Tuesday, April 21, 2015

I got styled!

I finally got some mojo back into my wardrobe, thanks to Anne of Stylist of Sorts!
A photo posted by Katrina Ramos Atienza (@iggztagram) on
Since moving into my new career and adjusting to the commute, the laptop, the schedule, and really the psychology needed to run a 30-plus-person team, I'd been letting my wardrobe go. Just no time and headspace to do it! So when Anne and I met and offered her styling expertise, I was super excited to do it. After getting our schedules to mesh, our shopping trip finally pushed through.

Four hours of shopping is TIRING, lol. I told Anne I wanted easy-to-wear pieces that I could mix and match without thought, and having her advise me really helped to focus and pick out the stuff we got. I realize I tend to gravitate toward this idealized version of myself that wears kind of retro, A-line silhouettes and prints, which in reality is how I look like 10% of the time -- dressing like that takes work and effort! Anne steered me toward functional, tailored and more sophisticated pieces -- stuff I could wear to work without feeling underdressed or sloppy.

She also opened up my options: I never thought I could wear drawstring trousers or white pants or even an all-white ensemble until she showed me they look fresh, cool and definitely chic!

Plus we also updated my make up kit with a couple of awesome buys: NARS Orgasm blush and K-Palette 1 Day Tattoo eyebrow eyeliner.

Wanna see we got and how Anne styled me? Check out Stylist of Sorts now!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

60s Wedding

My former teammate and friend Abbie is a die-hard Beatles fan and a person with her own unique sense of style. It was no surprise then that her wedding was a one-of-a-kind, Beatles-themed event!

A photo posted by Katrina Ramos Atienza (@iggztagram) on
"We'd love for your to come in a 1960s cocktail look," her invite said. I'm not a person who can resist a costume theme, but I did wonder how I could pull it off given that I hadn't had a day to shop or book a hair appointment the whole week before the wedding!

First thing I did was text Anne. "Where can I get a 1960s cocktail dress?" "Check out Tango in Glorietta," she replied. And oh my gosh, did I find my dress there!

It's a sort-of red-orangey cocktail dress with dramatic sleeves. The best part aside from the fact that it fit me, was that it was loose enough to skim my curves -- no need for shapewear, which is really uncomfortable, especially during the reception hehehe -- and I could wear a normal bra with it, because strapless bras are the devil.

The make up I wasn't too worried about since I've perfected my winged eyeliner game, but the hair was another thing. This tutorial rescued me! I decided to do a half-up-half-down thing on hubby's advice. The jewelry I'm wearing are gifts from my friends in India (who are the sweetest!) These costume pieces got a lot of compliments and people kept on kidding about my overall Ninang realness. Ganyan talaga pag mukhang mayaman!

The overall look:

Hubby says this is my Royale Business Club look!
Tango dress, gray silk clutch from Cambodia, costume jewelry from India, and blue wedges from Charles & Keith (a gift from my mom). I went for the wedges for that retro vibe and a contrasting color...and also because I realize I don't have formal sandals anymore and I wasn't keen on shopping for a pair!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Styling 101

This is extremely late but better late than never! Just a quick post on a styling workshop I attended last...erm, January.
All sorts of things to play with...I mean, style.
 Styling 101 was just that -- a quick workshop on dressing up. We talked about wardrobe staples, trends for 2015, looks that don't go out of style -- and of course, the ever popular "How do I dress for my body shape?" We also got to try our hand out at styling!

With my stylist partner, Thedz...who won a special prize to be styled by Anne! Here's that awesome feature on her makeover. .
We went for a 'high-low' contrasting look, pairing a dainty lace dress and pearls with pristine white sneakers and a military vest.

The workshop was conducted at CraftMNL by Anne Bella. Anne is a professional stylist, former magazine editor, the brains behind the must-read blog Stylist of Sorts, and all around great person! (Side note: cannot wait to go shopping with her! My wardrobe really needs a boost).
Anne was in an elegant black dress, wine-colored brogues and a pretty statement necklace. I am wearing my tiangge color-block dress, black leggings, purple Supergas and random accessories.
I've really been remiss in my style...not only have I been neglecting this blog, I really haven't made much of an effort to dress up! I just feel so blah and tired and pressured at work. But there's really a huge psychological boost when I go out looking pretty and put-together that I often wonder, "why don't I do this more often?" I should, right?? The plan is for Anne and I to look for stylish but solid pieces that won't take me too long to put together in the morning. Here's hoping -- and I am so excited!

Read more about Styling 101 over here!

Saturday, March 14, 2015


So I went to India.

I tried to take some outfit shots (it was spring, and cool, and I was mostly meeting people, so it was business all the way. Also scarves were my best friend).
 (Clockwise from top: H&M sweater dress; Landmark sweater and pants, scarf from Singapore and shoes from Payless; leopard blazer from TJ Maxx, random tiangge shirt and leopard scarf from SM).

But mostly I just enjoyed.

The food.
A photo posted by Katrina Ramos Atienza (@iggztagram) on

A photo posted by Katrina Ramos Atienza (@iggztagram) on

The history.

From top: Jantar Mantar, Qutb Minar, Agra Fort

The grandeur.

Which called for selfies. (Of course.) 

And cliches like this.
A photo posted by Katrina Ramos Atienza (@iggztagram) on
The small details.

Even the street scenes.

Incredible, indeed!

Sunday, January 18, 2015


Hello, blog world. It's been a while! (understatement of the very new year.)

Since my last post (in October, GAH), I've been able to get my sugar under control by limiting my carbs (none as much as possible in the evening) and sugar. Although of course I let myself enjoy the holidays, so let's just say I'm in no hurry to get my blood tested again. Since January I've started this exercise plan from Buzzfeed that's been great in training me to get back into the routine of exercising frequently and intensely.

But also since October I've been really feeling the push at work. I now lead a whole unit of people who look up to me for guidance, support and coaching, and juggling that while handling my own clients hasn't been easy. Between my career and my family and caring for my health, well, blogging (and style) has fallen waaaay down the priorities list. The last time I took an OotD pic was back in October too, and my heart really wasn't in it.

Yep, I've turned into one of those women who "dresses in a uniform" and throws around words like "power dressing" about.

It wasn't a conscious decision, really - it's something borne from necessity. I've found that I need to communicate a certain message, and my personal package - that includes my clothes - needs to be part of that. And the last thing I want to do when I'm running on four hours of sleep and contemplating a long day managing people and clients with a jog thrown in the evening is to fiddle around my closet and come up with an amazing style blog-gy look, let alone snap a picture of it.

Part of me feels sad. I started this style blog just after having my baby girl and I found inspiration and joy and yes, confidence, from the process of documenting what I wore each day. But now what was once inspiring and joyful seems like yet another task on top of a never-ending to-do list.

Another part feels like it's only a natural progression of things. As my life changes, so to the things I take inspiration from. I will always love design and I will always admire people who express themselves so well through their clothes. I will always try to incorporate that in my own life, and not to unlearn the lessons of confidence and joy that I got from running this blog for the past four years. But I do feel that the time has come to downscale. To clean out the closet of the frivolous and start holding on to the clothes that reflect who I am, and don't need an artfully draped scarf or a cinched belt to work.

I came across this article from Lucky Mag on the KonMari method of cleaning out your closet, and I felt really inspired by it. This part really spoke to me:
As we figure out who we are, it's only natural that we accumulate stuff that doesn't suit who we end up being. But keeping it around is dead weight. Who needs more anxiety about the people we could have been, had things gone a little differently?

So what does this all mean for this blog? I'm hoping to keep it around, still, and maybe keep on posting, but from a different angle. Before all this I was talking with someone about getting styled, and I'm hoping to get that restarted again (hoping!!). I don't want to live blah and drab! Style is important! But maybe in manageable amounts in the morning. ;-) We'll see. :D

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Health post: I am a Category 5 Kaiju (and Doctors)

What kind of relationship do you have with doctors? 

I bring this up because I got my Annual Physical Examination results today. And as I expected, the first thing the doctor told me was my BMI, and the second one (after a brief glance at a chart beside her) was that I was something like a "class 2 obese" which means "really bad" but I found it kind of awesome in a Category 5 Kaiju in Pacific Rim kind of way.

I kid, because really, I was expecting that. Been tagged as overweight / obese since maybe 2007? Whatevs, right? But the doctor had some news that did concern me. Both my fasting blood sugar and cholesterol were borderline high.

So, that kind of brought me up short.

Here I've been over the past year on this health resolution, exercising 3-4 times a week, eating typically whole wheat cereal and yogurt for breakfast; brown rice, veggies and fish for lunch; salad for dinner, avoiding soda and sugary drinks as much as possible. I exercise so regularly a cardiologist diagnosed my arrhythmia as due to activity and not an abnormality -- my knees are in fact starting to pain me from running and football. And yet! AND YET. Still here we are. To say it is frustrating is an understatement. Goodness, what else do I need to do?

I still believe in Health at Every Size and my goal in all of these lifestyle improvements is to be healthy, but what do you do when your blood tests come back and say that, in fact, your efforts are a failure? It's one thing to be heavy but have great stats; but heavy AND borderline pre-diabetic? That's not good at all. 

If there's any consolation (hah!) in any of this, it's that I found a doctor who was at least willing to listen to my history -- a doctor who didn't look incredulous when I brought up my exercise and diet routine. For the first time, and maybe this is because she herself went from a size 24 to a size 18 in one year, I found someone who understood my frustration. She patiently explained to me that since I have diabetes in the family, I could be predisposed to it despite my efforts at eating well. And she was open that my current struggles could be thyroid or hormone-induced. Just being acknowledged in this way is such a huge relief -- because in the past, whenever I've brought this up to previous doctors, I just got a lecture on "eating less than you burn" and a prescription for vitamin B1. Fat lot of good that did to me.

So what's next? I'm going to see an endocrinologist as per my doctor's recommendation. And after that? We'll see.

I'm sorry if this post is not as positive or encouraging as before. It just sucks all around. It's my body, I know, not a problem to solve, but sometimes I do wish there was a key to understanding it all.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Warby Parker Fall 2014 collection

I love eyeglasses. I can't pass by a stall without trying some pairs on. The right pair of eyeglasses can really add dash or sophistication or a touch of hipness -- even accentuate your best features or communicate your personality, loud and clear.

Gotta be honest, though. The really nice ones I've seen in the optical shops are designer brands and veeeerrryy expensive. So when I heard of Warby Parker from my favorite lifestyle blogs, I was really excited. They carry stylish, boutique-quality eyeglasses at a fraction of designer prices. Think US$95 for custom cellulose acetate frames with titanium temples. But what I really like are the refined simplicity of their designs. The eyeglasses are quite sculptural and elegant even when they venture into the bold and cheeky side of design.
Warby Parker's Fall 2014 collection
For Fall 2014, Warby Parker released nine new designs and two new hues.

This is one of the new hues, Petal Tortoise -- "a painterly mix of soft pinks and earthy browns" -- in the Annette shape.

This is Striped Pacific, "a streaked combination of rich, seaworthy hues". This style is called Hardy. I think it's very cool and for some reason I picture an adorable geek-type with huge blue eyes -- think Elijah Wood or Daniel Radcliffe -- wearing them!

The fall collection features three clear designs. Would you be able to pull off the crystal Coley? It's funky, right?

But this is the one that caught my eye --the Chandler Ti. This is in English oak. I've been in love with the idea of wooden frames lately, and this one -- just the right mix of professorial and organic -- pushes all my design buttons.

Check out the rest of the Warby Parker Fall 2014 collection here.


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