Thursday, November 29, 2012

Review: Hello Kitty Forever

I feel like its been forever since I've done a large review post! Well, its a good thing the Hello Kitty Forever line launched its second edition! I posted about the first Hello Kitty x Forever 21 collaboration, but then never said much of after that. I did end up purchasing more than half of the line last time and was honestly so disappointed with everything that I ended up only keeping one item. For whatever reason, I decided not to blog about it either. Maybe it was too heartbreaking? Who knows! Like most short term relationships it was past and gone from my memory in the blink of an eye. All that was left was the resolve never to purchase from the line again. And I wasn't going to. I promise, I really, really wasn't going to.. Until I spotted this:

And then suddenly my resolve was out the window. It went from a "I must stalk the website so I can get this sweater" to "The entire line is SO adorable--buy all the things". It wasn't too long after I'd pressed check out one too many times that the fear of disappointment started to creep in. My two biggest issues with the last line was the sizing and the misrepresentation of product. In general, I feel like Forever 21 really needs to work on their marketing. Then again, considering you can't really get a refund for the things you purchase in-store (store credit only) or online, unless you mail it back, why should they? Which is why they aren't always my store of choice. But dammit, I'm such a sucker for a chic Hello Kitty.

Lucikly things seemed to work out a lot better this time around.

And like most of my review posts, this is a heavily photobombed. :) Enjoy!

Striped Bow Graphic Sweater
$24.80, size S

Since this is the sweater that caused all the mayhem, we'll start with it. I honestly cannot tell you how much I adore this. I love the slight boatneck and the faux leather elbow patches. The sweater 65% cotton, 35% nylon/polyamide, which given that its Forever 21, having more than half being natural fibers is pretty decent. Its also thick and fairly soft, gives you that nice cozy feeling. Unfortunately, the fit leaves more to be desired. In true Forever 21 fashion, the sizing is fairly off. I really wish they would come out with extra smalls more often. Its really not the most flattering sweater. It does absolutely nothing for my figure (I think it actually makes me look bigger), even though it is suppose to be more on the fitted side.

But its a keeper. I really just love the idea of it too much to return it. Is it going to be worth the alteration costs? Probably not, but in the long run I'll get more wear out of it because I won't feel so self-conscious.

Currently the sweater is sold out on Forever 21 website, and I don't think they got it in-store. If you are interested in purchasing, unfortunately, I think eBay may be your best bet.

Triple Bow Graphic Sweater
$22.80, size S

Lets talk about how much I love this sweater--because really, I freaking love this sweater (despite the fact that I forgot to smile in the second photo). For one thing, it actually fits me, and another, well there's bows all over it! Its super cozy, but not as thick as the Striped Graphic Bow sweater. This one is a 100% cotton, so it breathes a bit better, too. I really wish they'd used the same cut for the Striped Graphic Bow as they did this one. My only real complaint is that I'm not the biggest fan of crew neck sweaters, but thats a personal issue and nothing you should worry about! This was a great purchase and an immediate keeper.

Unfortunately, this one is also sold out on the Forever 21 website, but I did see it in-store, so you might want to try your chances there first.

$24.80, size S

For whatever reason, all of my favorites from this line, aren't really worth the money (exception being the Triple Bow Graphic Sweater). I know I'm totally getting suckered into these for the novelty of it all. Sigh. Sometimes I wish I did not have a love for Hello Kitty.

Then again, this isn't exactly Hello Kitty on this shirt. Its Badtz Maru! Badtz Maru needs some love too (and so does Chococat, as you'll see below). And Forever 21 really gave him the best kind of love. They put him on a removable clip on tie. Make no mistake, the entire reason I purchased this shirt wasn't for the spikes or hi-lo aspect of it. It was entirely for Badtz Maru. I adore the tie. And thank goodness its removable! The shirt by itself is not much to write home about. Sure the spikes are nice, and I don't (amazingly) actually own a shirt with spikes on it, but the material is pretty thin and feels a bit cheap. The fit isn't too bad actually. Unlike most of the hi-lo kind of shirts, this one doesn't seem to make me look like I'm covering up a pregnant belly.

I also quite love the detailing in the inside collar:

Obviously this one is a keeper. Not totally worth your money given how cheap the shirt feels, but you're not going to find Badtz Maru on a tie like this any time soon. (And yes! Its still available on Forever 21.)

Hello Kitty & Onch Movement Pretzel Bow Necklace

Buy it. If you see this necklace, just buy it. Its currently sold out online, so really, if you see it, don't hesitate. Just pick it up and take it to check out. Out of all the necklaces this one is the most verstile and will honestly carry over for a few years. Its simple and its elegant--and you can't really beat the price tag. It also doubles up pretty well as a bracelet.

$22.80, size S

I want to like this top so much. I really do. :( It actually saddens me quite a bit
the direction they decided to take with this top. There's absolutely no give. Inside of doing the right thing and putting in a side zipper so that the top could be fitted they oversized it, and honestly I don't think it works for this style. The print, while fantastic, is so busy, especially when combined with the lace, that the lack of structure actually pulls it into more of an unflattering zone.

The material itself is fairly cheap. The lace is flimsy and as you can see on my left arm, there's already a hole starting to build. This is most definitely a return.

Spiked Hello Kitty Shirt
$19.80, size S

This shirt is about the same quality as the one that comes with the Badtz Maru tie - cheap. The cut is different though. Its a hi-lo shirt like the Badtz Maru one, but this one seems to be cut boxier and the "hi" comes up a lot higher. The print is adorable, but I don't care too much for the spikes on the shoulder:

I'm actually a bit on the fence about this one. Overall its not really worth the money. I do like the covered button detail, but there are quite a few loose threads already. I think I would be more inclined to keep it if it wasn't a hi-lo shirt. I like hi-lo's but I have one too many already, and I miss being about to tuck my shirt in! Part of me also wonders how much time is left with this trend and is it really worth keeping for only a few wears?

Faux Leather Trimmed Cardigan
$27.80, size S

So this would be another one of those instances where I wish Forever 21 made this in an XS instead. Like, really wished. It fits OK, not great. If it was just a bit smaller, I think that I would really love it. Its a nice alternative to the blazer they had last year (which looked like crap on btw). Its cozy and I love that it has that men's wear effect. Plus how cute does it with the Spiked shirt underneath (yes, yes I know, I'm suppose to be trying to convince myself not to keep that shirt)?

See the trailing loose thread!?

The knit part of this cardigan is nice. Its thick and cozy - similar to the Striped Bow Graphic. The faux leather sleeves are not the highest of quality, and probably border more on the cheap end. Its not the worst faux leather I've ever seen, but its not the best either.

I'm on the fence, but I'll probably end up keeping this one and then cry when I take to get altered. It always seems rather pointless to get cheap fashion altered, but I do end up loving it more and wearing it longer in the end. So maybe its worth it after all? Then again, this was the most expensive item out of everything I bought. I may need some reader help in deciding! ;)

Filigree Print Miniskirt
$13.80, size S

Lucky me! Forever 21 made the filigree pattern in a miniskirt as well. Happy panda. Even happier that the skirt fits well and that its not just a stretch pull over your hips kind of skirt. There's actually a side zipper to this tiny little thing. The added bit of structure really makes it feel like this is well worth the money. Mine only gripe is that the pattern wasn't totally as advertised. As you can see the center of the filigree is totally off to the side in the front and then a bit off-centered in the back (yes that is my butt, its so flat you couldn't tell huh?).

Currently sold out online, but last I checked was still in some stores!

Chococat Ditsy Shorts
$19.80, size S

These shorts are my accidental favorites. I initially passed on them online, but after getting a chance to try them in-store I totally fell in love. The cut is super flattering and makes look like way skinnier than I actually am. They are pretty short, so they won't be for everyone that is for sure. I love the Chococat ditsy pattern, too, and the beige-brown makes it a nice neutral. Easy to pair with a lot of different things.

The shorts are a 100% polyester and come lined. The waist has a nice structured band and a side zip to keep it all in. These fit me perfectly. Like, so perfect, I'm not entirely sure I'll be able to wear them after this Saturday (my third, and last, and most calorie intensive Thanksgiving). Despite having a side zip, I do have wiggle them up a bit since there's no give with these - something to be careful of if you are putting these up over tights. They can snag.. I found that out the hard way.

These may be my second favorite out of the entire collection. They've since sold out online, but don't seem to be moving too fast in-store. There's a high chance that you can still snag a pair if you're interested!

Overall, I thought this second edition was significantly better than the first. The funny thing is that this collection is lasting a lot longer than the last one. It hasn't completely sold out and even the hotter items took a day or so to completely disappear. The eBay prices on these aren't insane either. I'm trying to decide if Hello Kitty has just spread herself over too many brands and collaborations now, or if there are others out there, like me, who were hesitant to give the Hello Kitty Forever line a second try.

Either or, I am quite happy I did. I love being able to wear Hello Kitty as an adult, but in a way that doesn't totally make me seem like I'm five.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Maison Martin Margiela for H&M

Its no secret that the fashion world loves collaborations. Its beginning to feel like every other day a new line with a major designer and a mid-line brand is being announced.

Not that I'm complaining.

I spent half my savings on the Jason Wu for Target, and I have no regrets. I love his aesthetics and having the opportunity to incorporate that into my wardrobe without breaking the bank is fantastic. Uniqlo had Jil Sanders and now Orla Kiely, there was Prabal Gurung for J.Crew, and even Kohl's has joined in the fun with Narciso Rodriguez (set to launch in November) and Derek Lam (uhoh x100 btw). The list just goes on and on.

H&M has definitely been no stranger to designer collaborations. If anything, it stands to have the most impressive list starting with Karl Langerfeld to Lavin to Versace and most recently Anna Dello Russo. And the Swedish retailer isn't stopping any time soon. Its collaboration with Maison Martin Margiela launches today and seems to have everyone scratching their heads. Margiela isn't the most widely known designer, but one thing he is known for is his avant-garde style. His spring 2011 ready to wear line was so hip it was square - literally. The catwalk was full of flat boarded jackets and coats. Its really quite safe to say that Margiela loves his extremes, and his collection with H&M is no exception.

Except now has me wondering if the whole mid-line designer collaborations have gone too far. The general purpose of these partnerships is to give the average consumer a chance to own and wear an item that could other wise not afford. But when a designers entire aesthetic is based on exagerations and extremes, how much sense does it make to translate that style into a low-end line?

Margiela's items undoubtedly have a fantastic editiorail aspect to them. Positioned and staged just right, his garments look elegant and unusual at the same time.

But lets be honest here, how many average consumers would actually be able to wear Margiela's items the way he intended them to be? Granted, the best thing about fashion is adopting an item and twisting it to something of your own style. But even then, there are limitations to how much twist can go about.

As you can see in the photos below, a lot of the H&M x Maison Martin Margiela items don't even look that good on super models or celebrities. My rule of thumb, if it doesn't look good on a model, it probably won't look good on you.

I suppose only the upcoming outfits post will tell! I'm not entirely sure if I'll make it out to H&M today to see these in person. I'm a bit mad at H&M right now, but thats for another blog post ;)

Let me know if you guys end up picking up some items! Feel free to link to your outfit posts below, I'd love to see what they look like on.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

There's No Such Thing As "Too Short" (Guest Blog Post by Melodic, Thrifty and Chic)

The really amazing thing about going on a week long cruise isn't, surprisingly, the endless amounts of sun bathing and food that you can consume, but the simple fact that it literally forces you to disconnect from the internet. No one can interrupt someone's conversation by rudely whipping out a phone in the middle of dinner. No pings, texts, Facebook notifications--nothing. Not even a phone call! (Although who really uses their phone for calling now a days anyways?) As much as we all love to be "in the know" and connected to one another, sometimes a break from it all is well needed.

On the flip side, the bad thing about going on a week long cruise is that there is no internet! No Instagram photos, random Facebook updates, or a quick blog posts for you guys to follow! What's a poor blogger to do? Well, never fear, I love you all too much to leave you stranded. I've lined up a great guest blogger to entertain you while I'm gone!

Introducing Anna from Melodic, Thrifty and Chic. She's just getting her fashion blog up and running, but she's become a fast favorite of mine. Amazing blog posts and a great, stay warm without compromising chic kind of style. She's a no rules kind of girl, and thats probably my favorite thing about her!

Hope you guys enjoy!

❤    ❤    ❤    ❤    ❤    ❤    ❤    ❤    ❤

There's No Such Thing As "Too Short" by Melodic, Thriftt, and Chic

Ok, well, maybe there is such a thing. Haha! Still, don't be afraid to wear a daring high-low skirt or short dress. You can still make a fashion statement and be as modest as you want to be!

Let's start with short dresses. I've been on clothing pages on Facebook and read people's posts about a model being too tall and about the dress that the model is wearing looking way too short, and therefore the garment isn't worth buying. These folks could not be more wrong, though! You can save a short dress, you just have to get a little creative and make it your own.

One thing that I've been doing since I was a teenager is layering. I used to wear jeans under dresses and people looked at me like I was crazy. Now, it's all you see on college campuses. Vindication! Huzzah! Haha. Well, I've outgrown that strategy and I've opted for a more sophisticated solution: tame a short dress with a short skirt. That's right. Fight fire with fire! Hehe.

Take this super short, but really cute BB Dakota tuxedo ruffle dress, for instance. I'm 5'9" and on top of that I'm wearing wedge boots with 5 inch heels. So, this dress looks like more of a short tunic on me, as the hem is nowhere near my knobby knees. :/~

One thing I could have done, and that I've done in the past, is just wear tights with it. It's a quick solution, but that may not always be the best option (say, if you're a bit shy about your bum). ;D Therefore, if you want extra coverage while still maintaining a chic look, wear a short skirt underneath! It doesn't even have to be a short skirt. I just find that short skirts are easier to manage.

The pink skirt I'm wearing in this case hits me below the knee. So, I simply hiked it up above my waist and sinched it with a waist belt. Now, all you see is intricate, pink lace. It's the perfect make-shift petticoat, just without the volume! That being said, I have used larger bustle skirts as petticoats with measured success. That's a subject for another blog post, however. Hehe.

Anyway, as you can see, you can remedy a short dress with just about any skirt you've got. As long as the length, color and design of the skirt is appropriate for the particular dress. I have a soft spot for frilly skirts, but just about any skirt will do, IMO. :D

So, what about those pesky high-low dresses and tunics? They look great on girls with stick legs, but what about the rest of us? Haha. No offense, but I'm a runner. I have an athletic build, but I'm not scrawny. I've got plump thighs, a sizable rump and curves. These characteristics would seem to work against adding high-low garments to my wardrobe. I mean, I don't know about you, but I'm not *that* confident in my legs that I would show everything just below the panty-line. That's too daring for me.

Well, I've got a couple of solutions that have worked for me and that you may want to try, if you're interested in making the foray into high-low territory.

If a dress hangs low enough in the back, but is just a bit too short in the front, I'd opt for thick leggings. That way you don't have to worry about panty-lines in the back and you can feel confident that you won't be showing off too much in the front. I find that thin leggings/tights are too sheer to work out.

On the other hand, you can..yes, you guessed it: wear a short skirt! Here, I'm wearing a pretty short high-low tunic, which is long enough in the back and too short for comfort in the front. If I raised my arms at all, I'd be showing..well..everything. Haha. Even thick tights wouldn't make me feel comfortable under the circumstances. So, I wore a short, pleated black skirt with black lace trim. The lace trim is in hiding for some reason. It must have been riding up when I took these. Anyway, you get the idea! =)

I also wore thin tights and over-the-knee socks and boots, as it was a chilly, but rather pretty Fall day. I could have worn jeans or a longer skirt, but I actually wanted to wear the tunic as a short dress. I found that adding a little extra length with the pleated skirt was just what I needed to accomplish that goal. :P

I'm absolutely terrible at giving advice, but I do hope that you find this helpful/inspiring/exciting! Oh, gosh. I probably should tell you who I am, huh? Haha. I'm just little old Anna from Melodic, Thrifty and Chic. If you like what I'm wearing feel free to stop by my blog for additional photos and purchase links.

One more thing, if you like music, check out my music blog! This week I'm doing jazz mostly from the 50's and 60's and featuring greats such as Sarah Vaughn, Dinah Washington and Ahmad Jamal. =)

Also, big thanks to Just Pandippo for allowing me to hijack her blog! ❤

Have a great week, folks!



Thursday, November 1, 2012 Her Campus Battle Contest

So, unfortunately, I'm a few years... well OK, more than a few years.. actually lets not talk about how many years past I am that makes me ineligible to enter Bloom's new beauty contest. Instead, lets talk about how YOU, my awesome reader can enter into this.


Because you're awesome and full of amazing beauty tips thats why. And if that isn't reason enough, how about the grand prize being a $1000 in beauty products. Did that perk you interest? Thought so ;) Deets below:


When it comes to campus beauty tips and tricks does your school make the grade? Put your skills to the test against other campus beauties for a chance to win $1,000 in FREE beauty products!


❤ Share your best looks on For example: going out looks, 5 minute hairstyle, everyday makeup looks, etc.
You can upload photos to or our free Bloom BeautyTrends app available now on the Apple Store.
❤ Share how you got the look in the details section and include #pandippo and #socialbeauty to enter your photo. You can even tag which products you used!
❤ Once you’ve saved your photo, click the share button to encourage your Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest followers to vote for you!

The photo with the most “Looks Good!” votes wins! Feel like sharing your $1K beauty prize? Amp up your chances of winning by getting a team of friends to upload their photos. There is NO LIMIT to how many photos you can enter.

Voting starts November 1st and runs through November 20th. The photo with the most “Looks Good!” votes will be announced on Monday, November 26th.

As an added bonus, I'm going to help you out! If you decide to enter in the contest, shoot me an email with a link. Make sure you have #pandippo and #socialbeauty tagged in your entry or it won't count. I'll share your look(s) on Facebook and Twitter and maybe even do a feature blog post. If you have a Facebook or Twitter account you'd like to include in the shout out, please make sure to put that in the email as well. Can't wait to see what you guys come up with!