Life at UCB through the eyes of our international student bloggers

Uriel’s clothes… and other things that matter

Uriel’s clothes… and other things that matter

I was in the midst of reading Alexandra Shulman’s autobiography ‘Clothes… and other things that matter’ when I realised that I could write a similar thing. I’m not an Editor-in-Chief for Vogue like Shulman, but like every other human being on Earth, I do hold sentimental value over things. So, without further ado, here are my clothes… and other things that matter. 

Starting off with the most recent purchase, my Palladium boots. They are plain black and made of leather, and have a bootstrap at the rear end of the boot with colours made up of red, white, and blue. They are simple and quite easy to style. I believe black boots are one of the basic staples that an individual should own. They’re very versatile and go well with any outfit you put on.

These Palladium boots aren’t only significant to me because they’re a birthday gift, but because of how I got them. It was the day before my birthday, and we decided to go to Brick Lane to buy smoked salmon and bagels (with pickles!) as I was craving them. Hours before that though, as we were getting ready to leave the house, I noticed that the soles of my boots were slowly tearing in half. Considering that I only bought them from Shein, I understood why they would wear off quickly, but at the same time, I grew worried about wearing them out. Either way, my parents had promised to buy me new ones.

So, before we headed out to buy our bagels, we went to seek out shoe shops in Brick Lane, walking up and down the street, desperate to find affordable but good quality ones. As the sun started to set, we became hungry and irritable. I told my parents that it was alright if we couldn’t find any, they didn’t have to buy the boots for me now. The boots I was wearing then seemed to hold themselves together. I estimated that they could still be intact until I got back to my flat (where the rest of my shoes were) after the Christmas holidays. But they were insistent, so we checked out one last shop, and lo and behold, there they were… The Palladium boots that I own now, sat majestically on one of the shelves. They were like a pair of converse shoes… but leather. After a few times trying on, I finally got my size and my dad went and paid for them. 

The old ones were immediately binned, and I stepped out of the shop like a new woman. 

The second recent purchase that holds quite a value to me is my new go-go boots. They are white patent knee-high boots with heels three inches tall. I’ve always been fascinated by the fashion evolution between the 1950s to the 1970s. They were all so pretty! And to be honest, I’ve always wanted to own a pair of those ever since. This pair of boots are fairly new and don’t really have that much significance yet, but I do feel quite strongly about them, like a strong connection of some sort. I think it’s the idea of finally owning something I’ve been dreaming of. 

Leather jacket… Oh, my precious leather jacket. You’ve probably seen this from my previous blog, which you can find here. Or if you’re a friend of mine, you have definitely seen me overuse this jacket. Like a lot. Just like the go-go boots, I have always been wanting a leather jacket for a long while.

I remember it was June last year, and I decided to go through charity shops in hopes of finding one. There were two shops I was planning to go to. The first one… didn’t find any, but I didn’t let it bruise me. I kept my hopes low and moved on to the next one. The second shop was a lot fuller and had a lot more variety, I assumed maybe because they were located far from the high street and were overshadowed by the ongoing construction at that time. Once I entered the shop, I headed towards the male section as I tend to like clothes a little bit more oversized on me, and straight away, I saw the leather jacket. I pulled it out in excitement, and once I had fully studied it, I realised there was no way I wasn’t not buying it. I must buy it, and so I did. 

Ah yes, my trusted black tennis skirt. I remember I bought this from a car boot sale back in 2017. I was 15, and I was going through phases of different styles. Around this time, I was on the internet a lot. When I say internet, I mean Tumblr, and there were two specific aesthetics called ‘grunge’ and ‘doelette.’ Grunge featured a lot of tennis skirts, cropped black-striped shirts with chokers that have pendants on them and dark make-up, whereas Doelette is similar but a lighter version of it.

Back then, I thought the tennis skirts were cute. It reminded me a lot of the anime school uniforms that I always saw when I was a child. Think of… Sailor Moon. Luckily, I was able to find a skirt my size in the sale. I was so excited to own it – in fact, I was so excited that I had already made up different ways to wear it before even buying it. Up until now, I still wear the skirt and even though I have grown out of that ‘phase’ already, I still find ways to style it. It’s so versatile and can be worn all year round. It can be worn in summer, and it can also be worn in winter.

Funnily though, the tennis skirts went back into trend again on TikTok in 2020, and not to be that person, but I was already in on it before them. (Just kidding.) It just shows how fashion trends literally upcycle every… I don’t know. Every decade? 

I’m quite hesitant when it comes to picking colours for clothes. Most of the time, I tend to stray away from bright neon colours. However, when I visited the Philippines over the summer of 2019, I didn’t bring that many clothes because I wanted to have enough space on my luggage for things that I wanted to bring back to England (aka Filipino goodies!) I ended up relying on clothes that I left, but those were from when I was 14 years old. Surely, I’d grown out of them. So I borrowed most of my clothes from my aunt and my grandmother.

One night, I saw my grandma wearing these pink pyjamas. When she stood up and turned her back to us, I noticed that the top was cropped, and it had an opening at the back, to which I exclaimed, “That’s a cute top, Ma!” She said her thanks and said she liked it, but she could give it to me if I wanted it. I asked, “Really?” She nodded and excused herself. She went to her room, and after a few minutes, she descended the stairs and handed me the pink top she had just worn. I gaped at her. No way did grandma just change out of her PJs so she could give them to me! I hugged her and said my thanks.

She told me that I should wash it first before wearing it, but of course, a typical rebellious seventeen-year-old wouldn’t listen. So, the next day, when my aunt had planned for us to go to the city fruit festival, I ended up wearing the pyjama top as a casual crop top. Once I left the room, my grandma laughed and said, “Oy, ba’t mo ginawang panlabas yan!” [Hey, why did you wear it as an outdoor top?] I was scared that she was going to scold me, but she didn’t. I guess I impressed her too much. (Love you Ma!) 

This happened just days before I had to leave the Philippines. My Ma, Pa and my little cousin travelled to Davao City. My grandmother took me to a market with a lot of outlet stores, and I didn’t know where we were going until we stopped in front of a jewellery shop. As I looked closer, I noticed that it wasn’t just a normal jewellery shop, but it was a pearl jewellery shop. Real pearls. I don’t know why she wanted to get me jewellery, nevertheless, I was honoured. She got me pearl earrings instead of a necklace as I was wearing a special one which I will be touching on in the next paragraph. 

I received this gold necklace from my grandmother from another family. I decided to give her a visit while I was in the Philippines. She was ecstatic when she saw me, she took me out to eat Jollibee. As we were eating, I didn’t notice that she started taking off the necklace she was wearing. She tapped my hand, I looked up and she handed me the necklace. It was a gold necklace with a pendant of the Virgin Mary of Guadeloupe. “Please take care of it,” she said. I stared in shock as I took the necklace in my hand. “It’s made of real gold,” she continued. I nodded, thanked her, and promised her that I would take care of it as I put the necklace on myself. 

Lastly, if you have read my blog review of Midnight Mass (which you can find here), you’ll know that I was raised a Catholic Christian. Before I moved here to the UK, my grandad handed me a pair of the baby blue rosary and a bracelet with a cross pendant. I remember wearing the bracelet every day, but because I have fine hair on my arms, it rubs off and creates friction that pinches my skin, which made me not wear it as often as I used to. But it’s of such significant value to me as it keeps me grounded with my faith, and in general, it just looks so pretty. 

That’s all for today’s blog, guys! I hope you enjoyed this! Here’s a question for you: do you have any items, whether it’s clothing, jewellery or even books, that hold a significant and sentimental value? And if yes, let me know in the comments below! 

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