29 August 2014

Comfort Meets Class

It's no secret how my style is as random as a jar of M&M's (who knows where I got that simile). I guess that comes with the fact that I am not afraid to try out other things when it comes to fashion.

It is to that attitude of mine do I credit my win in Stores Specialists, Inc. (SSI)'s #SSILifestyle contest on Instagram. Around a month ago, SSI held an OOTD contest. The rules were simple: wear at least three (3) items from their family of brands, tag them, and use the hashtag. In case you didn't know, SSI is a branch of the Rustan's Group of Companies, and is the one to thank for bringing to our country brands such as Aeropostale, Bershka, Lacoste, Lush, Zara, etc.

With the price being a P5,000 gift card which can be spent on any of their brands, I had to jump at the chance. This was my winning entry:

(click photo to view on Instagram)

Ms. Sarah Meier, one of the local fashion industry's greats, served as the judge. She included a testimony with her decision, which totally floored me. Here were the words of Ms. Meier, grabbed from SSI's Facebook page:
“I've always believed that the true essence of being stylish is the ability to wear clothes, and not let them wear you. There is nothing more chic to me than an individual that can put on the simplest of pieces, and look like a star. Ekaa's monochromatic outfit had equal parts class, comfort, and timelessness. I wouldn't think twice about plopping her in a Business Class seat to fly to any fashion capital in the world, because she'd fit right in. Effortless and well-executed, Erika also does what any fashion baby does best - put together an ensemble from brands with different price points to create a look that adds up to, well, looking like you're worth a million bucks. As a matter of fact, I think I'm going to wear something just like this tomorrow. “ 
I'll have you know that this outfit was not put together on a whim. It was well-thought of, perhaps as much as how badly I wanted to win the contest. In line with that, I would like to share some tips that you might find helpful in joining an OOTD contest:

Tip #1: Know the host and/or the judge(s)
You have to know their style, their vibe, and everything in between. In SSI's case, it's evident how trendy and high-class they are; so of course, it is important to dress up accordingly. I also admit that I may have stalked Ms. Meier's Instagram page to have a feel of her personal style. From what I gathered, she was more of the laidback type, so I worked around that, too. Let's be honest, a judge's own preferences will have a huge bearing on his/her decision.

Tip #2: Be different
Naturally, there will be other contestants. Given that, it is important that you stand out. There were nearly a hundred entries in the #SSILifestyle contest. A lot were minimalist, while some were more on the edgy side. I could dress up like that too, but I did not. I decided to try something new and dabble a bit on androgyny with cropped suit pants. Actually, I was choosing between wearing a skirt for a preppier look, and the slightly-boyish one. I went with the latter because I figured being girly and preppy was a bit too typical, and therefore won't make me stand out as much.

Tip #3: Be technical.
By this, I mean-- followthe rules. This quite speaks for itself. For this contest, the rule was to wear 3 items from 3 different SSI brands. Tagging was also necessary. You wouldn't want your entry to be void just because you didn't follow all the rules, right? Also related to this tip is knowing the criteria for judging. Lastly, you must pay good attention to your photo itself. Make sure that it's taken in good quality in a presentable venue and edited just as well. For the editing, you might want to consider the vibe of the host and/or judge again, too; that way, you can tell if you should go for cutesy stickers or slightly-hipster filters.

I followed these pointers myself, so I can guarantee that these are tried and tested *winks*. Now, here are other photos of my outfit.

As you can see, I'm wearing a middle part. What do you think? 

Sweater: Zara*
Buttondown (worn underneath): Cotton On
Cropped trousers: Uniqlo
Flats: Lower East Side (Payless ShoeSource)*
Bag: Prada*

Those marked with an asterisk (*) are the qualifying brands. I actually just borrowed the beautiful bag and incredibly comfortable shoes from my mother! I have other SSI brand items, but these pieces just matched perfectly with the rest of my outfit. The Zara sweater I'm wearing here has got to be my favorite; I love how slouchy it is! Also, I'm planning to buy more of these cropped trousers from Uniqlo haha.

I just can't wait to get my hands on my P5,000 gift card! I'm planning on buying a stunning pair of Zara shoes (it's been a long-time wish of mine!) with it. As for the remaining amount, we'll see!

x Erika Rosales

PS: I'm on break from school now; so here's to regular updates! Also, I just finished revamping my blog's layout (the buttons below are one of the new additions!). Any thoughts? :)



  1. The outfit's (sooooooo) amazing and thank you for the advice! Your blog really makes sense, unlike the other posts that I've read. You're probably the first blogger who hasn't made any grammatical errors, haha! :)

    1. Awww thanks Anon!! I'm sure you'll find some error there somewhere, I'm human after all =)) But thank you so much! And no need to go on anonymous next time oks :>

  2. So pretty, fantastic look!!! I follow you,!! your style is great!!


    1. Thanks dear!! Following you back x

  3. I love this look. I really looks comfy but chic and classic at the same time.


  4. Congrats!! And thanks for the tip. I love your style. It's quite minimalist, but still chic and interesting enough without overdoing it <3


  5. Super stylish, the title of this post describes it perfectly.

    1. Glad you think so! Thanks Imogen ♥

  6. Maybe want follow each other? If yes, just follow me and i follow you back. :)

  7. Congratulations about your win! That's absolutely amazing, such a nice testimony as well from the judge, but it's a gorgeous & chic outfit, so I can see why it won!

    XO Greta | flourish-blog.blogspot.com

    1. Thanks so much Greta!!! You are too kind ♥

  8. Lovely outfit! I love the trousers! :)


  9. Love this preppy look! Definitely a style that I wanna try in the Autumn time. xx


    1. Thanks Sherry!! Lucky you guys have autumn!

  10. a perfect match


  11. Great Post! Follow each other on GFC, Google+ and Bloglovin? If yes, follow me and i follow back as soon as i see it. Let me know with a comment on my Blog

    Keep in Touch xx Rabea from germany

  12. Love this outfit, so fashionable, great job styling :)
    You have a great blog, mabe we could follow each other on GFC if you like m blog,
    would be great,
    hope to hear from you :)


  13. Congrats! Really proud of you,dear :) Hang out soon!

    1. Thank youuuuuuu! Wish you didn't go on Anonymous, but I'm sure I'd love to hang out with you [again] soon! ♥

  14. Loving the slouchy jumper paired with the pants! Such a cute outfit.

    xoxo Nikki @ ourpreciouswonders.blogspot.co.uk

  15. Love this outfit :) I love your blog and I have followed you with Bloglovin and GFC, if you ever get a chance to check out my blog I would be delighted, thanks!

    Camille xo


  16. Excuse me while I ACTUALLY drool over that gorgeous bag! You are so cute. Totally rocking that street style, I love it!