to shop / {high & low} gold choker, leopard print jeans, embroidered top, fringe leather skirt

The Gold Choker

Are chokers making a comeback? I have flashbacks from the late 90s with Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

COS Matte Gold Choker (€29) vs. Forever 21 Graduated Choker ($5.80)

When I was at COS in Paris, I picked up this matte gold choker. I used to go crazy with their accessories but have learned to tone it down a bit. Overall, I’ve significantly toned down my shopping on this trip to the point where I have no VAT tax to claim back. The “splurge” was the pharmacy goods. You can find a similar graduated choker at Forever 21 in gold or rose gold for much less. If you’re worried about tarnishing, swipe the underside with a coat of clear nail polish.

The Dark Leopard Print Jean

As mentioned here.

Joe’s Jeans Leopard Print Ankle Legging Jean ($75.60 on sale) vs. Old Navy Rockstar Animal-Print Jeans ($22, before additional discounts)

The delicate embroidered blouse

Dolce Vita Deirdra Lace Top ($198, also known as the Sagiso on Anthropologie and currently available in mint for $168) vs. Forever 21 Eyelet Embroidered Top ($27.80, in cream – selling out quickly – and blue) (Update: The F21 top quality is extremely lacking — they used crochet for the detail…)

If you like the look, Dolce Vita also has a dress under the style name Valentina that has made its way around the blogosphere. Find it here and here (in sale colors).

The Leather Fringe Skirt

When I went to Giverny this summer to visit Monet’s gardens, there was a woman in her 50s who was tastefully dolled up in a black leather fringe skirt, long beaded necklaces, tights, and a leather jacket. Since she is French, she pulled it off very well.

Chan Luu Leather Fringe Skirt ($91.60 from $298) vs. Forever 21 Faux Leather Fringe Skirt ($24.80)

to shop / marni x h&m necklace

As smoothly as the H&M collaborations are run, I’m usually too lazy to wait in line. I’ve never gotten anything from their designer collaborations, but couldn’t resist the lily of the valley necklace from the highly anticipated Marni x H&M collection.

It reminds me of a toy because it sure looks like one! It is very well made. Each piece’s position can be manipulated and moved up or down the leather cord. I like to wear it as a choker style (as seen in the last image), but think it could also work as a belt!





to shop / hidden treasure: forever 21 beaded accessories

I’m a big Forever21.com junkie. There are some well organized stores (like Times Square in New York), but I hate the crowds. When you shop online, you get pristine inventory and cash refunds when you mail back returns. I go through splurts when I actually like their stuff with the peak being the warmer months. I bundle orders together to return — sometimes in a big USPS flat rate box since they are all the way on the other coast. I justify the return costs with the cost of the items. They really are cheap and going to the store may cost money too. Most importantly, I always rather get cash back than credit. Besides, if you use credit on an order and then return it, it gets messy. Over the years, I’ve returned a ton but found a few loves. In general, their accessories are dirt cheap and the quality reflects that, but I was quite surprised by their new beaded accessories:

I received the bead & sequin stripe clutch in the mail the other day and was impressed with the workmanship. It is a pricier item at $22.80. The tag states it was made in India. There was some glue smell so I left it out to air for a week and the smell is now gone. Don’t be fooled by the stock photos. I’d thought there was a ombre blue scheme going on, but both sides are solid navy stripes. It’s a slim clutch so you can’t fit much. I’ve been pretty preoccupied in my spare time, but may take a few IRL pictures soon. I’ve also been tempted by this bubble gum pink beaded clutch and by this shade of pink in general, but have been resisting so far because I never wear this color.

I also love this simple beaded collar necklace. Based on my experience with the clutch, I’d expect this one not to disappoint either!

Update: Here’s a new beaded clutch that is very Missoni.