Sunday, March 15, 2009

I'm Off :)

I'm terrible correspondence... and I apologize. But I'm headed off to Japan for most of next week--on a delightful, fashion/shopping-filled trip! Should be a good time. I'll have a nice picture post when I get back :)

Until next time, ciao bella!

Questions, or just some love to send my way? E-mail me. There's no better way.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

We Be Jammin'

Fact of life: I like shopping online. In fact, my dorm nickname is "Shopaholic" (People were deciding between Fashionista and Shopaholic, and found the latter more fitting... hmm.)--quite self-explanatory. Another fact of life: I love music.

So how do I combine my two avid loves and produce a marvelous lovechild?

I listen to music while I shop. (Doh!)

Here's my typical playlist, fitting to my mood:

1. Here in Your Arms - Hellogoodbye
Embrace the start of your shopping spree.

2. Born to Make You Happy - Britney Spears
You shop because shopping makes you happy. And your shopping makes the retailers happy. Win-win situation? I think so.

3. Hero - Mariah Carey
Because when you see that perfect shirt or cute sundress, you want to drop on your knees and worship the designer/retailer.

4. Whatever You Like - T.I.
This one is still a dream for me--and it will come true one day.

5. Starstruck - Lady GaGa / Love Stoned - Justin Timberlake
This one is particularly applicable to me when I browse through Saks. Herve Leger bandage dresses, anyone? Or perhaps a super drool-worthy pair of Loubs?

6. Never Ever - Ciara
Sometimes that adorable tank top just doesn't come in your side, and it's on clearance sale. Bummer. Hope for the best, but anticipate the worst: "[The tank top] ain't ever gonna love you..."

7. Stronger - Kanye West
Especially when I come out of a 3-hour-long browsing session without pulling out the card; resisting temptation makes you/me strong!

8. Lucky - Britney Spears
You see Jessica Alba, Cameron Diaz, and/or Sarah Jessica Parker wearing that awesome outfit... and you just have to have it. You're jealous of their glamorous clothes. And then you remember the tradeoff for fame and celebrity status. Hmm... is it worth it?

9. Forever - Chris Brown
When the anticipated package comes at the perfect time, you just want to hug your new goodies and frolic in the grass. I know I do.

10. I Hate This Part - The Pussycat Dolls
When you're just trying to decide whether you really need another cardigan ("It's in a different cut, I swear!") or another pair of flats ("I don't have this color, despite the 10 pairs I already own!"), or when you're just trying to get through the check-out page.

11. Lace and Leather - Britney Spears
Because edginess and girly chic is sometimes the best way to go.

12. Beautiful Girls - Sean Kingston
You're beautiful. Face it. Clothes complement you, not make you. Remember that.

13. Paris, Tokyo - Lupe Fiasco
I love fashion from other countries; I love traveling; I love grooving to jazzy beats. I personally like the remix even more.

14. Damaged - Danity Kane
Sometimes retail therapy is the key to making you feel better about yourself. Just don't overindulge.

15. I Love College - Asher Roth
Because at times you just need to sit back and laugh at something. This song is pretty funny.

What's your shopping playlist? (I like music, so suggestions are appreciated!)

PS. Just in case you were wondering, here are a (select) few of my favorite music/recording artists: Lupe Fiasco, Kanye West, Britney Spears, Chris Brown, Rihanna, Asher Roth, Beyonce, Lady GaGa, John Legend, Akon, Flo Rida, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, John Mayer.

Questions, or just some love to send my way? E-mail me. There's no better way.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Jacki's Wardrobe Essentials

First off: apologies for a slightly delayed update! Tests and papers are quite killer. Now back to where I was...

Let me just admit this straight off the bat: I am a shopaholic. Gasp! I live in a dorm, and my closet isn't really big... I've taken over two closets and a dresser and I still have clothes spilling out of my laundry hamper, on their way into the wash. Double gasp!

I've been trying really hard to whittle my wardrobe down to the basics, and I've looked at many fashion sites in regards to that topic... and I haven't had much luck. Tim Gunn talks about LBDs and trench coats, while others just go on about crisp button downs and slacks. (College Fashion has a great article on wardrobe essentials though, so check it religiously like I do!)

Wait. I mean, come on. Who really wears those things every day?

Well, maybe not me. I'm still quite young (cough) and I certainly don't have to abide by what Tim Gunn or Nina Garcia or anyone else tells me. I'm packing for a lovely spring vacation, and while going through my own closet, I've come up with the skeleton of my wardrobe:

1. Jeans, jeans, jeans. More jeans.
What's not to love about denim? Dress up, dress down, have it either way, and denim still looks fresh, young, and casual/dressy/edgy, depending on how you decide to pair them. I personally live in my skinny jeans- I have over 5 pairs, I believe- in different styles and washes: distressed, dark indigo wash (my favorite), black, dark gray, ankle cropped... My favorite pair is from Levi's, while I love my Express and Forever 21- I have a pair coming in from Paige Premium Denim, and I'm super excited.
My go-to pair for events, however, is my pair of bootcut jeans from the Gap. Most ladies out there find bootcut jeans to be the most flattering, and I'll agree- but I'll still stick to my skinny jeans for now.
I also recently invested in a pair of super soft, super flattering wide-legged jeans from Paige Premium Denim. I have yet to hem them, but they're gaining favoritism by the day!

2. Plain tees.
Look into my closet and you'll see countless plain tees staring back at you. I of course love the plain white tee (and the band is quite stellar as well), but having them in a variety of colors just spices up your wardrobe. The colors I wear the most often are wine/plum, royal blue, black, berry red, green. A slight V-neck is the most flattering- mine are pretty much all deep V's, actually- but a crew neck or a fun boat neck could work. Remember to dress for your body type, and when you find the perfect tee? Get it in all the colors it comes in! You'll be happy for a very, very long time.

3. Graphic tees.
Maybe it's because I'm still a kid (as much as I hate to admit it), but graphic tees put a smile on my face. I have ones that say "This is how I roll", "Give peas a chance" from David & Goliath, or some that just have really cute patterns or logos. I love my peacock rhinestone tee from Forever 21, and my Vive Le Pop tee from Urban Outfitters!

4. Sweaters and cardigans.
They don't have to be cashmere (although a luxury splurge is recommended for those living in colder climates, like I am!), but sometimes, when you're just feeling a little chilly, a snuggly sweater is the best thing to curl up in. I have way too many sweaters that I've lost track, but I love my V-neck sweaters. I like my sweaters from the Gap- affordable, comfy chic- but for a little splurge, I head to Club Monaco, J. Crew, and Banana Republic. Find one in basic black, and a few more on the side in your favorite colors: they're a fall/winter must have!
As for cardigans- yay for the revival of a great schoolgirl/boy classic! I love the more fitted cuts- my absolute favorite is my splurge on a Burberry cardigan- but the roomier boyfriend cuts are also adorable for a laid-back, nonchalant look. My go-to cardigans are from F21 and Converse for Target; I save my Burberry one for (very) special occasions.

5. Scarves of different shapes, lengths, and sizes.
The girls in my dorm automatically come to my room when they need a scarf, since everyone knows Jacki's the go-to girl for a scarf collection. And I'm proud of it! Scarves can work wonders in punching up the dreary winter outfit (think black peacoat, black sweater, dark jeans... and voila! Red scarf!), doubling as classy shawls for chillier fall or summer nights, or acting as the ultimate accessory. I love my scarves; square, long, knitted, red, leopard print, Burberry check, black, silvery gray, ombre... I tend to check out Aldo Accessories for affordable scarves, but you can find them anywhere at a variety of price tags.

6. A nice, crisp white button-down shirt.
Okay, I had to include this. But I'm a classic prepster at heart, and I like just reaching for my hangers, put on a nice collared shirt, and watch my look just transform. The white button-down shirt is essential if you're going to be working, having interviews, or when you need to dress up those jeans of yours. Find one that fits perfectly, not too boxy or gaping in the front, and snag! Mine are all from Club Monaco- their detailing really elevates the basic shirt- but you can find one pretty much anywhere.

7. Tank tops, camis, cute pieces of that sort.
Layering, layering, layering! Find one to wear under your cute sweater or cardigan when it's colder out for instant chic, or wear them plain in summer. Either way, tank tops/camis are a wardrobe must-have for any girl (wifebeaters can be sexy for guys too; just don't overdo it!). I have my basic tanks in black, white, and a few other colors from J. Crew, American Eagle, and Mango, but I also love my dressy tanks (think drapey, colorful, cute detailing, and/or babydoll cut) from UO, Abercrombie & Fitch, Forever 21, and Express. The prices run all the way from either spectrum (Alexander Wang has a really utilitarian line of tees and tanks, while F21 has some pretty sweet deals- "Fab Finds"- on their basics), but personally I like the tiny splurge; sometimes, the quality and cut of the undergarment makes all the difference.

8. Good lingerie and underwear.
I'm not a big believer in pretty, dainty, or foxy lingerie, but I know most girls enjoy the sexy little secret, and no one can live without good underwear. Make sure your bras fit well, don't give you bulges, and don't dig into your skin. Remember to avoid the dreaded visible panty line (VPL); go for seamless boy shorts or thongs, or just size up on your pants!

9. Dresses, dresses, and dresses!
Another proud collection I boast is my dress collection; give me a formal event, and I'll be able to lend my closet out (I should start charging for this "service"). I have everything from cute LBD's (yes, I have in fact at least 6 of those), sun and/or day dresses, party dresses, sweater dresses, and dressy dresses (I couldn't think of a better word). Pretty much all my dresses are from F21, dELiA*s, Target, and other affordable stores; just dig through patiently! I love the minidress silhouette on myself, but I also love cinching my waist in with belts. Dresses are outfits in themselves; put one on and you're good to go! They're also appropriate for most occasions, so have at least one in different categories; they'll save you a boatload of time when you need it the most!

10. Outerwear.
Cute winter coat? Check (a white peacoat from Mango). Practical puffer coat? Check (one from Aigle, one from Ralph Lauren). Lightweight day coats? Check (babydoll black coat from F21). Trenchcoat for the slushy winter snow? Check (a navy one from Japan). And that's not all of my winter outerwear- I just got a little lazy in counting...
I love my cozy hoodies and such. While I lounge around in my school hoodies, I bundle up in my J. Crew hoodie when I need to head out of the door in a flash.
For cuter daytime looks when the weather is nice, I love my Express and vintage blazers.

I'll write up a post later on about my favorite shoes and jewelry/accessories! I didn't want to burden you all with an entry that's already long enough...

Oh, and I apologize for the lack of pictures. School internet sucks, and bandwidth restrictions suck even more.

What are your wardrobe essentials?

Until next time, ciao bella!

Questions, or just some love to send my way? E-mail me. There's no better way.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

So You Want Some New Clothes?

I'll admit it: I love my closet, and I absolutely adore my clothes, but retail therapy is retail therapy... that fact, to me at least, is indisputable.

So where do I get my clothes?

IN REAL LIFE BOSTON: I hit up the mall and voila, shopping galore! I go through Saks, Victoria's Secret, Express, Coach, Forever 21, J. Crew, Banana Republic, Barney's, French Connection, Mango, Club Monaco, and any other store that catches my eye. For shoes and occasional accessories, I mostly rely on Steve Madden, Aldo, and Nine West. Newbury Street is a fantastic mix of high-end but accessible chic. Whenever I feel like it, I go through a second-hand/vintage store (cheers, Second Time Around!) and score some goodies.

ONLINE: Being a very diligent student (cough), I don't have much time to wander around in malls and streets, so I do the majority of my shopping online. Here are the links to some of my favorite sites:

High-end without being pretentious, Saks is probably my favorite department store, online or offline. The site itself is very user-friendly and accessible, with a plethora of clothes, accessories, and shoes. I personally love waiting for a good sale; the deals you can get are amazing!

Forever 21 is my go-to store for fashion on the cheap. They might be notorious for stocking runway knockoffs, but there's no other way to experiment with high-fashion. I stock up on their trendy tees, casual dresses, and the occasional pair of jeans. I've yet to check out their newly debuted swimwear line in person (the pictures look cute enough), but it's about time someone came out with a line of affordable swimwear! Also check out the diffusion lines, Heritage 1981 and Twelve by Twelve, while you're at it.

With designer collaborations such as Thakoon, Isaac Mizrahi, and Alexander McQueen, Target is your (or at least my) new addiction. The site is structured and accessible, and the quality of the clothes proves your money well-spent, given the prices. I have quite a collection of sweaters, pajama pants, and even shoes (heels and flats alike!), from Target. I don't have a Target nearby, so I don't have the luxury of browsing in-store--the site itself is quite the treat though.

I love shoes, and Steve Madden makes cute shoes. Therefore, I love Steve Madden. I've heard people complain about the fitting of the shoes, but personally, I'm all in. I'm usually an 8, but with Steve Madden, I go for 8.5--I find their shoes tend to run small, so unless you've tried first-handedly a Steve Madden shoe, I'd suggest you play safe and order at least a half-size up! Besides shoes, Steve Madden also makes some fantastically adorable accessories, but are, in my opinion, slightly overpriced. My black suede pumps have served me nicely for 2 years now, and I'm still in love with my flats.

Without UO, I'd be at such a loss. They carry various designers to offer a variety of apparel, accessories, and shoes: I love their takes on graphic tees, tank tops, dresses, flats, etc. I rely on UO to spice up my wardrobe basics; sometimes, all it takes is a silvery-gray drapey tank from UO to elevate my skinny jeans to the next level! Wait for their sales; you'll be happy at the finds. I'm quite confident to say that there's something for everyone at UO. Their site navigation is also one of my favorites.

I love makeup, but unfortunately, I'm not as skilled as I hope to be. Sephora is the place for me to stock up on my favorite eyeliner, perfume, and mascara, while to also experiment with different eyeshadows and nail polish. You're guaranteed good quality products from Sephora, and they've never failed me in that regard. I, however, personally like to shop for makeup in person, and order seconds online--but if you enjoy all the glory without the temptation of trying everything on yourself, then go ahead!

Where do you like to shop?

Questions, or just some love to send my way? E-mail me. There's no better way.


Hello! I'm Jacki.

Well, technically, I'm not. But Jacki's my favorite nickname, and you can probably guess the various spinoffs from it.
I'm fluent in English and Chinese, and conversational in Spanish.
Like Rebecca Bloomwood in "Confessions of a Shopaholic", I don't actually speak Finnish.

Anyway, a little bit about me. I love fashion, music, dogs, brownies, and shoes. I'm completely obsessed with everything the fashion world has to offer, but my budget won't allow me to indulge myself in delight. I've (hopefully) mastered the technique of mixing from different ends of the fashion spectrum by now, and I won't let myself out the door in sweatpants.

My favorite designers and fashion houses include (and are not limited to): Chanel, Coach, Alexander Wang, Philip Lim, Jason Wu, Christian Siriano, Rami Kashou, Diane von Furstenberg, Alexander McQueen, and BCBG. I like my denim from Paige, J Brand, Rich and Skinny, 7 for all Mankind, True Religion, and Levi's. Like any other fashion addict, I'm in lust with Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin, Jimmy Choo, and Stuart Weitzman.

On the other side of the spectrum, I get my fashion fixes from Forever 21, Target, H&M, Red Tag Crazy, Express, J. Crew, Banana Republic, and other stores I find myself in. Throw in a spectacularly unnecessary sunglasses and shoes collection, and that's my fashion self in a nutshell.

Questions, or just some love to send my way? E-mail me. There's no better way.