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    Style Stories — maricel cua

    Beng and Maricel

    Beng and Maricel

    If you’re pregnant, nursing a newborn or raising a toddler, chances are you’ve attended a class or bought supplies from The Parenting Emporium, a social enterprise that specializes in products and activities that help parents in taking care of their little ones.

    TPE founders Beng Feliciano and Maricel Cua believe that parenting is a legacy and that parenthood is a journey best shared with a community.

    When it comes to style, the dynamic duo shares a penchant for neutrals but have contrasting tastes when it comes to accessorizing. Read on to know more about their style and their tips on building a chic and child-friendly wardrobe:

    How would you describe your personal style? 

    Beng: "Classic with occasions of flexibility. I like clean cuts and basic pieces in neutrals and hues of blue. I love stripes and slip-on-and-go dresses. I find certain lacey pieces very soft and feminine." 

    Beng wearing a white drape top from Crisp with (1) Nave tassel earrings and (2) Flow infinity necklace 

    "There are times when I get so busy that I just don whatever is quick and comfortable without any regard to looking classic in any way. Flexible can also mean that I like trying something I don't usually wear on rare occasions."

     Beng wearing a striped top with (3) Catalina bracelet set and (4) Rein earrings 

    Maricel: "I go for wearable items that are timeless because who knows when I can find the time to go shopping again! And, it's always fun when I can create different looks from the same piece of clothing through layering or accessorizing or just mixing and matching items in my closet. Taking an old piece and turning it into something new and different appeals to my creative side. I have to admit, I still have pieces from when I was in college! Unfortunately, the whole Mari Kondo style of organizing has not reached my closet yet! I do practice keeping some pieces in storage for when I feel like they fit me well again. So sometimes I end up "shopping" in our own storage room!"

    "Most of my clothes are in darker colors - black, blue, gray, brown. I like A-lines because I don't like fabric that hugs the lower part of my body. Now that I'm pregnant though, I appreciate clothes that show off my baby bump - this is probably the only time that I would go for dresses that stretch and hug me."

    Maricel wearing her printed dress with (5) Florets necklace and (6) Rein earrings

    On what they wear on a typical day:

    Beng: "Jeans, shorts, shirt and white shoes."

    Maricel: "Now that I'm pregnant, the most comfy outfit for me is a flowy dress. I prefer simple ones versus those with prints because I love accessorizing according to my mood that day. When I'm not pregnant, what I wear depends on the weather as well. I would most likely be wearing jeans on cooler days or a dress if the temperature is warm that day. I'd also wear more sleeveless tops than I do now."

    Maricel wearing a red Elin dress with (7) Bloom necklace and her own Heyjow hoop earrings from the Rekindle collection

    On bags:

    Beng: "I used to be a big bag type of person but because of my back concerns, I go for smaller bags these days."

    Beng's collection of bags include a functional blue shoulder bag and a couple of smaller bags with embroidered details. What's inside her bag: a trusty notebook, Chimes Ginger Chews, and her favorite Doterra essential oils. 

    Maricel: "Medium-sized shoulder bag or casual totes, bags with comfortable straps because I tend to load my bags so if they have skinny or chain straps, they will dig into my skin."

    On jewelry:

    Beng: "I find white pieces very attractive." 

    Beng tends to gravitate towards neutral colors even in accessories. Seen here are her favorite pieces with her collection of Heyjow accessories.

    Maricel: "I like dainty pieces and gravitate more towards stones versus metal, feminine versus exotic, individual pieces versus layers."

     Maricel's bag collection include a yellow tote and gold weave clutch. Also seen is her collection of Heyjow pieces mostly made up of single necklaces with stones and crystals.

    On how their style has evolved since they became moms: 

    Beng: "I have a preference for clothing with pockets – pants, dresses and tops. It's very practical! I go for fuss-free pieces, which means not a lot of buttons, complicated zippers, straps or layers."

    On Beng: (8) Sunna charm necklace and (9) Prisma necklace. On Maricel: (10) Corazon necklace 

    Maricel: "I actually think that I dress better now that I am a mom simply because I pay more attention to the wearability, quality, and overall cohesiveness of my outfits. Also, since you are running about all the time, the realization is there that it is very easy to look awful and stressed out! I have become pickier when I shop and I also have become more critical with what suits my body type because if you have children that you carry, hug, and play around with, fabric can hug you in the most unflattering ways! Also, because your activity level reaches dizzying heights, you have to ensure that what you wear will not hamper movement, become a hazard to you or your children, and will still feel comfortable even if you sweat."

    Maricel wearing a cut-out top from Details with (11) Corazon necklace and her own Heyjow white druzy drop earrings made exclusively for Aranaz

    Style tips for moms: 

    Beng: "Go for basic colors and simple cuts. Never compromise comfort. For those with very young children, you should put on clothes that will make you accept a splutter here and a drool there. Also, accessorize appropriately which means anticipating situations (a child who likes to sleep while being carried by mommy will find certain necklaces bothersome)."

    Beng's white-on-white ensemble is easy to put on, comfortable and exudes classic chic

    Maricel: "I'd say to be open to trying on a lot of things and experimenting. I'm an advocate of individual style and comfort so whatever works for one mom will most likely not work for another mom. Enjoy the process and observe what other people wear. If you see someone wearing something you would like to try, don't be shy to ask them where they got it from! 

    Maricel wears her red dress with: (12) Bloom necklace and her own Heyjow hoop earrings from the Rekindle collection. Beng goes all white and tops it off with the (13) Cirrus teardrop pearl necklace

    Maricel: Bring a trusted partner/friend/family member with you when you shop. You may be comfortable in something you have chosen but others may see something unflattering when you turn, bend, or even just from your back view. Above all, have fun and don't despair, your personal style is out there somewhere. Might as well enjoy the search!"

    Follow The Parenting Emporium on Instagram: @theparentingemporium

    Photography by Sheila Catilo (@sheilacatilo)

    ***

    Accessories: 

    (1) Nave tassel earrings - coming soon

    (2) Flow infinity necklace - coming soon

    (3) Catalina bracelet set

    (4) and (6) Rein earrings - coming soon

    (5) Florets necklace - part of Garden Party collection (exclusively available at Aranaz)

    (7) and (12) Bloom necklace - part of Garden Party collection (exclusively available at Aranaz)

    (8) Sunna charm necklace - coming soon

    (9) Prisma necklace - coming soon

    (10) and (11) Corazon necklace 

     (13) Cirrus teardrop pearl necklace - coming soon