Lavender

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Growing up, I never liked the smell of lavender. I found it to be too "herbal", and nothing like the sweet and fruity scents I had come to adore. As I got older, I came to appreciate this flower a bit more. Here is a list of my favorite things to do with it:

1. When dried, it makes a nice and natural air freshener (either have a few stems on a dish, or make a sachet with the buds). Fact: The scent of lavender has been linked to reducing stress.
2. Add a few stems to a gift wrapped in plain paper for a pop of color.
3. Use them to decorate your room.
4. Add a few buds to your next bath (after rinsing them off, of course).
5. Make a pretty bouquet.

Go Bright

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SWEATshirt DRESSshirt here, with your fashion weather forecast. It looks like we're going to be seeing some pleated textures, doily lace, and a gust of neon. From late March to early September, there will be a heavy downpour of brightly colored earrings, jeans, and accessories. If you're planning to equip yourself with the most current trends, I would recommend the following:

1. 3" Chino Short via J Crew $45
2. Neon Shoelace Wrap Bracelet via Juicy Couture $14.99 SALE
3. Contrast Stripe Tee via J Crew $39.50
5. Marc by Marc Jacobs Neon Enamel Bracelet via Bloomingdales $54 SALE
6. Toothpick Jean via J Crew $108
7. Mid-rise Skinny via J Brand
8. Patent Neon Flip Flops via Forever 21 $7.50
9. Nail Polish via American Apparel $6
10. Drop Earrings via ASOS $14.32
11. Dolce & Gabbana Leather Mini Shoulder Bag via Net-a-Porter $725 <--definite splurge!
12. Classic Thin Bangle via J Crew $18.50

Have a great Monday, and be sure to join us next time on SWEATshirt DRESSshirt, for another fashion forecast.

Let Them Eat Lemon Cake

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On New Years Eve, my crafty friend K made us a lemon cake. I've had lemon cake before, but never homemade. It was sweet, refreshing, and had just the right amount of zest. You can find the recipe here.

A tip from K: For a stronger hint of citrus, add more lemon juice to the cake batter, as well as frosting.

Nail Tutorial: Better Than Revenge

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It's funny how much my perceptions of love have changed since high school. When I was 16, I dated a senior boy. I thought he was the coolest person in the world, with his car, skateboard, and popular friends. He eventually left me for another girl. Though I was crushed at the time, I now see it as a blessing in disguise. In celebration of my teenage years, I present to you, a nail tutorial for 'Better Than Revenge' by Taylor Swift:

TOOLS
The following nail polish colors: dark purple or black, gold, gold glitter, and magenta glitter.
Tape -- I used blue painter's tape because it comes off the easiest... but any kind, except duct, should work.

Nail polish recommendations: 'Lincoln Park After Dark' by OPI, a gold polish from Forever 21, 'Only Gold For Me' by SEPHORA by OPI, and a magenta glitter from Forever 21

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Paint your nails with a dark polish.
2. Once the dark polish is completely dry (this is important!), follow these instructions:

Pointer finger (diagonal design): Place a small piece of tape diagonally on to your nail so that it covers the bottom left part (pictured below). Press firmly on the tape, making sure it seals any part of your nail that you aren't going to paint (do this for each design that uses tape). Apply two coats of magenta glitter, let dry, and slowly peel off tape.

Thumb and ring finger (explosion design): Using a piece of tape that is about 1 inch in length, cut 3 spikes, side by side. 

TIP: Since, I experienced some difficulty in cutting out such a small design with my huge kitchen shears, I realized that the best way to go about this is to cut while having the handles of the scissors closest to you at all times (see diagram). Place the tape on to your nail (see below for an example of a spike stencil), with the spikes facing your cuticle. Apply 1-2 coats of gold polish, let dry and slowly peel off tape.

Middle finger (partial glitter): Using a gold glitter, apply one coat in the shape of an L on to your nail. 




Click here for the 'Sparks Fly' nail tutorial.

I've Got the Blues

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From Left to Right: 1. Madewell //2. Eddie Baur //3. J. Crew //4. Madewell //5. Old Navy //6. Madewell

The Chambray Shirt [sham-brey] noun: Jeans, in the form of a stylish shirt.

OFTEN SEEN WITH: black jeggings, gold sequin skirts, white jean shorts, striped shirts, lace skirts, and gold jewelry.

Tutorial: Valentine's Day Nails

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I know it's a little premature to be talking about Valentine's day right now, but I just couldn't resist showing you guys this nail tutorial I came up with earlier today... while procrastinating my gigantic paper.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED 
- A Valentine's Day-esque colored nail polish (I used 'Big Apple Red'. My 2nd choice would have been 'Meep Meep Meep'. Both are by OPI and are pictured below)
- A white nail art polish (if you don't have one of these a thin paintbrush will also work)

DIRECTIONS
1. Paint your nails with the base color you selected.
2. Using the white nail art polish, paint a small V anywhere on your nail.
3. Go over the V shape as many times as you need to, expanding the edges a little more with each stroke (keep in mind, the more nail polish you apply, the bigger the heart will get). I wanted to keep mine small, so I only went over them just once or twice more. The part you want to focus on the most is filling in the inside of the V (just a little bit!) to make it look more like a heart.
4. Repeat as needed.

*TIP: for the smaller hearts, the original two strokes you used to make the V will suffice. Going over them too many times may mess them up.

The Bee's Knees

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images via here and here

This past Christmas, I received a pair of knee high socks in the gift bundle my boyfriend's family gave me (see middle picture below). Ever since, I've become obsessed  with researching different ways to style them. My favorite way, being with tall boots.

1st and 3rd images via here and here, 2nd image via SWEATshirt DRESSshirt

3 Ways to Style a Leather Jacket

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If you had to come up with one word to describe your personal style, what would it be? For me, I'm not too sure. Sometimes I'm girly, sometimes I'm preppy, and other times... I'm trendy. My style is all over the place, which makes it hard to classify myself in just one category. That said, here are 3 ways I would style one of my favorite pieces of the moment: a leather bomber.

leather jacket: Urban Outfitters (during Black Friday!) //sequin tunic: Urban Outfitters //leggings: Hue via Nordstrom //nail polish: OPI 'Big Apple Red' //ring: a random kiosk in Hawaii //purse: Michael Kors //elephant necklace in background: Nordstrom B.P.

striped shirt: Nordstrom Rack //watch: Marc by Marc Jacobs

burgundy boyfriend shirt: Madewell //necklace: Urban Outfitters //bracelet: Nordstrom B.P.

Two Peas in a Pod

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top: Michael Kors // bottom: Marc by Marc Jacobs

I've mentioned my BFF, R, on here a few times in the past. Though, I never told you guys that, back in high school, instead of slowly becoming best friends over time, we simply decided on this status the moment we met. The other day, when she pointed out the accidental coordination of our purses (R: Marc by Marc Jacobs, Me: Michael Kors), watches (R: Michael Kors, Me: Marc by Marc Jacobs), and nail polish (we were wearing the same color!) I knew our friendship was meant to be.


Opportunities

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dress: c/o eShakti //blazer: Frenchi via Nordstrom B.P. //necklace: Nordstrom B.P. //nail polish: 'Big Apple Red' OPI

I've always been envious of my friends N and R, who have been lucky enough to travel back to their home countries, and experience custom made clothes, for not very much money. A few summers ago, N came back with a blazer she designed herself. I almost wanted to ask her if she got it from Nordstrom, but no. She got it while abroad, for just $20. Amazing, right?

Little did I know, I would get the same opportunity as my friends, in the comfort of my own home. A few months ago, I was contacted by eShakti, a company that makes custom-sized as well as standard-sized clothing for women (sorry, guys!). Their website is unique from your typical department store's, because you have the option of playing fashion designer by customizing the length, to the type of neckline of your dress/pants/skirt/blouse.

cross-body bag: Michael Kors (thanks, Mom!)


Their customer service was easy to work with (though, honestly, I have read otherwise from other people who have ordered from them). So, it could be different for everyone. The processing and shipping also took a while. My order was confirmed on the 25th of November, and I received the dress on December 19th. If any of you order from this company, the only thing I would look into more is their shipping time. In all, I would recommend eShakti because the dress I received was of really good quality, and it fit like a glove. For more information, visit their website and/or social media outlets: eShaktiTwitterFacebook.

XO,
SWEATshirt DRESSshirt

P.S. I don't want you guys to think I'm a sell-out, just because I received this dress for free. This is the first free item I've received from blogging, and you can trust that I would never feed you lies, as I make it a goal to be an honest, and real blogger. It's still me, guys! You can always count on that.

*I did not, and will not be getting paid by anyone for this post.

Jason Wu for Target

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Is anyone else as obsessed as I am with Jason Wu's line for Target? If you haven't heard of it already, after checking out these pictures, prepare yourself to be in awe.

images via Daily Mail and Lucky Magazine

In Her Shoes

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Growing up, I was never a shoe person. Given a million-dollar shopping spree, I'd pick clothing over shoes. As I've gotten older, I realized the impact a good pair of shoes can make on an outfit (thanks, Carrie Bradshaw!) Which got me thinking... if my winter shoe collection were complete, what would it look like?

Steve Madden 'Troopa': My best friend, R, used to have a pair of these. They're cute, stylish, comfortable, and are pretty reasonably priced. The only bad thing about them is the poorly made sole, which can be fixed with a quick trip to the cobbler's.

Frye 'Melissa Button Back Zip': After owning a few pairs of boots made from man-made materials, I discovered the importance of splurging on real-leather ones... by accident (I had a gift card+access to a sale, and wouldn't have paid full price for these.) After the fact, I can honestly say that real leather has held true to its reputation. These boots in particular, are comfortable, stylish, perfect for narrow feet, and are worth the money.

UGG (classic short): Despite what a lot of people say, I like UGGs. They're convenient for when all you want to wear are sweats, and are also nice-looking enough to wear with jeans and a hoodie.

Steve Madden 'Pammyy' Platform Wedge: The perfect going out shoe, with a fierce amount of height for those under 5'5" girls, like me. Need I say more?

Hunter (original): For those rainy days, and a good substitute for the poorly made rain boots that I've been guilty of purchasing over and over again.

Sam Edelman 'Beatrix' Flat in Leopard: The spikes, leopard print, and black toe = a true delight for my inner fashion self.

DIY: Rope Bracelet

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I love Pinterest. It has probably distracted me from doing more productive things than I can count. A while ago, I found this amazing tutorial for a DIY rope bracelet. The best part? You all probably already have the materials needed to make it. All you need are some shopping bag handles that are shoe-string like, clips (I used bobby pins), and a pair of scissors.

You can find the tutorial here.

The Jegging

    | 7 comments
images via AE

As a person who has difficulty finding regular jeans that fit just right, the jegging was a definite gift from the Fashion Gods. So far, I've tested out 3 brands, 2 of which, failed miserably in the no-fade test. Thus, crowning American Eagle, as the most reliable brand I have purchased. If you know of other brands that are great too, I would love to know of them!

5 reasons to love jeggings:
1. They look great with oversized shirts, or shirts that are longer.
2. If you're having trouble finding jeans that fit right, jeggings will never let you down.
3. They're good to wear with boots.
4. If you don't feel like wearing tights, or no-pocket leggings, these are the perfect substitution.
5. You can show off your curves in a flattering way.


zebra image via heine.de

Fifteen

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One of my favorite songs of Taylor Swift's is "Fifteen". Not surprisingly, I have found a million ways in which I can relate to it. I, too, met a few of my best friends, and even dreamt of being noticed by a senior boy. My biggest worry was who I would sit with at lunch, and the Hollister Co. website was my homepage. If I could go back and give myself 10 pieces of advice, here is what I would say:

1. Hold your friends close. They'll save your life when it comes to surviving high school.
2. Just because you've never been in a relationship, doesn't mean you aren't smart, pretty, or funny.
3. Don't take tough teachers for granted, and get as much as you can from their classes. You'll be thankful for this while in college.

4. No matter how discouraged you get, don't give up on your dreams. You'll eventually achieve them.
5. Be kind to everyone you meet. No matter what.
6. Go out and do things. Now is the time to be wild and carefree.
7. Stop wearing that lipgloss. You lips look like a disco ball.
8. When in doubt, be yourself.
9. No one is going to judge you if you skip a day of wearing makeup.
10. And last but not least: "You are prettier than you look. Smarter than you think. Stronger than you feel. Wiser than you know." -R

banner made on Polyvore

We've Got It Covered

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WINTER: A season where your coat turns into an attention hog.

Might as well get a cute one. Here are 4 types of jackets I love:

1. The Leather Jacket: for the semi-cold climates, and a chic, rocker look.
2. The Army Green Parka: for the colder climates, and a preppy look.
3. The Trench Coat: for the warmer climates, and a sophisticated, lady-like look.
4. The Pea Coat: for the semi-cold climates, and a classic, put-together look.

images via Polyvore

New Beginnings

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Cheers, to new beginnings.
HAPPY 2012!