Luxe Leopard Lady


The cat’s out of the bag: I’m not really a pet person.

The only pets I had growing up were confined to tanks, so I don’t have much affinity towards furry four legged creatures. Sure they’re cute, and I may even pet one, but I can’t handle the responsibility of taking care of one. There’s a reason why dogs are a man’s best friend – after all, they owe it to their masters who feed them, bathe them, walk them, and pick up their poop. But what about cats? Cats don’t need to be walked or bathed, you say? And they take care of their biz in a litter box all by themselves?

Although I do have a preference for a cat’s independent nature, don’t call me a crazy cat lady just yet. Dare to be untamed? Kittens are child’s play; only the chicest of fashion bloggers take a walk on the wild side to hang with the big cats. There’s more than one way to skin a cat, so call me luxe leopard lady. As long as I don’t materialize into a cougar somewhere down the road.

This faux fur leopard print coat is definitely a statement piece so the only other statement I’m making are with a pair of green tights. The coat is surprisingly warm for being faux fur, and I wore a chunky sweater dress to keep things cozy. This fine feline’s outfit is the cat’s meow and is sure to inspire copycats, fuel catty remarks, and maybe provoke some catcalls.

Nevermind the lion, this leopard is clearly the queen of the concrete jungle.

leopard coat (similar) / vintage sweater dress (similar) / vintage necklace (similar) / Target tights (similar) / BDG suede boots (similar) / vintage watch cuff (similar)

Leopard

Gold Digger

IMG_2885

Although my new year’s resolution is to become more of a fashion minimalist, deep down I ain’t nothing but a gold digger. Oh I’m a thrifting friend indeed.

IMG_2903

When you’re thrifty, every trip to Goodwill is like panning for gold. I struck it rich and found this gold laden, sequin encrusted cardigan during one of my routine first-donate-then-shop trips. It has become my designated statement cardigan when I need a quick way to glam up a pair of jeans with minimal effort. To let the cardigan shine, I wore all black and played up the color of the sequins by adding extra gold toned accessories to the rest of my outfit.

IMG_2892

Feeling bold and empowered by gold, I decided the outfit needed a superhero’s touch in the form of a cape. The black cape adds subtle drama and also allows the sequins to peekaboo through the front. The arm holes help frame sequined detail on the sleeves that would otherwise be hidden from sight with a regular coat.

My outfit isn’t suited for the snow, but this snow bunny wasn’t really planning to hit the bunny slopes anyway. Black diamond you say? Where can this gold digger get her hands on one?

Zara cape (similar) / vintage cardigan (similar) / Silence & Noise blouse (similar) / Forever 21 pillbox hat (similar) / Kimchi Blue suede boots (similar) / vintage belt (similar) / vintage flower brooch (similar) / vintage bow brooch (similar) / vintage cape clip (similar)

IMG_2907

cape

The Resolution Minimalist

Minimal Closet
Image from Buzzfeed

Happy New Year! The new year means a new wardrobe right?

It’s not uncommon that I receive compliments on my outfits, followed by, “You must have a huge closet!” or my favorite one, “I’ve never seen you wear anything twice!” I’m going to set the record straight. No, I do not have a huge closet in terms of physical space, but yes, I own many articles of clothing. I do wear things more than once, but by the time it takes me to cycle through that item, most people will have forgotten that I wore it a month ago.

Despite my vast wardrobe, I still suffer from the “I have nothing to wear” syndrome due to the paradox of choice and analysis paralysis. Checking myself into closet rehab, I’ve been on a mission the last few weeks to clean out the black hole that is my closet. Through the purging process, I discovered dust bunnies, wrinkly shirts, clothes with tags still attached, and had many a “I forgot I had this shirt/skirt/dress/jacket!” moment.

To donate, sell, consign, or hand-down to my sister? Although I have yet to move mountains of clothes, I’ve been somewhat successful in my attempt to declutter my closet and mind. I am slowly making progress on style resolution #1.

Style resolution #2: fill recently decluttered closet with new minimalistic wardrobe. This will help with style resolution #3: spend no longer than 10 minutes getting dressed every morning.

If you haven’t heard of the minimal closet (thanks to the French), essentially it encompasses building style capsules with very few basic items in neutral colors in order to mix and match with ease. Depending on the season, your list could comprise of a little black dress, slacks, jeans, plain tee shirts, cardigan, blazer, classic coat, black flats, boots, scarf, and a handbag.

Now nearly a week into the new year, only time will tell if I succeed with my resolutions. Will my old vintage collecting habits die hard? Stay tuned for the next 359 days!

Casual: Tweed Blazer • Chevron Necklace • Tote • Ankle BootLong-Sleeve T-shirtLegging Jeans 

Casual

Business: Chevron Infinity Scarf • Pointed Toe Flat • Crepe Button-Front BlousePixie pant • Tweed Blazer • Tote

Business

Dressy: Patterned Tights • Chevron Necklace • Pleated Fit and Flare Dress • Pointed Toe Flat• Tweed Blazer • Tote

Dressy

The Red Coat


The last two years I’ve traded in celebrating the holidays with family and friends for foreign places and faces. This year I finally stayed put and indulged over home cooked feasts amidst the company of loved ones. This was also my first time in a long while participating in a Secret Santa gift exchange, and it was nice to receive a gift off my wish list. But there one thing that my Secret Santa cannot deliver, unless he’s my sugar daddy: a trip far, far away.

To where I’d like to travel come same time next year is yet to be determined. Bora bora? Morocco? Or maybe unconsciously I’d like to find myself at Buckingham Palace, facing off with a Redcoat on who wears the red coat best.

A red coat epitomizes all things holiday, joyous, and oh come all ye faithful. Some gals love handbags, others adore shoes, but my weakness lies in coats and jackets. I collect many, even though its hardly ever cold enough to merit wearing some of the knee length beauties that are collecting dust in my closet. Note to self: ask for garment bags next year.

With all the post holiday sales going on, you can easily nab yourself a fanciful red coat that won’t break the bank. I think I have scarlet fever, and the only cure for it will be another red coat to add to my bank of coats. Here are my top red coat picks for under $100.

1 ModCloth / 2 Nautica / 3 INC / 4 Calvin Klein / 5 Romwe / 6 Wallis / 7 PepaLoves
8 Ivanka Trump / 9 Anne Klein

Red Coats

I wore a holiday inspired palette to Christmas brunch and dinner last week, incorporating colors none other than red, white, and a hint of green. Gold, I am missing, but blame that on the three kings’ delayed delivery. My tracking number says they are westward leading, still proceeding to California. I scored this awesome red coat from a vintage sale during the summer, and was more than overjoyed to finally make its debut to the world. With my church hat on, I was ready for Sunday mass or even an evening of caroling. Sadly, I did neither. Should I pay a visit to my dear friend the Queen for high tea again? I hear London is quite beautiful during this time of year. This fair lady has no plans set in stone yet for December 2015 travel, but I guess I’ll just cross that London Bridge when I come to it.

It’s so hard to say cheerio to yesterday. Hats off to 2014 with this one last outfit post. Happy New Year everyone!

Baroque Brocade for the Holidays

ModCloth blouse (similar) / vintage belt (similar) / vintage skirt (similar) / Anthropologie tights (similar) / Vince Camuto pumps (similar) / vintage fur stole (similar) / vintage clutch (similar) / vintage cuff (similar) / vintage earrings (similar)

If I could deck the halls of my home this holiday season, I would do it not with boughs of holly, but instead go broke for Baroque. On second thought, perhaps I’ll just get decked out in a budget friendly Baroque inspired outfit.

Baroque style emerged in Europe during the 1600s. This style permeated into all art forms such as fine art, architecture, music, literature, and of course, even fashion. Baroque was all about creating excitement and drama through display of opulence and grandeur; it was a time of indulgence. I won’t get into the religious and historical details of the Baroque period, for they are just as intricate as the style itself. While Baroque manifests itself differently in each art form, in fashion it is characterized by textured fabrics, ornate embellishments, curlicues, and abundant details with ribbons, pearls, and delicate gold embroidery.

IMG_7295

It’s no joke that I have no great wealth to show off, so I decided to poke fun at Baroque’s opulence. If anything, I display an eminence of vintage and thrifty finds. I captured the essence of the Baroque style with embroidery and brocade in the shiniest of golden threads. Saving the wide long skirt and plunging décolletage revealing neckline for another day, I opted for a modern silhouette in a sleeveless blouse and slim pencil skirt.

Don’t let the shiny threads fool you – this is just pattern play: holiday edition. When mixing patterns, just follow a few rules. Pay attention to the scale of the pattern (mix big and small), fabric texture (shiny with matte), fabric weight (e.g. silk vs. velvet) and color scheme (same color family or neutral). In this outfit, I decided to go with multiple elements to create a lavish outfit brimming with drama for your momma. Despite all my Baroque details clamoring for attention, it might be the vintage fur stole that stole the show.

We finally started getting rain in our drought induced state of California, but I won’t let it rain on my Baroque brocade parade. Unless the precipitation is of the paper kind.

Happy Holidays!


ModCloth blouse (similar) / vintage belt (similar) / vintage skirt (similar) / Anthropologie tights (similar) / Vince Camuto pumps (similar) / vintage fur stole (similar) / vintage clutch (similar) / vintage cuff (similar) / vintage earrings (similar)

Baroque Brocade

Gift in a Box

For Her

Gifts for Her

Have you ever received an unexpected gift during the holidays that caught you by surprise? On the one hand you’re delighted. A gift for moi? You shouldn’t have!

And then, reality sinks in. No really, you shouldn’t have.

We’ve all heard of the saying, “Tis better to give than to receive.” I can agree with this statement to some extent. There is nothing more gratifying than watching your dearest loved ones open a gift in delight to discover something hand picked especially for them. All the while, chestnuts are roasting on an open fire.

While this adage makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside, it fails to address the guilt befallen to the recipient. On more than a few occasions, I have been the giftee of many a generous gifter. But, like a dolt, I did not have any presents to give in return. Being the fruitcake that I am, instead of a graceful thank you, I offered what I think to be a guilt ridden expression on my face while I sheepishly accepted the present.

The moral of the story is: avoid that awkward social situation like the plague, and be prepared like Doomsday Preppers by having a few stocking stuffers handy, for both his and hers in mind.

You can thank me later – as long as the gift comes wrapped in a pretty little box.

Gifts for Him

For Him

Body Electric

Even a casual outfit can be charged with electricity.

It may come as a shock to you, but as a child I absolutely loathed the zap of static electricity. The source of this unfortunate encounter was often in the family van, a huge brown Toyota Hiace.

That trusty van held many memories. It was our main mode of transport for family outings, whether it was a trip to the mall, out to dinner, or grocery shopping in Chinatown. I took naps in that van. My siblings and I consumed many a Wendy’s bacon cheeseburgers in that van. There was something about the fuzzy interior of that van that charged up the electrons in my body – I am positive of that. As a result, static shock ensued when one reached for the sliding door handle. That is one memory I do not miss at all. As ugly as that van was, it was stolen twice. When the unknown scoundrels ended their joy rides, they left the van abandoned and intact on the other side of town, newly minted cigarette burns and all.

My mom often boasted of the van’s amazing turn radius, but unfortunately, we got rid of it before I was old enough for drivers ed. It was replaced by a much cooler sedan. Vans get a bad rap thanks to soccer moms, and I’m sure I’ll opt out of one even when I start a family. If I’m gonna have a van, make that a pair on my feet.

Lately I’ve got my Vans on but they look like sneakers. Perhaps it’s my preference for comfort, my casual work environment, or just general style slacking, but I’ve gradually been trading my pumps in for lower heels, flats and – gasp – sneakers! No chiffon blouse here – just an urban tee that I simply cannot be neutral to since it is positively electrifying. Hardy materials of faux leather, denim, and canvas coupled with a dark color palette means I’m ready to head into the city in search for an electric street hole cover. Or better yet, make that a manhole cover. That’s where they keep men, right?

Fashionista, blogger, writer, doodler extraordinaire –  I’m proud of my body of work. Perhaps I should add light weight lifter and yogi to the list. After all, that’s what keeps my body electric.

Urban Outfitters jacket (similar) / City of Oakland Electric tee / Silence & Noise jeans (similar) / Vans Lo Pro Camo / Baggu canvas tote / seatbelt belt (similar)

Feast Your Eyes

I hope you can agree with me that there is much to be thankful for in life. If you have decent friends and family (minus the crazy aunt), then chances are you already have come up in life. But sometimes the going gets tough, and when it does, I often remind myself that things could be worse. And by worse I mean succumbing to gym clothes for Thanksgiving dinner.

Yes, stretchy gym clothes are quite comfortable, I agree. Yet gym clothes have their place in the gym, and there are alternative ways to stay comfy without compromising style. Whether you’re attending a Thanksgiving dinner with family, or enjoying a potluck Friendsgiving, be sure to steal the feast’s spotlight by being a feast for the eyes! Who says you can’t be well dressed while being well fed?

Turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce will be consumed, with food stains sure to follow. Black will be the color of choice. Not only can it withstand the stain of spilled red wine, its slimming effect will be much relief after so much gluttony.

Between a figure forgiving shift dress or a glammed up pair of jogger pants, the choice is up to you. Just remember that gratitude is the best attitude, so wear it on your sleeve.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Layers Lockdown

Dear Diary,

I have a confession to make: I’m in love with layers.

I remember my very first diary. It had teddy bears on the cover accompanied with the words “Bear Song.” In it I bared my soul. Pages and pages riddled with my cutesy juvenile penmanship declaring my schoolgirl crushes, bemoaning the trials and tribulations of friendships, worrying about good grades and other #13yearoldproblems. To prevent prying eyes from stumbling upon my innermost thoughts and feelings, my diary was secured by a lock. I wore the key around my neck and close to my heart for safekeeping.

It is silly to believe that flimsy little lock could really keep my secrets secure. If anyone wanted to break into my diary, a hairpin or strong yank on the lock would do it. While I no longer have use for a diary, I have discovered an alternate use for that lock. I found these diary locks for dirt-cheap by the handful, and re-purposed them into something wearable. 1 chain + 1 skeleton key + multiple locks = 1 fabulous innuendo laden necklace. A statement piece for sure, it makes a great addition to my layered autumn outfit.

Multiple layers begs the question, how to mix and match? The answer is to stay awash with neutrals of navy, grey, tan, and taupe – a color palette that is perfect for the season.

My dad’s wool cardigan vest coupled with my cotton knit cardigan provided just the right amount of warmth I needed with minimal bulk. I recently wore this outfit to brunch on a cool overcast morning. By the afternoon, the sun had broken through the clouds, and my body temperature was 98 degrees and rising. Luckily, all I had to do was peel back my layers like an onion to keep my cool.

It is safe to say I’ve got this layered look on lockdown. But with so many locks and just one ill-fitting skeleton key, what should I do?

Wait, I have an idea. Call a locksmith!


vintage sweater vest (similar) / BDG cardigan (similar) / BDG moto jeans (similar) / Alternative tee (similar) / Hinge oxfords / vintage necklace (similar)

Autumn Layers

Sweater Weather

Darkness now encroaches earlier each day in the northern hemisphere thanks to daylight savings, and the weather is changing whether I like it or not. Yet I still refuse to succumb to this sweater weather. How will I transition my dress wearing ways with winter on the horizon? All hail the sweater dress as the heroine for this style conundrum!

Sweater dresses come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Whether you prefer a chunky longer version of a sweater top, a fit and flare silhouette, cable knit, or fine gauge, there’s a sweater dress for every body shape.

Try wearing a sweater dress with bare legs and a pair of heels for now – if you dare. It won’t be long until boots and tights are needed to stay cozy on a dreary winter day. It’s a cinch with a belt if you’d like.

What other dress can boast to keep you looking stylish, while staying warm and comfortable? You’ll want to wear these cozy beauties until they’re threadbare.

Sweater Dresses

 

1. Alfani cable knit cowl neck 2. Merona drop waist 3. Belted cowl neck  4. Calvin Klein ribbed & belted
5. Calvin Klein ribbed fit & flare 6. Jessica Simpson cable knit 7. LAmade colorblock 8. MINKPINK Chalet Girl
9. Eliza J fit & flare 10. Topshop 11. Treasure & Bond 12. Betsey Johnson plaid fit & flare