A Hawaii Style Blog

Category: Shopping

Native Threads & Woven Arts

Ever since I came back from a trip to the Philippines, I have been wanting to find clothing brands that take traditional methods and translate them to wearable everyday clothing for the Modern Filipina. 

I have been following Ant Hill Fabric for several months now. I love the fact that they are community based and sustainable organization that support local artisans in the Philippines. I enjoy the way they utilize woven components in their pieces.

In October, I picked up a few pieces from them and I have been loving the opportunity to wear native fabric from artisans from the Philippines.

One of the pieces that I adore from their current collection is this Bughaw blouse that feature the Katarines Stripe weave from Bangeud, Abra. I like how each piece is from upcycled materials, support local weavers, it supports slow fashion as well as shares and gives value to Philippine indigenous arts. As an Filipino Academic and a fashion enthusiast, knowing that Filipino Indigenous Fashion is finding a niche in our world is amazing.

I paired the top with a pair of dark denim jeans and my Rothy’s flats and a pair of Narra wood hoop earrings. For the most part this outfit is utilizing sustainable and slow fashion brands. I will be sharing more of the pieces I bought from Ant Hill and other Filipino clothing lines in the upcoming months. Thanks again for reading.

XOXO,

Elle

.:Outfit:.
SHIRT ant hill fabric
JEANS gap
SHOES rothy’s
EARRINGS bevel hawaii hoop earring in narra (narra wood is national wood of the Philippines)

My Shoe Essentials: 9 Must Have Pairs

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1. Black Pair of Pumps

The shoe that goes with anything and everything even a pair of joggers and a simple tee. This shoe does it all except rack up mileage at the gym or run marathons. It is perfect for just about every outfit you can think off and its a must have for every girl’s closet. A perfect pair should last you years made with leather which mold to your feet. Always invest in a good pair of black pumps. They go with everything.

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2. Ballet Flats

For all the days, heels just do not cut it. It is your feet’s life saver. Ballet flats are another pair you just cannot live without.  It’s your all around, go anywhere shoe. If you get the right pair, they will walk miles with you. My personal favorites are Tieks and Rothy’s.

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3. Flat Sandals

This pair is a must when your toes need some time in the sun and ballet flats are too constricting. They are perfect compliment to a pair of shorts, a summer dress, or a skirt. I personally like gladiator sandals but there are other styles out there that might be best suited for your feet.

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4. Wedge Sandals

A little bit of height goes a long way. This pair will support you without stressing your arches. For the days when stilettoes are no fun, wedges are a great alternative. They come in dressier and more casual pairs.

5. Strappy Heels

Definitely dressy and versatile. They are a great pair for time when you want to show off your toes. I usually go with a neutral pair that you can use use for any outfit in the summer and the spring and if you are lucky even in the fall if you live in warmer weather like me.

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6. Sneakers

Whether it is walking around town, running errands or running a marathon to cross off your bucket list. This is a must for any wardrobe. They are versatile and utilitarian and great for packing in your suitcase for your travel adventures. Depending on your lifestyle, choose one that best suits you. I usually purchase running shoes or cross trainers.

7. Flip Flops

Whether its for lounging around at the pool or taking in some sun at the beach or in your backyard. Flip flops are a must have pair to slip in and slip out of. Living near beaches, I have a pair in the car. My personal favorite are from Reef’s, they are long lasting and comfortable.

8. Rain Boots

They do not just prevent the rain from tickling your toes, they can slush around in the snow if needed as long as you have thick socks.

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9. Boots

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Leather, all weather, high or low, boots are a must for fall and the winter. Depending on how much time you spend outside and the kind of weather you live in. The ones I own are purely for fashionable uses and for when I travel. I personally like Dr. Marten’s, I have a few pairs. They last long, they are stitched well and they are made of leather that olds to your legs and feet.

These are my must have pairs of shoes, what pairs made your list? Take care and thanks for reading.

XOXO,

Elle

Easy Days

Last post I said that I am celebrating where I am to keep it real with you. February has been a productive month for me. Reading and writing a lot for graduate school and taking the time to get healthy again.

In the beginning of my blog and up until my long blog hiatus, I use to put a lot of thought in the clothes that I put up on my blog. I love to dress up but in all honesty, dressing up everyday does not always work for Hawaii weather. It’s warm here and while more famous bloggers in Hawaii wear surfer clothing, wear bathing suits and summer dresses. That is simply not my style. On days when I am out and about to read, write and study, my favorite outfit is a denim bottom and a soft cotton top and a tote in hand to carry my books. In Hawaii, flip flops seem to go with everything. Jo Koy said it best that Hawaii people love to wear flip flops or slippers.

To be honest, on a daily basis being comfortable is important in our weather. Like in a previous post, we have our own perspective, it does not necessarily fit the perspective of the rest of the world but it is ours. Who ever said that Fashion has rules anyway. Fashion is what you make of it, how you create outfits with what you have and how you carry yourself. You’re style is your style, no one else’s.

What is favorite outfit? Thanks again for reading.

XOXO,

Michelle

The Relevance of a Pacific Fashion Perspective

It’s been 8 months since my last blog. The truth of the matter is, there is less and less time put into doing fashion related things than I use to. Life changes, fashion changes, some twists here and some turns there. I am not gonna make promises. I have been in a long and winding hiatus from one of my first love so that I can forge forward with another love of mine, my culture and academia.

I use to shop but a few years ago, I decided to purge my closet and shop less. While I am nowhere near being a minimalist or knowing how to completely be a conscious shopper, I have decided to make more conscious choices about clothes in general.

I shop seldomly at fast fashion oriented shops and I support local designers in my area partly because I grew up with a mother and aunt who use to work for the fashion industry of Hawaii. The fashion industry of Hawaii, who at some point experienced the drawbacks of production because of globalization and cheap labor abroad.

A few years ago, I found that the fashion industry here started to pick up again after blogging for a few years. While the resurgence of the industry is slow, it is happening and our fashion perspective is valuable although we live in a small place in the middle of the Pacific rim. The perfect place for the fusion of styles but also the perfect place to celebrate resort wear all year round. We do not experience the seasons like the continents to our west and east but our clothing is a reflection of our way of life. We do not need to be New York, Los Angeles, Paris, London or Tokyo to be relevant. We are relevant because we EXIST.

So in celebration of the all the local brands that I love and support. Here is my list of my favorite Hawaii clothing brands that I love shopping and wearing. Peruse them, enjoy their perspective, and know that even in the small islands of the Pacific, our fashion perspective is relevant.

Dress: Ten Tomorrow
Shoes: Swedish Hasbeens
Photo Credit: Angela Matian

Ten Tomorrow Modern Take on classics with a Twist. I love her asymmetric hemlines, pleats and tuxedo inspired details.

Alison Izu Basics amplified with unexpected details of pleats and color blocking. I love the ease and comfort of pairing these basics with a pair of jeans or a dressier skirt.

Rumi Murukami Asian inspired silhoettes, fabric texture and minimalist prints. I love how she integrates cultural perspective in her pieces.

Bevel Hawaii Found, salvaged, sustainable, and modern. I love how this woodworder and jewelry artist repurposes different woods into amazing beautiful jewelry.

M33Ms Modern, movable, and transformative. I love her take on modern design sterling silver jewelry with movable parts. I like the concept of interchangeability and structure and this designer creates jewelry that changes with your style and mood.

Fighting Eel & Ava Sky Town and country, from beach to work, from class to a picnic. These sister brands, speak to the lifestyle to people of Hawaii. I love how each piece can be worn anytime of the year at any event.

Keani Jewelry Abstract jewelry with Hawaii nature inspiration. I love how natural concepts are turned into sterling silver creations that are abstract.

Thank You for Reading. Take Care and Let me know what you think.

XOXO,

Elle

Sweaters & Interesting Details

Hawaii is experiencing a cold spell. I really love colder weather here. I get the opportunity to wear sweaters and get bundled up. I completely adore sweaters with unexpected details; bow prints, polka dots, stripes or distressed details.

I have been watching a show on Netflix called Meteor Garden. I’m completely inspired by the fashion of the characters and all the different sweaters they use. I love all the different details from hooks, to distressing, to patterns, and interesting color combinations.

I have had this sweater in my collection for a while I love its distressed and unraveled sides, the soft yarn used, and the slouchy look. I paired it with dressy jogger pants and an asymmetric shirt.

What kind of details you like on your sweaters?

Thanks again for reading.

XOXO,

Michelle

P.S. My hair was braided by Tiffany from TBraids808Hawaii. Thank you for making my hair for amazing.

SWEATER forever21 (old)
T SHIRT all saints
PANTS uniqlo
SANDALS isabel marant “jeyka”
HAIR tbraids808hawaii

2019 Designer Shoe Wish List

2019 WishLIst

Hello Everyone,

It’s that time of the year again and I wanted to share with you my 2019 Designer shoe wishlist.  This year’s list is a lot smaller and shorter than in the past years and the reason for this is that I’ve decided to taper down my designer shoe shopping this year.

I am currently obsessed with Valentino Rockstud shoes. I like its elegant rock and roll vibe and the sparkle that they have when you walk it them. I’ve tried a few of the different versions of the Rockstuds and currently own two, the ballet flats and the strappy high heeled sandals.  Three pairs of Rockstud shoes are on my wishlist this year and I hope to find them for reasonable prices during mid-year and end of year sales. The three pairs that made the wishlist are the Strappy Rockstud Flats, the Rockstud Strappy Kitten Heel pumps and the Rockstud Pump.

Another shoes that have caught my eye is the Gianvito Rossi Plexi Pumps which have been receiving great reviews by many Youtubers and bloggers. I like the simplicity of this shoe and the illusion of a barely there look.

The last pair of shoes that’s on my wish list is the Alexandre Birman Clarita Sandals which are simple and classic with a bit of whimsy. I like the tie ankle look.

I’ll be on the look out for these pairs of shoes for much more reasonable prices in neutrals or red. I think they will fit my wardrobe perfectly. What is on your shoe wishlist for 2019? Let me know what you think.

XOXO,

Michelle

Cool, Light, & Throwbacks

I am a child of the 80’s. A kid who grew up latchkey and dreaming.  I grew up on PBS educational shows, afternoon cartoons, fruits and butter sugar sandwiches.

I looked forward to Jem and the Holograms. The music made me want to sing, the fashion made me want to draw. I finally saw the updated Hollywood take on a childhood favorite. I was disappointed because it was not what I was accustomed to but I get it. My version of Jem was full of adventure, fashion, and it was not so much the fame that made me interested, it was her character, her true self, and most of all, the shows talked about charity, family, and belief is self. The movie had all of that but I was taken a back by the update.  The movie needed more time, more character development and to stay true to its 80’s roots. For me,  Jem was epic, it was a story that allowed dreams to flourish— colored hair, fashion, and changing the world. That was Jem, for my childhood self, she was inspiring.

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Speaking of fashion, I have been shopping my closet and building my basics capsule. I found this light knit sweater dress from my closet clean out last week and thought that it was perfect to pair with an open front light summer cardigan.  I like knit dresses for easy dressy mornings.

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I paired it with some espadrilles I picked up years ago from Diesel. I love how the raffia is brought all the way to the ankle of the sandal. It’s a great mix of leather and raffia. I added a pop of color with some gradient tassle earrings which I’m currently obssessing over.

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Thanks again for reading.

XOXO,

Elle

.:Outfit:.
DRESS forever21 (old)
CARDIGAN  old navy
SANDALS diesel (old)
EARRINGS forever 21

 

Modern Peasant

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Hello again! Two outfits posts so far this week. I feel like I’m on a roll.  I attended an event at the Honolulu Convention Center and I  wanted to look put together but still be cool and effortless.

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The first time I saw this skirt from the JW Anderson x Uniqlo, I was in love with the asymmetric hemline. It’s indicative of his modern take on menswear mets women’s wear. I honestly am in love with the skirts from this collection.  This skirt reminds me of a modern take on a peasant skirt; the patchwork details in the front and back  and the A-line structured cut. I love that its light and airy and breathes in the warm weather we have been having. I decided to pair it with a cami for an simple and clean look.  I decided to wear neutral shoes so the skirt can be the focal point of the whole outfit.

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XOXO,

Michelle

.:Outfit:.
SHIRT uniqlo
SKIRT  jw anderson x uniqlo
SANDALS jimmy choos
RINGs pearl & silver rings made by me

Shoe Review: Rothy’s Round Toe Flats

Hi Everyone,

I have not done a review in a long time. I wanted to do one on a shoe that I heard about last year through different social media avenues. I’ve seen it on Instagram and  Youtube and after much deliberation, I decided to purchase a pair. I have heard so many good things about these shoes that I was curious about them.  I also liked that fact that it takes old plastic bottles and up-cycles them into cute flats what’s not to love about saving the environment with cute shoes.

While shopping for my first pair, I perused the website. They had two styles and really cute fabric patterns. I like the selection of prints most of which are classics like leopard, geometric shapes and camouflage. Unfortunately, not all patterns are not available for extended sizes. Being a size 4 1/2 to 5 depending on the shoe, I was curious about the fit. The safest choice was  the round toe flats as opposed to the pointed toe flats which are always weird for me if the shoes are not true to size. I felt  the round toe flats would fit better for my small feet. I decided to choose a patterned fabric rather than a solid color flat since I already have several pairs of solid flats.

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Details about the shoe:

Packaging: When it first arrived it came in a recycled cardboard box with a  blue ribbon pull for opening.  The flat was stuffed with tissue paper and a plastic shoe hanger. I felt that this was contradictory to the rest of the packaging as the company prides itself in saving the environment one plastic bottle as a time. The plastic shoes hanger did not seem to fit their company model. I was hoping for a biodegradable shoe hanger. The company encourages people to reuse the box for something else. I used it for my shoe polishing items. Still the plastic shoe hanger bothered me.  The box contained cards informing of shoe care and other information.

There is an easy return policy  which is 30 days for unworn shoes. I did not have that benefit as I tried the shoes on for a day at work.

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Fit: TTS. I’m a size 4.5 and the size 5 fit me well but because my feet are a half a size shorter the shoe rubbed against my ankle for the most the day when I wore it the first time. While, the shoe did not blister my ankles, my ankles were irritated and red at the end of the day. For the most part, the fabric of the shoe was comfortable but the stiffer fabric at the heel irritated me. If you are in between sizes, I would recommend to size down for a snug fit or size up and use a Shoe Sizer to fill the difference. I used the later option after taking a break from wearing the shoes for about two weeks.  I was convinced to try and make it work for me. (I will talk about shoe sizers later if you are interested let me know in the comments below or in a message.)   I used Shoe Sizers half a size filler in the front of the shoe. After this quick fix, I wore the shoe out more a few more times and  the sizer helped a lot with the heel rubbing. After that the shoe was a lot more comfortable.

Quality: The pair of shoes is of high quality woven knit plastic thread.  The woven upper is soft and stretchy and does not cut into your skin or create blistering. It stretches and moved with your feet which makes it comfortable.  The insole is soft and cushioned, washable and replaceable. After several uses, the insole will start to pill. Replacements for these are about $30. The outsole of the shoe is made of textured rubber. The shoe upper is sewn into the rubber sole for a stronger bond rather than glue so you do not need to worry about the sole and the upper splitting. The sole is flexible so the shoe fits like a glove and moved with you when you walk.

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Comfort:  After a six months of owning a pair of Rothy’s, it’s become part of my work shoe rotation. With the minor addition of a shoe sizer which made wearing the shoe a lot more comfortable. The cloth is very comfortable and the shoe is best if your feet are true to size. I believe a snug  fit makes the shoe more comfortable.

Price: $125.00-$145 is moderately expensive. The brand prides itself in being made with quality. You can use a coupon code for $20 off. I searched the internet for a coupon code. You can use this code if you plan on getting one.

Click Here to use My Rothy’s Code

I used someones to get $20 off the full price.  This is an investment shoe, it is comfortable for people who have feet that are whole sizes. If you’re a half size. I highly recommend using Shoe Sizers.

Is it a Shoe for Everyday?

For myself, currently, yes!  I do not foresee them making shoes smaller than a 5 or making half sized shoes.  Recently, they launched the loafer style and a few more colors and patterns in the extended sizes which was exciting.

I will purchase this shoe again in another color or style. Personally, I am looking at purchasing the pointed flat and the loafer. The pair I got is  staple in my work wardrobe that I reach for it on rainy days when I do not have to worry about getting water on my shoes.  I’m really like the fact that I can give it a quick wash in the washing machine if it gets dirty. Additionally, I foresee me packing for travel.  Rothy’s got something here with their shoes. I foresee the brand creating more options for women and even making a men’s line in the future.

I hope this helps you decide if this is the shoe for you. If you are deciding to purchase this for yourself or give it to someone it’s great gift to give yourself or someone who loves style and comfortable shoes.

Take care and happy shoe shopping.

XOXO,

Elle

 

 

** This is not a sponsored post. This post is my personal experience and opinion on Rothy’s shoes.

Simplifying

 

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It’s June of 2018 and I have not posted on my blog for about half a year. Before that it seemed that I gave up posting outfits entirely.  My Instagram is a little bit more active but still very sporadic.

How does one explain changes in life and perspective? I have always loved fashion and loved the ability to put together outfits. It’s been two years since I really started to look into capsule wardrobes. I’m not new to them. I used capsule wardrobes a lot when I traveled in the past but honestly, I have been feeling  drawn to the idea of a much simpler wardrobe. The question is: Where do I begin? I love the pieces I purchase and I loved color, textures and prints. How does one create a capsule that really fits their personality? These are the questions that I have been reflecting on and perhaps this is the essential starting point.

Besides reflecting on capsule wardrobes, my shopping habits have changed in the past couple of years.  I shopped less and I try to wear what’s in my closet. Budgeting became important with getting married, getting an apartment and going back to school, so it was one of the most essential components of my process. Additionally, I am truly bothered with the idea of consumption and the impacts of fast fashion around the world. I shop less now because of it and I really think about my purchases a lot more than I use to. I believe every little bit counts. For two years, I have taught students in my classroom about the impact of fashion on their environment, on people, and on their lives. I needed to live the example and be the role model when it comes to how I interact with fashion.

It seems like a lot to think about but in all honesty, I have been thinking about these a lot for a very long time. But thinking about something and actually doing something about it are two different things. If I am going to change anything, actions have a far greater impact than just speaking about it.  It’s time to make these actions real.

As a result, my blog is transforming with these goals in mind.

NEW GOALS FOR THIS BLOG:

  1.  Style Diary: This blog has been my style diary. I hope to posts more frequently showing a personal style that reflects me right now.
  2.  Shop less, Style more:  I have always loved styling and putting pieces together. I love the thought process behind my outfits. I hope to share that with you.
  3.  Fashion History and Influence  I have a passion of history and would like to incorporate that into writing this blog.
  4. Environmentally Conscious and Sustainable. I am continually striving to do this.

 

Thanks again for reading.

XOXO,

Michelle

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