Thursday, October 29, 2015


"Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have."

If it scares you, do it.

Pursuing your dreams is a scary thing. It means going after something that has no guarantees and no sense of security. It's diving head first into a situation; the blind leading the blind. I've never been good at taking risks. I'm cautious by nature, yet there's always been a part of me that burns with a desire to drop everything and just go for it. I yearn to pack my bags and move abroad for a year just to see what the world holds. To travel and experience culture and just live. As millennials I feel like we were brought up with split personalities: a part of us is so career-driven and focused on success, success, success. Climbing the corporate ladder, excelling at our chosen career paths, making tons of money at a young age. Then, there's the other part of us: the part that thinks there's more to life than the 9-5 and we struggle with the idea of the cubicle life for the next 40 years of our lives. The part that's driven so many of my peers to drop their day jobs to pursue their day dreams; the reason that so many of my classmates from college have taken six month sabbaticals from their careers to leave the country and see the sights that this world has to offer. It's so easy to forget the present moment and live in plans of the future. But truly, when will there ever be a better time than now. Do you dare?


Banana Republic Dress {on sale!!} || Renvy Shoes - identical here || Chanel Bag - vintage here || Prada Sunnies via Ditto || Gorjana Necklace

Sunday, October 25, 2015


"Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world; our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance."

It's been a journey, and the road continues yet.

Being a style blogger has taken me a long way from who I used to be in the most positive of ways. While high school is rough in its own way, I feel like the years before that time in your life almost impact your life in a more sensitive way. In elementary school, I was bullied on the playground and that was where I learned to grow tougher skin and stand up for myself. In middle school, I grew up as the minority and it was difficult being the 2% in your grade when it comes to race. I didn't know how to identify what beauty was aside from what those around me considered beautiful, and my features naturally didn't fit that mold. It wasn't until high school that I could look in a mirror and recognize that the person staring back at me was and is beautiful in her own way; I didn't need the approval or acknowledgement of others. 

In college, I met my very best friend. We are two very different people, yet we find that together we become the better version of our own selves {yes, I sound like I'm describing a soulmate, and not my best friend...but let's be honest -- best friends are essentially soulmates ok}. We often talk about how self-acceptance and self-confidence are so important to who we are. Before you need another human, whether it be a boyfriend, a girlfriend, a best friend, or just friends in general, you have to love who you are alone and know your self-worth. It's not easy being a style blogger. It takes a lot to put yourself out on the internet for the world to see and scrutinize. People make judgments and assumptions, passerby's give you weird looks or simply just stare {#noshame} when you're taking blog photos in very public places, restaurant-goers also stare as you re-arrange your food and stand over your table taking thirty photos while your food gets cold {#doitfortheinsta}, and there's just the simple truth that all over the internet and amongst the network of people you know there will be haters. But all of that is okay as long as you are okay with being yourself -- comfortable and happy in your own skin. I snapped these photos last weekend at the pumpkin patch with two of my very good friends, and although it may look like the pumpkin patch was absolutely empty it was actually the complete opposite. We had to roll about 15 pumpkins over into one condensed area, fill our wheelbarrow with another five or so pumpkins, and hang around taking photos on and off as we waited for the clouds to pass and the sun to shine and for strangers to get out of the frame of our photos. Did people stare? Probably. But did we care? Absolutely not. We had the greatest time and lots of laughs being our weird little selves {#sunsalutations}. 


Special shout out to Golden Willow and Dark Sunflower. Much love. xx 

LuLu*'s Turtleneck c/o || Lace Tank {unknown} - try this or this || Citizens of Humanity Jeans || Felmini Booties {old} - try these or these || From Dylan Scarf c/o - identical here, infinity version here || Jay M. Bag c/o

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Quilts & Pleats

"The human heart has hidden treasures..."
{Charlotte Bronte}

The heart wants what it wants.

It's interesting to see how inclinations vary amongst individuals and how beauty is defined so differently from one person to the next. Working in the fashion industry surrounded by {mostly} women of varying backgrounds on a daily basis, it becomes extremely interesting to see the variety of styles that come and go through the office each day. It's refreshing to be surrounded by so many like-minded yet vastly different people, and there's a lot of inspiration to be gathered from the people around me. It's also interesting to note how far the pendulum can swing under one roof, but at the end of the day it really all comes down to personal preference. As a style blogger, I know that my style isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea and that's just fine because it's really about wearing what makes you feel happy, comfortable, and confident. I naturally gravitate towards certain color palettes and pairings {you'll find me wearing lots of olive + black in the fall/winter} that others might not prefer while the same may hold true vice versa. Style is extremely personal, and as humans we'll be naturally inclined to go after what our heart wants.


Michael Kors Leather Jacket - similar herehere and here || Club Monaco Sweater - similar here || Helmut Lang Bottoms - leather version here || Madewell Booties {last year} - this year's here, here and here || Prada Sunnies via Ditto || Jay M. Bag

Monday, October 19, 2015


"I wish to live a life that causes my soul to dance inside my body." 

Learning to appreciate.

The older I get, the more I learn to appreciate family traditions. I'll be honest...growing up in an Asian-American household as a first generation America, my family didn't have a whole ton of traditions especially when it came to quintessential "American" traditions. For example, we didn't do the Christmas thing {for religious reasons} and the majority of our Thanksgivings were spent either at home or with family friends eating a spread of American mixed with Chinese dishes {stuffing and cranberry sauce? totally foreign to me}. Of course we had our own traditions, and the older I got the more we started to assimilate and create new traditions outside of my cultural scope. We started visiting this farm back when I was in middle school, probably ten or so years ago, because we discovered through a family friend that I could eat the apples they grew here {I'm allergic to a myriad of fruits and nuts, apples included}. It's a bit of a drive for us, but we started making the yearly trip and now it's become tradition for us to go every fall. Every year once fall hits, I look forward to spending this weekend out in upstate New York with my family -- to enjoy the rolling hills, the changing foliage, and endless rows of apple trees. It's become something we do as a family each year, picking apples and grabbing a bite of cider donuts and homemade apple crisp. 


Aéropostale Top c/o {on sale!} || Zara Turtleneck {old} - similar here || Aéropostale Jeans c/o - similar here || UGG Australia Booties {old} - try this or this || Janessa Leone Hat || J.Crew Bag

Thursday, October 15, 2015


"Sometimes people are beautiful. 
Not in looks. Not in what they say. Just in what they are." 
{Markus Zusack}

Grey -- it's the new black.

...And it's as chic as ever. 
I've been having some serious grey moments ever since fall hit, and if you haven't already noticed, this hat has been on heavy rotation. I've recently acquired a number of basic grey pieces to add to my wardrobe and I've found myself reaching for them over and over. This outfit is probably one of my favorite pairings as of late, and I've got to say...Aéropostale really hit the nail on the head with this duster cardigan of theirs. With the marled grey, it's a no-brainer and it matches seamlessly with black, white, and other shades of grey. Talk about perfection. Speaking of which, I'm so glad I chose these Prada sunnies in grey instead of black! Typically if I were to splurge on a pair of designer sunnies like these, I would have opted for black since black would be much more timeless and also easier to wear on a daily basis. But with Ditto's convenient borrow and swap program, I can try out designer sunnies without having to hem and haw about dropping $300+ dollars. Use my code {find it at the bottom of the post} to borrow your first pair absolutely free! You're welcome ;)


Aéropostale Duster Cardigan c/o || Club Monaco Top {on sale!} || Joe's Jeans Bottoms || Via Spiga Booties - love these, these and these || Janessa Leone Hat || Prada Sunnies via Ditto {use code REFINEDCOUTURE to borrow your first pair free!} || Jay M. Bag

Monday, October 12, 2015


"Not til we are lost do we begin to find ourselves."
{Henry David Thoreau}

More ways than one.

It's a simple rule that applies in life and in fashion -- think outside of the box; consider others' opinions; see things from a new perspective. As much as I love to shop, my wardrobe is far from endless and I inevitably end up re-wearing the same pieces. However, I always put the challenge upon myself to try and re-think a closet staple or re-purpose an old piece into something new. I got a ton of wear out of this blanket scarf last fall, and I really wanted to find a new way to change up what would otherwise be a pretty basic pairing of jeans and a merino v-neck sweater. Since the blanket scarves from Zara are so large {literally blanket sized}, I decided to transform it into more of a plaid poncho to play off the poncho trend that's happening right now. How do you re-mix the pieces in your wardrobe?


UNIQLO Sweater c/o || UNIQLO Jeans c/o || Zara Oversized Blanket Scarf {last year} - almost identical here || Janessa Leone Hat || J.Crew Bag || J.Crew Belt {old} || Steven by Steve Madden Booties