Category Archives: Shopping

SUMMER RECAP: Cosplayholic

Just like last year, I took a break from blogging for a few months – I mean, summer IS the prime season for social events and outdoor activities. But apart from that, it gave me the opportunity to dabble in a side job, reprioritize my life, set aside some much-needed time for myself, and improve some aspects of my lifestyle that I wasn’t satisfied with. But since I can’t recap my entire summer in a single post, I’ve decided to do a series of entries to get all my followers caught up. Enjoy! :)

Cosplayholic is an eBay shop (with an impressive positive feedback score) that I had been eyeing for months. Since I know many of my readers are comparison shoppers like myself, I wanted to share an honest and detailed narrative of my purchasing experience with this seller.

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My boyfriend and I decided to order the custom-tailored Tidus and Songstress Yuna outfits, since we had two events coming up – my annual trip to New Jersey for AnimeNext and a Final Fantasy themed rave in Brooklyn called Vinyl Fantasy IV. We sent Cosplayholic our measurements and paid the outrageous shipping costs, thinking it would be worth it. Unfortunately, my bank thought the order was fraudulent and activated a chargeback – which would take several weeks to process, even after I cancelled it.

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Since the convention was approaching soon, I made an agreement with the seller to pay the $220+ total again via PayPal while the chargeback was processing, and in the event that the money would get taken out of my bank account a second time, they would return it to me. Yes, I know that the terms of agreement on eBay specifically state that they are not held responsible for arrangements done independently of their site. So I took the risk, thinking the seller was trustworthy.

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When the costumes arrived in the mail several weeks later, we were pleased to find that both fit perfectly and looked just like the photos in the listing. (They even included a note in the package that asked us to leave them positive feedback, since they’re feeding their families in China with the money they make from their cosplay shop, and any store below a certain score is banned from making any more transactions.) It was a personal decision for me to wear a different skirt, since I thought the one included was too long. Nonetheless, we received many compliments at both events – so I’m not taking a jab at the quality of their products at all.

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Now fast forward a little over a month later, where the cancelled chargeback was finished processing and I am charged a second time for my order. Despite our agreement, Cosplayholic denies receiving the second payment. After many phone calls and messages between me, my bank, and PayPal – the consensus was that the seller did receive the money. After threatening to file a dispute with them through my bank, and giving them both PayPal transaction numbers as proof of my payments, they CONVENIENTLY only responded back to me once a week – promising they would return my money but never actually doing it until months later. Ultimately, it took them from April until September to return $220+ to me even though I was messaging them every week. I do not recommend them, the customer service is a nightmare.
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Miss KL Haul

I can’t resist a good sale. Especially when already discounted items are 33% off. I’ve always been a fan of the urban chic style on Karma Loop and ever since they released their ladies-only website Miss KL, I have been lusting for their amazing collection of clothing and accessories. Since everything is usually too pricey for me, I jumped at my chance to order while the promotion was still available. ;)

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The Bangle Set, $22.00 $8.54 // The More Action Necklace, $20.00 $8.54

I’ve finally accepted that gold and bronze jewelry compliment my skin tone better than silver. (About time, huh?) And since I already have slim wrists, I figured that these thin bangles would make them look even daintier. Shortly after opening my package, though, I found they were a little loose around my wrists. It’s not too inconvenient, but I can always wear them as armbands like those exotic depictions of Greek Goddesses and Egyptian Queens in older films. ;D

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The bullet necklace was exactly what I had been expecting, but I was surprised that the chain can be adjusted into a headband as well! :o Definitely need to try that out sometime. :P And I was able to score this Betsey Johnson ring for 75% off because there was only one left in stock. I was hoping that “one size fits all” would be accurate in this case, since the band is stretchy. But it’s a tad too loose on my middle finger – not enough to fall off completely, though.

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Betsey Johnson Ring, $45.00 $11.85 // Feather & Lace Headband $8.00 $5.28

I do admit that this headband was purchased purely on a whim because I thought it looked fancy. >.<; Excuse my derp face, but I was a little uncomfortable with how stiff the lace on the headband is. I suppose it helps keep the shape, but since it hangs down onto my face a bit, I find it a little itchy. Nonetheless, it’s an excellent accessory to spice up an otherwise plain outfit. It reminds me of femme fatale inspired fashion, you know? I actually plan to wear it to a rave this upcoming weekend, if I can put together a killer outfit to match! :D

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Next up.. some of you already know from my previous posts that I’m a sucker for sexy lingerie – especially when it can double purpose as a cute top underneath a cardigan or blazer. I tend to only purchase pieces with underwire, since my figure isn’t very cooperative with flimsier styles like babydolls. Appropriately, while I was adding this bustier to my shopping bag, these tights showed up in the “Recommended For You” sidebar and it was love at first sight. :3

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Vintage Mix Bustier, $34.00 $13.17 // Black Chain Tights, $14.00 $9.24

I ordered the bustier in Medium, and it fits like a glove. My favorite part about it? It has amazing push-up abilities. I swear my cleavage looked a whole cup size larger! >.<; There are several rows of tiny hook-and-eye clasps running up the back like a corset to adjust the sizing, and the fabric is actually more vivid and less sheer than suggested in the photo. It doesn’t feel cheap at all, and the garters are removable. :D

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No photoshop, I swear. I think I’m actually getting more toned? :o

As for the tights, they’re a bit inconvenient to pull on because you need to be careful not to accidentally poke holes through the sheer part of them. The opaque part of the tights are actually really thick and feel like leggings. I think it’s cute that it looks looks like you’ve layered thigh-highs over the stockings. Additionally, the chain-garter illusion and ribbons are a nice touch. :P

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The Black Deck, $10.00 $6.60 // Tokidoki Polpettina Vinyl Toy, $12.00 $5.25

And just because I’m a spontaneous online shopper, I bought my boyfriend the coolest pack of cards. We often find ourselves at a friend’s house wanting to play Crazy Eights but can never find a deck, so at least we’ll be prepared next time. XD Lastly, I thought this tokidoki vinyl toy would make a great addition to the others that I’ve received as presents from friends. :)

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Overall, I’m impressed with how fast Miss KL ships. My package arrived in only four business days after placing the order, and all items were true to the photos on the website. I would definitely recommend shopping here if it’s your kind of style, but only when they’re having sales like this one. Until next time! ^.^
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SABRINA by Dr. Martens

It’s no secret that I’m a bargain hunter. I’m really not the type to spend over $20 on a pair of flats/sandals, or more than $40 on a pair of heels/boots. But a few weeks ago, I discovered a sale on a pair of black lace-up cutout wedge booties by Dr. Martens that was too good to pass up. Originally retailing for $120, the SABRINA model was limited in sizing and was a steal for only $60. <3

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Every fashion-forward individual should already be familiar with Doc Martens and their reputation for quality leather footwear. (They’ve been around forever, after all.) Which is why I think these shoes were a great investment. Doc Martens are known to endure all kinds of weather, and thus be able to last many years. But what makes them different?

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For one, the rubber soles are much thicker than the average shoe, so they cushion and absorb the shock of every footstep. They don’t crack like cheaper imitators, either. Second, the soles are cemented instead of glued – making it highly unlikely for them to separate from the upper. Third, their leather is the real deal. Unlike fake leather, it doesn’t scratch as easily or create permanent wrinkles after the first few wears. And although a bit stiff at first, especially in colder weather, the material molds to the unique shape of your foot after some time. :)

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Like my style? Hype it on Lookbook! ~ Grown Man Cry

To be honest, I can easily see these becoming my favorite booties because they’re so comfortable and versatile. I especially love the peep-toe and heel cutout because it gives your outfit a little modern edge. And the wedges aren’t all that tall, making it a breeze to walk or dance. Believe me, I would know! I wore them on a date to Dave & Buster’s this past weekend, and had no trouble playing Dance Dance Revolution after a few drinks. ;D Until next time! ^.^
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Iron Fist Clothing

If you’ve ever stepped into a Hot Topic or other alternative fashion store lately, I’m sure you’ve seen a pair of Iron Fist shoes being displayed for sale. They’re pretty hard to miss, as they often feature punk-inspired print and details. Although a lot of them are too loud for me to wear regularly, many of them have just the right amount of feminine edge for my taste. But what I love most about this brand is how fearless and unique each piece is.

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Iron Fist also carries a lot of clothing and accessories, but to be honest I would never purchase them. Their footwear more than makes up for it, though. I was literally scrolling through dozens of pages on Punk.com trying to make up my mind on which pair to get! >.<; Eventually, I decided on their Santeria peep-toe platform pumps – a wonderful black/green/pink floral print that simultaneously reminds me of Kat Von D tattoos and Dia de los Muertos. The lowest price I could find was being offered on Amazon (yay, free shipping!) by Newbury Comics. Surprisingly, it arrived in only three business days. :D

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And you know what? THEY LOOK SO MUCH BETTER IN REAL LIFE. The photos on the website don’t do them justice – the colors are actually much more vivid, and the print looks sharper. The only detail that I would have preferred was if the straps at the front were made of patent material instead of matte elastic.

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And the fit? Since they don’t come in half sizes, I ordered these in a 5. They’re a bit snug, but comfortable to walk in, given the height of the heels. I’m still in the process of breaking them in, but I can’t wait to flaunt these at parties. ;)

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Like my style? Hype it on Lookbook! ~ What You Want

During a quick photoshoot with my boyfriend outside my local church, I paired these lovely shoes with a casual outfit – we were going to a few bars later that night, so I didn’t want to show up overdressed. :P But I feel like the studs on my purse and collar really complete the whole “bad girl” look. ;D What do you guys think, would you rock a pair of Iron Fist heels?

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Trend Alert: Nude Lace Overlay & Sexy Lingerie

Commonly incorporated into dresses, this trend contrasts the feminine texture and pattern of black lace with a nude shade to give you a mysterious and sexy silhouette. ;) Although it’s supposed to be an illusion of naked skin underneath, I find that it flatters everyone – even when the “nude” color is significantly lighter or darker than your own skin tone. I only wish that I owned these two dresses below from Miss KL. *drool* Perfect for so many occasions – weddings, fancy parties/events, appearances at upscale restaurants/bars/dance clubs, etc.

Bodycon dresses aren’t the only way to work this trend, though. I think it looks great on purses and shoes, too! Just the right touch for those nights when you want to feel like the classy lady you are. Here’s a collection of my favorite pieces on Polyvore, just to give you an idea of what I’m talking about.

And since it would make me a hypocrite to rave about a style and not follow through, I decided to buy a top from Charlotte Russe that incorporated both lace overlay and peplum, another popular trend this season. I can’t wait to glam it up with gold accessories and heels for one of my holiday parties this month. :D

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Deciding on a winter coat is hard.

Especially when there are so many different options to choose from! Because my preferred temperature is 80°F, and I can already tell that this upcoming winter in New York is going to be brutal, I decided to invest in a new winter coat.

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Leather Jackets. I was delusional when I thought that I could even survive late Autumn in these, regardless of how much I love them. :'( As a matter of fact, not too long ago, I helped le boyfriend pick out a leather jacket from Express – the same store where I bought mine. And what I’ve noticed is that while his keeps him warm and toasty, mine barely does in chillier weather. I think it’s because a lot of stores focus more on fashion than function for women, compared to their products targeted for men, and design these styles accordingly. Which is a shame, since it makes it even more difficult to find something that meets both requirements without having to spend a small fortune. Side note, doesn’t he look handsome in said jacket? :D

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Fur Coats. For me, fur coats (faux or otherwise) are really hit or miss. I’ve seen fashion-forward women in the city wear an oversized white or leopard print fur coat and pull it off. Then I see multi-colored grey/green/blue knockoffs paired with Ugg boots on teenaged girls at the mall and cringe with how tacky and cheap it looks. But last month, I was seriously considering one of these faux fur beauties by UNIF: The Amelia Bomber and The Donna Coat. Unfortunately, I decided that an on-trend piece of outerwear shouldn’t be my primary go-to with winter approaching quickly. Though still something I want, a fur coat could wait until I find something more tame and practical. :< (A girl can only dream.)

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Wool Coats. My previous winter coat was an adorable dark magenta wool thinsulate toggle coat from Delia’s. Although the color and style were a little childish, it did keep me warm during my whole college career. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at it, I’ve shrunken a few sizes and it no longer fits comfortably. I was looking into buying another wool coat, a pea coat in particular. Nothing says mature and put-together more than a 100% wool pea coat, after all. :P But my body type usually isn’t cooperative with the classic pea coat shape – they tend to either be too tight on the bust and perfect at the waist, or perfect at the bust and too loose on the waist. It’s a lose-lose situation most of the time for me. ;_; I would love to have either of these Victoria’s Secret pea coats, though. But since they only sell them online, the shipping cost on a return in case I order the wrong size would barely be worth it.

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Down Jackets. Not going to lie, I hate the way most of them look. The last thing I want to resemble is a giant marshmallow. Most styles drown your body’s natural figure, even when you buy the right size, and are rarely fashionable. But I do admit that they are one of the warmest and affordable options out there, and my best bet at keeping my temperamental body at a happy temperature. Thankfully, I finally found what I was looking for in the Kelly Jacket from Abercrombie & Fitch. The full retail price of $220 is a little steep for me, but I was lucky to have caught it at 40% off when I ordered it from their website a few weeks ago. ;)

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I ordered a navy one in size S, and it fits me perfectly! The quilted design keeps the down from shedding like past experiences I’ve had with similar jackets. I like the belt because it defines your waist, especially when you have an apple-shaped body like mine. The fur trim on the hood doesn’t look or feel cheap, and has the right amount of fullness. And one of my favorite things about this jacket is how the pockets are lined with the softest and warmest fleece. <3 Whenever I wear it, I feel like a cute eskimo and have yet to complain about the cold. The real test is whether I’ll survive the winter without a single shiver. :)

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Oh, and if you couldn’t tell from the photo above, I’ve dyed my hair again. >.<; This time, I used Garnier Nutrisse: #61 Light Ash Brown (Mocchaccino). Different from my usual warm shades, this color has cooler undertones. And so far, I’ve received a lot of compliments from people I don’t even know! :D It definitely looks a lot less harsh than my previous bleached color. I actually really like it, and may be my favorite shade of the year. =) Anyway, that’s all I have for now – don’t forget to comment and subscribe. :P Until next time! ^.^

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Nude Pumps: Acquired

It’s with a heavy heart to let you guys know that my grandfather passed away last Monday. In many ways, I think it was for the best – he was sick and suffering for a very long time. I’m so grateful for all the friends who have shown me love and support through this time of loss for my family. <3 My brother found this photo of my Lolo and I from when I last visited the Philippines in 1997.

With that out of the way, we can now return to my previously scheduled blog post. :P I’ve wanted nude pumps for the longest time. I was browsing GoJane again last week when I came across these Almond Toe Patent Kitten Heel Pumps for less than $20! :o Needless to say, I had to have them. I was going to get them in black, too, but decided at the last minute not to. Little did I know how much I was going to regret that decision. >.<;

The package arrived today at my house – which was super convenient because now that all my final exams are over, I can just chill at home for the next several days before I have to be back on campus. :) Since I was most excited about these, it was the first pair I tried on. A size 5.5 fits perfectly on me, and heel height is low enough to do some casual walking. I still need to break them in, since the material is still a little stiff, but I can imagine myself wearing these in the office during a regular work day. They match with everything, too! :D

And since I was already on the website, I helped myself further to the nude footwear trend by ordering these adorable Strappy Bow Sandals for only $16. Summer is quickly approaching, after all. ;D I can see myself rocking these with floral dresses, or denim shorts and a colorful top! A lot of people may find my love of bows to be a little tacky, but idgaf. :P

I bought these in a size 5.5 and compliment my naturally tan skin tone well. If I had ordered them in any other color, the contrast would have been way too harsh. The buckle can be a little tricky to undo and redo quickly, but I’ll get the hang of it with time. :)

Additionally, I had ordered these Red Karmen Pumps from Payless about two or three weeks ago. The box has been sitting at my house since then, but I never had the chance to come home and open it until tonight. I originally bought them as an accessory to a cosplay that I’m planning for next month (more on that in a separate post), but now I realize that I can totally make them work in an everyday outfit. If I throw these on with some dark skinny jeans and a dressy top, I’ll definitely look ready for a girls’ night out! ;)

Although I also got these in a size 5.5, they’re slightly larger than the other two pairs in this post. They’re not at all loose on me, but a size 5.75 would be a more accurate expression of how I feel about the fit. What I like the most about these, though, are how insanely comfortable they are! The insole is slightly padded, so I literally feel like I’m walking on cushions. Which is great, since I’ll be prancing around a convention center in these all day. :o And for the price of only $20, it was a deal that I couldn’t pass up on.

Thank you for bearing with my ridiculous shoe addiction again, guys. As always, don’t forget to subscribe to my blog – just click on the button on the right sidebar. Oh, and did I mention that I received a free sample of the new TRESemmé Split Remedy shampoo and conditioner in my GoJane package? It was awfully nice of them to include it. :P Anyway.. until next time! ^.^