Tag: shopping

When Did Forever 21 Turn into Anthropologie?

February 24
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I stopped shopping at F21 since the beginning of this year because I am now almost a Career Woman who can afford Better Designed Items. So imagine my surprise when I opened F21 out of habit and saw that its new arrivals were much more… sophisticated than I had remembered.

In fact, it almost looks like F21 has taken a page out of Anthropologie’s play book. I associated F21 with cheap trends, but F21 manages to showcase the off-the-shoulder and bell sleeve trends in a far more elegant way.

Black white off shoulder top // Pom pom bell sleeve top // White off shoulder top with bows //

The boho Anthropologie look—for less:

Olive balloon sleeve dress // Black trim open jacket // Satin Korea jacket //

The most impressive items are from F21’s new wedding collection. Anthropologie has a wedding line (BHLDN) that sells affordable bridal gowns, but it looks like F21 is now investing in its own line of affordable bridesmaids/wedding guest attire.

Tulle Maxi dress// Lace peplum skirt (top here) // Lace halter maxi dress //

I’m not sure if I just got lucky stumbling onto a batch of new items that perfectly fit my aesthetic, but I will have to take a second look at F21’s offerings if they are selling more distinctive and feminine designs.

Tiered sweetheart maxi dress // Floral skort romper // blue white romper

These Instagram Swim Trends Are 20% Off This Weekend

February 18
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President’s Day sales are never terribly impressive, but with Spring Break coming up, I was happy to see 20% off on my favorite beach trends. Since I was already planning on trying out these trends for the ‘gram, it doesn’t hurt that I’ll be saving some money by ordering them this weekend!

Asos bardot ruffle one piece swim suit

This swimsuit has been making the rounds on IG. That’s not surprising considering that it hits all the checkmarks for ruffles, polka dots, and the off-the-shoulder trend. You can get this exact swimsuit for 20% off, now (and it comes in a two-piece version too: see below)

The gingham print one above is actually my favorite; it’s cute without looking too much like a picnic tablecloth.

Next up on the list of instagram-worthy swim trends are….

Do not disturb script beach hat

I read somewhere that the famous “do not disturb” sun hat has actually been trademarked, but you can still find beach hats that feature other phrases written in a cursive script, or another trendy sunhat tied back with a bow.

I’m actually tempted to make my own script sunhat. All I would need is string and a wide-brim hat, right? How cool/narcissistic would it be to have my blog handle on my sunhat?

Pom pom swim coverups

You can’t scroll past 5 instagram pics without seeing the ubiquitous off-the-shoulder pom pom cover up, so it’s time to admit defeat and try out the trend at last. You can actually get the pink one on the right from Amazon, plus it’s available with Prime shipping!

What I Bought at 4AM Last Night – Shop With Me

February 8
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Every year, our law school puts on a Parody musical theater show to poke fun at our professors. We write the show ourselves (last year’s theme was Law Wars, a play on Star Wars), and hire a lighting crew and soundstage for our dancing and singing.

I’m a director for the show again this year, and in addition to managing 70+ actors, I’m also singing and dancing in the show (!). Add to that my course load reading and I’m often up until 3 or 4 AM, bored and browsing the internet before I finish for the night.

These morning hours are usually when I create my blog content (and when I make most of my purchases), so I thought I’d put both together to make this post. Hopefully it doesn’t become a regular series and I get some more sleep!

Red bow back dress and palm print halter bikini

1: Bow dress ($18)// 2: Colourpop matte lip color  // 3: scallop swim set ($25)// 4: Nude Colourpop lip color // 5: Pink camera bag //6: pink sheer bell sleeve top ($16) // 7: palm tree halter swimsuit ($17)// 8: white embroidered tassel top ($42)

The red bow dress above is a dead ringer for Kate Spade’s $200 version; I’ll be wearing this for our Formal!

I also went a little crazy on the spring break shopping: Zaful’s scallop bikini is also a dupe for Marysia’s high-end set. Zaful has the cutest swimsuit but the size charts are different for every item…I had to squint at the sizing options for far too long and my 3AM brain eventually bought two swimsuits to justify my trouble.

Also my favorite white embroidered top finally came back into stock so I quickly scooped it up for $42; I sound like a loser but I’ve been stalking this top for 2 weeks now.

I also bought a bunch of utilitarian stuff like toothbrushes, but I deemed those items too mundane for a collage. I will mention that I will soon be carting around a cute pink camera bag, so if you ever want to catch me in Boston taking photos, you’ll know what to look for.

Bell Sleeves – When Trends Go Too Far?

February 5
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When your blog is focused on new fashion, you see some alarming trends come through. Sometimes, I can only stare in bewilderment as my Instagram feed fills with the latest odd item, like I’m the last non-zombie person in a dystopian wasteland who does not own a furry sandal or rose gold sneakers.

One trend that’s coming in hot for spring 2017 is bell sleeves. Sometimes this trend is mixed with last year’s off-the-shoulder trend, creating a garment that is perfect for the woman who has skinny shoulders and fat wrists.

As all trends go, this one can look innocuous in small doses. In fact, some bell-sleeve items are totally work appropriate:

Bell sleeve spring 2017 trend wear to work

1: Black dress  // 2: White pom pom top ($21) // 3: Houndstooth bell sleeve dress //

However, the trend quickly became a mockery of itself, spawning the offspring below:

Spring 2017 trend: bell sleeve wrap tops

1: Gray top ($20) // White tiered bell sleeve top ($21) // Pink top ($23)

How are you supposed to take anyone who wears this seriously? How are you supposed to walk up to the woman wearing the white monstrosity above and say, “Hey Karen in accounting, can I get my tax forms back when you finally disentangle yourself from the jellyfish that are consuming your arms?”

And when the trend is taken to the extreme, the clothing looks like a downright hazard:

Bell sleeve spring 2017 trend

1: Blue gingham dress // 2: Black and white top // 3: White flare sleeve top with bows ($43)

“Oh Karen, I’m so glad you found that picnic blanket that I misplaced! You seem to be wearing it!” At this point, I think the only people that could get away with wearing a trend like this are bloggers who don’t have do any work during the day. How do you type at a computer with such large sleeves covering your fingers? Or write legibly without smearing your ink? If women want to be taken seriously in the office, we can’t go to meetings looking like we have giant flappers for hands, and we shouldn’t look like we are reenacting that romance novel with the hunky pirates on the cover.

But even as I puzzle over how absurd this trend is—who the hell needs 2 yards of fabric for one sleeve?—maybe this trend is actually the ultimate ninja garment. Maybe covering our fingers is a type of office subterfuge, where you cover your work so that Greg can’t steal your ideas and take credit for them. Men can’t manspread on the subway when your sleeves take over the entire subway bench.

And even as I complain about this wasteful trend, I kinda want that white top with the giant sleeves and the unnecessary bows. Giant bell sleeves may not be the most practical, but I would be happy to indulge in a micro-trend that allows me to swoosh around like I have something hidden in my wizard robe sleeves.

Best (and Worst) Holiday Beauty Gifts

December 6
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Best and worst last-minute beauty gifts

When you need a last-minute gift, beauty items are an easy way out: who doesn’t love new lip colors or pretty packaging? To help you navigate the best and worst holiday beauty gifts, I thought I’d merge a review post into a shopping post. My recommendations are all items that I have tested.

Holiday beauty gifts to avoid

First up, a general tip: avoid anything in a tub. The contents will dry out faster, and you risk contamination every time you dip your finger inside.

  • I do have to say that the Pressed Serum pictured above is the only moisturizer that works for me, but it looks gross after a few uses.

Instead, try gifting sprays! They’re more sanitary and last longer.

  • Plus, this Ouai wave spray (from the Kardashian’s hair stylist) gives you nice beachy waves with just a few spritzes and scrunches.

Best holiday beauty gifts

Avoid: Glosses. I don’t care if they’re “in” right now. Gloss + winter wind + hair = bad, sticky hair day.

  • The gloss above is Smith and Cult; although I love the packaging, there’s no denying the stickiness.

Gift: A lip color that’s more substantial yet still retains shine.

  • Dior makes a beautiful gloss/satin lipstick. Not only is the color beautiful (I’m wearing it here and here), but the tube proudly displays “DIOR” and looks lovely on anyone’s vanity.
  • In fact, the light pink sheer shade always sells out in Korea, apparently.

Dior Addict Lip Fluid

Above is a close-up of the packaging—anyone would love to see that design on their vanity!

Worst beauty splurge items

Now onto more specific items to avoid:

  • Personally, I dislike the FRESH line of lip tint/balms. They smell sickly sweet and seem really drying, even though they do come in lovely colors and have a fantastic marketing campaign.

Instead, try gifting Jo Malone’s lip balm.

  • Jo is famous for its candles, but you get the same brand name on a great lip balm for much less $$.
  • And I have to say that Jo’s is the best, most nourishing lip balm I have tried—even better than Rosebud’s famous lip balm.

Best makeup and beauty holiday gifts

Lastly, I wanted to end with two items that I believe would make great gifts, no matter who you’re gifting.

Hope this helps cross a few beauty gifts off your list! If you have any questions about the products here, just comment: I have over 90 lipsticks, 20 blushes etc, so I know which ones to avoid and which ones to buy!