If there’s a place where one can score clothes at an extremely affordable price, it’s the thrift store. Simply called ukay-ukay in our country, these stores offer a variety of pre-loved clothes and accessories at unbelievably low prices.
It’s not always, easy, though. Just like how hair can have good days and bad days, going Ukay shopping can only go two ways: successful or terribly miserable.
Enter Jean Dalida, a fashion and lifestyle blogger who goes by the name Skinniest Jean on social media. She lives and breathes thrifty lifestyle, taking her low budget finds from ukay-ukay stores in achieving the most stylish outfits.
Her niche? It’s “sharing the joy of thrifting and helping women of all ages discover their style and look their best without breaking the bank.” She shows exactly that in a now-viral Facebook post.
Elevating thrifty fashion
Called “How I Look in Ukay VS. How I wear Ukay,” the series of pictures feature how she pulls off Ukay finds as looks that seem like they could be worth a thousand pesos or more. In reality, however, the outfits do not cost her much, with some only amounting to PhP 90.
In an online interview with MB Life, the 27-year-old digital content creator shares that she’s always had a passion for fashion, even as a young kid growing up in a third-class family. She has turned to thrift-shopping to fulfill her love for style.
“You know, where there’s a will, there’s a way,” she tells us. “My love for fashion is stronger than anything else growing up, but because I do not have the budget to splurge on clothes with hefty price tags, Ukay became my fashion haven.”
Thrift-shopping has also become her way of getting out of a rut. “[I do it] most especially when I feel that I’m at my worst,” she tells us. “Instead of burying myself in my bed, I’ll go Ukay. It’s like retail therapy, but in Ukay.”
Tips on thrift-shopping
On how to shop like a pro in thrift stores, Dalida suggests that one should never leave a rack unseen and unchecked. “I look for everything,” she says. ” I browse all the pile of clothes because I don’t want to miss out on good finds.”
Good finds, indeed, as years of thrift shopping experience have led her to high-end items that she says she would not even dare touch in the mall, like a vintage Burberry plaid blazer and a Versace high-waist mom jeans. The latter only costs PhP 120.
This, for Dalida, is the ultimate perk in going Ukay. She says one’s style can stand out, too, because of rarely-found pieces.
Ukay stores in Biñan, Laguna are particular favorites for Dalida. Her favorite shop at the moment is Umbria Center. “It’s so spacious and sobrang tago,” she explains. “There were days na I can enjoy Ukay alone. Daig pa VIP shopping.”
She says befriending the shop’s staff also helps in getting first dibs to the most affordable items. “When you’re close friends with the Ukay’s tindero or tindera, they’ll update you through text, especially when they’re on sale,” she shares.
As thrift shopping can be overwhelming due to the volume of items in a store, having look pegs can help a shopper stay focused. Dalida also reiterates the importance of cleaning the ukay clothes before wearing them and adding them to the wardrobe. “A good wash can can get rid of everything from germs, bacteria and odors,” she says.
Ukay is not ‘basura’
As of writing, her insightful Facebook post about the power of styling Ukay finds has already has 77,000 shares, 35,000 comments, and 57,000 reactions.
“Shookt,” Dalida says of the overwhelming online response to the post. “When I finally was able to absorb everything, I felt so happy and inspired pa kasi finally, people are accepting the fact that clothes in Ukay are not what you can always call ‘basura.‘ There’s a fashion gem hiding underneath that pile of used or second-hand clothes.”
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