Dezzal, an updated review: Dress 3

This is the final dress I am reviewing for Dezzal.com, a new clothing site with modern designs. You can read my first two dress reviews here and here.

This is the only polyester dress I picked, and that came back to bite me. It’s a beautiful design, but the sleeves were too narrow and tight. My boyfriend’s mom fashioned a new sleeve from the fabric of the old ones, which were a 3/4 length. She did a wonderful job, but it was a shame to have to alter it since the overall Asian feel of the design is what drew me to it.

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The dress is fully lined and has a textured material. It also has pockets, but they are awkwardly sewn on the front part of the dress instead of near the hips. However, there are thoughtful pleats on the sides of the dress that keep it from resembling a tent. It looks like a shift dress from the front, but has more shape when viewed from the side and back.

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I rarely button-up shirts or dresses to the top, but I thought it was necessary for this dress. It fits snug against my neck, which was pretty uncomfortable by the end of this shoot. But much like the other two dresses I picked, this one is very loose but feminine and doesn’t sacrifice style for comfort.

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I paired it with a simple pair of black flats and fox earrings as a nod to Japanese culture.

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Dress: c/o Dezzal
Flats: Steve Madden
Earrings: Aeropostale

To wrap up the week of reviews, I have to say that I was a bit too hasty with my initial review of the website. While I still think it’s odd to list a US size 8 as a 2XL, I have to take into consideration the different body sizes from culture to culture. I was skeptical in the beginning so I’m glad I had a chance to try the clothes.

Dezzal’s selection is still out of my current price range (though they’re having a Flash Sale at the moment!), and figuring out measurements and crossing fingers hoping that the order will fit may be stressful for some. But here in Cologne I felt like I stood out among the sea of women in H&M and Primark clothes who all start to look the same after a while.

Thank you to Dezzal for sponsoring this post.

Dezzal, an updated review: Dress 2

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This is the second dress I received from Dezzal.com, a website I reviewed a few weeks ago and had my doubts about based on the size range of their clothing. Dezzal let me pick items from their website to review so, yeah let’s do this.

Alright, this is the softest dress I picked, and the most forgiving. I have to admit there were times when I felt a bit like I was wearing a Muumuu, but it has a pleating in the back and is sewn in towards the waist, so my shape isn’t completely lost.

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I was drawn to the floral embroidery, its bright colors and pattern reminding me of Mexican peasant dresses. This is something that my teenager self would have totally rejected, but feels so exotic to wear in Germany. I’ve dealt with a few problems since moving here concerning the color of my skin and hair, so to wear a dress that pays a slight homage to my Mexican American heritage feels good.

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My only problems are with the frayed edges of the dress. It’s consistent on all the hems, but I had to cut a few long stray threads and a small part of the collar looks sloppy. It wasn’t something that a few scissor snips couldn’t fix, but for being $132.99 I would have expected a cleaner hem.

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I paired it with statement earrings and lace-up mustard flats since the design is rather large. To add even more shape to the look, I wore a jean jacket when it started to rain.

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Dress: c/o Dezzal
Shoes: Zara
Earrings: H&M

As for the packaging, my dresses came in thick plastic bags with a ZIP LOCK. I mean, I can totally reuse these.

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I’m used to receiving clothes in disposable thin plastic with adhesive, so this was a bit of a luxury. The dresses were folded neatly inside but needed ironing and steaming when removed.

tl;dr Dress is soft and wide, which allows room for ample burrito eating and field twirling, but has a delicate hemline.

Thank you to Dezzal for sponsoring this post.

Dezzal, an updated review: Dress 1

A few weeks ago I reviewed the website Dezzal.com, a new clothing site with unique items in a wide style range by a multicultural group of designers. I was impressed by the overall uniqueness of Dezzal’s clothes, but the prices and size range were beyond my reality.

The most key judgement I made was on the sizing. I noticed that a size 2XL actually meant a size 8 US, and this immediately lost my interest. How was I supposed to take this site seriously if they don’t even carry clothes in my size and call a size 8 2XL? Well, I spoke too soon.

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Tape measure in hand, I consulted Dezzal’s size charts, which actually does have measurements up to a US size 16, and measured myself according to the length and width. I chose dresses in a shift style so that I was guaranteed a bit more fabric around the middle. Each dress was different than the last, which was to be expected since it ranged from designer to designer, fabric to fabric. I used the filter tab to narrow down my choices to size 2XL dresses, and sifted through my favorite designs based on their measurements.

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Picking my items was more work than I’m used to since I am someone who likes to shop at the same places where I know my size. I made sure I picked pieces made from real materials, like this silk dress. I was drawn to its tuxedo-like front and simple black and cream colors. It’s something that could easily work in the summer and fall.

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It has the look of a shirt dress, but feels expensive. Its sleeves have the option of being 3/4 or rolling up halfway with a button closure, and the length is perfect on my 5’6″ size 12 frame. My only complaint is that it’s sheer and requires a slip.

I paired it with a statement ring and buckled patent flats, but I can also see it working well with tights, boots and a wool coat later this year.

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Dress: c/o Dezzal
Flats: Topshop
Ring: Rebecca Minkoff

This is the first part of a three-part review of Dezzal’s dresses, craftsmanship and soon packaging and ordering experience.

Thank you to Dezzal for sponsoring this post.

June 2016

I spent my train ride home from work today scrolling through TIME.com reading vignettes about the 49 victims from the shooting in Orlando. Smelling of chicken grease, my hair tied up in a ponytail and my dirty Chucks propped up against the train rail, I fell into a daze reading and realized how many Hispanics died that night. I’d read that Pulse was hosting a “Latin Night,” but I’d failed to realize that many of the victims were most likely Hispanic.

Fernandez, Ayala, Flores, Martinez, Rodriguez. Their deaths seemed suddenly more personal. Of course it is sad when fellow Americans are slain, but much like those who identify as gay and connected with the victims over this fact, I was suddenly grieving on behalf of my culture.

This was all so sudden. I was still processing Christina Grimmie’s death, which I also don’t understand. These are tragic endings for innocent people.

I watched Shane Dawson’s video about Christina. I’ve been unsubscribed to him for over a year now due to the drop in quality of his content, but his reflection about the loss of his friend brought me to this video, which I had watched when it was first posted:

My heart fell into the pit of my stomach watching them sing and laugh together, and I can’t even imagine how Shane is feeling watching this again now.

My condolences and prayers go out to the family and friends of the victims. I wish there was something I could do. As Dumbledore said, “We must try not to sink beneath our anguish, Harry, but battle on.”

 

What the hell is an “influencer”?

While fishing sleep crust out of the corner of my eye and holding back obnoxious 5:30 a.m. yawns on the train to work, I was hate-scrolling through a few obnoxious Instagram users and noticed one woman had the term “Influencer” as part of her profile. A quick search through the hashtag led me to more profiles of bloggers and online entertainers, ranging from 1K followers to 255K, who also referred to themselves as an “influencer.”

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According to Wikipedia, “influence marketing” depends on the work of an “influencer” to be persuasive in a social environment. So, an advertiser.

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I can barely swallow the title “content creator,” and now there is already another term self-obsessed people are using to make themselves appear more important than they are.

Did I miss the memo about humbleness being dead? Are these people not self-aware? If I’ve learned anything from the positive response I’ve received from calling out bloggers about being corrupt and greedy, it’s that people much prefer real people and personalities and not someone who is consistently trying to sell you something, which is all “influencing” sounds like to me.

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Stop with being “obsessed” with everything and taking flat lays of c/o products and calling it “influencing.”

Dress: H&M
Jacket: H&M
Shoes: Steve Madden (similar)
Necklace: H&M

This blog is totally amateur, my style is basic and only Chinese companies want to send me cheap clothes and $10 for posts, so I am not “influencer” material. However, if you ever want Belgium beer recommendations, tips for how to take your own blog photos or a good mug cake recipe, hit me up.

Outfit: Cut-out flats again because they let my feet breathe, a dress that cinches me at the smallest part of my waist and has the perfect amount of flair and the jacket I bought to fit in with the locals. Germans love their olive parkas.

And two bitch-slapped photos:

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I should just start using the outtakes of my “photoshoots” as my blog photos. They’re way better.

When your future relies on a language test

I recently had to Google “How to cope with expat depression” because it finally hit a week ago. I wouldn’t say I am legitimately depressed, but I am experiencing more waves of worry and self-doubt far more frequently than a couple months ago.

I moved from Houston, Texas to Cologne, Germany to start a master’s program in English this summer, but this did not happen. I didn’t score high enough on the Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang (the most difficult German language proficiency exam) to qualify for my completely-in-English master’s program. This means I couldn’t enroll and need to take another qualifying test, this time the Goethe Institut B2 Zertifikat exam.

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Blah blah blah, right. It’s a language exam, just study, shut up. I get that. But I am more bothered by the simple fact that all of my accomplishments so far mean nothing unless I pass a mid-level language exam.

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This, coupled with taking a 75% pay cut and dealing with difficult neighbors when trying to take blog photos, one of the few things that gives me creative joy, leaves me feeling dejected. On top of this I have three loan companies demanding payments of more than I make a month. But I have to remind myself that I am the one who made things this way. I decided to attend a college that cost $30,000 per year, I decided to leave my comfortable job, I decided to move to Germany.

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My master’s program, a job in writing and editing and my own personal happiness is currently dependent on this language exam. Maybe it doesn’t have to be, but it is the path I am currently committed to.

Top: Zara
Cardigan: Primark
Pants: J.Crew
Shoes: Zara
Earring: H&M

I check my Google Adsense account, SocialBlade and site stats religiously to try and figure out a way to make a little extra money and create content I enjoy. If any of you have tips, I would love to hear them. I have a few ideas for how to change my aesthetic and content, I just need to see it through.

Suspicious neighbors update

For the past few months I have been documenting the negative encounters I have had with my new neighbors in Germany. I live in a relatively small town outside of Cologne, so I understand that the sudden appearance of a brown girl with a large camera and tripod may be an unusual sight. However, I don’t think it is an excuse to be rude and presumptuous.

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I filmed a new video as an update to the last one I posted, which was made after I had been accosted by a neighbor threatening to call the police if I did not leave. You can read that blog post here and watch the video here.

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I am trying to venture away from my neighborhood whenever I want to take photos because I just don’t want to have to explain myself anymore, especially when they are not polite about it. I’ve been told that the problem may go away if they see me around the area long enough, but I don’t want to wait and find out.

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In the meantime, I have a bike and the weather is nice so I will be scoping out places nearby to shoot photos. I am hoping to take this crap blog in a new direction soon and the last thing I need are nosy grumpy Germans.

Top: Primark
Jeans: American Eagle
Flats: Steve Madden (super similar)
Necklace: Forever 21
Bracelet: H&M

I love Texas, but there are very few days when it is comfortable to wear jeans and a button-up without drenching it in your own sweat and oils from the humidity. I bought this top a few sizes larger to have a bit of a loose painter’s smock feel. When I bought this bracelet, my German said, “Oh, are you going to wear it with that gold choker that I like?” I hadn’t even considered that when I bought it, but they totally match.