Sleeveless in Chicago


Truth be told, it’s easy to ride on the back of a fleeting moment when it comes to fashion. Seasonal trends arrive as swiftly as they go, from the eponymous Burberry poncho on Instagram’s wanderlust-inducing snaps to the duster coat that style mavens with bicoastal sensibilities layer up during the wintry days. Yet the truth of the matter is, there aren’t many styles that’ll shake up my wardrobe with endless pairing options and fluidly transition into the next season. Trendy as some styles may be, I find myself gravitating towards more perpetually versatile items that look good, get the job done right, and friendly from AM to PM across four seasons (okay maybe two).


Then I met the sleeveless coat and it was love at first sight when I saw a Valentino one online at Neiman Marcus’ 50% off sale! A trend so bold and eye-catching, it exudes a tactically sensible look partial to ladies with a classy taste. And that’s when I imagine my à la mode wardrobe palette gaining a refreshed and livened bolt of energy! With a slight menswear-inspired silhouette, the sleeveless coat can add an extra zest to any ensemble.


During the week pair it with a crisp button-down shirt and slacks to keep the chills at bay, and throw it on top of a cocktail dress for your evening soirée. Needless to say the choice of whipping up a new look with this coat is boundless! Here I channeled the Parisian sleek and streamlined look by pairing my new Zara find with a classic striped shirt, lace up heels and a small satchel. And of course, my classic cat-eye and red lips. Presto we’re ready to roll.


What’s your take on this fashionable find, and have you tried this look before? 🙂

Xo~ Lena


–> P.S. Want to win a $350 gift basket with goodies from Marc Jacobs to Kate Spade? Don’t forget to enter the giveaway I’m hosting with other Chicago bloggers! Info HERE!


Coat: Zara // Sweater: Loft// Pants: Paige// Shoes: Prabal Gurung for Target// Bag: Marc Jacobs

Photos: Jason J Photography

Kobi コビ A Bundle Of Joy

“To witness miracles unfold in your experience, count your blessings and be thankful. Perceived small blessings accumulate to be the most powerful.” – T.F. Hodge


I’m sure you’ve heard this before, that life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. Like a favorable gush of wind that sweeps you off your feet, what brings you the utmost delight? Could it be a noteworthy career? Someone to call your one true love? Or the mere pursuit of happiness that reigns supreme in your life?


As for yours truly, I find enrapturing the little things that make me cherish the passing moments. Quiet time at the coffee shop, snuggled up with a matcha green tea latte in a comfy corner. Striking conversations with total strangers on topics trivial and benign. Though not entirely riding on the back of a fleeting moment, I find it important to live in the now and be content dwelling in the present. To linger in them. To lavish in their glory.


Thus was my absolute delight this weekend to take a breather from my busy schedule and spend some quality time with Kobi, my Australian Shepherd who coincidently turned 6 months old on Black Friday! As you can imagine, my shopping spree consisted nothing short of rawhide bones and plush toys for this little nugget 🙂


To stay in tandem with my gleeful state of mind, I kept the colors light-hearted with my favorite camel pea coat from the LookBook Store which for a limited time Lookbook Store Women Clothing Is Up to 80% Off! Given the 3/4th length sleeves, this jacket is ideal worn over a long-sleeved shirt in a varied selection – rich hue, striped patterns, or even baroque prints! Swoon-worthy peek-a-boo effect? Yes you can get that look down pat! For a casual vibeI I resorted to this new fuzzy burgundy sweater and finished the look with dark denims and platform lace-up boots similar to this pair by Opening Ceremony (did I mention frenzied friday entailed shopping for humans too?)


Stuffed to the rim with delicious Thai food and wind-battered from Black Friday shopping as I may be, this Thanksgiving I am grateful for the precious moments with loved ones that I know will be cherished forever.

What are you thankful for this year? 🙂

Xo~ Lena

Follow Me on  FACEBOOK // INSTAGRAM // BLOGLOVINkobiV-45kobiV-1kobiV-57kobiV-59kobiH-17kobiH-16kobiV-74

**P.s. As for the LookBook Giveaway, I want to thank each and every one of you for your participation as your likes, comments and follows are gratefully accounted for and appreciated! This opportunity has allowed me to learn about your unique sense of writing, style and personality. I enjoy reading each and every one of your blogs and once again thank you for being a part of my blogging journey! Congratulations to Lucy Mitchell you are the winner 🙂

Jacket: LookBook Store// Sweater: H&M// Pants: Paige// Shoes: Zara// Bag: Louis Vuitton// Scarf: Zara

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Sip, Shop, Stroll at Bloomingdale’s


From haute couture to haute hors d’oeuvres, the lineup of holiday soirées started on a fashionable note for me this year! No there weren’t models in party-themed fashion shoots carrying piles of glossily wrapped presents (as if Christmas came early), but there was a pop up fashion show at Bloomingdale’s on Tuesday. Nothing short of glamorous was the swoon-worthy array of prêt-à-porter and bespoke clothing showcased at the event!

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The fashion show + designer meet and greet was hosted by Mandarin Quarterly, a Chicago-based print and digital media company specializing in branding and outreach endeavors for clients towards the dynamic Chinese market. The attendees were an eclectic mix, ranging from Chinese students in Chicago to young professionals working the 9-5’s to the artsy, creative crowd in the Windy City.


Now onto the fashion show. As models swanned their way stylishly through the crowd, an eclectic mix of chic, polished and avant-garde pieces were presented in plain sight. A flurry of marabou feathers in platinum foiled jacquard from Kate Spade? Remarkable. Dapper tailored suits from J. Toor? Stunning. Black velvet top with pearl embellishment from Azeeza? Plenty of holiday cheer!

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In my outfit I calibrated with fun and jovial vibe by wearing a heart embroidered dress from Stella McCartney from ShopBop (where new markdowns on designer items are 30-70% off at, a polished purple coat from Milly, and these zipped ankle boots from Zara.

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The appetizers were just as delightful as what pleased the eye, replete with crowd-favorites like garlic and parmesan stuffed mushrooms, lightly seasoned steak wraps, and grilled bread with prosciutto. Paired with the savory white wine and yours truly was a happy camper!






















Fashion. Food. Fun. It sure was a pleasant start to a holly, jolly good time this holiday season! For what it’s worth I’ll toast to that. 🙂

Xo~ Lena


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Jacket: Milly// Top: Stella McCartney// Tights: Hue// Clutch: F21// Shoes: Zara

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Like The Cool Kids

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When it comes to fashion favorites for the hip and stylish, the trending factor isn’t the only thing that warrants purchase. Granted if you ask a sartorially savvy person some of the best items to work into a capsule wardrobe, one that contains staple items that never go out of style, the answer would probably take into account the following questions.

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Is it partial to pairing with a plain white T as it is with a printed sheath? Is it unabating in couture and caliber with both modern flair and old-school charm? Replete with bicoastal sensibilities adorned by sleek avant garb-clad New Yorkers and the golden damsels of LA?

In essence a few nouveau pieces fit the bill  — a striped T, black skinnies, ankle boots, and of course, the classic denim jacket.

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What I love about the cult favorite denim look is how light and comfortable it is without compromising the “cool factor”. Whether thrown on over a short-sleeve shirt, perched atop the shoulder, or wrapped around the waist, there is no shortage of street-style cred with its crisp coloring and nonchalant edge.

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So was my choice today when I wore this crop denim jacket while trolling through Streeterville. Everything from workwear detailing to traditional fit to pale undertones make it spiffy and fun (not to mention keeping my semi-brittle bones intact).

To play up this street style look, I wore it over a navy striped shirt (oh the feline fun) and kept the bottom in the same color family with a blue/black/white mini. And because the color was erring towards monochrome, I added a purple clutch for that au courant pop of color!

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Ah the joy of Fall — pumpkin latte slurping, layer upon layer strutting, and fun mix/match pairing!

Xo~ Lena


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Top: Zara// Skirt: Zara// Jacket: Lucky// Shoes: Vince Camuto// Bag: Urban Expressions// Bracelet: J. Crew// Necklace + Ring: Forever 21// Watch: Marc Jacobs// Shades: Urban Outfitters

Photos: Jason J Photography

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Midi Is My Hobby

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Maxi skirts long have had their heyday when floor-grazing patterned sheaths dominated the runway, from a Valentino macramé lace number to a Cavalli beaded ruffled dress with glamorous boho movement. And mini trends were just as prevalent during the fashion week extravaganza, turning the summer staple to a showgoer uniform worn with striped orange jumpers and coveted heels.

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Then there’s the midi skirt trend that graced the street style playground in various shapes and form. Full, pleated, patterned, lace. A style so versatile that it’s evolved for the sole purpose of style and practice with a hint of Parisienne chic. Stumped on how to integrate a style favored by leggy models into your ensembles? Sky-high heels aside, here are two of my favorite midi styles for work and play (happy hour salute!)

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1.) Patterned: whether floral, baroque or jacquard lace, a printed midi will flatter your silhouette. Teamed with crop tops and dainty heels, the outfit is great for a cocktail party or an evening soirée. A friendly reminder — to emphasize a feature, choose large prints; to downplay one, go for smaller prints.

2.) Pencil Cut: a great office staple, it’s a surefire way to take your 9-5 wardrobe up a notch. Choose a high-waisted version and tuck in your crop top (belts optional) and add on bold accessories like chic eyewear and bejeweled necklaces.

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In my outfit today I played up the 2 iconic styles with this midi skirt from Milly by saturating my ensemble with bright colors. Because the effervescent floral number held the spotlight, I paired it with a black crop top and kitten heels. Sensory overload. Under tab. Want to add extra pep to your look?  Make sure your accessories pick up a color on your skirt, like the demure orange earrings that matched the coral hue on my dress.

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Whether you want to pull off this season’s ladylike trends with a pleated midi, or add an offbeat edge with a leather skirt, there’s an option for everyone. What’s your favorite midi style of the moment?

Xo~ Lena


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Top: H&M// Skirt: Milly// Shoes: 14th Union// Bag: Zara// Shades: Prada// Choker: Forever 21

Photos: Jason J

Blurred Lines

Sunday. Funday. OOTD.

Blurred Lines. Dark sheath. Tribal accessories.


When it comes to styling an LBD (little black dress), the sky and its orbits are the limit. We oftentimes gravitate towards dark-colored outfits because we think that they elicit a slimming and contouring effect. Though I undoubtedly agree with that fashionable idea (the “I lost 5 pound” theory), I also believe that color spectrums of black, navy and grey are great foundations for the layering effect.


Much like an embellished mural yet to be painted, a little black dress is like a blank canvas that’s achromatic and void. With a bit of stippling, blending and a dash of color, one can make it vibrant and fun. Whether it’d be an embellished jewelry to add a bit of jazz to a cocktail dress, or a fitted tribal print blazer to add definition to a maxi gown, there are countless ways to express your individuality by adding on baubles and trinkets that define your unique style.


Along that note I paired a floor-grazing dress with a black and white labyrinth jacket. I adored this number when I saw it at H&M given how these simple colors create such intricate designs. So to complete this Oriental-style outfit, I layered on a tribal necklace that matched the red lining of my jacket and crisscross stilettos that dramatized this jagged effect. Does the bauble look familiar? That’s because the sister pair was featured on my NYC giveaway, by which the lovely Ms. Jacqueline won! Check out her awesome blog Avibrantday which features spectacular beauty hauls and makeup reviews.


Who said that neutrals of black, navy and grey paved the way for fashion doldrums? Look far and trust your instincts…you just might get yourself out of that maze 🙂

Xo~ Lena


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Photos: Jason J

Hit Rock Bottom. Bounce Back Up

“I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go. Things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right. You believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together” – Marilyn Monroe


Life can be a tumultuous ride; oftentimes we get caught up in the whirlwind where we are at our highest highs at one moment only to be dropped down next to our lowest lows. At that moment we experience an instant adrenaline rush that puts us in the fight or flight mode where we ask ourselves “should I pursue this or should I just let it go?”


The feeling of perseverance resonated with me as I came by River North, which is a scintillating and upbeat neighborhood north of Chicago’s Loop. Despite its livelihood and crowd, this is one of the places where I encountered many fond memories and where down the road had to turn a “blind eye” to a few. This is the foreground to where friendships were born and nourished, and where the last goodbyes were bid adieu.

Yes despite all these perpetual changes in sentiment, I know one thing stays constant, and that is my character. I became Better. I moved Faster. I endured Stronger. And hopefully became more fun 🙂


In my outfit today I paired tribal-print cropped pants with a fitted black blazer because I wanted to resonate with the idea of BALANCE. The colors are multi-toned and if looked closely can have a dizzying effect–this is like the dilemmas in life that catch us off guard.

In order to maintain equilibrium, we have to counter it with stable matters (much like the neutrality of this classic blazer) — a hobby that hones our creativity, a mentor that gives us sound advice, a blog to muse about frivolous yet enlightening thoughts without pause. These are the little trinkets of life that help us endure difficult times and build our character to counter new ones in a more resilient manner than before.



So when you hit bottom next time, bounce back up. You know it’s in you to be a fighter and a survivor. And if you’re in River North, make sure to stop by Rock Bottom Brewery on Grand Avenue. A beer or two might help too 🙂

Xoxo ~ Lena









Phots: Jason J 

Tank Top: Banana Republic// Blazer: H&M// Pants: H&M// Pouch: Zara// Shoes: 14th Union// Watch: Marc Jacobs// Necklace: Forever 21

Coralating Effects

“I see the turning of a leaf, dancing in an autumn sun, and brilliant shades of crimson, glowing when a day is done…” – Hazelmarie Elliott, “A Breath of Heaven”

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Autumn. The season of pumpkin harvest and fallen leaves. When days gradually become shorter, whilst the hours of evening stretch a lengthy course.

Much like Mother Nature’s telltale signs of Fall, fashion trends and styles nevertheless gravitate towards a darker palette. What used to be a wardrobe amassed with neon prints and floral sheaths quickly transition to bordeaux-colored sweaters and moto jackets. Of course given how versatile add-on pieces are for Fall, choose wisely and you’ll be thinking twice before putting those dainty dresses in the trunk (like HERE).

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Then there’s Fashion Week Spring ’15, where designers present their Spring/Summer collections in a weeklong fest of glamour and style. For fashion aficionados, that would be hightailing our mindset to the days of emerging buds and blossoming flowers. Side note – some killer street styles motioned more paparazzi clamor than the catwalks themselves! Ultra-glam in menswear? Have yourself a satin lapel tuxedo blazer over a layered dress. Or take a cue from a ’70s trend when flamboyant dressing was de rigueur and wear a petal-plastered jumpsuit.

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Nonetheless vibrant hues took the front row seat at many runway shows, gladly reminding us that summer’s prismatic colors are not bygone remnants of the past. I love the selection of coral sheaths modeled down the catwalk à la Tracy Reese and Donna Karan, where the textured floral patterns and wavy folds add a youthful touch to ultra-feminine ensembles.

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In my outfit today I played up this light-hearted palette with a pink spaghetti strap top with lace detailing. Though the color is reminiscent of a vibrant season before us, the black flared skirt, with its subdued hue and classic cut, grounds the outfit to an Autumn halt. Paired with a waist-length sweater and red pumps, you’ll have yourself an office-friendly attire to curb those weekday blues!

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Who said those frilly tops and cropped pants have to go? Take a cue from the fashion connoisseurs parading down the streets of NYC, where fashion is forward-looking, imagination is key, and personal style is a costume party for one, you’ll be using simple styling tricks to take your favorite warm-weather basics into Fall 🙂

Xo~ Lena


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Top: Banana Republic// Dress: J Crew// Shoes: Salvatore Ferragamo// Pouch: Zara// Accessories: Forever 21

Plant. Grow. Prosper.

“If you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for a moment.” – Georgia O’Keeffe


What is perspective? Is it an idea…an illusion…a philosophy product of our inherent nature or adopted via multiple facets of our day to day lives? Sometimes I wonder why it’s so easy for us to wallow in an idea so grandiose or so miniscule that we eventually lose track of time and forget the noise around us, only to bask in proliferating its existence. I can without a doubt say that I resonate with the notion of nurturing an idea the size of a mustard seed to see its evolvement in full bloom. As a child I’ve always enjoyed reading high-content articles distributed via print media, from the wall street savvy Economist giving props to a bullish market to perusing spellbinding editorial shoots of powerhouse models in Vogue.



Fast-forward a decade or two later, I realize that my interest still holds true, that I enjoy opening up a magazine (yes I’m a traditional breed; iPad just won’t cut it for me) and flipping through the pages to decipher the inspiring, thought-provoking, thriving, and entertaining (Hollywood in all its glitz and glamour) thoughts and perspective relayed by the writer. It’s the voice, the murmur, the whisper that captivates me, inevitably adding itself on to my own perception of the topic at hand. What effect does the stagnation of the Euro currency have on export-driven China? How has the monetary policy been aiding the US economy post Janet Yellen? Are those tribal harem prints worn by Jessica Alba really suitable for all body types (which in my opinion is flattering IF and ONLY IF worn with heels)–these are some thoughts that rummage through my mind when I delve into the ink and paper in front of me. The thought then came into full bloom — what if I were to gather ideas and point-of-views construed from various media outlets and relay my stance on them in hopes of impacting my readers in a positive way?



Thus was the goal in mind when I created Feline Creatures, which was to relay my take on fashion trends, beauty upkeeps, and health provisions with the genuine intention of contributing positively to my readers’ wellbeing. From a little seed lingering in the back of my head to the day I planted and nourished its growth, this desire to ultimately see it blossom into full bloom has never slipped my mind. In my outfit today, I wanted to carry forth the idea of a journey — from the day a mustard seed was planted to the moments taken to nurture its growth and proliferation.


From the whittling leaves of Fall to a fresh new breath of Spring, it is never too late to pursue an interest or goal that would ultimately make your life more wholesome and fulfilled. Very much like my attire, the monotonous colors of black, beige and navy are reminiscent of our daily lives that we strive to make ends meet. With an avant-garde idea to pursue (similar to putting on a fresh new pair of fuchsia pumps), it would motivate us to walk down paths that we’ve only envisioned but never had the time, energy, or courage to tread through before.


So take a shovel and lay down that seed. Water its growth and satiate it with fertilizers. When the moment comes that the bud blossoms into a full-fledged flower, look into the product of your persistence and hard work and tell yourself…this is the beginning of the land where your flowers bloom. Take the moment to smell the roses, then set your feet firmly on the ground and move forward. My friend, your journey has just begun! 🙂

Xoxo~ Lena 

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Top: Forever 21// Knit Sweater: Zara// Jeans: J Brand// Shoes: Ivanka Trump// Bag: Louis Vuitton


Mickey Blue Eyes (Hyde Park)

“Living is like tearing through a museum. Not until later do you really start absorbing what you saw, thinking about it, looking it up in a book, and remembering – because you can’t take it in all at once.” – Audrey Hepburn

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A German theoretical physicist once said that “imagination is more important than knowledge”. Knowledge, in all its theoretical facts and tactile findings, is limited to what we know and understand. Imagination, on the other hand, embraces the entire world and its cosmic novelties and pursues after what will be to know and understand. As a logic-centric person working in Finance, having to meander through facts and figures on a daily basis, there’s very little room for imagination. Mind you, few are the nuances in creating pivot tables and executing formulas. So other than fine-tuning my creative senses with Feline Creatures as a writing outlet (journalism school was a route once untaken), I gravitate towards museum exhibits and art galleries for aesthetically-stimulating finds that evoke and funnel my imagination.

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Living in Chicago, where there’s a myriad of historical and cultural attractions every week, is a blessing given my post-TGIF itineraries are never bland nor idle. I had a fun and insightful experience this week at the Museum of Science and Technology located in the Hyde Park district. Boasting as the largest science museum in the Western Hemisphere, which features over 2,000 state-of-the-art exhibits displayed in 75 major halls, the museum was like a mass educational playground. Want to know what’s at the bottom of a mine shaft? Visit the full-size replica coal mine exhibit. A marine aficionado? Take a look at the German submarine (U-505) seized during World War II. Want to know how commodities are shipped from the Midwest through the Plains States and Rockies to its final destination in the Pacific Northwest? Watch the miniature trains pedal on a 3,500-square-foot model railroad from Seattle to Chicago. Or be cosmically inquisitive like me and pace through the Apollo 8 spacecraft exhibit, only to be in awe of the apparatus that carried the first humans to orbit the Moon (it still amazes me how one can defy gravity and float in space. I guess on Earth we call that skydiving on a trampoline).

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As a fan of the iconic Mickey Mouse donned in white gloves and red shorts, I couldn’t pass up the “Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives”. The exhibition brought to life Disney’s imagination and artistry with nearly 300 artifacts including clips of Walt Disney’s pre-Mickey animated works (Oswald the Lucky Rabbit anyone?), and props and costumes in feature films like Pirates of the Caribbean. We watched the visionary concepts blossom from sketches to inked paintings to black and white films to its first animated feature film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which was tried and tested on Disney’s revolutionary multi-plane film camera. My trip came to a creative halt when my drawing skills were put to the test at the Disney Academy, suitable for kids and kiddish adults like me who learned how to draw Disney characters with a trained illustrator (white-gloved esprit de corps aside, I conjured up a decent sketch of Donald Duck!)

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Life is short and sweet, so why not put on those Mickey ears, unwind the clock for two decades, and have some fun relishing in those beloved Disney memories? 🙂

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Xoxo~ Lena

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Shirt: H&M// Pants: Hudson// Glasses: Prada// Bag: Louis Vuitton// Sweater: Zara

Credits: Jason J Photography