Suyen Corp. fashion and sales consultant Michelle Hui Lao.
Photos courtesy of Michelle Hui Lao
Tips for shopping in style
WORDSWORTH - Mons Romulo (The Philippine Star) - October 15, 2019 - 12:00am

Suyen Corp. fashion and sales consultant Michelle Hui Lao, who grew up in Solano, Nueva Vizcaya, never thought she would be part of the team of the biggest fashion empire in the Philippines.

Right after graduating from the University of Santo Tomas, Michelle worked as a flight attendant and was promoted to become a senior training and development specialist. After seven years of working in an airline company, it only felt natural for Michelle to dive into the retail industry.

Nowadays, one would find the ever so stylish Michelle in Assembly, a high-end retail fashion store ready to guide and advice customers into getting the pieces that best fit them. 

“The connection between my job in the airlines and styling and sales may be missed at first glance, but when you look closer, the two have one vital ingredient — service. And, you see, my heart is in service. Styling is a major bonus!” she shares.

Read on as Michelle shares with us her shopping tips.

With her son Nathan Yasay.

1 Keep an open mind. It has been said that, “a ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” Don’t be afraid to try new things. Explore. Fashion is supposed to be imaginative and a fun experience!

2 Fit is king. No matter how much you think you are infatuated with a piece, if it’s not well-made — doesn’t hug your body right in some parts or just doesn’t hang well on you, hurts your toes or bunion when you move — leave it. Trust me, you will find the right one. It may not be at all what you imagined but it will be the right one for you.

3 If you were to make a friend today, let it be your sales assistant (SA). A good relationship with your SA will yield premium benefits like letting you know about new arrivals in-shop before they even hit the selling floor or give you that last pair of the season’s “it” shoes in your size!

4 Wear a tank top and shoes that are easy to take off when shopping. When the changing rooms are full or when you can’t be bothered to use them at all, a tank top is perfect for putting any top over. Et voilà! The selling floor filled with full-length mirrors is your very own dressing room. And the shoes? Believe me, you don’t want to go through hoops with those sandals with a gazillion ties or laces when trying on a pair of bottoms, and having to put them back on again after the fact.

5 Snap, snap! We always need another set of eyes to see what we might be missing, right? Why not snap a photo of yourself in the dressing room? A photo will allow you to view yourself (and your clothes) without your biases.

Michelle with her boss Ben Chan.

6 When shopping for shoes to match that dress you’ve been wanting to wear, or vice versa, leave the guessing for game night and bring the dress or shoes for that instant perfect pairing.

7 Plastics — check! Don’t leave home without all those credit cards (and loyalty cards) in tow. You never know when the banks may have a promo, and the last thing you want is to not be able to bring home that coveted piece because you left that one card in your other purse.

8 Busting the “new stock” myth. When shopping at brick and mortar stores, unless you want choices to compare print placement, I highly discourage buying something you haven’t tried on, especially with fast fashion where products are mass-produced, there is bound to be a slight variation in the way something fits (refer to tip No. 2).

9 When shopping online, it is worthwhile to subscribe to your favorite site’s newsletters lest you miss out on new drops and special promos. Avoid at all costs the horror story with the working title “Sold Out.”

10 Just say no to single-use paper or plastic bags. After all that shopping, don’t you want to take comfort in the knowledge that you did your bit to protect and benefit the environment? I say yes! *

(We welcome your suggestions and comments. Please e-mail me at  Follow me on Instagram @monsromulo.)

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