By Andre Drilon (as told to Celene Sakurako)
Ukay goers find thrill in the treasure hunt. From timeless fashion to luxury brands, the ukay god provides for cheap. As an advocate of genderless fashion and a lover of all things retro, there is no greater blessing than ukay-ukay or thrifting. There is no other joy like discovering the perfect find and then bragging to your friends that it was only P50.
Even as a broke student with no disposable income, I can readily participate in the world of fashion. I typically spend a few hundred on my monthly ukay-ukay trips. But sometimes I indulge myself and go past a thousand, and happily return home with a pile of clothes you could never find in a regular retail store.
However, ukay-ukay can be very intimidating for those who have never tried it. You can’t judge asthmatics who are unwilling to sift through racks of old and dusty clothes for hours. The extreme surplus of choices can paralyze indecisive shoppers. High maintenance people find the locations sketchy. Some are just too plain lazy to go, which is understandable because shopping at ukay-ukay stores can be very exhausting.
Lucky for all of you, some young creatives provide a somewhat proxy service. These re-sellers do all the dirty work and then curate it on Instagram at your convenience. All you need to do is follow the stores that suit your preference; I would almost describe it as a “de-personalized personal” vintage shopping experience.
Most online ukays operate through bank deposits and LBC. While it isn’t as convenient as online credit card shopping, it’s a far cry from going to a dusty ukay-ukay. All you have to do is deposit money into an account provided through the Instagram account, and within the same week, your purchases will be delivered to your doorstep.
Just keep in mind that although sourced from the same supply, online ukay is not a substitute for the real thing. It’s also more expensive than going to an actual ukay, but still very affordable. While I am a satisfied patron of these curated stores, they cannot replace the joy of the hunt. However, perhaps this can help those who are too lazy to go out there and do so.
With that being said, here are my picks of the best online ukays you can find on IG:
This is one of my top favorites. Tim Briagas has the exceptional talent of finding larger clothes that fit smaller people. You can trust his size recommendations as he is very meticulous with fit and silhouette. He also frequently sells retro picks from brands like Adidas, Fila, and Tommy Hilfiger.
Price range: P150-P500+
This store boasts a very eclectic selection of clothes. The owner Shayne Lopez is a known for being a member of the underground creative scene in Cebu, and his perfectionism shows in his curation. Shayne’s store provides a variety of styles, but I would say his specialty is ’80s to ’90s polos. Think: Ryan Gosling from The Nice Guys, aptly complemented with a gold Casio.
Price range: P300-P1000
Price range: P200-P800
If you’re looking for an Adidas jacket from a spread in a ’90s magazine, shop here. This store features an array of curated sporty and vintage picks, and some of the finds are legit iconic pieces from decades ago.
Price range: P1000+
This store is handled by Inah Maravilla, a girl-gaze photographer from Benilde. She provides everything from classy basics to leopard print wear. These clothes come with the guarantee that they have been worn and cherished.
Price range: P150-P600+
This store is a collection of sukeban jackets and other retro Japanese clothes. It may be new, but the few already featured picks are extremely rare; these finds would impress even a seasoned ukay-goer.
Price range: P700-P1500+
This is owned by none other than Assi Abogado. You might know him as the crazy boy who always comes to parties best dressed. This shop features his unique daily wear, which is in no way outshined by the costumes he is known for.
Price range: P250-P600