Monday, March 5, 2012

What to Wear: Mt. Pulag / A Step-by-Step Guide to Making Your Own Waterproof Jacket

On Mt. Pulag, the humble garbage bag is turned into a creation of style and protection. Halfway into our climb, it was starting to drizzle with a large chance of downpour, so all the fashionable people turned to the it thing to wear!

Here is my cousin Noreen with her stylish waterproof jacket. I'll take you through a behind-the-scenes tour of her look in a bit.

Eeeeverybody's wearing the garbage bag! (Well, everybody who doesn't have a decent raincoat or waterproof jacket. Hehe.) This is Charlene, who wore it as a sleeveless shift. So chic, no? This just goes to show how versatile black is; wherever you are, whatever you're doing, it's ALWAYS in!

Alright, on to a step-by-step guide on how to replicate this look. Noreen is aided by none other than the master designer of this look, Louie, who also created Char's shift. The first step is pretty simple. Cut or tear out the center bottom part of a garbage back to make the neck hole. You don't want it too big so as to keep yourself as dry as possible.

Then customize the size of your jacket to your body by tying the bottom ends until it fits snugly over your hips. The stylish option is to tie the hem towards one side, like so:

The asymmetrical detail has a slimming effect and will prevent the wind from blowing rain into your jacket.

Some garbage bags have a sheer plastic tie that you commonly use to tie the bag shut. It makes a cute shoulder detail, but we'll rip it out later to create something else. For a light drizzle, some people opt not to take the next step so as not to trap a lot of body heat while climbing. If you want more coverage, read on :)

Cute cap sleeves! Hehe.

Now that you have your basic piece in place and covering your torso, take another plastic bag. This time, carefully tear down the sides of the bag so it becomes one long plastic sheet.

We'll use this piece for the sleeves, with this shrug as our inspiration:

photo from

Design is a marriage of aesthetic and function. Tie two corners of the long plastic sheet around one wrist and secure the ends around the thumb. This will keep the sleeve from hiking up while you remain focused on keeping yourself steady on the muddy trail and avoiding a plunge to your death. Do the same for the other side.

By this time, you'll have shrugged into your shrug (haha just had to say it) but we need to secure the sleeves some more. Here's where the plastic tie comes in. Rip it off, carefully avoiding making a hole in your garment, and tie the sleeves at the elbows.

And there you have it! The finished product and the happy model:

For heavier rainfall, I suggest you use some tape to seal the sleeves shut.

Happy styling in the great outdoors! :) If you found this post useful or even remotely funny, I'd love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below :)

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