Thursday, December 15, 2011

What happened?

Remember how I decided to stay 3 months without shopping? Well, the 3 months are up so I wanted to tell you what really happened.

I will just go ahead and be honest with y'all: I failed miserably.

Somewhere along my path of no shopping, I met my sister in law who was here for a visit. I am not blaming her but it was torture showing her all my favorite spots to shop without buying something myself. I took her to H&M, Zara, Forever 21, 390 Mart, Don Don Down, Vivre Yokohama, Motomachi, Takeshita dori among other. The first week I was brave. I did not buy a single thing. But the second, I just gave up. First it was a Summer dress at 390 Mart. Then it was Kimono Jacket and a belt at Forever 21. And you know, shopping is like a Pandora box, once you open it, you cannot close it without freeing all the evils of the world (aka spending money). Therefore, even after she left, I kept on shopping.  And here are the things I bought:

- a Summer dress  390 Y
- a party dress 390
- a scarf 105Y
- rings 300Y
- a kimono jacket 980Y
- a leopard top 980Y
- a belt 250Y
- a clutch bag 390Y
- wedges 990Y
- teal top 990Y
- platform shoes 2000Y
- military shorts, Summer dress, tunic dress 2000Y

Over all I spent around 10000 Yen.

I am surprised that it is not much more. I was pretty sure that I did spend some more. But that is not the point. I was challenging myself and I failed. It tells me a lot about myself; basically I have no self control when it comes to shopping. When I am bored or depressed, shopping becomes a channel to distract myself.  Reason why some of the things I bought are impulse buy like the red wedges I got. They are great but a bit high. Plus they are for next season. I am very happy with some other purchase I made though like my Bally clutch bag I thrifted for 390 Y. Actually I spent less money because I thrifted a lot.

Nevertheless, I am disappointed in myself for lacking self control. Believe it or not, I used to be good at saving money. I was so good that my best friend asked me to keep her cards for her to prevent her from spending too much. I was so good I would save half of the money I got, and it actually would pile up in my bank account. I was so good that on Xmas I would indulge myself by buying lots of very good and expensive gifts to my family (and I would end up with a CD). What happened to me? I could stay here and speculate. But in truth, I know what happened to me. And I would like to share it with y'all (if you are interested) in a future post. However this post will take some time, because I need to do research on the topic and write a more elaborate article about it. Till then, enjoy some of the things I bought and really like below:


The wedges: Gap and H&M


Bally Clutch


Close up


Suede belt - Forever 21


Gap blouse with bow (bought in September still have not worn)


Rust Kimono style top -  Forever 21

Tell me, have you tried anything like my challenge? Did you succeed? Did you fail?

Friday, November 18, 2011

New obsession: Airy maxi skirts (pleated optional)

These past weeks I craved military green shorts. I was lucky enough to find one my size but after wearing them I realized that they were not for me. So they shall be banned to the indoors.
Now that I am done with the military shorts, I have to find a new obsession. So I pick one from my box (yes I have a box full of obsessions): airy maxi skirt.

I have been craving airy maxi skirts ever since I saw this one on the Galstar online site.


It was love at first sight. The only problem was that it was not in my size (one of the endless problems of being a size 12 gaijin in Japan). Fortunately I had this great airy skirt that I purchased at H&M in Summer 2010 to fall back on. That skirt is just marvellous. It is light and fluid. It is airy enough so that I won't sweat in hot days. Furthermore I just need to wear leggings underneath it to feel warm in Winter. And I can style it with pretty much everything. The only problem is that it is in black.

I crave airy skirts in color. Walking around in Yokohama, I see many ladies wearing them in beige, nude, peach, rust, wine, blue, green...I am green with envy at how the skirts twirl every time they walk. Last week, I saw these girls who paired their cream colored airy skirts with men's sweaters. The look was so edgy I wanted to die.

Here are some I like:


Anap.jp has some great ones starting from 3900Y



Zara long skirt with elastic waist for 6999Y



Again Galstar.jp for 1990 Y



Love the prints- Forever 21.co.jp for 2380Y

I shall not look for my skirt in these places though. I will be thrifting it. GOD willing I may find one I like at 390 mart. Last Summer they had great colorful ones but they were on the short side. Or Don Don next door may have what I am looking for. If everything fails, I still have Shimamura. I am sure I may find a great skirt my size there....We shall see!

Update: Last week, I was supposed to meet a friend for lunch but she did not show (my fault because I send her an email saying let us meet next week when I meant tomorrow). So I decided to window shop. In Vivre Yokohama, I found this small shop with great prices. And what do you know they had my airy skirt in pleats waiting for me for the small price of 2000Y. They had two colors: wine and gold. I took them both and proceeded to the dressing room. The skirts fitted but they were not airy enough. Even being a size F as in free size, the elastic waist was a bit tight around my bulging stomach. Moreover the fabric sticked to my bottom. The gold was so lovely I wanted it right there and then. I started thinking about what to pair it with and where to wear it. But I stopped myself. If it is not airy enough, it has to go. Otherwise, it will be another great find that end up sleeping in my closet just because. So I left empty handed. The hunt it still on!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

On my radar: Classic shirts or Blouses with fun details

We all know the big trends for this Fall, Winter season: heeled loafers, felt hats, maxi pleated skirts, retro style dresses... I am in love with almost all of them even if I find some trends a bit too cute for my taste. However, there is another trend that is snicking up on me: classic blouses with fun details


- Animal printed blouses:

Animal printed blouses unlike animal printed shirts, are more ladylike. The shirt or blouse is printed with some tiny animal such as doves, dogs, giraffes and elephants.  In Japan, with the whole Halloween thing being blown out of proportion (you would think that they invented the thing), you can even see some ladies wear crow and cats printed blouses. It can be nice but a bit over the top.
I would like to have one blouse in beige or rusk with cute animal prints such as birds. I do not want the thing to be over the top because after all I want to keep on wearing the blouse even after the trend passes. That is why the tinier the print, the better. And if from afar, the print can be mistaken for a dot, I could not be happier.

Brushed bird printed shirt available at Forever21.co.jp for 2580Y


Giraffe printed blouse available at Forever21.co.jp for 1780Y

Dog Printed blouse for 8990Y at Zara.co.jp

- Peter pan collared shirt (and other removable collars)

Peter pan collars have been huge lately in Japan. You can find them in pretty much any kind of blouses or tops, even dresses. They are some that are removable, that you can add to any kind of item with a round collar. Those removable collars can be in lace, beaded or even with sequins. I am not absolutely sure that the trend is for me. I think it is too cute for my person.


Peter pan collared top available at Zara.co.jp for 8990Y



Removable sequined shirt available at http://www.ec-store.net/moussy/ for 6993Y


- Mutliway shirts

I think this item may be my favorite on the list. It is called a multiway shirt. It can be a simple classic shirt, or if you use the buttons differently another type of shirt such as a skipper shirt. Actually this item has been on my radar since last Spring. Nissen had some great selection but I wanted the shirt to be longer. I think the one below will belong to me as soon as it is on sale.


Multiway shirt available at Nissen.co.jp for 2990Y

3 way shirt available at Nissen.co.jp for 2990Y


- Bow tie or neck tie

Ties are back, incorporated with shirts. I am really into the bow ties when it comes to shirts. I like the fact that they are attached to the blouses. But some come separately. The basic color is usually black to contrast with the the color of the shirt. However we can also find other fun colors (stripes anyone).

Shirt with dotted bow tie available at anapet.com

- Men's shirts (checked and military)

The military trend is not dead yet. And all over Tokyo, trendy ladies like to coordinate men's military shirt with feminine dresses or skirts. It is very hip. Checked shirts are also a hit, even if they had been for the last 2 years or so. The ladies like to combine them with short shorts even in Winter.


Mimpi checked shirt available at anap.net for 3990Y


Military shirt available at Nissen.co.jp for 2190Y

This does not complete the list of trendy shirts/ blouses of this season. I left out the uneven hemmed shirts, the dotted shirts, the see through shirts, the horizontal striped shirts, the shoulder cut shirts and some more. Shirts/blouses will be big this season and they will even transition into the warmer seasons next year. As far as I am concern, I really enjoy this trend because it is more modest and very feminine. Moreover, a good shirt will never be outdated so purchase a nice one in good quality and keep it forever...

Some bloggers in the trendy shirts:

Kendi everday has a great collection of shirts and blouses but I absolutely adore these two below

Stella of J'adore fashion rocking the see through shirt.


Yentina of My edit in checked shirts


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Simple is best

Simple is best


This was part of a challenge from H&M using polyvore. All I had to do was to make a set using items from the highly anticipated Versace for H&M collection. I chose this following pieces because as bold as I like to be, I find some of the items of Donatella a tad overwhelming. Well, that is Versace for you. So here I chose this dress in black, this fur vest (I am starting to believe that I could go for a fur vest someday, it is so blogger or stylist like), this crazy printed bag and the killer shoes. They remind me of a pair I used to own in pink but gave away because they were a bit tight.
Yesterday, I went to my fave H&M shop to ask them when the collection will be on sale. They said in the middle of November. However they were not sure whether or not the shop will provide those items or not. Online, it is said that the collection will be sold on November 17th. The things I saw online are not bad, but I will not wait in line for hours to get them. And it also depends on the price. I will have to get more information to proceed.

On other news, Zara can be shopped online in Japan now. Check it here http://www.zara.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/category/jp/en/zara-jp-W2011/129009/Woman

(seriously with all the buzz that the bloggers are giving to brands, the later do not need to invest in advertisement anymore! I am just saying! You would think I would get some discount for mentionning H&M in my blog, like Kanye West does when he mentions Louis Vuitton, but no!!!)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Latest cravings: military green shorts!

Well it has been a while! If no one reads my blog then it is not a complete lost. Then again if some of my readers have been waiting for a new post, let me apologize. Life was hectic in a good way this last month.

Anyway, I want to talk about my new fashion craving: Military Green Shorts.

Why? Why on earth would I crave shorts when we are in the middle of Fall and temperatures are dropping?
Was it because I saw them on my friend Emily and she looked fab in them?
Was it because my husband tempted me with the idea of going to Hawaii for the Xmas holidays? (well it ain't happening anymore...sniff! Sniff!)
Was it because I think I can pull them off?

I have no idea but I do think that military green shorts for Fall/ Winter are not a bad idea.

I always thought that by trying to be modest and all, shorts were out of the question. But after seeing so many Japanese mothers wearing them with tights and leggings, I am starting to believe that they are not out of my league. I could make them work. I already have great leggings in black. What I need now are a pair of shorts that are knee length, not too tight, not too wide and in the perfect military green color.

I did look at Shimamura because I knew it would be the only place where I could find military green shorts this season (I found the green cargo that I love so much there). They had many styles but none of them were in my size or long enough. Needless to say that they did not have green shorts at H&M or Zara. So my last resort is to try 390 Mart. I have never seen shorts there but maybe if I check the boys section I may get lucky. How sad is it that I have to look at the men's section to find shorts that fit me in Japan? Well I can't complain. At least now I get to have pants in my size compared to some 6 or 7 years ago.


Here some styles that I like

This one is from Nissen on sale at 1990Y (I could not copy the pic of the green one)


This one is not bad and seems long enough for 3990Y at Nissen.co.jp



This one is not bad but I want the green to be darker and the length a tad longer


 available at http://www.earth1999.jp/ for 3990Y


 

This one is by far my fave. If it was a bit longer and my size! 
Chino style shorts with belt available at forever21.co.jp for 1990Y

I think that Japan is getting to me. By living here  I am starting to like things I would have normally hated. When I came back here a year ago, I thought Japanese ladies were crazy to wear shorts with leggings. But now, it is somewhat appealing. And yesterday I saw a mother having a paired look with her 3 year old daughter. The mother wore a dolman sweater over a checked shirt, denim shorts, leggings and Ugg boots. Her daughter wore a white tee, cargo shorts and Ugg boots. And they even had the same chouchou (scrunchy) on their pony tails. They were so cute. I looked at them and wondered why I had boys instead of girls. Well, one of the reason why is that I may ruin myself (and my husband) buying outfits for them and myself because the pair look would have been a staple in my life. Oh, well....someday or in another life!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Something Professional

After reading my last post about my somethings (needed or wanted) for Fall/ Winter, a friend of mine confessed that she needed something professional . She just started to teach English in a private language agency, and is in need of a professional wardrobe. That made me think about what pieces could become hits at the work place.
I have not worked much in my life (and by work I mean in a cubicle at an office). And all the places I worked did not have a strict dress code. Therefore I would always be casual. However, that did not stop me from thinking about clothing items I would love to have when I start working. I can say that I know a thing or two about a professional attire (but I am no expert) and here are the things I think my friend would need:

- Tailored jacket
A nice and well cut jacket will always be in style no matter what. It is a great way to look professional without going the suit route. Moreover, a good jacket goes well with every other clothing item. The extra plus is that it can be dressed down on weekends with jeans. Next has a great selection but a bit pricey. Try the ones at Nissen.co.jp or Forever 21. Or if you want to save, reuse your jacket from your suit (if it still fits)

Forever21 Jacket for 2200Y


- Nice pair of slacks
Cargo pants and jeans are fun but they are not for work. And I despise shorts for the office. Find yourself a nice pair of slacks that flatter your figure. Classical looks are always trendy. And If you absolutely want to wear denim for work, go for the dark wash instead (no acid wash please). I always go to Zara to find myself a nice pair of slacks. You cannot go wrong with their designs.

- Skirts
I do not wear many short skirts but I think that an A line skirt or a pencil skirt can be very practical and stylish. Think about your proportions for the length of the skirt but also about the work dress code. I think that the 7 inches mini skirt that "Amanda" used to wear on Melrose place is a definitive no -no!


This one is on sale at Zara Motomachi for 990Y (I want it soooo but does it fit my casual life?)

- Dresses
No maxi dresses ever. Go for either dresses that come to the knee or the ankles, some that are structured like the Jumper or a sheath dress, or for the flowy type a la DVF.



Jumper dress at nissen.co.jp for 5990Y



H&M dress for 1490Y


Two toned dress from nissen.co.jp for 1990Y


- Shirts or blouses
Button down shirts are a staples for work but I think that blouses can also be a fun alternative, particularly colorful ones or the ones with nice prints.



H&M blouse for 2990Y



H&M blouse for 1190Y

- Cardigans
Ladies forget that they can still look professional wearing cardigans over dresses and blouses. It is more comfortable than wearing jackets. Personally I am into wild prints when it comes to cardigans but I do appreciate the one toned.


Love this combination seen on Baila magazine


- Shoes
A pump with a heel is a must. It makes you look professional. Avoid wearing sandals. Peep toes are also great. I prefer kitten heels when it comes to the office. I could never understand why would anyone like to parade at work with 6 inches heels. If the heeled shoes are too much for you, there is a wide selection of flats shoes that are cute yet sophisticated enough for the office.


Kitten heels available at Abc Mart Motomachi for 2990Y



This season's biggest trend: heeled loafers at Esperanza for 6990Y (but you can find cheaper at Vivre Yokohama for 2000Y)

- Bag
Every girl needs a statement bag. And every professional women needs a good bag that would reflect her personality but also keep all the things she may need for work. I would definitely go for black for this, but a pop of color is always fun. Just do not grab a sequined clutch for work.
Some ladies in Japan always go for designer's bag when it comes to work. I saw many Marc Jacobs, Coach, Prada and even Hermes tote. However, you can get a bag anywhere for a good quality for way less. Shimamura has a great selection from 2000Y and up. And if really you want that designer thing, check "recycling shops" (thrift shops), you can always find that jewel you covet for a very reasonable price.

I hope this was helpful to my friend but also to all other ladies who are stuck with the suit option for work.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Somethings for Fall/Winter

Is it that time of the year yet? You know, the time when shops are already displaying Fall, Winter outfits even when outside it is still hot and humid. I mean, why? Why on earth would I buy a coat when my mind (an entire body) is melting? Judging by the actual weather, it will be very hot until October, therefore, I am in no rush to check Fall, Winter outfits. Besides I am not shopping till November, therefore there is no need for this post. But I will do it anyway, just because I am bored and I like to plan for what's ahead. So here is another Fall/ Winter wish list that I may or may not follow (old habits die hard)

Something dotted:

I have noticed enough dots on my fave shops to realise that dots will be big the next season. I searched everywhere in my closet but I cannot find any single thing that is dotted. I used to own a jumpsuit but I never wore it because I could not style it. Now it is on its way home to be purchased by some more fashion forward lady (I hope).
I want something dotted but this time I will stick to simple pieces that can be easily styled like a shirt, or a dress. I saw a nice little one at Fam's market last week: a beige dress with brown dots for 390 yen. I loved it but since I am not shopping I let it go. I guess that with luck it can still be there in 3 months but what are the odds? I could always go for this blouse at H&M. By the time my shopping curfew will be over, this baby may be on sale.


H&M Blouse

Something striped:

Really? Again? Don't I have enough stripes in my closet? My answer no: I still need a striped cardigan (multicolor please!), a navy and white striped tee, a green and white striped tee, a striped skirt, a striped draped cardigan and my ultimate must for the next season an A line striped dress like this:


H&M Striped dress

Something warm and colorful

Behold the colorful coat. I so wanted one last season but the prices and the style I found did not please me. I am no longer compromising when it comes to shopping so I am still looking for something stunning and affordable. Anything in the orange, red, purple, electric blue will do.


Zara double breasted coat for 10.000Y


Something capy (or a poncho)

I have not found my poncho yet. Last year, I waited so long for H&M to lower their prices on the poncho that by the time they did all of them were gone. I do have a cape that I can turn into a poncho but it is not in a color I can easily style. I want a poncho in light brown or camel. A capy coat is also another option. Imagine how sophisticated I would look in these:


Trench style classical cape coat available @ rakuten.jp for 10.000Y


Something granny:

I love Granny sweaters. I want one that will keep me warm all season long. I could wear it everyday. I may try in thrift stores like 390 Mart that have American sizes because anywhere else is pretty much too small for my taste. I want something huge. I am dying for this one in this commercial

Something army:

The military trend is not dead, at least not in my book. And since last year I let go the chance to own an army green parka, I think I may try at it again this year. Bold design, dark, warm and affordable are the criteria. I am also thinking about getting an army green vest..I am into vests lately.


Something pleated:

I will not be done until I find my colorful pleated skirt this Fall. I waited all Summer and I am done waiting. I drooled over the blue all Summer, but for Fall, I may switch for the red orange?! Pleated skirt here I come.


Pleated skirt at Galstar.jp for 1290Y



Something heely

I am done wearing flats everyday. I want something heely, comfortable to run errands. I think that a pump with low heels will do. And I want it to be colorful and in Suede. However I can't seem to decide between royal blue, grey, pink or orange.


Platform Suede pumps available @  Galstar.jp for 1999Y

And the new heeled loafers are also tempting.

Something designer

I have been lusting over this bag ever since I saw one of the mums at my son's swimming class. What is not to love about this bag. It is huge, is bright orange and the price range is ok for a designer's bag. It is on my wishlist for my bday. Can I convince the hubby to invest in it?

The Jaden tote for 8000Y @ Rakuten
or

the logo classic tote for 9000 Y @rakuten.co.jp

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Mens wear for women who dare

Women have been borrowing clothes from men's closets for years. It was not until the 19th century that in the Western World, women started to wear trousers for labor work. And it became generally accepted into the world of women's fashion in the 70s. For some women wearing trousers was a sign of emancipation.
But I am not going to give you a lecture on Women and men's wear. I just want to talk about pieces borrowed from men that I enjoy.

The Trousers:
I cannot imagine that women back in the days could not wear trousers. I mean I love dresses and skirts to death but nothing is comfier than a nice pair of trousers. You could run, ride bicycle without fear of flashing someone. It is true that trousers nowadays have evolved to fit women better. They are shaped in such a way that they reveal curves...Some even go as far as being outrageously sexy. But they still have a favorite place in my heart. I love almost all kind of pants from the jeans (I own several pairs) to the slacks, cargo, wide legs, cropped pants and even (particularly) sweats. Once they fit your right, they are a marvel.



My fave: Boyfriend jeans @everythingex.com

The Shirt:
Do you know why most shirts have two buttons at the bottom (that seem useless to you)? Well, it seems that back in the days, people use to button those and make a kind of jumpsuit out of the shirt.
I like men's shirt because they remind me of my Dad. He used to wear an uniform for work so he had tons of white shirts. And he even had a wider collection of colored shirts that he would wear for parties. I used to dream of stealing his shirts and I was lucky enough that he would give me some shirts (he received as presents) he did not need. From that moment, I had the feeling that there was nothing better than a crisp white shirt (or blue)



Just too much trouble ironing it to get it crisp


The Tie:
My dad once gave me a tie. But I am always hesitant to wear it. I do like it but I think that I am not fashion forward enough to be wearing ties in public. I think loose bow ties a la school girl would be more my style. But I think that a woman wearing a tie is kind of sexy and dominating.


Colorful ties


The Vest:
Vests have been very popular recently. They made a comeback in men's fashion ever since JT brought sexy back. But they are also coming into women's wear. And they do not always stay in the preppy style. Many celebrities and fashion bloggers have been spotted wearing vests with maxi dresses or simple tees. As for myself, I do own two vests but I have yet to wear them. They are going to be my next challenge.

The Tailored jacket:
A men in a perfect tailored jacket is considered sophisticated, a lady in a perfect tailored jacket is absolutely stunning. She will turn heads wherever she goes. My mistake was to think that a tailored jacket was only reserved for work or a formal event. I am glad to realise that it is going in the streets, mixed with tees and skirts.


Tailored jacket at Zara for way too much


The oxfords:
I have coveted oxfords for a long time. I used to own a pair my Dad gave me (He did contributed a lot to my love of fashion more than my Mother, how funny). I would wear it with everything, particularly flower printed dresses. I just adore those shoes. Years later I found a similar pair in Seoul and I was bargaining the price when my husband intervene saying he was a greater bargainer than I was. Result: he ended up pissing off the seller who just shooed us aways from his stall. He promised he would get me another pair later. And to this day he has not. But I am not waiting for him anymore. As soon as I see a pair with the price I like I will indulge.
Oxfords at HM for less than 5000Y

The Fedora hat:
Blame Michael Jackson for my love of fedora hat. He was so stylish in his white one in his Smooth criminal video. Fedora hats inspire much more than style to me, they inspire mystery. There is something about how you wear it that makes you look so cool and/or mysterious. I should wear mine more often.


Summer's trend: straw fedora hat

The Trench coat:
Probably one of my favorite item borrowed from menswear. I dream of the perfect trench coat and I still have to find it. A woman wearing a trench coat oozes style and sophistication. And a little bit of mystery.


Burberry Trench coat 2011 - (for a $1000 I do not have and would not use to buy it even if I had them. Still want it though)

Some items borrowed from menswear did not make the list (polo shirts, boxers, watches anyone?). Yet that does not mean that they are not women' s favorite items nowadays. Sometimes, I wonder about the items men could possibly steal from us that they enjoy as much as we do what we stole from them. Any ideas?

PS: Well I thought this post was over but it seems like I forgot something. This is one of the most important menswear I used and covet to this day: the Sebago shoes (or Docksides). For those of you who do not know about these shoes, check the pic below.


Pure perfection

These shoes were the bomb in the 90s back home. Any self respecting teenager and man owned a pair. Mind you some of them were fake but we did not care. Some girls even began to follow the trend. I had a blue one in my teens and then moved to a brown one in 2000. My husband owned a brown pair for more than 10 years that was falling apart. I remember listening to my guy friends telling me that Sebago shoes must be treated with love. The sole being white, it was not made for our dirty roads back home. That is why most of my guy friends would spend hours erasing the dirt with small erasers. Yes, erasers! That was how much they loved their shoes.

Some famous women wearing menswear


Katherine Hepburn


Annie Hall or Diane Keaton


Ellen DeGeneres


My all time fave TLC: they made baggy pants sexy (needless to say that I follow that trend in my teens)

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