Tuesday, April 28, 2015

April Wardrobe Updates and May Planning


Almost the end of April and into May, so another wardrobe update and planning post is necessary. I'm linking up with Fran from Franish - I always love her monthly updates and they definitely inspire me to be more mindful of what I'm adding to my closet and how much I'm really spending from month to month. 

APRIL PURCHASES

Everlane Sleeveless Silk Blouse - $30 with $30 credit from shipping/clothing mishaps!
Old Navy Linen Cropped Pants - $23, discounted 30% from $29 price cut
H&M Cotton Breton Striped Tee - $13, impulse buy

APRIL TOTAL: $66
Status: Under budget!

April was a good month - I bought a total of three items that I'm very pleased with. Two were planned, and one was unplanned, and in hindsight, probably didn't need. But I'm pleased with it none the less! I did most of my shopping in March and spent way too much money buying everything at once, so hopefully I'm pretty set for the summer. Budgetwise, looking at March and April together, I'm right on target. 

I'm really enjoying the silk blouse - it's looking like it'll definitely be in rotation throughout the spring and summer. It's light, airy, comfortable, and very luxurious! It's my first silk piece of clothing, and I'm definitely craving for more. It is quite a bit of maintenance, so I'll think on what my next piece will be. 

The linen cropped pants are seriously so comfortable. I'm excited to also wear them as a transitional piece from spring to summer. They're loose and cool, and I think they look quite chic on. I've always been a skinny jeans traditionalist, but I think I'll start moving away from that for summer at least. 

And finally - I definitely did NOT need another striped shirt, but I rationalized. I don't currently have a red breton striped tee. And I liked the wide cut bateau neckline and the fact that it was made from 100% cotton, which is rare for an H&M garment. And the price was right. So I took it home with me, and it makes me so happy. I'm glad I bought it! 

MAY PLANNING


Ever since my Anthony Bourdain uniform breakdown a couple weeks ago, I've been obsessed with the idea of desert boots... but more feminine. I just put in an order for a pair of these desert-style wedge booties in grey suede. I'm excited to wear them! The rubber sole and lower heel height will be super comfy, while still adding height - I'm 5'2", so any chance to lengthen my legs is welcome.

The second thing that I've been thinking about is one that I had on my list for a while, but removed because I had bought a blazer already for an interview. After some thought, I put it back on the list because I'd really like to wear a blazer without people at work thinking that I'm going on another interview. This one is softer, looser fit, longer, and overall more casual without losing the put-together-ness.

But other than that, I don't really have any wants (yet!). I will be moving in June, so I think it'll be nice to save some money for new furniture and moving costs. I signed a lease around mid-April for a very cute 1 bedroom apartment in Lincoln Park. I'm gutted to be leaving Lakeview, but I think this will be a long term stay for me. And the best part is that I'm super excited to have a porch just in time for the summer! 
SHARE:

Sunday, April 26, 2015

How to Choose Frames That Flatter Your Face


I have always been deeply uncomfortable wearing glasses. I started needing to wear them when I was in the 6th grade or so - so around 12 years old. They made me feel self conscious and I didn't feel like I looked good in them. My first pair were rectangular, wire frame lenses and I thought they made me look like a total nerd. I refused to wear them, since I only needed them to see far away things. And I made do for a year or so by squinting, taking notes off of my friends' notes, or just sitting closer in class. But my vision got worse and then I got contact lenses and finally felt like myself again. My glasses then turned into something I only wore at home or maybe out for a quick errand. But I would feel complete and total embarrassment if someone I knew saw me in my glasses.

Every time I needed a prescription refresh, I would spend a long time trying on every single pair that was available - thinking that the right pair will feel and look right - almost like a light switch. I imagined this feeling like the opposite of when a nerdy girl in a movie takes her glasses off, and all of a sudden is beautiful. But that feeling never came for me, and after too long, I would just settle on a pair. It always felt like the glasses were just some thing that I wore on my face to help me see, and not a part of me.

I mentioned that I had stopped by Warby Parker last weekend to pick out some new prescription glasses. I think I spent about an hour and a half in the shop trying on every single style - which is a while, considering they only have so many styles there. They finally arrived in the mail the other day. And I think these glasses were the glasses that finally feel like me. It was totally unexpected, since while I was picking them out, I felt as though I had settled on these - called The Walker style. I put them on for the first time when I received them, and haven't taken them off. They feel like the pair of glasses that I was meant to wear.

I'm not sure why I feel this way - it's maybe in part to me growing more used to the idea that I'm stuck with wearing glasses for the foreseeable future. I've stopped caring about how I look in glasses. And maybe also in part that I've finally understood what kind of frames look good on me. These are only my fifth pair of glasses ever - so I'm still learning! So here's what I've learned works for my face.

HOW TO CHOOSE FRAMES FOR YOUR FACE

1. Make sure your frames are wide enough for your face. If the width of the frames are too narrow, it looks like your face is wearing the glasses. Conversely, if they're too wide, then it looks like the glasses are wearing you.

2. There is some truth to the whole face shape/lens shape rule. Meaning, if you have a rounder face, you may look good in a frame that is more angular. If you've got a more angular face, then round frames may flatter your face better. My glasses have a flatter top to them and are more straight across than my other ones, and I think I like that. But if you have a lot of heart for a certain frame, don't let the rules keep you from choosing that!

3. A darker frame enhances my face. I have very light features - eyebrows, thinner eyelashes, etc. And a darker frame actually enhances my face by providing that contrast with my skin tone. I like that the warmth in the flecks of the tortoise shell also works well with my warm undertones too.

4. Glasses should be professionally adjusted by an optician - early and often. Plastic frames can be adjusted and should be done by a professional. I'm Asian, so I have a flatter nose bridge and find that my glasses always used to slide down my face. When I was younger, this was the main reason why I hated wearing my glasses. I had my glasses adjusted for the first time with my last pair, and it was life changing. Additionally - your glasses will stretch out after you wear them for a couple months and lose their shape. You should go back and get them properly fixed when they do.

A SHORT WARBY PARKER REVIEW

As for the glasses themselves - I paid around $130 for them. Regularly, they're $95 for the frame and lenses, but my prescription is quite strong, so I opted for the thinner high index frames which are extra. They're very solid and cut out of a single sheet of acetate, so you won't see any of the lines you see from injection molded plastic frames. I really like that there is no branding on the visible part of the frames either. The words Warby Parker are on the inside arm of the glasses, and a small circle at the end of the inner arm with the letters WP.

What I really liked was how easy their online help was. I called their help line to change the address it was shipped to, and immediately was connected to a person. They offer a free home try-on program as well, which I did for sunglasses. You're able to pick 5 frames that they'll then ship to your house. You can try them on for a week before you need to ship them back - but it's completely free. And it's perfect for people like me, where I mull over my larger price purchases for a while.

Nowadays, I can't get away with not wearing glasses anymore. I've become so nearsighted that I can't see 6 inches in front of my face without my glasses. But I'm glad that I've finally come to terms with my glasses! I think these new ones are a keeper for a while. And I mean...



SHARE:

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Wind Advisory

Mandatory weather mention, since it's "Spring" in Chicago and the weather likes to be bipolar. We're under a wind advisory! Every once in a while, we'll get a couple days where it's so windy, I'll need to hold onto my sunglasses as I wear them, or they'll actually blow off my face. And sunglasses are mandatory for me, since I wear contacts - they protect my eyes from getting dust blown into them. People with balconies tie their furniture down, or risk getting them blown away. 

A quick work OOTD. I wore my Eddie Bauer Skyliner jacket today, which is incredibly windproof and warm while staying lightweight. On top, I wore my Everlane heavy weight tee that I got last month. It's quite sturdy! I've worn and washed it several times with minimal shrinking. It was slightly too large when I first got it (for reference, in a size small), but now I think it fits perfectly. It's the perfect thing to wear on a slightly cooler day since it's made of a thicker material. Threw on a mustard colored circle scarf from a couple years ago.

For shoes, I have to be honest with you. These J.Crew flats are the most uncomfortable things I've ever worn. I love the look of D'Orsays, so I am praying that they will be broken in soon. Honestly, I should've gotten my regular size. I got a 6.5, thinking that my regular size will stretch out and won't fit anymore, but these have not stretched out yet. I've worn them maybe 4 times so far though. I love the style, but the pain... I'll update with my final thoughts in a month. But if you're looking at these flats - I recommend you get your normal size. 

Lastly - guys. I love my new job so far. LOVE. I don't know why I felt so nervous beforehand because I can totally do this. I'm the type of person to not want to change jobs very frequently, so I really hesitated leaving the ad agency. But I am so glad I did. This feels like a really long term job. I'm glad it's with a start up and I'm excited to see and help it grow. Ahh! 

If you haven't seen my last post - it's an Emmanuelle Alt uniform breakdown. I'm kind of liking these breakdowns since they're good inspiration for me. Let me know if you're interested in seeing anyone else's uniform broken down too! I'd totally be down for doing that. 
SHARE:

Monday, April 20, 2015

UNIFORM BREAKDOWN: Emmanuelle Alt

Another uniform breakdown - this time on Emmanuelle Alt, the editor in chief of French Vogue. I had pinned one of her photos on my mood board and did some more research on the woman and started to realize that she wears the same silhouette all the time. The pieces she chooses also are timeless and always in-style.

EMMANUELLE ALT UNIFORM FORMULA
Collared button up + cropped trousers or jeans + belt + black pumps
OR
Blouse + cropped trousers or jeans + belt + long blazer + black pumps

She always looks very chic and put together and editor like. And I really like the combination - although she has a longer torso, this combination of a cropped pant and a longer blazer make her look quite proportional. And of course, having super long legs like her also helps ;) Here's a short list of what her uniform pieces are.
  1. 1. Long black blazer
  1. 2. Black pumps
  1. 3. Cropped black trousers
  1. 4. Cropped black jeans
  1. 5. Drape-y white blouse 
  1. 6. Breton striped shirt
  1. 7. Collared button up, pockets optional
  1. 8. Belt, gold accents 
  1. 9. Wayfarer Sunglasses 

Let me know if you have anyone you'd like me to do a uniform breakdown on! 
SHARE:

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Imposter Syndrome

shirt - jeans (sold out, eddie bauer) - bag - shoes (sold out, DSW)
A little weekend casual outfit. I actually wore this Friday on a rare 68 degree day in April. It was very warm for Chicago yesterday, but we're right back to where we belong at a balmy 55 degrees or so today. So I broke out the light wash cropped jeans that I mentioned in my Summer Wardrobe Thoughts post. Really simple outfit that I didn't think was worth posting, but this is what I wear. I think the light blue and the camel-ish color of the flats go quite well together!

I start my new job tomorrow at the start-up. I'll be starting up their analytics as a manager there. I'm excited, but also a little bit nervous as well. I get this way before any new job that I start. Sometimes, I feel a little bit as though I'm a fraud and that I've tricked everyone into thinking I was capable. It's formally called Imposter Syndrome, as I've learned. My boyfriend, who is a PhD student, used to get it too when he started his program. Apparently it's common among graduate students as well! Basically, it's described as an inability to internalize ones' own achievements and feeling like a fake. Lots of well known people have felt this way.
I have written eleven books, but each time I think, ‘Uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out. -- Maya Angelou
The exaggerated esteem in which my lifework is held makes me very ill at ease. I feel compelled to think of myself as an involuntary swindler. -- Albert Einstein 
 It’s almost like the better I do, the more my feeling of inadequacy actually increases, because I’m just going, ‘Any moment, someone’s going to find out I’m a total fraud, and that I don’t deserve any of what I’ve achieved’ -- Emma Watson
Anyway, whenever I feel this way, I usually tell myself to come off it - they wouldn't hire me if they didn't think I could do the job well. I think of what I read from Lean In, the book by Sheryl Sandberg - flip through it to the chapters where she talks about this feeling. And then finally, I watch this TEDtalk by Amy Cuddy. Have you ever felt this way? I hope these resources help!
SHARE:

Friday, April 17, 2015

UNIFORM BREAKDOWN: Anthony Bourdain

I cannot tell you how much Anthony Bourdain I've been watching during my little unpaid vacation before my new job starts (on Monday! Excitement). I've been watching The Layover and it's made me so longing for a vacation. I love Anthony Bourdain and while I was watching, I noticed that his outfits are always comprised of the same pieces of clothing, in different patterns or styles. So I thought it might be cool if I put together a sort of style breakdown on him, and see if I can translate this into something a woman might wear. 

Since he travels a lot, I assume he has the same suitcase packed with the same clothes for most trips that he takes - sort of like Joan Didion. So after hours of intense study on Netflix watching The Layover, here is what I've boiled his travel uniform to.

  • 1 - 2 - 3 collared, button-up shirts
  • 4 - 5 ) well worn jeans
  • 6 ) khakis/chinos
  • 7 ) trench coat
  • 8 ) sunglasses
  • 9 ) watch
  • 10 desert boots

Collared, Button Ups
These are easy to pack, look clean, crisp, and put together. I noticed he rolls the sleeves up all the time on his, for that casual look. Sometimes he also throws a crew neck sweater over top for warmth. Another thing I noticed was that they're usually a washed cotton or oxford cloth type shirt. 1 - 2 - 3 

Well Worn Jeans
Obviously these are just comfortable to travel in. They're sturdier fabric, so durable enough for your carry on and durable enough to stand through multiple wears without washing. 4 - 5 ) 

Khakis
These are comfortable, in my opinion. I've chosen the feminine version as a cropped pair, so they're more casual, but you still have the option to dress it up. And a third pair of pants in a distinctly different color and style allows you to mix and match your shirts for more outfits. 6 )

Trench Coat
Weather resistant, warm, and a classic staple in a travel wardrobe. 7 )

Sunglasses
So the style I chose was as similar to his as I could find while remaining affordable. Anthony Bourdain is a huge fan of Persol sunglasses, which are ridiculously expensive. Also an essential for sunny days, to wear when you're napping on the plane, and to wear obviously to look cool. 8 )

Watch
His choice of watch is beyond what I could ever afford, but I think I caught a glimpse of a Timex Weekender in one of the episodes. Nevertheless, this is a sturdy and incredibly affordable watch, necessary for catching flights. 9 )

Desert Boots
Anthony Bourdain swears by Clarks Desert Boots - he says they're easy to slip on and off in security, and they're comfortable for walking around in too. These intrigue me, and I really like the look. I'm not sure if I can pull them off, but I think these will go on my list of purchase considerations for next month!  ( 10 )


SHARE:

Monday, April 13, 2015

Stripes and Tidying Up

Tomorrow is my last day of work! I have to say, I think I'm more excited than sad. With that said, I spent all day trying to wrap up all my work, and do a little work ahead so my coworker isn't too overwhelmed when she takes over. It's stressful, since I'm essentially working on things 4 months ahead. Today, I'm trying out my black maxi dress that I bought back in March. I threw on a striped shirt and knotted it at the side for a fitted look. As I mentioned earlier,  I've always felt uncomfortable in dresses - but I quite liked this one! It's so flowy and cool between the legs, while staying covered up still.

I'm so excited for the short break I have between jobs. Currently, I'm reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo upon seeing it on Xin's blog, Invincible Summer. I'm about 70% of the way through (reading it on my phone) and it's inspired me to clean up my apartment and closet again.  I went through an earlier tidying up spree in February and got rid of a lot of clothing that I didn't care for. But things are in disarray and so I'll use this time to tidy up and get rid of non-clothing items that I don't need.

In other news, I think plans are starting to finalize around my boyfriend and I moving in together! Right now, we spend time switching between our two apartments. I'm excited, because we'll save a lot of money and I love looking at apartments!
SHARE:

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Wardrobe Staple #2: The Plain White T-Shirt

Weekend! Hope yours is going well. I wanted to do a quick review of the Everlane box cut tee. I love bright white t-shirts on a warm day. I used to stay away from wearing anything white because I could never keep it white, but I've been diligent with my recent white purchases by washing them separately and in cold water. I think I've done pretty well! 

I bought two of these back in February, one in black and one in white, and I've been wearing them about once a week since buying them. They're a great staple and hold up quite well wash after wash without losing their shape. The relaxed fit is easy to dress up and down, but today, I wore it with some cuffed jeans and d'orsay style flats that I stole from my mother who thinks they're a little young for her.

Today, I visited Warby Parker off the Armitage stop in Lincoln Park with my boyfriend. Since I'm leaving my job, I have to spend all my health flex spending money by the end of the month. I figured new glasses would be smart, so I got a pair of these, which are pretty smart. The best part is that they were only $95 for prescription glasses. They had quite a selection of sunglasses as well, so I've got an order of 5 pairs for their in-home try on. I'm looking for a new, more feminine pair of sunglasses, so we'll see if these work out!

Afterward, we stopped in to grab some lunch at Butcher and the Burger. We each got a grassfed beef burger and shared some fries. I think we both agreed it was one of the best burgers we have ever had. It's a small place, but luckily we were able to find a table. It's a little New Orleans inspired, complete with beignets and Cafe du Monde. Here's a picture of my boyfriend's burger. Unfortunately I had taken a bite of mine already!


 Hope you had a great weekend as well!

Other everlane reviews here: Silk Sleeveless Blouse

Linking up with
Pampers & Pearls // Because Shanna Said So // The Pleated Poppy // Shopping My Closet // The Mummy Chronicles  // Cappuccino and Fashion // Pumps & Pushups // Classy Yet Trendy // Sydney Fashion Hunter
SHARE:

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Rainy Day OOTD 4.8.2015

Very cold and misty today! Reminds me of the first time I visited Seattle for an interview two years ago. On days like this, I love to pull out my bomber jacket from Eddie Bauer - which coincidentally is based in Seattle. I got this jacket on clearance in stores at Eddie Bauer for around $40 a couple years ago during a post winter sale. I don't think it ever goes on promo anymore, but is definitely well worth the price it is now. 

It's a very lightweight jacket, but warm because of the down. I love the quilted pattern and I love that the outside of the coat is water resistant as well. The knit collar and knit wrists keep the wind out as well. The only downside is that there is no hood, so if it was really rainy or cold, I'd need to have a hat or umbrella. I love the color as well, which is a forest green/olive. 

Some fun trivia around this jacket though - the design was the first patented down coat in the US. This style of quilted down coat was invented by Eddie Bauer in 1936 and patented 4 years later. It was originally for men, but a women's version came out later with the elastic cinched waist for some shape. I love pieces of clothing with this type of history. Eddie Bauer is a definite favorite for me in terms of brand. All of the clothing that I've bought from there, whether that's flannel, jeans, or this coat, has lasted me a long time. 
SHARE:

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Wardrobe Staple #1: The Trench Coat

Trench coats are widely known as a wardrobe staple. The coats were developed during WWI by Burberry and were worn by officers in the British army during inclement weather. And it was during the war that Burberry actually made these coats for women as well. After the war, they returned home and continued to wear these coats due to their versatility. Today, that coat is made for both genders in varying styles - however, the classic trench is usually in a tan, black, or khaki colored fabric and is double breasted. I love a trench coat for the instant 'put-together'-ness you have when you throw one on as outerwear. When I think of trench coats, I instantly think of the last scene in Breakfast At Tiffany's with Audrey Hepburn's trench. 
one - two - three
Springs in Chicago are a rainy event. This week is full of thunderstorms, and I've pulled out and will rely on my trench coat to keep me both warm and dry. First and foremost, a coat needs to be functional. In this case, waterproof and somewhat windproof. The coats here are all waterproof, and I've only tested the second option to be windproof. 

I prefer the shorter length trench coat over the longer one - one that hits the upper thigh. I find that it's easier to move around in and more versatile - appropriate in formal situations because of the trench style, and appropriate for more casual situations because of the length. Finally, the last requirement is a hood to keep the rain out. I can't tell you how many times I've been saved by wearing a trench coat when I've forgotten to bring an umbrella that day.

Do you have a trench in your closet? I'd love to hear in the comments. 
SHARE:

Sunday, April 5, 2015

REVIEW: Everlane Silk Sleeveless Blouse

I went for it - a silk top. I wrote before that I was mulling over the addition of a silk blouse to my closet. On one hand, it's beautiful and drapes well and chic. On the other, it's high maintenance - dry clean only. I decided to go for it and picked up this blouse from Everlane - originally $60, but I got for $30 due to some credit that was added to my account. If you're curious - it was due to a shirt I had ordered, had a weird stain + another shirt that was held at the LAX port and delayed. I decided that was a good experimental price.

FIT: I picked up an XS. Usually I would've gone for a S, but I'm glad that I chose the XS because it runs pretty long. The length is enough to wear tucked or untucked. The armpits are cut quite high though, so I think maybe a S would have been okay too. It fits well with room in the body to drape.

CONSTRUCTION: The silk is good. I've felt other silks before, and this feels heavy. Fresh out of the package, it was velvety and felt really good against the skin. I can't speak anymore to the construction until I've washed it a few more times, but I've worn it once so far, and it feels sturdy. It's thick enough that I don't feel like I'll rip. But I'm not sure if I'm subconsciously more careful when wearing this shirt. The color is rich, and I'd say it's true to color in the photos online.

WASH AND WEAR: The label says dry clean only. I chose not to follow that rule, knowing that this was a risk. So I filled up my sink, threw in a little bit of Tide powder detergent, and washed my shirt. I almost had a heart attack when the water started to turn pink - but it was too late to turn back. I washed in cold water gently by hand. Then I rinsed it twice, cold water. In the final rinse, I put in a few drops of hair conditioner, following a tip I found online. Then I laid it flat on a towel and did a sort of swiss roll with the towel and shirt to press the water out of it. Once it was mostly dry, I hung it up.

I checked it in the morning, and the color seems fine. The only thing I'm a tiny bit sad about is the seams are all wrinkly now. They're no longer flat and straight, but a little crinkly and I'd say totally wearable. The texture of the fabric is a tiny bit less velvety, but still quite soft - not sure if this is because of the hair conditioner or not. It dried on the hanger with minimal wrinkles and did not shrink or get deformed. So I think the result here was a success!

Here's how it looked when I wore it for the first time last week.
For the price I paid for it, I can't complain. Even at full price, I think I still wouldn't complain. It's a good price for a wardrobe basic that I think everyone should have in their closet in one fabric form or another - a simple, sleeveless, collared button up. I'm glad I chose a color instead of choosing a black or grey. Stepping out of my monochromatic comfort zone.
SHARE:

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Spring! OOTD - 4.1.15


trench coat / scarf (sold out, h&m) / dress (sold out, old navy) / shoes 
I am pleased to say that it felt like spring today for the first time in Chicago. Fortunately that means that I can break out the dresses and start to practice feeling more comfortable wearing them... as well as start on the leg tan. As you can see, they're a little pale. As I was walking home, it seemed like everyone was out on their balconies having a drink. It makes me wish that I had an apartment with one - and it'll definitely be a feature that I'll be on the lookout for once my lease is up in September.

In other news... I've accepted an offer at a new job! In just under 2 weeks, I'll be starting work at a small start up here in Chicago. I'm excited to have more responsibilities, as well as come back to the client side. As much as I loved working for an agency, I think this is the right move for me. I always loved working client side. I'll definitely miss my coworkers and agency life, and even... dare I say it, my clients.

Today's outfit was pretty casual for the office, especially the shoes. I don't know what it is about stripes, but they remind me of spring. The scarf is from H&M from the winter season - it was a little chilly this morning, so I threw it on. The coat is from Nordstrom and something that I've had for a while. The one thing I love about it is that it's waterproof and doubles as a raincoat, which is something that I rely on in the spring, as it tends to rain a LOT.

It's days like this that make me feel optimistic and motivated! Hope your Wednesday was enjoyable too.
SHARE:
BLOGGER TEMPLATE MADE BY pipdig