Outfit pictures I took right before it became cold as balls

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These were supposed to be published on Thanksgiving with a blog post that said something like, “Look at all the Thanksgiving colors I’m wearing! I’m a giant cornucopia!” or something stupid, but I was too busy hanging with a friend from back home in PARIS.

PARIS.

I WENT TO PARIS.

 

 

 

PARIS.

HOW.

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I’m still amazed, and forever thankful that I have the opportunity now to do such fun things. But back to this color vomit of an outfit.

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The last of the fall leaves were being blow away on this day, and it was warm enough to wear a light jacket and be completely comfortable. I recently bought this skirt, and wanted to play with color. I’m still not sure if light pink and dark orange work, but I like it anyway.

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I go through phases of wanting to wear nothing but black, or as much color as possible. Sometimes I want to fit in with the Germans I see downtown Cologne, but often it becomes boring and monotonous constantly wearing a black coat and gray scarf.

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I guess this is the last of my fall style since it’s already winter in Germany. This ended too quickly.

Top: H&M
Skirt: Clockhouse
Jacket: H&M
Beanie: Forever 21
Necklace: Siberian Art Jewelry
Shoes: Sam & Libby

The winter jacket Germans love to wear

I moved to Germany almost a year ago and have been silently studying their fashion taste. Sneakers and cropped skinny jeans have been a staple for majority of the year, but with the addition of chunky turtleneck sweaters, leather backpacks and a bold lip color for the colder weather. But now that most days are near freezing temperatures, the main thing you see most Germans wearing is a long, puffy parka.

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A common stereotype among Germans is that they purchase clothes for utility rather than looks. An interest in fashion still exists, but you’re more likely to meet someone who will convince you that a coat is not worth it unless it keeps you warm and dry. This is absolutely true among most people here, but something I, as a winter clueless Texan, can’t grasp. I gravitate towards peacoats and pieces with interesting details but not much thickness or a lining. I joke about people around here looking like giant trash bags in their puffy black coats but they’re much warmer than I am and spent their money well. I know I will grow tired of my Mango coat I purchased last year, which is already losing buttons and pilling along the hem.

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I typically see masses of black and olive green on the streets of Cologne, but it makes me happy when I see someone wearing color in the middle of January. I don’t understand why we reserve color for the warmer months, when it’s most needed during winter. Alright, yeah, it’s COLD. It’s GRAY. Doesn’t mean you need to be too, friend.

I often see the people of Cologne wearing Wellensteyn, a trusted brand found at Peek & Cloppenburg Düsseldorf, a department store in Germany. Their coats have a range of styles and utility, and even come in larger sizes, which I always appreciate. Though the price is a band-aid I would be reluctant to pull at first, I’ve learned that spending more on items that provide comfort and well-being, like a mattress or shoes, is completely worth it. It only takes so many days of letting my Mango coat dry on the balcony to convince myself to finally buy a proper winter jacket.

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Do you prefer fashion over functionality? I think a marriage between the two is ideal, but not always easy to find. It all depends on our personal preferences and regions. I just spent a weekend in Paris and noticed the people preferred long thin coats worn open to show their outfits, and then returned to Germany and saw everyone bundled up in parkas and short thick coats in the freezing weather. Totally different mindsets!

Stay warm and happy holiday shopping!

Thank you for the inspiration, Peek & Cloppenburg Düsseldorf!

Does this hat make me look like the boot scootin’ Texan I am?

I found this hat at Primark for like, 8 Euros, I don’t know, but was excited to see that it was 100% wool, not obnoxiously huge and came with a small simple buckle. I was sold on this style of hat from Instagram and other bloggers I follow, despite it being something I wouldn’t normally buy.

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BUT COULD I LOOK MORE TEXAN? I didn’t even see the resemblance until I was editing these photos and realized how much my jean jacket and wannabe cowboy hat make me look prematurely prepared for the rodeo.

I MEAN

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I can pretend to look pensive while staring at the ground all I want but it does not erase the fact that I should be on a dance floor somewhere doing the Boot Scootin’ Boogie.

Maybe I’m overreacting.

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Just maybe.

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I really like this outfit though. I bought these black jeans as a replacement for my cheap ass Forever 21 pair I ripped when squatting at work. They’re super soft and warm, but attract my dog’s hair like a magnet. He doesn’t even shed that much, but nope, everything that does come off of him lands on my pants.

Top: H&M
Pants: Clockhouse
Jacket: American Eagle
Boots: Michael Kors
Hat: Primark
Scarf: c/o Sammydress
Rings: c/o Sammydress

I miss Texas.

Dezzal review: Fanice Leather Tote Bag

I’m no stranger to Dezzal.com. I’ve been reviewing their items since the beginning of this past summer, which you can find here. I am a fan of their dress selection, but I was curious about the quality of their purses, which I would consider expensive yet intriguing. They come in a range of quirky and sophisticated styles, and can cost anywhere from $18 to $458, their most expensive bag being a modern tan leather backpack.

I was able to pick a bag from their website for an honest review and I chose a leather tote bag by Fanice, which is unfortunately now sold out.

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The bag arrived well-packaged in a dust bag situated between cardboard and wrapped in plastic with the designer’s logo. The website doesn’t have a summary of this designer like they do for many others, but I assume it is based in China if I rely on packaging clues.

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It also came with this card inside an envelope, which I assume are care instructions simply based on the numbered list.

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The bag is completely free of any blemishes and looks exactly as it does on the website, which is a step above what I’ve experienced regarding loose threads and unattractive details that were easily overlooked with clothes I’ve received from Dezzal. However, my least favorite part about the bag, which I was already unsure of when I picked it, is the visible stitching. I think it cheapens the look.

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Though it does feel like real leather, I have no way of proving so besides taking it to a specialist. I don’t intend on doing that, because the bag suits my size needs and isn’t crinkled and caving in like the mess I received from Sammydress. It has heavy hardware, and plenty of pockets and slots for a phone, makeup, and change in the middle zipped pocket, and extra space in the buttoned sides of the tote.

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I took this bag for a test run while shopping in Düsseldorf, and was thankful for how much room I had for small items I purchased since Germany rarely gives you a bag unless you ask and pay for one. I know. But I have to admit that the biggest and most aggravating part of this tote is the zipper. For some reason the full zipper is attached to the bag even though it should have been cut to fit the length. This results in a three inch flap of zipper that needs to be tucked into the side of the bag. It’s not noticeable when it’s closed, but it requires both hands to be zipped, and often twirled itself inside out because of its length.

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The bag itself sits comfortably at my hip when worn on my shoulder, or near the end of my torso when worn as a crossbody. I was worried the handle straps would get in my way when trying to open the bag, but I barely notice them. I’m not sure if I will ever use the handles much, but I like how they look on the bag.

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Overall, the bag is functional, simple and attractive. I am trying to step away from fast fashion and add more basics and timeless pieces, and this style of tote has been around for decades. I am not thrilled about the visible stitching and zipper malfunctions, but they’re not bothersome enough to dislike the bag.

My previous Dezzal reviews: The website, Kenvicky Peacock Dress and Dress 1, Dress 2 and Dress 3.

If you’re interested in purchasing from Dezzal, use the code “morningink” to receive $3 off $30, $6 off $50 or $15 off $100!

Zaful review: Pointed ankle boots

I am on a review roll, please bear with me.

Zaful is an affordable clothing site with trendy unique pieces. Similar to Dezzal, the site is focused on providing clothes from new designers without a middleman, as is claimed at the bottom of their “About Us” section. I was impressed with the site’s shoe collection since finding timeless shoe selections on most fast fashion sites is becoming a chore. I am not in the market for furry sneakers, thanks.

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I picked these pointed ankle boots with elastic sides because they resemble a pair I’ve had my eyes on at Zara, BUT MAN DID I SCREW UP. I wear a size 40 and the closest size available is 39…but I got them anyway. They, well, they hurt, but it’s not the shoe’s fault. I put a lot of faith into them fitting since I sometimes wear a 39 at Primark, Zara and H&M. But no, these are true to its size.

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The shoes arrived within three weeks, which has been the average shipping time for foreign goods I’ve reviewed previously. They were shipped in a standard box with what I assume is the design label’s name, “Nuo Mei Deng,” which I actually didn’t know before they arrived. The name is not listed anywhere on the product description, but it wouldn’t have affected my decision anyway.

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Everything was appropriately packaged with foam inserts to maintain the shape and wrapped in soft packing material and plastic. The shoes were completely unharmed from shipping and are exactly as they appeared on the website.

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The heel is exactly 8 centimeters, as listed in the description, but something I wish I had paid more attention to. I didn’t think the heel looked that tall in the photo, but it’s quite high in person. I’m probably just a wuss.

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I wore these shoes briefly around my apartment and for these photos, and they immediately started to crease. This is expected with leather, but there is a part on the front of the shoe that curves up near the elastic part when I put them on, but it may be because my foot is curled inside of it and therefore distorting the shape.

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I have short legs, so I appreciate the length these boots add to my legs and feet, and how slimming the ankle is. I aim to add more timeless pieces to my wardrobe, and can see these staying in style for years…if they fit. Man, what was I thinking?

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Boots: c/o Zaful
Sweater: Forever 21
Skirt: Forever 21

If you’re new to Zaful like I am, check out their Facebook page and Instagram feed for giveaways and style inspiration!

Sammydress review: Mustard and black and winter white

I have been actively searching for more dark mustard pieces to add to my wardrobe. I used to hate the color, but much like my love for guacamole, which I also hated as a kid, I have developed an extreme taste for it.

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Sammydress gave me the chance to pick a few items from their website for review, so I immediately chose this semi-trench coat piece. I say “semi” because it’s not a true trench coat, much less a coat. It’s unlined, and is made from a thin faux suede material. It’s extremely soft, but would need to be layered with a sweater for any kind of warmth in Fall.

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I especially like the drape front, but wasn’t sure how to tie the belt. I always resort to a bow because I am an uncreative asshat. I didn’t expect this coat to have any actual structure, but it actually looks interesting when belted or left open. At $18.84, it’s an easy piece to wear when you want the layered look while shopping or running errands without feeling like a sweaty mess if you’re stuck in a warm city.

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I also chose this striped black scarf despite already having an extensive scarf collection. But not a black one!

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It’s thick, it’s cozy, it’s long and it’s only $8.47. This is the only piece I received that had an odd smell, which I have come to expect when ordering from Sammydress. It was fine after a quick wash, but I highly recommend washing all your items before wearing them.

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Coat: c/o Sammydress
Scarf: c/o Sammydress
Pants: J.Crew
Top: Zara
Boots: Michael Kors

The third item I picked is a white dress, which I planned to wear with the trench and scarf but it completely covered up the playful hem.

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This is the closest I have come to a “knee length” dress from Sammydress being long enough for me. In my past reviews I have had to layer a skirt underneath, or just completely gave up and wore it as a top. I felt comfortable enough to step outside and take photos, but I think I will need to buy a slip and wear it with thick leggings and taller boots if I want to venture anywhere besides my neighborhood.

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Because it was too cold to take my jacket off outside to show more details of the dress, here are a few photos showing the sleeves and back of the dress.

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I noticed that flared sleeves are currently a rising trend, but I doubt these will see much sun now that Germany is entering Winter temperatures. I find them fun nonetheless. It’s like a little circus tent for my forearm.

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I had to wear a white undershirt because the dress is not completely opaque, and for added warmth. I can slip this dress over my head just fine, so the button closure is useless for me, but I appreciated the look of it, as well as the oxford shirt-style detail on the back.

The dress is only $16.46, and also comes in red, which I am tempted to buy for the upcoming holidays. I dig the flouncy skirt a lot, despite it being an inch or two too short.

Dress: c/o Sammydress
Jacket: American Eagle
Scarf: Zara
Boots: Urban Outfitters

Having worked with Sammydress a couple times before already, I’ve noticed that the shipping times have decreased. I went from waiting three weeks to almost a month for my item to only a week or two. If you live in Europe, expect to pay taxes to receive your items since the EU charges a fee for ordering foreign items. This has nothing to do with Sammydress or any other Eastern clothing store, just your region.

If you’re curious or interested in seeing more from Sammydress, check them out on Facebook for their main page and their promotional site where you can enter contests and see the latest items added to the store. If you order anything, be sure to show it off on their website under #Buyer’s Show. I’m adding my photos there too!

Dezzal review: Kenviky Peacock Dress + FAQ

My Dezzal reviews have been my most popular content in the last few months, which has resulted in more comments and emails than I have ever received in my nearly four years of blogging. I wanted to clear up any confusion people may have about my previous Dezzal reviews (which will be listed at the end of this post) and answer a few questions I receive often.

Dezzal is a new clothing website that features collections created by primarily Asian clothing designers. Many of the items are different from what is commonly found in the Western clothing market, yet there are still a lot of questions about the validity of the company and the clothing quality. I can only speak from my personal experience.

  1. Do the clothes smell bad when they arrive?: Everything I have received smelled fine. A few items were wrinkled, and I had one dress with a few stray threads that were simple to cut off without ruining the piece. The clothes had a department store smell, as if it came from Macy’s or Dillard’s.
  2.  How is the quality really?: I was honest in my review about each of my items being the quality I expected from the fabrics they were made out of, but I can best compare it to the Zara Trafaluc items, or J. Crew.
  3.  Why should I trust your review if Dezzal paid you?: Dezzal emailed me asking if I would like to review their website. I agreed, and was paid a small sum. Despite writing about being annoyed by their sizing charts and multiple listings for one item, they approached me again soon after and asked if I would like to review their clothes. I picked the three dresses shown in my review, and was not limited with how honest I could be. I am amazed they even asked to work with me again after critiquing the website, but I admire that they did. I only received the clothes, not actual money.
  4. My clothes arrived yesterday and nothing fit and the quality was terrible. I tried to return them but can’t! Avoid Dezzal everyone!: My blog is not a forum for your troubles with a website. I am also not customer service for Dezzal. It’s unfortunate that there are people who have had a difficult time with the store, but that doesn’t mean it’ll happen to everyone. And since I do not work directly for the company, I do not owe anyone an apology on their behalf. I will delete comments written in caps warning others to not shop at Dezzal. Don’t waste your time.
  5. You’ve got to be kidding, that looks awful on you: Don’t be an asshole. Tell me how I can improve the look, don’t resort to being shallow. I’m sure you’re better than that.

You don’t need to approach this blog with your guard up. I am too much of a nobody blogger to screw you over, and will probably insult myself and the companies I work with before you can. With that said, let’s talk about how my thighs suffocate in the Kenviky Peacock dress.

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Kenviky Peacock Long Sleeve Dress: $64.99

I’ve abandoned my irrational dislike for Pinterest and started using it regularly, and I’ve noticed this dress getting pinned a lot. This is the first dress I’ve seen that makes a peacock print look elegant and work friendly, and I was excited that Dezzal had a size that matches my measurements, even if it’s XL, which is more realistic than the 3XL items I had to choose in the past.

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I should mention now that I did not edit these photos beyond resizing them and some light cropping. I took photos of the dress in natural night to show the colors and craftsmanship better.

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This dress is a true emerald green, but the fabric has a slight sheen to it which gives it a glittering aqua tone in direct sunlight.

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It also has a cinched elastic waist detail and a velvet collar with gold embellishments and two button closures in the back.

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The dress is also fully lined, but that’s where the trouble begins. Despite the outer shell of the dress being a true midi length on my 5’6″ figure, and fitting fairly loosely, the lining is extremely tight and much shorter than the rest of the dress.

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It’s such a big tailoring difference that it almost feels like a mistake. The skirt part of the lining is not attached to the dress so I could easily remove it and wear a slip. However, the top half layers are completely sewn together and stretches across my chest so tightly that it looks like I made a crap attempt at bandaging my boobs.

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The sleeves are also too tight at the top and make me feel like one stretch away from bursting out of this dress Hulk style.

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This of course makes it nearly impossible to fasten the collar buttons by myself. I could barely bend my arm, much less reach around behind my neck.

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I think I may use this dress as a measurement for weight loss, but for now it’ll just look pretty in my closet. I will first attempt to attach a new skirt lining to see if it improves the fit, and maybe try a few different bras to see if it helps with the bust line. It’s such a shame that my linebacker body doesn’t quite fit in it, because this is truly such an elegant piece. I never thought I’d gravitate towards a peacock print!

I’d recommend this dress to those with a small bust line and narrow hips. At $65, I think it is one of the more affordable and unique items at Dezzal. The dress is exactly as it’s shown in the product photo, and I find it suitable for work and a night out. It’s not a warm dress, but it’s nothing a long coat and tights can’t fix.

My previous Dezzal reviews: The website, and Dress 1, Dress 2 and Dress 3.

If you’re interested in purchasing from Dezzal, use the code “morningink” to receive $3 off $30, $6 off $50 or $15 off $100! I don’t receive a commission from this, it’s just a nice thing Dezzal is offering for readers.