march madness

while i love many seasons of the year, march is undoubtedly one of my favorite times– especially since living in new york. you can finally feel the first hints of spring: morning commutes are brighter and (slightly) more bearable, the bodegas are selling daffodils, the buzz of people leisurely strolling returns, easter candy arrives on shelves. and of course there’s the best basketball all year! for those of you who don’t know this about me, i absolutely LOVE college basketball, especially the Hoos.

however today features a different kind of madness- the shopping kind. i went on a ~spring spree~ at h&m the other day and really racked up the points. i planned to return the things that didn’t fit, but ended up keeping everything. practically a whole new wardrobe for less than $300! they have so much great freshness, including the cropped anorak jacket pictured above, and a chic pair of slides that remind me of the row, and a dupe of this epic zimmermann blouse. with every item under $50! (and most under $25!!), my trip was pretty much a slam dunk.

what i “scored”…

1. cotton anorak 2. crocodile slides 3. floral midi skirt

4. graphic scarf 5. paper bag pants 6. cropped woven blazer

7. pleated knit dress 8. resin earrings 9. snake print blouse

CPs- HOO loves my sports themed shopping analogies?!

jammy time

i saw regina george wearing army pants and flip flops, so i bought army pants and flip flops….

last week at the st. lucia concert at city winery, i saw a chic pea wearing a dark printed pajama top. she easily stood out against a sea of black and had paired it simply half tucked with a ponytail, skinny jeans and some western style booties…it was all just working. while her bag and booties were very trendy, the black made them feel accessible enough that even i could pull the look off. so of course i did what one does in the age of mobile mania– i ordered most of her outfit promptly in the cab ride home. below are the three winners from my quest for a pajama top, plus other less expensive options by express, zara and nordstrom rack.

get her whole look below…

1– silk button-up top, j.crew

2– juliet silk pajama top, cinq a sept

3– liana silk pajama blouse, l’agence

4– “ori” satin lipstick, tom ford

5– huxley booties, topshop

6– kendall distressed skinny jeans, grlfrnd

7– mini johnny bag, danse lente

8– compass ring, retrouvai

9– bee pinky ring, mejuri

friday’s five

why do 4 day weeks always somehow feel longer??! guys…it’s been A WEEK… maybe because i spent the past weekend with some of my besties and that made the return to reality that much more difficult. but i digress, in honor of making it to FRIDAY….onto my top 5 picks of the week…

1– chanel rouge duo. my absolute new favorite lipstick/gloss (discovered by SMO, i can’t take credit), this is the grown up version of covergirl outlast. first you put the color on, wait 15-20 seconds for it to dry, then apply the glossy end of the stick. i took the ‘milky blueberry’ shade for a spin sunday night and was shocked when my wine glass didn’t show a single smudge– all night! it’s perfect for gals who want to wear a dark lip color out but are scared of having it end up all over their teeth (aka me most weekends). technology these days!

2– sharp objects. most people close to me know what a bad tv watcher i am. i’m usually operating 2-3 screens at once and easily getting distracted with cleaning, snacking, organizing or various other activities halfway through the show (what can i say, i get this from my mother). but my love of True Detective led me to Sharp Objects, and I’m currently knee deep. even after moving on to a stint of true detective season three (spoiler alert- it’s essentially the same plot as season one), SO pulled me back in to finish the season. the female protagonist in Sharp Objects spices up the story line of your typical ‘who done it’ enough to be different. yes, the subject matter is equally, if not more, dark and depressing, but at this point I’m still 100% invested in finding out the outcome. so, from one ADD viewer to another, take a peek.

3– puff sleeve top. there was a similar sea ny top I wanted last fall and didn’t pull the trigger on (#closetregrets). thankfully my bffs at asos put out this <$50 dupe, which arrived last week. i’ll settle for tucking it into high waisted jeans for now, but come spring, will also be wearing with a flowy floral skirt.

4– coconut milk ice cream. post holiday gluttony, i am very much back on my no-dairy kick (and thankfully my skin is starting to show the results). but events of this week required ice cream, and lots of it. lucky for me, this dairy free alternative is, in my humble opinion, even more delicious than the real deal. i buy it at whole foods but you can probably find it in most large grocery stores.

5– tortoise clutch. as if ice cream wasn’t enough, i decided i deserved a longer lasting present this week. i snapped up this acrylic christian lacroix clutch on the real real for $76!! i am a big fan of the real real, mostly because i live for the thrill of the hunt…. but used or vintage clutches are one of my most favorite things to collect. i typically buy them as a souvenir from my travels (they’re small to pack, typically inexpensive, and the perfect thing to stash in your closet until the right occasion arises). while mine was a one off, the site has tons of awesome eclectic evening bags for <$100– others i debated were a baby bottega, a quilted marc jacobs and this striped clare v.

have a wonderful weekend!! Xx

copy cat

a few weeks ago, I did something I know better than to do– I willingly bought clothes from a sketchy website in China, fully aware they were unlikely to fit or look at all similar to the photos. crazy? yes. insane? probably. but ANYTHING FOR FASH-SHUN (and potentially a good deal).

it all started when my girl marlien rentmeester of le catch posted the pic below of her in a printed zebra bathing suit from fast fashion site shein.com, a sort of forever21 type website based in China she sometimes features.

the inspo

this snap intrigued me to peruse the site for other bathing suits for a girls trip I had planned, which ended down a rabbit hole across the entire site. eventually I thought “what the hell!” and after watching several bloggers review the site on youtube (and ensuring they took PayPal so my credit card info was secure), I took the plunge on a plethora of <$10 bikinis, cotton dresses and trendy tops– then waited to see what arrived.

given my very low expectations (I chalked this up as a fashion blog “research experiment” of sorts for you, my lovely readers), I was pleasantly surprised by the process, the customer service, the shipping speed, and a few of the items I kept. I ordered a total of 14 things to qualify for the free expedited shipping and ultimately returned about half of the items. some were hilariously, jokingly bad, including one jacket that REEKED of glue and this awful wedgie-making one piece which went straight in the trash (swimwear is all non-returnable). but I also found some really cute steals, including this striped dress and this high waisted bikini— a knock off of a much more expensive L*Space– that I took on vacation to the caymans last weekend and all my girlfriends on the trip promptly copied. it actually can’t be beat for $9 (I purchased with a 20% off code) and also comes in green, which I now want to get as well.

in keeping with an honest review, I will warn you that most of the quality sucks, some fits are weird, and the fabrics feel cheap — you are buying $10 clothes– so buyer beware. these clothes are pretty much the definition of disposable fashion. I also feel very guilty about the questionable conditions of the factory workers making these inexpensive clothes (a theory of mine that is completely speculation and not based on fact) and about the larger impact of “throw away clothes” on the environment, which is waste I try to refrain from contributing to. but the shopping experience and customer service really surprised me (my order shipped the next day and the return was easy and processed very quickly), so I hate to speak so badly about the company. they also have a points system where you can earn discounts for writing reviews, which helps you narrow down what to buy based on other people’s comments.

with these factors considered, the website is unlikely to be my new “go to” but I would order a few things in the future. so if you are looking for a fashion adventure and are willing to roll the dice, you can find fun, trendy items to mix in to your wardrobe. check out real life snaps of the items I kept below…

high waist bandeau bikini
embroidered peasant dress