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 !

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

Queen of Geese

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No geese were harmed in this outfit of the day! They are just being squad in the back. It’s been a while since I’ve posted an outfit. Updates: my hair is a lighter orange-red now!

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I love button-up tops that give a spin with a feminine touch (cropped, lace, sheer). I’ve been looking for a boxy chambray shirt, and found this one that’s a bit cropped. When they are long, they look too much like a work shirt for me. I paired this one with my easy jeans, that highlights all my curves when paired with a crop top.

The easy jean from American Apparel really sucks everything in, but it will show off all your twists and turns like no other. I’m shorter, so I rolled up the ends to avoid bunching, and to show off the details of my ballet flats. The chambray shirt was too plain for me, so I added this iron-on patch on the pocket that I found at a local coffee shop.

11720694_10154109947229768_195883141_nChambray.

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Top- Brandy Melville

Iron-on Patch- Rituals Coffee SF

Bottom- American Apparel

Shoes- Kimchi Blue

Purse- Ecote

Lipstick- Kat Von D

11748806_10154109948169768_2052668944_nGracie is very fashionable too! She loves to show off her inner rock star by sporting a black bandana and black tongue.

Bohemian Kaftan

11355548_10154023283764768_1092268247_nHello summer!

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10893519_10154023283839768_1730103816_nHide the girls with a bralette (-;

I’ve pretty much decided this dress is going to be my default dress of the summer. It’s a lightweight, flowy kaftan dress with kimono-like bell sleeves and a cinched waist.

This pattern defies the stripe and polka dot norm and takes on a very different, almost tribal like pattern. I don’t know if exotic is the right word, but it is definitely bold. I would like to think someone who has traveled the world would wear this pattern.

Despite the fact it’s loose, the cinch waist defines shape. I love the way the sleeves fall below my wrists when I raise my arms, as if revealing something hidden. It kind of makes me feel like I’m in an anime.

I gotta warn you though, the neckline is very daring to say the least. When I first put it on, I thought: Hentai Gypsy Princess. I felt a little shy when wearing it to a ball game, so I put on a bralette.

Dress: Abercrombie & Fitch

Shoes: Birkenstocks

Bralette: Brandy Melville

Necklace: DIY

Bracelets: EDC LV & H&M for Coachella

P.S Sorry for the late post!

Simply Stripes

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11291926_10154001666554768_1712120921_nSome Snow White stuff going on?

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It feels strange to be posting about this outfit because it’s one of my usual go-to outfits in the summer. These pieces have been a regular resident of my closet for years! It’s a standard rendering of one of clothes’ favorite couples– a crop top and high-waisted shorts. However, I believe there is a unique appeal in the contradiction of a turtleneck crop top. It’s perhaps, conservative but sexy at the same time?

If it’s cold, I just throw a flannel shirt on. Don’t be scared to mix prints!

As for my shoes, I have my white Birkenstocks on. I have mixed feelings about them. Yes, they are extraordinarily comfortable and yes, I had to break them in. When I first received them in the mail, I was convinced that they were fake because they were so huge and hard! Now that they have conformed to the shape of my feet, they are ridiculously comfortable. My only problem is that they are super chunky and sometimes make my feet look ginormous.

11270121_10154001666549768_28196886_nCrop top & shorts- American Apparel

Flannel- Brandy Melville

Headband- Urban Outfitters

Birkenstocks- eBay (You can find them at almost all shoe stores.)

P.S I don’t know how to model. I thought I looked like a superhero:

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Free as the Wind

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Look at how breezy (and cozy) it is!

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On a day where the sunlight is a little shy and a small breeze rolls by, a kimono cardigan is the perfect layer. This one pictured above, I purchased during a Memorial Day sale. It’s more of a thicker blanket material so it’s warmer than the popular sheer ones. When the wind blows, the sleeves flutter elegantly like wings. I paired the cardigan with a simple halter and acid wash high waisted shorts. Oxfords are my staple for shoes, but if it’s colder I suggest pulling on some knee high socks.

Cardigan- Abercrombie & Fitch

Halter- Brandy Melville

Shorts- BDG

Necklace & Sunglasses- Forever 21