Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Men's Style: Minimalistic & Polished Winter

My friend Mike S inspired me to consider the other half of the world's population today as we chatted in the library cafe. It's rare that I'll mention Pandaphilia to guys because I only know a handful interested in fashion and of those, most care about promoting their personal style and thus men's fashion. While skirts are my go-to uniform, I know little about the fit and practical styling of guys, so today I'm going to try my hand with a no-frills polished look. Hopefully this will give guys like Mike some inspiration on how to dive into fashion without looking tooo metro or like you're about to hit the runway.

Step 1: Start with the grey H&M cardigan Mike got (on the left). What to wear underneath? 
Others like it: Forever 21 $23 H&M $25 Slub Cotton $49
Step 2: A nice chambray shirt looks great on guys and girls. The thicker texture is great for layering from summer to winter based on the material. It's not quite like denim but has a natural cowboy/outdoorsman rustic vibe to it.
Affordable options: Forever 21 $17 Land's End $33 American Eagle $50 44 Mm $50 (has a hood attached) Ezekiel $60
Step 3: Add pants. Slim fit straight leg rather than skin-tight looks best for those with thin legs. Chinos are a good option and remember, dark washes are always slimming. My experience is that H&M has a lot of nice casual/work hybrid pants that have been successful with JJ, who is definitely a no-frills comfort-first dresser.
Try these on for size: H&M $35
Step 4: Finish off with masculine boots. Combat boots have always caught my attention and they're warm and stylish for colder winter days. Thrift stores are the way to go if you want cheap ones. You switch out the shoes. If you're going for polished, skip the sneaks and opt for leather or faux leather.
Ideas for kicks: Sears $45 H&M $60 Nommad $130 
The finished look, using H&M's interactive models: The collar's a bit different but you get the idea. Throw on a belt and your favourite coat and you're good to go for winter days. Feel free to get creative and build - with a chunky scarf, a skinny tie, etc.
I'd love your feedback on this stylist's attempt. Guys - would you wear this? Girls - would you like this on a guy?
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Monday, November 21, 2011


Erin Fetherston gold strapless mini dress with ivory sash (0) // Aldo nude pumps (5) //
Photography credits: Allison Li, Jenny Sun, JJ, me

This past Saturday was the Chinese Students Association Winter Formal at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. I had the time of my life and danced my face off in those painful nude Aldo pumps of mine. In fact, my legs are still sore and I'm proudly wearing my "lasted over three hours in killer heels" badge. This Erin Fetherston gold dress had just enough room to expand for half of dinner, then it was time to burn off some of the scrumptious chicken and cheesecake in front of the speakers. Took some photos with JJ's HTC Evo 3D, not the best camera but it let me snap some quick ones and enjoy the rest of the night carefree.

The venue was gorgeous, modern, romantic. I could see the city skyline through the sheer ceiling high curtains and the centerpieces had floating white orchid blossoms lit with beautiful aurora-like lights. The dresses were stunning, the music was bumpin' (shoutout to some impressive mixing by DJ Keeno and some soul-searching croons by Jordan Ing), and we danced the night away. Who soaked her designer rental in sweat? ; ) Grotty, yes. Fun, heck yes. Btw I did my friend's teal and brown makeup. The flash washed it out but the super-pigmented Coastal Scents 88 palette really shone through! Review on that too soon :)

Review of my Rent the Runway experience and close up details of makeup and the dress taken with my SLR to come! For now, packing for home and see you on the sunnier side of the country!

Readers - what did you last wear to formal/prom?
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Forever 21 x Hello Kitty Collection

As a lifelong fan of cute things, I was excited when Forever 21 announced their collab with Hello Kitty. Initially looking through the items, my reaction was disappointment at everything gawdy, but after some choosing and closer looks, there are a few pieces that can apply to a more mature wardrobe (what I'm striving for nowadays). You can shop the collection here. If you want anything, shop fast because they're disappearing left and right.

(where is this white sweater ... so cute)
My picks:

Leatherette Trim Raincoat $29.80
My favourite and most practical one of the items in their collection: a clear raincoat. I'm crazy about clear umbrellas and a clear raincoat is so practical for my biking and rainy St. Louis weather needs. However, if it only had a hood ... I can always DIY one on. The price is a little steep, still chewing this over. I'm afraid that it will just start to crack and break because of flimsy cheap plastic.
Pointelle Hello Kitty Cardigan $24.80
Bright pink, all right. But look it has little patterns of Hello Kitty on it! Super cute and nice to brighten up a cold winter day at the library. Ideally paired with a chambray shirt, bow tie, and hipster glasses. The print top the model has on is cute too.
High-Low Hello Kitty Dress $22.80
Hi-lo trend! If it were chiffon and more classy, I'd get it but it's still cool and makes Hello Kitty more grown up and fashionable.

HK Boyfriend Cardigan $24.80
Collegiate-ish, red
Intergalactic Hello Kitty Tee $17.80
Can't complain, nice big print
 Hello Kitty Film Strip Tote $16.80
My top accessory pick. It's so adorbs! I almost never use totes though. They hurt the shoulders when I carry my 10-lb + load every day to class. Pricey for a bag.
 Hello Kitty Trio Socks $8.80
I have a soft spot for socks, if you didn't already know.
Going to snoop these out in store to make sure the quality and fit is good before I commit. Meanwhile, heading back to San Diego at 6 AM tomorrow! I'm super pumped to be home with my family and eat amazing food and not have to deal with senior year havoc for a few days. Finished a "clustermuck" of Immunology today (3 essays, an exam, homework) and I'm ready to take off : )

Readers - will you pick up anything from the Forever 21 x Hello Kitty 2011 Collection?
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All photos are credited to Forever21.com

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