5 Local Brands To Shop For The Perfect Cozy Preppy-Casual Outfit

Casual prep is in.

Browse these local brands to score stylish, cozy, preppy-casual pieces to add to your closet!

Related: How Jan Charlotte Venzon Created the It-brand for the Urban Muse at 22 Years Old

What’s in in fashion, especially for the new generation? A subtle mix of the classics, athleisure, graphic streetwear, old-money, and academia, that’s what. Whether you follow Western influencers or K-Pop idols, whether you call it “tenniscore” or Korean preppy academia, you would definitely recognize the rising popularity of the modern preppy, casual-cool aesthetic seen on the likes of Hailey Bieber and Kelsey Merritt.

The trend may or may not have enticed you to cop sweaters, tennis skirts, vests, collared knits, and subtly graphic pieces. If it hasn’t, then let these local brands, some of which are founded by Gen Z entrepreneurs, convince you to hop on.


East Prep Club puts a spin on old-school prep with subtly stunning graphic detail and an air of collegiate sophistication. Their pieces are inspired by varsity sports, classic charm, and stylish comfort. The brand also started a youth-led non-profit organization, The East Prep Project, that advocates for youth education, empowerment, and transformation.


Simple and sporty, Anakainoo Club boasts hoodies, shirts, caps, and giant neverfull tote bags all in their signature colorways perfect for the laid back individual. The lifestyle brand not just champions athleisure, but also being “healthier and happier.”


The Cloudnine Studios’ half-zips are classic, simple, and perfect to pair with anything. The brand also sells unique tsuno bags with their signature logo to complete an effortlessly stylish ‘fit.


A pioneer in the urban streetwear scene, Charlotte Folk’s pieces are statements in and of themselves. Their wide selection showcases the brand’s growth and creativity over the last few years, and their designs boast rich colors, aesthetically-pleasing detail, and an old-school feel the brand is now iconic for.


Prettiest also offers more casual and graphic pieces in colorful designs, but their collections all carry an air of youthfulness and laid-back fun. Their catalogue is often sold out, so always keep an eye out for new drops and restocks.

Continue Reading: College Fashion Staples: The Best Basics to Wear On Campus

10 Totes And Tiny Bags to Add to Your Versatile Collection

Giant totes or microbags?

Get ready to bring anything and everything (or nothing!) in these tote bags and microbags in a variety of sizes!

Related: Meet The Filipino Designer Turning Sako Bags Into Birkins

There’s no need to limit yourself to being a tote bag girlie or a microbag girlie! Different occasions call for different bags, and below is a list of both large-sized and teeny-tiny bags perfect for everything, from a day of onsite classes to a hot date, a night out with friends, and more.


Gentle Woman Canvas Tote

The Gentle Woman canvas tote—arguably the tote of the summer—adorns the arms of everyone from that girl in your foreign language class to influencers like Bella Racelis. The Bangkok-based brand saw a boom in sales as people flock to stores to snag themselves this tote that pairs bold simplicity with a bit of a graphic touch. The brand is big on female empowerment, stating on their website that “Our designs serve variety, modernity, functionality, and excitement straight to your closets.”

COS Oversized Quilted Crossbody Bag

This giant quilted bag is a textural dream that could fit everything you could possibly need. COS designs wardrobe staples with five principles in mind: timelessly relevant, beautifully crafted, sustainably minded, the perfect fit, and uncompromising quality.

The Good Tote

The Good Tote is a small local brand selling medium-to-small sized tote bags designed with eye-catching, colorful art and inspirational sayings. Their tote bags are unlike other canvas totes out there: they have pockets and zippers, for those who prefer to be able to sort their items inside and keep them there safe and sound.

Longchamp Le Pliage

Longchamp is a classic among generations, so it needs no talking up. But it has seen increased popularity among Gen Z as well due to its versatility, space, durability, and simplicity. While a little pricey, the bags are a great investment for school, the office, as well as traveling!

Anakainoo Club

Local streetwear and lifestyle brand Anakainoo Club—whose name means “to renew your mind”—offers large totes in classic colors as well as their signature green and navy blue. Their two-tone Neverfull totes are simple enough to match any outfit, but are sure to express an affinity for an active lifestyle.


Beyond the Vines

Beyond the Vines is another Singapore-based brand known for their colorful water-resistant dumpling bags. They offer their bags in a variety of sizes, from fullsize totes to the “Teeny Tiny Micro Dumpling Bag.” Dumpling bags come in plain colors and several colorblock combinations. They also come with short handles as well as a long adjustable strap, outer flap pocket, and a snap tab to attach keys or sanitizers to.

COS Quilted Micro Bag

COS Quilted Micro Bag
Image from COS website

The often sold-out quilted bag, nicknamed the “Cloud Bag” also comes in a smaller size! The pillowy Quilted Micro from COS is made with recycled material and has a zipper to keep your essentials inside. With it bags seen on stars like BLACKPINK’s Jennie, COS is shaping up to be a staple brand to watch.

Longchamp Le Pliage Mini

Another tote that has a smaller counterpart is the Longchamp Le Pliage. The Le Pliage XS handbags boasts the classic leather button flap and short leather handles, but comes in a cute little crossbody size. You can also check out their bright, graphic collaboration with arts magazine Toiletpaper here.

Charles & Keith Micro Koa Square Push Leather Bag

Charles & Keith comes in strong with this leather bag with fun flap details and an elongated body. The Koa micro is offered in several vibrant candy colors (and sizes as well!). The brand, despite having been a hot topic because of a TikToker and sparked discussion on the standards of “luxury,” consistently produces fun designs with quality to match.

The Leather Studio Manila

The Leather Studio Manila, whose Instagram is littered with leather items handpainted with artwork of dogs, is an artisan brand selling leather bags, tags, wallets, and other handcrafted leather goods. Their micro product, the Laya, features a crochet abaca base that adds a special Filipino touch to the bag.

Continue Reading: Say Hi To Longchamp X Toiletpaper: Your Classic Lepliage Tote’s Playful, Whimsical Twin

DIY Chrome and Holo Nails With This Local Independent Artisan Nail Polish Brand

Level up your nails at home!

You don’t need to go to a salon to achieve the manicure of your dreams.

Related: Get Stylish Nail Extensions by Student and Self-Taught Nail Technician Nika Pascua

Painting your own nails doesn’t have to be boring! You could achieve showstopping manicures just by using artisan nail polish handmade right here in the Philippines. An independent local brand, Paint Polish offers a wide selection of nail polish in a variety of colors and finishes, from dark, witchy multichromes to ethereal pastel holos.


Four years ago, Jerrica Galope’s day job was temporarily halted due to the pandemic. Around the same time, her interest in nail polish grew from a simple hobby to a business opportunity.

“There are no independent, handmade polishes in the Philippines and it was expensive to ship internationally,” she shares. During the pandemic, she was able to research how to mix her own formulas, source raw materials, and start her own business from scratch. Now, while still a small indie brand, Paint Polish is Filipinos’ own version of international brands specializing in specialty-finish polishes like Mooncat, Cirque Colors, and YouTuber SimplyNailogical’s Holo Taco.


Paint Polish offers locally-made, artisan polish that is free of 5 of the harmful chemicals commonly found in nail polish formulas. They also offer base coats, top coats, nail care products, custom polishes and even a DIY nail polish kit where you can mix up your own unique nail polish using pigments and glitters. Unleash your creativity and wear your heart on your nails by checking out some of their products below!

Holographic Nail Polish

Holographic nail polish makes use of glitter that reflects all the colors of the rainbow. The glitter could be different shapes and sizes and could also be suspended in different base colors and formulas. Paint Polish offers holo nail polish in rainbow colors, as well as specialty finishes that have a subtle holographic shimmer.

Magnetic Nail Polish

Magnetic nail polish is one of the most fun nail polishes to use. You need special magnets that will attract the magnetic pigment in the polish to create different lines, shapes, and designs. You can wear the polish on its own—it’ll look like a simple, shimmery duo- or multichrome—but when magnetized, the pattern creates depth and elevates your manicure to new heights. Paint Polish’s Zodiac and Spells collection (inspired by Harry Potter) include several magnetic polishes.

Duochrome/Multichrome Nail Polish

Duochrome and multichrome nail polish are where it’s at if you want to get people’s attention. The way the metallic-finish polish shifts from one color to another depending on the angle the light hits it makes for a versatile nail look that’s sure to get you compliments. Duochromes refer to pigment that shifts two colors, and multichromes refers to pigment that shifts to three or more.

Special Effects Polish

Paint Polish is known for releasing themed collections that look just as amazing on a shelf as the polish does on your nails. They’ve released a university campus-themed collection with metallic-finish nail polish, a coffee-themed collection in different shades of brown and mocha, a 7-piece BTS-themed collection, and even a boba milk tea-inspired collection. Among these collections, specialty finishes range from speckled and iridescent to holographic and even reflective!

Paint Polish primarily operates online, but has popped up in bazaars where they also offer DIY polish-making sessions where customers got to customize their own polish!

As nail polish and nail art grow in popularity in the Philippines, this nail polish brand is bringing what is huge abroad back home in its own unique ways. Explore ways you can experiment with local brands and see what our vibrant creative and beauty culture has to offer!

Continue Reading: 12 Nail Designs that Serve Big Barbie Energy

3 Local Sustainable Fashion Brands Founded by Young Women

Support local, support sustainable.

Be stylish and environmentally-conscious at the same time with these 3 female-led fashion brands.

Related: In Its Sustainable Efforts, Is Fashion Really Changing the Alarmingly Wasteful Ways of the Planet?

At the intersection of sustainability, creativity, and empowering entrepreneurship lies 3 local fashion brands that champion self-expression as well as the environment. Spearheaded by young Gen Z women, these brands promote ethical practices in slow fashion as they create beautiful clothing pieces.


The state of fashion today is marked by overproduction, overconsumption, and waste production. As consumers urged to simply point, click, and buy, it’s worth considering that we’d be much better off making conscious decisions about the things we use, wear, and consume.

Conscious consumption entails an active awareness of how your consumption affects things beyond yourself, such as the environment and ethical labor. While consumers do bear a responsibility to minimize the negative impact they have on the environment, it’s also important for brands and designers to do their part as well. This is where Sanina, Nin and Yang, and Fantaisie Gaze come in.


Sanina Creative Hub upcycles preloved clothing, deadstock, and last-cut fabric and turns them into not just clothing pieces, but works of art. Sanina features colors and geometry at the forefront of their distinct style.

Sarah, founder of Sanina, started out selling curated pieces. However, she found out there wasn’t much use for items like winter clothing and long-sleeved tops in the country. So instead, after learning new sewing methods and techniques, Sarah turned to her hobby of reworking clothes and sold her pieces to others.

What was left with the young designer were scraps of fabric that she didn’t want to throw away just yet. As such, she started on a new journey to making patchwork art pieces that the Sanina brand is now known for. They sell intricately-patterned tops in a variety of colors and styles.

As the brand grew, so did Sarah’s confidence.

“Making clothes in these specific silhouettes, colors, patterns, [and] sizes that are outside my comfort zone, and seeing my clients wear them, made me feel more confident about myself,” she shares. Making others feel good about themselves in her pieces is just as integral to Sarah as the effort of sustainability.

“If we can just contribute even just .00001% of textiles [and] old clothes not going to landfills, but instead to closets and drawers, we gladly will continue to do so.”


Want to live out your fantasy of dressing like a fairy princess? Fantaisie Gaze can adorn you in romantic, flowy, bespoke garments that will make you want to wear them all the time. Their tops and dresses are perfect for frolicking in a forest or having a picnic with a loved one.

Frankie Lapiz, at the young age of 20, appreciates the importance of being conscious and deliberate with purchases. She initially made and sold trendy reworked clothing on Fantaisie Gaze, formerly named Gaza, but has since taken a leap of faith and started accepting bespoke orders and releasing her own designs.

She mentions that it’s so easy for people to get caught up in trends. Made-to-order and bespoke clothing promotes sustainable slow fashion in that “customers get to own pieces they truly like and could wear repeatedly, since it’s their personal style.” Frankie also wishes the inclusiveness and diversity that bespoke clothing offers to all body types could be more prevalent in the fashion industry.

“I hope we all start to customize our clothes more and be intentional with the clothing pieces we purchase.”


Retaso is central to the Nin and Yang brand. Sister duo Nina and Thea (nicknamed “Yangi”) Morales maximize the use of fabric scraps to create fun, original clothing pieces that they say “breathe new life into discarded fabric.”

Nina and Thea grew up crafty. They often transformed regular, everyday objects into handmade gifts and treasures. The sisters also grew up with relatives who work in the clothes manufacturing industry. As such, they were made aware early on of the existence of unused scrap fabric leftover from production.

Nin and Yang offers bold pieces made from upcycled scrap fabric and deadstock that caters to the young fashion-lover of today. Their pieces are made to be versatile—multifunctional, adjustable, and reversible to maximize the wear and lifespan of each.

In line with their philosophy of sustainability, Nina and Thea encourage their customers to live sustainably by repeating outfits, learning how to mend/repair clothes, and the like. They always knew they wanted a brand that 1) allowed them to have creative freedom, and 2) did not pose harm to the environment as fast fashion has been proven to do. They also hope other brands take importance of not just how they source their materials, but also how they treat their workers—with fair wages and ethical working conditions.

“Let’s offer beautiful and unique designs that will show consumers that choosing circular fashion doesn’t mean they have to sacrifice style, and that they can rely on homegrown talent any day.”

Women and the youth have been at the forefront of the fights for climate action and justice for a long time. So, it’s no surprise that these young designers and creatives have taken it upon themselves to resist unsustainable practices to help the environment in their own little ways.

There’s much to be done to address the concerns regarding the social and climate justice aspect of fashion. However, patronizing slow fashion and small, local businesses that advocate for sustainable practices if you are able to is 100% a start.

Continue reading: These 6 Sustainable Filipino Brands are Turning Old Clothes and Retaso into Statement Pieces