Don’t Mesh with My Heart

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What we wear can say a lot about us. In literature, clothes can make or break the portrayal of a character and color schemes constantly become symbols or motifs. Would Danny Zuko and the rest of the T-Birds be as threatening and cool without their leather jackets? Would Will still be as fresh without his bright 90s printed garb but instead threw on a sweater vest like Carlton? The answer is obvious. After all, we have an entire holiday dedicated to the purpose of dressing up and taking on another identity.

My sense of fashion for the most part has never been static. One day I could be something out of the Harajuku district and another day I’ll be a character out of a modern day prep academy comedy. I think one of the best things about clothing is we decide what we wear and how we want to express ourselves. This is very important nowadays, especially since we live in a time where commercialism and corporations try to sell us identity in 2 for 1 deals during flashes of 30 seconds.

If I had to describe my sense of fashion– I’d have to say some sort of melting pot of street-grunge-kawaii-collegiate-beach-california vibes? I guess that didn’t clarify anything at all. As I mentioned in my previous post, I love love love Valfre. Ilse Valfre, designed a line of clothes based off her drawings and it’s amazing. In her interview with Nylon, she explains that these girls are all her inspired by different points and times in her life. This completely resonates with me, as I also find that at times we have different identities which can be heavily inspired by our environment and feelings during a time.

This photo shoot features my fabulous blogger friend, MissMissChelle, whom fashion taste vastly contrasts mine. She’s more boho-girly-chic, and as we see, we express ourselves and our identities differently using the same medium. Isn’t fashion awesome?

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This dress, the Matilda dress, takes LBD to a whole new lolita lovel. I have a fierce love for bows, I don’t care how old I am! Mesh is so hot right now. All the lovely fashion bloggers I’ve seen wearing this dress are simply wearing a lacy black bra underneath which is a bit too daring and sexy for my everyday outing needs, so I threw on this bralette.

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MissMissChelle wears brighter, crisp, boho colors!

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A Soft Mesh Lullaby

Dress- Matilda Dress from Valfre
Bralette- Brandy Melville
Shoes- DSW

To see more of my OOTDs, follow my insta @cosmicleanna !

Another Song About California

Midsummer 2016… new hair, more self-love, and big ol’ mom jeans.

I wanted to do a typical self-encouraging, motivational “new year, new you” post during New Years but in all honestly I didn’t actually feel that way at the time. I was actually feeling really low and I couldn’t bring myself to lie about feeling great, even though I did really want to convey the message of self-love.

But where, has the time gone? It’s the midsummer, and the living is somewhat easy. A lot has changed, and I’ve definitely made some hard choices to improve my life for the better. But I think I’ll elaborate on that in a later post. ❤️

I’ve wanted to do my hair ombre for years now, but was always afraid of looking unprofessional and possibly damaging my hair by bleaching it. But you know what? I did it! And I couldn’t be happier. You should be judged by your skills, ability, and hard work– not looks. I’m glad to be somewhere that does so. I got my hair done at my usual salon, and it turns out they only had to bleach the tip of my hair, so if it is damaged, it’ll grow back!

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Yup, repping more pussy power with my statement feminist clothes. I’m a huge fan of Valfre and get really excited when they have sales. The highest discount I’ve ever seen from them was 40% for Black Friday, but I am more than happy to support feminist indie designers instead of fast fashion chains!

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MMM I LOVE HAIR YUM YUM

 

I don’t know why, but I became infatuated with high-waisted mom jeans and decided to buy a pair. I’m about 5″3 so I thought they might make me look even stumpier than I am, but you know what? YOLO! I don’t have that seamless hourglass look that I see all over Instagram, in fact I got more rolls like La Boulangerie, but I only have one life to live, so why be afraid of fashion?

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Here’s a close-up of my locks! I call it sunset hair! Where do I get it done? Chinatown, San Francisco.

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Outfit:

Tee- Valfre

Jeans- American Apparel

The Third Eye & The Mime Who Spoke

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In Buddhism and Hinduism, there is the concept of the third eye. Not to be mistaken for the Eye of Providence, also known as the Illuminati all-seeing eye, the third eye is the idea of an invisible eye that is able to see beyond reality.

Depending on the belief, the third eye represents a state of enlightenment, where one can perceive beyond our reality, perhaps even the supernatural. Although, I admit, enlightenment is not the easiest thing obtain.

I believe it’s important to recognize the concept of this “third eye” in our every day lives. We are so busy living our mundane schedules, it easy to become trapped in our existence. We often fall complacent, decide to settle, accept unhappiness. However, there are moments in our lives that sometimes transcend us beyond our own thoughts. Some are moments that test our emotional strength, some are more common occurrences that may simply lend us another perspective to a situation. We’ve probably all heard the phrase to “step outside yourself” but it’s a lot harder to do than say.

However, if you’re like me, we make problems a lot worse in our heads than they are in reality. We are so stuck in our ways, in the very specific way we may see something, that sometimes we miss a solution that was in front of us the whole time.

So if you’re stuck in a rut, take a deep breath, give yourself some time, and try to think about the situation from another perspective. Human beings are amazingly malleable creatures. We have an almost uncomprehensible ability to survive, to adapt, and in the end, always be okay. ❤️

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I saw this quote on tumblr that I think speaks to seeing things from another perspective… “You are so used to your features, you don’t know how beautiful you look to a stranger.”

Thanks for letting me “enlighten” you with some of my ramblings! Here’s my weekend brunch outfit that I call, “The Mime Who Spoke.”

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Outfit:

Cropped Turtleneck – American Apparel

Cardigan – Abercrombie & Fitch

Pants – American Apparel

Shoes – Express

Comfort Without the Bounce | How to Find the Right Sports Bra

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Your body is a castle. Actually, after you’ve been working out, it feels more like an exquisite mansion with marbled trimming, red satin curtains, an interior pool, and a menagerie of exotic animals. So naturally it would make sense to treat your body right. Sports bras are essential for an active woman. After all, no one wants their assets swinging around like bouncy balls and we certainly don’t want the girls suffocating under a corset-like grip. You should pick a sports bra according to the physical activity you’re engaging in, with your cup size in mind.

Low-impact sports include walking, weight training, yoga, and cardio machines such as ellipticals and stair climbers. High-impact sports constitute more exertion of the body, such as running, gymnastics, and games like basketball or football. Low-impact sports don’t require as much support so you can settle for simpler designs such as cami straps while maximum support bras are required for more rigorous activities.

Compression Bras

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(Photo Source: http://store.nike.com/ Nike, Nike Pro Hypercool Compression Aerial, $50).

Compression bras are ideal for sizes A-B. They minimize breast movement by holding down the girls in place.

Encapsulated Bras

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(Photo Source: http://www.championusa.com/ Champion, Champion All-Out Support II Full Figure Wirefree Sports Bra, $29.99).

Encapsulated bras are built with cups, so they are more supportive with a traditional bra shape. They are the bras we wear every day. Women with breasts D and larger should consider encapsulated bras.

Combination Bras

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(Photo Source: https://www.victoriassecret.com/ Victoria’s Secret, The Standout Sports Bra, $49.50 – $56.50).

Last but not least are combination bras, that fuse together compression and encapsulated bras for shape, support, and comfort. They are ideal for cups C & D.

How Do I Even Choose?

The market for sports bras is becoming more and more competitive, presenting a variety of new modern and intricate styles such as front zip closures or decorative criss-cross straps.

With this new assortment of styles, it’s becoming easier to find bras catered to your needs as well as your fashion taste. But remember, that comfort is your best friend and should always come first. Make sure your bra isn’t digging into your shoulders and that you can still inhale and exhale with ease when the hook is clasped on the second or last hook.

Skip window shopping when it comes to sports bras! Always try them on before buying because looks can be deceiving and you’ll want to make the most of your investment.

The lifespan of a good sports bra is six months to a year. Sadly, I know what it’s like to have that favorite go-to bra that you can’t bear to part with. But the more you love and use a sports bra, the band starts to stretch out and it loses its effectiveness and support. The circle of life moves us all, and clothing is no exception.

Chinese New Year Do’s & Don’ts

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My Chinese New Year Outfit Redux. Read more below.

Every year growing up, I knew what time it was when the halls were decked with red and gold and the sound of firecrackers sizzled against the sidewalk. Chinese New Year comes with cheer, traditions, and a strict rule book. This major holiday calls for celebration and honoring of deities and ancestors. During this festival, Chinese families can be particularly meticulous about everything from the way you behave to, the things you touch, even the way you dress. Needless to say, this festival is a really big deal to Chinese communities around the world.

Here are some do’s and don’ts of Chinese New Year. Do you find these traditions strange? Don’t! All cultures have unique traditions.

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Tradition Chinese New Year offerings meal.

Do’s:

  • Eat a ton! This festival includes lots of delicious feasts with families and friends. These Thanksgiving comparable meals include juicy roasted pork, tender chicken, savory Buddha’s delight as well as puddings and cakes.
  • Go home for the holidays. This is a time for people to gather and celebrate together. To make new traditions and celebrate the old. Maybe this isn’t too big of a deal for you personally, but think of how much it means to someone you love.
  • Be happy and wear red. During this time, everyone takes measures to deter ill-fortune and ensure that the new year will bring good luck and prosperity. Basically, bring good vibes. Red symbolizes luck and joy! Youth receive red envelopes that contain money to bring good luck and ward away evil spirits.
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Red envelopes.

Don’ts:

  • Do not wash your hair on New Year’s day. Whip out your dry shampoo, because it is taboo to wash your hair on New Year’s Day. It symbolizes washing out your luck.
  • Get all your cleaning done beforehand. No sweeping or dusting on New Year’s Day! You’ll sweep the luck away.
  • No buying shoes. Even if new Yeezy’s are dropping, no new kicks within the first fifteen days of Chinese New Year. The pronunciation for the word “shoe” in Chinese is similar to the sound of a sigh. Meaning, you would be inviting rough times with lots of sighing.

Now that you’re all read up on what you can or cannot do during Chinese New Year, go ahead and monkey around! It’s 2016– Year of the Monkey!

Keep reading below to find my modern New Year’s inspired outfit.

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I wanted to add a modern spin to a Chinese New Year outfit while still incorporating Chinese prints and lots of red. I paired a light pink Chinese print halter top, with high-waisted curve-hugging pants, classic black boots, and a bright red track jacket. Overall, I wanted to style something festive and feminine yet fierce and fresh.

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I found this light pink Chinese print top, similar to the prints on cheongsams. I really adore it, it’s a beautiful elegant print with a flirty cut. It reminds me a two piece outfit I had as a child. We got it in China when we were on vacation but when we got back to America I was too embarrassed to wear it. I wish I didn’t care as much as I did and wore it anyway, but it was bad enough I didn’t have name-brand jeans as a kid. I could only imagine the stares and sneers I would have received showing up in a traditional getup.

DSC_0377.jpgAs cheongsams have a bodycon shape, I decided to wear hip-hugging bottoms. Since I’m a little shorter with muscular legs, black boots look flattering with high-waisted pants.

DSC_0375You can always count on Adidas Originals on having bold colors and prints. I got this track jacket for less than half the price at a warehouse sale! Keep your eyes peeled as they come by San Francisco every year.

Gong hay fat choy! Do you dress up for holidays?

Outfit:

Jacket- Adidas Originals

Top- Valfre

Bottoms- American Apparel

Shoes- Dr. Marten’s 

2015: Pussy Power & Commodity Feminism

Raise Boys and Girls The Same Way

This past year, we saw a substantial rise in the support of gender equality. From students defying to have their bodies dehumanized from archaic dress codes, to defying gender roles in the tech industry, to Target’s daring move to eliminate gender-based signage in stores, there were countless feminist moments in 2015.

In my outfit pictured above, I found a cute vintage-looking scoop neck tee that reads, “Raise Boys and Girls The Same Way.” It has a nostalgic feel to it, reminiscent to the graphic tees that were popular when I was in middle school that read things such as, ”Girls Rule, Boys Drool.”

The slew of clothing and other products centered around positive female messaging has left me both ecstatic and confused. I’m elated that we can unite and support each other’s ideology through fashion and pop culture. But, it also leads me to wonder, why did all this clothing come out recently?

Feminist issues have taken unprecedented popularity in our younger people more recently. It would seem that somewhere in 2014-2015, feminism has become more commodified than ever.

A play on Karl Marx’s commodity fetishism, commodity feminism is the appropriation of feminist ideals in the market place. In this sense, feminism is reduced to products which are packaged and sold. This reaches beyond tee-shirts and cropped tops with feminist messaging, but campaigns such as Dove’s Real Beauty and American Eagle’s Aerie Real. As with any exposure, there is good and bad. It is good that women’s equality has gained so much attention, sparking about change. My personal criticism for most of these campaigns is that the women advertised still very much retain an ideal hourglass shape for the male gaze, large breasts with a small pinched waistline. A little contradictory when we are trying to say that all bodies are good bodies.

As for cropped tops that scream “Pussy Power!” and “Ain’t No Wifey”, I hope that the consumers whom purchase them understand the meaning behind them instead of slapping on things that sound “cool.” 

I own a bomber jacket that reads, “Fight Like A Girl.” An man once asked me, “Shouldn’t that read ‘You Fight Like a Girl?'” 

“Nope!” I answered, “Girls can fight just as good.”

I suppose with any attention there will always be some negative, but exposure brings about awareness, and from awareness there can be change

Outfit:

Top- Brandy Melville

Bottoms- American Apparel