By REY ROBES ILAGAN
With so many Christmas preparations, from shopping for the perfect gifts to selecting which dishes to serve during Noche Buena, it’s easy to forget how you’ll be dressing up for occasions ahead. To some, truth be told, fashion choices are the last thing on the Christmas to-do list.
If you’re still at a loss on how to dress up for the yuletide season, don’t fret. The Philippine Panorama chats with five industry experts: fashion designer Jot Losa, creative director Chookie Cruz, and celebrity stylists Myrrh Lao To, Sidney Yap, and Melville Sy, on the best holiday styles to wear, sustainable shopping tips, and even how to celebrate the spirit of Christmas with Filipino wear.
This holiday season, what are your wardrobe staple pieces?
Jot: For this holiday season, I’m doing a lot of sparkles, from metallics to sequined fabrics.
Melville: I like to add a little bit of sparkle and shine. I also want to inject more festive colors, or work in rich fabrics like velvet.
Myrrh: Brights, sequins and glitter, big and bold accessories, and metallic footwear!
Sidney: Holiday dressing is festive, fun, and frivolous. Bring out the sparkle, bold colors, feathers, and jewel tones!
Chookie: Level up a white button-down dress shirt to a tuxedo shirt. It instantly gives details that look like you’re headed to somewhere important. For more casual outings, bring out lightweight pullovers in rich colors and change my sneakers to lace-ups.
What fashion trends work well for the festive season?
Jot: Three of the fall/winter trends that work well for this season would be silk in neon hues, feathers everywhere and anywhere, and the glimmering hue of gold.
Melville: Bright happy colors such as hot pink and orange are fun for the holidays. Metallic is also another trend that is festive. For cuts, accented shoulders are perfect for Christmas parties.
Myrrh: Bright, bright red in various materials like leather, knitwear, and plastic are in. Power shoulders of the ’80s in metallic, and sequined slip-on dresses from the ’90s, are all big this year. I think these trends really work well for the holidays.
Sidney: Sequins and metallics are holiday staples. Feathers, velvet and jewel tones, play on volume (whether a full skirt, poet sleeves, or an oversized jacket), pastel color blocks, and oversized tailoring are my picks. Men can experiment more with colors, whether brights or pastels. Soft tailoring is also the new silhouette, where it’s cut not-too-close to the body.
Chookie: I’d say corduroy trousers, camel coats, and leather tote bags.
How does one dress sustainably this Christmas season?
Jot: People who want to be more sustainable should invest in quality clothes and make them last as long as possible by learning to repair or rework them.
Melville: You don’t need to shop for a full wardrobe every Christmas. Check what you have in your closet, like basic pieces such as trousers and crisp shirts, as you can mix and match them with new ones.
Myrrh: I’ve always been a fan of vintage and it’s a good thing that trends really just echo what has been done in the past. Dressing sustainably by reusing and recycling items from your parents’ or grandparents’ closet, or shopping from thrift stores, are really the way to go.
Sidney: Shop from your own closet! You don’t always have to buy new. You can re-wear old clothes and just style it differently. You can buy a trendy piece and mix and match with your old clothes. One can also swap with friends and borrow each other’s clothes for more mileage. The more times you wear an item, the more worth it has.
Chookie: Support brands that espouse the use of recyclable fabrics and processes that leave less carbon footprint. The most easy and efficient way is to repeat clothing articles, but style them differently, of course.
Holiday dressing is festive, fun, and frivolous. Bring out the sparkle, bold colors, feathers, and jewel tones!
With the resurgence of Filipino wear, how do you think one can wear Filipiniana this Christmas?
Jot: As we grow and develop as a society, our national costume evolves together with our culture. You can mix and match pieces made of indigenous fabric with basics to create a more casual and relevant look.
Melville: You can incorporate handwoven pieces or terno sleeves in your wardrobe. They look really cute and dressed up, too!
Myrrh: It’s just a matter of awareness that there are these hip and chic pieces you can pair with your denim jeans for a casual look. Go for a voluminous skirt for that red carpet appeal! The ways we dress in Filipino wear has become endless thanks to these young designer labels and brands that have made our traditional wear more accessible. They have taken Filipino pride a step higher.
Sidney: PioPio’s designs are very casual, fun, and energetic. I also like that the clothes are genderless. You can wear their patchwork denim jackets over a bright colored dress for example.
I love Rhett Eala’s terno tops. They come in a multitude of prints and colors so I’m sure you can find one that will suit your style. I love pairing it with jeans to dress it down as well as for ease and comfort.
Jor-El Espina’s bomberong is ingenious for guys to wear the barong every day. You can dress it up with a collared shirt (even with tie), trousers, and leather shoes. You can also dress it down and amplify the cool quotient with t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers.
Chookie: Modern Filipiniana isn’t all about baro’t saya and barongs. Since it’s the season for weddings, why not go that route? If you want to be more proactive, however, then just go through Instagram and you’ll realize that there are many brands that proudly mix indigenous fabrics and styles with more utilitarian clothing.
What are your top three tips for yuletide dressing?
Jot: Put on something bold or sparkly! Choose something fun and celebratory. You can re-wear the same look!
Melville: Don’t be scared to play with texture! Now is the time to bring the glitters out. Christmas colors like green or red can be very chic, too. For example, a monochromatic all red outfit is a strong, powerful look. Dress comfortably for the holidays so you will be able to have fun, move around, and enjoy!
Myrrh: Shine! If you’re the fearless type, layer textures of sequins, glitter, and metallic. Nothing instantly screams holiday than a well put together sparkly look! Second, if you’re the classic kind of person, play with accessories. A chunky pair of gold earrings and a statement belt on a classic black dress, or a gold metal buckle belt and necklace on a neutral top plus jeans, would really elevate your look from basic to jolly. Don’t forget to finish it off with statement footwear as well. Lastly, knitwear, leather, and a bright pop of color make your look more yuletide-worthy. Would help if you have that holiday cheerful personality to go with it!
Sidney: Experiment! Just try something new and be adventurous and frivolous. Try wearing a color you won’t normally wear and try a new silhouette like wide leg pants perhaps. Second, dress for yourself. Be aware about the new trends, but be true to who you are and what you like. Don’t force something that you’re uncomfortable with. Lastly, have fun with it. It’s a time to celebrate love and life!
Chookie: First, I would wear a nice dress watch. Also, choose clothes that have deep and saturated colors. And third, maybe go for a bigger belt size so you can adjust it after meals so you can really enjoy the holiday season.