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Thursday
Oct182012

Zara and H&M Fitting Room Reviews: Fall Edition

Hello readers!

As a study break, I gave myself a couple of hours to return a damaged Zara dress and a little shopping. I headed to Century City Westfield mall to browse new arrivals, summer sales and to simply get a little sun. 

Here are some fitting room reviews. First up is Zara; I will try to put a stock photo up, when possible, along with my own fit photo for better comparison.

I tend to lean more toward Zara TRF due to the younger style and better fit for me in dresses, jeans and skirts. I love the regular Zara trousers, however.

Semi Push-Up Trousers in Burgundy (here)


Oxblood/burgundy is hot for Fall 2012. I like these pants, but didn't love it. I like jeans with a little more structure to hold in my inner thighs. These were quite stretchy. They fit well on the lower thighs and beyond. I am wearing a size 4. Did not purchase.

Semi Push Up Trousers in Olive (here)

For some strange reason this fit a little better. Still skipped on it though. I prefer the burgundy color.

Dress with Diamante Shoulders (here)

I love this dress! The silhouette is is quite flattering and curvy. I really like the clean and crisp white colors. Because the dress is tight, the more modest hem and sleeves are a welcome addition. These dresses run 1-2 sizes small. I am wearing a medium in this photo. Purchased.

Jacquard Tube Dress (here)

Cute with the jacquard/lace overlay, but a little too simple for me. I didn't like the cap sleeve length and grommet design. The color is similar to the stock photo, a deep forest green. I am again wearing a medium. Did not purchase.

Halter Neck Dress (here)

Zara Mid Heel With Ankle Strap (here)

When I saw this shoe online, I HAD to have it. The low heel is perfect for wearing during the day or for nights out when I want to give my feet a break from 4-5 inch heels. The nude color is very flattering and classic while the punk studded ankle straps presents a nice juxtaposition. It fits true to size.

 

H&M:

Pants

 

Again with the burgundy pants. No bueno for me. The fit was unflattering on the hip area. I wore a size 6.

Sequin Dress

Oh my. Among a sea of knits and floral, this dress shined out like...well, sequins! I wasn't too sure about the blouseon cut because I generally like dresses that nip at the waist and flare out from there. I couldn't take my eyes off this dress! It was short, but since the top was more conservative, it was okay. The back is equally amazing! I love open back dresses and this one was no exception. I need a dress for Vegas anyway and I couldn't pass on this beauty. For H&M it was pretty pricey at $70. But it was well crafted, fully lined and sturdy unlike the cheaper stretchy sequin material. This is a size 2. Purchased.

Floral Dress

This dress was definitely cute and on sale for $20! The bodice was nice and snug, but the pencil bottom highlighted my pear shape. I passed on this one.

Floral Watercolor Skirt

A cute skirt to wear on brunches with either a simple mint sweater or a crisp sleeveless button down. I wore a size 4. Purchased.

Pink Shirtdress

The material is exceptionally thin. So thin that my undies were CLEARLY showing though so for decency's sake I found an obnoxious bow sticker to cover the goods. The shirt is cute in theory but is quite shapeless. You could belt it but the side slits are large (see in mirror) that the dress would become too short on the sides. Passed.

Well that concludes my study break! Hope you enjoyed this post!

Love,

Kim

Monday
Oct152012

J Crew Toothpick Ankle Jean in Garment-Dyed Twill: Neon Violet

I have quite a few pairs of J Crew denim now due to the cute colors, and super soft denim material. This new color caught my eye on the J Crew site, so I decided to check it out in stores.

Here is a stock photo of the J Crew Toothpick Ankle Jean in Garment-Dyed Twill in Neon Violet:

Here is the denim on me:


Color:

As you can see, the color is radically different from what is displayed online. Although I would have preferred the lighter purple, this more vibrant one is pretty too. The fit is pretty standard with the other J Crew denim and is true to size. I am wearing a size 26. They are not super flattering on my thighs, but the color and softness make up for it.

Thanks for reading!

Love, 

Kim

Friday
Oct122012

Voda Swim Envy Push Up Review and Sale (Code at the bottom)!

I wrote about purchasing from Voda Swim a few months ago. They sell the Envy Push Up swimwear in bikini, monokini and one piece forms. The company claims that the top with add up to 2 cup sizes to your bust area (something I need dearly) without looking fake. So here's an unbiased review (unlike many others out there who are given free suits for a blog giveaway) about the Envy Push Up!

First here's a video:

I purchased the lace string bikini in fuschia shimmer in a size S for both. First these suits are a little on the pricey side. I paid around $120 for mine, plus shipping. They arrived fairly quickly (3-5 days) and I was eager to try them on. The cups were padded, but did not include any underwire. So I slipped the suit on and...

Hmm...no BAM automatic C-cup, but it did lift my bust noticably. I looked like I had a decent B-cup going on there and most important of all it looked natural, felt comfortable and I loved the simple detailing of the suit. The results were similar to Victoria's Secret push ups, but the Voda Swim look was more natural and the cut was more bikini triangle top-like compared to VS's bra look. The materal was similar to almost every other suit. Bottoms were standard. I'm sorry I won't post pictures, shyness has gotten the most of me!

I liked the suit. I don't know if I would spend $120 on it, however. But from today until Sunday, get 40% off (regular site gives you a 30% off code) your order with BLOWOUT40! I will be purchasing another one:

with this bottom:

 

Love the aqua color! The matching bottom to the top is a liitle to lace-y and lingirie for me, so I am sticking with the same bottoms I got before in a different color!

Total was $60 before tax and shipping. Worth it at this price!

Enjoy shopping!

Best,

Kim

Wednesday
Oct102012

UNIF Dream Jumper Dress 

I know, I know summer is pretty much over and I should be transitioning to fall favorites such as chelsea boots, velvet pants, sweaters and so on. But I'm hanging on to the last rays of summer, my favorite season. Luckily in LA, the weather hasn't chilled too much yet and wearing shorts out is still very much acceptable.

While studying (or not studying...) I chanced upon this dress by UNIF. It is a romper/maxi dress with a gorgeous watercolor gradient.

I love almost everything about it from the colors, flowy skirt shimmery fabric, cinched waist...except. How short is that romper underneath?! I think my underwear will show if I'm not careful! I've been trying to think of ways to cover up a little. I was thinking of just cutting the shorts part off and wearing a white/lavender skirt instead. What do you think? How would you fix this little caveat.

The dress is on sale on Nasty Gal here.

Thanks for reading!

Love,

Kim

Thursday
Oct042012

Providence LA Dinner Review

Tonight my date and I headed to Providence LA for a birthday celebration. While researching restaurants in LA, we stumbled upon Providence and Melisse as good options for a fancy dinner out. We decided on Providence simply because it was rated 2 Michelin stars in 2009, before Michelin abandoned LA as one of its locations for publishing guides. 

Providence LA is a very seafood-y place with lots of fresh and cooked seafood to choose from. I was not aware of this and thought that it was a French restaurant, nevertheless I was very excited to try it.


My friend and I both ordered the 5 course market tasting menu, oysters plus wine accompaniments.

Amuse Bouche's:

To tantalize our palate, the chef sent out 3 amuse bouches prior to our appetizer:

Frozen Watermelon soaked in Champagne and a Frozen Grape soaked in 2 types of alchohol: Delicious! The sweetness of the fruit and the sharpness of alcohol was perfect to wake up the palate! It looks quite simple on the picture as it did in real life, but the taste more than made up for it. I could eat those grapes all day long (and probably wake up in rehab haha!)

Chilled Zucchini Soup in Coconut Yoghurt and Cheese Puff topped with Bechamel: I honestly think that the chef concocted this dish to be "innovative", "creative" or "pioneering". It wasn't horrible of course, but there was a strong fishy taste in the liquid mix, almost like a salmon oil (orange dots). The soup was interesting to say the least, thick, salty with a strong marine aftertaste. I finished it though out of respect and just because I was plumb hungry. The cheese puff was warm with a strong cheese filling. Delicious!

Deep Fried Salmon Skin with Salmon Cream Cheese: The crisp salmon skin just hinted with a taste of the fish and combined with the spunky dip was quite good, but not amazing. I had half a piece and decided to save my stomach for the rest.

I appreciated the 3 Amuse Bouche's. Not overwhelmingly delightful, but a welcome treat.

Appetizer:

Prior to our tasting menu, I ordered a selection of oysters to start and a pairing of sparkling wine.


Kumamoto (washington), blue hill blonde (maine) or naked cowboy (new york) oysters traditional mignonette, cocktail sauce consommé: We were served 3 types of oysters, so I was able to try one of each. Each mollusk had a very specific taste and when paired with the savory (light colored) sauce and the tart/herby darker sauce, all emerged delicious. I very much preferred the ones on the right. Unfortunately I forgot the names!

Five Course Tasting Menu with Wine Pairing:

Finally the tasting menu started. By now I had already eaten all of the above PLUS 2 pieces of olive bread. Their butter is AMAZING by the way, it is thick, creamy and flavourful without being too creamy. To die for actually.

Japanese kampachi (uwajima) smoked tomato gelée, heirloom tomato, minutina: Sorry the image is so dull. We were served kampachi (almaco jack) sashimi, with tomatoes, crispy jasmine rice and a tomato froth. The fish was delicious! It was soft and had the right resistance to bite. The dish didn't have a fishy aftertaste and tasted very fresh! I loved it. 

Live sea scallop (new bedford, ma) brentwood corn, pickled nectarines, vadouvan: Apologies that the dish isn't in its original form. Scallops are my favorite seafood so I was so ready to dig in. The scallop sat atop a glazed nectarine and was covered in some crunchy, nutty flakes. There was a white foam as well, but I cannot name it. Because I consider myself a scallop connoisseur, the way a scallop is cooked is of utmost important for me (I'm a scallop snob, I know). I like a scallop to be seared brown on the outside and very tender and moist in the inside. Unfortunately this dish was slightly overcooked which lent it a gummy texture, I expected a little more from such a celebrated restaurant. 

MIDWAY BREAK: Woo am I getting full. Especiall of the wine. Let me just say that each glass complimented each dish PERFECTLY. As the dishes got heavier, so did the wines. Props to the sommelier on that:

(Struggling to keep up with the wines. Finished 2, 3 on the table, 3 more to go!)

Wild halibut (alaska) two peas farms fresh cranberry beans, nori, brown butter: Great tender fish, yummy beans. Nothing much to say about this. I was happy (and getting full).

Dutch valley farms tenderloin of veal (holland, Illinois) chanterelles, la quercia bacon, haricot vert, hazelnuts, nipitella: So before anything, let me inform you that I have never had veal before. It's a moral thing, especially after viewing the deplorable conditions that the babies go through. I don't force my opinions on others however, so after a bite, I gave the rest to my date. That bite was great. The meat was so soft that my teeth felt like it was slicing through butter. The mixture of pleasure and guilt was...new? Thumbs up on this dish. Veal lovers will appreciate the purity of the meat. The side was another highlight. Veggies + bacon + mushrooms. How could you go wrong with anything with bacon?

Desserts:


Manjari 64% espresso, sweetened condensed milk, gianduja, ube: A lovely chocolate mousse wrapped in hard chocolate accompanied with spiced ice cream, figs and crumbled graham chocolate. Confession time. I have a savory instead of a sweet tooth so I cannot give an appropriate judgement to this dessert. It was yummy, for sure.

Hazelnut macaron with chocolate filling, caramel chew and apricot gelee. Loved the macaron! Caramel was sweet and yummy as you would expect and the apricot gelee was soft and slightly sweet. A cute way to end our dinner!

The decor was pretty and interesting (designed like an underwater pier), the service was spot on and the food was delicious. With great company what more could you ask for?

I would rate this place an 8.5/10. For the price ($450), there were definitely improvements to be made, but they were minute and didn't distract us diners from the experience. Did I mention the wine pairings were spot on?

Thanks for reading!

Love, 

Kim

Thursday
Oct042012

Outfit of the Day: Travel and NY

I'll be visiting New York for the first time and wanted to look nice when I met my friends at the airport. Yet, I needed a comfortable outfit for the long 5 hour transamerica plane ride. I decided to go with and all black outfit, which is rare for me because I love color. In the monochromatic garbs, I felt more mysterious and chic. Excuse the messy room. My traveling buddy gave me 1 hour to pack because he was worried about traffic.

Outfit:

 

Top: J Crew Sweater

Bottom: J Crew Factory Ponte Pant

Shoes: Forever 21 Chelsea Boot

Bag: Black Chanel Jumbo Flap

These boots were a great find! It was a great way for me to try out the short boot trend that is big for the fall. The pair would look great with lace tights and a dress or with skinny jeans. Plus they were only $35! Grab 'em while you still can here! As for sizing, I would size down by 1/2. I'm a size 7.5, but wear a size 7 in these, particularly because they do not have half sizes too. 

Thanks for reading! 

Love,

Kim

Tuesday
Oct022012

ShopBop Dresses Review! Better Pictures. Thanks iPhone 5!

Recently I went on a dress binge and purchased quite a few dresses from Shopbop. I'm newly single and realized that I don't have anything to wear to dates (isn't that always the case ladies?). Anywhoo, my package from Shopbop arrived today and let me review what I got. I hope this is helpful to you, and if you have any question on sizing, material or whatever else, just leave me a post! 

James Perse Sarong Tank Dress in Orion (here)

This dress is very sexy. The cut and the rusching lend or accentuate the curves. I was worried that this dress wouldn't provide enough coverage because my hips aren't perfect and there are lumps that I'd want to hide. The bottom material is weighty and the added folds help to tuck you in and keep you smooth. The length is and appropriate (I'm 5'5") counterpart to the tight dress. I got it in a size 1. A definite yes to this dress!

Rebecca Taylor Feeling Good Dress in Mint Julep (here)

 

This dress is a little frumpy, maybe due to the wrinkles that I need to iron out? This dress runs large as this is a size 0. The color is more subdued than advertised. I think I can make it work with a belt as shown. I love the thin halter straps of the dress that definitely shows off the shoulders! It's a maybe...

BB Dakota Lunette Dress (here)

 

 

 Aww I wanted to love this dress, and I still do I think? The color is lovely, like a neon peach. And I am really into the open back that still sides your bra strap. This XS dress fits on the waist, but is large on the bust area. I do have a small chest and have basic sewing skills so maybe I can adjust the strap to be a little tighter. Fingers crossed! Keep.

Splendid V Neck Shirtdress (here)

 

Much too short. That is all. Size XS, returned.

Madewell Casey Cami Dress (here)

I have this dress in Black and I loved the fit and flare shape of the dress! For pear shapes like me, this is definitely the most flattering cut. Pockets are a cute addition and the color is just fab! Who cares if summer is over, I'll were fuschia any day. I also have a mint colored one coming, marginally obsessed with this dress. Size 0. Keep!

Free People Crochet Applique Dress (here)

Eh, I was never really into the crochet, bohemian look, so I don't know why I added this to my cart. The crochet part added bulk, although I did like the mesh skirt. Size XS. Returning.

That's all for today! Stay tuned, I have a very special reveal coming up! Shopping pulses in my vessels!

See you soon,

Kim

 

Sunday
Sep302012

J. Crew Sale Reviews!

In the last additional 30% off sale event, I went on to purchase some tops and accessories. This was more of an impulse buy to take advantage of a sale. I need to stop this haha.

Let's start!

Striped Colorblock Top $24.15 XXS

Love this top! I like how the bright pink is attention grabbing, but is somewhat toned down by classic stripes. I'm quite into stripes recently as you will see in this post! The material is super thick so it is perfect for cooler days. This runs pretty large. 

Painter Boatneck Tee $20.65 XS

Love this top! It is super flattering and the length is perfect! The fit is slim and is true to size. 

Factory Two-Tone Stripe Tee $24.15 XS

This top is just okay. It is kind of loose on me and personally doesn't fit very well. But I do like the stripes and the two colors. Final sale so no returns. :|

J Crew 3" Chino Shorts in Neon Yellow. Size 2 $29.99

Can't complain about J Crew shorts! They fit quite well. I usually grab a 0 or 2. I also like the bright neon yellow. It definitely isn't for the faint of heart, it is really highlighter bright yellow!

Stripe Silk Cami $69.99 Size 0

The fit of this tank is a little off. It is super tight on the bust (I don't even have a large bust to begin with) and it flares out right under, much like an empire fit. I'm not particularly fond of that, but the amazing color and stripe pattern make up for it. I think this would look good with slim white skinny jeans.

Hope this helps! If you have any questions post or email me at kim@aprettythought.com

Love,

Kim