Wearing all those winter sales

Whoever says gift cards are too impersonal and not a “proper gift” can suffocate themselves with my new discount sweaters. I received a couple for Christmas and spent more time than I should have browsing for clothes, meticulously trying to put together a full outfit and keep it very close to my gift card amount. I settled on a few sweaters, booties (not pictured here) and a pair of black Topshop jeans.

I also found a sweet blazer coat at Zara that makes me feel somewhat British? I don’t know, there’s something about it that makes me feel like I “stole me grandad’s old wool sport coat” (feel free to slap me) and turned it into fashion.

My orange scarf is from Zara Fall 2016, which I lovingly refer to as my Moses scarf.

My bag is from Dezzal, which you can read a review about here, and my booties are an extremely old and loved pair from Urban Outfitters.

And the tiniest yet mightiest new addition to my wardrobe is this crescent moon necklace, which is something I had my eye on at Urban Outfitters until I found one for a fraction of the price (and in rose gold!) at H&M.

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Now that my new wardrobe addition introductions are out of the way, I hope you all had a fat, drunken Christmas and are ready for the new year. I have a lot of ideas I’m ready to see through, and a lot of goals I want to meet this year, starting with my FREAKING GERMAN TEST THAT HAS BEEN HAUNTING ME FOR ALMOST TWO YEARS.

Happy 2017! Let’s get this shiz started.

Why do I always wear this style of skirt?

I’m not going to lie, I have about 7 or 8 skirts in this style. Knee-length, sometimes pleated and dark blue. If you’ve followed my blog for a while (you haven’t, who would want to do that?) then you’ve probably noticed that I repeat a lot of the same silhouettes. I just like it….?

Actually, I don’t. I’ve been wanting to change my style for the better part of this year but a 70% pay cut sort of, you know, killed that dream.

I’m a fan of the Japanese school girl Kogal (kogyaru) style and Harajuku fashion in general, but I feel too old and out of shape to pull off majority of these styles. I was giving the over-the-knee socks a try for a while, but my 28th birthday is creeping in on me so it just started to feel…immature.

I still gravitated toward this plaid skirt, and paired it with a loose fitting blouse and pointy flats for a bit more maturity. I don’t know why, but I only like to wear plaid items in December and January. It just feels off to wear it any other month, like wearing a sundress in February with tights. It doesn’t look….right?

Top: H&M
Skirt: Clockhouse
Shoes: Topshop
Tights: Clockhouse
Ring: H&M

So I spent more time than I care to admit playing with light drawing. I decided to keep one experiment for this post, but got a bit carried away. I still need to hone my backwards spelling abilities, but for now, here are my shit attempts.

Yes, that is supposed to say “Morning Ink.” It’s not easy to write backwards, god!

Pretty much.

Smokin’ and slender in your Homecoming dress

There may not be a more wonderful compliment for young women than to hear how “slender” or “slim” they look in their homecoming dress. Alright, it’s easy to appeal to a young girls’ insecurities, but looking slender and elegant is something that can be accomplished by proper shopping and a bit of time and energy.

We recommend avoiding bridal shops, because you are in high school and not about to become a teenage bride (well, at least the majority of you are not). For starters, you should shop in a store that is dedicated to high school aged formal girls’ wear – this means a focus on Homecoming and Prom, which are two of the biggest social events in high school. The first thing to do is find a reputable prom and homecoming dress shop, such as Peaches Boutique. If you’re unable to visit their impressive store in Chicago, Illinois, shopping online is the next best thing since you can shop 24/7 and take your time without your mother or companion breathing down your neck to “finish up” or lament how they are “ready to go.” See their dress collections at: https://www.peachesboutique.com/dresses/occasion/homecoming

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In 2010, New York Times Best-Selling writer Charla Krupp, wrote “How to Never Look Fat Again” and she has some great advice that will translate perfectly well into the quest for your Homecoming dress.

• Well Shod

If you have the stamina, strong feet and experience, wear “skinny heels with pointy toes” with your prom gown. Your legs will be instantly slenderized and sexy because the “slim toe and thin heel” work to lengthen the slim shape of calves. Your legs will look bulky if you choose square-toed shoes and chunky heels.

• Exposed (But In A Good Way)

A deep V-neck (a hot trend for Prom 2017, by the way) dress makes your body look longer and slimmer. It also brings the focus of your dress to the top and will make your proportions not only look proper, but thinner. V-necks can “visually balance broad hips and thighs,” notes InStyle Magazine.

• Undercover

“Spanx” has become part of the common vernacular now, but you don’t need to buy pieces of the popular, but pricey brand. Just consider good support garments, which are now more commonly called “Shapewear.” Shapewear pieces can feature extra-firm belly control, they can lift your bottom, smooth and lift your breasts and just make you look better from “the inside out.”

• Brown-Out

Faux tans are popular in Hollywood for a reason – if a starlet isn’t laying out in the sun (protected by sun screen that allows for some tanning), she’s having it air brushed on—why? Because it makes her look more slender. Or, she may opt for a do-it-yourself kit in which you rub the self-tanner into your skin like lotion and you instantly develop a tan. If you have any kind of skin blemish on your body, your exposed arms and legs will look smooth and even.

• Mono-a-Mono

Yes, that’s a play on “mano-y-mano,” and what we mean is monochromatic coloring. Choosing a single color to wear from top to bottom (and if for Homecoming you’re wearing a short dress, this trick applies too) will create a vertical line. You’ll instantly appear thinner and taller. If you draw attention with a contrasting color to your bodice or waist area, that’s where eyes will be drawn – and it cuts you in half (or thirds…).

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• Other “Lengthening” Tips

  1. Choose a shoe color to match your skin
  2. Wear jewelry that is long or vertical, rather than horizontal
  3. Wear your hair off of your face and high up on your head
  4. Pick a simple ensemble without a lot of distractions throughout the fabric
  5. Choose “slenderizing” fabrics – this means flat. Since formals are often velvet, brocade, damask, taffeta, tulle, satin, boucle, etc., use care in deciding.

Take note of all those tips and you’re sure to look stunning on homecoming night!

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.