Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Update: I fixed two of my necklaces, including the one I mentioned two posts ago, with pliers-what an amazing tool!

Christmas is one of my favorite holidays because it's one of the few times that everyone dresses nicely without being asked to do so. The winter wardrobe offers many styles that people can pick and choose from to create their Christmas outfit. My sister went the ugly Christmas sweater route. Our baby cousin sported similar attire with the classic male sweater vest, while the kid cousin and I opted to wear dresses. I turned my regular neutral toned dress into a more winter outfit by adding leggings and a bow necklace, to represent a bow on a present. However, I’m not writing this post to talk about my own outfit, but to talk about my teenage cousin’s outfit. She had planned on wearing a gold and white striped sweater with a red cardigan, but when she put on the sweater, it didn’t fit her the way she wanted to: it was loose. She did not know what to do, but she found a gold belt of hers. I suggested she tie it on her waist, but alas she did not want to accentuate her waist. Then, voila, she had this brilliant idea to tuck the sweater in her pants and use the belt on her jeans. The outfit was not complete just yet. The finishing touch was a feather necklace that I gave her two years ago as a Christmas present-finally a gift of mine that I see being used! I might be biased, but the necklace turned that outfit from a 9 to a 10 by adding a defining and noticeable piece. Not only that but I was also amazed by how the ensemble came together from something my cousin hated to something we all loved with just a few simple accessories and a simple color scheme of red, gold, and white.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Fashion Shows

I never understood why certain fashion shows were so extravagant until I saw a fashion show at JMU's akdphi's Real Dukes Wear Pink Charity Ball. The fashion show was, to be honest, boring because it showcased everyday outfits that weren't revolutionary. That's when I realized that fashion shows need to be different in order to capture the audience's attention. Different doesn't necessarily mean avant-garde. Different just means something that's not seen every day, as in the case of many cultural show's fashion shows. For example, the Vietnamese Student Associations's fashion show consists of many beautiful traditional dresses or ao dai that one doesn't get to see on a regular basis. Today, I watched for the first time, the Victoria's Secret Annual Fashion Show and was blown away by the creativity of these designers. Yes, no one would wear these outfits in real life, but that's the point-a fashion show with just bras and panties wouldn't be interesting at all nor would it sell. Add in music and some pretty confident models, and bam! a real spectacle is born that actually lives up to its name, "show."

New Clothes, New Perspectives

This past summer, I posted the Facebook note, "My Fashion Journey" that started it (my fashion blog) all. Today I am writing a new entry to this blog to reflect on this past semester, and because I finally found the outfit to go with those pumps.

(Random anecdote about my day leading up to my package delivery)
Today, I freaked out during my PSYC 3005 exam because I didn't know which mean to use for one of the questions. After finally choosing a mean and sticking with it, I turned in the exam. I walked out of the lecture hall and quickly took out my laptop to check if I did use the right mean. Indeed I did. The sun shone bright on me, after hiding behind the rain and ice for three days-it's like Mother Nature knew-as I walked home confident in a college exam, a rare and special occurrence. The day would only get better as my Forever21 package would soon arrive but first, a home-cooked meal, another rare and special occurrence during this busy semester. Yesterday, I baked homemade brownies and a cookie in a mug as therapy for "failing" my PSYC 3480 exam. Baking is something I have done a lot more this year. I have grown to hate pre-made brownie mixes after baking my friend, Eugenie, made from scratch brownies for the first time. They are so delicious and even better with chocolate frosting, which I finally used up after having it since April. I have also baked several cakes from boxed mixes, and they were subpar. In the future, I'd like to bake more cakes from scratch because not only are they yummier but also healthier in that I know what ingredients are going into it. For dinner, I cooked red curry with shrimp, carrots, and potatoes. The shrimp were tanh or fishy like always, and I realized that my mom was right after all. In the future, I need to cook them with garlic before directly adding them into the curry, like the directions say, to take away the fishy taste. Just as I was preparing to wash the dishes, my package came.

I dropped the little bag with my necklace in it, so that might be the reason why when I put it on, it broke immediately :( I somehow managed to fix it using a trick courtesy of one of my classmates. My Chinese teacher's glasses were broken one day, and a student suggested fixing it with a paper clip. This is what I precisely did to replace two bent rings to rejoin a detached piece.

The outfit itself was bought on CyberMonday. I went in not looking for anything in particular, but then I saw this "Crisscross Bodycon Dress" for only $9. I was drawn to the design on the back (I'm a sucker for cute designs on the back) and the longer length of the sleeve because I don't own many long-sleeved dresses. I realized that this dress in navy would be a perfect pairing for my pumps. Because the dress is plain in the front, I went to look at necklaces. I saw a gold triangle necklace on a mannequin at Charlotte Russe, but I couldn't find it anywhere in the store. Since then, I've been looking for a similar necklace. After filtering my search, I went with the "Cutout Geo Bib Necklace ($5.40)," not exactly a triangle necklace but close enough.

This outfit is way more mature than any outfit that I have created, mainly because of the heels, but because I imagine wearing this outfit in more mature settings. I imagine not wearing it at a college party but on a date with someone or at an office party. This outfit represents what I have learned more recently.

I remember a couple of months ago, I tweeted that I didn't know why I'm staying another year at college when I could graduate this year. Kristina replied because "your friends, your family you made, the life you have built," and I didn't appreciate this until recently when I realized that I do have a lot of great friends that I won't be able to see as much after college. I just don't see it all the time because I have friends from many different friend groups. This issue has also resonated with me because someone told me that he hasn't made as many close friends at college as he did in high school, and this makes me so sad for him but grateful at the same time for the life-long friends I have made here.

Jongyeop has also helped me value the friends that I do have. He's told me that even though I might not talk with someone all the time, I should be happy that that someone is there for me when I need him. He's also told me to stop trying so hard to be friends with people. This hurt a lot at first, but then I realized that he's right: you can't force friendships. I've realized that I'm not going to be in friendship pictures with certain people because I'm not close with them. I do have friends that I can take friendship pictures with, but they're not in VSA, where all these friendship pictures take place. That's why I feel so left out, but I should know that I do have friends. This realization has made me much happier.

I've learned from my psychology classes that college students are so lonely because they feel like they should have more friends than they already have. This was true for me until these realizations, and hopefully I won't fall back into this. I've also learned that friends help regulate your emotions, which makes you happier because you don't have to work as much. This has certainly been true this year as my roommate and others have put things into perspective for me. Lastly, I've learned that if you don't have friends, you're going to die earlier, another reason to be thankful for having friends.

I've also gained new perspectives regarding romantic relationships. From my 16-year-old cousin, crazy right?, I've learned that romantic relationships take time to form. You can't expect something to happen right away. Yes, some relationships do happen right away, but those are the unexpected ones. You have to stop looking for love because the best things in life, like my friendships, have happened unexpectedly. This tumblr post puts this all into perspective.

Like my sense of style, my understanding of life continues to mature every day.   


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Mixed Prints

Today I tried mixing prints, but I'm still iffy about this trend. The weather was cold, so I wanted to wear a cardigan. I didn't want it to be too matchy-matchy, so I wore #1. Which one do you like better? #1 or #2?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


I could not fully enjoy the Taylor Swift concert until I was assured that my sister would get to sit with me. I bought our tickets on February 22, the first day tickets were released, but I could not get two tickets at one time. I had to resort to desperate measures and buy each ticket individually. I got them, but of course, our seats wouldn’t be together. This led my mom and sister to call me stupid, but how else was I going to get tickets? This situation was also exacerbated because my parents feared my sister and I would get trampled at John Paul Jones arena. We obviously got trampled because Taylor Swift fans are so vicious. Anyways, I was wrong about the tickets being sold out immediately because my friends bought tickets after me and got seats together. Their seats were also in section 108 as opposed to ours in 305 Q and 311 BB (the last row in the whole arena), which is super unfair. At the concert, we chose to sit at my seat obviously because it was closer, and hoped that the people who were supposed to sit next to me wouldn’t come so my sister could stay. Every time someone walked up the stairs, I would get anxious and would not relax until they went past our row. Alas, the people who were to sit next to me finally showed up and my sister had to leave. This ended up being not so bad because we found each other easily at the end thanks to the invention of the cell phone. I just couldn’t make comments to her throughout the night. Anyways, on to the actual concert!

So, what does the Taylor Swift concert have anything to do with my fashion journey? Well, her tour is called the “Red Tour,” and she uses this color with only two other colors, black and white, to create a whole wardrobe. Three simple colors came together and made one gorgeous outfit after the other: from the high-waisted pants that fit her tall figure perfectly to the glamorous gowns that fit in with the fantasy world within each song and even the grunge black jumpsuit worn during “I Knew You Trouble.”

Thousands of fans further showed the power of this tour name by showing up with red inspired outfits themselves and red lipstick, another Swift trademark. I was one of them. I remembered Taylor said in 17 magazine, that one way she feels confident is by wearing red lipstick, and that is why I bought red lipstick. I also wore a new necklace set that included a flower, a feather, and the word “love.” I chose to wear these necklaces because of the shirt’s neckline and because of the girlish quality of the pendants that can also been seen in the performances and sets. Moreover, I felt the word “love” was perfect for the concert because of Taylor’s and my obsession about love.

Taylor started off the concert with “State of Grace” and “Holy Ground.” After going through the emotions of love in “Red, ” a new girlish, yet grown up version of “You Belong With Me” followed. The glamor was amplified with the fake movie reel similar to Britney Spear’s “Lucky” video before “The Lucky One.” Britney had been spotted on the Corner the day before, which prompted my sister to theorize that she would be the special guest on this night. To our great disappointment, Britney did not appear, which was just too mean.

“Mean” was the next song, and I felt bad for singing along because I had some not so nice comments that I wanted to say regarding her concert. Before “Red,” she gave the audience a story that many fans had already known: the reason why she chose the name “Red” for the album. These stories reminded us that Taylor is a far better songwriter than public speaker. Furthermore, her voice sounded different when she spoke; it didn’t sound like her normal speaking voice. Nonetheless, she sounded amazing when singing and looked amazing while dancing.

And dancing is what she endorses in her next song. I hope my life at “22” will be as fun and entertaining as her performance of the popular single, as she moved across the stage to the opposite side, high-fiving all her fans. Next, Taylor broke down all barriers and performed “Last Kiss” for the first time on her tour. Afterwards, Ed Sheeran rejoined the stage to perform “Everything Has Changed.” This performance was way better than his opening act, in my opinion. Maybe, I’m just not a big Ed Sheeran fan. I wasn’t also a big fan of Casey James, the cute opening act’s music, but he got the crowd excited. “Begin Again” and “Sparks Fly” followed as Taylor moved back to the central stage to prepare for her transformation.

While there was a girlish quality seen in the performances, the show was also powerful. After her first song, “State of Grace,” she was silent for an extended period of time as the fans continued to scream-to have the power to just be silent and still have people scream for you. The power followed up with the drumming during “Holy Ground.” Taylor’s transition from girlish innocence to womanly power was paralleled with her performance of “I Knew You Were Trouble.” A strong violin solo preluded the song. Taylor emerged wearing a white poufy ball gown, but was later ripped off to reveal the black jumpsuit as the electric rendition of the song began.

Afterwards, she let down her barriers once again for “All Too Well” but life and hopes for love was rejuvenated with the idyllic performance of “Love Story.” She would continue to test this love in “Treacherous” by pretending to tightrope walk down a wide strip of platform. She ended the concert with the catchy “We Are Never Ever Getting Back together,” with her seemingly being the circus ringleader controlling the show and the world.

Fashion doesn't necessarily have to be complicated. Taylor Swift and the Red Tour show us that all we need is one idea to start something big.  

Monday, September 16, 2013

Current Wardrobe Needs

  • A Clint Dempsey jersey
  • Platform heels
  • A small black cross body purse 
  • Pink shorts that actually fit nicely
  • White shorts that don't pouf out on the sides

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Interplay Between Online and In-Store Shopping

During my last weekend home, my mom, sister, and I traveled to Greensboro, NC, about an hour away from our house. Our goal was to shop. However, once we arrived at Forever21 and saw the millions of other people there, all interest in shopping was lost. Not only was the store crowded, but the clothes were organized in a way that I didn’t like: I couldn’t find what I was looking for. I quickly realized the benefits of online shopping. While shopping at a store is good for browsing, allowing you to try on the clothes, and not paying shipping, shopping online is more convenient. Online shopping lets you filter the clothes based on price, size, and type of clothing. This way, you can specifically find what you want. Online shopping can also be done anywhere at any time without having to deal with anybody blocking your way or fighting with you for the last item available at the store. If you’re still wary about the fit, then you can go to the store afterwards. By doing your research beforehand, you know exactly what you want to buy and won’t waste money or time on other clothes, and this is precisely what I did. I came into the store with a mission: Find the pair of heels that I had wanted since the beginning of summer. I first saw them online, but because my feet are so tiny, I didn’t know if I would fit them or not. I tried them on in a Forever in Florida, and the 5.5 surprisingly fit me well, meaning I could walk with them. However, they did not have the black ones, which are more versatile style-wise than the blue ones, in 5.5. I came back home determined to buy those shoes online, but not wiling to pay the shipping cost. I checked Forever21’s website every day hoping for free shipping, but when free shipping day came, the shoes weren’t available. I told myself, these shoes and I weren’t meant to be. The shoes eventually came back into the market around the same time I went to Greensboro, but fate had other ideas. The shoes at the Forever21 in Greensboro were not all together in one neat little section like the one in Florida, but scattered all across the store. I did not find the shoes. When I went back online, the black ones in 5.5 were sold out-we truly were not meant to be together. In the end, we did leave the store buying $1.80 camis, so not a complete shopping fail. This might contradict my previous statement of not wasting money on clothes you did not plan to buy, but my mom actually needed camis. $1.80 without shipping fees is also a really good deal.