Lists plunge me into a soothing, introspective mood every time I do it that I’m surprised I don’t do this more often. There’s still a part of me that shames me for indulging my little consumerist desires but I’m reminded of my Rizal and the Emergence of the Filipino Nation class with Ambeth Ocampo in college. There was one lecture where we studied Jose Rizal’s grocery list during his time in Europe and the exercise served as a tool to speculate about Rizal’s needs and spending habits, essentially a glimpse into his everyday, mundane personality.
Doing my lists plants me into certain seasons of my life. When I go back at my old ones, I remember the things I fixated on and the particular needs and wants they filled. It’s an interesting way to chart current interests, obsessions of a lifetime, and the paring down of multitudes into the essentials. The 9-grid I created forces me to curate and to select what I want documented. My process takes a few days and it’s a fun thing to do in between work tasks. If it sounds like I’m encouraging you to make your own lists, it’s because I am. I love learning about people this way, myself included.
I struggle very much with attending to my personal needs. I can go for months without a haircut. I forget to schedule dental appointments. I have to force myself to get out of the house and see friends. Part of motivating myself to get out more involves getting more excited about how I want to present myself. Here’s my year end wishlist.
2017 was the year I phased out my old pants — which means every time I had a windfall, I would spend it on pants. Something about turning 30 and becoming a mother made me resolute about my comfort. I said goodbye to skinny jeans and low rise styles. I need my crotch to breathe. I want bigger pockets. I like emphasizing my waist, not my hips. Pants feel like second skin to me. It makes me feel unencumbered and ready to break ground.
If we’re talking about obsessions of a lifetime, pants would fall in that category, and I cannot have a discussion about pants without talking about indigo. 2017 was also the year that I decided I was done with black and that my neutral of choice is navy. Indigo/navy, this color mode encapsulates my feelings about depth, infinity, and calm. It’s optimistic without being cloying. It’s hard-working but it knows how to have fun. Whatever it is I get into sartorial-wise now will have to revolve around the force indigo has on my life. I would love to have more pants, but it’s time to put my focus on the other stuff that makes an outfit.
1 DOUBLE MONK STRAP SHOES, (PICTURED: DOLCIS)
Fun fact: I have never worked in an environment that required a dress code. This means I’m very stunted when it comes to dressing for business. The creative field allows me to break all sorts of rules but I suddenly feel the need to start looking more… I don’t know, serious? I’m not sure if it’s my age speaking but I’m finally feeling the need to come up with a formal version of my uniform. I’ve had to step into more corporate settings lately and I want to respect the place by dressing the part. I’ve been dreaming about double monk straps for years and if I actually put it on my list, I might get off my butt and score some.
2 SANDALS, (PICTURED: TEVA)
Sandals are another obsession of a lifetime. The dowdier they are, the better. I don’t have a pair that’s strictly utilitarian and it would be nice to have one for errands and out of town trips. It cracks me up that they’re also on trend right now.
3 BLOCK HEEL SHOES, (PICTURED: ALDO)
I was mourning about my lack of office clothes to some friends some time back. They scanned through the outfit I was wearing and they said my clothes were fine, but I need to upgrade my shoes. I’m very guilty of this. I hate heels. I got married in flats. My idea of formal shoes are leather brogues. In an effort to try new silhouettes, I’m eyeing this vintage ankle strap style. The height won’t hurt my feet and this will go with anything.
4 WATERPROOF JACKET, (PICTURED: BARBOUR)
You’d think I’d have a good raincoat living in a country famous for its monsoons. I think it’s time to invest in a good one considering rain will be something I’ll be dealing with for the rest of my life. I want a jacket that looks like it’s ready to wrestle with the perfect storm. I used to want a yellow one until the movie IT. Orange makes for a great alternative and makes me think of tug boats and aircraft carriers.
5 DATE DRESS, (PICTURED: Alexa chung for Marks and spencer)
I may live in pants, but I try to get at least one nice dress every year. Date night/lunch with Joel is often the highlight of my week and the ritual of dolling up and putting on something cute is a habit I want to make. There’s a thrill to it that reminds me of what it was like when we first started going out.
6 T-SHIRT, (PICTURED: WES Anderson shop)
I don’t really wear t-shirts. It’s so hard to find ones that fit my body type. I’m not a fan of t-shirts that are made for women. A lot of them are designed to fit snugly and accentuate your cleavage and that’s not really my style. Lately I’m discovering more unisex styles in smaller sizes (higher necklines, straighter cuts) in my usual haunts. My go-to would be plain or striped shirts, but the occasional fun print would be great for switching things up.
7 jumpsuit, (PICTURED: ILANA KOHN)
I’ve been swooning over jumpsuits this year. To me it’s the perfect outfit for my work from home setup. It’s as comfy as pajamas, but they’re not pajamas! It’s one garment that’s already an entire outfit! It’s the ultimate lazy girl item. I’ve been wanting to make a project out this and produce my own but I don’t have the skillset to make a pattern. I’ll give it a real try next year.
8 POPLIN SHIRT, (PICTURED: MAISON STANDARDS)
In true lazy girl fashion, I don’t iron my clothes. It’s this reason why I don’t own a lot of button down shirts. But as I saw how a crumpled look still works with oxford and linen fabric, it’s making me want to research on other materials that will behave the same way. I’m intrigued with the idea of poplin shirts and it’s on my list as part of my effort to put together my formal work uniform.
1 UNDERWEAR, (PICTURED: jockey)
I go through underwear at a ridiculous rate. I welcome packs of panties any time of year. I still haven’t found a brand that can withstand rigorous laundry cycles coupled with all the wear and tear. I hate cheeky ass crack eating styles, I’m all about the Granny Panty coverage.
2 ZIPPER WALLET, (PICTURED: POKETO)
I haven’t changed my wallet in nearly a decade. For my next go at a wallet, I prefer something sleeker and lighter than what I have right now. I don’t like a lot of bells and whistles so this minimalist one works for me. A good friend of mine is coming out with her own leather goods brand soon and I’m raring to get something like this from her.
3 NUXE huile prodigieuse, Glossier boy brow
If I were to beef up my humble makeup kit, I’d like these items. I like multi-purpose products. I recently dropped by a beauty counter and got a whiff of Nuxe’s Huile Prodigieuse dry oil. I don’t wear perfume but I was taken by how lovely it smelled. I don’t mind smelling like Huile Prodigieuse! I also don’t like putting anything on my face but it would be nice to have something to perk my skin up a bit. As for Boy Brow, way too many people I trust are swearing by this and I want to try something new for my eyebrows.
4 DENIM CAP, (PICTURED: Leon Denim)
I don’t like spending time on my hair. If my hair is giving me too much grief, I’ll either tie it up in a ponytail or hide it underneath a hat. Local brand Leon Denim knows their denim and heritage wear. I’m so excited about their new foray into accessories. I would love to put this cap on regular rotation.
5 NAIL POLISH, (PICTURED: PLAYING KOI & ETERNAL OPTIMIST by ESSIE)
I still like going to the parlor to see if there’s anything new I want to try, but I can’t deny what years and years of my preferences tell me — it will always boil down to pink neutrals or warm reds. It’s about time I start building my own color palette and bringing it with me to the nail salon.
6 LIQUID CASTILE SOAP, (PICTURED: DR. bronner’s)
This is my favorite soap ever. I haven’t stocked up in a while and would love a new bottle. I always get citrus or lavender but I’d like to try the hemp tea tree oil to wake me up every time I shower.
7 weekend bag, (PICTURED: baggu)
I don’t have a good weekend bag! I just use my biggest canvas totes and it would be nice to level up the humble tote into something like this. I’d be happy with plain waxed canvas, but I’m in love with the simple cobalt blue shapes on this bag from Baggu.
8 BANDANA, (PICTURED: LEVI’S)
Bandanas are for the girls who don’t like jewelry on their necks. I have a white gold scapular that I never take off. I don’t like going through the hassle of putting necklaces on and off. Sometimes though, it’s nice to add a flourish to that area and that’s where the bandana comes in. It makes my outfits a lot more fun.