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Char and Leona

Char and Leona

Sisters-in-law Char Carlos and Leona Panutat aka 'The Inspiration Seekers' have traveled the world together in search of inspiration. Their love for one-of-a-kind finds and eye for stylish pieces led them to open their now-defunct store, L'Indochine, which became a favorite among the bohemian crowd. 

Though the shop is now closed (and we sit here keeping an eye out for any form of revival), this duo continues in their quest of living an inspired life. 

In terms of personal style, these two have a flair for combining classic and sporty elements with boho sensibilities. Here, we learn more about their favorite closet staples and their tricks when it comes to accessorizing. 

On personal style:

Char: "I would describe it as tomboy chic with classic pieces. After L'Indochine, I went the opposite direction. I am now in black, grey, white, navy and in rare occasions, blush. I love the athleisure trend as it suits my lifestyle since I travel often accompanying my daughter to her tennis tournaments abroad." 

 Char wearing a long black top and jeans with (1) Sol necklace duo and (2) Cristal cord bracelets

Leona: "Easy, comfortable, classic with a twist that’s slightly undone. I will never be the perfectly coiffed manicured, proper lady. It’s just not me. I prefer classics with a twist. I like pairing my closet staples in unconventional ways." 

Leona wearing a white button down borrowed from her husband’s closet paired and drape pants from Uniqlo with (3) Holly bracelet duo and (4) Salvia Dua earrings

On what she wears on a typical day:

Char: "Easy-going separates, basics and kicks. On a typical day, I wear a boyfriend tee in white, gray or black and a pair of shorts. If it’s raining, I will wear a jacket or vest to complete my outfit. Depending on my mood, I will wear whatever sneakers I feel like wearing but if I’m lazy, I will slip on my favorite pair of black and silver Adilettes to do grocery or school pick up runs."  

Char wearing a white sleeveless top with (5) Holly necklace (6) Cristal cord bracelet and (7) a howlite beaded bracelet (part of Holly bracelet duo)

Leona: "80% of the time I’m in a pair of jeans and a white top. I have many, many versions of this outfit. I find all white outfits so chic but it has to be easy and comfy. On days that my jeans and white tops are in the wash, I’m in wide leg pants with either slouchy light sweaters or structured tops from Chicify or in easy Wear Anika dresses — always with sneakers or flats."

Leona wearing an oversized button down and wide leg cropped jeans with (8) Ross earrings and (9) Asfar necklace

On bags and jewelry:

Char: "I love bags. They used to be an addiction but I have been on a bag ban for the last year. I love my retro Gucci saddle bag. It comes with 2 straps: a leather one and a sporty red and green-striped one. The Moynat Quattro bag is another favorite because I had it monogrammed in a ghost font in Paris. Totes are just so easy to use when you are a mom. So easy that I have the bad habit of piling things in it until it becomes too heavy and hurts my back!  And for travel (not the vacation kind, but the chaperone-your-daughter kind of travel), I rely on my Burberry backpack. I first saw it on Taylor Swift and loved how slouchy and effortlessly cool it looked. I tracked it down in Hong Kong and it’s an absolute must-have travel bag for me."

 Char's favorite bags: Moynat Quattro, Burberry backpack and Gucci saddle bag

"I lost the screwdriver to my Cartier love bracelet so it’s permanently on my wrist. I also wear a men's Rolex Milgauss and a Cartier Santos XL Santos. Men's watches give the illusion that a woman's wrist is daintier and more delicate. I also wear my diamond studs, which is a gift from my mom during my college graduation. And then I either wear a statement necklace or layer bracelets from Heyjow."

Char layers her Rolex men's watch with (10) Cristal cord bracelet, (11) a howlite beaded bracelet (part of Holly bracelet duo) and (12) Tinsel bracelet

Char's collection of Heyjow pieces are a mix of statement necklaces with eye-catching hardware

Leona: "I’ve learned to pare down everything to just the essentials and have been carrying smaller bags nowadays. My go-tos are my monogrammed Cuyana bag, tan Niqua Sella saddle bag, and beaded L’Indochine sling."

"Earrings and rings are a current favorite of mine. I’ve recently started to veer towards more organic and sculptural shapes. I happily picked up a pair of Heyjow druzy studs and tribal themed gold earrings have been on heavy rotation as of late. I also started investing in fine jewelry." 

Leona's go-to bags pictured with her favorite eyewear and jewelry, which includes tassel and drop earrings from Heyjow

On shoes:

Char: "I wear sneakers almost everyday. My favorites are my Black and Tan Puma Fenty pairs at the moment. If I have a lunch appointment or something which requires me to be a bit more polished, I will reach for my Gucci loafers or Cos glove shoes. If I really must wear heels, I use my Chanel two-tone sling back pumps. I can't wear heels all day like I used to but I love my Chanel pumps. They are classics and I’ve had them for years." 

Char wears her classic Chanel sling backs while Leona laces up her Comme des Garcon x Converse sneakers

Leona: "Sneakers for life! I only stick to classics and wear them until they beg to be replaced. I have a pair of black Comme des Garcon x Converse, all white sneaks from Veja and a pair of Adidas Ultraboosts for working out and of course, classic white chucks. I haven’t bought a pair of heels in years! My statement black and white sandals are from Zara and have been with me for about 5 years now. When I’m not in sneakers, I’m still in flats. I prefer sandals and slides from Renegade Folk and Moroccan slip-ons from Sewn Sandals."

Leona adds color to her all-white ensemble with (13) Holly bracelet duo and (14) Salvia Dua earrings while Char accessorizes with the (15) Klair necklace and (16) Tinsel bracelet

Style tips:

Char: "Invest in good quality clothes. Repair them to fit you better. Manila has tons of alteration shops that can help your clothes fit better. Accessorizing is a must! Invest in accessories because they complete your outfit."

Char wearing the (17) Cair necklace with her black V-neck dress

Leona: "Invest in your closet staples. I cannot stress this enough. They are the most hardworking pieces in your wardrobe and you reach for them 75% of the time. They’re also the perfect foundation for pairing with trendier pieces."

"This layered black cotton and tulle skirt is from Esprit and I’ve had it for about a decade already. I love how its still current now. I wore it with an army vest from Gap, which I belted at the waist for definition. The accessories and heels instantly elevate the look while switching to a pair of sneakers or leather slip-ons makes the whole outfit casual."

Leona takes a walk with her son Walt in her tulle skirt and army vest 

Leona: "Accessories are the fastest way to update your look and ease into a trend. Want to go boho? Start with tassel earrings and an embroidered bag paired with jeans and a shirt. Minimalist? Keep things clean and wear streamlined accessories." 

On Char: (18) Cair necklace. On Leona: (19) Holo necklace, (20) Cristal cord bracelet and (21) Tijuana earrings

Leona: "Also, buy the best closet staples that you can afford. I’d rather have 3 pairs of well-made pants than a dozen so-so ones that I don’t enjoy wearing."

Follow The Inspiration Seekers: @theinspirationseekers

Photography by Sheila Catilo (@sheilacatilo)



(1) Sol necklace duo

(2), (6), (10) and (20) Cristal cord bracelet

(3) and (13) Holly bracelet duo in tourmaline

(7) and  (11) Holly bracelet duo in howlite

(4) (14) Salvia Dua earrings

(5) Holly necklace

(8) Ross earrings 

(9) Asfar necklace

(12) (16) Tinsel bracelet

(15) Klair necklace 

(17) and (18) Cair necklace

(19) Holo necklace

(21) Tijuana earrings - exclusively available at Lanai

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