Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Lookbook - 10 current favorite outfits

My personal fashion and taste are always evolving. I am constantly finding new inspiration and wanting to try different things. I'm excited to share 10 of my favorites outfits (focusing specifically on clothes and accessories) as of February 2016. Although I have an "OOTD" series that I already regularly post to this blog, this will be different because it's not necessarily outfits that I've worn (although some are). These are more like the 10 best outfits I could create based on what I have in my closet that really represent who I am and what I like at the present time. I had a really hard time narrowing this down because there's so many pieces in my wardrobe that I love, but hopefully this will just be one post in maybe a(n annual) series? I think it will be interesting to see the change over time.
If you're a regular blog reader (hello, thank you for sticking with me!), this is going to be a slightly different post than what you might be used to and I may be going over some details that you're already familiar with. If you're new to my blog, hopefully this will serve as a "fashion introduction" of sorts and will give you a pretty good idea of what my personal style is like in a nutshell!

Outfit 1 - Liz Lisa ribbon blouse, Liz Lisa wagon print skirt, Liz Lisa floral bow watch with charm bracelet, Liz Lisa 2-tier flower necklace, Liz Lisa rose quilted purse with unknown brand bunny charm, Tralala bow 2-tone wedge sandals
I created this himekaji (click here if you're unfamiliar with this genre) outfit around one of my favorite items in my wardrobe right now - my wagon print skirt from Liz Lisa. I love the pale pink color with the flowers and carriage print near the hem. The length is above the knee but not super short which means it can be appropriate in a number of situations for me. I've worn it to work, to church and just out for fun. Paired with this particular top, I would probably just be heading out to lunch with friends or maybe some shopping. I decided to overload on the bow/ribbon theme throughout the outfit - not only on the waistline of the skirt, but also the sleeves of the top, around the face of the watch and the front strap of the sandals. Overall, it's very girly and cute with the color scheme and details which is something I really enjoy and very true to my personal style at the moment.

Outfit 2 - Spinns V-neck cardigan, Charlotte Russe peplum sleeveless dress, Forever21 flower necklace, unknown brand bracelets, Flag J sandals, Kate Spade New York quilted handbag
I originally purchased this dress for my cousin's wedding a few years ago where I would be heavily involved in helping with preparations and operations. It caught my eye because I really liked the mix of colors and the flower pattern. It's fitted in all the right places without being too tight or suffocating me but still has enough snugness so I don't have to worry about it slipping down accidentally. The peplum detail creates curves - making my waist look smaller in comparison to my hips/butt, and I feel absolutely amazing in it from all angles. I paired it with a cascading flower necklace with similar colors that helps fill an otherwise bare neckline, and I love the look of the two together. The sandals give me several extra inches of boost but are still comfortable to walk in and don't distract from the floral motif. I would definitely wear this to another daytime wedding or graduation/birthday party.

Outfit 3 - Material Girl faux leather riders jacket, One Spo lace up 2-heart dress, Doll Kiss ankle socks, Nine West ankle boots, Samantha Vega purse
I'm definitely a pastel/pink lover but I also have a wardrobe full of black/darker color items and when they can crossover cohesively, I definitely take that opportunity. This pink dress was a recent purchase from One Spo, and it's somewhat plain and not extremely interesting on its own. Because the details are black, I wanted to play that up when creating the outfit and give it slightly more "edge" by pairing it with a faux leather jacket and black accessories. I get a kick out of an outfit that says "I can be sweet, but don't mess with me!" and I believe this achieves that. There's also a small heart motif throughout the outfit with hearts on the dress, the heart necklace and the heart-shaped lock on the purse. I really enjoy the matching elements that tie this outfit together. I would wear this to attend a casual event at night (like an "Eat the Street" food truck run). The jacket and boots will keep me warm even though my legs are a bit exposed.

Outfit 4 - One Spo heart cut out fuwafuwa cropped top, One Spo plaid trapezoidal skirt, unknown brand OTK socks, Liz Lisa lace-up back pumps, Samantha Thavasa handbag and "E" initial charm, Daiso bow barrette
I completely fell in love with this skirt and top combination when I first saw it during my recent trip to Japan. It's not even remotely practical in Hawaii because each piece even on its own is really too warm for the weather here, but that didn't stop me from purchasing it because I love it so darn much. The top features a small heart cut out and a fuzzy texture. The shape, color and pattern on the skirt immediately reminded me of Cher from Clueless, and I proceeded to style with that in mind but putting my own personal flare into the outfit as well. White socks and shoes seemed to be an obvious choice so as to accentuate but not overpower the main pieces. Whereas Cher may have paired this look with a backpack, I decided to go with a small handbag from Samantha Thavasa in pink that I thought suited me a bit better but also matched the pink details of the clothes very well. To keep the overall look very girly, I finished it off with a bow barrette for my hair that matched with the slightly darker pink of the plaid. To be honest, I have no idea where I would wear this since I can't think of a situation in Hawaii where wearing this might be appropriate, but I love it so much that I don't care lol. Could be useful on a future trip to a colder climate though!  

Outfit 5 - Liz Lisa lace peek cardigan, Juge Etta floral resort dress, Liz Lisa knot wedge sandals, Kate Spade New York handbag with Liz Lisa and unknown brand charms, handmade floral headband
This wasn't an outfit that I knew would work from the beginning, but I've definitely grown to love it. I slowly started putting it together piece by piece until I was happy with the result. The dress was my base. It's floral and pink (clearly a favorite of mine by now if you can't tell) in an easy to wear silhouette. I tried it with this lace panel cardigan on a whim and even though it could be construed as a bit busy with the floral lace on floral print, I actually really like it and I don't think it distracts in a negative way. Pulling from the subtler colors of the dress, I wanted to use my lavender purse and pink summer wedge sandals, and I topped it off with a headband I made using rosette ribbon for a sweet but easygoing vibe. I could easily wear this to church, work or a family event.

Outfit 6 - Liz Lisa ribbon off shoulder blouse, Liz Lisa opal flower skirt, Liz Lisa heart suede pumps, Liz Lisa flower necklace, Icing bow headband, Samantha Thavasa handbag
Although it's relatively unassuming, this has easily become a go-to look for me. There are times when I want to wear something cute but not put a lot of effort into it or make it seem like I'm trying too hard. Each of these pieces are pretty basic on their own, but the combo still somehow makes me feel like a princess. The slight volume of the skirt balances the heaviness of the shoulder detail of the top and creates a pleasing silhouette which makes my waist look smaller. I like to wear this with pumps instead of open toe sandals because they're slightly more classic and mature-feeling. This Liz Lisa pair in particular has subtle heart details that keep them from being too boring and yet not overly cutesy or over-the-top. This is yet another casual daytime outfit, but honestly, that's my favorite occasion to dress for and a pretty common occurrence in my life, so it shouldn't be too surprising that this favorites lookbook includes a number of outfits from this genre.

Outfit 7 - Forever21 collared blouse with necktie, Banana Republic fitted dress, Guess? mary jane pumps, unknown brand sterling silver link bracelet and jade bracelet, Michael Kors quilted handbag
This is an outfit that I can count on. It's definitely more classic than much of what I've already shown, but this is something I know I can wear to an important meeting or interview that still showcases my personal style. The fit of the dress is fantastic so I don't have to fuss with or adjust it constantly, and the top layered underneath prevents any sort of accidental exposure in the neckline or shoulder area. It's a bit prim, but still shows my body shape well and paired with the mary jane pumps, I feel like a million bucks. By itself, the dress is still great but nothing particularly special. Adding the collar + tie does make the overall look read a little young, but I know that I can use that to my advantage in certain situations, and the bag also balances it out a bit.

Outfit 8 - Ank Rouge collared blouse, Ank Rouge mermaid cameo skirt, Liz Lisa clear pearl sandals, Liz Lisa seashell woven pouch, Daiso bow barrette
I knew I had to create an outfit with this seashell pouch from Liz Lisa. It's not the most practical thing for everyday use, but I love purses in fun shapes and this one is no exception. Sticking to a "sea" theme, I immediately looked to pair it with my mermaid print skirt from Ank Rouge. I like that the mermaids/sea theme isn't outrageous or too zany but it's a subtle detail mostly for me to enjoy, haha. To match with the lavender trim of the skirt and again wanting to go in a himekaji-inspired direction, I matched it with a girly blouse that also has a very small lavender detail. Last, but not least, the outfit would not be complete without these Liz Lisa sandals which have a pearl and tiny seashell detail on the straps matching not only the shape of the purse but also the pearl detail on the closure as well. The pink color of the shoes also matches well with the small amount of pink in the skirt. This is probably another outfit that I would just wear out during the day for any occasion. One thing that I like about himekaji is that it's feminine and cute but casual enough to wear frequently in a number of average situations.

Outfit 9 - Forever21 cardigan, Cecil McBee top, Cecil McBee watercolor floral fitted skirt, Flag J sandals, Michael Kors watch, unknown brand bow bracelet, Michael Kors handbag
The colors and pattern of this fitted skirt really drew me in. It's floral and girly but in a less obvious way. (And lots of colors means it's less easy to spot accidental stains, haha.) I paired it with a top with a bit more volume where my body could use a little boost - in the bust area. This outfit includes colors (white and pastels) and details (pearls) that I already use a lot with my casual day outfits but with a "sexier" edge because of the silhouette. A cardigan provides coverage when I want to expose a little less but can easily be removed as preferred. I see myself wearing this in similar situations to Outfit 2 (like friends' birthday parties) but for likely for dinner instead of lunch. This could easily also be a clubbing outfit! (I just don't go out very often lmao.)

Outfit 10 - Liz Lisa faux leather riders jacket, Liz Lisa opal floral collared dress, unknown brand OTK socks, Liz Lisa OTK boots, Liz Lisa beret, Samantha Thavasa handbag, Liz Lisa trunk suitcase
I really wanted to put together a look with my over-the-knee boots, but I almost never wear them at home in Hawaii. However, they are a staple item when I travel to places that will be colder because they not only provide warmth for my legs, but also match easily with so many of my things due to the neutral color and are comfortable despite the heel. I will start out in the Honolulu airport likely wearing slippers (you might call them flip flops) with no jacket. I'll pack the jacket, boots, socks and hat into my carry ons. It's not nearly cold enough in Hawaii to justify wearing all the layers yet, and I don't want to hassle with taking all these things off while going through security. However, after I get on the plane, I can use these pieces as needed depending on the temperature of the cabin, and when we're just about to arrive at the colder destination, put the whole outfit together. The hat is nice because it can hide messy plane hair, but it also stores completely flat if unneeded. It might not seem practical for everyone, but this is an average travel outfit for me because the difference between my place of origin and the destination often requires me to take on/off layers to stay comfortable. I also like to wear dresses or skirts on planes instead of jeans/sweats. I'm not really sure why exactly, but it works out because the dress can easily be used as its own outfit during the trip if needed and isn't just a throwaway plane outfit.

How would I define my personal style?
I have a hard time describing my personal style as a whole. I like pastels and neutrals, but I'm not afraid of darker colors. I enjoy feminine details but also classic and less fussy looks. A-line bottoms are my friend, but I also love a great fitted dress/skirt when I can find it. Honestly, I feel like my personal style can vary a lot depending on where I'm going, what I'll be doing and when. I really believe in "dressing for the occasion" and that's why I have such a range of clothing and refuse to get rid of things.
I've noticed that one of the major concepts I keep in mind when creating an outfit is finding "matching" items, whether it's color or overall feel of the look (sexy, sweet, edgy, etc), that also flatter my particular body type. I love seeing people mix prints and have completely contrasting outfits, but it's not something I subscribe to for myself all the time. I think that all 10 of these outfits, as varied as they are, all have that really cohesive "matching" element to them in some way, and that's what makes them stand out for me as favorites because the items within each outfit fit together seamlessly.

Where do I like to shop?
It's probably fairly obvious that I have a few favorite brands - Liz Lisa being a major one. And I also really enjoy creating outfits with multiple items from the same brand. I don't think that's mandatory to create a cohesive outfit, but brands often already have something in mind when they create certain pieces and while it's not limiting, their recommended pairing is a great choice. Coordinating items within a brand also helps because there is usually a similar color scheme throughout multiple items, especially from the same season. There's a ton of different shades of pink out there, but Liz Lisa tends to stick with a small minority of them and even if they're not exactly the same, they will likely still work reasonably well together. That being said, I do really enjoy mixing brands and coming up with combinations that might be less expected as well.
I tried to include western/American brands with the Japanese brands although my main focus when shopping these days is typically in the Japanese market. However, I definitely do have interests outside of that, and I'm happy when I can use western fashion items in a himekaji/Japanese fashion inspired look. I do own a fair amount of "average" western fashion-type clothing that I'll wear to work or just running errands, but the items I buy in/from my favorite Japanese brands definitely feel more special. The designs are not what I'm used to seeing in the US, and the fit is often just right for me. Whereas sometimes with American brands the smallest women's size fits me really oddly in some area, the freesize (one size) Japanese item is somehow just right. I'm happy that I have been able to figure out what works for me, even if that means ordering from overseas.

In the interest of full disclosure, this blog post idea is provided by Social Print Studio. However, this post is not sponsored, nor have I had a chance to be a customer yet, but I really liked the concept and wanted to give it a shot. I will likely attempt to do updates of this type of post in the future!
Tbh, I was a bit nervous about creating this post for some reason. There's something about sharing something you're really proud of that's personal and specific to you to people who may not understand your vision and who are going to judge you. But at the end of the day, I know that my personal taste is not shared by everyone and that's okay. I really enjoy wearing the clothes that I have in the way that I coordinate them and as long as it's not causing harm to anyone else, I'm not bothered if someone else thinks it's tacky or too childish. I often feel my best when I am wearing clothes that make me feel confident, and I want to continue doing that.
I'm glad I was encouraged to take this opportunity for a bit of self-reflection on my personal style as a whole and really examine what outfits and pieces best represent who I am.

Here's a short video version of the lookbook!
http://emiiichan.blogspot.com/p/contact.html
Please do not repost my photos without sourcing!

10 comments:

  1. I Love outfits 3.4 and 6. All items are beautiful, mostly those of Liz Lisa. (๑´`๑)♡

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad you like them <3

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  2. Emii, I really love how you can transform from a pink princess into chic goddess in a blink of an eye! The 7th, 8th, and 10th are my favorite! Esp the 10th since I'm sucker for winter-look (even though I know it's too hot for your weather) but you look really good in it!

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    1. Thank you! Although I don't always share it on social media, I love a variety of styles and I want to continue to explore a few different sides of that this year.

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  3. I really like the layout of the blog! I really like the gifs and that you included a variety of styles and brands. ^^ Definitely shows off your wardrobe and personal style.

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  4. The inclusion of gifs is awesome!! :D That's really cool how you added those in. Definitely adds something to an outfit post ^_^

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    1. Thank you! I have to put a little more effort into it because I'm using Photoshop Elements and have to grab frame-by-frame haha, but I don't mind doing it every so often :)

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  5. Wow, I just realized once more that we have a very similar taste of fashion, even outside of the typical Japanese brands. The only thing that you wear a lot that would just not fit me right are tight short skirts, they always look a little odd on me. So if I personally wear tights skirts, they are usually a little longer than yours. You can rock them, I can't ^^
    Ahhhh, I can't decide which outfits I like best, they're all wonderful- you look stunning in number 2 by the way, very 'spring' in my opinion.
    The wagon print outfit 1 and the mermaid outfit number 8 are extremely pretty and very typical for your blog. They are forever favourites of mine. The outfits that match my own stuff/coords/taste quite well are 1, 3, 6, 7 and 10. I think the best and most versatile outfit of all of them is number 6, I absolutely adore how sweet, light and effortless it is while still being very LizLisa/himekaji, but without too much frill. Just princessy and youthful enough but not too over the top or cutesy- it's perfect and works well for many occasions. Bravo!

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    1. Thank you! As much as I love Japanese fashion brands, I love finding cheaper locals items that I like as well. I'm glad I ended up trying out 6 completely on a whim because I just love the combination <3

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