6.24.2013

The Classy and The Fabulous: Summer Wardrobe Update

Spring/Summer Wardrobe Update

Spring/Summer Wardrobe Update by declairelegenou featuring j crew flats

Please excuse the "Classy And Fabulous" title as I don't actually design this template (I found this on polyvore.com) but hey, don't we all want to be Classy and Fabulous?

I don't own very many pieces of clothing to start with. The three of us living in a less than 800-sq-ft duplex necessitates me to ruthlessly edit everything that I own (cue on the laughter from those who live in Tokyo or NYC and have to deal with even smaller space). However, I do update my wardrobe occasionally to replace classic items and to keep things quite modern (while not being overly trendy). This year, I've decided to make a few changes to my Spring Uniform from almost two months ago. I'd like to share with you how two, relatively small purchases can add a lot of versatility into my core, basic uniform (for those of you who are not familiar with the concept of core wardrobe/ "Ten-Item Wardrobe" please visit Jennifer from The Daily Connoisseur).

First, the new purchase. As I told you before in my Spring Uniform post, I was looking for a replacement for my old Petit Bateau marinière top. I hold off for as long as I can to find a suitable replacement but alas, the t-shirt decided to quit on me first. I found this replacement at J.Crew for a fraction of the price. Perhaps not as good of a material/quality, but the fit is good for me and the price is reasonably within my budget. It has a nice bateau neck and 3/4 sleeves so it covers a bit more than regular short-sleeved while still quite chic an appropriate for my everyday activity.

The next new purchase is the beautiful floral top from Zara. I don't have Zara store near me, so I ordered it online. The top runs a bit large on me, but I like that the hem is lightly weighted so the shirt falls nicely (for those who are not familiar with weighted hem, this post from sewing.org  explains it in great details). I rarely find a mass-made blouse with weighted hem and light weighting improve the tailoring a lot. In fact, the blouse falls so nicely that it just barely skims the body and conceals the lumps and bumps (which all of us can use!). I wish this one is made out of real silk, but I think viscose will do. Also, I really love the print: it looks more vibrant in person and goes with everything I owned in my wardrobe (white jeans, navy blazer, denim, the vibrant Minnie below, even khaki shorts). It adds a splash of happy color, very appropriate for Spring and transitioning into Summer.

The vibrant red J.Crew Minnie was a new purchase last year. It adds so much versatility and updates my wardrobe instantly: red is my new navy for the summer, it goes with everything. I often pair it up with heathered grey t-shirt and throw in my blazer. Another good combo is a light-colored silk blouse, blazer, and the flame Minnie. It looks good with ballet flats, sandals, heels, and even my grey pair of Vans! It was a good purchase for me, we'll see if I can use this for many years to come.

Other items from my core wardrobe that I wear during the Summer are skinny denim and button down shirts. Button down shirts are incredibly versatile for the breezy summer here. I've got a variety from gauzy cotton, to chambray, to pinstripe-dress up kind. You can wear them tuck in or out, sleeves rolled up or down. They are a bit more dress up than a t-shirt, great to wear when it's too hot to wear a blazer, and with a linen scarf, you are good to go. 

Finally, I think the quickest way to update one's wardrobe, without a lot of investment, is a bottle of nail polish or a lipstick. It adds a splash of color to stay on trend, yet not too trendy. My most favorite is the trio of April, May, and June from Chanel circa Spring 2012 (there are lots of dupes/cheaper brands around out there). In fact, I wore May in February, have been wearing June since April and will wear April in September; this is how versatile these three colors are!

When looking for new piece of clothing, I always focus on the fit, the quality, and the little details (weighted hem was a nice find, bateau neck v.s. regular round neck, 3/4 sleeves v.s. short, etc.) that sets the piece apart yet still work with the rest of my wardrobe. These two small purchases add so many combination in my existing wardrobe that I'm very happy to have done so. 

How often do you update your wardrobe and how? Please share with us your ideas.






6.18.2013

National Splurge Day

I thought a catchy picture of makeup will make this post more appropriate to the topic of "splurging." Carry on..

I woke up this morning and found out for the first time that today, my birthday, is actually a National Splurge Day. I just have to blog about this.

WTH? Really? Honestly, do we really need another excuse/permission to spend now and worry tomorrow?? No, I'm not against consumerism. Thank goodness we all live in this day and age where consumerism has its place and provide with much of the ease of live we enjoy today. I'm sad about another day to celebrate another mindless way to enjoy life.

So, what do we splurge on today? Follow me here on Twitter to find out how I splurge my day.

Happy National Splurge Day!

6.15.2013

Soleil Tan de Chanel/Bronzing Makeup Base


As I confessed recently, I've given up tanning and bronzing a long time ago. Comes summer, I'm a lone vampire against mortal humans: pale skin, huge pair of sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat. Occasionally, I long to "fit in," say when we have an informal gathering at a friend's house and such.

It isn't due to the lack of good bronzers; I'm sure many has discovered her holy grail, but most of the bronzers out there are shimmery and I've also given up on shimmers on my face. This is where Soleil Tan de Chanel comes to my rescue!


This matte bronzer, touted by La Eldridge herself, is a heavy silicone-based cream. It is quite literally pigment suspended in silicone & wax. Yet thanks to the silicones, it applies and blends like ether. I searched the blogs to see what would be the best tool to apply this. Duo-fiber brush (either paddle or rounded) or Chanel Touch Up brush seemed like the popular choice, but I chose to use Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, pictured above. Unlike its floppy duo-fiber counterpart, the Real Techniques is dense enough to retain some product (most of which is swirled on the back of my hand anyway) and unlike Chanel's Touch Up brush, its dense and small, tapered head allows precise application on the smallest part of my face (like the bridge of the nose). Another good brush is MAC 217, which allows me to apply this product in the narrowest of space, such as for contour around the nose or on the eye socket. Finally, this product can produce the sheerest veil of bronze if needs to, allowing a good range of control in color and application.

With my lemon yellow complexion, I've always had a hard time finding bronzer that is not "off." Most of the warm ones (like Diors, Tarte Park Avenue Princess, or Armanis) are too reddish/orange and the cooler ones (like the ubiquitous NARS Laguna) are too grey. Even a range that has everything in between, like Burberry, can look quite powdery on my skin. Soleil Tan is leaning warm and contains a little bit of red, brown, and ashy grey at the same time, but I think the redeeming value is the sheerness in which it can be applied and thus allowing one's natural skin tone to show through.

The swatches below are what was left after I swirled most of the product away. I try to make a gradation from the most dense to the most sheered out towards the elbow.

Under the shade:


Under direct sunlight:


The result is a very natural, believable bronze for my pale skin. I finish off the look with a kiss of my RMK Coral 02 blush just on the apples.

THM: I will never buy another bronzer again.

This marks my 100th post in this blog! Thank you everyone for your support.


6.13.2013

Quick Update

Just a quick update: ToddlerLorp and I are enjoying our sunny days outdoor and as such we are not able to blog. Things are going very well in the Land of Lorp with new next door neighbor moving in, gardening projects, house projects, and sewing projects all in full swing.

We wish you all a happy summer and we'll be back soon!

P.S. Follow our summer adventures on Instagram and Twitter!