Breton Stripes & Bib Necks

H&M Striped Skater Dress

H&M Striped Skater Dress

Orange Statement Necklace

H&M Striped Skater Dress

H&M Striped Skater Dress

H&M Striped Skater Dress

H&M dress | Unknown statement necklace | A’Gaci heels | Forever 21 sunglasses

They say that pieces featuring Breton stripes are popular because of their versatility; after all, the best time to wear a striped sweater is all the time. Often associated with the French or the navy (maybe the French navy?), the style was popularized by Coco Chanel in the early 1900s. Since then, it’s expanded from blue and white stripes to every other color and stripe-length combination one can think of.

The way stripes go on a clothing item is everything. I’m a fan of how this dress incorporates them horizontally, vertically, and diagonally to create the illusion of a smaller waist and longer legs. It’s one of my favorites — I’ve even featured it twice before on the blog (see the other posts here and here). See how you can make it look so different, though? Total capsule wardrobe material.  (more…)

Tossing the Lines

Lilly Pulitzer Shorely Blue Tossing The Line Sandrine DressLilly Pulitzer Shorely Blue Tossing The Line Sandrine Dress

Lilly Pulitzer Shorely Blue Tossing The Line Sandrine Dress

Lilly Pulitzer Shorely Blue Tossing The Line Sandrine Dress

Lilly Pulitzer Shorely Blue Tossing The Line Sandrine Dress

Lilly Pulitzer Shorely Blue Tossing The Line Sandrine Dress

Lilly Pulitzer dress | Franco Sarto shoes | Forever 21 sunglasses

I am loving the hell out of this Stepford Wives-esque vintage Lilly Pulitzer dress. The 2004 movie remake of that story remains one of my favorites to this day for both its sardonic humor and the colorful, ultra-feminine sundresses worn by the cast.

It tells the story of Joanna, a high-powered career woman who moves to Stepford, Connecticut with her family after suffering a mental breakdown. Stepford is creepily old-fashioned in a white-picket-fence, stifling-gender-role kind of way (think 1950s cultural norms), with the men all going to a mysterious clubhouse during the day while their wives cook, clean, and generally wait on them hand and foot. Ew.  (more…)

Year of the Rooster

GB dress | Jack Rogers sandals | Unknown necklace | Forever 21 sunglasses

Happy Chinese New Year! 2017 is the Year of the Rooster, representing confidence, punctuality, and a solid work ethic.

Celebrations usually begin on Chinese New Year’s Eve and last up to two weeks, featuring tons of lanterns, great food, and lion dances. I recommend checking one out if you’ve never been; it’s an experience.  (more…)

BoilerMake IV

Note: Photos 2, 3, and 5 were taken from the official BoilerMake photo gallery.

I’m freshly back from Purdue University in Indiana, where I attended BoilerMake IV, a 36-hour hackathon. What a weekend — six hundred hackers got together in two of the school’s spacious gyms to code up projects, make new friends, and win prizes.

In addition to this being my first hackathon, it was also my first time seeing what life was like at a “real” (read: population bigger than 800) college. Although there were some headache-inducing moments, I had a blast and will definitely be on the lookout for more hackathons to go to in the near future.  (more…)

The Hottest Pink of Them All

Lush dress | A’gaci heels | Forever 21 sunglasses

Bright, in-your-face pink is my favorite color for a reason: it’s confident, unapologetically femme, and bold instead of dainty (like me!). A dress in this shade is so girly that it’s my go-to when meeting new people.

Destroying stereotypes while looking pretty and polished is one of my favorite hobbies. Grab your favorite pink frock, swipe on that berry-flavored lip gloss, and go conquer the world. Bonus if you’re wearing killer heels: it adds to the effect.

I’m currently in Indiana with my sister for Boilermake, a hackathon (from “hack” and “marathon”, defined as “an event, typically lasting several days, in which a large number of people meet to engage in collaborative computer programming” by the Google dictionary) at Purdue University. We’ll be coding through the entire weekend; the goal is to have a working prototype of an iOS app by the end. I’m super to learn a new programming language and consume metric tons of caffeine. Wish me luck!

Dandy as a Lion

Forever 21 sunglassesLilly Pulitzer dress | Charlotte Russe shoes

For those of you who live in places that have seasons, do you genuinely enjoy the cold? I’m originally from up North and I’m grateful for the “winters” down here that allow me to dress like it’s summer year-round.

I found this delectable delight at an obscure Plato’s Closet in Palm Beach, immediately becoming infatuated with the little bows adorning the hem. They add just the right amount of whimsy/ridiculousness to make the dress stand out, but not to the point that it would be socially unacceptable to wear in public. And that dandelion print! Anything that resembles a tablecloth, curtain, or beach towel in a Southern home — send that shit my way. I’m obsessed.

2017 New Years’ Resolutions

Everly dress | A’gaci shoes | Forever 21 sunglasses

Happy New Year! I decided to go the untraditional route and opted for a colorful shift dress that screamed “summer vacation (is only six months away)” rather than “let’s get glitzed up” to ring in 2017.

It’s still available on at the Mint Julep Boutique right now, so if you like it, snatch it up ASAP.

Despite having become quite a different person since first coming to college, my style has stayed the same; I’ve been and will probably always be a dress-and-heels type of girl. That doesn’t mean I’ll let things become stale, though. I have four fashion-related resolutions for the New Year:

Choose more eye-catching pieces for everyday outfits

I know I already wear enough show-stopping dresses that burn your eyes out, but a lot of the time I find myself opting for my “safe” option of a solid skater dress and black heels. Bright colors and pretty prints are unique, fun, and require a certain amount of confidence to wear with pride. I sometimes BS myself and say that I’m “saving” a dress for a special event, but what’s keeping me from wearing it now? Washing machines exist for a reason. I vow to look my best every day, even when I don’t feel like trying.

Spend less on clothes 

I’m an avid second-hand shopper, both online and in stores (the Plato’s Closet workers in my area know me by name). I make it a point not to spend more than $25 on any one piece unless it’s a special occasion like my birthday or Christmas. Of course, lots of small purchases add up to lots of hard-earned money going right from my bank account, so this year I’m going to cut down on buying things I know I’ll only wear once, no matter how cute they are, and commit to loving the items I already own.

Learn how to do my makeup properly

This one may surprise you, but my beauty-savvy friends have been laughing at me for years because I still wing my eyeliner down instead of up and use the same blush that I played dress-up with when I was five (true story). I’m so impatient that I usually don’t bother with a makeup routine at all. While I do enjoy the fresh-faced look for days where I sit in the library and code, there was a noticeable difference when I invested time into learning how to apply foundation properly instead of using BB cream as concealer. I not only looked a lot better in the few times I did apply makeup, but I actually started enjoying the process more. What a win-win.

Make more friends who are interested in femme fashion

I love, love, love girly aesthetics (you don’t know how much), but unfortunately, my current friends don’t share my enthusiasm for every single shade of pink, frilly hems, or huge bows. One of the reasons I created this blog in the first place was to attract like-minded people and start conversations. If you think you could be one of these people, don’t hesitate to drop me a line! Let’s chat.

– – –

I hope you all had a great holiday season with minimal fights with relatives and intrusive questions about your life and future plans. Here’s to 2017!

Asian Barbie Version 2.1.0

Above: About a month ago, my photographer and I had discovered a random table by some of the campus admin offices and decided to shoot me standing on it. These are some of my favorite photos that we’ve taken together.

When I was thirteen, I dragged my mom to Hollister to buy two polka-dotted skirts. They were too short and rode up unflatteringly whenever I sat down, but I didn’t mind because I’d seen one of the pretty girls in my grade rock one earlier that week. Never mind that I hated skirts. I was convinced that copying the look of someone I admired would make me as effortlessly beautiful as she was.

I’ve since then realized that emulation, while flattering to the original, isn’t exactly the best strategy to go about when you’re trying to create something of your own, whether that’s a personal style, career path, or way of running a blog. I now embrace a style that is all my own, one that is very high femme and consists of absolutely no skirts (dresses that look like a top and skirt are acceptable). I don’t know anybody else who wears party dresses to class, but when I put on a bright pink frock and six-inch heels for the day, I’m going with what I know works for me; I look good because I enjoy what I’m wearing.  

For some reason, I didn’t realize that the same logic applied to my blog. Asian Barbie was for fashion, so I’d take my photos and write my posts like every other fashion blogger I’d seen. Look back at my old blog posts or my Instagram and you’ll see what I mean. Generically, I did well, but my content sucked. Photo shoots consisted of me striking generic fashion-blogger poses in the same locations over and over. Afterward, I’d go home and agonize over what to write on the blog. Then I’d struggle with the Instagram caption.

I hated it. Blogging soon became a daily chore rather than a fun pursuit. I procrastinated, pushing my posts back to three times a week, then two, then none at all. Schoolwork got to be more intense. Weeks would go by without a single blog-related peep from me. Occasionally I’d get a burst of inspiration and set out to blog again, only to get hit with the same struggles that had kept me down before.

The hundreds of books and guides on how to create an engaging fashion blog that I devoured all said basically the same thing: have a photographer, edit your photos but not to the point where they look fake, be mindful of how all your pictures come together on your Instagram grid profile, use hashtags like #OOTD, and join a networking group. But my problem wasn’t that I had no style, or that I wasn’t trying enough. It was that I simply had nothing to say.

Publish a photo of a girl in a pretty dress accompanied by a mediocre caption and the post won’t do too badly; do that every day for a month and watch everyone–girl included–get burned out by fake-sounding, overly peppy posts about her outfits. “I love this dress! The deep blue color reminds me of the sea. :)” Can we not?

Instead of writing about what I was actually interested in, I’d made the same mistake as my thirteen-year-old self and thought that the path to blogging success was to emulate other fashion bloggers I knew. While they legitimately enjoyed writing about their outfits and personal lives, I’m not one to recount minute details of the day, and I hate posing the same way over and over again (that habit will be a little harder to break, though — I feel so awkward taking candid photos that aren’t really candid, even if they look really good in the end). I’m also pretty bad at sounding bubbly over the Internet. Like, I used to cringe in embarrassment every time I thought of someone I knew in real life reading an outfit post I made on my blog. Every word sounded so contrived and shallow and painful to read, which is what happens when writing is forced.

The thing that always gets me about fashion is its ability to make a statement. Clothes can flatter the human body, or the human body can show off a particular garment. An article of clothing can easily change perceptions about the wearer; I personally chose to start wearing dresses, heels, and other stereotypically “girly” clothes because of gender identity issues I’ve had my entire life. I could go on and on about the historical and cultural significance of Lilly Pulitzer or why I have an entire closet filled with white sundresses. I’m no anthropologist, but the impact that certain styles of dress have had on society is something I never get bored of. I didn’t realize that I could have written about all of that in my blog until last night when I had a sudden epiphany in the shower (the birthplace of all good ideas). Looking back now, I can’t believe I hadn’t been doing that all along.

That doesn’t mean I can’t start now, though. From now on, I’m going to take a more authentic approach to my posts: the reasoning behind my sartorial choices, the hipster-like irony I like to employ (you don’t think I’m wearing that shift with the pink and navy smiling whales all over it without my tongue firmly in my cheek, do you?), and the statements I make. I’ll be going with what interests me, and I hope that it’ll interest you, too.

Here’s to a fresh start,

Time for Tubby Toast

Tinky Winky DIY Halloween Costume

Tinky Winky DIY Halloween Costume

Tinky Winky DIY Halloween Costume

Tinky Winky DIY Halloween Costume

California Dynasty slip dress (c/o Goodwill) | Teletubbies antenna headband (c/o Ebay)

If you were born in the mid- to late 1990s, Teletubbies probably had some sort of influence on your early childhood life. I’ve personally been both Dipsy and Laa-Laa twice for Halloween; this year I decided to represent my favorite Tubby of them all, the fun-loving and gender role-smashing Tinky Winky. I ordered an antenna headband online and DIY-ed the rest of my costume by sewing a piece of felt onto a purple slip dress I found at Goodwill. I happen to already have a Tinky Winky doll with me at college (he helps me with my homework).

Who/what are you dressing up as for Halloween? Are you more into store-bought costumes or do you DIY it every year like I do?

Mimi

Celestine Sun Goddess

Tobi sequin skater dress

Tobi sequin skater dress

Tobi sequin skater dress

Tobi sequin skater dress

Tobi sequin skater dress

Tobi sequin skater dress

Tobi sequin skater dress

Tobi dress (c/o Vinted)

Center of the Universe Parties (COUPs) are a long-standing tradition at my school. Every year during Halloween, Valentine’s Day, and graduation, respectively, the entire residential side of campus gets decorated according to a certain theme. Alums come back, everyone dons a costume, and we all gather together to dance in the Black Box Theater, an all-black room filled with blacklights and outrageous decorations.

I love dressing up for COUP because it’s usually a challenge trying to find a costume that both fits my aesthetic and stays true to the theme. This year’s was Celestine Halloween, an astrology-inspired party that involved cool lights everywhere and a giant paper-mache sun hoisted up in the palm trees. I dressed up as the sun goddess in a gold backless sequin dress and a whole lot of body glitter (not shown here because I took these pictures a few hours before the party).

The Black Box Theater was interesting — they had a great mix of hype and chill music, and there were blacklights everywhere. Have you ever noticed how people transfer energy when they dance? If you haven’t, I recommend you do this at the next dancing event you attend: join a group of people on the floor who don’t seem to be too into it, thrash your body around super enthusiastically, and see how quickly they jump to do the same. It doesn’t matter if you’re a good dancer or not; the key is absolute confidence-veering-on-shamelessness. I promise that it’s fun!

Celestine Halloween was one of the best COUPs I’ve gone to in my time at this school. I had a great experience and look forward to attending many more.

Mimi