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Strut your style

An empowered woman should not only be someone who knows how to articulate her aspirations, realize her plans and provide for what she needs but should also exude confidence emanating from her uniqueness and beauty as an individual.

A woman’s self-esteem gets an extra boost when she looks good because it will also make her feel good about herself. There is this thing called power dressing: dressing suitably and maintaining one’s style.

While there is an overlap between style and fashion, the good rule of thumb is that fashion is more collective while personal style belongs to the individual. It is a means of self-expression. You see, trends fade. Style is timeless.

I talked to some ladies whose style could not be easily ignored, especially on social media. So let me introduce them to you one by one.

Mojo Nova’s Joanne confidently wears crop tops and clothes that show some skin; middle, 2021 Miss Philippines Earth Runner-up Riah Angelica De Ocampo is a BS Tourism Management graduate, magna cum laude; right, Farrah wearing a John-John Ditching ensemble while being interviewed by an entertainment reporter after she was hailed Best-Dressed at the 2017 London Fashion Week Festival*

I am all for body positivity and self-acceptance. That is why I picked this gal who does not only have a beautiful voice but is also one who is very comfortable and proud in her own skin. Joanne Bernal is all about being heard and being valued for who and what a person is. She believes women should not fall victim to society’s artificial standards of beauty.

“When I was young, I used to be bullied for my weight and skin color. I felt so alone and I wished hard for someone to assure me that I was enough. But now that I am older and more experienced, I realized that being different is what makes me amazing and that who I am must be reflected in the way I carry myself regardless of people’s opinions,” shared Joanne.

A photo taken during Ana’s special photo shoot to celebrate her golden birthday in Dubai, UAE in April*

She stresses that it is high time for women of all shapes and sizes to be unapologetically proud of themselves.

“There is so much power in being yourself. I realized this after I started to love myself including my flaws,” she added.

Joanne is the lead vocalist of Mojo Nova, one of the popular bands in Bacolod. Photos on her social media account reveal her being adventurous, vivacious, artistic, fun and free.

Silaynon Riah Angelica De Ocampo finished strong as a runner-up in the Miss Philippines Earth 2021 pageant. But even before Riah joined the prestigious search and became a flight attendant, she has been enjoying local attention being an academic achiever, public speaker and a beauty queen. Smart chic best describes her choice of wardrobe. But Riah can also be random when it comes to choosing her OOTD.

“As a beauty queen, I want to be a role model and inspiration to younger girls. As a Filipina flight attendant, I represent the values of our company being a frontliner meeting people from different parts of the world. However, I believe looking good goes beyond what the eyes see. It is all about beauty and positive energy that radiates from within,” emphasized Riah.

Outrageous is a word that is often used to describe mother and interior designer Farrah Georgescu’s fashion statement. But the description does not bother her.  Farrah proudly flaunts her olive skin and struts her outfit that on some days may be a bit simple but on most days are elaborate, unexpected and a bit ‘shocking’ to some. The artist in her is very alive in every piece she wears.

Her unorthodox style makes her standout. She may be petite and does not have the curves of the Kardashians but give her a moment on the red carpet and surely, she’ll make heads turn. Proof: she was chosen Best-Dressed when she attended the London Fashion Week Festival in 2017.

“Other people will find my style outrageous because I don’t dress up like everybody. I don’t want to be boring. My style reflects my personality. I don’t follow trends. I am skinny and 5’2” with dark skin. I only wear clothes that flatter my body type,” said Farrah.

Meanwhile, fab at fifty is the best description for LCC Class 89’s Valedictorian and Computer Engineer Sunday Ana Arcobillas-Decena who is also site manager of a leading oil firm in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Getting dressed is a major production for carefree and youthful Ana as she uses it as a window to show her creativity.

“Dressing up is important because it enhances one’s personality. I don’t normally go for ‘one size fits all’. It is empowering to make our own rules when it comes to style, pick the best outfit which highlights our persona,” said Ana.

As for me, my style speaks of freedom, spontaneity, empowerment and fun because how we dress up speaks a lot about who we are and what we represent. Remember: it is not the brand or label that will make you look great. It is always how you carry yourself. And don’t forget to add a little attitude to your outfit. SLAY!*

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