Mint on My Mind and Frugal Thoughts12/05/2014 01:42:00 AM
These were taken quite some time ago on the day H&M finally opened their first store here in Manila, a.k.a. the day when falling in line for hours happened in SM Megamall. If you wanna skip this tl;dr (too long; didn't read) text-filled part of my post, you can breeze to the bottom part of this post instead. If you're interested in what happened during the opening of the store and what my thoughts are about it, here's a "short" but elaborate view on my two cents on the opening of said brand in my city..
Disclaimer: I've been familiar with this brand for years as I see it whenever I get to travel outside of the country, or when I talk to my fashion-loving friends about these things. I have nothing against the brand, really, or anything connected to it. I just wanna be honest about this whole event that has got so many people captivated by the newness of it all and how I feel about such an extravagant event it was made to be. This is personally just an opinion of mine and I carry no hard feelings towards the brand and the like, so please keep this in mind while you're reading this post.
1) H&M's marketing team is by far (arguably) the most successful one to date to be able to pull off such an extravagantly over-hyped store opening in Manila (with a giant paper bag of their brand in front of the mall, a huge countdown machine for the opening day, campaign ads and billboards all over EDSA, security guards all over the entrances/exits of the 3 level flagship store with only 1 usable entrance during the entire weekend event for crowd control, red carpets like you're at an awards show, freebies galore for the first 200 customers ever, etc.) since the dawn of probably the first mall ever built here. People literally started to camp out mid-afternoon the day before the opening of H&M in Megamall (I guess showering was out of the question for them. Lol, no shower today but I get dibs on H&M stuff before everyone else? Priorities, but I digress). More than 200 people were already in line before that day even ended; what is "crazy"? The day of the opening though, the line was 10 times as long (or even longer) than the previous day, and again only because "it's the opening day of H&M in Manila after asdfghjkl; years" and that H&M did promise as much as 40% off on the opening day (although I did read about people lining up because they had no idea what was happening and that since people were lining up, they just decided to line up as well and join the bandwagon without even knowing what H&M really was, omgwowokay). Though a lot of people may be super excited to get their hands on the said sale in the first ever store here in the country, it was indeed a bit heartbreaking that the said sale wasn't even tagged on 1/4 of the brand's product lines being offered (
so in a nutshell, you fell in line for hours on end waiting to get in only to see that the store offers so much more stuff way beyond your actual budget.. oh well, I guess credit cards and mommy/daddy's wallet should be enough and the free stuff they were giving away to those who got in early).
2) I have visited H&M in the States and my friends also shop in their Hong Kong branches before the Manila branch opened recently, and in the end we did notice that there is quite a price difference between the items sold here in Metro Manila and in their branches abroad (tax-related stuff perhaps?). Ironically the local prices are indeed overpriced compared to those sold abroad (how overpriced? Well in Manila you can buy boots and other footwear for as much as Php 5,000 -- my allowance back when I was studying wasn't even enough for a pair of boots today, but maybe I can buy just 1 shoe and come back next month for the other one when I can afford it, lololol -- when in the US you can buy the same thing for Php 2,000-3,000 less than that when converted to peso including tax, ahahaha, again I digress.)
Personally, when Den-den and I were able to drop by after the aftermath of the "sale", I did find a lot of their accessories pretty, as well as everything they had in the kid's section (hallelujah I can still fit in their kids' section; perks of being petite) quite cute. I will however just stick to where I can buy more of my money's worth than spend it on overpriced goods that won't really last me till the end of the season/trend. After all they are just clothes at the end of the day. It's not like people will know what brand you're wearing or how expensive your clothes are when they see you in them (unless you go on bragging about it
like a shameless prick, like wth, who does that??). All they'll be thinking about is if it looks good on you or not, lol. I kid. But really, it is more on just how you rock, carry, or sport a certain piece of clothing. If you can rock something you bought for less than Php 1,000 and make it look like 10 times more than how much you bought it then WAY TO GO! YOU'RE THAT MAN! It's like you won the fashion lottery. And it's the same way when you look at yourself wearing something that cost you Php 5,000 and it doesn't make you look and/or feel as much as it costs, then I don't think it's worth buying. But then again, that's just me, lolol #FrugalThoughts
Don't get me wrong, I'm not actually bashing anyone who buys stuff from these top notch brands and stores. By all means, you have the right to shop and buy whatever you want wherever you want. It's your money after all. All I'm saying is that, though it is pretty impressive that said brand was able to successfully lure hundreds and thousands of people to fall in line and shop their pretty but pricey products, if you look at it, it could also be seen as an intense form of colonialism in our country as well. I mean, if you camp out and fall in line for a one night only One Direction or Michael Jackson concert, then I would totally understand why you would go all the way for that kind of thing. But a flagship store opening is not like Cinderella where when the clock strikes midnight everything will just turn into a pumpkin and go away forever so you'll be forced to go there and wait so long to get your hands on their stuff before it disappears. The hype was so intense, that it kinda lost its sparkle if you think about it. But to each his own, I guess. I just hope that everyone who fell in line for the opening was happy with whatever they were able to buy, lol.
As for me, if I can find a look for less, then I feel a lot better sporting that than spending so much on a pair of boots that I won't probably wear as much as I thought I would. For other fortunate people who can travel and shop abroad (or have friends/family members you can ask a favor with and shop some "pasalubong" for you), I personally believe that it IS sometimes cheaper to find stuff outside of the country than it is here (like outlet stores, etc). Especially when you know where to look.
Other branches of this brand also opened around the metro recently (after almost 2 months since the grand opening in the country). And when I saw their newly opened stores, it all just seems like a normal store selling normal clothes in a mall like how they literally are. Like I said, at the end of the day, they're just clothes. In terms of marketing execution, they're practically Class SS like in Dance, Dance Revolution or Tekken God in Tekken and whatnot. But for practicality? Hmmmm..... I'm not gonna avoid their stores like a plague or a disease or whatever. I still have the right to look at what they offer like any customer/consumer. They do have pretty cool stuff like a cute kitty wallet I saw before, some chain necklaces, etc. But I will think twice, trice, even four times before I decide on buying something from them.
One thing I was glad about H&M opening on the first day of the Megasale back then was that while everyone was trying to fall in line and get their hands on their stuff, every other store in the mall was also on sale and was pretty much empty for the first few hours. So we had the mall to ourselves till people started waking up by lunch time and headed over to H&M as well. Lol, the many faces I saw who obviously faked a sick leave and absented themselves from work and school just to go to this store opening is pretty.... um, ballsy if I do say so myself, lol.
Eazy Fashion sunnies, Forever 21 pullover and bag, Baleno top, Pazzo for The SM Store jeans, Adidas shoes
On a lighter and totally different note: Although I didn't line up for the opening day of H&M myself (sorry, I'm not that crazy or patient), Den-den and I did go to Megamall to do some advanced Christmas shopping and birthday gift shopping for the November babies in our circle of friends. This was what I wore back then. Yes, I do own denim pants like anyone else does, contrary to popular belief. The only reason I don't sport them as much as shorts/skirts/dresses is cause I've known that I looked better in the other stuff than in jeans. With my height and built, it's kinda difficult to find the perfect fit of jeans for me that I'm confident enough to wear. This ootd was one of those days when I was fortunate enough to be confidently wearing them, lol. Den-den did say it took a while for her to remember that I was wearing jeans during this shopping date since I normally wear anything else besides them, lolol.
The look I was going for was still my usual casual self but with a hint of color-blocking. SM Megamall has been known to have colder air conditioners than other malls so I made sure to wrap myself up with another yummy colored cropped sweater in mint this time (I wore similar ones here, here and here). And this time around, I wore a plain white undershirt with my dark navy jeans to contrast the cool light mint of my sweater. With all the blues, I went for my oldie but goody sneakers (which I'm hoping to find a replacement for soon), and my camel-colored bag. Red nails caught the attention of Kenny and Den-den when they saw it, and just like how I intended it to be, they did agree that it was the perfect contrast to the mint tones of my sweater. Last tip: though it's not that overly sunny, when we shot this outside, I did choose to wear some sunnies since I didn't really do a full-face makeup look that day. Lol, when I slept late the night before anticipating where to go first when I get to the mall on a huge sale day and I ended up oversleeping and had to forgo doing a made up face for the camera (although I did put on mascara, light eyeliner, lip tint, and filled in my brows -- the one thing I can't leave the house without doing), my face still looked bare in front of the camera, so sunnies was the best cover up for a more presentable ootd shoot. I wouldn't wanna document my tired eyes from lack of sleep, hahahahaha~ #BloggerSecretsRevealed
PS: Sorry for sharing such long thoughts. But thank you for sticking through and reading everything, lol!
PPS: Thanks Den-den for taking my photos as always! ♥