Thrift shops or ukay-ukay is a crazy place to shop in. They have clothes from the dreaded 1980s to H&M secondhands. They’re no longer just in Baguio, they’ve magically made their way to various parts of Manila. I frequent the ones in Cubao because they have good looking pieces! According to my sources (aka my neighbour who owns an ukay-ukay), they get their clothes from Japan, Korea or Hong Kong and they buy the box and by the kilo. Yes, these stores buy clothes by the kilo. BY. THE. KILO.
For you however, items are priced based on what type of clothing they are. Long bluoses and dresses are Php259, Skirts are Php180, bags are Php380, and so on. These prices vary depending on the kay you go to. They’re usually written beside the rack so it’s easy to know how much you’ll be spending, upon paying, try your best to haggle because they do give in sometimes.
There are no “Can you get me another size?” or “Can I have a refund?” in these stores so be wise and inspect what you’re going to buy before you pay for them. There are also no, “Do you have a different stock?” questions here. I highly suggest that when you fall in love with a piece, take it with you and buy it before it turns into the one that got away.
There are great finds in ukay-ukays IF YOU HAVE THE PATIENCE FOR IT. Yes, you will find barely worn clothes from Cotton On, Topshop, G200, Dolce and Gabbana, and other branded items. And yes, you will find legit red sole pumps by Christian Louibuitin or even Jimmy Choos if you’re lucky but these things take time to find, especially pieces that appear to be in mint condition/come in your size.
If you can stand the very old cabinet smell (I learned to get used to it), if you can bare with the radio-dramas blasting on their speakers, and if you’re adventurous and persistent to look for a good find then you will enjoy ukay-ukays. I’m pretty guilty as charged.
BUT ukay-ukays need not to make you look tacky. This is the very reason I launched this section in my blog. I’m so tired of seeing people clinching on to the brand of what they’re wearing and not on the way they wear it. If you’ve read my previous #ootd post, you’l know that fashion is great and all but it doesn’t gratify you instant confidence or happiness. Those two come from you. It’s the way you bring the clothes not the way the clothes bring you.
I shop for secondhand clothes, so what?! I’ve gotten numerous compliments on this outfit (white dress is vintage H&M, bag is vintage) and I spent less than P500 for it! It’s a great bargain and it was a great adventure to look for these two items! Check out how my ukay look worked out for me!
**Special thanks to Nixx Ceballos (@nixxxole) for my make-up and Posh Tips (@poshtipsph) for my hair! AND, Mike Cuevas of Studio 100 for the photos from #CondoLivingMag’s shoot!
’Til the next ukay challenge!
All photos are by Mike Cuevas from Studio 100. Photos courtesy/property of Condo Living, One Mega Group.