January 28, 2014

Winter Mint

Sweater, thrifted Target | Skirt, thrifted Express | Tights, Sears | Shoes, Sears | Necklace, sponsored by eFoxCity (old) | Bow, Rire Boutique
This post is dedicated to all the pieces in my wardrobe that never were: 

A gold chiffon dress with a sequined bodice, only $7.99, but too large.
A burgundy and navy striped American Rag skater dress with lace cutouts, only $7.99, but too small.
A mint party dress with a sequined bodice, only $7.99, but too large.
A pair of Betsey Johnson combat boots, only $16.99, but too stiff and an odd shade of tan with hints of army green.

And most of all:
A pair of magenta glitter Sperry's, only $19.99, perfect fit.

To be honest, I was both mad at myself and proud of myself for passing the Sperry's up--I knew I would rarely wear them since magenta really isn't my thing. The Sperry's only enticed me because of the brand name.

It bothers me. Often times, I'll stumble upon a bargain brand-name item and want to snag it right away, regardless of if it's pricier than what I'm usually willing to spend on clothing, or if it's even my style. Now, I've got a little system worked out: I ask myself if I'd purchase the piece without the label. If my answer is no, I return the item to the rack (albeit somewhat reluctantly).
There's a delicate balance to maintain. In some cases, brand names do constitute better quality. Take Uggs, for example. The knockoffs last you a season if you're lucky, but the genuine ones will last you many winters. Hence, the price tag is somewhat justified. Though, I could never bring myself to spend over $200 on a pair of shoes. Besides, if you do the math, given that the fake pair with genuine wool are $40 each, and the real $200, it may be more cost effective to buy multiple pairs of the fake ones as they wear out. You'd have to wear the real ones over 5 years before the price balances out! It's all in the numbers, friends. But that's just the thought process of cheapo ol' me. 

Back to those enticing Sperry's: I think sometimes I do sacrifice personal taste for the label, just as I sometimes sacrifice it for trends or bargain buys. It's occasionally hard to retain your true style in all the glitz and glamour of the fashion world. I'm still learning. And a step of progress was passing the Sperry's up. Those steal of a pair of designer shoes weren't for me after all, and I hope they've found a loving home.
As for all the other pieces in this post, is anyone else stumbling upon bargain, gorgeous pieces that simply don't fit? It's making me quite frustrated. I've considered buying those items and setting up an online shop, just to quench my wistfulness. But that'll be an endeavor for another time. Namely, after stressful senior year.
Besides, gotta count my blessings. Scoring this sequin skirt and tan peacoat in this post wasn't so bad for only $4 and $12, respectively. And finding a stylish $15 coat for the little brother put a smile on my face as well.

I almost went poof! again in one of my signature blog disappearances with all the schoolwork I need to finish, but praise the Lord for the polar vortex, because a snow day is just what I need to catch up. I also stumbled upon this gorgeous song with a meaningful message a few days ago, and I'm obsessed.
It's unnerving to see how much pop culture has brainwashed our idea of beauty. My favorite line, translated, is "I am not their product." 

Let's not be their products. Let's be our perfectly flawed selves.
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Join the conversation!

  1. lol you know Lily, often you see me wearing designer pieces here and there but if you visited my closet you will find loads of no names stuff too. I think it is smart to invest in pieces that are classic and you know you wear wear a LOT. Things like a wool coat and leather jacket. I don't honestly see them going out of style, ever. I did "bleed" a little when I invested in this balenciaga moto jacket. Heck, that is still, til today, my most expensive fashion piece, ever (and will remain so). I really like your camel trench coat. It looks absolutely freezing over there. Hug your little brother a little more. Once you go off to college you won't be able to :)

    p.s that photoshop singer video is insane. I watched it too lol

  2. I know what you mean- I get really excited when I see a thrift item with an expensive name but more often than not, don't buy it as often more expensive BUT don't necessarily suit/fit me (though I bought a vintage Aquascutum skirt which just fits me but it's so nice!)
    How nice is that skirt. I love the fact the post is dedicated to items that weren't quite right!
    Thanks for the sweet comment- those portraits are incredible!!! That child is so beautiful!x

  3. I hate when I buy things when they don't fit perfectly. Either I fall in love with the item because it's such a good deal or because I love the look of it. But then it just sits in my closet and I'm too sad to ever throw it away. Such a waste. You look so adorable in the wintery pastels!


  4. oh hey you, Lily! was happy to discover you have a new post :) and what a pretty winter look that is. your skirt and sweater are gorgeous and of course I love the fact they're thrifted. I always check the outfit info to see if something's thrifted or not ;) haha, I just keep looking at those outfit shots because I'm pretty amazed by this colour combo. it's just so so pretty :)
    by the way, I think I haven't bought anything expensive from a thrift store.. my most expensive pieces have been like less than 10 euros, usually 8 euros (for example a Kenzo sweater and a pair of Versace for H&M booties). I have created those limits for myself.
    enjoy the rest of this week, dear Lily, and take care! :)

    Maikeni blogi - part of me

  5. oh my, this photoshop video is awesome, I have never seen anything like that! I often want to make such magic in real life and change something in my appearance so easily) But the truth is, nothing is so easy in this world;)
    You look very pretty on those pictures, dear Lily! I've got to say I don't like to buy expensive clothes, brand things, because anyway I will get bored of them fastly, no matter what is the price. So sometimes I really can't understand people who are craving for brands and expensive things. To be sure the most important things in this life are not material)

  6. The bow in your hair is adorable! And I love the colors in your outfit! Although--magenta is so my color, I would have hopped right on those Sperry's!

  7. I don't even want to start thinking about all the items that I've accumulated that I've never worn. Some of these items came to light recently when I was outfitting models for the fashion show---they saw stuff in my closet with the tags still on and wondered why I had never worn it. Sometimes the thrill of the hunt overwhelms my practicality and rationality (even at thrift stores). Although I'm really proud of you for thrifting that Express skirt, because the price in store was a travesty.



  8. Oh I so know what you mean! I've gone through so many purchases where I just got branded things just because they were heavily reduced and then ended up not wearing them at all! It is always so hard to know when to buy and when to not... so I always just end up pulling myself away from the sale and then coming back if I'm still thinking about it the next day or 2! :)

    Eat. Live. Love. Repeat.

  9. You're so lucky you can actually buy stuff when it's on sale. I'm so picky that I can look at a piece for hours & I won't be able to think of anything else but if there's one thing I don't like about it I won't end up getting it. Obviously that doesn't happen with online shopping though but buying stuff from the great internet proves a lot of disappointments in the mail. Your outfit looks fab though!

    The Fashann Monster

  10. I can't believe you thrifted that amazing tribal skirt Lily! Nice score. Haha, and way to walk away from those other not-quite-up-to-par items. Sometimes you need to know when it's not worth it, even if it's at a nice bargain price. Great thoughts on it!
    Thanks so much for your lovely comment, your combined comments into one always make me smile haha :)
    Hooray for snow days!!

    The Dragonfruit Diaries

  11. love your skirt :)


  12. Nice. However, ladies in my country can never wear thick clothes because it's hot over here. Haha!

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  14. Agh, I know that feeling too well, Miss Lily! But you're right--if you don't instantly put it on and love it, even if it IS an awesome pair of name brand boots at a great price, it's just not going to be worth it if they're not comfortable or as cute as you thought!

    But yes, I am definitely one of those people who struggles with finding good quality pieces that fit. That's why I can really only wear Jeffrey Campbell shoes anymore--like, I found a brand of shoes that fits me? So what if they're expensive. They last me a long time and they're comfortable and I can wear them forever! I've had the same pair since my sophomore year in high school and still wear them and they still look great. But in terms of clothes, yeah, they're difficult for me to find. I have wide shoulders, no boobs, and a tiny waist, so things are usually too big in the stomach area and too short there, too. And with dresses, they're usually a tad too short, but then I size up and they're too big. Sigh! It's not just you.

    Oh look how much I've rambled! Haha, I love how you always bring such good discussion topics to the table, Lily. Your skirt is absolutely adorable and I love that you found it for $4, wow! It looks amazing on you. And your little bro is stylish in his coat, too!

    Have a great week!

  15. You look beautiful in this outfit, I love the mint colors. The skirt is so pretty. I do have to say, I have a pair of Uggs that I've owned for 6+ years and they still look like new. Certain brand name shoes are definitely not worth the price, but I think others are. But $20 for Sperry's is kind of a great deal. I would have snagged those right up! I have a pair of boat shoes that I got at Old Navy that look like Sperry's and they still cost about $15, so I think the sale Sperry's would have been worth it! Haha, now that I'm done ranting about telling you to buy things... you should definitely stick to your style! :)

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

  16. beautiful skirt dear :D

  17. You look so pretty hun, love the sweet colours in this outfit.

  18. Lovely outfit and that blue sweater is gorgeous! As for the labels vs personal taste - I do agree that this is something you learn step by step and can absolutely understand the desire of buying something just because it's there "and may be I'll wear it one day".
    I did it a few times years ago, but then realised that none of those pieces ever got worn because they weren't me in a first place, so now I only buy things I truly love, label or not. :)

  19. I can't get over how stylish you are, and you're so much younger than me! This mint outfit is so lovely, I esp love the pattern on the skirt! Don't you hate those deals that you haunt you even when you've long left the store? I've totally had those moments millions of times; unfortunately, unless you're rich with an unlimited income, we do have to make these tough decisions :P #firstworldproblems much?

    Actually, recently I'm glad that I bought these $50 pair of J Brand jeans at a local boutique (down from $260) because if I hadn't, they surely would have haunted me just as much as those Sperry's haunt you. But like you said, if it isn't perfect, it's just not meant to be and it's better to pass it over than just having it sit and gather dust in your closet!

    Have a great day darling!

    P.S. Yes I am Chinese! Happy New Year ;)

    xx Debbie


  20. so cool!
    maybe we can follow each other? let me know! <3 http://exality.blogspot.com/

  21. great post and i definitely agree...pop culture has definitely shaped how a lot of us view one another and i don't know how i feel about that :\ and you're so cute<3
    keep up the great workk!
    also, if you're interested, let's follow each other? do let me know!!


  22. You look great in that outfit girl <3 Love those shoes as well! <3

    xx Chaicy - Style..A Pastiche!

  23. YES YES YES. I'm constantly seeing pricier brands at a discount (though still not all that cheap) and try to convince myself that the price is justified because of its name and the supposed better quality. Though if I like the cheaper versions just as much, is it still worth it? Probably not.

    As for starting up a store - DO IT NOW! If I've learned anything about the transition from high school to college it's that, as much as you think you don't have time now, chances are you'll have even less time once you start college. Also, I think you would be really good at it. I would shop there!

  24. I saw that video, so cool... and sad.

    I love this post. There are so many things I would purchase just for the sake of the name... and maybe a few I have purchased. But I agree and think that's a great practice- if the name was gone, would you buy it. :)

  25. That skirt is GORGEOUS!! Can't believe you thrifted it! And your shoes are awesome too. I love your idea of thinking about what you would do if it didn't have the label. So smart! I'm using that.


  26. Oh my gosh, this skirt is gorgeous! And sigh...I always lament about pieces I never bought. So many regrets!


  27. ohh Hey Lily!! First off, I wanted to say that you take some very lovely photos for your blog and I love your new header!!

    I am the same way when it comes to clothes. If something that is meant to be expensive is on sale, I always feel like I MUST get it because if I don't I will be missing out on a great deal. I did that a few times and never really put the item to good use. hehe it doesn't even have to be a brand name for me to do this.. If something has a good deal (5 dollar t shirts ) I will get it. I've accumulated a lot of unworn clothing this way hehe. It's good to hear that you could control your self with the sperrys!!

    Thanks for your comment on my blog too!! Your so sweet and I hope your colleges accept you! I'm honestly very curious though to know if maybe we applied to the same colleges as one another hehe?


  28. You know what Lily, that is so true and the perplexing thing is the forever evolving perception you get and new trends in every season . It's even harder to find inspiration and then translate it to be true to your own style. I love that part though , it's always a challenge with deals too! Who's not a sucker for a great deal ?! We crave this fashion world and pace though!

    As for you're outfit, love it! Aztec hopefully will turn into a classic in the future, maybe even a vintage (ha silly me!) The cream with brown is always a way to class up any outfit! I'll have to admit that I consider you crazy for being out in this crazy weather! How are you holding up?

  29. I love your thoughts in this post! I do own some designer things, as 1) I don't believe in direct knockoffs and 2) I also want to be mindful of waste. If a bag will last me as long as 10 cheap ones, I'd still buy the more expensive one so I'm not contributing to landfill.

    As for finding bargain pieces that don't fit, yes, it's frustrating! However, I've found that if you know a tailor that is affordable and does a decent job, most skirts (that don't have pockets) are easily tailorable for $20-$30. I've found designer skirts under $10 that are still a "deal" after spending $20 more for a perfect fit.


  30. I wish my little brother was as stylish as yours!

    7% Solution

  31. Brilliant blog, great posts and beautiful proprietress! What to want more ...
    I follow you right now (on bloglovin + GFC) and welcome to visit my
    blog about fashion .

    Katherine Unique

  32. totally know what you mean! Sometimes I can get really distracted by the label and be super tempted to buy something I don't really need. That's why I also have to ask myself if I would buy it if it didn't have the label and usually the answer is no. But that skirt was such a great find! I LOVE how sparkly it is and the print of it is great. Looks so good with the mint sweater :)

  33. Lily, I LOVE how your style is evolving! You look super chic and really fab. This skirt suits you perfectly and looks amazing with the light teal sweater. But I do understand your dilemma with name brand items. I'm quite interested in the mark-up of certain pieces, from runway "haute couture" (like Chanel) to pricey designer pieces influenced by haute couture (like BCBG), to the trickle-down effect of "ready-to-wear" collections created by stores like Topshop, Zara, and H&M, which are deemed "accessible" to people like you and me. The fashion world is such an interesting place, filled with prestige, hierarchy, and brand names.

    Xo, Hannah


  34. Lily, I LOVE how your style is evolving! You look super chic and really fab. This skirt suits you perfectly and looks amazing with the light teal sweater. But I do understand your dilemma with name brand items. I'm quite interested in the mark-up of certain pieces, from runway "haute couture" (like Chanel) to pricey designer pieces influenced by haute couture (like BCBG), to the trickle-down effect of "ready-to-wear" collections created by stores like Topshop, Zara, and H&M, which are deemed "accessible" to people like you and me. The fashion world is such an interesting place, filled with prestige, hierarchy, and brand names.

    Xo, Hannah



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