August 27, 2017

Breaking the Fast

Uncharacteristically, I've been avoiding the mall lately. I'm afraid of window shopping. Because I know that if I wander through the racks, there's a chance I'll come across an item that catches my fancy. And if it does, I might start obsessively waiting for it to go on sale.

Why is that a problem?

Well, I've realized I have. Way. Too. Many. Clothes. When it gets to the point you open your closet and continuously find "new" clothes you totally forgot/never knew you had, you might just have too much. It's like some reverse bandit is sneaking into my room at night and giving me new clothes. I literally have zero recollection of certain items being under my ownership. Not only that, sometimes I can spend 15 minutes just deciding what pair of socks to wear because somehow I have 7 different pairs of white socks in my drawer. Or an entire box of nylons. Or three boxes of jewellery. Or clothing stored throughout the house and in the basement. I could literally open a thrift store at this rate. In fact, I've been selling away my clothes, and yet it barely makes a dent.

So point is, I can't buy anymore. I don't need anymore. Aside from a couple wardrobe staples here and there I could update, it would be silly of me to buy more.

But yesterday I broke the fast by walking into an ALDO store. Luckily, I didn't walk out with an item on my wishlist. All I walked out with were a couple quips about their latest collection.

ALDO is actually my favourite shoe store. I think it's good at producing shoes that are trendy, affordable, and can have decent quality - though let me expand on that last point. The majority of the time, ALDO shoes fall short in quality. However, they do always have a selection of shoes that I think step it up. While most are faux leather, it is possible to find a few made from genuine leather, and there are always a handful with better construction. You have to look for them, but they're there.

Yesterday, I found myself more conflicted than usual about ALDO. They have really interesting designs lately. If we look past the blatant Gucci imitation items (Floral embroidered sneakers? Horsebit hardware? C'mon.), or the Fenty x Puma copies (though honestly, who isn't copying those nowadays), there are some cool concepts. Heels and sneakers became canvases for metallic rainbow finishes, sparkly embellishment, shiny gold hardware, encrusted pearls, flecks of glitter, and soft fur. It was just plain FUN. I was honestly impressed with the attention to detail this season.

The only thing all looked tacky. Not because of the design itself, but because the quality was not up to snuff. The fake leather had an unsettling sheen, the metallic was dull and probably easily scratched, and the pearls looked a bit pasted on. I find outré, trendy detailing like this does require some level of craftsmanship to make it look stylish. Otherwise, it can look like an item from the kiddie dress-up aisle (sorry).

I appreciate the design effort, ALDO, and to give you credit, I'm sure there are a couple good pieces in there. But, regardless of whether I'm abstaining from the mall or not, would I purchase any of it? Unfortunately no.

Image source: Aldo, Pinterest

August 8, 2017

Ange où Demon

Angel or demon. Feminine or femme fatale. Goddess or goth. There is no denying the beauty of fashion is the ability to shape-shift across a spectrum of personalities. Tobi was kind enough to send me a couple dresses to style, and two of my favourite pieces ended up being on opposite ends of the spectrum. So I had some fun with play pretend, and I ask you: ange où demon?

Dress: Tobi | Camisole: tout à coup | Shoes: Ground Green Store | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban

This feminine dress with its dusting of rose pink and airy kimono sleeves reminded me of the flowing beauty of a Grecian goddess. I knew instantly I would have to pair the dress with my fringed gladiator sandals. I call this outfit the look of the angel, but it is hardly of pure innocence. I added a cheeky boudoir twist by layering a soft lace camisole underneath and bringing the criss-cross straps (which are intended to be worn in the back) to the front across my chest. Another way of styling this dress would be to have a tight lace underlay across the chest - enough to cover up the deep v-neck, but not enough to keep everything hidden. A game of hide and seek.

Dress: Tobi | Shoes: Ned-Nedy | Camisole: Old Navy | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban

I was immediately drawn to the slits along the sheer sleeves of this dress, and couldn't resist ordering it in black to amp up the smouldering evening appeal. There is actually an opening down the front of the torso, but for the more conservative among us, a black lace camisole underneath will work just fine. However, although this cocktail number shows a bit more skin up top, I was greatly impressed by how perfect the length of the skirt was, hitting that sweet mid-thigh spot. I may have glided with grace in my previous look, but this dress gave me confidence of a different kind - the kind that made me walk with an extra strut in my step.

Dresses courtesy of Tobi.

August 1, 2017

Love, Actually

This is not my first time blogging about weddings. I've blogged about the outfit I wore to a wedding I attended three years ago, and even partnered with Weddington Way to style a bridesmaid dress into a flirtatious date outfit. But throughout my time crafting sweet lyrical prose about the elation of romance, I had never actually experienced love for myself. I was an outsider writing through rose-coloured glasses about what I thought companionship was.

Last week, however, I attended a wedding for the first time knowing what love really means.

But before we get there, let's review the wedding attire.


Although I struggled quite a bit with choosing a morning outfit, I managed to happily settle on a ballet-inspired look. The whole ensemble started off with this high-low dress I owned. In the past, I've had issues with how asymmetrical hemlines cut awkwardly across my short legs, but this high-low dress had some magical formula that worked fantastically with my particular stature.
Dress: Unknown - Chinese brand | Bolero: La Senza Girl | Boots: Ned-Nedy | Necklace: Unknown | Earrings: Jones New York | Handbag: Unknown | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban

The only thing I'm not too fond of with this dress is the upper half. The black tank leads into the pink skirt too high up on the torso, leaving me with a slightly childlike chest. I combated that with a front-tie bolero I unearthed from my closet to lengthen the black top. If I was in junior high, I would have undoubtedly worn the bolero the way it's meant to be worn - with the bow-tie in the front. Though considering it's 2017 and I'm no longer a preteen, I took my own spin on the bolero by tying the strings around my back, similar to the more grown-up criss-cross tops which have been in style lately. From there, accessorizing was a breeze. I tightened a gold and pink chain choker around my neck, hooked in a pair of earrings that bore striking resemblance to my necklace, and slipped on a pair of black suede booties with gold hardware detailing. Et voilà.


I'm surprised by how my evening look coincidentally followed a similar theme as my morning outfit - black on top, colour on bottom. I honestly hadn't done that on purpose! All I knew was I wanted to get some use out of the Banana Republic circle skirt I bought a few years back. I classed the skirt up with some filmy black lace, and once again accessorized with gold jewellery. Although I don't follow many traditions, red and gold signify luck and fortune in Chinese culture, so I thought my outfit would be a fitting combination. Moreover, as hoop earrings appear to be on trend again lately, I rummaged through my mother's jewellery box and found around five different gold hoop earrings to choose from. I went with a mid-sized hoop to hit that Goldilocks formula.
Top: Nanette Lepore | Skirt: Banana Republic | Boots: Ned-Nedy | Tank Top: Old Navy | Tights: Unknown | Handbag: Unknown | Bracelet: Unknown | Earrings: Unknown

Now that we've done the obligatory outfit overview, let me get back to the actual wedding and open up about love.

Two years ago, I met the man who would become my first love. During our time together, I learned love truly is about the little things. When he walks back to the car without being told to, just to grab the scarf you forgot to bring. When he congratulates you for completing part (I repeat, part) of a hiking trail, even though you complained the whole way through. When he's seen you with your acne and eczema galore, and still never fails to remind you everyday how beautiful he thinks you are. And the list goes on and on...

In addition to the little things, love is about the rough seas you weather together. Love is as complicated as it is instinctual. As irritating as it is fulfilling. As painful as it is blissful. But ask yourself, if you don't feel the pain, do you really feel the love?

Mistakes and failures will be made, but apologies and kindness will always be genuine. At the end of the day, do you walk out of the storm hand-in-hand, knowing full well there's no one else you rather be going through the rain with?

As I watched the to-be wedded couple that day, I knew they had found that kind of love with each other. The way they joked during their vows about the mundane details of co-habitation, or the way they laughed off technical difficulties throughout the ceremony. They didn't need to make a big show of devotion that morning of their wedding, because they had already been showing it every step of the way since the day they met.