Saturday, April 27, 2013

What I Wore - Leather and stone

This is what I wore last weekend to meet blogger Gabifresh and attend an Audiences concert. There are more photos than usual since it was such a gorgeous location.

Shirt and skirt- Express
Boots and leggings- Old Navy
Necklace (reconstructed by me)- Forever 21

Close-up of my necklace and shoulder detail of my shirt.

You know how bloggers always wear the cutest coats/gloves/hats with their outfits? That is so not me.

Friday, April 26, 2013

What I Wore - "The Cammila" necklace

Today Cammila of Dressed Up Like a Lady posted this:

Since I love ridiculously large necklaces, of course I loved it. I realized that I could create a similar effect with my own necklaces, and created this:

Next time I am going to adjust the length of my necklaces to elongate the look more because in comparing my look with Cammila's, I think that is what really makes her look more awesome.

I used these five necklaces to create my look:

In case you are wondering what the rest of my look outfit included, here you go:

I think the pink penguin pajama pants really "make" the look, don't you? Maybe Cammila should try that next time.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Review of eShakti and their dresses

A couple weeks ago I wrote about placing my first order with eShakti for the two dresses above; now that I have received my order, I wanted to provide a thorough review.

I apologize for the blurry photos below. I wasn't feeling well and couldn't figure out how to get the flash on my camera turned on until about halfway through the photos.

The dresses came in two separate packages as they shipped from different locations. I placed my eShakti order April 6th (a Friday), and delivery was attempted at my place for the first dress April 15th, and the second dress on April 17th. The dresses were listed as "ship in 7 business days" (remember, they are custom length dresses) and "transit time between 7 to 10 business days," so, I got my delivery a lot sooner than the 14-17 business days stated.

The delivery was done by DHL, and since I had never had a DHL delivery before, I was surprised that the first delivery was attempted at 9:03 am; where I live, UPS and FedEx deliveries are always late afternoon to early evening. Since I was not expecting such an early delivery, I missed the first attempt. As I had no experience with DHL, I was unsure if the second delivery attempt the next day would be around the same time (UPS and FedEx seems to be pretty consistent as to what time they are in my area of the city every day). The second delivery attempt of the first dress was at 11:11 am the next day. The delivery of my second dress was made at 9:21 am the day after that.

I was impressed with the packaging enough to actually write about it, so, I think that says something. Each dress arrived in their own box (I am not sure if that was solely because they shipped from different locations); the boxes were short and wide which I feel helped keep the dresses from moving around in the boxes. The dresses were folded nicely with tissue paper, and then wrapped in plastic; one of the dresses had plastic "clips" of some sort to make sure the dress stayed neatly folded. The second package came with a vinyl measuring tape enclosed (the kind of measuring tape you use to take your body measurements); I later read that eShakti does that with all their first orders.

Quality of the dresses
I noticed the quality of the dresses more so when I received the second dress; all the pleats on the Color Processor dress were sewed down about four inches from the top. To be fair, I don't own many pleated items of clothing, so, I don't know how common this actually is in cheap versus expensive pleated garments. What is nice about the pleats being sewed down a couple inches is that it keeps the pleats from puffing out awkwardly at the hips. The sewing on both of the dresses seemed even and there was no dangling threads.

Fit of the dresses
"Amelia" dress

The "Amelia" dress fit perfect in the waist and slightly large in the bust. The major problem is that the underbust area is way too large. Since my measurements match the size chart exactly for the size I ordered, I had high hopes for the fit of the dress. I found the fit of this dress a bit perplexing since most women are slightly smaller in their underbust area. In retrospect, if you are going to go with a dress with a shape as tailored as this one, you might as well pay the extra $7.50 for customization so you can get the underbust measurement, length of torso, etc. correct.

What upset me most about this dress, however, was the back of the dress. I was disappointed that the back was too low to cover my bra. I hate when dress manufacturers don't take this into consideration. Whyyyyy?

P.S. the skirt only looks weird on the left side of the first photo because I had the dress tucked into my underwear! I'm so classy.

"Cool color processor" dress

I really like the "Color Processor" dress although it doesn't really accentuate any curves. The extra fabric and puckering around my midsection appears to be from the straps being too long. Since I am 5'8", I was surprised that the bust to shoulder area was too long, as I assume the only changes they make to the garment based on your height are to the skirt. Alternatively, the issue may not be with the straps, but rather the front seams not being tailored in enough for the waist measurement of this dress size. As you can see here, the dress looks significantly better when the straps are pulled up:

I was disappointed to see that the second dress I ordered went from $70 to $42 between the time I placed and received my order. It made the "buy one, get one at 40% off deal" I used for the second dress not a deal at all. If I had placed my order a little later, the second dress would have been 40% off $42 instead.

After I received my order, I did get a wonderful (automated, I assume) e-mail with a $20 gift coupon to thank me for my first order. Additionally, the e-mail stated if I filled out their feedback survey, I would be sent another $10 gift coupon.

Final verdict
I am definitely going to return the Amelia dress as the fit is too terrible to be tailored easily/cheaply, especially with the back being too low to cover my bra.

I think I will keep the "Color block" dress and just shorten the straps myself.

Oddly, it seems that both of the dresses suffer from the same main problem: the underbust measurement being too large. Since I have never had this issue with "off-the-rack" dresses before, I cannot help but wonder if it is an issue with eShakti's original dress patterns rather than an issue unique to my shape.

While I love the idea of being able to customize their dresses to my measurements for only $7.50, I was not prepared for the dresses to fit so poorly off-the-rack. I have never had off-the-rack dresses fit so oddly before; it is especially perplexing considering my measurements match the size chart exactly. I am quite disappointed that I can't order off-the-rack dresses from eShakti even when my measurements match their size chart exactly, and have them fit reasonable well. If I order from eShakti again, I am either going to pay the extra $7.50 for customization (as a return itself cost $6), or only order a style where I can easily "fix" myself if need be.

Photos of Sol Cat at the Tonic Room 4/20

On Sunday I shared a video and photos of Audiences at the Tonic Room in Chicago for Music Attention Deficit Disorder's (MADD) first anniversary. Today I am sharing some photos of Sol Cat's performance. Hopefully I will feel up to editing and posting the photos of John the Conqueror's performance sometime over the next few days (I am too sick to do much right now).

The "photos" below are actually screenshots of video I took; there was too much movement for my camera to take decent photos without the flash, and I didn't want to annoy everyone with the flash.

P.S. I had to re-size the layout of my blog in order to share these photos in a large enough size that you could make out the faces of all six members of Sol Cat!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Photos of Audiences at the Tonic Room 4/20

Yesterday Timmy and I went with some friends to see Audiences perform at the Tonic Room; they were playing with Sol Cat and John the Conqueror.

You can see a video I took of Audiences' sound check performance here. Below are the "photos" I took of Audiences at the show. I say "photos" because most of these are screenshots of videos; there was too much movement for my camera to take decent photos without the flash, and I didn't want to be too obnoxious with the flash.

I'll post some photos from Sol Cat's and John Conqueror's performance next weekend hopefully, as I am completely tired of screen-capping, re-sizing, and editing photos!

Video of Audiences at the Tonic Room 4/20

Audiences sound check on April 20, 2013 at the Tonic Room in Chicago for Music Attention Deficit Disorder's (MADD) first birthday.

Excuse my choppy zooming and panning. This is the first time I have recorded a performance with my new camera; much better audio than my old camera, although obviously not high quality.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

GabiFresh's shopping event at Bloomingdale's

My top three favorite fashion blogs are GabiFresh, Dressed Up Like A Lady, and Syl and Sam/Lipgloss and Black; so, when I found out Gabi of GabiFresh was hosting a shopping event in Chicago this weekend, I really wanted to go. Even though Gabi lives in Chicago, the only shopping events/meet-and-greets I've seen her post before were for New York, which always bummed me out! Anyway, Gabi is as nice and adorable as you would expect her to be from reading her blog. And just as fabulous, of course.

When I was waiting for the shopping event to begin, I was eyeing this dress (check out the back!), however I am cheap, so, the dress was more than I was willing to spend. When Gabi came out for the event she was wearing the same dress I had been eyeing! I took it as a sign and tried it on. Unfortunately the smallest size they had in the plus size line (size 14) was a little too big, and they didn't have the largest size in the regular size line in store. Since the sales lady said I could get it shipped to my home with free shipping, I decided to give it a try. By the way, how awesome is it that they make the SAME dress in both regular and plus size!

Why do I always smile like that?? I was having a good time, I promise!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Churches of Dublin

The hypocrisy of elaborate churches always astounds me, but as a lover of architecture, I cannot help appreciating their beauty. Dublin has no shortage of extravagant churches, and most of them are on my list of places to visit when Timmy and I go to Dublin this summer.

Previously I have written on the Doors of Dublin, and Dublin's bakery "Queen of Tarts." You can view my Dublin Pinterest board here.