monochrome

RIP

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As I was deep cleaning my closet this New Years, I found an old pair of jeans from high school that I was going to sell. These were buried with other clothes I already listed on Poshmark. For years, they had been sitting in a suitcase, while I was in college. My cousin gave them to me for Christmas, but they were too loose and bulky for me back then. Over four years later, I rediscovered them to find that I have finally grown into them. 

These were my first pair of Cheap Mondays, so I was hit with a buttload of nostalgia. My first instinct was to stalk them on Instagram to catch up on what’s new. All I saw was a blank white page with the bio, “R.I.P. Cheap Monday 2004-2019.” Just as I was reminded of an old favorite, I learned that it will be discontinued within the same year.

Although the jeans didn’t fit, at first, this introduced me to a badass lifestyle brand. I was really infatuated by the company’s bold and edgy branding. Even its farewell is cheeky and is consistent with who they are. Just take a look at its last marketing video and what’s left of its website, to see what I mean. 

Cheap Monday is a Swedish company that actually began as a thrift store. It didn’t start selling jeans until March 10, 2004, which also happened to be my birthday. I had just turned 10, so Cheap Monday was completely out of my radar. H&M then purchased the label in 2008 and turned it into a wholesale business. Many reputable retailers, like Asos, Urban Outfitters, and Opening Ceremony, carried its denim. It initially focused on a niche of skinny jeans, but later expanded to other clothes and accessories. Over the years, wholesaling proved to be difficult and Cheap Monday’s sales exceedingly plummeted. This has forced the brand to close all of its stores and wholesale accounts by June.

I made my first and last real Cheap Monday purchase this week. I’ve owned four pairs of Cheap Mondays, but three had been thrifted. The skull logo is very hard to miss, even at overflowing thrift stores. The ones I’m wearing are mid-rise, medium washed, and straight-legged. I normally go for a skinny fit, so I always roll these up. Otherwise, they look really crinkly at the bottom. Unlike some of my other jeans, I never have to worry about readjusting these. It also has oversized pockets that can fit the largest of wallets and smartphones. 

For many years, Cheap Monday was my premium choice for denim. I rarely have luck shopping for jeans, so I have yet to find that holy grail brand. If you have suggestions for petite, skinny girls, like me, do list them below. Your girl likes her jeans skinny, stretchy, and high-waisted.

+ Lipstick | MAC’s Heroine

+ Earrings | Old Navy

+ Backpack | Wilson’s Leather (Poshmark)

+ Scarf | gift

+ T-Shirt | Mudd (Mervyn’s)

+ Jeans | Cheap Monday (Opening Ceremony)

+ Belt | YesStyle

+ Boots | Dr. Martens (Wasteland)


Photography | Adam Redfield

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xx

Dana

NOVEMBER THRIFT HAUL

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1. FOREVER 21 JUMPSUIT

Goodwill

$7.99

The short person struggle of finding a jumpsuit is too real. When I grabbed this from the rack, I anticipated disappointment, but it was surprisingly a perfect fit. According to my boyfriend, vertical stripes also make people appear taller. Whoever owned these, must’ve hemmed the legs because it wasn’t cropped online and there’s no way 5’2” is a standard height. This jumpsuit hugs all of the right places and the bare criss-crossed back is very flattering. It even has pockets, which I always appreciate. 

2. TURTLENECK

Poshmark

$7

It’s about time that I own a turtleneck, like this. I’ve been wanting a black mesh one for so long, but had no luck thrifting it, until now. Even though it’s thin and sheer, I’d still wear it on a winter night out. It can be layered, both over and underneath, with undershirts and outerwear. There’re also so many textures that can glam it up, like fur, leather, and metalware. Black can essentially go with anything, so the options are limitless. 

3. ROC RETINOL COREXXION EYE CREAM

Amazon

$15.09

I’m finally popping my eye cream cherry at 24. My mom would always use it and most of my friends swear by it. I was reluctant to add eye cream to my beauty routine, since it’s already expensive, as is. I’ve always had this terrible habit of rubbing my eyes and realized that my crows feet were becoming more prominent. This triggered me into getting eye cream and taking extra care of my skin. Before, I would always forget to moisturize my under eyes, since they’re such awkward and delicate areas. They used to be so dry and crusty, but now they look much brighter and healthier. I actually saw an immediate change and couldn’t stop stroking my under eyes, due to how smooth they’ve gotten.

4. KICKEE PANTS PAJAMA SET

Two Birdees

$41 (wholesale)

If you haven’t tried bamboo clothing, then you’re really missing out, especially if you have kids. I can’t stress, enough, how buttery soft and comfortable this material is. It melts on your skin and cools you down, which is a godsend for babies. My company carries, Kickee Pants, a bamboo clothing brand, that has a big cult following. They’re best known for baby and kids’ pajamas, but also produce a small selection of adult clothes. Because of their eco-friendly manufacturing process, the prices are much steeper. For many moms, the benefits outweigh the costs, since bamboo is so soothing for sensitive skin. Before working at Two Birdees, I was completely unaware of this fiber, but now I want it in every product category, possible. If only adult-sized bamboo pillowcases and bedsheets existed, I’d totally splurge. Everyone wants to feel the utmost comfort, at home, so why not invest in high quality sleepwear? Aside from underwear, these are probably the most religiously worn garments in our closet.

5. ZARA SKIRT

Goodwill

$4.99

This isn’t a style I would typically gear towards, but I thought it would be useful for Halloween, one year. Bright, poofy and glittery are the main ingredients for a fairy or princess costume. It will probably come in good use for other holidays and special occasions, as well. This is a dressy skirt that can elevate any look and match with any color. 

6. WTF PLANNER

Hadron Epoch

$22.50

It’s November, which means the year is almost finished, along with my planner. I’ve always preferred writing down dates and plans, instead of typing them onto my phone or computer. This way, I retain the information better. It’s also very satisfying when I fill up every page and get a fresh start at the beginning of each year. Similar to the idea of a journal, I love being able to look back on old memories and accomplishments. For next year, I chose a simple grey planner that looks like a classic library book. It has everything I need and then some. What I look for, in a planner, are both monthly and weekly sections. I use the monthly calendar for main events and special occasions, and the weekly pages are for my daily schedule. The special thing about this planner is that it has a financial planning organizer. I’ve been using Google Sheets for budgeting, so it’ll be convenient to have one designated place for all record keeping. The cutest perks, of all, are the checklists for “Places to Go” and “Movies & TV Shows to Watch.” This must be every Type A’s dream.

7. GOJANE JERSEY

Poshmark

$5

I must admit, I bought this jersey just so I could wear it to Disneyland, one day. Being that it’s located in Los Angeles, I thought it would be fitting to wear this, there. I even own black mouse ears to go with it. The mesh material is incredibly breathable, which will be beneficial against LA’s heat. With a black tube top and denim shorts, I’ll be ready to walk in the sun, all day.

8. GAP VEST

Goodwill

$3.99

I’m always surprised when I thrift sportswear, in mint condition, especially if it’s white. This crisp and clean vest, I found, is entirely spotless. It has mesh, low-cut armholes that has just the right amount of “peek-a-boo.” My black Nike sports bra, in contrast with this stark white vest, would create the ideal sporty look. It’s sleek, modern and monochrome.

9. LOU & GREY T-SHIRT DRESS

Goodwill

$6.99

The minimal stripes are what caught my eye, but the touch of the fabric is what sold me. Lou & Grey is a women’s clothing brand that prides itself on softness. Their “soft” is quite different from Kickee Pants “soft,” though. Kickee Pants is made entirely from bamboo, which has a smooth and cool texture. The Lou & Grey dress I bought is a rayon and spandex blend, which feels heavier, yet cozier than bamboo. It’s actually one size too big, for me, so I plan on wearing it as a nightdress.

10. KICKEE PANTS BOXERS

Two Birdees

$10 (wholesale)

Men’s boxers are the best alternative for pajama shorts. Not only do I like boxer prints and colors more, but the prices are also significantly lower. I don’t normally like colorful products, but I couldn’t resist this beautiful koinobori print, by Kickee Pants. The design is like a work of art, and the color palette gives me a retro 60s vibe. My boss actually gave me a KP pajama set, a year ago, and it instantly became my favorite. I always find myself reaching for those pajama shorts, first. As I mentioned before, nothing can compete with the comfort of bamboo fabric. I can only imagine these boxers being just as loose and weightless, if not more, because of its baggy silhouette.

xx

Dana

FIT FOR A FANCY FEAST

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Holiday season is finally here, so I put together a thrifted, high-end look that’s fit for a Christmas or New Years party. This is a formal, yet minimal outfit. People tend to think of red, green, and shimmering sparkles for the Holidays, but you can never go wrong with a classic black and white combo.

For this look, I paired an off-the-shoulder crop top with an A-line midi skirt. Together, they reveal a little bit of skin, while still remaining classy. The flowy, high-waisted skirt balances the short and tight fit of my blouse. I found this skirt at Salvation Army with the original tag attached. It’s designed by Ellen Tracy and was selling for $378, but I got it for $5.99. I can’t imagine spending that much on an outfit, let alone on one item of clothing.

The same thing goes for jewelry. I can care less about authentic gold and diamond, and will opt for custom jewelry, any day. Since my look is on the dressier side, I accessorized it with dainty jewelry. I really wanted Are You Am I’s Clasp Choker, but $139 is still not ideal. Thanks to Etsy, I found a similar version for $13.50. I kept my other accessories just as simple and piled on more black.

The highlight of this look is definitely the Tadashi Shoji crop top. I bought this top at Goodwill in high school, and it was one of the first few designer pieces I thrifted. Its draping and ruching has a fancy appeal, but the garment is effortlessly wearable. The tulle material is stretchy and breathable, and within one zip, everything stays in place. I never have to worry about adjusting my sleeves, as I do with most off-the-shoulder tops.

These silhouettes and proportions give off an old-fashioned vibe, and make me feel very elegant. Sometimes, the key to making a statement is by wearing no color at all. Why blend in with the Christmas decorations, when you can stand out? 

 

+ Choker | Etsy

+ Ring | Old Navy

+ Clutch | Clemente (hand-me-down)

+ Crop Top | Tadashi Shoji (Goodwill)

+ Skirt | Ellen Tracy (Salvation Army)

+ Heels | Urban Outfitters

 

Photography | Adam Redfield

 

xx

Dana

SEPTEMBER HAUL

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1. CHRISTMAS LEGGINGS

Goodwill

$4.99

These velvet leggings are the softest pants I own. Not only is it stretchy and comfortable, but its tight fit is also very flattering. The Christmas pattern creates an optical illusion, and makes my booty look curvier, which I ain’t complaining about. I appreciate how the pattern speaks for itself and doesn’t go overboard with typical Holiday colors.

 

2. DISTRESSED SWEATSHIRT

Poshmark

$0

This was a long-awaited wish list item that luckily cost me nothing. Ever since I saw Off-White’s distressed sweatshirt, I’ve been looking for an affordable one that resembles it. I found a similar version, on Poshmark, and exchanged it with one of my bodysuits. I’m really into distressed clothes, and this will definitely be one of my go-to for lazy days. It’s effortless and comfy, but still makes a statement.

 

3. BODY CHAIN

Poshmark

$7

A body chain is the perfect piece to spruce up any simple outfit, like a t-shirt and jeans combo. I wear it over plain tops and dresses, whenever I want to add some more edge. Since it’s so delicate and minimal, it can be layered with other necklaces, as well.

 

4. FOREVER 21 BODYSUIT

Goodwill

$5.99

I found this bodysuit, brand new, at Goodwill. The neckline is more low-cut than pictured, but the straps prevent nip slips, while creating a sexy caged effect. Because this piece is so daring, I save it for nights out at a bar, club, or party. 

 

5. DARK ANGELS EXFOLIATOR

LUSH

$14.95

I’ve been in the market for a good exfoliator, and this product was on my radar for quite some time. I’m a big fan of LUSH because of its ethically-made products and environmentally friendly packaging. I also like the brand's overall aesthetic and quality. Due to my oily skin, this charcoal-infused product helps reduce my oil. I use this, once a week, to deep clean my face and to remove dead skin cells on areas prone to ingrown hair.

 

6. NO. 7 BEAUTY SET

Ulta

$45

My daily beauty routine consists of a cleanser, day cream, and night cream. Like all my other face products, this set is also designed for oily skin. | instantly liked this cleanser more than my previous Botanics one, since the foam has more moisture. This makes it much easier to spread and lather. I enjoy the floral scent of the cleanser and day cream, but the night cream smells like Chanel fragrances, which I’m not a fan of. Once I let the cream sink in, the smell isn’t as powerful, though. So far, I like the cleanser, but I’m still unsure about the face creams. I’ve only used them for two weeks, so I wonder if the Fall weather is drying up my skin, or if the creams extract oil, more than they moisturize.

 

 

xx

Dana

 

SWEAT IT OUT

LOOK ONE

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LOOK TWO

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Yeah, I know that thrifting sportswear may sound gross. The thought of someone else profusely sweating in it might come to mind. That didn’t stop me from giving it a chance, though. I mean, think about all of those (including me) who frequently lounge and run errands in sportswear, instead of exercising in them. Maybe this is why I can actually find decent, secondhand "workout clothes."

Nearly everything I’m wearing was from Goodwill, and all items were in great condition. After years of exercising in them, this still holds true. With sportswear, I always make sure to inspect the garments carefully. I never purchase anything smelly, stained, or worn out. It’s very transparent if something has been heavily used. For instance, the smell of B.O. or the discoloration of underarm sweat stains are easy giveaways.

When I first began thrift shopping I was surprised to find such a plethora of sportswear. At this point I have collected several Nike, Reebok, and Adidas gear. The best part is that I roughly spend $5 on each item, which I doubt, can even get me a pair of socks at Nike. Sportswear can get really expensive if you’re shopping for quality construction that won’t wear and tear when working out. I can’t imagine how much all of my sportswear would cost if I bought them brand new, but I’m content with keeping it that way.

 

+ Sunglasses | Forever 21

+ Jacket | Nike (Buffalo Exchange)

+ Sports Bra | Nike

+ Racerback | Adidas (Goodwill)

+ Shorts | Nike (Goodwill)

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+ Pullover | Adidas (Goodwill)

+ Crop Top | Reebok (Goodwill)

+ Leggings | Forever 21

+ Sneakers | Nike (Tiffany Run)

 

Photography | Adam Redfield

 

xx

Dana

STUD SPANGLED LEATHER

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Black, studs, and leather; these are just a few of my favorite things. My style may change from day-to-day, but the one thing that remains the same is my love for black. Since this is an all-black look, I wanted to play with as many different textures as possible. This outfit includes all sorts of materials, like mesh, velvet, and leather.

I went all out and decided to wear some of the unusual things that have been buried in my closet. Most people don’t know or understand this side of me, but I’ve always been a sucker for dark and edgy styles. A few fashion icons that really inspire me are Rihanna, Rooney Mara, and Eugenie Grey (Feral Creature). I look up to each of these ladies for different reasons, but one thing they all have in common is that they are total badasses. These women don’t give a flying fuck about what other people think. They wear whatever the hell they want, despite how raunchy the look may be.

Rihanna is known for her eclectic hairstyles and outfits, and she’s one of those rare people who, I’m sure, can make a trash bag look good. For those of you who don’t know Rooney Mara or Eugenie Grey, Mara was the lead in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Grey is a fashion and lifestyle blogger. Both share my habit of hoarding a monochrome wardrobe, but Mara is famous for her red carpet gowns and Grey is known for her lingerie and street style.

I wanted to channel these ladies’ daring sense of style, so I pulled together a goth-inspired look. This shoot was all about going out of my comfort zone and expressing another layer that people never see. This is obviously not an average everyday look that I would leave the house in, but the fearlessness it takes to rock something like this is what I want to remember. My goal is to apply these women’s attitude to my daily routine when getting dressed every morning. It’s easy to talk yourself down and to worry about being too flashy, too overdressed, or too risqué, but everyone has the right to decorate their body as they wish.

 

Lipstick | MAC's Cyber

+ Choker | Forever 21

Bra | Haight-Ashbury St

+ Vest | Lilith (Goodwill)

+ Leggings | Walmart

Booties | Forever 21

 

Photography | Roberto Salmon

 

xx

Dana

PUT ON YOUR BIG GIRL PANTS

 

You know that feeling when you see a killer garment that you can’t picture yourself wearing? Well thanks to thrift shopping, I slowly overcame that fear and now take way more fashion risks than I would have if I only shopped fast fashion or department stores. When shopping retail chains, I’m always more cautious with my spending and never want to splurge on any over-the-top garments. These tend to be out of my budget and then I get buyer’s remorse once they wind up lying in my closet for most of the year.

The perk of discovering one-of-a-kind items at thrift stores is that they are normally dirt cheap. I found these J. Marco bellbottoms at Goodwill for about $10, and knew that I couldn’t pass them up. I’ve never seen anything like them, and they are great conversation starters for special occasions. The hemline is so wide that I have to wear four-inch heels to keep myself from tripping, but I ain’t even mad. These pants have so much volume from all of the intricate pleating. It literally feels like I’m wearing a slinky with every step that I take.

Don’t be afraid to try new and daring looks. Fuck the rules, fuck the seasons and fuck the trends. Thrift shopping has helped me eliminate all of the "fashion rules." Ever since I started shopping secondhand, I don’t always shop for practical clothes anymore. Sometimes I come across garments, like these, that are so rare, they basically become a collector’s item to me. I think that’s the art of shopping at thrift, consignment and antique stores. There’s always a plethora of interesting finds, so you can discover unique, vintage and designer garments at incredible prices. It won’t hurt your bank account, and you’ll be one of the few, if not the only person, to own such garments.

 

Lipstick | MAC's Black Knight

Sunglasses | Forever 21

Hoop Earrings | Forever 21

Choker | Forever 21

Crop Top | Boohoo

Trousers | J. Marco (Goodwill)

+ Booties | Forever 21

 

Photography | Roberto Salmon

 

xx

Dana

PLEATS, PLEASE

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Within the four years I lived in Philly, Buffalo Exchange and Philly Aids Thrift were the only two stores that I would thrift shop at. It’s sad how in a bustling city, the only true thrift store I knew of was Philly Aids. Other than that, I would occasionally thrift shop at Phila Flea Markets. Every other option was a consignment store, that preselected and overpriced top name brands and trends. For this look, the sheer cover-up is one of the many items that I bought from Philly Aids. What I love about this store is not only its cheap prices and frequent sales, but also the fact that my money is going toward a good cause. A portion of its proceeds is donated to local organizations that help fight against HIV/AIDS. Because it takes in every donation, shopping there takes more digging and sorting to go through, but, for me, that process is always my favorite part.

 

+ Necklace | hand-crafted

+ Glasses | Borough Market

+ Dress | Stylenanda (dumpster dived)

+ Cover-Up | Urban Outfitters (Philly Aids Thrift)

+ Skirt | Goodwill

+ Shoes | Forever 21 (hand-me-down)

 

Photography | LB Photograhy

 

xx

Dana

BACK TO BASICS

Everyone’s got to love a basic white tee. Sometimes you’re feeling lazy, but you still want to look decent, so that’s what they’re there for. I truly think that thrift stores are the best places to shop for basics, like tank tops and t-shirts. There’s no point in spending over $5 for something so simple. My favorite is when I find a basic with unique details, like this Very J t-shirt that I got from Buffalo Exchange. The neckline and seams are lined with black leather, which gives it an edgy touch.

Other summer basics that I have been relying on are my reflective sunglasses, black high-wasted shorts and Birkenstocks. What I love about each of these items is how comfortable they are and how they easily match with anything. Basically everything I’m wearing was thrifted, aside from my necklace. With thrift shopping, you’ll never know what you’ll find, but basics are the number one things that any thrift store will have. Purchasing basics secondhand and investing more money on special, brand new pieces will definitely be worth your while.

 

+ Lipstick | MAC’s Rebel

+ Sunglasses | Buffalo Exchange

+ Necklace | Forever 21

+ T-shirt | Very J (Buffalo Exchange)

+ Shorts | Ci Sono (Goodwill)

+ Sandals | Birkenstock (Poshmark)

+ Satchel | Laney Flea Market

 

Photography | LB Photography

 

xx

Dana

FREE CLOTHES // FREE SPIRIT

My favorite part about this outfit is that it was basically free! Everything aside from my accessories was throwaway items that I either found or inherited. Move out season is what I look forward to at the end of the school year. This is the time when people are forced to start cleaning their closets. My friends had so many bags of clothes that I got to rummage through, so I snatched a lot of great finds. The high-low dress and booties I’m wearing are both garments that I inherited from my friend. The slip underneath is a dress that I found in the trash room of my old apartment. People throw away so much good shit at the end of the year; you just need to look for them.

After searching through my friends’ piles of donations, I added over 10 new clothing items to my closet. This further emphasized how shopping for brand new clothes is so unnecessary for my lifestyle. Most people find digging through people’s old clothes disgusting, time-consuming, or just plain awkward. I don’t see what’s the harm in asking though because I always walk away with good labels at absolutely no cost. This saves my wallet so much money, while still updating my wardrobe. Between picking through people’s “trash” and thrift shopping, I’ll have enough clothes to last me a lifetime. 

 

+ Lipstick | MAC’s Paramount

+ Sunglasses | Buffalo Exchange

+ Necklace | Forever 21

+ Dress | H&M (hand-me-down)

+ Slip | Stylenanda (dumpster dived)

+ Shoes | Forever 21 (hand-me-down)

 

Photography | LB Photography

 

xx

Dana

DEAD WEEK

Dead week is over, but finals are just around the corner. This calls for more coffee, study sessions and all-nighters. I know that most people tend to let everything go during finals week. I’ve been there before too. The typical dress code for finals is no make-up, updos and sweatpants. The thing is, you can still be comfortable and look presentable. After all, when you look good, you feel good, and this usually results to doing good. Here is an alternative way to get through finals week without the sweatpants.

Tights and leggings are just as comfortable as sweatpants, but are more formfitting. These are my go-to when I have long classes and study sessions to sit through. Warm, soft and fuzzy sweaters are other comfort pieces worth investing in. The loose fit is my secret weapon for hiding the food baby I’ve formed from my terrible finals week diet. The cardigan I‘m wearing is my new favorite sweater, since it’s basically like a fuzzy blanket. The slouchy boots are another one of my staple pieces, and beforehand, I never knew that boots could be this comfortable. I bought these for just $2.50 at Salvation Army, and they have been with me since high school.

Comfort and confidence should go hand-in-hand. You should never have to compromise style for comfort, or vice versa. Even if you feel like shit from eating fast food, staying caffeinated and getting no sleep, you can always disguise it with the way you present yourself. 

 

+ Cardigan | Abercrombie & Fitch (Goodwill)

+ Turtleneck | Ashley Hill (hand-me-down)

+ Leggings | Forever 21

+ Boots | Merona (Salvation Army)

 

Photography | Dana Nguyen + Anand Patel

 

xx

Dana

TRASH | TREASURE

Living on a college campus is great for dumpster diving once the school year ends. I have no shame in snatching up free things that other people don't want. Last year I literally found a paper bag full of trendy clothes from brands, like Nasty Gal, Topshop and Zara. It was just lying in my apartment’s trash room, so I ended up with 10 new clothing items that day. In that bag was the black romper that I’m wearing underneath my skirt. This is a backless romper by the British label, Glamorous. It has a caged back that reminds me of the lingerie and sportswear company, Chromat.

The other “trash” item that I’m wearing is my MRKT heels from DSW. These are a pair of shoes that I found lying in my trashcan. Throughout college I’ve been blessed with roommates who give me the clothes that they don’t want. One of my old roommates tends to do a lot of closet cleaning, so I would occasionally come home and see cute stuff in our trashcan. These are the perfect shoes for any occasion, and my favorite part is how comfortable they are. The neutral color matches with anything, and it works with both casual and formal outfits.

 

Lipstick | MAC’s Hang-Up

Cardigan | Forever 21

Romper | Glamorous (dumpster dived)

Skirt | Wilster (Marshalls)

Heels | MRKT (hand-me-down)

Choker | Amazon

Statement Necklace | Forever 21

 

Photography | Anand Patel

xx

 

Dana