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DANGEROUS WOMAN

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As I was looking through my closet for Halloween ideas, I saw this babydoll dress that reminded me of Ariana Grande. I thrifted it at Goodwill, last year, but still haven’t had the chance to wear it. With this dress, I already completed half of my costume, so it was the perfect piece to build on.

There are certain elements that define Ariana’s signature style. Aside from babydoll dresses, chokers, over-the-knee boots, and sky-high ponytails are also her trademark. Her Dangerous Woman look resonates with me most, since it’s so dark and sultry. For my costume, I wanted to recreate that album cover.

The most iconic part of the cover was definitely her latex bunny mask. Wearing skintight fabric over my head sounded extremely uncomfortable, so I chose this lace one for more breathability. I thought the veil was more fitting for Halloween, and it could also be tucked back if needed. 

Although I do own over-the-knee boots, I opted for these booties, since they elongate my legs more. My over-the-knee boots are flat, whereas these platforms are 2.75” tall.

The choker was the most difficult item to find, since most of the faux diamond chokers I saw were really tacky. Ariana wore a chunky diamond necklace that I would imagine Marilyn Monroe or Audrey Hepburn wearing. I wanted to emulate that classic Hollywood glam, but anything similar was completely out of my budget. Instead, I thrifted this BaubleBar choker for $8 on Poshmark.

For the final touch, I tried my best to do her high ponytail, but it was such a struggle. Doing hair isn’t my forte, even with a simple ponytail, like this. I spent around 30 minutes retying my hair and it still drooped to a regular ass ponytail. My goal is to perfect her hairstyle by Halloween.

This was a fairly easy costume to put together, since most of the garments were things that the average American girl wears. Chokers, stockings and black boots are staple pieces that many of us have. Tying a ponytail is also priceless. If you decide to be Ariana for Halloween, then you’re probably already halfway there.

+ Lipstick | MAC’s Black Knight

+ Mask | Amazon

+ Choker | BaubleBar (Poshmark)

+ Dress | Goodwill

+ Stockings | Romwe

+ Booties | Steve Madden (Poshmark)

Photography | Adam Redfield

xx

Dana

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

LADY LAMB

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Nothing is more difficult to thrift than a good quality jacket. Tops? I have so many that I’ve created a selling/donations pile. Bottoms? I’ve collected all sorts, from skirts to shorts to jeans. Dresses? I always end up lugging an armful to the fitting room. Shoes? Your girl is an average size 7, so that’s never an issue.

Outerwear is a tricky category because the ones I see at thrift stores are often too big or too heavy. I want to stay warm, but I don’t want to be weighed down. Most of my coats and jackets are actually hand-me-downs because I can’t bring myself to splurge on them. I rarely find anything in my budget that’s worthwhile, and thrifting has proven to be a challenge.

It took me months, if not a year, to find a jacket, like this. I was infatuated with shearling after seeing my favorite YouTuber, Jenn Im, feature it on her channel. Her jacket is from a Korean brand, called K-styleme, which has unfortunately been discontinued. I got this similar version, from Poshmark, which practically looks the same. They both have biker collars, silver hardware, and all-over white shearling.

My jacket is by UNIF, which is an edgy streetwear label based in Los Angeles. It prides itself on scarcity and limited styles, and its outerwear sells from the mid to high $100 range. When I spotted this on Poshmark, it was already listed below $100, but I bargained it down to $60. The material was in mint condition, so the price was more than reasonable. Still, this is probably the most I’ve spent on a jacket because I’m the stingiest shopper, ever.

This fluffy piece has been with me since fall 2016, and it always keeps me warm and toasty in the winter. Whenever I wear it, I don’t even need to carry a bag because there are enough pockets for all of my essentials. It has two regular side pockets, two upper breast pockets, and a camouflaged bottom pocket that I failed to notice until last month. I like packing light, and this oversized jacket can hold my phone, wallet, keys, and lip balm. It allows me to be hands and hassle free, which I love.

+ Jacket | UNIF (Poshmark)

+ Crop Top | Forever 21

+ Leggings | Forever 21

+ Tote | Leonisa (MAGIC Trade Show)

+ Flats | Urban Outfitters

+ Earrings | Romwe


Photography | Adam Redfield


xx


Dana

FADED

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Going from black to blond hair is not easy. Believe me, I have had my share of fuck-ups. On both attempts of going lavender, my hair turned blue because it was not platinum enough. I love experimenting with color, but before going for round three of pastels, I wanted to perfect blond, first. It took me two sessions to achieve this shade, but there are still touch-ups that need to be done. This is my transition from brunette to blond, along with what hair routine works for me.

 

 

PHASE I

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Last summer, I dyed my hair dark brown and continued lightening it, using Sun-In hairspray. This is what it looked like hours before my first appointment.

 

 

PHASE II

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The first session took 5.5 hours, and three were dedicated to bleaching. After the foil started heating up, my stylist shampooed my hair with No Yellow Fanola. This turned the brassy color into a dirty, ash blond. She then applied toner to reduce any unevenness. There was a thirty minute wait, followed by a second set of shampoo and conditioning. She left my roots unbleached, since I wanted them to gradually blend to blond. This will save me from needing any touch ups, once they grow.

 

I did like the finished look, but it had zero resemblance to the picture I sent. Instead of an overall blond, I had a series of highlights. I wanted to trust my stylist’s judgement, and I knew that first sessions were never flawless. Even though I prefer having a grey tone over a golden one, I still expected the blond to be more prominent. The color was also uneven, but that’s typically the case in the beginning.

 

 

PHASE III

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Three months later, I finally booked my second appointment. I wanted to get this done much earlier, but my schedule didn’t line up with my stylist’s. She repeated the same exact steps, but this time it took 4.5 hours. I’m very satisfied with the result, but my roots still need to be toned. Right now, the top portion is brassy, but a few washes with purple shampoo should fix this. The most important thing is that my hair isn’t dead and still looks healthy.

 

 

GOING BLOND // DO'S AND DON'TS

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RESEARCH

Choosing the right stylist is critical, especially with Asian hair. I don’t recommend going to a white salon because the employees are probably not as familiar with dying black hair. Ours is much trickier to work with than blonds’ and brunettes’. I was referred to, Lan, by my friend, Angela. Her pricing is more affordable than other colorists’, who also specialize in Asian hair. In the Bay Area, there are many options in San Jose, but most of those stylists charge over $400 for one session. This is more than what I paid for both of mine, combined. I went to Precision 8, in San Anselmo, which is in Marin County. If you schedule an appointment, here, be sure to contact Lan, for coloring, since that’s her expertise.

 

PATIENCE

In the past, I found ways to squeeze a long and expensive process into one to two sessions. Consequently, I chose damaged hair over a damaged wallet. When going blond, you must accept the fact that it can’t happen in one day. For the first few weeks you will have to endure orange or yellow brassiness. Take this time to moisturize and condition your hair before bleaching it, again. The first time I bleached mine, I tried going lavender in one sitting. Not only was this unhealthy, but it was impossible, to begin with. After baking my hair for over ten hours, it turned extremely slimy, and I lost a lot of strands, that day. Those that remained, completely fried up. This is what happens if you rush the many stages, so don’t make the same mistake I did.

 

CONDITION

I’m sure there are fancy conditioners designed for dyed hair, but my priority is just to condition. I don’t think it matters which brand you buy, as long as you use it after every wash. When I have lightened hair, I apply a little more, and I let it stay longer than usual. The bleach will dry up your hair, so it’s essential to nourish it, as much as possible.

 

NO YELLOW FANOLA

In order to avoid brassy hair, I use No Yellow Fanola shampoo, just like my stylist did. Fanola is a pricey brand, but its hair products really work. As the name suggests, it prevents yellow tints by using cool tones to lift your color. The shampoo is a deep violet and is ideal for grey, blond, and purple hair. Similar to conditioner, the product should sit in your hair for five to ten minutes before being rinsed. I like to mix a drop of the purple shampoo with regular shampoo. The purple shampoo, alone, does not have that hydrating, foamy lather.

 

HAIR TREATMENT

I use Biosilk’s Silk Therapy to soften my hair, since bleach causes knots, split ends, and course hair. This treatment makes brushing a lot easier, since the oil helps loosen tangles. After showering, I rub a nickel-sized amount into my ends, and it leaves my hair with a really nice scent. This brand can be found nearly anywhere, including CVS, Ulta, Amazon, and Marshalls.

 

 

+ Hoop Earrings | Claire’s

+ Stud Earrings | Old Navy

+ Crop Top | Forever 21

+ Sweatpants | Missguided

 

 

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

LAZY DAY

 

Now that it’s getting colder, it’s time to layer up. For my trip to New York I did a sweater-on-sweater look, and wore an oversized cardigan over my sweater dress. I usually pair sweater dresses with tights, but since it’s chillier on the East Coast, I opted for jeggings. Sweater weather also calls for soft and cozy textures, so this Abercrombie & Fitch cardigan is one of my fall staple pieces. I wanted to go for an effortless and comfortable look because New York always involves a lot of walking. What I love about this outfit is that it’s casual enough to wear out, but comfortable enough to sleep and lounge in. Every item, aside from the sneakers and beanie, were thrifted. I found the A&F cardigan at Goodwill, for less than $10, and the Urban Outfitters sweater dress at Philly Aids Thrift, for about $5. Now that the winter holidays are coming up, I’m hoping to thrift for more sweaters, especially ugly Christmas ones. 

 

+ Lipstick | MAC’s Paramount

+ Beanie | Zara Kids

+ Sweater Dress | Silence + Noise (Philly Aids Thrift)

+ Cardigan | Abercrombie & Fitch (Goodwill)

+ Jeggings | DL1961 (Buffalo Exchange)

+ Sneakers | Nike

 

Photography | Anand Patel + Dana Nguyen

xx

 

Dana

GOBBLE UP

In preparation for Thanksgiving, we all want to have as much space in our pants to fit the highly anticipated food baby. It’s that time of year where it’s socially acceptable to stuff your belly with whatever and however much food you want. There’s no need to compensate comfort for style, so here are four different looks you can choose from, for a long day of eating and drinking. They’re all so comfy that you can literally wear them in a food coma. 

 

 

ONE

One can never go wrong with a chunky knit sweater or sweater dress for Thanksgiving. This is probably the comfiest you could get. Oversized sweaters are usually flowy, so you could eat as much as you want and still have plenty of breathing room. I layered my sweater dress with tights and over-the-knee socks to stay warm and cozy. This is a nice, effortless look for a more casual get-together, like Friendsgiving.

 

+ Sweater Dress | Free People (Philly Aids Thrift)

+ Tights | Forever 21

+ Socks | Forever 21

+ Booties | Jessica Simpson (Philly Aids Thrift)

 

 

TWO

Dresses are always good go-to’s for special occasions. They require such little effort, while making you look more formal. Slipping on a dress takes less than one minute, and it’s also so comfortable to sit in. Dresses with interesting prints, like this tie-dye one, can create an optical illusion, and show no signs of bloating. For an extra touch of fall, I added some dangly leaf earrings to the outfit.

 

+ Earrings | Claire’s

+ Necklace | Forever 21

+ Ring Set | Old Navy

+ Ring Band | Laney Flea Market

+ Midi Dress | Rabbit (Philly Aids Thrift)

+ Flats | GAP Outlet

 

 

THREE

If you decide to wear pants for Thanksgiving, then I suggest anything stretchy, like leggings. The thought of wearing jeans just sounds so painful and uncomfortable. I for one, get extremely bloated after a big meal, so any bottom buttons usually come undone, anyways. For this outfit I wore all black underneath, since it’s such a slimming color. I gave it a more fall vibe by wearing a leaf-printed scarf. This is also another good option for a casual Thanksgiving dinner.

 

+ Hoop Earrings | Claire’s

+ Statement Ring | Forever 21

+ Ring Band | Laney Flea Market

+ Scarf | hand-me-down

+ Tank | American Rag (Macy’s)

+ Leggings | Forever 21

+ Cardigan | Forever 21

+ Booties | Jessica Simpson (Philly Aids Thrift)

 

 

FOUR

If you’re like me, and normally hate wearing color, you can still wear all black errytang and make it “fall-friendly.” For this look I’m wearing a floral printed midi-dress. Even though floral is typically associated with spring, I feel like muted florals and leaf prints are perfect for fall. This is the most formal look out of them all, so it could be a good option if you’re having Thanksgiving at your significant other’s house. 

 

+ Lipstick | MAC’s Paramount

+ Statement Ring | Old Navy

+ Ring Set | Old Navy

+ Ring Band | Laney Flea Market

+ Hoop Earrings | Claire’s

+ Midi Dress | Harold’s (Goodwill)

+ Flats | GAP Outlet

 

 

Please let me know which look was your favorite in the comment box below! I expect you all to eat your asses off this Thursday, and I truly hope you skip those skinny jeans. Believe me, your stomach will thank you. 

 

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

BLACK + TAN

I carry a little piece of my mom with me everywhere I go. There isn’t a day where I’m not wearing at least one of her clothing items. My mom was the one who got me into thrift shopping, and, like me, most of the clothes that she owned was secondhand. Growing up, I would always browse through her closet and borrow her clothes. Once I reached high school, we were practically the same size, so it gave me an even greater excuse to do so. After she passed away, I inherited a lot of her clothes and accessories. The tribal printed vest I’m wearing is one of the many garments that I inherited from her. When I was little, I used to always give my mom shit for wearing too much black and brown. These are ironically two of my favorite colors to wear now, and I hate anything that’s too bold or bright.

This month I also got another tattoo that pays homage to her. I got a dainty tattoo of my mom’s signature on my finger. Whether it’s through art or fashion, I’m constantly finding new ways to keep her memory alive.

 

+ Lipstick | MAC’s Paramount

+ Necklace | New Look

+ Vest | hand-me-down

+ Dress | Stylenanda (dumpster dived)

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

 

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

YOUNG, WILD, AND FREE

 

For Fourth of July weekend I crossed having an East Coast beach day off of my bucket list. My friends and I drove from Philadelphia to New Jersey to spend the day at Wildwood Beach. Let’s be real, the beach was not nearly as nice as West Coast ones, but that didn’t stop us from having fun. We sipped on fruity alcohol and splashed through the waves before strolling down the boardwalk. Everything about the trip felt effortless, and it was relaxing just to escape the city and be lazy beach bums for a day. 

My ultimate goal whenever I go to the beach is to pack light. This is one of the few places where you have an excuse to basically be naked in public. I wanted to take full advantage of that, and I also wanted to be as comfortable as possible for the long car ride. I decided on a lightweight halter dress that was very loose and flowy. This is yet another dumpster find that I snagged, and it’s an Urban Outfitters Kimchi Blue dress. Everything else I’m wearing is also secondhand, aside from my Zinke bikini, which I bought from an online Australian retailer.

 

Sunglasses | Buffalo Exchange

Earrings | Laney Flea Market

Dress | Urban Outfitters (dumpster dived)

Bikini | Zinke

 

Photography | Dana Nguyen + Alex Yang

xx

 

Dana

OCEAN OMBRE

This week I was in heaven and spent Spring Break in Orlando, Florida. I got to be a lazy beach bum for a day, and just threw on a swimsuit, a dress and a cardigan. My beach day was at Cocoa Beach, which is a one-hour drive from Orlando. The weather was warm, the sand was spotless and the sky and ocean was clear blue.

The one-piece and Birkenstock sandals I’m wearing are great steals I got from Poshmark. If you’ve never used Poshmark before, then I highly recommend trying it. This is an easy smartphone app for selling, buying and trading clothes and accessories. It’s basically like an eBay, but specifically for women's fashion. Other secondhand items I’m wearing are my midi dress and iridescent sunglasses, which are both from Buffalo Exchange.

For my beach day outfit, I wanted to stay as comfortable as possible, so I layered on flowy silhouettes. My color palette had neutrals, like creams and blues, to match the environment, and to keep up with the beach vibes I wore tie-dye and fish scale prints.

 

+ Sunglasses | Buffalo Exchange

+ Hat | Camden Market

+ Cardigan | Forever 21

+ Dress | Vasna Desire (Buffalo Exchange)

+ Swimsuit | Poshmark

+ Sandals | Birkenstock (Poshmark)

 

Photography | Anand Patel

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

PEELING AWAY THE LAYERS

Flashback to sophomore year of college, and here I am all decked out in Zara for Valentine’s Day. 

Disclaimer: I used to work at Zara, so having an employee discount plus knowing when the sales were, equals a closet full of Zara. Now that I don’t work there anymore, I never shop at Zara, since getting overcharged for fast fashion ain’t my thing.

During my underclassmen years I would frequently shop online at fast fashion retail stores, but after my fashion courses exposed me to the world of cheap labor and toxic landfills, I unsubscribed from all of those companies. I’m not going to sit here and pretend like I don’t own any fast fashion. 90% of this outfit is just that, but I made a vow to myself to slowly stop shopping fast fashion altogether. First, I’m cutting off the big guys, like Forever 21 and H&M.

This doesn’t mean that I would never wear these brands again. Instead, I will just continue my method of purchasing them secondhand. Thrift shopping is the cheapest way to shop ethically. It allows me to recycle thrown away clothes and reduce landfills.

 

+ Lipstick | MAC’s Party Line 

+ Beanie | Zara Kids 

+ Coat | Forever 21 

+ Vest | Hand-me-down 

+ Top | Zara 

+ Jeggings | DL1961 (Buffalo Exchange)

+ Boots | Merona (Salvation Army) 

+ Messenger Bag | Zara 

+ Necklace | Forever 21 

+ Fan Earrings | Zara 

+ Stud Earrings | Brandy Melville 

 

Photography | Anand Patel

 

xx

Dana

CORAL REEF

Last week we experienced our first snowstorm of the year in Philly. With 2.5 feet of snow, the city was like a ghost town, but that didn’t stop us from venturing outside to see the beautiful view. Because of this blizzard I really had to bundle up, and to stay dry I wore a new trench coach I bought over winter break. This Martin + Osa coat was in mint condition, and I got it for $13.99 at a Goodwill from my hometown in California. Some other thrift finds I’m wearing are a pair of DL1961 jeggings from Buffalo Exchange and Dr. Marten combat boots from Wasteland. Each was just $18. Although I’m not in thrifted finds from head-to-toe, everything else I’m wearing was still a bargain at a discounted price.

 

Lipstick | MAC’s Paramount

Beanie | Banana Republic Factory

Turtleneck | Zara

Trench Coat | Martin + Osa (Goodwill)

Gloves | Isotoner

Jeggings | DL1961 (Buffalo Exchange)

Combats Boots | Dr. Martens (Wasteland)

 

Photography | Anand Patel

xx

 

Dana