Monday, June 30, 2014

Romp Around + {Let's Talk Body Image & Self-Confidence}

Rompers have taken the fashion stage again, and this is the only romper I own...pulled out from the deep dark crevices of my closet and hasn't been worn as a romper {I've layered it as shorts before, way back when I first started blogging} in four years. Why? Sounds like the beginning of a story to me! So get comfortable ladies {and gents}, grab a cup of coffee, a snack or two, and let's reminisce on Refined Couture's {awkward} teenage years. 

As always, I kid. But in all seriousness, this romper gave me a lot to think about. It just goes to show you the power of fashion and the impact a garment can have on your life. 

I purchased this romper back in high school when rompers first made their debut before quickly petering out. I believe I wore it once because I loved it so much, but I soon realized it was not the most figure flattering piece for my body at the time. Back then, I was about 25 pounds heavier than I am now. I had skyrocketed from wearing size 24 or 25 jeans to barely squeezing into a 27, comfortably fitting a 28 or 29, and owning pairs up to a size 30. I was a competitive athlete from the age of 12 through the end of high school, captaining a varsity team, and bringing my team to regional level competition for the first time. I was pigheadedly stubborn and intensely competitive, so consequently I suffered many injuries that amounted to injury-induced weight gain {back injuries are not a thing to take lightly - lesson learned}. 

From my junior year in high school through the end of high school and into college I internally struggled with my body image. During my senior year in high school I fell victim to cyber bullying, and much of it was directed towards my outer appearance. So to all you haters from back then, if you're reading this now: I hope you're in a better place in life and have moved on to actually having a life because I'm really enjoying mine, thank you very much. 

It was a tough pill to swallow, knowing that I couldn't wear certain pieces or trends because they simply did nothing positive for my shape. In college I called sports quits after suffering a bad ankle injury and multiple back injuries. I began working towards recovering and reversing the damage that had been done, and also returning to the body image that I was most confident in through physical therapy, proper workouts at the gym, and eating healthy. Surprisingly, starting this blog that random day in April two years ago has really contributed to my motivation and the progress that I've made, and I haven't once looked back.

I am in no way saying you have to be a certain size or weight to be beautiful or confident, but what I am saying is always strive to be the best you and the happiest you in the healthiest of ways. A lot of people ask me why I blog and why I take so many photos of myself. No, much to your dismay I am unfortunately not self-obsessed. Contrarily, the main reason I started blogging was because I wanted to share my perspective on fashion with all of you out there. I love fashion because a great outfit can truly change a person's day and their own perception of self, which is what I truly hope to achieve with this blog. 

Wear what makes you happy, wear what makes you feel beautiful, and most importantly, wear what makes you feel like you can conquer the world one concrete runway at a time. Don't let the petty words of others tear you down. Instead, let it be constructive - to build yourself up so one day you can look back and say: #screwdemhaterz. You did it :)

Now don't be ashamed girl, you do that double take when you walk past a reflective building or window display. Relish in your hard work and appreciate that fabulous outfit. Stay beautiful, be confident, and smile! ♡

 Romper via Lord & Taylor {super old} - similar here, love this || Zara Sandals - similar here || Forever 21 Bag - similar here || Forever 21 Belt {old} - similar here || Cole Haan Sunnies || Bracelets: Madewell, J.Crew, ShopLately c/o

Thursday, June 26, 2014


For the most part, I shy away from neons. Why? No, it's not because I'm not a fan of loud colors. It's because I'm Asian and let's face it - it's not the most flattering of colors against my yellow-undertoned skin. I'm not disregarding all neons because let's be real. I've tried on my fair share of neon garments in the dressing room only to look in the mirror, make a disgusted face, and remove said garment in haste. However, there is an exclusive, underground, probably endangered species of secret society neon garments that work their Asian Persuasion magic, and those are the neons that have blue undertones - God bless your souls blue-undertoned neons. Now please mass reproduce in a frenzy because my wardrobe is still lacking a neon yellow shoe that I would have loved to pair with this dress.

Ironically, Samantha and I decided to go with a neon theme for this collaboration. Okay let me clarify - I decided that we should go with a neon theme for this collaboration because who doesn't love a challenge? But mostly, I just really wanted to wear this dress and talk about the first neon garment I ever purchased that didn't make me glow yellow. As usual, I digress. Just click here to check out the rest of Samantha's bangin' neon look, comprendes? Muchas gracias mi señoritas. 

And yes - it has pockets...!!!

J.Crew Dress || Talbots Sandals via Momma Couture - similar here || Vintage Ray-Ban Sunnies - current here || Rebecca Minkoff Bag - similar here || J.Crew Necklace (old) || Bracelets: J.Crew, Madewell

Monday, June 23, 2014


People that live in the city like to say that they live in the "concrete jungle", but girl, I straight up live in the jungle. Period. It's like crouching tiger, hidden panda all up in my neck of the woods. Though if we're being serious, I don't think I'd mind a panda rolling out of those greens behind me. Bucket list item: hold a baby panda {okay, I'll take a full grown one too. It can hold me instead}. Unfortunate reality of the situation: probably never going to happen. 

Anyways, I digress. We're supposed to be here to talk about clothes right? Well, I think my wardrobe is temporarily broken because I can't stop reaching for the same silhouettes. All I want to do is wear flared skirts {with pockets of course} and sweater tees. And luckily {or unfortunately} my closet is not lacking in those particular items. For some reason, I haven't really been reaching for my heels lately either. Usually I'm all about them heels: stilettos, stacked, wedge - you name it, I want it. But recently? Not so much. Like I said...wardrobe --> broken.

Since I've confined myself to sweater tees, I think it's important to find ones of interest. My Madewell one is definitely the closet favorite because I love the heavier knit and the super boxy fit that makes it so perfect to throw on with just about everything. Today's top is a close runner up because girl. Sheer lace floral appliqué sleeves?? Shut the front door and excuse me while I squeal.

Seriously guys, sweater tee heaven. I invite you to join me.

J.Crew Sweater Tee || Skirt via TJ Maxx (super old) - similar here || J.Crew 'Callie' Sandals || Loft Sunnies || Stella McCartney Clutch {sold out} || Bracelets: J.Crew, Madewell, Etsy || Rings: Henri Bendel, Madewell, BCBGMaxazria || Daniel Wellington Watch

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Luxury Item

I love a good graphic tee. Especially when they're clever, ironic, or just plain fabulous. I believe this particular tee falls into all of the above categories. Luxury item? Most definitely.

I'm well aware that I say I love a lot of things or I fell in love with something the second I saw it. But seriously, I probably do love it, and I probably did fall in love with it the second I saw it. I can't help that my heart is just so capable of loving beautiful things. My point, however, is to express how much I love this micro pearl necklace. I'm pretty sure I've made it an unspoken goal for myself to obtain a dainty gold necklace in every measurement starting from 15" to 20". You best believe I am dead serious. Want to join me? You can get this pretty lady {yes, my necklace, an inanimate object, is gendered and it is unquestionably female} from ShopLately for a steal. 

If any of you work in an office where shorts are appropriate attire during the summer months {no I'm not crazy, nor do I show up to work in inappropro clothing or things that are too scando. Shorts are acceptable in some industries!} I highly recommend investing in the boyfriend jean short. If you love regular boyfriend jeans, you will undoubtedly love boyfriend shorts. They're just as slouchy, just as comfy, and definitely distressed. Moreover, you don't have to worry about shorts being borderline too short or showing off your not-so-toned-or-summer-ready-legs because you skipped leg day at the gym for the last who knows how long {oops, guilty}. Plus, they automatically give off that cool story, bro vibe that we talked about on Monday. Just throw on your favorite slubby tee and you're gucci.

Hugo Guinness J.Crew Linen Tee {on sale!} || BlankNYC Boyfriend Shorts - similar here || Converse Chuck Taylors || Vintage Bag || Cole Haan Sunnies || Necklaces: c/o ShopLately, c/o Gorjana || Bracelets: Madewell, J.Crew, c/o Jewelsbyoo, c/o ShopLately || Rings: BCBGMaxazria, Madewell