Get ready Vancouver…

What do you think of when you hear the word “Vancouver”? Do images of the sea come to mind, or do you visualize steam rising from tall skyscrapers? Maybe it’s the landscape, with its lush greenery and voluptuous mountains. Perhaps, though, it’s the endless showers spewing from the sky, creating an overcast of greyish hues while you stand under a protective umbrella. Anyway you look at it, Vancouver has its own illustration for each individual.

What about fashion, though? Because fashion, I believe, is an essential part of any Vancouverite’s life. We live on the west coast, and with that comes a more relaxed, laid-back mindset. But this does not mean we are by any means lazy with the way we dress. If anything, it makes our style have a certain edge that cannot be found anywhere else. We are courageous, adventurous, and unafraid to step outside the box. As such, I think it is only fitting that we have a fashion week that is indicative of our unique fashion sense. Sure, you are used to seeing NYF and PFW spreads all over the place, but it is just as crucial to take a look at what is going on at the upcoming F/W 2015 VFW, taking place this upcoming week. In the spirit of this, I wanted to highlight some of the designers that I will be looking out for on the runways, and give my reasons why you should, too.

Alex S. Yu

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With eye-popping hues, and futuristic silhouettes, Alex S. Yu’s designs continuously stand out for me as both eccentric and ridiculously cool. I love the way he plays with the different cuts and sizes of the garments, and how he seamlessly blends textures together. You just get this refreshing feeling from looking at his designs, evoking this sense of contagious energy. The clothes are fun, artistic, and progressive–a mix that is quite hard to find in fashion today. His ability to mix bold with subtle is astounding, and I am eager to see what he produces for this year’s show.

JY Kim

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With clean lines and monochrome colour scheme, JY Kim’s collection is high on my “most anticipated” list. I love how his work is classic but modern, pulling together looks that are creative but timeless. The styles appeal to both men and women, which I think is absolutely fantastic, and would definitely make great pieces for any individual. As an avid wearer of all things black and white, this collection has already scored high points in my books. #monochromeforlife.

Atsushi Nakashima

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Where do I even start? Each collection I have seen from Atsushi Nakashima exudes fantasy, sophistication, and mysticism; it’s addicting. I love everything–from the textures; to the colours; to the prints. Each design he produces just combines so many different elements, and they all tell their own individual story. There is just something so fluid about them. It’s great to see a designer use and blend colours in a way that creates symmetry throughout a collection the way that Nakashima does. That, in addition to unusual fabrics and cut of the materials, really makes this designer stand out in my books.

Needless to say I’m excited. I honestly cannot tell you how great it is that Vancouver is having their own fashion week because, in reality, there is so much local and global talent that needs to be showcased. Plus, by bringing the fashion to the city, it is opening up so many doors for local fashion bloggers and enthusiasts to show off their style. Vancouver is not just yoga pants and Uggs–our streets are filled with progressive, innovated, and cultured fashion that is as unique as the individuals who live here. VFW is a platform to show the world that Vancouver is indeed one of North America’s fashion capitals, and for good reason. Our city inhabits some of the most creative minds this world has to offer, and VFW continues to reiterate this fact with each passing season.

Until next time,

Jasmine.

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The Future

Hello, beautiful world

It’s been ages since I’ve updated and you know what? That makes me a little sad. 

I’ve missed writing fashion, scanning blogs for inspiration, and forming an opinion on the latest trends. But I’ve been so attached to my school work and my grads that blogging, for the most part, has taken the back burner. I know, it’s sad. But my future is what’s most important.

With that in mind, I’ve been reflecting a lot on what I want to do with my life. The goal is still to be the editor-in-chief of Vogue–I’m never letting that go–but how I’m getting there has changed. I want to start writing for SFU’s newspaper in a fashion section, but I just don’t know if I’m a fit for it. Maybe I’m just over-thinking this. The point of the matter is that I want to write fashion: it’s in my blood. I just don’t know how to get there. Do I continue running my blog? Should I start doing YouTube? Do I write for the newspaper? Do I do all of the above? It’s so difficult to know. The future is so uncertain, and I wish it wasn’t so. I don’t want to be left in the dark; knowing is what keeps my sane. I just wish I had a magic book that would show me what to do and where to go in order to make my dream a reality. That, or a chance encounter with the editor of some fashion magazine who falls in love with my style and insists I work for her (Carrie Diaries, anyone?). But somehow, I don’t see that happening any time in the near future.

It’s now 12:00 am and I’m still sitting here, in my residence common room, having a quarter life crisis. Well, crisis might be too theatrical a word for it, but you get the picture. Fashion is in my blood and I want to spend the rest of my life studying it, analyzing it, and reveling in it. I cannot see myself continuing on any other way. Journalism in fashion is my calling, I believe, and I just want to push it to its full potential.

 I apologize for making this post a semi-rant/frustrated ramble. I’m glad I could get that off my chest, finally. 

Until next time,

Jasmine.

 

How-To: Back-to-School Essentials

Ah, September. The time for textbooks, crisp air, and, that’s right, a bringing out the fall wardrobe.

Now, when you were a kid, you probably used to get brand new clothes for school. Am I right? Well now that you’ve stopped growing out of your clothes every year, it’s time to analyze what you have, and how to make it work for the upcoming season.

Now let’s start with the basics: shirts.

1. A knit sweater. For this season, preferably in any shade of red or oxblood. The days are inevitably getting colder (unless you live in California, which, in that case, skip this one), so why not break out the sweaters already? Though it still might be above 20 some days, the mornings are always chillier than the afternoons, so use this piece to layer! Wearing a thin button-down underneath can create warmth for those chilly runs to 8:30 classes, as well as making you look Oxford-ready. If it warms up later in the day, take off the sweater and you’ll still be able to look effortlessly chic. My favourite way to wear this look is with a classic blue jean and a knee-high or riding boot. It’s very scholar-meets-vogue intern.

2. A printed tee. Now I know every one of you owns one of these in some form or another, so why not utilize them now? They’re fantastic to wear under chunky cardigans and you can express yourself in the process. Brownie points if you rock one with a cheeky comment. Now that’s individual style at its finest.

3. A black maxi skirt. These are literally trans-seasonal, if that’s even a word. You can wear them every single season and they work great for all of them. Dress them up, dress them down. They provide so much option a buffet would be jealous (…ha…ha). But seriously, you can pair a simple black maxi skirt with any colour top, whether it be crop, baggy, or even tailored. For the fall season, I suggest playing with the dark hues by wearing a grey thermal or a navy crop top, alongside a white or cream cardigan. If you want to bring the edge up some more, wear a black ankle boot or a black wedge heel.

4. High waisted jeans aka the love of my life. High waisted jeans are not just for the stylish hipsters out there. Oh, no. They are great because not only do they rarely fall down, but they will never accentuate or create love handles like low rise jeans do. Crazy, right? As well, they are super fashion-forward, making any outfit you wear them with look like something off of Lookbook. I cannot stress how much I love this style of jean. They’re one of my essentials not only for school but for life. Anyone who owns a pair can back me on this.

5. Plaid. Anything plaid. The quint essential pattern of fall, plaid is my go-to look for school. There’s just something about it. It’s edgy, scholastic, and just so Alexander McQueen. Am I right? Opt for a basic piece to coordinate when wearing this print, just to make the plaid the main focus of your outfit. Whether it be pants, shoes, or a shirt, tone the rest of the outfit down to showcase the piece from and centre.

So there you have it! I hope this gave you all somewhat of an idea on how to put together your outfits of school, or even how to incorporate some basics into your fall wardrobe. To all my fellow students out there, I hope you’re having a great first week back and I wish you all the best this semester. Don’t let the assignments weigh you down!

Until next time,

Jasmine.

Fashion Inspiration

Some days, I literally cannot think of what to wear. 

I will stand in front of the closet before me for half an hour, and still be unable to come up with a decent looking outfit. And I know I am not alone on this.

When moments like these arise (which is much more frequent than you might expect), I tend to turn to certain websites and people for inspiration. Not only does this help the wheels start turning, but it also gives me some direction on how I’m feeling that day, and what style I want to channel in order to express my mood.

First and foremost, there are celebrities. Now, for me, these tend to be Korean or Japanese celebrities, as I love East Asian fashion the most.

Here are a few of my favourites:

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This is Jung Eun Ji from the girl group Apink. I honestly love her style so much, both off and on screen. I especially adored her wardrobe in the drama That Winter the Wind Blows. It was so edgy and eclectic, just like her. 

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SooYoung from SNSD (aka Girl’s Generation) is next on the list. She just oozes femininity and class. I love looking to her when I am in that girly, minimalist mood.

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No, your eyes do not deceive you; that is a boy. (If you thought otherwise, shame on you and your family). It is the love of my life and the fashion king himself, Kwon Ji Yong, aka G-Dragon. He–usually–is dressed in the most unique and interesting ways that make it impossible for me not to want to recreate them. The way he pulls off most of his outfits leaves me stunned. He is the forerunner in those that inspire me fashion wise. I look up to him so much.

Now, as for websites that are my go-to for inspiration, there are only a select few.

To start off, there is, of course, Lookbook.

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Honestly, if you have never taken the time to visit this site, you should do so now. It is amazing. Real people, all over the globe, showcasing their style and taste for the world to see. I get so many ideas each time I log on, and I love wasting hours browsing the endless amounts of photos. I should really start my own, but I am way too intimidated. They’re all so… flawless, for lack of a better word. 

Next is Yesstyle.

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Both a blog and a clothing store, I always find cute outfit ideas and fashion advice for any occasion. I tend to stay on the blog side of things, as they always have advice columns and cool interviews with popular Asian fashion companies or celebrities. As well, they sell well-known brands from all over Asia, as well as the ever-coveted circle lenses that everybody and their grandma want to wear.

Finally, there is, of course, YouTube! 

I have my favourite fashion bloggers that I follow on there, but the number one girl I always go to is miss Jennifer Im. Honestly, this girl is amazing. She’s gorgeous, and has a wicked sense of style. Her videos always inspire me to be fearless with fashion, to try out new looks, and to step out of my comfort zone on a daily basis. Check her out! Her YouTube channel is called clothesencounters and I’m pretty sure she has a Tumblr, too (but don’t quote me on that).

Other YouTubers who are great are Chriselle Lim, Amy from shopvagabondyouth, Sammie from beautycrush, Steph and Mel from fashioncitizen, and Vanessa from balletandpinkroses. 

So there you have it! These are the many people and places that help influence the tedious decision of “What do I wear?” every morning. Check them all out and comment if you have any favourites of your own! I would love to hear about them!

Until next time,

Jasmine.

Instagram: @harubelief
Twitter: harubelief
Tumblr: harubelief
YouTube: pureaffectionfashion

 

Being Chic on a Budget

It’s no secret that I’m a broke university student. I, alongside the majority of my peers, spend thousands on school, books, supplies, transportation, and, well, clothing each and every semester. University is one of those money-sucking fiends that, unfortunately, is necessary for my future. Being an aspiring fashion journalist myself, this makes things somewhat difficult. If I’m constantly strapped for cash, how am I supposed to keep up on the latest trends?

Well, I have a few tricks that I want to share with any other fashion-conscious student like myself, who find themselves stuck in this situation.

Shopping is inevitable. You honestly cannot completely cut yourself off from spending, especially if you’re known to be an avid shopper. It is not going to work. This is why them the moment strikes, there is a way I make sure I’m getting my money’s worth, and this is by using the division method. If I am wanting to make a bigger purchase, something over $50, I calculate the amount of times I know I will wear the item, and then divide the cost by it. Now, you don’t have to do the exact calculations, though I have in the past. It’s just a general way to be more aware of what you’re buying. Say, for instance, you’re looking at purchasing a pair of $200 Jeffery Campbell heels. Now, how many times do you see yourself wearing them in the near future? Would you only pull them out on special occasions? Are they impractical for the weather in your area? These are redflags you want to be aware of. If you’re only going to wear them 5 times in the next semester, that’s costing you $40 each time you wear them. Is that really worth it? Perhaps you could spend your dollars on a pair of $150 riding boots from Aldo. They are a) more practical for everyday use, b) easier to incorporate into outfits, and c) going to be a staple in your wardrobe. It is better to spend the money on something you are going to be constantly using, than waste it on a luxury item that you rarely pull out of its box.

With that being said, I also go by a rule on how I spend my money when shopping. Think of it this way: for trend, think cheap; for classics, think expensive. Trends come and go, so do you really want to be shelling out big bucks for something that won’t even be in season come next month? No. The best way to save money and still look stylish is to spend less on the trendy pieces, and invest in some great basics. Timeless pieces, like black skinnies, blazers, and LBDs will always be in style. So spend your bigger bucks on basics that will last, and are better quality. Sure, Urban Outfitters might have just gotten the latest style of crop-tops in for summer, but are you really willing to pay $80+ for them? You can easily find the same trend-wise pieces at stores like Forever 21 or H&M for much more reasonable price point.

Online stores are also a great way to save money. Many web retailers charge a fraction of the cost of what normal stores do. Do some research! There are tons of great online stores that carry amazing things, some that you can’t even find in your normal H&M. My favourites are Romwe (super hipster street style, that reminds me of Myeongdong in Seoul), Runway Bandits (a favourite of my idol, Jennifer Im. Watch her on YouTube!), and Chicnova (a cute little site where you can find anything from basics, to trend pieces). There are so many more out there! It’s definitely worth the time to investigate and do some research. As well, many of these stores offer free shipping, unlike the main stores’ websites, like Forever 21. You’re saving money, and sometimes even getting better quality than in-store!

When in doubt, thrifting is the ultimate money-saving shopping experience. Thrift stores carry tons of unique pieces for as little as $1.00. Sometimes you can even find some really great vintage items, and it’s an awesome place to stock up on basics. Things such as belts, sweaters, shoes, and coats are normally the items I come looking for when thrifting. Why spend tons of money on items you can find at the local Sally-Ann for 50-90% cheaper?

Saving money and still trying to look great isn’t an easy task, especially when you’re following fashion bloggers like songofstyle and chrisellelim on instagram, but with the right tips and tricks, you, too, can look like a million for a fraction of the cost.

Until next time,

Jasmine.

p.s.

I thought I would also add some links to some great inexpensive retailers who offer great deals online:

Uniqlo  (based in Japan, Uniqlo offers amazing clothing for small prices. Though they do have stores in Japan and New York, it is usually hard to get to them unless you are travelling to those destinations. Therefore, their online store offers the same great things)

Shopmarkethq (Though their regular priced items are a tad expensive, their sale stuff are normally a steal.)

Dailylook (A staple website in any fashion blogger’s online shopping list, this store offers the latest trends and items for relatively low prices. Check out their shoes!)

Day in the Life: Vancouver bound

This past Sunday was a day I will never forget. I got to go into the city to see one of my bestest friends, Kaede, who was leaving to go back to Japan. She was an exchange student at my university, and we literally are one in the same. I love her so, so much.

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She’s so cute right?

Well the day was spent doing my favourite thing: eating. First it was Japanese ramen.

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The shop is one of the most well-known is all of BC, and it takes literally an hour just to get in. You even have to wait outside! Thank goodness it didn’t start raining until after we finished out meals. The ramen was the best there is, though I, myself, am not a huge fan of Japanese ramen. It is just too plain for me. I guess I’m too used to the Korean version, with multitudes of spice.

So after the ramen, it was on to macarons at my favourite little bakery.

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The bakery is called Thierry, and it’s located right in the centre of Alberni street. It can be quite crowded, but the experience is definitely worth it. It’s filled with all kinds of pastries and desserts, and there’s a coffee bar as well (they make more than coffee, though). Our macarons were salted caramel (the light brown ones), lychee (the pink ones), and a mixed berry flavour (the purple one). My favourite by far were the salted caramel. It was a shame though, as they were not serving my all-time favourites, the vanilla bean ones. Seriously, you need to have these in your life.

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Close-up shot, anyone? Makes me hungry just looking at it.

Later, we even went for gelato at a famous gelato shop on Robson. Delicious, that is all I can say. They literally have any flavour imaginable, it’s fantastic. I got white chocolate and oreo cheesecake. What can I say, I have a sweet tooth.

Our final food stop was at a Korean restaurant I love. I ordered the kimchi stew, aka 김치찌개, which is my love. Seriously, I could eat this stuff for the rest of my life.

After a little while, we decided to take pictures, and Alston (our guy friend who was with us) took a couple OOTD photos for me, so here you go:

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I’ll list everything I was wearing at the end of this post. I just love the background. The location was gorgeous.

In all, it was an amazing day. Tears were shed, and hugs exchanged. I’m going to miss her beyond belief but I know this is not the last time I will see her. We’re too good of friends for that.

Here’s my items worn:

Sweater: Romwe
Acid-wash button-up: Some Japan store
Jeans: Material Girl
Boots: Spring
Giyongchy beanie: Ebay
Bag: Steve Madden

Until next time,

Jasmine.

OOTD: Sunshine Queen

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Today was amazing. The sun was shining (finally) and campus was buzzing with activity. I can honestly say that it not only affected my spirits, but my over all aura as well. It was a great day to wear something cute and frilly, like this polka dot black mini dress that I chose. It’s quite a low cut piece, so I added some modesty and edge to it by layering a studded white button-up underneath. This was a mistake, I later found out, as I was basically boiling from the inside out. Thank goodness for my university’s AC, or else I would have toasted completely. I could have easily taken of the cardigan, yes, but I wasn’t a fan of how the outfit looked without it. It gave it a more scholarly feel. To play things up though, I put on some funky sunnies that are actually my best friend Maria’s (sorry, Mia. They were in my car). As well, I opted for my favourite backpack that I’ve had since… well, forever ago.

Sonia, again, you’re amazing for taking these for me. I cannot ever thank you enough. Plus, our lunch on the green was a blast.

Items worn:
Sunglasses: Borrowed
Cardigan: Bluenotes
Dress: Ebay
Belt: Forever 21
Button-up: Thrifted/DIY
Shoes: Forever 21
Backpack: Forever 21

Until next time,

Jasmine.

P.S.
Might be doing a shoe unboxing video tomorrow and a vlog from going into the city to do some shopping! Stay tuned!

OOTD: Work of Art

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Sometimes you need to step back and take in the landscape. Or, in this case, the art. My university is very art based, and these paintings done by the visual arts students set the perfect background for this laid-back, hipster-influenced outfit. I wanted to go for comfortable yet chic, but I still wanted to play with some edge. I put on my all-time favourite knit sweater, and tucked it into my pumpkin high-to-low skirt. I liked the way it was taking the colour of my favourite season, fall, and contrasting it with a crisp, spring white. To add that edge I mentioned earlier, I opted out on my JC Litas–which would have been my first choice for this look–and stuck with my vintage combat boots. The great thing about these babies is that they were locally made here, in Canada!

Finally, for my very basic accessories, I went for my favourite cross necklace. Normally, I flip it to the black side, but I felt my outfit needed a little… something. So I turned to the Leopard print instead.

Thanks to Sonia for working with the lighting on these ones! Oh, and putting up with all the people walking by. That was fun (not).

Items worn:
White knit sweater: F21
High-to-low skirt: Ebay
Combat boots: Thrifted
Necklace: F21 (of course)

Until next time,

Jasmine.

Newest Obsession: Creepers

I think I’m in love.

No, seriously.

I have been seeing these bad boys everywhere, and at first, I hated them. If you don’t know what I am referring to, then just look up T.U.K Creepers in black. Or black and white. I love them both.

But in all honesty, I thought they were hideous at first. They looked gothic and, well, hipster. But then I came to realize that I am probably hipster. Hell, half the young generation could be classified as hipster so, why not love these unique little shoes? My favourite fashion blogger/YouTube guru Jenn Im is obsessed with them as well, and she has definitely probed me to going out and buying a pair. Well, next paycheck, that is.

They just look so versatile and comfortable, but they still retain that edge to them that I love so much. I don’t know. You may think they are hideous, but I think I’ve found my newest obsession. Trust me, once I have them in my possession I will never take them off. I cannot wait.

Until next time,

Jasmine.

OOTD: Kid at Heart

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Bright lights and arcade games set the stage for this look. It was one of those days that I just felt young, and I wanted to express that through my outfit. I put on my oxblood polkadotted skater skirt, along with a lace long-sleeved shirt for a cute and child-like look. On top of all that, I wore my trusty over-sized denim vest, that I DIYed with studs (and my little “I love GD” pin, because I always gotta be reppin’ my fandom. VIP until whenever). I love the way the lace shirt looks with the rough and tough denim. 

Thanks to Sonia for trying to get good lighting in this dark little space! 

Clothing worn:
Denim Vest: Thrifted
GD Pin: Ebay
Studs: Ebay
Lace Shirt: Thrifted
Skater Skirt: Forever 21
Tights: Forever 21
Shoes: Forever 21

Until next time,

Jasmine.