5 Best European Stores for an American To Try

As I mentioned in this post, I've been accepted to my dream school: New York University. The program I was chosen for requires me to spend a year in London. It's an incredible experience that I cannot wait to begin. That being said, I've done a little research for anyone else who will be travelling to UK for an extended period of time. Or, perhaps, loses their luggage and needs a quick wardrobe. These shops are primarily European-based and are a struggle to find in America. This list should give you an idea on which to stop by.
1. Primark
After seeing  converting the prices displayed on their website, I nearly had a heart attack. That's only one advantage to Primark, though. Another is that have stores nearly everywhere in the UK. No matter where you're travelling, there's bound to be a Primark nearby. I then did a Yelp search for one of the busiest Primarks--the one on Oxford Street, which a big tourist location--and it seems as though even native Londoners love it for its cheap prices and fast queues lines. Primark does not sell clothing online, but here's a photo from their Boxing Day Sale Advertisement.
$20.23 to 7.78, $15.56 to 7.78, $23.34 to $7.78
Primark

2. H&M
This is a no brainer for most of us. The European store we've come to know and love in the US has its mark all over the UK. Just like Primark, the stores are everywhere and when British stores get a little intimidating, ol' H&M will be there for you with its nice prices and familiar setting.

3. Topshop
 I have a number of problems with Topshop, but what makes up for them all is its wonderful ability to stay on trend. Most American stores, like Forever 21 follow their own trends and cater to the public and not to what fashion said. Topshop stays true to the formula. Besides that, it does get extremely pricey. The pieces, however, are wonderful and are perfect for a splurge. I would not attempt to get my entire wardrobe at Topshop especially on a college student's salary (of nothing). Upon second thought, if I really wanted to save for a glorious piece, I think I would save further and then visit Selfridges or Harrod's and get a designer piece, maybe Kurt Geiger heels or a Marc by Marc Jacobs bag. 


4. Mango
This store seems really cool. Although the prices rival Topshop's, the aesthetic is totally different. I also receive a totally different vibe from Mango. They seem a bit more no-nonsense and to seek a goal of quality clothes delivered with care. Very straight to the point. Their stock photos for online shopping are not just clothes on white background but actual models wearing the clothes. This way, you get to see exactly how it lays and what kind of experience the makers intended. That, I believe, allows for a much more trusting relationship between buyer and seller. Mango is not for everyone, however, they seem to opt for monochromatic prints and textures over gaudy statements and jewels.


5. Zara
Zara is wonderful with trends, as well, just a slight step higher. While everything with Topshop screams urban, Zara is more sophisticated, whispering the word modern. We have Zara  in United States, but its frequency in the UK deftly provides variety. I, for one, would shop here if it weren't for those prices. If it were a rating I would give it three dollar signs out of five whereas Primark has one and a half. But is it worth it? I have reason to believe that yes, it's totally worth it. The clothes are quality like at Mango and trendy like at Topshop. It's all put together in a neat little aesthetic, ready for you. 

BONUS! Boohoo is an awesome UK-based online shop that ships to the US for quite little and even offers it for free when you spend more than $50. They also ship free in the UK. The prices rival Forever 21 and H&M's, but the style is strictly European. 
 
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REVOLVE Clothing (Point of Interest)

Los Angeles' The Grove is one of the most notable places in the entire city. It houses stores from the some of the most influential brands today including Topshop, Abercrombie & Fitch, The Gap, and MAC. It's also home to many high-end brands like their new Diane von Furstenberg store, Barney's New York, and Nordstrom. Moreover, The Grove has an atmosphere akin to that of its city, but in a much more calm manner. The crowded streets in the outdoor shopping center are packed with people with the same goal: to take their time and have fun. On top of all the commercial aspects, The Grove has become a staple in the Los Angeles experience. Everything from it's architecture is traditional and understated. That is, until you reach a store in a little corner between the theatre and MAC: REVOLVE. 
The marquee is bright pink, with neon lit letters broadcasting the company's name. Next to monochromatic MAC, it's a surprise, but also a sight for sore eyes. For The Grove's regulars, REVOLVE is brand new. For the holiday season, they've put a pop-up store in The Grove. This attracts a brand new demographic to the business and to The Grove. REVOLVE has obtained a cult-following online with young adults because of its eclectic pieces from designer labels. These aren't just the more obscure or up-and-coming labels, either. REVOLVE sells pieces from Marc by Marc Jacobs, Rebecca Minkoff, and T by Alexander Wang, conveniently exposing them to the younger generation and perhaps creating lifelong bonds between consumers and designers. 
Of course, The Grove has stores for the younger generation like Forever 21 and Anthropologie, but REVOLVE has an air that the others cannot compete with. Although I have no doubt that REVOLVE's pop-up store will get the job done in terms of exposing itself to a new client-base, it certainly would not be a shame to see it move into a more permanent spot here in LA. 
The REVOLVE Pop-Up Shop will close down on December 31st, 2014. Hurry to The Grove soon! 
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Life Update!

It's very easy to get caught up in a wave. One day, you're coasting and the next you're being pushed in another direction. No matter how much heart you put in, the effort just isn't enough. Until it is. There's a shift in the winds or a butterfly flaps its wings. You can finally get back onto your path. This time, however, it's more focused. You'd do anything to reach the end. And that is where I am currently. 
When I began this blog it was during the Spring when life is a lot easier in terms of my workload. This year, fall came and school took me by storm. Not only that, but college applications have been leering behind the mountains of schoolwork. However, things are dying down. I've received my acceptance to New York University. First semester has ended. I've got an incredible boyfriend. And I can back to what I really care about. Clothes. 
What does this mean? More OOTDs, more articles, and way more of me on this blog. I can't wait to begin it all. 
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How To: Preppy on a Budget

fake it til you



Forever 21 blue chambray shirt / Forever 21 flared skirt / Forever 21 pointy shoes / Love 21 necklace / Forever 21 hat / Forever 21 headband / 21 MENS Flamingo Print Shorts / 21 MENS Sailboat Print Shorts / 21 MENS Classic Fit Shirt / 21 MENS F9975 Aviator Sunglasses / 21 MENS Twill Cotton Chinos / 21 MENS Classic Boat Shoes / Fresh Heathered Blazer / Easy Chino Shorts / Two-Tone Straw Fedora / Plaid Bow Tie / Metal Bow Ballet Flats

Look, I get it. You're stuck in suburbia where everyone is wearing the same "Obey" shirts, galaxy leggings, and sassy crop tops. And it takes everything in you to not gag as you walk by some of your classmates. You're not alone! The only refuge you can take is via the internet where you can sigh at the perfect lives of prepsters across the country. One day, that will be you!

But why can't that day come sooner? Sure, you're in no position to fill your wardrobe with Vineyard Vines, Lacoste, and KJP, but your friendly neighborhood Forever 21 can fulfill the that dream for right now. All you need is patience to sift through the unwanted and a spectacular sense of willpower.

There's no reason why teens today shouldn't get to express themselves through fashion. One should never be afraid of wearing their favorite shirt because of what other people think. Chances are, those haters don't know the slightest thing about individuality. Don't give up and don't conform. We see you, baby preps, and we commend you!

Ladies!

I've got one word for ya: bows!

Bows, bows, bows.

They're verifiably the best thing to happen to the masses since the internet. Nothing says preppy like them (except maybe boats, but that's for later). Caution: bows must be used wisely. Too many and you may end up looking like a gift. That's the beauty, however, you don't need to cover your body in them for bows to take their effect. It's instant girly and instant you!

This isn't to say that bows are the only way for a girl to look preppy. There's also the iconic pearls. For some reason, (actually, I think we can thank generations of first ladies) pearls have give off the insatiable idea of class and sophistication. Preppy girls can use this to their advantage. They aren't just for special occasions, however. You can wear them whenever to add an extra something. 



Lastly, but oh-so-certainly not least for the girls is florals. We can thank the late great Lily Pulitzer for this one. Florals have always been a symbol for femininity, but Lily's fabrics take this to a new, fantastical level with prints for the gods. They allow for so much freedom within this style. No two preps are exactly alike. 

Gentlemen!

Boats! Boats! Boats!*

Boats and preppy males go hand in hand. The best part is that you don't have to go boating every weekend to look like you do. Boat shoes are a great start. Step two is a casual straw hat and dark aviators because the sun beating down on you on the boat last weekend was killer. The printed shorts (blue boats on white and pink flamingos on navy) are akin to the ladies' affinity for floral print. 

Compared to the other teen guys of today, preppy guys are constantly overdressed. This statement arises from the blazers and chinos we attribute to preps, but on some level it's still slightly casual. Thanks to the perpetual usage of boat shoes and loafers (not pictured), these young men slightly dress down their blazers and bow ties. 

Speaking of which, bow ties are another touch of bows, this time on boys. Another similarity is that printed bow ties (even printed Lily bow ties) can be found on the necks of straight, preppy men everywhere. Screw conforming gender roles, am I right? 

What have we learned?

Ladies, a little bow goes a long way. Prints are your new BFF. Always classy. 

Gentlemen, boats are everything. Dressy is the new casual. Your fashion, your way. 

Style is the easiest way to show the world who you are. Don't shy away from the loafers, ladies. And guys, wear a striped bow tie, if you want! Let your clothes speak for you and leave everyone else speechless. 

In honor of the Kentucky Derby and thanks to Forever 21's expansive collection, that was how to be preppy on a budget. 

Please do me the privilege of following me on bloglovin'. Links on the side bar! 

6 WAYS TO WEAR LEATHER THIS SPRING

6 unconventional ways to do leather in spring



Forever 21 top / Love 21 activewear pants / H M mini skirt, $25 / Orange Contrast Leather Geometric Print Skirt Shorts / TOPSHOP Petite Leather Look Dungaree


1. This skirt has several cool aspects combined to create one unmistakable tone: cool. For starters the asymmetrical zippers carry over the punk trend from F/W. Then, the faux leather and "origami" cut make it modern and cutting-edge. Move over cookie-cutter pencil skirts.

2. Shorts, skirts, and pants that have this same sliver of leather on the waist band carry on the trend in a most elegant fashion. The geo print on this pair of shorts keeps the bright in spring and the leather adds the chic.

3. Harem pants are comfortable, easy to dress up or down, and are instantly stylish with simple heels. The leather throws on an extra tier of sophistication.

4. The simple, delicate cut on this top reflects all that S/S 2014 seeks to represent. It's dainty and will just fall into shape, a deep contrast from F/W 2013's tight fits and tailoring. The thin straps and drop back add the modern emphasis, with aid from the leather's shine.

5. Overalls have made the same venture back to trendy as denim mini skirts has, but they're having far better success. This pair has been fully updated, with straight legs, a statement zipper, and faux leather. Appearing stylish yet casual will be easy with a piece like this.

6. As mentioned, Spring is tbe time for all things delicate. In what could have been ethereal and girly, this slip dress has been made edgy with the faux leather skirt and bodice. To add more against the contrary, the sheer mesh is sexy and open, making for a perfect summer dress.
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