Clinking up with Pop & Suki

A few days ago, I was checking through my DMs in the morning before I headed out of my bed to get ready for work. Usually, I’d be expecting one from my friend as it’s one of the most convenient ways to keep in touch. However, one message surprised me.

In the message, it was asking me to be an ambassador, which means that I get to promote the brand and provide a special link to my readers/followers. The sender was Pop & Suki, an LA-based handbag brand. For the past two years since I followed them on Instagram, they just asked me to be a brand ambassador.

For those of you who are new to Pop & Suki, it was founded in 2016 by TV presenter Poppy Jamie and model/actress Suki Waterhouse. I discovered them through Suki’s Instagram, which I follow to keep up with her Marianne Faithfull meets L.A. girl sense of style. It’s also the brand whose famous versatile camera bag was spotted on so many celebrities from Pippa Middleton, Paris Hilton, Cara Delevingne to Lady Gaga. Given that more than a handful of you saw me wearing my trusty buttery smooth Pop & Suki camera bag over the past year, I really thank God so so much for opening up a door to let Pop & Suki give me the opportunity to be an ambassador.

As my treat, please type in “MICHELLEVARINATA15” to score a 15% discount when you shop on Pop & Suki!

Before I forget, all of you need to hit this link (ambassadors.popandsuki.com/MichelleVarinata) to score your perks!

Nothing means more to me than your support for women-led small businesses.

xoxo

Michelle

TLA by Morgan Stewart: The BEST activewear brand you need to stock up on

 

Let’s get real: Have you ever wanted to look this hot while you sweat?

I, like countless other girls like you, definitely did. Eight years ago, I always had to wear a baggy white tee and cotton navy blue shorts with my white Reeboks. It was P.E. class, where almost *nobody* pranced around the track field like the cast of Baywatch (the original TV show, not that Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron movie!) Safe to say, looking hot only looked better after a five minute shower and a freshly changed uniform.

Flash forward to today, there are less baggy tees and shorts than a pair of leggings and a closely-cropped sports bra. Thanks to the Hadid sisters and the Kar-Jenners for spurring this trend in activewear as everyday wear, the one brand that is pushing fitness gear to the next level is Touché LA.

Founded by Jaynee and Karl Singer, Touché LA partnered up with Rich Kids of Beverly Hills star/fashion blogger/Daily Pop co-host Morgan Stewart Fitzpatrick to create a seasonal collection. (Before you continue, check out my interview with her for Galore!) Upon looking at the entire spring/summer range, my jaw dropped to see that sports bras and leggings are meant to be paired together like a Chanel two-piece suit. Thirsting to try a set, I reached out to Touché LA to send me one.

The moment I tried it on, my eyes instantly went acidic. Wearing lemon yellow from head to toe, I thought that I would look bigger than a turkey. Instead, the ribbed waistband and panels on the leggings hugged my thighs to create a contour-like effect. Despite the thickness of the material, it was quite see-through at the back. (Disclaimer: I took countless photos of myself wearing it and it doesn’t show in any photographs!) But what I was truly worried about was my boobs.

As a 32DD, I constantly felt SO self-conscious as A) I was told not to show off my boobs and B) they are too big for anything. From one D cup sister to another, Morgan Stewart really understood the struggle of #bigboobproblems when designing this bra. Based on my previous experiences with sports bras, they’d usually loosen up after an X amount of washes, made me look like I had monoboob and/or not give me enough support (as the band is too loose at the bottom!). Here, the double-cross straps lifted them up and the fabric held on to me when I worked out.

When a sports bras and leggings set looked figure-flattering, would it actually stay in place? To answer this, I popped in a Popsugar video and did the entire workout for 30 minutes. During the workout, I felt moisture running down my back, legs and armpits. Since the leggings were high-waisted, the sauna-like atmosphere inside the fabric made my skin leak out sweat. Simultaneously, the waistband wrapped itself around my waist and hips like Spanx, leaving me to have a better ability to control my abs when I rolled up from the mat. The bra left my two bulbous balloons to stay in place – even as I did some side crunches. Unlike my VS bra, I didn’t need to make ANY awkward adjustments at all!

Although I personally didn’t wear much activewear outside the gym, I finally understood see why so many celebrities and influencers wore it. It was comfortable, slimming, looks great at every angle AND easy to mix with other pieces (e.g. a cropped baby tee and a handbag). Mrs. Fitzpatrick herself once told me that you are meant to rock it at the club with high heels. (I have yet to do this myself, but I’ll try it!) If casual Fridays can be everyday, I’ll happily pull it out from my closet without a care in the world.

P.S. This is me post-workout!

Touche LA x MS review

 

UPDATE: The set is sold out; however, you can get a similar set in tangerine at Touché LA’s website.

DISCLAIMER: This set was sent to me for review.

How to Rock NYFW Like an Insider

 

Got a bad case of stiff calves from wearing high heels for seven hours? Check. In the mood to grab a Pandol after hopping around town aimlessly? Double check. Need to put up a reminder on your calendar every day just to set up a time to leave your hotel room to catch a fashion show or party on time? Triple check.

Congratulations! You are officially initiated into the NYFW life. As one of the busiest periods in the city, nothing matters more than being able to keep up an incredibly tight schedule 24/7.

Regardless of whether you’re attending a fashion show, pop up event or party, there are so many opportunities where you can have fun and expand your network as you make new friends. Despite being a newbie to the NYFW game, you can live it up like you’re an insider!

Here are my top tips to surviving NYFW:

Continue reading “How to Rock NYFW Like an Insider”

The NYFW Starter Pack Tips You Need to Try

Welcome to the Empire State of Mind, where dreams are made in the city. With Labor Day weekend coming in to a close, you can feel the aura of the stomping feet, honking horns and the smell of freshly made coffee.

While your copy of every September issue you’ve ever owned says that you need to be in the mood for fall, truth is that it’s still fairly warm for NYC. In that case, you can pull out your oversized bell sleeved tops, ruffled skirts and other forms of summer clothes to mix and match with your sheer turtlenecks out in the streets. Most importantly, it’s never too late to play around with your closet before the snow comes.

As an NYFW veteran, I’ve had to say that my experiences made a difference in my life. Growing up, I idolized the glamour, glitz and creativity that sprung from the runways. Whether a celebrity, model or editor was dressed to the nines, I never forgot my moments of seeing them face-to-face (FYI, I’ll spill more on that later).

If this is your first time at NYFW, brace yourselves for the inevitable and always remember that everyone wants to look their best. Regardless of comfort, don’t even *think* about pulling out your college sweatpants!

While it’s easy to run out of ideas on what to wear, let me show you how you can rock NYFW.

 

Continue reading “The NYFW Starter Pack Tips You Need to Try”

Freedom ’17: An Empire State of Mind

 

Image_HBGPhotography - 588Image_HBGPhotography - 580Seville Michelle choker (as bun holder)| Vintage Guess jacket | Vintage slip dress | Zara choker (as bracelet) | CC Skye wrap bracelet | Vintage Doc Martens

New York, I can’t let you go too soon. Although it’s been one year since I moved to the city and a few months since I moved out to Singapore, the spirit of being in NYC has always been with me. Given that I can’t call myself a New Yorker (yet!), it’s nice to be inspired by what you can wear when you’re over there.

Honestly, being in NYC taught me that I can’t give two fucks if I just sit there and play it safe in the fashion department. So, my approach to mixing decades, prices and all sorts of innerwear/outerwear have been mambo jambo thanks to the eclecticism of the city’s energy.

For NYFW, I am telling you that 99.9% of influencers, fashion bloggers and editors out there are going to wear some ’90s inspired fits this season. But as much as you and I LOVE the decade, y’all need to heed to this ‘cuz you can’t go too literal.

First things first, wear an actual vintage piece from the ’90s. To do this, always always always ALWAYS stalk through eBay! My top eBay hack is to be extremely specific as to which authentic vintage piece you want to find. Going through listings is like trying to find your friend’s number on your phone, but seriously, the hunt for the perfect piece is worth it! Whether it be a denim jacket or a pair of Docs, use your new vintage find as your outfit’s foundation.

My other go-to tip is to dig through a vintage store. If you’re nowhere near NYC or LA, Etsy is the best option. If the internet ain’t your thang, hit up your local vintage store! (Or if you’re on tight budget, THRIFT!!) When I used to live in NYC, my main go-to for cool vintage is The Vintage Twin. I go there to find ridiculously sick vintage denim jackets. Regardless of the brand, always make sure that the jacket is actually from the decade you are searching for! As for my Guess jacket, it’s from the ’90s. So, I decided to give it that SUPER ’90s twist by pairing it with my vintage Docs.

If you need to go ALL the way to show your fangirl devotion to the best decade EVER, rock a slip dress. Seriously, this easygoing style is the reason why so many of your faves like Princess Diana, Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell and Courtney Love swear by it. It’s sexy, yet ridiculously flattering as it can hide your food baby.

Given that it’s freaking NYFW, go all the way out with the jewelry! Bling or no bling, you need the jewels to keep your ’90s inspo ridiculously modern. Believe me, if you wanna stand out, try wearing jewelry in places where you don’t usually put it on – like your hair, for example. It’s a daring look, but I dare you to try it on until you see it yourself!

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All photos by Hallie Geller

NYFW: Winter is Coming

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image origial _ HBGPhotography - 357.jpgVintage ’70s coat | Seville Michelle choker | Wendy Brandes + Catbird earrings | Danielle Guizio top | Vintage ’90s pants | Tory Burch bag | Fenty x Puma sneakers

I am NOT over the Game of Thrones season 7 finale.

Being away from the greatest show ever may suck, but the one thing that’s already happened is a confirmed fact: winter is here. Inspired by the IKEA rug hack and a whole lotta black, I’ve decided to tie in a lovely tribute to the show. I mean, it might be a little too early for Halloween to dress up as your favorite GoT character, but it’s never too early for NYFW! Although I haven’t set foot in NYC for MONTHS, the spirit of NYFW is always in my heart.

Generally, it might not be *that* terribly cold in NYC during September, but the one thing that you absolutely need when you’re walking around in air conditioned rooms is a shaggy coat. It’s chic, sauvage and incredibly wildling.

As much as I love the medieval-inspired looks on the show, make it a bit more Studio 54 by throwing in blinged up baubles, sleek separates and a boxy bag! Oh, not to mention, you NEED copper-toned makeup to seal in that extra Bianca Jagger realness. Talk about looking super dracarys.

For that ultimate Fashion Week-friendly look, don’t doubt the power of a white sneaker.

 

 

Similar (in order of appearance):  Princess Polly Stone Fox coat | Missguided Black Satin Double Tie pants | French Connection wooden clutch | Puma x Careaux sneakers

All photos by Hallie Geller

P.S. I won’t be there for NYFW, but I’ll keep on writing more outfit guides for you! 🙂

Rosé All Day, Rosé All Slay

Thank goodness for not worrying about Monday. The weekend is officially here and I honestly cannot get any more excited about it. Two days ago, my dad just arrived from Jakarta and he brought in this package that was sent to me from this Insta-famous cosmetics brand, Rosé All Day.

As a lipstick freak, I love love love love LOVE the feeling of having a new shade THREE new shades! Packed in baby pink bullets, these lipsticks look like they’re meant to be instant classics. It’s no secret that every stock from the inventory flies out of the shelves (more appropriately, cart) on their website. If it had to be THIS good, I ask myself, is every single shade worth the hype?

Continue reading “Rosé All Day, Rosé All Slay”

The Dress You Need To Have From Work to Happy Hour

IMG_4580Sandro dress |Unknown brand ring | SSFW rings

When push comes to shove, it’s when work comes to play. In that sense, the lines get blurrier and blurrier as a dress needs to make an outfit transition from occasion to occasion. As much as I like an office-friendly dress, you can’t it make it look obvious that it is only meant for bored-room. If there’s one designer that can master the art of work and play, look no further than Sandro.

Two summers ago, I stopped by Sandro’s store in Paris with my mom and sister. We spent at least two hours inside, trying on dresses, tops, shorts and shoes. Among everything that we walked out with, I got a navy blue dress and green lace two-piece set. If I can recall fondly, the blue dress was damn amazing as it was unlike ANY other dress in the world.

Adorned with a zipper on the shoulder and a jersey-like drape, it was very classic, architectural and clean. Perfect enough to take you from day to night. Although I haven’t sat in an office for a couple of months, I managed to wear this to a job interview.

Seriously, it’s so easy to style this dress in many different ways.

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Similar: Topshop Eyelet Lace Up Prom dress | Sandro Zip Embellished dress | 3.1 Phillip Lim Ruffled Pinstripe dress

All photos by Audrey Kwok

Back to Black: The Summer Basics You’ll Need for the Rest of the Month

IMG_4491Giant Vintage sunglasses | Are You Am I crop top | Forever 21 choker | Pamela Love necklace| ’90s Versace bag | GRLFRND x Revolve shorts | Teva x Nasty Gal sandals

Are you excited to go back to school? I guess not! Back when I was a student, having summer vacation was a luxury that I couldn’t live without. As much as I enjoy prancing around the streets in shorts and sandals, I hated the fact that I had to hide them in the closet by the time I got back to campus.

If there is one color that represents R.I.P. summer, I’d always go for black. Chic, sleek and very edgy, you cannot go wrong with this heat-absorbing hue. Believe me, it will help your #ootd game as it contrasts beautifully against the sun.

Well, if you are not the type to wear black during the summer, you can always work things up in small doses. Whether it be a pair of shorts and an off-the-shoulder crop top or a classic minidress, you can never go wrong when it’s all black.

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Similar (in order of appearance): Pamela Love silver dagger rosary | Current Mood platform sandals 

Photos by Audrey Kwok

#HERSSENTIAL: The Biker Tee

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Minimale Animale bikini top| Reworked ’00s Harley Davidson muscle tee | Creepyyeha belt | Reworked Levi’s shorts

What’s up, Varinaders? It’s Happy Hump Day!!! My #wcw, Lana del Rey, once said that we can just ride. (Technically, I’m paraphrasing her lyrics, but you get the vibe…) Ever since that crazy ass music video of hers featuring old bearded biker dudes, I was super fixated on the whole concept of Miss del Rey’s desire for freedom. In that case, the biker gal image really fits with the whole concept right.

Truth be told, I really don’t ride motorcycles, but it reminds me a lot about that one time when I rode on one with my dad in Bali about 5 years ago. Anyways, if there is something I can’t live without in my closet now, it’ll be my beloved Harley tee, which I bought at the Melrose Trading Post in Los Angeles.

Initially, the tee was just a regular ‘ol basic one with sleeves and errthang. Then, I decided to cut it up by making it low-cut, cropped and sleeveless. Think of it as a sexy muscle tee, dude! Since it’s THE perfect summer staple, I can’t wait to show you how I rock it.

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Tory Burch clutch | choker (worn as bracelet) | Tod’s sneakers

Before I continue, no outfit can be on lock without a few essentials. 😉

A) The Lace-Up Bikini Top

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Okie dokes, the lace-up bikini top may sound like it’s wayyyyy more appropriate for the beach, but don’t let that restrict you. If you can’t be bothered to buy a lace-up top, try getting a lace-up bikini top that allows you to tie it into a choker. Two trends in one is basically tops. It’s perfect for the lazy girl who can’t fuck with jewelry.

B + C) Belt and Clutch

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When in doubt, pile up on some accessories! Trade a cross body bag for a clutch AND a killer belt. When you’ve got a biker tee with cute shorts, these things class up the tough girl look. In fact, it’s so easy to wear this in the day and later, transition well into the evening with your girls at Catch!

C) White sneakers

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Last but not least, the white sneaker is to DIE FOR!! Not only can it piece the outfit together, it’s a MUST MUST for every girl in the city. As a NYC resident, I need to keep my feet comfy when I’m walking 20+ blocks everyday. Thankfully, these Tod’s do city style justice. And on top of that, it can totally anchor the biker tee into an everyday look.

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Tell me, how would you rock your favorite tee?

All photos by Hallie Geller