Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Graffiti'd Damsel in Distress + Back to School DIY

Hello lovelies! I am finally all settled into my dorm and my closet is organized (that's the most important thing, right? haha) and my room is HUGE! I am so pumped because there is a lot of pretty natural lighting that floods in through the windows in the mornings and I have giant mirrors on my closet doors and my own armchair sofa. I pasted some inspiring tear-outs from Vogue onto my blank white walls and hope to fill up the "canvas" by the end of the semester.

Tomorrow is my first day of class. I should be more excited but it's 9 hours of a single class T__T Haha I suppose I did sign up for it when I decided to be a Neuroscience major so I will be in lab all day tomorrow. Is there a way to dress fashionably while you're poking rats? Haha only one way to find out :D

Today my boyfriend and I went onto main campus to run some errands and hit the bookstore. I wasn't able to find any of the books I needed for prices I wanted to dole out, but we did have a nice lunch at Subway, which is nicely situated on ground level instead of stuck away in a dark basement. We shared a footlong Turkey Jalapeno melt and I nearly burned my tongue off. I am usually pretty good with spicy things but I suppose I took a double dose of HOT and ended up gulping refills upon refills of sweetened tea, soda, iced tea, anything trying to put out the flames. Drinking sweet liquids does not help - only a packet of sugar desperately patted onto my tongue saved me. Whew. I'm not overdoing the capsaicin ever again xD

I am slowly transitioning to a life of high(er) fashion on campus, pulling out the big guns like my sparkly ruby Dorothy flats. I do enjoy compliments and the "hey, you woke up this morning and tried to wear something other than sweatpants; I commend you for your effort" looks - it makes me feel more cheerful, awake, and happy to be back at college. However, I don't want to draw the attention of crowds with my huge tripod and hour-long photoshoots so I am slowly but surely trying to find photoshoot locations that are more private and have good scenery. I am shy, too! It's a lot easier to do crazy poses in front of your neighbors than in front of people who isolate crystals during chemistry lab with you, trust me. I figured out that people aren't really awake between 7-8 AM on weekends but neither is the sunshine or me hahaha so I guess I will have to brave some probing eyes. There is a tempting nice hillside near my dorm that is just screaming "floral skirt outfit!" : )

Today's outfit started out with a nice loose button-up that is slightly reminiscent of the military trend that is going full-throttle into the fall. It comes with a nice super-adjustable weave belt in a dark brown that I can detach and wear with something else. I picked up this shirt in a grey-khaki colour at Forever 21 for $13.50 when I went to the Galleria earlier this weekend. This mall trip disappointed me - Urban Outfitters did not even know what scallop hem shorts were (quote sales associate that should not be working there: "You mean, with ruffles? Or folded over ...?) Forever 21 didn't have any jumpsuits or the peacock belt and trench that sold out on the website and no oxford shoes in stock. I did score a beauty at H&M - a size 2 floral skirt that could probably make the smallest of the petite blogosphere cry with tears of joy. For me, I need to do a lot of treadmill work before I can comfortably eat dinner with that thing on hahaha! It has the TINIEST waist I have ever felt - probably a legitimate XXS. I'm just impressed I can even manage to tuck a shirt in without making a nasty belly fat roll.

Little did I expect that my button-up would make me sweat an ocean today. St. Louis has been absolutely muggy and humid and hot this past week with moody weather. Today it even sprinkled a tiny bit and the sun came and went. Lesson learned: don't wear quarter sleeves with tights at the end of summer if you don't want to die a slow and painful death. I took out my proud DIY ripped denim shorts and layered some black footless leggings underneath so that it looks like I'm wearing some kind of pants. For comfortable school shoes, I slipped on my DIY checkered black Converse and headed off to campus.

I really like customizability (a word I invented today), so DIY projects perfectly satisfy my craving for creating and for fashion. I want to do a lot more than just tear up jeans and paint on my shoes, but here are my two DIY projects of late summer: Converse and denim shorts. For the Converse, I just used my faded black sneakers I bought in high school and a $1 bottle of fabric paint from Walmart and squeezed out a bit at a time and sculpted the paint blobs into squares. I messed up plenty of times but from far away the pattern looks quite nice. I did this over several days because I wanted the paint to dry but I usually painted for about 15 minutes at a time for each face of the shoe, so all together less than an hour of work. For my shorts, I didn't want to spend money on cutoff denim when I could easily remake some of my old unwanted pieces. I bought this pair in junior high and didn't really ever like them until now. I used one of those razors that you cut cardboard or anything with (it has a slide-up blade) and slashed horizontally a few times until I could tear a rip. I pulled out any white strings carefully and made many slashes close together. I cut off little tiny bits of the hemming to create more tattering and on one side even cut open the hemming completely. It honestly took only about 30 minutes of playing cautiously and ta-da! I really like getting my hands dirty and making boring pieces into little works of art that I will be proud of :D

Khaki-grey button up quarter-sleeve shirt w/ brown weave belt, F21 (size S)
DIY ripped denim shorts, UnionBay (size 3 juniors)
Black footless lace trim leggings, Claire's
DIY black checkered Converse All-Stars (size 4)
Silver metallic foldover clutch, BCBG Generation (thanks ReallyPetite!)
Orange multi-coloured bead string bracelet, gift from Mrow Mii

Photography in Bowles Plaza by my boyfriend, most pictures using Vibrant Colors mode

People were quite amused with my clutch today haha. A lot didn't know that a clutch is a purse and of course this shiny metallic thing drew a lot of attention :D
Crazy wind. In case you're wondering, that huge pile of papers attached to the circular column on the right side of the picture is a classic advertising place at my university. Of course there's so many ads it's very difficult to read them xD
 Details: This purse reflects so much light my camera can't even handle it hahaha
Adjustable weave belts are every small-waisted girl's best friend
A gift from my boyfriend : ) Isn't it pretty?
Here comes the DIY picspam :D
Shorts: BEFORE
Shorts: AFTER (I forgot to throw bleach on it but that's okay. Ripped and tattered is distressed enough for me. I left the bum untouched too for my sake of propriety haha)
Converse: BEFORE (fading from Oklahoma sun exposure)
Converse: AFTER
Right shoe, outward side: I tried to make the squares get progressively smaller but I failed xD
Right shoe, inward facing side
Right shoe, back
Left shoe, outward side
Left shoe, inward facing side: my absolute favourite
Left shoe, back
Slurping up iced tea to save my suffering tongue. Never again am I eating that many jalapenos at one time hahaha (I must have had about 15-20 slices in there)
Suggestive picture of bread at Subway
I hope everyone has/had a great first day of class! Enjoy your back-to-school outfits and add some personal flair to your pieces. Rip them up, paint on them, add little chains, studs, sew on patches. I know some school dress codes can be completely lame like mine were but you can always make a simple common outfit your own. I need to cuddle my pillow soon and catch some zzz's or I will be crazy tired for my 9-hour first day tomorrow. My goal is to dress fashionably every day and to snap some pictures to show you guys :D I will get busier and busier so I probably won't have as many pictures and poses as I did during summer but 30 minutes a day isn't too much to sacrifice for fashion, right? ^__^

OnlyCuteStyle.com AprilAthena7 Giveaway!

Ever since I saw the kawaii girls in japanese magazines strut their ultra-cute style on the streets, I knew I wanted to dress up in Western-inspired denim and white skirts, cowboy boots and hats. I'm usually a season ahead or behind on the big trends, so I only got my hands on the perfect pieces this summer and rocked them in the last days of my vacation before I headed back to college.

Though I am already 20-years-old, I like looking young and cute because our youth is brief and I want to embrace it while I can. Curly hair and cute hand gestures always make me smile when I look at photos, so I want my outfits to be kawaii as well. What makes me cute is how I do silly poses in my outfit pictures to make my readers laugh and have fun while looking at my pictures. I want to spread the love and smiles across the blogosphere!

Before April even introduced OnlyCuteStyle.com on her blog, I knew about this site and had browsed through their adorable clothing. One of the outfits I remembered was this one, with a denim vest and brown-belted white skirt perfect for a gyaru cowgirl style. I changed it up a little by replacing the straw hat with a big floppy white sunhat and using a chambray shirt with ruffled sleeves. Instead of cowboy boots, I wore brown cork heel wedges, which created a more urban look.
Visit OnlyCuteStyle.com and check out April's blog and Youtube channel!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Suburban Southern Belle

Yay! The first outfit post of pandaphilia.com *toots a melody out of my own horn* jk xD I'm just so pumped because never in my life would I have thought that I could have my own website or blog or all you wonderful supporters. I am so grateful that so many of you read my posts so closely and write comments that absolutely make my day. Giant panda hugs for my lovelies! ♥

Yesterday I woke up terribly late, even for a habitually nocturnal person. I had promised an outfit post so I wasn't going to let myself or you guys down! I ran outside with my equipment and tried shooting in the sunlight while avoiding nasty shadows. The usual shady spot in front of my garage is too dark at around 6 PM so I tried many different places along my street for lighting. This explains all the different backdrops.

I wanted to do a cute Western look inspired by all the kawaii models in Popteen magazine earlier this summer. Chambray/denim shirt, white skirt with brown belt, cowboy boots, curly hair, cowboy hat. Unfortunately I had only half of the materials so I decided to revamp the look into more of an "urban cowgirl" outfit. Instead of ankle cowboy boots, I had brown peeptoe wedges (that fit like true 5's) from my outlet mall Payless stop. No cowboy hat but I recycled my big white floppy sunhat from my sailor dress outfit. The chambray-ish shirt I purchased at Forever 21 this weekend for $17.80 (is it just me or are they getting SO much more expensive!?) and the skirt at rue21 in the outlet mall for $21.99. The sales associate helped me grab this last Medium off the top hook after giving me a look that said "Girl, how you gonna wear a Medium..." Fortunately this belt is very, very adjustable and I tightened it a lot for the perfect fit : ) Since I didn't try out this chambray-ish shirt inside the store, I felt a little uneasy. I think it could work for casual wear because it's super long and has a tie attached that I can bring around to the front. I would wear this top with chunky accessories and black leggings or skinny jeans. Remix, remix! I like the ruched shoulder detail because it makes such a masculine style more feminine and gives my frame a little more "oomph" to balance things out.

The only thing I'm missing is a giant red beat-up pickup truck. I'm trying to break this bad habit of fashioning an outfit in my head and then going to buy pieces - I feel like my life has become a daily dose of costume party haha. For makeup I curled bits of my hair and tried to curl others pieces with my straightener but both failed. I spritzed in some 4-year-old Garnier Fructis shake effect gel (gross, I know) and scrunched my ends and flipped my hair around like a rockstar until I got a nice volumized crazy curl going on. I was sweating so much I'm pretty sure half my foundation melted. A bronze eyeshadow and bronzer instead of blush created a kind of dirty look that I liked. It feels like I just went out and drove a tractor or chased some tumbleweed. It's so funny because even when I lived in Oklahoma for 5 years, I never embraced the suburban cowgirl look. In my town, most of the kids were very prep but broke out the cowboy boots and oftentimes owned family ranches.

An interesting challenge: I have been waiting for ELF to restock a lot of items I've been wanting to try for a long time and I placed an order last night for $23 worth of makeup. I nabbed a Lilac and Mint Polish, several of the new shimmer eyeliners, and all the new $1 lipsticks to try, along with the long-awaited hot pink Studio blush (not even the full list). I realize that though each item is cheap, I have shoeboxes and shoeboxes full of ELF things and I actually probably use 0-7 of those items on a daily basis. My dad still is paranoid about anything technology related so he won't give me bank info to set up a Paypal account so I think I'm going to have to get rid of my makeup the hard way - any suggestions? Would you be comfortable mailing money in an envelope and receiving a big box of goodies in return? I wonder how blog sales get by without Paypal xD

Point is, I am going on a makeup-up ban UNTIL THE END OF THE YEAR. Yes! Until January 1, 2011! I figure I have wayyy too many things already and I simply don't use them as much as I should. Eye makeup actually severely bothers my eyes during the day because I tear up and get bloodshot awesomeness going on with too much shadow on (and can't rub my eyes in fear of becoming the shimmer fairy). I love pandas, but the ring of death (aka your eyeliner melted and now you look like an emo kid during training) is not hot in any shape or form. So why do I keep spending money on it!? This is going to be crazy hard. I'm going to allow myself a trip to Walgreens to pick up some Wet n Wild items I have been wanting all summer and some gifts for lovely girls and that's it. The main challenge is avoiding the hype. I almost fell prey to the UD Naked Palette but in all honesty I wouldn't even use it that often and $44 is better spent on food and clothes xD

Chambray-ish ruched shoulder top, F21 (size S)
White doily skirt w/ brown belt, rue 21 (size M)
Brown peeptoe wedge, American Eagle for Payless (size 5)
White floppy sunhat, H&M
Little House on the Prairie Suburbia
Do you do-si-do?
This is my "look" every day living in Oklahoma - true windswept blown halfway across the parking lot
Am I smizing? Nah I just look like an angry cowgirl that just found out someone tipped all her cows hahaha
Camera facing the bright sunlight darkens everything :(
Love lens flare!
The shadows crawl, they prowl and prey
All over the still frames, devouring the day
Near the doggy "rest area" haha
And here's where I turn into a vampire ... these are completely unedited. My eyes turned red too! Camera must have an auto-vampire setting ... turn you super pale and then give you flaming red hair and eyes o_o At least I can still see myself in mirrors? Whew :D
These are back in the shade now. The first two are unedited and pretty dark so I brightened them up in Picnik (auto fix saturation, 25 saturation 20 temperature). It may look too reddish but I like how my chambray shirt brightened up a lot
I love these wedges! They're quite small for 5's so it's perfect for my narrow and teeny tiny feet. I might have to break them in with some baggy socks - I spy a future outfit coming up! They were originally $25 at Payless but since they had a BOGOHO deal, I got these babies for $12.50! They're really easy to walk in so I can strut in style without looking crazy in class. Love!
FOTD: Revlon Photo Ready Foundation in 04 Nude, ELF Studio Blush/Bronzer Duo (bronzer as blush), Anastasia Brow Wiz in Medium Ash, Wet n Wild Vanity E/S Palette (shimmery bronze shade), ELF Studio Creme Eyeliner in Black, Geo Nudy Brown contacts, Hair: Garnier Fructis shake effect gel
After sweating off half my makeup during the shoot xD This is my natural lip colour - absolutely nothing on them right now. Crazy pale, right?
I'm really sad thinking about this summer ending so quickly, but I'm ready to be back in the game and see all my friends at school again. I'm flying back to St. Louis Thursday morning so I will be packing like crazy. I have no idea how to fit my entire closet into a few suitcases! 95% of my luggage is always clothes - symptoms of the fashion-obsessed. I probably won't have the luxury to blog this thoroughly but I will try to keep taking outfit pictures : ) I will probably continue self-timing but also have my boyfriend spruce up his photography skills. That means ... playing with an SLR! xD I plan on making a lightbox and practicing taking photos of things other than my eye hahaha. Seize the day, pandalicious lovelies ♥

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