That Little Black Dress

The little black dress has become a wardrobe staple by women ever since Coco Chanel popularized it in the 1920s. The initial design Chanel published in Vogue in 1926 was just a simple, straight dress that falls just right at the calves.

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Today however, decades after it was introduced, the little black dress aka the LBD has undergone different transformations in terms of cut, length, and embellishments. While many manufacturers still subscribe to the original design, many LBDs available in the market are shorter, more body-hugging, more revealing, and more decorated that sometimes they tend to look tacky. However, many are still well-designed just like the following little black dresses I found on DressFirst.com, which will certainly suit women of various tastes.

The Ballerina

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This A-line LBD reminds me so much of the film The Black Swan. This dress is perfect for girls who want to show off a bit of skin while still looking chic and regal.

The Heiress

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This sequined dress is perfect for those girls who are fond of attending cocktail or corporate parties. The embellishments are balanced by the modest cut. Additionally, girls who want to show off their gorgeous collar bones may find this dress suitable for that agenda.

The Vixen

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This dress can make or break your outfit depending on the styling. Sexy LBDs like this do not need much accessorizing—a simple pair of earrings and bracelet would do the trick. After all, the main accessory for this kind of dress will be YOU.

The Sweetheart

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Designs like this will always be my favorite. It has all the qualities of the above-mentioned dresses. It has the right amount of embellishments—it may be a little short but it’s perfect for petite girls like me. The one-shoulder venus cut also provides the right amount of playfulness. This kind of LBD is fit for occasions such as the school prom; it’s definitely something sweet and fun girls would opt to wear.

DressFirst has a wide array of little black dresses to choose from. It’s important to remember though that to make an LBD standout, overaccessorizing is not very advisable. LBDs are usually great when paired with very minimal jewelry and simple shoes.

A Store for Every Girl

When people ask me what my style is, I usually don’t know how to answer. I dress depending on my mood so I cannot exactly identify my personal style. What I do know is I’m an avid fan of comfortable fashion. I commute everyday so I make sure that the pieces I wear do not restrict movement, thus I would usually go for soft, loose tops and pants; sometimes girly dresses and skirts when I’m feeling sad and happy–like this floral skirt from Fashion Diaries PH.

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The store also has varied affordable pieces for different girls. Sophisticated party girls will look dazzling in these metallic tops and dresses.

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Kid-at-heart girls who are attracted to cute, cartoon-inspired sweaters may like Fashion Diaries PH’s collection of pullovers:

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Strong, independent girls will definitely like this edgy but classy look from one of the store’s catalogs:

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These are just few of the many styles you can find at Fashion Diaries PH. I am encouraging you to check them out on Facebook and Instagram and I’m 100% sure you won’t regret it.

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Don’t forget to join our Holiday 2013 giveaway! 🙂

Shop Branded Apparel for Less

Who doesn’t love branded clothes? They are chic and trendy, but unfortunately come with a high price tag. Brands like Forever 21, Zara, Topshop, and Mango are just some of the many in demand high-street brands in the country. However, most of their items cost a thousand pesos and above, an amount that only the upper middle class and rich people can afford. Fortunately for people like me who are always on a tight budget, there are online stores that offer authentic apparel for half the original price or less—one of them is The Overruns Store.430012_278286178910886_2105158440_n

I found out about The Overruns Store four months ago on Facebook. I’ve always wondered before where all the unsold items from boutiques go. Forever 21, Zara, and the likes may be big brands but I know not all manufactured items get sold out. Through research, I discovered that these unsold items, called excess overruns or stock lots, go to warehouses and are being sold at a very low price, sometimes at 90% less than the original price. Resellers would then buy these excess overruns and export them to interested buyers in other countries. People would often call them as export overruns as well. The Overruns Store is one of the most trusted sellers of export overruns in the Philippines, with more than 20 thousand followers on Facebook and almost 50 thousand followers on Instagram. It’s where I also got most of the high-street clothes I wore on some of my previous blog posts.

I love Forever 21 and The Overruns Store provides the prettiest Forever 21 pieces, even though they were originally released two or three seasons ago. I haven’t met the seller personally yet, but I think she’s young and knows what teens and young adults want. I mean, there are literally millions of excess overruns and those include items for mature women. If the seller doesn’t have a vision of what her customers need, chances are she’ll just sell whatever’s available. But the TOS owner is not like that. 🙂

TOS stocks run out quickly because thousands of girls eagerly await for every post of new items from the store. You will have to be very patient when waiting for confirmation of your order. Other than that, you don’t have to worry about anything else. The items are in very good condition, usually priced beginning Php 250 and above. That’s a great steal! For a thousand bucks, you can get at least four branded apparels. Not bad right?

#YolandaPH

Typhoon Yolanda, with international name Haiyan, is moving closer to the Philippines, carrying “maximum sustained winds of 150 kilometers per hour near the center, and gusts of up to 185 km/h” according to PAGASA. It is said to be one of the strongest and the most dangerous typhoons to ever hit the country.

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Weather Philippines is advising that “Residents and visitors along Northeastern Mindanao, Visayas, Bicol Region and Eastern Luzon should closely monitor the development of Haiyan.” The government and LGUs have been anticipating the damage the super typhoon may cause, and as early as yesterday have posted several hotlines that the people may contact in case there is a need for rescue. Here are several;

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  TO MY FELLOW BICOLANOS:

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If you wish to donate for the typhoon Yolanda victims, and I encourage you to do so, here are some options:

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OR GO TO THIS LINK.

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I will update this list as soon as I get more information. In the meantime, please please keep yourselves, loved ones, and pets safe. Evacuate if the LGUs order you to do so. Let’s keep praying that this typhoon will weaken once it makes a landfall. It would be a miracle, but there’s nothing impossible with prayer. We have always been resilient, I know we’ll come out of this better and stronger.

Unforeseen

I’m sorry I haven’t been posting as frequently, but Chad and I have started a project and we’re concentrating a lot of our efforts on it. I’m still going to post updates here though  at least once or twice a week (and on my Twitter of course). Like I said earlier, I will never abandon blogging and the small group of people who read my blog (and who I love dearly).

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Before I share my usual narrative, let me skip to the outfit first. I won’t necessarily call it stylish, but it’s my lazy day look. Chad and I had to interview some people and do a photoshoot on the same day so I chose the most comfortable ensemble I could wear—that is an oversized hipster shirt and my trusty maxi and wedges. I was going for a functional, modern-day hippie look so I “forced” myself to wear some earrings, which I kinda abhor. But hey it worked. Lol. That’s about it really.

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So what’s the project going to be about? I can’t reveal the whole thing yet, but it does involve documentary photography and a bit of social work. No complaints though, I’m even more excited to see where this project is going. Chad will be leaving for the States in two months (*teardrop*) and we won’t be seeing each other for a year or two, so we’re making good use of his remaining days in the country. Yesterday was no doubt a very good experience for both of us.

We went to Smokey Mountain to document our friend and the place while also helping out the kids with their costumes for their upcoming festival presentation. No, I’m not pertaining to the band nor the mountain range, but we did see heaps and heaps of trash. Smokey Mountain is the term used to identify a large landfill in Manila. Decades ago, the area was surrounded by slums. Later on, the government provided public tenements to the people, most of whom pick trash for a living, and they stayed there since then. We visited them yesterday and made their costumes for the parade. 🙂

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I got to talk to a lot of kids and asked them about their life in Smokey Mountain.  Oblivious of their brutal surroundings, they told me about the death of their brother (gunshot), their sister’s incarceration, and other horrible things. I even saw one child with his forehead bleeding because his parents couldn’t attend to him. Chad saw a kid using drugs. Outside the tenements are stores selling pagpag, leftover food scavenged from garbage dumps. There was trash everywhere. I felt and am still feeling very sad for the children for living in such an atrocious environment. What’s worse is, there’s a big possibility they’ll never rise above their situations—unless they are assisted by the right people.

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Nevertheless, I’m happy I experienced it. I would have not known their lives and stories if we didn’t go there. I came from a poor family as well, which made me more determined to help out. So I decided to use my blog and my influence to encourage you, the person reading this blog, to help impoverished kids have a better future.

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 Any kind of assistance will suffice. We are young and we can do a lot. If you’re reading this, you know you’re lucky to be in a safe home, with healthy food and nice environment. These kids don’t. We have to remember that when small good deeds come together, they make one big impact. Gawad Kalinga is helping Smokey Mountain, now named as Paradise Heights, rebuild the community. Click THIS LINK to know how you can help out. 🙂

RELIEF OPERATIONS

I was able to find ongoing relief operations in my area, Diliman, Quezon City. So if in case you live nearby and looking for a way to help, kindly consider the following drop-off points:

Reports said the rain will continue to pour until Thursday, so it’s better to have a copy of the following emergency hotlines:

And if you know anyone in need of rescue, please fill this form:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dGIyZHNGQ3lGeDJYWXBfVUxsWnBzTGc6MQ#gid=0

To update yourself on the current flood conditions, visit these links:

https://twitter.com/MMDA (with real-time updates)

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/metro-manila/08/07/12/list-flooded-roads-metro-manila

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/268760/news/metromanila/mmda-continues-to-compile-list-of-flooded-areas

If you are not from Manila but would still like to extend help, you can donate to Red Cross  via SMS and G-Cash:

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Text RED<space>AMOUNT to 2899 (Globe) or 4143 (Smart)

G-Cash
Text DONATE<space>AMOUNT<space>4-digit M-PIN<space>REDCROSS to 2882

You can donate the following denominations:
Globe: 5, 25, 100, 300, 500 or 1000
Smart: 10, 25, 50, 100, 300, 500 or 1000

*I will update once I get hold of new information. Let’s all pray for the Philippines.

Anne Boleyn: Queen of England

This is not an outfit post. With this being my first entry after changing my blog name, I have decided to not limit my blog to fashion. I have always asked myself since I started writing online what sets me apart from the swarm of fashion bloggers—and I couldn’t think of anything else aside from my passion for British literature and culture. No, I have not been to Britain (yet) and my wardrobe isn’t British-inspired (except for my union jack shirts and brogues)—so how does this passion of mine relate to a blog that was initially created to document my style progress? Nothing much really, aside from the fact that London is just one of the most fashionable places on earth. Britain in general boasts of a very rich culture, lots of things can be said about it. As an English Literature graduate, I have witnessed (or studied at least) the rise and fall of the British Empire. There’s so much to tell so I’ve decided to share tidbits about it in my future posts. I’ve observed that our generation has become too focused on appearance, that we sometimes simultaneously neglect to attend to our mental health. Remember that a bright mind never goes out of style, so in the coming days you’ll be seeing more informative posts, aside from British-inspired outfits.

To start off, I’m sharing a ‘story’ which my professor asked us last year to submit for our finals. The premise: we are given the chance to go back in time and interview one prominent British figure. However, we are not allowed to ask or say anything that may alter history.

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So below is what I came up with. I chose Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second wife. She is one of the most controversial queens England had. You’ll know why if you read on. You can also do further readings by looking up the references I cited.

Enjoy!

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15 February 2011

I just recently found out that I have won a free trip back in time to Britain from the lottery we had at last night’s I Hate Valentines Day party at work. I don’t know if I should be grateful or insulted as it seems to be some sort of a consolation for being dreadfully single for three straight years. Ugh. But oh well, does it matter? I’m going to Britain! However, right now I feel more worried than excited, as it is my childhood dream to visit the country. You see, diary, Britain’s culture is very rich (thanks to the monarchy system) and choosing only a single place and time to go to is such a dilemma right now. Anne Boleyn’s death anniversary is in three months though. I’ve been curious about her for years, so maybe I should pay her a visit? What do you think? Now, how to get there…

19 May 1536

3:00 AM

Whew! That was the most horrible ship ride ever. I should seriously report the ghastly service to the management.

4:00 AM

 I have managed to secure a pass to Tower Green, where Queen Anne Boleyn was scheduled to be taken. I couldn’t help but be amazed at how medieval the castle looks, which now turned out to be the Queen’s prison. If today would have not been her execution, this castle would have looked more fascinating. The spiral staircase up to the chamber seemed like a procession. The lighting was so gloomy, as if it was mourning in advance for the Queen’s impending death. The guards didn’t let me in at once as Sir Anthony Kingston, the Constable of the Tower, was still there. I managed to get a glimpse of what was going on inside—Sir Kingston looking quite somber while the Queen managed to smile and laugh once in a while as if she has already accepted her fate.1 I overheard her swore to Sir Kingston though, that she had never been unfaithful to the King.2 I know my opinion did not matter at the time, but I really believe that she did not receive a fair investigation. That’s one flaw of the Henry VIII’s and all the other monarchs past him unfortunately, all accused never get acquitted.

5:00 AM

It was my time to see the Queen. She looked quite perplexed at the sight of me, but she didn’t bother to ask who I was. It would be useless anyway, as she is going to be beheaded in a few hours—and by an expert swordsman, I heard.3 I could sense she felt quite relieved at the information as she was initially sentenced to be burned at the stake. I have never seen a person’s look before he dies, but that moment with the Queen made me think that death is not at as scary as it seems. What only worries her, I believe, is what would become of Elizabeth, her only child to King Henry VIII, after the execution. But being the King’s daughter, Elizabeth would still surely be well cared for. I wanted to tell her that her daughter will be alright and that she’ll reign for over 50 years, but I couldn’t. Instead, I mouthed the question which had been looming over my head since I have heard of her. I knew it was a very inconsiderate question but it’s what I came for:

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Why did you marry Henry VII—is it due to your personal ambitions or your passion for reformation? I asked.

I beg your pardon? I could sense she felt insulted.

Forgive me, your grace. But don’t you think it will put to rest everything, once and for all? People will no longer question your intentions. Some people felt you just wanted to be queen, and they are angry at you for causing the split from the Catholic church.

It was time for England to grow apart from the Roman Catholic Church, she reasoned. England is a strong country and the Catholic church hinders it. Everyone should be free to think and act what is better for them, but Catholicism instilled in our minds that whatever contradicts them is heresy. The only way for England to become independent is to break away from Rome.

 But surely, your grace, you had other intentions? Couldn’t you push your cause without marrying the King?

 Becoming queen is the easiest way, my dear. But of course, people would always say that I am just one ambitious courtier who wanted power and wealth. It’s not my concern anymore, however. As you can see, they have already judged me.

 But which one was the real reason?

 Why are you so interested to know? Surely, in your time, I am no longer of importance.

 I think you deserve to live longer and clarify everything to your people. They had to know. The Catholic Church has been the people’s religion for hundreds of years. They have believed in and depended their lives on it. As pure as your intentions may seem, it is not easy to switch beliefs. Now, people curse you for making them.

 As I have said, I believe in the human mind. Whatever it thinks or feels for me is neither of my concern.

 I wanted to ask another question, but the guards had already escorted me out of the chamber.

A few hours later, Queen Anne Boleyn was dead.

Works Cited

 1, 2 Eakins, Lara E. Queen Anne Boleyn on the Day of Her Execution. TudorHistory.org. 17 April 2009. Web. 6 October 2011 <http://tudorhistory.org/primary/abexecution.html>.

3 Eakins, Lara E. Anne Boleyn’s Speech at Her Execution. TudorHistory.org. 17 April 2009. Web. 6 October 2011 <http://tudorhistory.org/primary/speech.html>.

BBC. Anne Boleyn (c.1504 – c.1536). BBC History. 2011. Web. 6 October 2011 <http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/boleyn_anne.shtml>.

 Eakins, Lara E. Anne Boleyn: The Most Happy. TudorHistory.org. 17 April 2009. Web. 6 October 2011 <http://tudorhistory.org/boleyn/>.

Ives, Eric William. The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn: ‘The Most Happy’. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2004. Google Books. Web. 6 October 2011.

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