New Year, New blog! Ahhh! I’m so excited to announce that it’s 2020 and we have a new website! We’ve been planning and working super hard to launch our new page in the new year… which brings me to my next train of thought and this week’s topic. New Years (Smooth, right? No…? Well, pretend it is).
New Years is a global phenomenon where people embark on a journey of new beginnings. New diets, new exercise routines, new me’s. At least until they decide they’re sick of cabbage. While many people are familiar with the western concept of new year, many are unfamiliar with the Eastern concept- Lunar New Year.
Chunjie. Tet. Losar (no not loser). Solnal. Depending on your ethnicity, you may know it by a different name. You may have different stories, different memories and different traditions.
Whereas new years day begins on January 1st in the western calendar, Lunar New Year begins with the 1st new moon of the lunar calendar. This calendar goes by the phases of the moon rather than the solar calendar most people are used to (If I’m getting too technical or hoodoo for you- well ladida).
Because every lunar month is 29.5 days, some have 29 days in the calendar, and some have 30. AKA Lunar New Year doesn’t usually fall on the same day every year.
Okay, okay. Now that everyone knows the difference- I’ll get to the good stuff. Regardless of whether you celebrate Western New Year or Lunar New Year (or both), we all have our traditions.
January 1st usually means New Year’s resolutions, fireworks, and kisses at midnight. It’s a time to put on those 5-inch stilettos that have been in your closet all year and that tad too sexy dress because hell- it’s a new year, why not?
Me? I wore a leather skirt and a sports tank that was way too sexy to wear to the gym and rocked it because in 2020 I’ve decided to bring sexy back. And okay- maybe new year 2020 didn’t get off to the best start for me. Maybe I didn’t get to see any fireworks. And maybe I didn’t get my kiss at midnight. But you know what? I looked darned good.
Lunar New Year is a tad different but it doesn’t make the traditions any less bomb. This year, the lunar new year fell on January 25th. (I know- I’m late.)
While in the western world, new year is a time for champagne and partying, lunar new year is all about family and spirituality. In some parts of Asia, this is when you Kondo away all that clutter you’ve been hoarding all year. For 10 days before lunar new year all the way until the day before, people clean the fudge out of their house. Even the dirtiest, messiest people. It’s legit a lunar phenomenon. The reasoning behind this is that you’re clearing away all the bad luck from the previous year.
I’ll be honest, I was in California when I found out about this particular tradition. But you can bet your Gucci bag that I threw out half my room when I got home (even if I was technically late- the universe will give me a pass right?)
Lunar New Year isn’t all about cleaning though. I promise you might even end up loving it more than January 1st.
Lunar new years is about fireworks, festivals, dragons, myths, red envelopes (aka monetary gifts- I knew you’d like that one). Lunar new years is about parades, red paper decorations, brightly colored outfits and making way for good luck and fortune in the new year.
I didn’t get off to the best start on January 1st but I definitely made up for it on January 25th. But regardless of whether it’s January 1st, January 25th, or February 18th. It’s a new year and every day after this one is a new day and a fresh start.
So here are some tips to start of the new year right!
1. Get rid of things that don’t serve you
This doesn’t just mean material possessions guys (although we all know there’s a laundry list of junk in your closet you haven’t worn in years). This means get rid of the mental, and emotional baggage as well. Check out our tips on how to declutter your closet.
Shell did this by purging her closet and packing away her winter clothes, but she also left the emotional baggage from the year before where it belonged. In 2019.
2. Clean up
Cleaning is different from getting rid of stuff. It means do your laundry, dust, scrape off all that gunk that’s building up in your sink. For example, sweeping the floor is a symbol of sweeping away bad luck and unwanted burdens from the previous year.
A clean home is a happy home and a happy home is a fresh start.
3. Make some resolutions
I don’t mean the kind of resolutions you start at the beginning of the year and never get to. Make some meaningful reachable goals for yourself.
Last year I told myself I would get fit, exercise all the time, and diet consistently. I totally did it. At the expense of my sanity and social life. This year my resolution is to be mentally, emotionally and physically in a good place.
And Shell? Shell’s resolution is balance for herself and visibility for her brand.
This is my way of saying:
Kondo your closet, wear that sexy outfit that you really want to wear and bring some color and fortune into your life.
Accessorizing your outfits is a great way to express your personal style, whether you’re a city chic fashionista or a casual cool street style kind of gal.
Another reason accessorizing an outfit is great is because the outfit possibilities are endless. Adding an extra article to an outfit gives it a whole new look and with mixing and matching accessories and clothing you can change up your wardrobe with a snap of your fingers.
Accessorizing can also add a pop of color to an outfit, it can add layers for a more interesting look, and it can even complete a whole outfit such as a pair of boots.
Finally, for the fall season, it’s not just practical for warmth but fun as well!
Check out our second video with description below!
Beret or Knit Beanie
Add a warm cozy hat such as a beret or beanie over your head for a cool fall vibe. It’ll keep your head warm, frame your face and hide your bed head hair. It can be hard to accessorize since there are so many options so we kept it simply with this first outfit and paired similar colors together.
Big, chunky, knitted, cashmere, silk, wool, infinity. It doesn’t matter, they’re all great for fall. We paired this pink chunky scarf with this dark floral dress and leather jacket. We picked this scarf because the dress has pale pink in it and the chunkiness adds layers and depth to the outfit.
They are so easy to wear, you literally just throw it over whatever you’re wearing and it’ll make you look polish and keep you extra warm. You can even throw it over a coat. We added a belt to this wrap to cinch the waist which helps show your petite figure. This wrap is also asymmetrical which is great for petite frame.
Boots and booties are must have fall pieces that can really make an outfit. It’s hard to find a pair that’s comfortable and stylish at the same time. Go for neutral, low heel, and suede if you haven’t found a good pair yet. We love these red leather/suede booties with this outfit because the color compliments well with this minimal look.
Wide Brim Hats
These are chic and fashionable and can make any outfit instantly IG worthy. We love wide brim hats because they frame your face and keep the wind and sun away. Just be sure to hold onto it when it’s windy. We paired this hat with a simple sweater over a white shirt dress and over the knee boots.
Today is super exciting because it marks the release of our first V-log! The season is changing, the Texas weather is moody as ever and can’t decide whether to be hot or cold, and your clothes will soon be out of fashion- if it isn’t already.
This is totally my problem.
I moved back home from Korea last February and I purged and I mean PURGED my closet in order for that to happen. I couldn’t move all 8 years of stuff back to America after all. The truth is though, even AFTER cleaning out my closet- I still had a ton of clothes.
Ever had that feeling of ‘I have so many clothes and nothing to wear?’ I feel like this all the time. As is turns out, most people only wear 20% of their wardrobe on the reg. That means you have a bunch of items taking up space, cluttering your life and your closet, and preventing you from making decisions.
Shell and I decided to fix that and take y’all along for the ride. So click the like, watch the video, and don’t forget to like and subscribe!
The Koreans have mastered taking great photos, but for some reason, even though I lived among them for 8 YEARS I didn’t take it upon myself to learn from the masters. The result? Terrible pictures!
I legit just didn’t think I looked good enough to be in a picture or be the center of attention. But then I discovered modeling courtesy of my bestie. I met a great photographer that told me to stop having such a big head and that no one cared enough to spend the day worrying about that random girl and how she was posing in the street for a picture. In other words people have lives; stop being vain.
What I discovered when I started modeling was that anyone could model. Everyone can look great in a picture. Everyone can bring their best selves to the forefront.
Seeing yourself look great in a picture, makes you FEEL great. And the secret is that you don’t have to be a model to look great in a picture. And you definitely don’t have to be tall.
With modeling comes a certain subconscious awareness of angles. So sure, I have some subconscious awareness that provides me with some great pictures once in a while- (That or a really good photographer that knows all my angles and directs me; I LOVE great photographers).
Recently Shell took that subconscious awareness and stomped all over it and said that as a petite woman, and as a model, I should know my angles CONSCIOUSLY.
Which brings me to another random fact about me.
I hate mirrors (yes I know- my subconscious insecurities are showing!). I never did the whole stand in front of one all day and check yourself out until I find my perfect angle thing. If only instead of a mirror I had Shell around 24/7 to tell me how to sit, I’d always have perfect pictures.
Unfortunately, Shell is a busy fashion designer. She did, however, take it upon herself to teach me a few lessons in how to take a perfect picture as a petite woman (oh the irony of a tall person teaching me that). As a fellow petite who is always looking for the perfect shot, here are some tips from Shell to me and from me to you on how to look picture perfect every time.
How to look picture PETITE perfect every time
So what’s the trick to a perfect petite picture?
Suck in, stop breathing, calf raises- now smile!
I’m not joking. I’m really NOT joking. If I knew breathing exercises and calf raises would get me such awesome pictures, I would have hired someone to follow me around the gym a long time ago! I always expected to look more like a constipated whale- yes I hate gym selfies!
Here are our dos and don’ts for taking that picture you’ll want to look at over and over again!
You’re not the hunchback of notre dame and you’re not 5 years old.
AKA Good posture goes such a long way! It elongates your neck, torso, and legs. PLUS you won’t look like a pubescent teenager who’s slouching in the back of the classroom because you think it’s cool so STOP SLOUCHING/ SLUMPING and sit/stand up straight!
Take pictures at your eye level. This means don’t let anyone take pictures of you with the camera pointing down; you’ll look like a head on a stick. Make sure the photographer takes pictures at your eye level and not theirs, especially if they’re taller than you because the camera will be pointing down making you look shorter.
Get some perspective- have the camera pointing up at you, we tried way below and at the middle; this gives the subject more length. When taking photos from below always remember to tuck your chin in otherwise you get a photo of the underside of your chin. If the shot is taken from way below, lean forward a little so that you don’t lose your face and look distorted, it’ll help you look more proportionate.
Stand ¾ of the way or on the side rather than full frontal. This gives your photo some angle and depth so it doesn’t look so flat. It also helps your body look slimmer making you look longer.
Legs together or cross your feet, this helps create a V shape which creates a linear look.
Take photos from right below the knee and up; this takes out any illusion of height.
Take up most of the frame to appear bigger and grander.
Show legs by pointing toe or extending your legs one in front of the other. Cross legs to make them look thin and long.
If you’re not wearing heels, stand on your tip toes for additional height.
If you’re taking group pictures, stand in front or on the side. If you’re on the side stand slightly closer to the camera so you appear slightly bigger.
If asking someone to take your pictures, let them know how you want it taken, where they should stand or where the camera should be. It will help them capture a good picture. PS I know so many photographers and models who ALWAYS do this. It’s not rude, it’s efficient!
Remember, do not take pictures from above eye level.
Stand full frontal with arms cross, you lose your waist and you look flat. This makes you look more stumpy than you really are.
Stand with legs too wide apart; this draws the eyes outward instead of up and down.
Put hands below your hips; this makes your torso look long and your legs look short.
Squat! Why does every girl (including the short ones- yes me included) always squat?! You lose so much of your body and you look squished.
We hope this helped you all! Remember to smile and have fun!
Street style or “style in its natural habitat” as Givhan of the Washington Post calls it, is exactly what the name suggests. Fashion derived from the streets rather than from empires like Coco Chanel and Ralph Lauren. And what better time to take a look at street style than at Fall Fashion Week.
Street style has always been around but has evolved with the times and trends. Shell (Shell N’s founder for you newbies) calls it a way of expression- or how people want to be seen when they’re out and about. Sometimes that means you’re decked out in a colorful array of neon pink and blue trainers while other times you’re Parisian chic in a black dress and a beret. Okay I admit- I instantly think of beret when I think Parisian. It just depends on what message you’re trying to send.
In big cities like New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, or Seoul even- the street style scene is huge. Probably because people actually take the time to walk around the city and be seen. A lot of the time the style represents a blend of the culture along with an expression of the person’s individuality.
In Korea, a culture quite fond of the fashion scene, women would go hiking in pink lace and high heels. And mini skirts were a thing even if the temperatures hit the negatives! I’m totally not bashing these girls- Korea is the reason I have any fashion sense! In New York, the styles range from urban to hippie to classy-chic. In Los Angeles, shirred dress, oversized sunglasses and strappy sandals are the norm.
Maybe you want to give off an image of femininity or maybe you’re going for a more eclectic vibe. Your clothes can portray all this.
Regardless of your style preferences, street style gives us the freedom to express ourselves and our personalities visually.
Here in suburbia- we’re HIGHLY lacking in the street style scene.
But just because the scene is lacking doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dress to express! That’s why we’re sharing street style from fashion weeks from NY to Milan to Paris in hopes of giving you all a little inspiration from the fashionistas in fashion forward cities.
Here are some of our favorite street styles that were of course selected with our petite readers in mind.
Go minimalist with a contrasting color for that pop, top off with a statement coat.
You flick through a rack of old, tattered pieces that have been out of style for at least a decade before suddenly your eyes catch on a white blouse that might just be the one.
But then you pull it off the racks only to see that it’s stained with what looks like grease and some kind of crusted yellow stuff that could either be coffee or alfredo. You hope to God it’s coffee or Alfredo.
Effort wasted. Time wasted. You leave the store annoyed and adamant that you’ll never set foot in a second-hand shop again.
This is what most people imagine when they think of second-hand shopping. It’s a myth that’s been ingrained in us since childhood. When I was a kid (It’s so sad that I’ve become one of those grown-ups that say that…) it was practically a SIN to walk into school wearing hand me downs. (Yeah I wore hand-me-downs… what?!)
It was all about getting the newest and latest.
Nowadays, with the rise of the slow fashion movement, second-hand and vintage items are gaining steam. And that brings me to the reason for this post!
This month is Second-hand September which means that it’s the perfect opportunity for you to be sustainable while being stylish. As a petite girl, I know that a lot of you hate shopping. So I DEFINITELY wouldn’t be surprised if I found out that none of y’all like thrift shopping. At 5’2, I completely understand.
BUT It’s a misconception that a lot of people (including me until recently) have that thrift store clothes are just stained, oversized sacks- or another person’s garbage.
The thing is what people don’t understand is that second-hand doesn’t equate to trash.
There is a vast variety of thrift stores. Sure there are ones that are lower end where you have to do a little bit more hunting, but there are also medium range thrift shops like the buffalo exchange. Or if you want something higher end there are places like the RealReal that are more upscale and much more expensive.
So no- not EVERYTHING second-hand is unfashionable or out of fashion. A lot of it can not only be fashionable but in great condition to boot.
Thrifting, of course, is by no means easy peasy but it’s not supposed to be! It’s a treasure hunt and that’s the beauty of it. In an industry where there are more seasons than I have shoes (I don’t have that many…) clothes are discarded often for the latest trend. But we all know that not everything fully goes out of style! Some trends come back, i.e. puffy 80’s sleeves, cut off jeans, chokers- yes CHOKERS (who would have thought?)
Clothes not only come back in style but some clothes NEVER go out of style. Classic white Ts, cashmere sweaters, silk blouses, turtle necks, little black dresses… and all this CAN be found at thrift stores. And one more great reason to thrift? You’re not contributing to the fast fashion industry. Don’t know what fast fashion is? Learn about it here. Most of our donated goods go unused and get shipped to third world countries where they undermine the local economy. In this way you’re actually helping reduce textile waste by buying second-hand.
To show you guys how fun, sustainable, and thrifty thrifting is (that was not on purpose, I swear) we went on our own thrifting adventure for you guys.
Our Thrifting Venture
We sorted through rows of clothing and in this treasure trove we found a plethora of clothing that could be turn into our next halloween costumes or our next date outfits and had some pretty great finds!
Check it out!
What says fall like orange florals? Or are those leaves…? You can turn something old into something completely new and fashionable with a little creativity.
You can’t go wrong with a basic top that bares the shoulders.
This top was an awesome basic but the sleeves are too long. Easily solved! Just fold the sleeves in.
While it’s true that things can be a bit too big, don’t let that stop you! If something doesn’t fit you can easily do minor alterations or get a friend to help you.
Stripes never go out of style and the twist detail is so on trend lately.
A great summer cotton dress that fits like a glove!
Pair this houndstooth dress with a nice blouse to up your fashion game!
Great jacket for work or play!
This two tone silk dress can go from the office to dinner.
The lightest silk shirt dress ever (that’s not a stain, it’s a light reflection).
Cozy merino and angora wool sweater!
So after all that if you still don’t really see why you should shop at the thrift store let me give you the number one reason you should try thrifting.
Yep. What you’re thinking is exactly right. Most of these clothes were only $1 each.
Quick Thrifting Tips
Here are my quick tips to get started if you’re a newbie to thrifting.
1. Look for clothes that are made of silk, wool, and linen because they tend to be in better condition.
2. Check everything over carefully before buying and look for stains or tears, if it’s bad pass on it.
3. Don’t feel you have to go through the whole store. Most thrift stores are sectioned off into categories like dresses, pants, tops, etc. Shop for what you want as to not get overwhelmed by everything in the store.