As today is my laundry day and i have nothing more decent to wear tomorrow, i decided to do some shopping for clothes in the nearby robinson’s department store in their pioneer/ boni branch.
When i was in college, and also a few years back when i was already working, i would almost always go for high fashion—meaning, i would always buy the most expensive shirt my money could buy. The shirt/ clothing article has to branded, otherwise i’d feel naked, or itchy all over. Talk about being imeldific. But the later years sort of mellowed the fashionista monster in me. now, i go more for what’s working for me rather than what’s in fashion. During the selection process, i also take time to pick pieces which have classic lines/ cuts so they don’t easily go out of style. And lately i’ve discovered that the department store can be a treasure trove of scintillating finds, if one is keen enough to look.
So what did i buy? statement shirts. Not the kind that asks “sino best friend mo doon”, on one side and answers “shempre ikaw lang”, on the other. I still have an ounce of self-respect remaining to buy those kinds of stuff and actually wear them. Hehehe (wearing promotional shirts is another thing altogether though, something i’d very much like to talk about in another entry, when inspiration strikes ).
As i was roaming around the display racks, I discovered a brand that’s not too popular among the masa; i’ve gone a notch lower than “imeldific” and settled for “portside” (well i haven’t met anybody or saw anyone in the street who wore any of the designs i saw, and they are actually good). Artwork used to be a good brand, but due to its rising popularity as an alternative choice for shirts that pack in the extra oomph, its lethal levels have been somewhat diminished lately—may nakakasalubong akong kapareho ko, gosh! hehe.
So this brand, when i saw it, was actually a breath of fresh air. Having saw that a lot of thinking went into designing the graphic tees, i bought four shirts. All for the price of 776 pesos. As i was leaving the premises, i caught sight of a pair of cargo shorts that, judging from the material and the simple way it was designed, i think will last a solid five years, without going out of style. i bought it too. And it’s not Mr. Lee, or Dickies, the prices of which can easily be placed around the range of 1000-1300, or much higher.
Clutching my purchases on the way home, i sort of felt like tatay. When i was still in my elementary and high school years and he was at the height of his purchasing power, he’d go to the department store instead of the individual shops and boutiques that carry a singular name. He’d buy the sm basics and the sm-commissioned shirts with simple designs on them, when he can easily buy designer labels. i know this for a fact, because he’s a watch freak, and in one of the trips to Manila, he bought one that actually doesn’t fall in the Seiko, Swatch, or Guess category (those were the only brands that this barrio lad actually knew in those days).
i’m still a long way from being able to buy a designer watch without the feeling of overshooting from one’s budget, feeling sorry later on for having to tighten one’s own belt so to speak, for the lapse of judgement. All i’m saying is that, like tatay, i now know the convenience of doing the shopping at a department store; getting good finds that are fashionable, without draining you dry of your resources.