My Top 5 Ukay-Ukay Tips For A Successful Thrifting Adventure

When I was in college (Animo La Salle!), I remember religiously spending my lunch breaks wandering around thrift stores along Taft Avenue. I had a knack for buying pre-loved clothing and even my neighbors’ clothes through garage sales. Maybe because as a student, it was the most cost-effective way to keep up with fashion and I liked wearing unique pieces. So when I was received a message from entertainment journalist Marie Lozano to do a “Celebrity Look For Less” – I said, “GAME!” :)

Ukay-ukay in Anonas

From middle priced thrift stores in Taft Avenue, I became curious and checked out EVERY thrift store I could possibly visit. My favorite ones are in Buendia, Makati Cinema Sqaure (!), Cubao (near Gateway), Bambang, Quiapo and even go as far as Tagytay and Baguio. I just LOOOVED going ukay-ukay, I felt like Tomb Raider but on a mission to hunt cool clothes.

Anonas LRT 2 (Beside Anson Supermart & Department store)

So when I got this ukay assignment, I immediately thought we gotta do this in one of the BEST ukay places in Metro Manila and without batting an eyelash, I suggested Anonas LRT 2 Station. 

How to get there:

Simply get on the LRT 2 line and go down at Anonas station. This literally CONNECTS as you exit the LRT station.

Anonas 4-storey building (An ukay-ukay haven!)

To go to the building with 4 floors, exit Anson Supermarket/Department, turn right and its literally the next entrance beside it.

It honestly has no signage but if you ask around which ukay building is the one with 4 floors, they’ll certainly know.

My top 5 tips for the ukay-ukay first timer

  1. Wear comfortable clothing

          Some ukay-ukays will be poorly ventilated so expect a hot environment. You’ll also be sifting through hundreds of clothing so expect dust and dirt so dress accordingly. My favorite ukay outfit is an oversize shirt, leggings and flats.

2. Set a budget for yourself and research “pegs” or styles to spot

         The insanely cheap prices at an ukay will OVERWHELM you that you might feel like buying everything you need. It’s wise to actually research or visit your favorite shops to see whats in trend now and to set a budget before you go. My usual budget is between Php500 to Php1,000. Do your bit for the environment and only buy what you will surely wear.

Php35 plaid jacket

3. Look out for holes, missing buttons, stains before purchasing

Even the shop keepers don’t have time to go through every piece cos of the high volume so take the liberty to CHECK thoroughly if your purchase has defects. If you think you can remedy it (stitch a hole or bleach a stain) then go for it, but if you aren’t sure, best to just leave it cos it might just end up in the bin.

Handkerchief skirt for Php20

4. “New Arrivals” mean prices are at its highest cos you get first dibs

Personally, I don’t shop in stores that say “New Arrivals” because that will surely mean EXPENSIVE. Shops needs to get back the cost of the clothes so they price everything high and see what sells first. I like scavenging through the racks that say “3 for 100” or “Php20 each” because one man’s trash can be another man’s treasure.

Wearing a head-to-toe outfit from the ukay-ukay

5. Bring an eco-bag when you shop to stop the use of plastic and socks IF EVER you’ll need to try on shoes

Lastly, patronizing pre-loved clothes is ACTUALLY good for the environment because we are minimizing the volume of clothes that can be potentially thrown in a landfill. So, do your bit of the environment and bring your eco bags when you shop so you don’t need to take home plastic bags.

Filming with Marie Lozano for ABS-CBN

It was indeed a fun 5 hours of scavenging through racks and racks of pre-loved clothing with Marie Lozano. Check out the link below and see us looking for your favorite celebrity styles FOR LESS!

on ABS-CBN: Cop your favorite celebrity styles for less!

It was tricky but we tried our best to find these stylish looks in Anonas. We love the boho style of Kathryn Bernardo, the edgy Nadine Lustre and sexy Selena Gomez. Click here to view the full article and see what we found!

With our camerman, kuya August

Those are my TOP 5 tips for the ukay-ukay first timer. Can you share with me some of your tips as well? :)


The Style Cat