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A 30 something blogging about her love affair with Fashion.....among other things!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Bag Ladies

As far as I could remember, everyone carries two bags in Japan, particularly women. They have one main bag (a tote, or a shoulder bag), plus another one in plastic or polyester. The second bag can be anything from a simple ecology bag bought at a grocery store or 100 yen store or a bag from any shop. Knowing Japanese women, they prefer the later version. In fact, it is not rare to see women walking around with bags from Kinokuniya (major book store), Fauchon (French bakery), Afternoon Tea (goods store) and Dean and Deluca ( I learned about the later by watching the Devil wears Prada).
Moreover, they also like bags from major retail stores and luxurious brands such as Louis Vuitton. Those bags are so popular that they are even given for free when you purchase some fashion magazine. And the cherry on top is that it is sometimes a collaboration with a major brand such as Vivienne Westwood or Agnes B.

Agnes B tote bag free with the purchase of Nonno magazine


I do not really know the reasons why Japanese women like to carry two bags. But I suspect the following reasons:
- Their main bag is too small to hold everything they think they may need when they go out, so they need a second bag for all that stuff. Young women who can spend an entire day outside, may need a lot of things from an entire make up kit, replacement shoes, and or towels to wipe their sweat under the heat. In Shibuya you can even see some Gyaru carrying a small suitcase when they go out at night. It seems they need a lot of things for a night out on the town.
- Their main bag is too precious to hold other things that may be smelly or leaking. Japanese women are known to love designer's bags. Ladies of all ages like to carry Louis Vuitton, Prada, and Gucci bags around town. And knowing the price of those babies, I can understand that they do not want to put anything that may ruin the bag in it.
- It is all about the environment. Having an ecology bag is more ecological than using a plastic bag. Besides eco bag are way cooler and more practical than plastic bag. You can wash them and reuse them. And they are very sturdy. They are also very cute, and their use is not limited to groceries. Some of them can even fit into a big and taken out to use seperately during lunch breaks to hold just a wallet and some toiletteries.
Like the Japanese women, I am becoming a bag lady. In the States I usually carried a big bag and put everything I needed inside (reason why it is always messy). However, since I came back, I starting following the trend by using eco bags. I had already some in stock but for some reasons, I bought some more. I am a nutcase when it comes to ecology bag or store bags. I find them so cute that I can barely contain myself when I see them on display at the Daiso 100 Yen store. But I have to stop buying them because after all, how many eco bag a lady really needs? Just one!!!



The latest tote bag I received after buying the July edition of Steady Magazine. It is made by Beams, a famous casual brand in Japan. I have to admit that I buy magazines in Japan just to get those bags. They are so cute and easy to use.

Cover up

 Just by walking around the streets, I rediscovered something about Japanese women that I had forgotten: they are self conscious when it comes to their breasts. It is such a paradox because breasts are so commercialized in here. Women with big breasts can easily have a career as a Gravure Idols or models for men's magazines. They are the equivalent of playboy bunnies except some of them do not pose naked. However, normal Japanese girls tend to hide their breasts. It is very rare to see them wear a see through or a very low cut top. And even if they do, they always wear something underneath or over it to cover up. For example, I saw many tube maxi dresses around but never have I seen girls wearing them without a tee underneath it or a light cardigan over it. The other reason why they cover up is that during Summer, everywhere you go, they crank up the AC (from subways to office and even restaurants). Therefore, it is "safer" to wear a cardigan or tee if one does not want to catch a cold.
I reckon that I already wear some of my clothes the way Japanese girls do because I am on the modest side. But I see some styles that I would like to try such as wearing a tee over a tube dress. That should be something else.

This year's trend for covering up: wearing a lace cropped top or poncho over a maxi dress

Monday, July 25, 2011

I wore heels today (well, wedges but don't judge me!)

Today was a perfectly normal Saturday. I woke up, cook lunch for the hubby, sent him off to work, made breakfast for the kids and watch back to back episodes of Law and Order SVU (Gosh, I love Olivia and Elliot), all the while checking some fashion blogs. I also took my son to his swimming class, checked H&M (did not buy a single thing although there was a huge sale. I am pretty proud of myself), and watched some random group performing Hawaiian dance. You see, it was a normal Saturday.
But what makes today special, was that I wore heels. If you know me, you know that as much as I love heels I rarely wear them. The last time I did I walk 10 steps and got into the car, walk 10 steps to the house I was going to. I love how beautiful heels are but I cannot take the pain they come with. I am all about comfort. However, today I decided against it. I wanted to wear my Rockport wedges and I did. Surprise! Surprise! They were very comfy. I walked for 30 minutes and they did not hurt my feet. I also took the dreaded hills to go back to my house and I did not feel pain or tiredness. It was awesome. And I have to admit that even though I loved my outfit, the wedges pulled it together. I think I am going to wear my wedges more in the future (It was the 3rd time I was wearing them). Plus I heard that wearing heels can help you build nice legs ( If I believe the crap celebrities say of course). So I am killing a bird with two stones by wearing my wedges: I will be stylish and I will be dieting....

Here is what I wore:


Colorful scarf - had it for ages
Men's yellow shirt - H&M
Pants - H&M
Wedges - Rockport via Ross
Beaded bracelets - Sandaga market




Green, Yellow and red: colors of my country, representing Senegal


Colorblocking


Love this scarf with orange, yellow and pink; I just wished it was bigger


Anecdote:  my husband accused me of buying new shoes when he saw me wearing my wedges. He called them "The Japanese shoes" because wedges are so trendy here that every fashionista is wearing them, and the higher the better. He forgot that I had these for more than a year now. Proves to show that he does not really look at me (for his defense, when I wore this shoes for the 1st time, I had on long wide leg jeans so it was kind of hard to see the shoes)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

My first blogger challenge: EBEW Nifty Thrifty

Being a housewife, I do have time on my hands. This means that I spend a lot of time on the Net checking my facebook page, some gossip pages but also my all time favorite: checking other fashion bloggers. I have a list I check on a daily basis. Something I noticed with my favorite bloggers is that they participate in many other bloggers fashion challenge. I enjoy those challenges because they let me discover other bloggers but also inspire me to try something totally different from what I am used to. But as far as I am concerned I never really participated in those challenges.
Today is different! I am submitting to the EBEW Nifty Thrifty challenge.

Here is what I wore for it:



White scarf - Gift from my Dad
White top - Outfit Outlet in Harwin
Tie Dye dress, worn as a skirt - Thrifted
Wedges - Payless
Dot flower brooch - Daiso
Hoops earrings - H&M
Necklace - Bought from my Mother in Law
Bracelet - Present from Hubby from Turkey

The first time I saw this item,  it was on the skirt rack at Ross (dress for less). I immediately wanted it but the price tag was too high even for Ross ($30). Then, I saw the same item with different colors at TJMaxx but it was still overpriced for me. (If you are new to my blog, you have to understand that I am very cheap). I did look everywhere for the skirt, but also for a cheaper price.


Then a miracle happened during a trip to my (then) local Goodwill store. I was checking the dress rack searching for a maxi dress with sleeves (I used to be obsessed with those) when my eyes met this dress. I was thrilled. I tried it on and it fitted. I was even happier to discover that I could wear this dress as a skirt. However as much as I loved the dress, it took me a while to wear it. (I am making progress but) I am still very conscious of my butt. I find it too big and I am very reluctant to expose it which this dress does to perfection. Therefore I only wore it three times with a long white tee that covers at least half of the butt. It is the perfect summer staple because it is very airy. I did find some goodies thrifting but this dress is by far my fave (until I find something else).


Acting cute
 
The accessories: old wedges that I barely wear and jewelry that I enjoy
 

The bottom of the dress is very fluid
 
Love putting flower pins to my scarf

How do you like me now?
Check the EBEW website and other bloggers who submitted for this challenge here
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<P>Everybody, Everywear
 
Ps: I hate the pic I submitted. Me need a better camera.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Singing in the radioactive rain

I stole the title of this post from a Japanese friend of mine. With the problem at the Fukushima nuclear plant, people in Japan are worried that they are going to be contaminated everytime it rains. But I think (or at least I hope) that there is nothing to be alarmed about.

Anyway, here is today's outfit:

Pink and orange scarf - Sanki
Coral cardigan - Gap
White layered top - omiyage from Thailand from my hubby
Calvin Klein wide legs jeans - Ross
Coral flats - H&M
Sandal pendant accessory - some shop in Hashimoto
Gold chain - Tsutsumi
Beaded necklaces - Sandaga market
Pink fake crocodile oversized bag -  Centenaire market

Pardon the quality of the pic...the day was so hectic I did not have a chance to take a proper outfit post



I went to watch Cirque du Soleil Kooza with the kids and the wives club of my husband's company. It was raining in the morning so it was hard to get there, besides the 3 trains I took did not help. Now I know why I do not go to Tokyo very often.
Anyway, the show was wonderful. I was skeptic at first because the stage was small and not well set. But once the show started I was blown away. It was magical, scary, funny, sexy....and much more. I really had a great time. I want to get into some other Cirque du Soleil shows.
Sidenote: I so wanted to have the lady acrobat's body....

Here is the link for the show. The Tokyo show is almost over.
http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/en/shows/kooza/default.aspx

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Diet

I had a crazy but fun week. The hubby took some days off from Friday. On that day, we went to pray at the Mosque and had sushi at Kura zushi. Saturday was usual. Sunday we had lunch at a friend's place and this is what I wore:

White scarf - gift from my Dad
Hanes Tee - Home's
Pink maxi dress - Chatujak week end market, Bangkok
Tan clutch - random shop in Harajuku
White mules - thrifted
Bangle - 100 Yen store in Saty's department store
Gold chain - Tsutsumi
Key pendant - can't remember




I love the dress because it is very airy. The material is very. It is the perfect summer dress. I also love the clutch bag I wore. It does not match the outfit but I do not care. I wanted to wear it seeing that I have not been able to use it for a while. Having a toddler requires me to carry a bag with all kinds of stuff from diapers to changing clothes. I miss carrying a small bag to go out. The shoes are easy to wear as well. But they are becoming a bit tight. I did gain some weight. And I realized it but it is like a slap in the face when I try to wear my favorite clothes (like my boyfriend jeans) and they are too tight. The last time I was that heavy, I was pregnant with my second son. This is bad. I need to do something. I am thinking on cutting back on certain foods (but not entirely because if I do I may crave them even more) such as sugar, butter, cheese, and bread. I also want to move more. I know that the heat is not helping but I need to exercise. Nothing crazy, just a walk by the park after eating, and moving my core on some upbeat music (like Beyonce's Move your body). I really hope to loose 5 to 10 kilos. Knowing me, it is almost impossible. But am I try! Do you have some advice on great diet.
And to finish our week in style, we had some friends over for lunch on Monday. And on Tuesday we went at Shakey's for some greasy and cheesy pizza. The pizza was great but it did not help my diet. I did not have dinner to compensate. How was your week? 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

African Print Skirt and Anpanman Museum

As much as I love African prints, I do not own a single thing in an African print. Well, that is not really true. I do own some Summer Abbaya and Caftan in African prints, plus some authentic Ethiopian scarves and Congolese dresses gifted from my Dad. However, I do not really see myself wearing them in Japan. Being big and black, and walking around with two adorable kids, I am obvious enough. I do not want to add more attention to myself.
Nevertheless, I still have this craving for African prints. I have this big plan of going back home and meeting some great tailors because I have some pieces I want to design like a voluminous maxi skirt, a maxi dress..among others. But for now, I am satisfied with the stuff my mother sent me for my business. I am selling African artifacts, and some clothes I designed for Summer. I designed a wrap around skirt and my mother made a fabulous job of even picking the same fabric I wanted. Anyway, since I could not sell the wrap around skirt, I decided to wear it today, secretly hoping that some lady would ask me where I got it and I would tell her that I sell it...Well, no one asked me about the skirt, but I still enjoyed wearing it

Beige scarf - Night market in Langkawi, Malaysia
Brown tank - Daiso
White tee - Forever 21
Wrap around skirt - my own design
Leggings - Dots or Ross (can't remember)
Shoes - H&M
Bag - gift from my mother in law's friend
Necklace - Joa
Bangle - H&M
Sunglasses - Random shop from Cial Yokohama


Very easy breezy outfit under this heat


                                                      The print is essentially Cauri shells


Love the bangle, and its price too ( a set of two for 100Y)



This bag is so old that it is falling apart; I love it but it has a tendency to stain on my clothes


One of the first necklace I bought in Houston. It had a third layer but my baby tore it up. I managed to fix it into a two layer necklace



                                          I tried tucking the shirt in. It is nice but I am not really used to it


I am so happy about this outfit for another reason. When I finally received the skirt from my mother, I could not fit in it (maybe because I was trying to wear it above a dress, too lazy to properly try it on). So imagine how great I felt when it was easy to wear today. I have to admit that I have been dieting. I am still eating like crazy but I just cut back around diner time. The result is that I am so hungry at night, it is hard to sleep. But obviously it is worth it because I can wear this skirt barely a week after I thought I could not. I have to keep up with this diet. In my entire life, this is the first time I am so fat (not counting my pregnancies).  I have to do something about it. And do not worry, I am not only cutting back on food at night, I am also dancing via Youtube. Last week I did belly dance and yesterday I did Zumba. I sweated like a pig. And it was all in great fun. I hope I can keep it up. My goal, go back to the weight I had when I arrived in Japan last year (yep, it has been a year). We will see.
Ps: on other news, I went to the Anpanman museum with the kids today and had a blast, which was what I needed since the last couple of days were a downer. I guess what they say is true: "bad days really make good days better".
For more info about Anpanman, go here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anpanman

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Enoshima

Last week, the family drove to Enoshima for some fun walk on the island. We left just after lunch and arrived before 2:00 in the afternoon. It was cloudy and consequently not very hot. We walked around the small island, visited the temples up on the hill, watched the waves hit the shore...ate some Matcha soft cream, and finished our day with a nice (and too heavy) dinner at Tobicho...It was a nice day

This is what I wore:





Floppy hat- bday gift
Bolero - Ross
Beaded tank - Ross
Maxi skirt - Sandaga Market
Gladiator sandals -  Bonita
Marine Bag - Beams Omake from Steady Magazine
Bangle - Joa
Ring - so old cannot remember





With the kids on a traditional bridge
 
 


Lovers binding their love with a lock on a bridge


Pink Ajisai (hydrangea)



Colorful Hanabata Wish cards


View from a cliff



Pairing couple (stripped tee)



and the good food of とびっちょ(Tobicho), しらすかき揚げ丼2枚(Shirasu Kaki Age don 2 mai).  This food is marvelous, although I do not recommend it for dinner. It is 2 tempura made with Shirasu, a very small fish. Those tempura are layered over a bowl of rice and seaweed salad. And you have some fresh shirasu as topping. The food is delicious, although one piece of tempura is enough. I took two to share with the kids. I particularly enjoyed the seaweed salad. It was the perfect healthy addition to a very heavy dish.
おすすめです!
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