Thursday, July 17, 2014

{Outfit} Bachelorette Fun in Zebra Midi Skirt

Some girls get pretty wild on their bachelorettes. They go Vegas and partake in strip clubs and bars and all sorts of shenanigans.

I will be getting wild in a totally different way.

In fact, I will be getting wild in the wild at a place called Safari West. Yes, thats right readers, this panda's going on safari. Don't worry, I'm not going all Mariah and wearing a full on gown while riding along in a jeep. Though there will still be a zebra on that outfit ;). This outfit is for later on in the day, when the nine of us get all fancy pants and have a nice dinner.

I'm super excited. Not only do I get to play with animals (and we all know how much I love animals), but I get to eat great food and hang out with all of my amazing friends. Anna, if you didn't know, is my maid of honor and she's been getting her crafty pants on for weeks now. :D I can't wait to see what she has instore!

Urban Outfitters Sparkle & Fade Strappy Shoulder Dress
Express Zebra Midi Skirt
Steven by Steve Madden Elaine Sandals
ALDO Animal Floral Clutch (old - similar)


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

{Lookbook} Elie Tahari for Kohl's DesigNation

True story. I have never been this excited for a Kohl's collaboration.. like ever. So excited. So excited, I do not know what to do with myself. Or my wallet.. or the fact this is happening all around my wedding time frame (damn you Altuzarra for Target). If there was ever a time to discover a money tree, this would be it.

In true Kohl's fashion, there is no official release date. It will magically appear on the web one day and that will be the day my wallet dies. Again. :P I mean lets face it. This black and white kick I've been on hasn't exactly gone away - combine that with drapey, comfortable clothing and.. *gasp* a city scape print.. of NEW YORK. Here. Just take it. TAKE MY WALLET KOHL'S.

/Takes deep breaths.

I'm calm. I swear. If this line runs anything like the Som one did, I will probably do most of my shopping online, but of course will still have my own little fitting room review. ;) I am so excited that I am going to show you the entire collection. I love that much of it, I might as well.

So lets start with my favorites...

Woven taxi sweatshirt - $54, Casual knit pants - $50; Cityscape fit-and-flare dress -$84, Bomber jacket - $120

Cityscape tunic top - $64, Mesh leggings - $50; Brooklyn bridge t-shirt - $48, Novelty stitch coatigan - $88

Body-con tweed dress - $84; Layered knit-woven top - $64, Suede leggings - $54

NYC pullover sweater - $60, Suede leggings - $54; Suede moto jacket - $120, Layered knit-woven top - $54, Suede leggings - $54

Zip fit-and-flare dress - $70; Funnel neck pullover sweater - $64, Pleat neck top - $54, Suede leggings - $54

Bomber jacket - $120, ponte flare skirt - $54; Ombre cardigan - $88, Suede leggings - $54

Cowl back top - $48, Sweater pencil skirt - $50; City skyline sweater dress - $78

Tweed bomber jacket - $120, Zip- front woven top - $58, Soft pants - $58; Brooklyn bridge t-shirt- $48, Grid skirt - $50

Pony fit-and-flare dress - $96; Body-con jacquard dress - $78


Thursday, July 10, 2014

{Outfit} Marimekko Dots and Stripes - The Black and White Version

Well, I'm about four days into being a work from home panda. I have gotten dress, and by dressed I mean I wore something other than gym or sleep clothing, all of once. This may be the death of my blog as we know it. Speaking of, this blog post is still being written less than 10 hours before it will publish.

Yes, I am one productive panda.

Well, actually I really am. Except all my productivity has been going to my wedding. We are less than three months away party people. O-M-G, less than three months away. I am so excited. I am so excited for the day to actually be here, but not for reasons you may think. Don't get me wrong, I am excited for the day itself, but so much of me feels like my life with FH has already begun. The wedding is really just our way of sharing it with our friends and family (most of whom are currently driving us nuts). No, thats not why I'm so excited. As much fun as I am having battling my Silhouette Cameo, I miss my blog. I admit that I've been scraping by with the bare minimum (like, heck, what happened to all those shopping reviews I was doing? It's not like I've stopped shopping :P). But we are almost there! Almost. Thank you for bearing with me. I do have a new blog segment starting soon, so stay tuned for that. And I promise, there is nothing on this earth that is going to stop me from reviewing the upcoming Altuzarra for Target line. Nothing. Seriously, have you seen this little lace mask?

Oh and P.S... Totally wearing this crop top backwards :P

Happy Thursday! Thanks for reading!

H&M Striped Crop Top
Marimekko for Banana Republic Kivet Skirt (Petite Sizing - sold out)
Ivanka Trump Mallorie Heels
Coach City Tote in Beige
H&M Rings


Thursday, July 3, 2014

{Outfit} Dots and Stripes in Marimekko for Banana Republic + Mini Review

Happy almost Fourth of July everyone!

I'm a bit late on the collaboration train with this one, but I've totally fallen in love with the Marimekko collection at Banana Republic. Though, I'm not sure what is making fall in love more. The amazing fit and fabrics or the beautiful Marimekko prints. Whatever it is, I went from being a bit meh about the whole thing to forcing myself to stop at three items. If you've ever shopped at Banana Republic, you know that can be pretty steep bill even on sale!

Believe it or not, there are some pieces of the collection still left. Mostly petites, and mostly small sizes from what I've seen. All of its on clearance, but if this sounds like it might run up your alley, there's currently a 40% coupon out (code: BRJULY) and yes it does work on clearance! In fact, I've got three more Marimekko items sitting in my cart right now.. so you better check out before I do! ;)

In terms of sizing, I did find this collection to be a bit off from my usual Banana fits. I typically wear a 0P or sometimes a 2P. Rarely does something from the regular line fit my body, but both the peplum top (shown here) and the Siirtolapuutar dress fit like a glove in the regular sizing. The peplum and the dress are made from the same type of cotton fabric, with no stretch. The 0R actually fit my waist beautifully in Siirtolapuutar dress, but I could not button the back comfortably. Surprisingly, there is no real difference 0R and 2R waists, but the 2R closed much more comfortably across my back.

On the flip side, I purchased the Kivet skirt in a 0P and that actually runs big (waist measures 13.5"). Since the skirt is severely sold out, I haven't been able to try on a 00P for comparison, but the slightly loose waist band does not bother me enough to return.

I'm really quite happy with this collection. I haven't really paid attention to Banana Republic ones before, but I've found this was well worth the cost. It also forced me to only pick out a few items that I'd wear repeatedly, versus the army of items I normally get from Target. Then again.. those three items are still sitting in my cart and boy is my finger itchy to check out.

Thanks for reading! I hope everyone has a fantastic, firework filled fourth!

Marimekko for Banana Republic Peplum Top (blue sold out, but a couple sizes in multi-color here)
Zara Striped Shorts (sold out, but extremely similar here)
Report Rebecka Heels (sizes 9.5, 10, and ll - only $14.99 here!!; everyone else here)
3.1 Phillip Lim for Target Mini Satchel


Thursday, June 26, 2014

{Outfit} Crochet at the Beach

Welcome to outfit one of what would have been our engagement shoot photos. Except San Francisco is a fickle creature, and what started off as warm, bright, and sunny day quickly turned into a very cold, very windy, very fog filled one. And as you can see from today's post.. I was not dressed for the fog. And neither was FH. Poor guy. He had a knit sweater that was suppose to be used for his second outfit (yes, I made him bring two outfits as well) and he kept trying to put it on, but I wouldn't let him. What's a marriage if we're not suffering together right?

We were shooting at Bakers Beach. I promise you the San Francisco bridge is right behind me. There was just so much fog, you couldn't even see the bottom where the bridge meets the water. Heck, you could barely see the water. Needless to say, even after an hour and half of sucking it up we didn't get too many good shots. Lucky for us, our photographer is amazing and fantastic and offered to reshoot another day--not in San Francisco.

Sorry, SF. I love you (even if FH hates you), but you're just to temperamental for me to deal with.

P.S. All those pretty little curls in my hair? Gone. Damn you fog, damn you.

Aritzia Kent Blazer (past color - current colors.. on sale too!)
American Eagle Outfitters Mesh Tee (found at TJMaxx)
Kohl's Mudd Lace Shorts
Mango Pointed Wedge (old - similar)
Urban Outfitters Floral Fedora (past season - current season)
Rebecca Minkoff Hudson Moto Mini in Minty


Thursday, June 19, 2014

{Outfit) Black and White with Le Tote + Review

You've seen me share quite a bit of Le Tote on the blog these past few months. This outfit is actually the last of it for a while, so I thought it only fitting to do a mini review mixed into this all Le Tote outfit.

So what exactly is Le Tote? I think my friend, an engineer of all things and the one who actually introduced me to Le Tote, described it best when he said Le Tote was like Netflix for clothing. And it truly is. For a monthly fee of $49, Le Tote will send you a "tote" full of three articles of clothing and two accessories. If you find you're not into the clothing, you can do an accessory tote for only $19. Simply wear what you like, for however long you like, and once you are done with it, ship it back and within two business days you'll have a brand new "tote" sitting on your door step. No need to wash whatever you wore, Le Tote does it all for you.

To start, you fill out a survey regarding the size of clothing you typically wear, and then pick through some styles that you like. This helps give Le Tote an idea of what things you may or may not want to wear. If you have any kind of restrictions, like I do, all you need to do is email them (and they are super responsive to emails) and let them know and they will exclude those from your totes. Rarely can I wear anything with an elastic waist due to my short torso and I'm allergic to most fashion earrings, so I contacted Le Tote and asked them to exclude those items. There were a couple of slips here and there, but for the most part I was able to wear everything that was sent. If you find that you've fallen in love with a particular item, there is an option to purchase. I honestly don't recommend doing this unless you feel as if you cannot live without said item. Their purchase price is pretty darn expensive and, in my opinion way over priced--especially given the fact that essentially the item you are purchasing is used. I did purchase a couple of items from Le Tote, but not without serious consideration.

In total, I've done about 6 months worth of Le Tote's service. I started last year and did about three months before taking a break (mostly to the holidays and the fact that I wanted to spend my monthly fee on sales). I did another three months earlier this year, and just put my account on hold for a few months. The first three months were paid for out of my own pocket. These last three were courtesy of Le Tote due to a contest I won over the holidays. When I initially planned this review, months ago, I took photos of everything I received. But I've realized that there wasn't much a point to it. Le Tote has changed, and continues to change, so much in this past year that their inventory isn't even close to what it was when I started.

Which, is really the point of all this. Le Tote specializes in fast fashion (though they throw in some good ol' closet staples too). The idea is to stop wasting money on trend items and just let them cycle through your closet like you would a rental movie. And true to the fast fashion world, items don't tend to stick around for very long on Le Tote.

What I loved:

The customer service. Really fantastic customer service. Any time I've had to email Le Tote, I've received a response within 24 hours, if not sooner. I mentioned earlier that there have been a few slips here and there, but Le Tote always made it up to me by including an extra clothing item or accessory in my tote.
The constant improvements made to their website. When I first started using Le Tote, you couldn't rate your items. If you didn't like something, or it didn't fit quite right, you had to email them to let them know and they would make a note in their system. Since then, not only can you rate items based on style and fit, you can ask for your favorites to be recycled into a future tote.
The quality of products I received. Sure this is fast fashion, but it isn't crappy fast fashion. These aren't the same items you would find at Wet Seal or Forever 21. A good majority of the items I received were really nice, high quality pieces. Brands range from French Connection to BCBGeneration to Sanctuary. They even have ModCloth brand favorites like Tulle, Esley and Sugarhill.
Sense of style. And the ability to pick things you like and have them show up in a tote relatively soon. They constantly update their stock to keep up with the different seasons and trends. I found that my totes meshed well with my current closet and I rarely struggled to pair a Le Tote item with something that I owned. There's been many a times where a tote showed up just in time to complete an outfit (like this day)

What I would like to see improved:

Limited colors and variety of styles. Whoever does the buying for Le Tote has a very strong sense of style and it definitely comes across in the items that are available. Personally, I do I love what is available, but I feel a lot of it is a bit restrictive. I also felt like I tended to get the same colors over and over again (not that I have an issue with blue or mint or black :P).
❤ Turn around time for the totes. Yes, they promise 2 day shipping and they do deliver on that. But its 2 days for them to receive, and then another 2 days for you get the item. Since there is tracking assigned to each package, I'd like to see their serviced up to where once a package
Quality check. I'm glad to hear that Le Tote is picking up speed and becoming popular, but I felt like during my last three months quality checks had gone out the window. One item I received, was completely warped and unwearable. Another had a huge snag it in it. I realize they are trying turn around totes out as soon as they receive them, but it does no good if you can't wear the item because it was damaged.
Pricing of items. I am a bit hesitant to list this one because I'm not sure if their high pricing is on purpose. I'd imagine if everyone was purchasing their inventory they would have a hard time keeping things in stock. But I do feel like $100 for a used dress, BCBGeneration or not, is a bit absurd. When they first started they had flat rates for items: $50 dresses, $30 other apparel, etc. This was before they started introducing the higher quality brands, and even back then I thought the prices were a bit high.

If you decide to keep an item, I recommend doing a good deal of research. Some of the items available, you won't be able to find by brand name, but they do show up on places like ModCloth, Ruche or Tobi. Collective Concepts is a brand that frequents all of those sites and is a favorite of Le Tote (as well as Stitch Fix if you're interested in brand new items). The more notable brands will be easier to find, but Le Tote tends to purchase a lot of past season items so more often than not, you might not find what you are looking for. Also, if you do keep an item or two from your tote, your next tote will include an extra item for free. And if you loved everything and kept your entire tote, well shoot, Le Tote will give you one month free!

I made two purchases during my time with Le Tote. Both of these purchases were in the recent three months, when, unfortunately for me, their clothing selection became much more my style. My first purchase was a fantastic buy. This Search for Sanity skirt is amazing and a steal at $48. It fit like a dream and is quite possibly the softest faux leather I have ever encountered. This brand sells at Nordstrom and even when this item clearanced out at Nordstrom, it was for around the same price. The second item I purchased, pictured in today's post, was not such a smart idea. I have been looking for a pair of comfortable lace shorts for quite a while, so when these Olive + Oak shorts popped up in my bag, I knew I wanted to keep them. I would have been okay paying the $49 price for the shorts, had they been brand new. I admit I got caught up in the fun and kept these without doing a more thorough inspection - though I really wish I had. The crochet is a bit stiff from being washed incorrectly and I would not have kept them if I had noticed that sooner. However, I will say that I have worn these shorts more than a handful of times since then, so in a way they were a smart keep, and I may or may not be contemplating purchasing them in the cream color.

All in all, I was really happy with my Le Tote experience and I do plan on picking the service back up after the wedding. It didn't really help reduce the amount I spent on fast fashion (lets face it, I don't think anything will help with that), but I did gain a finer appreciation for nicer quality clothing and basics. Since ending my service, I have found that I've been struggling with my daily wear when it comes to tops and am now in search for simple, quality pieces to add to my collection.

If you're interested in giving this a whirl, just click here (referral link) to sign up! Let me know your thoughts if you do decide to sign up.

Vintage Denim Jacket (super old - similar)
Le Tote Art Deco Blouse
Le Tote Crochet Olive+Oak Crochet Shorts (white version here)
Madden Girl Oppal Gladiator Sandals
Rebecca Minkoff Hudson Moto Mini in Minty


Thursday, June 12, 2014

{Outfit} Wedding Attire in Peter Pilotto

This is actually the second Peter Pilotto dress I've worn to a wedding. And this is the fourth wedding (and by far my favorite) that I've been to this year.

This is the only time I have managed to squeeze in an outfit shoot right before. One out of four? I still call that a victory for this year.. since y'know last year I got none done before any of the weddings we went to. That, plus the fact that I've managed to shot an outfit while on vacation, is starting to make me feel like a real life blogger!

But then I do stuff like.. forget to paint my toe nails. Which, of all people, the boys in my life were the ones to call me out on. And of course spend a good five minutes ridiculing me about it. Lucky for them I was too overjoyed with seeing them (its been like a year!) to not punch them in the baby maker. ;)

P.S. I love this dress. I'm so glad I kept it. It like wearing a corset. Keeps everything small and tight even when you're stuffing yourself full of buffet food :D

Peter Pilotto for Target Strapless Dress
Le Tote Necklace & Bracelet
Anne Michelle Enzo-01 Heels
Lulu Guiness for JCPenney Clutch (old - new and cuter here)