Gone are the days when one has to keep his/her ukay-ukay shopping a secret. At least for me. Great ukay finds are like a Eureka! moment for me. If you regularly checking out my Wardrobe Diary posts, you’d surely have noticed that I have a lot of ukay clothes. As in a lot. Why? Because it’s like hitting two pork barrel-greedy legislators with one bullet (yep, I revised the “hitting two birds with one stone” cliché. Don’t you think this is better? ;)): one, I can shop without spending a lot; and two, my wardrobe is full of unique pieces made with really awesome fabric. But you should also take these things into consideration (I’m going to scatter my ukay finds so that when you feel like ukay is such a tedious task, you’d be inspired by some items in my ukay treasure trove):
- Hindi porke’t ukay, authentic na. Take note of this especially when you go to Baguio City. Baguio City ukay has a “treasure trove” reputation. Years ago, people were able to buy authentic Louis Vuittons and Pradas there. And then the Baguio ukay merchants became shrewd. The last time I visited the ukay-ukay stalls there, Balenciagas and Pradas abound. Aaand, en vogue pa ang styles! How can that be ukay ‘di ba? The sellers swore they were authentic, but I knew better. Think several times about spending thousands of pesosesoses on a designer item thinking it’s authentic and that you’re saving so much. Even Americans and Europeans buy replicas, and it’s plausible that they easily dispose of replicas that then end up in ukay.
Be on the lookout for damages. As much as possible, buy in broad daylight. Sometimes, removing damages may turn out to be more expensive. If there’s a stain and it reached the wrong side of the cloth (wrong side=likuran/baligtad) it’s probably almost impossible to remove. Don’t risk it if it’s expensive.
- Wear leggings when on an ukay shopping spree. It’s rare for ukay stalls to have decent fitting rooms. Wearing leggings would make it easier for you to fit skirts and even dresses. And when you fit jeans or shorts, don’t remove the leggings! I was told that fitting jeans with HPV would also get you infected! So better if you’re wearing panties with panty shields pa.
- Wear flip-flops. Hassle kung naka-sneakers ka or sandals na complicated isuot at tanggalin. And of course, you need to be able to walk comfortably.
- Bring your own bayong or giant bag. I have not encountered an ukay store where my purchases were put in sturdy, personalized paperbags a la Rustan’s…usually ‘yung lalagyan lang talaga ng pan de sal. Hassle if you’d carry them along with you, as pagkabuslot is inevitable.
- When visiting a chain of ukay shops, start early. Again, it’s super rare for ukay shops to be airconditioned. So mainit. Better do it early morning, so you’ll have plenty of time to really make rounds.
- It pays to be matiyaga. If you do not have this virtue, forget about ukay. A great find may be in between hundreds of green (don’t you wonder why the hangers are always green? I’ve been pondering on this for a long time) hangers with blah clothes. Or even under a pile of gula-gulanit or XXXXXXXXXXXXXL-sized clothes in the P5 ONLY corner.
- Get allergy shots or drink an anti-histamine if you have allergic rhinitis. Notice how ukay stuff have a distinct smell? I heard a chemical is used on such clothes. This smell plus the dust (and the fact that he just isn’t fond of shopping, period) is what hinders Randy-with-the-nice, matangos-yet-sneeze-prone nose from coming with me on my ukay sprees.
- Bring an alcohol or alcogel. You’ll have trouble looking for a decent washroom at an ukay strip. And at the end of the day, your hands (and sometimes your feet) would really feel filthy. Don’t skip this.
Befriend ukay salesladies. Our helper Alona gets text notifications (tutyal!) whenever there’s a new batch of ukay delivered. This way, Alona gets the best items as no one else has chosen from them.
- Bring an ukay buddy. Since fitting rooms and mirrors in fitting rooms of ukay shops are unreliable, an ukay buddy is also a must. He/she will also help you in scouring the whole shop. I and my ukay buddy usually cover different locations, and when she sees something that fits me that she thinks I’ll like, she gives it to me. I do the same for her. When choosing an ukay buddy, consider the following:Characteristics of your ukay shopping buddy:
a. He/she should not be in a hurry. Nakakaasar ‘ung nasa momentum ka tapos nagmamadali (Uy Randy, anjan ka pala!)
b. He/she should be matiyaga too and not maarte. Remember the 3 Negative M’s of ukay: mabaho, maalikabok, mainit. He/she should know that! Peromay 2 Positive M’s din: mura at maganda.
c. He/she should be different from you, either in taste in clothing or body type. Otherwise, you might end up fighting over an ukay gem.
Tempted yet? Go ahead. It’s more than OK to ukay. 🙂 Just remember to thoroughly launder them.
If you have more ukay tips please comment below. Thanks in advance!
Tell me what you think!
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