Sunday, March 21, 2010

My Retail Therapy for Summer

Had a retail therapy yesterday and now my room, specifically the space below my once-pristine-desk, is now full of shopping bags, luggage and some other things I didn't bother to identify. When I shop, I just do it in one major execution and hope for the best that I don't find any other reasons to go to the mall and end up buying things that I think I might use.

Yesterday was such a fulfilling day and a quick turn from spending my Saturdays in the office. I decided to have my retail therapy yesterday and gear up for the summer. God knows that I might not have the same opportunity for this. I may not be a shopper, but I shop when it's needed and starting summer in full gear is something that I really take seriously.

I'm not a fashionista beachgoer. In fact I don't like the beach that much. I'm more inclined to relax by the pool than wade in beach water, which I've tried once, and suffered skin allergies. Sea breeze is welcome, but not really my thing. But in two more weeks I would find myself again in the sandy and popular Boracay Island where I think almost everyone ticks off as part of their must-trips this summer. If not for the beach, I just go there for the accessible food by the beach and 300 pesos worth of massages in open air with people who are careless of what other people would be wearing. A place where we could socially survive wearing shorts, shirt and flip flops, with my not-so-beach-body, is an alternative paradise for me.

So I went with my mom to Makati and did a systematic sweep of the place where literally I could find everything. In terms of malls, I like going to Glorietta or the Ayala Center area because there are three major department stores, individual stores and wide selection of coffee shops and restaurants to rest. Upon going there, I did a systematic scheme on how I would go about my retail therapy in 5 hours, but before leaving the house, I already made a list just so I won't get distracted.



I would be staying in Boracay for three full days and that means I have to bring three swimwears. The reason why I don't recycle one suit there it's because it's unhygenic. I treat swimsuits as main clothing apparels and wearing the same swimsuit you wore the previous day, unless it's properly cleaned, is like wearing your underwear all over again. Since I don't have the energy nor the time to visit the laundromat, I just bring three, one for each day.

But that is not to say that I must buy three new swimsuits for this year. I recycle past year's swimsuits because I don't think there's something wrong with it. I buy swimsuits because of the fit and design. I don't buy it because of trend. And I make sure that whenever I buy a piece, I would find it wearable for ten more years, assuming of course that my body type will not balloon into a universe.

So, I went to department stores first to look at their designs and materials. Then I went to specialty stores for swimwear. After trying on sets of swimwear, I always have a problem with size on certain parts of my body. My tummy is a known problem, but my boobs size isn't so if I get a much larger size to accommodate my mid-flabs, my top would look ridiculously oversized. In some severe cases, they just don't have a much larger size to accommodate people like me. So swimwear shopping is always a pain and needs my full time and attention. Just as I was down to my last shop, I went to a retail store that specializes in ladies wear fit for different body types. Just like any other brand of clothing, they also have a swimwear collection for summer. Since I had nothing to lose, I picked two designs in their displays and tried it on. In the span of ten minutes, I found what I was looking for. It took me almost three hours to search for a swimwear that would fit me and it just took me ten minutes to decide the right one. Both swimsuits that I've tried on were fantastic. It fits me well and the material is classy enough. The only possible setback would be that I might have an identical encounter in Boracay. I wouldn't be surprised if people would buy similar designs that I bought because the swimwears have forgiving fit. There was a slight hesitation there, but I'd rather go have a good looking swimwear than go naked and make the world suffer from my pride and paranoia. So instead of one, I bought two pieces for a reasonable price.


Moving on to my next list are cover ups. I knew that once I accomplished buying a swimsuit everything else will go smoothly. Unless I have a body of a Sports Illustrated model, I could do without coverups and walk around with only wearing my swimsuit the whole day. Though I may be confident, but I'm not THAT confident and sadistic. I need to at least feel that I'm still wearing something over my swimsuit which is a glorified version of an underwear.

There are lots of loose pieces and accessible dresses with amazingly varied materials. It could be sheer, cotton or silk. An old tube dress could be transformed into a cover up. I had already made lots of choices found in department stores but I bought my coverups in a specialty swimwear store on 50% off. For 700 bucks I was able to buy a sheer and airy pink tunic and a loose gray shirt dress with pockets. And one more thing. The color and design go well with my new swimwear.


I have two pairs of good flipflops both from Havaianas. One is already worn out and one I bought last year. Technically, I don't need to buy anymore. One good pair is enough, but I admit that at least I need one new pair for the year. Flipflops is always a favorite anyways.

I went to Havaianas and Sanuk and realized that I have to stick to a budget. I can never get used to paying 800 bucks for flipflops. As I browsed through, still undecided to buy a pair, I figured to give it a rest and focus on buying something else that I might need. I went to SM Department store for my last stop and just like an automatic reflex, I went to the shoe section and found myself staring into a wild rack of colorful and funky flipflops. There are no Havaianas there, just brands like Planet, Banana Peel, IPanema and Toeberries, which produce stylish and comfortable flipflops for a very cheap price. I quickly went to the whole wall of Toeberries Flipflops and fell in love with two pairs. I bought a Toeberries flipflops before and it's still with me. I use it whenever I visit the gym and it hasn't failed me in terms of comfort and durability. With much conviction and personal experience, I bought two flipflops for less than 200 bucks.

You see, I have no problems buying branded flipflops because they're known for comfort, style and durability. But if a much cheaper alternative comes into view and delivers almost the same if not equal experience, then I'd rather be practical and sensible. Because the almost 800 pesos worth of difference does not do justice anymore.


On my way to SM Department store to meet my mom, I passed by the I2I stall that sells funky eyeglasses. I tried on a couple of pairs and particularly liked the one that accentuates the bridge of my nose. I bought the matte version instead of the usual glossy ones; and I'd like to think that aside from the added eye protection, I looked like a rockstar. I wish. The pair was instantly sold for 350 pesos and I got to choose the color of the case.


Meeting my mom in Watsons where the wonderland of care products are found, I bought my summer protection set. Ever since I got hooked to SPAs I found a new joy in going to Watsons. They have almost everything there to pamper every part of your body. I buy my nailpolish there, my total care shampoo, facial wash and other fruity selections I can sink my teeth into.

For summer I bought a large bottle of Nivea Lotion Sun Block to share with Mitch. I like Nivea more than Coppertone. It locks in more moisture and the consistency's better than the watery alternative. I also bought a cool After Sun Spray by Nivea, Petroleum Jelly, Elseve Royal Jelly Hair leave on, which works wonders. I bought a scented, relief gel and easily racked up 1100 bucks. As much as body care products are important, they could be very expensive too.

We went home at 5 pm just right on schedule. Though my wallet was empty of crisp cash, I was able to accomplish everything that I came out for. My trip and money were not in vain. In roughly four thousand bucks I bought:

2 swimsuits
2 coverups
2 flipflops
1 pair of sunglasses
1 Summer Protection kit

That was my retail therapy. Systematic. Swift and hopefully my last for the year.

Boracay here I come.

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