Always Be Chic: Reading Your Fashion ABCs with The Write Side of Bookshelf

What does ‘Always Be Chic’ mean and who learns their ABCs in such a fashionable way?

Author, fashion and wardrobe stylist KC “Miss Kayce” Leyco grew up taught to dress up chic and introduced this new way of learning ABCs to the fashion-forward at the SM Aura Book Nook last Friday, April 19, 2024. In a chic celebration of style and sustainability, Miss Kayce launched the second edition of her book, “Always be Chic by Miss Kayce”. Hosted by publishing house Bookshelf PH, the event was not just a book launch but a bold statement towards a more sustainable and inclusive fashion industry.

The newly updated “Always Be Chic by Miss Kayce” is every fashionista’s must-read manifesto that calls for a revolution in how we view, wear, and care for our clothes. With enriching new content, Miss Kayce extends her narrative to delve deeper into circular fashion—an ethos where clothes are designed to last longer, be reused more, and eventually be recycled, reducing the industry’s footprint on our precious planet.

‘I have nothing to wear’

“How many times have we opened our closet full of clothes and said ‘I have nothing to wear’?” Miss Kayce asked. “What makes us think we don’t own enough clothes when we barely have space in our wardrobes anymore?”

Donning an heirloom headscarf gifted by her late mother, a frayed, black denim dress from her go-to ukay store on Instagram, and statement black boots from a local Marikina shoemaker, Miss Kayce explained that this wardrobe brouhaha has a lot to do with our desire to keep up with fast fashion trends and thoughtless shopping choices.

“Hopping on trends triggers us to do impulse buys, then later on we realize these fashion pieces don’t suit us well or that they’re only worn once before we stash them in our closet behind a new pile of clothes,” Miss Kayce explained. “Being chic isn’t about not repeating clothes, but it’s all about choosing pieces that are made to last and can always be worn and paired with other pieces in a new way or repurpose for an entirely different look.”

The Fashion Revolution

Fashion starts with the self.

In this case, Miss Kayce hosted “How to Be a Storyteller”, a fashion revolution global workshop which included a series of design activities for participants.

From writing 10-minute poems to explain stories about their outfits to crafting short stories and characters about circular fashion, these bursts of creative sessions provided a platform for attendees to express their fashion stories in unique and impactful ways.

Attendees, dressed in their expressive best, had an immersive experience on the chic world of clothes, including Miss Kayce’s stories about working in the fashion and styling industry and insider information on the realities of fast fashion and its impact on Mother Earth.

“Fashion, for me, is all about connecting with people–may it be those who create these long-lasting clothes or the clients I style to bring out their best selves,” Miss Kayce said. “I always make it a point to buy from our local designers and sewers, while also accepting that every individual is unique and that I’m here to help them wear clothes that speak their personality and authenticity the most.”

A mini-competition during the activities also rewarded attendees who shared their stories with copies of ‘Always Be Chic’.

Fast-fashion to clothes that last

A spirited Q&A session also offered deep dives into the complex issues of fast fashion including limited clothing options for plus-sized fashionistas and the convenience of shopping online.

“Here in the Philippines, it’s always a challenge to find clothes for plus-sized men and women. This leaves us with no choice but to purchase from fast-fashion apps online. Given this reality, does it mean we can never be sustainable with our fashion choices?“ an attendee asked.

“Purchasing fast-fashion doesn’t entirely mean you can’t be sustainable,” Miss Kayce explained. “It’s not an end-all, be-all where you buy from a fast-fashion app and that’s it, you’re hurting our precious planet and there’s nothing you can do, no.”

So in case you bought a cute top from a fast-fashion app, it’s never too late to still be part of circular fashion.

“What we’re always advocating here is for you to buy clothes that last–whether that’s through rewearing them over and over again or reinventing them to be new fashion pieces that will last in your wardrobe even longer,” Miss Kayce said.

SM Aura Book Nook, located in Level 3 SM Aura, is a community library and learning hub that houses a diverse range of books including a donated copy of “Always Be Chic by Miss Kayce” and other Bookshelf PH titles. The donated copy is free to read along with other book selections.

“Always Be Chic by Miss Kayce” is available in paperback on PaperKat Books and available as an ebook through Bookshelf PH.

Join the next creative book club session with The Write Side of Bookshelf at SM Aura Book Nook this coming May 22, Wednesday, 4pm.


Bookshelf PH is an online bookstore and book publisher in the Philippines. The organization’s goal is to promote a richer Filipino literature that will contribute to individual empowerment, and in the aggregate, nation-building. At the core of these aspirations is the belief that the surest and simplest path to personal and professional growth is through reading, whether through physical books, ebooks, or audiobooks. Bookshelf PH thus welcomes collaboration with all book lovers in the country, including everyone from freelance writers and interns to local booksellers, self-published authors, and brands that aim to publish a book.