"Fashion is an expression of someone's inner voice. It's an opportunity to be whoever I want to be." Carlos Mangubat.


As we venture into our fifth conversation within our series The Art Of Getting Dressed, supported by Uniqlo, we sit down with Carlos, one of Melbourne’s most sought after stylists.

After volunteering at VAMFF seven years ago and going on to assist a stylist, Carlos realised styling was a career he could pursue. Interested in clothes from a very young age - think cliche Vogue memories and Barbie dolls - his taste has definitely evolved and his career couldn’t seem more fitting for the man he has become. 

I actually first met Carlos nine years ago, when I first moved to Melbourne and we were both working in retail on Chapel St. Our paths crossed on a daily basis as I would wave, walking past his store, and utter the question 'busy today?’ Since then I’ve kept up with his professional journey through social media, and we’ve run into each other on a number of occasions, either at photographic studios working on separate jobs or at fashion week where he styles back stage. Having admired his style for so long, but never having the right opportunity to photograph him, it was wonderful to sit down and talk about getting dressed, a process we have both dedicated our professional lives to. 


How do you get approach getting dressed every day? 

Almost my entire wardrobe is black, so each outfit only has subtle differences. If I am styling an advertising job, I will wear an outfit that is directional and trend oriented, but not too dressed up. If I am styling an editorial job, I normally wear street wear and something really comfortable made from fabrics that breathe well. 

Do you make conscious style choices?

I think there is a level of conscious behavior with all style choices. Even if you roll out of bed and wear whatever is on the floor, you choose that clothing over the clothing you have in the cupboard. 

Some days I wish I wore a uniform so I could shave off time choosing an outfit. 

Is clothing an opportunity for daily self-expression?

I think clothing can be both functional and artistic. Whether it’s a leather cape or crisp white shirt, clothing can be more than just a piece of fabric you use to cover your body. 

I like to find garments that can be both interesting and still suitable to wear every day. At the moment I love wearing wide leg pants, which are a reflection of both trend and comfort. 

Tell me about what something you've worn today?

A standard ‘Carlos’ outfit consists of wide legged pants, top with a zip (I love zips), Doc Martens and an extra layer - could be a coat or a jacket

I chose this look as it a real representation of my current style and almost all of my wardrobe.

Do you think your style has changed?

In the last ten years, my style has changed dramatically and I think it will continue to do so.

I think personal style is a reflection of you, your peers, your workplace and your general environment. As humans, we get influenced by the things, people, contexts, and circumstances we are exposed to, whether we are conscious of it or not.

My style has changed over the years mostly as a reflection of my interests and the people I have been around. When I was 18 I wore colourful clothing and zinc under my right eye; when I was between the ages of 22-26 I wore preppy American style clothing and now all I wear is black. I think my style and look has evolved over time and I’m in a place where I feel I have found a look I will pursue for a while. 

What was your last purchase?

Lately, I have been purchasing wide-legged suit pants and cropping them to 7/8ths. Most of these garments are wool or wool blended suit pants from the 90’s or that have a 90’s feel. I have been obsessed with anything 90’s lately, especially garments that are wide or oversized. 

You mentioned most of your wardrobe is black. Tell me about that?

A couple of years ago I did a social experiment for myself. I used to dress quite out there and I wanted to see what it would feel like to slip under the radar, and once I started to wear black I realised there was a different response. I didn’t get  noticed so easily, which I liked even though I have a large personality.

How do you create a successful black outfit?

Working with the same shade for an entire outfit places importance on the details - a zip or ribbon can enhance the outfit. Also the shade of black should be quite similar. The fabric and texture of a garment can make it more interesting, and the cut is important too,  especially as it will make it drape off the body. 

When updating your look or wardrobe are you an intentional shopper?

I guess I’m an intentional shopper. To update my look, I mostly try to find accessories or shoes that can enhance it. Normally I have seen these items in magazines, online or sometimes on the street and then I research places to find them and before purchasing. I recently bought a D-ring black belt after seeing the style in a magazine. 

However, I do shop on impulse sometimes and buy items I see that I think could be good to use on a shoot and/or to wear – without the initial intention to buy them. Normally these items then sit in the closet and may get worn six months later when I re-discover them.

As a stylist, do you think your personal style is influenced by the job that you do? 

My job allows me to be exposed to so many points of reference, so as I mentioned earlier I think consciously or unconsciously I am influenced by garments I have seen or used and/or the people I am around. 

I have found that the more I see something, the more I am likely to consider trying it. 

Do you dress to be comfortable or confident?

Dressing in something that when comfortable for you, makes you feel confident. There are moments I have sacrificed my comfort just for aesthetic, normally with shoes. 

If I am going to a particular event with a particular type of crowd, I will dress in an outfit that I know is flattering and cut well in order to feel more confident for the occasion. 

Does dressing warm make you happy?

Of course it does! Autumn and Winter are such great seasons for fashion, especially with the ability to layer. Being able to play with more options for outfits is great!

Ask Carlos anything below in the comments section. x