Fashion, Promotional

Grafitee Reloaded: Duper Sope

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DSC_0217 (1)MNKR ‘Duper Sope’ tee courtesy of Grafitee, Theory ‘Testra’ trousers, Rag & Bone sweater, Jeffrey Campbell ‘ZOMG’ platform sneakers, American Apparel beanie.

Grafitee is an online marketplace dedicated exclusively to cool graphic T-shirts, tanks, sweatshirts, and accessories. Since I deeply value creativity and self-expression, I’m especially excited to team up with Grafitee, a company that works hard to curate fresh graphics from over 100 independent brands from all over the world. Just like the Grafitee team, I believe that graphic T-shirts are a fun and effective way to demonstrate personality through style. I’m a goofball, a stoner, a stylist, and a lover of slang, so I instantly fell in love with the “Duper Sope” tee by MNKR, one of Grafitee’s signature pieces. Originally a magazine that celebrates the art of graphic apparel, Grafitee has been working towards establishing their amazing new online shop since 2008, and their endless selection of clever, edgy, artistic, not to mention affordable and high-quality graphics will seriously spruce up your street style swag.

Since we tend to think of the T-shirt as denim’s official significant other, I decided to break the mold (and break the totally stupid No-White-After-Labor-Day rule) by pairing my rad new tee with these luxe ivory trousers. To get more wear out of your dressy tailored pants, try putting them together with a graphic tee and your favorite funky sneakers. I chose these platform sneakers because they help elongate the relaxed trousers. Sandwiching the sophisticated pants in between punk-grunge pieces also creates balance and prevents them from looking misplaced. Add a sweater around the waist, tattoo choker, and beanie for good measure. The results? Duper sope.

Stay tuned for more cool stuff by Grafitee, and in the meantime, don’t blame me when you realize you’ve just spent two hours pouring over their site. Do feel free to thank me when you find perfect new additions to your wardrobe.

Photos by Miranda Mu

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Beauty, Boston, Fashion, Promotional

Primark Part II

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DSC_0570Dress & booties courtesy of Primark. Sandro ‘Aida’ cross body bag, vintage necklace, and Spitfire ‘Intergalactic’ sunglasses, NARS ‘Matte Velvet Lip Pencil’ in ‘Damned.’

Just because I refuse to retire my whites and brights after Labor Day doesn’t mean I don’t also love the traditional colors of fall fashion. Burgundy is my absolute fall favorite, and I’m currently crazy about midi-length dresses and skirts, so this cozy ribbed dress with subtle slits was an obvious choice in my Primark spree. For a rougher, more casual look, I’ve paired it with these ultra-cool, Primark embellished rubber booties, but this feminine dress could easily be worn to a family gathering or in a professional setting with a dressier heeled bootie or a classic pump. With more Primark fashions to show you in the near future, it’s safe to say I’m officially suffering from Primania. Thank the fashion overlords that I don’t live so close to Downtown Crossing, otherwise I might develop an actual addiction.

Photos by Miranda Mu

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Boston, Fashion, Promotional

Primark Boston

DSC_0477Visiting the spectacular new Primark store at Downtown Crossing.

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DSC_0781Hat, sweater, jeans, & oxford shoes courtesy of Primark.

Primark has been an utter sensation in the UK for years now, and we here in the States finally don’t need a passport to indulge in its awesomeness. The fashion powerhouse, which is basically like H&M meets Zara on steroids, is in the process of launching eight stores across America, and made its American debut right here in Boston earlier this month. So, for those of you who still think Boston and fashion are mutually exclusive, think again. The enormous store in Boston’s Downtown Crossing is an overwhelming four floors with a ridiculously vast selection of men’s and women’s clothing, accessories, and home goods, all for shockingly reasonable prices. For the cost of what I would typically assume could buy me one pair of shoes, I was able to purchase seven stylish, versatile pieces from Primark (—stay tuned to see more tomorrow, and beyond!). From endless basics, to tons of radical statement pieces, the only problem one could possibly have at Primark is figuring out where to start. The shoe selection gave me a rush of endorphins comparable to a really great first date—and by the way, if you’re looking for an outfit for a date, or virtually any occasion that doesn’t call for black tie attire, go to Primark. Immediately. I think what impressed me most was the incredible selection of affordable outerwear. Styles and colors of jackets, coats, winter vests, and faux fur accents have really expanded over the past couple of years, but outwear has been notoriously expensive for much longer. I feel like a lot of young women tend to avoid outerwear when going out at night until the weather absolutely demands it, 1: because a lot of effective outerwear is just downright bulky and unattractive, and 2: because of reason 1, we want to ditch our coats as soon as we arrive at our destination, and that leads to reason 3: the frequent loss and theft of said ditched outerwear. The gorgeous and funky jackets, vests, and coats at Primark will get you seriously excited for colder weather (even after last year’s nearly apocalyptic winter), and it’s all so fun and stylish, you won’t want to take it off, or will at least feel encouraged to carry it on your arm all night for everyone to see.

As for the outfit I’m wearing above, let me just say that these jeans are hands down my new favorite pair (and I own quite a few pairs of jeans). Being a short person with legs the length of an elementary schooler’s and the hips of, you know, a full-grown woman, it’s hard for me to find jeans that fit just right. Every pair of jeans I own is too long, and since alterations are expensive, I tend to just live with the weird, scrunchy leg-warmer effect skinny jeans have on my short self. Primark, however, has an endless selection of jeans in every cut, wash and style imaginable, and these ankle-grazers have answered my long-awaited denim prayers. They also happen to be extremely comfortable with excellent flexibility without looking cheap. And could these patent oxfords be any cuter?! I’ll inevitably be rocking them almost every day, as they’re easy to wear with both classic and edgier outfits. I could honestly ramble on forever about my new obsession with Primark (especially since the store itself seems to go on forever), but I have lots more to show you very soon, so I’ll stop here for now. In the meantime, why are you still reading this? PRIMARK IS OPEN IN BOSTON.

Photos by Miranda Mu

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Beauty, Fashion

Mix It Up: How to Make a Statement Piece Make a Different Statement

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DSC_0243AllSaints ‘Belvedere’ leather bomber, Lazy Oaf ‘Dog Walk’ shirt, J Brand ‘Super Skinny Scuba’ pants, UNIF ‘Rival’ boots, Furla ‘Metropolis‘ cross body bag in silver & ‘Bubble Key Ring‘ in ‘Pelato,’ Spitfire ‘Intergalactic’ sunglasses, MAC Cosmetics lipstick in ‘Deep Love.’

This is not a fashion magazine. This is a personal style blog. I am a real person, with a real budget, and a wardrobe that contains the same items today as it did the day before. As a fashion-enthusiast who lives in a multi-seasonal location, I thrive on opportunities to maximize my wardrobe and wear everything I own in as many different styles as possible—and it’s my mission as a fashion blogger to encourage and help my readers to do the same. Unless I’m shopping for a specific, special occasion (and even then), I try my best not to buy anything that can only be worn one way or in one climate. I love to challenge myself to transform statement pieces. A lot of people steer clear of “loud” items, assuming their boldness renders them limited in terms of how you can wear them, and how often; and (as I’ve mentioned before) the life-documenting aspect of social media pressures many of us to avoid wearing the same items in close proximity. The changing of the seasons, however, presents an excellent chance to take a statement piece you’ve already worn, and make a totally different statement.

It was only a few, warm months ago that I fell for this playful, oversized peach button-down adorned with multi-colored puppies. For a sweet summertime look, I first wore it as a shirtdress with black heeled-sandals (see here). With my then-brown hair and some light pink lipstick, I was able to give the shirt a feminine sense of softness. Fast forward: the need for layering makes fall/winter my favorite time to go for punk and grunge-inspired looks, and my pastel hair obviously often pushes me in that direction, as well. The shirt is reborn as an entirely different animal by adding my leather bomber, ultra-punk UNIF ‘Rival’ boots, mirrored accessories, and a deep red lip. So, before you put away your so-called summer clothes for the upcoming colder months, and before you let your beloved statement pieces gather dust after wearing them only once, ask yourself if any of those items can be retooled. Trust me, you won’t be recognized as a “repeat offender,” but rather as a skilled stylist who knows how to make the most of your purchases.

Photos by Miranda Mu

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Beauty, Boston, Promotional

Whittl

Salon-Booking Made Easy…IMG_0271

Sometimes scheduling and squeezing in salon appointments can be a hassle. “Walk-ins welcome” doesn’t always mean there’s a chair open for you. I have a lot of friends who have irrational anxiety when it comes to making reservations over the phone. And what about that dreaded moment when your nails are drying, and you realize you have no cash to leave a tip? Let Whittl take the wheel: Whittl is a startup site that works with salons, spas and barbershops to not only help you find excellent beauty businesses and services, but also let you book and pay for those services online—including gratuities. To quote their marketing specialist, Whittl is “kind of like OpenTable meets Uber, but for salons.” And guess what? They just launched in Boston.

Whittl’s website is straightforward and easy to use, and even sends helpful notifications to your phone once you’ve made your online request. You’ll receive a text message letting you know when your appointment has been confirmed, a 24-hour reminder, in case you need to cancel, as well as a handy text that lets you know when your appointment is an hour away, in case you’re forgetful or have a really hectic schedule. Your credit card isn’t charged until your services are complete, and you can adjust your tip accordingly. Basically, Whittl helps you do what you’re meant to do during salon and spa services: just relax.

I used Whittl to try a nail salon I’d never been to before, Paradise Nails & Spa, located at 215 Newbury Street. This hidden gem is cozy without being cramped, and offers an excellent range of services. Perhaps the most charming part of Paradise Nails is the husband-and-wife duo who have and owned and managed the salon for almost ten years, and who effectively (and adorably) split their work. The thing about bringing photos of desired nail designs into salons is that those photos don’t typically come with instructions, and every nail technician has his or her own approach to executing nail art. I requested a fairly intricate nail design, and the couple made a point of discussing it with me in detail so that we were all on the same page. I really appreciated that they communicated each step of the process, and loved watching as they took turns completing my fabulous gel manicure while seeing to other customers and tasks. They were both extremely sweet, skilled, and just pleasant in general. They’re also not afraid to offer advice, and thankfully helped me choose a better color scheme than I’d had in mind. Since their space is small and the couple are the only available technicians, I would advise booking in advance with Whittl. I will definitely be using Whittl and visiting Paradise again, and would recommend you do the same!

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Beauty, Fashion, Promotional

Fall Color Splash: Be Bright & Bold All-Year-Round

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DSC_0458Pants courtesy of NYDJ, Equipment blouse, American Apparel cropped sweater, shag coat from LF Stores, Furla ‘Graffiti Candy Bon Bon’ in ‘Gloss’ and ‘Bubble Key Ring‘ in ‘Pelato’, Joie sandals, Oliver Peoples sunglasses, NARS ‘Audacious Lipstick‘ in ‘Fanny.’

Yes, I own more than one pair of pink pants, and no, just because temperatures are dropping does not mean you necessarily need to turn down the volume on your color palette. Playing with textures, patterns, and layering makes it easy to continue wearing vibrant colors. This printed Equipment blouse is perhaps my favorite layering piece (if my apartment were on fire and I could only grab a few things, it would be on that list). The star-pattern print is fun and youthful, but the black and white scheme lays a clean foundation for layering elements of color. Enter cropped blue sweater and cropped pink pants. These bold hues actually help emphasize the stark black and white, and going for a cropped sweater also lets the blouse stand out and better boast its awesomeness. I recently learned that the outerwear in this ensemble is what we call a “coatigan”—it’s not quite a coat, not quite a cardigan, but something in between. Whatever you want to call it, the black fuzzy shag solidifies this is as a fall outfit. And if you’re going to wear brights when the weather is gray, you may as well go big or go home: accessorizing this loud look with my Furla candy bag and rabbit-fur pom pom, my strappy sandals and a magenta lip makes for a real Carrie Bradshaw moment.

Photos by Miranda Mu

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Fashion, Promotional

Michael Hill Jewelry: A Warm & Sparkly Welcome to Fall

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DSC_0114-EditAllSaints ‘Belvedere’ leather bomber, Theory turtlneck, Helmut Lang sweater, J Brand ‘Super Skinny Scuba’ pants, Sandro ‘Aida’ cross body bag, Furla ‘Bubble’ key ring in ‘Pelato,’ Tod’s boots, Oliver Peoples sunglasses, and the Michael Hill Jewelry ‘Geometric Bar Necklace‘ and ‘Geometric Ring’, both made with beautiful of 1/5 carat diamonds set in classic sterling silver. (The ring I’m wearing is so fly that it’s currently out of stock, but click here to find a similar and equally amazing Michael Hill ring to consider!)

Layering jewelry was one of this summer’s hottest trends, and finding fresh ways to layer clothes is an essential aspect of fall-dressing. In collaborating with Australian jewelry line, Michael Hill, I decided to combine those trends for a fun fall look. This lovely, delicate necklace stands out against the dark canvas of a black turtleneck, and my ivory sweater’s asymmetrical hem adds an element of edge to this simple cool-weather ensemble. Unconventional rings are all the rage, and I’m seriously obsessed with my elegant but modern Michael Hill ring. Since fall/winter outfits can tend to be bulky, I strongly recommend investing in a pair of neoprene pants (they’re sleek, slimming, and super comfy), and a pair of heeled booties with a pointed toe to achieve the illusion of length. In addition to unique bling, textured accessories and rich, deep shades of lipstick will take any fall outfit to the next level.

I chose this geometric necklace and ring for their smart, versatile design aesthetic. Both can be easily dressed up or down, and worn independently or paired with other pieces. I rock this ring every day, and I’m really excited to incorporate both pieces into my wardrobe over the holiday season for a touch of offbeat but understated charm. If you visit the Michael Hill Jewelry website, you’ll find an endless, varied selection of jewelry with something for everyone, every occasion, and any budget.

Photos by Miranda Mu

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