Tag Archives: sponsored

Straight into Fall: Sammydress review

Since I am currently living on a part-time salary in good ol’ Deutschland, I can’t say no to companies when they contact me asking me to review their clothes. I mean, they give you money to spend on their website, it’s one of the most fun parts about blogging.

I picked a dress, bag, rings and a bitchin’ Shiba Inu cap at Sammydress.

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The patch is perfect and just as expected, and the cap is adjustable. It has an embroidery of the words “Hachi-ko” on the back, which is backwards and best read in a mirror. Odd stuff, but it adds to the quirkiness of the hat.

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I’m beginning to realize that I navigate towards this dress type a lot. I have several others like it in my closet, BUT THIS ONE IS PLAID. Germany and I have Fall on our mind, so I chose this girly piece to layer.

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Perhaps my least favorite part about shopping at Sammydress is having to filter the clothes by size 4XL to 5XL. The sizes cater to petite figures, so of course this dress still had its downsides. For starters, it’s too short. Thankfully the weather is in the upper 60’s at the moment so tights are commonplace.

But it also had this weird opened gap at the bottom of the buttons that was too revealing for my taste. I also didn’t like the button closures on the arm, so I removed those two buttons and sewed them to the end of the skirt.

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It also ties at the waist, and I couldn’t think of a style to tie it in besides a bow, but I’m not feeling it. I may remove it and replace it with a belt because I really do like this dress.

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I paired it with a denim moto jacket to give it a somewhat summer feel.

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The bag was perhaps the biggest disappointment. What can you expect from a $6 satchel though?

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I like the style, but the craftsmanship ruins it. The material arrived wrinkled, and the corner of the bag is caving in. It doesn’t quite have the same clean look as the product photo. I would also prefer a longer strap, or at least the option to remove this one and add my own. It’s too long to wear as a shoulder bag but too short to wear as a crossbody.

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I was much more impressed by the rings. They come in a variety of sizes and actually feel durable. I’ve bought my share of rings from Forever 21, Primark and H&M, and these are rather similar, if not a bit nicer.

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Dress: c/o Sammydress
Bag: c/o Sammydress
Rings: c/o Sammydress
Cap: c/o Sammydress
Jacket: Gap
Shoes: Sam & Libby

As I mentioned in my previous reviews of low-cost fast fashion sites such as Sammydress, it’s a realistic option for those wanting to refresh their wardrobe on a limited budget. I highly recommend measuring yourself and comparing it to the size charts for the items you’re interested in, and to remember that the quality may suffer a bit. I made a few quick fixes to make this dress more wearable and I am absolutely terrible at alterations, so it’s possible.

Thank you to Sammydress for sponsoring this post.

Reviving my wardrobe basics with Dresslink

There are items in my closet that I have been repeating since the beginning of this blog. I get the impression that style bloggers are expected to have a constantly changing wardrobe, but I am more impressed by the challenge of reviving what you already have.

Considering my budget, I am no stranger to stores like Forever 21 and Primark. They have affordable pieces that pair well with items in my closet that I spent extra money on based on Stacey and Clinton’s “price per wear” formula I learned on the TLC show “What Not To Wear.” The idea is to spend extra money on pieces that you will get a lot of wear out of. For example, I spent about $100 on J.Crew Pixie Pants because they are a high-quality thick legging that have lasted me years and throughout seasons. They are comfortable, flattering and work for almost every body type.

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But they are a black legging after all, so I have paired them with more affordable tops from stores like F21, and now Dresslink.

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Dresslink’s clothes are incredibly low-priced, and the site is constantly refreshing with trendy styles. As I said in my SammyDress review, I am always skeptical about whether or not their clothes will fit me considering my height and body type. Based on other’s reviews, the clothes tend to run small, and despite measuring myself and closely consulting Dresslink’s size chart, the white dress I received, worn as a top here, was still too short.

I am 5’6″, but I have learned that this is perhaps too tall for knee length dresses ordered from sites like Dresslink. I ordered this boho faux kimono to pair over the dress, but also decided to layer a jean jacket over it, another quality wardrobe staple of mine.

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I had better luck with this floral, high-low top. The measurements were accurate with what was advertised, and I was pleasantly surprised by the structure of the blouse, and its details. The buttoned neck and longer back hem are my favorite parts, and the floral pattern looks mature.

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I wore it with my favorite jeggings (it’s still cold here in Germany) and mustard flats, more items that I would consider “wardrobe investments.”

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But I am very fond of this top. I know I really like a new clothing item when I am already looking for more ways to wear it.

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1st outfit
Dress (worn as a top): c/o Dresslink
Kimono: c/o Dresslink
Jacket: American Eagle
Pants: J.Crew
Boots: Urban Outfitters
Necklace: Forever 21

2nd outfit
Top: c/o Dresslink
Jacket: H&M
Jeans: American Eagle
Flats: Zara
Earrings: Primark

Dresslink Pros:
Affordable fast fashion
Ships worldwide
Broad range of style
Diverse cultural representation of bloggers and models

Cons:
Shipping takes a while
Measurements not always accurate

I could list “low quality” as a con, but no one purchases a dress for $4 and expects Valentino. I am thankful that more stores like this are available for shoppers with low budgets, such as students needing new clothes for job interviews, or people who recently lost weight/are attending upcoming events/want a style change and need to add to their closet. It’s a realistic option.

Here are a few longer summer dress options that I would give Dresslink a second try for:

PicMonkey Collage

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Thank you to Dresslink for sponsoring this post.

Fighting winter dryness with Green Esthetics

I recently moved from Texas to Germany, and I was concerned about the sudden change in climate and resources my skin and hair would have to endure. I visited Germany in June 2015, and after a few days of showering I noticed that my skin would get super dry and itchy, and it started peeling within five days. This was odd for me since my face is normally oily.

I soon learned that Germany’s water has a lot of chalk in it, and it was quickly drying out my skin. Great for my bones apparently, but not for my face.

Inspired by one of my favorite YouTubers, Kassie from CloudyApples, I have been trying more homemade, simple products that do not use harsh ingredients. Her skin and hair is dreamy, so I trust this earthy approach to beauty. Green Esthetics, a certified-organic online shop, contacted me and asked if I would like to review one of their products. I had been considering repurchasing Josie Maran’s Argan Oil before my move, but I noticed Green Esthetics carried their own pure Argan Oil, so I tried it out.

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It comes in a slender bottle with an attached pump. This is the 15 ml bottle that retails for $16.95.

I set expectations for this little guy. I cut my own hair, so I expected it to keep away split ends and keep it soft. I don’t take care of my nails, and they have started to peel, so I waited for it to seal the nail like a wound. I get adult acne on my neck, and I routinely worked this oil into the blemishes to hopefully wake up to clearer skin.

I even took a before photo:

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But much like Tom Hansen’s ill-matched Expectations vs. Reality in “500 Days of Summer,” my expectations were not met. This isn’t a bad thing.

Split ends need routine trims. This, coupled with a pump of the oil, has helped my hair grow and maintain shine, but does not armor it against splitting. My hair grows aggravatingly slow, so if you are experiencing the same fury, try incorporating more oil into your hair.

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I play guitar, so I generally keep my nails cut short and slap on some polish. I noticed that I kept needing to trim my nails more often, and this was after two weeks of rubbing the oil into my cuticles and on my hands. I kept waiting for the peeling to disappear, all while griping about needing to cut down these persistent thick nails.

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May not be long to you, but this is pushing my limit. I can feel my nails hitting against the keyboard as I type this. Gah. If you’re into long, healthy nails, definitely try this.

But ah, the best and most unexpected part: My plump oily skin. I never thought I would have appreciated oiliness so much, but I have not had any breakouts or peeling in the 3+ weeks I have been in Germany. I apply two pumps of oil in the morning after a shower, and two at night once my makeup is off and my face is clean.

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Aaaand the blemishes are gone. An expectation met. I will still get the occasional zit, but my skin has been drinking this oil and filling in the fine lines I had near my eyes and forehead. I never understand what “skin elasticity” improvement felt like until I used this product. I feel a difference in the way my skin adjusts itself while I apply makeup and poke and prod at my eyes.

My bottle after a month and a half of use:

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I know we are all feeling the effect of winter on our bodies, so I encourage you to try using oil instead of lotions and balms. If you would like to try out this particular oil, you can use the code “GREEN40” to get 40% off all products and free shipping! That’s just over $10 for a product similar to the ones sold at Sephora for $17+.

If you would like to learn more about Green Esthetics and their selection of natural products, check them out at www.greenesthetics.com or on Facebook or Twitter.

Thank you to Green Esthetics for sponsoring this post.

Winter in Germany feat. SammyDress

This is my first post since moving to Germany two weeks ago. I will soon make a post about my transition, but to get back into the groove of blogging and reestablish some normalcy, I am pleased to write about my experience with the clothing company SammyDress.

I had a lot of fun browsing their site because there’s so many unique styles to choose from that I don’t often see in American clothing stores. Judging by the models used in the photos and other blogger’s posts, I knew that whatever I picked had the chance of not fitting as it should, even if I ordered a size up. I picked pieces that I could work with if it didn’t fit how I imagined. I received my safely packaged items in less than three weeks, which is longer than I’m used to, but understandable considering it came from overseas.

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This sweater fit the model as a dress, but despite ordering a size up, it was still too short on me. I wore it instead as a tunic, and I especially liked the look of it under my coat. The sweater material is thick enough for winter, but the sheer material at the hem adds playfulness and femininity to an otherwise typical winter look. I paired it with a simple black watch with a gold bezel that complemented the gold hardware on my boots and my new leaf ring.

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Sweater: c/o SammyDress
Coat: Forever 21
Pants: Forever 21
Boots: Michael Kors
Watch: c/o SammyDress
Ring: c/o SammyDress

SammyDress offers fashionable clothing for very low prices. Much like other fast fashion stores, it offers high- and low-end pieces with the common goal of being stylish. Just from my first impression, the regular selection of clothes on their site seem better suited for petite women, not my 5’6″ apple frame. The next time I order from SammyDress, I will take advantage of their Plus Size section, which offers the same styles in extended sizes.

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The sweater is warm, but requires some kind of undershirt. The black dress has a lining, but it’s sheer and may need a slip, skirt or proper undergarments. Both pieces maintain their shape and style well, and only need minor adjustments, such as making sure that the frilly hems are not tucked under.

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Dress: c/o SammyDress
Jacket: American Eagle
Boots: Sam & Libby
Scarf: Target
Ring: c/o SammyDress

I wear a size 7 ring, and the rings I chose came in one size. They only fit my pinkie, but that’s not a problem for me since I enjoy wearing rings on each finger. The watch has a very classic design and is a rather sophisticated looking piece for being less than $3.

I recommend SammyDress to those who want interesting pieces to wear during the seasons that are unlike items sold in most conventional stores. It is also for the shopper with a limited budget who would like to refresh their wardrobe without having to spend more than $50.

Thank you to SammyDress for sponsoring this post!

Phew, blogging again. This feels good.