A little about passion

Home at last.

This past week has been a long string of goodbyes, hellos, and final paychecks. I left residence for the summer, saying my farewells to friends I will reunite with again in the fall, and others who I may not see for quite awhile. In both cases, it was tough. I don’t do well with departures, and this time was no exception. There’s just so many expectations and emotions; I get lost in the crossroads. But I did it and I survived, all 5’1 of me. It was a miracle, to say the least.

My co-op ended on a good note, and I left my cubicle for the last time on an accomplished high. I’ve learned so much about myself, what my goals are, what I like (and, you know, what I absolutely loath), and what I’m passionate about. That last one really became prominent as my term was wrapping up, because I’ve come to realize that work and passion can coexist and complement each other. Shocker, I know.

Passion is such a funny thing, isn’t it? There’s so much power to it. Passion is the driving force behind change and innovation, and it’s astounding to see where it takes people. As someone who revolves my life around my passions, I really love admiring this trait in others. One of my fellow co-workers in residence and close friend is immensely passionate about travel, urban planning, and Hong Kong. It’s inspiring to watch him take those three ingredients and shape a future for himself around them. He’s got such a drive, such a fire inside of him that I truly envy.

I guess it’s friends like this who have opened up my eyes to the possibilities of passion. I never really saw a parallel between my passions and my future career endeavours. They may have crossed paths once in awhile, but they were never running on the same track. The two were never friends, but rather, acquaintances who knew each other only on the surface. You know, that “I’ll make a pun and you’ll laugh and you’ll think I’m funny but you don’t even know where my hometown is” kinda acquaintances.

But this semester, whilst embarking on an adventure through the world of co-op and micromanaging my life, I realized that my passions CAN be at the forefront of my future. I just have to have faith in myself and believe that what I love to do can help me make a career for myself. So I’m going to go out there and write like no one is reading, discussing topics I love, and see where it takes me. You can bet your tuition that it’s going to be challenging, and this blog will more than likely be filled to the brim with endless accounts of me struggling. But I want to write about what I know and love–fashion, music, communication, and Korea. So I’m taking one hell of a chance, and putting my heart where my fingers are (does that even make sense?), to utilize my passions into something beautiful.

I guess you could say I’m inspired.

Until next time,

Jasmine.

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It’s about damn time.

If you had asked me a year ago where I would have been today, I probably wouldn’t have known. And this is an odd thing for me. You see, plans are like my life source. I live and breathe checklists and itineraries and googling grad school options till 3 in the morning. I plan. Every single detail of my existence.

But the thing about planning is that life, like many other things in our universe, is completely and utterly unpredictable. Jobs fall through, friends leave, opportunities open up. So no matter how detailed I could have planned my life a year ago, I would still more than likely be someplace else.

And, if I’m honest, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I know I haven’t updated this blog in what feels like a century, and there’s reason behind it. For the past 11 months (WOW. Time flies) I have been meeting new people, creating community within my university, taking on a marketing job, cultivating existing relationships, discovering myself, and, you guessed it, planning. I have been restlessly scheduling and coordinating my next adventure for this summer. And can you guess where I’m headed?

Well, if you know even the slightest detail about me, I’m more than positive you figured it out–Korea. That’s right, I’m headed back to the beautiful peninsula that captivated my soul and stole my existence (did I mention I’m dramatic?). I will be spending my summer in the humid climate of Seoul while I attempt to rebuild what was my ability to speak the Korean language through taking evening classes at Sogang university.

I think my realization about planning and its faults has been a product of this new adventure because for the life of me, I cannot nail this trip down. Whenever one thing goes right, another goes utterly wrong. I go from being elated about an apartment being available, to finding out I can’t apply for the visa I need. And it’s been like this the whole way through, riding the waves of anticipation, happiness, then slight to severe disappointment.

Organizing this trip has been a lesson in growing up, toughening up, and embracing the difficulties. I needed this. For so many years I have tried to dictate and structure my life to meet the standards that I had set, feeling like I had to contort myself into a certain mold and live that way. That’s not a life. That’s a performance. A heavily rehearsed, memorized play in which I am the actor. And yes, if you must know, there is even a musical number (though only 1 because my singing is horrendous).

What I have realized is that this is not living. In order to truly elevate myself and become the individual I aspire to be, I need to embrace change, roll with the punches, and come out on top. I think it’s moments or events like these that really show you who you are, how you work, and what needs to improve.

So I’ve come to love the unexpected and I’ve learnt that I am resilient when my ideas don’t become a reality. It’s okay.

And so I’m looking forward to this new adventure (D-29 days!) with my neck rest, map, and positive outlook in hand. And you can bet your next paycheck that I will be documenting everything on my blog. So stay tuned!

Until next time,

Jasmine.

 

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.

So Long, Summer.

According to my calendar, fall is on its way. YES. I know it seems redundant in my posts now, but I just refuse to contain the joy I feel for autumn’s fast approach. The leaves are changing, the weather is getting chilly, the rain is (of course) falling, and up here at my uni, the fog rolls around like a sleeping child. It’s hauntingly beautiful.

I think the reason I love fall so much is because you can do so much more in regards to fashion. That, and I’m a sweater junkie. Anything cozy and warm is right up my alley. But in all honestly, I believe fall is the start of something new. School had begun, the sky is changing, the days are (sadly) getting shorter. There is just so much change occurring around us that it is hard to ignore it.

It is also a time to change your wardrobe. We tend to put away the vibrant, neon hues of summer, and instead opt for darker, more richer tones to throw on in the fall. They reflect both the atmosphere and the mood of our surroundings. Autumn is the season to dig out those knit hats and riding boots, to pull out the scarves and the oxfords. My go-to fall look is something that incorporates both the scholastic feel of fall as well as the comfort aspect as well. Try and opt for burgundys, browns, tans, royal blues, and even blacks. Try layering pieces as well; it will keep you from the cold while helping to build a structured outfit.

Now I pose a question to you, in this short but sweet post: what is the one thing, if any, that you will miss about summer? And if not, what is the one thing that excites you about fall? Is it the ever-coveted pumpkin spice lattes making their fateful return? Or perhaps the appeal of layers and scarves that has you anticipating the colder days? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,

Jasmine.

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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!)

Update: Finals Season

Hello there, world!

Right now, university has literally consumed my entire being. I literally have not been doing anything except studying, eating, working, and sleeping. Ugh. But soon enough, it will be over. I have my last final on Saturday the 27th, and after that I am free to do whatever, whenever. Thank God.

I have a bit of a dilemma right now, though. Nina and I have been contemplating getting Macbooks recently, as we both use HPs currently. I am interested strictly because a) they have iMovie and other great video editing software, b) they are great for formatting articles to be sent in for the newspaper, and c) they are much better laptops than the one I am currently using. Here’s the problem: I need to save money for school next year. I have to decide whether to just purely go on student loans next year, and use the money I earn over the summer to buy a Macbook, or to suck it up and wait until… Lord knows when. I really want to start making videos, like hauls, reviews, and ootds, and be able to not only upload them on a YouTube channel, but also on my blog here. I think it would be a lot easier, and would further my fashion blogger experience. So, needless to say, I’m stuck.

With that being said, I will be doing a review on the clothing I’ve ordered from Romwe, though it will be in text format. My shipment should be arriving soon, so stay tuned for that! 

I’m off to study for Sociology now. Wish me luck!

Until next time,

Jasmine.

Update

Hey wordpress,

I felt the need to update you all on what’s been going on lately, and what I have (maybe) planned for the future.

As it would seem, it’s currently end of semester here at Uni, and things have been… well, crazy, to say the least. I have finals starting next week and upcoming projects due, so I have been sadly neglecting the internet.

But I have some exciting news! My two best friends and I are starting a YouTube page hopefully at the end of this month! I am so excited about it because we have been talking about it for quite some time now, but plans were never really set in motion. But now we’ve finally decided we are going to do it and I could not be happier. It will be split into 3 segments, one for each of us, which will include book reviews, health and wellness, and, of course, fashion. As well, we’ll be doing Vlogs of the three of us (or sometimes individual or in a pair), which I think will be the best part. I’ve been thinking about doing my own YouTube channel, but since this opportunity came up, I just couldn’t say no. It’s going to be a blast! Look out for me mentioning it in the future.

I will hopefully be doing an OOTD this week (fingers crossed) and once exams are done, I’ll be doing more fashion posts and trend reports.

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.

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.