Flip Flops, Vests, The Works: Pieces You Hate(d) That Are Worth Revisiting

Flip Flops, Vests, The Works: Pieces You Hate(d) That Are Worth Revisiting

Get ready to do some digging: you're going to want to unearth these pieces from the back of your closet after this



I have several vivid memories that I carry with me from my old job, with the recurring precautionary text messages from my best friend warning “I’m in a sando, ha (I’m in a tank top, okay),” every time I’d head over to his apartment being among my favorites. 


At this point, with too many opinions and lack of sensibility to hide them perhaps even when I should, I’m convinced everyone who truly knows me is aware that I despise this article of clothing. Tank tops or sandos or whatever you’d like to call them. This hatred isn’t unfounded: there’s the fact that they ring synonymous to sweaty summer afternoons, the way they offer an unceremonious peek at your armpits and how they give plenty of opportunity for my bra fat and chubby arm insecurities to show through. 


It’s a me problem, clearly, but despite that knowledge, I hate tank tops with a passion. Or at least I used to. It took a good few years to convince me, but it seems my sartorial opinions on a few things have wavered a little.


The Tank

Whether we're talking racerbacks, thin straps or full-on muscle tees, something about these shirts just always felt too dressed down and reminiscent of childhood pambahay (home wear) in a way that I didn't appreciate. It's strange because I'm fine with equally lazy ripped shorts and slouchy tees, but I'm going to chalk up the targeted dislike to the fact that sometimes, that's just how preferences work—beyond all rhyme and reason or something like that. Despite my stone cold hatred towards the article of clothing, I admit that I started warming up towards the warm weather staple a few months ago. 2019 shoved a summer so hot in our direction that it was nearly impossible to go out in anything thicker or more covered up than a tank top. And so began the change.


Consider the appeal of a simple tank top (no bra, if you're feeling particularly daring), when layered with sartorial puzzles like double denim. It's the kind of style combination that one could either hate or adore, but one thing's for certain: when paired with a plain tank, the entire look is tied together with an air of devil-may-care cool.



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Yan Yan Chan (@_yanyanchan) on


Or what about taking the road less traveled by way of a subtle pop of color? Consider editor-turned-influencer Alyssa Coscarelli's sunny take:



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by alyssa coscarelli (@alyssainthecity) on


If you're one to accessorize, piling on the bling remains an option. After all, a little contrast is always refreshing. Pearls and gold against a canvas of ribbed cotton is no exception to the rule.



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by chinda phraph (@ch.phr8ph) on


RELATED: #WonderAsks: Who’s Your Style Icon?


The Flip Flop

For a tropical country where slippers and lightweight, waterproof footwear are among the most logical options, many a Filipino detests flip flops. Perhaps it's similar to the sando in the sense that it hails back to thoughts of pambahay or has been branded a beach or market-only shoe. Regardless of the reason behind the flip flop aversion you may be harboring, let's attempt to give that feeling pause. Consider these styling options.


It is with unwavering firmness that I admit to the fact that I would say yes to pretty much anything ManRepeller founder Leandra Medine suggests I wear. Nobody has the “dressed down but not” formula nailed quite like she does. Case in point:



View this post on Instagram


Good news! I found a new platform on which to perform my #oneleggedselfie. Indoor sunglasses included

A post shared by Leandra (Medine) Cohen (@leandramcohen) on


A thought from the Spring/Summer 2020 shows: what if the way to getting over our slipper hesitation is doing away with the idea that they're a casual-only styling option? Two very convincing arguments from Marni and Sies Marjan:


Flip Flops, Vests, The Works: Pieces You Hate(d) That Are Worth Revisiting Flip Flops, Vests, The Works: Pieces You Hate(d) That Are Worth Revisiting
Images via Vogue


An upgraded take: lace-up flip flops. Imagine the possibilities! Pair them with cargo pants, a midi skirt or a pair of cropped jeans.


Lace-up faux leather sandals - Hated Fashion Items
STYLENANDA Lace-up faux leather sandals, 37USD


RELATED: Salad Day and the Eclectic Youth: An Enduring Love Affair


The Vest

It's likely that the profusion of the denim vest circa 2011 is the force that pushed all sleeveless pieces of outerwear into people's list of most hated fashion items. The vest, despite how many might feel about it, isn't actually all that terrible. It makes for a good extra layer when the weather calls for it. It can draw attention to fancy sleeves by masking the torso. It can double as a top and we're all for multi-use clothing, aren't we?


Most vests have a utilitarian touch, which makes them the perfect finishing touch to otherwise delicate outfits. Take a look at this Stylenanda cargo vest giving a tartan midi dress a side serving of personality:


Hated Fashion Items - WonderSTYLENANDA Cargo pocket button-up vest, 100 USD


What about Yoyo Cao's fashion week-worthy vested look?



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by YOYO CAO (@yoyokulala) on


A counterpoint: It's important to bear in mind that not all vests are made to be the military-inspired cherry-on-top to an outfit. In fact, vests that fall under neither denim nor utilitarian might be the most palate-cleansing of the bunch. Who says an open-front, sleeveless outerwear situation can't be delicate or drenched in florals?



RELATED: Wonder Plays Dress-Up: Angela Martinez In The New Layers


Do you have your own closet artifacts due for excavation? Sound off below and let us know which pieces you're looking to revisit!



Art Alexandra Lara


You may also like

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Get weekly updates on trending topics

Ⓒ 2018 – 2023 Wonder ™ | All Rights Reserved


Discover More


Don't miss a thing

Stay up to date to the latest news and articles.