Ukay-ukay is everywhere nowadays. Everyone knows it and almost everyone does it...even upper class women.
It is said that ukay-ukay originated from Baguio, which the locals there call it Wagwag. These secondand clothes usually come from Hong Kong and Korea. Today, ukay-ukay hunters need not go to Baguio to get good bargains. Metro Manila is now a haven of 'ukay-ukays'. From Kamuning, Cubao to Guadalupe & Pasay, you can find fabulous ultra-affordable items. when you're able to find your 'suki', please remember these Ukay-ukay shopping tips:
Sanitize. Remember that ukay-ukay items are stored & hanged over a period of time and have not been washed yet. Apply alcohol on both hands, arms and other parts of your body after checking all the racks and fitting an item to sanitize. You wouldn't want to sacrifice you're health over a used clothing, right?
Bring a big shopping bag. Be earth-friendly. Bringing your own shopping bag reduces the use of plastic bags.
Use your haggling skills. Knowing how to bargain and ask for more discount means there's room for more ukay finds. Even just saving P20 bucks goes a long way.
Get Manong's or Manang's digits. Getting the owner's number would give you an edge against other hungry uka-ukay fanatics. This would allow you to know when the new items (New Arrival) are on display and when they are on 50% - 70% Off. Plus, you would be able to build rapport with the owner. Good rapport = More discounts!
Be keen. Don't just grab the first thing that you see and pay right away! Take your time. Choose as many as you want then do the selection process after checking all the racks. Before you pay Manong or Manang, check for some flaws (e.g. missing buttons, rips and holes). If the flaw is beyond repair, let it go. Don't be afraid to lose it! You'll find something better next time. But if you really can't let go of it, use the flaw to get more discounts =P
Pretty fit. Most ukay-ukay stores have their own fitting room. If you really want to check the fitting and you're not that sensitive to hand-me-downs touching your skin, go ahead! But before you do that, be sure you have your alcohol with you so that you can sanitize after fitting your finds. It is still best to know your size so you wouldn't have to fit an unwashed item and you wouldn't have to fall in line to check the fit.
Alter-ego. When an item is really unique, labeled or just plain fabulous but too loose - have it altered! You may spend a little for this but it would surely make more value for you money especially if you have a good tailor. Remember, too loose is okay but too small is a NO-NO because there no room for alterations and you'll never get to wear it. Trust me, it's a lesson learned for me.
Wardrobe checklist. Do not Hoard! Evaluate your wardrobe first and know what you have and what you still don't have or you just might end-up having 5 blouses with the same cut, style and color.
Be adventurous. Do not limit yourself with what's uso, experiment! Know how and what to mix and match with your wardrobe pieces with your ukay-ukay finds. No idea? Watch Korenovelas and window shop.
I hope these tips are helpful. The next time you go to an uka-ukay, be sure you are armed with the ukay-ukay shopper's basics. Before I raid another shop, let me show you my fabulous finds from different ukay-ukays around the metro...
My ukay outfit featured in Catwalkqueen.tv!
Theme black shift dress
Zara Puff-sleeved blouse
Brown military jacket vintage tierred dress
Ruffled polka dot halter top
Knitted top with lace details
black waist belt
Skirt with lace lining
paisley halter dress