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costumes

Whether you celebrate Halloween or not, you will most likely be invited to a dress up party. When you find yourself in that situation in the last minute and on a budget, where do you turn to?

You’ve already done Princess Jasmine in second grade, a witch regrettably sometime in middle school, an obscure anime character in high school, and a general steam punk chic sometime in college. Yet this year even with all the constraints of real life, you still want to look cool. You’re trying to stay away from attracting real life demons but still have fun. You still want to keep your private parts private. You still want to preserve your dignity while showing off your awesome creativity…

Here are some quick and random ideas that might not cost you much at all to put together but will make you look stellar! Let me know what you think.

 

1. Rachel from Blade Runner

How rare is it to find an iconic female sci-fi character who isn’t showing much skin? Although Rachel slips into something else in a deleted scene, it’s not hard to recognize that this hair paired with that suit is Rachel from the movie Blade Runner! You can find Youtube videos with hair tutorials on how to do victory rolls to fit her look. Also, check out this article for her makeup. You’re extra cool if you can quote lines the entire night.

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2. Famous iconic detectives: Carmen Sandiego or a female Dick Tracy

A trip to the thrift store for a used red coat (if you don’t already have one) and to the dollar store for a spray painted red hat will automatically create Carmen Sandiego! You can always be a female Dick Tracy, Inspector Gadget, or Sherlock Holmes if it’s too hard to find a red coat. Cheap, chic, and conservative. Besides, don’t you want to stay in character even when you’re outside in the cold and bundled up? Brr…

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source / Cable Car Couture source

3. Comic book face

If you’re a wizard of makeup magic, you can transform yourself into a vintage comic book character. There are many Youtube tutorials you can find that show you how to do this. Although more positive and less sinister compared to zombie or doll faces that are meant to be scary on purpose, comic book faces can still be equally creepy!

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source / source

4. Iconic classic characters with easy to replicate puffy dresses

Although it’s nice to put your own spin into existing characters at times, it gets pretty darn annoying and uncreative when all of the classic female characters get way shorter hemlines. I think it’s so demeaning to women to sell this to us and a total bastardization of classic literature and culture. It’s not wrong to shorten hemlines a bit, but it is total brainwashing and controlling when they don’t sell you adequate skirt lengths on costumes at stores.

The easiest thing to do is to make your own costume. If you’re not very crafty or are pressed for time, go to your local thrift store and buy a puffy vintage dress. If it’s pink, you can dress up like Princess Peach from Mario; if it’s yellow, Belle from Beauty and the Beast; blue? Alice from Alice in Wonderland. Want to do separates? Mary Poppins. Just add in an umbrella! Look below with costumes from Keiko Lynn.

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Mary Poppins source / Alice in Wonderland source

5. Cultural- Your own or someone else’s (THE TITULAR POINT of the Politically Incorrect!)

I’m just going to throw this out there, but I think it’s so ridiculous that it has become “politically incorrect” to dress up as a different nationality. Other kids have been sent to the principals’ office for wearing a sombrero at a costume party or even having the American flag! A yoga studio recently was forced to cancel their Indian themed party because of this same reason as well. When has it become insulting to share someone else’s culture or to show love for your own? We share food, language, ideas, and even family with different cultures. Why has it become a sensitive issue to partake in cultural clothing? Just like how people love Chinese, Indian, Greek, and Middle Eastern foods… we like their clothing as well. Halloween, dress up parties, or what have you are an outlet for expression and creativity. It’s not always meant to insult or show hate. It’s on the person if it is, but it’s not often the case.

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source / source

Because I’m stressing the importance of ignoring what is politically correct, at least in this regard, I am inclined to show you more photos of international wear from my roots! The photo below on the left is traditional Filipiniana, and the right is a modern take. If you search photos of Filipiniana on Pinterest or Google, you should find so much variety! It’s also very easy to replicate and looks a lot like Spanish attire. You can use a shawl to create the puffy wrap around if you don’t have the unique puffy sleeves and carry around a fan.

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Traditional Filipiniana / Modern Filipiniana source

You know what? I’m not going to stop rubbing it in. Below is a video of Erasure with a white geisha. I don’t care. They obviously love the culture and want to incorporate it enough in their video beautifully. This song takes me back to my first memory of a choreographed dance in first grade:

BUYING ONLINE TIP: If you’re buying Halloween makeup, masks, or costumes online, it can sometimes be cheaper than going to retail stores. I find exactly the pattern I want for tights at the right price without having to spend all day at the mall. Just be aware of the shipping times if the store is overseas! It’s not so bad to get costumes online, because you know they don’t have to be quality made. I mean, they’re costumes! You will only use them maybe once or twice. That’s the beauty of buying online for such things!

Shoes however may be a different case. You will need good shoes for standing and walking at your party. I can’t stress this enough, because you don’t want to be limping and in agony because of poorly designed online bought shoes. I found a good shoe size conversion webpage that you can refer to anytime you want to purchase shoes online.

5. Be yourself.

You’re exciting and interesting as you are! I know for a fact that not everyone who likes horror movies is into dressing up (same goes for anime lovers and cosplay), so hit the hay ride or put in a scary or suspenseful movie! I personally like watching scary movies not because I’m into the occult of course, but I honestly like that people are being reminded of real spiritual forces, the battle between good and evil, through fiction. And, I also simply like the thrill of a good scare. I leave you with  past outfits of mine that weren’t intended as a costume or for Halloween… I was simply being well, myself.

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Me this year source / Me in 2010 source

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YOU: Are you into wearing costumes? What will you be for Halloween this year?

 

 

goodbyesummer It’s been a few weeks since summer officially ended. If the NSA were to print out my search history, they’d find things like “plaid” and “cool sweater” in a lot of my Google search terms! Though I’m excited that Fall has begun, part of me still wishes summer was around.

Why? Besides the warmth and light that longer sunny days bring, I also missed out on a ton of styles and clothes I forgot to add in that may have been best done in the summer.

Here are a few on my list. Please do share yours!

1. Lady like & playful dresses and skirts

For most of the summer, I was either teaching yoga classes or spending time literally spread out on the floor (or the ground) doing everything else from eating to working. Practically, my outfits mostly involved stretchy yoga pants. My style died this summer, but it was an experience well worth it. However, I do miss wearing dainty clothes, dresses, and skirts. I missed out on the playfulness of poodle skirts with bandanas, a sort of modest Bordot-Hepburn combo! Below are some really cute dresses from ReoRia on my “1950’s Clothing” wish list! Of course, my inspiration was Bridgit:

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2. Accessorizing

I did have my fair share of multiple rings and chokers this summer, so I’m not really talking about those. I did miss out on extensively wearing my beloved straw hat as pictured below! I barely wore any hats or sunglasses at all this summer, because I was accessory lazy in general. I also just landed on these things called Skin Candy Tattoos that make temporary tattoos look 10x cooler! So if doing yoga all summer made it impossible to wear hats and jewelry, something like this would be very appropriate!

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3. Biking

My husband just bought me a shiny red Schwinn bike with 21 gears for my birthday last May, and I have not used it on the road! For shame. Maybe this Fall would be better, for the scenery anyway! How often do you see bikes and dresses? Not very often. Maybe I’ll pose pics soon. I could’ve have been having fun like Rita Hayworth and her gang of gals…

 

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4. Going to the Beach

Rob and I have only been to the beach once the entire summer! It’s been hard looking for decent and quiet family beaches with salty water, but that one spontaneous trip to Ocean City was so worth it. No one was barely there, but the weather was gorgeous. We had our fair share of the outdoors in general from “grounding” as often as we could, but there’s nothing like the sand and sea…

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What are some things you think you may have missed out on this summer?

If you’d rather not think about it, what are you looking forward to this fall?

conservative modest surfer swimwear girl woman

Although I am girly in a lot of ways, I do admire masculinity in women. Masculinity gets a bad rep in some conservative and religious communities, but if you look at these women in the photos below there is no doubt they are female. With the overabundance of estrogen in food nowadays, women could use a bit more testosterone in their bodies to balance out our hormones!

As you know, Blue Crush the movie and Roxy ads have long set the stage for what surfer girls should look like, wearing tiny bikinis that don’t realistically stay in place when riding major waves! I still prefer the surfer look with scuba suits or separates on women as I do with men. The words “tough,” “hardcore,” “serious” and “legit” come to mind when I see surfers in full clothing. I take them a bit more seriously as I do with individuals in other competitive sports. I know that may sound judgmental, but we can’t deny the reality that the same kind of thinking applies to how customers and coworkers view clothing around the workplace. It’s hard wired into our brains.

Enjoy looking through photos of lovely and talented surfer gals below that the Beach Boys’ wouldn’t give a pass:

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Photo sources: Click on photos above to go directly to photographers’ websites

A few vintage photos of surfer girls are below, because I cannot help but post vintage photos of everything I talk about :)

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Below are a few of my favorite quirky modest bathing suits from ModestSea, which are perfect for the active swimmer or surfer. Even if you’re not usually covered up on the beach, it’s nice to have water repellant clothing that is not a raincoat. I find that the best material for my workout clothes are the type that swimsuits are made of, without actually wearing a swimsuit! Water resistant material doesn’t cling to  skin easily when sweaty and hides whatever bulge you may have! PS Don’t you think the model below looks a lot like Natalie Portman?

modestsea-lori-1-swimsuit-surfer-women-girls Lori Swim Dress

modestsea-lori-1-swimsuit-surfer-women-girls Nicole 2-pc

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Eva & Carmen

ModestSea is having a 40% off pre-summer sale! Learn more from their Facebook

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What do you think about these swimsuits and swim dresses—yay or nay?

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I am wearing a vintage hat, face silhouette top that looks so pop art, and “Gucci” style purse which are all on my Etsy if you are interested in purchasing them! The high waist skirt with suspenders sown on is from SammyDress, and I love it! I can’t get enough of high waist skirts.

So last month, I got to see Casper and the Cookies along with my brother’s band Balkan Falcon at the Windup Space in Baltimore. Kay Stanton was wearing the shirt below.

casper and the cookies polaroid

Look familiar? I asked her where she got hers from, and she said at a thrift store in CA. Ha! I told her I found mine at a thrift store as well. It was truly bizarre to see someone else wearing a rare vintage shirt I haven’t seen on anyone else! I told her I’d stop a stranger on the street if I saw someone wearing something I have (or like), which I have done before… So if you’re a size small/medium and want this top, head over to my Etsy!

Do check the Casper and the Cookies out. They are awesome. If you remember, I included them on my Valentine’s Day mix playlist with a few other bloggers a few years back! Add C&C’s Jason & Kay to your cutest-couples-in-bands-together list. They’ve been married since 2000. Hallelujah…

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I was surprised to see that the crappy quality video I uploaded on Youtube of my live teaching for Bodyflow three months ago has racked up 25K views and 130 subscribers! I’m only saying this because I rarely put up videos on Youtube (let alone check my statistics), and I was just really thrilled to see mostly the comments and e-mails requesting that I make more workout videos! I really appreciate your responses! heart emoticon

I am currently going through my Yoga Alliance certification, so I am hopefully in the near future be making my very own originally choreographed material (this time, not with Les Mills and with my very own choice of music) and putting them up freely on Youtube!

Do you have favorite workout channel(s) on Youtube, yoga or not? What are they? Do share!

 

 

 

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It’s wedding season, and I’ve got three weddings to attend this summer…phew! It just hit me that I don’t have any semi formal (or formal) dresses that are floor length. If you aren’t a diva on the red carpet or a Russian socialite, chances are you don’t have many of those types of dresses either.

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For me, here are some of the reasons why I personally don’t own any floor length and high neck gowns:

1. Hard to find long gowns that are within my budget. Not that more material to cover the skin equates to a higher price tag, because we all know that’s not always the case! It would make more sense, though.

2. Long and high neck gowns are not wearable casually or on more than one occasion. In other words, they are not that versatile. You can’t easily layer a fully covered gown that’s not a shell with another piece of clothing on top and make it something else. For instance, I could easily transform my tunic or a short dress into a shirt by tucking in. You can’t do that with a long gown.

3. Modestly made gowns are often too medieval looking for my taste. Don’t get me wrong. I love vintage, but I don’t like frump.

4. More material on a piece of clothing automatically makes you think of being warm. Not hot, in the shallow sense of the word. Since prom and most weddings happen when the weather gets warm, you want to feel cool in your semi formal attire.

 

So to summarize it for many gals, long and high neck gowns are either too expensive, non versatile, frumpy, too warm—or a combination.

1930s gowns

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However, if you’ve got an eye for style and know that conservatism (modest but not necessarily minimalist) doesn’t always mean frumpy, then you know that long and high neck gowns can be just as or even more attractive on a woman’s physique!

The Oscars type gowns don’t always have to be that expensive that only a Hollywood actress can afford it either. There are non high end brands that are very affordable.

As far as being warm in long and high neck gowns, there are dresses that are made to be breathable and light weight enough to be worn in the summer!

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Just take a look below at some of my personal picks from Victoria’s Dress. They are breath taking! Looking for Long Prom Dresses? Which one is your favorite?

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 modest dress floor length high neck conservative gown semi formal prom  modest dress floor length high neck conservative gown semi formal prom  modest dress floor length high neck conservative gown semi formal prom  modest dress floor length high neck conservative gown semi formal prom  modest dress floor length high neck conservative gown semi formal prom  modest dress floor length high neck conservative gown semi formal prom  modest dress floor length high neck conservative gown semi formal prom  modest dress floor length high neck conservative gown semi formal prom

If I could do it all over again, I’d definitely pick from these if I was looking for Cheap Prom Dresses!

 

pinupdarling modest conservative vintage modern dresses knee length high kneck bodycon

Oh my, check out these lovely “pin up” style dresses from Pin Up Darling. The cut and length on these dresses flatter any body type and can even give the illusion of having an hourglass figure. What a dream! There’s nothing more attractive than the art of subtlety, which we seem to have lost through the years. Vintage fashion 101: Not all high fashion clothes then were burlesque. In fact, the majority of them weren’t and very rarely burlesque.

Back in the day, it was convenient to throw around the labels “lady” and “tramp” to classify a woman based on their clothing. Of course, both the words “lady” and “tramp” can be subjective and one judgmental, and the eyes can deceive—that is why to be a lady, her clothing must be accompanied by good manners as well. Boy, that woman would be hard to find now and “more precious than gold.” I definitely enjoy partaking in bathroom jokes often myself. ;-) I am my father’s daughter after all!

Although it’s quite easy to transform a regular outfit to look pin up, or should I say 50s just by simply working on your hairstyle, not every girl knows or has the time to primp glamorous hair right before going to work or school. To me, it’s easier to do that with clothing like with these modern conservative pin up dresses or with actual vintage , but every woman is different. Check out my past outfit below similar to the light grey dress above! I didn’t do anything special with my hair, as you can tell! Free flowing hair without victory rolls makes this look a bit more laid back and less stiff, eh?

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See more of these outfit shots on my Mad Men outfit post. The pillbox hat is for sale on my Etsy.

A vintage gal with the perfect combination of retro hair, makeup, clothing, accessories, ideals, and not to mention pop culture knowledge is an A+! I think I’ve only got the clothing, ideals, and pop culture knowledge part from that checklist. It might be something to live up to, but I think I’m happy with where I am right now. Here are some of my “throw back Thursday” photos from 2010 below. I was so incredibly thin then. I love the curves I’ve developed from my new lifestyle now = happier, healthier, and ironically, fitter! Moving back to the diet they had in the 50s is a step closer to what our bodies are meant to eat. I myself take it back to the paleo times. You won’t need a corset once you start eating like this!

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 Links to original posts: Rosie the Riveter red and yellow outfitBeige office vintage outfitBlue sailor outfit

Vintage with modern elements is more my style. I don’t really want to recreate the common past, but I also don’t want to recreate the pin up past (which a lot of vintage fad followers seem to fall into). I just want to take elements from yesteryears that catch my eye that are both artful and flattering to my body type. I like the conservative but curvy 50s woman paired with the free spirited and fun loving nature of the 60s.

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How about you? What particular vintage style do you like to wear or admire?

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Happy 2014! How have your style and personality changed in the past year? Often times the two go hand in hand. What personally attracts you to Audrey Hepburn vs Marilyn Monroe can tell a whole lot about yourself. I personally take some characteristics from each Hollywood diva. Audrey for general feminine and conservative style and brunette features and Marilyn for her womanly curves!

Although my general style hasn’t changed much (still somewhat modest and into textures), I feel like I’ve matured in my clothing in some ways. I don’t necessarily think that’s a good thing. It’s just different. Less bright colors and A-line skirts and more earth tones, pencil skirts, and fur.

I’ve been really into accentuating with faux fur, especially ever since my obsession with Russian winter styles and Art Deco period pieces (have a look at my previous Art Deco fashion post). I can’t get myself to keep full fur vintage coats though, because it’s a pain to have to take it to the cleaners. I don’t go to dry cleaners ever. I’m actually very practical (or lazy) with the upkeep of my clothes. I try to find clothes that don’t need to be ironed and can withstand a good amount of washing. I will however not pass up buying a good looking vintage fur coat just to put it up on Etsy and maybe use it once!

Although I generally believe in dressing appropriately (e.g. occasions, environment, and modesty beliefs), I don’t really think there’s an “appropriate” color, texture, or even style for a certain age. There may be an association to age, but I really don’t mind seeing 50 year olds with pink hair. In fact, I like it! I wish I could keep up with style as I age, but as some of us know the transition from childhood to adulthood styles often times come naturally. Teens and young adults everywhere wanting to prove their adulthood to the public dress sexier, and we see that in celebrities such as Miley Cyrus. Often times, the transition can get forced or driven by desperation and cry for attention. There is no peace within with such motivation and others will see it through you. If we were all honest with ourselves, we’d know that we all have that darkness in us. We need to expose it by bringing our motivation to light at least to ourselves and perhaps reevaluate why we choose what we wear.

Let’s get faux real. What do you find yourself wearing different since the last year or in the past? What may be the reason(s) behind that change?

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I’m wearing a shell layering dress from Kosher Casual that is advertised to be good for not only layering underneath but also to be worn alone. I paired it with monochrome thrifted vintage faux fur hat and collar with a hint of gold from vintage accessories. The dress isn’t really that tight as pictured honestly. It’s supposed to look more pencil than bodycon. The under bust corset I was wearing underneath clung to the material, especially since it was cold and windy out!

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