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Monday, August 31, 2015

One for Tea

sunglasses: Lauren Conrad; dress: eShakti*; bag: vintage Coach; shoes: LoveD

The lovely people over at eShakti reached out to me with the opportunity to review one of their dresses, and after a quick scroll through their shop, I happily agreed. First of all, they have a wide collection of dresses. So wide, in fact, that every time I visit their "new arrivals" page, the selection is almost completely different. (I'm actually planning on doing a little wishlist-type post later this week because (1) I really like a lot of the stuff they have and (2) I just learned how to do those wishlist collages that all bloggers do, and I'm excited about it.)

On top of the wide selection, the description of each dress is wonderfully detailed. In addition to the usual information (fabric type, explanation of things you can see in the picture like "scoop neck"), they also included the washing instructions. I'm not sure why, but that really impressed me. Not to mention, the standard size chart is incredibly detailed, but you can also choose a custom size by giving your own measurements. Overall, I think the website is great!

If you happen to check it out and like what you see, I have a coupon code: "hellokuo" that gets you 10% off until September 25.

Enough of me jibber-jabbering about the website like a dork, let's talk about the actual dress! Honestly, it's great. The fabric is soft and thick--wonderful quality. The straps are a little wide, though. They sit really close to the edge of my shoulder, which means my bra straps have the opportunity to peek out. Regardless, I still love this dress. It is a pleasant mixture of charming and girly with a subtle vintage feel.

I accessorized with my vintage Coach purse because the colors felt rich and cozy next to each other, and the tweed and suede seemed to fit right in with the little cottages on the dress (see below). The tan wedges contributed to the girly tone (and also happen to be one of my few pairs of feminine, quasi-vintage-esque shoes).

*The dress originally comes in "knee length," but I changed the length to "mid-thigh" in order to get this "over-the-knee" length.
^^A little close up of part of the print. It's just so quaint and detailed. Bonus points: I've been kind of obsessed with blue and white lately, so this was right up my alley.
^^Close up of the bodice seams. They gave the dress a really feminine, flirty structure, which I loved. However, they also make this part of the dress quite thick. I'm sure I'll appreciate this in the fall or winter, but it evokes quite a bit of sweat in August.
I dragged my friend to Main Street of my small town to take these photos. (By the way, thanks Dao! Sorry I make you take photos every time we go out to lunch.) Main Street, composed of little old buildings, cute benches, and potted flowers, is quaint, but unfortunately ignored. The street is mostly banks, hair salons, and little insurance companies, so it's not exactly a happening place, even though it's beyond adorable. In fact, I've lived in this same town all my life but have only recently ventured down there (and it was in search of locations for shooting). Also unfortunately, I didn't get many pictures featuring the more picturesque parts of the area because it was noon and most of my photos were way too bright.

Anyway.

It's going to be a crazy transition leaving my little suburban town for a big city. I'm assuming that nights won't be so quiet and that I'll rarely experience the unique feeling of being the only person in the world. As much as I'll miss home, I think I'm ready for a change of pace. Even though I've managed to enjoy life so far, life's not going to be fun if I do the same thing every day for the rest of my life. There's so much out there, and I want to see as much of it as possible.

So here's to something new! *raises glass of water* Stay hydrated kids.

<3Kuo

Friday, August 28, 2015

Topshop Wishlist

I finally figured out how to make one of the collage type things and may have gotten a bit excited. Coupled with my innate need to acquire new clothes, my new skill led to this. I also wanted to try out doodling on photos because I see people doing that, and I think it looks cool, but what I've learned is that I'm not great at doodling. I'll work on it. This post is half fashion, half Kuo-practicing-basic-blogger-skills. I think all the outfits are nice to look at, so hopefully this post isn't total trash. Let me know which one is your favorite!
^^Geometric Chill
^^Garden Groove
^^Earth Babe
^^Faux Fur Fab
^^Plays Well With Others
^^Picnic Chick
^^Downtown Funk
^^Retro Mod
Just a surprise Friday post! Hope you enjoyed! Also, exciting news for me (probably almost meaningless to you): I bought one of the shoes in this post. Very excited about them, and I'm sure you'll see them soon.

Have a nice weekend!

<3Kuo

P.S. I was too lazy to link any of this stuff, but they're all in Topshop's New Arrivals section. If you really want to find something, let me know in the comments, and I'll give you a link.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Final Review (not for an exam...)

top: Dresslink

This is the last item I received from my Dresslink wishlist. While the last two tops (here and here) were pretty great, I found this top less impressive. This is partly because I'm an amateur online shopper and partly because the quality of the blouse just isn't spectacular.

My mistake was not taking my measurements before picking the size. I typically take the time to do so when online shopping, but I was in a rush when I placed my order, so I just bought a medium (which translates to a US size 4, my usual size). When I tried on the blouse, I felt like I was being squished, so clearly something was wrong.

Upon revisiting the website and checking the exact measurements of a medium, I realized that the bust size is 31.2 inches. Oops. Now before you call me a huge idiot, I wear a 32a bra (I've never met anyone past puberty with boobs smaller than mine), so this wasn't far off. It was, however, still too small.

My stupid mistakes aside, this blouse was still mediocre. It arrived with the above tear in the armpit. And after I freed myself from what felt like a child's shirt (again, my bad...), the tear shown below happened. Again, oops.
My guess as to why the top rips so easily is the thin fabric. While the top is labeled chiffon (thus thin fabric should be anticipated), I think the fabric was a bit too sheer. In the photo above, the left side is the blouse lying flat on my bed, and the right side is the blouse hanging in front of my window. As shown, you can see through two layers of the fabric when it is held to the light. Although none of this is ideal, I will concede that the top is less than $5, so I can't really complain that much.

Honestly, if I had ordered this in the right size, I could've ironed it and made do. It was less impressive than the other two blouses I received from Dresslink, but in the proper size it still would've been wearable.

Overall, my experience with Dresslink was pretty good! A two out of three success rate is not bad--especially considering that all three tops together were under $20. It's like the Naked Man move from How I Met Your Mother, successful two out of three times.

Thanks again to Dresslink for giving me the opportunity to review their products! Give them a gander if you haven't already, and enjoy your day!

<3Kuo

Monday, August 24, 2015

Food for Train of Thought

 top: Dresslink; skirt: Forever 21; bag: BCBGeneration; shoes: Guess

Part two of three of my Dresslink order review! If you'll kindly remember the wishlist I posted a few weeks ago. Upon receiving this t-shirt, I was pleasantly surprised. I expected the fabric to be thin and cotton-like, but it's actually a nice thick scuba material. The coloring is slightly off, however. Yellow comes out as more of a yellow-green, but I honestly don't think it's a big deal--especially for the price. Overall, nice t-shirt. I'm happy with it!

*casually touches random rail*
And now for something completely different...
Does anyone else feel like words are starting to lose their meaning? Maybe words lost their meaning long ago, and I'm just now starting to realize it. This could just be me feeling cynical, but there seems to be a lack of sincerity in conversation lately. In texting friends, "haha"s are thrown in just to keep the mood light, not as an actual expression of laughter. I constantly toss around "sorry"s, not because I'm genuinely apologizing for something, but because I don't want people to think I'm rude. "Cute outfit" and "lovely post" don't really mean I like what you're wearing or I enjoyed reading what you have to say; they mean I want people to visit my blog, so I need to post my link in as many places as possible. Too real? In any matter, these are exchanges that I've experienced both ends of as of recent (well, two out of three).
Perhaps the problem here is not lack of sincerity. Maybe we're all speaking in code. "Haha" isn't intended to say I think that's funny. Rather, it's meant to express Hey, I'm only joking, please don't get mad. Regardless, we live in a world where we say one thing and mean something else but sometimes we mean what we say and I'm just confused. Why can't socializing be more simple? Thoughts?

This may or may not be rooted in the fact that I attended school orientation last week and was thrown into an unfamiliar social environment, so I'm socially exhausted and just want everything to be rainbows and candy. Did someone say candy? Let's talk about my food-centric outfit.

#smooth

I went for the "go big or go home" method in planning this outfit. Emphasizing the vibrant colors, I paired this bold top with a bright coral skirt and a light turquoise bag. I played on the unusual and quirky elements of this top by finishing the look with my camouflage high tops.

See you Thursday!

<3Kuo

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Floating Free

 top: Cotton On; skirt: Asos; shoes: Nautica

About a week ago I spent an afternoon chilling with my friend Dao. We ate lunch at a local deli/wine mart that has fantastic sandwiches and one of those touch screen fountain drink machines with literally one hundred drinks--including about seven different kinds of lemonade. With our stomachs full, we ventured over to the (completely empty) neighboring park, lay towels under a tree, and chewed the fat as mother nature kissed us with a cool breeze. Seriously, it was an incredibly chill afternoon. I could've fallen asleep in the park if Dao and I hadn't been talking nonstop. Sandwiches and cool days at the park are the perfect combination for a relaxing afternoon.
I paired a light-weight blouse with a full skirt to establish a romantic and somewhat dreamy vibe. The sandals with little bows add a girly, summery touch.
Does this photo not look like a screenshot from the Full House title sequence? I've even got the hair blowing over my shoulder.
I've been kind of frustrated with myself lately because I can't seem to be productive. Aside from this blog, I'm reluctant to do anything productive. There's stuff for school I need to look into and scholarships to be submitted, but I can't bring myself to do them. Actually, I think the only reason I've kept up with my blog so well is that I'm using it as a tool to procrastinate. Fun fact, I am a pretty incredible procrastinator. I can actually be extremely productive when I procrastinate. Yesterday, for example, I went through all my clothes and filled up an entire garbage bag for Goodwill. Then I proceeded to completely reorganize my closet (it looks amazing, in case you were curious). I have not, however, written five hundred words for an online scholarship contest describing why I'm against texting and driving. By the way, little PSA here, DON'T TEXT AND DRIVE. You will literally die.

Anyone else in the same boat?

<3Kuo

Monday, August 17, 2015

Stargirl

 top: Dresslink; skirt: Forever 21; bag: Coach; shoes: Born

Ever since I was a small girl, my favorite book has been Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli. Stargirl fascinated everyone around her with her free spirit and radiant smile. With her pet rat, Cinnamon, and her ukelele (which, by the way is pronounced ooh-ke-lay-lay; did I get it right Kayla?), Stargirl never failed to be a beautiful mystery. However, everyone at school treated Stargirl like a trend, showering her with attention and affection only to abandon her with scorn when she became a bore, but Stargirl barely cared. She merely floated through her days, spreading love and joy wherever she could.
It's crazy that an uptight girl like me could fall in love with a free spirit. Or maybe it makes more sense than storing eggs in the fridge (they belong in the fridge, fight me). Stargirl was everything I wasn't. And as I pursued happiness, Stargirl became everything I wanted to be. As I mature, I find myself becoming more free. Not just in the physical sense, but in an emotional sense as well. I let my mind wander, scribbling down thoughts that skip through my brain: I allow myself to feel instead of forcing myself to remain steady at neutral. Most importantly, I try to be unapologetically me.

Now I'm no free spirit. I'm no boho babe or hippie chick. Sure, I occasionally walk around barefoot, but I frequently lose my shit. At the end of the day, I'm just another girl who wants to be happy.
"In our minds we tried to pin her to corkboard like a butterfly, but the pin merely went through and away she flew."
from Jerry Spinelli's Stargirl
Let's talk outfit! Last month I posted a wishlist with a few tops from a website called Dresslink, and a week ago I received all my pieces so it's time for a review! Now ditzy me forgot to do a close up shot, but the embroidery on this top impressed me. For a one cent top (which, unfortunately, is now $4.60--still a great price), I assumed the design would be less embroidered and more ironed on. However, the top is indeed embroidered! While the embroidery on the light fabric does make the shirt a little bumpy, it doesn't take away from the top itself. Although the fabric is thin and somewhat transparent, it's no more transparent than most clothes these days, and the double layers helps keep things to the imagination. (The top actually has two layers of ruffles, but I tucked the lower layer in because leaving it out made me look short.) Overall, great top--especially for the price.

I paired it with this printed midi skirt from Forever 21 to achieve a bohemian vibe. I think the print collides well with the embroidery, and the flowing fabrics contribute to the overall sense of chill.
Also, I managed to shoot in a place that kind of matched my outfit. Go me! *pats self on back*

<3Kuo

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Seattle


I was in Seattle for no more than three hours (unfortunately), but I still managed to take ninety-two photos. Seattle is full of vibrance and movement, which is why I fell in love with it the first time I visited four years ago. When my parents said we were going to Portland, I begged for a drive down to Seattle. We spent more time in the car than in Seattle, but it was well worth it.


Flowers were everywhere in Pike's Place Market, and they were absolutely stunning. Flowers of every color and kind banding together to become the most beautiful bouquets. If only I could've bought every bunch and filled my house with them like Gatsby did for Daisy.







Here's where the rainbow begins.








The Central Seattle Public Library (or was it the Seattle Central Public Library?) is a place of dreams. In addition to the incredible architecture, the interior is very modern, colorful, and booked to the brim. Stories upon stories of... stories! It makes me anxious to visit the libraries at my university (apparently there are seven). Hopefully one of them is at least half as cool as this one.



I went a little bit psychedelic in the editing process.


How I felt when I walked into this library.

And that was Seattle! Honestly, I don't think my photos do it justice. If you're ever headed towards Washington, I highly suggest making your way over there.

<3Kuo