advice

UM / Shopping tips

12:30:00 AM

My ukay addiction started two years ago, when I was still working in SMX. We were required to show up in corporate attire every day. While you can find reasonably-priced pieces in different department stores, your total tab could still blow up if you're looking to invest in an entire wardrobe. So when I go to the ukay-ukay, I look for pieces that I could wear to the office. 

I've been told countless times that it's easy for me to find items in ukay-ukay because I have a small frame, but that's actually untrue. Bigger-framed women have more chances of finding clothes there because most come from American and European sources. A lot of the items are too big for me, especially around the bust. Haha!

Perhaps my "lucky charm" is my tenacity. I literally dig into piles and/or comb through racks of clothing until I find something nice that fits. Some people tend to give up too quickly, which is understandable since a lot of ukay shops are not well-ventilated, and the smell of used clothing is quite strong.

Gold mine
(photo from the internet)
But I guess you can't really expect the comfort of a shopping mall when you go to an ukay-ukay; the price difference is just too big! It might help to step out every ten to fiteen minutes to breathe, and then go right back in. Be sure to wear comfortable clothing and try not to bring bulky bags so you can move more freely.

Bring water! Few ukay-ukays have air conditioning. And bring hand sanitizer, too, especially if you have plans to eat after shopping. As much as possible, avoid trying the clothes on, but if you really must, then check the item first for bugs or mites. And when you do try something on, take it off right away. Better be safe than sorry!

I know that the fun in ukay is finding something unexpected, but it's also good to know what you're looking for instead of going into a shop without a goal, because then you would know which racks and piles to prioritize. For me, this is a must when I do go to big shops where the sheer volume of clothing can be overwhelming and even discouraging.

Don't forget to haggle! I know it's already cheap, but you can get it cheaper if you play your cards right. Besides, it can't hurt to try. I usually find it easier to ask for a discount when I'm buying at least three items. And before you leave the store, check your finds for any stains or tears - ukay-ukays do not have a return policy.

Good luck, and happy ukay shopping! :)

isawisay

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