Thursday, March 28, 2013

My Disappointing Modcloth Stylish Surprise: Review & Reveal

Every so often, Modcloth comes out with a "Stylish Surprise": you give them your size, fork over $15, and they send you an article of clothing that retails for $30-$120 dollars. I wanted to reward myself for surviving my awful midterms, so I decided to get myself a mystery "present".

Opening the 2013 Modcloth Stylish Surprise box to find a dress

I was really excited when I opened the box, to be honest. It felt like Christmas, except that I had basically bought the Modcloth stylish surprise for myself. (Oh god, I'm like that woman that sends roses to her office on Valentine's Day to make it look like she has a secret admirer.)

Modcloth Stylish Surprise 2013: review of the mystery grab box for $15

My first impression of the dress was "Wow, it's a great color!" Blue/teal has always looked good on me, and I wear dresses a lot, so Modcloth definitely seemed to be on my wavelength with this "stylish surprise".

But then I actually tried on the dress.

2013 Modcloth Stylish Surprise mystery grab box review: teal dress

Not only is the dress made out of viscose (I hate viscose; it looks really cheap, wrinkles, and looks old after one wash), but the dress fits like a potato sack. In the picture above, it looks like I gained 10 pounds. And it felt like I was wearing maternity clothing!

What I got from the Modcloth Stylish Surprise: after review, I would not recommend

In the end, I had to cover it up with a trench and wear some heeled sandals to make me feel more balanced. That's when I noticed that the dress was too short to wear under a trench coat. Now it looked like I was wearing nothing underneath a jacket, like one of those perverts that opens their jacket to flash everyone.

I decided that I liked the touches I had added to the outfit---my floral headband, my coat---better than the actual dress itself. And if I have to cover up the dress to make it look presentable, that's a problem.

Overall Score of the Modcloth "Stylish Surprise":
Quality: 1/5
Fit: 2/5
Color: 5/5
Verdict: Would not recommend

Everyone's "stylish surprise" is a different item, and I know some girls got great coats and shirts, but I personally was not very satisfied with my blind bag item. Next time, I'll be sure to spend money on a Modcloth item that I love, instead of trying out a mystery item. Because let's be real: they probably do these stylish surprises to get rid of inventory and items that no one wanted in the first place.

Here are some other options for a teal dress:

Teal and Coral

Have you ever been burned by a mystery grab bag promotion?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Weekly Procrastination 3/26/13

Today, I'm starting a new weekly column on this blog called "Weekly Procrastination". I'm really bad about starting essays on time, and I'll spend hours procrastinating on assignments while I explore the corners of the internet. I thought I might as well share what I find so that you guys can have a laugh or use this post as a study break!

  • Must-have product: I would be craving some serious sushi if I saw this car in front of me in traffic. Where can I get this sushi roll tire cover?

  • Have you ever played an online game just to burn some time, but ended up getting really into it? My boyfriend started playing a simple online game called "Fishy Game" and he ended up beating the whole thing, after about 2 hours. Here are some of the hilarious screenshots of the game.

You start off as a little fish and you have to eat your way up the food chain. As you eat more fish, you get bigger. And this is what happens when you finish the game:

I thought the ending was hilarious, especially how big the fish gets. Too bad that I always die before I get to the end of the game!

  • Mind-blowing fact of the week: Did you know that the small pocket in your jeans was designed to fit a pocket watch? I was always annoyed that such a useless pocket existed on my jeans!

  • Crave of the week: I'm loving these polka dot Keds sneakers---not only are Keds usually super comfortable, but the print is perfect for spring.
  • Why did I instagram a picture of my yogurt yesterday? Because it's literally the best I've ever had! It tastes so rich and creamy, almost like more Yoplait for me, it's Noosa yogurt all the way now!

  • And lastly, this holographic DIY clutch is super simple and super quick. I'm thinking about making one--holographic and silver accessories are really in this spring!

Did you enjoy this post? Or am I just enabling your procrastination habit? Let me know below!

Monday, March 25, 2013

I Survived!

After a hectic week of tests, performances, essays, and interviews, all I wanted to do this weekend was lay in the grass at Hermann park and enjoy the sunny spring weather. Thank you all so much for your encouragement on my last post; last week was truly the busiest week of of my student career, and I'm glad it's over!

You know what else is over? Winter! At least here in Houston. That's why I wore this outfit: it's everything "spring-y" thrown together! Chambray! Denim vest! Sandals! Not only does the white flower pattern on the front and sides of this chambray dress match the flowers in the grass, but this chambray is the perfect lightweight material for picnics and 70 degree weather.

The denim vest you see above used to be a denim jacket, but it was getting too small so I ripped off the sleeves and enlarged the openings. Actually, while I was cutting the sleeves off, I remember looking over at my roommate and noticing that she was also sewing something. We are so domestic!

For those transitional days, I can't think of a better combination than a chambray dress and a sturdy denim vest. I know some of you live up north and are still experiencing cold winds, but don't be too jealous: while you have a whole season of spring to look forward to, Houston only gets spring weather for about two weeks. You'll see me sweating next week in shorts and a tank top, I'm sure.

{Chambray dress: Polka dot version on sale for $29.50 // White denim vest for $19.80 // Nude strap sandals, for only $20 // Red crossbody bag (thrifted), cute version here for $25---has polka dots, bows and everything! // "LOVE" bracelet // Pearl swirl bracelet ($7.80) }

Think warm thoughts,

Monday, March 18, 2013

Ladylike in Red and Blue

This is probably going to be the busiest week of my life, so I'll make this a quick update. I have an internship interview for a program that I'm really nervous about, plus I've been invited to participate in a public debate at another university, and I have a Linguistics test to prep for, a paper to write, and I have to read On the Road by Jack Kerouac by tomorrow morning. Phew! If I survive until next Saturday, I'm going to reward myself with a lot of cheesecake and sushi.

The bag you see is an impulse buy from Forever 21, and I instantly regretted it when I opened the box. I had wanted a bright orange/red bag like this one, but the Forever21 bag turned out to be dark red and very similar to the thrifted bag I already have. Somehow, F21 keeps suckering me in and enticing me to spend money on stuff I don't need---and their return policy (more like exchange policy) ensures that as soon as I spend my money with them, they get to keep it. I swear, this is the last time, F21! *shakes fist

I have a very special photo shoot coming up this week (don't worry, in spite of all the craziness, I'll make sure to keep you guys posted) so check back in with me soon!

// Shop the Look:
Red box bag: Forever 21 ($19.80) (also available in teal and violet)
Navy waterfall cardigan: Hollister Co (similar here $12.97)
Black bow flats: Banana Republic (certain colors are 50% off) //

Friday, March 15, 2013

How to Dress like Alexa Chung

I love the way Alexa Chung dresses!
My guide to dressing like Alexa Chung and her unique fashion and style
alexa chung style how to
Tiger flats in a unique Alexa Chung how-to outfitAlexa chung fashion
What do you think of my Alexa Chung outfit look?

My list of girl crushes recently grew longer: the easy-breezy fashion icon that is Alexa Chung has taken over my heart. She makes me swoon with her ability to mix basics, high-end and low-end items like no one's business. Plus, I'm extra jealous of the way she just seems so put-together all the time.

alexa chung fashion

To create my own look based on Alexa's laid-back and polished outfit inspiration, I stuck to an all-neutral color palette. I layered a ruffled blouse under a boxy, utilitarian jumpsuit in order to soften the silhouette, and tied the belt around my waist to enhance my shape. (Always tie a belt like this, never buckle it. Same goes for trench coat belts. It just gives off a much more fashionable, "oh I just threw this on" kind of vibe.)

Alexa might have stopped her outfit there, since she is a fan of simple dressing. But you guys know that I love color and the unique details that make each outfit stand out, so I wasn't happy until I had two emerald-eyed felines on my feet to escort me around all day. Also, I couldn't get enough of the fuschia-colored blossoms around Rice's campus, so I added the color to my lips.

navy and fuschia color combination

In the end, the look was a mix of Alexa's modern sensibilities and my love of statement pieces. I think the two halves complement each other well, no?

Shop the look:

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Swinging '20's: Gatsby's Costume Party

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Did you ever read The Great Gatsby in high school? That book is so ingrained in my mind that I can picture the parties as though I had been there. I could just daydream on and on about the decadent dresses, the cars---and of course, the "blue gardens" where "men and girls came and went, like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars."

This weekend, the architecture students at Rice (some of the most Jay Gatsby-ish students on campus) (they always dress so well and look so cool)---put on a 1920's swing costume ball party for the rest of us. Of course, I jumped at the chance to dress up and pretend that I was attending one of Gatsby's glitzy and glamourous parties.

There was only one problem. I didn't know how to swing dance.

Well, my friend Tim and I decided to remedy that problem by teaching ourselves how to swing dance so we wouldn't embarrass ourselves at the party. Several Youtube tutorials, a lot of frustration, and four hours later, we had the basic steps down and we were ready to attend the bash. And what a bash it was!

This was definitely one of the most unusual parties that I've been to in a while: the music chosen was a mix of electro and swing, and there were light shows and even the DJ had on a vest and a boater hat. Turns out that Tim and I didn't have to worry about our dance steps: the upbeat music was more techno than 1920's swing, and you could do whatever dance steps you wanted!

About my look: To imitate the 1920's flapper look, I painstakingly pin-curled my hair (took me over an hour, and I have short hair!) Women in the 1920's seem to be fond of their hairpieces, so I MacGyver'ed a three-tiered pearl necklace as a hairband.

Of course, no 1920's flapper costume look would be complete without a dropwaist dress, and I had one on hand from Zara. A real flapper imitator would add some sequins and feathers to the ensemble, but this is a Rice party, and I didn't want to lose any feathers while I was twirling.

I wore low white heels, mainly because I'd be dancing all night, but also because fashionistas in the '20's weren't into high stilettos yet. This turned out to be the best decision of the night, because Rice guys are surprisingly good ballroom/swing dancers. I was twirled around and dipped and throw backward so much that my head started spinning. My dance partners were impressive!

The other Rice students also exceeded my expectations: most of them had heeded the costume call and dressed up in their sharpest suits, tallest hats, and headdresses. For a second, as I was on the dance floor, doing some variant of the swing step (which might have looked like the funky chicken for all I know), I felt that at any moment, I could look up and see Gatsby smiling at me......

Monday, March 11, 2013

Go Bright Or Go Home

Can you believe that this is the only floral dress I own? I felt like wearing something floral and bright this morning to celebrate the warming weather, but when I saw my limited floral options, I could only sigh. Perhaps my professors and classmates would understand, and forgive me for wearing a micro-mini bandage dress to class. I tried to make it more demure with a sweater and a peter pan collar necklace, but there was no hiding the fact that I was all business on top, and party on the bottom.

Still, as the saying goes in Texas, "go big or go home"---or in my case, "go bright or go home". So I tried my best to own this look, although I felt like a neon sign the whole day. When you're wearing colors as bright as these, it takes a whole lot of confidence, y'all.

If you're like me, and you're looking for some new floral and bright pieces for spring, fret no more! I've included several similar options (and the coupon codes for each store!)

Go Bright or Go Home!

Victoria's Secret Pink sweater: (free rewards card with $10 purchase)
Steve Madden Turquoise bag (on clearance) //