Faux Fur Feeling

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With the cold weather back in full swing, it’s easy to resort to wardrobe essentials that deliver the effect (shivers no more) but not quite the aesthetics. Sure the collegiate dress code filled with mascot-infused sweatshirts and shearling-lined UGG boots ward off the winter chills, but quite frankly it’s lacking the “zing” in trending. So rather than spawning a closet full of workhorse items that have tenets of minimalistic dressing but void in making a fashion statement, it’s notable to invest in one or two investment pieces that take canny heed in style and function. A camel duster coat like this wool belted one is a solid contender, and so is a faux fur jacket – a quintessentially classic piece with an upper echelon flair.

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Whether you want to get your cold weather style wrapped up with vintage-inspired faux fur boleros or shearling-trimmed cover-ups, there are many styles that give you the eclectic flair without compromising duty. To stage that on-trend look, here’s my top 3 styles:

1.) LEOPARD PRINT – technically a neutral when it comes to wardrobe styling, a leopard print coat can be worn with an all-black ensemble to keep the look clean and streamlined (New York style mavens rejoice!) Just make sure there’s a sliver of skin that peeps through; you know what they say, a small flash of flesh is hotter than an eyeful. So think black sweater + ankle length leather pants + slip-ons, or a vintage-inspired LBD with sheer tights and knee high boots. With holiday shopping in full swing, now you can shop NORDSTROM for NYE Dresses starting at $65.

how to wear white in the winter. I wouldn't do real fur, but a nice white/cream coat over black dress and black boots with black gloves-perfect. faux fur leopard coat
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2.) LONG – the maxi style amongst faux fur coats, this look is for you if you’re an avid follower of the Olsen twins (or you just like your legs covered up during below freezing weather). Team it with knee high boots and a lengthy embroidered dress for a Sunday brunch, and add on some bedazzling jewels when you’re glamorously ready for a night out in town.

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3.) CROPPED – ideal teamed with high-waisted pants and skirts for that slick and polished look, a close fitting cropped jacket can be paired with just about anything – silk button downs with maroon skinnies , tartan under chambray shirts like this Rag and Bone one, and even your oversized shirt dress with stockings! Here I wore my purple cropped faux fur coat with straight-leg ankle pants (sold on the side embellishments) and strappy heels to bring forth a classic, clean silhouette.

Image Via: Thrifted & Modern 2-292-402-472-25

From floor-length styling for extra warmth and appeal, to the “rawr” factor behind leopard prints, what’s your go-to faux fur coat for Winter? 🙂

Xo~ Lena

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Coat: H&M // Tank: Banana Republic// Pants: H&M// Shoes: Aldo// Bag: Phillip Lim// Necklace: K. Amato

Photos: Jason J Photography

The Chill Factor

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Fashion is fleeting and fickle. Fashion is fun. It’s a perpetually evolving force to be reckoned with, and a trajectory of art in human form. There’s no doubt that as we move in tandem with fashion’s rhythmic steps every season, we’ve noticed something quite true, that in essence fashion is partial to the sweeping “fresh factor”.

What this means is that every season comes new designs that enviably cool trend-setters emulate. Think neoprene – a street style wonder child. Denim culottes – throwback to Paris circa 1580. Clodhoppers – a Seoul Fashion Week salute.

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Come to think about it, I’m a facile juggler of different styles and trends — ones that quickly come this season as they quickly go. A mantra that I duly chant, I mean, live by? Trying nouveau trends at least once and truly own your look (begrudge the snickers and eye rolls, brave ones). Lend a casual twist to denim with a high-waisted jean. Herald the start of the overcoat + sneakers + beanies trend.  Heck go all out and wear a pastel culotte and add a speck of playfulness to your weekend wares. Who knows, it might just be here to stay!

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If you ask me a tried and tested trend that I currently love, it would be the color-blocking coat. Something about crisp Autumn hues in multiple shades black, grey, olive, and navy add an extra pep to a monochrome jacket (like this one HERE).  Here’s how I confected a Fall-friendly “chill look” that won’t make you snooze – I paired a Vince color-block coat in olive and grey with a mustard cashmere sweater. Given that grey underlies the main theme, dark yellow was thrown in for good measure to lighten the color palette. And to keep the cool girl vibe on par, I wore a pair of black slip-on sneakers (I love this Saint Laurent pair with its edgy feline print!)

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Did I say cool minimal trend never goes out of style? And that a a two-toned jacket in neutral shades is a surefire way to transition stylishly into the next season? And don’t forget — whether channeling a street fashion look with classic staples or cutting-edge designs, the ingredients for spot-on outfits entail personal style and spunk! Like I said, make it your own and have some fun with it 😀

Xoxo~ Lena

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v-5v-12v-32v-3h-27v-9h-9Photos: Jason J Photography

Coat: Vince// Top: J Crew// Pants: Paige// Sneakers: Sperrys// Shades: Prada// Bag: Louis Vuitton// Ring: H&M

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Stay Calm & Carry On

“Blooming under a cold moon, we are like fireworks. Rising, shining, and finally scattering and fading. So until that moment comes when we vanish like fireworks, let us sparkle brightly. Always.” – Tite Kubo

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What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the word  imgres-1?

Is it chasing after an aspiring career? Is it meeting that special someone that makes you love, laugh and cry? Or is it just the mere palpitation of the heart that keeps our corporal engine running? To me, life is not just the physical act of living but also the multi-faceted pursuits and endeavors that make each day impelling, worthwhile, and adventurous.

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However, sometimes life gets a little shaky and “modern” afflictions may cause us stress, dampen our livelihood, and disrupt our inner Zen. So here to introduce to you are a few ways to alleviate stress and improve well-being to pave way for a genuinely happy and healthy life.     

Who says when the going gets tough the tough can’t get going? Step 1-2-3-4 let’s fire that engine!

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1.) ONE A DAY

Do one thing a day that makes you happy, whether it’d be going to Bikram yoga, moving those feet to a little tune, or finding online deals like saving 70% on Top Brands at Shopbop.comExperts say that stress can elicit cortisol what causes the body to store more fat cells around the waist. The next time stress kicks in and your arm latterly reaches for a cookie, get up and engage in something else. Your body will thank you later for fending off that sugar crash.

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2.) H2O

You know what they say, 6-12 glasses a day keeps the doctors away (some believe it’s apple, but prolonged dehydration would claim otherwise). When your body is dehydrated, you tend to hold on to more water weight, which causes puffiness and bloating. To keep your cells collaterally hydrated and your immune system on par, try to drink at least 70 ounces of water a day. To amp up your taste buds, squeeze in half a lemon as it would aid with healthy digestion. Also when you wake up in the morning drink one glass of water before starting your day – it would help flush out the toxins accumulated from the night before.

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3.) OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES

Along the line of doing something fun everyday, it’s essential to engage in activities outside the four corners of a wall. Ride a bike, stroll along the lakefront, or run a 2 mile trail. The link between 30 minutes of daily physical movements and improved mental health is irrefutable. Not to mention sunlight therapy, or “heliosis” as the Greeks call them, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure which slashes away stress hormones and anxiety concerns.

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4.) WHOLE FOODS

Not necessarily the organic food chain that charges $15 for a salad, but eating a wholesome diet with multitude of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meat and fish allows us to steer clear of fat-inducing chemicals found in refined and processed foods. Think of salmon & almonds = omega 3 fats = brain power. Think of fruits & vegetables = Vitamin C, D, E = healthy heart, joint and skin. And cutting back on caffeine can reduce anxiety and panic tendencies. Which is why i kicked the can (literally) and abstained from coffee. So refrain from starchy fast foods and invest in more fresh produce. You’ll feel less lethargic and more healthy!

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So put on those walking shoes, fill up that BPA-free water bottle, and step out to embrace the warmth, energy, and life of your surrounding. Not only will you body feel more robust and energized, but you’re also bound to discover novel things – a trail, a route, or a new friendship!

Xoxo~ Lena

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Cape This Diem

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When it comes to fashion, I’m partial to a monochrome palette. I really am. There’s something about a neutral outfit in black, white, grey or all the above that looks perpetually polished and clean. I can rattle off a list of my favorite designers that, with a tiniest of tweaks and tricks, parlay a monotonous outfit to avant garde style worthy of fashion month circuits.

Case in point. Alexander Wang’s pioneer into the downtown-cool style with dual-toned utilitarian ensembles. Phoebe Philo heralding the start of the cool white + beige “minimal trend” for Céline. Perpetually savvy with a noteworthy myriad of luxe fabrics avec precise tailoring. Sharp. Presto. Magic.

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Speaking of on-trend moments in the fashion world, a layering effect is a force to be reckoned with. So taking a cue from Burberry-clad mavens like Cara Delevingne and Olivia Palermo, who seamlessly mastered the tossed on poncho/cape look, I was delighted of my new fashion find this week —  a black and white faux fur capelet from eShakti!

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This graphic piece truly adds a glamorous edge to a run of the mill jacket or vest, not to mention snug while being animal cruelty-free! I love the wide spread collar (ideal for ladies with broad shoulders) and the two thirds sleeves for that peek-a-boo effect.

Of course there’s no shortage of styling options. Perched atop the shoulder. Worn over a silk button-down shirt. Pair it with bright leather skinnies like these pink ones I’m donning.  The trick of the trade with making a neutral ensemble pop? Play up textures, mix ‘n match prints!

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So whether you’re choice of clothing are retro A-line skirts or modern day culottes, time is not an essence here as much as adding an extra pep to a classic piece. So take a cue from Wang and Philo this season with their pastel-colored blazer and burgundy wool trench and turn a neutral ensemble on its ear with a hint of color. Like how the chromatic style-setters say it across the globe — make it fresh and make it fun! 🙂 Xo~ Lena

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Capelet: eShakti// Top: Banana Republic//Pants: Paige// Mules: Via Spiga// Bag: Marc Jacobs// Necklace: H&M

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In collaboration with eShakti; thoughts and opinions are my own.

Photos: Jason J Photography