the concentrate into your mason jar. What I do though—to be sure—is to strain them using a funnel and good 'ol paper towel while transferring to my jar. 

Tadah! You now have your cold brew concentrate! Chill it in the fridge for about 2 hours before making your iced coffee. If you want to use it right away, that's okay too. Store your concentrate in the fridge and it will last for up to 2 weeks. Now you can have iced coffee anytime!

Making Iced Coffee

Prepare an empty glass with ice cubes, then pour in 1/2 cup of the concentrate. I'm using the last bit from my previously made one that's why I didn't need a measuring cup. Remember, this is pretty strong stuff so you have to dilute it with either water or milk, depending on the drink that you're going for.

I don't like too milky coffee so what I do is dilute it with 1/4 cup water first, then add 1/2 cup milk (I switch between Oatly and almond milk, depending on what's available in the grocery). If you want more milk, you can go for 1 cup for your coffee. If you're going for an iced black, simply add 1 cup of water.

One quality of cold brew is its natural sweetness brought about by the long steeping time, so you can actually skip the sugar or sweetener. However, if you still want it a tad bit sweet, no worries! You can add a teaspoon of maple syrup, or just melt sugar with hot water and mix it in your drink. 

There you have it! You can now satisfy your iced coffee cravings within the comfort of your own home. No need to rely on food deliveries! ;)

Hope you'll enjoy making your own cold brew. Stay safe and hang in there, Seekers!

Cheers to good coffee,
Nasia