The Magic Jacket

It’s about time I wrote a blog post about my show-stopping metallic rose gold moto-style jacket. Other than my last post about the Phillip Plein sweater, this jacket is one of my best retail steals to date.

Back in February, I visited Seattle with a few coworkers for “Retail Exploration Day,” where we perused high-end brick & mortar stores in search of the latest fashion trends. Seattle has a much more diverse and trendy retail scene than Portland and is the only city in the Pacific Northwest that’s home to my most favorite brand, Zara (although, there’s a rumor that Zara is coming to downtown Portland winter 2017, fingers crossed). As a group we quickly sifted through the Zara racks and I made a mental note to come back later that day by myself to do some personal shopping. Boy, am I glad that I did!

I never really count on finding anything good in the sale sections of most retail stores. The selection is usually very picked-over, shirts have multiple deodorant stains on them and pants are missing buttons. Nevertheless, I wandered up to the very small sale section in Zara where this shiny metallic number caught my eye. It was the only one of its kind, shoved between unflattering harem pants and unloved winter coats. I pulled it out and to my surprise it was my size…. And the price tag? $20, marked down from $120. I quickly put it on and took a glimpse of myself in the mirror.

It. Was. Fabulous.

I’ve never tried on a more spectacular jacket. I thought for sure it would be damaged or missing a zipper and that’s why it was marked down, but it was in perfect shape. And although it’s not real leather, it was created with high-quality pleather material that doesn’t look worn or peel after several wears and the construction is excellent, with heavy utilitarian zippers, strong snaps, and a detachable belt. Best $20 I’ve ever spent.

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Since February, the magic jacket and I have been on many adventures. I wish every article of clothing made me feel as fearless and fabulous as this jacket does. I believe everyone should own a jacket, or really any article of clothing, that turns heads and makes them feel like they can take over the world. No matter where I am when I wear it, I feel extra confident and receive numerous amounts of compliments and envious stares. In case anyone would like to add this look to their wardrobe, I found a few similar options here from Forever 21 and Lulu’s, and also found someone selling the exact same jacket on Poshmark for $70. I promise, you won’t regret the purchase. Happy Shopping!

Second-Hand Steal or Killer Knockoff

Continue reading “Second-Hand Steal or Killer Knockoff”

The Big Island Adventure

My first trip to the Big Island was everything I expected and more. After this winter in Portland, I was desperately in need of a warm, relaxing tropical getaway. So when my parents mentioned that they were going to Hawaii and asked if I wanted to join, I could not say no.

Some of you may think it’s odd that a 25-year-old went on a vacation with her parents, but you’d be wrong. I feel very fortunate that I was able to spend that time with them – our week on the spectacular island of Hawaii was beyond memorable.

A few quick fun facts about the Big Island of Hawaii:

  • People often confuse the island of Oahu with the Big Island of Hawaii, because Oahu is the most popular & touristy of the islands (Honolulu is on Oahu).
  • You can fit all other six Hawaiian islands into the area of the Big Island.
  • Hawaiian language has only 12 letters, so it’s very hard to remember street names because they all look the same… it’s also quite hard to pronounce names of towns or parks. We struggled with this
  • The island has 10 of the 13 climate zones in the world, which is fascinating. There’s even snow (crazy, right?) on the summit of Manua Kea!
  • Most all species of animals (excluding birds) that live on the island are considered invasive species. And weirdly, there are lots of feral cats that call the island home.
  • You can drive around the entire island in one day, but you wouldn’t leave much time to stop and enjoy anything. But it’s definitely doable, would take about 6 hours.

Now, if you’re not interested in reading all of the trip details (because it’s quite long and the photos are the best part), here’s a quick recap of our week including my favorite places we visited, best restaurants, secrets, etc. But read the extended version below for all the details!

Kona Side:

Best Restaurants: Splasher’s Grill, Bongo Ben’s, Chill’n On The Bay (great for drinks), Fish Hopper

Best Luau: King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel, $100/person

Best Beach/Hidden Gem: Makalawena Beach in Kekaha Kai State Park (stunning beach, bluest of water, fairly uncrowded, plus we spotted both a Hawaiian monk seal & a sea turtle here)

Best Shaved Ice: Anuenue Ice Cream & Shaved Ice (really far north, but great place to stop if you’re in the area)

Best Boujie Resort Area: Waikoloa Village – golfing, restaurants, beaches, fancy hotels, shopping center, etc.

Hilo Side:

Best Restaurants: Pineapples, Coconut Grill (old fashioned, but great food), Ponds, Miyo’s Japanese, Hilo Ono Kine (great lunch spot, amazing acai bowls)

Best Smoothie: What’s Shakin’ (near the Botanical Gardens)

Best Places to Explore: Pe’epe’e Falls, Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens, Akaka Falls (tallest falls in Hawaii), Volcanoes National Park

Best Beach: There aren’t many on the Hilo side, but Reed’s Bay Beach Park is sandy and a great spot to BBQ

Continue reading “The Big Island Adventure”

3.26 – Air Max Day

Quarter Century Birthday

I am 25 today.

I’ve been alive for 9,131 days, 1,304 weeks… a quarter of a century! I feel old, but also I kind of feel like my life is just starting. I look back on my 25 years with so much happiness in my heart. I was blessed with an incredible childhood which led to so many opportunities, and I am proud of all I’ve accomplished in my first 25 years. Sometimes I feel like the world can be so negative, and I can complain about such inconsequential things, but lately I’ve been trying to make a conscious effort to change that. I took some time to compile a list of 25 things I am grateful for, things that I undoubtedly take for granted everyday:

My upbringing, my childhood and my opportunity.

My two incredible parents, their health and their unconditional love.

My health.

My support system, my extended family and all of my dearest friends.

My entire education from kindergarten through college, which paved the way to my dream career.

Growing up in a place as beautiful, fresh and extraordinary as Portland, OR.

My love for animals, appreciation for nature and experiencing the spectacular wonders of the great outdoors at a young age.

My success in athletics, my passion for fashion and all of the incredible places I’ve been able to travel to.

My creativeness, my intellect, my energetic spirit and my beautiful body.

The ability to have my voice be heard.

Incredible memories from the first 25 years of life.

I want to thank everyone who reads this and who is/has been a part of my life. It’s not always easy to let other people know how often they are appreciated, but it’s all of you who have helped shape me and brought so much happiness to my existence. Thank you thank you, and here’s the another wild, adventurous, unpredictable 25 years of life!

NYFW Fall 2017 – Part 2

Let’s just jump right into New York Fashion Week recap part 2!

JUMPSUITS:

From corduroy to denim, utilitarian to glamorous, the effortlessly stylish jumpsuit silhouette shows no signs of downtrending in the upcoming seasons. Although jumpsuits are commonly known for not being figure-flattering, the amount of design variations from designer to designer ironically make this piece work for any body type – it’s all about finding the right silhouette. Loose-fitting, baggy jumpsuits are comfortable, casual and easy to wear. They hide “problem” areas that you may not necessarily want showcased to the world, but throw a belt around the waist for a fitted, hourglass shape. My trouble with jumpsuits is my torso is long and my hips/thighs are thick as thieves, so finding one that fits it quite a challenging task. But I promise, once you find a jumpsuit you love, you’ll want to wear it forever. Here are some favorites from last week’s shows:

COLORED FUR:

It’s not enough these days to use fur as a statement in its natural state – the new demand is for artificially-dyed treatment for a theatrical, costume-y vibe. This year you will see furs dyed all sorts of different ways, from solid neon hues to bold multi-colors. Although I find this trend to be completely fabulous, the use of real fur in high fashion couture goes against my morals and my deep-rooted love for animals, so I always pretend that these fabulous furry pieces are faux (many designers are on the same page about this as well, thank goodness). This trend may not be for everyone, but for those who are daring enough to try it out, the key is to just own it. Maybe try it with an all-black outfit so to be your statement piece. If you feel fabulous, the world will feel your fabulous-ness too.

ASYMMETRICAL NECKLINES:

Many designer’s collections showcased tops and dresses with asymmetrical cut-out necklines; a stylistic element I’ve seen little of in the market, but one I expect fast-fashion brands will run with in the coming months. It’s a fairly simple design change that makes a garment go from traditional to fashion-forward while being rather sassy and unexpected. Take a look at the examples below. The navy evening dress by Cushnie et Ochs exudes sensual sophistication due to the unique neckline cut-out and definitely draws the eye to a more erogenous zone on the body. We will see if this trend catches on, but I’m all for it!

COLOR THEMES:

Along with typical neutral colors that show up in every collection each season, there were several color trends we can expect to take off this fall. Cobalt, russet and various hues of yellow were very present among many of the collections, and I also noticed a number of designers styled entirely red-on-red outfits using contrasting materials or trims.

Cobalt – a brilliantly vibrant blue that is dramatic and communicates confidence. I love the use of the color on La Perla’s matching embroidered bralette & high-waisted pant, making the color very playful. Cobalt is also very striking when paired with hues of its contrasting color orange, as seen on Zadig & Voltaire’s slip-like printed dress.

Russet – a very muted tone of orangey-red that can almost resemble brown depending on how it is used. Russet will be a very popular color this coming fall, obviously fitting for the season, perfect for pants and warm winter coats (see Christian Siriano’s incredible fur-lined wrap coat below).

Yellow – a color that is not as commonly used in fashion due to its perceived unflattering tone. I must admit I don’t really like the color yellow much when it comes to my wardrobe, but the great thing about yellow is there’s a shade for every skin tone. Ranging from bright neon to sunflower, yellow hues are going to look great on flowy dresses and comfortable sweaters this fall.

Red on Red – you rarely see people wearing an entirely red ensemble, but this may change in the blink of an eye. Pairing bold hues of red with more muted tones seems to be gaining in popularity and this was especially present in Oscar de la Renta’s collection, where he combined a dimensional satin top with flat woven trousers to create a strong, attention-grabbing outfit. I love red pieces, but have never thought to mix and match similar red tones. I attempted to throw together an all-red outfit… think I can pull it off?

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Well, that’s a wrap for NYFW! This was the first year I paid extra close attention to the collections, watching each runway show and scrolling through collection photos for similarities among the designers. I’m kind of obsessed now and extremely envious of the individuals who were able to attend the shows. Going to NYFW is now on my bucket list, perhaps in the future I’ll be able to blog about it while I am there, or maybe someday I’ll even be a part of a design team… You never know!

Cheers!

NYFW Fall 2017 – Part 1

Hello Everyone!

I must apologize, the January snow-pocalyspe, the constant gloomy weather, my day job and other things I can use as excuses have kept me away from blog writing for the last month. It’s not always easy to keep up with extra-curriculars, and honestly I become a lazy unmotivated couch potato during the cold season. But time to get back into the swing of things! And what a better way to do that than to recap New York Fashion Week for Fall 2017 Ready-to-Wear.

I believe fashion is the best form of personal expression. It’s fascinating to see how a designer’s collection can be influenced by anything from politics, pop culture and social justice issues, to region and nature, to shape, form or technology.  Everyone has their own opinions about Fashion Week and designer “Ready-to-Wear” collections. Some find the shows inspiring and innovative, some find them unrealistic and pretentious. Some designers are extremely avant-garde with their collections, others stay predictable and classic. But fashion is like art, it provokes thoughts and emotions. Every viewer will have a different reaction to the way a designer uses materials, color, styling, aesthetics, layering, accessories, etc. Those reactions are what drives fashion trends and influences what you will see on the floors of fast-fashion retailers (H&M, Forever 21, Zara) several months/years down the road. Ever seen the movie “The Devil Wears Prada?” Although the terminology is slightly different, Miranda Priestly’s (Meryl Streep) blue sweater monologue does a brilliant job of explaining this trickle-across fashion phenomenon (watch it here).

Okay, on to the fun stuff! After the first day of FW runway shows, I noted numerous commonalities among the collections. Now that the chaotic week is almost over, here are some huge trends we can expect to see on the sales floors this coming fall.

VELVET:

Velvet made a huge comeback in 2016, with no signs of downtrending for 2017. It exudes effortless-luxe with its fabulous sheen and soft aesthetic. Whether printed, crushed, or in a bold solid color, velvet was used this season on a multitude of silhouettes from drape-y red carpet gowns to strong pant suits, and everything in between. My favorite use of velvet this season can be seen in the first photo below, a pearly long-sleeved goddess gown by Tadashi Shoji.

FLORALS:

Florals tend to show up in the market season after season, but almost every collection for Fall 17 included some type of flowery frock. Some were romantic & dainty, some loud & colorful, others were abstract & conceptual. I’m not usually one to gravitate towards girly florals – I very much enjoy when they are used in daring, unexpected ways, like in Moncler Grenoble’s ski collection, which pushes the boundaries of winter wear. Anna Sui took the trend to a different level by layering various floral patterns on top of each other and pairing the outfit with even more floral accessories. I think we can expect to see an overabundance of flowered garments in retailers very soon.

GROWL POWER:

Did anyone else desperately want to grow up to be a Cheetah Girl as badly as I did? I may not have reached my fame aspirations, but that hasn’t stopped me from dressing like one of the pop stars. And thankfully, animal print is going everywhere except out of style for Fall 17. Used both sparingly by some and for entire outfits by others, spots of the big cats will be in full force this fall. Although many would find this ensemble chaotic, even possible distasteful, I commend Jeremy Scott for his intentional print-on-print look where he pairs soft leopard with floral paisley and statement Jesus pants (who doesn’t love a good pair of Jesus pants, especially on Gigi Hadad). Actually, a sub-trend of combining animal-print with other prints/textures in one garment or outfit is also obviously on the rise. Thank the fashion gods that I can continue to wear leopard print with confidence.

FLOOR-LENGTH TRENCHES:

A trend I have yet to adopt myself, but one I may need to get behind this coming fall. Full-body trench coats in varying cuts, fabrics and colors swept the floor of many collections this week. Simple, classic designs from Michael Kors and Ryan Roche help make this coat silhouette very wearable, while much edgier designers showcased full fur and boldly-printed trenches that definitely turned heads (ps. why does Fetty Wap look so effin cool as a runway model?) In the future, if Portland winters continue to be as brisk, chilly and snowy as this year, I’ll need to invest in a fabulous floor-length coat so I can venture outside in style.

anddddd just for fun, here’s a few pics of what I WOULD have worn had I attended NYFW…. but apparently my invitation got lost in the mail…

Stay tuned for Part-2 review coming soon!