Remember the loosely fashioned twisted updo I sported with the Soiree outfit? It was a hit. The girls at Refinery29 liked it quite a bit. Here’s a quick how to (the tightly done version). You pick and choose.
If you live in Chicago, you know this name and that you may find more of these than any other fashion retailer in the city of Chicago. Naturally, it was only a matter of weeks till I’d have to cut my credit card in half before setting foot in one of their many stores. I should have, but I didn’t. Closer to home, the Water Tower place store at Michigan avenue was my first pick.
Although this is a local store, it definitely doesn’t feel like one. First of all, it takes up just as much space as a big retailer would (large). Second, I was impressed by the amount of merchandise; racks and racks of potentially-mine garments. But let’s be more specific.
You would not believe how many cocktail dresses of all colors and sorts. I’m talking about that dress you realize you don’t have just hours before that cool event. Well, they have it! And by peaking at the tags, I saw lots of $50, $70, $100. Not bad at all in case of an emergency.
The staff was friendly and offered to tour me around when I said it was my first time, which was nice because they had a huge sale going on and without the tour, it’d have been overwhelming. Although organized by color for the most part, the racks were a little too cramped. It reminded me of shopping at outlets in Florida (a memory I’d like to forget), and I don’t know about you, but for me, if it’s not Forever 21, a mess will turn me off real quick. But somehow, I got past that.
They also have a large denim section to shop through, which I haven’t yet seen at another local shop. Another reminder Akira is something else.
Lastly, the picture wall is the strongest reminder this is a Chicagoan store.
The verdict: This is the place to find a cocktail dress that is cute, different and on a budget, especially if you’re running out of time. And if that’s the case, their large selection of accessories will help you complete the look. Their rings and bracelets are the cutest and the prices are good. If you’re visiting, it’s a nice change from the national shops you’ll be seeing at Michigan Avenue
After we shot the last outfit you saw here, I came upstairs and decided to film a quick how to video for the half updo. It’s the simplest hairdo ever, but just in case you were curious to see how I did it (or in case you’ve terribly missed my head-turn), here’s a step-by-step:
It took me long enough to pull this jacket out of my closet and make some good use of it. You know that garment in your closet you absolutely love individually, but at every attempt it doesn’t make it further than the mirror, right back to the hanger? It’s a shame because this one has a lot of potential, I know. Surprisingly, there were plenty of these left the night after the Versace for H&M launch and even months later. Like the Portuguese quote says “taste is just like a butt, everyone has got one” and apparently mine is very different from the rest.
To conclude to closet renovation DIYs, here’s the belt organization system I came up with. Really, it’s nothing. Just a row of hooks screwed to the wall.
The picture below is from the necklace solution post, but since it’s essentially the same process for the belt solution, I’m using it for your reference. Place a level against the wall to make sure your line is straight. Mark the wall with a pencil where you want the hooks to go. Drill the holes on the marks. The size of your wall and quantity of belts you’ll be hanging will dictate how many holes and hooks you’ll need.
It was a business and fun-filled three days in the big apple. I hadn’t gone anywhere solo in quite a few years and this trip was a great reminder of how much of a talk-to-myself (even ask questions and promptly respond) individual I am. But I wasn’t as lonely as I had predicted. Meeting new folks and reconnecting with old friends made my expedition a lot more enjoyable. Wanna see what I saw?
For the Independent Fashion Blogger Soiree the pressure was off. Assembling this outfit felt like a breeze compared to the outfit I posted on Tuesday. I spotted this dress at Akira (a local boutique I should be posting about fairly soon) and instantly knew it would serve me well. Black (although the purchase was made for a specific event, I was in serious need for something preto), basic but also flirty and fun. Me, happy.