Archive for Fashion & Shopping

 

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Online Store Based in Australia / Singapore : ELONE

23 April 2017

Dress from Elone Online

I haven’t reviewed a new, independent online boutique in ages!

I’d like to introduce everyone to ELONE, an online store that stocks Australian brands specially chosen for their quality clothes, on-trend styles and affordable/reasonable prices.

Best thing about it: Edit of high-quality dresses. There are some really pretty stuff here!

Dress from Elone Online

The founder of ELONE is Elif, who is half Singaporean and half Australian. Even though I’m not Singaporean, my parents were originally from Singapore, and I spent some time working and living there in my 20s – so Elif and I have a lot in common and love to talk about our greatest love – FOOD haha!

The first time I met her, we were at a mutual friend’s dinner together. I forgot my purse and she paid for my meal – which was so kind and generous of her and so embarrassing for me!

Anyway, she is a lovely person in real life, with a beautiful personality and an equally gorgeous personal style.

You can see her style reflected in the choice of clothes in her store – feminine, classic, fun, polished, and stylish (but not over the top). Safe to say, I love everything in there!

Some brands you’ll find: Steele, MLM Label, C/Meo Collective, Suboo, May The Label, Talulah, Senso and more.

Dress from Elone Online

I’m wearing the Steele Agatha Dress in Jardin print (courtesy of Elone).

I’ve seen lots of girls on Instagram wear Steele dresses before, but this is the first time I’ve tried one out myself.

It is a stunning dress. It is really good quality in terms of its fabric, cut, stitching, construction, draping, and ruffles.

It has a fantastic weight. It’s not lined, but it’s not see-through.

The fabric is 100% rayon, so it’s easy to iron/steam and not overly delicate. It is easy to wear, effortless to move around in and has a lovely flow and drape.

It doesn’t have weird bunches of excessive fabric at the hips or chest, which is often a feature of cheaper-made dresses.

I absolutely love it! I think it looks best with nude or black strappy heels, or white even sneakers.

Dress from Elone Online

ELONE has free shipping for Australia, Singapore, Malaysia and New Zealand for orders over $100.

Head over to see their insanely pretty collection of Dresses. They have shoes, knits, leather jackets too. Like I said, it’s a great edit.

And check out their Sale section to grab a bargain.

If you’re keen to buy, you can use my code “KAREN15″ to receive 15% 0ff your whole order!

(Also wearing my trusty Mezi tassel earrings (old) and Schutz Cadey Lee Heels.)

Have an amazing week!

xxx


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What I Wore: Easy Breezy Cotton Shirt

21 April 2017

Easy Breezy Cotton Shirts

Woooo the weather has been glorious lately!

My big boys have been hanging out with their own friends lately – catching a bus to the city, or catching a bus to the movies or just hanging around (yikes, that’s a whole different blog post!).

So I have been spending time with my little boy – doing “little boy” things like… taking a walk through Kings Park to catch Pokemons haha.

We invited another little friend along and wow, the dynamic was so nice. No fights. No complaints. No whinging. No nagging. No squabbling. No winners and losers. No insults. No swearing. No sarcastic comments… that often come with teenaged boys.

It was a lovely park date, just like the good old days for me.

Easy Breezy Cotton Shirts

Another simple outfit.

I prefer to wear long sleeves when I’m out and about in the afternoon, as I don’t like to get too much sun on my arms, shoulders or chest.

But my legs? As long as I’ve got SPF30+ on them, they can have as much sun as possible.

I’m wearing Hello Parry Embroidered Shirt, Levi’s 501 Shorts, Clare V Bag, Betts heels.

The embroidered shirt is such an awesome, relaxed top. It’s made from a thick 100% cotton so it feels divine. It’s soft, breathable and doesn’t look cheap. It runs a little big though, as it’s a relaxed, loose fit. I’m wearing a Size 6, but it would be better for someone who is a size 8 or 10.

These Levi’s 501 Shorts have an amazing fit! I ordered my usual jeans size (Size 25) and I was quite skeptical they would fit me. But they hugged my waist/hips/bum so perfectly! They have a great soft, stretch without being too tight, or too stiff. They also have a slightly loose fit at the thigh, so they don’t create rolls in my thighs haha.

Have a great weekend!

xxx


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Statement Earrings for the New Season

18 April 2017

Statement Earrings 2017

I bought myself a few statement earrings recently!

I was looking for gold, bold earrings that had a nice weight to them.

I didn’t mind paying a bit extra, as I don’t like the cheap and nasty, lightweight fashion earrings that you can buy these days.

Statement Earrings 2017

These gold crosses are from a cool, little Perth boutique in Claremont, Perlu. They have an online shop, and I actually put the order through online and had it sent to me. Love online shopping!

They are just gorgeous. They have a good weight, they feel like real quality jewellery and they are much nicer than the el-cheapo versions.

For the others – you’ll have to scroll up to the top photo – the top earrings are from Sportsgirl (ok these were a bit cheap), and the other two are from Kookai (these are SUPER nice and I’m totally obsessed with wearing the bottoms ones).

Have a great week everyone!


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What I Wore: Sushi Lunches

15 April 2017

Off Shoulder Knit + Hello Parry Dress

Hi everyone!

It’s currently the school holidays and this is what usually happens every morning…

I get to sleep in until 7:30am! Sometimes 8am! Oh the indulgence!

My boys make themselves a big, hearty bacon + eggs + croissants + baked beans breakfast. Yep, every morning. They love their bacon. And I keep the fridge well stocked.

I have to dodge and weave through my own kitchen to make myself a cup of coffee.

Then we all sit down and plan our day. Who is meeting up with friends, visiting family, watching a movie, any outings, any sports, trip to the shops, major and minor chores for the day, how many hours of work I need to do, how many hours of computers games they can get, where are we having lunch, what is happening in the evening…

This particular day, we all went out to have sushi for lunch!

(We had sushi because I didn’t want to spill laksa on my white jumper haha!)

Simple outfit today:

Hello Parry Woven Dress as a skirt.

Twister Sweater by Majorelle

3.1 Phillip Lim Bucket Bag

Adidas Stan Smiths from ASOS

Hope you all have a lovely Easter weekend!

xxx


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The Classic Moto Leather Jacket

13 April 2017

Hi everyone!

Back in February, when I was in London and Paris, I spent weeks searching for a classic moto leather jacket.

I tried on leather jackets in All Saints, The Kooples, Acne Studios and a few other high-end brands while I was shopping in Paris. I also tried on jackets at Zara and Topshop.

I almost bought one from All Saints. And I also wanted to get one from The Kooples, because they were having a 25% off sale. They looked SO GOOD when they were hanging on the rack!

But in the end, they just looked too bulky on me. The jackets were lined with a quilted padding and they felt big and puffy. I was very warm – almost too warm – and I just don’t think they were suitable for Australian winters, and how I dress in winter.

Also the styles were very boxy on me and the sleeves were slightly too long for me.

I wanted a leather jacket that I could pop over a light sweater, or a long-sleeve t-shirt, or a floral dress.

I wanted a slightly, slim-fit leather jacket, with 3/4 sleeves (which would be normal fit for me), not too cropped, not too long, with a thin lining, no padding, minimal hardware, smallish lapels, smooth and soft leather, and no quilting or patterns in the leather. Picky much? Haha!

In the end I came back to Australia empty handed.

OAK Leather Jacket

Months later, lo and behold, I decided to take a bit of a risk and bought one online (after reading heaps of great reviews!) from Shopbop.

Oh my goodness, it was such an amazing buy!!!

This is the LA Rider Jacket by OAK, a New York label.

It was AU$640 and best of all I got it on sale!

Shopbop is currently having a 3 day sale. Just use the code EVENT15 to receive 20% off when you spend under US$500 or 25% off when you spend over US$500.

OAK Leather Jacket

As you can see, it’s EXACTLY what I wanted – a slim fit leather jacket that fits my arm length!

Leather Quality: The leather is beeeeautiful! It’s smooth, soft and buttery.

It looks so, so good. Definitely looks better than the Zara and Topshop leather jackets that I tried on. And it looks JUST AS amazing as all the high-end leather jackets I tried on. Although it is a lot lighter than the high end ones, because this one doesn’t have so much hardware and padding.

OAK Leather Jacket

Even with my arms out, the jacket looks slimming and flattering.

The lining is 100% cotton, the sleeve lining is 100% polyester and there is no extra padding anywhere on the jacket (eg. on the shoulders).

Oh and it also had snap buttons on the lapels, so they SIT FLAT – I hate it when my lapels curl outwards and catches on my arms and bags.

Sizing: I bought the size XS. I’m 160cm and 45kg, and I’m a pretty standard Size AU6.

A few reviews mentioned that the sizing was small, and that it felt tight across the back and arms.

But I found it to be perfect. I can wear a long sleeve top underneath, and I can hug myself and it stretches nicely and comfortably across my back.

If I wear a t-shirt and a knit sweater, it feels a little tight at the arm holes, and the fit is snug but not uncomfortable.

OAK Leather Jacket

The crop is just right. It’s not awkwardly short (or long) on me. It sits just above my regular fit jeans, so it looks nice and proportionate on me.

If you’ve been looking for a leather jacket for a while now, this is a fantastic time to buy.

But if you’ve just started to think about it, it’s probably best not to hurry into it. Read reviews, google to look at other photos or other blog reviews. Maybe wait for the next sale.

Remember, if you’re buying from Australia, you have to pay a tax for anything coming in over AUD $1000.

Here are some awesome jackets that qualify for the 25% off discount!

Leather Jackets from Shopbop

From left to right:

IRO Ashville Leather Jacket – This is one jacket I tried while in Paris! But they didn’t have my size in the store.

Acne Studios Mock Leather Moto Jacket – Oh my mistake! This jacket is excluded from the sale, sorry about that. Looks so good thought, right?

Ganni Biker Jacket – This is the other jacket I was considering to buy from Shopbop. But it didn’t have very much info on the web, and it didn’t have any reviews, so it was difficult to decide on the fit. Those sleeves looked like they would fit me!

 

Leather Jackets from Shopbop

From left to right:

VEDA Jayne Classic Jacket – This one looked a bit long in the body and sleeves for me, but a nice one!

Scotch & Soda / Maison Scotch Leather Biker Jacket – This one looks amazing and slouchy. The price made it very appealing.

VEDA Dallas Leather Jacket – I liked the minimal design of this one.

Hope you find something you like. Happy shopping!

xxx


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Trends to try at FWRD

10 April 2017

I love experimenting with fashion trends!

And these days, once I find something that suits me, I like to save up for a quality item, rather than to get lots of cheap items.

Most times I like to make a mental list, so that when a sale pops up, I can take advantage of that extra % off. I very rarely buy things at full price.

Here are some trends I like and are on my current watch list –

– Off shoulder tops or dresses.
– Cropped pants that are slightly flared.
– Voluminous sleeved tops.
– Embroidered cotton tops.
– Lace up details or stud details.

I popped over to FWRD (because they are having a 20% off sale) and found some items that sit nicely in my watch list.

(I bought myself a pair of Rag & Bone Cropped Jeans in the end – which were 30% off, then an additional 20% off! I’ve never tried Rag & Bone jeans, so I hope they’re good!)

FWRD Sale

From Left:

Suno Smocked Embroidered Blouse – such a beautiful looking top! Love the colourful little flower embroidery.

March 11 African Embroidered Top – Ahhh absolutely love the gold/bronze embroidery!

Rag & Bone/Jean Vintage Crop Flare – I bought black cropped jeans, but these were my second choice.

FWRD Sale

The Great Promenade Top  – I think this style is a modern classic. It’ll be a beautiful addition to anyone’s casual wardrobe.

Jonathan Simkhai For Fwrd Knit Lace-Up Dress – Ok I don’t know how “smart” a purchase this is, but I’m just loving that lace-up detail.

A.L.C. Madison Dress – Perfect dress for those cold nights!

If anything, the styling of these outfits are just spot on. It’s great just to browse and get styling tips haha.

The FWRD Sale details are:
Enjoy 20% off sale items with the code EXTRA20
Promo runs from 10 April – 12 April 11:59pm (AEST)

Hope you find something you like!

 


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What I Wore: Press Stud Details

5 April 2017

Privacy Please Dress

It’s not often that I go out of my way to pick out a casual dress.

I always bypass the casual dresses and go straight for a statement or a floral dress, or I look for something fun and a bit different.

Well, Revolve gave me the opportunity to pick out a dress, and so I chose something I wouldn’t normally choose… a BLACK, CASUAL dress (this one!). And what do you know, I want to wear it everywhere now!

I wore it for a few hours to the hairdresser, then I wore it the next day while going out to lunch with my girlfriends. I washed it. I wore it several days later while doing errands. I washed it again, then wore it again the moment it was dry haha.

No need to iron it! Just wash and dry flat. So good.

Privacy Please Dress

It is the Rue Dress by Privacy Please, which comes in a light pink or black.

It is like a tube, jersey dress, with cap sleeves, a low neck line and a subtle stud button details.

Fabric: The label says it’s 95% rayon 5% elastane, but I don’t really know what that means. Basically it feels like a smooth, ribbed, kind of jersey. But it’s not shiny or fuzzy, it’s like a lightly ribbed t-shirt.

It is double lined, and it has a really good weight to it and a high quality feel. I think it feels awesome.

Fit: It isn’t tight at all. It just sits and hugs my body very nicely and it just feels SO GOOD to wear. I’m 160cm and 45kg wearing a size XS and Im usually a size AU/UK 6.

If you want, you can do up (or undo?) all the buttons. They are pretty stiff/strong, so I guess they are good quality. More importantly, I have no fear of them popping open unexpectedly haha.

Privacy Please Dress

I do have two other jersey style dresses (both $20 from Cotton On). Yes they were cheap and I have found the fabric to be very thin, so you can kind of see the outline of my bra and underwear. I have to wear seam-free underwear so it doesn’t show up. The fabric on those dresses have pilled and the seams have started to buckle after a few washes. So I am quite reluctant to wear them out.

So I think that the quality of the fabric and fit of this Rue Dress is definitely worth the price. Oh I can wear my regular underwear and there’s no obvious visible panty line.

It’s so easy and effortless!

OK, if I had to say something negative about the dress, I’d say that 1) maybe it’d look better on me if the length of the dress was a bit shorter? I kind of like the midi length though. 2) Maybe you need to have an hourglass or inverted triangle body shape to wear this dress? It’s a very figure hugging dress! Having said that, I’m not an expert on dressing to different body shapes.

As for the rest of my outfit, I’m also wearing: Meli Melo Rosalia Tote Bag, vintage scarf, Adidas Stan Smiths from ASOS (on sale!) and Celine Baby Audrey Sunglasses from Vision Direct.


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What I Wore: Blue on Blue

31 March 2017

Blue on Blue

Hello Friday!

This weekend, my 12yo boy is having his Basketball Grand Final for Under 14s — omg I’m so excited for him! As much as I tell my son that it’s not about winning, it’s about the journey… I really want the team to win haha!!

I’m so nervous for them; my stomach is so fluttery, I might actually throw up. But of course, I have to hold it together, and play it cool.

I have two birthday dinner parties and a couples dinner this weekend. Yay for actually having a social life again!

One birthday party is for my mum, who turns 70 this year.

I’m a bit bewildered by this fact, because she is the most active 70 year old lady I know. Are all 70 year old Asian aunties this active?

She’s constantly dancing with her friends (for exercise), doing tai chi, looking after her garden (climbing up trees with a chainsaw?!), cooking a banquet for 16 people at the drop of a hat, caring for her own mum, and much more.

Did I mention we both went to Paris together and she and I walked for 10 hours in one day. Then 5-6 hours the next day. I was complaining about a sore lower back and she had zero complaints, sheesh.

I definitely want to be like her when I’m her age.

We’ve booked out a Chinese restaurant and we’re going to have one helluva seafood banquet!

This weekend, I’m also going to a 50s dress up party.

I’ve been to a 50s dress up party before, and that time I wore a conservative Mad Men style tailored top + skirt with a big faux fur coat.

But this time, I’ve bought a curly blonde wig and I’m going to dress up as Bad Sandy from Grease – haha!

I’m sure there will be lots of Bad Sandy’s, so I’m hoping for lots of twinsie pics.

Stay tuned for photos!

Blue on Blue

I’m running lots of errands today in my gorgeous Hello Parry Cali Palm Tree Top – which is so pretty, slinky and easy to wear. It feels so effortless and comfortable.

I think it’s the perfect shade of blue to match denim jeans. It has that denim-on-denim cool, but without that awkward feeling of double denim haha.

The top runs a bit small. I’m usually a size 6, so I’m wearing this top in a size 8.

I’m actually wearing it backwards – just for fun and it works!

Also loving my A.P.C Half Moon Handbag, my Adidas Stan Smiths from ASOS (on sale!) and my no brand denim mini skirt.

Have an amazing weekend!

xxx

 


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What I Wore: Off Shoulder Knit

30 March 2017

Marjorelle Sweater + 3.1 Phillip Lim Bag

Whoa! Don’t you just LOVE IT when you stumble across a top, or shoe, or in this case, a knit, that is such an amazing addition to your wardrobe, that you want it in ALL colours – black, white, grey, blush, navy, maroon?!?

I’ve definitely found my latest staple knit.

This is the Twister Sweater by Majorelle.

Not sure why it’s called a ‘twister’ sweater, because it doesn’t twist at all. It’s an off-shoulder ribbed knit, but expertly cut, and made from a beautifully, heavy knit that sits nicely and feels luxurious to wear.

The fabric is 80% cotton and 20% nylon, it feels soft, smooth and has a good weight and substance to it. It’s not see-through at all.

I am always dubious when it comes to non-casual knits – because to me, knits are in the casual category – but this one has a really polished and sophisticated look to it, and I think it looks really lovely.

I’m wearing a Size XS and it think it’s a tiny bit big for me. But I have a short torso and arms haha. It is quite long in the body, as it’s supposed to cover your bum, but I just rolled up the hem at the bottom to make it look more proportionate on me.

It’s flattering, a bit sexy and a little different to the standard V-neck knit.

Marjorelle Sweater + 3.1 Phillip Lim Bag

I’m also wearing this Elijah Mini Skirt by Lovers + Friends.

It’s 100% cotton and it has some distressed denim details which I really like. The model on the product page is also wearing this exact off-shoulder knit and denim skirt combo and she looks positively hot!

I’m wearing a Size 25 and I’m usually Size 25 in jeans (Frame, Paige, AG, Acne) so it was a pretty easy for me to find my fit.

I actually bought a black Cotton On Denim Mini Skirt last summer, but after a few months of wear and washes, the cotton pilled (which is strange for denim) and the edges curled up and it didn’t sit nicely. The cotton also went stiff and hard, and it didn’t seem to soften with age.

So this Lovers + Friends skirt is a much better quality denim skirt (well it feels like it’s much better quality!) and here’s me hoping it keeps its shape and feel over time.

It’s another brilliant wardrobe staple.

And that brings me to my other TWO wardrobe staples…

3.1 Phillip Lim Soleil Bucket Bag is getting an excellent workout lately.

I love the size, it fits everything I need and my camera too. I’ve forgotten how much I love bucket bags. I’m also getting so many compliments for its unique shape and design.

I wore my Acne Studios Jensen Booties all over London and Paris when I was there earlier this year. But ever since returning to the Australia summer, I haven’t worn them till now. With the weather cooling down, I pulled the boots out, half expecting them to be stiff and hurt my feet, but nope. The leather is still soft and comfy, but rigid enough to keep its shape.

It won’t be long until winter!


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What I Wore: Lace Up Dress and Shoes

28 March 2017

Zara and Aquazzura

While I was out sightseeing in London, there were so many instances where I found myself stuck indoors waiting for the rain and weather to clear up.

That’s right! I was forced into a Zara store and compelled to buy something! Haha!

This dress was in impulse buy. I saw it, I tried it on, I loved it and I bought it.

I don’t usually buy black dresses. When I do, the black dress would have to be pretty special for me to consider it.

So yes, I thought this was pretty special.

Zara and Aquazzura

It’s called the Bow Sleeve Dress.

I consider it to be a fantastic winter dress – as it has long sleeves.

It’s made from thick, warm, ribbed jersey fabric. It’s stretchy, comfortable, hugging, flattering, hides any bumps and lumps.

The eyelets and lace-up details make it pretty standout, edgy and sexy. But not too much.

Zara and Aquazzura

I wore the dress with my lovely Aquazzura Lace Up Heels (which I got on sale!) and there are a few other similar Aquazzura pairs on sale too.

I also wore some new earrings from Kookai too.


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What I Wore: For Weekend Chilling

25 March 2017

Boyfriend Jeans by GRLFRND

Hi everyone!

This weekend, my husband is participating in a Perth to Rottnest Island, a 20km open water swim, well, his friends are swimming, he’s just kayaking!

It all sounds quite exciting. I’d love to do something like that, because it sounds so far out of my abilities and comfort zone haha.

It’s Saturday afternoon, I’m preparing for my 8 year old’s birthday bowling party: baking cakes, preparing party bags, making party food, and meal prepping for the week ahead.

My older boys are helping me with chores around the house: mowing lawns, mopping the floors, washing toilets, vacuuming, folding thet laundry.

I also have to take my boys to their basketball games.

Ok ok it’s not actually “a weekend of chilling”… but after all our jobs, I usually let my boys play computer games, hang out on social media for a few hours, while I jump on my screen or read a book on the couch.

Boyfriend Jeans by GRLFRND

I recently picked up these Karolina High-Rise Skinny Jeans (courtesy of Revolve) and eeek, they are amazing!

GRLFRND is a fresh take on vintage denim styles. The collection has 10 silhouettes, all named after iconic models like Cindy, Helena, Linda, Naomi and more.

Yes they are a bit more expensive than usual, thus I was very keen to see how the jeans compared to some of my other higher-end jeans.

I chose the size 25 (as I’m Size 25 for Paige Denim, Frame Denim, AG Jeans, Acne Studios)

How do they fit? I have to admit, they don’t look the same on me as they do on the model. (The model looks like the jeans were made for her legs.)

Maybe I should have chosen the Petite Karolina High-Rise Skinny Jeans instead?

Anyway, these jeans are slightly loose around my hips, thighs and calves. Ideally I would want to swap it for a size 24.5 (but I don’t think jeans come in “half sizes”!). Yet as I walked around in them, I fell in love with how comfy they were. I loved the baggy feel.

They seriously gave me a slouchy, rock star swagger haha.

Recently, I have been keen to experiment with baggy-styled jeans, mainly because, they look so good on other people! But I’ve tried so many different kinds: Boyfriend jeans, mom jeans, straight leg jeans. They all seem to make me look short and dumpy.

These Karolina Jeans are cut to be skinny jeans, so even though they are half a size too big for me, they still have that tapered and slim look, so I’ve decided they are a keeper.

The no stretch denim is out of this world. The fabric hangs so nicely and it’s insanely comfortable. These jeans are so different to the “stretched and hugged denim feel” that I’m used to.

Button fly, thick fabric, distressed details and faded colour for a vintage feel… they remind me of my old Levi 501s.

So how do they compare? It’s a bit difficult to compare stretch jeans to non-stretch jeans. So I will just say are just as fantastic in cut, feel and quality as my other high-end jeans.

I’m also wearing:

Grana Silk Camisole Top, ASOS Pointed Toe Slides, Sportsgirl Straw Hat, and Meli Melo Rosalia Bag.

Have a fab weekend everyone!

xxx


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That Ultimate, Classic White Shirt

20 March 2017

White Poplin Cotton Shirt by Grana

Hi everyone! Ok, I’m not being paid, gifted, or sponsored for this … nor have I been asked to write this blog post.

This is totally off my own initiative, because I love sharing my awesome finds haha.

I bought this shirt myself… and I freaking love it.

It’s just a PLAIN, CLASSIC, WHITE, COTTON SHIRT.

You’d be surprised how hard it is to find a plain one?!

White Poplin Cotton Shirt by Grana

It is the White Poplin Boyfriend Shirt by Grana.

I do apologise for sounding like a crazy, Grana fanatic. But as I said, I bought it myself, and I also have it in a checkered/gingham pattern and a pinstripe pattern too.

The material just like a man’s cotton business shirt. It’s crisp, strong, really smooth, soft and opaque.

I have worn it by itself on a hot day, or layered with a singlet underneath and a knit over the top… and each time it feels soooo lovely to wear.

The XXS size is PERFECT for my Size AU6 frame.

The sleeve length is perfect for me. It sits just a touch beyond my wrist. The body length is perfect too. Not awkwardly long.

It has a relaxed fit. Not too baggy. And it fits nicely across the back and shoulders.

Best bit: Cost for quality.

It’s mind-bogglingly difficult to find a good quality white shirt at a reasonable price these days.

At AUD $79, it is such great value!

It also isn’t the end of the world if I spill something on it.

I’ve seen white shirts in Country Road (all have trendy details and over $100), Cue (styles are too fitted, over $100), Witchery (no plain styles), Myer (one was $550, hit and miss quality), Basque Petites (too fitted), Zara (quality wasn’t great), Shopbop (most over $100), The Iconic (trendy styles – big sleeves, embroidery), Forever New (trendy styles)… where else can one buy a plain white shirt? Er, not sure!

It seems as if all the stores assume you already have a plain, white, cotton shirt, so they all want to sell you ones with trendy details.

But I haven’t had a plain white shirt until recently. Most of my shirts have trendy details haha.

Anyway, even though this post isn’t a sponsored post, I did a sponsored post for Grana a fortnight ago and my discount code is still valid. So if you’re interested to buy, you might like a discount?

Get 10% off for New Customers

If you’re a new Grana customer, I have a special code for you to use to receive 10% off and free worldwide shipping. Simply enter the code “karenxgrana” at the checkout. Valid until the end of March 2017.

xxx


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Grana Activewear Review

8 March 2017

Brought to you by Grana

Grana Move Activewear

The kind folk at Grana sent me a box of goodies to review, featuring a subject I’m very interested about – ACTIVEWEAR!!

I have loooots of activewear, all different brands, different prices, different fabrics, and different features. I’m not an ambassador for any particular brand, or anything like that, so I’m not particularly biased or loyal. I just like buying different stuff.

I asked the Grana Team to send a variety of sizes to try, so I could get my sizing right and try out a few different comfort levels.

OK here we go!

First of all, what kind of prices are we talking about?

Grana in general seem to focus on excellent quality fabrics at an affordable price. Considering that their silks are pretty awesome… you can get a nice silk button down shirt for AU$77 – that’s pretty good value! So they seem to be true to their word.

Grana have pitched their activewear at a mid-level price point and claim to have not compromised with the quality of their technical fabrics. Tops/crop tops are AU$36 – $42, leggings are between AU$56 – $65.

How’s the quality? 

Let’s get this out of the way. The leggings are NOT like Lululemon, in terms of their luxury stretch fit, super soft to touch, amazing hugging and butt lifting properties. (However Lululemon leggings start at AU$119 a pop.)

In my opinion, the Grana technical fabric is a pretty good, “middle of the range” quality.

The fabric is soft yet firm. It is not too plasticky or scratchy. (I’d say some of the inner seam stitching is a tiny bit scratchy though). The outside of the fabric is soft to touch, like jersey. But the inside is smooth and slightly slippery/spandexy like regular activewear.

The fabric feels nicer, stronger (and will probably last longer) than gear I’ve bought from BigW, Target, Kmart, Cotton On, Jeanswest, Sportsgirl.

Another nice thing: No logos whatsoever. Nice simple, minimal, clean designs. Love that.

Style: Because of this clean and minimal design, the Grana range has a very subtle, simple and understated style, which I like. Whereas Lorna Jane and some other brands are a bit loud, bold, electric and girl powerish… these Grana styles have quite the opposite vibe.

Grana Move Activewear

Many months ago, I saw a girl in my hot yoga class wearing a light pink (blush) bra top with cool cross-back straps. I wanted to get something similar and I looked the world over but couldn’t find anything like it (which I thought to be strange considering blush colours are all the rage now)… lo and behold, Grana have got that colour and I was SUUUPER excited to try!!

1) Active Crossback Sports Bra – Vintage Rose

I am so in LOVE with this style. It has bra hooks at the back. It gives your chest a nice lift. It has boob padding for a bit of extra shape and lift. I think it suits women with smallish boobs. But who knows, it might look amazing for women with bigger boobs too.

I definitely want this style in a grey or black!

The top stretched diagonally across my body and shoulders due to the cross back straps (which makes it feel slightly differently to a regular bra top). So I wouldn’t want to wear a smaller size or I think it would be uncomfortable and I might pop out during a work out??

Sizing: I am a very standard AUS /UK Size 6. This is a size SMALL. It fit me perfectly. As I said, I wouldn’t want to go smaller. It also comes in size XXS and XS. Which totally confused me, because ALL my other Grana clothes are size XXS or XS. So make sure you read the sizing info carefully before you buy.

Are they worth it? I’d say yes, for the price. But it’s more of a fashion choice. Do you need a hot looking bra top? Probably not haha.

2) Active 3/4 Leggings – Vintage Rose

When I got back from my UK trip I was about 48kgs, I struggled to put on these leggings, and when I did, they were so tight that they showed my panty line at both my hip and bum, they pinched at my leg crease and made my legs look horrible and lumpy. UGH!

Then I lost 2.5kgs and was back to my normal weight and now they fit beautifully! No lumpy legs!

Sizing: These are XS. They feel tight and like true compression tights. Great for working out in. If I wanted a more relaxed fit, I’d definitely buy S instead. I don’t think I’d be very comfortable lounging around in these XS all day.

I honestly didn’t feel any specific, ergonomic contouring or butt lifting. But they feel nice so that’s ok.

I like this style because it fits me in the leg length. No need to turn it up or bunch it up at my ankles.

I might get these in the Port colour too, because I can team it up with my black tops and they’ll look great.

Are they worth it? AU$56 for middle of the range quality 3/4 active tights, I’d say YES.

 

Grana Move Activewear

3) Active Racerfront Crop Top – Port

Oh wow, I really like this top style. It’s my second favourite item of the lot.

They are designed for low impact activities like yoga and pilates. They have no padding. They are SUPER comfy. And they look great!

That Port colour is divine!

Sizing: I’m wearing Size S, which feels perfect on me. It doesn’t feel too loose. Just comfortable. I wouldn’t want to go smaller with this style, again because I’m afraid I would POP OUT during a downward dog.

Are they worth it? Yes! Again, do you really need another cute yoga top? Probably not. But if you go through so many cheap Target activewear tops, this might be a good option to try next. For AU$36 you can’t really go wrong!

I definitely want this top in a black and grey too!

4) Active Full Length Leggings – Port

As i mentioned earlier, when I got back from my UK trip I was about 48kgs; I put these leggings on and they fit really well and were lovely and comfy (although they were too long in the leg).

But after I lost about 2.5kgs, they are a bit loose for me now.

Sizing: This is a Size S and like I said, I think they are too big for me. They are definitely too long in the leg and I will have to get them altered (which will cost about $15). They are actually really comfortable AROUND my legs. It’s like a hugged feeling, rather than a tight compression, and I actually prefer this level of compression on my legs.

But they are too loose on my tummy, hips, bottom and waist… and after a bit of walking around they slide down a bit.

They felt lovely and comfy, and I could definitely wear them all day around the house.

Are they worth it? Hmm. Personally I’d say no, because I’m short and the full length means I have to spend more money to alter it to my size. However, if I was taller and I got the Size XS, they would definitely be great value activewear at AU$65.

NOTE: I managed to tweak the fit by scrunching up the leg and folding over the waist (see below) and I made the leggings fit really well – so I kind of made 2 styles out of the 1 item. That might be a reason to buy a size up?

 

Grana Move Activewear

So these leggings are the SAME as the ones above!

4) Active Full Length Leggings – Port

As I said, I just scrunched up the length of the legs at my knees and folded the tummy part down. Looks and feels much better. It’s a much more relaxed fit for me. I could hang around all day in these leggings.

Are they worth it? Not for me. I’d rather buy the 3/4 leggings in a size XS for compression, and S for relaxed fit.

5) Active Structured Sports Bra – Grey

A very, very simple, standard bra top with racer-back design.

The fabric is nice, soft, yet strong.

It has some inner, mesh lining with a tiny bit of moulded boob padding.

Overall, I really liked this bra top.

The grey colour is nice too. It’s not marle grey. It’s more of a grey with faint dark grey stripe to add a bit of texture.

Sizing: This top is sized XS (while all the other tops I tried were Size S) and they felt a bit too tight for me. I struggled to put it on over my head. I’d feel better in a Size S.

Are they worth it? Yes! If you like a cleanly designed, super simple, comfortable bra top, with no logos or mesh panels or reflective random stuff, and with a tiny bit of lift and padding – this is a good one for AU$42.

Would I buy one? Er, probably not because I have so many sport bra tops. But hey, I might buy when my old ones eventually wear out.

 

Get 10% for New Customers

If you’re a new Grana customer, I have a special code for you to use to receive 10% off and free worldwide shipping! Simply enter the code “karenxgrana” at the checkout! Valid until the end of March 2017.

 

Hope you enjoy my review. Enjoy!

xxx


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3.1 Phillip Lim Soliel Bag and Shopbop Sale

2 March 2017

3.1 Phillip Lim Soliel Bag

While I was in London and Paris, I had my heart set on buying a new black bag, in a bucket style.

I did lots of window shopping and visited lots of luxury stores, but in the end I bought online because of Shopbop’s Go Big Sale (which is on until 4 March).

I had my eye on this gorgeous 3.1 Phillip Lim Soleil Bucket Bag for months… and to finally get it with 25% off was icing on the cake!

It has a modern, sleek design, clean lines, structured silhouette, with a super cute box shape. At 23cm x 24cm, it’s a perfect size to fit all my stuff.

I like that it is light on hardware and very minimal.

It’s not an everyday bag for me. It’s more of a special outing bag for me.

If you’re looking for a special black bag too, this Shopbop Go Big Sale is a great place to start looking.

Simply enter the code GOBIG17 at the checkout to receive 15 off orders of $200+, 20% off orders of $500+ and 25% off orders of $800.

Here are a few black bags that I really like.

Shopbop Black Designer Handbags

A.P.C. Half Moon Bag – I have this bag! I absolutely love it. It’s a small crossbody handbag, just big enough to fit a purse, phone, keys and lipstick.

3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli Mini Satchel – This was the other handbag I had my eye on. It’s an older style, but it’s a classic 3.1 Phillip Lim bag. I really like its cool satchel look.

 

Shopbop Black Designer Handbags

Meli Melo Medium Thela Bag – I was just talking about Meli Melo a few days ago… and how the Thela is a lovely classic. This medium size bag is currently on 20% off sale, then use the Go Big code for another 20% off. Woot.

Alexander Wang Mini Rockie Bag – Ah I have been eyeing this bag for years! I LOVE the chunky but slouchy look to the Rockie Bags. It has a cool, sporty, casual look to that gets me every time.

 

Shopbop Black Designer Handbags

Furla Stacy Drawstring Bucket Bag – I really like the shape of this bucket bag, and the price was a lot friendlier to my wallet too. I saw it in a London store and it was lovely in real life.

Charlotte Olympia Pussycat Purse – Ok you can’t go wrong with a Charlotte Olympia purse to elevate your outfit, whether you’re dressed up or dressed down. Super duper cute!

Shopbop Black Designer Handbags

Karen Walker Milly Camera Bag – I’ve been thinking to get myself a boxy camera bag. I have a few in mind and this Karen Walker one is a particularly cute one. Of course, when they say “camera” bag, they mean compact camera, not a DSLR!

Mackage Keeley Bag – OK this is a recent addition to my wishlist. I totally dig that arrow charm, cool shape, and pebbled leather. It looks a bit like my Loeffler Rider Bag, so I probably shouldn’t get it haha.

 


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Investment Lover Lace (Thanks to the Revolve Sale)

28 February 2017

Brought to you by Revolve

Lover Lace from Revolve Clothing

Sometimes all you need is one beautiful top to make yourself realise that you probably shouldn’t have blown your last month’s fashion budget on cheaper, trendy tops – oops!

Over the past few years, I’ve tried to be a bit more considerate about what I buy.

I’m trying to stick to a few rules and you’ve probably heard them a zillion times:

Go for the investment piece. Go for the classic. Be deliberate. Buy something that you absolutely love.Lover Lace from Revolve Clothing

I recently purchased this stunning Arizona Lace Top by Lover (which is still on sale).

I really ummed and ahhed over whether I should buy it.

Because when you think about it, it’s essentially a lace top and lace tops are quite common. I could probably get something similar from Topshop, Forever New or ASOS. Why spend all that money on ONE top, when I can have FIVE tops?

I took the plunge, and all I can say is… would I rather have five MEH tops or one BLOODY AMAZING top that makes me feel like a million dollars and that I can wear again and again?? I’ll take the latter thanks.

Wardrobe investment all the way!

Lover Lace from Revolve Clothing

It is a beautifully slim fit. It has zero stretch, but thankfully it fits me perfectly (I’m a standard size AU 6 and 45kg). It has a hidden zip all the way down the back, but it was still a bit tricky to put on.

The lace is out of this world. It’s so soft and cottony to touch and not scratchy at all. It does feel a bit delicate to wear and there are some movements I wouldn’t do – like twisting at my waist to grab something behind me or hugging myself (??) as there’s not much stretch.

I absolutely love how versatile it is!

I wore it dressed down, with a denim skirt, just like the model on the product page and it looked awesome.

This particular day, I’m wearing it with Black Culottes by Hello Parry and Pointed Flats by Charles and Keith.

Lover Top from Revolve Clothing

Revolve Clothing are having their BIG sale of the year for AU/NZ customers only. It’s an amazing time to get that big ticket investment item you’ve been eyeing.

Hit up the Revolve Sale Here and take 20% off everything (including sale items), but some brand exclusions do apply.

Just use the special promotion code 20OFF at the checkout. Sale ends 3 March.

Happy shopping!!

xxx


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Meli Melo for Timeless Style

22 February 2017

Brought to you by Meli Melo

Summer Woven Bag by Meli Melo

Hi everyone!

Since the start of the year, I’ve had the pleasure of having several “omg somebody pinch me” moments in my life and work.

(Having said that, I think watching a nice sunset is a pinch-me moment haha!)

Anyway, one of those pinch-me moments comes from my latest collaboration with Meli Melo.

Meli Melo is a London bag brand, created and founded by Melissa Del Bono in 2005, who sought to create beautiful, timeless and practical handbags (without showy logos) for everyday women.

The brand has a strong focus on timeless Italian craftsmanship mixed with a London understated cool.

I first heard of the brand a couple of years ago, when Olivia Palermo was snapped carrying one. The bag caught my eye because it looked surprisingly “everyday” for Olivia. But it seemed to hit the magic trifecta – it looked really practical, stylish and effortless – like the perfect everyday bag! I didn’t recognise the brand, so I went to check out who designed it.

Meli Melo Thela Bags

Turns out it was the classic Thela Tote Bag – so nice right?

The style is considered to be one of Meli Melo’s Signature Bags and it’s easy to see why with its simple and timeless design.

Summer Woven Bag by Meli Melo

For my review I decided not to choose the Thela, because I was looking for a tote bag and something a bit more different (but not too different!)… so I chose this Rosalia Woven Bag – another of their signature bag styles.

I wanted a tote style bag with no top flaps, with a nice big opening and a discrete zip.

The Rosalia Woven Bag features an embossed woven leather, evoking the rustic wicker baskets of Sicily, where the designer Melissa grew up.

I love this unique texture! It’s so eye catching, because it looks like a woven basket and captures a sense of whimsy, wanderlust, uniqueness and like it holds a story from my childhood. It looks like it has lots of personality!

Usually woven basket textures give a sense of casual/resort styling, but because of its sleek shape and the long shoulder straps, it fits really well with city and urban styling.

Summer Woven Bag by Meli Melo

It isn’t a delicate, thin and slouchy kind of leather bag, that collapses into a puddle of buttery, soft folds.

The leather of the body is beautiful, luxuriously smooth and very thick, making it strong and structured, so it keeps its lovely shape when you place it down.

I loved putting it on a cafe chair next to me – because it stood straight and strong and opened up easily so I could quickly see and grab my things inside.

It seemed pretty resistant to scratches, scuffs and bumps, so it was nice to NOT have to worry about that when using it.

The thickness of the leather handles and straps are slightly thinner for comfort and usability, but still thick and strong.

Perhaps the downside of the bag is its weight, which is 1.1kgs. So it’s a solid weight, but not too heavy that it hurts my arm or shoulders.

It really feels like a luxury quality, leather handbag. It will last me years and years and it feels like the kind of bag that will get better with age.

meli melo Rosalia

The Rosalia Bag comes in nine different colours – lots of lovely pastels and subtle shades. I’ve shown my favourite 4 colours above: Light Tan, Taupe, Heron (light blue), Midnight Blue. It also come in Elephant Grey, Sand, Khaki, Lime and of course Black.

It also comes in a smaller “Mini” size which can be worn in a cross-body style. That’s super cute too!

If you buy from the Meli Melo website, they offer free worldwide shipping.

Or you can also buy Meli Melo from Shopbop (and you might be able to nab it on sale).

I absolutely loved using this tote as an every day bag for doing all my errands. Look forward to lots more photos of me and my bag haha!

Happy shopping!!

xxx


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Back to Summer with Majorelle

15 February 2017

Majorelle Salsa Dress from Revolve

So I’ve been back in Australia for a week now and ooooh how I’ve missed the heat!

I’m definitely celebrating summer (again) and wearing every summery dress I can find.

I recently picked out this Salsa Dress by Majorelle (courtesy of Revolve) and it’s one of those fun, flirty dresses that ticks all the boxes.

Majorelle Salsa Dress from Revolve

Cute as hell. Beautiful print. Ruffles, off-shoulder, a bit of criss-cross wrap action. Adjustable straps.

Low at the front, but not too revealing. Short, but not too short. Perfect dress for a shortie like me.

Majorelle Salsa Dress from Revolve

The fabric is a silky, smooth polyester. It actually feels like silk, but it’s a lot more hardy, in that I could easily iron all the creases out on a low heat setting on my iron and it took me 3 minutes flat and no fuss at all.

The dress is lined, really well constructed and designed. It sits nicely on my hips, it doesn’t ride up my legs when I walk, it is super comfortable to move around in.

This is a Size XS and I’m usually a standard AUS 6.

Majorelle Salsa Dress from Revolve

This Salsa Dress also comes in a long sleeve version (a bit like a short, wrap dress) called the Tropicana Dress, with the same pattern.

And also a maxi dress, wrap style, in the same pattern called the Cubano Dress. They are all so pretty!

Also wearing my Rebecca Minkoff Quilted Handbag and Schutz Cadey Lee Heels.

I actually have a wedding to attend soon, so I might wear it then. Yippee!

xxx


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What I Wore: Tate Modern

10 February 2017

London

When the kids are all grown up, I’ve decided that my husband and I are going to do an Art Gallery Crawl across all the major cities of the world! #LIFEGOALS

I haven’t told him yet. However I might have to negotiate with him because he’d probably want to drag me to all the maritime and war museums too. And um, I don’t know if I’m up for that.

But what a life that will be right? Haha!

Yes the days have been cold and I’m actually enjoying all this rugging up in 4-5 layers thing.

I think I might actually miss it.

Here’s what I wore while traipsing through the Tate Modern.

I won’t be getting points for fashion creativity, but hey I was warm.

Uniqlo Heattech Singlet – I didn’t think it at first, but these are so handy for a bit of extra warmth without the bulk.

Grana White Linen Shirt – Not ironed and crumpled from being stuffed in my luggage, of course.

Uniqlo Cotton Cashmere Grey Sweater – These are no longer on sale, but here’s a similar Grana Crew Neck Cashmere Knit.

Topshop Double Breasted Coat – Oh man, this coat was so nice and affordable that I wished it came in a navy or dark grey. It comes in a Pink Blush and Light Grey, and I already have coats in those colours. They’re on 20% sale if you’re keen!

Frame Le Color Skinny Jeans – As I mentioned before, I pretty much lived in these jeans haha.

Rebecca Minkoff Julian Backpack – Great size for travelling and spending all day out and about.

Acne Pistol Boots – You know when you’ve bought well when you crack a quite smile whenever you put that item on. I’ll be smiling for years with these babies.


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Paris Dairies: Tularosa and A.P.C

2 February 2017

Tularosa Tunic Dress

After a few weeks in London, my mum and I popped over to Paris (my first time there!) and spent 3 days exploring the beautiful city.

We stayed in a gorgeous boutique hotel called, Hôtel François 1er, just off the Avenue des Champs-Élysées (area with lots of cafés and luxury shopping), within walking distance to the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, Grand Palais and a long walk would have taken us to the Musée du Louvre. It was also 3-4 minute walk to a Metro station.

(Hotel wasn’t sponsored, it was recommended by a friend and a little mishap saw us being upgraded to a massive executive suite wayhey! I completely recommend it!)

Tularosa Tunic Dress

I loved wearing this gorgeous Arabella Tunic Dress by Tularosa during my travels, kindly gifted from the team at Revolve.

I adored the embroidered details, the little fringe and ruffled sleeves, making it look very unique and understated.

It was a bit thin for London and Paris, so I did have to wear a Uniqlo Heattech Top underneath.

I chose the size XS, which was nice and loose on me, however, I don’t know if I would wear it as a dress on its own, because it’s a bit short. I think I would wear black shorts underneath it and – like the model on the website – I’d wear it with over the knee boots.

But who knows, I might change my tune by the time summer comes along.

Tularosa Tunic Dress

I used my A.P.C Half Moon Bag everyday while I was in Paris. I just needed something small that I could wear close to my body, that would fit my purse, phone and keys. I avoided using my backpack, as there were so many warnings about pickpockets. My camera was slung around my neck for most of my outings, like a true tourist!

My Jensen Booties by Acne Studios proved to be an excellent travel accessory because it was both a “comfortable walking boot for the DAY” and “a smart looking winter boot for the EVENING”. I brought another pair of boots, but they were a bit on the chunky side and not exactly suitable for a fancy restaurant. So I probably could have saved a bit of room in my luggage and just brought these Jensens haha.

Also I lived in my black Le Color Skinny Jeans by Frame. They were just so comfortable, they were slightly thick to give me a little warmth and they looked great.

I have hundreds of photos from my Paris trip! Can’t wait to share my highlights!

xxx


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Quilted Handbag

28 January 2017

Rebecca Minkoff Purse

It’s the Chinese New Year and according to tradition you’re supposed to buy a new outfit to wear. Sounds pretty good to me!

While not exactly an outfit, I picked out this new Rebecca Minkoff Quilted Mini Affair Bag as my go-to clutch for simple, evening dinners. A lot of my bags are medium-sized and in a casual style. I’ve never owned a black leather clutch for more “dressed up occasions”.

Anyway – yay – this quilted bag is a great size, made from lovely leather, and it’s a classic style that goes with everything.

I can fit my purse, phone, lipstick, keys and compact camera in this baby!

Rebecca Minkoff Purse

I was tossing between this Quilted Mini Affair style, or this Geo Quilted Crossbody Bag or the Love Crosbody Bag.

I eventually chose the Quilted Mini because of its smaller size (20cm x 15cm), the chain on the shoulder strap is thicker and it has a 2-length strap, which means I can easily change the length of the strap (long crossbody style where the bag sits below my hip or having it sit above my hip).

Yes, it’s very Chanel-esque without the Chanel-esque price tag, which is why I chose it, but it means I get to save for another bag I have my eyes on — oops!

Also pictured here are my Marc Bale Rose Gold Watch and The Peachbox Pearl Orb Bangle and Acne Studios Suede Pumps.

Happy Lunar New Year!


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What I Wore: The British Museum

24 January 2017

Topshop Khaki Coat

This is me at The British Museum! My lovely mum and I stood against this white wall and tried to dodge the huge crowd of of visitors, tourists and school kids – which was close to impossible!

I’m showing off my new Double Breasted Coat from Topshop.

Love the colour! So affordable and great quality too.

I wasn’t actually planning to buy a coat during my trip. I have so many at home in Australia.

You see, I didn’t pack a nice, wool coat for my 4 week stay in London, because my sister said I could borrow her coats. She and I are the same size, so it made sense to reduce my luggage weight, which actually just meant I brought 5 pairs of shoes instead of 4.

Anyway, when I found out her only wool coat was a Burberry one – I borrowed it once, wore it for 7 hours, walked around all day doing some shopping and sight seeing, slinging my backpack over my shoulder – I KNEW that I would scuff it up and wear it out at the shoulder (from the constant rubbing of my bag strap).

So I didn’t want to damage her coat, so haha that was my excuse to buy myself a new coat.

Not a Burberry one though!

I’m also wearing a Turtleneck Wool Sweater from Country Road (old season), Uniqlo Heattech Top (lovely and warm!), Frame denim Jeans, Adidas Stan Smiths (on sale at ASOS), and my Rebecca Minkoff Backpack.


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What I Wore: COS and Burberry

20 January 2017

At the Victoria and Albert Museum

This is me looking like a school girl at the Victoria and Albert Museum, the museum of art and design.

Not so hilarious, because I was acting like one… reading every panel, examining every detail and taking zillions of photos.

That place was AWE-INSPIRING! Loved it so much! We spent hours there!

As for my outfit…

I went shopping on Regent Street the day before and I bought this dress from COS, a Straight Cut Crinkle Dress (on sale too!).

Wearing a BambooBody Scoop Singlet under the dress for extra warmth.

I have my lovely Acne Studios Jensen Booties, which were so comfortable to wear all day.

My Rebecca Minkoff Julian Backpack, just to make myself look even more like a school girl :P

And I borrowed my sister’s Burberry Wool Cashmere Coat, which was flipping amazing.

Tee hee, it’s very cool that we are exactly the same clothes size and shoe size. Too bad we both live on different sides of the world though!


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What I Wore: Out to Buy Milk and Layering Up

16 January 2017

London Street Style

When I left Australia, the weather was a glorious 35°C… so yes, I’m a little surprised by the 5°C winter days here in London.

I’m not going to pretend to be a stylish fashion blogger, extravagantly jet-setting around the world, effortlessly transitioning from season to season, country to country, like I was fluent in international living!

I just want to wear my comfiest and warmest clothes, that are practical for what I’m doing and try to look somewhat OK haha.

Here I’m heading out to the shops. I’m going to buy almond milk and to put money onto my Oyster Card (a smart card for using London transport).

On this particular day, it snowed!

I was walking to the bus and I had my first experience of snow falling on my face. Wayhey!

I’m wearing:

4 Layers On Top:

BambooBody Scoop Singlet – Lovely, smooth bamboo fabric. Nice and tight to keep me warm.

BambooBody 3/4 Sleeve Top – Feels lovely on my skin. Fitted but not too tight. Great for layering.

Grana Cashmere Sweater – I love this sweater! Feels amazing and so warm. Use my Grana link for 10% off + free shipping!

Obermeyer Tuscany Jacket – This is my water-proof jacket (for sports/hiking/skiing/everyday wear), which I bought in Mountain Design Australia, a few years ago. I’ve worn it mountain climbing in Scotland, hiking in Tasmania, and I’ve worn it every weekend in Perth in winter while watching my boys play football in the wind and rain! I like its simple / minimal design and it has a fur hood, which makes it look a bit stylish!

It’s been my best practical winter purchase ever! It was a bit expensive (AUD$350) but oh man, it has been worth the money so many times over.

 

Bottoms Layers:

Frame Le Skinny Jeanne Jeans – Probably not the warmest jeans to wear in winter, as my thighs were probably the coldest part of my body, as they got wet from the rain, snow and wind. But hey they are nice and comfy otherwise.

Acne Pistol Boots – I bought these secondhand off a private seller. I have been stalking these boots for years on eBay, and finally found a lovely girl in Sydney (on a Facebook designer sale group), selling hers in my size at my kind of price (under A$200). They are ridiculously comfortable! I walked around for 5 hours in them!

 

Other Layers:

Acne Narrow Canada Scarf – a bit of a splurge, but oh my it’s so warm and feels soft and smooth for a 100% wool scarf. Not itchy at all.

Pom Pom Beanie – Just some no-brand, cheap and cheerful beanie from a department store!

Leather Gloves – I bought these in Copenhagen, at the first high-street store I walked into, Pieces.

 

So after layering up like this for a week, I’ve gotten used to the bulkiness and walking around as if I’m wearing a sumo suit. Our apartment, shops, cafes, museums and buildings all have heating, so I just end up taking most of my layers off. I don’t mind it at all now :)


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What I Wore: Woven Slip Dress

12 January 2017

Hello Parry Checked Dress

Hello hello, I have one more summer look to share before I head off to the UK :)

I have fallen crazy in love with this Ellie Woven Slip Dress from Hello Parry. It’s a slightly different take on the usual slip dress and I think it’s a great summer dress that’s not floral!

Slip dresses are not for everyone, as they can be quite low at the chest, low at the back, the material can be quite flimsy, thin and see through, they can be a bit shapeless and they can look like pyjamas!

Hello Parry Checked Dress

This dress is still a bit shapeless… but it’s fitted at the top, so it’s quite flattering.

It has a high neck and high back (I simply wear a strapless bra), and it also has adjustable shoulder straps so you can change the height of the neckline. I’m wearing it quite high in this photo, but worn low also looks great.

The material is lined with an oh-so-soft cottony material (it feels super lovely on my skin), it’s thick and not see-through. The houndstooth print is handwoven, not printed, so it has a kind of rustic and natural look to it.

I love its effortless shape and cute raw-edge details – it’s very summery. It comes in a blue or black too.

Hello Parry Checked Dress

I wore this to a birthday BBQ in the park, but I didn’t get to stay long, because I had to rush to the shops and then go home to pack.

I got heaps of compliments on the dress, I think because it looks very unique.

One stranger, a well dress lady in her 50s, asked if she could touch it, to feel the fabric, but she was feeling my thigh (omg!) and she asked if she could buy it off me? For her daughter. Er like right now? What did she think I was going to do? Just buy it yourself from the online store maybe?? Haha it was so strange. I wrote the URL on her phone.

Anyway, if you’re looking for a more standard silky slip dresses, Hello Parry have some nice ones, like this Nellie Hoop Dress and Omalia Silky Dress.

Also wearing Clare V Handbag, K Jacques Sandals, Sportsgirl hat, Ray-Ban Aviators.

Happy shopping!


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The Peachbox Bangle and Marc Bale Watch

11 January 2017

Peach Box Watch and Bangle

For Christmas, I was given a really lovely gift, this Marc Bale Rose Gold Watch and a Pearl Orb Bangle in gold. They are soooo pretty – both in photos and in real life!

The rose gold watch came with a matching rose gold strap AND a free Peach Leather Strap, which was a colour combination that I have been eyeing for months too. It’s super handy to have two looks with one watch, but at the moment I’ve just been using the mesh strap.

The watch itself has a good weight to it and doesn’t feel cheap. The bevel and the overall finish looks good, stylish and adds a gorgeous touch to my outfits.

I have bought bangles from The Peachbox before and I’m pretty happy with the quality of their fashion jewellery and customer service. In fact, I bought this Silver Urban Bangle last year (my blog post about it here)… I still wear it all the time and it still looks as new.

If you’re looking for a piece for yourself or for a gift, I have a code to share!

Get 15% off your whole order, just use the code “karenlycheng” which is valid until the end of January.

Enjoy!

xxx


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What I Wore: My Last Day of Summer

9 January 2017

Off Shoulder Top By Shein

In a few days, I’ll be off to the UK for four weeks… where apparently the weather is going to be a chilly 4°C during the day. Crazy cold right?

But I’m from Australia, and I have no idea what 4°C actually means? What do I even wear?

Do I wear leggings under my jeans? Do I really have to wear a thermal top under my shirt + sweater + coat? Can I get by with ankle-grazing jeans and sneakers?

Haha I’m sure I’ll be fine. I’ll just throw a bunch of stuff into my suitcase and see how I go.

In the meantime, I’ve been savouring my every last minute of the glorious 35°C West Australian heat.

This Multicolour Off Shoulder Top from Shein has been on high rotation! I’ve already worn it to 2 birthday picnics and 2 playdates!

I didn’t think it was very “me” at first, but I absolutely love it now, because it’s so simple and cute.

In fact, the only reason I picked it was because, on the product page there are all these girls who have submitted photos of themselves wearing the top and THEY all look hell cute.

Now I’m desperate to find another top like it but slightly different?

I’m also wearing Le High Skinny Jeans by Frame Denim, Tory Burch Handbag from Shopbop and Tan Heels from Betts.


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New Year, New Gear

8 January 2017

Fitness Gear and Workouts 2017

Hey hey!

So I’m back from our family holiday… and I wish I could say that I had a few days to recover and settle down, but I’ve been running around like crazy trying to GET SHIT DONE before my trip to the UK.

I did manage to squeeze in a proper run one evening (yay me!) and I tested out some new gear too.

1) Zayn Reversible Puffer Vest from Betty Basic

I’m sooo happy with this vest. I’ve been looking for one for ages.

It’s lightweight, fits really well, soft, practical, good quality, good material, it’s not too shiny (or plastic looking) and it’s not too fashiony with buckles, zips, fur and pull ties. It’s nice and simple, I like it.

2) Sun Salutation Bra Top by Free People.

I am loving the activewear styles by Free People (via Revolve). These days, a lot of active wear feels tight and are made from compression, swimsuity material. But Free People seem to do softer, jersey fabrics, without the “specialist yoga” price tag.

I loooove the back of this this bra top.

Fitness Gear and Workouts 2017

3) Hotty Hot Shorts from Lululemon

Ok aside from the ridiculous name, these running shorts are pretty awesome.

I have a few pairs of runnings shorts, and they are made from that lightweight, parachute material (or whatever it’s called). Basically they are really noisy and they go SHH SHH SHH SHH whenever I run, so much so I have to turn up my music, so the noise doesn’t irritate the hell outta me.

I’m happy to report that these Lululemon shorts are nice and quiet. Super comfy too.

4) Sonic Sneakers by Adidas x Stella McCartney

After being a bit precious with these sneakers – only wearing them indoors – I finally took these babies outdoors for an actual run. They were fantastic! However I have to admit that I didn’t run on grass, sand, or any dirt whatsoever haha!

Happy running people!

xxx


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What I Wore: Blush Jumpsuit

31 December 2016

Jumpsuit by Picnic Clothing

Jumpsuits and playsuits are pretty huge this season… and they are fast replacing the dress as my go-to party outfit.

Because I’m short (160cm), I usually reach for a playsuit over a jumpsuit… mainly because playsuits make my legs look longer, thus they make me look somewhat taller. So as long as the playsuit is short, I’m pretty lucky that I can get away with any style, any cut, any fabric and any pattern.

But when it comes to jumpsuits, I’m much more selective with my styles + cut + fabric + colour, because there’s always a danger that the jumpsuit will overwhelm my small frame and make me look like a blimp!

Jumpsuit by Picnic Clothing

Having said that, strapless jumpsuits work really well for me. My bare shoulders and arms balance out the great big blob of colour across my body :)

This gorgeous Bria Jumpsuit was kindly gifted to me by Picnic Clothing. The moment I saw it in the store, I ran straight to it and grabbed it in all colours – blush, khaki and charcoal – to try on.

I had a hard time trying to decide between the blush and charcoal. But in the end I chose the blush, because I have too many black / grey clothes and I wanted something a bit more unique.

The quality, thickness, weight, feel and drape of the fabric is really lovely and worth the price.

Those not familiar with Picnic’s quality, I’d say that the quality is comparable to Witchery and Country Road, rather than Cotton On, Zara and Sportsgirl.

Jumpsuit by Picnic Clothing

And just to see in the New Year, I’m also wearing Alexander Wang Heels from FWRD and Rebecca Minkoff Quilted Bag from Revolve.

Have an amazing start to the new year everyone!

xxx


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Keeping Your Playsuits Classy

28 December 2016

Seed Playsuit

Playsuits have been around for ages, but they are particularly popular this summer!

However, scrolling through my instagram feed and seeing this trend explode before my eyes, I have to say two things:

They don’t suit everybody and it really depends on the style.

Some playsuits are REALLY revealing with super low-cut necklines, completely backless, cropped at the stomach, teeny tiny bits of fabric to cover your chest and no support whatsoever for your boobs.

Sure if you have the confidence, the body, the legs, the boobs, the tan, the skin – them omg girl, go for it!

But if you’re a bit unsure, a bit picky, a bit undecided whether they will suit you (like me) then here are some tips to keep your playsuits classy.

1) Don’t get a tight fitting playsuit. Nothing pretty about an obvious camel toe. Stick to a loose, baggy one with a clinched waist.

2) Try one with longs sleeves. Or off shoulder.

3) Find a pretty colour or pattern! May as well embrace the summer vibe, or else it’ll just look like another one of your many, boring black dresses haha.

4) Make sure you’re comfortable and relaxed with walking and sitting in one. If you’re not, then it’s probably best not to buy it. You don’t want to be fidgeting and pulling on it all day.

Seed Playsuit

I’m wearing an Embroidered Jumpsuit from Seed.

Clave V Tan Handbag from Revolve.

Nude Schutz Cadey Lee Heels from Shopbop.


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Fitness Update: A Bit Too Busy For Exercise

16 December 2016

Stella McCartney Running Top

During the big sales, I picked out an Adidas by Stella McCartney running top from Revolve.

It was on sale, and it was surprisingly cheaper than any of the Nike running gear I had my eye on. (In fact, some of the Stella McCartney pieces are still on sale, even though the “massive” sale events have ended.)

This one is called the Studio Cool Running Top and I actually did something a bit different — I bought a size bigger than my usual size. Mainly because I want to feel relaxed and comfortable during my long runs. Not tight and suffocated.

The top itself feels amazing. It’s smooth, breathable and light. Love the quality!

I also wanted a high neck running top, because even though I put LAYERS and LAYERS of suncream on my face, neck, shoulders, arms and chest before my runs… my chest seems to be the most sensitive to the UV rays and I get more spots on my chest than anywhere else.

Stella McCartney Running Top

But anyway, haha the truth is… it’s the end of the year and I’ve been trying to finish up a whole lot of projects and freelance jobs before Christmas. I’ve been too busy to exercise!

Yes! That old cliche.

In the last couple of weeks, I haven’t been going to any yoga or pump classes. I’ve just gone for a few runs and lifted a few weights in the evening. That’s it.

I’m not stressed or tense. My schedule is just really, really FULL of family events (graduations! class parties! assemblies! parent meetings!), sitting in front of a computer, meetings, hanging out with my husband and kids, house work, and me time (which involves reading or getting pampered).

I’m balancing it all fine. Just have to get back on track once the busy period is over.

Have an amazing weekend everyone!

xxx